The Falcons on Friday accomplished the third NFL teaching change of the 2021 offseason, hiring Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.
Atlanta is popping to Smith, 38, after a 4-12 season that included the firing of Dan Quinn following an 0-5 begin. The Falcons have been 4-7 below interim coach Raheem Morris however misplaced their final 5 video games.
Morris was one of many candidates the Falcons interviewed for the full-time place. Smith was the last interviewee as Atlanta and different groups needed to await the Titans to finish their playoff sport in opposition to the Ravens on Jan. 10.
Smith joins Robert Saleh (Jets) and City Meyer (Jaguars) as new NFL head coaches within the days following the top of the 2020 common season.
So, who’re the Falcons getting as their area boss, and what’s Smith getting himself into?
Smith moved up the ranks in Tennessee
Smith has been teaching since 2006, making stops at North Carolina, the Washington Soccer Workforce and Ole Miss previous to becoming a member of the Titans in 2011. He principally labored with Tennessee’s tight ends till taking up as offensive coordinator in 2019. As OC, he leaned on working again Derrick Henry in a run-heavy, ball-control assault. Tennessee was second within the league in rush makes an attempt and yards this season. However Smith additionally received probably the most out of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who posted a 106.5 passer ranking in 2020. The Falcons’ offensive personnel is a bit of bit totally different.
Smith inherits a potent passing sport in Atlanta
Atlanta needed to sling it rather a lot in 2020, for a number of causes: The working sport wasn’t sturdy, the group had large receiving threats round Matt Ryan and it wanted to maintain up with opponents in high-scoring video games. The Falcons completed fourth within the NFL in cross makes an attempt and fifth in passing yards in 2020. As of now, Matt Ryan can be throwing to holdovers Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage and Hayden Hurst subsequent season. Operating again is an space of want as Todd Gurley and Brian Hill turn out to be unrestricted free brokers in March. The offensive line will want consideration, too, with heart Alex Mack getting into free company.
Smith will want somebody to straighten out the protection
The Falcons have been sixth within the NFL in opposition to the run final season however confronted the second-lowest variety of rushes by opponents. Groups have been having an excessive amount of success carving up the cross protection, which was useless final in yardage allowed. Opponents have been additionally making large late-game comebacks; the Falcons blew leads of 16, 17 and 20 factors in 2020. No surprise SN’s latest mock draft has Atlanta deciding on Michigan edge rusher Kwity Paye with the fourth decide in Spherical 1. He might be a cornerstone piece for the brand new defensive coordinator.