Who’s Arthur Smith? Falcons tab Titans OC turns into the following head coach
The Falcons completed the third NFL coaching change in the 2021 off-season on Friday, hiring the Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.
Atlanta turns to Smith, 38, after a 4-12 season that saw Dan Quinn sacked after starting 5-0. The Falcons were 4-7 under interim coach Raheem Morris but lost their last five games.
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Morris was one of the candidates interviewing the Falcons for the full-time position. Smith was last interviewed as Atlanta and other interested teams had to wait for the Titans to finish their playoff game against the Ravens on January 10th.
Smith will join Robert Saleh (Jets) and Urban Meyer (Jaguars) as the new NFL head coach in the days following the end of the 2020 regular season.
So who are the Hawks as their field chief and what is Smith getting involved in?
Smith rose in Tennessee
Smith has been training since 2006, stopping off at North Carolina, the Washington Football Team, and Ole Miss before joining the Titans in 2011. He worked mostly with Tennessee’s bottlenecks until he took the offensive coordinator position in 2019. As OK, he relied on running Derrick Henry back in a race-heavy ball control attack. Tennessee was second in the league in rush trials and yards that season. But Smith also made the most of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who got a 2020 passerby rating of 106.5. The Falcons’ offensive staff is slightly different.
Smith inherits a strong passing game in Atlanta
Atlanta had to hurl a lot in 2020 for a number of reasons: the game in progress wasn’t strong, the team faced major threats from Matt Ryan, and it had to compete with opponents in high scoring games. The Falcons finished fourth in the NFL in pass attempts and fifth in pass yards in 2020. As of now, Matt Ryan will face Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage and Hayden Hurst for the next season. Walking back is an area of hardship as Todd Gurley and Brian Hill become unrestricted free agents in March. The offensive line will also need attention as the center Alex Mack enters the free hand.
Smith is going to need someone to straighten the defense
The Falcons were sixth in the NFL against last season’s run but faced the second lowest number of opponents onslaught. The teams had too much success in cutting open the pass defense, which was last dead in the permitted mileage. Opponents also made big comebacks in the late game; The Falcons took a lead of 16, 17 and 20 points in 2020. No wonder, according to SN’s latest draft, Atlanta picked Michigan Edge Rusher Kwity Paye with the fourth pick in Round 1. He could be a cornerstone for the new defensive coordinator.