New Falcons Coach Arthur Smith Has Tall Task Ahead

Arthur Smith has accepted the Atlanta Falcons’ head coach position, and that’s all well and dandy. But what can we expect from Smith?

Well, if his time as offensive coordinator with the Tennessee Titans is any indication, you can bet he hopes to have a Derrick Henry-like running back. Unfortunately for Smith, Henry remains with the Titans.

As of today, Smith’s ground game in Atlanta consists of Todd Gurley, Brian Hill and Ito Smith. Not terrible, but not Henry.

Meanwhile, the quarterback remains Matt Ryan, who will turn 36-years-old before next season. But Ryan was still productive, despite the Falcons’ 4-12 record. Of course, that doesn’t tell the full story, as the Falcons lost seven of those games by a touchdown or less. That’s right, seven.

So maybe Smith will be the man to get them over the hump.

He has served as offensive coordinator for the Titans in each of the last two seasons. The Titans thrived with Smith, averaging 30.7 points per game.

Last season, the Titans put up 396.4 yards per game, third in the NFL. They won the AFC South before losing to the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the playoffs. They advanced all the way to the AFC championship in 2019.

Smith takes over for Dan Quinn, who was fired Oct. 11 with former general manager Thomas Dimitroff after the Falcons’ 0-5 start.

The Falcons own the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Matt Loede contributed to this post.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side,


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  1. Here’s a thought I had about this hire. Atlanta had the second worst yards per carry as a team in the nfl this year. So they hire a coach who had a human dump truck running the ball the last 3 years to come fix that. I want to make clear to the Falcons that Henry doesn’t come with Smith’s playbook. Smith will have to use Atlanta’s roster. Smith may do well, but this seems to me like hiring Tom Brady’s QB coach to come turn around your passing game. I’ve watched the Titans’ offense the last few years, sometimes perplexed at what I saw, and I guess I’m saying is be careful. It may not always be the coordinator who’s the true secret sauce for a good offense. Maybe Smith was? We’ll find out.

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