Falcons hire Titans OC Arthur Smith as new head coach
The Atlanta Falcons have officially hired Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith as their new head coach. NFL insiders have reported that Smith was always Atlanta’s top target, and on Friday, the NFC South franchise secured a deal with the man who helped Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry evolve as NFL players.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 15, 2021
Arthur Smith helped head coach Mike Vrabel bring the Titans to the AFC Championship Game one season ago. Tennessee lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium. The Titans won the AFC South Division championship this season but were bounced in the wild card round by the Baltimore Ravens.
The Falcons must decide on whether to keep veteran quarterback Matt Ryan or trade him. They must also begin to wrestle with their long-term future. Even if they keep Ryan for 2021 in Smith’s first season, they will soon have to get their next franchise quarterback. Smith now figures to be a central decision-maker on that front for Atlanta.
This move by the Falcons means that Mike Vrabel’s last two offensive coordinators have gotten head coaching jobs. Former Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur was hired as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers, and he has done very well with the Pack in his first two seasons on the job. That fact might have played a role in helping Atlanta zero in on Smith as its preferred choice.
While the Titans have to find another offensive coordinator, the Falcons know they have the makings of a great offense if they keep Matt Ryan. Their offensive line, however, needs to be strengthened, one of the key position groups Arthur Smith will need to fortify this coming year.
Arthur Smith knows that one of his primary tasks will be to figure out the New Orleans Saints’ defense, which has been a tough nut for the Falcons’ offense to crack in recent seasons.