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At least Arthur Smith went out with a bang. Refusing to let Dennis Allen or (turns out) Jameis Winston tread on his manhood by running up the score in Week 18, Smith berated Allen for the Saints lining up in victory formation, only to score yet another touchdown on the Falcons’ porous defense. Except that the D wasn’t the problem in Atlanta. It was Smith’s offense, or more specifically, his baffling personnel usage (or lack thereof).
Love seeing everything come full circle.
Arthur Smith had fantasy managers feeling this way EVERY SINGLE WEEK at the end of his games.
Drake London’s targets were as inconsistent as you could ever see for a WR1. Stud tight end Kyle Pitts was almost outgained by Jonnu Smith (no offense, Jonnu). Neither Desmond Ridder nor Taylor Heinicke had sustained success in Smith’s system. The same was true for any quarterback who played under Smith in Atlanta. Thus, the Falcons decided to part ways with Smith following his third straight 7-10 season.
Smith was the bane of many fantasy football owners’ existences due to how he deployed London, Pitts and even rookie eighth overall pick Bijan Robinson. It’s not like Bijan’s rookie campaign was a total disappointment, yet when you draft a running back that high in the year 2023, you’d expect a 1,000-yard rushing season at minimum. That didn’t happen. Robinson only totaled 28 more carries than Tyler Allgeier.
Thus, it comes as little surprise that a lot of roto diehards are in full schadenfreude mode over Smith’s dismissal. They couldn’t be happier. Now, could Smith have done himself a favor and not hitched his wagon/livelihood to a Ridder/Heinicke QB combo this season? Yeah. Oh well. You live and you learn.
I think if Mike Vrabel leaves the Titans — a possibility RapSheet alludes to in the video above — there’s a decent chance Smith will be his next offensive coordinator. Then again, that might depend on who the QB is wherever Vrabel would land, and if he’d still be interested in Smith in the aftermath of his Falcons flame-out.
Because of all the weapons Atlanta has, not to mention a defense that made promising strides during the 2023 campaign (nothing to do with Smith), that’s quite an attractive job opening to prospective head coaching candidates. The NFC South is quite a wide-open division. There’s a chance to get “your guy” at quarterback, as the Falcons enter the 2024 draft with the eighth overall pick. Justin Fields could likely be had in a trade if you wanted to go that route.
Not to inspire false hope for a fan base who just dealt with Arthur Smith’s bullsh*t for three seasons, but how about this little nugget of info?
Bill Belichick is still the head coach in New England but the Atlanta Falcons are a team to watch if Belichick is available. They are interested, per sources.
Lots to be decided still. Black Monday kicked off with the news of Smith getting fired, followed by reports early this morning that Ron Rivera is out in Washington. Surely there’s much more to come. Until then, please enjoy the fantasy fools — I say that endearingly, just won my league championship, yay! — reacting to Atlanta’s freshly minted coaching vacancy.
I feel bad for Arthur Smith.
Sure, he was belligerent about not throwing the ball to the right guys, but he’s still human and lost his dream job.
Now all he has to fall back on is millions of net worth and billions of family money.