Oct 14, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith watches the game from the sideline against the Oakland Raiders during the first half at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE
Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is reaching territory that is unprecedented in Atlanta history.
With the Falcons win against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, head coach Mike Smith tied Dan Reeves for the most wins as a HC in Atlanta history. The Falcons don’t have a terrific history of head coaches, or a particularly rich history in general, but if there is one head coach that really exemplifies the best from Falcons history, it’s Dan Reeves.
When you think about how revered Reeves is in Atlanta, it’s hard to believe that he was only the Falcons coach for seven seasons. He led this franchise its one Super Bowl appearance, and holds the record with 49 wins as a head coach. Not exactly heady numbers. But consider his esteemed position. He is on numerous Atlanta radio broadcasts throughout the week, and is generally regarded as the best coach in Falcons history. Everyone in the media falls over themselves to get his opinions on NFL topics.
But also consider this. It took Dan Reeves seven full seasons to reach 49 wins. Aside from the 14-2 1998 season, he only posted one other winning record, that in 2002. No back to back winning seasons. Only two postseason appearances. Not exactly the best things from the ‘best coach’ in Falcons history.
It’s time for Mike Smith to take on the role as best coach in Falcons history. He’s led this team to four consecutive winning seasons (and is well on his way to winning a fifth). Under his guidance the Falcons have made the playoffs three times, and turned this franchise from one who routinely expects futility, to one that expects and demands wins. He’s now tied at 49 with Reeves for the wins record, and I don’t see any way he doesn’t break it. Before it’s all said and done, Smith will likely double up the wins total that his team reached today.
The one negative on Smith’s resume is that he hasn’t been able to lead the Falcons to a playoff win. That’s a hard mark to live with, but I wouldn’t stress over it. This team is improving its mental toughness. Postseason success is truly on the horizon for the Falcons. And Smith will be the one to get them there.