The Atlanta Falcons have undoubtedly struggled this season, entering their week 9 bye week with a tumultuous 2-6 record. Atlanta is now 6-18 since making an appearance in the NFC Championship game, including an abysmal 1-11 record on the road in that stretch. This has resulted in an especially hot seat for coach Mike Smith, someone who many don’t expect owner Arthur Blank to welcome back to the team next season. Jason La Canfora of CBSSports has reported that Blank is expected to fire Mike Smith at season’s end, and to look for an “A-List” head coach to take his place.
With a new stadium set to open in 2017, the owner needs to have a winner in Atlanta by that time, especially since he’s trying to persuade people to purchase personal seat licenses for the Falcons’ new home. “Arthur has an angry side to him” one source said, “He can turn on someone and he can turn quickly. He’s not nearly as mellow as public perception would make you think.” (courtesy of CBSSports).
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Now the clear question on everybody’s mind is: who could the potential new coach be? Jon Gruden is a popular name which annually surfaces at this time of year: “Spider 2 Y Banana” is a former Superbowl winner, and a man who will have his pick of the litter if and when he finally decides to get back into coaching. Jason La Canfora earlier reported that the teams who will have the best chance at getting coach Gruden will be the Raiders (his former team) and the Falcons. Fox’s Jay Glazer reported that Jim Harbaugh won’t be back with the 49ers next year amid some locker room tension in San Francisco, so he could be a possible option. Adam Schein wrote in his NFL.com article that Atlanta could be the team that big time college football coach Nick Saban gets persuaded by to get back into the NFL, but fear not Alabama fans, because it’s very unlikely that Saban leaves his green pastures in Tuscaloosa to go back to the NFL. Maybe the next big time assistant coach gets his shot at the main coaching role with Atlanta. This will definitely be a fun topic to discuss come the offseason.
We haven’t seen many home depots close, so it’s clear that Arthur Blank is a man who knows business, and it’s clear that bringing in a new coach would be what’s best for business.The Atlanta Falcons organizatino is a very attractive destination: the Falcons are a team who have a franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan, and one of the best receivers in the league in Julio Jones, so it shouldn’t be that hard to persuade an “A-Lister” to come coach the dirty birds.