Atlanta Falcons: Just How Hot Is Mike Smith’s Seat?


Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After the painful loss in London at the hands of the Detroit Lions the internet was filled with rumors of Mike Smith’s tenure with the Atlanta Falcons coming to a close as team owner Arthur Blank had finally grown tired of the lackluster performances of the team under Smith.  However, since the bye week the Falcons have put together back to back wins and currently sit atop the NFC South and somehow look poised to make a late push for a playoff spot. With the win streak the calls for Mike Smith’s head have certainly reduced in number and with the playoffs now a distinct possibility it doesn’t seem too farfetched to suggest Mike Smith could be back in 2015.

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The fact that all it’s taken to restore some confidence in Smith is a couple of wins against two teams in turmoil is extremely worrying… Yes, it’s “not a good thing.”

If anything the wins the last two weeks should have made Smith’s position even more fragile, not strengthen it. The Bucs are one of the worst teams in the league (if not the worst) and yet they still made the so called playoff team Atlanta Falcons work extremely hard for the victory. The Panthers are banged up across the board and have a roster seemingly put together by children and yet they had several chances to win the game and if it weren’t for some ineptitude from both the coaches and the players they would have walked away with the win.

Since very early on in the season it hasn’t been the record that should determine Smith’s fate but the performances of the team, and if we take this method and look at the last two weeks it’s difficult to suggest that the Falcons played at all well, despite what the scoreboard read. Smith doesn’t have a good roster to work with, you can make a strong argument that the Falcons are a bottom 5 team in the NFL talent wise, and yet it’s been Smith’s inability to use the pieces at his disposal that should ultimately determine his fate. The Falcons are banged up yes, and they lack talent yes, this doesn’t excuse idiotic play calling, idiotic roster evaluation and idiotic motivational speeches.

This week published a profile on Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. The article is a brilliant insight into a polarizing figure, but what stands out most clearly is the difference in style between Arians and Smith. Arians is a loud mouth ball of energy who is a terrific player manager. Arians gets his players playing for him, he uses revolutionary training methods, he’s a character who has the ultimate respect of his players. Is Mike Smith any of these things? This isn’t a personal attack on Smith, I still have a lot of time for Smithy and the job he did turning this franchise around. However, the Mike Smith message has gotten stale, his team isn’t playing for him anymore, it’s time for change as difficult as this may be to stomach.

No matter what happens the remainder of this season Smith needs to go. At this point the only thing keeping his seat tepid is the disaster that is the NFC South and if that’s your head coaches biggest accolade its time for change. To put it simply, Smith hasn’t made good decisions the last two seasons and in the cut throat world that is the NFL that’ more than enough to give him his marching orders. It’s still time to fire the Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith.