Atlanta Falcons: Arthur Smith introduces major culture change
For the Atlanta Falcons, having a transitional period of head coaches can be an interesting time. Let’s look at how the transition was from Mike Smith to Dan Quinn. The defensive premise was there, the team reacted quickly, had success early on, and then fizzled out entering the final year of said coach’s time with our team.
Now, with the team moving from Quinn (who quickly moved onto Dallas) to Arthur Smith, most Atlanta Falcons fans have been asking the question about his sense of leadership.
Would he be a player-first coach like Pete Carroll in Seattle, or would he try to go the authoritarian route like Bill Belichick and many of his disciples? Or even better: would he attempt to revitalize what Quinn was all about: slogans plastered around the team headquarters and given out prior to Falcons gamedays?
Atlanta Falcons have lacked accountability in recent years
The short answer appears to be a sense of both, but more leaning towards the accountability aspect of how he wants the new-look Falcons to run (quite literally, it seems).
After the entire Falcons offensive line went offsides during today’s training camp, Coach Smith decided it wasn’t just the line that needed discipline; it was the offense in general.
While Smith chalked it up to tactics used all throughout football, even including Pee-Wee league football, Ryan had a different tune, saying “We screwed up. All of us. Hopefully it’s something we learn from and it doesn’t happen again”.
This is huge for Smith as he enters his rookie season as a head coach, especially with an organization as prestigious as our Falcons are. Let’s be honest here: most of us would love for Smith to do what Quinn failed, and that’s put Atlanta at the pinnacle with a Lombardi trophy (two straight years of NFC South winners? Best division by far then).
While it is tough for a first-year coach to not only generate instant success but also an entire team to buy in, Smith appears to be doing that with a no-nonsense, hands-on approach that preaches accountability in methods the Falcons have yet to demonstrate.
The team consistently has been torched because of problematic positioning or just getting comfortable after going up by more than two scores, eventually needing to squeak out a nailbiter or be chastised by fans and talking media heads on national television.
With this new regime in place attempting to rectify past transgressions, the Falcons appear to be on the fast track to compete in the NFL this upcoming season.
Can they knock off the defending champions in the division? Probably not.
Can they at least contend for a playoff spot? Most likely.
September 12th is right around the corner, Falcons fans. Are you ready for the new-look Falcons to showcase their talents?