Atlanta Falcons must demand accountability from their head coach

Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers
Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

Everything you hear from the Atlanta Falcons head coach since the loss to the Carolina Panthers is far different from what fans watched for much of the season. Gone is the sarcastic and irritated demeanor that came from believing he knew best and had a full season ahead. In its place is a head coach who is demanding better from the quarterback position and his offensive coordinator.

Yes, Smith has somewhat owned his failures and said the coaching staff must do a better job as a whole. However, the continual theme still feels as if the coach is blaming the quarterback and not looking in the mirror enough. It is Smith's decision-making that put Atlanta in this position with Desmond Ridder.

Ridder's mistakes are his own but perhaps if we had seen the quarterback more so in his rookie season or he had been given consistent preseason snaps or competition things might look different. Smith's failure at the quarterback position and as a playcaller are why Atlanta is in the position they are in.

With a capable quarterback or play caller this team at worst has 2-3 more wins and is in the playoffs feeling very differently about their season. Smith's refusal to adjust his schemes or hand over playcalling speaks to the bigger issue.

There is no question that Arthur Smith wants to win, but Smith wants to win his way. His refusal to hand over the play-calling and flip-flopping at the quarterback position are indicative of the problem in Atlanta. Smith was handed far too much control over this team and this season is the franchise paying the price for that.

Arthur Blank letting Smith finish the year continues to show a lack of accountability for a head coach that has ruined what was a perfect opportunity. Atlanta plays in the worst division in the league and was handed a schedule as easy as it gets. Their response has been to invent ways to lose against terrible teams and do just enough to stay in the division race.

Smith's time in Atlanta should be coming to an end with a very unlikely path to the playoffs ahead. This team is a capable head coach and quarterback away from being a real NFC contender. Atlanta's ownership and front office have to be willing to look at this and be willing to make the difficult decision to fire Arthur Smith.