Falcons Rumors: 5 dark horse Arthur Smith replacements if he's fired

Atlanta Falcons, Arthur Smith
Atlanta Falcons, Arthur Smith / Edward M. Pio Roda/GettyImages
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It seems like we're jumping the gun a bit, now, after the Atlanta Falcons have won two in a row and currently lead the NFC South.

But, did fans actually expect this team to be 6-6 after starting the year with much hope, an improved defense and some high-level offensive weapons? It only took head coach Arthur Smith 11 weeks to realize he needed to start using his first-round running back the proper way.

The Falcons are a good team, but they could be borderline-great with the right coaching and quarterback. Even if they win the division by season's end, Smith should be on the hot seat and could ultimately be fired.

Let's say the Falcons give Smith the boot. Here are a few underrated names to keep in mind as a replacement.

1. Brian Flores, Defensive Coordinator, Minnesota Vikings

Sure, let's start out with a defensive-minded candidate right after talking about how Smith has mismanaged his stud offensive players. Makes sense, right?

Here's the case for Flores, though.

What he's done with the Vikings defense is quite impressive. This was not a unit picked to be anywhere close to the top of the league, especially after finishing dead last in some major categories a season ago. But, as this season has gone on, the Vikings have been better and better defensively, and justifiably so.

Flores is a mastermind at utilizing the blitz to his advantage. He's also a heck of a leader. Should Flores be the next coach in Atlanta, he'll obviously bring in the best offensive coordinator he can find to best use the Falcons' weapons.