Ten Questions for the Atlanta Falcons: What does Arthur Smith’s Job Security Look Like?

Atlanta Falcons Training Camp
Atlanta Falcons Training Camp / Edward M. Pio Roda/GettyImages

The NFL season is quickly approaching, and one of the important questions for the Atlanta Falcons will be the job security around head coach Arthur Smith. The coach has produced a 14-20 record through his first two seasons and the team has finished 3rd and 4th in the NFC South.

After an off-season filled with big-name free agency signings and a draft class expected to produce immediately, there is no doubt that the Falcons are aiming to make the playoffs for the first time since 2017. Whether or not Smith guides the team to that coveted birth may determine if he has a future in Atlanta after this season or not.

Five NFL coaches got fired last year including Matt Rhule who compiled an 11-27 record with the Panthers, Frank Reich who led the Colts to two playoff appearances and is now the Panthers' head coach, Nathaniel Hackett who is one of the worst coaching hires in recent history, Lovie Smith who was let down by the Houston Texans front office, and Kliff Kingsbury who somehow has only 3 winning seasons across his time at Texas Tech and the Arizona Cardinals.

Although Arthur Blank has shown a level of patience uncommon amongst NFL owners, it would be hard to justify keeping Smith around if the Falcons suffer a third straight losing season after the money and resources they spent over the past few months.

The main question will be if the Falcons end up posting a winning record but fail to secure a playoff spot, will that be enough, or Smith to keep his job? Or will the team look for another route and hope that the coach can work with the players they’ve signed and drafted over the last few years?

The NFL has slowly transformed into an impatient league where we see numerous coaches getting fired after one or two seasons on the job. We’ve seen coaches such as Hackett who couldn’t even last their entire first year, but I’d expect ownership to give Smith the full season unless things spiral completely out of control.

Based on the team’s schedule, the roster makeup, and the play calling we’ve seen from Smith in the past, there is a good chance Smith secures his first playoff birth as a head coach and continues to develop his system and culture within Atlanta. Players seem to enjoy learning from him and even though the team has had a losing record since his tenure began, that was expected as the organization went through a complete rebuild.

Smith has had numerous off-seasons to bring in his type of players and implement his preferred system, and his future could hinge on players such as Jessie Bates, Bijan Robinson, and Drake London. Although Smith’s seat is heating up right now, I’m expecting it to fully cool down once he secures a playoff spot and finally snags his first winning season.