The Atlanta Falcons have decided to part ways with head coach Arthur Smith after a trio of seasons without a winning record or a playoff berth.

In a meeting with Falcons owner Arthur Blank and CEO Rich McKay on Sunday evening, following a heavy 48-17 defeat to the New Orleans Saints, Smith was informed of his dismissal. This loss, which saw the Falcons give up a 31-0 run in the second half, concluded a 7-10 season for the team, dashing their slim hopes of clinching the NFC South.

Over his tenure, Smith’s record with the Falcons stood at 21-30.

Arthur Blank expressed the difficulty of such decisions in a statement, acknowledging Smith’s commitment and contributions to the team’s culture but highlighting the unmet field performance expectations. Blank emphasized the need for new leadership at the head coach position to move the team forward.

The Falcons have announced the initiation of a search for a new head coach, spearheaded by Blank and McKay, with input from general manager Terry Fontenot, who retains his position.

The game against the Saints marked a notable low for Smith’s time with the Falcons. Despite an early lead with two touchdown drives, the team faltered, managing only three points thereafter and conceding 41 points. Postgame, tensions were high as Smith showed visible frustration toward Saints coach Dennis Allen over a late score. Allen later apologized, explaining the decision was player-driven.

Smith, known for his offensive expertise, was unable to significantly elevate the team’s offense, which remained lackluster despite the acquisition of promising young players like Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson.

The team’s quarterback situation remains a pressing issue for Smith’s successor. The Falcons hold the eighth pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

During Smith’s tenure, the team cycled through two defensive coordinators, with the defense showing marked improvement under Ryan Nielsen.

With this coaching change, Blank and Fontenot aim to revive a franchise that hasn’t seen a winning season or playoff appearance since 2017. This marks the seventh head coach hire under Blank’s ownership since 2002.



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