As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were finishing off the dreadful Atlanta Falcons 41-28 this past Sunday, Arthur Blank was treading the sidelines with his usual suit, as he stared into the sky with a blank expression on his face not knowing what to make of his 2-8 team. With the Falcons getting absolutely humiliated by the Buccaneers, the only thing coach Mike Smith has done is draw blanks on a supposedly Super Bowl-bound team.
If this season wasn’t bad enough, Blank has already made it clear that Smith and GM Thomas Dimitroff will be back next year, as he has given them full support.
“We love our head coach and we love our general manager,” Blank said according to ESPN. “It’s up to them to candidly look at everybody — candidly, honestly, critically — and see what we have to do. There should be nobody that escapes that critique. That’s their job, and I have confidence they’ll do it. And they are doing it. And they will do it.”
When Blank announced that he has unwavering confidence and pledged his allegiance to Smith, even after conducting one of the worst seasons to remember, my friend and I were shocked that Blank would not at least consider a coaching change.
We both came to the conclusion that the best decision for the team is to fire Smith, as he has officially hit his ceiling.
Anthony Tran, a devout Falcons fan, shares his thoughts in how he reacted to Blank’s comments on his head coach.
“Mike Smith has done nothing but good for the Atlanta Falcons,” Tran said. “He has posted five consecutive winning records when the Falcons had never produced two in a row. He has four playoff appearances, two division titles and was a play away from reaching the Super Bowl.”
“There is no logical reason to fire a coach who has produced like that after one disappointing injury riddled season. With that being said, if you have a quarterback in his prime and a team that is ready to win now, you need a coach that you can confidently say can lead you to a Super Bowl. I don’t believe that Mike Smith can lead this team to a Super Bowl. If you don’t think a coach can lead you to the Super Bowl, despite all he has done for your organization, you need to move in a different direction.”
In a season where Smith has not only been out-coached and out-maneuvered in every aspect of football, but the way his team has performed in the blowout losses is a big cause for concern. It’s one thing to lose, but to have your players mentally check out even before the game begins is unacceptable no matter how lost the season is.
Blank has every right to defend a coach he handpicked and after 36 years of inconsistency; it is understandable that Blank is holding onto Smith as long as he can. Instead of seeing things with a clear vision, Blank’s fear of going back to mediocrity is blinding him at the moment to make the right decision of moving in a different direction.
As the Falcons continue their miserable and humiliating season with six games left on their schedule, the true character of the Falcons will start to show, which usually reflects the coach. How the players finish out this season should be critical, as it will carry into next year.
So far, the Falcons have come up with blanks in their past four defeats, but as long as they have Smith on the sideline calling the shots, drawing up blanks is something uncommon at least this season.