Arthur Blank: No hot seat for Mike Smith

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Mike Smith is the most successful head coach in the history of the Falcons franchise by a fairly wide margin.

He’s had a winning record in all four of his seasons on their sideline and gone to the playoffs three times, including the first back-to-back trips in Falcons history. The team has lost in their first playoff game in all three of those trips, however, and that’s become the dominant theme of talk about the Smith/Matt Ryan partnership in Atlanta.

There have been suggestions that another failure to advance in the postseason could work out poorly for Smith’s continued employment in Atlanta. While the Falcons need to make some more noise in the postseason to solidify the gains of the last four years, a failure to do so doesn’t sound like it will cost Smith his job. Falcons owner Arthur Blank said that the seat under Smith (and the one under General Manager Thomas Dimitroff as well) remains cool as the 2012 season gets underway.

“He’s not on any hot seat. Coach Smith, he and Thomas, I particularly feel really blessed – and I don’t use that word every day, all day long – I feel blessed having them both in place,” Blank said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The last four years to have the record that we’ve established after 42 years of not having back-to-back winning seasons, to have four of them back-to-back-to-back-to-back winning seasons and be in the playoffs three of four years, to have a coach that’s been named coach of the year two out of four years in the NFL.”

Smith signed a three-year contract extension before last season and Blank has never been less than emphatic when it comes to the coach’s job security. As long as there’s anything other than a total disaster in Atlanta this season, Smith’s not going anywhere.

15 responses to “Arthur Blank: No hot seat for Mike Smith

  1. Wasn’t it Blank who pressured Smith into dumping Mularkey and BVG last year?

    What owner is going to cop truthfully to a question about his coach being on the hot seat when the season record is 0-0?

    If Smith doesn’t win a playoff game this year, not to mention if he fails to make the playoffs, he’s gone. Period. End of story.

  2. The first year, when they lost in the playoffs, the D was awful. Keith Brooking and Lawyer Milloy were still hanging around and they were several steps to slow. I will never forget the 3rd and 13 where Brooking bit so hard on the play action to give up a huge play.

    The second year in the playoffs (year 3 of Ryan/Smith), they ran into the buzz saw of the Packers. The game was close until the pick 6 at the end of the first half and that broke the Falcons back.

    Last year was just sad. 2 points?!? Come on. Just pathetic. They decided to play their worst game of the season in the playoffs. Ugh.

    I’m not making excuses, but the fact that anyone would think that Smith is on the hot seat is absurd. Dimitroff and Smith have brought a stability to the franchise that they have never had. No, they haven’t won a playoff game, but they have changed the culture of a team that used to be perennial losers.

    Now, if they could just figure out how to get 1 yard on a 4th down….

  3. SeenThisB4: BVG took a job at Auburn. Mularky took the head coaching job in Jacksonville. They did not get dumped. If they hadn’t taken those jobs, it may have happened, but it didn’t happen that way. Get the facts straight.

  4. If they don’t win the division he should be gone. Your closest competitor/rival in the division has no head coach, no assistant head coach and GM for half or all this season. Talk about having an advantage.

  5. Anyone that thinks Smith should be on the hot seat needs to be checked for an extra chromosome. This guy has had the most sustained success in the history of this franchise. He’s been there 5 years. Only 1 team can win the superbowl a year, and to think that the other 31 are not good coaches because they don’t win it is ludicrous.

  6. Football fans are funny. Atlanta fans acting as if excellence is the norm and just making the playoffs simply isn’t acceptable in the hotbed of NFL football that is Atlanta is downright hilarious.

    The man has taken a laughingstock franchise and turned it into a perennial contender.

    Sure, coaches like that fall off of trees every day- that’s why you’ve had so many of them. So go ahead and run him out of town, you’ll find someone just as good.

  7. @shecklesmckenzie and bleedgreen,

    you’re absolutely correct. as a fan since ’87, all anyone has to do is look back on the past 25 years (or all the way back to ’66) and see that Simth and TD have built this team into the best it’s ever been. we’ve gone from just hoping for more wins than losses every year, and usually not getting it, to pretty much expecting a playoff berth every year. that’s huge. they do need to take the next step, for sure, but it’s at least nice i can wear my Falcons cap in public and not get outright laughed at anymore. We’re not the Browns of the south anymore. We will get to the next level, probably this year.

  8. Julio Jones is going to break out and have a huge mvp type season and that whole offense is going to be exciting to watch they will make the playoffs and maybe win a game so this whole topic is unnecessary unfortunately for them to make it to the super bowl they will have to play my niners and no one is beating them come playoff time.

  9. I really like watching them and the offense will be exciting to watch plus they got two guys on D that played college ball in my little hometown of Missoula Montana. So if my niners don’t win I hope the Falcons do. And smith job will be safe this year cuz they’ll win a playoff game

  10. That’s te Falcons biggest problem. Accepting winning seasons as some measuring stick. Keep being happy with winning seasons.

    How does the trophy look for that?

  11. That’s te Falcons biggest problem. Accepting winning seasons as some measuring stick. Keep being happy with winning seasons.

    How does the trophy look for that?

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