Report: Atlanta Falcons to pursue big name coach for 2015


It is no secret that Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is under fire at this moment, and quite frankly, the majority of the fan base appears to be calling for his job on a daily basis. However, there has been little in the way of “real” smoke coming from the front office to this point.

That grace period appears to be over.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Arthur Blank and the Atlanta Falcons will be targeting a big name coach to replace Smith in advance of the 2015 season. Here is a snippet from this report:

"Coach Mike Smith is not expected to be back next season, according to the source, with his job security now become a regular topic of conversation in Atlanta. Blank is mulling a move for a big-name head coach to help usher his team into the new stadium he is constructing."

In addition, La Canfora brought two names to light as potential (read: potential, not definite) leaders of the Atlanta Falcons moving forward:

"Every year there is speculation about Jon Gruden leaving the broadcast booth to return as an NFL head coach, and this offseason the 49ers are expected to consider trade offers for their coach, Jim Harbaugh, with those sides unable to get anywhere on contract talks in the past. There could be several options for him to pursue, and any hotly coveted coach generally comes with his own thoughts about how the organization and front office should be structured."

The last sentence of that paragraph is crucial, in that almost any coach with the stature of Gruden or Harbaugh would likely want complete control of football decision-making. At this juncture, there is far less outcry for the job of GM Thomas Dimitroff, but at the same time, the roster does appear to be very thin at spots, and in a league where injuries are simply a part of reality, that isn’t an ideal construction.

There is nothing earth-shattering about this latest buzz from Flowery Branch, simply because it has almost become generally accepted that Smith will not be back as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons in 2015. Still, there will be many teams in pursuit of Harbaugh and/or Gruden, and unless Arthur Blank is willing to open the wallet and remove some (or all) personnel control from Dimitroff, snatching a headliner as the next head coach could be a tall task.