Report: Atlanta Falcons likely to fire Mike Smith after 2014 season


The Atlanta Falcons have not sustained the expected level of success during the 2014 season, regardless of their theoretical pursuit of the NFC South crown. As a result, there has been rampant speculation concerning the future of head coach Mike Smith, and a report has emerged that paints a grim picture of his job status.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Falcons owner Arthur Blank has already sealed Smith’s fate to be fired, barring unforeseen circumstances:

"Falcons owner Arthur Blank has informed multiple parties that he plans on moving on from head coach Mike Smith at the end of the season, sources said, and it would take a shocking playoff run to alter that scenario. Blank has also told some confidants that, for now, he expects to retain general manager Thomas Dimitroff, though it could be revisited through the hiring process."

To be fair, the general sentiment has been that Smith is “walking dead” with his job status, but this is the first report in recent weeks that lays things out this plainly. It should be noted that the Atlanta Falcons do have every opportunity to make the playoffs and host a first round playoff game, leaving the door cracked open, but given the talent level and performance of this team, a long-term run seems unlikely.

With that as the backdrop, La Canfora also lays out a handful of names who could be in the sights of Arthur Blank:

"Among the candidates the Falcons are doing due diligence on includes Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, with team president Rich McKay among those working through backchannels gathering information on top candidates. Stanford coach David Shaw could be a consideration as well."

Adam Gase is a hot name, given his success with Peyton Manning in Denver, but in the same breath, none of these coaches would greatly move the needle. Regardless, La Canfora’s earlier mention of GM Thomas Dimitroff being retained would indicate that he would be in the captain’s chair during a coaching search, and the accuracy of his choice could be crucial for his own employment.

Stay tuned for the latest on the Atlanta Falcons, but moving on from Mike Smith appears to be the likely scenario.