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  1. Group 2 endorses and is in full support of Atlanta Falcon owner Arthur Blank's decision this morning to release Mike Smith from his contract as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. We understand this decision was one of the most difficult Mr. Blank has had to make in the 14 years he has owned the team, but in the end was a decision he felt was necessary for the Falcons to "reach the next level" in its pursuit of a Super Bowl victory. As many are aware, Group 2 was formed several years ago to further the quest for a Super Bowl for the Falcons by pushing for major changes in leadership, including a change at head coach. It had become clear to us even before the poor seasons of 2013 and 2014 that Mike Smith had reached a ceiling of capability as head coach of the team which would not enable the Falcons to excel in the play-offs, and would therefore never take the team to the Super Bowl. This action by Arthur Blank was necessary, and we believe the changes should not have been limited to head coach, but also should have included GM Thomas Dimitroff. We believe his continued participation in the decision-making, drafting and scouting operations of the Falcons as GM does not provide the Falcons with the best possible person to oversee the upgrade of the current roster. Just as the rest of the fan base, we can only hope the decision to retain Mr. Dimitroff will not hamper or derail the efforts to raise the competitive level of the team. We want to commend Arthur Blank on his decision to form a select search committee to assist him in locating a new head coach. We hope this process will be quick, yet exhaustive, and that all qualified candidates can be interviewed before other teams begin to fill their own vacancies and thus limit the choices available to the Falcons. Though we have been unwavering in our belief Mike Smith was not going to be able to take this team to the Super Bowl, we salute Mike Smith's legacy as one of the best Falcon head coaches ever, bringing the team its first back-to-back winning seasons and taking the team to 5 play-off appearances and 2 NFCC games during his tenure. Best wishes to Mike Smith as he leaves for new opportunities. This Group 2 statement does not include any comments from CEO and president-for-life Gritz. He will no doubt have a comment on the events of this morning which he might add here or place in a separate post. We join the rest of Falcon Nation in thanking Mr. Blank for making this bold change in his effort to bring a Lombardi Trophy to Atlanta and we wish him and the search committee good fortune as they go forward in search of the new Falcons head coach. *** This message provided by the Group 2 Executive Committee For Hope And Change.
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