Jump to content

Mike Smith taken because they didn't want to wait on Spags?


Recommended Posts

The Atlanta Falcons are expected to select Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Smith as their next head coach, according to league sources. An announcement could come as soon as Wednesday afternoon.

Smith, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Dallas offensive coordinator Jason Garrett (who withdrew from consideration to remain with the Cowboys), and highly-regarded defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, late of the Baltimore Ravens, each interviewed with Dimitroff after the Falcons hired the former New England Patriots college scouting director on Jan. 13.

Frazier, the most recent entry, really impressed new Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and is believed to have been the Falcons' second choice.

But Smith, 48, won over the Falcons with his combination of intelligence, communication and organizational skills, and strong knowledge of personnel. Most important, the team believes Smith to be the most professionally compatible with Dimitroff.

Smith has coordinated Jacksonville's defense the past six seasons. The Jaguars finished 12th in total defense in 2007 after ranking second in 2006 and sixth in 2005. From 1999 to 2001 Smith served as defensive assistant/defensive line coach for the Ravens, helping Baltimore win Super Bowl XXXV after the 2000 season. In 2002, Smith replaced current Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio as linebackers coach.

Despite their interest in Steve Spagnuolo the Falcons decided it wasn't in their best interest to wait another week to interview the New York Giants defensive coordinator until after Super Bowl XLII, when the league allows, a source said.

Two factors led to that decision not to wait to interview and likely offer the job to Spagnuolo, with whom Dimitroff struck up a friendship when the two worked together in the then-World League of American Football and whom some believed was the leading candidate.

First, the Falcons feared being left at the proverbial altar -- again. Bobby Petrino resigned as head coach after 13 games last season. Bill Parcells spurned owner Arthur Blank's offer to run the entire football operation and chose Miami instead. Last week both Garrett and Indianapolis assistant head coach Jim Caldwell pulled out of the running. The Falcons' brass worried they would wait another week, only for Spagnuolo to perhaps remain in New York. Spagnuolo and the Giants already denied one Falcons' request to interview him earlier this postseason, therefore prohibiting a possible second meeting this week.

Second, the longer the Falcons waited to hire a head coach the less likely he would be able to assemble what the team believes is the best possible coaching staff.

The Falcons' search also included meetings with Tony Sparano, since hired as the Miami Dolphins head coach, and Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz prior to Dimitroff's arrival.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Despite their interest in Steve Spagnuolo the Falcons decided it wasn't in their best interest to wait another week to interview the New York Giants defensive coordinator until after Super Bowl XLII, when the league allows, a source said.

Thank Goodness, we didn't wait until after the **** SB to wait for this dude.

Even with a SB loss, I think the Giants would have paid him enough to retain him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the rumored hire of Smith is true, then I am happy for the Atlanta organization. Though he may not be the "flashy/hot" name being inked above the fold of the sports section as of late, Smith has shown the ability to mold together some good defenses over the years.

IMO, even had Atlanta waited 2 more weeks... There is no assurance Spagnuolo would take the job. Dragging out the process based soley upon a few conversations with his agent (if even), or his having a prior relationship with the new GM, wouldn't give me a warm feeling inside.

Especially when you consider the following...

A) - All of the accolades being laid at Spagnuolos feet, by the NY fanbase, players, press & front office for the turnaround of their Defense this season.

B) - The fact that NY has been down this road before.

2000 - An embattled HC leads them to the Super Bowl, earning himself a multi-year extension.

2001 - They let John Fox go to Carolina.

2003 - They suffer through a 4-12 season & fire Jim Fassel, while Fox takes the Panthers to the Super Bowl.

Something tells me that if Spags were to get any job proposals this offseason, then the Giants, regardless of the extension they will be giving to Coughlin (at his age, will most likely 3 years) would respond by making Spags much the same offer that J. Jones gave to Garrett.

A) - Match the salary, which for a first time HC usually falls between $2.5 - $3.0 million per

B) - Promotion to Asst. HC/D.C.

C) - Have a clause inserted into his contract stating that he is the declared frontrunner for the HC position when Coughlin departs.

At which point, the Falcons would stand a very large chance of not only walking away empty handed, but also with egg on it's face. Which is the last thing the franchise needs at this time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't support this move right now - because this move stinks of fear

Why in the world would you pass on possibly the best candidate? It is only 2 freaking weeks!

As for losing out on potential staff members. I don't give a ****. The HC is the most important piece by far. Other positions can be filled more appropriately down the road. Furthermore, there are no doubt other great candidates stuck in roles as QB coaches or other offensive/defensive assistants that are waiting (just like Spags) for their chance. And likely Spags knows some of these guys.

I am really unhappy if this is true.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Statick (1/23/2008)
Despite their interest in Steve Spagnuolo the Falcons decided it wasn't in their best interest to wait another week to interview the New York Giants defensive coordinator until after Super Bowl XLII, when the league allows, a source said.

Thank Goodness, we didn't wait until after the **** SB to wait for this dude.

Even with a SB loss, I think the Giants would have paid him enough to retain him.

I agree w/that too, even moreso w/a SB win. However, there is a part of me that is disappointed that we still left that "stone unturned". Who else is looking for HCs and was Mike Smith ever even really a candidate in Washington? I dunno. I'll support him, but I still wish they would have interviewed Singletary again, and waited to interview Spagnuolo. And I also think Ryan may have been a better choice than Smith, if they were not going to wait and decided they wanted a defensive guy.

Btw, I will say this. Jags and the Chargers are my 2 favorite AFC teams. We could do and have done much worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

grendel (1/23/2008)
rmyarring (1/23/2008)
I can't support this move right now - because this move stinks of fear

Why in the world would you pass on possibly the best candidate? It is only 2 freaking weeks!

As for losing out on potential staff members. I don't give a ****. The HC is the most important piece by far. Other positions can be filled more appropriately down the road. Furthermore, there are no doubt other great candidates stuck in roles as QB coaches or other offensive/defensive assistants that are waiting (just like Spags) for their chance. And likely Spags knows some of these guys.

I am really unhappy if this is true.

Well, what if they heard through Spags agent that Spags wasn't interested?

The fans on here are not thinking about that grendel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

halsey (1/23/2008)
Spagnoulo and Dimitroff aare supposedly friends. Who's to say they didn't have a 'private' conversation in which Spags told him that he plans to stay in NY.

Because permission to speak with him was requested & denied, not only by the Giants, but by Spagnuolo as well. In the unlikely event that a "private" conversation such as you are suggesting was held between the two, it would constitute tampering & cost the Falcons fines/draft picks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to believe the Falcons sent out feelers about Spags. They had to contact his agent or something, just to see if was in their best interest to wait another week to interview him for the job. One more week wouldn't be that long of a wait if indeed he was the target. I have to believe that the information the Falcons received was that Spags either wasn't interested at all, or wasn't 100% sure he even wanted to be a head coach yet. You know Ryan, Smith, and Fraizer weren't getting gobbled up for head coaching positions in a week and a half. I think the Falcons decided to go ahead and look in a different direction rather than wait a week just to be tunred down publicly yet again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

magstuff (1/23/2008)
I have to believe the Falcons sent out feelers about Spags. They had to contact his agent or something, just to see if was in their best interest to wait another week to interview him for the job. One more week wouldn't be that long of a wait if indeed he was the target. I have to believe that the information the Falcons received was that Spags either wasn't interested at all, or wasn't 100% sure he even wanted to be a head coach yet. You know Ryan, Smith, and Fraizer weren't getting gobbled up for head coaching positions in a week and a half. I think the Falcons decided to go ahead and look in a different direction rather than wait a week just to be tunred down publicly yet again.

Rather than having anything to with contacting with Spagnuolos agent (he is under contract with the Giants, after they deny permission Atlanta cannot legally contact him under any circumstances...via his agent or otherwise until the season has played itself out. Any action to the contrary, results in a tampering charge being levied against them), this is purely a reactionary decision on the part of the F.O.

The unresolved HC situation has simply put& gone on long enough. It's to the point now, where it has become a huge distraction for the franchise & city.

They, like most, fully expected the Giants to lose @ Green Bay, and liked Spags enough to be willing to extend the search another week in order to accommodate him and be able to get him down there for an interview.

It didn't work out as they had hoped & now they have are moving on.

Just for arguments sake, lets say that they decided to go ahead and wait out the final few weeks for the opportunity to speak with Spags, only to have him rebuff their advances& . What do you suppose the public outcry would be?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Peyronies (1/23/2008)
magstuff (1/23/2008)

Just for arguments sake, lets say that they decided to go ahead and wait out the final few weeks for the opportunity to speak with Spags, only to have him rebuff their advances& . What do you suppose the public outcry would be?

None, because if Spags had turned us down, we could have just hired Rex Ryan who has been patiently waiting on the Falcons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Ryan is so highly touted, how come he wasn't hired as a HC in the past few years when he was interviewed or this year by MIA or BAL? Although I thought he was worthy of HC for this team, I would like to retake my statement about that. He obviously is not HC worthy because so many teams have passed on him. Not only Atlanta. But it would be nice to have him as DC since he wants to "come to Atlanta so badly."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BlacksburgHokie (1/23/2008)
The Atlanta Falcons are expected to select Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Smith as their next head coach, according to league sources. An announcement could come as soon as Wednesday afternoon.

Smith, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Dallas offensive coordinator Jason Garrett (who withdrew from consideration to remain with the Cowboys), and highly-regarded defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, late of the Baltimore Ravens, each interviewed with Dimitroff after the Falcons hired the former New England Patriots college scouting director on Jan. 13.

Frazier, the most recent entry, really impressed new Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and is believed to have been the Falcons' second choice.

But Smith, 48, won over the Falcons with his combination of intelligence, communication and organizational skills, and strong knowledge of personnel. Most important, the team believes Smith to be the most professionally compatible with Dimitroff.

Smith has coordinated Jacksonville's defense the past six seasons. The Jaguars finished 12th in total defense in 2007 after ranking second in 2006 and sixth in 2005. From 1999 to 2001 Smith served as defensive assistant/defensive line coach for the Ravens, helping Baltimore win Super Bowl XXXV after the 2000 season. In 2002, Smith replaced current Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio as linebackers coach.

Despite their interest in Steve Spagnuolo the Falcons decided it wasn't in their best interest to wait another week to interview the New York Giants defensive coordinator until after Super Bowl XLII, when the league allows, a source said.

Two factors led to that decision not to wait to interview and likely offer the job to Spagnuolo, with whom Dimitroff struck up a friendship when the two worked together in the then-World League of American Football and whom some believed was the leading candidate.

First, the Falcons feared being left at the proverbial altar -- again. Bobby Petrino resigned as head coach after 13 games last season. Bill Parcells spurned owner Arthur Blank's offer to run the entire football operation and chose Miami instead. Last week both Garrett and Indianapolis assistant head coach Jim Caldwell pulled out of the running. The Falcons' brass worried they would wait another week, only for Spagnuolo to perhaps remain in New York. Spagnuolo and the Giants already denied one Falcons' request to interview him earlier this postseason, therefore prohibiting a possible second meeting this week.

Second, the longer the Falcons waited to hire a head coach the less likely he would be able to assemble what the team believes is the best possible coaching staff.

The Falcons' search also included meetings with Tony Sparano, since hired as the Miami Dolphins head coach, and Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz prior to Dimitroff's arrival.

They were also worried about not having a coach at the Seinor-Bowl evaluating talent, seeing what the falcons needs are. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

paul_k (1/23/2008)
Peyronies (1/23/2008)
magstuff (1/23/2008)

Just for arguments sake, lets say that they decided to go ahead and wait out the final few weeks for the opportunity to speak with Spags, only to have him rebuff their advances& . What do you suppose the public outcry would be?

None, because if Spags had turned us down, we could have just hired Rex Ryan who has been patiently waiting on the Falcons.

If you believe that Atlanta with all it has gone through this season, can successfully navigate waiting this out only to have yet another candidate remove themselves from contention for the HC position, then you are well within your rights. Just the same, my assertion is that they cannot.

In regards to your Ryan comment... What's to say that he would still be available to Atlanta in 2 weeks time? It's not like he's in a Fassel/Washington situation where there is little in the way of demand for his services.

Not to mention that the Ryan family has just as much, if not more pride than most. To expect him to so willingly & graciously accept Atlanta waiting out Spags before inking him as a consolation prize, is in my opinion, folly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...