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Bradley Ajc: Mike Smith Should Be Fired


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Falcons coach Mike Smith, I’m sorry to say, should be fired for cause

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“Don’t get a TO, baby!” (John Bazemore/AP photo)

Today’s print column — it’s available on myajc — concluded with this correspondent asserting that the Atlanta Falcons need a new coach. I’d hinted around for a few weeks, but Sunday’s loss proved, at least for me, the point of no return.

For five years, Mike Smith made this team win. (At least in the regular season.) The Falcons’ past two losses — separated by 28 days and the Atlantic Ocean — have come because of time mismanagement. We can say the Falcons have a thin roster or a bad defense or an overmatched defensive coordinator and we’d be right on all accounts, but still: They’d be 6-5 if they hadn’t stopped the clock twice for the opponent on Oct. 26 in Wembley and on Sunday in the Dome.

They’d be 6-5, as opposed to 4-7, if the head coach had handled one of the few things that is entirely the head coach’s province. They’d be 6-5 if Mike Smith hadn’t become to clock-botching as Kleenex is to tissue — the brand name.

It brings no pleasure to say that Smith needs to go. I consider him a good man, and for five years he was the best coach this franchise has ever known. (Talk about Dan Reeves, another good man who led the Falcons to their one Super Bowl, all you want, but he had two winning seasons in seven. Smith went 5-for-his-first-5.) I was willing to grant Smith the benefit of the doubt after last season’s 4-12, but that benefit has been blown to smithereens.

The Falcons lost to the Browns, who themselves tried everything imaginable to lose, because they stopped the clock twice — first on a timeout at 0:55, then with an incompletion at 0:49 — before Matt Bryant put the home side ahead with a 53-yard field goal at 0:44. The two timeouts Cleveland was allowed to save were the difference in this game, just as the 70 seconds gifted the Lions (who were out of timeouts) were the difference in London. Even a good coach can have a bad day. But if you have nothing but bad days, are you still a good coach?

This is my 31st season tracking the Falcons. I’ve seen a lot of coaches — eight in all, not counting three interims — and a lot of lousy coaching. What Smith has done twice in a month is as egregious as anything Dan Henning ever managed, and I’ve long considered Henning the standard for bad NFL coaching.

Even if Smith were coaching the daylights out of every game, the record since 2012 — the Falcons are 8-19 the past 1.7 seasons — would probably have gotten him canned. But we can’t say he has become an innocent bystander, a dogged (borrowing from Dan Jenkins) victim of inexorable fate. Having turned two winnable games into beyond-belief losses, Smith deserves to be fired for cause.

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And to rank MS's coaching abilities and clock management down in the dumps with Dan Henning is saying something too. This guy has been a writer and fan of the Falcons longer than a lot of people on this board (excluding me cause I'm old...lol).

when I was a young child in the 1970's, I remember my dad and me throwing pillows at the 30" color TV with the antennae on the top of the house. Old school frustration. Falcons had "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" down to an art form back in the day.

"Your Father's Falcons" are making a comeback thanks to "Smitty and the Clock".

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when I was a young child in the 1970's, I remember my dad and me throwing pillows at the 30" color TV with the antennae on the top of the house. Old school frustration. Falcons had "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" down to an art form back in the day.

"Your Father's Falcons" are making a comeback thanks to "Smitty and the Clock".

Yep. SMH
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The poor Mike Smith I think is just too old and burnt out. I think he has let a lot of outside issues get in his head to the point where he is over thinking every decision. He needs to be let go not only for the team sake but for his health. He has a family and a house but it won't matter if he is having brain problems or heart problems. Remember, he was taking to the hospital after the Panthers game a couple of years ago for a heart problem. I think Mike Smith is having health issues and in turn, is causing him to over react and over think decisions.

Let Mike Smith go and let him retire a some what healthy man before it gets WORSE ARTHUR BLANK!

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can say the same about half the ajc sports writters

LOL. NFL writers aren't making millions of dollars either. For whom much is given, much is expected, and Smith's ineptitude is sabotaging this team's chances to succeed. Smith should already be fired and gone. It's moronic to keep him around for even one more practice, much less until the end of the season.

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It's about time the Atlanta media put pressure on Blank about Smith. Yesterday was a resounding cry for his head. The shot heard round Atlanta if you will. I just don't think blank will do it until after the season. Especially if the saints lose tonight. This sorry bunch will still be in first place. I do think he'll be gone either as soon as we are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention or immediately after the regular season ends.

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LOL. NFL writers aren't making millions of dollars either. For whom much is given, much is expected, and Smith's ineptitude is sabotaging this team's chances to succeed. Smith should already be fired and gone. It's moronic to keep him around for even one more practice, much less until the end of the season.

At leadst I can say the writers are turning against smith. DLed retweeted Ppl about the timeout yesterday and Bradley today. The town has officially turned on Smith and behind closed doors probably blank as well.
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It's about time the Atlanta media put pressure on Blank about Smith. Yesterday was a resounding cry for his head. The shot heard round Atlanta if you will. I just don't think blank will do it until after the season. Especially if the saints lose tonight. This sorry bunch will still be in first place. I do think he'll be gone either as soon as we are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention or immediately after the regular season ends.

That might not be the case until week 15/16 at this point. Quite incredible really.

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