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The search continues. It’s been a while since Blank dismissed Reeves, the first coach to get Atlanta to the SB. It took him 4 more coaches to get Atlanta back to a SB, and now we try again.  Given past performance on coaches under AB (Mora, Purina, M Smith, DQ), excuse me for not being excited to be going back to the stock room at Home Depot.  
 

I don’t expect to have a great season in 2021, I’ll be ok with a good season, but I do think it will be an interesting season.  
 

interesting because when I listen to A Smith and D Pees, I hear interesting things.  Primarily that they are not ‘system’ guys.  Specifically, that they fit a scheme to the players.   
 

I like that idea.  We all learned as infants, that square peg won’t fit in the round hole. 
 

On defense, I like that he attacks.  An offensive minded defense.  Dictate the game to the offense.  Make them think, make them guess, but always surprise them.  It will be interesting to watch and see how it develops.  I’m sure we’ll get burned a few times, but at least we aren’t just sitting back and reacting to 5, 7 and 12 yard passes.  
 

On offense, I hear people putting A Smith into a hole of “he’s a big back guy. He’s a run game guy.  Look at Derick Henry.”   I think this is false.  I think he uses what he has.  He had DH, so he used him well.   In Atlanta, he will have something different and he will use it.  Most would say our RB are our weakest link on offense, how will we run the ball?  Maybe we won’t (much).  Maybe A Smith has other plans to use what we have.  MR2 can still deliver the ball, we’ve got more TE talent than an all Asian strip club,  Ridley can be a #1 WR and hopefully our O-line improves….remember A Smith was an O Lineman.  He understands what is needed on the O Line.   I think he develops O line this year and next off season, then brings in a RB.  
 

I don’t know if we’ll have a great or even a good season, but I can’t wait for it to start because I know it will be very interesting.

Go Falcons!

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17 minutes ago, KRUNKuno said:

This is the first time I feel like we’ve had a significant shift in the franchise’s culture.  It’s the first time something doesn’t feel contrived or forced.  I think that will translate to the field as well sooner rather than later. 

Honestly it feels the same as when we hired Mora and then when we hired Smitty.... and then when we hired Quinn.

I have no doubt that we will get that new coach bounce that we got with all of those guys. 

The real question will be how does Smith 2.0 in year 3 and 4.( Assuming  he is here that long)

Because it is easy to talk about things like accountability (Both Smitty and Quinn echoed that at first) when you take a team that is made up of players from another regime.....but when the team truly becomes yours .....that becomes different because there is an attachment there.

 

 

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52 minutes ago, falconsd56 said:

Honestly it feels the same as when we hired Mora and then when we hired Smitty.... and then when we hired Quinn.

I have no doubt that we will get that new coach bounce that we got with all of those guys. 

The real question will be how does Smith 2.0 in year 3 and 4.( Assuming  he is here that long)

Because it is easy to talk about things like accountability (Both Smitty and Quinn echoed that at first) when you take a team that is made up of players from another regime.....but when the team truly becomes yours .....that becomes different because there is an attachment there.

 

 

This is the first regime we’ve had where it feels like football business and not some PR move.  Mora was a PR move to add more youth and excitement after Reeves left.  Petrino was a PR move to add the brilliant college football minded coach.  Smith was a PR move to right the ship back to a more conservative approach after the Vick fiasco.  Don’t even get me started on Quinn…

I feel like there are less hands in the basket now.  Rich McKay seems to have taken a backseat.  Arthur Blank seems to have taken a backseat.  It’s less about optics and more about football.  That’s at least the feeling I get. 

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1 hour ago, KRUNKuno said:

This is the first regime we’ve had where it feels like football business and not some PR move.  Mora was a PR move to add more youth and excitement after Reeves left.  Petrino was a PR move to add the brilliant college football minded coach.  Smith was a PR move to right the ship back to a more conservative approach after the Vick fiasco.  Don’t even get me started on Quinn…

I feel like there are less hands in the basket now.  Rich McKay seems to have taken a backseat.  Arthur Blank seems to have taken a backseat.  It’s less about optics and more about football.  That’s at least the feeling I get. 

Have to agree to disagree.

Smitty was a low key signing and alot of people thought "who?" He was far from a PR move.

Smith 1.0 was absolutely a football move.

And like it or not....so was Quinn

 

 

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7 hours ago, falconsd56 said:

Honestly it feels the same as when we hired Mora and then when we hired Smitty.... and then when we hired Quinn.

I have no doubt that we will get that new coach bounce that we got with all of those guys. 

The real question will be how does Smith 2.0 in year 3 and 4.( Assuming  he is here that long)

Because it is easy to talk about things like accountability (Both Smitty and Quinn echoed that at first) when you take a team that is made up of players from another regime.....but when the team truly becomes yours .....that becomes different because there is an attachment there.

 

 

Very positive about the changes because we have a new HC + staff and GM.

Fontenot is wrong, this is a rebuild. It's just going on in the front office.

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14 minutes ago, Mid-Nite-Toker said:

Very positive about the changes because we have a new HC + staff and GM.

Fontenot is wrong, this is a rebuild. It's just going on in the front office.

Well the last time we got a new HC  and F/O we ended up with the best 5 year stretch in team history.... so let's see history  can repeat itself.

 

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12 hours ago, richardc said:

Maybe A Smith has other plans to use what we have.  MR2 can still deliver the ball, we’ve got more TE talent than an all Asian strip club,  Ridley can be a #1 WR and hopefully our O-line improves….remember A Smith was an O Lineman.  

Culture is a funny thing. I actually thought this was a bad thing... Had to reread a couple times to realise this was a compliment. 

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10 hours ago, falconsd56 said:

Honestly it feels the same as when we hired Mora and then when we hired Smitty.... and then when we hired Quinn.

I have no doubt that we will get that new coach bounce that we got with all of those guys. 

The real question will be how does Smith 2.0 in year 3 and 4.( Assuming  he is here that long)

Because it is easy to talk about things like accountability (Both Smitty and Quinn echoed that at first) when you take a team that is made up of players from another regime.....but when the team truly becomes yours .....that becomes different because there is an attachment there.

I disagree that it feels the same. None of those coaches spoke the way Arthur Smith does. Mora and Quinn were too worried about being liked to be real disciplinarians and Smitty, well things started out really well with him, but we eventually learned that he was a great regular season coach who couldn't get the team to play at that next level needed to win in the playoffs. Smitty definitely was a disciplinary and it showed when the Falcons set records for fewest penalties and penalty yardage in a season. I'll always play the what if game with Smitty though, if he hadn't had that heart scare in his second year at the helm. Would that have made a difference? What if the Falcons hadn't gone all in on Julio and just continued with building around a ground and pound style offense that Smitty liked? We'll never know the answers to those questions, Smitty might have ended up like Marty Schottenheimer. I could have lived with that a whole lot easier than the roller coaster rides we got from Mora and Quinn. The Falcons didn't have the major ups and downs under Smitty that we had under Mora and Quinn and it was nice to know that realistically the Falcons had a chance to win every game under Smitty but if they didn't, chances were it would be a close loss. Very few blow out losses happened under Smitty.

As far as Arthur Smith goes, I like that I've already heard about him being a disciplinary. I can't remember who the player was (I think it was Pitts) but they dropped a ball in the OTA and Arthur Smith made him run laps. But my biggest take away is the way Smith talks about things, he's very open and honest about who he is. He's not coming in here to use a bunch of buzzwords and try to sound smarter than he really is. I can't recall the last time (if any) that I heard a coach be that humble, that honest about not knowing everything and relying on the coaches around him to fill in the gaps. That speaks volumes to who Smith is as a person. I doubt we ever get into a game where we're running it really well and then just decided to stop running it "because I gotta be smarter than the other guy and fool 'em." Nope, Smith strikes me as the kind of guy who will force a team to prove they can stop the run before he changes and does something different. All too often I've been forced to watch my teams do something really well in a game and then for absolutely no reason at all they stopped doing it and ended up losing as a result. To say that makes one frustrated is an understatement. Yeah, Smith still has to prove it with the results on the field, but he's won me over with his press conferences in a way that no previous Falcons coach since Reeves has. This is from someone who wasn't even on the Arthur Smith train, my first choice was Brian Daboll.

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2 hours ago, ramonezy said:

Culture is a funny thing. I actually thought this was a bad thing... Had to reread a couple times to realise this was a compliment. 

Nothing but respect.  Spent a lot of time in my 20’s in the APAC love the women and the culture. 

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I can't really fault any of the choices they have made and I liked the FA pickups and drat picks so I as excited as always to see them play well together.   I'm a permanent Falcon fan so I am hopeful and excited every season but over the 20 years I have been a Falcons fan, I have learned to keep my expectations reasonable.  New coaches, new systems, lots of new faces, different culture etc...  There's a whole lot that needs to be working well in a very short amount of time.

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Same zip code. I’m excited and optimistic. But I don’t bet my mortgage on a Lombardi this season. 
I think significant improvement over last season is the benchmark. Maybe more. We weren’t getting crushed. But then again nobody gets blown out every week in NFL. So the minor tweaks will make an impact. Just a question of how long it takes to click. I expect Pitts to ball. I also know he’s 20 and will have a target and might take a few games to get his wiggles out. We’ll also have a better secondary I believe. It’s a marathon. If I’m wrong and we snatch the conference this year I’ll be the loudest in the room!  But we have so many changes it may be a month before we know what is working. We’ll get there for sure.  I’m not saying worst to first, but I have a lot of optimism regarding the new staff and roster changes. 

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I honestly didn't have high expectations for Mike Smith. I couldn't understand what was "special" about him as he seemed to be little more than an average to good journeyman DC. He exceeded my expectations with his emphasis on playing sound fundamental football and taking advantage when the other team makes a mistake. Unfortunately, we learned that Smittyball didn't have that extra gear to do very well in the play-offs.

Quinn I was extremely excited about. He was the DC of the legendary Legion of Boom. Winner of a SB title. Our problem was crappy defense, and we bring in a guru, one of, if not the most sought-after HC candidate that off-season. Quinn had no feel for in-game strategy, completely clueless on making adjustments at half-time and failed to ever discern when to call time-out or when to go for it ~ or not go for it ~ on 4th down. The best move of his tenure was hiring Kyle Shanahan. Without Shannie DQ would have never sniffed a Super Bowl berth and no doubt would've been gone at least three years sooner.

Arthur Smith I'm convinced is the best head coach the team has ever hired. His offensive credentials are his own, not the result of inheriting a winning scheme and group of players fitted to that scheme like DQ. He is a no-nonsense guy, both in his coaching philosophy and in his pressers. No bull and no slogans.

As a player you will give him your best every second you're on the field or you'll find yourself observing the game from the bench. He has the kind of intensity that will have players flying around, putting the defense on its heels. Smith's team won't be going into a shell and waiting for the other team to come back when it has a lead either.

The only question is, how long will it take for the players to get used to each other, get in lock-step with the new coaches, get the terminology and the nuances of the new schemes down? It won't happen overnight, but I don't believe it will take more than a few games for the team to find its groove and start playing very good football. And beyond this year things will only get better as AS and TF have more opportunities to tweak the roster and have more cap money to play with in Free Agency.

To sum up, I believe Arthur Smith will be the Head Coach who finally gets the SB monkey off this team's back, wipes away the pain of 28-3 and stops the eternal bad-mouthing the Falcons take from the national sports pundits. When he's done I believe Arthur Smith will be the winningest coach in Falcons history. May even end up getting a giant-size platinum statue riding triumphantly atop that Chrome Bird in front of MBS.

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First off @richardc, nice post.  I think much the same. 

Let's look at this list of HCs.

Dan Reeves.  He came to Atlanta with a very good set of HC skills.  He was a ToP guy, a smash 'em guy more than a finesse or big passing guy.  He did great things for this team.  He would have continued to make this team good had he not had that heart attack.  He was still not recovered when fired.  Too bad.  He was a winner.

Jim Mora.  I do not want to offend anyone.  I will not give you my take on Mora.  Blank missed wide on this one.

Bobby Petrino.  Do I need to say anything? .......  I did not think so.  My thoughts on him are best left unstated.

Mike Smith.  Smith was a good coach.  Unfortunately, Mike did not have the quick and accurate decision making skills required in the heat of battle.  He could have been a great coordinator for us.  He could have been great for TB were it not for Dirk Koetter and a loose cannon QB.  I would not be disappointed to see him come back to ATL, but not as a HC.

Dan Quinn.  He was a Jim Mora clone.  He had a very different personality, but the core thinking was the same.  Again, I will not be offensive.

Arthur Smith.  The first think I noticed is he is not here to impress anyone.  He is here to drive success.  Second, he is partnered with Terry Fontenot.  This is huge.  (I always believed that Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff were in a struggle with one another.)  Third, he pulled coaches from everywhere.  It appears he got the best available.  I think pulling Pees out of retirement shows this.  He is the antithesis of Jim Mora, Bobby Petrino, and Dan Quinn.  He is team focused.  No one, not even Julio Jones can rattle him and force him to make rash decisions.  He is solid.  Even with this budget roster, I expect an improved team.  I am looking for 8-9 or 9-8. 

We are going to see consistency.  I am still bewildered how our defense the last 2 seasons appeared to be in the bottom 32 most of the time, and looked like a top 10 defense once in a great while.  I have never seen this dynamic before.  Consistency will be nice.

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1 hour ago, Dirtybird56 said:

 

we got a real coach now to fix this 

When your OC is calling for 4-6 second routes, you get QB sacks, QB hits, an exhausted OL, desperate passes, and receivers waiting for the ball to arrive.  It makes everyone look bad and YAC are simply not available. 

I like Smith and Fontenot.  I believe Ryan will have a good season.  I am not dismayed with the loss of JJ.  I think our RB squad will improve.  I believe our defense will be improved.  But nothing, nothing that changed this off-season comes close to the impact of having Dirk Koetter gone.  If I used every negative superlative I know to describe the performance of Koetter's last season, I could only understate his negative impact on this team.

Dirk Koetter is probably giving retirement a bad name.

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6 hours ago, Dirtybird56 said:

 

we got a real coach now to fix this 

It’s called using slants, drags, post, and corner routes versus hooks and curls.
 

Geez, I hated Koetter’s route concepts so bad. He literally has no idea how to hit a receiver where the receiver’s momentum is carrying him away from the line of scrimmage. Every route the wideout is moving back towards the QB. So frustrating.  

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Here’s what I think. 
 

Ryan usually struggles his first year in a new offense. If the defense plays well we win 8 games. If they don’t we pick high again. 
 

Year 2 in this O Ryan flourishes and we make the playoffs. 

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1 hour ago, thamill said:

Here’s what I think. 
 

Ryan usually struggles his first year in a new offense. If the defense plays well we win 8 games. If they don’t we pick high again. 
 

Year 2 in this O Ryan flourishes and we make the playoffs. 

I wouldn’t really call this his 1st year though. AS’s playbook was taken directly from Matt LaFleur’s playbook, which was a photocopy of Kyle Shanahan’s playbook.
 

Ryan may take a little while to get use to the way Smith calls plays, but that doesn’t take too much time. Certainly not a year. Probably before the preseason is over with.  But the system? The route concepts, verbiage (slight difference), protection schemes, etc should all seem quite familiar to Ryan. 

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39 minutes ago, Voice of Reason said:

I wouldn’t really call this his 1st year though. AS’s playbook was taken directly from Matt LaFleur’s playbook, which was a photocopy of Kyle Shanahan’s playbook.
 

Ryan may take a little while to get use to the way Smith calls plays, but that doesn’t take too much time. Certainly not a year. Probably before the preseason is over with.  But the system? The route concepts, verbiage (slight difference), protection schemes, etc should all seem quite familiar to Ryan. 

And Arthur Smith has said that his job is to get with Matt Ryan and figure out what Ryan does best and build his offense off that.

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