Arthur Blank on Arthur Smith Future: Season's Outcome to Decide

Falcons Face Uncertain Future Amid Season's Challenges.

by Nouman Rasool
Arthur Blank on Arthur Smith Future: Season's Outcome to Decide
© Edward M. Pio Roda/Getty Images

In the wake of a disheartening defeat at the hands of the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons' owner, Arthur Blank, addressed the future of head coach Arthur Smith in a recent conversation with Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Blank's comments followed the team's loss on Sunday, marking a pivotal moment in their NFL journey this season. While the Falcons' owner affirmed the organization's support for Coach Smith, he highlighted the need for a thorough evaluation post-season.

"We are committed to Coach Smith," Blank stated. However, he emphasized the importance of reassessment, adding, "We'll assess where we are and go from there after the season ends." Sunday's 9-7 loss to the Panthers, a team currently struggling at the bottom of the league, marked Atlanta's second consecutive defeat.

This downturn in performance has seen the Falcons slip from their leading position in the NFC South, jeopardizing their playoff aspirations. Now standing at a 6-8 record, Atlanta faces an uphill battle to secure a postseason berth.

Playoffs Not Crucial

Blank clarified that reaching the playoffs was not a mandatory criterion for Smith's continued tenure as head coach. However, he expressed expectations for the team to demonstrate heightened competitiveness this season.

Reflecting on the Falcons' performance, Blank shared his mixed feelings, acknowledging both the challenges and the efforts of the team under Smith's guidance. "Arthur [Smith] is very honest and self-critical," Blank added, praising the coach's values and leadership.

As the Falcons prepare for their upcoming match against the Indianapolis Colts, a change in their quarterback lineup has been announced. Taylor Heinicke is set to lead the team, replacing Desmond Ridder following his interception in the critical final drive against Carolina.

This is not Heinicke's first stint as a starter this season, having previously led the team in matches against Minnesota and Arizona. The Falcons' remaining regular season games include a home clash with the Colts, followed by road games against the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints.

With the season nearing its end, Smith, 41, and in his third season with Atlanta, faces a critical phase in his tenure with the team. The Falcons' journey under Smith's leadership has been marked by consistent efforts and strategic plays.

As the season unfolds, the team's performance in these final games will be crucial in determining the future course for both the coach and the organization.