Personally, I have loved Arthur Smith’s dry, no-nonsense personality he’s displayed on multiple occasions in front of the media. Similar to Bill Belichick, Smith leaves little to the imagination and tells you exactly how he feels, even if it’s not what you want to hear or an answer at all.
In his first appearance in front of the Falcons media, Smith sounded exactly how a head coach should — preaching physicality, toughness, and accountability. The first-year head coach didn’t comment on personnel or coaching decisions back then, nor will he in the future, but he did confirm that he will be calling the offense — something we expected from the start. He pretty much gave reporters what they already knew.
Then in an interview with The Athletic‘s Jeff Schultz, Smith went into detail about the nuances of his offense and even cracked a joke or two showing his personal side. “That’s the best thing about an O-lineman,” he said. “You get called fat, dumb and stupid so many times that after a while it doesn’t matter what happens out there. It prepares you for the job. All of these quarterbacks, they get sensitive. They get a little bit of criticism from you or someone on the internet, and they want to go and cry.”
He might have a dry sense of humor, but I personally love it from my head coach. Smith also noted to Shultz that offensive linemen are the most enjoyable off the field, “They’re also usually the best guys to hang out with and socialize. They may not be the best-looking guys, but if you want to go out to party, you’re going to have the best time.”
One of my favorite non-journalists in the media is Pat McAfee, and Smith batted another perfect interview with the former Colts punter. McAfee pointed out the difficult division the Falcons are in, but Smith quickly shut it down saying rarely the schedule works out the way it does on paper — pointing towards injuries and roster turnover. He then followed it up by snidely pointing towards McAfee’s time in Indianapolis, where he experienced life as a Colt during the Peyton Manning-era and post-Peyton. “Pat, you were obviously part of that in ’11. You go from having Peyton Manning, and then you line up, no offense to Curtis Painter or Dan Orlovsky, it wasn’t like you were playing Peyton.”
Now, as OTAs begin and Julio Jones trade questions are hurled at him, Smith shuts every reporter’s question down. “Any private conversation that I have with our players is going to remain private on my end,” Smith said. “And I’m not going to sit here and comment on any potential roster moves that we may or may not make.” Smith noted the team has multiple plans for the plethora of realities the team could face because the NFL is a business at the end of the day, and he knows that.
“This is a tough business,” Smith said. “We all signed up for it, players and coaches, we understand that. Everything we do here is going to be well thought out and it’s going to be handled behind the scenes with dignity with the players. As long as I’m here, that’s the way it’ll be done. We understand the business that we’re in. Every player here is treated with dignity.”
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