The Falcons find themselves in a precarious position because they could still make the postseason, however improbable, but could also wind up with another top 10 draft pick.
The club needs to beat the Saints in New Orleans and for the Panthers to upset the Buccaneers in Carolina. It would end Atlanta’s postseason drought and give the city its first home playoff game since the magical 2016 Super Bowl run.
Arthur Smith’s job is also seemingly on the line. Now, I don’t think a win or loss will impact his fate, but if the Falcons are embarrassed on Sunday, I don’t know how that doesn’t impact Arthur Blank’s feelings.
Most recently, Adam Schefter reported that Atlanta’s owner has gone back and forth, and is said to be torn while adding that Blank is “surveying the coaching landscape, mulling what options are out there.”
It’s important for organizations to take a step back to weigh the possibility that the new head coach is no better than the current one. Too often, NFL and college programs will make a knee jerk reaction without considering the hiring pool and end up with a worse option. It happens more than you’d think. Timing is important.
If we are looking at the potential candidates, there’s a flavor of tea for everyone.
There are the brand new shiny offensive minds — Ben Johnson, Brian Johnson, Bobby Slowik, and Frank Smith. Everyone’s looking for the next Kyle Shanahan, so expect these guys to garner a ton of interest.
There are also the coaches on the defensive side of the ball — Dan Quinn, Lou Anarumo, Jerod Mayo, Brian Flores, and Mike Macdonald.
Then, there’s the wild cards. Jim Harbaugh has constantly flirted with the idea of returning to the NFL. There are also a couple of current head coaches that could leave their current team.
Mike Vrabel‘s name has come about in trade rumors, but the big fish that seems primed to hit the market is Bill Belichick, and Josina Anderson recently reported that there are teams within the NFC South that have potential interest.
To add more context to the situation, Dianna Russini hinted Saturday morning that Belichick is a real possibility in Atlanta. “Keep an eye out for Blank to take a big swing for Belichick too if he moves on from Smith. This isn’t a rebuild in Atlanta anymore,” The Athletic insider wrote.
Though his resume as a GM is shaky at best, Belichick’s acumen as a head coach is second to none. He’s the greatest of all time, and he’ll be a hot commodity if he leaves Foxborough this offseason.
If Belichick doesn’t demand control over personnel decisions, I’d be all for this kind of move.