As you might know by now, Arthur Smith will be the Falcons next head coach. Jake has already pointed out the heightened creativity that his offense will have over previous ones.
We have agreed to terms with Arthur Smith to become our next head coach.
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) January 15, 2021
But what nobody knows yet is who the runner-up was. Prior to Arthur Smith accepting the job, rumors had all pointed to either him or Joe Brady being the next head man in Atlanta. So for argument’s sake, let’s assume Brady was the first loser of Atlanta’s search. I believe Blank and McKay made the right decision, and it is all predicated on their differing offenses.
The two men both scheme impressively, but one is more quarterback friendly. Look at Ryan Tannehill. The dude is the most average quarterback in the league and is garnering MVP votes; that is insane. But take someone like Matt Ryan, who is undoubtedly better than Tannehill, and put them in a system catered to scheming receivers open instead of relying on winning one-on-ones, and you have the recipe for something special.
It isn’t to say Matt Ryan couldn’t grasp or execute properly in Joe Brady’s offense, because he could. Matt Ryan is as intelligent as any quarterback in this league. I actually think that Ryan would have been better suited to play in Brady’s offense vs. Smith’s, but it is the fact that Smith’s is much easier to learn.
Sure, Falcons fans want to win now, I get it. But consistency is key, and Smith’s offense is much more manageable for average quarterbacks than Brady’s. Matt Ryan still has a few years on his current deal, so he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But the marriage will eventually end, and Atlanta will have to transition to a rookie quarterback, which will be much smoother under Smith. The examples are endless.
Sean McVay has made Jared Goff look like a top-five quarterback at times. Kyle Shanahan made Jimmy Garoppolo look like the next Tom Brady. Kevin Stefanski has Baker Mayfield looking less and less like a bust. Matt LaFleur’s offense with Aaron Rodgers is a much more appropriate comparison, though. Rodgers was labeled a has-been before LaFleur’s quarterback-friendly system won him an MVP. Once the Packers move on, presumably to Jordan Love, it will be a much easier offense to master than Joe Brady’s would be.
So Matt Ryan would’ve thrived in either of the offenses talked about, but for the sake of the future, Arthur Smith was the right choice. An offense predicated on running the ball has the system quarterback stigma that Tom Brady got for a while, but it is sustainable and will allow Matty Ice to play into his late thirties if he wanted.
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