Falcons: Joe Brady, Arthur Smith, or Eric Bieniemy?

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The Falcons could officially start interviewing Head Coach candidates yesterday, and fans have all kinds of names lined up. Arthur Blank’s alleged first choice is Kansas City Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy. I listed some of the pros and cons of EB here, and there are also reports that former Texans GM Rick Smith is the frontrunner for the General Manager job. Arthur Smith is another great choice, he has Ryan Tannehill playing his best football and Derrick Henry looking like the best running back in the NFL.

There’s a lot to like about Bieniemy. Kansas City truly took the leap to juggernaut status when he took over for Matt Nagy, and he’s done wonders developing a ton of running backs for the Chiefs. He’s truly a leader of men and commands a lot of respect from easily the best team in the NFL. While he doesn’t call the plays for Kansas City, I trust he’s picked up a few things from one of the greatest coaches of all time.

Arthur Smith could be the perfect coach for Matt Ryan’s twilight years if the Falcons can hit on a running back in the draft. From our head coach profile:

Smith’s first season as OC showcased the highest-scoring offense in Tennessee in 16 years. His offensive scheme relies on a strong run game to unlock the receivers, freeing the QB to pick apart defenses with play-action passes. Smith utilizes creative motions and player spacing to confuse opposing teams.

However, Bieniemy isn’t my first choice. Neither is Smith. While I wouldn’t be mad at all if either was named head coach of the Falcons — I want Joe Brady in Atlanta. We’d be stealing Brady from a division rival, which is a great reason to hire him. However, that’s not even close to the primary reason why I want him for the Falcons. Brady engineered possibly the greatest offense in college football history, and he’s translated to the NFL. While the Panthers record may not be fantastic, he’s made leaps with what he has. Mike Davis has looked like an All-Pro at times when standing in for Christian McCaffrey. Statistically, the Panthers are pretty much smack dab in the middle of every offensive category, which is pretty incredible when considering the situation; I think Brady could make a Sean McVay-Esque leap in Atlanta.

The important thing with all of these candidates is that they focus on running backs and running the ball. The last time the Falcons were good was pre-Dirk Koetter — mainly because he’s allergic to running the ball. I long for the days of when Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman were a two-headed monster, and the Falcons need to get back to that if they want to be a serious playoff threat again. Give me any of these three men, but Brady is my pick.

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