Falcons may already be at a disadvantage against Steelers?

Steelers Falcons Arthur Smith

The NFL didn’t schedule the Falcons’ season opener against the Steelers by accident.

The league offices know good and well what transpired a few months ago, pitting Arthur Smith against his former team. In his return to Atlanta, Pittsburgh’s new offensive coordinator will see several familiar faces, which is why Ross Tucker believes¬†that the Steelers may have the advantage.

“I also think that there’s a little bit of an advantage for the Steelers with Arthur Smith knowing the personnel in Atlanta as well as he does, being their head coach the last few years. Obviously, Arthur Smith really, really understands the personnel there, which I think counteracts whatever the Falcons might know about his scheme.”

This is a double-edged sword. Arthur Smith is intimately familiar with the Falcons’ personnel. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of Atlanta’s offensive line, skill position players, and most of the defense. It will certainly play a factor in the Steelers’ game plan, but it goes both ways.

Falcons players know Arthur Smith, his tendencies, and what makes him tick. Jessie Bates III, Grady Jarrett, Kaden Elliss, A.J. Terrell, etc. know Atlanta’s former offensive system. They’ll certainly prepare accordingly.

It feels like a wash. Tucker assuming that Arthur Smith’s knowledge of the Falcons’ personnel trumps Atlanta’s knowledge of their former head coach is a bit asinine.

The real kicker is the Falcons and Steelers change at quarterback. Arthur Smith’s offense is bound to change with Russell Wilson at the helm, and what Smith did know about Atlanta’s personnel is bound to change with Kirk Cousins in the fold.

Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire

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