The Falcons’ first season under the new regime was underwhelming, but Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot’s performances hinge on who you ask. Some people believe they exceeded expectations with a bottom-five roster, while others weren’t impressed with their ability to elevate that personnel.
Regardless, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are championship franchises. The road is long and narrow; Fontenot’s job is to construct a competitive team, while Smith’s job is to win with said team. It is a partnership, and they can’t do it without one another.
The Falcons won’t know if the hires were the right ones until years down the road, but one credible person believes, at the very least, Arthur Smith is the man for the job.
On Wednesday, Lee Smith spoke with Dukes and Bell on 92.9 The Game. What he had to say was fascinating.
— DukesandBell929 (@DukesandBell929) January 26, 2022
Smith officially retired from the NFL, but before he rides off into the sunset, he reassures Falcons fans that Arthur Smith is the right head coach for Atlanta. There are contingencies, though. As I said before, a general manager can’t succeed without a head coach and vice versa. [Lee] Smith points out that as long as Fontenot and the front office get the right players in the building, then [Arthur] Smith is the right man for the job.
It is a glaringly obvious statement, but it should encourage Falcons fans to hold their tongues with any quick conclusions about Smith as a head coach. It will take time to get his guys in the building, so it is unfair to judge him based on this season alone. It is revealing that a veteran like Lee Smith would put it as blatantly as he did, though. Saying the head coach is the right guy if the front office and general manager get the right guys in the building puts pressure on Fontenot’s group.
A thorough analysis is pretty difficult to generate when you look at the regime’s first draft class due to their overall lack of playing time. Kyle Pitts is obviously a home run, but the rest of the nine-player class can’t be fully assessed just yet. Only time will tell if Fontenot is the “guy.”