Matt Ryan comments on Falcons firing Arthur Smith

NFL: AUG 04 Atlanta Falcons Training Camp

The best quarterback in Falcons franchise history, Matt Ryan, was in attendance for Atlanta’s embarrassing 48-17 loss at the hands of the New Orleans Saints. The defeat proved to be the nail in the coffin of Arthur Smith, who was fired just after midnight Monday morning, as Arthur Blank and Rich McKay embark on another search for a head coach, hoping to net better results following three straight 7-10 seasons.

If you’ve followed the Falcons long enough, you know this was a difficult decision for Arthur Blank. He’s an owner that loves to develop relationships with his coaches and players. He liked Arthur Smith, but not even that could save his job for one more season.

Following the decision, Matt Ryan discussed what likely went through the mind of Falcons owner Arthur Blank as he weighed his options heading into a pivotal offseason.

“And frankly the quarterback position for the Falcons this past season didn’t live up to its part. Didn’t carry its weight, and ultimately, Arthur Blank felt like they needed to go in a different direction to find a head coach and a staff, and with that 8th pick to find some stability at that position.”

Ryan’s focus on the quarterback is spot on. It’s the area that failed the Falcons this season the most, much more so than Arthur Smith, who was never really given an opportunity to succeed due to the team’s failures at quarterback. That may not seem fair, but Smith is the guy who lobbied for Desmond Ridder to be the signal caller. The Falcons opted not to bring in any worthwhile competition, naming Ridder the starter during the offseason, and it’s a decision that Arthur Smith may regret for a very long time.

It would have been understandable if Arthur Blank wanted to give Smith one more opportunity to get the quarterback position correct and see what he could do. If the Falcons had even average quarterback play this past season, they’d likely have won the division running away.

However, it seems Blank may have not been confident in Smith’s decision-making ability when it comes to the position. He did think Desmond Ridder was a starting caliber quarterback after all, and this is a pivotal offseason for the franchise. They have to take a shot at a quarterback, and if they get it wrong, it could set the franchise back years. That’s likely not a risk Blank was eager to take on the wrong side of 80, even if it meant another burdensome coaching search.

Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire

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