The Falcons are experiencing turnover on the coaching staff after it was announced Dean Pees would be stepping away from football, retiring for the third time. Atlanta will be headed into the 2023 campaign with a new defensive coordinator and a new president after Greg Beadles was promoted. There could be even more movement on the horizon as well. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated makes an annual list of future GMs, and Falcons VP of player personnel Kyle Smith made it this year.
“Kyle Smith, Falcons VP of player personnel: Having worked in Washington, Smith, the 38-year-old son of former Chargers GM A.J. Smith, was poached by Terry Fontenot two years ago to be the new Atlanta GM’s top assistant, and others have come in and tried to poach Smith from Fontenot. A very well-respected evaluator who went from scout to college director to VP of player personnel in D.C. in 10 years, Smith was considered a strong candidate to replace John Lynch in San Francisco, had Lynch gone to TV last year—which speaks to the respect former Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has for his work.”
Smith spent 11 years with the Washington Commanders as a professional and collegiate scout. Despite being a dysfunctional franchise led by Dan Snyder, they’ve been pretty good at acquiring and developing talent outside of the quarterback position. Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, Da’Ron Payne, Cole Holcomb, Kendall Fuller, and Jonathan Allen are recent ones, but there are more if you go back.
Smith was pushed out after the 2020 season, and Terry Fontenot brought him aboard under the same role he held during his final year in Washington. Over the Summer, the Falcons denied the Bills the opportunity to interview him, so his value around Flowery Branch is obviously high.
Fontenot has always spoken extremely highly of Kyle Smith, noting his obsession and passion for football. Smith is regarded as an intelligent, detailed, and organized person. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if he eventually gets a promotion from another franchise.
Photographer: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire