The Atlanta Falcons are making Arthur Smith their next head coach, the team announced Friday afternoon.
Smith has been with the Tennessee Titans for a decade and served as the offensive coordinator the past two seasons. The Titans reached the AFC championship game in the 2019 season, falling to eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City.
It will be Smith’s first head coaching job.
The 38-year-old former tight ends coach will take over for Dan Quinn, who was fired on Oct. 11 along with general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Quinn was 43-42 overall in Atlanta and joined the Dallas Cowboys as defensive coordinator earlier this week.
The Falcons were winless in five games at the time of the firings and finished 4-12 under interim coach and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.
Smith led Titans offense to top-5 levels
The Titans’ offense ranked fourth in scoring (30.7 points per game) in the regular season, third in total yards per game (396.4) and second in rushing yards per game (168.1). They finished their season with the AFC North title at 11-5.
Only the Baltimore Ravens (191.9 yards) had a better running game. The Ravens showed it last weekend with a 20-13 win in the AFC wild-card matchup. They had 236 yards on the ground and kept Titans star back Derrick Henry to 40.
Henry became the eighth back in the NFL to reach 2,000 yards this season, finishing with a fifth-best 2,027. Receiver A.J. Brown had 1,075 receiving yards and Corey Davis was 16 yards short of 1,000.
Smith interviewed with Eagles, Lions, Jets
Smith interviewed with the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets. The Jets hired heralded San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Salah late Thursday.
Smith is the son of FedEx founder Fred Smith and played guard at North Carolina. He started in the NFL as a defensive assistant with the Washington Football Team from 2006-08 and worked on the defensive side of the ball at Ole Miss in 2010 after some time away.
He joined the Titans in 2011 as a defensive quality control coach and worked his way up through the offensive line and tight end coaching positions.
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