The Atlanta Falcons have fired head coach Mike Smith, one day after the team missed the playoffs for the second straight season. The Falcons needed to win Sunday to make the playoffs, but lost to the Carolina Panthers 34-3. It was a foregone conclusion that Smith would be fired after going 10-22 the past two seasons.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank said the firing was one of the toughest decision of his professional career and hasn’t ruled out any more front office changes.
“I would tell you that probably including my 23 years at Home Depot, this was the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make,” Blank said. “And I mean that very sincerely. It was complicated by the deepest respect that I had, we all had, for Smitty.”
Mike Smith finished 66-46 in seven seasons in Atlanta, leading the Falcons to the NFC Championship game in 2012, but lost 28-24 to the 49ers. He went 1-4 in the postseason in Atlanta.
The Falcons have already asked the Denver Broncos for permission to speak to offensive coordinator Adam Gase. The Falcons can interview coaches from teams that have a bye week this week those teams include the Seahawks, Packers, Broncos, and the Patriots.