Arthur Smith said he would call up his plays as the new coach of the Atlanta Falcons. But Smith and new general manager Terry Fontenot insisted they would cooperate in deciding on the formation of the Falcons’ list while both reporting to team leader Rich McKay.
Both Smith and Fontenot also insisted that it was too early to make any specific statements about the future of such players Ryan died And the Julio Jones During their official media introduction on Tuesday by hawk owner Arthur Blank.
The Falcons have yet to announce the appointment of any assistant coach.
“I can’t make quick judgments for you today because we’re so early in the process,” said the 38-year-old Smith, who has spent the past 10 seasons under the supervision of four different coaches with the Tennessee Titans. The last two as offensive coordinator.
Smith confirmed that Ryan “was a great midfield player, and I have all the respect in the world for Matt Ryan, and I look forward to working with him.”
However, Smith added, “He’s more than Matt and Julio. There are a lot of talented players on this list, whether you’re talking about Chris LindstromAnd the Grady Jarrett I mean, there are a lot of players. “
Smith also made it clear that he would work to build on the strengths of players on the Atlanta roster, rather than trying to replicate the 2000-yard peak season. Derek Henry Just produced under his watch in Tennessee. He noted that the Cleveland Browns have a wonderful tandem of two men running backwards, for example.
“We have adapted to Derek, but there is only one Derek Henry,” Smith said. “It’s like having Shaquille O’Neal in his prime. You have to feed the great comrade. We definitely did in Tennessee. But you are adapting to your strengths. There are multiple ways to do this.”
Throughout the hiring process, Blank and McCay assured that they would not dictate any decisions based on the general manager and new coach. Plank said he believes the Falcons can realistically jump from worst to first in NFC South after the team was more competitive than the 4-12 record suggested in 2020. But at the same time, he said they could not “fool ourselves” Believing they were better than the team that went 7-9 in both 2018 and 2019.
They said the goal in Atlanta was a “sustainable success” after the team fired Dan Quinn and GM coach Thomas Dimitrov – who had led the Falcons to the Super Bowl in 2016.
Fontenot and Planck also spoke of “continued success” as the main focus.
“We’re not going to make decisions that will help us in 2021 but will hurt us in the years 22 and 23,” said Fontenot, who has spent the past 18 years climbing the ranks in the Professional Personnel Division to rival New Orleans. The saints. “I know there are a lot of good players on this list and I know there are some areas that we need to address.”
The Falcons are expected to be worth over $ 30 million from the lowered NFL salary cap in 2021 with only 31 contracts on the list, according to ESPN’s List Management System – although the league has yet to announce an official figure for the maximum salary.
They also have choice # 4 on the draft.
Fontenot and Smith had never known each other before – but both praised the impressions they gained during the hiring process. Each of them recommended their jobs to each other, Blank said.
Plank said he was impressed by Smith’s success in Tennessee; By the fact that three new coaches chose to keep Smith on the staff and actually promote him along the way; And through the recommendations he got from people including Joe Gibbs. Smith was a Gibbs employee in Washington early in his career.
“I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about Arthur Smith,” Fontenot added. “He’s special.” “I think the most important thing, the most important factor with the right coach is that you have the right captain for men. He is a good man, he can communicate with players, he can communicate with everyone in the building, he will be a good communicator. He is very intelligent and adaptive.”
Fontenot interviewed four different teams for their jobs at GM this course, but said he knew the Falcons better than most teams because he had been studying them closely for so long as a competitor in the division. Planck praised the perspective Fontenot brought, as well as his successful background while working with such demanding people as Coach Sean Payton and General Manager Micky Loomis. Fontenot suffocated during his introductory video conference when he talked about the opportunity Loomis had given to join the Scouting Division of the Saints when he was a marketing apprentice a new 22 since his days as safety at Tulane University in New Orleans
The Louisiana native said his family was now “bleeding black and red” as he was bragging about his children, who were dressed in falconry.
Fontenot, 40, is now the fourth black general manager in NFL and the second named to this tournament, alongside Detroit Lions’ Brad Holmes.
“It’s really a blessing. But I don’t see it as an achievement, I see it as an opportunity,” Fontenott said. “And I see it as a challenge, because I need to be successful. I need to do things the right way and work and be successful – or it’s just not fair to the people who will come after me. You know, my son is 9 years old and he’s going to be a general manager. That’s what he told me.” Really. So I need to make sure that I am working a certain way and doing things the right way so that he has a great opportunity when his time comes. “