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After coming up a play short of the Super Bowl last season, the Atlanta Falcons have been the NFL’s biggest disappointment this year with a 2-8 record. While the aforementioned rushing offense and has been bad, and so has the defense, some believe the team’s collapse should also result in the firing of head coach Mike Smith.
It would be quite a fall from grace for Smith, who was widely praised for leading the Falcons to the NFC Championship Game last season, to lose his job. Considering some of the devastating injuries the Falcons have had on both sides of the ball, it may be unfair to blame him for the team’s steep downturn.
Nonetheless, coaches tend to be scapegoats when a team underperforms in the “Not For Long” league, and the Falcons have fallen far short of expectations this season.
Thus far, Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff has publicly supported his coach; on November 10, Dimitroff responded to a media question about Smith’s future by saying Smith is a “hell of a football coach” and “going nowhere,” according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.
Publicly defending a coach midseason, however, does not always reflect what actually happens when the season concludes.
Bleacher Report’s Scott Carasik is among those who thinks it is time for the Falcons to make a coaching change, saying defensive coordinator Mike Nolan should take over if Atlanta lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 11.
The Falcons fell 41-28.
Dan Hope is an NFL/NFL draft Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.