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Falcons Interview Rick Smith, Anthony Robinson for Vacant GM Position

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IDecember 19, 2020

A Gatorade logo banner covers the seats before an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Atlanta. The Seattle Seahawks won 38-25. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Danny Karnik/Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons have conducted interviews with Anthony Robinson and Rick Smith for their vacant general manager position, according to Matthew Tabeek of the team's website. 

Former GM Thomas Dimitroff was dismissed along with head coach Dan Quinn after the team began the 2020 season winless through five games. 

Robinson currently serves as the Falcons' director of college scouting and is in his 13th year with the organization while Smith previously served as the general manager, and later executive vice president, for the Houston Texans

During Smith's tenure, the Texans acquired and drafted a number of star players including J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson, Jadeveon Clowney, Eric Winston, Will Fuller and A.J. Bouye. He left the team in 2017 to help care for his wife after she was diagnosed with cancer. 

Before joining Houston, Smith worked as the Denver Broncos director of pro personnel and has also sat on the league's Competition Committee. 

Robinson, meanwhile, has helped scout a plenty of NFL stars during his time in Atlanta, including Julio Jones, Grady Jarrett, Calvin Ridley, Tevin Coleman, Jake Matthews, Austin Hooper, Keanu Neal and Vic Beasley. 

Both interviews were conducted virtually and their disclosure does not necessarily mean a decision was near. Teams are not permitted to interview candidates currently working for opposing clubs until the end of the regular season. 

That means there could be a few more names out there the Falcons would like to check in on before making their hire. 

In any case, Atlanta has connected with two strong candidates and given itself a head start on what's sure to be a tough rebuild in a competitive NFC South. 

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