Blank described this year’s season as “disappointing,” yet he gracefully expressed his admiration for his colleague and friend, Mike Smith.
“Including my 23 years at The Home Depot, this is probably the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make.”
Even though the decision to release Coach Smith was tough, Blank explained that the Franchise is in transition and is moving in the direction to bring home winning titles for their home town.
“We need to win championships and put rings on all of our fans, city of Atlanta and state of Georgia.”
Although Smith has won two division titles and led the Falcons to post season games four times throughout his seven year stint with the organization, the last two seasons have been disappointing for the Franchise as a whole. However, Coach Mike Smith remains the most successful coach in Falcons Franchise history with a record of 66-46 and 1-4 in post season.
“It’s not a matter of opinion, it’s a matter of fact that Smitty was the most successful coach in franchise history,” said Blank.
Smith joined the Atlanta Falcons in January 2008 soon after Bobby Petrino resigned after 13 games and transitioned the team quickly. Smith guided the Falcons to the second-most wins in a season in team history, the top record in the NFC with a 13-3 mark and an NFC South Division crown in 2010. The 13 victories also secured the number one seed in the Conference for only the second time in franchise history and the Division title was just the fourth ever for the team in 45 years in the league (and first since 2004). In Smith’s first year, the Falcons were one of the NFL’s biggest surprises, notching 11 wins after earning just four the previous year. The Falcons’ 13 wins in the regular season in 2010 was the team’s highest mark since its 1998 Super Bowl season.
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