Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank gave a state-of-the-franchise type exit interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution following Sunday's implosion loss to the Giants, and while - as expected - he didn't promise changes would be made to his coaching staff outright, his quote does convey that change could be coming:
Q: Do you feel you have the right people in the key positions to lead this team?
A: I think we have the right people in position because I think what they will do is challenge themselves and ask all of the right questions. They would be the wrong people if they said, ‘we tried hard, we didn’t execute and we’ll get better next year.’ I don’t think that’s an answer. The answer is that we’re going to evaluate the team, the players, the coaches and why we didn’t perform in the personnel area and why we didn’t perform at the level that we’re capable of. The beauty of Smitty and Thomas is that they will do that. It’s not their nature to be defensive. They are thoughtful and bright and care about the franchise and winning. They will do what I would want them to do, which is be objective and go through a thorough analysis and not be emotional about it.
While his fourth down decision making will be crucified in tandem with his failed overtime call against the Saints in the regular season, it doesn't seem like Mike Smith is in any serious trouble. The focus in the coming days and weeks will be on both coordinators - O.C. Mike Mularkey, a candidate for several open head coaching jobs before Sunday, and D.C. Brian VanGorder.