Atlanta Falcons owner ‘desperate’ to hire hand-picked candidate as next head coach

Atlanta Falcons
Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Arthur Smith got three seasons to coach the Atlanta Falcons before the front office moved on after a 41% win rate across 51 games. Now, team owner Arthur Blank and general manager Terry Fontenot have to find a replacement who can get more results out of a young offense filled with potential while finding a franchise quarterback.

It’s a tall task, and the Falcons may fall short of their goals right away, but the one thing they can’t afford to do, is hire the wrong coach. The NFC South is wide open, and if a new coach can get even the slightest bit of improvement over last season’s 7-10 record, the Falcons could be looking at a playoff spot next season.

So far, the Falcons have interviewed nine head coaching candidates, and more could be coming, but only a handful have already been brought back for a second round of meetings. Knowing they can’t afford to take a step back, Blank is targeting arguably the greatest head coach in NFL history to fill the Falcons’ vacancy.

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Atlanta Falcons’ head coaching job is reportedly Bill Belichick’s, if he wants it

bill belichick
Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick has already interviewed with the Atlanta Falcons twice, with his most recent meeting completed on Friday. Belichick had dinner with team officials, including Arthur Blank, CEO Rich McKay, team president Greg Beadles, and GM Terry Fontenot. All the decision-makers were there.

According to NFL insider Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, Blank “desperately” wants to hire Belichick right now and that the Falcons’ head coaching position is his, if the six-time Super Bowl winner wants it. His sources state that Belichick is “50/50” right now on taking the job.

However, while Belichick appears in line to be hired at any moment, there is still one final hurdle the Falcons must clear to comply with NFL rules. Until they have an in-person interview with at least one minority candidate, Belichick cannot be hired.

One of the biggest questions surrounding Belichick potentially landing in Atlanta is how the power structure would work. In New England, he had final say over the roster, acting as the GM and the head coach, in a way. Would that be the same with the Falcons, where Fontenot has been making roster decisions since 2021?

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