Arthur Blank, Falcon’s owner, said at a press conference that finding a replacement for coach Michael Smith was difficult and is not a move he seems very happy about. In fact, Blank said firing Michael Smith, “Is the most difficult decision I have had to make, and it is complicated by the respect I have for Smitty.” However, he added, according to the Chicago Tribune, “This is not a decision made based one one season.”
While Blank acknowledged Michael Smith was one of the most successful coaches the Falcons had ever had, the team completed a 6-10 campaign in 2014 and went 10-22 the last two seasons. The Falcons lost 5 in 6 after winning the regular season, and defense, usually a strong suit of Michael Smith’s, was weak.
There is speculation that former Jets coach Rex Ryan could be the next coach for the Falcons. The New York Daily News thinks Rex has been wooing Blank too aggressively, and he needs to cool it a bit, especially since he was passed over when Blank hired Smith in 2008.
Arthur Blank was born to a Jewish family in Queens. In addition to owning the Falcons, Blank founded Home Depot.