Atlanta Falcons hire new head coach

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons have a new head coach.

The team tweeted out Friday afternoon that they have agreed to terms with Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith to take over the role left by Dan Quinn in October.

Smith interviewed with several NFL teams currently searching for a head coach and was considered a serious contender for the New York Jets job. The Jets announced Thursday night they hired San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

The 38-year old Smith has worked his way up the coaching ladder, starting his career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina.

After a couple of brief stops, he landed on the Titans staff as a defensive quality control assistant in 2012. The next year, Smith moved over to offense and has worked his way up the Titans coaching tree before being named offensive coordinator to start the 2019 season.

It is also worth noting that he’s the son of Federal Express chairman Fred Smith.

The Falcons have been searching for a head coach after firing Dan Quinn in October after the team got off to a 0-5 start. Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris assumed the role of interim head coach to finish the season which saw Atlanta go 4-12.

Smith has a big job ahead of him as the Falcons have struggled the past few seasons and have several large contracts to deal with to get close to or under the NFL salary cap.

It should be noted the team is still officially looking for a general manager to replace the fired Thomas Dimitroff.

Channel 2 Sports Director Zach Klein says the Falcons plan to hire New Orleans Saints assistant G.M. Terry Fontenot once the Saints season ends. Per NFL rules, teams are not allowed to hire personnel from another team while that squad is still playing for a shot at the Super Bowl.

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