How’s this scenario: Falcons vs. Giants and Mike Smith in 2015?

Will Mike Smith and Arthur Blank meet again next season? (Curtis Compton, AJC)

Will Mike Smith and Arthur Blank meet again next season? (Curtis Compton, AJC)

Will Mike Smith and Arthur Blank meet again next season? (Curtis Compton, AJC)

The Falcons’ 2015 schedule will include a road trip against the New York Giants. Imagine them going against a Mike Smith-coached defense.

Smith, who was let go as the Falcons’ head coach after the season and was a defensive assistant at previous NFL jobs in Baltimore and Jacksonville, may be a candidate for the Giants’ defensive coordinator vacancy. New York fired defensive coordinator Perry Fewell Wednesday after five years and Smith immediately was listed as a potential candidate by media outlets, including ESPN.

Smith coach defensive linemen and then linebackers with Baltimore (1999-2002) and went on to become a respected defensive coordinator for Jacksonville for five years (2003-07), before landing the Falcons’ job in 2008.

Smith almost certainly would prefer a head coaching job. But as a general rule, most fired head coaches usually need a “stopover” job first as a coordinator or assistant before being given another opportunity at a top. Rex Ryan, who was fired as the New York Jets’ coach and appears to be a strong candidate for the Falcons’ job, may be an exception to that rule.

The favored candidate for the Giants’ job could be Steve Spagnuolo, whose defense helped engineer an upset of then-unbeaten New England in the Super Bowl in 2008. Spagnuolo then was hired as head coach of the St. Louis Rams but was fired after three seasons and has since had jobs in New Orleans (defensive coordinator in 2012) and Baltimore (assistant, secondary 2013-14).

Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, a former Giants defensive coordinator (1993-96), also was is a potential candidate in New York. The Falcons’ have not said whether any of their assistant coaches, including Nolan and offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, will be retained.

ESPN listed seven candidates for the Giants’ opening: Smith, Nolan, Spagnuolo, former Giants linebacker Pepper Johnson, the defensive line assistant in Buffalo; former Oakland head coach Dennis Allen; former Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz and San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.


A recent writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
— MyAJC: Smoltz just wanted to survive, but he did so much more
— AJC John Smoltz, a Hall of Famer on many levels, gets the call
— AJC: Hall of Fame: Smoltz, 7 others checked on my ballot
— AJC: ROSE BOWL: Oregon mocks FSU, Winston with “No means No” chant
— MyAJC: ROSE BOWL: After 29 straight wins, Florida State morphs into grease fire
— AJC: ROSE BOWL: Short takes on Oregon’s win in semis
— MyAJC: ROSE BOWL: Is FSU most hated great team in college history?
— AJC: ROSE BOWL: Oregon’s Helfrich credits Falcons’ Koetter for his success
— AJC: ROSE BOWL (short takes): FSU an underdog for first time in 50 games
— MyAJC: ROSE BOWL: Will Jameis Winston prove to be worth risk in NFL?
— AJC: ROSE BOWL (short takes): Ex-Tech coach Charles Kelly’s challenge
— AJC: Weekend Mini-Predictions: Locals win, Bama and Oregon to finals
— MyAJC: It’s Arthur Blank’s show now, and that could be a problem?
— AJC: Falcons fire Smith, keep Dimitroff, and here are some candidates
— MyAJC: Falcons are done, and so it Mike Smith
— AJC: Say goodbye to Falcons, Smith, but Blank handled this poorly
— AJC: Falcons hire search firm — hey, nice timing, Blank

 

Reader Comments 0

18 comments
JSSN
JSSN

Sigh, pretend historians comparing two coaches who are not really the comparable examples. Smith is freaking Allie Sherman! Won early, then was exposed when people figured them out. This was especially the case in the postseason!

JSSN
JSSN

They thought their defense sucked the past two seasons (Perry's a scapegoat), their offense stinks!

THEBITTERTRUTH
THEBITTERTRUTH

Smith was a good coach (excluding clock management). He deserves another shot with some decent talent. He could only play with the hand that Dimitroff dealt him - and it was a loser.

camelToeJoe
camelToeJoe

In 90% of the NFL games, the team with the best talent on both sides of the ball wins.  This changing coachs stuff is for idiots.

JSSN
JSSN

@I AM

Tell that to the 2007 NY Football Giants

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

I don't think Mike Smith will be a head coach again.

maryjga
maryjga

Right now I am so mad about the Mike Smith firing that I would be actively rooting for the Giants if they hire him.   Should have fired Dimitroff.

Jse1960
Jse1960

Arthur Blank looks like a dude who has really bad breath. Just sayin....

FalconsBuff4Ever
FalconsBuff4Ever

Is Mike Smith applied as a candidate for the NYG DC position?

UGA76
UGA76

Give the man some NFL talent which our current GM didn't do and then watch what happens. 

Gribz
Gribz

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slydawg
slydawg

Is it just me or are the Falcons required to play NY Giants every season? And then in the Meadow lands in consecutive years?

HistoryofMatt
HistoryofMatt

@slydawg It's because the Falcons and Giants keep finishing in the same place within their respective NFC divisions. Every year, each division's 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place team is slated to play the same place finishers in the other divisions in their conference which they are not already scheduled to play.

KatieR620
KatieR620

Why would Nolan be a canidate anywhere in the NFL this year? Did they see this defense under Nolan?

JackClemens
JackClemens

@KatieR620 The performance of the defense lies squarely with the personnel department, who provided mostly second and third stringers.for the roster.

CowbellHell
CowbellHell

@JackClemens @KatieR620 WHATEVER.. I'm sick and tired of Nolan getting a pass, his defense sucked period.  Horrible nickel/prevent D calls, playing Decoud last year when he couldnt tackle my grandmother, get rid of him AND Koetter!

HistoryofMatt
HistoryofMatt

Hahaha! Please let the Giants be stupid enough to hire a mediocre DC like Mike Smith to coach their defense.


I think people are going to understand that much like Art Shell, Mike Smith is a position coach who failed upwards at an astounding rate.


He was thoroughly mediocre as Jax's DC, and his defenses in Atlanta were never better than mediocre, by the end becoming outright disasters.


Smith is a position coach. Any team hiring him as a DC will be firing him before too long.