Arthur Blank fired Mike Smith, but he shouldn’t have stopped there

AP Photo/David Goldman
AP Photo/David Goldman


Imagine being a father for a moment. If you’re a father, this should be easy.

Now, pretend you saved your money for years and spent a large chunk of it on buying your kid a beautiful new Corvette. Your kid takes it and crashes it into a brick wall. Once it’s repaired, would you hand it right back to them, or maybe give someone else a chance to take the wheel?

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank essentially handed that repaired Corvette right back to general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

(Also read: Why Sunday’s loss wasn’t a textbook ‘Atlanta Sports Moment’)

The general consensus among Falcons fans is that Blank should have fired Dimitroff and given the role to someone else, since, you know, Dimitroff built this awful collection of misfits that only beat four different teams this season. Yes, head coach Mike Smith was fired – which was deserved – but what’s going to be different about the next few years if the same architect continues to sketch this debacle?

Blank said in a Tuesday morning press conference that he’ll lean heavily on Dimitroff to select the new head coach, but also said he might not be done making changes. If you were confused, don’t worry – you weren’t the only one.

If an owner allows a GM to make long-term decisions like hiring a new head coach and then fires the GM immediately after that, it would be the first time that has happened in the history of sports. Whoever Blank was referring to, it can’t possibly be Dimitroff.

So Falcons fans will have to hope their GM has a change of heart (or mission) and hits nothing but home runs in the coaching search and NFL Draft, because this team is the definition of mediocrity right now.

Ten wins combined over two seasons is about as bad as it gets in the National Football League.

If you’re going to burn the house down, you can’t stop after torching the living room. Arthur Blank may not be quite the arsonist we all thought him to be after all.

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