Daily Archives: January 26, 2008

NFL News: Mike Smith signs up in Atlanta

But first–I didn’t watch How She Move on Friday, because I was having one of those days where I had to use the facilities every five minutes.  I watched it today.  I’ll have an entry about it within the next 30 hours.   

So the NHL All-Star weekend is in Atlanta this year.  I was browsing Myfoxatlanta.com (my local Fox station) and came across this pretty nifty article about Willie O’Ree, dubbed the “Jackie Robinson of hockey” in the days of his ice-puck career.  

Now on to the matter occupying many Falcons fans (and administrators) for some time.  

Falcons have a new head coach! It’s official.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — It was hard not to notice the hunk of gold seemingly encasing the ring finger on Mike Smith’s right hand Thursday. The markings on the massive band identified it as a Super Bowl ring, a relic of Smith’s past life as a coach for the Baltimore Ravens.

In his new life as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, Smith hopes to someday replace the hardware with something sporting a few more diamonds and the unmistakable red and black bird of his new team.

“I’m committed to making this football team one of the most competitive football teams in the National Football League,” said Smith, who was introduced Thursday as the 14th coach in franchise history. He was joined by Falcons Owner and CEO Arthur Blank, newly-hired General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and his wife and 7-year-old daughter.

The 26-year coaching veteran and former defensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars brings a diverse background to the fold. He has made stops with just five teams prior to joining the Falcons with positions ranging from “college assistant coach” to “professional defensive coordinator.” He broke into the NFL on his brother-in-law Brian Billick’s staff in Baltimore after spending 11 years coaching defense and special teams at Tennessee Tech.

He led the Jaguars defense from 2003 to 2007. The group ranked fifth in the AFC last season, allowing 100.3 rushing yards per game and 12th in the NFL in total defense. The Jaguars ranked third in points allowed and fourth in overall defense in the 2006 season. Three defensive players in Jacksonville went to a total of six Pro Bowls during Smith’s tenure.

“First of all, I’m very happy for Smitty,” Jags defensive tackle Marcus Stroud said. “He’s definitely a deserving coach and will be a very good addition to the Falcons. He’s ready for this opportunity. He’s been a good coach for a long time. He is going to bring stability and a tough-minded approach. He’s a leader and will do a great job in Atlanta.”

Click here to read the complete piece from the Falcons web site.

Click here for more information on the new coaching staff.