Atlanta Falcons can Arthur Smith, former UNC football player, from head coaching spot

The Atlanta Falcons had high hopes for former UNC football player Arthur Smith when they hired him to be their head coach – ahead of the 2021 NFL season.

Atlanta’s main reason for bringing Smith in from the Tennessee Titans, was his ability to lead high-scoring offenses. Behind the trio of Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill and Jonnu Smith, Tennessee upset the New England Patriots and Falcons en route to the AFC Championship.

Just three seasons after coaching in Atlanta, Smith is now looking for another head coach job.

The Falcons fired Smith on Monday, Jan. 8 after their third-consecutive 7-10 season, which extended their playoff drought to six seasons.

Smith’s tenure in the ATL was highlighted by his inability to properly utilize an offense that included several, highlight-reel playmakers. Cordarelle Patterson went from the NFL’s most versatile player to an afterthought in the Falcons offense, while Kyle Pitts went from stardom in his rookie year to more average performances in Years Two and Three.

There were also concerns about former Texas running back Bijan Robinson, whom Atlanta made a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, not playing in a featured role.

Smith’s playing career as a Tar Heel, which spanned from 2001-2005, was largely defined by injuries.

Hopefully Smith will be able to find another NFL coaching gig, but it doesn’t look too promising at the moment. Good news for him – teams are ALWAYS looking for coaches.

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire