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Arthur Smith reaches deal to become Atlanta Falcons’ new head coach


The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms with Arthur Smith to be the team’s new head coach, it was announced Friday.

Smith has served as the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans the past two seasons.

Smith, 38, replaces Dan Quinn, whom the Falcons fired along with general manager Thomas Dimitroff on Oct. 11 after an 0-5 start. Raheem Morris took over as interim head coach and led the Falcons to their only wins of the 2020 season en route to a 4-12 overall record.

The Titans ranked fourth in the league in scoring during the regular season, averaging 30.7 points per game under Smith. Tennessee finished the regular season averaging 396.4 total yards per game, good for third in the NFL. The Titans’ rushing attack posted 168.1 yards per game, second only to that of the Baltimore Ravens (191.9 yards).

Tennessee achieved rare balance under Smith. Running back Derrick Henry’s 2,027 rushing yards were the fifth-best rushing total ever, and he became the eighth player to surpass the 2,000-yard plateau. Titans receiver A.J. Brown finished with 1,075 receiving yards, while teammate Corey Davis ended the season 16 yards short of the 1,000-yard plateau.

Smith joined the Titans in 2011 as a defensive quality control coach; he has since served multiple roles in Tennessee, including offensive quality control coach, offensive line assistant and tight ends coach.

Smith also interviewed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles. The Jaguars hired Urban Meyer as their new head coach on Thursday.

Bears passing game coordinator Dave Ragone is the favorite join Smith as offensive coordinator in Atlanta, sources told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

The Falcons had a remote interview with Smith on Monday before flying him to Atlanta for a second interview on Wednesday. The team also interviewed Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady and Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

The Jets announced Thursday night they had reached an agreement in principle with Saleh to be their next head coach.

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