Arthur Smith is looking for every angle to help his Atlanta Falcons turn the corner. Little wonder, then, that the first-year head coach, talking about blocking kicks, might look straight up to find that angle.
"We'd put him on the field-goal and extra-point block," Smith said of signing Dikembe Mutombo. "If you're watching this, we'll get (Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot) to work you out here tomorrow.''
Smith, it seems, is a basketball guy - as is the 55-year-old Mutombo, and NBA legend who made his mark as a 7-2 shot-blocker while playing for, among other clubs, the Atlanta Hawks.
Smith was talking about the science of blocking a kick, as the Falcons did last Sunday, blocking a Dolphins field-goal attempt during Atlanta's 30-28 win at Miami. There are a lot of angles to cover there ...
But being 7-2 would help.
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Smith punctuated his joking vision by wagging his finger into the camera in his best Mutombo imitation.
Mutombo is a Basketball Hall-of-Famer who is second in NBA history with 3,289 blocks. led the league in blocked shots for five seasons from 1993-94 to 1997-98.
"It's hard to coach size," Smith said. "It's like having Dikembe Mutombo.''
The Falcons, at 3-3, don't have a 7-2 guy. But Smith's team has won three of its last four games to pull even ... and the national media is starting to take notice, which is big enough, and "rise up'' enough, for now.