Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank feels "blessed" to have Mike Smith coaching the Falcons and said his head coach of 4 seasons is not on the hot seat.
In a Q&A interview with D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Blank expressed confidence in the "partnership" he shares with Smith and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff.
Q: What about the notion that Coach Mike Smith is on the hot seat?
A: He’s not on any hot seat. Coach Smith, he and Thomas, I particularly feel really blessed – and I don’t use that word every day, all day long – I feel blessed having them both in place ... Obviously, we are trying to get to the next level. I have confidence that we’ll be able to do that. I have faith in Smitty ... and faith in all of our coaches. I really do.
Smith has earned multiple coach of the year awards while leading the Falcons to a 43-21 record, four consecutive winning seasons and three playoff appearances, but his lack of success in the postseason -- 0-3 -- has generated speculation that his talented team may need a change if that streak continues this season.
According to The Marietta Daily Journal, Blank, Smith and the Falcons are feeling the pressure -- but not panicking -- to win a playoff game this postseason.
“The message to the guys is to be a better team this year than we were last year — across the board,” Smith said Tuesday. “If we reach that goal, we’re going to like where we’re at.”