Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff once again came to coach Mike Smith's defense.

Dimitroff said Smith, in the midst of a 2-7 season, will not be asked to leave at the conclusion of the 2013 season.

“Mike Smith is a hell of a football coach; he’s the leader of this team,” Dimitroff said, via ESPN.com. “Mike’s going nowhere.”

If the Falcons finish with a losing record, which all signs are pointing toward, then it would be the first time under Smith this happens. He's had a winning record in each of his first five seasons, including trips to the postseason four times.

The Falcons reached the NFC Championship a year ago.

Dimitroff felt the need to comment on the matter due to a CBSSports.com report that suggested Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden could return to the coaching ranks if jobs with the Falcons and the Raiders opened.

Dimitroff called any speculation of a coaching change "agitating."

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.