Oct 25, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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It’s official: Arthur Smith signs on as Falcons coach

Arthur Smith officially signed his contract on Saturday to become the next coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

“We are thrilled to welcome Arthur to Atlanta and introduce him to our city and fans as the Falcons new head coach,” team owner and chairman Arthur Blank said in a team statement. “Throughout our research and interview process, Arthur stood out amongst a very deep and very talented candidate pool with an outstanding plan for our organization to return to the level of competition our fans deserve and expect.”

The team didn’t announce either the contract length or financial terms. He replaces Dan Quinn, who was fired Oct. 11 after an 0-5 start.

Smith, 38, spent 10 seasons on the Tennessee Titans coaching staff — the past two as offensive coordinator. He made the rounds on the interview circuit this month and was asked to interview for all seven NFL head coach openings.

“The Falcons organization stood out to us in this process primarily due to the leadership and support from the top in Arthur Blank,” Smith said. “His actions and core values provide a great model on how to operate for so many, and align with how I plan to move forward in reaching the levels of competition the passionate Atlanta fans so richly deserve. That will all start with the culture we as a team create and thrive in.”

Blank said Smith was the right fit for the organization.

“He has all the characteristics of a strong leader and while his achievements have primarily come on the offensive side of the ball, he has provided a plan that is comprehensive within all three phases of the game,” Blank said. “With Arthur, I am very confident that our process and approach have led us to a dynamic leader for our team and I believe our players, staff, fans and community will be as well.”

In Tennessee, Smith was credited with reviving the career of quarterback Ryan Tannehill and developing an offense around running back Derrick Henry, who ran for a league-leading 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2020.

The Titans finished fourth in the NFL in scoring at 30.7 points per game and won the AFC South. They were eliminated from the playoffs in the wild-card round by the Baltimore Ravens, 20-13.

–Field Level Media

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