Falcons fans, are we ready for Rex in our city?

Would this man hike PSL sales? (Mel Evans/AP photo)

Would this man hike PSL sales? (Mel Evans/AP photo)

Would this man hike PSL sales? (Mel Evans/AP photo)

Would this man hike PSL sales? (Mel Evans/AP photo)

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that the folks who will pick the Atlanta Falcons’ next coach — whoever those folks might bemet with defrocked Jets coach Rex Ryan for five hours Tuesday. If you added the verbiage of former Falcons coach Mike Smith over seven years of postgame briefings and deleted the words “result” and “phases” and “process”, you wouldn’t get five hours of speech. So I guess we should be impressed that Rex and the Bird Brain Trust chewed the ol’ fat for so long.

I would also note that at least some members of that BBT tend to be impressed by what they first see/hear. That’s how Jim Mora got the job: His binders full of plans and data swayed Rich McKay and Arthur Blank. (As for Bobby Petrino: Who among us could resist his personal charm?) And Thomas Dimitroff, who may or not be sticking around as general manager, won the Falcons via webcam.

That said, the Falcons under Blank haven’t once hired the guy you’d expect, and Rex has long been seen as the guy you’d expect. We all figured they’d hire Lovie Smith in 2004; they interviewed him and preferred Mora. In 2007, Petrino — then as now of Louisville — was a guy who’d scarcely been mentioned in those roundups of usual suspects. In 2008, Smith was a name on some lists but wasn’t considered a big one. (When you’re Mike Smith, name recognition is an ongoing battle.)

Rex is the biggest name on everybody’s board, and he’s a lot of the things the Falcons need: He’s a defensive-minded man — then again, so’s Smith — and the Falcons’ defense was the NFL’s worst; he’s brash, which Smith wasn’t, and teams tend to hire the opposite of what they just fired, and he’d win the introductory press conference, which might influence those patrons who’ll soon have to decide if buying a personal seat license to watch this team play will be worth five figures, not counting those on the right side of the decimal point.

On the other hand, offense tends to sell more tickets than defense, and there’s this: Rex was 46-50 with the Jets; in the best of his final four seasons, his team was 8-8. The Falcons just fired a guy who was 66-46; in the best of Smith’s final four seasons, his team was 13-3.

Reader Comments 1

152 comments
LostBurro
LostBurro

if they hire rex, he'll hire his brother from new orleans to coach D---they are getting ready to run him out of town too

mayhem1
mayhem1

Falcon's don't need Rex, nor his brother or any other family member. Falcon's need solid coach, one not at risk of losing his job the last two years, same as Mike Smith. Don't need the side show and need to get moing forward-quickly.

Bordertownbound
Bordertownbound

I pray Buffalo hires him first before we have a chance to ruin or franchise any further

DapperDanDawg
DapperDanDawg

Will he leave tickets for Elvis?  We weren't very good under Glanville, but it was interesting.

VladimirSonovobitch
VladimirSonovobitch

He has a losing record over his entire coaching career. Why in the He** would you even consider hiring someone with a losing record?  Idiotic move. He'll be gone in two years.  

Prediction: Falcons record over the next two years if Ryan is hired;   9/23

ctfalconsfan
ctfalconsfan

I'd LOVE REX RYAN as our DC but in no way whatsoever as our HC. That would just bring the circus to town. It would be the same as Jerry Glanville, a showman not a HC..

We should get the Buffalo coach as HC, try to get Ryan as DC and hire a creative OC that can move the ball north and south versus east and west.

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

As long as he's not a yes man-- and isn't afraid of the general manager and the owner. I'm on board...

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Hiring Rex Ryan would give Blank another high profile face for his under achieving franchise. Rex has never lost a pre game press conference and hiring Rex would guarantee that HBO Hard Knocks could set up shop again this year in Flowery Branch. Why not just bring the entire media circus to Atlanta and sign Tim Tebow to back up the Ice Man Ryan.Blank needs to play the media hype game to get his team on ESPN or the NFL Network and to try an unload his over priced PSL's in his new Artie Dome.

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

"Bird Brain Trust".  I like that.  

Chris11165
Chris11165

All the Rex Ryan haters and hating comments have yet to answer a simple question - if not Rex Ryan who?? Josh McDaniel? Quinn from Detroit? Case? I mean give us your "expert"  opinion on who should be the next coach. I was not a big fan of how Blank chose to fire Mike Smith. I feel like the GM was the architect of this Titanic mess that was a few years in the making with his decisions and he was the one who got to stay not Smith. But laying all that aside. If not Ryan WHO? Of all the guys out there who are on the "list" I like the Cardinals DC the best but the glaring lack of  experience as a head coach would be a concern.. NO matter WHO we get it's going to be a roll of the dice with this team. Im not saying Ryan makes me go out and want to sacrifice animals to the sports Gods for the greatest decision in the world but I don't believe a Rex Ryan led Falcons team would be Armageddon either. He took a subpart Jets squad to two AFC championships in recent years and he understands that defense wins- His offense in NY was a nightmare just like our defense here.But if you're not going to offer an alternative to Ryan stop the bitching. Falcon fans have been suffering for many years with this circus we call a professional football team in Atlanta going back to the paper bag days when the teams were so bad we were scared to let our family and friends know we were fans. Sooo  I'm just thankful for the fact we're actually had a stretch of winning football under Smith albeit the glaring exceptions of the past two years and the playoff losses..Maybe the best coach for the job was the one we fired who needed both an offensive and defensive coordinator .who had brains. Let the NYG and whoever else have Nolan and all the coaches except Tice and Armstrong. I feel the Cardinals DC would bring the same things Ryan would on defense but he'd lack experience as a head coach and that would be a risk. It worked out the first 4 years under Mike Smith another DC without head coaching experience but we find ourselves here in 2014 after the magic wore off...just a thought guys and gals......no matter who we get its a pipe dream of Arthur Blank to believe a Super Bowl is in the offering next year with this personnel we have on both sides of the ball....we need to get stronger, tougher, smarter and more physical on defense and nothing I saw in this year's squad would indicate any of that ahead in 2015.......

George Prattes
George Prattes

Seat Fees announced...........from $45,000 down to $10,000 per seat, PLUS price per game increase..........save your $$$ for the new stadium!!  Check out AJC for article.

mike69
mike69

IF THEY HIRE RYAN IT WILL BE VERY HARD TO BACK THE FALCONS. THERE'S ALOT OF FANS FEEL THE SAME WAY FROM WHAT I READ. THE FANS MIGHT NOT BE THE BOSS BUT THEY ARE THE ONES THAT PAYS THE BILLS.

Ron49ers
Ron49ers

@mike69  So are you saying that if RR comes in and turns the Falcons into a winner you and other fans will still not support them?  I bet winning will bring you back

JackClemens
JackClemens

No, I'm not ready for Rex Ryan. Not at all. This clown just failed spectacularly with an inept front office in New York. And somehow he's supposed to win with the substandard roster here? Okay.

Ron49ers
Ron49ers

Everyone would have to agree that Bill Belichick may be the best coach in football  before  he coach the NE. Pats he was 36-44 with the Cleveland browns  and to go the other way George Seifert  posted a 98-30 record with san fran  so when he went to Carolina how could they lose ??  well they went 16-32 over 3 season  including last year a nice 1-15 so coaches records doesn't matter it how he fits in with the players. Atlanta need RR to fix our DEF then were should be good to go. 

DanJohn
DanJohn

@khd713 [QUOTE] "I'm sorry but the Cardinals injuries were not as severe as the Falcons!"                  


Okay the Falcons lost Spoon and Moore from the defense. The Cardinals lost: Tyrann Matthew, Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett, John Abraham and Daryl Washington from their defense not to mention their punter their QB Carson Palmer and RB Andre Ellington.


The fact the Falcon lost several OL didn't stop the Falcons offense except a few games. They still put up points in most of their games. The Cardinals lost more talented at least X4 than the Falcons did and still made the playoffs.




khd713
khd713

@DanJohn I would call the defensive losses a wash because the Cardinals were able to use those players for large portions of the year. William Moore is the heart and soul of the Falcons defense. He played mostly very short minutes in four games, and pretty substantial minutes in three games this year. For those three games the Falcons defense played at a whole different level. Also, at the end of last season Weatherspoon was quickly becoming a force. Losing Weatherspoon was a killer because it disrupted the whole balance between the D-line and our remaining linebackers, and as a result, neither one of the units played very well all year. On the other side of the ball, I have to believe that losing pretty much your entire offensive line, including three centers, was more devastating than Ariz. losing Carson Palmer. As long as you can protect the backup and run the ball, you can still win, which Ariz did for two backups, including one who was their starter last year. A porous offensive line means you can't run and your QB can't throw, no matter who he is. Matt Ryan played as well as he could to win six games (technically 8 if you count the two that Smith blew), but the offensive line was a real liability until the last few games of the year when it played much better (final game excepted). I just think the specific injuries the Falcons suffered hurt them much worse than what Arizona had to deal with.

saviorfaire
saviorfaire

Why would you hire someone who had no success at his previous job attempting to do the same thing here that he could not do there? Are morons running this team?  We hired Dirk Koetter as OC after his offense finished next to dead last in the league which says that results don't mean anything.    

gwbroo
gwbroo

Hire Rex as DC only. He's a clown as a head coach (just like daddy). It would be Glanville Part 2.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Two things appear certain: (1) the new coach won't have to coach the Falcons in 2013 and 2014, and (2) he or she will be hard-pressed to match or surpass the success Mike Smith had over the first five years.


Maybe it was time for a change, maybe this was the wrong change. Hard for us to know until we see how the new coach handles the pressure, unrealistic expectations, and constraints. Smith clock management may have cost the Falcons a home playoff game, but the Carolina game proved the team did not belong in the playoffs.

SOB
SOB

@DawgDadII He or she? Has Mrs. Smith been granted an interview?

DanJohn
DanJohn

Just heard on the Rich Eisen show that Rex is going to have a second interview after a 5 hour interview yesterday. To sign a contract?  Wonder if Rex has contacted a Real Estate agent to find property on Lake Lanier?

SOB
SOB

@DanJohn That is music to my ears, DanJohn, assuming that it is true. Sign it and let's take this show to Artie's Big Top!

Wilbo
Wilbo

Yay, Falcons! Let's hire a crazy worn out old coach who had a losing record w his last team and has shown himself to be pretty much out of touch w 21st century professional football. 


Get some more useless worn out broken down running backs, too. 


What's Tony Cassillas doing now? Maybe find a great pass rusher or 2 from 2008 who can barely walk now!?


Somebody buy Arthur a new pair of suspenders, maybe w a phony fart button, and let's get the Great Falcon Clown Show back on the road!!!!!

SOB
SOB

@Wilbo I volunteer to answer at least one of your questions. What is Falcon first round draft pick Tony Cassillas doing now? Probably the same thing Falcon first round draft pick Aundray Bruce is doing now. Fry cook at a Waffle House.

Williethepimp
Williethepimp

@Wilbo Arthur Blank looks like a circus clown or one of those circus barkers. It would be a perfect fit.

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

@Wilbo I'm thinking they could bring back the Jeff and June Show too. Maybe some big mouth DB from Va Tech that Deion can interview before the first game and ask "how you gonna really SHOWOUT in this game tonight?" In the ATL it's all about the SHOWOUT. That's why a very fundamentally sound team like the Hawks have lousy attendance and will probably end up in Seattle.  The Rex Clown Show will be perfect! STEP RIGHT UP!!

JackClemens
JackClemens

@candlin14 @Wilbo Hey CandiLynn, Smitty had NO DEFENSE in ATL!!!! (one upped you on exclamation points) He cannot win some games here because he'll still have crappy D personnel.

Ron49ers
Ron49ers

@JackClemens @candlin14 @Wilbo  HEY Jack!!!  Smitty had the playoffs all lock up except  he blew 2 games !!!! not the falcons. He lost them!!  How many more games did he lose by not playing there best running back ? 

candlin14
candlin14

@Wilbo


Hey Wilbo, WISE UP!!!! Rex had NO OFFENSE in NY!!! Last I checked he won three more playoff games then Mike Smith. With a damn good offense he would have in Atlanta, this guy can win some games!!!

Football Redneck
Football Redneck

Again will someone tell me with so many job openings why hasn't someone picked up Smitty yet since he's so great.  

SOB
SOB

@Football Redneck Obviously no one has an answer to your question, except me, in other comments on this page.

khd713
khd713

Arthur Blank will rue the day he fired Mike Smith. Coach Smith was the victim of an outrageously unfortunate rash of injuries, plain and simple. How can you be expected to win when four-fifths of your starting offensive line and your two best defensive players go down to injury for the entire season? The clock-management issues cost us two games and were huge errors, yes, but they were errors that should have been forgiven. Mike Smith did not like losing football games; I know that for a fact, and I honestly think the guy was under so much pressure (beginning with the Detroit game he'd been reading articles all week questioning whether Blank was even going to buy him a plane ticket home from London), that he was walking on egg shells and tried to coach those games too carefully. I think those two games are what cost him his job, and what happened in those games was the result of the pressure from losing. but in my opinion letting him go was a rash decision. 


You don't fire someone just because it's "time for a change". That makes no sense to me. It was time for Coach Smith to have a fair chance at coaching a healthy team, but fate didn't allow that to happen. Why do you get rid of a guy who proved that he could coach a healthy team to the brink of a Super Bowl? Why do you get rid of a guy who coached at least two Falcons teams that far outperformed expectations? Why do you get rid of a coach who brought this franchise not only its first consecutive winning season, but five consecutive winning seasons. All of you knuckleheads who support running off a good man like Mike Smith and replacing him with a yokel like Rex Ryan are going to get what you deserve. Why do you think that going from one extreme (offense) to another (defense) is going to change anything? Rex Ryan's record has proved that it won't change a thing. Hope you are prepared for yet another run of Atlanta Falcons mediocrity. 


To me it is insanity that coaches are held accountable when their teams are decimated by injuries, as if the injuries had never happened. Why is it that when anyone talks about injuries affecting a team it's considered "making excuses". That makes no sense to me. Injuries are a legitimate reason for a team's failure to perform up to expectations, and coaches should not be held accountable when a team that has suffered devastating injuries fails to live up to expectations, unless it was the coach's actions that created an environment conducive to injuries. Coaches should be held accountable for how their teams perform at full, or close to full, strength, and by that standard, Mike Smith was the best coach this franchise has ever had by a long, long shot.


Good luck with Rex Ryan, because if that's the route Blank goes he's going to need it. The unfairness of this whole situation and the poor manner in which it was handled has left a very bitter taste in my mouth, and I will not be purchasing a seat license in the new stadium, or visiting the Georgia Dome in the meantime. I will always hope for the Falcons to do well, but I sincerely believe they just fired the person who was by far their best chance to make that happen. I expected better out of Arthur Blank, and from what I understand a whole lot of people, including his ex-wife, expected better, too. 

DanJohn
DanJohn

@khd713  Injuries happen just look at the Cardinals! They had more injuries then any other NFL team and they won. Green Bay also lost linemen. If you want to blame depth then that's a legit argument but Mike Smith stuck win the same defense as it continued to fail. He kept younger ends on the bench in favor for Osi and Kroy. They played that lame defense with only two linebackers. IF Mike Smith had been the DC for the Falcons and not the head coach he would have been fired years ago.


For someone who was a DC he had no clue when it came to making adjustments. Mike Smith may well be a good man but he was not a good coach. Records are misleading leadership is not. That is why he hasn't been mentioned for a vacant head coach job. NOT EVEN THE RAIDERS WANT HIM!


Is it possible you fear for your true team...Saints, Panthers or Bucs if he gets the job?

Jerry916
Jerry916

@khd713 It was time for Smith to go.  The defense was an issue before he came, and was an issue during the entire time he was coach (and he was a defensive coach).  


I really think Dimitroff should have been out as well, but if he stays, the Falcons need a coach that knows how to pick players on the defensive side of the ball.

SOB
SOB

@khd713 As I am probably Knucklehead #1 on your list, I am so sorry you are so teary eyed over the firing of Mike Smith. He may surface somewhere as a head coach, hopefully, at some high school team real close to wherever you live. Tell him how great he is. Cheer him up. It's the least you could do.

ProudtobefrmthaG
ProudtobefrmthaG

@khd713 Pressure!?????? The NFL is PRESSURE!!!!!!!! PLAYERS AND COACHES UNDERSTAND THAT. THE GREAT ONES CAN ENGULF IT AND USE IT AS ENERGY..SIMILIAR TO THE ENERGY U GET FROM THE CROWD.....OTHERS CRUMBLE BENEATH IT. SMITTY WAS NOT THE GUY TO LEAD THIS TEAM TO THE SUPERBOWL. THIS WASNT THE ONLY YEAR HE HAD GAME MANAGEMENT MISHAPS. 

khd713
khd713

@DanJohn @khd713 I'm sorry but the Cardinals' injuries were not as severe as the Falcons'. You cannot lose your entire offensive line AND two best defensive players and expect to win in the NFL. If you lose one or the other, you might be able to finish at .500, but not when you have injuries that severe on both sides of the ball. Am I the only one who noticed the profound difference in the Falcons' defense in the few games that William Moore actually played this season? The difference was staggering. And all I hear about is how this defense is the worst collection of personnel in the history of the NFL, blah, blah, blah. Imagine if Moore AND Weatherspoon both had been able to play all season. I can promise you that we would not be having this hyperbolic discussion about how we need go with a new coach who is all about defense, defense, defense. That's just a knee-jerk reaction to the PERCEIVED state of things. It's not an accurate perception, and injuries are the reason why. Our defense may not be the best in the league, but it's far from the worst when everyone is healthy. Look at the Atlanta Hawks. For the first time in seven years they are playing 100-percent healthy. It makes a HUGE difference.

khd713
khd713

@Jerry916 @khd713 See my comment above. Your perception is not accurate. When the defense is healthy and has William Moore and Sean Weatherspoon playing at full speed, along with Trufant, THEN I want you to tell me how bad the defense is. Not before then. I do not want to hear about how bad our defense is when our two best players did not suit up for almost the entire season. 

khd713
khd713

@SOB @khd713 Yes, you are Knucklehead #1, and unfortunately I think the vast majority of the Falcons fan base, as well as the owner, are following your lead. I'd be willing to wager a reasonable amount that you will regret your rash behavior, which is based largely on misperceptions. How soon? I'd say by the end of Rex Ryan's third year as coach you'll be more than ready for him to leave.

khd713
khd713

@ProudtobefrmthaG @khd713 First of all, calm down. You don't know what you are talking about. Of course there is day-to-day pressure. But there's also the kind of pressure that comes with every news site, blog, sports talk radio, Twitter, etc. speculating about how soon you will be fired. Believe me, that ramps things up a bit, and it makes it exceedingly difficult to concentrate on doing your job well. I'm not saying he should be totally excused for it – I think he should be warned and the expectation should be that it can't happen again. As for the past, I don't recall any game management decisions that were anywhere close to the two games he cost us this season. Whatever happened was within the normal sphere of football game management. I also remember Coach Smith beating the Bears after Chicago scored to take the lead with 8 seconds left in the game. I also remember him producing five consecutive winning seasons and taking a healthy Falcons team to the NFC championship.

SOB
SOB

@khd713 @SOB I actually gave Rex two years to show vast improvement regardless of length of contract. But you appear to be going off the rails here so good luck wherever you land.

SOB
SOB

@khd713 @ProudtobefrmthaG Where he lost that game by a huge margin. Smitty has been fired. Roll it around in your brain. Smitty has been fired. Move on. Get over it for the love of Saint Pete.

khd713
khd713

@SOB @khd713 @ProudtobefrmthaG Yes, he has been fired, and my point is that one day in the very near future you and the rest of the irrational knuckleheads will realize that it was a really, really stupid thing to have done. 

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  1. […] – Let me stipulate that I was never sure why the Atlanta Falcons were presumed to be so high on Rex Ryan. (Let me also stipulate that they mightn’t have been as high on him as advertised.) As noted, […]