Smith also has a message for Falcons fans:
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Smith Stresses ‘Accountability’ During First Press Conference
Smith had his first press conference with the Falcons on Tuesday and made it clear his top priority, right now, is accountability.
“We want to be great up front,” Smith said via AtlantaFalcons.com. “We want to have a fast team; we certainly want to be physical on both sides of the ball. We want to have guys who are great teammates. We want to hold our best players accountable. We’re going to drop the entitlement, not to say there was he, that will be a big message in the locker room.”
Dan Quinn will be missed by many, but Smith’s approach so far seems to be what Atlanta needs. For the last three seasons, the Falcons have missed a postseason berth, and one thing that has seemed to be missing is certainly these players holding themselves accountable and being disciplined for their mistakes on the field.
Smith’s Plan Revolves Around Matt Ryan
Smith is coming off two seasons as the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator where he was credited for turning quarterback Ryan Tannehill around. Under Smith in 2019, Tannehill won the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award and made the Pro Bowl in 2019. Tannehill continued to excel this season, posting a passer rating of 106.5 while leading the Titans to an 11-5 finish and playoff appearance.
His approach will be similar to what he did in Tennesse with Tannehill.
“We’re going to play to Matt’s strengths just like we tried to play to Ryan’s strengths”, Smith said.
“It’s more than Matt and Julio (Jones),” Smith said. “There’s a lot of talented players on this roster, whether you’re talking about Chris Lindstrom, Grady Jarrett. … The roster today is gonna look different to September and as you get to Week 17. It’s a constant evolution. There’s a lot of talent here that we’ll want to build off of. But I can’t give you any snap judgments today because we’re still early in this process.”
Smith Will Call The Shots
He also said in his presser that he will be calling the plays on offense, but has made it clear that’s not his primary job.
“My No. 1 job is to be the head coach of the team, that includes all three phases and every player on the roster,” Smith said. “I understand what my job is, my job is to coach the entire team. Also to do that to call plays and there’s precedence there that it’s been done and done at a high level. So very confident if you hire the right people, it will be a collaborative effort. I will coach the entire team.”
This season, the Titans’ offense finished ranked No. 3 in the league in total yards per game (396.4) and No. 2 in rushing yards per game (168.1). The team also ranked fourth in the league in scoring, posting at least 30.7 points per game.