Arthur Smith officially agreed to terms to become the new head coach of the Atlanta Falcons on Friday.
Details of the contract were not disclosed.
Smith, a coveted candidate in the coaching cycle that began churning in early January, was offered the Falcons job early Friday, according to multiple reports. The former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator received requests to interview for all seven NFL head coaching vacancies, ESPN reported.
The Titans finished fourth in the NFL in scoring at 30.7 points per game and won the AFC South.
Smith has received praise for his work as offensive coordinator since he was promoted from tight ends coach two years ago. Current Titans head coach Mike Vrabel gives Smith credit for turning Ryan Tannehill’s career fortunes around last season, and the Titans just produced a 2,000-yard rusher in Derrick Henry.
The Falcons parted with Dan Quinn during the 2020 season and promoted Raheem Morris to interim head coach.
Myriad issues face the new braintrust of the Falcons, which will include a new general manager. Interviews for both positions took place unilaterally since the season ended.
Atlanta is squeezed against the salary cap by massive contracts for quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones. Owner Arthur Blank said he would not block an attempt by the new regime to trade one or both players in a rebuilding effort.
The Titans reportedly have been anticipating Smith’s departure by reaching out to prominent college offensive coordinators in recent days.
Smith has worked with the Titans in multiple capacities since 2011 under coaches Mike Munchak, Ken Whisenhunt, Mike Mularkey and Vrabel.
Smith worked closely with current Packers head coach Matt LaFleur with the Titans and during his initial NFL job, Smith was quality control coach of the Washington Football Team. Joe Gibbs was the head coach of the team in 2007, and Jim Zorn took over in 2008.
Smith, 38, attended the University of North Carolina to play basketball but his career was shortened because of a foot injury. He played offensive line in high school.