Would Mike Smith be most effective coaching an offense? He is a defensive coordinator . . .
Atlanta is not bad because the head coach doesn't mesh with the offensive philosophy. Atlanta is bad because they are the poster child for why extended time off is bad for football players (soft-tissue injuries) and because their strong record the last few years belies their serious personnel issues.
Atlanta is not good because of injuries but Atlanta is horrible because the personnel and the offensive philosophy does not mesh well. Not to mention that the 2009 season there were a lot of injuries and the Falcons didnt look this bad.
When TD traded for JJ, he (not MS) made the decision that improving one position of 22 a great amount was more important than improving several positions to a lesser extent. As long as JJ is playing, it's a good decision because he is a game-changer. However, losing him is obviously losing 100%, whereas losing Torrey Smith but still having the guard we drafted in the 2nd would be a 50-60% loss in the same situation (no, not f**** Carimi, Pudge).
To compound that, TD has struggled in his non-guaranteed draft choices; the depth really isn't there, so injuries take a greater toll. The offensive scheme isn't the real culprit, the horrific line play is. ATL hasn't really "replaced" a departing lineman since Blalock came on board. Some of this is bad drafting, a lot of it really bad FA choices (TD=Frank Wren), and, in small part, MS probably being a bit too loyal to his players.
Out of these errors, the team went 11-5 following the MVD, has won every year but this, and starts the year with the idea that they have a shot at winning it all. Again, just sayin'.
Yes he has been very successful but that success has not seemed to shine through when it matters most in Playoff games, games versus the Saints or against the Alpha Dog teams of the NFL.
At some point, ATL's philosophy embraced the notion that ST "starters" are more important than o/d backups. Kevin Cone and Antone Smith have practically no offensive value, but they take up roster slots. Four picks have been disintegrated in the last few years taking safeties than are unsafe to play on D. Four. I don't think Mike Smith said "Screw the outlier talent! Let's draft for guys that will never start on any team!" Did he go along with TD's strategy? Probably. TD is pretty damn smart. Do we fire him for this? 11-5, 9-7, 13-3, 10-6, 13-3.
No if they fire TD and/or Mike Smith it will be for this: 30-24 L, 48-21 L, 24-2 L, 30-28 L, combined with a season where you might not win more than 2-4 games.
TG and SJ were not great call for this year. There's too much of a "win now at the expense of next year" mentality about their shelf lives vs their contracts; especially in the light of removing the S&C coach in a year where there was going to be a lot of upheaval in conditioning. Even more of an argument against scapegoating (NFCCG 2nd half=JF's firing), but someone is going to get the axe this year, because that's what folks do. It will likely be a line coach, though Holmes may be saving Hill's bacon as we speak. TG already is gone, and SJ very well may follow.
Now, seeing all of this and knowing that you'll have some great draft picks to work with next year to adapt the philosophy to the raw materials or vice versa, and you want to toss the proven, reliable, award-winning head of that organization to take a flier on some guy that may or may not find a better way to spend Vern's six cents? (Stand By Me; also my thoughts of the talents of a lot of ATL's young linemen on both sides of the ball)
Look: next year will be better. The draft choices' talent level will be better. The year after that will be better: a few onerous contracts full of dead money should be disappearing, and perhaps the settlement-detached individual that I paid five buck to under that overpass will finally make it to ATL and convince Baker to take the cloth. Then, the starting RT that we drafted that year (next year is still Baker, dammit) will take over and things will be looking up.
Or TD makes a few lousy picks and even worse FA decisions, and this thread is summed up as "Both."
I don't disagree with your opinion that--to a small extent--MS isn't the perfect choice of coach for this offense. However, it's a piece of the puzzle, and--I believe--a really small part of the collapse of this season.
I dont blame this entire season on MS at all its just that the really good HCs in this league (the ones who deserve a pass for a horrible season like this one) find a way to make their players play above their heads and that isnt happening with this group.