Arthur Smith signs deal to become Atlanta Falcons' new head coach

The Atlanta Falcons have signed Arthur Smith to be the team's new head coach, the team announced Saturday.

Smith has served as the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans the past two seasons.

"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 in a statement. "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. I'm excited to get started on this new journey and cannot wait to see what the future holds for our city and its fans."

Smith, 38, replaces Dan Quinn, whom the Falcons fired along with general manager Thomas Dimitroff on Oct. 11 after an 0-5 start. Raheem Morris took over as interim head coach and led the Falcons to their only wins of the 2020 season en route to a 4-12 overall record.

The Titans ranked fourth in the league in scoring during the regular season, averaging 30.7 points per game under Smith. Tennessee finished the regular season averaging 396.4 total yards per game, good for third in the NFL. The Titans' rushing attack posted 168.1 yards per game, second only to that of the Baltimore Ravens (191.9 yards).

Tennessee achieved rare balance under Smith. Running back Derrick Henry's 2,027 rushing yards were the fifth-best rushing total ever, and he became the eighth player to surpass the 2,000-yard plateau. Titans receiver A.J. Brown finished with 1,075 receiving yards, and teammate Corey Davis ended the season 16 yards short of the 1,000-yard plateau.

"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," Blank, the Falcons' owner and chairman, said in a statement. "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."

Smith joined the Titans in 2011 as a defensive quality control coach; he then served multiple other roles in Tennessee, including offensive quality control coach, offensive line assistant and tight ends coach.

Smith also interviewed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles. The Jaguars hired Urban Meyer as their new head coach on Thursday.

Bears passing game coordinator Dave Ragone is the favorite to join Smith as offensive coordinator in Atlanta, sources told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

The Falcons had a remote interview with Smith on Monday before flying him to Atlanta for a second interview on Wednesday. The team also interviewed Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady and Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

The Jets announced Thursday night that they had reached an agreement in principle with Saleh to be their next head coach.