Mike Smith Coach Falcons Pro Bowl Signed Extension Atlanta

The Atlanta Falcons Lock Up Mike Smith for At Least 3 More Years
February 4, 2011 – 9:00 am by timgunter
The Atlanta Falcons have announced that they have signed head coach Mike Smith to a three year contract extension.  Although the terms of the contract have not yet been released, you can bet that he is going to be well compensated.  Under Smith, the Falcons have had three-consecutive winning seasons for the first time in the franchise’s history.  Atlanta is 33-15 under Smith, including an NFC-best 13-3 record in 2010, the fourth season the Falcons have won their division.  This extension comes as no great surprise to anyone, as the team has made it clear that two of their first priorities were to lock up Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff for the long term.  They can now cross out item number one, which means that it should not be much longer before Dimitroff agrees to an extension as well.

Mike Smith joined WQXI in Atlanta to talk about if the bye week hurt the team’s chances against the Packers, whether getting a better pass rush is going to be a key for the team this offseason, and if he has any idea about the direction of where he would like the offense to go if Mike Mularkey lands a head coaching job elsewhere.
If the bye week hurt the team’s chances against the Packers:
“You fight for that number one seed and the rules are when you are that number one seed you are going to get a bye and we had an interesting week in preparation.  We had something similar that went on here, we had the snow and the ice, but we are not going to make excuses.  We didn’t play well.  They were the better team that night.  Five weeks before that we had an opportunity to play them and we were the better team.”
On the notion that during the Packers game their defense had a lot of opportunities to sack Aaron Rodgers but didn’t capitalize on those:
“It was frustrating in terms of he was able to almost be like Houdini.  We had five free runners, we had three sacks and I felt like we should have had eight and they were in crucial times and Aaron was able to extend the play and create some first downs and keep drives alive.  So unfortunately we didn’t get it done that night.”
Whether getting a better pass rush is going to be a key for the team this offseason:
“Well I think you can never really have too much pass rush.  This is a quarterback-driven league.  There is probably more quarterbacks right now playing at the elite level than there ever has been in the history of the league.  In the 12 years that I have been here in the NFL, you would think there is two or three of the elite guys, there is probably 10 to 15 that arguably you can consider elite guys and David knows if you are facing a quarterback that can cut you up on a regular basis week-in and week-out as a defensive coach and defensive player you do not get a whole lot of sleep that week.”
If he has any idea about the direction of where he would like the offense to go if Mike Mularkey lands a head coaching job elsewhere:
“Well I think one of the things, it was very apparent for us, is that we have got a number of weapons on the offensive side of the ball and we have been able to control it, but there is going to be times in games where you are going to have to match teams that are going to be able to put points up.  Becoming a more explosive football team is going to be an emphasis point, whether it is for the run or the pass, in the future.”
How is was to coach in the Pro Bowl:
“It was a fun time being with all of those great players.  It is amazing to see the athletes.  They are the top in their profession and it was fun to work with those guys.”
Mike Smith joined WQXI in Atlanta
Tags: #1 seed in the playoffs, Arthur Blank, Coach Smith wins big games, Falcons Head Coach, former D.C., former Defensive Coordinator for Jacksonville Jaguars, looking ahead to next season, lost to Packers in playoffs, Mike Smith, NFC South

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