"Smitty's contributions to our club, team and city over the last seven years are numerous," owner Arthur Blank said in a release. "His accomplishments on the field made him the most successful coach in the 49-year history of the Falcons, and we are grateful for the foundation he has laid for us for the future."
Before Smith arrived, the Falcons had never had consecutive winning seasons. Under Smith, they had five in a row.
The next question becomes whether Blank will keep G.M. Thomas Dimitroff. The hiring of a search firm to help identify a new coach suggests that Dimitroff has been undermined. But Dimitroff's ability to find talented players is well documented. With former Patriots V.P. of player personnel and former Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli also in the building, the foundation is in place to build around players like quarterback Matt Ryan and receiver Julio Jones.
If Dimitroff is fired, look for other teams to line up to hire him. Which could be the best argument in favor of keeping him.
In addition to looking for a new head coach and General Manager, the Bears will need a new offensive coordinator, too.
According to ESPN's Field Yates, and via ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson, the Bears have parted ways with Aaron Kromer.
Kromer's job security had been speculated upon after he was revealed to have been a source for an NFL Media report critical of quarterback Jay Cutler. He apologized for his actions and kept his job for the final three games of the season.
Will/should the Saints try to bring back Aaron Kromer now that he no longer has a job? Who will become the Falcons' next head coach and thus the Saints' newest nemesis?
No word yet from Saints headquarters regarding coaching decisions. If they decide to move on from DC Rob Ryan or any other assistant coach, they'll probably make those decisions today.