Fight or Flight: Why buy-in on Arthur Smith’s future with the Falcons?

Illustration by Myah Anglin |The Signal

So, Arthur Smith is Dan Quinn’s replacement for the Atlanta Falcons, and the 38-year-old may bring precisely what the franchise needs: a refresh button.

Though there is no general manager yet, signs are pointing to Terry Fontenot, vice president and director of player personnel of the New Orleans Saints, as the front-runner for Thomas Dimitroff’s replacement.

As covered last week, Fontenot has a wealth of experience and would be an asset to whichever coach the Falcons brought in. Having the young head coach in Smith makes Fontenot even more useful as someone that can assist if needed.

Meanwhile, in non-Falcons news, the Houston Texans have managed to screw up even further, incensing Deshaun Watson at a time that could benefit the Falcons. How?

Find out below.

Fight: One Last Flight

I cannot sit here and tell you that Smith will do what Quinn failed to do: deliver a Super Bowl to the Falcons and specifically the tandem of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.

But Smith looks like the perfect man for the job, giving Ryan and Jones one more shot before the Falcons move on to a future without one or both franchise stalwarts.

Much was made of Smith’s ability to plan games. His use of pre-snap motion and attempts to run the ball provides a more-modern fit to the NFL game.

The Falcon defense showed they not only have the most atrocious defense of the last few years, but they also have an average-to-good side that may be able to flourish with proper coaching.

The offense was solid but underperforming due to Dirk Koetter’s scheme. With Smith at the helm and a new defensive coordinator, the Falcons can be a playoff team at the least, which sets up the old guard for one final flight.

Flight: Deshaun Watson’s future may affect the Falcons (and, no, he won’t be a Dolphin)

There is not much to be wary or concerned about for the Falcons right now, but there is an exciting situation to pay attention to Watson’s fallout with the Texans.

Why? Watson’s relationship with the Texans seems broken and could shake up the league and impact the 2021 NFL Draft, where the Falcons may acquire their next potential franchise quarterback.

The Dolphins hold the third overall pick after acquiring it from the Texans. That is important because of a report (that I do not have much faith in) that Dolphins players are unconvinced by rookie Tua Tagovailoa’s play this season.

However, between Watson’s financial ties to the Texans and the possible slow offseason in general, I doubt Watson and Tugavailoa will get traded for each other. But if that trade were to happen, there would be huge implications at the third overall pick.

Coupled with the Jets possibly not taking a quarterback, it would allow the Falcons to choose between Justin Fields or Zach Wilson at fourth.

It is unlikely that both events come to pass, though, which is why they ended up in the flight column.