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Arthur Blank: No hot seat for Mike Smith


Mike Smith is the most successful head coach in the history of the Falcons franchise by a fairly wide margin.

He’s had a winning record in all four of his seasons on their sideline and gone to the playoffs three times, including the first back-to-back trips in Falcons history. The team has lost in their first playoff game in all three of those trips, however, and that’s become the dominant theme of talk about the Smith/Matt Ryan partnership in Atlanta.

There have been suggestions that another failure to advance in the postseason could work out poorly for Smith’s continued employment in Atlanta. While the Falcons need to make some more noise in the postseason to solidify the gains of the last four years, a failure to do so doesn’t sound like it will cost Smith his job. Falcons owner Arthur Blank said that the seat under Smith (and the one under General Manager Thomas Dimitroff as well) remains cool as the 2012 season gets underway.

“He’s not on any hot seat. Coach Smith, he and Thomas, I particularly feel really blessed – and I don’t use that word every day, all day long – I feel blessed having them both in place,” Blank said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The last four years to have the record that we’ve established after 42 years of not having back-to-back winning seasons, to have four of them back-to-back-to-back-to-back winning seasons and be in the playoffs three of four years, to have a coach that’s been named coach of the year two out of four years in the NFL.”

Smith signed a three-year contract extension before last season and Blank has never been less than emphatic when it comes to the coach’s job security. As long as there’s anything other than a total disaster in Atlanta this season, Smith’s not going anywhere.