Falcons fire coach Smith after 6-10 season

Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:49am EST
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Atlanta Falcons have sacked head coach Mike Smith after a second straight losing season, the franchise said on Monday.

Smith has been in charge since 2008 and took the team to the playoffs four times. Atlanta won the NFC South twice including in 2012 when they reached the NFC Championship game before losing to the San Francisco 49ers.

"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," said owner Arthur Blank in a news release.

Despite a poor season the Falcons had a chance to win their division on Sunday but were crushed 34-3 by the Carolina Panthers, ending the campaign with a 6-10 record.

"This is a business about winning football games and that is how you are judged," said Smith after the defeat. "I understand that and I'll leave it at that."

(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Tony Jimenez)

 
Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith watches from the sidelines during the second half of their NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Atlanta, Georgia, in this file photo taken January 1, 2012.  REUTERS/Tami Chappell/Files