The Arthur Smith era with the Atlanta Falcons is complete. But Smith may not have to wait long for his next NFL job opportunity.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Sunday that Smith was interviewing for the offensive coordinator opening with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers confirmed the interview on their own X (formerly Twitter) account.
Smith had tremendous success as an offensive coordinator with the Tennessee Titans. So it’s unfair to assume Smith joining the Steelers would be a bad hire.
However, as Falcons head coach, Smith often tried to outsmart everyone. The best example of that last season would be veteran tight end Jonnu Smith finishing with only 3 receptions fewer than former No. 4 overall pick Kyle Pitts.
Smith also failed to develop quarterback Desmond Ridder. The Steelers are currently trying to turn Kenny Pickett, who entered the NFL in the same draft class as Ridder, into a franchise quarterback.
With all this in mind, some reactions on Twitter to Smith interviewing with the Steelers were pretty hilarious.
With Smith as coordinator, Tennessee’s offense finished second in yards and fourth in points scored during 2020. They were also second in rushing yards that season. In 2019, the Titans were third in rushing yards.
Then with the Falcons, Smith’s offense finished in the top 10 in rushing yards during 2022 and 2023. However, the Falcons were never better than 17th in overall yards.
They were also 26th in points scored during 2021 and 2023.
The Falcons and Steelers both finished outside the top half of the league in yards and points in 2023. But for different reasons. Atlanta had problems with turnovers while Pittsburgh flat out couldn’t move the ball very well.
The Falcons had 28 giveaways, finishing with a minus-12 turnover margin. That differential was tied for second worst in the league.
The Steelers had a plus-10 turnover margin yet were 28th in scoring.
There would be some irony to Smith landing in Pittsburgh. The Steelers requested to interview Zac Robinson, but he joined the Falcons as offensive coordinator.