Atlanta Falcons  

 

Smith receives three-year contract extension from Falcons

  • By Associated Press
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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons signed coach Mike Smith to a three-year contract extension Thursday after he led the team to the NFC South title for the second time in his three seasons.

Mike Smith, who has a 33-15 record in three seasons, is signed as Falcons coach through the 2014 season.
Mike Smith, who has a 33-15 record in three seasons, is signed as Falcons coach through the 2014 season. (Steve Mitchell/US Presswire)

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Smith was a little-known defensive coordinator with the Jacksonville Jaguars when he signed a four-year contract with the Falcons in 2008, taking over a team coming off a dismal 4-12 season that included star quarterback Michael Vick going to prison and coach Bobby Petrino leaving the team after just 13 games.

The Falcons quickly turned things around under Smith, going 11-5 and making the playoffs in his first season. They followed with a 9-7 mark -- the first consecutive winning years in franchise history -- and then went 13-3 this season, earning the top seed in the NFC playoffs.

They were routed by the Green Bay Packers 48-21 in the divisional round, but that did nothing to lessen the confidence of owner Arthur Blank. He quickly moved to keep Smith under contract until at least 2014.

"When we hired Mike Smith in 2008, we believed we had found the total package: a head coach with strong leadership skills and experience and the track record to back it up, and a man of high character and integrity," Blank said in a statement released by the Falcons. "In his three seasons with us, coach Smith has demonstrated all of these characteristics, and then some."

Smith has a cumulative record of 33-15, easily the best three-year coaching mark in franchise history. The only blemish on his resume is an 0-2 mark in the playoffs.

"I am looking forward to continuing to build upon the solid foundation we have in place within our organization and on our football team," Smith said in the team statement. "We are going to continue to work as hard as we can to bring a championship to Falcons fans and to the city of Atlanta."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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