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Atlanta Falcons owner: Mike Smith not on hot seat

Under the direction of general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith, the Atlanta Falcons have had the most regular-season success in franchise history.

Over the last four seasons, the Falcons are 43-21, posting a winning record in all four seasons, an accomplishment they managed just eight times in the previous 42 seasons and never in back-to-back years.

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The Falcons have yet to win a playoff game in three appearances, however, which could increase the temperature of Smith's seat. In a Q&A with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Falcons owner Arthur Blank said that isn't the case.

"He's not on any hot seat," Blank said. "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.

"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. And Thomas being named executive of the year twice the last four years have both been very impressive. I have a high degree of confidence in the partnership and the consistency of the team and the sustainability of the team we have."

A lack of postseason success eventually will result in Smith being placed on the hot seat, but now is not that time. Smith signed a three-year contract extension last year, and he has the Falcons headed in the right direction.

If Blank ever feels less than blessed to have Smith at the helm, Falcons president Rich McKay should show him the video of Bobby Petrino doing the "Pig Sooie" chant.

Follow Brian McIntyre on Twitter @brian_mcintyre.

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