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Atlanta Falcons fire coach Mike Smith

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Mike Smith promised a tougher team in 2014. He didn't deliver, and it now cost him his job.

The Atlanta Falcons announced Monday morning they fired the coach after the team was blown out 34-3 at home by the Carolina Panthers in a game that decided the NFC South.

The blistering loss and 6-10 record were too much for the franchise's most successful coach to keep his job.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported earlier Sunday that a win against Carolina might not have even been enough to save Smith's job.

The embarrassing loss made owner Arthur Blank's decision easy.

Rapoport also reported that the Falcons retained a search firm in the event they also fire general manager Thomas Dimitroff, per a source close to the situation. NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Monday that the sense is that Dimitroff's job is safe. However, Blank plans on shaking up the organizational structure, Breer reported, per a source. 

Smith brought the Falcons to the playoffs four times during his seven-year career with the team. The highlight was an NFC Championship appearance following a 13-3 regular-season campaign in 2012. In fact, the Falcons posted just two losing seasons under Smith, but those came in the last two years.

Smith ends his time in Atlanta with a 66-46 record.

With a franchise quarterback Matt Ryan, one of the most dynamic playmakers in Julio Jones and some good pieces on defense the Falcons will likely present the best coaching job opening in 2015.

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