Mike Smith is out in Atlanta, but that may not be the only change owner Arthur Blank decides to make.
"Hiring the head coach is the first move but may not be the only move we need to make," Blank told reporters on Monday. "Only time will tell. The process will dictate that as we dive more into these issues."
Blank called getting rid of Smith the hardest personnel decision he's ever had to make and was a bit terse with the media during his press conference, signaling that it was a move he wasn't happy about. Perhaps that is because he feels Dimitroff, who is safe for now, according to NFL Media's Albert Breer, shares in that blame.
He also wanted to make it clear that his executive search firm did not contact any coaches during the season, a nod to Smith and the respect he had for his former coach on the way out.
"(Smith) would say (the involvement of Korn/Ferry) was not (a distraction), but I'll also say to you the week before when CBS reported similar reports, and we beat the crap out of the Saints in New Orleans, I didn't hear a lot of reporting about was that a distraction, because obviously it wasn't," Blank said. "This was about the way we performed and to Carolina's credit, the way they performed. They performed beautifully on the field, and we didn't. Period."
Smith will likely be considered the best head coach in franchise history. Since 2008, he went 66-46 but was 1-4 in the playoffs. His postseason performances lingered as the only significant criticism.