Falcons expected to fire Mike Smith; could be eyeing Broncos' Adam Gase

Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase is expected to be targeted by a few NFL teams, possibly the Falcons. (Getty)
Denver's Adam Gase is expected to be targeted by a few teams, possibly the Falcons. (Getty Images)

Falcons owner Arthur Blank has informed multiple parties that he plans on moving on from head coach Mike Smith at the end of the season, sources said, and it would take a shocking playoff run to alter that scenario. Blank has also told some confidants that, for now, he expects to retain general manager Thomas Dimitroff, though it could be revisited through the hiring process.

Atlanta has fallen well below expectations the past two seasons, and while the Falcons are alive in the lowly NFC South despite having won just one game outside of their division all season -- against Arizona -- and have lost three of their last four. A loss to the Saints today would end their season, and even a hallow division win, at say 7-9, would not placate Blank, sources said, who believes some significant changes are necessary.

The Falcons expected to compete for a Super Bowl since 2012, and have suffered a 9-21 record the last two seasons.

While Smith is beloved in the organization, and he helped rebuild the franchise, he entered this season under pressure to improve the team and the season has been another struggle. The roster has also decayed and has had ongoing issues along the offensive and defensive line, and, depending on the pedigree of the coach Blank lands, making alterations to the front office as well could come into play.

Among the candidates the Falcons are doing due diligence on includes Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, with team president Rich McKay among those working through backchannels gathering information on top candidates. Stanford coach David Shaw could be a consideration as well.

Blank has longed to land a proven winner in the past, but with Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden staying in the broadcast booth, the number of candidates fitting that description are limited, and the Falcons next coach could end up being decidedly younger.

CBS Sports Insider

Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday... Full Bio

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