20 head coaching possibilities for 2016

12 of 21

Dec 28, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith on the sideline against the Carolina Panthers at the Georgia Dome. The Panthers defeated the Falcons 34-3. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Smith

Currently – unemployed

Hired in 2008 by the Atlanta Falcons, Smith led his team to four playoff appearances in his first five seasons. Those seasons included one 10 win season, one 11 win season, and two 13 win seasons. His lone playoff absence in those five years was a 9-7 season. That being said the Falcons floundered the last two years under his coaching finishing below .500. After the 2014 season the Falcons opted to go in a different direction hiring Seahawks DC Dan Quinn.

Smith is well-respected around the league and will almost assuredly land on teams short lists for interviews. The question is will he get hired. Sitting out 2015 didn’t hurt him but it’s likely he will return to a team as a defensive coach. He has previously served as a linebackers coach and a defensive coordinator. In 2015 he will most likely join a new head coaches staff as a defensive coach.

Next: Matt Patricia