The Atlanta Falcons and Arthur Smith agreed to terms on Friday for Smith to become the next head coach, and there's already some speculation as to whom Smith could potentially target as coordinators on his staff.
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler tweeted minutes after the Falcons made the announcement about Smith that a name "strongly connected to Arthur Smith's staff as he takes the Atlanta Falcons job: Bears passing game coordinator Dave Ragone. I'm told there's a good chance he becomes Smith's OC after five years in Chicago."
Smith and Ragone worked together in Tennessee during the 2011-13 seasons. Smith was a Titans offensive line and tight end assistant coach while Ragone was the quarterbacks coach in 2013. From 2011-12, Ragone was the Titans' wide receivers coach while Smith was an offensive assistant/quality control coach in 2012 and a defensive assistant/quality control coach in 2011.
According the Chicago Bears, Ragone, 41, is in his fifth season with the team and 2020 was his first as pass game coordinator. He spent the previous four as quarterbacks coach. Before joining the Bears, Ragone spent the 2015 season as an offensive quality control coach in Washington. Some of the quarterbacks Ragone has coached and worked with include Mitchell Trubisky, Jay Cutler, Kirk Cousins and Jake Locker.
Smith, 38, has spent the last decade with the Titans and has been the Titans' offensive coordinator for the last two seasons, helping revive quarterback Ryan Tannehill's career (he was the NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2019) and featuring running back Derrick Henry, who has developed into one of the most productive – and feared – backs in the league.
Under Smith in 2020, the Titans offense finished the regular season ranked No. 3 in the league in total yards per game (396.4) and No. 2 overall in rushing yards per game (168.1) as Henry rushed for 2,027 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. The Titans were also fourth in the league in scoring, putting up 30.7 points per game.
From 2019-20, Smith orchestrated one of the NFL's top offenses with the Titans leading the league in red zone touchdown percentage (75.2), ranking fifth in points per game (27.9) and fifth in total offense (379.6). He oversaw the second-ranked rushing attack in the NFL, averaging 153.5 yards per game on the ground.
The former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator becomes the 18th head coach in Atlanta Falcons franchise history.