Arthur Smith has been with the Falcons for just 15 months, and he's now second-longest tenured head coach in the NFC South.
Wrap your brain around that.
He moved into that position after Bruce Arians relinquished his post as Buccaneers head coach and moved into the team's front office. The Buccaneers formally announced the move on Wednesday evening, but NBC's Peter King and the L.A. Times' Sam Farmer first broke the news. This comes a few months after Sean Payton stepped away from New Orleans. That makes Carolina's Matt Rhule the NFC South's senior coach, with Smith in the second spot.
Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles will be promoted to head coach, as Arians' hand-picked successor.
Read Arians' full statement on this move right here.
That keeps continuity on the staff, with Bowles in a bigger role but still running his scheme. Having offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich will maintain things on the offensive side, in addition to being really good at his job as a play caller.
And, you know, they have Tom Brady back from a really short retirement.
That's why this big news shouldn't shake up the NFC South that much. Tampa Bay remain the clear front-runner to win the division, with the Falcons, Panthers and Saints in various states of flux.
The Falcons just traded Matt Ryan and have Marcus Mariota as the presumptive starter at this time. The Panthers have Sam Darnold, though they could well draft a quarterback. The Saints have a new head coach in Dennis Allen and, at this juncture, are running it back with Jameis Winston.
Brady's by far the best quarterback in the division and keeping continuity outside Arians' move to the front office. The Bucs will still be good. The rest of the division has to find itself a bit as we move towards the fall.
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