Now-former Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith lashed out with vulgarities at New Orleans head coach Dennis Allen on Sunday in one of his final acts leading the NFL team.
Hours before he was fired after three straight 7-10 losing seasons and after the Falcons’ playoff hopes were dashed in a blowout loss to the NFC South rival Saints, Smith lost his cool in what was supposed to be a handshake meeting at midfield with Allen.
Instead of receiving a handshake, Allen took a verbal drubbing from a fuming Smith.
CBS cameras caught some of what was said, and it isn’t difficult to decipher some of the language that was used.
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers might find offensive.
Arthur Smith and Dennis Allen have a postgame chat 😳 pic.twitter.com/s469d2OcWq
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) January 7, 2024
Smith was irate about a late touchdown by New Orleans.
The Saints, leading 41-17, lined up in victory formation on the goal line with just 1:13 on the clock.
But rather than take a knee, as Allen later said he told them to, the players decided to score.
Saints running back Jamaal Williams took it one yard to the house for a junk-time touchdown with no resistance.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) January 7, 2024
Allen later explained that the decision to score was not his.
“We should’ve taken a knee right there,” he said in his postgame news conference.
“[The players] asked me about getting Jamaal a touchdown at the end,” the coach said. “I said I wanted to take a knee. We put victory out there and the guys kind of wanted to get him a touchdown, and they did that on their own.”
Allen concluded, “That’s not acceptable.”
Dennis Allen apologized to #DirtyBirds after game Sunday.
Says he told #Saints players to go into “victory formation” and take a knee, but players decided they wanted to get RB Jamaal Williams a TD.
Atlanta HC Arthur Smith cursing DA after the game as they met at midfield. pic.twitter.com/qP0D8RZOpB
— Fletcher Mackel (@FletcherWDSU) January 7, 2024
Saints backup quarterback Jameis Winston confirmed that the players overrode their coach’s call.
Jameis Winston apologized to Dennis Allen because the play call was “victory”. But also explained to Allen it was a “team decision” to go for the Saints TD. “We decided as a team to do it.” pic.twitter.com/BorTC6p4nm
— Garland Gillen (@garlandgillen) January 8, 2024
It is unlikely the garbage time score had anything to do with Smith’s firing, as the 41-year-old posted identical 7-10 records for three straight seasons after he was hired to helm the team in 2021.
Smith met with Falcons owner Arthur Blank and CEO Rich McKay on Sunday evening and was let go.
The Atlanta Falcons have dismissed Arthur Smith as the team’s head coach following a meeting tonight in Atlanta with Falcons Owner and Chairman, Arthur M. Blank, and the team’s CEO, Rich McKay https://t.co/Qrjuq4klH4
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) January 8, 2024
Blank issued a statement about the decision but didn’t mention Smith’s expletive-filled tirade.
“Decisions like this are never easy and they never feel good,” he said, according to ESPN. “We have profound respect for Coach Smith and appreciate all the hard work and dedication he has put into the Falcons over the last three years.”
“He has been part of building a good culture in our football team, but the results on the field have not met our expectations,” the owner said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.