Commanders fire Ron Rivera, Arthur Smith in Atlanta

The first domino in the NFL’s Black Monday coaching cycle fell on Sunday night.

The Atlanta Falcons have fired head coach Arthur Smith, the team has confirmed. Smith finished 7-10 for the third straight season, with an overall record of 21-30 as the Falcons’ head coach and no playoff appearances.

Following Smith in the firing cycle was Ron Rivera of the Washington Commanders, who was fired on Monday.

Under Rivera, the Commanders won the NFC East with a 7-9 record in 2020. They never improved after that, going 7-10 in 2021, 8-8-1 in 2022, and 2023 was even worse. -bad with 4-13.

Who else will join Smith and Rivera in looking for a new job? Three other head coaches were previously fired this season: Josh McDaniels of the Las Vegas Raiders, Frank Reich of the Carolina Panthers and Brandon Staley of the Los Angeles Chargers. In addition, two general managers, Dave Ziegler of the Raiders and Tom Telesco of the Chargers, were also let go.

Keep up with all the changes at some of the top positions in the NFL right here with Yahoo Sports.

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera and Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith embrace after Washington’s 24-16 win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 15, 2023 in Atlanta. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Live35 updates

  • The Jaguars fired DC Mike Caldwell after their late season slump cost them a playoff spot. Details here.

  • The Panthers also announced interview requests with eight candidates for their general manager position:

    — Giants assistant GM Brandon Brown
    — Buccaneers assistant GM Mike Greenberg
    — Senior Vice President of Football Operations Brand Tillis
    — Eagles assistant GM Alec Halaby
    — Saint Assistant GM Khai Harley
    — Ravens vice president of football administration Nick Matteo
    — Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds
    — Raiders interim GM Champ Kelly

  • Dennis Allen is reportedly safe in New Orleans, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

  • Panthers announce they have requested interviews with 9 candidates for their head coaching job:
    — Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson
    — Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slovik
    — Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan
    — Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn
    — Ravens defensive coordinator Mike McDonald
    — Dolphins offensive coordinator Frank Smith
    —Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris
    — Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken
    — Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales

  • Here’s what Bob Myers brings to the Commanders as they clean house

  • More Panthers HC and GM candidates emerging:

  • Jim Harbaugh and the NFL: If Not Now, Then When?

    Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh speaks during a news conference before the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game between Washington and Michigan, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, in Houston.  The match will be played on Monday.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh remains a hot name in the NFL. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    As the start of the national championship game between Washington and Michigan approaches, the conversation about Jim Harbaugh’s coaching future will only get louder. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports dove into it Sunday night, writing:

    Jim Harbaugh may even take advantage of a new NFL rule that prohibits currently hired assistant coaches from talking to teams until after the divisional round of the Jan. 21 playoffs. He can talk to whoever he wants, whenever he wants.

    Although multiple sources around Harbaugh believe he does, there is an overwhelming unpredictability for a man who has never operated in a conventional way.

    “At the end of the day it’s Jim, who knows,” said one confidant.

  • Bill Belichick still refers to the Patriots as “our” football team

    New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick offered some insight into how he’s approaching the next few days. And he sounds like someone who is very invested in staying in New England after a miserable 4-13 season.

    From Yahoo Sports’ Jory Epstein story from Foxborough on Monday:

    Belichick’s coaching and game planning remain widely praised, while his personnel decisions draw more criticism. Could he relinquish control of the front office to stay in New England?

    “Yeah, look, I’m all for whatever, collectively we decide as an organization that it’s the best thing to do to help our football team,” Belichick said when asked. “I have many roles in this and rely on many people to help me with these responsibilities. If someone should have the last word, I rely on many other people to help.

    “Whatever this process is, I’m just a part of it.”

  • The commanders’ interview wish list is reportedly expanding

  • Brian Daboll fires Giants special teams, offensive line coaches

    New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll and GM Joe Schoen announced a series of coaching changes at a news conference Monday morning, and it’s an unexpectedly long list.

    Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey and offensive line coach Bobby Johnson both are fired.

    Running backs coach Jeff Nixon was hired by Syracuse to be their offensive coordinator.

    Strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald was recruited by Florida.

    There are two coaches who (probably) won’t be leaving. Daboll said he expects offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale to return in 2024.

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