1. Ben Johnson could haunt Carolina Panthers' dreams for passing on him
Of all the potential candidates the Falcons could look to replace Arthur Smith with next season, the one that would do it for me would have to be Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. He has flourished on Dan Campbell's staff, as he has been empowered by his CEO-type head coach to go be excellent, man. Could you imagine if the Carolina Panthers hired him instead of Frank Reich?
In a way, the Falcons hiring Johnson would be on-par with them hiring Brian Callahan. The biggest difference is that I would know completely who is stirring the drink offensively. Callahan is very bright too, but you do have to wonder how much control Zac Taylor has over the Cincinnati Bengals' offensive play-calling. Since Campbell is a former tight end, it is all about Johnson in Detroit, man.
Since Johnson was a fresh face on the coaching carousel last season, a woebegone franchise like Atlanta could take advantage of his dark-horsed nature and pry him out of Detroit before a better-run organization does. What I really like about Johnson's offense is that it is punishing, aggressive and always looking to score points. The Falcons' skill-position players may really like the sound of that.
If the Falcons hire Johnson and win big, it would be a twisting of the knife in the Panthers' side, too.