FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons denied a report that coach Mike Smith has had “persistent chest
related discomfort” on Thursday.
“He feels fine,” said Reggie Roberts, the team’s vice president of communications.
Following Sunday’s Falcons-Carolina game, Smith, 52, had chest pains and was taken to a hospital before the team’s charter flight left for Atlanta.
Smith had undisclosed tests and arrived back in Atlanta at 3 a.m. He was at the team’s facilities around 3:30 p.m. and held a team meeting at 4 p.m.
“He spent the week preparing his team for the nationally-televised game against Jacksonville,” Roberts said. “Smith had a previously scheduled appointment. It was made after he left the hospital in Charlotte.”
The Falcons (8-5) are set to play the Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9) at 8:20 p.m. tonight at the Georgia Dome.
On Monday, Smith said he has had to make some lifestyle changes, but doesn’t plan to change his coaching style.
On Thursday, a walk-through practice, Smith completed the team’s tentative schedule for next week. He’s prepared to give the players off until Tuesday. They are set to have Wednesday off and will practice again on Thursday and Friday, have a walk-through on Saturday and leave for New Orleans on Christmas for their Monday game against the Saints.
Smith, like most coaches around the NFL, has been known to spend a few nights at the facilities. He has his own room in the team’s dormitories.
After last season, Smith signed a three-year contract extension in February.
With three games to play, the Falcons are 8-5 and fighting for their third playoff berth in four seasons under Smith. The team is 41-20 under Smith.
Smith originally signed a four-year contract that was worth between $8 million to $10 million. Terms of the contract extension were not disclosed.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog