Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith
Dec 28, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith reacts to the play against the Carolina Panthers during the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Panthers defeated the Falcons 34-3. Reuters

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said there may be more firings while they are looking for a replacement to Mike Smith as coach. Blank said that in due time they will be able to figure out what moves to make as they tackle more team issues.

The Falcons had the chance to qualify for the playoffs with the weak NFC South oppostion, but were routed by the Carolina Panthers 34 - 3in their home field last Sunday. The Falcons have so far retained general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who will help in the search of a new coach. Dimitroff admitted committing mistakes and took responsibilty for the team's poor performance.

Blank said he wasn't happy about firing Smith, calling the move one of the hardest personnel decisions he had to make. Since he assumed the head coaching position with the Falcons in 2008, Smith went 66-46 in regular season games but was just 1-4 in the playoffs, which and serves as the only significant criticism against him.

Hotly pursued to replace Smith is Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, 36, who utilized the running game to to ease the burden from quarterback Peyton Manning's aging arm. The Falcons have already requested an interview with Gase, who assumed the offensive coordinator spot with the Broncos from Mike McCoy after the latter assumed the head coaching position with the San Diego Chargers. He also previously coached both the wide receivers and quarterbacks with the Broncos. The Cleveland Browns are also eyeing Gase and are willing to wait until after the Super Bowl to interview him.

The Falcons have also requested to interview Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Quinn who filled in after Gus Bradley took the head coaching job with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is also credited for developing young talent. Bowles achieved impressive results with his aggressive defense plays and was able to maximize production from mediocre veterans.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said former Jets coach Rex Ryan could be a candidate to replace Smith, who impressed Blank in interviews during the Falcons' last search for a head coach. Others in the Falcons list were New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who clashed with players and the front office people while he was with the Broncos; Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, who turned around the team's defense in just a single season; Keith Armstrong, special teams coordinator for the Falcons and David Shaw, head coach of the Stanford Cardinal football team.