Since taking over in Atlanta following the Bobby Petrino fiasco, Mike Smith has posted five consecutive winning seasons and four playoff berths. Smith ranks among the top five coaches all-time over their first five seasons:
1: George Seifert, 1989-93, 62-18: He flopped during a three-year stint with the Panthers. But Seifert kept the 49ers machine rolling after succeeding Bill Walsh, winning a Super Bowl in his first season.
2T Guy Chamberlin, 1922-26, 55-9-6: A player-coach in the NFL’s earliest years, Chamberlin won four championships for Canton, Cleveland and Frankford.
2T Mike Tomlin, 2007-11, 55-25: At 36, Tomlin became the youngest coach to win the Super Bowl during his second season with Pittsburgh. Had Steelers back in the Super Bowl two years later.
4T: Chuck Knox, 1973-77, 54-15-1: “Ground Chuck” began and ended his coaching career with the L.A. Rams. Also coached at Buffalo and Seattle during a 22-year career.
4T Mike Smith, 2008-present, 54-22: For all his accomplishments, Smith will not quiet his critics until he wins a playoff game. Has one more win than Baltimore’s John Harbaugh (53-23) over same period.