Updated: Jul 24
Down on their luck, it is time to uplift the Atlanta Falcons, rather than bury them and make hasty decisions.
Quarterback Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons currently sit last in the NFC South with a 1-7 record. After having high aspirations to win the division with the news that the New Orleans Saints loss their future Hall of Fame starting quarterback to injury, and the Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggling to get on the right track, this was head coach’s Dan Quinn and his Falcons team division to win. However, the Falcons find themselves searching for answers and facing pressure from media and fans to make a change in their coaching staff. Quinn has been the head coach of the Falcons since 2015. In his tenure with the Atlanta Falcons, he is 40-37, including two playoff wins and one playoff loss.
In addition, he has won the division once, made the playoffs twice and made it to the Super Bowl once with the Falcons. Yet, with a consecutive losing season on the horizon, media and fans are calling for the defensive-minded head coach to be relieved of his duties.
If the owner of the Atlanta Falcons, Arthur Blank, and general manager of the Falcons, Thomas Dimitroff, agree to fire Quinn, they would need to bring in a coach that is offensively-minded. Currently, the Falcons score 20.6 points per game, which ranks 21st in the NFL, while averaging 385.5 yards per game, which ranks 7th in the NFL. The Falcons’ problem is that they have sluggish starts in games which causes them to have to fight back into the game, rather than control the game. The Falcons offense consists of: 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan, two time first-team All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones, first round pick wide receiver Calvin Ridley and two time Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman. This offense is too talented to have stagnant starts every week. By replacing Quinn with a coach who will get creative with the offense and maximize every player’s talent, this would be a welcome sight for the Falcons.
However, firing Quinn would make an already abysmal Falcons defense worse than it is at the moment. Currently, the Falcons are ranked 27th in total defense, allowing 31.2 points per game which is the second worst in the NFL. This defense is a liability week-in and week-out and firing Quinn will not resolve their defensive woes. It will only create more defensive deficiencies, and the season would be a lost year for the Falcons organization. Moreover, firing Quinn would be a disservice to Quinn and the winning culture he brought to Atlanta. Prior to Quinn, the Falcons had not been to the Super Bowl since 1996 and were an underachieving team in the NFL, having a record of 18-30 from 2013-2015. With the addition of Quinn, the Falcons became a respectable team with only one losing season in his tenure. If the Falcons fire Quinn, it would be an abandonment of Quinn’s winning culture and result in the Falcons falling back to mediocrity.
Therefore, the Atlanta Falcons should not fire Dan Quinn yet. They should give him one more season to lead this Falcons team to a potential playoff berth and Super Bowl. If the Falcons want to continue to be a winning organization, Quinn should be afforded one more season to be the head coach. If it is unsuccessful, then his services should be terminated, but if it is a success, he should remain the Falcons’ head coach for the foreseeable future.