An open letter to Coach Dan Quinn

Dan Quinn

Hey Coach Quinn,

I know you’re a big fan of the website, and even though you’re in Dallas now, I’m sure you’ll still be an avid reader. Speaking of which, I’m happy you got another job — you truly deserved it. It was a bit of a wild ride over the past five years in Atlanta, and you were named head coach of the Falcons right before we started SportsTalkATL. Yesterday was the first time we’ve had to discuss a new coach, and I have say, it’s pretty weird. After we improved from 6-10 to 8-8 in 2015, fans were over the moon just to be back to average. 13-3 in 2012 felt like decades ago, much like how 2016 feels now. The jury was still out in 2017, and after a quick stop from Sarkisian, Falcons fans fully expected 2018 to be the year Atlanta got back to the Super Bowl and finished the job.

I won’t give you a hard time for hiring Dirk Koetter, I’m sure you’ve realized how big of a mistake that was by now. I still believe he sank your ship. Back-to-back 7-9 seasons with multiple blunders caused much of the fanbase, myself included, to turn on you quickly after the team was a quarter and a half away from glory. While nothing will ever change that, you always had the support of the players — even in the most gut wrenching of losses. There have been plenty of times when I’ve cursed your name while watching the Falcons inevitably implode, and after hearing you say you were “pissed off” every Monday — the anger among the fans grew.

There was a short celebration when you were dismissed after the 5th loss in a row to open 2020, but something just didn’t feel right about it. After all the heartbreak, the anger, the absolute dismay that you still had a job — part of me still felt bad that you were let go. This is a business, and your time was over with the Falcons. However, as fans, we can be brutal sometimes with our expectations. We are a damaged group, in particular. We were hard on you because we saw what this team was in 2016, and you never managed to recapture the greatest season in Falcons history. Was it unfair to expect that? I don’t think so, but that’s just how it was. Nothing personal. Overall, you brought us some of the best years of Falcons football and did so much for the city of Atlanta — especially with Salute to Service. This is probably the only time since Super Bowl 51 that I’ve said this to you — but thank you. You represented this team with class and plenty of players on this roster are better men because of it.

You’re a good guy Coach Quinn, and as we turn the page to the Arthur Smith era, I really do wish you the best of luck going forward… except for one Sunday next fall when Matt Ryan shreds your defense like a rotisserie chicken.

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