Falcons fans are tired. Tired of not winning, tired of being embarrassed, and tired of Dan Quinn’s empty words. This is not Cincinnati; Atlanta will not tolerate a decade of upper-tier mediocrity from Quinn. We have tasted a Championship again thanks to Atlanta United, and the city is hungrier than ever. Either win or get someone in here that can.
I have been very critical of Quinn recently. Outside of the Super Bowl run, which ended up being the greatest embarrassment in the history of Atlanta sports mind you, he has done little to prove that he is the man that will lead the Falcons to the promised land. Pep talks and slogans are great, but a 36-28 record and a choke job in front of the entire country is not going to cut it.
Quinn stated that keeping Vic Beasley on the roster by exercising his fifth-year option is “the plan right now.” If Beasley is on the roster once the new league year officially starts, his $12.81 million base salary will be the highest on the team. If the Falcons do decide to keep him on the roster, the team will be rewarding a player that posted a total of five sacks for the second season in a row. Cutting Matt Bryant but exercising Beasley’s option shows that Quinn clearly does not understand value production.
Beasley is Quinn’s guy. He was Quinn’s first ever draft pick as a head coach, but paying him over $2.5 million per sack recorded last year is baffling. Beasley failed to bounce back after a porous 2017. Instead, he decided to showcase his lack of motor and secondary pass rushing moves. For any logical organization, it would be time to move on from the underwhelming pass rusher, but the Falcons’ brass is showing us they don’t operate by logic.
Dan Quinn is a pep talk and slogan connoisseur, sounding like a collection of motivational posters. He says all of the right things but lacks transparency. “In Brotherhood” is a great hashtag when you’re winning, but once you start losing it becomes meaningless. Speeches do not matter; wins do. His lack of awareness, coupled with his inability to manage games and get through to his players consistently, makes his words empty and obsolete. This was on display when the 4-4 Falcons, who were fighting for their playoff lives, went into Cleveland and got steamrolled because of their heartless play and lack of urgency.
There have been too many instances where Quinn has been complacent. Instead of attempting to replace the talent on defense lost because of injuries immediately, Quinn decided to stand pat and refused to add a piece (such as Eric Reid, who had a great season in Carolina).
In an interview with 92.9 The Game, Quinn said “I’m comfortable at center and left tackle in the same way as you said. Past that, you scrub every bit of it.
After publicly stating that he was comfortable with only two players on the offensive line – Jake Matthews and Alex Mack – the team extends Ty Sambrailo and names him a starter a month later, and has yet to decide on Ryan Schraeder – who has a $7.5 million cap hit next season. By the day, it appears more and more likely that the offensive line outside of Matthews and Mack will be a patchwork ragtag group that includes Sambrailo/Schraeder, Fusco, and whatever extremely cheap free agent or young rookie the Falcons decide to add.
This is in addition to Quinn deciding to keep Vic Beasley – who was rated as the worst of 106 edge rushers by Pro Football Focus for most of the season before being bumped up to 103 by season’s end. The Falcons failed to generate anything that resembled a pass rush last year, yet Quinn seems to believe that another year of Beasley is worth the $12.8 million that could be used actually finding players that do their job and rush the passer.
Dan Quinn is not a bad coach by any stretch of the imagination. He has done a quality job evaluating talent in the draft and has done wonders for changing the culture and identity of the team. Those things are great, but if that’s what Arthur Blank cared about he would have held on to Mike Smith. Falcons fans are aching for a Super Bowl. If Dan Quinn proves that he cannot deliver, the franchise would be doing the city of Atlanta a massive disservice by holding on to him past this year.
With Matt Ryan and a bevy of talent on both sides of the ball, it’s Super Bowl or bust for Atlanta.