If Arthur Blank proved anything in 2019, it’s that it takes a lot for him to fire one of his coaches. He has been known to hang onto his guys ever since he bought the Falcons, but to call Dan Quinn a lame-duck after starting the season 1-7 is selling the situation short. He had to wonder if his keys would work every Monday morning he showed up to Flowery Branch. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that Quinn would be out at season’s end, perhaps even before then. But some self-reflection, that was highlighted by firing himself as defensive coordinator, and a 6-2 end to the year bought Quinn at least one more season as head coach. However, the bar is set this time.
Atlanta Falcons beat reporter, Kelsey Conway, tweeted out Wednesday afternoon that Blank “fully expects the Falcons to be competing in the playoffs next year.”
#Falcons owner Arthur Blank says he fully expects the Falcons to be competing in the playoffs next year.
— Kelsey Conway (@FalconsKelsey) January 29, 2020
Blank probably answers that question the same way every time it’s asked. He’s the one writing the checks; it would be foolish for him not to think the team is heading in the right direction. If Blank thought differently, he would have cleaned house this past offseason. With that in mind, this is 100% the last chance for Dan Quinn and should be for Thomas Dimitroff as well.
I’m not even sure playoffs should be the goal. There needs to be a lasting change from start to finish next season, or multiple substantial firings have to happen. For the entirety of Quinn’s head coaching career, it’s been a roller coaster ride, with four wins following four losses and vice versa. Blank believes the Falcons’ success from the end of last year is sustainable because of the changes that were made. I’m just not sure that isn’t who the Falcons have become under this regime – a hot and cold mess that is incredibly unpredictable from week-to-week.