Ex Falcons QB Matt Ryan thinks Commanders nailed Dan Quinn hire

NFL: OCT 15 Commanders at Falcons

The Falcons are beginning a new chapter with Raheem Morris, but a couple of old friends are doing the same as Matt Ryan breaks into the TV side of the NFL, and Dan Quinn takes over the Commanders.

Ryan and Quinn bring some fond and not-so-fond memories to Falcons fans, bringing the franchise to its highest highs — several playoff berths, including one that ended in the Super Bowl.

Though there were great memories, there was an equal amount of heartbreak. The run in 2016 was special, but it ended in tragedy for Atlanta.

In 2015, Ryan and Quinn led the Falcons to a 5-0 start before going 3-8 the rest of the way. Even the 2017 campaign ended in disappointment.

However, in back-to-back seasons, each moved on from Atlanta. Ryan moved on to the Colts after the 2021 season before moving into a broadcasting role with CBS last year, while Quinn joined the Cowboys for the last three years and has taken his next head coaching gig.

Even though the pair never reached the top of the mountain, Matt Ryan still believes the Commanders nailed the Dan Quinn hire.

“Dan is an awesome coach and I loved my time with him in Atlanta,” Ryan said to the media during Super Bowl week. “I think they’re going to get somebody who’s got great energy day in and day out. One of his greatest strengths is building the right culture. In my opinion, that’s what’s needed in Washington, and I think he’ll do an excellent job at that.”

The Commanders went 4-13 last year, but it was even worse than that. Washington lost its final eight games, extending their postseason drought to three years, and continued their streak of sub-.500 finishes, which began in 2016.

The club has only made the playoffs twice in the last nine seasons, and Ryan believes Quinn is the right guy for the job. “They’ll be a team that’s going to play hard – that’s kind of the hallmark of what he believes in,” Ryan said. “He knows how to motivate guys extremely well.”

For a Commanders team that has struggled to be themselves in recent years, the former Falcons quarterback believes the new head coach will do a wonderful job in Washington to bring everyone together in unity.

“He made you comfortable really quickly,” Ryan said. “I think that’s one of his greatest strengths is that he makes guys comfortable, free to be themselves and free to play the way they’re capable of.”

Falcons fans know better than any what kind of “ra ra” coach Quinn can be but denying his ability to coach a football team would be foolish. Yes, he made mistakes and his optimistic coach speak ran stale, but the Falcons experienced success during his tenure.

Dan Quinn should be an upgrade over Ron Rivera.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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