The Falcons brutal 34-33 loss to the Arizona Cardinals became the latest blunder in what has already become a forgetful season, and it’s not even halfway through yet. While Matt Ryan had the offense humming better than it has all year, Dan Quinn’s defense looked confused and downright lifeless once again – this time to a rookie head coach and quarterback.
I’ve stated over the last few weeks that Quinn has earned the right to at least finish out the season. Despite what’s happened this year, Quinn has always represented this organization with class, still seems to have the confidence of the leaders of this team, and has led the Falcons to heights only one other coach in the franchise’s history has been able to reach. On top of that, there aren’t any other promising options that could step in for him in the interim. However, after another lackluster effort by his defense, making Kyler Murray look like Steve Young in his prime, there is no reason for Blank to let this continue.
Quinn put the onus on himself by firing Marquand Manuel and taking over the defensive coordinator duties. As a result, there is no discipline, the pass rush has somehow taken a step back despite being one of the worst in the league last season, and players are continually finding themselves out of position in critical situations. Are the Falcons playing man? Or are they playing zone? I’m not really sure, and neither are the players, which is the issue at its core, and Blank is growing restless.
Like most teams, the Falcons aren’t fond of making midseason coaching changes. Nonetheless, there are exceptions, and according to Ian Rapaport, Blank is considering a move during the team’s bye week.
“According to people familiar with Blank’s thinking, the owner wants to see progress over the next three weeks before the Week 9 bye or changes could come, with Quinn among them,” Rapaport reports.
“Traditionally, Blank does not embrace midseason coaching changes. Despite the slow start to this season, the philosophy of judging at the end of the season is still the preferred approach.”
That came out right before yesterday’s loss to the Cardinals. Of course, there was no progress shown in Arizona, especially defensively. The whole team is uninspiring, and rightfully, the fan base has become disinterested. The rest of the home games at the Benz are going to look like a ghost town. And the few fans that will show up are going to be pulling for the other team.
At the core, Dan Quinn is not a terrible coach. He obviously did something right in Seattle and was one play away from leading the Falcons to their first Super Bowl. But somewhere along the line, Quinn completely lost the focus and confidence of his team. Players are regressing, and the schematic failures become more apparent with each passing week. Perhaps Quinn makes it to the bye week to make the transition more comfortable, but there is no chance he turns it around. Blank needs to cut the cord – and the sooner he does it – the better.