It shouldn’t have to be said it is playoffs or bust for Dan Quinn after a disappointing two seasons. Luckily for him, he has an owner who values continuity, or he’d probably already be out the door. But in an article by ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure, Arthur Blank has publicly made it known what his expectations are for the 2020 season.
“Yep,” Blank said when asked if the playoffs are the standard. “I can definitely say that’s right.”
Usually, when expectations are made public, there is no backing down from them. Don’t get it twisted: this is a message to the Falcons’ head coach.
Though Atlanta has come up short of expectations the past couple of seasons, Quinn did lead them to their first Super Bowl appearance in 18 years. However, the reality is that he only has a .500 or better record in two of his five seasons as head coach. Quinn still seems to have control of the locker room, and his midseason adjustments that led the Falcons to go 6-2 over their final eight games saved his job.
“It’s clear that the players love the coach and want to perform for him at the highest level. So that’s what gives me the confidence going into this year. Plus, the draft will be good for us this year. We have three picks in the first two rounds. We’ll definitely be able to improve our team.”
While the Falcons have a lot on their plate this offseason, they are at a bit of an advantage over their fellow NFC South rivals. Of all the teams in the division, they are the only one that knows who their starting QB will be in 2020. Whether or not they capitalize is a different question.
Quinn is not the only man in the organization whose job could be in jeopardy, either. While it is gut-wrenching to do with a 34-year old franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan, the team may see a complete overhaul if expectations are not met in 2020. This year’s draft, and the Falcons’ performance on the field, will dictate the foreseeable future for Atlanta.
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