We know the Falcons currently have a bevy of decisions to make on the coaching staff, most importantly at offensive coordinator. At Thursday’s season-ending press conference, Dan Quinn spoke in detail regarding the selection process.
First off, Quinn stated that the Falcons are looking for someone that can come in and adapt to what the Falcons are trying to do – the identity he wants to establish. He’s not necessarily looking for someone that is familiar with the team, and specifically Matt Ryan. Ryan will be involved in the conversation but will not have a say in the final decision.
Dan Quinn says "familiarity is not the topic" when looking for a new offensive coordinator who Matt Ryan is familiar with. He's looking for someone who can adjust and adapt to the scheme. #Falcons
— William McFadden (@willmcfadden) January 3, 2019
Matt Ryan doesn't have influence in who the Falcons will pick to be the OC. The scheme is not changing, expect new wrinkles, but not wholesale changes to the scheme. #Falcons
— Kelsey Conway (@FalconsKelsey) January 3, 2019
Quinn wants Atlanta to continue to utilize the zone blocking scheme, and he will undoubtedly be looking for a coordinator that can revamp the Falcons rushing attack. He wants this team to be fast and physical, and that is on both sides of the ball, not just the defense.
But Quinn and GM, Thomas Dimitroff, have many more crucial decisions to make outside of the offensive coordinator. Grady Jarrett is set to become an unrestricted free-agent. According to Pro Football Focus, Jarrett was the Falcons best overall player in 2018, and there is no arguing he was the best player on the defense. The Falcons cannot afford to lose Jarrett to another team. And according to Vaughn Mcclure, Dimitroff confirmed that was the case.
Dimitroff also mentions the importance of taking care of Julio Jones, who held out for quite a while before the season. He returned once the Falcons tweaked his contract, but both parties knew that was not a long-term solution. Julio Jones led the league in receiving once again this year and became the first receiver in NFL history to catch for 1,400 yards in five straight seasons. Meanwhile, Antonio Brown is out here feuding with everybody. It might be time to make Jones the highest paid receiver in football.
Lastly, McClure, mentions that neither Quinn nor Dimitroff “sound” ready to give up on Vic Beasley. The Falcons took on Beasley’s fifth-year option which will owe him nearly $13 million next year. Quite a payday for a player who was the worst at his position according to Pro Football Focus.
Of course, the Falcons can cut Beasley before the start of the new season without paying him a cent. They will have a couple of months to make that decision. But for now, it doesn’t seem like they have pushed him out the door just yet.