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Quinn's 3 Rules Of Success

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(Welcome all! With the NFL becoming more of a passing league, the “Cover 9@9” blog is here for you every Wednesday at 9 a.m. We try to get to everything about the Atlanta Falcons from the Hometown Huddle to who blew that coverage against the Bears. But like Coach Dan Quinn, we’re headed to the beach and will miss you next Wednesday. We’ll back on July 8 and will take a closer look at the new coaching staff. -– D. Orlando Ledbetter)

1. Oprah Book Club and Beach time. Falcons coach Dan Quinn has been working pretty much nonstop since the end of the Super Bowl and after being named the Falcons 16th head coach on Feb. 2.

On Tuesday he spoke to Buckhead Business Association and today he’s headed down to tour the new stadium.

Shortly after that, the avid reader, is grabbing some books, magazines and other periodicals and heading to the beach.

“I do a lot of reading over the summer,” Quinn said. “Read, sit on the beach, family time and maybe next offseason I’ll learn how to golf.”

Quinn dismissed the players last Thursday and has had some time to reflect on the offseason.

“The main thing was when we challenged the guys, way back when I first got here, can you have the best offseason that you’ve ever had,” Quinn said. “That wasn’t just for the players.

“It was for Terry (Robiskie). OK, you started with the L.A. Raiders, dude. Not the Oakland Raiders. Can you have your best offseason? Bobby Turner and Richard Smith, who have been veteran coaches all the way down to guys who were just getting going in the NFL. We did the same thing with the players.”

Quinn said that most took him up on the challenge.

“There were so many guys who went for it,” Quinn said. “That was cool to see guys go, ‘I’m going to go for it.’ There were all of these indicators that said they were doing it. They were going for it. We threw a great offseason together.”

Quinn wasn’t the players to enjoy their time away, but also to keep training.

“When we come back, it’s not like ‘let’s get in shape,’” Quinn said. “You’ve seen how we practice. We’re going dude. That’s the main thing for me too, to make sure I can get away for a couple of weeks.”

2. Three rules of the program. Quinn shared some of his thoughts on leadership with the business leaders.

“Although our worlds are different,” Quinn said. “Mine’s is coaching. Yours is on the business side. But I think there are some similarities.”

During his first meeting with the team, Quinn outlined his three rules.

One – Protect the team

Two – No complaining/ No excuse.

Three – Be Early.

He expounded on those themes with competition being the overall theme throughout.

Protect the team is self-explanatory. He used this one before the team left for the offseason. For example, linebacker Prince Shembo was not protecting the team when got arrested for alleged animal cruelty in the death of a dog. His selfish act made him unworthy and he was released.

“This one is really about being a great teammate on and off the field,” Quinn said.

No complaining/no excuses. He doesn’t want to hear about what the Falcons don’t have. “This one is all about mental toughness,” Quinn said. “It’s not about placing the blame anywhere else. It’s basically accepting accountability for what you’re going to get done.”

Be early. “Basically, that’s just having your world in order,” Quinn said. “Be there early. If it says the meeting is going to start at 8 o’clock. We’re going to start at 8 o’clock. It’s a real sign of respect.”

The topic of competition is “near and dear” to Quinn’s heart. “Really, it’s a choice being a competitor,” Quinn said. “The whole program, this is the central theme of it. . . . really where the real competition comes when you and I going against one another to make each other great. To take it a step farther, how good can you become? When you’re really competing against yourself, that’s when you know that you’re at your best.”

3. Big Bill Russell fan. Quinn believes that Bill Russell, whom he got to meet two years ago during his Seattle


days, is the “greatest living competitor.” He noted the success Russell had in college at the University of San Francisco, in the Olympics and in the NBA with the Boston Celtics.

He showed a video of Russell discussing his theories on team-building.

“If you want to take a team to its greatest heights,” Russell told Quinn. “You gotta love your teammates.”

days, is the “greatest living competitor.” He noted the success Russell had in college at the University of San Francisco, in the Olympics and in the NBA with the Boston Celtics.

He showed a video of Russell discussing his theories on team-building.

“If you want to take a team to its greatest heights,” Russell told Quinn. “You gotta love your teammates.”

4. Championship teams. Quinn counted up the teams that he’s been on since youth football. A counted 72 teams – all sports — over his 44 years.

“That’s a lot of teammates,” Quinn said. “I love that feeling of the brotherhood. . . . I know we’ll be really good this year when our team gets really tight.”

5. Room for Herschel Walker? One of the businessmen asked Quinn if the Falcons had room for Herschel Walker, who recently said he could still play in the NFL at age 53.

“Yes,” Quinn said. “He’s one of my all-time favorite players. Yeah, we have room for him.

“For him, the legacy he left at Georgia. . . .He’d definitely fit in great from a competitive standpoint.

6. Dodge ball. In the words of the great Patches O’Houlihan in the movie Dogeball,If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!”

Quinn dodged a question about which players were going to help the defense improve next season. He went into his talk about winning the takeaway battle without naming any of the players.

“There are a number of guys, but what we are trying to establish defensively is our number one goal is takeaways,” Quinn said. “For us to get really good, really fast, we’ve got to go after the ball and tackle.”

Quinn probably didn’t want to single out anyone from the league’s 32nd ranked unit. It’s pretty clear all of the defensive players – from William Moore to Ra’Shede Hageman – must improve.

7. Freeman camp: Falcons running back Devonta Freeman is hosting a free football camp on Sunday at Charles Hadley Park in Miami.

8. ICYMI — Updated Falcons’ depth chart, heading into training camp. This ran on the blog yesterday, but it’s worth repeating today.

Quinn promised that there would a lot of experimentation this offseason after evaluating the talent on the roster.

In some salary cap and scheme-fit moves, the Falcons parted ways with some of the key veterans from the 2012 NFC championship game team in left guard Justin Blalock, left tackle Sam Baker and wide receiver Harry Douglas.

He also moved on from running back Steven Jackson, linebacker Prince Shembo, defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi and safety Zeke Motta for various other reasons — Old (Jackson), alleged dog killer (Shembo) and injury (Motta). Not sure why they got rid of Massaquoi, who had flashed some pass-rush ability and was quickly snapped up by Tennessee.

LDE – Vic Beasley


Falcons Vic Beasley Jr. stretches out while the team opens a 3 day mini-camp open to the public on Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in Flowery Branch. Beasley will be counted on to help improve the team’s pass rush. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

LT – Jonathan Babineaux

RT – Adrian Clayborn

RDE – Kroy Biermann (Malliciah Goodman was out with an injury, but has a shot to earn this spot.)

LB – O’Brien Schofield and Allen Bradford.

NB – Phillips Adams

CBs – Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford

FS – Ricardo Allen

SS – Kemal Ishmael (in William Moore’s spot).

The Falcons will play a lot of Cover-3 (sending four, dropping seven, which ends up being a 4 going, 4 across and 3 deep) and the above unit has a lot of speed to close quickly into the gaps of the zone.

Not sure if Quinn will be able to play as much man-to-man defense as he did in Seattle and may have send five more than he wants to generate a pass rush and create more one-on-one matchups.

“We play man-to-man or Cover-3, not much more than that. It’s not a secret.” – Kam Chancellor, January 2013

Quinn’s biggest switch ended up being cornerback Ricardo Allen moving from cornerback to free safety. He ended the offseason working with the first-team defense.

Free safety Dezmen Southward’s move to cornerback didn’t work out as well after he suffered a knee injury and had surgery.

Heading into the training camp, the offensive line is the major concern. The Falcons have remained quiet, but it makes absolutely too much sense to sign two-time Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis.

At least a half-dozen teams are interested in Mathis, but super-agent Drew Rosenhaus wouldn’t name the teams during a recent radio appearance.

“Now it’s wide open and there’s a lot of interest in Evan,” Drew Rosenhaus said on the Joe Rose Show. “Between now and the start of training camp I definitely expect him to have a new home. I think we’ll be methodical. We won’t necessarily rush into signing immediately.

“Clearly Evan is one of, if not the top overall free agent right now that would be available in the NFL.”

If the Falcons don’t sign Mathis, either Chris Chester or Mike Person will end as the starting left guard. Person, who’s has zero NFL starts, worked with the first-team the entire offseason.

“Mike has done a good job,” offensive line coach Chris Morgan said. “Tough, smart and can play multiple positions. He comes out here and goes to work every day. Glad that he was here to compete.”

While we’re waiting for Quinn to release his first depth chart, here’s the projected depth chart heading into training camp:


DE: Adrian Clayborn, Vic Beasley, Malliciah Goodman, Cliff Matthews, Tyler Starr

DT: Paul Soliai, Adrian Clayborn, Joey Mbu, Ricky Havili-Heimuli

DT: Ra’Shede Hageman, Jonathan Babineaux, Grady Jarrett, Warren Herring

DE: Kroy Biermann, Tyson Jackson, O’Brien Schofield , Cliff Matthews, Sam Meredith

OLB: Brooks Reed, Joplo Bartu, Boris Anyama

LB: Paul Worrilow, Nate Stupar, Derek Akunne, Allen Bradford

OLB: Justin Durant (vs. run)/Vic Beasley (vs. pass), O’Brien Schofield, Kroy Biermann, Stansly Maponga, Marquis Spruill

LCB: Desmond Trufant, Akeem King, Kevin White, Michael Lee

SS: William Moore, Kemal Ishmael, Sean Baker, Damian Parms, Robenson Therezie

FS: Ricardo Allen, Charles Godfrey, Terrell Floyd

RCB: Robert Alford, Jalen Collins, Phillip Adams, Dezmen Southward, Jonathon Mincy


WR: Roddy White, Leonard Hankerson, Freddie Martino, Nick Williams, Marquez Clark

TE: Jacob Tamme, Tony Moeaki, Levine Toilolo, Mickey Shuler, Beau Gardner

RT: Ryan Schraeder, Tyler Polumbus, Jake Rodgers

RG: Jon Asamoah, Peter Konz, Eric Lefeld, Jared Smith

C: James Stone, Joe Hawley, Peter Konz, Valerian Ume-Ezeoke

LG: Chris Chester, Mike Person, Harland Gunn, Adam Replogle

LT: Jake Matthews, Tyler Polumbus, Matt Huffer, Lamar Holmes

WR: Julio Jones, Devin Hester, Justin Hardy, Eric Weems, Bernard Reedy, Carlton Mitchell

FB: Patrick DiMarco, Collin Mooney

RB: Devonta Freeman, Devonta Freeman, Antone Smith, Jerome Smith, Terron Ward

QB: Matt Ryan, T.J. Yates, Sean Renfree


PK: Matt Bryant

P: Matt Bosher

KR: Devin Hester, Eric Weems

PR: Devin Hester, Eric Weems

LS: Josh Harris

Edited by DirtyBird8711
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