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FALCONS FIRE EVERY BODY EXCEPT

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FALCONS FIRE All 3 COORDINATORS
Doesn’t DQ get blame for ‘bad coaching?
 
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Mark Bradley 
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FALCONS THE MOST EXTENSIVE COVERAGE

AJC EXCLUSIVE FALCONS

The Falcons are officially uncoordinated. They just fired Steve Sarkisian, who handled the offense; Marquand Manuel, who handled the defense; and Keith Armstrong, who handled special teams. Dan Quinn, who hired the first two and agreed on arrival to keep Armstrong, remains in place. Think about that.
 
We’ve said for a while pretty much since they took that 28-3 lead in NRG Stadium on Feb. 5, 2017 - that this has been a poorly coached team. They just admitted as much, and yet they’ve kept the head coach. I’m not sure I understand, but I’ve been tracking this franchise for 35 years and I’ve often been bewildered.

For example: Why would Arthur Blank take a guy who’d never been an NFL head coach and make him not just an NFL head coach but head of all things football for an NFL franchise? That’s what the high-profile owner did with Quinn, who was then a career assistant, and I wondered, “Just what in this guy’s background makes anybody think he’ll be an ace administrator?” About the administrative part, I was - full disclosure - wrong. Quinn has proved to be an able steward of the front office.

He has succeeded in getting demoted-in-power-ifnot-in-title general manager Thomas Dimitroff to fold the sort of players DQ wants. (They’re known in-house as “DQ guys,” and these Falcons now have almost nothing but.) Trouble is, DQ the administrator has been better than DQ the coach, which makes little sense until you recall that these are the Falcons.

The Falcons’ roster was ranked No. 2 this season by Pro Football Focus; last year it was No. 1. The Falcons’ record over those two regular seasons was 17-15. That’s a fail.

After the Super Bowl, Quinn had anointed two guys who’d never been NFL coordinators - Sarkisian and Manuel - and both are now gone. The season just completed could be broken into two: The first part saw the defense unable to stop anybody, which was semi-understand-able given all its injuries, and the weird middle section that saw this famous offense go five games (all losses) without scoring as many as 21 points. This became a team that invented ways to lose, and that’s always down to coaching.

Sarkisian appeared overmatched from the first, and by this year it was clear Manuel was, too. Armstrong’s special teams saw two Matt Bosher punts blocked in the first five weeks, which can’t happen. The Falcons can and should do better, coordinator-wise. That said, at what point does the tag of “badly coached” attach itself to, you know, the head coach? Drafting fast ‘n’ furious players is great, but isn’t the effect lessened when you can’t get those DQ guys to do the stuff NFL players should be doing?

It’s clear that Blank has fallen in love with Quinn. He has used that word, saying, “We love our coach.” And yes, DQ is likable and relentlessly upbeat. I’m just not sure how adroit he is at coaching. (Which is land of a big deal, seeing as how he’ll serve as his own defensive coordinator.) How many other professional coaches couldn’t have held a 25-point lead with 1714 minutes remaining? How could he not ask of Kyle Shanahan, “Shouldn’t we be running the ball?” How could he look at the media and say, “We wanted to stay aggressive” and expect nobody to laugh out loud?

Within minutes of that mother of all collapses, we were suggesting that the Falcons might never recover. They haven’t. They’ve never looked as crisp as they did in the autumn of 2016. They were still too talented to be dismissed, but they were the sort of misdirected bunch a shrewd opponent loves to see coming.

Doug Pederson’s Eagles began their run to an improbable Super Bowl by beating the Falcons and opened their title defense by doing it again - both times with their backup quarterback. The Eagles, again without Carson Wentz, just qualified for the playoffs. John Harbaugh’s Ravens won the AFC North behind a rookie quarterback, having held the Falcons of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones to 131 yards on Dec. 2. Repeat after me: Coaching matters.

I understand that the Falcons have invested so much in Quinn that to fire him now would be akin to starting over, which isn’t what you’d want with Ryan being 33 and Jones about to hit 30. But can we interpret Monday’s mass exodus of coordinators as anything but starting over? Quinn spent two years expressing full faith and confidence in his assistants. Three of them just got the gate, and he gets a pass?

There’s a part of me that wonders if, for all DQ’s presumed power, this was really his call. Might we have seen the seldom subtle hand of Blank? Might he have said, “I love you, but lose those coordinators”? (Four years ago, Blank dumped coach Mike Smith but kept Dimitroff; the high-profile owner does play favorites.) Might this be Blank conceding his team’s coaching failures while, in a bit of cognitive dissonance, ignoring that coaching nous tends to trickle down?

To be fair, the high-profile owner does have his moments. He kept Dimitroff in a lessened role, which seems to have suited him. Maybe something similar will happen here. Maybe a year from now the Falcons will announce that Quinn has been relieved of his coaching duties - to become the full-time chief of football operations. Or maybe they’ll hire slick new coordinators and go 19-0 and we’ll be hailing DQ as the better Belichick.

For now, we leave it at this: Not many organizations would effect such sweeping changes without making it a clean sweep. Not many businesses would dump the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 execs and leave the CEO in place. The Falcons just did.

Then again, they’re the Falcons.

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Posted (edited)

I said the same thing. If every coordinator has to go thats a reflection on Quinn. 

The only thing Quinn has done differently from Dimitroff is he HEAVILY goes after the southern players ( SEC, ACC).  Dimitroff was up in Wyoming and Idaho...  It was a EASY improvement...:lol:

Edited by slickgadawg

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Of course it's on DQ.  In fact I actually have even less patience now than I did before he fired everyone.  I was fine with Armstrong being let go, indifferent with Sark but I think he totally scapegoated Manuel.  I want a playoff run next year and don't care what old men he has standing around taking credit for it.  And stumbling into the playoffs at 9-7 with one and done is not going to cut it.

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For as good as Quinn is at drafting fast and physical at every position isn’t doing it, and they’re more injury prone

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I was originally in on sark... I mean how could anyone mess up such a good offense..    mid way through last year I had seen enough..  MM I have no clue why they would hire him as DC.    It made no sense at all.  But the defense was pretty good so I grew to like him... but it was clear after the loss to Cleveland that they had to go...      

In no way should a team like ours lose to a browns team with a rookie qb, an Interm hc , and have a rookie rb break for a 90+ yard rd. 

The Falcons were so overrated this year it made no sense.     

Imho if DQ doesnt lead this team to the nfccg next season I think he will get fired 

PokerSteve likes this

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12 minutes ago, osiruz said:

Wish Markey Bradley could be fired. You don't don't just fire a coach who got you to the big game almost 2x for the first time in 17 years. Please Mr. Bradley go headbutt a nice and sharp knife.

When they blow the game historically you sure can.

Winning the Super Bowl buys you all kinds of good will.

Losing a Super Bowl buys you several years.

Having the worst loss in Super Bowl history gets you even less.  Before that game no one had ever come back from more than 10 points.

Quinn just used up his mulligan and he knows it.  That’s why he just fired all of his coordinators.... injuries and all.

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Quinn has begun to accumulate a lot of baggage, with the SB collapse being Exhibit A. There are other exhibits ~ the puzzling in-game coaching decisions, the hiring of an OC and DC that were both novices when the team was playing at a SB level. Turning a blind eye to terrible performances by key players. Letting the ST's unit swirl right down the toilet.

I think the hype and brotherhood mantra, along with the SB pedigree has kept Quinn from getting the brunt of the blame for the myriad of things that have gone wrong since the SB loss. That's not going to be the case going forward. It's pretty obvious he has this one more season to get it right and prove he's part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Flying Falcon and thofin21 like this

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The moment the team gets rolling again, Bradley will be right back on board with how Quinn is the greatest coach to ever live. 

Nothing to see here... Mark is a prisoner of the moment

wuskillzz, Vandy, JDaveG and 3 others like this

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8 minutes ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

When they blow the game historically you sure can.

Winning the Super Bowl buys you all kinds of good will.

Losing a Super Bowl buys you several years.

Having the worst loss in Super Bowl history gets you even less.  Before that game no one had ever come back from more than 10 points.

Quinn just used up his mulligan and he knows it.  That’s why he just fired all of his coordinators.... injuries and all.

Those are imaginary metrics you came up with to be obnoxious and annoying. AB knows coaches like Quinn don't grow on trees. The guy assembled our most talented team ever, and is in perennial contention for the playoffs each year. He also happens to be our most successful playoffs coach. Anyone who wants Quinn fired is a buffoon and will be whining and grumbling after some dark days.

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This is Quinn's final shot he picked the lat coordinate ator's.

He doesn't get this right and he's gone.

Two things I want, a junkyard mean defense that doesn't go soft and an offense that can successfully run for 3rd or 4th and short.

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47 minutes ago, osiruz said:

Wish Markey Bradley could be fired. You don't don't just fire a coach who got you to the big game almost 2x for the first time in 17 years. Please Mr. Bradley go headbutt a nice and sharp knife.

I SELDOM agree with Bradley, but this time he got it absolutely right.

Pacific_Falcon likes this

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31 minutes ago, PokerSteve said:

Quinn has begun to accumulate a lot of baggage, with the SB collapse being Exhibit A. There are other exhibits ~ the puzzling in-game coaching decisions, the hiring of an OC and DC that were both novices when the team was playing at a SB level. Turning a blind eye to terrible performances by key players. Letting the ST's unit swirl right down the toilet.

I think the hype and brotherhood mantra, along with the SB pedigree has kept Quinn from getting the brunt of the blame for the myriad of things that have gone wrong since the SB loss. That's not going to be the case going forward. It's pretty obvious he has this one more season to get it right and prove he's part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Very well said , sir !

PokerSteve likes this

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26 minutes ago, osiruz said:

Those are imaginary metrics you came up with to be obnoxious and annoying. AB knows coaches like Quinn don't grow on trees. The guy assembled our most talented team ever, and is in perennial contention for the playoffs each year. He also happens to be our most successful playoffs coach. Anyone who wants Quinn fired is a buffoon and will be whining and grumbling after some dark days.

FACT :  Quinn is incompetent, he will prove it AGAIN next year unless he let's the new OC become the defacto HC for game management next year.  Quinn is a good DC, but reached his highest level of incompetence when he was made HC  ( The Peter Principle)

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I'm tired of the Falcons' "Incubator" mentality to coaching.  They want to bring in some experiment and see if it grows.  There's no time for that in this league.  

 

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I actually don’t mind what DQ is doing he’s identified what he doesn’t like and moved on it.

DC he gave MM a chance didn’t like what he saw and put himself on the line by taking that spot his strength.

OC he’s going to need a experienced head here that’ll be key taking that part of the team off his plate and let him be fully involved on the other side of the ball.Again he gave Sark 2 years and a experienced head and it didn’t work so we cut ties.Im actually good with that.The offense needs consistency it doesn’t need the huge up n downs it had the last 2 years.

STs self explanatory really.

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36 minutes ago, osiruz said:

Those are imaginary metrics you came up with to be obnoxious and annoying. AB knows coaches like Quinn don't grow on trees. The guy assembled our most talented team ever, and is in perennial contention for the playoffs each year. He also happens to be our most successful playoffs coach. Anyone who wants Quinn fired is a buffoon and will be whining and grumbling after some dark days.

Each year?

Try 2/4.

He fired the last guy that went 3/6 and that guy only had 2 losing seasons.

Blank isn’t as patient as you think.

Go ahead and say what you want but if Quinn doesn’t make the playoffs next season he’s most likely gone.  Blanks history and Quinn firing all 3 coordinators don’t disagree with that.

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48 minutes ago, PokerSteve said:

Quinn has begun to accumulate a lot of baggage, with the SB collapse being Exhibit A. There are other exhibits ~ the puzzling in-game coaching decisions, the hiring of an OC and DC that were both novices when the team was playing at a SB level. Turning a blind eye to terrible performances by key players. Letting the ST's unit swirl right down the toilet.

I think the hype and brotherhood mantra, along with the SB pedigree has kept Quinn from getting the brunt of the blame for the myriad of things that have gone wrong since the SB loss. That's not going to be the case going forward. It's pretty obvious he has this one more season to get it right and prove he's part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Why are some of you acting like we've been a 4 win team since the super bowl...? The next year we were one play away from another nfccg appearance. We were two plays away from the playoffs this year.

Stop acting like we've been bottom of the league. 

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Have to admit, since it's a Bradley article, I read about the first 3 lines and stopped. I do like the 'Falcons are officially uncoordinated' line though....that's pretty good and accurate to boot....

Vandy and raysnill1 like this

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23 minutes ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

Each year?

Try 2/4.

He fired the last guy that went 3/6 and that guy only had 2 losing seasons.

Blank isn’t as patient as you think.

Go ahead and say what you want but if Quinn doesn’t make the playoffs next season he’s most likely gone.  Blanks history and Quinn firing all 3 coordinators don’t disagree with that.

All 4 seasons we were in play for the playoffs. To say otherwise is ludicrous and a non starter. I am sure blank could do a whole lot worse (Smitty, Mora, Petrino).

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1 hour ago, osiruz said:

The guy assembled our most talented team ever

And yet a few injuries sent this team into a death spiral. If the talent was there as you stated, this is even more proof that the problem was the coaching not the roster. 

PokerSteve and GreggT like this

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