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Should the Falcons fire Dan Quinn? Bill Barnwell ESPN

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Should the Falcons fire Dan Quinn?

I am generally against in-season coach firings. Teams almost never hire a coach from outside the organization in midseason, so if they're firing a coach in the middle of the campaign, they're just promoting a coach from his staff. Chances are that coach isn't doing a great job, either, so promoting him isn't some genius idea. There's also a chance that the coach will see the team regress toward the mean, pick up a couple of victories and convince ownership that he deserves to shed the interim tag, which has typically been a decision NFL teams have regretted.

Quinn might be the exception to this rule. The Falcons defense is unwatchable. I covered Atlanta's defensive woes in my playoff fallers column last week, and Sunday's loss to the Cardinals wasn't much better. The Falcons allowed Kyler Murray to throw for 340 yards and three touchdowns and failed to come up with even a knockdown of a quarterback who had been sacked on 9.5% of his dropbacks before Sunday. It's one thing to fail because of a lack of talent, but the Falcons continue to blow coverages in incomprehensible ways:

David Johnson had a scarcely believable 14.2 yards of separation between him and any other defender when he caught this pass (animation courtesy of NFL Next Gen Stats). It's difficult to see many signs of progress from Quinn's defense as this season has gone along; if anything, it's getting worse.

Arthur Blank has been patient to a fault during his time as Falcons owner. It was clear that Mike Smith was going to be fired when the Falcons hit their bye week in 2014 at 2-6, but Blank let Smith coach the rest of the season out before moving on and hiring Quinn. Smith never made it to a Super Bowl, while Quinn did in his second year at the helm, and that might allow the former Seahawks defensive coordinator more leeway. It also might be harsh to fire Quinn after a game the Falcons lost, in part, because Matt Bryant missed an extra point that would have sent the contest to overtime.

At the same time, though, the Falcons could be better-positioned to make a move. They have a coordinator on staff with head-coaching experience in Dirk Koetter and a pair of former head coaches who could assume offensive coordinator duties in Raheem Morris and Mike Mularkey. Bob Sutton, the former Chiefs defensive coordinator, is on Quinn's staff as a senior assistant. I can understand if Falcons fans aren't excited by those names, but there are veterans who could move into larger roles if Blank decides that Quinn has had enough.

The Falcons have home games against the Rams and Seahawks over the next two weeks before their Week 9 bye. Their last home game, a 24-10 loss to the Titans, featured what would charitably be described as a sparse crowd. If the Falcons can't beat the NFC West opposition and fall to 1-7 in a half-empty new stadium, it's difficult to see Quinn coaching out the slate, no matter how generous Blank has been in the past.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/27840057/barnwell-answering-nine-questions-define-nfl-season#atl

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Here's my solution.  Fire Thomas Dimitroff right now.  Start the GM search.  Keep quiet about coaching changes for the time being, but the plan should be to let the new GM decide whether to keep Quinn for another season or move on.  If we move on (we almost certainly will), let the new GM hire the new coach.

That way you aren't "giving up on the season," but if changes are made, you are at least not doing the same thing you did with the last 2 hires, which is let TD have a large say in who the chef is and then stock the pantry with rotten food.

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DQ is the DC. The defensive coordinator of this team is doing a terrible job. They are the worst defense in the NFL. The previous DC was fired and replaced with the current DC because he was going to do a better job. He is failing at that. Hence, firing the DC is a no brainer. It just so happens to be the HC. DQ made this bet. He's losing it and at the same time losing his job in the process. The offense took their lumps but are finding their footing. If they win any games in the near future, it will be because of the offense scoring 50 points because 30 clearly doesn't cut it. 

Smitty got fired for less. He was 2-6 by the bye week. DQ is headed for a worse output with an easily more talented roster. 

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6 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

Here's my solution.  Fire Thomas Dimitroff right now.  Start the GM search.  Keep quiet about coaching changes for the time being, but the plan should be to let the new GM decide whether to keep Quinn for another season or move on.  If we move on (we almost certainly will), let the new GM hire the new coach.

That way you aren't "giving up on the season," but if changes are made, you are at least not doing the same thing you did with the last 2 hires, which is let TD have a large say in who the chef is and then stock the pantry with rotten food.

I don't think that accomplishes a thing. You start firing front office personnel, it definitely yells you're giving up on the season. You clearly see the current situation isn't cutting it and anticipate making changes from the top down. 

The other thing is precedence. Same thing I said with Smitty, only poorly run franchises fire coaches midseason unless they have no other choice. Look at Washington. That's why Smitty got the full season, even though we knew he was done midseason. It let's any future HC candidates know you've at least got a full chance to turn around and work through a rough patch. Same with a GM. The good ones will never go to emotional, unstable franchises. 

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Just now, vel said:

DQ is the DC. The defensive coordinator of this team is doing a terrible job. They are the worst defense in the NFL. The previous DC was fired and replaced with the current DC because he was going to do a better job. He is failing at that. Hence, firing the DC is a no brainer. It just so happens to be the HC. DQ made this bet. He's losing it and at the same time losing his job in the process. The offense took their lumps but are finding their footing. If they win any games in the near future, it will be because of the offense scoring 50 points because 30 clearly doesn't cut it. 

Smitty got fired for less. He was 2-6 by the bye week. DQ is headed for a worse output with an easily more talented roster. 

Eh.. Smitty had a bad track record in the playoffs though.. It was well known that even if we consistently make it to the playoffs we would fail to get past the first round. We have gone deeper into the playoffs twice under Quinn . 

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8 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

Here's my solution.  Fire Thomas Dimitroff right now.  Start the GM search.  Keep quiet about coaching changes for the time being, but the plan should be to let the new GM decide whether to keep Quinn for another season or move on.  If we move on (we almost certainly will), let the new GM hire the new coach.

That way you aren't "giving up on the season," but if changes are made, you are at least not doing the same thing you did with the last 2 hires, which is let TD have a large say in who the chef is and then stock the pantry with rotten food.

TD has assembled a team that should of won a SB and is widely regarded to be one of the most talented teams on paper. He's done a wonderful job with the cap as well. I don't see why he gets the axe.

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Just now, Romfal said:

its funny that the guy thinks the game would go in to overtime and this defense would get a stop with 1:53 left. My money was on a late FG by the cards to seal it anyway.

Didnt they get three stops before the Touchdown ?

 

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Just now, vel said:

I don't think that accomplishes a thing. You start firing front office personnel, it definitely yells you're giving up on the season. You clearly see the current situation isn't cutting it and anticipate making changes from the top down. 

The other thing is precedence. Same thing I said with Smitty, only poorly run franchises fire coaches midseason unless they have no other choice. Look at Washington. That's why Smitty got the full season, even though we knew he was done midseason. It let's any future HC candidates know you've at least got a full chance to turn around and work through a rough patch. Same with a GM. The good ones will never go to emotional, unstable franchises. 

Oh, I disagree with the first part entirely.  What do the front office personnel do during the season anyway?  You do it by saying "we want Dan to finish out the season and the new GM will make a decision on whether we will make any coaching changes, but we wanted to go ahead and start our search for a new General Manager.  We thank Thomas for all of his hard work the past 11 years." That way, you're setting Quinn up to coach his way out of it.

As it is, the coy approach we took with Smitty ("we're not going to fire him mid-season, but we are going to start a coaching search with 3 games left") gives the coach no incentive to do anything at all.  This at least gives Quinn some reason to think he might be back. And if not, it looks better, I think, to have a mutual decision to part ways because the new GM wanted to go in a different direction than to get fired because you didn't do your job well.

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3 minutes ago, Falcanuck said:

TD has assembled a team that should of won a SB and is widely regarded to be one of the most talented teams on paper. He's done a wonderful job with the cap as well. I don't see why he gets the axe.

Simple.  Because you don't play games on paper.  On paper this team is talented as all get out.  On the field, they play like a bunch of also-rans.

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11 minutes ago, Romfal said:

its funny that the guy thinks the game would go in to overtime and this defense would get a stop with 1:53 left. My money was on a late FG by the cards to seal it anyway.

Thinking about it, in a strange way, Matt missing the XP probably gave us our only chance of winning the game. Had we tied, Cards would have been in getting points mode and we all know how our defense would have held up. But with the miss, Cards went into the let's eke out a first down mode. We actually did stop them as the replay showed and our offense should have gotten the ball back in regulation with a minute left to get a FG, which realistically is the absolute best chance we would have had to win the game. 

Edited by Dr Long Shot
gkgrimes, quickzero, JDaveG and 2 others like this

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6 minutes ago, SPITFIRE said:

Eh.. Smitty had a bad track record in the playoffs though.. It was well known that even if we consistently make it to the playoffs we would fail to get past the first round. We have gone deeper into the playoffs twice under Quinn . 

If Smitty had KS and Matt Ryan + Julio in prime we would have won a SB. DQ has failed to take this team to playoffs. Give me a coach who can keep this team relevant most of the years.

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6 minutes ago, Romfal said:

its funny that the guy thinks the game would go in to overtime and this defense would get a stop with 1:53 left. My money was on a late FG by the cards to seal it anyway.

My money is they would have scored a TD. 

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5 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

Simple.  Because you don't play games on paper.  On paper this team is talented as all get out.  On the field, they play like a bunch of also-rans.

OK, I can see a way in which some of that blame would fall on the GM (team building, chemistry, personalities, etc), but for the most part, like 90% of that responsibility is on the coach..... to get the most out of their players. To facilitate talented players to perform.

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Blank needs to grow up. Were a good football team. NOBODY expected us to go 1-5, and we should honestly be 0-6, if it weren't for Agholor's butter. Nobody on this defense has any idea what a zone defense is. It's literally unwatchable. There is no upside to keeping DQ. It's like telling the players that losing is a theme in Atlanta all the sudden. CHANGE THE CULTURE! It's 0 surprise to me that Shanahan is 5-0. So, what does it tell you that the offensive coordinator of our Super Bowl run is 4 wins and 5 losses better than us? 

"Come on man, we made a miraculous comeback yesterday"

1. We shouldn't be in the position to make a comeback week after week.

2. We literally still lost. Yeah, it TECHNICALLY was on the hands of Matt Bryant, but the dude didn't workout once this offseason. He probably had a very average workout, GT was bad, and they signed MB3 back, only for him to throw the game. It all stems from the front office.

3. It was the Cardinals. 

 

It's all bad.

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Yet another in-game mistake yesterday. 

Not trying an onside kick at the end was the perfect expression of a coach being totally stubborn and out of touch with reality.  There were less than two minutes left and the Falcons had zero timeouts.  

Did he actually think that horrible defense was going to make a stop and get the ball back?  

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21 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

Here's my solution.  Fire Thomas Dimitroff right now.  Start the GM search.  Keep quiet about coaching changes for the time being, but the plan should be to let the new GM decide whether to keep Quinn for another season or move on.  If we move on (we almost certainly will), let the new GM hire the new coach.

That way you aren't "giving up on the season," but if changes are made, you are at least not doing the same thing you did with the last 2 hires, which is let TD have a large say in who the chef is and then stock the pantry with rotten food.

This is what makes the most sense. Which is why TD will still be our GM next year and nothing will change.

Stray Dog THA GAWD and JDaveG like this

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11 minutes ago, Falcanuck said:

TD has assembled a team that should of won a SB and is widely regarded to be one of the most talented teams on paper. He's done a wonderful job with the cap as well. I don't see why he gets the axe.

He can't build an OL or DL to save his life and we never have a good PR/KR game

11 years and this OL and DL is still a mess. 

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