After the 1-3 start for the Atlanta Falcons, the grumbles of Dan Quinn’s demise have become a roar. The fans may want him gone, but it’s highly unlikely Arthur Blank will pull the trigger on Quinn in the middle of the season. It’s not his style.
Coming into this season, there was some talk of Dan Quinn being on the hot seat if the Atlanta Falcons were to have another bad season. With the 1-3 start and the latest loss coming at home, Dan Quinn’s coaching seat has become blazing hot. The expectations were high for the Falcons coming into the season, and so far, Quinn has yet to get his team to those heights.
Even with the slow start, there is a chance that Quinn and company get this season turned around. Now, that feels extremely unlikely, but anything is possible. Just as unlikely, however, would be Quinn getting fired midseason. For Arthur Blank to pull that move, the Falcons would have to be 1-15, 2-14 bad. I just don’t think the team, as assembled, could be that bad with so much talent. That means Dan Quinn will be hanging around for the rest of the season, even if the season continues to trend the wrong way.
Arthur Blank has no problem firing head coaches. Blank just likes to wait for the entire season to play out, as least he has historically. If you look at the last two coaches fired by Blank, Mike Smith and Jim Mora, it’s clear that Blank doesn’t like the midseason shakeup. Let’s look back at the fall of Jim Mora and Mike Smith.
Jim Mora was hired to be the Falcons head coach 2004. The Falcons job would be Mora’s first heading coach job of his career. Mora was an immediate success, leading the Falcons the NFC South title in his first season and a first round bye in the playoffs. Mora and the Falcons would go on to lose to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship that season.
Mora’s next season would see the Falcons go 8-8, missing the playoffs, a disappointing season after the heights of the NFC Championship game the year before. Mora would coach the next season, this time going 7-9, once again missing the playoffs. Mora would go on to make comments regarding another head coaching job while the Falcons were still alive in the NFL playoffs race. Following the back-to-back disappointing seasons and the careless comments, Blank would fire Mora after the 2006 season.
Mike Smith was hired after the 2007 season and the debacle of Bobby Petrino and Michael Vick. Matt Ryan was the first draft picked chosen under Mike Smith, restarting the franchise after the Petrino and Vick controversies. Like Mora, Smith was successful in his first season leading his team to 11-5 record, a year after going 4-12.
Smith would continue his success in his first five seasons, having a winning record for his first five seasons and only missing the playoffs once in those five seasons. The high point of his tenure, 2013, was leading the Falcons to a 13-3 record and the NFC Championship game. From that point, it was downhill for the Falcons and Mike Smith.
After accumulating 56 wins in his first five seasons, becoming the most successful head coach in Falcons history, Smith would have back-to-back losing seasons, the first time for the Falcons since the 2006-2007 seasons. Smith would be fired following the 2014 season after going 6-10 in his final season.
Dan Quinn, similar to Smith and Mora, had success early on as the Falcons head coach, arguably more than any other coach not named Dan Reeves. With that said, Quinn had his first losing season last year, going 7-9. Now, with the team off to a 1-3 start, the Falcons are likely to have a losing record this season. This may be the last season of the Dan Quinn era in Atlanta. However, that doesn’t mean he will be relived of his coaching duties in the middle of the season. It’s more likely, much like Mora and Smith, Quinn will get a chance to finish the season out, good or bad.