Arthur Blank made it official on Friday when he announced Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff would be retained as head coach and GM of the Atlanta Falcons for the 2020 season. After the 1-7 start, Quinn secured his job by going 5-2 in his next seven games.
Dan Quinn looked like a dead man walking after the 1-7 start to the season. It was speculated that Quinn would be relieved of his duties during the bye week the Atlanta Falcons had in the middle of the season. After Quinn didn’t get fired during the bye week, Arthur Blank made it clear he was giving Quinn a chance to save himself. Yesterday, when Blank made his announcement, it proved Quinn’s strong second half of the season had been enough to buy him more time with the Atlanta Falcons.
Since being hired as the Falcons head coach in 2015, Dan Quinn has gone 42-37, making the playoffs twice, including the Super Bowl loss in Super Bowl 51. There has been a steep decline in Quinn’s consistency over the last two seasons, however. After going 7-9 last season, with plenty of peaks and valleys, the Atlanta Falcons have experienced almost the same season this year. With the 1-7 start, and now, the 5-2 second half of the season, the Falcons have become the roller-coaster team of the NFL.
After the horrid start to the season, I was a big proponent of Quinn being fired. I have a lot of evidence of that on this very site. I still stand by that opinion even with the way the Falcons have played in the second half of the season. There is going to be an inherent risk if your team changes coaches. It’s not a guarantee that it will work. Just look at the New York Giants or Denver Broncos. On the other hand, look at the Green Bay Packers. There are examples on both sides of new coaches succeeding and struggling. Keeping Dan Quinn just confirms Arthur Blank isn’t willing to take the gamble on hitting the reset button on the coach. Only time will tell how that plays out. For now, all I can say is I don’t agree with Arthur Blank’s decision. I’m really hoping I’m wrong.
The announcement didn’t just surround Dan Quinn. Thomas Dimitroff was also confirmed to be returning in 2020. I haven’t spoken much on Dimitroff as I have with Quinn, obviously. That is because I don’t feel like Dimitroff was to blame for the lack of success over the past two seasons. I believe this team’s talent is on par with many of the elite teams in the NFL. I’ve always believed it’s been Dan Quinn who has been the issue. Dimitroff has been on and off the hot seat throughout his career. This year was just another year. I’m glad Dimitroff will return.
To summarize all of this, I’m disappointed in the choice Blank made on Friday in regards to Dan Quinn. I doubt this will be the last time I speak about Dan Quinn, but for today, this is all I have to say. Let’s close out the season with a win. The offseason is plenty long enough for me to complain loudly about Dan Quinn.