When Quinn the new coach gets here, will everybody jump for joy?

Alas, this same personnel won’t be available here. (AP photo/Ted S. Warren)

It's not a stretch to call this a good hire. (AP photo/Ted S. Warren)

It’s not a stretch to call this a good hire. (AP photo/Ted S. Warren)

I know I’ve spent the past few weeks whinging — it’s a British word that means pretty much as it sounds — about the Atlanta Falcons’ offseason moves. (To recap: No, I don’t understand why Thomas Dimitroff wasn’t fired along with Mike Smith, and no, I don’t get this front-office “restructuring” that leaves Scott Pioli to do the scouting but leaves Dimitroff with final say over personnel.) But now for something completely different:

I have no problem — none — with the coach they’re about to hire. Or, depending on semantics, have already hired. Dan Quinn’s a good choice, probably the best choice they could have made. There’ll be no quibbling/whinging from this sector. It’s a good move.

Do I think Quinn will do better in his first five seasons than Mike Smith did in his? Probably not, but that’s a high bar. (Smith was 56-24 over that span.) Do I think Quinn will do better in his first two seasons than Smith did in the past two? Yes, but improving on 10-22 isn’t much of an achievement, either.

The salient question: Are the Falcons better positioned to win the Super Bowl with Quinn than with Smith? And the only real answer to that is a definite maybe. Quinn has never been a head coach — neither had Smith before coming here — but has been the defensive coordinator for a Seattle team that has won one Super Bowl and could well win another. (Smith was an assistant coach when the Baltimore Ravens won a Super Bowl, but he wasn’t a coordinator.)

My hope for Quinn is that Arthur Blank allows him to do his job. Under the “restructuring,” the head coach reports directory to the owner. Even when the coach reported to the general manager, the Falcons owner was so hands-on that he required personal Monday briefings and sat on the front row for postgame press conferences. (I’ve yet to see another NFL owner do that, and it was always my impression that Blank’s presence kept Smith from saying much of anything, not he was disposed to say much anyway.)

You can’t spend five minutes around the Falcons without being reminded that this is Arthur Blank’s team. My hope is that this overbearing owner will allow it to become Dan Quinn’s team.

Reader Comments 0

95 comments
SkokieDog
SkokieDog

MB: Not to be whingeing or anything, but it's "whingeing" rather than "whinging."
 And for what it's worth, that is a British English word. There isn't a British language, just a British standard of our English language.

toddm22
toddm22

Do you guys remember when The Smith's owned the team and they were never around to answer for anything?? I would take Blank any day of the week over those guys. Get over it. At least the guy cares.

jay2k14
jay2k14

you mad bro? he won both of the elections lol

GWJ0525
GWJ0525

Blank has to figure out what Ted Turner did with the Braves. Get out of the way and let the folks do their job, and they will have a better chance for good results. No guarantee, but at least a chance.

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

Author Blank wouldn't know how to take a backseat, he thrives off being notice. Dimitroff is arrogant and he really hasn't proven himself. But if you kiss the owners ring-- he'll go easy on you. I more interested in how Dan Quinn manages the game and how he get's rid of players who aren't that talented and don't make plays. It's a big difference in being a defensive coordinator and managing the game and the whole team. Only time will tell...

HootyGoot
HootyGoot

I haven't seen that many NFL coaches who have been totally successful all of the time and Dan Quin and staff won't be any different from the majority.

candlin14
candlin14

All Dan Quin has to do, is play the Obama card for the next six or seven years!!! "It's not my fault, I inherited this mess, it was the man in charge before me who caused these problems, Im just trying to fix them"... It works for NObama and Im sure it will work for you Quinn... 

Bearrib1
Bearrib1

@candlin14 You poor little thing. You just can't get over it, can you?  Some people can discuss sports without the hate.

gfw
gfw

Naturally, I hope Quinn turns things around, but so long as Blank is the owner and Dimitroff is the GM I can't be optimistic.  Blank's decision to have the head coach to report directly to him is surely a bad sign.  It seems likely Blank will also have the final say on draft picks and FA picks.  And his football experience is...? 

SkokieDog
SkokieDog

@gfw Well, he has attended the games since he's owned the team. Like us, he sees things out there on the field. Unlike us, he bankrolls the team and can do what he wants, no matter how ill advised those things may be.

patriotdog
patriotdog

theres an obvious link between the decline in performance of the team and the increase in the number of players acquired by Dimitroff on the roster. He took a team that was a few pieces away, ( remember those holes Turner was able to run through) and summarily went cheap on the lines of scrimmage while spending everything on playmakers.......and even then he screwed up ( Stephen Jackson? Really??)

He's a clueless joke.

buellerbuellerbueller
buellerbuellerbueller

Quinn can't save the ship, but the initial hype and "love" should help.   Let's just hope we have a new ad firm to promote the Blankons.

TaxiSmith
TaxiSmith

I've been a fan since Norb Hecker in 1966, and I stopped jumping for joy a heck of a long time ago. The franchise is snake-bit, and would probably be better off if it moved to Los Angeles or somewhere else, and let us start over. It's been almost fifty years of futility in Atlanta. It will NEVER be a decent franchise.

candlin14
candlin14

@TaxiSmith 


lock the doors, roll up the windows, and drive that taxi into lake lanier

Bearrib1
Bearrib1

@TaxiSmith I, too, have been a fan since Hecker was coach but I can't bear the thought of my beloved Falcons moving!!  It has been a difficult thing to continue to root for the Falcons due to the constant letdowns, but I believe we're in better shape than we were when the Smiths owned them.  Maybe Blank will let Quinn coach without interfering.  It may be that he doesn't want Dimitroff influencing the new coach to do things his (Dimitroff's) way.  

VirgilLeonard
VirgilLeonard

@TaxiSmith same thing was said about the Hawks. I I know you remember how garbage the Seahawks and Pats use to be. every franchise can be turned around...................for some it takes longer than others

look so everyone understand "Read" MagnumDawg.


He is exactly right, the team Dimitroff and Smith walked into was actually a good team missing only a QB- Ryan, LT - Baker & RB - Turner.


to their credit they hit all those their first year but after that they added nothing to the team except Jones.


2 years ago the old team was broken up except Blaylock, White & Babs.


They were either let go or retired.


And from that point on you totally saw the fruits of the genius Dmitroff.


this is HIS team......HIS team and guess what? they suck. 

Spoken like a true Braves fan, I am proud of you. And you probably think that signing Gomes counters Washington signing

Scherzer.


Now there is going to be a neck and neck race with a coin flip ending, Right?


No Braves fan you do not get it - do you?


Although your logic is sound you fail to consider who is choosing the Talent.


Freaking Dimitroff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!     That is why they suck now...............HELLO?  

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

No Quinn wont bring any defensive players with him, BUT Nick Fairly is a free agent, as well as several Denver Broncos.  With a healthy O line, our #8 pick, and a few top level free agents.. we should be back in the playoffs this next season.  

candlin14
candlin14

@BravesFan79


Nick Fairley is overweight and awful. He would be the equivalent of Ray Edwards!!! CMON MAN.. Is this Dimitrioff on the blog???

UGA76
UGA76

@BravesFan79  You have lost your mind.  This team is 2 years away from being a playoff team and that 2 years doesn't start until Fantasy Football Dimitroff is FIRED.   

usbummer
usbummer

@BravesFan79 It has been suggested by some sports writers that he might bring LB Malcolm Smith with him, or perhaps DE O'Brien Schofield. Thoughts?

BobbyDawg
BobbyDawg

The Falcons put too much faith in Matt Ryan. He is a great qb but he can only do so much. When Mike Smith came on board we actually had a great running back to compliment Ryan and  keep the linebackers honest. We had an o line and a great middle linebacker and good cornerbacks and safety and linebackers and a pass rush. If they think that a new coach is the answer to this team's problems then good luck. Unless we have a great draft and pick up a couple of good o linemen we're right back to where we were last year. If the Falcons play .500 ball with this team I'd be surprised. If Bama was an NFL team and AB and TD were owner and GM they probably would have fired Bear Bryant after the '67 and '68 season or for sure '67 thru '70. 

JSSN
JSSN

@MagnumDawg

Did someone really compare  pre desegregation 60s era SEC Bryant to that clown show in Flowery Branch? Only a AJC Falcons related blog! 

Smith never did a thing to engender such loyalty from Blank or the fanbase. It's a win-the-conference or Super Bowl or go home league!

Look here is the deal, there is not enough talent on the defensive side of the ball to stop West Georgia.


And in case anybody missed it, the offensive line got their ears thumped playing Carolina. They are 2 players away there.


Also the clown in charge of bringing on talent is still with the team.


What has changed really?


They could dig up Lombardi put a falcons hat on his head and it would not change a thing.


Blank rode the coat tails of another man to make his money, he acts like he is the God Apollo floating down from the clouds to bless us with his presents.


He knows no more about running a business than the guy running a Subway, probably less.


In other words the Monkeys are running the Circus.


As a result my friends you can bank on the same results you have been seeing the last 2 years.


Sad but true. 

rwfatl
rwfatl

Blank likes the "suits". Makes a bad GM president of the team. Then keeps another bad GM but fires the coach. What is wrong with this picture? I thought that the Smiths were bad but at least they did not try to get on TV.

GeorgeSteele
GeorgeSteele

You gotta admit - this crazy 3 ring circus called the Falcons is fun to watch!  It's like the combination of a dumpster fire, a 911 incident gone bad, and a bad housewives drama gone nuclear all in one.  Only this is a (hold your breath) business for crying out loud - if you want to call it that.


Somebody just give me a scorecard so I'll know which one to call Moe, Larry or Curly!  I've already got Dimitroff pegged as Shemp...

yo

FiftyBlue
FiftyBlue

arthur and thomas will be on the sideline, running the show like last year--quinn will be arthur's gofer.  no worries--arthur makes millions if the team sucks or not!

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

Why should this front office set up based on the Ravens front office structure not work, right.?  That's what AB said, right?  The best way to run a pro team is for the head coach to by-pass the GM, who has no power and go right to the owner.  The pro player and college player evaluator has more power than the GM on evaluations until the GM with no power, says he disagrees.  Makes perfect sense, right?

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

LIke the Mighty Quinn reference.  Bob Dylan or Manfred Mann?


DenverDawg
DenverDawg

Awhile back I would've really been fired up over this.  But now, after PSLs, a clueless owner and 2 crappy years, I'm beginning to let go....  & it's a good feeling.

midwaycva41
midwaycva41

Will Quinn bring a couple of great pass rushers with him?  No?  Well, it might take a while then.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

Coach Mike Smith was a scapegoat 

for overbearing Arthur Blank and his parade of knuckleheads

adarian652
adarian652

With respect to everyone's comments. I am an Atlantan. Born her in early 60s and have never lived anywhere else. This coaching hire as I have said before the past few weeks, nothing against Quinn , but this is a mistake especially with opening a new stadium in a few years. In three years and  with having a sub 500 record we will be right back here searching for a head coach  with a new stadium. Its the people Blank have running the show and deciding player personnel.

SarahRobertson
SarahRobertson

Saves us Dr. Quinn hope you got the medicine we need to win. Because nothing is working. I have not been a season ticket holder in 2yrs . Please we need hope!!!!Hope you are the light at the end of the tunnel. We need a good defensive coach bad. IM SERIOUS HELP!!!!!!!

FALCONS_SORRY
FALCONS_SORRY

ASHLY MADISON BLANK!    YOU NEED TO FORGET KORN PERRY AND USE THAT SAME WEB SITE THAT HELP YOU FIND FUN TIME TO HELP YOU FIND A NEW COACH!     YOU KNOW AS MUCH ABOUT FOOTBALL AND HIRING GOOD COACHES AS YOU DO ABOUT KEEPING YOUR MARRIAGE VOWELS!    YOU DONE LET THE BEST ONES LIKE TODD BOWLS LOVIE SMITH AND TERREL AUSTIN GET AWAY!     INSTEAD OF PAYING THAT SITE YOU CAN EVEN DO THEY ADVERTISING FOR THEM!     BLANK LOOKING FOR A COACH OTHER THAN HIS WIFE!   OTHER THAN HIS WIFE!     ASHLY MADISON HOOK HIM UP!


FiftyBlue
FiftyBlue

quinn = mike smith, part 2--more of the same stuff.

TEB1
TEB1

Remember when Ted Turner decided he would coach the Braves? This is a similar situation; it wasn't until Turner stopped meddling that the Braves organization finally began to turn around...

TEB1
TEB1

Arthur Blank is still the same guy who hired Petrino. Enough said..

Guyon
Guyon

I have been blaming Dimitroff for the poor offensive line which has been the root cause of the Falcon's demise. Maybe Blank has been the cause. If so, I see no improvement with the Falcons. Tom Brady has all day to throw a pass. Matt Ryan has had to throw as he moves back. It's lucky Ryan hasn't been injured. Blank will fire Quinn in 3 to 4 years.

peanutgallery
peanutgallery

Unless Blank is directly interfering with personnel and coaching decisions this is a red herring.


Did Blank change during the 4 years prior to the last two years when the Falcons were racking up wins? If he did it would be news to me.





MikeS777
MikeS777

Good column Mark, but I think I would caution against setting the expectations at winning the Super Bowl right now.  To me this is like worrying about sprinting down the road before they have figured out how to walk and not crawl everywhere.  Remember this franchise had NEVER had two winning seasons in a row until 2008-2009.  The 5 years of winning teams from 08-12 is the only such streak in franchise history.

Right now this team just needs to get back into real contention, and I do think Dan Quinn is the best hire to do that.  If he can transform the defense like he did in Seattle, then Matt Ryan and the offense will have the talent to do the rest.  Defense still wins championships despite what most try to convince you these days.  If you have one, you greatly increase you're odds vs trying to build an offense that has to win shoot outs.