According to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, the Atlanta Falcons are expected to name secondary coach Marquand Manuel their defensive coordinator. As noted, this would be no great shock. But here we have to ask: Does it matter?
As McClure notes, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that head coach Dan Quinn began calling defensive signals in December — between the Arizona game, which the Falcons won, and the Kansas City, which the Falcons lost on Eric Berry’s Pick-2. I’m not surprised this happened. (Heck, I advocated it.)
The timing might have been a little odd: Were Quinn going to make such a change, wouldn’t the most propitious moment have been the bye week before Arizona, as opposed to after? Nonetheless, when you have a statistically bad defense and a statistically great offense and you’re a defensive coordinator by trade, it’s almost incumbent on you as a head coach to intercede. And the Falcons’ defense, as we all saw, got better over the season’s final weeks and was, until the final few minutes of the Super Bowl, rather good in the playoffs.
McClure speculates that Manuel will probably be allowed to call plays, which would be a sign of trust in the new D.C. But would it be the best thing for the Falcons? If you’re asking which man in the brick building at 4400 Falcon Parkway I’d most trust calling the defense going forward, it’s still Quinn. It’s always going to be Quinn.
Still further: Their Super collapse could stunt the young Falcons’ growth.
And this one again: The Falcons lose the most Atlanta game ever.