Atlanta Falcons New Head Coach: Dan Quinn

“An Opportunity of a Lifetime”

Welcome Mr. Quinn!!!!


The expression “good is the enemy of great may have started with Dan Quinn” said Arthur Blank in his introductory remarks of the Dan Quinn press conference. Mr. Blank described the process that the Falcons undertook in their coaching search and went out of his way to go over again the quixotic structure that he’s put in place at the front office level. He noted that 10 other NFL clubs are structured that way, 8 of them that have hired new coaches since 2010. Blank said it was a “current trend” several times, seeming to go out of his way to defend the new dynamic.

“So Fired Up to Be Here with You Guys Today”

Quinn started by thanking Blank, Rich McKay, Thomas Dimitroff, and everyone in the organization for having the patience to wait for their Super Bowl run to end and that he knows that’s not an easy thing to do. “I can’t wait to build a similar championship environment here in Atlanta.” After all the nice introductions and thanks to Pete Carroll,  John Schneider, the fans in Seattle, his agent and his wife, he immediately gave Falcons fans some red meat.

“Brand of Football We’ll Play will be Fast and Physical”

The new Falcons head coach talked about how he knew how passionate the fanbase were here in Atlanta and gave the fans exactly what they wanted. “We’re going to attack in every phase of the game and the passion and energy you bring can be unmatched to the energy I bring in terms of being your head football coach.” He mentioned there being a lot of challenges and hard work ahead, but that he can’t wait to get started.

Q & A Session

Interview Process During Playoff Run

The new Falcons ball coach was asked how the process of being in the playoffs and being interviewed as and he responded by saying that he was lucky enough to interview with several teams, but he told his wife Stacey that night that if everything worked out that this was the place he wanted to be.

Quinn and Ryan

While most would assume this is lip service and “everyone says that afterwards,” this really does seem to have some value to it because there was word very early on that Quinn topped the Falcons wishlist and he preferred the Falcons.

“Goal to be Best Fundamental Team in Football”

The former Seahawks coach said that it will be a major challenge to become fundamentally sound, but that he plans on bringing rugby tackling to Atlanta, which is leverage, shoulder tackling. While Mike Smith talked a lot about the same thing, Quinn proved that his team was arguably the best at tackling in the NFL. Quinn mentioned that not only is rugby tackling “safer, but it’s also more effective.” Some said that the rugby style would take the physicality out of tackling. He vehemently disagreed and said we’re going to hit “as hard as we possibly can in the strike zone.”

Definitive Plan for Building a Defense

Effort first. Very aggressive on the way we attack the football. Play as fast and physical as we can. Looking forward to getting to know all the players as good as we can and use them to their strengths as much as possible (a tenet of Pete Carroll’s philosophy). He also plans on keeping an active role in calling plays on defense.

Why Atlanta, Why Now? >> “Leadership Challenge”

Welcome to Atlanta Mr. and Mrs. Quinn

Quinn talked of the increasing leadership challenge that comes with moving up the ranks from position coach to coordinator and taking on the role of being a head coach, running a team in your style and vision. He said that this was the “best fit” for him and that the support of Mr. Blank was very enticing. He also went out of his way to mention how excited he was to work with Thomas Dimitroff and how he “connected with him right away and wanted to partner with” and that he saw that relationship work strongly in Seattle with Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider. He didn’t specifically that he would be calling plays on defense and that he hadn’t gotten to that point as of yet. He said he was starting to look at personnel as soon as tonight and that was superior to discussing any sort of scheme at that point in time.

Connecting and “Learning the Players the Best”

He said it would likely take all spring for him to get to know the players as best as possible and into OTA’s and would “feature them the best.” He mentioned several times about learning the players as good as possible and getting to know them. That is one of Carroll’s paramount strengths as head coach, being able to connect and relate with his player’s and thus building strong and trusting relationships with them…. a cornerstone of all great leaders.

Biggest Challenge for You

Quinn’s response was getting to know his players as good as he possibly could and develop a close-knit team and that in his experience, the teams that were the closest always played the best. He also spoke of looking forward to the “challenges” and that’s what he enjoyed the most.

My Kind of Football Player: Fast and Physical

The Salisbury State product talked about his “type of football player” was one who played fast and physical and that the attitude they played with would begin with effort first. “There’s some terrific guys here that he can’t wait to connect with” and that playing great, fundamental football begins with a mindset and attitude.

Major Roster Churn?

Steak Shapiro of 680 mentioned that Pete Carroll did a huge roster churn upon taking over the Seahawks (something like 100 transactions) and asked if Quinn would be looking to do the same thing if he needed. Quinn responded “not necessarily. At every opportunity we’re going to compete, but that the first order of business is to evaluate our own team.”

How Far Away is this Team?

A Look at the New Stadium

Quinn did a perfect pivot on this question after it was brought up about the Falcons being in the NFC Championship Game two years ago. He said he didn’t want to get too far ahead and that he only cared about how “good can we be right now” and how could he help each player have the best off-season they’ve had of their careers and the best off-season “we’ve ever had.”

Offensive Philosophy

He spoke of teams that showed balance were always the toughest to defend and he specifically discussed a zone blocking running scheme with a vertical passing offense. He talked about finding many ways to attack and that with all the pieces in place it will be “terrific fit.”

Attacking the Offense – Affecting the Quarterback

This may not be music to some fans ears, but Quinn said the most important facet of pressuring the offense was “affecting the quarterback,” something that fans have heard many times before. He said pressuring the QB, knocking them off the spot, and sacks were all intertwined to affecting the quarterback and that versatility was a huge component in what he was looking for in a player in being able to play many positions and have multiple pass rushers, because injuries will occur.

Quinn and Dimitroff – Common Vision and Beliefs?

Quinn and TD on Same Page?

Quinn mentioned that he and Dimitroff’s beliefs and vision lined up really quickly in the process and spoke very highly of wanting to work with him. When asked on the subject of the front office structure, he quickly positioned how excited he was to partner with Dimitroff. While this could be great acting and lip service, it seemed extremely genuine coming from Quinn.

On Speaking to the Players…….

Accountabiltiy. Competition. Finding a competitive edge. Toughness and real style and attitude first and the way they play with all the way through.

351 thoughts on “Atlanta Falcons New Head Coach: Dan Quinn

  1. Hamad Meander

    What is the value of having a top 5 WR in the league without the headaches that typically come from that position? Think of the issues Dallas had to deal with Bryant, or what Jacksonville has gone through with Blackmon, or Percy Harvin’s lockerroom issues, or Brandon Marshall’s temper tantrums, Josh Gordon at Cleveland (what a mess), the Titans with Kenny Britt, and I could probably go on. Julio Jones is none of these guys. He has a clean record and seems to be a great teammate. I have never heard of anything Julio has done outside of the Georgia Dome. That’s worth a lot of money when you compare him to the headaches listed prior.

  2. Flo-Ri-Duh
    article: 2015 Falcons Draft Monitor 1.0
    2/1015 varying recent MOCKS pick for Falcons at #1 :

    Dante Fowler (DE) – Mel Kiper ( [ would be the DE in Quinn’s defense & not the LEO]
    Arik Armstead (DE) – Todd McShay ( [would play the Michael Bennett role in Quinn’s defense]
    Amari Cooper (WR)- Daniel Jeremiah ( [ Roddy White’s not getting younger/ perfect compliment to JJ]
    Vic Beasley (OLB) – Bucky Brooks ( [explosive pass rusher – likely LEO]
    Bud Dupree (DE/OLB) – Pete Schrager ( [pass rusher – says he’s now up to 270 lb – so DE in Quinn’s “D”?]
    Dante Fowler (DE) – Jamie Newberg ( [ versatile DE]
    Dante Fowler DE) – Rob Rang ( [difference maker at DE]
    Vic Beasley (OLB) – Dane Brugler ( [hybrid DE/OLB pass rusher in Quinn’s system (LEO)]
    Vic Beasley (OLB) – Pat Kirwan ( [ seems to fit the scheme]
    Dante Fowler (DE) – Matt Miller ( [Quinn could see him as the next Cliff Avril]
    Dante Fowler (DE) – Dan Kadar ( [ versatile pass rusher]

  3. Coop

    Put in a first rate OL and you won’t need a JJ or great RB. As it stands, we would be dead without our great receiving corps. This OL has stunk for years. Few holes for RBs… no time for Matt to progress or for WRs to have routes develop.

    1. Paddy O

      coop – it was be terrific to have an above average line with our receiving corps. If Quinn can bring some genuine innovation, and have some trust in MR2 (who I still don’t think had the authority to call time out under Smitty). – I think we could dominate.

  4. waynester

    The entire Jones discussion may be a moot point but when you’re failing, EVERYTHING has to be on the table until you evaluate what’s right/wrong with your approach. I expect, like many of you, that Jones will remain a Falcon and probably WILL be awarded with a “Mr. Falcon”-type contract that keeps him here for his career. As I noted before, he’s popular on and off the field with coaches, teammates and fans and those are valuable attributes…but are they worth $13 Million/year? That’s worth discussing.
    Greg asked earlier how many mediocre players would we get by making such a trade.
    That is really a totally different issue: Do you trust the FO to make smart personnel decisions going forward?
    If the answer was NO–then keeping a known commodity like JJ would be a foregone conclusion. If the answer is YES–then we could absolutely get better value with blue-chip draft picks(plural). If we had Belichick or Carroll or Ozzie Newsome making the picks (or certain Cagers for that matter) we’d believe in such a bold move. With TD/SP/AB/DQ//the guy in the mailroom making the picks it’s scary to even consider it.
    FLO asked what our record would have been last year WITHOUT Jones– I believe it would be almost identical. This is a team sport and games are won/lost by lots of guys making/not making plays–doing/not doing their jobs. JJ is one of those guys that does his job and makes plays– but we need SO MANY MORE guys that do the same… Guys that we won’t be able to afford if we’re not right about this and several other big personnel decisions coming in 2015/16/17. Whichever way we end up going, it’s all about the Lombardi–whatever or whoever it takes to get it….

  5. Flo-Ri-Duh

    JB Falcon ( 2/10 @ 2:41 pm) – Way too early – wait til cuts are made to the roster, FA signings are done, contracts are extended and the combine results come in…. and how many castoffs the Falcons collect off of other team’s rejects. After that, all these guys doing mocks will make lots of changes to their predictions. I will too.

    Seahawks got several FA’s on the DL through FA… Falcons are unlikely to get more than one but that could affect who they take #1 in the draft.

    Just hope Falcons get two guys that can get decent pressure on the QB in 2015… draft or FA – whatever it takes.

  6. Dewey


    Julio isn’t on a franchise contract. This was a fifth year team option. If the Falcons hadn’t picked up the option, Julio would be a FA right now. So yes, if they wanted to trade him they could, Julio gets no say in the matter.

  7. Seminole Warrior

    What’s Up Cage

    Cocoa Mel and the Tee Pee Sports staff have been busy studying some of the dozen of potential draft candidates that the Falcons hopefully will be doing a detailed assessment of during the upcoming NFL Combine.

    I see that there is a lot of conversation ongoing as we being to “scratch” our draft and free agency itches. That is cool. The mix is all over the big board and will certainly make for interesting conversations over the coming weeks.

  8. waynester

    I really enjoyed hearing from our new coordinators today(Falcons website) and getting a better idea of the type of guys we’ve brought in. I like it. I like it a LOT. Coach Armstrong is, of course a known quantity and I’m happy we retained him. Shanahan and Smith were only somewhat familiar having seen them on a very limited basis–but I liked what I heard and saw from them both. My confidence is growing daily in the staff Coach Quinn has put together. They all seem to share similar philosophies on how to build a winning team. Our OLinemen better be doing some running this offseason since they’re dang sure going to be doing a lot of it under our new OC zone system. In fact, everybody needs to be working on getting FASTER. I must have heard the word “speed” a dozen times between the Coordinators. The guys that wind up making this team are going to be burning up some shoe leather!!!

  9. Seminole Warrior

    “Just hope Falcons get two guys that can get decent pressure on the QB in 2015… draft or FA – whatever it takes.”

    Stay tuned, Flo. Cocoa and the Tee Pee will deliver. And we will do so with VALUE in the draft. I have a young man that is just as explosive as Fowler and put up numbers on par with the same.

    And trust me, I am well aware of Fowler’s upside given the fact that he was coming to FSU before Quinn and Muschamp shocked the world with getting him to switch to Gator Nation in 2012.

  10. Ken Strickland

    This is very interesting. I don’t know about his choice of RBS, especially to start. I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss DFreeman, especially with us switching to a ZBS.

    SEMINOLE WARRIOR-That makes 2 of us. Let’s face it, both DFreeman & JRogers ran far more effectively & with more power than SJackson, and they’re both excellent fits for the ZBS. While we could use another RB for depth purposes, we could definitely do very well with a RB by committee approach with Freeman, Rogers & Smith, assuming all three remain with the team.

    1. Seminole Warrior

      K Strick, Devonta will excel in the ZBS. I can see Rogers are a “Kevin Faulk” 3rd down specialist. It will be interesting to see what becomes of Antone Smith. And we will have to pick up an additional back as either a late round selection or a priority UDFA post draft.

      Under no condition should the Falcons use a draft pick in 21015 on a running back.

  11. Greg Mendel

    Good points, waynester (at 1:38). For me, it’s not so much that Julio is “sacred.” For me, he’s a known quantity/quality worth keeping on any team. I may be wrong, but I think the picks we traded for him were squandered by Cleveland. TD can squander with the worst of ’em.

    1. Seminole Warrior


      I think that he slipped. It seemed that he really wanted to define what he was looking for in a RB; a guy that can run the ball as well as be a solid receiver and blocker. More a less a complete back. But since depth is an issue, it would not surprise me to see a back taken later in the draft of signed as an UDFA.

      I truly do believe that my little guy, Devonta Freeman, can handle the mission with the tenacity that KS seems to want in his approach.

  12. Seminole Warrior

    Question for the Cage…

    Several times now since he took over the Falcons, Dan Quinn has stated that one of the major reasons he was drawn to Atlanta was he felt that he and TD could really work well together, shared a common vision, and wanted to win together. Makes you wonder about a couple of things?

    1) When did TD give up on the CFA experiment?

    2) Is this hire REALLY a TD move more than we think?

    1. Arno

      Since TD is still here, and Quinn is giving him a lot of credit, hindsight would have to say TD was very much a party to the Korn Ferry hire– and the beginning of the end of the CFA misfit.

  13. Arno

    Shannahan’s eval of the RBs will be very interesting. We’re excited for Devonta, but also for Antone– both of them should thrive.

  14. Dewey


    I’m surprised at you. You are a very smart man, I would have thought you would have figured this out by now. Dimwitt is a snake, a weasel, a butt sniffer and worst of all, a top flight salesman. King Arthur presented Dimwitt with the possible choices for our new HC. Dimwitt could read that King Arthur really liked Quinn. So Dimwitt not only pushed the King in the direction of Quinn (effectively giving the King exactly what he wanted), he also began sucking up to Quinn knowing this is Artie’s new guy and if he wants to stay in the King’s good graces, he better play nice. So now Dimwitt and Quinn are best buddies. It’s classic schoolyard trench warfare. When the coolest kid in school starts hanging around with a new friend, you befriend the new friend if you want to stay friends with the cool kid. Dimwitt is telling everyone exactly what they want to hear. Don’t worry, Dimwitt will start pulling his puppet strings soon enough. And no one will realize it’s happening.

    1. JB Falcon

      Dewey, I agree with the TD part 100% but SW was simply throwing a question out there for conversation. If TD wanted me to loan him the skin off of a grape, I would require collateral.

  15. waynester

    Well, Shanahan specifically mentioned liking Freeman and Quizz coming out of college–which is a good indicator that he views them as viable zone/ one-cut candidates since he’s been a proponent of that system for a Looong time and he repeated it in the PC today. Smith has the commodity that all 3 Coordinators emphasized– SPEED–plus he eclipsed the 4 ypc minimum that KS said he expected in his RBs…..

  16. Flo-Ri-Duh

    John Waynesworld (2/10 @ 7:57 pm) – Shanahan did mention DeMarco Murray (RB) who is mostly likely the top FA RB on the board. Would they try to go after Murray rather than draft a guy? He’s 27 years old.

    1. Seminole Warrior

      Flo / JWW

      I PRAY that we do not invest that type of money in a free agent RB when there is depth, considerable depth, in this draft class.

      Alfred Morris was a SIXTH round pick and Arian Foster was undrafted. Shanahan did pretty well with both…

  17. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Dewey (2/10 @ 3:57 pm) – How is Julio’s situation different than being a FFA? They cannot use the franchise tag on him in 2016. Doubt if any teams will go through a TRADE if Julio refuses to extend his contract with them and it runs out after the 2015 season. I tried to explain this before. Many you didn’t see it. They can trade him if they can find someone willing to give up what the Falcons want (draft choices / players) and are willing to have him only one year. Very unlikely. So, yes they do need his cooperation & willingness to extend his contract with the new team in order for any team to find it worthwhile. If the Falcons can’t find anyone willing to trade with they can’t trade him. That is the way I see it.

    1. Seminole Warrior

      And that’s the way it is….a little classic Walter Cronkite there to help Flo with a very solid explanation of why the trade scenario is not likely.

      It would actually be beneficial to keep JJ11 long term and use this draft to find a viable slot WR. It would facilitate an upgrade at the position, help off set the weakness we have in the intermediate game or red zone (nothing from the tight end position in either situation), and it would set the Falcons up for the eventual release of RW84…a day that may come sooner rather than later given our cap structure over the next few years and the need to address it.

    2. Dewey


      You are correct, no one would trade what we would want to only have Julio for 1 year. It would have to be a sign and trade like what you see a lot of in the NBA. So in that respect, yes, Julio would have to cooperate. But we don’t need his permission to trade him if we were in a position where we were just looking to unload him for whatever we could get.

      Just curious, why couldn’t we franchise him next year rather than sign him to a multi-year contract or let him walk as a FA.

  18. JB Falcon

    Conversation (Websters) (1) : oral exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, or ideas (2) : an instance of such exchange.
    Argument, same source, a discussion in which people express different opinions about something.

  19. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Dewey – Because they already said they wouldn’t go that route. Obviously they intend to extend his contract and Julio has stated he doesn’t want to go any where else. Julio being an upright guy, won’t ask for anything outrageous. Let’s see what happens with Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant (both FA’s) and what kind of contract they get, As for just letting Julio walk … sure they can do that but not likely to happen. Right now about 53% of the cap is tied up by the top 10 players on the payroll. Unfortunately several of them have been underperformers for what they are getting paid. Falcons can’t afford anymore bad contracts if they want to compete.

  20. Grits Blitz

    Only in the rarest of circumstances would another team convince its leadership they are ONLY one star WR away from the big dance! But, even then, they can not be assumed to be stupid. They know JJ has had multiple injuries requiring him to miss substantial playing time. Doubt this type of team shopping for a JJ would place much stock in seeking him for the long-term – just an immediate 1-2 year S.B. run….kinda out of desperation (i.e. like coaching jobs/Gm job on the line). Know of any (sucker) teams willing to pull a Hershel Walker Vikings-Dallas Trade II? Even sucker teams would not want to commit suicide after seeing the results of that trade!
    With what we’d demand in return for JJ just does not seem to realistically add-up – a pure LONGSHOT, indeed, big salary demands ahead notwithstanding.
    Could Quinn use the extra players/draft choices to rebuild HIS team? Without a doubt.
    Every indicator known to mankind would point, though, to…this trade -on so many fronts – just ain’t gonna happen and DQ will likely have to find another way to rebuild this team. I’m still gonna bet he’ll find a way.
    (And, the sooner TD is removed, I’ll also bet he’ll find a faster and better way to get it done!)


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