Dan Quinn fired as Falcons coach after 0-5 start, GM Thomas Dimitroff fired as well
Dan Quinn is not given another chance to save his job.
Quinn survived slow starts in 2018 and 2019, but a 5-0 start this season with two terrible breakdowns in the fourth quarter was too much. Quinn was fired five games in his sixth season as the Falcons coach. He finished his run with the Falcons 43-42. The team announced the news on Sunday evening.
The Falcons also said that General Manager Thomas Dimitroff, who had been on the team since 2008, has been fired. Team President Rich McKay will temporarily oversee football operations. An interim coach will be announced on Monday, the Hawks said.
Quinn was very close to being an Atlanta legend. In the 2016 season he took the Falcons to the championship game and they led the Super Bowl LI 28-3 in the second half. The game fell apart when the New England Patriots came back and won in overtime. Eventually, Quinn's tenure as the Falcons coach fell apart too.
Atlanta Quinn's team at head coach Dan Quinn has blown big leads for two straight weeks. (AP Photo / Brynn Anderson)
Falcons start brutally 0-5
The falcon season couldn't have started worse. They lost in week 1 when the Seattle Seahawks blew them away. They suffered an inexplicable loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2 after being 19 points ahead in the second half. Team owner Arthur Blank said he didn't think the players knew late in the game what to do with an important onside kick, which wasn't good news for Quinn.
In week 3 everything seemed fine. The Falcons led 26-10 against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter. Then, amazingly, the wheels came off again. The Bears scored three touchdowns in the last six and a half minutes and won 30-26. Elias Sports said no other team in NFL history had two 15-point fourth-quarter leads in an entire season. The hawks did it for two straight weeks.
Of course, it's not the worst lead in hawk history. The Super Bowl collapse against the Patriots will live forever in NFL lore. But what the Falcons did in those two games was also bad historically.
Week 4 saw another loss, a 30-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers, when the Falcons never led. At least the Hawks led a while in Week 5, but when they lost it to the Carolina Panthers in the second quarter, they never got it back. That 23-16 loss brought the Falcons 0-5 to start the season.
Blank said in a statement that Quinn "was anything you'd expect from a man, coach, teacher or neighbor," and while it may have helped Quinn save his job over the past few years, it was 5-0 -Start impossible to ignore.
"Decisions like this are very difficult, but the last two seasons and the start of this season have been particularly difficult for me because of the deep love, admiration and respect that I and my family have for Dan, Thomas and their families," said Blank an explanation. “For many years you have represented me, our team, our organization and Atlanta with class, commitment and all the passion that you expect from the team leaders. But as everyone knows, this is a profit-making business and I owe it to our fans to bring the best possible product to market. We have put all possible resources into winning and will continue to do so, but recent results have not been up to our standards or what I promised our fans. Therefore we will install a new coaching and personnel management for the Atlanta Falcons in due course.
“Our 2019 target was an opportunity to show that the momentum can continue and build, but that clearly did not happen. Overall, the past three seasons have failed to show my commitment to Atlanta and our fans everywhere. I want you all to know that my commitment to winning has not waned and I will continue to provide every possible resource to help make this happen. "
Falcons have their third bad start in a row
Quinn's Falcons career hasn't been great since the Super Bowl loss. The Falcons were 4-9 in 2018, despite winning their last three games to make the final record look a little better. After that disappointing 2018 season, Quinn fired his offensive, defensive and specialty team coordinators. He looked finished after a 1-7 start last season, but Blank stuck with him and the Falcons won six of their last eight games.
That was enough to give Quinn another season. However, the start of the 2020 season was brutal.
The hawk job may not be that attractive. It's a franchise that has never won a Super Bowl. Quarterback Matt Ryan turns 36 next season and is having a bad year. Julio Jones turns 32, an age at which recipients gradually decline. There isn't a lot of talent on the roster, especially in defense.
Blank just had to make a change and see if someone else could turn the hawks around.
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