Since the 2015 season, the Atlanta Falcons have been led by Dan Quinn, who was formerly the Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator and the author of the famed “Legion of Boom”. In his time at the helm, his Falcons have compiled an overall record of 36-28, with two playoff appearances and a Super Bowl representation.
That said, while his team is always incredibly set on offense, his defenses never seem to come anywhere close to what he orchestrated in Seattle. With the exception of the 2017 season, when the team posted its first top-10 defense since 1998 (when they went to the Super Bowl for the first time), they’re usually in the bottom half of the entire league, which isn’t a promising sign.
Because of this, the question that some fans and members of the media ask is: if Atlanta’s defense disappoints, should his seat start heating up?
I’ll answer that with one word: NO.
Sure, people can speculate about Quinn’s seat if his defense doesn’t perform to expectations. But what exactly would justify performing below expectations? We all want our favorite team to boast the best defense, but there are all kinds of variables which can either benefit or hinder said circumstance. I’ve heard rumors that Atlanta needs to have a top-10 defense to save his job. That said, he just signed a three-year extension last offseason, so he’s got until 2022 at least to keep Atlanta as hot as they’ve been under his leadership.
It’s really ridiculous how much people want to find every method to bring this man down, particularly after last year’s dismal 7-9 campaign. Everyone seems to forget that in the first game of the year, he lost starting strong safety Keanu Neal to a torn ACL and Deion Jones to a broken foot. Then in Week Two, he lost starting running back Devonta Freeman to a groin injury and guard Andy Levitre to a torn triceps. And then in Week Three, the Falcons lost their secondary cornerback Ricardo Allen in an overtime loss to a torn Achilles.
Right there, Atlanta was primed for a bad season, and it showed starting with the Dallas game in November when the team lost five straight games after a three-game winning streak. Ironically, Atlanta’s season reminded me of Dallas’ in 2017 because both teams’ fortunes really seemed to turn when they lost this respective contest in Atlanta in November. Don’t believe me? Go look at how Dallas did following a loss against the Falcons in 2017.
However, Atlanta doesn’t want any sympathy, as evidenced by a statement by the NFL Network’s Peter Schrager. He stated that he recently spoke to Quinn at the NFL Combine about all the injuries, and Quinn said: “I don’t want to hear it anymore”. Also, according to Schrager, linebacker De’Vondre Campbell said in front of Quinn during the playoffs that if they didn’t have all these injuries, they’d be in the playoffs. Quinn was quick to reprimand him, saying “What makes you think that? You haven’t earned anything. Stop using the injury excuse. Go out and earn it.” This is a true coach that expects the best out of the players he has on his roster, and won’t accept any excuses to justify what happened on the field.
If you want to speculate about Quinn’s seat, go right ahead. But don’t come my way with that nonsense. Quinn’s leadership and toughness is something I haven’t seen in my squad since Jerry Glanville, and I’m not even old enough to have seen them live.
This Brotherhood doesn’t need your sympathy. Instead, we’re just going to take your sympathy, use it to further build our trust, then rise and earn it on the gridiron.