After a dismal 0-5 start to the 2020 season, the Falcons have fired head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff. CEO Rich McKay will temporarily take charge of football operations and an interim head coach will be appointed on Monday. They are the second coach/GM to be fired in the last week as the Houston Texans fired head coach and GM Bill O’Brien.
“Decisions like these are very difficult, but the previous two seasons and start to this one have been especially hard for me because of the deep love, admiration and respect I and my family have for Dan, Thomas and their families,” said Falcons owner Arthur Blank. “For many years, they have represented me, our team, organization and Atlanta with class, commitment and all the passion you would want in the leaders of the team. But as everyone knows, this is a results business and I owe it to our fans to put the best product we can on the field. We have poured every resource possible into winning and will continue to do so, but the results of late do not meet our standard or what I’ve promised our fans. Therefore, we will install new coaching and personnel leadership of the Atlanta Falcons at the appropriate time.”
Quinn was hired in 2015 after being the defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” in their two Super Bowl appearances in 2013 and 2014. However, he could not transfer that level of success to the Falcons’ defense, ranking at the bottom half of the league in total defense in five of his six seasons as coach. They only ranked 13th in the one reason they were in the top half of the league.
He has overseen some terrible collapses and late-game failures, blowing a 28-3 lead to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI was historic but there was also losing 15-10 at Philadelphia in the 2017 divisional playoff round after failing to convert on four-straight goal-to-go situations.
Then, this season, losing 19 and 16-point leads to the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears, respectively, was the nail in the coffin. The Falcons built a history of choking and Quinn needed to be fired for change to be made.
As for Dimitroff, he has been around 13 years and was the one that drafted quarterback Matt Ryan in 2008. He built the teams which made the playoffs six times in the last 13 seasons. However, despite struggling the last couple of seasons, the core stayed the same, showing that drastic change was needed to rebuild for the future.
The Falcons need to start selling off key players and blow up the roster to start anew. It is now clear the Falcons need to start a huge rebuild and I recommend selling Ryan to a team that needs him, like the San Francisco 49ers.
The Falcons head to Minnesota to play the Vikings next Sunday.