Falcons head coach Dan Quinn addressed the media in Flowery Branch today and he made it very clear that he's aware of the biggest problem facing the Falcons -- the turnovers.
Quinn wasn't surprised by how tough the Vikings were. As a matter of fact, he said that this game was just what the team anticipated. As has become standard for Atlanta of late, it came down to taking care of the football, and Atlanta didn't do that.
"They ended up taking care of the ball the best. For us, we do have a turnover problem, and that's one for us," Quinn said. "Our philosophy is, it is all about the ball, and there have been some lessons learned there. They've been hard ones for us. For us to be 11 ballgames in and be minus three, certainly, we didn't expect that."
The team is obviously taking steps to address the turnover issues. It's certainly discouraging that they haven't seemed to get to the root of the issues to date, but Quinn feels confident that they will.
"We're going to get that part of our game correct, and that's what I'm so looking forward to, and that's the kind of message we had with our team today was getting those lessons learned and getting to the problem and fixing them," Quinn said. "That was our biggest issue when it came down through the game."
Quinn also broke down each individual turnover from yesterday's game based on what the team saw on film.
Tevin Coleman's fumble was a result of the way he was carrying the ball. Quinn said he's got to keep it high and tight.
"For the first one, with Coleman, on the long run, a hard lesson through that one where somebody comes out of the stack to get the ball, when you're in a chase position, man, you'd better have the ball high and tight, and that's what happened here," Quinn said. "He made a long run. It was some really good blocking by Levine [Toilolo] and I think Pat DiMarco, and it ended up being a 40-yard run, but in this league, there's going to be someone from behind. They're going to be in the chase, and so at the end of those runs, to be high and tight, those are going to be critical ones."
Matt Ryan's end zone interception, a pick that absolutely left points on the field for the Falcons, was a troubling decision. There was no play to be made there, and Ryan tried to force it anyway.
Quinn said that the key to preventing these types of turnovers in the future is knowing when to throw it away and settle for a field goal.
"As far as the two interceptions thrown, we'll start with the one in the end zone where it was a third down play, and in that spot, we've got to make sure if it's not there, we're going to take the points, and that's been the real hard part for us," Quinn said. "For some of the turnovers that resulted in the red zone, they're not the points caused for the other team, but it's the points lost at the end of those drives. And that's a good lesson for us to say, all right, we've got a guy who can sling it and get into tight spots, but knowing when our shot is to do that and when not."
Ryan's other interception came when he appeared to overthrow Nick Williams just a bit. Quinn said this one's easy to avoid in the future.
"There for the second interception, I think, just a read to go to a different spot," Quinn said. "If he had that ball over to do, that's what he'd do. So those are the ones from yesterday."
Quinn said that the team does expect Devonta Freeman to be able to return to full practice on Wednesday. He also confirmed that Devin Hester, who is eligible to return to the field this Sunday against the Bucs, should practice fully on Wednesday as well. Quinn did not have much of an update on Justin Durant, who left yesterday's game with an ankle injury, but he said the team would see how Durant does between now and Wednesday. Quinn does expect Durant to at least be able to practice in at least a limited capacity on Wednesday.
Your thoughts on Quinn's comments?