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Old coaching staff caused team to play timid?

The team has kept a pretty tight lid on the problems that have existed with the Falcons the last few years.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of a few mentions of simpler schemes and music at practice, it has been hard to determine any major changes under Dan Quinn, or what the problems were under Mike Smith.

Why is this so important? If the major problem with the team was coaching, the Atlanta Falcons should have a bounce-back this season. If the major problem was the talent, circle 2019 in your calendar and stock up on copious amounts of alcohol.

The Falcoholic briefly touched on an article from ESPN's Vaughn McClure from last week, where he talked to an unnamed Falcons player.

"Last year with the coaching staff, it was like, 'You don't know what you're doing. You're an idiot. Get the hell out.' Now, you can play more free. You can play with confidence. You don't have to worry about making mistakes and going around walking around on egg shells."

This quote sheds some light on what one player thought about the old coaching staff, and certainly makes sense.

If you missed Jay Glazer's bus tour interview with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, you missed out on some interesting quotes that support the unnamed Falcon player.

Jones, arguably the team's best player, and one of the best players in the entire league, was worried about messing up on the field.

[Dan Quinn] is challenging us to be the absolute best. I guess it is the confidence, going out there and just cutting it loose. If you mess up, you mess up. I can say from the past, yeah I was going out there full speed and handling my responsibility, but I had that 'if I mess up factor.' So now I can just cut it loose.

This timid mindset may be what fans have seen on the field the last two years. Players appeared beaten down by preseason, apparently too worried about stringently following complex and convoluted schemes than making plays. For instance, Paul Worrilow has made more plays in three preseason games than he has in the last two seasons.

The team looks refreshed, and as a whole, appear to be playing with more confidence than previous years. This mindset should result in more wins this year.