Dan Quinn defended Kyle Shanahan on a conference call with the Atlanta media Friday, which is probably not what a large number of Falcons fans would like to hear.
Everyone was fine with Shanahan when the Atlanta Falcons started the 2015 season with a 6-1 record. There was speculation that Shanahan would be the hottest head coach candidate on the market after the season. He was hailed as an offensive genius. Then things started to fall apart. Fans began to openly question Shanahan's approach to coordinating the Falcons' offensive attack after the offense went stagnant, which coincided with the timeframe in which the team stopped winning.
When veteran receiver Roddy White was cut, he was less than complimentary about Shanahan on his way out the door. If you'll think back to Atlanta's loss against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11, Atlanta opened the game with three straight White targets on their first possession. This came on the heels of local media questioning Shanahan about White's diminished role in the offense. Shanahan said he wasn't going to change his approach simply because the media thought he should, and the three straight incompletions to White felt like Shanahan saying, "I told you so."
White went so far as to say that Shanahan wanted him out of Atlanta. When Quinn was asked about this issue on Friday, he supported Shanahan unequivocally.
"I love what Kyle represents in terms of the style we want to play and the way we want to attack," Quinn said. "I understand the criticism. That goes with the job of coaching. But there's a number of things we're doing well. Past that is what this offseason is all about."
As the AJC's Jeff Schultz pointed out, the Falcons seem to be committed to not only sticking with Shanahan, but also to giving him the offensive weapons he believes he'll need for this team to succeed next season. Adding Pro Bowl center Alex Mack and wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, as well as backup quarterback Matt Schaub, indicates a level of confidence in Shanahan's approach and an expectation toward improvement next season.
So whether you like Shanahan or not, and many of you don't, he's here for at least another season. For the time being, at least, he also has Quinn's full support.