When you hire a coach and give him two years or less to succeed, you are probably not a great franchise. Yet there are some who believe that Dan Quinn is on the hot seat heading into 2017, when the Falcons will open a new stadium.
The latest salvo comes from MSN Sports' Mike Batista, who I'm singling out solely because his four day old article was brought to my attention this morning, not because he's on an island with this thought process. Here's the relevant portion:
Dan Quinn is only entering his second season as Falcons head coach, but he might be on a short leash after overseeing a collapse that left the Falcons at 8-8 after a 6-1 start.
I have a major problem with this line of thought, even if shackling Quinn to Thomas Dimitroff makes sense after the former went to bat for the latter this offseason. The problem is that it takes a deeply dysfunctional organization to handpick a coach, with the help of an expensive search firm, and fire him after two seasons unless he is truly abysmal both those seasons. Considering Dan Quinn began his Falcons career at 8-8 with a team most of us now agree was not up to snuff, talent-wise, you're not going to set him up to be canned on the basis of that year.
The greatest threat to Quinn, of course, is the specter of Thomas Dimitroff being fired after 2016 (a very real possibility, based on how the season goes), and a new personnel man wanting a different coach. Considering that Blank decided not to fire Dimitroff based on Quinn's preference this year, though, I have to think he's got a lot of confidence in his new coach, and would make a personnel decision with Quinn's input in mind. Again, there's no point in hiring a coach, especially one with final say over the makeup of the roster, if you're just going to turn him out after a couple of seasons. The Browns, the Dolphins, and the Titans are excellent examples of why that approach rarely works out.
There are scenarios in which Quinn is fired in 2016, like a winless season or Matt Ryan stabbing Kyle Shanahan to death mid-game, but they're so remote that they're not worth considering. Quinn is going to get a chance to implement his vision, the team is putting time and energy into building a roster he likes (even if we're not all tremendously fond of it yet), and the team's best chance to become a sustained winner is to execute that vision effectively and give him a little time. If Blank is at the point where he's willing to spin the coaching carousel to earn a little fan goodwill, this franchise is in a ton of trouble, regardless of who is ultimately at the helm.