Earlier this week, the Atlanta Falcons' owner talked playoffs. If you're not already cringing, read on.
Q: Do you believe the current roster, assuming no significant injuries, is a playoff team in 2016?
A: Yes, I do, because of the added talent and knowing the existing roster’s players and them knowing the schemes better. I think that will be evidenced on both sides of the ball. So my view is, yes, we will have a better team next year and we definitely should have a competitive team in the playoffs. I think Dan would say that too.
Q: Would I be overstating it to say there’s a playoff mandate?
A: I wouldn’t use that word. I’m optimistic and hopeful that would be the case, but I wouldn’t say there’s a mandate. The flip side of that answer has connotations to it that I’m not comfortable with.
I stand by my feeling that Thomas Dimitroff could very well be on the chopping block if the Falcons don't have a successful season, but I understand Blank's queasiness with mandating a playoff appearance, because it implies he'll take action he may not want to take. I think the playoffs aren't particularly likely, so I do cringe a bit when that word is tossed around by the owner, but I understand being frustrated by losing and ready to be done with it. I think the fans feel exactly the same way.
The team will have to at least show real progress in 2016, but I think Dan Quinn is safe heading into 2017 unless this team bottoms out at 2-14 or worse. The playoffs would just keep everyone--Arthur Blank included--a lot happier in the last season in the Georgia Dome.