Dan Quinn spoke with the media today, and as always, we’ve rounded up a few of the most pertinent comments for those of you who can’t tune in. We lead with the news of Ra’Shede Hageman’s arrest back in March.
Quinn said that he wouldn't and can't comment on Hageman situation but team will let process play out. #Falcons— Mark Zinno (@MarkZinno) September 12, 2016
If this dates back to March, I haven’t the faintest clue what’s going on here, but suffice to say we don’t give the NFL and NFL teams the benefit of the doubt on domestic violence incidents. I can’t believe we’re finding out about this just now, and Hageman’s status with the team is a complete unknown, but chances are that if the team was going to release him, they would’ve done so by now. There is, of course, the chance that a change in his legal status or public pressure could change that, but Quinn is throwing Hageman’s status into the league’s hands, and is clearly content to leave it there.
The disappointing thing here is that this team has blundered from controversy to controversy this offseason, and when they have an opportunity to address a serious issue like this, they simply can’t or won’t do so. If you can’t comment on Hageman’s status, you can at least note that the Atlanta Falcons don’t condone domestic violence, will make a strong stand against it, and so forth. This is a team that wants good publicity it never seems to earn, and when crises come, they’re weak and tepid at best. Again, that’s disappointing.
DQ said Hageman not playing yesterday had nothing to do with allegations. It was based off of opponent. Which is honestly baffling. #Falcons— Mark Zinno (@MarkZinno) September 12, 2016
This also makes no sense. Hageman may not be a great player, but he’s probably a more impactful presence than the likes of Courtney Upshaw, and if we’re going purely on ability he should’ve been on the field over Upshaw, no matter how much Upshaw can move around the formation. Color me confused if he’s being truthful, but skeptical he is.
#Falcons allowed 8 explosive plays yesterday, 3 for scores. DQ said they'll work on that.— 92.9 The Game (@929TheGame) September 12, 2016
This is an old, tired thing, but I will offer up a defense for the Falcons here. They’re starting a pair of rookie linebackers who are naturally going to scuffle a bit when you ask them to make plays in coverage and in space, and De’Vondre Campbell and Deion Jones were certainly responsible for some miscues yesterday. On the other hand, the Charles Sims touchdown was the same kind of inexcusable hodgepodge of bad angles and poor tackles we thought we’d gotten a reprieve from in 2015, when the defense was a little better at keeping things in front of them. This is something the Falcons have to get fixed sooner than later if they want to avoid giving up 31-plus points per week.
Here’s the thing: Beasley DID do some good things against the Buccaneers, but he did not get a sack, and he did fall on his butt off of one of his spin moves. I still believe in Beasley and think he’ll come on as the year goes on, but it’s obvious at this point that his every miscue is going to be scrutinized. Quinn is right to stick up for his guy until it becomes untenable to do so, but Beasley does have to start getting better.
Also, the Falcons had nine missed tackles. That’s more than they’d like, and is part of getting this all cleaned up.
#Falcons coach Dan Quinn said S Keanu Neal (knee) is back on the field. Closer to returning.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) September 12, 2016
I don’t expect Keanu Neal to be back this coming week, but if he’s on the field and getting set to practice, there’s a good chance Atlanta will have him back for the third week of the season. Kemal Ishmael was far from the team’s biggest defensive problem on Sunday, but Neal is expected to be an athletic, punishing enforcer for the team on the back end, and they sorely needed that against the Buccaneers. We’ll keep an eye on his status this week.
Dan Quinn said he's not sure if Julio Jones will practice on Wednesday. He (as does Mohamed Sanu) has an ankle injury.— 92.9 The Game (@929TheGame) September 12, 2016
The Falcons are probably just taking it easy with Julio, who has made it clear he doesn’t expect this injury to sideline him for long. Sanu’s status is less clear, so we’ll have to wait until at least Wednesday to find out the severity for both guys. Suffice to say the Falcons need both against Oakland, but they certainly can’t afford to be down Julio for very long.
I don’t doubt that the team had a sincere discussion about whether or not to do this, but I’m not surprised they decided not to. Quinn gave a bit of a rambling answer about the importance of the day for America, but the upshot is that like a lot of teams, the Falcons decided 9/11 wasn’t the day to sit or kneel during the anthem. We’ll see if that changes at all on 9/18.