Dear Coach Quinn,
As an Atlanta Falcons fan since 1980, I’ve been privy to some serious highs and lows. I’ll never forget the 2007 season. The hope of a new coach was quickly destroyed by the arrest of Mike Vick. Ultimately, though, it led to the drafting of QB Matt Ryan. From his first pass (a touchdown) to his first incredible game-winning drive against the Bears, I’ve had the fortune of watching this quarterback win the hearts of a city who was still reeling from losing their iconic superstar in Vick.
I’ve watched as - year after year - Ryan has been saddled with sub-par defenses and has bailed this franchise out repeatedly with game winning drives, setting records in the category along the way.
I’ve also watched as he was given talent deprived offensive lines, only to be beaten repeatedly behind the line of scrimmage and to hear fans on talk radio call for his head the following day.
In those years one constant has remained, though. No matter who the offensive coordinator was or what the talent level was like around him, the minute Matt Ryan was allowed to run the offense on the field, it flourished. Yet, it seemed like every year the use of the no-huddle or “Texas” offense was kept to a minimum. I understand the need to not constantly put your defense back on the field too quickly, but giving your defense a lead to play with is also highly beneficial.
We saw it again this past Sunday against the Jets. The first touchdown drive was primarily Matt calling plays at the line, and again, he looked masterful doing so. We shouldn’t be surprised, though. He’s never had the fastest feet or the biggest arm, but the one thing he’s always had is a very sharp football mind.
From Mike Mularkey to Dirk Koetter to Kyle Shanahan, every Falcons fan has seen it: when Ryan runs the offense on the field, he delivers. Yet, every single year, we’ve seen the team move away from it with little explanation as to why you would abandon something that is almost always successful.
We know you’re not going to fire Sark this year. It’s also clear the offense is struggling to score with him calling plays. I get that you want to let him grow into his role, but it can’t come at the expense of the team scoring points.
I guess what I’m asking, Coach, is for you to do the one thing that no coach before you has done: let Matt Ryan run this offense. You’ve seen the success he’s had in doing it. We all have. There are ways to control the clock while still letting him call the plays on the field. After 9+ years in the NFL, he’s seen it all - certainly more than Sark has to this point.
Trust his experience. Trust his work ethic. Trust this franchise QB to get this offense back on track.
As a Falcons fan for a long time, I can tell you that we’ll support you in letting him run the offense on the field more. If it proves to be fruitless, we’ll support the decision to move away from it too. At this point, though, what is there to lose? We know this offense can do so much more than it’s doing and I believe you know it too.
It’s time Coach Quinn.
Please let Matt Ryan run this offense.
A life long Falcons fan.