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Dan Quinn talks Steve Sarkisian, post-Super Bowl path in Tuesday press conference

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Where do the Falcons go from here, and why did they hire Steve Sarkisian?

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Quinn held his first big post-Super Bowl press conference with the media, and our own Jeanna Thomas was there to cover it as always. Here’s some of the most interesting comments from today, including Quinn’s thoughts on new hire Steve Sarkisian, who he is familiar with thanks to Pete Carroll.

Steve Sarkisian

This is what we were all waiting to hear. There will be not re-learning of a new system for Matt Ryan and company, just tweaks and additions. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect this team to make history two years in a row with the new guy at the helm, but as I said earlier, they should be able to maintain a top 10 pace.

If improvements are going to be made, they might come through this right here. Ryan did great work with Shanahan and was clearly more comfortable last season, and now he gets to work in that system again with a coach that will be open to his feedback and ideas. Ryan’s a cerebral quarterback who has always flourished when given the keys to the offense, so this has the potential to be a big gain.

The fact that this hire was made within 48 hours of the Super Bowl and like 24 hours of Kyle Shanahan being officially named the new coach of the 49ers, it’s not surprising Quinn’s considered this for a while. Whether the Falcons did a deep vetting of other candidates or not isn’t real clear—Quinn did say they talked to other candidates—but it sounds like he’s had Sark in mind for a while.

Play action, no huddle, and Matt Ryan using his magnificent legs? Yeah, this sounds okay.

I’m sure the Falcons aren’t just taking Sark’s word for it, given the stakes here, and they really can’t afford to do so. We’ll trust that they checked him out, and we’ll hope Sarkisian truly is moving forward.

Super Bowl & Moving Forward

Very, very good news. Everyone’s on track to be healthy for the season opener, if not training camp, including Adrian Clayborn, Desmond Trufant, and Derrick Shelby.

Quinn is innately good at pushing forward and is an inveterate optimist, so this is not surprising. He’s right, though, in that this is a team that just needs a handful of key pieces and improvement from existing players to stay a contender. I look forward to watching the Falcons in 2017, and that’s not something I say lightly after watching this Super Bowl.