Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff went on quite the media blitz yesterday, appearing on several networks and shows to talk about the Falcons. With a later start to OTAs than every other team besides the also-penalized Seahawks, it was a natural time to do so, and the team’s brass said a lot of interesting things along the way.
One thing sticks out because of its beautiful simplicity, and how often Dan Quinn repeats it. To play for Dan Quinn, you don’t have to absorb insanely complex schemes or be ultra-bland with the media or play four positions well, though that last one certainly wouldn’t hurt you. You have to buy into what he’s selling, and you need to have the speed, physicality and aggression he’s looking for, as he said about Takkarist McKinley and his young defense in general to ESPN.
What I like best about that philosophy is that it isn’t complicated. Mike Smith’s Falcons did yeoman’s work turning limited athletes into useful players, something that led to an unprecedented run of success, but those Falcons were riding a handful of elite players and their own cleverness to success that just didn’t last forever. Drafting a bunch of absurd athletes who believe in what Quinn is preaching and turning them loose is an evergreen approach, one that’s transformed a moribund roster into a Super Bowl contender in record time.
That’s why it’s not hard to see where Takkarist McKinley fits in as a passionate pass rusher with the requisite speed and physicality, and that’s why it’s not hard to understand why so many are so bullish on this team. Dan Quinn keeps it simple, and so long as the teams sticks to their philosophy and gets the right players, they should simply be a good team.