Atlanta Falcons fans have endured a long offseason. February 5, 2017 was only five months ago - it feels much longer. But that’s what happens when your favorite team is on the wrong side of the biggest comeback victory in Super Bowl history.
Meanwhile we’re trying to move on, looking ahead and hoping the Falcons can put it all together this year. The excitement is building as we approach training camp. The defense is finally a strength. The offense hasn’t missed a beat. Things are looking up!
As good as this roster is top to bottom, the coaching staff has to do their job too. There’s plenty of talent on this coaching staff, and they’re plenty capable. But they have a tough job, and there’s lots of pressure to go around. So which members of the coaching staff have the most to prove?
Head Coach Dan Quinn
Quinn has done an incredible job since taking over two seasons ago. He’s completely revamped the defense. He’s a fantastic leader. And his bald head shines bright, like a beacon in the night. All that said, Quinn led a team that threw away a 25 point lead in the Super Bowl. Like a duck floating in the middle of a lake, Quinn looks calm but there’s lots going on beneath the surface.
Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian
You’re probably familiar with Sark’s history of personal struggles, so I won’t revisit them. He’s taking over the league’s best offense, and his system will substantially resemble Kyle Shanahan’s. I don’t know what Sark’s thinking, but if I had to guess, he’s some combination of excited and scared.
Defensive Coordinator Marquand Manuel
Manuel is undoubtedly someone Quinn trusts, and that means something. He’s seen it all as a player and he’s done enough as an assistant to earn his new title. Ultimately Quinn is his safety net, which will carry Manuel through adversity. Even so, he’s got a steep learning curve ahead.
Defensive Line Coach Bryant Young
Young, like Manuel, is a Quinn protege. He’s also a former player with four Pro Bowl trips and a Super Bowl ring. He’s replacing Bryan Cox, who held the job for three years and was a carryover from the Mike Smith era. Ultimately he knows what’s expected of him: help the young pass rushers develop and don’t try to fight anyone at the Combine. Young knows what it takes to disrupt an offense, and he’s proven himself in the college ranks, but can his coaching skill set translate at the next level?
So which member of the Falcons coaching staff has the most to prove? Your thoughts? Discuss!