Atlanta Falcons training camp is a well-oiled machine. That’s because head coach Dan Quinn has a vision: from the practice playlist to Flowery Branch’s massive reserve of two-ply, lemon-scented toilet paper, Quinn has a blueprint and he’s sticking to it. Leading up to the first preseason game, Quinn and the coaching staff are formulating a game plan. How long will the starters play? Who should get an extended look? But they’re also thinking about how to collectively manage games, as a staff, going forward.
Late in his brief press conference this afternoon, Quinn talked about his placement of the defensive and offensive coordinators during the first preseason game. Here’s how he envisions it, at least for now:
“Good question: Sark will be up, and Marquand will be down, and then we’ll probably flip, maybe even in the next game.”
Kyle Shanahan’s placement in the coaching box is the precedent. That likely had nothing to do with his tendency to spend a little too much time getting plays in, but I’d bet they’re thinking about it. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian preferred play calling from the sideline during his brief tenure as Alabama’s offensive coordinator. (He apparently likes the direct access to the quarterback, versus communicating by phone or headset.) Sarkisian, of course, has never held a coordinator possession at the professional level, so maybe he’s looking to mix it up. Manuel is charting new territory as well. He too likely prefers the sideline, but he won’t go against Quinn’s wishes, if it’s best for the team.