It’ll be head coach Dan Quinn running the show in 2019.
The team revealed Quinn’s added assignment in its grand Monday release detailing the different moves made to the coaching staff.
Quinn once called the plays before after taking the responsibility from Richard Smith well into in the 2016 season. As soon as Quinn began calling plays, the once-mediocre unit took a sizable leap in quality and began a run that carried the team to the Super Bowl. Quinn gave up those duties to Manuel after the 2017 season, and it never was quite the same.
DQ is in Atlanta because of his defensive coaching in Seattle that saw that team go to back-to-back Super Bowls, winning one. He’s a highly-regarded defensive mind who hasn’t really flexed that in Atlanta since that hallowed 2016 season. Make no mistake: this is the best possible move the team could’ve made.
It also shows Quinn’s willing to adapt as he goes on with his time in Atlanta. This might not be his first choice for how things go, but it’s the wisest choice to be made to get the Falcons back to where they need to be.
With this and news of Gary Kubiak being linked the offensive coordinator job, the Falcons might walk into a much better situation in no time. Quinn calling the plays will breathe a new life into the team’s defensive quality, at the least. If they land Kubiak, consider this a job well done by the front office.
We wish Manuel all the best wherever he goes next, too. He was a sound coordinator in 2017 that didn’t have a ton to work with in 2018, but there’s no better path forward for the team than in Quinn taking the play calling duties. On the flip side, if the defense falters again, we’ll know exactly who is to blame for it.