The Falcons would love to hit the reset button and re-do 2018. Because (as far as I know) time travel is a non-possibility at this stage in history, they can’t do that. (Thanks for nothing, Marty McFly!) All the Falcons can do now is move forward. They must use the upcoming off-season wisely and regroup before the 2019 season begins. And make no mistake, that won’t be easy. But this is arguably a make or break moment for Dan Quinn; his margin for error is publicly shrinking.
Quinn is, for a lot of football observers, somewhat mysterious. There’s no doubting his ability to scout players and assemble talent. It’s his in-game coaching and the inconsistency of his subordinates that get him in trouble. In-game coaching can at least theoretically improve over time, and we hope that’s the case with Quinn. We hope he’s learned from his mistakes. But coaching changes are a part of every day life in NFL, and it’s not clear that Quinn has embraced that reality. In the not so distant future, Quinn will have to decide whether moving on from his coordinators makes sense; whether it’s in the best interests of the team.
My guess is that both Marquand Manuel and Steve Sarkisian will get another season in their current roles. I could be wrong about one or both, but it’s hardly a foregone conclusion that either will be gone, at least at this point. Quinn is ostensibly a loyal guy, and one wonders whether his loyalty will ultimately cloud his judgment. What’s more, Quinn and general manager may be more afraid of starting over than anything right now. It may be better from their point of view to double down, hope everyone stays healthy in 2019, and keep doing the same thing while expecting different results.
As you read this, you may be thinking, “c’mon, James! It’s so obvious they need to make a change!” Fair enough, but we can’t assume Quinn and Dimitroff will jump to the same conclusion. I fear they will focus on the potential opportunity cost. In other words, they’ve already lost a lot of money to the house, but what if they can get it back? If they walk away now, they may never get their money back.
As fans we have a lot of opinions about how the team should operate. It’s not wrong for us expect accountability. But we aren’t in charge, they are. So don’t hold your breathe, Falcoholics, because her comes the sequel.