Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has a unique status. It’s a status few professional athletes achieve, and it comes with certain collateral benefits. As a franchise quarterback with over a decade of service to his team, his voice matters. He’s expected to lead, both in the locker room and on the field. So shouldn’t he have some input when it comes to any proposed reconstruction of the coaching staff?
The Falcons re-hired coaching alumni Dirk Koetter and Mike Mularkey this week. Koetter will run the offense, while Mularkey will coach the tight ends. They moved pretty quickly following the firing of Steve Sarkisian, and I commend them for their decisiveness. But then there’s this:
Dan Quinn said Matt Ryan was not consulted in Dirk Koetter and Mike Mularkey's hiring. But he pointed out their past working relationships can be a big positive. "You can get up to speed quickly," he said.— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) January 10, 2019
I have mixed emotions if Ryan was not in fact consulted. (To be sure, it does sound like they at least asked him what he thought.) But let’s assume, for argument’s sake, that Ryan had little if anything to do with these re-hires. Was that fair? Was that smart? Is that how you treat a franchise quarterback?
Let’s be clear, Dan Quinn and company didn’t set precedent by cutting Ryan’s opinion out of the equation. The Packers did the same thing to Aaron Rodgers before they fired Mike McCarthy. But assuming the player at issue is a consummate professional like Ryan or Rodgers, there’s little if any harm to be had by bringing them into the fold. In this case, Quinn probably said a little too much, then he ostensibly walked it back.
It’s the mere hesitance to involve a guy like Ryan that makes me scratch my head. How about you, Falcons fans?