Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff held their annual state of the Falcons franchise press conference, obviously a few weeks earlier than in past seasons. It’s definitely the best press conference of the year. The two tackle big issues with the franchise and is full of interesting news about the team.
Offensive coordinator search
Despite the team interviewing both former Falcons coordinators Dirk Koetter and Mike Mularkey, Dan Quinn says Matt Ryan has no say in who the team picks. Ryan does get input on coordinators but it sounds like Quinn makes the final decision. This is a change as Quinn had previously said Ryan did not have input in coaching changes.
Quinn refuses to discuss any specific coach they are interviewing, but said he wants to keep the same blocking scheme “with adjustments.” That’s quite the asterisk but would make Mularkey an unlikely selection. phew
Quinn said there’s no deadline for new hires probably in part because guys like Koetter, Darrell Bevell, and Gary Kubiak are meeting with other teams. Quinn said some candidates he wants to interview are in the playoffs, suggesting he might poach a position coach from one of those 12 teams to run the offense. The team has already interviewed two candidates. We know one is Mularkey.
Quinn dodged a question about a candidate from the “Rocky Mountain area.” If the Falcons are sniffing around Kubiak, Quinn isn’t letting anyone know.
Defensive coordinator info
Quinn said he considered moving Raheem Morris over to defensive coordinator but concluded he’s the most qualified and wants to call the plays. He said the team “missed the mark” defensively, obviously suggesting outstanding problems were at least partially due to Marquand Manuel.
Game management coach
We’ve been clamoring for Quinn to add a game management coach. It’s been his most glaring issue as a head coach, and moving to defensive coordinator requires someone else to manage the clock and make other considerations. Quinn said that is indeed happening. Ultimately decisions will go through Quinn but someone on the staff will be responsible for game management. Hopefully this includes things like when to go for field goals vs. touchdowns, another constant problem in tight games.
The hot seat?
Quinn denied he feels he’s under more pressure after firing all three coordinators. This is most certainly false but it would be odd to hear a coach say this is probably their last chance to get it right. He remains positive and said the team learned a lot of lessons in 2018.
Thomas Dimitroff sounded confident he would be able to get a deal done with Grady Jarrett and Julio Jones. Jarrett is a candidate for the franchise tag and Jones is dramatically underpaid. He said the team is also talking to Vic Beasley about a deal and discussed his “upside,” obviously indicating he’s not there yet. It’s unclear if the team plans to keep the fifth-year option.
More changes coming?
Dimitroff suggested the Falcons are looking at changes for the front office but are otherwise happy with their current staff. He said no one is leaving “at this point.” The Oakland Raiders have been purging great talent evaluators so maybe Dimitroff looks at some of those names?