This Falcons season has been deeply disappointing to fans, and as you might imagine, they are also deeply disappointing to Arthur Blank. The owner’s expectations, like many of our expectations, were much higher than this.
That’s why it’s still logical to ask what Dan Quinn’s Falcons future is going to look like, as we’ve been doing with increasing frequency in recent weeks. Now Arthur Blank has weighed in directly, and what he’s making clear is that there is not slam dunk deadline or slam dunk action if things continue to go wrong.
#Falcons owner Arthur Blank weighs coach Dan Quinn’s future, telling me, “If there were easy answers we would've put them in place already. But we're making adjustments.” Blank also discussed if a move is coming at the bye. My story: https://t.co/vN7xaLr4ym— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 20, 2019
UPDATE: Jeff Schultz once again primed the pump here, asking Blank after the game if there was any chance Dan Quinn was going to be out the door tomorrow. Blank said no, which means there’s at least one week left in the Dan Quinn era.
Given that this Rams loss was arguably the ugliest one yet, it may just be the one week.
Original story with pre-game comments follow.
Blank’s comments when asked directly about whether the team thought it was fair to consider the next two weeks (plus the preceding seven) the evaluative period for making a change were probably the most germane.
“I don’t think that’s fair...I don’t have any specific timetable. Just looking at each game one at a time. It’s the bye week, yes, but it’s not a trigger for making any changes. We’ll just continue to look at what we see developing and continue to support the coach and support the general manager and continue to ask them to do everything they can to put some wins up on the scoreboard.”
That’s fair and a typically gracious answer from a rare owner who doesn’t like to make rash, mid-season changes, but the reality is that the Falcons made a series of moves that ensured that failure would fall particularly squarely on Dan Quinn this offseason after a 7-9 year, and the team is on pace to do far worse than they did last year. Blank is also well aware where the primary problem lies.
“Our defense has not played well, and nobody knows that better than our coach...That’s what he’s done for his entire life, a position coach, a coordinator and then a head coach. So, if there were easy answers we would’ve put them in place already. But we’re making adjustments, he’s making adjustments and hopefully they’ll put us in a better position going forward.”
It’s not easy to parse these comments out and come to the conclusion that Blank plans to make a change at the bye, but he notably did not rule it out, either. I’m guessing if the Falcons can slip by the Rams or Seahawks (or both), the team will elect to let Quinn and company ride this thing out until the end of the season. If the Falcons lose both and wind up 1-7 at the bye and look as listless and hapless as they have for the last month, though, I don’t want to be the guy betting against an interim coach.