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Should Falcons head coach Dan Quinn be fired at the end of the season?

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Our staff discusses the biggest question facing the Falcons.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons are sitting at 2-7, and fans have been calling for Dan Quinn’s head for weeks. But Arthur Blank doesn’t seem to have the same sense of urgency that fans do,

On one hand, the team’s record this season speaks for itself — and it doesn’t say anything particularly encouraging about Quinn. Prior to the bye, we saw a team that consistently shot itself in the foot, with mistake after mistake, penalty after penalty, and lapse after lapse.

On the other hand, it’s hard to ignore that win over the Saints. To go into the Falcons’ most dreaded rival’s home stadium and just completely kick their asses, well, that likely bought Quinn some time. But how much time did it buy Quinn? A week? Would a bad showing against the Panthers lead a mid-season firing? Does he stick around through the end of the season? Does he get another season to pull it together? What would the record have to be to keep Quinn around for 2020, and how short would his leash be?

Our staff has opinions on this, and we’re here to share them.

Quinn will get through the season, but then he’s gone

Quinn absolutely bought himself some goodwill with that beatdown of the Saints, but it’s not lost on anyone that the team looked better after Quinn removed himself from so much defensive responsibility. Still, I have to commend him for making a choice that was clearly in the team’s best interests. That takes humility, and I’m glad it paid off. We’ll see if that improvement is sustainable, but I have my doubts. If the Falcons pull it together and finish, I don’t know, 6-10, I could see Blank giving him a chance in 2020, but I think that’s a long shot. I think Week 17 will be the end of the Quinn era in Atlanta. - Jeanna Thomas

Maybe, I think it’s TBD

I like Dan Quinn, I’ve been pretty vocal about that this season even while the team started poorly. I truly believe that he wants to win and that the players love him. With that being said, I understand why he possibly should’ve been fired earlier in the season, but the recent victory against the New Orleans Saints has likely bought him some time. I think if he turns it around, and the 2-7 Atlanta Falcons somehow finish 8-8 or 7-9, you keep him. I look at a team like the New Orleans Saints who (with the exception of last week) are pretty happy with their head coach. From 2014-2016 the Saints finished 7-9 each season, and didn’t fire Sean Payton – and since 2016, their combined record from 2017-2019 is 31-10. I’m not saying that Dan Quinn will do the same thing, or even come close to it. But in my opinion, you keep him if they finish strong. If they finish with any less than 7 wins, you fire him. – Evan Birchfield

Probably

I’m not certain if Dan Quinn’s fate is decided, but he is the guy in the horror movie who decided to go investigate that weird noise alone. There is that rare chance that Quinn does the unbelievable: Crushes the rest of the season. Sure, in almost every horror movie Quinn stumbles to an extra two wins while covered in blood, eventually collapsing and out of everyone’s mind the rest of the movie. Maybe Quinn does the unthinkable, fights off the murderer, and finishes the last half of the season strong. If he can put it together after the coaching shuffle, he deserves to get one more year.

He’s probably dead though. - Matt Chambers

Yes

I do say this reluctantly. After Dan Quinn made it to the Super Bowl in his second season, I had high hopes that this would be the finest era of Falcons football yet. Quinn remains a well-loved figure in that organization and is someone Arthur Blank is clearly reluctant to move on from.

This season has made Quinn’s worst issues more evident, however, in a way thatI don’t think we can possibly overlook. He took too much on his plate and was too slow to admit that, with the team flushing its season down the drain before he made a series of tweaks to the coaching staff that may well lead to better outcomes in the second half. He and the organization kept placing bets on themselves that didn’t pan out, and after two straight unproductive seasons, it’s time for the Falcons to stop thinking they can continue to do so. The Falcons assured us over and over this was a contender, and at 2-7, they’re simply not.

Short of this season being entirely a product of pressure from upper management, I don’t think Quinn can stay beyond this year. I hate to start over but the Falcons can’t take the chance of another year spent spinning their tires. - Dave Choate