There’s no denying the Falcons have championship-caliber talent. But we also can’t deny that Dan Quinn’s seat is heating up.
That raises the question of Atlanta’s Super Bowl window. They’ve got at best a few short years of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones in their respective primes, and it would be criminal to waste that if Dan Quinn isn’t the guy to get the team over that particular hump. On the other hand, maybe bringing in a new coach with an offensive perspective would be just what the Falcons need to prop that window open and hopefully climb on through.
Our staff weighed in on what impact a Dan Quinn departure, if it happens, would have on the team’s Super Bowl window.
Maybe it’s because the experience of 28-3 is indelibly imprinted on my heart and mind. Maybe it’s because those ugly losses to the Colts and the Vikings are too fresh in my memory. But if the team doesn’t improve, and if they do choose to move on from Dan Quinn as a result, I think an offensive-minded head coach might be just what the team needs to get over this championship-less hump. Matt Ryan has only had defensive-focused head coaches in his pro career, and he’s managed to be one of the most reliable quarterbacks in the league from year to year. Julio Jones is a generational talent, and Calvin Ridley is a luxury of a complementary receiver. If the team moves on from Dan Quinn, I don’t think it resets the team’s window at all. - Jeanna Thomas
The window won’t close
The Falcons’ Super Bowl window, which at the moment is being held open with a vertically-placed ruler that’s bending in half, would not close with the firing of Dan Quinn. The question is how far it’s open in the first place, because this is a team strapped for cap space in the near future and is stumbling again despite a fresh infusion of talent. This team didn’t go into a spiral post-Petrino or post-Smitty, though, and it won’t post-Quinn right away because the most important assets are already here. It’s a question of how well this team performs this year, but jettisoning Quinn won’t shut it down entirely. - Dave Choate
I hope not because that window looks barely open
The Falcons have been trying to battle back since the Super Bowl. Things worked out pretty well in 2017 but the team has not been sharp since. The Falcons were manhandled by what should have been a reeling Colts team playing their backup quarterback. Moving from there to the Super Bowl is quite a stretch. If Quinn is shown the door, I don’t see how a new coach prevents the team from making it back to the championship. Recently the Rams, Eagles, and even our own Falcons made the Super Bowl with a young head coach. If Arthur Blank can find the right replacement, the team should be back in playoff contention. - Matt Chambers
This is a tough call to be honest
It pains me to say this but it’s hard to say that the Falcons have fully moved on from the debacle that was Super Bowl 51. Some of the same woes that plagued them during that season are still continuous in the present day. The talent will still be aplenty even if the Falcons decide to move on from Dan Quinn. But moving on from Quinn will likely mean a brand new coaching staff and a completely revamped front office. I won’t say the window will be closed shut but a pressing of the coaching ‘reset’ button will likely delay a Super Bowl victory longer than owner Arthur Blank’s liking. - Eric Robinson
Probably so, unless the team strikes on a new head coach
This question is very dependent on the future answer. I feel like Dan Quinn, despite his flaws, is still one of the better coaches in the NFL, and replacing him is going to be an “easier said than done” situation. I do think that DQ has the potential to turn this thing around, and I don’t necessarily think yet another new head coach/offensive coordinator for Matt Ryan is just going to right the ship automatically. Sometimes, a reset can spark a new look, and a new window, but if they mess up the replacement hire should this reality come to be, then the window slams shut for a while. It’d be easier for Quinn to find a second wind than it would be for someone new to find their first. - Cory Woodroof
Not While Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are in their prime
I’ve never really seen Dan Quinn as someone who makes or breaks Atlanta’s window. He’s just not at that kind of level as a head coach. Quinn is a defensive-minded head coach who, in four years in Atlanta, has presided over a bottom 10 defense more times than he has over a top 10 defense. The 2016 Super Bowl run was more the brilliant work of Kyle Shanahan, as far as coaching is concerned, than anything else. You can’t win in the NFL without a great quarterback, and the Falcons have that. They also have the best wide receiver on the planet catching passes from that quarterback. Atlanta has the talent, but they would need to bring in a new head coach who can make full use of that talent. If they find that, then the window may open up even more than it is now. - Adnan Ikic