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Falcons fire head coach Dan Quinn

We wish Quinn all the best wherever he lands, but a change was necessary.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Dan Quinn era in Atlanta has ended. The Falcons have announced the team is parting ways with the head coach who led Atlanta to a Super Bowl in 2016 but had the team off to a 0-5 start in 2020.

The decision comes hours after the Falcons lost to the Carolina Panthers in dispiriting fashion to drop to their worst record since 1997. The team announced the decision minutes ago on Twitter, along with the firing of longtime general manager Thomas Dimitroff. The move will do nothing to get this team out of the doldrums they’re in—an interim coach might provide a bounce, but not one sufficient to provide a miracle turnaround—but moving on from Quinn after he went a combined 7-14 over 2019 and 2020 was clearly overdue.

Arthur Blank released a statement Sunday evening on the decision to part ways with Quinn.

“Dan Quinn represents everything you would want in a man, coach, teacher or neighbor. He is a man of integrity, character and determination. He’s also a friend anyone would like to have,” Blank said. “While we have not achieved the results we all expect, I’m very proud of how Dan has represented all of us and the passion he has poured into leading our team. Dan and Stacey have also given back so much to our community, particularly those serving in the military and their families. They will always have my gratitude and our best wishes for all the very best in the future.”

Blank acknowledged the success both Quinn and Dimitroff had with the Falcons, but said that “the results of late do not meet our standard or what I’ve promised our fans.”

“Our finish in 2019 earned an opportunity to show that momentum could be continued and built upon, but that has clearly not happened,” Blank said. “And overall, the last 3-plus seasons have fallen short of my commitment to Atlanta and to our fans everywhere. I want them all to know that my commitment to winning has not wavered and I will continue to provide every resource possible to that end.”

The Falcons came into 2020 carrying lofty expectations from their owner after adding Todd Gurley and Dante Fowler Jr. to a roster Arthur Blank and company expected to contend now. All but officially eliminated from the playoffs, the team will try a new tack with an eye toward the future, one that will include a fresh start at head coach and general manager.

Quinn finishes his Falcons career one game above .500, sitting at 43-42 in the regular season, and a 3-2 mark in the playoffs that included a Super Bowl berth. He had an eye for talent that brought Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones, and Foye Oluokun to Atlanta, but the great defense we hoped he’d preside over never came to be.

We wish Dan Quinn well wherever he goes, and we’ll wait to see who the interim head coach is.