After a letdown season where the Atlanta Falcons finished 7-9, and nobody was fired, owner Arthur Blank apparently expects more from his team this year. Insert angry response here.
Blank recently spoke with ESPN’s Vaughn McClure and shed light into his thoughts on the 2019 season and going forward.
”Yep,” Blank said when asked if the playoffs are the standard. “I can definitely say that’s right.”
Even though the fan base is likely down on the coaching staff, Blank still remains optimistic from what he’s seen, despite consecutive 7-9 seasons in which they failed to reach the playoffs.
“I think the fact that the back half of the year, we were 6-2,” Blank said. “That tells you everything you need to know, that we finally got the formula right. Coach [Quinn] made some changes with some coaching assignments. He made changes in terms of playcalling. He moved some players around. We played with some great intensity, winning three very tough games away: the Saints game, the Carolina game and the San Francisco game.”
”It’s clear that the players love the coach and want to perform for him at the highest level. So that’s what gives me the confidence going into this year. Plus, the draft will be good for us this year. We have three picks in the first two rounds. We’ll definitely be able to improve our team.”
Most noticeabe to me was that Blank is seeing everything from a very optimistic perspective, which is likely not shared by many fans of the team. Blank all but confirmed that a key reason for Dan Quinn’s return (aside from the 6-2 finish in 2019) was that the players love him.
He also didn’t mention general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who was another member of the organization who was speculated to be let go, but ultimately is staying with the team in 2020, instead mentioning Rich McKay by name. It’ll be interesting to see how that power dynamic plays out next year, and whether it can get the Falcons any closer to the playoffs.