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Posts tagged with "Quinn"

The Falcons dealt with this the whole offseason, and you saw it, because it was impossible to miss it—28–3, 28–3, 28–3. And riding shotgun to all the taunting was the idea that the mother of all Super Bowl hangovers was coming as a result of the mother of all Super Bowl collapses.

Two weeks in, not so much. And the Falcons have handled all of this so well, because they haven’t run from it. As recently as last week, players—all the way up the chain to Matt Ryan—were speaking freely about overcoming the past. There wasn’t a ceremonial burial of a football, or an embargo on talking about 2016. Instead, the players and coaches have hit what they had coming right between the eyes.

And the reason why is simple. They did what few NFL teams have the stomach to when things go sideways—behind the GM they’ve stuck with for a decade and a head coach they’ve invested in, they believed in their course and stuck to it.

You can start, too, with one thing that actually changed. Atlanta handled its biggest offseason defection—Kyle Shanahan leaving to coach the Niners—by asking every candidate they interviewed, “can you run his offense?” In essence, screaming to the players, stay the course. The man Quinn found, Steve Sarkisian, has background with Pete Carroll, another sign of how Atlanta was building on the program, not tearing it down. So while the pilot was different, the script wasn’t and, at least on Sunday, neither was the result. Matt Ryan and company rolled up 257 yards and 24 points in the first half alone against Green Bay.

If they looked unaffected by all the noise, that makes sense too, because it had been impressed on the players that they’d been through a smaller version of this before. During Dan Quinn’s first season with the Falcons, the team saw a 6–1 start evaporate into an 8–8 finish—and that loomed over the 2016 offseason. The same way 28–3 will come up this year every time Atlanta has a lead, the 2–7 meltdown served as a caveat to every early-season win they had last year. And the Falcons were able to plow through all of that on their way to the Super Bowl.

And then, finally, there’s Quinn himself, a coach who was the king of the 2015 coaching carousel in large part because of his ability to reach players and lead, qualities that equipped him for the aftermath of the letdowns of both the ’15 season, and Super Bowl LI.

We don’t know yet whether or not the Falcons are going to be where they were last year, with a shot to win the franchise’s first world title. But what we should’ve known all along was simple—they most certainly were equipped to handle all that was coming their way.

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This team is so locked in that every game is just a business trip. That trip, of course, ends with someone forced into a lake of fire and under the watchful eye of an ancient demigod.

Dan Quinn has gone through a lot. In order to win games, he had to make sacrifices to a potentially evil metal falcon’s lake of fire. That has been pretty tough, but not nearly as tough as losing two separate Super Bowls to the New England Patriots thanks to his offensive coordinators.

“Never again,” says Quinn. The sadness that previously haunted him is entirely gone. One more season of sacrifices could lead him to that Lombardi trophy. “Time to crack a few eggs,” says Quinn, as the elevator door opens nearly 500 feet below the new Mercedes Benz Stadium.

“This feels a little weird, Dan, but at least you aren’t taking me into the old indoor training camp building again to push me into the…”

Robert Alford sniffs the air, and knows the strong smell of sulfur means he’s in for trouble. Can he escape the lost souls stuck in the fire? This is a new location for him, so he might run out of his normal cheats.

Alford!!! He’s been a mix of his terrible early 2016 and his fantastic late 2016. Ultimately, too many bad penalties and plays made him the worst player on the field against the Green Bay Packers.

So far, Quinn has sent both Wes Schweitzer and Alford to the lake of fire. 14 more and we are into the playoffs!

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Falcons fans buzzed around their new home to come see Atlanta play its first home game of the preseason.

ATLANTA — Mercedes-Benz Stadium came alive for the first time on Saturday evening. Falcons fans buzzed around their new home to come see Atlanta play its first home game of the 2017 preseason, a 24-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

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Although the Falcons dropped their third game of the preseason, there are still plenty of reasons for optimism as the regular season draws near. Coach Dan Quinn will have a lot of good film to review with his team before Thursday’s preseason finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

After the game, Quinn took a moment to acknowledge all of the hard work that went into building Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“Before we begin tonight, I really want to acknowledge the thousands of men and women that really have poured a lot of their energy and time and heart into this stadium,” he said. “It’s unbelievable. Our team, we’re so damn excited to be here. So for all of the men and women who created this lasting legacy, we wanted to make sure we acknowledged all of you – how much we appreciate all of the work you’ve put in.

“As I said earlier, we were so damn excited to play. It didn’t turn out like we’d like, tonight, in terms of the way the finish happened for us, but I did want to acknowledge it’s so special to be here back with our fans and, in this, our home.”

Here are the five biggest takeaways from Saturday’s game.

Coleman stands out

The Falcons’ first-team offense didn’t look as sharp as it had thus far in the preseason, but running back Tevin Coleman was at least one starter who stood out.

Atlanta has shown some creative ways to get their speedster the ball in space, and it was effective in doing so against the Cardinals on Saturday. Coleman had three carries for 19 yards and caught one pass for 14 yards.

Starting running back Devonta Freeman missed his second straight preseason game as he continues to progress through the NFL’s concussion protocol. Freeman and Coleman form one of the league’s best backfield duos, and both players should see plenty of action in 2017.

Defensive newcomers make big plays

Atlanta’s depth on the defensive line improved greatly over the offseason, and two new additions made several big plays against the Cardinals.

First-round pick Takkarist McKinley showed nice burst as a pass-rusher and harassed Arizona’s quarterbacks when he was in the game. On one play, McKinley forced Drew Stanton to move up into the pocket where defensive tackle Jack Crawford was waiting for the sack.

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Don Wright/AP

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Justin Hunter (11), rleft, reaches the ball across the goal line for a touchdown as Atlanta Falcons cornerback Jalen Collins (32) defends after making a catch in the fourth quarterof an NFL preseason football game, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

Here are five things to know about the Falcons today:

1. Practice. Falcons coach Dan Quinn will meet with the media before practice at 1:30 p.m. The team is set to practice at 2:20 p.m.

2. Depth chart. Ben Garland remains listed with the first-team at right guard in the official depth chart released by the Falcons on Monday.

3. Stadium walk-through. The Falcons are set to visit their new home on Friday.

4. Collins’ replacement. The Falcons are looking long and hard at the cornerbacks on the roster. They must find a replacement for Jalen Collins, who’s been suspended for 10 games for violating the league’s performance enhancement drug policy.

5. Injury report. Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, who’s in the concussion protocol, is close to returning. Freeman did not play against the Steelers, but talked with Quinn.

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Without revealing the specific number, Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he was comfortable with new defensive tackle Dontari Poe‘s weight upon reporting for offseason workouts this week.

Quinn previously said weight was going to be factor in Poe playing at his best in a new defensive system. And Poe, who claimed to be 340 pounds immediately after signing a one-year, $8 million contract March 12, vowed to play at 330 pounds during the season. The 6-foot-3-inch Poe was listed at 346 pounds as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs last season.

“I would say he looks really good,” Quinn said. “The team came back in shape. And it was cool for me to see him like, ‘How’s it going, getting dropped in here as a new guy?’ He said, ‘It’s cool.’ I’m not allowed to be on the field with him for a few more weeks, but word on the street was he looked really good (during workouts).”

Poe has incentive to maintain a manageable weight. His contract includes a $500,000 workout bonus based on meeting weight, although the exact number remains a mystery. The bonus breaks down into four, $125,000 weighs-ins, according to language in his contract. The first weigh-in comes on the first day of mandatory minicamp, June 13. The next occurs at the start of training camp in late July. Then Poe gets weighed on Sept. 4, the Monday before the Sept. 10 regular-season opener at Chicago. The last weigh-in is Nov. 6, the day after the Falcons’ first NFC South game at Carolina in Week 9.

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