Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank dropped a bit of a bombshell Friday morning, announcing that the organization plans to retain head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff.
Under their leadership, the Falcons have gone 13-18 over the last two years with one game remaining this season. When the Falcons started 1-7 in 2019, most argued Quinn's firing was inevitable, but he's saved his job with a 5-2 second-half record.
That turnaround was enough for Blank to elect continuity heading into 2020.
“I have long believed that continuity in leadership is very important across all our businesses and the football team is no different in that regard,” Blank said in a statement according to the AJC. “After weighing several factors, including our team’s statistical turnaround and our players’ focus and effort the second half of the season, I feel the decision to retain Thomas and Dan, with Rich providing close day-to-day oversight of the football operation, will provide the timeliest route for the Atlanta Falcons to return to contention in 2020 and beyond.”
The two biggest changes Quinn and Dimitroff made going into this season failed miserably. Quinn hired himself as the team's defensive coordinator, and with him calling the defensive plays, the Falcons were one of the worst defenses in September and October. They have improved dramatically with Raheem Morris and Jeff Ulbrich taking over the play-calling duties since the bye week.
The Falcons also announced Friday that Morris will become the team's defensive coordinator starting Monday.
As for Dimitroff, he orchestrated a massive offensive line rebuild and elected to sign veteran pass rushers to help the defense. Neither strategy worked, as the offensive line has allowed 44 sacks and the team is ranked 30th in rushing.
The Falcons pass rush has improved in the second half, but they are still ranked just 28th in sacks with 27. They had seven sacks in the first eight games.
Quinn will complete his fifth season as Falcons head coach on Sunday. He owns a 42-37 record and has led the team to two playoff appearances.