Three years after leading the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl, Dan Quinn might soon be out as the team's head coach. Falcons owner Arthur Blank said after Atlanta's 27-20 loss Sunday that "we have no plans of making any change right now," but that was only after he detailed a plan to consider big decisions about team leadership over Atlanta's upcoming bye week.
"I would say, much like the coaches said, I'm extraordinarily disappointed in the season,'' he said after the Falcons fell to 1-7, as ESPN reported. "So we'll take the next couple of weeks during this bye period of time and evaluate where we are. Whatever decision we have to make will be made for the right reasons for the long term."
Quinn, coaching his fifth season with the team since coming over from his post as the Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator, has been speculated as a candidate for a potential in-season firing for weeks. Since beating the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2, his Falcons have dropped six straight and have been outscored by 70 points over their last five games. Without starting quarterback Matt Ryan against Seattle, Atlanta finished within one score but remains near the bottom of the NFL standings after entering the year with expectations of competing for an NFC South title.
Blank said Sunday he doesn't doubt the intelligence on his coaching staff, pointing to the fact that the Falcons employ three other former head coaches in Dirk Koetter, Mike Mularkey and Raheem Morris, as well as four personnel executives with general manager experience. But he acknowledged fans' impatience, suggesting he could very well shake up his staff in the wake of Atlanta's 18-22 slide since Super Bowl LI.
"The knowledge base is here," he said, "but the performance is not. And this is a performance-driven business. I understand that. And they understand that as well. So we'll continue to look at everything we can and make the right decisions where we have to make them. I'm not bashful about making those decisions."
Asked to clarify if a potential head coaching change would not come for several weeks, Blank continued to assure the media that he'll be weighing Quinn's future regardless of whether any announcements come in the next few days.
"We are going to do something: We're going to continue to think really hard and evaluate everything that we can do, as an owner and as a senior management team, and figure out if there's anything we can do to make some decisions any earlier or any later that would help the process," he said. "But we have no plans of making any change right now.''
The Athletic reported before the Falcons' game Sunday that Blank was leaning toward not dismissing Quinn during the team's bye week. The owner will have until Nov. 10 to change his mind, if that's the case. That's when Atlanta (1-7) is set to return to the field for a Week 10 showdown with their rival New Orleans Saints (7-1).