Falcons announce coach Dan Quinn, GM Thomas Dimitroff will stay for 2020

Shalise Manza YoungYahoo Sports Columnist
Yahoo Sports

Once again we see: Winning fixes everything. Well, at least a lot of things.

On Friday morning, Atlanta Falcons team owner Arthur Blank announced that head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff will return for the 2020 season. However, there will be a couple of changes.

Rich McKay more involved

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Per the team announcement, Dimitroff and Quinn will now report directly to Rich McKay, the Falcons’ president and CEO. McKay will report to Blank on all football matters, and Blank will retain oversight of the football operation.

Atlanta Falcons team owner Arthur Blank announced on Friday that head coach Dan Quinn, left, and general manager Thomas Dimitroff will be retained for the 2020 season. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons team owner Arthur Blank announced on Friday that head coach Dan Quinn, left, and general manager Thomas Dimitroff will be retained for the 2020 season. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Blank believes the best way to get Atlanta back to winning is continuity.

“Over the last two seasons our results on the field have not met our standard or the expectations of our fans,” Blank said, via the team website. “I understand our fans’ disappointment and frustration because I’ve felt every bit of it as well. That said, our focus must be on giving our franchise the best opportunity to win next year and beyond. 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.

“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.

“Every year we evaluate all our football operations and this year I have asked Rich to work closely with Thomas and Dan over the next couple of weeks to conduct a top-to-bottom review, inclusive of structure, processes, resourcing and personnel to identify whatever changes are necessary to enable us to compete consistently at the highest level. In my time as owner, and particularly since 2008, we have been one of the winningest teams in the NFC ranking fourth in wins and across the NFL, tied for seventh in wins, and that remains the only acceptable result for us now and in the future.”

Quinn was hired in 2015 and has led Atlanta to the playoffs twice, including an appearance in Super Bowl LI; Dimitroff was hired in 2008.

The Falcons got off to an atrocious start, losing seven of their first eight games, but have won five of seven over the second half of the season, including over playoff-bound teams San Francisco and New Orleans. They play their regular-season finale in Florida against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Raheem Morris promoted to defensive coordinator

In addition, Raheem Morris has been promoted to defensive coordinator.

Morris spent three-plus seasons coaching the Falcons’ receivers, but midway through this season, Quinn moved him back to the defensive side of the ball, to secondary coach. The move seemingly paid big dividends: While the Falcons’ passing yards allowed fell from 261.1 yards per game to 233.7 YPG in the seven games since the switch, more importantly their third-down conversions allowed dropped from 53 percent to just 29.7 percent.

As a result, Atlanta also went from giving up 31.25 points per game, 31st in the NFL at the time, to allowing 18.1 PPG over the last seven games.

Quinn started the 2019 season as the de facto defensive coordinator, though he had distributed in-game play-calling among some assistants.

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