— For The Win (@ForTheWin) May 16, 2017
AJC – Falcons’ coach [Dan Quinn] showed up at the team’s minicamp this week wearing two black wrist bands. Each read, “Embrace The Suck.” …
“Embrace The Suck,” Quinn repeated after he and his staff took rookies and first-year players through Friday’s minicamp. “Eat a crap sandwich with a smile.” …
Quinn called every defensive play. He ran every defensive practice. He kept it in-house to avoid obvious distractions. When the season ended, he blew up his coaching staff, firing [DC] Richard Smith and defensive line coach Bryan Cox. …
[A]s the fourth quarter unfolded, it appeared his young defense had become traumatized by the moment. He disputed that.
“That wasn’t it. The guys were gassed. We had never played in the 90s (snap count). We were not traumatized at all. You could tell there was nothing left in the tank. They would come to the sideline in the fourth quarter and nobody was talking because there was nothing left.”
I don’t have any particular beef with Dan Quinn, I really don’t. Yes, I think he’s one of those capital F, capital G Football Guys who practices being a hardo in the mirror. He reminds me a little bit of Dan Campbell with the Dolphins a couple of years ago, elbows on the podium, legs spread six feet apart, chomping gum to act like he’s the biggest swinging dick in the room. But as Arrogant Tough Guy Head Coaches go, Quinn is only about a 3.5 on the Ryan Scale.
That said, this is just pathetic. A Master Class in saying “We’re not about making excuses. But here are our excuses.” Quinn is all about personal accountability and taking charge, then fires his underlings and provides the lamest cover for his players imaginable.
They got tired? Really? I wonder why that could be. Maybe they got to bed too late. Or didn’t have nice hot breakfast. Could it be that there weren’t enough orange wedges for the kids at halftime? Or how about the fact that Quinn’s defense, that he had taken complete control of, couldn’t get off the field? How about the way they gave up four touchdowns and a field goal on the Patriots last five possessions? Or that four of those drives were over 70 yards? The trick in football is to not be on the field for 90 plays. And the way to do that is to make stops. Quinn is acting like they couldn’t make plays because they were gassed, missing the point that’s blatantly obvious to anyone who’s not in the business of making excuses for Dan Quinn: They were gassed because they couldn’t make a play. And that starts with the coaching.
And besides, this wasn’t Quinn’s first barbeque. One of the counter arguments to the idea the Falcons lacked experience going in was that their head guy was coaching his third Super Bowl in four years. So he knew the drill. How to schedule the weekend. Manage distractions. When to hold game day meetings. When to get to the stadium for warm ups. How long Lady Gaga was going on for. If his defense filled with first- and second-year 23-year-olds weren’t ready for a long day, that’s entirely on him.
As are the things he didn’t mention. His refusal to make Kyle Shanahan run the clock on 1st & 10 from the Pats 22. His kick return team fielding balls inside their own 5 and getting pinned deep. His decision to blow a crucial timeout challenging the Julian Edelman catch that everyone in the stadium could see had no shot to be overturned. And a million other reasons that had nothing to do with his players lack of energy due to sufficient nappy time or whatever.
Quinn came out with a great game plan. GREAT. Dropping a robber safety down to hamper the Patriots trying to throw to the deep middle was brilliant enough to work for seven possessions and almost won him a championship. The Patriots adjusted. He didn’t. There’s your problem, lady. Not the crap sandwich of how tired you got. Embrace that suck.