Blank: Falcons ‘didn’t clearly understand what the rules were’

Falcons owner Arthur Blank is not sure players understood the onside kick rule - a direct contradiction of his head coach.

The Falcons failed to correctly cover an onside kick, that the Cowboys recovered, late in Sunday’s 40-39 loss. Several Falcons players watched as the ball rolled 10 yards before it was recovered by the Cowboys. The result was a field goal as time expired for the winning points, the only time the Cowboys led.

“Some other parts have not been good,” Blank said of the Falcons' 0-2 start on Sirius XM NFL Radio on Monday. "Clearly our defense is not playing at the level we want to see it play at. And clearly on the last play of the game yesterday our players, you know, didn’t do what they, you know, either what they were instructed to do and they didn’t understand it, or, it’s clear though they didn’t, in my view, they didn’t clearly understand what the rules were and exactly what they had to do. I think that’s demonstrated when you watch the video of it.”

Falcons coach Dan Quinn, who called a timeout before the play, insisted that the players were prepared and knew the rules.

“Well, I think they definitely know," Quinn said. "The front three are usually blocking as they’re going and the high bouncers go to the second side. So, the front line, generally on an onside kick, they’re looking to get a block first and the high hop goes to the next player.

"When that instance happens and it’s not one that’s a high hopper, then you just transfer in and you go to your ball, but you’re looking at your assignment first of who you have to go block – certainly the ball and then your assignment. They definitely know the rule.”

Blank is not ready hit the panic button after the team’s 0-2 start.

The Falcons became the first team since 1933 to score 39 points and have no turnovers and lose the game. That happened 440 other times and the team won, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

“There’s 14 more games to play in the season," Blank said. “We have a lot of games left to play and there are certain aspects of our performance in the first two games which have been really good.”

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