Blank on Quinn: ‘When we have something to say. I’ll say it’

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn (left) and team owner Arthur Blank talk before game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Jason Getz/For the AJC)
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn (left) and team owner Arthur Blank talk before game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Jason Getz/For the AJC)

Credit: Jason Getz

Credit: Jason Getz

With speculation rampant over the firing of Falcons coach Dan Quinn after the team dropped to 0-5 Sunday, Falcons owner Arthur Blank declined an interview request by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to discuss the matter after the game.

When reached later via text by the AJC, Blank replied, “When we have something to say. I’ll say it.”

A downcast Quinn was not concerned about his future after the loss to the Panthers. He was ask if he would understand if Blank decided to go in a different direction.

“Honestly, it’s the furthest thing from my mind,” Quinn said. “It’s his job to evaluate, but for me it’s coaching, and I’ll work as hard as I can to align our team to play like we’re capable of playing.”

ExploreFalcons continue to support embattled Dan Quinn

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons coach Dan Quinn was not happy that the offense didn’t score on two red zone trips in the second half.

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

ExploreWhat Dan Quinn said following loss to Panthers

Should fans still have faith in Quinn? Should the locker room have his back?

“I think everyone has coach Quinn’s back,” center Alex Mack said. “He takes care of us. Each week we show up with the right mindset and ready to play hard. We just need to play better. I think the effort is there. Everyone is working hard. We just need to perform in those small little moments, just a little bit better.”

Before the Carolina game, Quinn’s job status had not been discussed within the upper reaches of the franchise, according to a person familiar with the situation.

“We haven’t talked about it yet,” that person said Wednesday. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I know we’re going to still support what’s going on, and hopefully (the team) can eventually turn the corner and bring it all together.”

ExploreDan Quinn plans no changes to staff

If a move is made, the Falcons will likely not have been viewed as turning the corner against a surprising Carolina team that improved to 3-2.

The Falcons are off to their third consecutive slow start under Quinn, who’s only the second coach to guide the team to the Super Bowl.

In 2018, the team lost four of its first five games before finishing with a 7-9 record. That team was beset with injuries and never recovered. Last season, the Falcons were 1-7 in the first half of the season and 6-2 in the second half to again finish 7-9.

Blank elected to stick with Quinn after last season with the hopes that continuity was the best course for the franchise. He stated repeatedly that he expected the Falcons to be competitive in 2020 and earn a playoff berth. With the expanded playoffs, the Falcons needed to get in gear with a win over the Panthers.

The Falcons have not played inspired football in 2020.

They blew two double-digit fourth-quarter leads and were widely ridiculed when they didn’t fall on an onside kick at the end of the Dallas game. That miscue led to a 40-39 loss.

While promoting his new book “Good Company,” Blank spoke about that play. He said he thought the players didn’t know what to do, which went against statements made by Quinn and special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica.

Quinn, who guided the Falcons to Super Bowl LI, has built an incredible amount of goodwill with how he handled the team after the Super Bowl collapse and through the coronavirus pandemic. After the collapse from a 28-3 lead against the Patriots, the Falcons returned to the playoffs the following season, but lost to the Eagles in the divisional round when a potential game-winning drive stalled on the 1-yard line. The Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl.

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