When Quinn met players for the first time since the Patriots pulled off the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, he re-visited the sore topic, but did not dwell on it. He also said he’s pleased with the general conditioning of players.
“We definitely talked about our last game … and that’s kind of where I got into, ‘Where are we? We’re not at the top. We’re not at the bottom, either. We’re right at base camp,’ “ Quinn said. “How far can we battle and grind? It already sounded to me like the guys were putting the work in …
“This is a team that wants to prove things, prove how strong they are, how tight they are, how connected they are. Obviously, we addressed it, but we also talked about no looking back in the rear view, and 2017 is officially here and let’s go for it like we never have before.”
For the second offseason, Ryan organized a gathering for players only in south Florida, where they worked out, threw footballs around and socialized for a couple of days last week.
Getting back together looks to be cathartic for the Falcons.
“Just being around all your teammates and buddies, it’s a fresh start,” Allen explained. “That’s behind us now, and it’s time to move on and do great things this year.”
Being together again doesn’t make thinking about the Super Bowl easier, but it seems to be making that something to reflect upon less frequently.
“We took the negativity and turned it into a positive,” Allen said. “Everything in life, you’re not going to win at everything. You hope you can win everything, and wish you could win everything, but you learn from it.
“We know what it means to be there. When you’re running that sprint, and you’re tired, you’re like, ‘Man, we can lose a game because of this.’ We’ve just seen in. You can push yourself to another level to be able to make those plays.”
Quinn feels that the Falcons are not starting from scratch, but rather re-calibrating for another go.
“What I told the team, ‘Where are we right now? And we’re right back to base camp. I kind of went back through what does that mean?” he said. “In the Everest world, where climbers go to base camp, they take a shot, get acclimated and keep going for it …
“That’s what the next eight weeks are for us … that opportunity to battle, to strain, to put forth all the things that we want to get done. We’re pumped to do that.”
For Ryan, the best way to move ahead is to work toward the future.
“It didn’t take me too long. I feel like I’ve been in a pretty good place. I really do think when you start to get back into your preparation, and you start to get into your training, you start looking at, ‘I need to get better in this area, this area, this area and how am I going to do it?’ he said.
“I think that’s the best medicine for any starts. You start to look at what you can improve at.”