Falcons off to worst start since 1996 season

Dan Quinn was not elated that owner Arthur Blank had to deliver a state of the team address, specifically about the head coach, after the Falcons dropped to 1-7 on Sunday.

"I feel horrible that he even had to have a press conference or a makeshift press conference to do that," Quinn said on Monday, one day after a 27-20 loss to the Seahawks.

The Falcons, who were projected to be contenders in the NFC South, have dropped six consecutive games and have been outscored by the opposition 144-50 in the first halves of the eight games.

Blank said that he and senior management would take the upcoming bye week to evaluate the team.

“We just want to get it right,” Quinn said. “We want to get it right for him. We want to get it right for the fans. The good thing about having a good relationship with him is that everything that was said publicly has already been discussed privately. So, he’s at the top of the list of people that you want to do it right for because of the kind of support that he gives.”

Upon return from the bye week, the Falcons will travel to New Orleans for a game on Nov. 10. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan missed last Sunday’s game with an ankle sprain.

“If we had to (play this week), I would say he would be a go or close to it,” Quinn said. “He pushed it as hard as humanly possible to get himself in the space to get ready to play on Sunday. I would anticipate him being ready when we come back and play New Orleans.”

Quinn, like Blank, is disappointed with the slow starts and the horrible record.

“For us, this is not they way at all we envisioned our bye week, sitting at 1-7 and not the first half that any of us envisioned either. But we do have an opportunity to turn that around. For the second half, I’d like us to focus on what we need to do right.”

Bobby Petrino’s 2007 team won their eighth game to jump to 2-6. Dan Reeves’ 2003 team also started 1-7 before finishing 5-11.

It’s the worst start to the season since 1996, when June Jones-led club started 0-8 on their way to a 3-13 mark.

“For us, it’s not just a bye week or just a week off but a purposeful week,” Quinn said. “We’ll jump right into our division when we get back. Really, the only thing for us is about one opponent and one matchup. That’s 100 percent of where our focus will be.”

Quinn said worrying about his future or job security was a “waste of time.”

“You certainly feel terrible that he had to have a makeshift press conference based on the team and our performance,” Quinn said.

Quinn didn’t sound like the Falcons would be very active with the trade deadline, 4 p.m. Tuesday, looming.

“There are still a lot of calls,” Quinn said. “I think its fluid for all of the teams. But there would have be something that would make total sense for the team and where we are at. More often is takes place earlier than in the last week then up to the last second.”

With the trade of wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to the Patriots for a second-round pick last week, the Falcons were one of the teams active before the trading deadline.

The Falcons are grasping for any good news. Some were pointing to their 20-3 second-half “victory” over the Seahawks for inspiration.

“I see it only as a positive,” center Alex Mack said. “The guys in this locker room keep fighting, keep working, just stick to the game plan, one play at a time. I think it was a step in the right direction.”

Mack believes the Falcons need to use the bye week wisely.

“Just clear the head, try to get a little healthy and get ready to get back to work,” Mack said. “I think key for us to use the bye week to get healthy, rest and get ready for the next game. Take it one game at a time and see how things happen.”

Players were also aware of Blank’s comments.

“The only thing we can do is keep working hard and worry about the next game,” Mack said. “Use this bye week to get healthy and get ready to work. That’s all that anyone can ever ask of you and that’s all that’s expected of us. Control what you can control and move forward.”


Subscribe to "The Bow Tie Chronicles" podcast with the AJC's D. Orlando Ledbetter on iTunes or on the new AJC sports podcasts page.