Finish of the road: coach Quinn, GM Dimitroff fired by Falcons

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ATLANTA (AP) — Dan Quinn by no means stopped believing he may flip issues round in Atlanta.

He gained’t get the prospect.

With the Falcons mired at 0-5 for the primary time since 1997, Quinn was fired because the crew’s coach — simply hours after a 23-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Longtime normal supervisor Thomas Dimitroff was additionally dismissed.

Quinn’s five-plus seasons will likely be remembered for a Tremendous Bowl meltdown on the finish of the 2016 season, when the Falcons infamously squandered a 28-3 result in Tom Brady’s New England Patriots and have become a nationwide laughingstock — a stigma that lingers to today.

That ugly reminiscence returned in power this season, when the Falcons turned the primary crew in NFL historical past to blow fourth-quarter leads of not less than 15 factors in back-to-back video games.

These losses, to Dallas and Chicago, basically served as Quinn’s epitaph, despite the fact that he managed to hold on for 2 extra video games.

After falling to the Panthers, Quinn insisted that he wasn’t desirous about his job standing, sustaining the outward confidence he displayed all through his tenure.

“Actually, it’s the furthest factor from my thoughts,” the 50-year-old coach mentioned. “My job is teaching and my deal with us to maintain taking part in and play the best way we are able to.”

Earlier than the evening was achieved, his tenure in Atlanta was over.

“It is a outcomes enterprise and I owe it to our followers to place one of the best product we are able to on the sphere,” proprietor Arthur Clean mentioned. “We now have poured each useful resource potential into successful and can proceed to take action, however the outcomes of late don’t meet our commonplace or what I’ve promised our followers.”

Quinn was the second NFL coach this season to lose his job after Houston’s Invoice O’Brien was let go following an 0-4 begin.

Quinn departed with an total file of 43-42, however he was simply 14-23 because the starting of the 2018 season. He was 3-2 in two postseason appearances.

The Falcons had been planning to announce an interim coach on Monday, probably pulling from a workers that features former NFL head coaches Raheem Morris and Dirk Koetter.

Group president and CEO Wealthy McKay — who preceded Dimitroff as normal supervisor — will take over management of soccer operations within the interim and help Clean within the seek for a brand new GM and coach.

“We’re shifting ahead and can do the whole lot we are able to to assist this yr’s crew win as many video games as potential whereas placing a robust plan in place to execute these necessary management searches with an eye fixed to positioning the Falcons for achievement properly into the long run,” McKay mentioned in a press release.

Quinn was employed by the Falcons in 2015 after a extremely profitable run as Seattle’s defensive coordinator, highlighted by two straight journeys to the Tremendous Bowl.

After going 8-8 his first season, Quinn guided the Falcons to one of many best years in crew historical past. That includes a dynamic offense led by Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman, the Falcons constructed a locker room camaraderie that Quinn referred to as “The Brotherhood” whereas successful the NFC South with an 11-5 file.

With blowout wins over Seattle and Inexperienced Bay within the NFC playoffs, the Falcons had been using an enormous wave of confidence heading to their first Tremendous Bowl because the 1998 season. That carried proper into the sport in opposition to Brady’s Patriots, who fell behind by 25 factors late within the third quarter whereas championship-starved followers again in Atlanta started prepping for an enormous celebration.

Not so quick.

With one of many nice performances in postseason historical past — and benefiting from questionable play calling by the Falcons — Brady led a comeback that compelled additional time for the primary time in a Tremendous Bowl. The Patriots gained the coin toss and marched proper down the sphere for a landing that accomplished the 34-28 victory.

“I’ll in all probability always remember this,” Falcons security Ricardo Allen mentioned afterward. “It can all the time be haunting.”

Certainly it was, for Quinn and all the group.

The Falcons made the playoffs once more the next yr, shedding to eventual Tremendous Bowl champion Philadelphia, however by no means appeared to totally shake their Tremendous Bowl debacle.

Poor begins the final two seasons led to 7-9 data that put Quinn’s job in jeopardy. Clean determined to convey again his coach for the 2020 season, in addition to Dimitroff, saying it was necessary to take care of continuity and citing robust assist for Quinn within the locker room.

The 54-year-old Dimitroff was one of many longest-tenured normal managers within the NFL, employed by Atlanta in 2008 with the franchise in turmoil after Michael Vick’s dogfighting conviction and Bobby Petrino’s gorgeous departure after simply 13 video games as coach.

One in all Dimitroff’s first choices was maybe his largest: grabbing Ryan with the No. 3 total choose within the 2008 draft. With Matty Ice taking on the beginning quarterback job on Day 1, the Falcons ripped off 5 straight successful seasons, 4 playoff appearances and two division titles beneath coach Mike Smith.

It was an unprecedented run for a franchise that had by no means even managed consecutive successful seasons.

Dimitroff additionally was liable for a blockbuster commerce in 2011 that landed Jones, who turned one of many NFL’s prime receivers and joined Ryan because the franchise’s cornerstones.

Dimitroff saved his job when Smith was fired on the finish of the 2014 season after two straight shedding campaigns. Mired in one other shedding run, Clean restored McKay — who had primarily been concerned in planning for a brand new retractable-roof stadium that opened in 2017 — to a extra distinguished function in soccer operations.

Clean hoped the organizational modifications would spark a turnaround in 2020.

It didn’t work.

Now, a lot larger modifications are coming.

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Observe Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963. His work may be discovered at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry

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Extra AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL





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