After a season filled with rumors regarding the job security of both head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, the Falcons announced this morning that both men will return to the organization in 2020.
The official release states that both guys will now report directly to President and CEO Rich McKay, while owner Arthur Blank will retain oversight of the football operations with McKay reporting to him on all football issues.
Quinn took over the team in 2015 and in 2016 led them to a Super Bowl appearance, where they lost to the Patriots. Overall, he is 42-37 leading the team, with three finishes of 1st or 2nd in the NFC South to end the year.
Via a release from the Falcons:
“Over the last two seasons our results on the field have not met our standard or the expectations of our fans,” said Blank. “I understand our fans’ disappointment and frustration because I’ve felt every bit of it as well. That said, our focus must be on giving our franchise the best opportunity to win next year and beyond. I have long believed that continuity in leadership is very important across all our businesses and the football team is no different in that regard. After weighing several factors, including our team’s statistical turnaround and our players’ focus and effort the second half of the season, I feel the decision to retain Thomas and Dan, with Rich providing close day-to-day oversight of the football operation, will provide the timeliest route for the Atlanta Falcons to return to contention in 2020 and beyond.
“Every year we evaluate all our football operations and this year I have asked Rich to work closely with Thomas and Dan over the next couple of weeks to conduct a top-to-bottom review, inclusive of structure, processes, resourcing and personnel to identify whatever changes are necessary to enable us to compete consistently at the highest level. In my time as owner, and particularly since 2008, we have been one of the winningest teams in the NFC ranking fourth in wins and across the NFL, tied for seventh in wins, and that remains the only acceptable result for us now and in the future,” said Blank.
The team is sitting at 6-9 heading into the final week of the regular season, but that record doesn't really tell the full story of their season.
In addition to the news on Quinn and Dimitroff, Raheem Morris will make the official move to defensive coordinator for the 2020 season. Morris, who joined Quinn's first staff in 2015 as assistant head coach / defensive pass game coordinator before being moved to the offensive side of the ball in 2016, had started the season with the team's wide receivers while Quinn handled the defensive play calling. But a slow 1-7 start to the season prompted Quinn to shuffle staff responsibilities which moved Morris back to the defensive side of the ball, where worked with linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich to call the plays.
Ulbrich called the plays on 1st and 2nd down while Morris called the 3rd down plays, according to the Falcons release. The team went on a 5-2 run after that shuffling of the staff.
See more information from Blank below on the decision, and stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.