Atlanta, Oct 11, 2020 — The Atlanta Falcons fired head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff on Sunday night, hours after the team lost at home 23-16 to Carolina for its first 0-5 start since 1997.
Team president and CEO Rich McKay takes over day-to-day football operations and will assist owner Arthur Blank in a search for a new GM and coach. According to a release by the team, Dimitroff’s duties will be handled by various members of the Falcons staff for the rest of 2020.
“Decisions like these are very difficult, but the previous two seasons and start to this one have been especially hard for me because of the deep love, admiration and respect I and my family have for Dan, Thomas and their families,” Blank said in the statement. “For many years, they have represented me, our team, organization and Atlanta with class, commitment and all the passion you would want in the leaders of the team.
“Our finish in 2019 earned an opportunity to show that momentum could be continued and built upon, but that has clearly not happened. And overall, the last three-plus seasons have fallen short of my commitment to Atlanta and to our fans everywhere. I want them all to know that my commitment to winning has not wavered and I will continue to provide every resource possible to that end.”
Last month, the Falcons blew fourth-quarter leads of 15 and 16 points in consecutive losses to the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears, respectively. Those collapses rekindled Falcons fans’ painful memories of the infamous breakdown in Super Bowl LI, where Atlanta squandered a 28-3 lead in a 34-28 overtime loss to the New England Patriots.
Quinn, 50, is 43-42 overall since taking over the Falcons for the 2015 season, but just 14-23 since the start of the 2018 campaign. He survived a rocky 1-7 start last season by leading Atlanta to a 6-2 finish.
Quinn is the second NFL head coach to lose his job this season. The Houston Texans parted ways with Bill O’Brien earlier this month.
Dimitroff was named GM of the Falcons in January 2013 after five seasons as New England’s director of college scouting. Since his arrival, Atlanta is 109-88 in the regular season, has made the playoffs six times, has three NFC South titles and made the Super Bowl once.
Among the players drafted on Dimitroff’s watch are cornerstones players in quarterback Matt Ryan, wide receiver Julio Jones, offensive lineman Jake Matthews and linebacker Deion Jones. – Reuters