Nabeel Khan Staff Reporter
The Atlanta Falcons have reached rock bottom. This past season the birds finished third in their division with a 6-10 record, their second worst season since coach Mike Smith was hired. However, after two seasons of mediocrity, Smith was let go and replaced by former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
This is Quinn’s first position as a head coach, but his emphasis on defense is the bandage that the Falcons’ pathetic attempt to stop other teams needs. Quinn has been known for discovering hidden talent; he discovered a diamond in the rough when he drafted Stanford cornerback Richard Sherman. Through Quinn’s tutelage, Sherman has developed into one of the best defensive backs in the league and the cornerstone for the hard-hitting defensive unit known as the “Legion of Boom”.
In Atlanta, Quinn has been gifted with several young stars, such as Paul Worrilow, Malliciah Goodman and Desmond Trufant, from which to develop a formidable defense. Trufant, in particular, has been recognized as one of the fastest-developing young corners in the league and will surely continue to grow under the new coach. Likewise, Quinn will hopefully be able to coach young defensive linemen such as Malliciah Goodman and Rashede Hageman into being consistent annoyances for opposing quarterbacks; in recent years the Falcons’ opponents did not have to worry for an instant about being pass rushed. Quinn will also be able to address the team’s issues as he pleases; Arthur Blank has granted his head coach the final say on the 53-man roster. This will allow the new coach to capitalize on free agency and patch holes on the horrendous offensive line, while also granting him the freedom to move on from worn out veterans such as Osi Umenyiora and Kroy Biermann.
Luckily for Quinn, the NFC South was entirely pitiful during the 2014 season and did not have a team go over .500. Quinn’s hiring marks a new era for the Dirty Birds based on offensive balance and a revamped defense that will hopefully propel Atlanta to the playoffs.