September 24, 2021


Let's Get It!

Dan Quinn wants Falcons’ defense to get big and nasty in 2019

2 min read

The Atlanta Falcons came into the 2018 season on a short list of favorites expected to compete for the Super Bowl, but that all changed early on thanks to a string of injuries.

Middle linebacker Deion Jones, strong safety Keanu Neal, and free safety Ricardo Allen were among the starting players on defense that were lost for the year.

As a result, the Falcons defense suffered in nearly every major category.

For that reason in part, the team parted ways with defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, and head coach Dan Quinn announced he would assume the position himself going forward.

What is he looking for in 2019?

“We’re looking for real consistency,” Quinn said this offseason of what he wants to see on defense next season and beyond with the talent they already have on the roster.

“There [were] definitely times during the 2017 season we improved as a defense. Then I thought [it felt like] when you take two steps forward one step back. I wanted to make sure if I could have an impact and an influence on the defense and really play to a style that was true to how I would like it to look I should be the one making the calls.”

This past season, Atlanta ranked 28th in football in total defense, were one of nine teams to surrender over 4,000 total passing yards, ranked 25th overall in allowing 26.4 points per game, and allowed opposing teams to rush for 125 yards on average per game.

In the 2017 campaign, the Falcons were ninth in total defense, allowed under 3,500 total passing yards, ranked eighth in the NFL surrendering just 19.7 points per game, and allowed opponents to rush for 104 yards per game.

In his new role as defensive play caller, Quinn wants to see more speed and more physicality, on a level to match and exceed what their opponents show them on offense.

“I love tough, hard nosed defensive play,” the coach said.

“I think to be a championship caliber team, you better have an edge to you. The best defenses I’ve been a part of have had a good ball hawking mindset and if you can do that and eliminate explosive plays, you have a really good chance to do well.”

Overall, the coach says he wants to see a different attitude on defense.

“Let’s make sure we get nastier,” Quinn said.

“It might be big and nasty, it might be fast and nasty. Let’s make sure there’s no doubt.”

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