Is Julio Jones’ Support Enough to Save Dan Quinn’s Job?

In 2017, Dan Quinn led the Atlanta Falcons to the NFC championship title and subsequently, a Super Bowl appearance. By the third quarter, he’d achieved every head coach’s dream: he had a 28-3 lead over the greatest franchise in pro football history. From there, everything came crashing down as the Patriots came back to win. The Falcons haven’t been the same since. 

Recently, speculation has begun to mount in and around the Falcons about Quinn’s job security. Quinn received support from one of his best players, Julio Jones. But will it be enough? 

The Atlanta Falcons 2019 season so far

Through week eight, the Falcons are performing almost as poorly as a team can. Here are their results for the 2019 season so far: 

  • Minnesota Vikings, 12-28
  • Philadelphia Eagles, 24-20
  • Indianapolis Colts, 24-27
  • Houston Texans, 32-53
  • Arizona Cardinals, 32-33
  • Los Angeles Rams, 10-37
  • Seattle Seahawks, 20-27

That’s good for a record of 1-7. They have a bye in week nine in which they’ll be scrambling for answers. The most frustrating part for Dan Quinn and the Falcons is that they’ve had several close games in which they haven’t looked overmatched. But they haven’t been able to close out games effectively. 

Julio Jones support of Dan Quinn

After a loss to the Rams, Jones made it clear that the blame for the Falcons’ woes should rest squarely on the shoulders of the players, not Quinn. He addressed the team in the locker room as Quinn and Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank looked on: 

“This man has done everything for us…it’s on us…it’s not on Q…Everything matters, every play matters…this is bigger than just one person. Q can’t do more for us.”

This type of endorsement means a lot coming from any Falcon, but especially Jones. Jones is without a doubt Atlanta’s best and most talented player. His words in the locker room carry weight.

They not only reflect well on Quinn to front office management, but they also send a message to the rest of the locker room. As one of the Falcons’ leaders, Jones is essentially telling the rest of the players: “Coach Quinn is our guy. Let’s take accountability for the plight of the team and stand behind him.” 

Will Dan Quinn keep his job past 2019? 

Quinn’s record as head coach of the Falcons is 72-37. That includes a Super Bowl appearance several seasons ago. It also includes a Super Bowl appearance in which the team gave up the single biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. The Falcons haven’t been able to recapture whatever magic they had that season. This year, they’ve looked positively sluggish. 

The rest of the schedule breaks down like this for Atlanta: 

  • New Orleans Saints
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Carolina Panthers
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Those include a lot of NFC South divisional games with another game against the currently undefeated 49ers thrown in for good measure. It doesn’t look like the season will get much easier. 

Quinn’s job status will come down to how the Falcons perform over the rest of this season. If they pull off a winning streak and get to six or seven wins, he may be safe.

If they don’t, his job position is precarious at best. Despite a semi-recent Super Bowl appearance, the NFL is the definition of a win-now league. You’re only as good as your last victory, and Quinn hasn’t piled up nearly enough of them lately to justify still roaming the Atlanta sidelines. 

The prediction? The Falcons win a few more games but not enough to save Quinn’s job. They’ll move on from Quinn, giving both him and the team the fresh start they probably both need.