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Falcons HC Dan Quinn, GM Thomas Dimitroff to Return for 2020 Season

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 27, 2019

Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn talks with the media following an NFL football game against the Houston Texans Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons announced Friday that they will retain head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff for the 2020 NFL season.  

As part of the move, the Falcons also confirmed secondary coach Raheem Morris will serve as defensive coordinator in 2020.

Quinn, 49, has a 42-37 regular-season record and has gone 3-2 in the playoffs. The Falcons are 6-9 heading into a Week 17 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The ex-Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator joined Atlanta after leading the No. 1 scoring defense in the league for two straight seasons, which included two NFC championships and a Super Bowl win.

He quickly turned around a Falcons team that went 4-12 and 6-10 in the two years prior to his arrival.

After an encouraging 8-8 campaign in 2015 that included a Week 16 win over the NFC champion Carolina Panthers, Atlanta went 11-5 in 2016 and rolled through the NFC playoffs into the Super Bowl.

Once there, the Falcons jumped out to a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots and looked ready to win their first-ever championship. However, they then allowed 31 unanswered points en route to a 34-28 overtime loss.

Atlanta returned to the playoffs in 2017 and nearly picked off the eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round, losing 15-10 after a last-gasp game-winning drive fell just short.

The last two years have not gone as planned, however, with the Falcons going 7-9 in 2018 and 6-9 heading into Sunday. Despite that, they have finished strong this season, winning five of their seven games after the Week 9 bye, including a 29-22 road win over the playoff-bound San Francisco 49ers.

Atlanta had a multitude of injuries on the defensive side of the ball in 2018, with linebacker Deion Jones and safeties Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal missing significant time.

But the Falcons came out flat in 2019, losing four of their first seven games by two touchdowns or more and sitting at 1-7 halfway through the year.

Atlanta's offense was never the same after coordinator Kyle Shanahan left to lead the San Francisco 49ers following the Super Bowl defeat. After leading the league in scoring, the Falcons dropped to 15th in 2017. They rose to 10th the next year but have dropped to 13th in 2019.

The Falcons hired Steve Sarkisian in 2017 before firing him at the end of the 2018 season. The team then hired Dirk Koetter in 2019. The defense has also lacked consistency, being led by three different coordinators over the past four seasons: Richard Smith, Marquand Manuel and Quinn himself.

Ultimately, Atlanta's strong finish was seemingly good enough for Quinn to come back for a sixth year.