Written by: Quintin Bentley Crevling
The Falcons second year head coach Dan Quinn is on his way to the Super Bowl for the third time in four seasons. Quinn was the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks during their back-to-back Super Bowl appearances a few season ago.
He has coached on the NFL’s biggest stage and shut down one of the most prolific scoring offenses the league has ever seen. He is now prepared to take on the challenge as a head coach.
Quinn has created a championship mentality in Atlanta that reverberates throughout all levels of the organization. He has brought in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to produce the best offense in football. As a former defensive coordinator, Quinn has played a huge role in developing a young defense that consists of eight starters who are in their first two years in the NFL.
This has been a proven formula for success as the Atlanta Falcons will look to defeat the top ranked New England Patriots in what is sure to be an exciting Super Bowl.
A championship mentality starts with players buying into the coach’s philosophy, and when a coach has won a championship, it inspires every person working under them to buy into their system. It creates a confidence throughout the organization that they will win a Super Bowl if they do their part to the best of their ability.
This added confidence in the system motivates each person to work harder. It pushes players to get extra reps after practice, or to study film with their coaches. It cultivates a self perpetuating sense of competition throughout the organization.
Players buying into a coach wins games, but assistant coaches buying into a system wins championships. Kyle Shanahan has bought into Quinn’s plan for the Falcons future by agreeing to become his offensive coordinator.
Shanahan has bolstered the team’s already productive offense with the additions of receiver Mohamed Sanu, running back Tevin Coleman, guard Andy Levitre, and four time Pro Bowl center Alex Mack. These additions over the last two seasons have made the Falcons the most feared offense in the NFL.
Atlanta’s offense lead the NFL this season, averaging an astounding 33.8 points. The team also finished second in total yards (averaging 416 yards per game), third in pass yards (averaging 295 yards per game), and fifth in rushing yards (averaging 121 yards per game).
Head coach Dan Quinn has tried to replicate the success he had in Seattle by investing five draft picks in the defense during the last two drafts. The Falcons starting defensive unit consists of four rookies and four second year players.
Coach Quinn has played a pivotal role in developing the young defense. He trusts in his players intuition to make adjustments when reading an offense and to go slightly out of coverage if their instincts tell them to. He wants his players to move fast and without delay. This mentality instills a confidence in young players to trust in themselves and make the play by any means necessary.
Coach Quinn played against the Patriots in his last Super Bowl appearance and lost in heartbreaking fashion, as the team threw a game ending interception on the one yard line. In that game his defense allowed Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to pass for 328 yards and 4 touchdowns.
If he wants to be successful in the Super Bowl, he will need to keep his defense off the field as long as possible and limit Brady to a maximum of 3 touchdowns. If the defense can hold the Patriots to under 25 points, then the Falcons NFL MVP candidate Matt Ryan will stand a solid chance at winning the Lombardi trophy for the first time in the organization’s history.