Even Arthur Blank thinks Falcons didn’t understand onside kick rules

Arthur Blank, Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Arthur Blank, Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Arthur Blank supporting his team and coaches isn’t helping out at all.

Arthur Blank and the Atlanta Falcons have no idea what the rules are with onside kicks.

The Falcons owner went on SiriusXM NFL Radio Monday and had to address what the hell happened in his team’s embarrassing road loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Atlanta blew a 15-point lead with less than eight minutes in the ball game. The play everyone is talking about is the atrocious attempt at recovering an onside kick. Even Blank is perplexed by the whole thing.

“There’s 14 more games to play in the season,” said Blank. “We have a lot of games left to play and there are certain aspects of our performance in the first two games which have been really good. Some other parts have not been good. Clearly our defense is not playing at the level we want to see it play at.”

“And clearly on the last play of the game yesterday our players, you know, didn’t do what they, you know, either what they were instructed to do and they didn’t understand it, or, it’s clear though they didn’t, in my view, they didn’t clearly understand what the rules were and exactly what they had to do. I think that’s demonstrated when you watch the video of it.”

If you can fire Frank de Boer in a bubble, you can fire Dan Quinn after this.

Blank, along with Bernie Marcus, founded The Home Depot in Atlanta back in the late 1970s. They both became billionaires for revolutionizing the art of home improvement. So Blank should know a thing or two about the importance of building a good foundation. While he’s a great owner and an unbelievable ambassador to the city of Atlanta, picking head coaches is not his forte.

Since purchasing the Falcons back in 2001, Blank has been a part of six head coaching hires for his two professional clubs: The Falcons and Atlanta United FC of MLS. Fate would have it easily the best head-coaching hire of them all was Gerardo “Tata” Martino as Atlanta United’s first manager. He won MLS Cup back in 2018 before leaving to go coach the Mexican Men’s National Team.

After Martino left, Atlanta United hired former Ajax manager Frank de Boer. While he did help the Five Stripes win the Campeones Cup and the U.S Open Cup in 2019, de Boer was sacked after not scoring a single goal down in the Orlando bubble during the MLS is Back Tournament. Atlanta was the only club to not put a single ball in the back of the net during Group Stage. How embarrassing.

Not as embarrassing as the Falcons’ deplorably bad coaching when it comes to defense and special teams. Matt Ryan and his receiving corps of Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage and tight end Hayden Hurst have played like gods the last two weeks. Too bad Quinn and Raheem Morris’ defense thinks they’re playing Big 12 shootouts on college football Saturdays. It’s Sunday!

After a 1-7 start to last season, Quinn was a dead man walking until a 6-2 second-half finish kept him alive to fight for another year. I’m not sure if yesterday was as bad as Jim Mora lusting over the Washington Huskies job back in 2006 or Bobby Petrino leaving in the middle of the night to go coach the Arkansas Razorbacks back in 2007, but this is sure right up there with 28-3, dammit!

There is a very, very simple managerial concept out there. Everything is binary, as you’re either coaching it or allowing it to happen. An employee is either being told to do something or rampant negligence takes over and dysfunction manifests. In most instances, the latter is the worse of the two options. However, Sunday was about being coached down to suck at recovering onside kicks.

There is no excuse for that chicken s**t crapola. Don’t the Falcons have the best onside kicker to ever live in Younghoe Koo? He was utterly sensational last year in his first season as a Dirty Bird. The former Georgia Southern star has been excellent this year in his sort of homecoming, so how can you say that Hurst and Jaeden Graham are clueless as handless members of the hands team?

This is yet another example of why when you go to Atlanta and ask a random person if they’re a Falcons fan, more than half the time they’ll say, “Oh, no. I’m a fan of Team X.” The Falcons have been in Atlanta for over 50 years, play in a state of the art facility and have a first-class owner. Yet, they have one of the biggest bandwagon fanbases in the sport. This. Is. Why. Coaching. Matters!

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The final years of Ryan’s prime are being wasted by a head coach who claims to be about the ball, when in fact, his team is not about the ball, as illustrated by the saddest excuse of recovering an onside kick in the history of humanity. It’s time for Uncle Arthur to hire Korn Ferry again so he can vet which coaching candidate is best between Eric Bieniemy, Brian Daboll, Jay Gruden or whoever.

The joke is getting about as old as Quinn’s redundant cliches, as we’ve all earned better than this.