It’s really an indictment on the coaching profession that you can’t pin that headline down to one person. Heck, you can’t pin that headline down to 10 people. Two-thirds of fans across the league think their coach is that one.
However, a majority of those fans are wrong. There is a clear-cut leader in the race for the worst game manager in the league. As a matter of fact, we are witnessing the worst game manager in league history man the sidelines right now. And he isn’t even remembered for HIS gaffes.
It’s somewhat poetic that one man links the two most infamous coaching decisions in recent memory. It wasn’t Dan Quinn’s fault that Russell Wilson threw the ball on the one-yard line in Super Bowl XLIX, or more specifically, that the Seahawks called for a slant into traffic. It’s also not innately his fault that Kyle Shanahan called for a pass late in the fourth quarter in Super Bowl LI, leading to a sack that pushed the Falcons out of range of a championship-icing field goal, though we don’t know whether Quinn called for that pass.
However, just because this man, as a defensive mind, isn’t on the hook for those calls, doesn’t mean he makes a mockery of head coaches around the league. He reared his ugly head yesterday against the Cowboys.
I’m not sure how many levels of delusion you have to go through to believe that making a field goal shorter for your opponent is a good thing, but Dan Quinn is a good guy to ask. He singlehandedly cost his team a shot at overtime.
After the Cowboys got to the Falcons’ 30-yard line, only needing a field goal to win, Jason Garrett decided not to go for a touchdown. On 1st and 10, Garrett decided to run it up the gut for a two-run gain. He committed his normal cardinal sin and played for a long field goal. A 46-yarder. Instead, Dan Quinn decided to make it easier.
Dan Quinn called timeout. An asinine decision. He knows that his counterpart is a coward and isn’t trying to score a touchdown. So instead of giving him the 46-yard field goal, Quinn decides to make it an easier shot for Cowboys kicker Brett Maher.
29 seconds left, Elliott runs again for two yards. And once again, Dan Quinn calls timeout. Why? I have no clue. Because there is no reality in which this makes any sense. Dallas still has a timeout, so they can run another play now, to get even closer to the goal line. Even if they hadn’t, there was plenty of time to run another play and spike the ball, bringing up fourth down, and a field goal for the win.
Naturally, with the ensuing 42-yard field goal (after another 2-yard rush by Zeke), snuck in past the goalpost. This probably hits the post from 48. It’s good from 42. The Falcons lost.
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It’s asinine. No other coach in the league currently, or maybe all time, has ever made such a dumb decision. There are absolutely no excuses for Dan Quinn to still have a job after a decision like this. In the heat of a playoff race, you want to make it tougher for your team to win? That’s an inexcusable decision.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Dan Quinn has done something to directly harm his team’s chances of winning before.
As SBNation pointed out in a video, Dan Quinn directly ordered his team to hurt their chances of winning on December 8, 2015. Down by four with under 3:33 to go, Dan Quinn called for a field goal. Down by four points. A field goal is worth three points. The Falcons lost that game by one point because they never touched the ball again. Their win probability would have been higher had Matt Ryan spiked the ball into the ground on 4th down, rather than doing what Quinn elected to do. Maybe we should have, right then and there, seen all of this coming. This is an entirely lehmanns summary of this situation, go watch SBNation’s video for a better explanation.
When, in four years, you have been on the sideline for four of the most boneheaded decisions in the league, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your credentials for your position. Say what you want about Condoleeza Rice possibly interviewing for the Browns’ head coaching job, I can personally guarantee you she has better situational awareness than Dan Quinn does on the sidelines.
I’m almost glad Dan Quinn and his Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl. Because, had he not, it would have been giving a ring to one of the most boneheaded coaches in the National Football League.
Even Hue Jackson didn’t make the kinds of dumb decisions that Dan Quinn has done. Think about that for a second.