PHOENIX — No worries. Dan Quinn hasn’t changed his mind yet.
The Falcons, set to hire the Seattle defensive coordinator following today’s Super Bowl against New England, are being investigated for possibly piping artificial crowd noise into the Georgia Dome over the last two seasons.
There’s a switch. Here we thought they were just trying to force artificial football on us.
This actually is a serious matter. As our Darryl Ledbetter reports, if the NFL finds this to be true, it can fine the Falcons or, worse, take away a draft pick. The investigation was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Loud crowd noise by home fans can disrupt visiting offenses and force them to go to silent snap counts, but the Falcons obviously haven’t been giving home fans much reason to scream.
“We were informed during the season that the league office is looking into crowd noise during our games,” Falcons spokesman Reggie Roberts told the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Sunday. “We have cooperated fully with them, and we’re awaiting the outcome.”
Atlanta is accused of piping in the noise while the opposing team was huddling, trying to call its play. The tactics originated from the Falcons’ game operations department.
The game operations department falls under the marketing side of the building, not football operations, so don’t blame general manager Thomas Dimitroff or former coach Mike Smith for this.
Quinn coaches for a team that plays before the loudest crowds in the NFL in Seattle. Artificial enhancements aren’t necessary. That’s not the case in Atlanta. Ironically, however, Chicago fans in attendance at the Georgia Dome were so loud during the late stages of a Bears’ win over the Falcons that quarterback Matt Ryan had to go to a silent snap count.
In 2007, New England accused Indianapolis of piping fake crowd noise into the stadium. But the league investigated and ultimately/suspiciously attributed the noise to a CBS production problem. After all of the Falcons’ problems in the last two seasons, this is potentially one more embarrassment the team doesn’t need. Welcome to the other side of the NFL, Dan Quinn.
•A writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
— MyAJC: There’s no confusion about pecking order on Super Bowl teams — AJC: Dan Quinn could have final day on 53-man roster — MyAJC: Blank speaks but remains vague on Falcons’ restructuring — MyAJC: Tiger Woods’ problems aren’t just physical anymore — AJC: Is it Tiger time … or is Tiger Woods’ time over? — MyAJC: LeGarrette Blount walked out on team — and straight to Super Bowl — AJC: Georgia’s Lockette playing for third straight Super Bowl team — MyAJC: Dan Quinn says he’s ready for next challenge (with Falcons) — AJC: Lynch goes into interview Beast Mode again (surprise!) — MyAJC: Great or not, Patriots’ legacy is forever tarnished — AJC: Seattle players say Quinn will be ‘great head coach’ for Falcons — AJC: Brady says ‘feelings got hurt’ by accusations (really?) — MyAJC: Hawks are closest team to rare Atlanta sports title — AJC: Matt Ryan doesn’t believe deflating footballs is the norm — MyAJC: Al Horford finally past injuries and frustration with Hawks — AJC: Stall, lie, cheat — it’s the Patriots’ way, and perfectly timed — AJC: DeflateGate: It’s time for NFL to forfeit games for cheaters — MyAJC: Walsh-Montana still top Belichick-Brady on coach-QB mountain — AJC: Seattle’s Super Bowl only delays Falcons’ hiring of Dan Quinn — AJC: Oddsmaker says Braves’ win total will be ‘low 70s’ (with reader poll) — MyAJC: Braves’ moves carry Coppolella’s fingerprints — AJC: There goes Evan Gattis as Braves take another big hit