Forget trade talk — Dan Quinn wants Julio Jones on his team

New Falcons coach Dan Quinn says he wants wide receiver Julio Jones on his team. (Curtis Compton, AJC)


New Falcons coach Dan Quinn says he wants wide receiver Julio Jones on his team. (Curtis Compton, AJC)

New Falcons coach Dan Quinn says he wants wide receiver Julio Jones on his team. (Curtis Compton, AJC)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Dan Quinn spent a good part of his first day as Falcons’ head coach Tuesday talking to the media. I suspect that will become a lower priority for him Wednesday and every day that follows. That’s fine. When a coach takes over a team that went 4-12 and 6-10 in the last two seasons, there are enough things to occupy his week.

I’ve posted my latest full column on Quinn. To read it, click this link on I spoke to, among others, former long-time San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Bill McPherson, who was one of Quinn’s mentors when he left Rutgers and began his coaching tenure in the NFL. “Mac,” who I knew from my days of covering the 49ers in the mid-to-late 1980s, had some great insight into Quinn.

I’ve been impressed with Quinn after speaking with him in Arizona during Super Bowl week and again Tuesday. I also was impressed that long after his main news conference Tuesday, he circled back and walked into the media work room at the team’s facility, when there were still a few of us here working.

Two subjects came up that I thought would be of interest to you:

• Julio Jones isn’t going anywhere: Some have concluded that since Jones has one year left on his contract and is on the verge of getting a lucrative extension that Quinn — who comes from a defensive background, understands the roster needs to be rebuilt and has final say on the 53-man roster — would prefer to trade Jones for extra draft picks.

But Quinn said that’s not the case: “Absolutely — I can’t wait (to meet him). Just a chance to go through the process with him. … We love great players. We’re trying to celebrate all the good guys. We’re trying to collect more great players, not the other way around.”

• Quinn is still emotionally dealing with the Super Bowl loss: Seattle had a 24-14 lead after three quarters, then saw New England quarterback Tom Brady throw two touchdown passes and complete 15 of 17 passes in the fourth. The Seahawks blew a chance to win the game in the final seconds on second-and-goal from the Patriots’ one-yard line when they chose not to hand off to Marshawn Lynch and quarterback Russell Wilson’s pass on a pick play intended for Ricardo Lockette was intercepted in the end zone.

Quinn on the aftermath of the loss: “It was such an emotional time in the game. I really didn’t have time to put it in a place that you want to get to. With a little bit of time to reflect back on it, it was two teams that were competing absolutely as hard as they can. It was emotional. At the end, you don’t even know where to go with it, it was so hard. But you tip your hat to them and the one thing we haven’t talked about is the guy (Malcolm Butler) made a great play on the interception. It’s easy to talk about the play call, but at the end of the day there were lots of plays that were made in the game. It was hard. As a coach, it’s hard to look at it but that’s what you have to do.”

Quinn on Brady vs. his defense in the fourth quarter: “The hardest part for me, and what I’m struggling with the most, is we love to be known as one of the best finishing teams in ball. So for us not to hold up our end of it at the end, that was hard. Uncomfortable. I’ve got to give credit to Tom and those guys. When he had to light it up, he was terrific. There are times when a guy gets going it’s hard to slow him down. We tried a number of different ways.”

• Finally, a website,, has posted odds on all seven of the NFL’s new head coaches. I’ve listed the odds for amusement purposes only. Noteworthy: Denver’s Gary Kubiak is the even-money favorite to win the most games next season, with Quinn ranking third among the seven coaches at 7-1. (Oakland’s Jack Del Rio is 100-1.) Quinn also is listed third in the field to make the playoffs at 2-1, behind Kubiak (1-2) and San Francisco’s Jim Tomsula (7-4). Quinn is 3-1 (best in the group) on the subject of which coach will have the greatest team improvement in the first season.

Obviously, all of the odds relate as much to the team and last season’s results as they do they actual coach. Here are the odds:

2015-16 New NFL Head Coach Odds
Which new head coach will win the most games in 2015-16:
 •   Gary Kubiak (Denver): 1/1
  •   Jim Tomsula (San Francisco): 3/1
  •   Dan Quinn (Atlanta): 7/1
  •   John Fox (Chicago): 9/1
  •   Rex Ryan (Buffalo): 11/1
  •   Todd Bowles (NY Jets): 50/1
  •   Jack Del Rio (Oakland): 100/1
Which new head coaches will make the playoffs in 2015-16:
 •   Kubiak (Denver): 1/2
  •   Tomsula (San Francisco): 7/4
  •   Quinn (Atlanta): 2/1
  •   Fox (Chicago): 5/1
  •   Ryan (Buffalo): 5/1
  •   Bowles (NY Jets): 20/1
  •   Del Rio (Oakland): 40/1
Which new head coach will get to a Super Bowl first:
 •   Kubiak (Denver): 3/2
  •   Tomsula (San Francisco): 7/3
  •   Quinn (Atlanta): 13/2
  •   Ryan (Buffalo): 10/1
  •   Fox (Chicago): 10/1
  •   Bowles (NY Jets): 15/1
  •   Del Rio (Oakland): 30/1
Which new head coach will win the Super Bowl first:
 •   Kubiak (Denver): 5/2
  •   Tomsula (San Francisco): 7/2
  •   Quinn (Atlanta): 17/4
  •   Ryan (Buffalo): 5/1
  •   Fox (Chicago): 7/1
  •   Bowles (NY Jets): 8/1
  •   Del Rio (Oakland): 15/1
Which new head coach will get fired first:
 •   Tomsula (San Francisco): 3/1
  •   Fox (Chicago): 7/2
  •   Ryan (Buffalo): 7/2
  •   Kubiak (Denver): 5/1
  •   Del Rio (Oakland): 10/1
  •   Quinn (Atlanta): 10/1
  •   Bowles (NY Jets): 14/1
Which new head coach will improve his team’s record the most in his first season:
 •   Quinn (Atlanta): 3/1
  •   Tomsula (San Francisco): 4/1
  •   Fox (Chicago): 5/1
  •   Bowles (NY Jets): 5/1
  •   Del Rio (Oakland): 5/1
  •   Ryan (Buffalo): 9/1
  •   Kubiak (Denver): 25/1
Which new head coach will decrease his team’s record the most in his first season:
  •   Ryan (Buffalo): 4/3
  •   Kubiak (Denver): 5/3
  •   Tomsula (San Francisco): 4/1
  •   Fox (Chicago): 12/1
  •   Bowles (NY Jets): 15/1
  •   Del Rio (Oakland): 15/1
  •   Quinn (Atlanta): 20/1
Which new head coach will get in trouble first for an inappropriate comment in the media:
 •   Ryan (Buffalo): 5/6
  •   Tomsula (San Francisco): 6/1
  •   Fox (Chicago): 7/1
  •   Del Rio (Oakland): 9/1
  •   Kubiak (Denver): 12/1
  •   Quinn (Atlanta): 12/1
  •   Bowles (NY Jets): 12/1

That’s it for now. What are your initial thoughts on Quinn? Do you believe the Falcons made the right choice?

A writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
— AJC: Falcons need players but Dan Quinn is a good start
— MyAJC: Tom Brady takes the air out of critics in Super Bowl
— AJC: Short takes: Brady rallies Pats but Seahawks bungled ending
— AJC: LIVE: Finally after ‘DeflateGate’ and chatter, a Super Bowl
— AJC: Another possible embarrassment for Falcons: Fake crowd noise
— 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

Reader Comments 0


I still dont get why the Flacons didnt hiore Jimy Jonson 


D. Led is lucky to pull his pants up and get his shoes tied w/o help. What did he do to stand up to the Clown Costume Man?


Glad to see D. Led stand up to bossy Arthur Blank

at the Dan Quinn introductory press conference.


Quinn would have to be as brain dead as Darrell Bevell to even entertain the idea of trading a top 3 WR like Jones.  Roddy White is still productive, but his best days as a WR are fading rapidly in the rear view mirror.  Rebuilding the defense should be the top priority however if Jones departs, regardless of how he leaves, the offense will basically be Matt Ryan.


This defense has to be rebuilt. 

Can that happen in a single off season, probably not to the level required to win a Super Bowl, but no way it should be as bad as it has been under for the last 5+ seasons.  This defense has been bad for a long time.


Coach has final say on cuts (when deciding who to keep and who to let go from the roster) not on who to sign, and/or trade.

Salary cap is very important in the NFL. With Matt Ryan getting more than his share of the pie, it's going to be tough to build a great team with limited salary cap room.  That will require bringing in players that are not making big salaries, but are playing big on the field, and how long can that work, unless they are drafted and/or 1st or 2nd year FA?


Thanks Jeff.  Oh Boy, another Falcons rebuilding period, how many of those have we been through since 1966!


What do you think he would say in his first press conference, before meeting team?  That he's gonna start cutting everyone? Of course not. How would that go over in first team meeting?

He's going to evaluate individuals before making any decisions on personnel.

I think the Falcons should trade down in draft and get more picks.

Especially if they have to forfeit a pick for "noise-gate".

They should have traded down last year.

And quit overspending on free agents that make minimal contributions.


@HotDawg                    "noise-gate" is about as trashy as a team can get.


After embarrassing Patrick Peterson of the Cardinals, Julio Jones showed his worth to this offense and what a force he can be. Unless the Falcons can get another like him on the cheap they should keep him.

A couple of things Coach Quinn said in the press conference that gives me encouragement going forward were having a developmental staff, competitive practices and having players who can play multiple positions on defense.

Very interested in how the rugby style of tackling will work with these Falcons and as for as Weatherspoon is concerned maybe he will get a look at playing more middle linebacker as opposed to outside linebacker.  


Smart Man - I knew this guy was the right coach for this team, what idiot would let his best player go and a top 5 WR in the league is beyond me.

You take Julio of the Falcons and say good bye to Ryan, he would fall of in the deep sea like Noah Ark.


GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


If this is true, then he's already proven to me he is an idiot.  We now have a huge amount of our money tied up in receivers.  Could be one of the many reasons the team is no good.

Look at New England's receivers over the years.  They rarely have a talented one (Gronk the only current exception).  The great quarterback makes the great receivers - not the other way around.

This team has lost its integrity, its intelligence and its heart and now it's a team of yes-men supporting anything Arthur wants.  And now the city and fans have to kick in on Arthur;'s statue to himself - his new stadium.  Is anybody out there really excited about this misguided regime???



Sometimes you say some good things Tree but you are more negative then me. Atlanta has won ONE major Championship in this city and that was the Braves. Its hard to be optimistic in this city especially after keeping the one man on the staff 99% of Atlanta Fans wanted fired, but lets see what acquisitions they pick up in the off season, and then we can HATE!


We scored 3 points vs Carolina- when it mattered.   Hope Shanahan can put Ryan in a good spot- defense matters, but points have to be on the board first!


@buellerbuellerbueller  Best loss we could have had. Knowing neither team would go far in the playoffs, they will be drafting around the 20th pick  We can take our pick and get the equivalent of two of those. The "value chart" shows by giving up the #8, first round pick, you can get a 20th teams picks for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks.


@buellerbuellerbueller  It seems like the Patriots are always trading players and picks for 2nd round picks. They always seem to have plenty of those. Just don't let TD pick players like Konz with them.


When a team is as bad as the Falcons are, down to their very core, you can't get better by trading your best player.

You need to draft smarter (tough to do with Dimitroff still in house) and you have to spend money more wisely (again, tough to do with Dimitroff still here).

The reports that the Falcons want to re-sign Weatherspoon are exactly what we shouldn't be hearing. He's a walking injury risk who isn't a Pro Bowl calibur talent. He's just below that. He's another Curtis Lofton. So why the hell is Dimitroff & Co. so hell-bent on keeping him?

It's Sam Baker all over again.

Quinn seems like a good coach, but he's already made a questionable decision in his OC hire. Kyle Shanahan's offenses in Houston racked up a ton of yards, but were always in the bottom third of the league in points. What does that tell you? That between the 20's, he can move it, but he stinks in the red zone. Not just stinks, but stinks up one side and down the other. He's Field Goal Kyle, Daddy's Boy.

Why Quinn thinks shackling Ryan and Julio to this kind of offense is a good idea is beyond me, especially when Adam Gace was out there for the taking.

EVERYONE who has watched the Falcons play since 2008 knows Ryan is at his best when he's calling the plays at the line and the offense is in the hurry up. So what does Quinn do? He hires Greg Knapp 2.0.

Not a great start. Weatherspoon & Kyle Shanahan. Sigh.