Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank talks about kick error


Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and coach Dan Quinn had different opinions on the in-game kick error that led to the Falcons’ astonishing 40-39 loss to the Cowboys in Dallas on Sunday, a loss that dropped Atlanta to 0-2 and sparked more speculation about Quinn. future with the team.Falcons players Jaeden Graham, Hayden Hurst and Olamide Zaccheaus failed to aggressively fall on a Greg Zuerlein kick, a kick recovered by Cowboys defensive back and former Falcon CJ Goodwin. The Cowboys took possession with 1 minute and 48 seconds remaining in the game with 39-37 and ended the win with Zuerlein’s 46-yard field goal at the end of time.

Blank, appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio Monday to promote his new book “Good Company,” was invited by hosts Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan to talk about his feelings when flying home from the game.

“Well, do you think, do you want to react by doing something that is immediate and react with disappointment, this sadness, maybe the anger, the frustration, that all of our fans have felt, and I understand why,” he said. declared Blank. Or think of, “How do I fix that?” There are 14 more games to play in the season. We still have a lot of games to play.

“There are some aspects of our performance in the first two games that were really good. Other parts have not been good. Obviously our defense is not playing at the level we want to see it playing. And clearly on the last game. of yesterday’s game, 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, that’s clear, however, they did not, in my opinion, they did not clearly understand what the rules were and what exactly they should do. I think this is demonstrated when you watch the video. ”

When speaking to the media at 3:30 p.m. ET – and before Blank’s interview at 4:45 p.m. – Quinn said his special teams know the rules and what to do.

“Execution, like I said earlier, is about everyone, the players and the coaches,” Quinn said. “I remember years ago Bill Walsh said that, and it was as true then as it is today. So when these [onside kicks] arrive, we call a delay before taking a look. Usually two types of side kicks take place: one is a high jumper or the other, if you are not using a tee it can be a low roll. The players certainly know the rule. There have been discussions about it. But if you think it’s going to go out of bounds or not hit the 10 at the hold line, this is an option to back down.

“But when the time comes to be aggressive for the ball, you always take that moment. So when he got to where he came close to the line, we like to say, ‘Be aggressive, get on top of it and go take your chance to go. finish it off. When we haven’t done that, it’s disappointing for us. ”

Tight ends Graham and Hurst, as well as wide receiver Zaccheaus, seemed to have the best shot on the ball. Safety Sharrod Neasman appeared to be making the most aggressive attempt at the ball, but Goodwin caught it first. All-star receiver Julio Jones was 7 yards back and probably not in a better position to attack the ball, especially when hampered by a hamstring injury.

The Falcons frontline guys always learn that if the ball comes in hot or over your head, go block. If it’s a slower roll or something that you can clean up, be aggressive and get it. Special teams coach Ben Kotwica asks players to practice these scenarios on Saturday, and there is a dedicated team meeting that morning.

Immediately after Sunday’s game, Quinn was asked if the players understood the rules.

“Well I think they really know that,” Quinn said. “The top three usually block as they go forward and the high bouncers move to the opposite side. So the front line, usually on a kick in play, they’re looking to get a block first and the high jump goes to the next player. When that instance happens and it’s not a very successful instance, then you just transfer and go to your ball, but you first look at your mission of who you need to go block – certainly the ball and then your mission. . They definitely know the rule. ”

The Falcons will look to recover Sunday at home against the Chicago Bears 2-0. Blank has made his expectations clear to make the playoffs this season after consecutive 7-9 seasons.


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