“Even if he doesn’t lead us, he knows who we are and still believes in us,” Allen said. “He wants us to go out there and do what we can, no matter who leads us. He said he supports us and should respect (interim coach) Rahim (Morris) and take care of him in the same way as if we were still doing it for (Quinn). It was cool to see that even in the most difficult times (Quinn) to hold on and stay true to who he is. The way he came in is the way he came out. ”
Quatback Matt Ryan said: “He has always been so consistent that he is positive and optimistic. He was the same way. He told us that his time was up here, but we still had work to do, and wished us all the best. And he really thanks us for the hard work we put in. “
Ryan said he played his best football under Quinn, which includes the 201
6 season, which saw him win MVP honors while competing in the Super Bowl LI. Ryan said he fell asleep early Sunday night but woke up early Monday morning. He then checked his phone and saw an email sent by the organization informing the players that Quinn had been fired.
For the past three weeks, players have routinely defended Quinn and blamed themselves for the 0-5 start. After the fallout of the Falcons against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter, the defensive end Dante Fowler spoke in the locker room to offer Quinn support.
Eventually, the losses piled up to the point where Blank thought a coaching change needed to be made.
“Ultimately, it all comes down to productivity and output,” Ryan said. “It’s basic. Our performance and production were not good enough. So, yes, you definitely feel that responsibility as a team and as players on that team you have to do more to play better. You are disappointed in this way. This is a performance-based league. Overall, our organization has not performed well enough in the last few years. We need to find a way to do it better. “
Alan expressed disappointment with the start of the team’s season, which led to the removal of Quinn. Based on the training camp and each week of training, Allen decided that there was no way they could be in a position where the coach he admires was gone.
“It was not the best. “Never in my life this season would I have thought we would start 0-5,” said Alan. “But this is something that we as players and we as an organization put in this situation. Now we have to eliminate and fight and take it for a week and focus on trying to be 1-0 this week.
“Man, it’s hard after all. I’ll tell you it’s not easy. But we’re fighters here. We’ll never give up. As I told many people, my mother didn’t raise me to give up on anyone for anything. It’s an opportunity right. here, where I feel we can show who we are as men and what we really stand for because we have lost our best dog. “
Ryan didn’t have the chance Allen had when he had to give Quinn a personal goodbye. Ryan said he hopes that at some point in the near future he will be able to sit down with his former coach and talk about the good times when they worked together.
But in a socially distant world, Quinn’s only way to convey his last message to his former team was practical.
“It’s unfortunate that you can’t do this in person because of the situation we’re in,” Ryan said. “I feel that sometimes these situations are much better in person than with Zoom. I look forward to every time I have the opportunity to have dinner with him to catch up and tell him how grateful we are for our time here. “