BOCA RATON, Fla. – Falcons head coach Dan Quinn addressed several topics at the league meetings on Wednesday.
Here are five quick thoughts from the coach on a variety of topics:
1. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: Quinn is in full support of owner Arthur Blank in his quest to see the religious liberty bill not passed in Georgia. The NFL has stated that it's passage could jeopardized the teams Super Bowl bid.
“I support his thoughts and I understand it in the same way,” Quinn said. “I do understand the bill after talking to Arthur about it. I fully support his message on it as well.”
2. TEAM IS NOT EXPECTING A FINE: The Falcons are not expecting a fine arising from an assistant coach asking a prospect if he “liked men” at the scouting combine.
The league was satisfied with the team’s swift action and found no other abuses.
“I addressed that with them,” Quinn said. “I had a great conversation with (NFL's executive vice president of football operations) Troy (Vincent) and (NFL commissioner) Roger (Goodell) and all of the people there. It was nice to have their full support once they understood what happened and what we were doing. The coach stepped in it and (we told them) here’s what we are doing. This issue is behind us.”
In the aftermath, the Falcons had a training seminar with a league-approved counselor with the entire coaching staff regarding social responsibility.
3. RYAN VS. GRIMES: Quinn caught Bucs coach Dirk Koetter’s comments about Matt Ryan being “afraid” to throw at Brent Grimes in practice. Koetter was the Falcons' offensive coordinator from 2012-2014.
“I’m sure that was in jest,” Quinn said. “He was trying hype up the guy that was coming in.”
Koetter clarified his comments.
“I didn’t mean anything toward Matt on that,” Koetter said. “I was just trying to make a point about what a good player Brent is. You know how I feel about Matt.”
4. WHEELER WANTED: The Falcons are in discussions to re-signed unrestricted free agent Philip Wheeler, Quinn said.
Wheeler, the veteran from Georgia Tech, came on strong after being picked up at midseason. He played in nine games, making two starts. He finished with 30 tackles, a tackle for a loss and a sack. He played with the speed and urgency that Quinn covets. He’s also valuable as a reserve. He played 144 snaps (13.7 percent) and 75 snaps on special teams.
5. CHOP BLOCKING BAN: Quinn noting that cut blocking on the backside of run plays is still league. The distinction must be made between cut blocks and chop blocks.
“As a defensive coach, it’s been a block that has frustrated me,” Quinn said.
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