Why Atlanta Falcons will reach the playoffs: Dan Quinn


Football is coming, and optimism is rising for all 32 teams ahead of training camp. In September, the Atlanta Falcons will begin their hunt for a playoff berth, and I for one believe they will reach the postseason.

I’ve broken down each reason why I believe they will do this. I started looking at an improved defense, before breaking down the enhanced run game and superstar receiver that is Julio Jones

More from Atlanta Falcons News

Today, I move onto my next reason, and it’s at the top.

Dan Quinn was hired to replace Mike Smith as head coach to help the Falcons’ turn their fortunes around and return to the playoffs.

Quinn’s mission is to help Atlanta challenge for the Super Bowl, which they were doing three years ago. To do this, he will need to rejuvenate a depleted defense.

How does he plan on doing this?

Quinn spent two years as defensive coordinator at the Seattle Seahawks, and he will be looking to implement a similar philosophy in Atlanta.

RELATED: An introduction to Dan Quinn’s 4-3 under defense

In both of those years, the Seahawks reached the Super Bowl. In 2013, the defense dominated the record-setting Broncos offense and limited them to just eight points in a blowout Super Bowl victory. Last year, it was an offensive mistake that cost Seattle consecutive world championships.

“I can’t wait to build a similar championship environment here in Atlanta,” Quinn said in February. “There are all sorts of challenges ahead, lots of hard work to do. I can’t wait to get started.”

What does Quinn want from his players?

“My kind of guy is somebody who plays fast and physical,” Quinn said. “That style starts with effort first. That’s where we’ll start. There are a number of guys already here who are going to be a part of it.”

Those words, fast and physical, are exactly what makes the Seahawks’ defense so dominant.

Jun 17, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley (44) stretches during minicamp at Falcons Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Quinn’s first draft looks to be a strong one, and his first two selections highlight this. With the eighth overall pick, the Falcons selected Vic Beasley out of Clemson. Beasley comes in to help an ailing pass rush. He knows a thing or two about hitting the quarterback as he’s the all-time sack leader in Clemson.

What’s most impressive about Beasley is his explosiveness off the snap and his speed to attack the quarterback. He has a number of ways to beat linemen, and all these attributes add up to make him a perfect fit for Quinn’s defense.

In the second round, the Falcons turned to the secondary by selected cornerback Jalen Collins out of LSU. Collins is another player with plenty of speed, and he has the right combination of height and weight to match.

With Collins lining up opposite one of the NFL’s best corners in Desmond Trufant, the Falcons’ secondary looks a lot stronger.

This is only the beginning of Quinn’s time in Atlanta, so we can’t expect him to turn a unit that ranked dead last in 2014 to one of the league’s best in one offseason. What we will see, however, is improvements throughout the defense which will make the Falcons more competitive.

If the defense can generate enough pass rush to put quarterbacks under some pressure, the entire unit will benefit.

More from Blogging Dirty

Don’t expect this team to finish in the top ten on defense this year, but they should rank comfortably higher than they did last year, and this will be enough.

It’s not just Quinn’s influence on defense that will help Atlanta. While he is unproven as a head coach, he already looks like a great leader who lifts the players.

He has a philosophy the Falcons will adhere to, and he has a direction he wants to take the team in. The 2015 Atlanta Falcons will have a different identity to the 2014 predecessor.

We can’t expect a Super Bowl ring in 2015, but Quinn’s arrival is one of the reasons why I believe Atlanta will be playing in the postseason.

Next: Ranking the NFL's top 5 kickers