Dan Quinn is the Vince Russo of the Atlanta Falcons

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

If there are Atlanta Falcons fans that were fans of professional wrestling in the mid to late ’90s, chances are they remember a man by the name of Vince Russo.

Dan Quinn and the Atlanta Falcons have had a rough first half of the season as they come out of their bye-week, and in the last four years since Quinn has taken over the reins as head coach, we have seen his fall from grace.

Wrestling fans may recall another man which they had to see fall from the top, as Vince Russo was the head writer for WWF before he moved on to WCW which ended in him driving the already failing company into the ground.

From the outside, it might appear odd to compare Quinn to Russo, but if you look closely enough there are some striking similarities between the two that are actually considerably eerie.

Both flourished while working under someone else

Dan Quinn was in charge of the legendary Seattle Seahawk defense Legion of Boom, as he was a defensive coordinator working under head coach Pete Carroll. Quinn’s defense led the charge to two Super Bowl appearances, including one Super Bowl victory in 2013. With those credentials, one might assume he might know a thing or two about how to build a stout defense, right?

In Vince Russo’s case, he was the head writer for WWF in 1997-1999, working under Vince McMahon. Russo was in charge of writing Monday Night Raw, and under his tenure, as a head writer he led WWF to finally surpass WCW in ratings in the now infamous Monday Night War.

Both failed to produce when they got the opportunity

Dan Quinn got his opportunity to lead the Falcons to greatness this season as he decided to take over as defensive coordinator. This news had Falcons fans excited, as they looked at what Quinn was able to produce in Seattle in the years prior. Fans were hopeful that Quinn could turn the Falcons defense into a juggernaut reminiscent of the Legion of Boom, but unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth, as the defense now sits last or close to last in virtually all defensive categories in the league.

The same went for Vince Russo, as he left WWF  in 1999 to take over as head writer for an already crumbling WCW. The WCW staff would be beyond excited to hear that Russo was taking over, as being informed that he was solely responsible for the now dubbed Attitude Era in the WWF, and their immense spike in ratings, who wouldn’t be?

Like Quinn taking over defensive responsibilities, this fell just short. The creative-genius that was Vince Russo came up with some of the best matches such as Judy Bagwell on a forklift match. And who could forget the infamous Viagra on a pole match (seriously)?

That goes to prove that both Quinn and Russo can flourish under the right circumstances, but leading the helm themselves? No way. Quinn had Pete Carroll in Seattle to sway him away from the terrible defensive calls, and Russo had Vince McMahon to disregard the bone-head storylines he soon became synonymous with. Both had some ingenious ideas in their heads, but without someone to filter out the seemingly infinite dreadful ones we get stuck with what we have now.

While Quinn hasn’t necessarily wasted the Falcons money, such as Russo lost WCW an insurmountable amount before he was ultimately let go, Quinn has wasted the talent of the stars on this team. In some retrospect, he has completely wasted the prime of multiple players, as he really doesn’t have much to show from five years, except an incredibly embarrassing Super Bowl loss and what is now on track to become the worst Falcons season since 1967.

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Hopefully, Quinn will differ from Russo in that he won’t completely tarnish the Atlanta Falcons and drive them down beyond repair.