Quinn, Dimitroff have plan to help Atlanta Falcons avoid Super Bowl hangover
INDIANAPOLIS — In the 51-year history of the Super Bowl, only the 1970 Dallas Cowboys and 1971 Miami Dolphins have lost and come back to win one the following season.
In addition to those Cowboys and Dolphins teams, only the 1973 Vikings, 1986 Broncos and 1990, ’91 and ’92 Bills have lost Super Bowls and even made it back to the championship game.
It has been 23 seasons since that 1993 Buffalo team lost its fourth straight Super Bowl, and no losing team since has been able to bounce back and win, or even play in one, the following year.
It is in that climate the Atlanta Falcons will attempt to become NFL champions in 2017, but general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn insist they are optimistic and up for the test.
Dimitroff spoke on the first day of the Scouting Combine this week and talked about the need to recover before trying to move forward.
“As far as recovering from the Super Bowl loss, that was one of those things that there was so much effort put into that,” he said. “I was really proud of the team as we got to that point.
“Arthur (Blank) has been really good in our discussions with Arthur, myself and Dan (Quinn). We’ve had myriad conversations about the direction of our team and where we came from and where we are right now.
“Dan has a really uncanny way of relating to the football players and I have all of the confidence in the world that he’s going to have them ready, confident, positive and resilient coming into the next season.”
Quinn says the key is to first take responsibility.
“Number one, you have to own it,” explained Quinn. “There are consequences, good and bad, when you make plays and when you don’t. End of the games ones are always fluid and always changing, but what I can tell you is that being in that experience and battling for it at the highest level, you can’t duplicate that.
“We actually had on the job training and there is something that you totally gain from that. We’ll be stronger for it. It’s tough and painful to go through when you have a difficult loss. It doesn’t define us.
“We have got a team that’s totally on the rise. We are going to battle like crazy this offseason to become even better moving forward.”
Still, Quinn acknowledges you have to be sure there is no hangover before you can move forward.
“It’s a fair question, how do you deal with overcoming that loss? he said. “You’ve got to learn to get past it. I didn’t say that you have to get over it. You do have to get past it.
“By replaying everything all the time and looking in the rear view mirror, you’re not going to get better. We try to really focus on the process that we go through. We really try to live in the present moment and how good can we get today.”
Dimitroff thinks he and his assistant G.M. Scott Pioli can take a page from a master, having started out with Bill Belichick.
“I think Bill Belichick and Pioli during that time did a great job of keeping the focus on not being caught,” said Dimitroff. “I think the big thing is making sure you’re focused, making sure you’re not complacent.
“Making sure that you’re open-minded enough to continue to build your depth. Bill is a great leader that way and Scott Pioli was in terms of making sure that the focus was on and not thinking that you’ve figured it all out because this is not an exact science as far as putting teams together.”
With an offense that peaked in 2016 but should stay in its prime for another two or three seasons, and having started eight rookie or second-year players on defense, the Falcons can be the team to break the Super Bowl loser’s curse, and Dimitroff and Quinn appear to get it is up to them — and they have a plan to get them there.
With an offense that peaked in 2016 but should stay in its prime for another two or three seasons and having started eight rookie or second year players on defense the Falcons can be the team to break the Super Bowl loser’s curse, and Dimitroff and Quinn appear to get it is up to them and they have a plan to get them there.