ARTHUR BLANK on Empty Seats and the Season

Arthur Blank at Falcons home game pondering something #NFL, #dirtybirds, #falcons, #inbrotherhood, #atlantafalcons, #ATL, #ASN #nfc, #nfcsouth Auburn

On this season:
“It’s a very fair question. I would say, much like the coaches said, I am extraordinarily disappointed in the season. Nobody would have anticipated 1-7 and the lack of consistency. Today was a prime example of that. Down 24-0, if we could’ve just played the second half, we would’ve won the game, but it doesn’t work that way. We’ll take the next couple of weeks and during this bye period of time and evaluate where we are. Whatever decision we have to make, it will be made for the right reasons for the long term. We certainly have a lot of intelligence on this coaching staff. Besides Dan [Quinn], we have three other head coaches and we’ve got three general managers in the building beyond Thomas [Dimitroff], so actually four in the building with Rich McKay. The knowledge base is there, but the performance is not. This is a performance-driven business. I understand that and they understand that as well. We’ll continue to look at everything we can and make the right decisions when we have to make them. I’m not bashful about making those decisions. In almost 20 years, I’ve had to do it almost five times now. I understand the responsibility that I have to the fans and to the sponsors and our players and coaches, etc., to put a winning team on the field. We’re still committed to that a thousand percent and that’s not going to change.”

On whether or not he will make a decision within the next two weeks:
“We are going to do something. We’re going to continue to think really hard and evaluate everything that we can do as an owner and as a senior management team and figure out if there is anything we can do to make some decisions here earlier and here later that would help the process, but we have no plans of making any changes right now.”

On whether it’s painful watching portions of the season like the first half:
“It’s very painful. It’s very painful, because not only am I an owner, I’m the steward for the fans, I’m the custodian of things on their behalf. I feel their pain, I truly do. I see their pain and I understand what they’re going through. It’s bewilderment how we can play that way in the first half and completely different in the second half. That’s kind of been typical of the year. We just haven’t had the kind of consistency to win games. Whatever the reasons there are, there are, but it’s just not acceptable at any level. We’ll have to continue to think about what’s the best thing for the franchise and the team on a long-term basis and we’ll do that.”

On seeing empty seats in the stadium:
“It’s very painful. I understand that. I’ve always been here, I’m going to be in my seat. Hopefully, the great majority of our fans will as well. I think they understand our ownership has been committed for almost 20 years now in doing the right things for the franchise. I look at our record over that period of time compared to the prior 36 years and it’s extraordinarily good. Even for this staff, it’s hard to imagine, but we played a Super Bowl team a couple of years ago. The year following, when we weren’t supposed to be competitive, we were five yards away from playing for the NFC Championship game. In the last year, we’ve had a number of injuries, as we all know. That’s all history. It’s nice to understand that and appreciate that, but this is a ‘now’ business and it’s a ‘now’ game, so we perform good.”

On whether or not he’s ruled out making a change during the season:
“I’ve already answered that question.”

On whether or not his experience gives him a foundation for decisions:
“Yeah, it does. I mean, you begin to understand a little more clearly – the one key thing I think you need to keep in mind, it’s not a reason or another, but it is a fact, the players, they love Dan Quinn. They’re playing hard for him. Results aren’t there and I understand that, and they understand that as well. You all heard about Julio’s [Jones] comments this last week. I happened to be in the locker room and in 20 years, I’ve never heard a player talk that way with that emotional content and that fervor and that feeling about their responsibility and their own accountability. I think he touched a lot of players and the whole staff in doing that. That has to convert to a different record.”

On whether anything today changed his mind:
“No, I said earlier I think it’s important. I think the players have not lost confidence in the coach and the coaching staff and they’re playing high energy, they’re committed, they’re practicing hard, they’re working hard. They’re as befuddled I think as we are, as the coaches are, but I don’t think they view it as a lack of confidence in the coach and the coaching staff. I think they’re very committed to working for him and doing whatever they have to do. Hopefully, it will be enough. We’ll see.”

2 Responses

  1. That why the coaches need hold these players responsible for there actions on the field they all want big money and they are getting what they want but we are not !!!! Start taking back some money or get them off the team if they can not hold there end of the bargain??

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