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Big night for Falcons: Dan Quinn, Matt Ryan take home hardware at Atlanta Sports Awards


ATLANTA -- The Falcons were the talk of the night at the Atlanta Sports Awards on Thursday.

Owner and chairman Arthur Blank headlined the night as he received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to city of Atlanta.

Dan Quinn was named Coach of the Year, Matt Ryan awarded Professional Athlete of the Year and the team was given the trophy for Team of the Year.

None of these awards come as a surprise, though.

Quinn took the Falcons to the Super Bowl in just his second season as a head coach. Ryan was the NFL's Most Valuable Player after a career year and the team won the NFC Championship in the final game at the Georgia Dome.

It was an impressive year, needless to say.

Quinn has instilled a "team first" culture from Day 1, so accepting the award with one of the Falcons' players who exemplifies that the most, Ricardo Allen, made all the sense in the world.

"There's no better person I would select to represent the team award for us than Ricardo," Quinn said. "He lives that every day, the mentor he is to so many players. He has lots to provide, he's one of a kind."

If you ask any of the players or coaches from the 2016 team what their success was based on, you'll most likely hear the word "Brotherhood."

The team feeds off of Quinn's energy on a daily basis.

"For Coach to come in and bring the excitement he brings for us and to pass it along, for us to win this, I know this means a lot for him," Allen said.

As the night was dedicated to recognizing the great moments and players from the various different teams in the city of Atlanta -- Quinn wants to continue to strengthen these bonds.

"Having this connection with the fans, with the city and with the other teams as well," Quinn said. "I've said it many times how important football is in our community and now we see basketball, baseball and everybody mixed in tonight. We can't wait, honestly we are just a few weeks away from getting started. It could start tomorrow for us and we would be ready."

The 2017 AT&T Atlanta Falcons Training Camp kicks off on July 26 in Flowery Branch with nine practices open to public.

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