Arthur M. Blank, Atlanta Falcons owner and chairman, announced on Friday that general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn have been retained and will both now report directly to Falcons President and CEO Rich McKay.
Blank will retain oversight of the football operation, with McKay reporting directly to him on all football matters. Additionally, Raheem Morris has been named Falcons defensive coordinator, effective at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
- Morris to take over as defensive coordinator
- Tabeek: Three wins solidified Falcons' turnaround
- Why Arthur Blank made this decision
- Arthur Blank on change to football structure
- Arthur Blank on the message this sends to fans
- Blank, McKay on decision to retain Dimitroff, Quinn
- Rich McKay on Dan Quinn and Raheem Morris
- McKay on new role, structure, ongoing evaluation
- McKay: Why decision gives Falcons best chance to win
- McKay on moment he knew things were turning around
"Over the last two seasons our results on the field have not met our standard or the expectations of our fans," said Blank. "I understand our fans' disappointment and frustration because I've felt every bit of it as well. That said, our focus must be on giving our franchise the best opportunity to win next year and beyond. I have long believed that continuity in leadership is very important across all our businesses and the football team is no different in that regard. After weighing several factors, including our team's statistical turnaround and our players' focus and effort the second half of the season, I feel the decision to retain Thomas and Dan, with Rich providing close day-to-day oversight of the football operation, will provide the timeliest route for the Atlanta Falcons to return to contention in 2020 and beyond.
"Every year we evaluate all our football operations and this year I have asked Rich to work closely with Thomas and Dan over the next couple of weeks to conduct a top-to-bottom review, inclusive of structure, processes, resourcing and personnel to identify whatever changes are necessary to enable us to compete consistently at the highest level. In my time as owner, and particularly since 2008, we have been one of the winningest teams in the NFC ranking fourth in wins and across the NFL, tied for seventh in wins, and that remains the only acceptable result for us now and in the future," said Blank.
McKay has served the organization in a variety of roles since arriving in 2004, including president of AMB Sports & Entertainment and Falcons president and GM. Prior to his arrival, he spent 10 years as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager. In recent years, McKay played a central role in the development, opening and operation of Mercedes-Benz Stadium in addition to his Falcons duties.
With the stadium now built and operating with a best-in-class leadership team, led by AMBSE CEO, Steve Cannon, McKay now returns focus to a larger role in the operation of the Falcons. He will continue to report to Cannon on all business matters across AMBSE, including the Falcons.
Morris has been an NFL coach for 17 seasons and is completing his fifth with the Falcons after joining Dan Quinn's staff in 2015 as assistant head coach/defensive passing game coordinator. In 2016 he moved to the offensive side of the ball, adding responsibility for the wide receivers to his assistant head coaching duties.
Midway through the 2019 season, Morris moved back to the defensive side and helped lead a remarkable turnaround that saw the Falcons move from 31st in the league in scoring defense to the top-10 in most statistical categories. He was previously the defensive backs coach in Washington from 2012-14 and head coach in Tampa Bay for three seasons (2009-11) before that.