FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Falcons coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff held their season-ending press conference on Thursday and one thing was made abundantly clear: They are not happy.
Quinn, in fact, wasted little time in describing his current frame of mind. In the first minute of the 51-minute session with the media, he used the following words:
"Today as we're sitting here as a team, we're still bummed, and I'm glad that we're pissed because it tells me where our expectations are as a team and as a fan base," Quinn said. "I'm still disappointed we're not sitting here talking on a Thursday about the NFC championship game, but what makes me feel better is knowing that the team has now created a base camp over the last three years, where we don't have to start at the bottom of the mountain and we can go take our shot at the summit every year."
And those were the first two sentences of Quinn's opening remarks.
As one would expect, the Falcons are still stinging from their 15-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round of the playoffs. Both Quinn and Dimitroff believe the Falcons should still be playing and referred to the game as "a missed opportunity."
But from the opening minute of their Q&A session with the media right down to the final one, it was readily apparent both men would have preferred to have had that particular news conference sometime in February, not mid-January.
All you had to was listen and watch – their mannerisms matched their words.
Twelve different times the two men reminded everyone in attendance – and whoever was listening on social media – that they believed the Falcons should be preparing the NFC title game this week. Quinn used the following words, in order:
And when Quinn turned the mic over to Dimitroff, the Falcons general manager echoed his coach, dropping the following words:
"Of course, I'm agitated and unhappy with the way that we ended," Dimitroff said in his opening statement. "We have a lot of things to focus on here in the offseason, and there's no question that we will focus acutely on it."
Deliberate or not, the serious tone during Thursday's end-of-season press conference certainly felt genuine.
Quinn and Dimitroff were very open and forthright about specific areas in which this Falcons team fell short in 2017. Quinn, who understandably goes out of his way to not compare teams during the season, did just that – comparing the 2016 Falcons to this year's team – because he believed it was necessary to highlight some areas where they fell short in 2017.
But the one other term both Quinn and Dimitoff used to describe the Falcons overall performance was "under-executed."
"I don't in any way think we underachieved here," Dimitroff said. "This team played their ass off. They were a hard-changing, aggressive, fiery, flying-around team that I'm very proud of. The term we coined was that we thought that we under-executed, not underachieved. There's an important difference there. We have young guys on this roster that are continuing to grow and learn and Dan and his staff do a hell of a job with it and will continue to grow and learn on it. But the opportunity, yeah, I think we have an opportunity next year to continue to get considerably better."