With one year as an NFL head coach under his belt, Dan Quinn's vision for the future of the Atlanta Falcons is clearer than ever. The foundation has been put into place, and Quinn firmly believes he's creating a culture of lasting success here in Atlanta. He recently took the time to open up about his first year, as Tuesday, Feb. 2 marks the one-year anniversary of Quinn's reign as head coach.
Kelsey Conway: Favorite Atlanta rapper?
Dan Quinn: T.I.
KC: Favorite restaurant to go to in Atlanta?
KC: Favorite Memories?
DQ: (He lists five that particularly stood out)
Introductory press conference: What a huge honor that day was for me. I knew it was my responsibility to build a championship club here, and it was my first chance to connect with the fans here. I felt the privilege of that and that was pretty cool.
First OTA practice: The first OTA practice was definitely one thing that jacked me up because it's one thing to watch the guys on film separately all together to get a chance to see a guy like Julio (Jones) in terms of work ethic practice.
XFINITY® Atlanta Falcons Training Camp: Training Camp was awesome because it was my first real interaction with the fans. It also established the style we wanted to play.
First game as Falcons head coach: I could not have a cooler spot to start my career here with the team. I just thought, how cool is this, getting a chance to play on a national stage. That was a kick a** highlight for me.
Carolina game in Week 16: The game towards the end of the year was a good memory. It reminded me that we are a really good team when we play the way we are capable of. I was glad that moment got to happen at home where we got to enjoy it with our fans. It is good to know the style we want to play is intact. I thought it was a good moment for the end of the year.
KC:Favorite interaction with a fan?
DQ: I think when we did the military day here. That was a pretty cool day. So, I look back to that day with a lot of gratitude because there were so many military members here at practice. So that one was cool. Then honestly, just the interaction in the event you're walking through the airport, 'hey coach, we're glad you're here or somebody says hey coach, Rise Up' where you're walking past like knowing that kind of support is here with the city is cool. I love when there's an inspirational time with a fan, like when Devon [Gales] got hurt playing at UGA. Going down to see him at the hospital and then seeing him at a game later that year was like 'hell yeah man, you're doing so good' from like when I saw him in the hospital to how he's doing now.
KC: Favorite part of being a head coach?
DQ: Definitely connecting, you know, with the team and the fan base. As an assistant coach, you connect with the fan base but not at the same part you do now so having that relationship with the team and the fans is a really cool one.
KC: Favorite stadium you played in besides the Georgia Dome?
DQ: I'd have to say MetLife. More from like a nostalgia point of view. I've won a Super Bowl there. That doesn't have anything to do with the Falcons, but I grew up there, I won a Super Bowl there, and there's good memories from being in that stadium.
KC: Stadium on the 2016 schedule that he's most looking forward to playing in?
DQ: I'd have to say Seattle.
KC: If you could pick one celebrity to come to a Falcons practice who would it be?
DQ: Bon Jovi. He's absolutely one of my favorite artists.
KC: If you could pick one athlete to come to a Falcons practice who would it be?
DQ: I'd probably say Kobe [Bryant] or Derek Jeter. I like both those guys a lot. Kobe for the competitor.
KC: Favorite song to have on your practice playlist
DQ: Something with some juice and something that's fast for sure. Beastie Boys.
KC: What is your gameday ritual?
DQ: Not as tricky as you'd think. I definitely work out before the game so I do that early before the players arrive, and then after that I'll connect with each of the coaches on both sides, you know, just talking about stuff. I visit with Thomas [Dimitroff] and Arthur [Blank].Then as we get closer to the game, then the build-up takes place more so I enjoy the process going through that with the guys getting them ready.
KC: Do you eat the same thing before every game?
DQ: I'll go to breakfast and get like two scrambled eggs and oatmeal every time. A couple of Red Bull's later and it's time for the game.
KC: Have you figured out how to navigate through Atlanta traffic?
DQ: No, I still at times rely on GPS, for sure. Stacy is way better at that than me.