NFL fans are anticipating one of the most monumental events of the offseason this week, the schedule release of the upcoming 2015 season. Last week, the league announced its schedule of preseason games, instigating ongoing conversations about the significance of exhibition matchups. Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is passionate about the topic for several reasons, including how the games provide him with quality looks at his new players, facing opponents other than their own teammates.
The first-year NFL head coach cited other reasons he's in favor of preseason games, most emphatic about how each contest provides a vital opportunity for the people he cares about the most, his players.
"I don't think there's ever a time to diminish the preseason games," Quinn said. "It could be totally critical to anybody who is trying like crazy to make their team and put their best foot forward. I think every time we talk about, 'it's only preseason, don't worry about it,' I think we're really not giving the proper due and respect for the guys who are totally going for it, and so in that way, all of the games are important."
Voluntary workouts began this week and members of the media had a chance to see the Falcons back at work Thursday morning. Head coach Dan Quinn, QB Matt Ryan and CB Desmond Trufant answered questions in a press conference.
When the preseason kicks off, Quinn's team will host the Tennessee Titans before traveling in consecutive weeks to play the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, returning for the final exhibition matchup on the schedule, facing the Baltimore Ravens at the Georgia Dome. While Quinn was clear that each of the preseason games will provide different amounts of playing time for his players, he's confident that whoever is on the field will be performing as if it was a playoff game.
"In some games, people will play less, but when we're out there, let's go battle," Quinn said. "Let's go ball and play like we're capable of, and then when the next group of guys goes in, let's do that again. Although the duration of their play might be less or longer, based on the evaluation that we need to get to get the guys ready, I do think there's a lot of value in preseason games."
Falcons' 2015 Preseason Schedule
Week 1 vs. Tennessee, date TBD, CW69
Week 2 at NY Jets, date TBD, CW69
Week 3 at Miami, date TBD, CW69
Week 4 vs. Baltimore, date TBD, CW69