The Atlanta Falcons are too talented to be sitting at 3-9. It's unfair to put that all on head coach Dan Quinn, as injuries and roster construction have certainly played a part, but with Thursday's loss to the Saints, Atlanta will now have finished below .500 in back-to-back seasons.
Matt Ryan is turning 35 this summer, so the Falcons' Super Bowl window is likely closing soon, and Atlanta might consider making a coaching shift this coming offseason. With that in mind, here are three potential replacements for Quinn if Atlanta decides to move prior to the 2020 season.
1. Robert Saleh, Defensive Coordinator, San Francisco 49ers
Most of Atlanta's problems have been on the defensive side of the ball. The Falcons have given up the sixth-most points per game this season (26.9), and Atlanta is the fifth-worst defense in the league by Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA metrics. That could make Robert Saleh an excellent candidate for the Falcons' job. Saleh has been instrumental in taking the San Francisco 49ers from the league's fifth-worst scoring defense last season, to the second-best unit in 2019. As long as Ryan is at the helm, Atlanta's offense should always be among the league's best, but hiring a guy like Saleh could help get the defense up to par and make the Falcons contenders again.
2. Greg Roman, Offensive Coordinator, Baltimore Ravens
Still, Quinn is primarily a defensive head coach, and if Atlanta is looking to go in an entirely different direction, hiring an offensive mind like Greg Roman could help maximize this offense's potential. Roman's Baltimore Ravens are leading the league in scoring, averaging 33.8 PPG – more than 4.5 more PPG than the next best team. In fact, Roman has actually been productive at every stop in his career. The 49ers were a top-12 scoring offense in three of Roman's four seasons as the team's OC, and the Bills were a top-12 scoring offense in both of his seasons in Buffalo. Roman specializes in creating a dynamic running game – something Ryan hasn't really had since his 2016 MVP campaign.
3. Eric Bieniemy, Offensive Coordinator, Kansas City Chiefs
It can be hard to separate the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive coordinator from Andy Reid, but that position has had a pretty strong track record as of late. While Doug Pederson (Eagles HC) and Matt Nagy (Bears HC) are leading teams that are having down years, but they've both proven to be solid offensive minds and head coaches. And Eric Bieniemy could be the next KC coordinator in line for a promotion. Kansas City's offense has dealt with a litany of injuries this season, but the Chiefs haven't missed a beat, currently ranking as the league's third-highest scoring team. If Atlanta wants to hire an offensive coach, Bieniemy would be as good a get as any.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.