Arthur Blank: Coach and G.M. “two different roles”

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Falcons owner Arthur Blank will be busy next week playing host to the league, with the Super Bowl being played in his sparkling new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Yet he’s admittedly frustrated with the way this season played out for the Falcons, which has already led to big changes. And that may lead him to re-think what has been a tight pairing at the top of his football organization.

While expressing confidence that General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn were going to fix things, he also seemed to draw a line between their duties.

In an interview with Jeff Schultz of The Athletic, Blank was asked if his top decision-makers (who are under contract through 2022) were linked together if things didn’t work out soon.

“I don’t know that. That’s a whole year away,” Blank said. “They’re two different people with two different roles. I understand the question, and I understand the answer you would like. But the answer I’m giving is the honest answer, which is that we have a year for things to play out.”

At the same time, Blank said he had a “very high confidence level in the two of them” to work together to fix things.

“They’re tied at the hip in a positive way in terms of their decision-making,” he said. “I’ve seen them disagree on things in a respectful way. They definitely have different views on some things, but we encourage that as part of our culture in all of our businesses. Usually, if they disagree on something, they move on and try to find an option they both feel better about.”

There will be considerable pressure on both this year, despite their contractual security. The Falcons fired all three coordinators this offseason, and Quinn is going to serve as his own defensive coordinator, a clear indication that things were off the rails previously. And if they stay that way, it seems possible that Blank might proceed with either Quinn or Dimitroff, but not both.

7 responses to “Arthur Blank: Coach and G.M. “two different roles”

  1. I’m sorry, what exactly will Arthur Blank be busy doing, shaking hands? The people who will be busy are the workers setting up the stadium. It always makes me laugh when people act like the billionaire owners are working so hard when there are big events like this.

  2. ” Usually, if they disagree…they move on and try to find an option they both feel better about.”
    And this is exactly why it’s instead better to have one of them in overall charge.

  3. “I’m sorry, but what exactly will Arthur Blank be busy doing, shaking hands? The people who will be busy are the workers setting up the stadium.”

    Apparently you are unaware of the number of activities associated with the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. As the owner of the host team, Blank is obligated to attend and host multiple events daily. “Work” is not limited to physical labor.

    And exactly how long does it take to “set up” a stadium primarily designed for football games?

  4. They are two different roles and should be separated.
    But there needs to be a football guy, like a team president who they both report to, who can work with them to resolve differences.

    If the HC reports to the GM, the GM can force the HC to play the scrubs he drafted in the hope they improve. And if not, he can blame the HC and fire him. There is a lack of accountability. Same thing if the GM tells the HC who will be active before each game.

    If there is a knowledgeable football guy above both of them, who can see through the BS, he can hold the right person accountable. He also can privately review thought processes with the HC and GM to help them improve.
    A HC doesn’t have to remain too conservative, or bad at clock management. or challenges. A Gm who makes mistakes in free agency can learn from that, especially if there is someone else reviewing his moves.

    If you don’t like the accountability that comes with a multi million dollar job, don’t take the job.

  5. It would be extremely difficult for 1 man to handle all these responsibilities in the front office and on the field while still being successful. Ask BILL

  6. All kidding aside, Arthur does support his front office longer than most owners.
    There are pros and cons to doing that but I do think the pros outweigh the cons.

  7. I would argue with Smiley that there are probably 28 reasons why the HC and GM should be one job and 3 reasons why they should not.

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