Falcons coach Dan Quinn was immediately defiant, insisting his players knew the rules of onside kick recovery — despite looking to the world like they did not.
So when Falcons owner Arthur Blank chimed in to say that didn’t appear to be the case, it became clear the boss and his coach weren’t singing from the same page of the hymnal.
“And clearly on the last play of the game yesterday our players, you know, didn’t do what they, you know, either what they were instructed to do and they didn’t understand it, or, it’s clear though they didn’t, in my view, they didn’t clearly understand what the rules were and exactly what they had to do,” Blank said in the aftermath of the stunning loss to the Cowboys. “I think that’s demonstrated when you watch the video of it.”
Wednesday, Quinn tried to bring those perspectives in line.
“Bottom line, it was an unconventional play,” Quinn said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Those cause you to hesitate, whether it’s a misdirection play or a trick play that causes you not to trust your eyes and what you are seeing.
“Although, however it comes out and how Arthur and I disagreed about how to talk about it, the one thing we 100 percent agree upon is that it should not have ever happened. We certainly worked through that to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
Even someone unfamiliar with the sport would watch the video of the play — which included three Falcons backing away from a ball they should have recovered — and wondered what they were doing. And Quinn’s job security as coach wouldn’t necessarily be enhanced by disagreeing with the guy who signs the checks, explaining his emphasis on making sure they’re not in that situation again.