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Quinn on Super Bowl: 'I'm past it, but I'm not over it'

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Falcons coach Dan Quinn is taking a relentlessly positive approach to the 2017 offseason after arguably the most heartbreaking loss in NFL history.

Unprompted, Quinn acknowledged that reporters would probably ask him about the 35-28 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. He had a response ready.

"One of the questions you may ask: 'Have you watched the game?'" Quinn said. "Yes. I have. A lot. And you have to own that. The calls, the things you can do differently. That's not unlike most Sunday nights for me where you wrestle with all three phases -- could there be something different and as the head coach those are moments you do have to own. What I can tell you and share from this experience is the connection to this team and this brotherhood these guys have, it is so real and so strong.

"I love these guys and I'm pumped to be a part of it. When people ask me if I've watched it, I say yes. I'm past it, but I'm not over it. I don't think I'll ever be and that's a good thing."

This was clearly a planned press conference for Quinn, who wanted to make a show of his optimism. His attitude was reminiscent of a younger Pete Carroll, mixed with some of Quinn's trademark boxing analogies.

"We got our asses knocked down on the canvas," he said. "You get back up. You go fight again."

Seeing him Wednesday, one could believe that the Falcons are capable of avoiding a massive Super Bowl hangover. Quinn was energetic and talked about his plan to have his best offseason yet. He waved off the team's public relations director and insisted he could take a few more questions after his allotted time was up. All of this was in an effort to, in Quinn's words, "own it."

"You've got to own it," Quinn said. "Being in that experience and battling for it at the highest level. You can't duplicate that. We actually had on the job training. There's something you totally gain for that. We'll be stronger for it. It doesn't define us. ... We've got a team that is on the rise and we'll be better for it."

He added: "The 'what if' game is real and if you are prepared to go down that road there are a lot of layers to it."

Quinn repeated a few times that his players return in 49 days. Undoubtedly, he's been counting down the days.

In other news...

» Quinn said that star wide receiver Julio Jones is set to get another opinion on his foot this week. While the team is not sure what will happen yet, Quinn noted that surgery is on the table.

"He's going to visit with the docs next week and we'll make a determination after that. So it hasn't been determined when or if at this point. But it's something we're definitely going to consider."

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