Blank issues vote of confidence in Dimitroff, Quinn

The Atlanta Falcons burned bright out of the gate this season, only to crash and burn down the stretch to finish a milquetoast 8-8.

Seven losses over their final nine games left questions about the future of general manager Thomas Dimitroff, but team owner Arthur Blank put that issue to bed on Friday with a news release backing coach Dan Quinn and Atlanta's front office.

"My commitment to our fans is to put the best possible product on the field each year," Blank wrote. "No one is satisfied with an 8-8 record, but I am very pleased with the direction of our team under the leadership of Dan Quinn and confident in his long-term approach. No question, we took some positive steps forward this year and have a good foundation our existing coaching staff can build upon.

"Over the last week, we have conducted an exhaustive review of every area of our team. Through this process it has become very clear to me that Coach Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff have built a productive working relationship over the last 11 months. There is very good alignment between Dan and Thomas on the direction we need to go to improve our team and I believe maintaining the continuity of that relationship, with Scott Pioli continuing to assist Thomas, is the right way forward."

Blank noted that Atlanta planned to make a rash of changes to its pro personnel and college scouting departments to help the front office better reflect the "shared vision" of Quinn and Dimitroff.

Plenty were expecting Dimitroff to be shown the door, but he's proven to be a survivor, lasting through the firing of coach Mike Smith and last offseason's front-office restructuring. It helps that Blank is an ultra-patient owner, but another disappointing season could trigger all sorts of changes up top in Atlanta.

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