Dan Quinn: Falcons' onside-kick failure should not happen again 

The Falcons' collapse Sunday in Dallas continues to fester in Atlanta.

Following the botched onside kick recovery, there was a difference among Falcons leaders in interpreting multiple Falcons players not attacking the ball, allowing the Cowboys to recover and set up a game-winning kick.

After the game, coach Dan Quinn assured that his players knew the rule and were coached properly. Monday, owner Arthur Blank pointed to the video to show that the players weren't instructed well.

"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 at the time.

On Wednesday, Quinn attempted to mesh his viewpoint with the interpretation of his boss.

"Bottom line, it was an unconventional play," Quinn said, via 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."

Falcons special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica said Thursday he was ultimately responsible for the poor play.

"I'm responsible for everything the unit does and fails to do," Kotwica said, per ESPN.com. It's something that was looked at. We've made the corrections; talked to the players. And we'll do a better job and look forward to Sunday's opportunity."

The Falcons players essentially fleeing from the ball displayed that either they were coached poorly or not at all. There isn't any way around it for Quinn and his staff. A "hey, sometimes the deer gets frightened by headlights" defense won't work in a league that wants its players acting like aggressive tigers, not quivering stags.

Quinn kept his job after a 1-7 start to the 2019 season as the Falcons finished with four straight wins to get to 7-9. Blank gave the man who took his club to the Super Bowl reprieve. The latest gaffe, however, won't help the coach keep his job amid more losing. Quinn needs a quicker turnaround than last year because another similar start, and he likely won't be around for a late-season about-face.

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