ATLANTA -- Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn, whose future with the franchise appears to be in jeopardy after another blowout loss, said he doesn't believe he has lost the team, despite a 1-6 start that includes losing five in a row.
Quinn's Falcons were dismantled at home against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday 37-10. The offense couldn't score and lost quarterback Matt Ryan to a fourth-quarter right-ankle injury, an injury ESPN's Adam Schefter reported is not believed to serious. The defense couldn't cover and failed to record a sack. Plus, a couple special-teams blunders aided the Rams' charge.
Asked point-blank if he has lost the team, Quinn offered a long-winded response.
"I understand why the question -- it is a fair question, quite honestly, because you spend most of your time trying to connect and get the team to play the way we are capable of -- so the answer I would say is, 'No,'" Quinn said. "But why am I ... the disbelief at times of not playing like we are capable of, that could be very frustrating. When you don't do that, you want to look and search and find answers, and that's what I spend most of my time doing: what tweaks, what changes need to be changed, whether that is personnel or scheme. It's an assistant in playcalling to apply some attention elsewhere. I'm always trying to do something that is best for the team.
"Trust me: My ego is never bigger than the team. There is nothing I wouldn't do to help get us right.''
Owner Arthur Blank previously expressed his support for Quinn after a 53-32 loss to the Houston Texans in Week 5, and Blank hasn't wavered in his support. Any coaching change seems more likely to happen after the conclusion of the season, though another blowout loss at home next week against MVP candidate Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks undoubtedly wouldn't sit well with Blank.
The fans have already lost patience, emptying the stadium early on Sunday. The few who were left booed as the Falcons exited the field. A couple of fans walking through the tunnel screamed "We want our money back!'' after watching another implosion.
Quinn, who took over as the defensive coordinator this season after parting ways with Marquand Manuel, revealed that he made a subtle change by distributing some of the defensive playcalling to his assistant coaches the past two weeks. It hasn't helped, as the Falcons surrendered more than 30 points in both of those games.
"First, my job is to look at the big picture and see if there's things we can do to change that, and we actually started some of that during Arizona last week,'' Quinn said of the defensive playcalling. "I'm always looking to see during the game who can help on the playcalling and inside of that. We've distributed that some in Arizona and this week as well. I'm always looking to do what's best for the team in every situation, every time. We've already begun some of that. 'How can I apply myself in other ways?' We've certainly done that, too."
Quinn did not want to call this a "lost season," despite the team's starting 1-6 for the first time since the 2007 season.
"No, I never think you're out of the fight,'' Quinn said. "You shouldn't think that way as a team member, and I certainly don't think that way as the coach. I recognize that when you don't play well, those are fair questions, but I don't feel like we're ever out of the fight, and until we do like we're capable of, my fight would always stay consistent."
Only one team in the history of the Super Bowl Era has made the playoffs following a 1-6 start: the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals, who finished 8-6.
The players continue to support Quinn.
"DQ, that's my guy, and I try to do everything I can for him because I know he'll do the same for us,'' free safety Ricardo Allen said. "DQ is one of the realest coaches that I've ever been around because it's not one of those coaches that ... he tells you exactly where you stand. It's a lot of coaches sometimes, like, you don't never know how you stand, how you're doing. He's like a straight-shooter.
"Some coaches, when things are going bad, I feel like it's easy to just pout and just walk around. Coach Quinn knows the media is attacking him. He knows people are not liking him and all these things are going on. But inside here and inside the meeting, you would never be able to tell because he doesn't lash out. He just keeps grinding at it. He keeps trying to sharpen the axe. He keeps trying to do what he do. He's doing the same thing that he was doing when we were successful. He hasn't changed.''
Said defensive end Takkarist McKinley: "The coaches have nothing to do with how we've been playing. They put us in great situations to go out there and perform. It's just up to the players to do it. We just have to find a way."