How would they respond? How would the Atlanta Falcons’ players handle the crushing and lingering disappointment and embarrassment of blowing a 25-point lead to lose Super Bowl LI to the New England Patriots?
Coach Dan Quinn admittedly didn’t know what he would be facing when his team reported to training camp this summer.
‘How much work would I have to do on the team?’
“It’s a fair question and one that I had to find out, ‘How much work would I have to do on the team to make sure our mind’s there?'” Quinn told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt during the SiriusXM NFL Radio training camp tour stop at Falcons camp. “It probably took me until about the second day of training camp, and when I saw us going after it and battling against one another and making sure that part was in place, I knew we were in a good space.
“Over the summer I was certainly worried (about), ‘How much work am I going to have to do?’ And then, once I got to about that second day of training camp and I saw the speed and the effort at which we were straining and battling against once another, I thought to myself, ‘OK, end of those conversations. It’s ’17 and full speed ahead.’ I haven’t made one mention of anything in the past since training camp began.”
‘It takes awhile to get some of those answers’
Still, it wasn’t automatic or easy. It was something Quinn had to watch unfold before declaring that the Falcons were ready to make amends this season.
“It takes you awhile to get to some of those answers to see where your mindset is at,” the coach said. “But for me it happened early in training camp, to see how hard they wanted to go against one another to get ready. We don’t rely on anybody else to get us ready, so it’s their competition of pushing one another is where it’s at for us.”
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