Falcons coach Quinn defends Sarkisian play calling

September 8 2018 3:55 PM

The Atlanta Falcons' season opener at the Philadelphia Eagles ended as their playoff game with the same opposition did last season, with Dan Quinn's men failing to convert in the red zone.

Atlanta suffered an 18-12 loss to the Eagles on Thursday, defeat sealed in a frustratingly similar manner to their Divisional playoff exit as Matt Ryan failed to connect with Julio Jones in the end zone.

Despite moving the ball easily for much of the game, the Falcons struggled to put up points, mustering just two field goals from five red zone trips, leading to further criticism of already maligned offensive coordiator Steve Sarkisian and his play calling.

However, Quinn defended Sarkisian's play calling, instead blaming the loss on a lack of execution.

"I was pleased with the variety in terms of calling plays, especially down in the red zone," Quinn said on Friday after watching the tape.

"There's certain ones that you could do from the five [yard line] to the 10. When you get back, get a little bit further, you can throw over the top of somebody still. When you're down closer, obviously you can't throw over a defender anymore. Back line is good. Outside toward the pylon is good.

"So, we were pleased with 'where'. What we were not pleased with was the execution of it. That's not to say it's just players. That's all of us: getting the right design, the right training... Our execution will be better. I reminded the guys [Thursday] night is not going to define the year in the red zone. It just showed we've got plenty of work ahead of us to do."

On the incompletion to Jones, Quinn added: "We've got to nail that. We had the right [play] on. The read was correct in terms of where we wanted to go. We just didn't execute it. That's [why] we've got work to do."

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