Falcons coach Dan Quinn on said Wednesday “I don’t think I’ll ever be over” Atlanta’s dramatic Super Bowl collapse but said he didn’t blame new 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan for his aggressive play calls.
The Falcons were in position to kick a field goal that would have given them a two-score lead late in the fourth quarter. Shanahan, then the Falcons offensive coordinator, called for a deep pass that resulted in a quarterback sack and Atlanta out of field-goal range. The Patriots tied the game on their ensuing possession and eventually won it in overtime.
“Do-overs: Would you like to have some? Yes,” Quinn said.
Still, he noted that the Falcons had been aggressive all season and shared the blame for the team’s late play calls.
He also said Shanahan and new 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh – with whom Quinn coached for a season in Seattle – would be an excellent one-two combination in San Francisco.
“He is one of the few coaches that have a full understanding of the run game, the offensive line, quarterback play, receiver play,” Quinn said of Shanahan. “You can put him into any spot on the offense and he’d be able to coach that position. That’s a rare thing.”
Saleh, 38, is in his first year as defensive coordinator having coached linebackers in Jacksonville for the last three seasons.
Said Quinn: “He’s really smart, No. 1. He’s a good a really good -- rock-solid -- understanding of the principles of playing three-deep (coverage) and man to man. And he’s an excellent teacher. And I think as a coordinator that’s a really important thing, especially when you’re first putting the whole (defense) together so everyone has a real clear understanding and they’re all on the same page. So I’ll think he’ll do a fantastic job.”
Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone also was asked about Saleh and praised his energy. “I think he did a nice job with our linebackers and the way they played,” Marrone said. “They had a very good year for us. He’ll do an outstanding job in San Francisco.”