TEAMBUILDERS Constructing the Brotherhood


The Atlanta Falcons have signed General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and Head Coach Dan Quinn to three-year contract extensions, making their contracts congruent and keeping the team-builders together through the 2022 season.


Over the first three years of their partnership, Dimitroff and Quinn have crafted a roster focused on fast, physical, and urgent athletes. This team-building approach spurred the Falcons to playoff wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history, including an NFC title and Super Bowl appearance for the second time in club annals (Super Bowl XLI).

“The partnership between Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff has proven to be as successful as we envisioned back in 2015,” said Arthur Blank, Falcons Chairman and Owner. “I believe continuity in leadership is vital to achieving the highest levels of success in any organization and, with these extensions, we ensure these two leaders will be at the helm of our franchise for years to come. Their shared vision and long view plan has already delivered on a variety of levels and has positioned our team for success into the future. My expectations for our team to represent our city and fans well on and off the field remain very high and so does my confidence in Dan and Thomas to make that happen.”

Falcons Owner & Chairman

Arthur M. Blank

“I couldn’t ask for a better co-team builder to be partnered with than Dan,” said Dimitroff. “I am appreciative of the support and confidence that Arthur continues to show us as we strive to bring a championship to this city and our fans. I am excited about where our team is currently as well as the outlook we have for the foreseeable future.”

“I’d like to thank Arthur for displaying the confidence in Thomas and myself, and our vision for this team,” Quinn stated. “The partnership we have formed over the last four years has continued to get stronger and our view for how we structure this team has become even more clear. We are looking forward to the challenge in front of us, but I could not be more excited about continuing this journey with Thomas and the Brotherhood.”


The duo of Dimitroff and Quinn have recognized their opportunity as a rare one in sports. Their coordination and collaboration on how to construct the Falcons roster has yielded impressive results. When Quinn arrived in Atlanta he had a specific style that he wanted the Falcons to embody. Quinn wanted fast, physical, high-effort, tough, and above all competitive players on the team. Dimitroff took that information and together they developed a CT grade to quantify the competitiveness and toughness of each player.


Armed with a custom-made metric, Dimitroff and Quinn were able to clearly define the type of player that they wanted on the Falcons roster. They then installed this process with the scouting and coaching staffs, putting the entire organization in lock-step when it comes to evaluating players.


Using the CT score metric has become a core part of the Falcons approach to teambuilding. It has allowed Dimitroff and Quinn to stay closely aligned as they work to craft the roster. This clear vision along with an ardent belief in building through the draft has helped the Falcons select Pro Bowl players OLB Vic Beasley Jr., S Keanu Neal, and LB Deion Jones as well as key performers NT Grady Jarrett, RB Tevin Coleman, TE Austin Hooper, LB De’Vondre Campbell, G Wes Schweitzer, DE Takk McKinley, and LB Duke Riley over the last three years.


By placing a premium on speed and physicality, Dimitroff and Quinn have been able to adapt the Falcons roster to the changing landscape of the NFL. With offenses borrowing from the frenetic pace of the college game, gone are the days of two-down linebackers and one-dimensional players. What was once a sub defense has become the norm and versatility is king.

Selecting players with variable skill sets has enabled the Falcons to stay at the forefront of the ever-changing NFL.


One of the key factors in the success of the Falcons teambuilding approach under the leadership of Dimitroff and Quinn has been the focus on player development. Recognizing the difficulty of building quality depth, Dimitroff and Quinn have put an emphasis on bringing along talented young players, including those that may not see the field right away. At the end of 2016, nine of the Falcons defensive starters and seven of the offensive starters were homegrown – either drafted or signed as college free agents by the Falcons.

Day-three picks like Allen, Jarrett, Freeman, and Schweitzer all developed into starters after not seeing much playing time early in their careers. Despite not hearing their names called during the NFL Draft, T Ryan Schraeder and CB Brian Poole have each blossomed into starters while LS Josh Harris has handled every special teams’ snap since 2012.


One of the longest-tenured general managers in the NFL, Thomas Dimitroff is entering his 11th season in the role for the Falcons in 2018. During his decade-long tenure in Atlanta, the Falcons have posted 95 wins during the regular season, have made six postseason appearances and have added cornerstone players; QB Matt Ryan, WR Julio Jones, CB Desmond Trufant, T Jake Matthews, CB Robert Alford, RB Devonta Freeman, Beasley, Neal, and Jones in the draft.


Quinn was named the 16th head coach in Atlanta Falcons history in February of 2015. In three seasons, he has compiled a 29-19 regular season record with two postseason appearances, while leading the club to an NFC title and its second Super Bowl appearance in 2016. Under Quinn’s guidance, Atlanta was the only NFC team to return to the playoffs in 2017 after making the tournament in 2016.


A two-time Executive of the Year honoree by Sporting News (2008 & 2010), Dimitroff has been the architect of the most successful run in franchise history, including five consecutive winning seasons from 2008-2012 and three straight playoff berths - a first in franchise history. The Falcons are the only NFC team to qualify for the postseason each of the last two years. Since 2016, the club’s 21-11 regular-season record is tied for the second-best mark in the conference and ranks tied for fifth in the NFL.


Quinn joined the Falcons after serving as the Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator for two seasons (2013-14), helping guide them to consecutive Super Bowl appearances while overseeing the NFL’s top defensive unit. Leaning heavily on young players, Quinn's defense showed steady improvement over his first two seasons. His faith in the process he and Dimitroff put in place was rewarded in 2017 as Atlanta allowed allowed 52.8 fewer yards per game (‘16 - 371.2; ‘17 - 318.4) and surrendered 166 fewer offensive points last season.

Atlanta’s defense jumped from 25th in 2016 to ninth in 2017 in yards per game and went from 27th to eighth in points per game. The Falcons finished the season ranked inside the top 10 in total defense and scoring defense for the first time since 1998.


After posting back-to-back 10-win seasons for the third time in franchise history and making consecutive playoff appearances, the Falcons entered the 2018 offseason looking to remain among the league’s top franchises for both the short and long term. The first significant step in accomplishing that goal was to secure the most crucial position on the field, quarterback. On May 4, 2018, the Falcons and Ryan agreed to terms on a five-year, $150 million contract extension that made the 2016 NFL MVP the highest-paid player in NFL history.

Matt Ryan signing his five-year contract extension.


Conventional wisdom says teams can't pay big money to a quarterback and keep their core together. Dimitroff’s commitment to maintaining flexibility under the salary cap has given the Falcons the ability to retain top tier players. Dimitroff has locked up key performers Freeman, Trufant, Schraeder, and Alford before they hit free agency. He has also kept the Falcons active in the free agent market each offseason all while preparing to reward Ryan with a franchise-quarterback deal.


With roughly 60 percent of the Falcons roster having four-or-fewer years of experience, a focus on improving, growing, and maturing has been vital to Quinn’s plan. The Falcons enter the 2018 season looking to continue to build on the foundation that has been laid over the past three seasons as they once again make a push for the NFL’s coveted summit.


When he arrived in Atlanta in 2008, Dimitroff brought with him a team-building philosophy that centered around building the core of the roster through the draft and supplementing with key additions through free agency. He wasted little time putting that plan into place as his first draft pick would go on to reshape the franchise. With the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, Dimitroff and the Falcons selected Ryan, who has been the face of the club for the last decade.

In his first 10 drafts, he has selected nine players that have been named to 17 combined Pro Bowls, including Ryan, Freeman, Trufant, Neal, Julio Jones, Deion Jones, Beasley, S Thomas DeCoud, and S William Moore.

Dimitroff possesses a keen eye for talent and uncommon intuition for how a draft will play out. These abilities have helped the Falcons find integral contributors within the later rounds. In his last eight drafts, Dimitroff has selected 51 players in the second round or later that have combined to play in more than 1,600 games.


Quinn’s influence on Atlanta’s young defense was immediate as several first and second-year players have filled key roles on the unit. His impact was perhaps clearest on Vic Beasley Jr., who took the NFL’s sack crown with 15.5 in his second year in the league – the second most by a Falcon in a single season since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.

Quinn’s defensive line pedigree also helped lead to the emergence of defensive tackle Grady Jarrett who tied a Super Bowl record by sacking Tom Brady three times in Houston.


Never one to shy away from making a deal, Dimitroff has earned the nickname ‘Trader Thomas’ for making at least one trade in all 11 of his drafts. His landmark acquisition came during the 2011 Draft. While most thought Dimitroff would stay put and take the best player available at 27, he had a different thought. Feeling like the Falcons needed to get more explosive, Dimitroff reached out to the Cleveland Browns, who held the number six pick. He orchestrated a trade with the Browns and selected University of Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones with the sixth pick.

In addition to the blockbuster trade that landed Jones, Dimitroff made aggressive moves to procure Deion Jones, DE Takk McKinley, NT Grady Jarrett, and CB Desmond Trufant all of whom have become crucial pieces for the Falcons.

Dimitroff’s first major trade came in 2009 when he sent the team’s 2010 second-round draft choice to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for TE Tony Gonzalez. The future Hall of Famer spent five seasons in Atlanta, catching 409 passes for 4,187 yards with 34 touchdowns. Gonzalez’s veteran leadership and tireless work ethic helped set the tone for a team that made three straight trips to the playoffs. He finished his career ranked second in NFL history in receptions and sixth in receiving yards.

His acquisitions of G Andy Levitre and CB Asante Samuel, though four seasons apart, showed his ability to diagnose and the teams’ needs and make smart, calculated maneuvers to address them.


In his first season at the helm, Quinn led the team to a 5-0 start, becoming the first coach in franchise history to begin his career with five straight wins. Since 2015, Atlanta is one of seven teams with a winning percentage above .600. In his three seasons at the helm, Quinn has tied Dan Reeves club record for postseason wins, while his 29 regular season wins rank fourth in team annals.


While the core of his team-building philosophy is centered on drafting well, Dimitroff has supplemented his draft picks by targeting specific needs through free agency. One of his most successful moves was the first move he made at the helm, signing RB Michael Turner from the San Diego Chargers.

After seeing the offense struggle with inconsistency in 2015, Dimitroff kicked off the 2016 offseason by signing Pro Bowl C Alex Mack. The arrival of the cerebral and athletic Mack played a key role in vaulting the Falcons offense from 21st in scoring to first and helped cement Ryan as the league’s most valuable player. In two seasons with the club, Mack has started all 37 games, including five playoff games, and has been named to back-to-back Pro Bowls.

Five of the free agents Dimitroff has signed have combined for seven Pro Bowl nods, including Mack, Bryant, Turner, WR Devin Hester, and FB Patrick DiMarco. Additionally, Turner, Mack, and DiMarco all earned AP All-Pro honors as Falcons.


After turning the franchise around in 2008, Dimitroff saw Atlanta post back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in team history in 2009. For long-time Falcons fans, this was quite a monumental feat. But for Dimitroff and his staff, this was just another block in the foundation for his vision for this organization. Atlanta would go on to win 36 games from 2010-12, which included three straight playoff berths and one trip to the NFC Championship Game.


Dimitroff and Quinn laid the foundation and vision for this team and a new demeanor and direction for the Falcons was evident from the start of their partnership. With three-year extensions signed, the duo will carry the organization into the future and continue to bring the club to new heights.

Created By
Matt Haley


Atlanta Falcons

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