ATLANTA - The Atlanta Falcons announced Sunday night that general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn have been relieved of their duties, effective immediately.
Falcons President and CEO Rich McKay has assumed day-to-day oversight of football operations in the interim and will assist Arthur M. Blank, Falcons owner and chairman, in the search for a new general manager and head coach. Under the direction of McKay, Dimitroff's current responsibilities will be handled by current members of the football operations staff for remainder of 2020.
An interim head coach is expected to be announced on Monday.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 11: Head coach Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons walks off the field with general manager Thomas Dimitroff after their 23-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 11, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Ph
"Decisions like these are very difficult, but the previous two seasons and start to this one have been especially hard for me because of the deep love, admiration and respect I and my family have for Dan, Thomas and their families," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a team release. "For many years, they have represented me, our team, organization and Atlanta with class, commitment and all the passion you would want in the leaders of the team. But as everyone knows, this is a results business and I owe it to our fans to put the best product we can on the field. We have poured every resource possible into winning and will continue to do so, but the results of late do not meet our standard or what I've promised our fans. Therefore, we will install new coaching and personnel leadership of the Atlanta Falcons at the appropriate time."
"Our finish in 2019 earned an opportunity to show that momentum could be continued and built upon, but that has clearly not happened," Blank continued. "And overall, the last 3-plus seasons have fallen short of my commitment to Atlanta and to our fans everywhere. I want them all to know that my commitment to winning has not wavered and I will continue to provide every resource possible to that end."
A report surfaced soon after the Falcons' 23-16 loss to the Panthers Sunday afternoon that Quinn would be fired, and the team made the move official later Sunday night.
Quinn, coming off back-to-back 7-9 finishes, needed to take Atlanta back to the playoffs this season. Five consecutive losses make a third straight losing season more difficult to avoid — and make it all the less likely Quinn remains in charge.
When asked if he believed his message was still getting through to his team, Quinn said "100 percent I do."
Asked if he would understand if Blank decides a change is necessary, Quinn said earlier Sunday "Honestly, it’s the furthest thing from my mind."
Another game full of crucial missed opportunities for the Falcons left even more heat on Quinn Sunday, as the Falcons fell to 0-5 for the first time since 1997 and for just the sixth time in franchise history.
Dimitroff joined the Falcons in 2008 and has played a key role in a period of success unmatched in Falcons history. Quinn has led the Falcons since the start of the 2015 season, amassing an overall record of 43-42.
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 11: Head coach Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons (l) and team owenr Arthur Blank prior to the week 5 NFL game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 11, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.
"Thomas Dimitroff has been with us through a lot, including a vast majority of my ownership of the team," Blank said in the team's announcement. "I've seen his two beautiful children grow up here and I have great personal affection for him and his family. I'm also grateful for his hard work and contributions to our many successes over the last 10 years. He came in at a time when the franchise needed to rebuild trust in this community. By bringing in Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and several others, we changed the trajectory of the franchise and set us up for a run of success the team had never achieved before. I am very appreciative of Thomas' many contributions to the Atlanta Falcons and wish him great success in his future pursuits."