Dan Quinn is ready to be thrown out of town, while the same fans think Kirby is the God send UGA has been waiting for. As UGA and Falcons fans sit here and scratch their heads, asking what happened to their 2018 seasons, there might be more reason to be concerned about 2019, and the future, than they think through the similarities of the two coaches.
Let’s start with who they last coached under. Dan Quinn coached under one of the great coaches in Pete Carroll. There was nothing that happened with the Seahawks that Pete didn’t incorporate himself. With their success, many teams wanted to see if Dan had what it took to run a team himself, even though, he really hadn’t run one side of the ball himself without the HC telling him what to do.
The same case could be made for Kirby Smart. Everyone in college football knows that whatever Saban says, goes. With knowing that, Kirby was a hot commodity. Just like Quinn, Kirby comes in with the assumption that hopefully he learned enough under one of the best coaches, that maybe something rubbed off on him, but is that the case?
Both Quinn and Kirby come from the defensive side of the ball. Both coaches are players coaches, and whether it be professional, or high school kids, they want to play for these two guys. With that, they both became great salesman for their teams, and had fan bases very excited.
DQ in his first season went 8-8, respectable, and finished 2nd in the NFC South with a bright future ahead. 2016 was his coming out party, as the team’s offense hid many deficiencies the team had. They ended up losing a heartbreaker in the super bowl that year being up by 2+ scores.
Kirby in his first season went 8-5, also respectable, and finished 2nd in the East. His second season, he took UGA to new heights with a trip to the national championship game, only to give up a two score lead, like DQ, to lose the game in an OT heartbreaker.
If those similarities aren’t enough, the same thing the Falcons fans kill DQ for, are the same things overlooked when they root for their team in Athens. This would be in game coaching. It seems as if both hadn’t learned a thing from their previous bosses on how to manage in game situations. Here are a couple questionable decisions that seem like any person on their coach or coaching would’ve done differently, that both coaches did that make everyone scratch their heads. Most people obviously will look at how they lost their championship games. Dan was up the infamous 28-3, and his team kept throwing the ball around and snapping the ball with 10+ seconds on the play clock like they were running 2 minute drills to catch up. This ultimately resulted in the Falcons giving the Patriots enough time to come back and steal the game.
Kirby was in a similar situation. They pick off Tua late in the 3rd quarter up 20-7. With the game in hand, they throw the ball on the first play, no one knows why after they’d been running the ball at will, and it gets picked off giving Bama the life it needed. We all know how that game ended with the 2nd and 26.
It seems as if almost every week there are misused timeouts, questionable play calling on offense, not knowing when to be aggressive or not, or straight up bonehead mistakes like kicking a FG on the 1 with under three left, or a fake punt on 4th and 11 on your own 50 with a tied game. I believe being a good salesman only gets you so far in either league, and if you don’t figure out the in game decisions, you’ll end up on a bus back to coordinator ranks before you know it. Neither coaches seem to be getting better at it, and that’s why both fan bases have reason to be concerned about the future of their teams.
By: Jordan St.Clair | @Jdaddysaintc