Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn speaks to reporters during the NFC Head Coaches Breakfast at the NFL football annual meetings Wednesday, March 29, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest from the NFC coaches breakfast Wednesday that concluded the NFL owners meetings (all times local):
It’s reset time for the Falcons.
That’s the term coach Dan Quinn is using less than two months after one of the worst collapses in NFL history and certainly the worst in a Super Bowl.
That blown 25-point lead in the second half and loss in overtime to New England isn’t being forgotten. It isn’t being harped on, either.
“Grieving is not for me,” Quinn said. “It’s for (Falcons owner) Arthur Blank and the players and the team.
“I hope you see the connection between the city and the team, those things are a lot more important to me; to not get that final piece it takes to reward the fan base, that’s where my disappointment is.”
Quinn reached out to Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona to find out how they dealt with the disappointment of losing in the postseason after building 3-1 leads last year.
“There are good things to learn from other sports,” Quinn said. “If there’s something I can gain from that, pass along and pay it forward, I am glad to do that.”
While the New Orleans Saints remain interested in Patriots cornerback and 2015 Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler, an offer sheet for him probably isn’t coming.
Saints coach Sean Payton says his team won’t give up its first-round selection in next month’s draft to secure Butler, a restricted free agent.
“We had a chance to visit with him,” Payton said. “Currently, it’s my understanding he hasn’t signed his tender, so it was just that. We can sign him to an offer sheet, but I don’t think we’re going to do that and give up the 11th pick. In fact, I know we’re not going to do that.”
The tender is for $3.91 million and Butler can’t be dealt by New England if he doesn’t sign it. He can also sign an offer sheet with another team, which also would have to compensate the Patriots with a first-round choice. Butler must sign any offer sheet by April 21, giving New England eight days to match it before the draft.
Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has long advocated that NFL officials be hired full time.
In his first season as a member of the league’s competition committee, Arians said he thinks the league is moving in the direction of hiring 17 full-time referees, one for each crew.
“There’s a lot of negotiations in that process between the union and the league,” he said at the conclusion of the NFL owner meetings, “but if we can have the head of each crew full time because of the consistency level of what’s being said to the rest of the crew.”
He said he now holds a 30-minute meeting just to scout the officiating crew that is going to work the upcoming game “because they’re all different.”
“Hopefully, we’ll get more consistency in that area,” Arians said.
He thinks the best new rule change is the centralizing of video reviews in New York. Arians said it should bring consistency in the calls.
“I think it will speed up for the fans and the coaches, not having to wait for a timeout to find out what’s going on,” Arians said. “There were times in the past where you would go to commercial break, come back and then we would get the TV feed, then we’d have to challenge. All that now should be sped up and we should not have those long breaks for the fans and the players.”
Someone asked if Arians just mostly listened in his first season on the committee.
Fat chance, the always outspoken coach said.
“I don’t have any problem giving my opinion,” Arians said, “especially when it comes to rules and referees.”
Sean Payton looked around at the crowd of reporters and chuckled, knowing why they’d come to his table at the NFC coaches breakfast.
He then shot down a report that his New Orleans Saints had interest in troubled quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Payton had breakfast with Manziel during Super Bowl week, but it was only a get-acquainted meeting. Payton noted he was suspended in 2012 for his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal and got to “watch from afar” Manziel’s Heisman Trophy season at Texas A&M.
“It was my first time having a chance to talk to him. I’ll leave it at that,” Payton said. “That was just what it was. I’m sure he’s got a handful of things he’s got to do stepwise to get himself back in position to sign with a club and play football again. It made sense to me to get to know him a little bit.”
The Saints are set for the near future at quarterback with Drew Brees. He was the only QB to play for them last season.
Manziel didn’t play in 2016 after being released by Cleveland. He served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse, was involved in a domestic violence incident with his former girlfriend and didn’t played well with the Browns.
“His skill set is unique, he has good feet, can create,” Payton said before directly addressing the story that the Saints were considering adding Manziel to the roster: “I think a part of the (news) report insinuated things were moving in that direction. I’ll just say it’s false.”
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