Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us

Sports

Falcons fire Quinn, GM Dimitroff after 0-5 start

Published

on

Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who saw their team start 0-5 for the first time since 1997 after a Sunday loss to the Carolina Panthers, have been fired, the team announced.

Quinn, 50, was in the midst of his sixth season and finished his time in Atlanta with a 43-42 record. He posted back-to-back, 7-9 season heading into this year after taking his team to the Super Bowl during the 2016 campaign with Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator.

Quinn’s playoff record was a 3-2, including a crushing, 34-28 overtime loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI after holding a 28-3 third-quarter lead.

When asked after Sunday’s loss if he would understand owner Arthur Blank deciding to make a change, Quinn said “it’s the furthest thing from my mind.”

“It’s his job to evaluate; for me, it’s coaching,” Quinn said. “And I’ll work as hard as I can to align our team to play like we’re capable of playing.”

Quinn’s job status appeared to be in limbo after a 1-7 start last season, but the Falcons closed the season 6-2 after he surrendered the defensive play-calling and moved wide receivers coach Raheem Morris to defense to work with the defensive backs. Morris and linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich, now the assistant head coach, assumed the defensive play-calling duties from Quinn at that juncture.

The vast 2019 improvement led to owner Arthur Blank announcing he would retain both Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff for the 2020 campaign with the expectation of making the playoffs. As part of the agreement, Quinn and Dimitroff had to report to team president Rich McKay.

“Time will tell, but I think based on all the information that we have available to us — based on the way the team is playing, based on the way the coaching staff is leading — that we have every reason to think that the success we’ve had not for one game, but over a seven-game period of time in the back half of the year, there’s no reason to think that’s not sustainable going forward,” Blank said last December when he announced Quinn and Dimitroff would be retained.

However, Quinn did not carry the momentum from the second half of 2019 into this season. The Falcons opened this year by dropping games to Seattle, Dallas, and Chicago, the latter two involving blown fourth-quarter leads of 15-plus points. The Falcons became the first team in NFL history to lose twice in one season while holding a 15-plus-point lead in the fourth quarter, according to Elias.

A big part of the Falcons’ Super Bowl run was the offensive genius of Shanahan, now the coach of the San Francisco 49ers, and the Falcons couldn’t duplicate that offensive success under Steve Sarkisian, who was fired after two seasons, or Dirk Koetter, who was hired by Quinn after being fired as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both Sarkisian and Koetter were asked to maintain the same principles from Shanahan’s high-powered attack, which led the league at 33.8 points per game during the 2016 season.

Quinn and Dimitroff were awarded three-year extensions in July of 2018, extensions that were supposed to run through 2022. Quinn had a 29-19 record at the time of the extension.

Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports

Pound-for-pound: Teofimo Lopez Jr. turns rankings upside down

Published

on

Teofimo Lopez Jr.’s impressive victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko earned him his first trip into ESPN’s pound-for-pound top 10.

“The Takeover” won a unanimous decision over Lomachenko to stay unbeaten. With the victory, Lopez unified the IBF, WBO and WBA world titles and the WBC “franchise” belt.

The win puts Lopez, 23, in good company, as he becomes the second-youngest boxer in history to win a third divisional belt (Mike Tyson holds the record, at 21 years, 37 days old in August 1987).

ESPN boxing commentator Joe Tessitore has Lopez at No. 2 in his list and noted that it’s time to reward fighters for taking — and winning — the toughest fights.

“I very much knew this would get people’s attention and bother people, by me putting Lopez at No. 2,” Tessitore said. “I believe boxing needs a massive paradigm shift, and Teofimo Lopez just delivered a sledgehammer blow to start creating that shift. We must reward results in boxing, not just status. The best fighters fighting the best fighters at the right time has to be rewarded greatly. Teofimo Lopez has the most significant current win in the sport — that’s undeniable.

“Pound-for-pound is a nebulous, strange mix of various subjective measurements, but I believe, currently on this day, that if everybody was at the same weight, and I considered skill, results, body of work, I’d have more reason to justify Crawford, Lopez, Inoue as the top three, even though others beyond Lopez might be more established and have a longer résumé.

“I clearly understand that my vote is an outlier, but we have to start rewarding and valuing big wins at big times, not just maintaining promotional or fan’s perceived status.”

Former two-division champion and ESPN boxing analyst Timothy Bradley Jr., who voted Lopez at No. 3, believes Lopez earned the right to be as high on his list.

“It was a historic event for both men Saturday night, and the one that persevered was a young 23-year-old with just 16 professional fights,” Bradley said. “In having limited big fight experience as well as making his first title defense against arguably the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet, Lopez showed the world that he is beyond his years in skill, mental toughness and supreme confidence. Therefore, the new multi-belt holder deserves to be at No. 3, in my opinion.”

ESPN writer Cameron Wolfe’s explanation for voting Lopez at No. 5 is very clear: Lopez’s win over Lomachenko is probably the best victory that anyone on this pound-for-pound list has had in recent years.

“His win over Lomachenko, coupled with his early KO of Richard Commey back in December, earns Lopez a top-five spot in my pound-for-pound list,” Wolfe said. “His résumé isn’t as deep as others on this list yet, which is why he isn’t higher, but more wins while taking these sort of challenges could help Lopez challenge Crawford for the top spot within a year or two.

“Lopez’s time is now, and his next milestone could be becoming pound-for-pound best. He’s much more than just a power puncher. Lopez is showing a willingness to take extremely risky fights early in his career and not worry about protecting his record, which is something boxing has been severely lacking in.”

Showtime boxing analysts Eric Raskin was tempted to put Lopez higher than his final No. 4 spot but explained why he decided to hold that thought — for now.

“We have a bit of a conundrum atop the pound-for-pound list right now, with nobody forcefully staking a claim to No. 1,” Raskin said. “Crawford hasn’t been fighting elite opposition the last few years, Canelo is entirely inactive right now, and Inoue most recently struggled more than expected in his win over Nonito Donaire. Still, I can’t quite place Lopez ahead of any of them, as his track record is extremely limited.

“You could make a case for placing Spence above Lopez, but I lean toward Lopez, given the exceptional ability of the fighter he just defeated (cleanly, in my view, eight rounds to four). In pound-for-pound rankings, beating ‘the man’ doesn’t automatically make you ‘the man.’ It’s not a lineal title. It’s based on a combination of accomplishment and perceived ability, with an emphasis on recent performances, and for me, that all adds up to No. 4 — for now — for Lopez.”

Our ESPN panel members — Bradley, Tessitore, Wolfe, Raskin, Andre Ward, Teddy Atlas, Steve Kim, Nick Parkinson, Ben Baby, Bernardo Pilatti, Charles Moynihan and Salvador Rodriguez — share their lists.

Don’t forget to check out our divisional rankings, which are updated weekly, and ESPN’s women’s pound-for-pound rankings.

For a list of the current champions in all weight classes, click here.

Note: Results are through Thursday, Oct. 20.


1. TERENCE CRAWFORD     Previous ranking: No. 2

RECORD: 36-0, 27 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO9) Egidijus Kavaliauskas, Dec. 14
NEXT FIGHT: Nov. 14 vs. Kell Brook


2. CANELO ALVAREZ     Previous ranking: No. 3

RECORD: 53-1-2, 36 KOs
DIVISION: Middleweight (champion), super middleweight (“regular” titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (KO11) Sergey Kovalev, Nov. 2
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


3. NAOYA INOUE     Previous ranking: No. 4

RECORD: 19-0, 16 KOs
DIVISION: Bantamweight (unified titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Nonito Donaire, Nov. 7
NEXT FIGHT: Oct. 31 vs. Jason Moloney


4. ERROL SPENCE JR.     Previous ranking: No. 5

RECORD: 26-0, 21 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight (unified titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (SD12) Shawn Porter, Sept. 28
NEXT FIGHT: Dec. 5 vs. Danny Garcia


5. TEOFIMO LOPEZ JR.     Previous ranking: NOT RANKED

RECORD: 16-0, 12 KOs
DIVISION: Lightweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Vasiliy Lomachenko, Oct. 17
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


6. VASILIY LOMACHENKO     Previous ranking: No. 1

RECORD: 14-2, 10 KOs
DIVISION: Lightweight
LAST FIGHT: L (UD12) Teofimo Lopez Jr., Oct. 17
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


7. OLEKSANDR USYK     Previous ranking: No. 6

RECORD: 17-0, 13 KOs
DIVISION: Heavyweight
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO7) Chazz Witherspoon, Oct. 12
NEXT FIGHT: Oct. 31 vs. Dereck Chisora


8. TYSON FURY     Previous ranking: No. 7

RECORD: 30-0-1, 21 KOs
DIVISION: Heavyweight (champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO7) Deontay Wilder, Feb. 22
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


9. JUAN FRANCISCO ESTRADA     Previous ranking: No. 8

RECORD: 40-3, 27 KOs
DIVISION: Junior bantamweight (champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO9) Dewayne Beamon, Aug. 24
NEXT FIGHT: Oct. 23 vs. Carlos Cuadras


10. GENNADIY GOLOVKIN     Previous ranking: No. 9

RECORD: 40-1-1, 35 KOs
DIVISION: Middleweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Oct. 5, 2019
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


The formula

The rankings are based on a descending points system, with a first-place vote receiving 10 points, a second-place vote receiving nine points and so on. A tie goes to the fighter with the highest ranking and then the one with the most votes at that ranking.


Others receiving votes: Manny Pacquiao (12), Artur Beterbiev (6), Josh Taylor (3), Jermall Charlo (3), Mikey Garcia (2), Miguel Berchelt (1)


How our writers voted

Atlas: 1. Crawford, 2. Alvarez, 3. Inoue, 4. Lomachenko, 5. Spence, 6. Usyk, 7. Pacquiao, 8. Lopez, 9. Beterbiev, 10. Fury

Bradley: 1. Crawford, 2. Alvarez, 3. Lopez, 4. Inoue, 5. Fury, 6. Spence, 7. Usyk, 8. Lomachenko, 9. Pacquiao, 10. Beterbiev

Ward: 1. Crawford, 2. Alvarez, 3. Fury, 4. Usyk, 5. Inoue, 6. Spence, 7. Lopeze, 8. Lomachenko, 9. Estrada, 10. Beterbiev

Tessitore: 1. Crawford, 2. Lomachenko, 3. Inoue, 4. Canelo, 5. Usyk, 6. Spence, 7. Estrada, 8. Berchelt, 9. Golovkin, 10. Beterbiev

Kim: 1. Inoue, 2. Crawford, 3. Alvarez, 4. Usyk, 5. Lopez, 6. Lomachenko, 7. Estrada, 8. Spence, 9. Golovkin, 10. Fury

Parkinson: 1. Alvarez, 2. Crawford, 3. Inoue, 4. Fury, 5. Lopez, 6. Usyk, 7. Lomachenko, 8. Spence, 9. Golovkin, 10. Taylor

Baby: 1. Alvarez, 2. Crawford, 3. Spence, 4. Inoue, 5. Fury, 6. Usyk, 7. Lopez, 8. Lomachenko, 9. Beterbiev, 10. Golovkin

Wolfe: 1. Crawford, 2. Alvarez, 3. Spence, 4. Inoue, 5. Lopez, 6. Fury, 7. Usyk, 8. Lomachenko, 9. Golovkin, 10. Pacquiao

Raskin: 1. Crawford, 2. Alvarez, 3. Inoue, 4. Lopez, 5. Lomachenko, 6. Spence, 7. Estrada, 8. Fury, 9. Taylor, 10. Pacquiao

Moynihan: 1. Crawford, 2. Spence, 3. Alvarez, 4. Inoue, 5. Usyk, 6. Golovkin, 7. Lopez, 8. Lomachenko, 9. Garcia, 10. Fury

Pilatti: 1. Inoue, 2. Lomachenko, 3. Spence, 4. Crawford, 5. Lopez, 6. Alvarez, 7. Golovkin, 8. Estrada, 9. Pacquiao, 10. Fury

Rodriguez: 1. Canelo, 2. Crawford, 3. Inoue, 4. Usyk, 5. Spence, 6. Fury, 7. Lopez, 8. Estrada, 9. Lomachenko, 10. Pacquiao


ESPN experts’ poll

First place: Crawford (7), Alvarez (3), Inoue (2)

Second place: Alvarez (5), Crawford (4), Spence (1), Lopez (1), Lomachenko (1)

Third place: Inoue (5), Spence (3), Alvarez (2), Lopez (1), Fury (1)

Fourth place: Inoue (4), Usyk (3), Lomachenko (2), Crawford (1), Lopez (1), Fury (1)

Fifth place: Lopez (4), Spence (2), Fury (2), Alvarez (1), Inoue (1), Lomachenko (1), Usyk (1)

Sixth place: Spence (4), Usyk (3), Fury (2), Alvarez (1), Lomachenko (1), Golovkin (1)

Seventh place: Lopez (4), Usyk (3), Estrada (2), Lomachenko (1), Golovkin (1), Pacquiao (1)

Eighth place: Lomachenko (5), Spence (2), Estrada (2), Lopez (1), Fury (1), Charlo (1)

Ninth place: Pacquiao (3), Golovkin (2), Beterbiev (2), Lomachenko (1), Fury (1), Estrada (1), Taylor (1), Garcia (1)

10th place: Fury (4), Golovkin (2), Pacquiao (2), Beterbiev (2), Taylor (1), Berchelt (1)

Source

Continue Reading

Sports

Ex-Wolverine Collins: Felt like ‘no-man’s land’

Published

on

Former Michigan star wide receiver Nico Collins said Tuesday that while it would be “bittersweet” to watch his former team open the season at Minnesota on Saturday, he was focused on getting ready for the NFL Combine.

On “The Adam Schefter Podcast” Tuesday night, Collins talked about his decision to opt-out when the Big Ten postponed the football season in August, after deciding to return for his senior season.

“Everything was going smooth, just as planned, until this virus outbreak,” said Collins, who is currently training in Pensacola, Florida.

“They canceled the season and that was heartbreaking for me,” he said on the podcast. “They were saying in the spring, Thanksgiving, it was too many unknown questions to be answering. Nobody really had an answer to it.

“I sat down with my family, and I just made a business decision because I felt like I was in no-man’s land for a minute, because I came back to play my senior season and they canceled it.”

Citing daily testing capabilities and a stronger confidence in the latest medical information, the conference announced an eight-game season in September. Collins said he considered opting back in, but that the timing wasn’t right.

On Monday, coach Jim Harbaugh said he didn’t have “a crystal ball” as to whether Collins would change his mind. “I know he’s not currently on the team.”

“Getting my mind right and prepared for the combine was the right decision for me,” Collins said Tuesday.

Still, he said, “it will be bittersweet” watching as No. 18 Michigan opens Saturday at No. 21 Minnesota.

“I want to be out there competing on the football field with my brothers, my teammates, going out and having fun with them. I’ll be rooting for them 100 percent. I’m excited to see, hopefully they win – they will win. I believe in them. The grind they put in throughout the summer. I know they worked really hard and I know it’s going to pay off Saturday.”

Collins had 78 receptions for 1,388 yards and 13 touchdowns over his three-year career. He had 37 catches for 729 yards and seven scores last year.

Losing Collins was significant for a team that also had to replace quarterback Shea Patterson, four starting offensive linemen, and receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, who decided to skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

Harbaugh on Monday said his other receivers have been “really good” this offseason, specifically giving praise to Giles Jackson, A.J. Henning, Cornelius Johnson, Ronnie Bell, Roman Wilson and Mike Sainristil.

“One of the really good things about our offense’s growth has been the receiving group,” Harbaugh said, “their ability to get separation, to gain separation, create separation, and to catch the contested catches.”

The question is who will be throwing for Michigan.

While Harbaugh said Joe Milton, a redshirt sophomore, has been practicing with the first-team offense, he declined to confirm he would start on Saturday. Harbaugh said quarterback Cade McNamara has “closed all gaps as well.”

Source

Continue Reading

Sports

Flores on QB swap: Move to Tua is best for Fins

Published

on

Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores confirmed Wednesday that rookie Tua Tagovailoa will be the team’s starting quarterback moving forward.

Flores said the Dolphins feel that starting Tagovailoa is what’s best for the team, citing the rookie’s performance in meetings, walkthroughs and practices.

“He’s gotten more comfortable — accuracy, decision-making have been good in practice. … We’re comfortable and confident that he’ll be able to competitive in those games when that time comes,” Flores said.

Flores also noted that he was disappointed that he didn’t address the QB change with the team before ESPN and other outlets reported Tuesday that Tagovailoa would replace popular veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Flores said he will talk to the team and apologize about that, noting it was not how he wanted the team to find out.

Source

Continue Reading

Trending