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Arthur Blank: Coach and G.M. “two different roles”

San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 18: Head coach Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons shakes hands with general manager, Thomas Dimitroff, after beating the San Francisco 49ers at the Georgia Dome on December 18, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Falcons owner Arthur Blank will be busy next week playing host to the league, with the Super Bowl being played in his sparkling new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Yet he’s admittedly frustrated with the way this season played out for the Falcons, which has already led to big changes. And that may lead him to re-think what has been a tight pairing at the top of his football organization.

While expressing confidence that General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn were going to fix things, he also seemed to draw a line between their duties.

In an interview with Jeff Schultz of The Athletic, Blank was asked if his top decision-makers (who are under contract through 2022) were linked together if things didn’t work out soon.

“I don’t know that. That’s a whole year away,” Blank said. “They’re two different people with two different roles. I understand the question, and I understand the answer you would like. But the answer I’m giving is the honest answer, which is that we have a year for things to play out.”

At the same time, Blank said he had a “very high confidence level in the two of them” to work together to fix things.

“They’re tied at the hip in a positive way in terms of their decision-making,” he said. “I’ve seen them disagree on things in a respectful way. They definitely have different views on some things, but we encourage that as part of our culture in all of our businesses. Usually, if they disagree on something, they move on and try to find an option they both feel better about.”

There will be considerable pressure on both this year, despite their contractual security. The Falcons fired all three coordinators this offseason, and Quinn is going to serve as his own defensive coordinator, a clear indication that things were off the rails previously. And if they stay that way, it seems possible that Blank might proceed with either Quinn or Dimitroff, but not both.