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Blank won’t speculate on what could happen after the season


Nineteen days ago, the Falcons obliterated the Buccaneers, 56-14. It moved Atlanta’s record to 2-1 and created the impression that the Falcons had returned to prominence.

Since then, the Falcons have lost two in a row, both by double digits. Injuries to the offensive line and an ineffective defense have created the impression that this year’s Falcons won’t be much better than last year’s 4-12 debacle.

Owner Arthur Blank isn’t panicking. Yet.

Do I want to scream? Yes,” Blank tells Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But not on the outside. I scream on the inside.”

Asked if there will be firings if five straight winning seasons results in a second straight losing season, Blank tap danced.

“I understand the question and my job during the season is not to speculate,” Blank said. “My job to be a support person, be as positive as I can be We lost a game Sunday in New York and we have to move past that and move on to Chicago. If we use all of our energy hand-wringing, we’ll have less energy to approach this in a positive way.”

Schultz deftly tried it another way, asking if it’s fair to say jobs are on the line.

“I would say to you, and I mean it sincerely: I have confidence in the coaching staff and the G.M. and the players,” Blank said. “I’m not speculating during the season about what might happen after the season. That’s not compatible with doing what I should be expected to do.”

Implicit in these answers is that, after the season, anything can happen, including terminations of employment. At a time when there are questions about the quality of the roster (specifically on defense) and questionable coaching decisions that suggest concerns about the quality of the roster (specifically on defense), it becomes important for the coaching staff and front office to resist the temptation to point fingers at each other or cover their own rear ends and to continue working toward the goal of keeping Blank’s screaming on the inside from becoming shouts of “you’re fired” on the outside.