The Falcons‘ embrace the suck strategy this offseason was brilliant because it anticipated the current media landscape so well.
Every player was going to be asked about it, and every player needed to remain positive, humbled and resilient.
Enter cornerback Robert Alford, who was all of the above during an appearance Monday on Good Morning Football. “It’s about to be a big year for us,” Alford said. “We haven’t lost too many key players from last year’s team. [Desmond] Trufant was the only guy who wasn’t there for us during the Super Bowl run. This year, just from that Super Bowl alone, the thing coach [Dan] Quinn preached about was to remember that feeling at the end of the game. Everyone was hurt, everyone was mad. I think that will propel us into this year to become great and having that feeling from the Super Bowl will help us finish this year strong.”
Quinn experienced arguably the two most heartbreaking losses in Super Bowl history with the Falcons and Seahawks (he was Seattle’s defensive coordinator in Super Bowl XLIX). Pete Carroll, his former mentor, has tried to steer the Seahawks back onto a Super Bowl trajectory — and depending on who you ask, that process is still ongoing.
Quinn has a chance to do something Carroll could not and return to the Super Bowl the next season. A Super Bowl loser returning to the NFL’s biggest game the next season almost never happens (the Buffalo Bills were the last team to accomplish it in the early 90s) but a roster like this rarely comes together. The Falcons still have one of the best teams in the NFL from top to bottom, and got significantly better on defense this offseason.
The mental aspect is the only hurdle in their way. Is Alford on to something?