INDIANAPOLIS — It’s been less than a month since the Falcons were on the losing side of the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, but the time doesn’t really matter to Dan Quinn.
No number of months will ever wipe away those feelings of disappointment, of being so close to a championship and not being able to cash in on it.
“I am past it,” Quinn, the head coach of the Falcons, said on Wednesday. “I am not over it. I don’t think I ever will be. And that’s a good thing. Sometimes, those kind of experiences propel you to have the types of offseasons that you like to have.”
Quinn said being in that Super Bowl was “on-the-job training” for him and his coaching staff in the kind of pressure situation no practice or other game could simulate. He said the Falcons will be “better for it” moving forward.
As for the decisions that have been most derided and blamed for the loss – namely getting to the Patriots’ 22, in range for a game-sealing field goal, and calling three straight passes that resulted in a sack, a holding penalty, an incompletion and a punt – Quinn said he has to “own” those calls.
The Patriots went on to tie the score and send the game into overtime, where they won it on their first possession to overcome a 28-3 deficit.
“You do what you think is best to go win the game at that time, and we’ll always do that,” Quinn said. “We’re an aggressive team and we’re going to take our shots and the reason we were able to play in the Super Bowl is because we are aggressive and we’re not going to back off a challenge.
“Do-overs, would you like to have some? Yes. Is that every game? It is.”
These ones, though, will just linger much longer.