FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Two days after a startling Super Bowl loss, Dan Quinn is off to a new start with the Atlanta Falcons.
It happened quickly. The former Seattle defensive coordinator was introduced as the team’s coach Tuesday, a day after he was hired and less than 48 hours after a Super Bowl loss to New England.
Quinn beamed as he discussed plans for the Falcons. But he’s still trying to process the Patriots’ 28-24 win, sealed when Malcolm Butler intercepted a pass at the goal line with 20 seconds left.
Surely, Quinn would like to put it in the past.
“I can’t wait to build a similar championship environment here in Atlanta,” Quinn said. “There are all sorts of challenges ahead, lots of hard work to do. I can’t wait to get started.”
Quinn’s defenses helped lead Seattle to two straight Super Bowls. The Seahawks beat Denver to win last year’s championship.
The new coach is looking for defense that plays “fast and physical” and an offense with balance. Falcons owner Arthur Blank said he chose Quinn “to provide leadership in all three phases of the game and add additional leadership in the building of our franchise.”
BLANK CONFESSES TO ARTIFICIAL NOISE: Blank said Tuesday he has seen enough of the NFL’s investigation of fake crowd noise at Atlanta’s home games to acknowledge wrongdoing.
The NFL is trying to determine if the Falcons pumped artificial crowd noise into the Georgia Dome for home games the last two years. Apparently, the answer is yes.
Blank had a quick response when asked if there was a fine line for crowd noise not allowed by the league.
GORDON SUSPENDED FOR SEASON: The NFL suspended Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon for at least one year without pay on Monday for violating the league’s substance-abuse program.
Gordon, who has already served two league suspensions, will have to apply for reinstatement. A league spokesman said his one-year ban begins immediately, meaning he will miss the 2015 season. The former Pro Bowler has been a repeat offender of the league’s drug policy, and his latest offense has jeopardized his once promising career.
Last week, Gordon said his failed test was for alcohol.
LB OZOUGWU RELEASED: The Saints did some housekeeping Tuesday afternoon by terminating the contract of linebacker Cheta Ozougwu.
Ozougwu became injured in July and never played or practiced with the team. He spent the season on the physically unable to perform list. Ozougwu recently failed a physical.
The Houston Texans took Ozougwu with the last pick of the 2011 draft. He then spent the next two seasons with the Chicago Bears before hooking on with the Saints.
JURY IN HERNANDEZ TRIAL DOWN TO 17: In Fall River, Mass., just 17 jurors are expected back at the murder trial of former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez.
One juror was removed Tuesday for having previously discussed evidence in the case, expressed her opinion that it would be hard to convict without a murder weapon, and saying she wanted to sit on Hernandez’s jury.
Testimony is expected to resume Wednesday. Twelve jurors will ultimately decide Hernandez’s fate from those that remain once testimony ends.