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Quinn's passion sets the tone
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Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn walks along the sideline while signaling to his staff during Sunday's win over the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. - photo by Associated Press

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — While leading the Atlanta Falcons to a surprising 3-0 start, first-year coach Dan Quinn has shown he can get a little emotional on the sideline.

Quinn wasn't happy that his defense gave up 28 first-half points at Dallas on Sunday. So, with Fox TV's cameras watching, Quinn lit into his defensive players on the sideline.

It wasn't an unusual style of coaching, but for Falcons fans it was an opportunity to see the emotional Quinn so animated.

The outburst seemed to work. The defense responded with a second-half shutout in theFalcons' 39-28 win. It was Atlanta's third straight fourth-quarter comeback win.

On Wednesday, Quinn wasn't sure what interactions were shown on TV. Perhaps joking, he said he'd ask a staffer to look up a video replay.

No need. Quinn's players remember the details.

"He started with the DBs and went down to the D-line," said safety William Moore.

The TV broadcast showed Quinn making forceful points to defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux and rookie defensive end Vic Beasley Jr.

Moore said Quinn had the full attention of his players.

"He's one of the guys who doesn't get riled up too often, but when he does you listen," Moore said.

Quinn, the former Seattle defensive coordinator, has been a high-energy presence from his first practice with the Falcons this summer. He runs alongside players during warmups and also runs from one field to another during practice. He put on padded gloves while standing in the middle of the defense during drills to demonstrate how to fend off blockers.

Something is working. The Falcons, coming off a 6-10 finish in 2014, are undefeated as they prepare to face the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Quinn's former boss, Seattle coach Pete Carroll, said this week he is following the Falcons' success closely.

"I'm watching every bit I can," Carroll said. "We've been communicating throughout and having fun with it. ... He's having a blast and I couldn't be more excited for him."

Linebacker Paul Worrilow said the Falcons' new personality begins with Quinn.

Quinn coaches with passion, though not always at such a high volume as TV viewers saw Sunday. He wants to see the same from his players.

"Oh yeah, he's a very passionate guy," Worrilow said. "It's no secret that he loves this game and it shows. When you have a guy like that, it's contagious."

Quarterback Matt Ryan said players "respond well" to Quinn.

"Dan is awesome to be around, there's no doubt about it," Ryan said. "And he's into it. He wants to win as much as anybody else."

Perhaps tongue-in-cheek, Quinn speculated on what might have sparked his emotions.

"I imagine it would have been at a time either we were at our best and I was excited for them, or we were not at our best and I was wanting to get excited for them," Quinn said with a smile.