NFL firing season began a little early this year with Monday’s news that the Washington Redskins had parted ways with coach Jay Gruden five games into the season. It’s the earliest in-season coaching departure since 2015, when the Miami Dolphins fired Joe Philbin after four games.

As for who might be next on the chopping block, most seem to be looking in the general direction of Atlanta Falcons Coach Dan Quinn, whose team is 1-4 and just 18-19 since its loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. But team owner Arthur Blank is sticking by his coach, at least for now.

“No,” Blank told ESPN’s Vaughn McClure when asked whether a coaching change is needed. “We’ve got a lot of football left. This staff has performed before. And my hope is they can fix what needs to be fixed and start winning some games.

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“Obviously, the coaching is not where it needs to be,” Blank continued. “They’re challenging themselves, questioning themselves, examining everything they know how to examine. That’s all they can do is work really hard at it, take this as seriously as they can and feel the pain.”

A defensive-minded coach, Quinn has been handling the play-calling on that side of the ball for the Falcons this season. But Atlanta’s defense has been the problem: The Falcons are allowing 30.4 points per game (only the Dolphins are worse) and gave up 37 in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans, who racked up nearly 600 yards for the game and didn’t allow a sack. Injuries have been one issue — strong safety Keanu Neal, a 2017 Pro Bowl pick, is out for the season because of an Achilles’ tendon tear — but the move away from a 4-3 defense to more of a 3-4 look has not worked.

“As I just got done saying, the staff has been here for a long time, and they have performed at a high level in the past,” Blank said. “And there’s no reason to think they can’t figure out what needs to be done and go from there.”

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Atlanta is in the same 1-4 hole it was in last season, when it reeled off three straight wins to get back to .500 before faltering to a 7-9 finish. Sunday’s game against the similarly struggling Arizona Cardinals could be crucial to Quinn’s future, despite Blank’s assurances.

“We’re disappointed across the board,” Quinn said. “It’s not what we expected. We’ve got a week on the road together. We’ll head out to Arizona, and we have to get things corrected in our games together.”

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