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Falcons' Dan Quinn wants to see rosters expanded

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While much of the buzz from the NFL owners meetings related to the new lowering-the-head rule, Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn shared thoughts about a different change he'd like to see implemented.

"If I had to say one thing how do we do it better, I would say I hope at some point we expand the rosters to get even bigger," Quinn told reporters gathered in Orlando, Florida, referring to the 53-man roster and 46-man game-day rosters. "No pressure if a guy is out to say, 'OK, here's another guy that's up.'

"So 46 is good. And maybe in years to come, 10 years from now when we're sitting here, 'OK, remember back in the day when you had 46 guys?' Maybe it goes to 50 or something along those lines and gets more opportunities for guys because without a developmental league, we're hopeful that maybe the roster size gains by a few spots, that we can incorporate that. And I think it'd be safer, too, to have more guys available to play."

Not to mention having extra available bodies could be critical if the NFL moves forward with a college-like targeting rule that increases ejections.

Falcons president Rick McKay, the chairman of the competition committee, has said expanding roster sizes is a topic typically discussed on a yearly basis. In recent years, the NFL expanded the practice squad from eight to 10 players.

"I like that we've expanded the practice squad from where it first started to where it is today," Quinn said. "That helps. There's real development taking place. If I had to change one thing [regarding development], I would change the offseason rules for the developmental players. ... How do we get the developmental players better? We need to spend more time with them."

The Falcons and other teams with returning coaches can begin offseason workouts April 16, but the coaches can't be involved during Phase 1, which is two weeks of strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation.

Quinn emphasized how his thoughts on expanding roster sizes has to do with player development, particularly on the offensive and defensive lines and at quarterback.

Like Quinn, Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson would like to see the rosters expanded.

"Any time there are more players to practice and potentially play in a game when injuries occur -- which we know they will -- it allows you have the flexibility you need on your roster," Jackson said.

The NFL expanded offseason rosters from 80 to 90 in April of 2012. Teams have to shave the 90-man roster to 53 by Sept. 1.