FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn opted not to make a big issue out of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots flashing "28-3" on their videoboard during pregame festivities leading up to their 42-27 season-opening home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The 28-3 score with 2:12 left in the third quarter reflects the dramatic comeback the Patriots made in what turned into a 34-28 overtime victory against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Naturally, folks around the Falcons' organization thought it was not a classy move by the Patriots. Quinn, for one, didn't take the opportunity to lash out.
He was asked if he saw the videoboard himself.
"You know, I didn't," Quinn said following Friday's practice. "I was just finishing up on my own stuff here in terms of our prep. But we knew that that's part of sports and the world we live. So, it's not a new topic for us. We knew we did the work that we had to do for the offseason to see how we get ready. We really found our answer in training camp in terms of our mindset and our readiness.
"But we don't need anyone else outside our building to help us get ready. Our mindset, our attitude to go for it, that's what we want to live and that's what we want to do. But we recognize when that happens. And we don't need the external stuff to light us up. We're pretty lit up and ready to go."
Defensive end Adrian Clayborn said he wasn't aware of the Patriots' decision to put the score up on the board Thursday night.
"Did they really? Ah, it's a new season," said Clayborn, who didn't play in the Super Bowl. "Their accomplishment was the biggest comeback, so kudos to them. But it's a new season. They obviously saw that last night."
Nose tackle Grady Jarrett, who tied a Super Bowl record with three sacks against the Patriots, was asked if it bothered him.
"Nah, man," Jarrett said. "We're on Chicago."
The Falcons, who open the season Sunday against the Chicago Bears, have a Super Bowl rematch at New England in Week 7 (Oct. 22).