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Falcons owner Arthur Blank disappointed by coaches' conduct at combine

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank says he was disappointed in the conduct of two assistant coaches at the NFL scouting combine.

"Sure. Yeah. So was our coach," Blank told ESPN. "I think [head coach Dan Quinn has] dealt with both of them directly -- both of the position coaches where that took place -- and made our values clear and our culture clear to them and to the other coaches as well. I know it's not who we are and it's not who our coach is."

Secondary coach Marquand Manuel asked draft prospect Eli Apple about his sexual orientation while at the combine. A second combine incident involved defensive line coach Bryan Cox shoving an Arizona Cardinals scout during an informal interview session.

"The Falcons coach, one of the coaches, was like, 'So do you like men?'" Apple told Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. "It was like the first thing he asked me. It was weird. I was just like, 'No.' He was like, 'If you're going to come to Atlanta, sometimes that's how it is around here. You're going to have to get used to it.' I guess he was joking, but they just ask most of these questions to see how you're going to react."

Quinn said in a statement at the time that the question was not asked during a formal interview but that he spoke to all the coaches on his staff about the incident. He added the Falcons had a training seminar at the facility with a league-approved counselor regarding social responsibility.

"I take full responsibility for the inappropriate question I asked at the combine," Marquand said in a statement released on March 7. "It was wrong and I apologize to Eli Apple, Mr. Blank, the entire Falcons organization, my family and our Falcon fans for my insensitivity.

"I understand it was inappropriate and the offense people have taken to it. I have had an individual counseling session on social responsibility today and was part of a staff session as well and found it very valuable in learning from this situation."

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he spoke with Quinn and Manuel this week and that the team or coaches won't face any discipline.

"They've all taken ownership of the issue and recognized the mistake that was made," Goodell said Wednesday of the Falcons. "Been very forthcoming, have taken appropriate steps to educate everyone. (Manuel) and I spent probably 20 minutes on the phone talking about his learning experience and how he can use this for a positive step and I was impressed with the way he's handling it.

"The team has taken on a training programs within the organization, which I think are all very satisfactory, so I don't see any further steps at the league level at this point."