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Thursday, 29 January 2015

What Off-season Coaching Hire Was the Best?

If an NFL team is looking to hire a new head coach, don’t look to other coaches within the fraternity to determine whether or not the prospect is worthy of a fat contract. Ask the players that play for him to see just what he brings to the table as a coach, a mentor and a motivator.

Dan Quinn really did not need to prove his worth as a defensive coordinator in Seattle to the Atlanta Falcons. His players did the talking for him. After the return of Bobby Wagner form injury, Seattle became the defensive juggernaut you reserve to teams like the 1970s Steelers or the Baltimore Ravens. This team, although run be a talented quarterback and a “beast” of a running back, makes its money playing a high caliber of defense that is rare in the NFL these days.

For those reasons, although he has not been “announced” as their head coach (league rules will not permit such a things if the coach comes from a team still in playoff contention), the Dan Quinn hiring by these Falcons could be the best move anyone has made in the NFL since Seattle plucked Pete Carroll from USC.

One day after predicting that the Falcons will become an "automatic" playoff team once Quinn revamps their defense, linebacker K.J. Wright labeled his coordinator a "defensive mastermind."

Quinn's Super Bowl XLVIII game plan was a masterpiece which defensive end Michael Bennett helped put into perspective on Tuesday, according to Chris Wesseling of

Asked by Around the NFL what it is about Quinn that will make him a successful head coach, Bennett quipped, "I think it's because he likes to drop his, uh, lower extremities during big games."

Bennett added that sometimes coaches get big egos and credit their own scheme for success whereas Quinn understands that it's about putting the players in the best position to succeed.

In’s final report card for the Falcons, Vaughan McClure spoke candidly about the need to improve the Falcons complete defense.

Yes, strides were made at the end of the year and corner Desmond Trufant is going to be a perennial Pro Bowl pick very soon. That being said, the Falcons still finished last in the league in six defensive categories, including total yards per game (398.3), passing yards per game (279.9), and third-down defense (46.8 percent). The Falcons allowed 6,372 total yards -- 2,098 more than the top-rated Seahawks.

That’s where Quinn is at his best.

Quinn was plucked from the University of Florida when Gus Bradley was named head coach in Jacksonville. The hiring of Quinn means the last two defensive coordinators Pete Carroll hired went on to run NFL teams. That’s an impressive way to show how good your program and staff really are.

The job won’t be easy, but if Quinn can put the same time and effort into running the team and finding the right mix of players, Kyle Shanahan’s offense will put points on the board.

The rebuilding project may not look as daunting.

But then again, Quinn’s magic has been nearly perfect the past two seasons.


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