Dan Quinn is the new head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, per per Konx Bardeen of FOX Sports South. It is reportedly a five year deal.
New on @FOXSportsSouth: #Falcons, Dan Quinn agree to 5-year deal. Quinn will be introduced as head coach on Tuesday - http://t.co/G2wqGTEvJx— Knox Bardeen (@knoxbardeen) February 2, 2015
Quinn, 44, has been strongly linked to the Falcons for a couple of weeks now. The Falcons reportedly were interested in his strong defensive acumen—outlined here—and were willing to wait for his Seattle Seahawks to finish their deep playoff run. Quinn, for his part, was reportedly strongly interested in the Falcons gig, probably owing to the strength of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and some of young pieces on the team, as well as the middling division in which he'll coach. This will be his first head coaching gig at any level, but he's been working with defenses for the last 20 years.
Quinn's team fell short in the Super Bowl, but his defense did limit the Patriots to 28 points and picked off Tom Brady twice, putting them in position to win if not for a Russell Wilson interception to end the game. His Seahawks defense allowed the fewest average yards per game by nearly 33 yards, allowed the fewest points in the NFL and was the 8th stingiest in the NFL in terms of allowing third down conversions, so his schemes are welcome in Atlanta. Arthur Blank may also have wanted a bald coach. We dunno.
Whatever the reasons, though, this is a done deal. Quinn is a creative defensive mind with genuine success under his belt in both Seattle and Florida who will look to Kyle Shanahan to run the offense while he attempts to remake a unit that has been one of the NFL's worst for a couple of seasons now. Quinn inherited a ton of talent in Seattle, but it's worth noting that he turned relatively unknown players like CB Byron Maxwell and LB Malcolm Smith into legitimate contributors after taking over for Gus Bradley. The Falcons will heavily focus on defense in the upcoming draft to augment the team's talent, and Quinn and his staff will be counted on to develop those players and put an effective unit on the field.
Following the most successful coach in Falcons' history isn't easy, but Arthur Blank and the front office made this hire with the hopes that Quinn will be able to lift this team up where they belong. He'll likely have a year of relatively low expectations, and then they'll want him to be a Quinner (sorry) in 2016 and beyond, especially with the new stadium looming. Let's all hope he and this team can deliver.
We welcome Quinn to Atlanta. What are your thoughts on the hire?