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A Dan Quinn coaching career timeline

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Where has Dan Quinn been over the last 20 years?

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Now that Dan Quinn is the new Falcons coach and is hopefully heading for a string of Super Bowl wins in Atlanta, we should strive to understand where he came from. Who is this Dan Quinn, in other words?

While I don't claim to know what kind of wine he likes with his pasta, I do know where Quinn's coaching career has taken him. It's been a 20 year journey to his first head coaching job, one dominated by at least modest success stories with college and NFL programs, capped off by a truly spectacular two-year stint as the Seahawks defensive coordinator.

Hat tip to Wikipedia, of course.


Quinn has cut his teeth on defense, and has now worked two consecutive decades either with the defensive line or as a defensive coordinator. His work with Seattle and Florida speaks for itself, but it's worth noting he generally presided over effective lines during his stops with the 49ers, Dolphins and Jets, as well. It was his familiarity with the Seahawks and his success in Florida that earned him the DC gig with Pete Carroll, where he left behind his earthly shackles and became somewhat of a mythic coach. It's worth noting that Gus Bradley built the unit into one of the league's most successful, but smart signings and Quinn's coaching prowess arguably turned the team into the juggernaut it is today.

What emerges, either way, is a portrait of a man who never lacked for a good gig, which speaks well to his acumen and reputation. For a Falcons team with major defensive holes and an identity crisis, a man who just spent two decades upgrading defenses everywhere he went certainly represents a logical fit.

If you're looking for a Quinn focal point, the line is where you should start. He'll likely leave the DL in the hands of friend Bryan Cox or protege Travis Jones, if he joins Quinn from Seattle, but Quinn's fingerprints will be all over the unit. That's vital given that the line last year struggled mightily alongside the rest of the defense, due to a mix of lousy scheming and middling talent at key spots.

Ultimately, there's nothing in Quinn's track record to suggest he'll fare poorly in Atlanta. That is, at the very least, encouraging.