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Patrick Kerney on Dan Quinn: 'He puts an extreme value on professionalism'

The former defensive end shares some insight on Atlanta's new head coach.

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Since the Atlanta Falcons named Dan Quinn the 16th head coach in team history, many former players and colleagues have been quick to praise the 44-year-old. This group includes Patrick Kerney.

Kerney, one of the best pass rushers to ever don a Falcons uniform, played defensive end for the Seahawks in 2009, when Quinn was their D-line coach. As expected, No. 97 had a lot of great things to say about his old mentor.

"He's highly intelligent, knows how to work with players," Kerney said of Quinn on 680 the Fan. "You have to be thinking as much as he is on the field. I can vouch for a lot of [Seattle's defenders] personally that they're highly intelligent."

Kerney continued to discuss how important football acumen is when playing for Quinn, and noted that much of the Seahawks' defensive success has been a product of their ability to understand the system in place, as opposed to pure physical skill.

Undoubtedly, the bar will be set high at Flowery Branch.

"He puts an extreme value on professionalism," Kerney said. "Dan ... reserves the noise and in-your-face for choice moments. If you're working hard and you're thinking on the field, that's meeting his expectations.

"If you're not, if you're getting offsides and missing your assignments, that's when he gets loud. He picks his battles."

Kerney also mentioned how Quinn has handled different jobs over the course of his career, and believes he knows what will be expected of him in this new position.

"He understood his role at every level," Kerney said. "He understood that he was a teacher when teaching D-line. He understood that he was playing chess as s defensive coordinator. He understands he can't be involved in the minutia [as a head coach]."

One more interesting point: Kerney believes that, similar to Pete Carroll, Quinn can recognize great teachers when he sees them. This is worth keeping in mind as Atlanta's new -- and seemingly large -- staff takes shape.