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Don't expect the Falcons defense to look exactly like Seattle's

Dan Quinn could be a very successful head coach, but his Falcons teams will resemble his Seahawks teams only faintly.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Whenever you acquire a new head coach, you anticipate that he's going to bring along players and elements of the scheme that made him successful at his last stop. Too often, though, we expect that coach to essentially remake a team in the image.

Thus far, everything Quinn has done has been viewed through the prism of his time in Seattle. When the team was chasing Ron Parker, it was because he might have the range to be the destitute man's Earl Thomas. When Byron Maxwell was available, there was speculation aplenty that the Falcons would throw a huge contract at him. When Michael Bennett's camp leaked his interest in being traded to the Falcons, everyone clamored to add him because he's an ideal fit for Quinn's defense. And so on. We want to see a Seattle-caliber defense so badly that it's easy to get caught in wanting to see the actual Seattle defense in Atlanta.

I've been guilty of this myself, particularly at cornerback, where Quinn found so much success with taller, more physical players. It's easy to see the Falcons bringing in someone like Nick Marshall for a workout and assuming that the Falcons are chasing the same kind of corners Quinn liked in Atlanta, and it's certainly possible they'll take that exact  course. Yet Quinn currently has a pair of very talented, very athletic young cornerbacks who don't fit that mold on the roster, and . That's not even mentioning the offense, which lacks Marshawn Lynch, will feature a zone blocking scheme and has Matt Ryan, not Russell Wilson, at the helm, but Quinn didn't have any jurisdiction over the offense in Seattle anyways.

The only thing we know about Quinn's defense today is that it will feature a LEO, it's likely to be conceptually similar to what he used in Seattle (a 4-3 under concept, explored here by Alec Shirkey) and he's likely to target a handful of his favorite players to spend time in it, as he did with O'Brien Schofield. Beyond that, Quinn has promised to tailor his defense to his players, giving them simplified assignments and allowing their strengths to shine through. If he follows through on that, you'll see a defense that excels against the run early, and hopefully transforms into a capable, punishing pass rushing unit in the future.

The reality is that a successful, Super Bowl-caliber Falcons team—if we ever get one—under Quinn is going to look markedly different from the Seattle Seahawks, with a few similarities worth remarking on. Let's stop expecting Quinn to turn Atlanta into Seattle East and hope that Quinn can craft something new and exciting for these Falcons.