What’s really special about him is that he utilizes the people around
him, and he trusts them to give him the information that he needs.
He recognizes that he’s not in there and it’s not him solely trying
to get everything done, it’s a collective effort. And that empowers
everyone around him, which in turn, gives him great authority.
- Kris Richard
“He was amazing, man,” said Wagner, a linebacker with the Seattle Seahawks
who played for Quinn in 2013 and 2014. “I loved working with him. Every second.
He’s so smart.
“The way he approached the game, the way he prepared, it was inspiring. It
made you want to watch more film and make sure you were doing your job, because
you knew he was doing his work. He’s a great leader and a great person.
Just a good dude to be around.”
Quinn spent two seasons as the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive coordinator,
helping the team reach back-to-back Super Bowls and establishing the Legion
of Boom, one of the best defenses in modern NFL history.
After spending the past four seasons as the Falcons’ head coach, Quinn will
once again take charge of the defensive coordinator role in Atlanta.
“I think my background in the scheme of what we do and the style exactly like
I want to do it,” Quinn said of his decision to take over the defensive play-calling.
“I like doing it. I’ve done it before both as a defensive coordinator and as a head
coach some. I just thought that was the best way for us moving forward, and
something I’m looking forward to.”
Injuries played a key role in what was ultimately a lackluster and disappointing
season for a Falcons defense that appeared to be trending upward
after a strong finish in 2017. But Quinn’s decision, as he explained it, seemed
to be more about a desire to get his style of defense back to exactly where he
wants it rather than an indictment of former defensive coordinator Marquand
Manuel’s ability in that role.
Quinn’s ability to identify and develop a very specific style of play on defense
is a strong suite of his, according to those who have worked with him. So too is
his ability to communicate that style in an effective way that makes it clear to
Quinn’s players exactly what their role is in the defense.
“He has a vision of what it should look like and then he does a great job of illustrating
that to the players, so it is very clear,” Bradley said of Quinn, who served
as the Seahawks’ defensive line coach in 2009 and 2010 while Bradley was defensive
coordinator. He is a tremendous leader and has great understanding of
the defense as a whole.”
Falcons fans saw a glimpse of the type of impact Quinn can have when taking
a greater role in the defense. During the second-half of Atlanta’s 2016 Super
Bowl run, Quinn took over the defensive play-calling and had a defense with four
rookie starters peaking at just the right time.
The defense surrendered an average of 28 points and 386 yards prior to Quinn
taking over and gave up just 20.5 points and 346 yards per game during the rest
of the regular season.
But while Quinn has a proven track record and a clear vision for how he wants
his defense to play, he isn’t a rigid leader who dictates terms to those who work
for him. Richard, the Dallas Cowboys defensive backs coach who worked under
Quinn in the same capacity for the Seahawks before replacing him as Seattle’s
ATLANTA FALCONS YEARBOOK 2019