Dan Quinn thinks the world of Dominique Easley

AP

When Dan Quinn was the defensive coordinator at the University of Florida in 2011 and 2012, one of the players on the unit was defensive tackle Dominique Easley.

Easley went on to become a first-round pick of the Patriots in 2014, but is now a free agent after being released earlier this month. Meanwhile, Quinn moved on to become the head coach of the Falcons and said on Thursday that he’s spoken to Easley since his departure from New England and described the lineman in glowing terms.

“He is a fantastic competitor,” Quinn said, via the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “Honestly, a guy I have great history with. We’ve talked since he’s been released. We’ll kind of leave it there. There’s nothing to report today. He’s someone that I think the world of.”

Easley’s had injury problems since entering the NFL and there’s been talk of other off-field issues, but he’s been an effective player when on the field and Quinn’s assessment suggests there could be a spot for him with the Falcons for the 2016 season.