Before he became the head coach of the Falcons, Dan Quinn ran the defense for the Seahawks during their two trips to the Super Bowl after the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
The defense in Atlanta hasn’t received the same acclaim or level of performance that Seattle’s unit did in those days, but there are similarities in the way Quinn has put the unit together. Safety Keanu Neal has drawn comparisons to Kam Chancellor and Patriots coach Bill Belichick complimented the unit’s speed, which was also a hallmark of Quinn’s teams in Seattle.
On Wednesday, Quinn was asked about how much the experience working for the Seahawks under Pete Carroll influenced the way that he’s put together the Falcons over the last two seasons. He mentioned several previous bosses as coaches who had shaped him, including Nick Saban, before saying that he’s taken a bit from everywhere to plot his own course.
“Pete has given me great advice. Someone once asked me, what’s one thing you could take from there. I said I couldn’t take one thing, but it would be a real model of how you could do it,” Quinn said. “At the end he said, ‘Hey man, Q, let it rip in your own way.’ And I always remember that topic from him, because I think that is true. I never wanted to make Atlanta Seattle East or anything like that, I want to make our own Atlanta and that was really important to me. So our own philosophy, our own way, our own style of how we do it. I’m different than him in a lot of ways, but he impacted me in my career in a lot of ways as well.”
The path Quinn has charted has obviously been a successful one thus far and sustaining that success will likely leave him in the Carroll role when future coaches get asked about their influences.