We're down to the final two head coach openings and several of the Seattle Seahawks top choices are still available. There is no reason that choice should be Dan Quinn and several that it shouldn't.
Now that might seem to be a bold statement, that there is no reason for the Seahawks to hire Dan Quinn. How on Earth can I say that, right? Have I somehow forgotten his deep ties to the glory days of the Hawks? I mean, you can't say LOB without including Dan Quinn's name, along with Chancellor, Sherman, and Thomas, right? Except, yeah, you can.
Quinn is revered as if he was the architect of that defense. Come on, 12s, you know better than that. Pete Carroll and John Schneider got it started in their inaugural season in Seattle when they drafted Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. Gus Bradley was the Hawks' defensive coordinator that year. By 2011, he had turned the Seahawks' 25th-ranked defense into the league's 7th-best.
Bradley had some help, of course, as the team added K.J. Wright and Richard Sherman that year. Quinn was Seattle's defensive line coach in 2010 and took a two-year sabbatical as the University of Florida's defensive coordinator from 2011-2012. You know, the years that the Hawks defense became the Legion of Boom.
The Seattle Seahawks were great before and after Dan Quinn
The LOB was in full force when Quinn returned in 2013 as the Seahawks DC. He came back because Bradley left Seattle to become the head coach of the Jaguars. I'm not about to deny that the Hawks defense looked even better in Quinn's first season as their coordinator. The Hawks led the league in fewest points allowed in his second season in the position, too. The problem is - well, one of them - is that a lot of people have forgotten that Seattle's defense led again in 2015 after Quinn left and Kris Richard took over as the DC. 2015 was the fourth straight season that Seattle led the league in scoring defense. They did it before Quinn and after Quinn.
People also forget that Kam Chancellor sat out the first two games that year, and the Hawks gave up 34 then 27 points to start the season 0-2. Bam Bam returned to the lineup in Week 3, and the Seahawks shut out the Bears and allowed just 10 points to the Lions.
No, Seattle's D wasn't infallible with him, but it's not insignificant they allowed 15.8 points per game with Chancellor and 20.6 ppg without him. Chancellor's absence was the difference in the Hawks defense, not Quinn's. The defense dropped off even more in 2016, the second year without Dan Quinn running the show. Injuries were once again a major factor here, as Chancellor missed four games while both Earl Thomas and Michael Bennett missed five. Despite that, Seattle still gave up the third-fewest points in the league.
It's comical that people focus on the playoff loss as if that's the only issue with Quinn. In the regular season this year, his defense got smoked by the Niners, the Bills, the Cards of all teams, and yes, the Seahawks. What defense were you watching, the one that "held" teams like the Giants, Jets, Commanders, and Panthers down? That's why Dallas *always* chokes in the playoffs because their record is built on the ever-popular throne of lies.
In seven games against playoff teams, they were 3-4 and gave up an average of 25 ppg. That's not close to a championship defense. The Hawks played 10 games vs playoff teams, went 3-7, and allowed 28 ppg. That's even worse, yes, but you'll notice no one is blowing up Clint Hurtt's phone for interviews. Quinn's shouldn't be either.
Again, the point isn't that Quinn wasn't a fine defensive coordinator with Seattle. But all he did was slide into the driver's seat of a Lamborghini. He managed to keep up with the maintenance for two years, then passed the keys off and it kept humming. He had a minor role in creating that monster.
While the Seahawks have a lot of great pieces to a fine defense in 2024, he won't exactly inherit the Legion of Boom, as he did in 2013. Oh, and remember Gus Bradley, the guy who actually put the Hawks defense on the map? His record as a head coach was 14-48. Dan Quinn's is 43-42. Yes, that's significantly better, but hardly the stuff of legend.
The smart guys are thinking, yeah, but Pete Carroll was just 33-31 before he took over the Seahawks, that's basically the same as Quinn. Sure, except for the fact that Pete just happened to go 97-19 as the head coach at USC, where he won seven of nine bowl games and a national title. That's a tad bit better resume than the guy who got fired five games into the final season of his only head coaching job. Hey, if the Hawks hire Quinn, I'll root for him all the way. I think it would be a terrible mistake to pass up the opportunity to hire a true innovator rather than a coach who is at best a caretaker.