Falcons tab 'Hawks D-coordinator Quinn as coach with 5-year deal
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons reached an agreement with Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn early on Monday to become the team's new head coach on a five-year deal, according to FOX Sports 1 NFL Insider Mike Garafolo and other media.
The Falcons announced the completed deal Monday afternoon, after Quinn traveled to Atlanta early on Monday. He will be introduced in a press conference on Tuesday, the Falcons confirmed.
“This is an exciting day for the Atlanta Falcons franchise and our fans,” said Falcons Owner and Chairman Arthur Blank in a press release. “Dan is a talented football coach who has a deep and diverse history in the game, which will serve us well. As we got to know Dan during the interview process, it became clear that he has a definitive plan for our football team and what it will take to win on a consistent basis.
"He also has a proven ability to develop players by maximizing their individual strengths. For these and many other reasons, Dan became our top pick, and I’m confident our players, staff, fans and community will be proud to have him represent the Falcons."
Quinn became the Falcons' 16th head coach since the inception of the franchise in 1966.
Quinn has been the defensive coordinator for the Seahawks for the past two seasons, both of which his team put the NFL's best defense on the field. Prior to that, Quinn was the defensive coordinator for the Florida Gators from 2011-12, and was with the Seahawks from 2009-10 as the defensive line coach.
After starting his career as the defensive line coach at William & Mary in 1994, Quinn rose to the level of defensive coordinator at Hofstra within seven seasons. He left Hofstra after the 2000 season to enter the NFL as a defensive quality control expert with the San Francisco 49ers.
Four years after he arrived in San Francisco, Quinn left to coach the defensive line of the Miami Dolphins. He spent two years there, then two seasons with the New York Jets coaching their defensive line before his first stint with the Seahawks.
“I am grateful for this opportunity, and I am excited to be the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons,” Quinn said. “This felt like the right fit from the beginning, and I want to thank Mr. Blank for his resolve as this was an extended and complicated process. My goal is to build upon the foundation that has been laid here and to play a physical brand of football as we build a championship caliber team.”
Quinn is well known for his ability to evaluate talent, coach it up and then get the most out of his players on game day. He'll have his work cut out for him transforming Atlanta's defense.
Atlanta's defense gave up more yards (6,372) last season than any team in the NFL. The Falcons ranked 27th in points allowed (26.1 per game), 21st against the run (118.4 rushing yards per game) and last versus the pass (279.9 per game).
It's been a long time since Atlanta's strength was on the defensive side of the football.
The last time the Falcons ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in today defense was 2000, when Atlanta was seventh after allowing 350.4 yards per game. In the 14 seasons since, the Falcons ranked at the bottom of the league defensively twice, and only been better than 16th (the league middle ground) twice.
Prior to hiring Quinn, the Falcons have been assembling his coaching staff. Kyle Shanahan will be the Falcons' new offensive coordinator, while Richard Smith will work as the defensive coordinator.
Raheem Morris will join Quinn as an assistant head coach, and will be in charge of the passing defense.
Several members of the Atlanta staff could remain with the new regime.
Keith Armstrong is still the special teams coordinator, and Terry Robiskie -- even though he won't remain as an assistant head coach -- is still the wide receivers coach.
Bryan Cox and Gerald Brown could go on in Atlanta as defensive line coach and running backs coach, respectively.