And then, the 2023-2024 head coaching cycle was complete.
The Washington Commanders, who fired former head coach Ron Rivera after four disappointing season, have made former Atlanta Falcons head coach and Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to be their man. The Commanders were the last NFL team to hire their head coach, and it should point to significant improvement on the defensive side of the ball right away.
Under Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, Washington’s defense was a crazy quilt of bad design and execution, where busted coverages were the order of the day.
Quinn, throughout his stops as a defensive coach — the Seattle Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” defense was at its peak in 2013 and 2014 when Quinn ran it — has had a knack for making the most out of his players on that side of the ball, and that was the case for the Cowboys as he built that defense over the last three seasons.
Under Dan Quinn, the Cowboys led the NFL in takeaways, sacks and defensive touchdowns over the past three seasons. They also had two different players – Trevon Diggs and DaRon Bland – lead the NFL in interceptions. https://t.co/W2dB0bftKr
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) February 1, 2024
As the Atlanta Falcons’ head coach from 2015 through 2020, Quinn compiled a 43-42 regular-season record, and a 3-2 postseason mark. 2016 was obviously Quinn’s marquee year in Atlanta — quarterback Matt Ryan won the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award with Kyle Shanahan as his offensive coordinator, and the Falcons had a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI before everything went very far south.
Quinn is known as a player’s coach who builds consensus and understands the psychology of the roster. We’ll see how the staff plays out, but between this hire and a non-Daniel Snyder ownership group — not to mention the second overall pick in the 2024 draft and a league-high $62,595,334 in effective cap space for the 2024 season — things are turning around in the nation’s capitol as they haven’t in a long time.