Josh Harris explains process that led to Commanders hiring Dan Quinn

It’s been a busy month for Washington Commanders owner Josh Harris. After firing head coach Ron Rivera last month, Harris announced an advisory committee to find Washington’s next general manager and head coach.

Harris said the organization’s search would be rapid but thorough. That proved true in the GM search, as Washington identified five candidates and completed the search within the week. The Commanders landed their top target, former 49ers assistant GM Adam Peters.

The head coaching search would be a bit different. There were more candidates, and the interview windows were different for teams still alive in the playoffs. That meant Washington would have to wait on most of its candidates.

There was an assumption by many that Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was the top target. The Commanders have insisted otherwise, saying the process was open throughout. Ultimately, it didn’t matter as Johnson withdrew from consideration as Washington brass was on a plane to see him in Detroit.

In an interview with Chick Hernandez of WUSA9 in Washington, D.C., Harris was asked about Johnson and Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn.

“Yeah, the internet works up in the air,” Harris said with a smile when asked about learning of Johnson withdrawing his name from consideration before quickly turning his attention to finding the right coach.

The right coach for Washington was former Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

“Listen, we, uh, identified Dan very early,” Harris said of Quinn. “I mean, you heard a lot of it up there in terms of his ability to lead, to motivate. There’s a small, as he was talking, I was thinking about the small fraternity of players, the small fraternity of coaches and to be elite, you’ve got to track elite people. Right. And so his ability to track those people really stood out to us.”

Harris then praised the connection between Peters and Quinn.

“So we identified him, and listen, there were a lot of qualified candidates who went through a very thorough process and, you know, we ended up with our guy,” Harris said.

Quinn’s ability to attract good people to work with him has already shown up on his coaching staff. The Commanders are building a high-quality staff, having landed Kliff Kingsbury (offensive coordinator), Joe Whitt Jr. (defensive coordinator), Larry Izzo (special teams coordinator), Ken Norton (linebackers), Brian Johnson (offensive assistant/title TBD), Jason Simmons (defensive pass game coordinator) and John Pagano (senior defensive assistant) with several openings remaining.

Harris or Washington do not care about the perception that Quinn wasn’t the top target. Fans shouldn’t either. Quinn looks to be a perfect fit with the Commanders, particularly with Peters, which is an important relationship.


“,” Harris told Chick Hernandez of WUSA9 in Washington, D.C. “

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire