FLOWERY BRANCH – Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is expected to bring in a defensive coordinator who’s currently on the Seahawks staff, according to a report by Dianna Russini of Washington NBC Channel 4.
(She covered the New York Jets when Quinn was there and has been getting information to tweet about the Falcons new coach that’s been accurate. She’s also from New Jersey, like Quinn, a Morristown, N.J. native.)
Most of the speculation centers around linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. and defensive passing game coordinator Rocky Seto. But the Falcons, who are doing the best they can to steer clear of tampering charges, are not even mentioning any candidates.
ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. believes that Quinn can make an impact with the Falcons.
“You have to respect the job that he’s done,” Kiper said. “ They’ve got a lot of talent there (in Seattle). He’s going to bring an attitude.”
The upcoming free agency period and the NFL draft will be important for the Falcons, who must improve the talent level on the 32nd ranked defense in the league.
“Atlanta needs pass-rush ability,” Kiper said. “They are in a division with a lot of good quarterbacks. You’ve got to beat (New Orleans’) Drew Brees. You’ve got to beat (Carolina’s) Cam Newton to win that division.”
But Quinn was not Kiper’s first choice for the Falcons, who want to have a quick turnaround.
“Bringing attitude, that’s what I thought a Rex Ryan would have been a good fit there,” Kiper said. “Rex is obviously in Buffalo now. But the attitude and the aggressive approach… is what they need. The toughness is what they need and is
something that I think (Quinn) will bring.”
But the key will be improving the personnel.
“Mike Smith did a great job when he had personnel,” Kiper said. “The personnel was down a bit in Atlanta. We’ll see how that goes. Mike is a heck of a coach. It’s just when the personnel diminishes and you lose a little bit, it doesn’t matter who’s coaching your football team and who’s coordinating your defense. At the end of the day, the personnel has got to get better and you have to have a good draft to allow the coach to have success.”
Norton Jr. has never been a NFL coordinator, but he has rings from his playing days. He’s the only player in NFL history to play on three consecutive Super Bowl-winning teams (the Cowboys in 1992 and 1993 and the 49ers in 1994).
Seto, 38, who played at Southern Cal, has only been coaching in the NFL since 2010 and may not be ready to be a coordinator.
Also on Seattle’s defensive staff are Travis Jones (defensive line), Kris Richard (secondary), Marquand Manual (defensive assistant) and John Glenn (quality control).
THE DAN QUINN FILE