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From Dan Quinn to Todd Wash

Dan Quinn was destined for a short stay in Seattle. Not like Jim Mora was destined for a short stay in Seattle, but more like Greg Oden was destined for a short stay at Ohio State. Quinn was the most mismatched among the original brain trust that dreamed the mighty West Coast Defense. Bradley was the linebacker guru with an endorsement from Lane Kiffin. Mora was the visionary. Quinn was a career defensive line coach that had worked under Mora in San Francisco, Nick Saban in Miami and Eric Mangini in New York. Magini and Saban are both Belichick disciples and both employ a 3-4 look.

Seattle took these disparate parts and forged them together, hoping to birth a griffin but instead aborting a beefalo. It couldn't blitz like a 3-4 or create pressure from its front four like a 4-3. It couldn't rush the passer from the strong side and couldn't stop the run from the weak side. It couldn't figure out a damn thing to do with Aaron Curry.


So Quinn is gone now, and in his place is Todd Wash. Wash doesn't arrive with annoying baggage like a history of success or aspirations of promotion. He's systems guy, pure and simple, from the wellspring, and to my knowledge free of any crazy notions about a hybrid defense. His ends are pass rushers, his tackles penetrate and his run defense is atrocious, damn it.

Losing Quinn and signing Wash could mean an end to the unbalanced line. It was something Pete Carroll took on and ran with, but not something that reflects Carroll's greater coaching philosophy. In light of just how terrible Seattle's defense was, it wouldn't surprise me if some fundamental changes were made. Bradley remains, but I doubt Bradley was ever very committed to the strongside end/Leo setup. In his three seasons in Tampa as a linebackers coach, the Bucs mostly started a traditional Tampa 2 front four: light, fast and disruptive. The one exception is Kevin Carter, but Carter was not a 3-4 end but a 6'6" freak of nature. More Mario Williams than Red Bryant.

Kidding aside, there is no way of knowing if Wash is a good defensive line coach or not. Tampa has drafted quite a few promising line talents over the last few seasons, and few have developed, but that is hardly conclusive. Either way, Wash is in, Quinn is out, and with Quinn might go Seattle's unorthodox defensive line.