It sounds like the Atlanta Falcons have found their next head coach. While the latest development is more of a formality, the Falcons are expected to name current Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as their next head coach on February 2, the day after the Seahawks face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.
If the Seahawks had lost to the Packers in the NFC Championship Game as it looked like they were going to, the Falcons were prepared to bring Quinn to Atlanta immediately following the game to make the announcement. Instead, due to NFL anti-tampering rules, the Falcons can't officially offer Quinn the job until the day after Seattle's season ends. Quinn had a second meeting with the Falcons following the NFC Championship Game, most likely to just iron out some formalities and come to a handshake agreement.
Hiring the mastermind behind Seattle's league-leading defense is a huge step for the Falcons who need all the help on defense they can get. This season, the Falcons gave up a league-worst 398.2 yards per game on defense. For comparison purposes, Seattle's top-ranked defense gave up just 267.1 yards per game. During Quinn's two years as Seattle's defensive coordinator, the Seahawks were the only team in the league to give up less than 300 yards per game over the course of the season.
So who is going to step in for Quinn in Seattle? Defensive backs coach Kris Richard seems to be the popular pick. Initially, there was some speculation that Richard might follow Quinn to Atlanta to become the defensive coordinator, but it looks like Redskins defensive backs coach Raheem Morris will be filling that slot for the Falcons. Quinn will still call the defensive plays under the new coaching regime in Atlanta.
Because it sounds like the deal is all but official, there should be no distractions for Quinn during his final week with the Seahawks. Let's send him off to the Peach State in style.