Two things happened on Sunday: Dan Quinn was fired as the Falcons head coach after a little over five seasons, and the Seattle Seahawks allowed their opponent to score 25+ points for the 12th time in the last calendar year (18 games total).
Those two things are not directly related. But they could be.
Quinn, of course, served as the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator for two seasons, in 2013 and ‘14, before taking the head gig in Atlanta. In Quinn’s two seasons calling Seattle’s defense, they were unparalleled at the top of the league. While the talent level has of course dropped since then, the Seahawks have rarely even flirted with mediocrity in Ken Norton Jr.’s two-and-a-quarter seasons as defensive coordinator.
Suddenly available, Quinn would be a welcome addition to Seattle’s coaching staff. While it’s unlikely Pete Carroll would fire Norton midseason (if at all), Quinn could have a positive impact in any sort of consulting or advisory role. Gus Bradley, who was far less successful than Quinn during his time as Jaguars head coach, has since returned to being one of the league’s best defensive coordinators with the Chargers. It isn’t unreasonable to expect Quinn to have a similarly positive impact, wherever he lands.
Putting two and two together, with Quinn unemployed and the Seahawks unable to string together decent defensive performances, one could lead themselves to believe Seattle as Quinn’s best landing spot. What could have been a roadblock for that move is not a concern, with the Seahawks and Falcons already having played this year. (It’s frowned upon for a fired coach to go midseason to a new team scheduled to play their former employer.) However, while a connection does make sense between Quinn and Seattle, it does not appear to be something Carroll has considered—yet.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, a day after Quinn’s firing, Carroll was asked on multiple occasions about the potential of bringing in his old defensive coordinator. Carroll first said he hasn’t talked to Quinn at all, much less about his future plans, before expressing his love and support for his former colleague.
Pete Carroll, asked about Dan Quinn and if the Seahawks would think of bringing him back, says he hasn't talked to him and that doesn't know what Quinn is thinking about his future.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) October 12, 2020
Carroll on if he'd hire Dan Quinn again: "Can we give Dan a chance to (deal) with it? I love Dan. Have to see what's happening in his world. Haven't thought anything about that. This is about him getting reset and balanced. I'm gonna try and help and support him any way I can."— Aaron Levine (@AaronQ13Fox) October 12, 2020
While Carroll hasn’t made any calls yet, the Seahawks’ bye week could be coming at the perfect time in that respect. The extra week could be enough for Carroll to make any decisions on additions or changes to his staff, as well as giving Quinn the necessary time to process his firing and what he wants to do next.
With Seattle’s defense yet to click in 2020, Quinn’s next step could be to help sort out a talented yet underperforming Seahawks defense.