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Browns hire Mike Pettine; Dan Quinn likely to remain with Seattle


An added bonus to the Seahawks' win over the 49ers in the NFC Championship on Sunday is that their coaching staff now has two additional weeks of work to do. This means it puts franchises looking to hire them away way behind the eight-ball in terms of getting a staff together, getting the scouting department sorted out, and puts a ton of pressure on everyone to scramble before the Draft rolls around in May. Regardless of whether he was in fact their first choice for their new Head Coach or not, the Browns have hired Mike Pettine for that position. This means that Dan Quinn is out of the running.

With the Browns' decision to hire the former Bills' defensive coordinator, all the vacant NFL head coaching positions have been filled. There are currently no openings for major college programs either, so it's looking likely that Seattle will retain defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, at least for another year. Considering Quinn helped to engineer and design Seattle's #1 rated defense across several categories this year, including opponent points, opponent yards per play, and yards per pass, this is great news for the Seahawks.

Quinn's defense can be characterized as more aggressive than his predecessor Gus Bradley's, and he is widely respected as a leader. Quinn's style uses more three-man fronts, more blitzing, and the way he utilizes his athletes is a joy to watch.

His specialty is on the defensive line, and I'd say that Quinn has gotten more out of Brandon Mebane this year than any of Bane's previous seasons. Tony McDaniel has been a solid force on the interior, Clinton McDonald has seen a renaissance in his play, and Red Bryant's effectiveness as an edge disruptor has shot back up in 2013 after he was moved back inside off tackle instead of off-tight end.

Adding Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett into the equation certainly helped Quinn look good, but the way they've been utilized in a rotation has been very effective. I've heard several players state that they feel fresher at this point in the year because they all play fewer total snaps.

Bruce Irvin's move to SAM linebacker has worked out very well, and while he doesn't rush the passer as much as I'd prefer to see, his athleticism is on full display in his zone drops. The fact that you rarely see passes thrown into his zone is a testament to his ability to get to his landmarks quickly. With him, K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith have played great, assignment sound football.

Bobby Wagner, after starting out slow and battling a high ankle sprain, has had a legitimate Pro Bowl second half of the season. Wagner's play in the NFC Championship game was outstanding.

Overall, I'm relieved that at this point, it's looking like Quinn will be back. It's tough to judge a coach's ability when you're on the outside looking in, but I personally appreciate his scheme because it does appear they try to utilize specific skillsets to fit what they're trying to do.