Former Falcons coach Dan Quinn is back on the market for potential head coaching gigs, and the Broncos are the first of what should be several teams to request permission to speak with Quinn, according to Ian Rapoport.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 9, 2023
Nathaniel Hackett’s time in Denver was brief, not even lasting till the end of his first season. During the 2021 hiring cycle, the Falcons were reportedly interested in hiring Hackett. I said then that would be a terrible idea, and it looks like Atlanta dodged a bullet.
It wasn’t all Hackett’s fault the Broncos were the biggest disappointment of the 2022 season. Still, he was the third most impactful mind, behind Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers, of the Green Bay offenses that led to his hiring. He had shown no ability to piece together an offense and call it by himself.
Now, the Broncos will look for a new lead man to pair with GM George Paton if he even keeps his job. CEO Greg Penner will lead the search, and it seems Quinn will again be one of the organization’s top targets. If you remember, Quinn was actually considered the favorite to be the next head coach in Denver over Hackett. However, he ultimately pulled his name from the hiring pool to return to Dallas to pursue a Super Bowl with the Cowboys.
It’s smart for Penner not to totally disregard candidates from Paton’s 2021 search list. The former Falcons head coach will be a hot candidate for several reasons. Dan Quinn would bring coaching experience and help the dying culture in the Broncos locker room. Russell Wilson is quite possibly the easiest person to dislike, but Quinn has never met a player he couldn’t win over. He’d easily be able to mend fences between Wilson and his teammates.
Quinn is known for his tenacious defense in Seattle, led by the Legion of Boom. And while Denver’s defense isn’t as talented as those Seahawks’ defenses, the Broncos have some stars on that side of the ball. There are also a few connections between the two sides. Quinn and Wilson spent time together in Seattle, but Quinn also has a connection to Paton.
Quinn parlayed some impressive years with the Seahawks into the Falcons head coaching gig. He did a lot of good in Atlanta, but he was ultimately let go for his downfall in the seasons following the 2016 Super Bowl meltdown. He’s a hell of a coach, but I’m not sure he’s head coaching material. And that’s okay, some are better coordinators.
If I were Denver, I’d be looking for an offensive-minded head coach. I would choose someone like Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, Mike McDaniel, etc. And if it is on the table, Sean Payton would be my top candidate. He’s one of the greatest offensive minds in football history, and every team should be lining up to make a deal with the Saints to acquire him. And though Raheem Morris likely won’t garner serious consideration, I hope he gets a chance; the man deserves it.