Falcons: Dan Quinn and Rebuilding the Front Seven

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Jan 30, 2014; Jersey City, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn at a press conference at The Westin in advance of Super Bowl XLVIII. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Hire

With Dan Quinn certain to be the next Atlanta Falcons head coach, it brings a lot of intrigue on how he will begin to rebuild the defensive roster. The Falcons this past season ran multiple schemes although to little effect, with their biggest problem being their inability to get to the quarterback. A strong emphasis on remedying the pass rush has been placed by Arthur Blank and Thomas Dimitroff, and you can expect the Falcons to invest richly with a lot of cap room and a full set of high draft picks. 

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Over the past two seasons, the Seahawks have fielded an extremely impressive defense under Quinn. I don’t need to bore you with the statistics you’ve likely already seen but they have been very good on a historical scale. Their defense led them to the Lombardi trophy last season and have propelled them to the big dance this year also.

The Falcons hired Quinn with one of the hopes being that he can be the guy to completely turn their defense around. The Falcons defense in 2013 ranked 29th in yards per drive surrendered and 32nd in points per drive surrendered according to Football Outsiders. The 2014 defense didn’t fare any better, as they finished 32nd in yards per drive surrendered and 30th in points per drive surrendered. It’s clear that you’re not going to win many football games with numbers like that, and it’s held true with the Falcons who have won just ten games in two seasons.

Over the next two slides, I will talk about his scheme and potential free agent options with the final slide detailing a couple scenarios.