Now that a pair of the Falcons’ head coaching targets – Rex Ryan and Todd Bowles – have landed with AFC East clubs, a path is opening up for Atlanta to land Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, and Quinn has emerged as the favorite for the Falcons’ vacancy, sources tell Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.
As Schefter outlines, Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is having a second interview with the Falcons today and will have a chance to impress them, but sources believe that Atlanta is willing to wait for Quinn to become available, and that Quinn is interested in the position. Jason Cole of Bleacher Report agrees that Quinn looks likely to be hired by the Falcons, suggesting that the Seahawks DC preferred Atlanta’s job to the Jets’ position, which prompted New York to move on to Bowles.
While Quinn is viewed as one of the top head coaching candidates available this offseason, the fact that his Seahawks are playing so well has prevented him from fully exploring his options. As Schefter notes, Quinn will be able to interview again after Sunday’s game against the Packers, but if Seattle wins that game, he’ll only be allowed to have second interviews with teams he has already talked to. In that case, Quinn could speak to the Falcons, 49ers, and/or Bears again, if those clubs are still interested, but he wouldn’t be able to interview a first time with the Broncos.
The 49ers and Bears appear headed in different directions, focusing on Adam Gase and John Fox respectively. The Broncos could enter the picture if the Seahawks lose to Green Bay on Sunday, but it looks as if they’re in line behind the Falcons at this point. As for Atlanta, the club has also been linked to Josh McDaniels, but it appears likely that the Patriots offensive coordinator will stick with New England.