Dan Quinn

Commanders HC Dan Quinn Addresses Brandon McManus Lawsuit

Brandon McManus was released by the Commanders on Sunday in the wake of the sexual assault lawsuit he was named in. That move came after the veteran kicker’s former team (the Jaguars) denied knowledge of the allegations made against him and the team.

Likewise, the Commanders have denied being aware of the suit until it went public. A May 27 report detailed the contents of the suit, which accuses McManus of rubbing himself and grinding against a pair of flight attendants during a Jaguars team flight and offering them cash to drink with and dance inappropriately for him. Jacksonville head coach Doug Pederson said he was not aware of the allegations until they became public.

Commanders coach Dan Quinn has now done the same. Quinn said, via ESPN’s John Keim, that he did not know about the lawsuit until the report emerged detailing the allegations. That doubles as an indication the Commanders did not know about the incident in question when McManus was signed in March. The 32-year-old had a nine-year tenure with the Broncos which ended last offseason. That paved the way for his single campaign in Jacksonville before heading to the nation’s capital.

Washington elected to cut McManus just before the deadline for the second half of his $1.5MM signing bonus to be paid out. That move could result in a financial dispute between the two parties, but Quinn did not comment on the matter due to the fact an investigation is ongoing. For the same reason, he declined to speak on the Commanders’ history related to sexual misconduct allegations and whether or not it played a role in the decision to cut McManus.

Investigations into former owner Dan Snyder resulted in a number of league punishments for both he and the organization. His sale of the franchise in July 2023 pre-dates the arrival of both Quinn and new general manager Adam Peters, though. With McManus no longer in the fold, the Commanders will move forward with recent signing Ramiz Ahmed as their only kicker on the roster for the time being. Training camp and roster cutdowns will present Washington with plenty of opportunities to add further at the position if needed.

Commanders Notes: Kingsbury, Stokes, Staff, Newton, Allen, Sainristil

The Commanders did not end up zagging with their No. 2 overall pick. The team received only one offer — likely from the Raiders — for the selection, and the team went with Heisman winner Jayden Daniels. In reaching a conclusion Daniels was the top player at No. 2, Adam Peters kept his circle small. Only Josh Harris, Dan Quinn and advisor/ex-Golden State Warriors GM Bob Myers comprised the new Washington football ops boss’ inner circle, per Fox Sports’ Ralph Vacchiano, who adds OC Kliff Kingsbury was brought in along the way and at least knew which way the new team braintrust was leaning.

Kingsbury, who coached Caleb Williams last year, was believed to be high on Daniels coming in. Many in the organization — including members of Harris’ ownership group — were not informed which player the team was picking until draft day, Vacchiano adds. Much of the front office and scouting department did not learn definitively it would be Daniels until the Bears went on the clock. While Harris was believed to be more involved than expected, the franchise had dealt with considerable Dan Snyder meddling in past drafts. Given the turmoil associated with Washington ownership and front office for much of the past two decades, this buttoned-up approach marked a change of pace.

Here is the latest out of Washington:

  • Retooling teams often make changes after the draft, as continuity in scouting departments is preferred due to the work done on draft classes in the months prior. The Commanders will make a key change. They are not renewing the contract of senior director of player personnel Eric Stokes, InsidetheLeague.com’s Neil Stratton tweets. Stokes joined the Commanders in 2020, following Ron Rivera‘s arrival, and moved to his most recent title in 2021. The veteran exec should land elsewhere soon, with Stratton adding he his a name to watch in scouting circles. This exit comes after Peters retained Rivera-era bastions Martin Mayhew, who worked with the current Commanders FO boss in San Francisco, and Marty Hurney.
  • Peters said earlier this offseason the team is not planning to trade Jonathan Allen, but ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler notes some around the league are wondering if the selection of Jer’Zhan Newton will prompt the team to listen on the veteran defensive tackle. Washington, which disbanded its DE contingent at the trade deadline, still has two high-priced DTs — in Allen and Daron Payne — and has used second-round picks on the position in 2022 and ’24. Phidarian Mathis played 203 defensive snaps last season but has yet to make much of an impact; Newton now joins him and does so as a Peters-Quinn-era draftee. Allen, who said last year he was not eager to be part of a rebuild, has come up in trade rumors before and is due base salaries of $14MM and $15.5MM over the next two years.
  • One of the three second-rounders the Commanders chose, Mike Sainristil is expected to begin his NFL run in the slot. Washington is planning to train the Michigan product as an inside cornerback, ESPN.com’s John Keim notes. He will accompany Benjamin St-Juste, 2023 first-rounder Emmanuel Forbes and UFA addition Michael Davis at the position. The Commanders, who lost Kendall Fuller and Kamren Curl from their secondary, will attempt to climb back from a last-place defensive finish.
  • The team will hire a longtime league office exec to be part of its staff. Dave Gardi will come over after 10 years as NFL VP of football operations to take on the title of Commanders senior VP of football initiatives. In-game management and assisting the coaching staff in terms of compliance with NFL protocols will be among Gardi’s duties in Washington, with the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala offering that Gardi will be on headsets during games and concentrate on the coaching side during the season. That will certainly be a shift for a longtime league office staffer.

Latest On Commanders’ Dan Quinn Hire

For much of the Commanders’ head coaching search, Lions OC Ben Johnson appeared to be in pole position for the gig. After he bowed out of the running, Mike Macdonald and Dan Quinn remained as the favorites, and it was the latter who was formally hired earlier this month.

Quinn is now in place for his second head coaching opportunity after a three-year run as the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator. Further details on the hiring process have emerged, courtesy of a detailed piece from ESPN’s John Keim. Among the key takeaways is his report that Quinn was never considered a “Plan B” option for owner Josh Harris and the committee he assembled to find general manager Adam Peters and the team’s new coach.

That comes in the wake of serious interest shown by Washington in Macdonald, who turned a successful two-year stint as the Ravens’ DC into the head coaching position with the Seahawks. Multiple reports have stated the Commanders offered their HC spot to Macdonald before he ultimately joined Seattle on a six-year deal. Still, Peters has expressed confidence in Quinn’s candidacy irrespective of the other candidates looked at during the team’s lengthy search.

“Every time we spoke with Dan, it became more and more clear that he was the guy,” Peters said. “Both times it was like we were speaking the same language. It was really, really cool, had a great connection, had a great shared vision, so it was almost right away that I knew Dan would be a great coach for us.”

As Keim notes, Quinn received more votes of confidence from people outside the Commanders’ search committee than any other candidate. The 53-year-old has spent all but two seasons as a coach at the NFL level since 2001, earning a strong reputation as a defensive mind and leader along the way. He was viewed as being in the same tier for coaching options as Johnson, Keim notes, though the former ultimately received the highest score in the Commanders’ evaluation.

While those factors alone were obviously not the only ones informing Harris’ decision, they underscore how well-regarded Quinn was in the build-up to his hire. He will be tasked with replacing Ron Rivera and overseeing a rebuilding effort after Washington posted a 4-13 record in 2023. Given the nature of his arrival in the nation’s capital, it would not come as a surprise if he received a long leash as part of that process.

Poll: Which Team Made Best HC Hire?

This year’s HC cycle became the rare carousel to generate more attention around the coaches who did not land jobs than the ones hired. Bill Belichick and Mike Vrabel being left out will assuredly generate stories ahead of the 2025 hiring period, and it will be worth monitoring if Pete Carroll is connected to another coaching job.

But eight teams — up from five in 2023 — made the decision to change coaches. Dan Quinn‘s hire filled the final vacancy. While the Commanders’ process generated extensive fallout, teams are now moving forward with staff assembly following their HC hires.

The Commanders look to have gone through a bit of back-and-forth about their interest in Lions OC Ben Johnson. Pushing back on the notion the two-year Detroit play-caller was their top choice all along, Washington will give Quinn a second chance. But the former Dallas DC may well have been Washington’s third choice; the team made an aggressive push to land Mike Macdonald as well. The Seahawks finished that 11th-hour competition by giving the young Ravens DC a six-year deal.

Only Seattle and Washington waited until after the conference championship games to hire their coaches. Macdonald, who is half Carroll’s age, becomes the NFL’s youngest HC (36). (New Patriots leader Jerod Mayo, 37, held that title for several days.) A Ravens defense that carried major questions in the pass-rushing department led the NFL in sacks while leading the league in scoring defense as well. Quinn re-established his value over three years in Dallas, restoring that unit as one of the game’s best. While Quinn has the Super Bowl LI collapse on his resume and went 0-for-3 in playoff berths over his final three seasons in Atlanta, Washington’s new ownership group will bet on the experienced staffer.

Although the Commanders’ search produced a number of headlines, the Falcons introduced this year’s top “what if?” storyline. The only team serious about hiring Belichick, interviewing him twice, the Falcons steered clear of the six-time Super Bowl-winning HC. While Arthur Blank went into the hiring period prepared to hire the 24-year Patriots leader, it appears other Falcons higher-ups — in an effort potentially connected to their own statuses — helped sway the owner toward the Raheem Morris hire.

Morris, whom Falcons CEO Rich McKay hired during his time as Bucs GM in the early 2000s, will make the historically rare move of returning to coach a team years after operating as its interim HC. Morris left Atlanta on good terms in 2021 and comes back after a successful run as the Rams’ DC. Though, Belichick will undoubtedly be tied to Morris during the latter’s second Atlanta stay.

It took a six-year contract for the Panthers to bring in Bucs OC Dave Canales, who parlayed his first coordinator season into a head coaching gig. The Panthers trading the No. 1 overall pick and David Tepper‘s reputation as an impulsive meddler played into Carolina’s search, but the team had long been connected — despite Frank Reich‘s struggles — to pursuing an offense-oriented leader. Carolina also pursued Johnson for a second year but did not wait to make an attempt to interview him in-person. Following his work with Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield, Canales will be charged with developing Bryce Young.

The Titans also went offense with their hire, adding five-year Bengals non-play-calling OC Brian Callahan to succeed Vrabel. Zac Taylor‘s longtime lieutenant probably would have landed a job earlier had he called plays in a Joe Burrow-piloted offense, but the Titans will turn to the 39-year-old candidate to develop Will Levis. Brian Callahan will also technically oversee his father this coming season, hiring well-regarded Browns O-line coach Bill Callahan to the same position. This will be the Callahans’ first time on the same staff.

Las Vegas and New England each went with in-house solutions. The Raiders became the first team in seven years to elevate an interim HC to the full-time position. Mark Davis listened to his players, after expressing regret about not removing Rich Bisaccia‘s interim tag in 2022. But the second-generation owner also passed on interviewing other viable candidates for the job, only going through with required interviews to comply with the Rooney Rule. While Pierce accounted himself well as a leader during the season’s second half, his experience level is quite thin compared to just about every other HC hire in modern NFL history.

Using a Rooney Rule workaround by including language in Mayo’s contract about succeeding Belichick, the Patriots also passed on a true search. Robert Kraft intervened last year, extending Mayo after the Panthers had sought a meeting, and will give the keys to the recent Patriots linebacker. Mayo’s time in coaching does not match Pierce’s, though the former has spent more time as an NFL assistant. The franchise is largely keeping the Patriot Way going, promoting from within to fill the HC position and elevating an in-house staffer (Eliot Wolf) to fill the de facto GM post, only with Belichick no longer involved.

The highest-profile hire came out of Los Angeles. The Chargers became the team to lure Jim Harbaugh back to the pros. The Bolts gave the accomplished HC a $16MM salary — over five years — and signed off on allowing final say. Harbaugh has won everywhere he has been and held leverage in the form of another Michigan extension offer and a second Falcons interview being scheduled. The Bolts did not let him leave for that meeting and gave Harbaugh significant input into Tom Telesco‘s GM replacement (Joe Hortiz). Harbaugh’s final NFL snaps came with the Chargers, and after hiring three first-time HCs under Telesco, the team will make a bigger bet to turn things around.

Which team ended up doing the best with its 2024 hire? Why did Belichick fail to land a job? Will he and Vrabel be back in 2025? Vote in PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts on this year’s HC market in the comments.

Latest On Seahawks’ HC Decision; Eric Bieniemy On Radar For OC?

Fallout from the Seahawks and Commanders’ HC hires points to Seattle winning out, hiring Mike Macdonald despite Washington’s push. It took a six-year contract for the Seahawks to land the young defensive coordinator, but they are starting over after initially being connected to Dan Quinn.

Likely the Commanders’ fallback option during what turned into a complicated HC search that featured some notable Ben Johnson involvement, Quinn was the first name mentioned in connection with the Seahawks’ job. But the veteran staffer’s past with Pete Carroll may well have been an issue for the team. As the Seahawks sought a fresher option, Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline notes Quinn’s two stints under Carroll worked against him.

The team viewed Quinn as too similar to Carroll, per Pauline. Considering Quinn worked under Carroll in 2010 — after being added to the then-Jim Mora Jr.-led Seattle staff in ’09 — and then led the team’s defense from 2013-14, comparing Quinn to his former boss is understandable. The Seahawks led the NFL in scoring defense during both Super Bowl seasons under Quinn, and he reestablished his value with the Cowboys over the past three years. But he will be tasked with leading the Commanders now, as Macdonald is moving forward with assembling his Seahawks staff.

Quinn and Commanders front office boss Adam Peters informed Eric Bieniemy, following the team’s Kliff Kingsbury OC addition, he would not be retained. At this time last year, Bieniemy had been a Commanders target after five seasons as the Chiefs’ non-play-calling OC. Seeing HC interest decline in recent years and his first year as a play-calling OC produce a decline on offense in Washington, Bieniemy sits in limbo late in the hiring period.

The Seahawks should still be a team to watch in connection with Bieniemy, according to ProFootballNetwork.com’s Adam Caplan, who connects the NFC West team to the veteran assistant for the OC job. The Seahawks have thus far been tied to new Alabama OC Ryan Grubb and Lions pass-game coordinator Tanner Engstrand for what will be a play-calling OC post. The Giants blocked the Hawks from interviewing OC Mike Kafka.

Bieniemy’s failure to land a head coaching job during his five-year run as Chiefs OC became one of this period’s defining coaching storylines. Bieniemy’s Washington departure also leaves the NFL with no Black offensive coordinators or offensive play-callers. This has been a longstanding issue for the league, even as four teams hired minority HCs during this year’s cycle. The three Black candidates hired — Antonio Pierce, Jerod Mayo, Raheem Morris — came from the defensive side. This pattern has shined a light on Bieniemy’s candidacy, but after the Commanders finished 25th in scoring offense and closed the season on an eight-game losing streak, their 2023 OC’s stock has dropped.

Additionally, the Seahawks will retain their defensive pass-game coordinator. Initially linked to following ex-Seattle DC Clint Hurtt to Philadelphia, Karl Scott will stay in Seattle, according to the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta. Scott has been the team’s DBs coach for the past two seasons, and while Condotta adds his role under Macdonald is unclear, the Seahawks will keep a Carroll assistant on that side of the ball.

The team is also hiring Kirk Olivadotti from the Packers, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets. The son of former Dolphins DC Tom Olivadotti, Kirk has been an NFL assistant for most of the 21st century. Spending much of his career (16 years over two stints) with Washington, Olivadotti joined Macdonald on the Georgia Bulldogs’ staff from 2011-13. Olivadotti coached the Bulldogs’ linebackers in that span, while Macdonald was on the quality control level. After spending the past five seasons as the Packers’ ILBs coach, the 50-year-old assistant is expected to coach the Hawks’ linebackers.

Latest On Commanders’ HC Search, Mike Macdonald Pursuit

The Commanders became the eighth and final team to hire a head coach this offseason, bringing in former Cowboys DC Dan Quinn. Further details have emerged on Washington’s search, one which included a number of turns before its eventual conclusion.

[RELATED: Commanders Spoke With Belichick About HC Job]

Once Adam Peters was installed as general manager, Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson became the candidate most closely associated with Washington’s HC vacancy. That remained the case until late in the search process, when signs pointed to the Commanders carrying a more open-minded approach. Indeed, SI’s Albert Breer notes how Peters, owner Josh Harris and hiring committee member Rick Speilman were “rankled” by the widespread outside perception the job was Johnson’s to lose.

The latter elected (as he did in 2023) to withdraw from head coach consideration for the Commanders and Seahawks. The timing of that decision – which Washington’s front office became aware of while flying to Detroit – has not gone over well, and Johnson has become the subject of reporting pointing to poor interviews and a high asking price. With him out of the running, Washington and Seattle both turned their attention to Mike Macdonald as a top target.

As Ben Standig and Dianna Russini of The Athletic report, the Commanders were keen on the ex-Ravens defensive coordinator until the Seahawks “swooped in with more money” (subscription required). As they note, Macdonald received a six-year contract with Seattle – standard practice in the NFL being four- or five-year agreements for coaches – something which no doubt factored into his decision to head to the Emerald City.

The Athletic report also corroborates others from last week which stated the Commanders offered their HC position to Macdonald around the same time he was finalizing his agreement with the Seahawks. That has led to concerns that Quinn, whose run at the helm of the Falcons included a 43-42 record, was no higher than third on Washington’s priority list. The 53-year-old’s leadership traits have, on the other hand, earned considerable praise in Dallas and elsewhere during Washington’s vetting process.

Quinn is in place (along with his offensive and defensive coordinators) as the Commanders aim to move forward from a disappointing final campaign under Ron Rivera. With the dust having settled on the HC cycle, both Washington and Seattle can proceed with their respective coaches, although the process undergone by the former in particular to arrive at this point is certainly noteworthy.

Mike Macdonald Received HC Offer From Commanders?

After a succesful two-year run as the Ravens’ defensive coordinator, Mike Macdonald was one of the top head coaching candidates around the league. He took the Seahawks’ HC position on Wednesday, but that does not appear to have been the only offer on the table.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports the Commanders offered their head coaching position to Macdonald. The timing in this matter is critical, given the involvement of Lions OC Ben Johnson in both Washington’s and Seattle’s searches. Florio notes the Commanders’ offer was made after Johnson made it known he was electing to remain in Detroit for at least one more season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds (via Earl Forcey of 106.7 The Fan) that Washington contacted Macdonald while he was en route to Seattle to inquire about his continued interest in the position.

That certainly points to Macdonald being the team’s preference over its eventual hire, Cowboys DC Dan Quinn. For much of the hiring cycle, Johnson appeared to be the Commanders’ top choice, with his decision forcing the team to move in a different direction. As Schefter’s colleague John Keim reports, however, Johnson was not seen as a unanimous top choice at any point in the vetting process. No offers had been made to Johnson (or any other candidate) before the highly-acclaimed OC bowed out of the running, Keim adds.

Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik also agreed to take himself out of the picture after receiving head coaching interest, although Keim notes he was never considered a likely hire for Washington. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Dan Graziano adds that while Johnson was considered by many around the league to be the Commanders’ top choice, Macdonald may have actually been the team’s No. 1 option.

The 36-year-old led the Ravens to a first-place finish in a number of defensive categories in 2023, and he will be tasked with overseeing a turnaround on that side of the ball with the Seahawks. Offensively, however, Seattle offers much more in the way of known commodities compared to Washington. The latter team has an unsettled QB situation which will likely be addressed with the second overall pick in this year’s draft, along with plenty of room for improvement along the O-line. The Commanders’ defense also bottomed out late in the 2023 season, and it will be a focus for free agent and draft moves. Macodonald’s decision to forgo the Commanders in favor of the Seahawks – if he did indeed have such an opportunity – is thus reasonable.

Quinn will be at the helm moving forward in the nation’s capital, and the ESPN piece notes how his leadership traits were well-received in his interview process. The beginning of his tenure with Washington will, however, likely be marked with the belief he was not atop the team’s pecking order for coaching candidates.

Chip Kelly On Commanders’ OC Radar

Chip Kelly may have come up during Dan Quinn‘s meetings with the Commanders. The new Washington HC brings a defensive expertise to the nation’s capital, highlighting the importance of the upcoming offensive coordinator hire. Kelly looks to be under consideration.

Out of the NFL since his one-and-done stint as 49ers HC, Kelly has emerged as a candidate for the Commanders’ OC post, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler. Kelly is believed to have interviewed with the Raiders about their OC job — one expected to go to fellow college staffer Kliff Kingsbury — but Quinn is believed to have mentioned the UCLA HC’s name during at least one of his interviews with another team.

[RELATED: Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker]

Quinn brought up Kelly during one of his HC meetings outside of Washington, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones notes. Kelly, 60, has been the Bruins’ head coach for the past six seasons. As Jim Harbaugh, Jeff Hafley and others have shown recently, the landscape of the college game — one now included the transfer portal and NIL components — has driven coaches to look into NFL returns. Kelly is believed to have met with the Raiders twice about their OC job. With the Commanders’ play-calling gig open, the former Eagles and 49ers HC may still have a chance to return to the league.

A coveted candidate back when the Eagles hired him to replace Andy Reid in 2013, Kelly guided that Philadelphia edition to the playoffs. His 2014 squad, which lost starting QB Nick Foles to injury during the season, added a second straight 10-win season. That Eagles squad narrowly missed the playoffs, but Kelly’s early success prompted Jeffery Lurie to demote Howie Roseman and let his HC run the show in 2015. That made for a memorable year, one that ended with Kelly’s in-season ouster and Roseman being restored as GM. The 49ers hired Kelly in 2016, but after a 2-14 season, the team made a second straight HC a one-and-done (after Jim Tomsula) to lead to the Kyle Shanahan six-year contract.

UCLA’s offense ranked in the top 20 in points from 2020-22 but dropped to 70th last season. The Bruins are also set to join USC in moving to the Big Ten for the 2024 season, moves that brought about the effective demise of the Pac-12 when most of the Los Angeles-based schools’ rivals moved to exit last year.

After being off the NFL radar for years, Kelly resurfaced as a coordinator candidate last month. Kelly, who has never been an NFL assistant, had not conducted an interview with a team between his San Francisco firing and the recent Las Vegas meeting. No Commanders interview is believed to have taken place, but it would not surprise if one transpired. Eric Bieniemy received some late buzz about potentially staying on as OC under Washington’s next head coach; it would still surprise if one of Ron Rivera‘s coordinator hires was given that chance.

Commanders Hire Dan Quinn As HC

All eight of the open head coaching positions are now filled. The Commanders are moving forward with Dan Quinn. The Cowboys’ defensive coordinator will change jobs in the NFC East and land his second HC gig, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

Based on Quinn’s past and the job market, his Washington landing is a moderate surprise. Quinn enjoyed two stints with the Seahawks, the second of which as their DC on both 2010s Super Bowl teams. He emerged as the first candidate on Seattle’s radar when Pete Carroll was pushed out, but the Seahawks went in a different direction by hiring Mike Macdonald. Although the Washington process featured some late curveballs, the team is hiring one of its original candidates.

A regular on the 2022 and 2023 coaching carousels, Quinn has been selective since re-establishing his value in Dallas. The three-year Cowboys DC was close to becoming the Broncos’ head coach in 2022 but bowed out of the 2023 HC market early, opting to keep going in Dallas. A year later, the former Falcons HC has committed to trying his hand as a sideline leader once again.

This hiring period produced five defense-oriented HC hires, though it did not include opportunities for Bill Belichick or Mike Vrabel. The Commanders saw their presumed favorite for the position — Lions OC Ben Johnson — inform them he was no longer interested in HC jobs this year. That came as Commanders brass flew to Detroit for scheduled interviews with both Johnson and Lions DC Aaron Glenn. Hours after the Johnson news, Texans OC Bobby Slowik — who had interviewed twice with the Commanders — made a pledge to stay in Houston. These developments, however, did not prompt Washington to expand its search by including Belichick or Vrabel.

Quinn, 53, certainly brings familiarity with the Commanders. The Cowboys went 5-1 against their rivals during Quinn’s three-year run calling the shots on defense. Quinn will join a team that has considerable offseason resources and one with a changing reputation, with Josh Harris replacing unpopular owner Dan Snyder last year. The Commanders will enter this offseason holding the No. 2 overall pick and possessing — as of now, at least — an NFL-leading $73MM-plus in cap space.

Harris will pair Quinn and longtime 49ers exec Adam Peters, with the pair replacing a Ron Rivera-run power structure. That said, GM Martin Mayhew is expected to stay on; though, he will likely not have the GM title much longer. Hired as the team’s president of football operations, Peters will control the roster; Quinn will report to Peters. The two will be tasked with reviving a franchise that has not strung together consecutive 10-win seasons since the early 1990s.

While some expected Peters to align himself with an offense-oriented HC, the exits of Johnson and Slowik from this race effectively prevented that from happening. Although the Commanders interviewed OC Eric Bieniemy, he was not viewed as a serious candidate for the job. (Though, it will be interesting to see if Quinn considers Bieniemy to stay on as OC.) That left only defense-geared candidates, and Macdonald’s Seattle commitment further narrowed Washington’s options. In Quinn, however, the Commanders are hiring one of the league’s top defensive coordinators and a coach who experienced great success early during his Falcons stay.

During Quinn’s time in Dallas, the Cowboys’ defense awakened after the 2020 unit allowed a franchise-record 473 points. Spurred by the arrivals of Quinn and Micah Parsons in 2021, the Cowboys dropped that total by 115 despite the NFL expanding its season to 17 games. Dallas finished in the top seven in scoring defense during each of Quinn’s three seasons calling plays. While Quinn’s defense faceplanted during a shocking loss to the Packers in the wild-card round, his body of work once again generated extensive interest on the coaching carousel.

In Atlanta, Quinn went 43-42. Joining the Falcons after coaching in two straight Super Bowls as the Seahawks’ DC, Quinn had the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. That 11-5 team had the Patriots dead to rights, up 28-3 late in the third quarter. But Quinn’s defense — one missing top cornerback Desmond Trufant — could not stop a Tom Brady-piloted comeback that effectively sent the Falcons into a tailspin. Quinn led the team back to the playoffs in 2017 but failed to produce a winning record over his final two full seasons, being fired early during the 2020 campaign.

Quinn interviewed for the Commanders, Seahawks, Titans, Panthers and Chargers’ jobs. Going through his second interview with the Commanders on Monday, Quinn became the pick over Bieniemy, Glenn and Ravens D-line coach Anthony Weaver. The field had thinned for the Commanders, and the team has plenty of work to do to start the Peters-Quinn era.

With the incoming power brokers having no ties to Sam Howell, Washington should be considered likely to draft a quarterback second overall. The team going defense with this hire will help address one of the NFL’s weakest units. The Commanders finished last in both scoring defense and yards allowed in 2023, leading to Jack Del Rio‘s firing and Rivera’s ouster. Harris drove the team to trade both Montez Sweat and Chase Young on deadline day, and while those moves gutted the pass rush, Del Rio’s unit had struggled throughout. The Commanders do still roster upper-echelon defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne; though, Allen has said he is not interested in being part of a rebuild.

Washington, which has not finished a season with a winning record since finishing 8-7-1 in 2016, has plenty of work to do on both sides of the ball. But the future suddenly looks much brighter compared to where the team stood during most of the Snyder era. With that wreckage in the team’s rearview mirror, Harris’ new hires will be tasked with restoring the reputation this franchise lost decades ago during Snyder’s woeful run as owner.

2024 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

The Commanders’ hire has wrapped this year’s cycle. Barring a team making an 11th-hour change, the 2024 HC carousel has come to a stop. The final breakdown produced five defensive coaches being hired compared to three with backgrounds on offense. Many teams are still searching for offensive and defensive coordinators, however.

Updated 2-1-24 (10:37am CT)

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

  • Jerod Mayo, linebackers coach (Patriots): Hired

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders