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Seahawks hire Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator

By Brady Henderson

The Seahawks turned to a former assistant coach to fill their vacancy at defensive coordinator – and they wasted little time doing it.

Seattle hired Dan Quinn on Thursday, a move the team announced on Twitter hours after Gus Bradley was named the Jaguars’ head coach.

Quinn, 42, was the Seahawks’ defensive line coach in 2009 and 2010 before spending the last two seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of Florida.

Dan Quinn, the Seahawks’ new defensive coordinator, was the team’s defensive line coach in 2009 and 2010. (AP)

“I’m very excited to come back. I’ve certainly followed the development of the defense and the team over the last few years,” he told Bob Stelton and Dave Wyman on “The Huddle” Thursday.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to get back there.”

It’s easy to see why.

The situation Quinn is returning to is ideal beyond the mutual familiarity. His first stint as an NFL defensive coordinator won’t include the growing pains of a rebuilding effort. He doesn’t have an aging unit with a smaller window to win.

Instead, Quinn inheriting a defense that led the league in scoring last season despite fielding just two starters over the age of 28. Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Brandon Browner all have Pro Bowl appearances on their resumes. Richard Sherman is an All-Pro. Bruce Irvin and Bobby Wagner are coming off stellar rookie seasons. None of those players have more than three years of NFL experience.

“It’s been such a cool thing to see over the last couple of years how fast those guys have developed,” Quinn said.

Quinn has 10 seasons of NFL coaching experience, including eight as a defensive line coach. He coached with the 49ers, Dolphins and Jets before joining Jim Mora’s staff in Seattle in 2009. When Pete Carroll became Seattle’s head coach the following season, Quinn and Bradley were the only two assistant coaches he retained.

During Quinn’s two seasons at Florida, the Gators ranked eighth and fifth nationally in total defense.

“Dan Quinn is an excellent teacher who is familiar with our system and allows us to maintain continuity,” Carroll said in the team’s press release. “Dan did a great job for us in 2010 and I’m pleased to get him back.”

Quinn’s credentials as a defensive line coach are significant considering the potential loss of Seahawks defensive line coach Todd Wash, whose close friendship with Bradley has led some to believe he could be the Jaguars’ next defensive coordinator.