Why K.J. Wright thinks Seahawks should hire Dan Quinn as head coach
Jan 17, 2024, 11:46 AM
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
The Seattle Seahawks will have a new head coach next season as the team parted ways with Pete Carroll last week after 14 seasons running the show.
Longtime Seattle general manager John Schneider is now leading the team in its search for its next coach, and one former Seahawks player has some ideas about what’s next for the franchise.
Legendary Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright shared what he thinks the team needs in its next head coach during Seattle Sports’ K.J. Wright Show on Wednesday, and he also gave his pick for who should ultimately get the job.
“Leader. That’s rule No. 1. You have got to lead men,” Wright said about the characteristic the Seahawks’ next coach must have. “You have got to get men to buy into your philosophy. You have got to get men to be accountable when they make mistakes. You’ve got to instill discipline into guys that are making a lot of money and have got a lot of egos. How do you navigate that as a head coach? That’s the first thing I’m looking for. I don’t care how well you call plays, I don’t care how handsome you are. I need a phenomenal leader as my head coach. Priority No. 1.”
Accountability is a big part of that, Wright said.
“Players watch everything. They’re just like little kids,” Wright said. “I say this with all due respect, but they see, ‘How far can I get away with this? Is my mom gonna say something when she told me don’t go in the cookie jar and I go in the cookie jar?’ It’s the same thing.”
K.J.’s choice for Hawks head coach
So who does Wright think should be the next head coach of the Seattle Seahawks? A familiar face who Wright knows very well.
“I’m John Schneider and I’m introducing the next head coach of this football team: ‘We’d like to introduce our new head coach, Dan Quinn.’ Give me DQ,” Wright said.
Quinn, 53, was Seattle’s defensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014. The Seahawks went to the Super Bowl both of those seasons and won one of them. Wright was also a key part of the Seahawks’ defense those years.
Following his time in Seattle, Quinn was head coach of the Atlanta Falcons for six years and led the team to a Super Bowl appearance. He’s spent the last three seasons as defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys.
After hearing Schneider speak to the media on Tuesday, Wright thinks Quinn would make a lot of sense for the Seahawks.
“(Schneider) wants to bring in someone with a similar mindset. ‘Let’s keep this culture similar,”‘ Wright said. “Dan Quinn put together a top-five defense this past year, Dan Quinn knows how to bring out the best in guys. Dan Quinn, he’s amazing. The players love him, the players respect them. He’s gonna build a proper staff. I trust him to build an offensive team that could put up points because you’ve got (49ers coach) Kyle Shanahan and you’ve got (Rams coach) Sean McVay that you’ve got to compete with in this division. So I trust him to do just that. And he’s familiar. He’s really, really familiar, and I completely trust him. In Dan Quinn, I trust.”
So how would Quinn follow in Carroll’s footsteps?
“He does it face to face, he does it head on, he does it with love, he does it with intensity and he just simply brings out the best in every guy,” Wright said of Quinn. “I can speak for a defensive meeting room. We were No. 1 in the league four years in a row. And so you tell me he’s going to take that same mentality and spread it amongst the special teams and spread it amongst the offense? He went to Atlanta, he learned something. He learned the hard way … He did some good stuff, he also learned, came back, became a defensive coordinator (for Dallas). So you take all the time, it’s been seven years since he’s left here. Come find yourself and do it here.”
Wright said things didn’t change “too much” when Quinn left Seattle for Atlanta, and he thinks the Seahawks don’t want too much to change going forward.
“Let’s be honest, if you look at it, he’s going to, I think … it’s going to be very similar,” he said. “It’s going to be very similar. And so the question is do we hit the reset button? Listening to John Schneider speak, I don’t think we necessarily want to do that as an organization.”
Listen to this week’s K.J. Wright Show at this link or in the player near the top of this story.
More on the Seattle Seahawks’ head coaching search
• Seahawks Notebook: What GM John Schneider said about coach search
• Seahawks Coach Search: Bump’s easy, smart and fun picks
• Who are Seahawks’ first reported coach interview requests?
• Schefter shares if 2 big-name coaches could be in play for Seahawks