Seahawks Candidate Deep Dive: Isaiah Stanback on Dan Quinn

Jan 20, 2024, 10:21 AM

Seattle Seahawks Dan Quinn head coach...

Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn during training camp on Aug. 1, 2022. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

(Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks kicked off head coaching interviews this week, and their list of reported candidates includes a very familiar face in Dan Quinn.

Why K.J. Wright thinks Seattle Seahawks should hire Dan Quinn

Quinn has been the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys for three years. Before that, he was head coach of the Atlanta Falcons for six seasons, leading them to a Super Bowl appearance. That came after serving as Seattle’s defensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014 when the Seahawks went to back-to-back Super Bowls.

Quinn’s defense in Dallas has been among the best in the NFL the last three years, and someone who has seen the team up close during that time is Isaiah Stanback, a former NFL receiver and a Seattle native who starred at the University of Washington at quarterback.

Stanback, who is now an analyst for DallasCowboys.com and CBS Dallas, kicked off a series of Seahawks coach candidate profiles on Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob with analysts from around the league, and he gave a glowing endorsement Wednesday of Quinn for the Seahawks’ head coaching vacancy.

“One thing about Dan Quinn is he’s a culture-changer and he has impact no matter where he’s been,” Stanback said. “I think that’s something that nobody will be able to argue nor dispute about him … He is a culture changer and setter, and there’s an energy about him that everybody just gets on board with. And since he’s touched down in Dallas, obviously you’ve seen the performance difference from the team, but you also see the energy difference from that side of the ball as well.”

Quinn’s track record as well as success in Dallas has made him a hot name as he had many interviews in the past two head coaching cycles. Ultimately, he turned down those opportunities to return to Dallas. Stanback doesn’t think that will happen again this year, especially if the Seahawks offer Quinn the job.

“I honestly don’t see how he could pass up the opportunity in Seattle,” Stanback said. “I think he’s more than capable, I think he’s an amazing leader. When you think about a head coaching candidate, it’s kind of changed based upon organizational structure, but I believe that the primary objective for a head coach in the NFL is to be a manager of men. That’s to manage your coaches, that’s to manage to your players, and then you allow your position coaches to coach the players.”

Co-host Dave Wyman, a former NFL linebacker, told Stanback that it seems like head coaches fall into one of two categories: the hype man or the X’s and O’s guy. Stanback said Quinn is both.

“He’s down there hands-on working with these guys. It doesn’t matter what position you play, he’s not only installing the plays, but he’s also motivating, mentoring, being there on and off the field, in the film room, coaching these guys up and giving these guys the confidence that they need to go out there and perform at the highest level,” Stanback said. “It’s one of the most underrated and undervalued aspects of a coach, regardless if it’s the head coach or position (coach), is the fact that you can motivate your players and give them that vote of confidence they need to go out there and perform at the highest level.”

One of Quinn’s best attributes, Stanback said, is putting his players in the best position to be successful.

“That’s why you see him literally be able to squeeze every ounce of potential out of the players that he coaches. And that’s the one thing that I know that the players appreciate about him … They hold him in such a high regard,” Stanback said.

Listen to Wyman and Bob’s full conversation with Dallas Cowboys analayst Isaiah Stanback at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

More on the Seattle Seahawks’ head coaching search

Salk: The case for Mike Vrabel as Seattle Seahawks’ next coach
Schlereth: What could motivate Seahawks to get offensive-minded coach
• What would Vrabel, Quinn, Harbaugh bring as Seattle Seahawks coach?
• 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 two big-name coaches could be in play for Seahawks

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