Dan Quinn
Quinn focuses on finishing the job
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John McMullen - NFL Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Dan Quinn has one foot out the door in Seattle but that doesn't mean the next coach of the Atlanta Falcons is planning to give up on his security deposit.

The NFL's worst-kept secret is that win or lose at Super Bowl XLIX, the Seahawks' defensive coordinator will be soon be calling Buckhead home. For now, though, it's all about finishing the job he already has as the steward of football's best defense.

"I think all of us have those experiences where you have to juggle things at the same time," Quinn said at Super Bowl Media Day when asked about his pending job change. "For me, just being here, I am having an absolute blast."

While quarterback Russell Wilson and stud running back Marshawn Lynch get most of the ink for the Seahawks, it's Quinn's stifling defense which serves as the team's true calling card, and the New Jersey native has successfully built on what now-Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley first cobbled together in the Pacific Northwest.

The Seahawks' stop unit led the NFL in scoring defense for the third consecutive season in 2014, becoming the first to accomplish that feat since the famed 1969-71 "Purple People Eaters" of the Minnesota Vikings, and just the third all-time (Cleveland 1953-57).

Quinn's unit also became only the fourth team in NFL lore to lead the league in fewest points and yards allowed in back-to-back seasons, and the first since the legendary 1985-86 Chicago Bears.

And the Seahawks D has done all of that in the most offensively-skewed era in pro football history.

"We just honestly try to find unique guys and how fast we can play," Quinn said when describing his philosophy. "Then, within each team, there are unique guys and how you feature the players. Really, it is just about featuring the guys and the roles they can do best."

The unique guys in Seattle are athletic middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and members of the best secondary in football, featuring three All-Pro-caliber players in cornerback Richard Sherman as well as safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.

Quinn particularly raved about his last line of defense on Tuesday.

"They are two unique guys: Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas are both so different," Quinn said. "Kam Chancellor, we'd all look up at him right now at how big he is. We try to feature him in the things he does best like playing near the line of scrimmage and with Earl Thomas ... he is a speed backer, something that really jumps out in his game. The way he can play the middle of the field and coverages, the closing speed that he has, that is just one good example that you talked about with those guys and try to feature the guys in the best ways.

"With those, it is real clear what they do best."

Over the Seahawks' final six regular-season games, the club allowed a minuscule 6.5 points and 202 yards per game while collecting 24 sacks. It did not allow a point in the fourth quarter and yielded only 13 in the second halves during the six-game run.

"I think early on we got to the point where we were trying to be too perfect," Wagner said. "We had to go back to realizing that it's not about perfection, it's about having fun and enjoying that time you have with your brothers. Once we got back to that, we really got going."

It was a bittersweet irony because that run solidified Quinn on a lot of head- coaching short lists, and his pupils understand he's out the door after Sunday's game.

Few are feeling abandoned, however, with linebacker K.J. Wright calling his soon to be ex-teacher "a defensive mastermind," while also lauding the Falcons for waiting out the process and sticking with a guy who won't be free until Feb. 2.

"I think he'll be a really good head coach," Wright said. "I don't expect him to be here next year. I know a lot of guys want him (back), but he should've been gone last year with what he did.

"Let's talk Atlanta. They've got a good offense, but the defense is struggling. So if he comes out there and gets that defense right, they're an automatic playoff team."

Quinn, though, has one more page to turn before making the Falcons that playoff team -- one that reads beating Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in back- to-back Super Bowls.

"This is such a cool experience," Quinn said. "Where else would you rather be?"

Not in Atlanta ... at least not yet.


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