Former Maryland coach D.J. Durkin joins Falcons as guest coach during training camp

Other than a brief appearance as a professional development consultant with Alabama last December, former Maryland coach D.J. Durkin has kept a low profile; however, his name has surfaced again as football season inches closer -- this time in the NFL ranks. 

Durkin, who was unceremoniously fired from Maryland last fall in the aftermath of Jordain McNair's untimely death, is serving as a guest coach for the Atlanta Falcons during their training camp. The connection here is Durkin's relationship with Falcons coach Dan Quinn; the two were assistant coaches at Florida under Will Muschamp in 2011 and 2012. 

While it's common for coaches to bring on their friends in more unofficial capacities during camps/practices, bringing on Durkin requires more public defending. Durkin was initially suspended and then eventually reinstated, only to be fired on Oct. 31 after a lengthy investigation into his Maryland program revealed a "culture of fear" created by members of the coaching staff. 

"I would hope that people understand me well enough that nothing is more important than the team," Quinn said, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "People who have covered the team, know that. The fact that I know this coach first-hand and know what his character and then the due diligence that goes with that, I would certainly hope that anybody covering the team would let the fan base know that I always have the team's best interest in mind and would never put them into a space that would be otherwise.

"With that said, it's not that unusual for me to have people come to be a part of our program and add value to it for a smaller period of time. I've done it before and I'll do it again in the future."

Durkin will be with the Falcons for about 10 days in a non-player development role. 

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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