Former Falcons head coach Dan Quinn may be in line for another opportunity in that role in the NFL or college. If not, he is going to have his pick of potential defensive coordinator or assistant head coaching positions.
Several teams have already made it known, through backchannels or otherwise, that they would like to have Quinn on their staff in 2021, league sources said, and he is also the top defensive coordinator choice of many other coaches who may land head coaching jobs next year. Quinn is very well respected by his peers and universally liked as a person and coach, making him a very hot commodity after his tenure with the Falcons ended last month following another slow start.
Should Quinn not end up coaching his own team, there are already persistent rumblings about a potential reunion with two head coaches he most recently worked with. Quinn remains very close to Seattle head coach Pete Caroll, whose defense is struggling this season at a historic rate and who quite likely will be shaking up some personnel next season. Quinn is already well versed in that system and philosophies and would be a natural fit in Seattle (former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley, whose Chargers staff is under fire after repeatedly blowing games late, is also a candidate to reunite with Caroll in some capacity).
Quinn had his greatest success in Atlanta when Kyle Shanahan was his offensive coordinator on that Falcons staff, reaching a Super Bowl in Matt Ryan's MVP season. Those two remain close as well, sources said, and 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was a finalist for head coaching opportunities a year ago and stands to be a hot candidate again in 2021. The 49ers defense has been ravaged by injuries this season, after being one of the dominant units in the league in 2020 en route to a Super Bowl appearance, but Saleh earned strong accolades for his interviews a year ago.
Quinn, 50, has coached in the NFL since 2001 -- save for a two-season stint at Florida -- and is open to a return to college as well. Quinn compiled a record of 43-42 with the Falcons, and went 3-2 in the postseason, reaching the playoffs in 2016 and 2017, but was let go after an 0-5 start this season.