Saturday, April 20, 2024
HomeSportsThe Path to Dan Quinn: The Commanders' Journey Through an 'Outrageous' Head-Coaching...

The Path to Dan Quinn: The Commanders’ Journey Through an ‘Outrageous’ Head-Coaching Search

Seeing Adam Peters walking the streets of Mobile, Ala., on this particular Wednesday night, glued to his phone, wasn’t peculiar. The NFL scouting community descends on the Senior Bowl’s host city annually in late January. Of course, the Washington Commanders’ new general manager would join the fray.

The oddity involved knowing the conversation wasn’t likely about draft prospects. Rather, the prospects of the organization’s biggest hire since Peters’ two weeks before. That night, Jan. 31, was when the organization knew Dan Quinn would become its next head coach.

Perhaps the decision to choose the former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator was made a few minutes before or after Peters’ stroll. News broke the following day and became official over the weekend. Seismic change began three weeks earlier with the firing of Ron Rivera after four seasons. Washington had its next leaders in tow.

The Commanders were never in sole control of their destiny despite the competence, vision and sanity emanating from the ownership group led by managing partner Josh Harris. They inhabit a world where other masters-of-the-universe types have agendas. The Commanders already conquered competitors in the general manager market by landing Peters. Like it or not, those other organizations would have their day.

Washington’s search committee endured a wild January that saw the Commanders pivot from both Ben Johnson, who decided to remain in Detroit, and Mike Macdonald, who was hired as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. Quinn remained a leading consideration throughout the deliberate process. The acclaim from the likes of the Cowboys’ All-Pro Micah Parsons and countless others suggests whether Quinn was the first, second or third choice, he might be the right one.

Unlike Peters’ nighttime walk, the trek to get there was hardly tranquil.

GO DEEPER
Commanders hire Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as coach
Washington’s ownership entered the coaching search with an open mind and significant support. They began their homework on potential new GM and head-coaching candidates months before the Jan. 8 firing of Rivera.
Adding two experienced executives — former Golden State Warriors GM Bob Myers and ex-Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman — provided the owners with seasoned pros for the final stages. Having been part of three Super Bowl champions and other contending teams, Peters made his high-level search debut after being named Washington’s front-office lead.
Washington locked up Peters before the San Francisco 49ers’ assistant GM took another interview. Johnson and Macdonald took the tour. Seattle convinced Macdonald, now the league’s youngest head coach, to choose a life near the Space Needle over one by the Washington Monument. Beyond two interviews, including a face-to-face chat last Monday, there were strong overtures and, league sources tell The Athletic, a job offer made to Macdonald by the Commanders. Any full-court press of the former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator may have remained shelved if Johnson had the courtesy to attend a Tuesday meeting that many viewed as a formality to his hiring.

RELATED ARTICLES

Most Popular