Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says Atlanta’s pursuit of Dan Quinn won’t be a distraction

According to multiple reports, the Atlanta Falcons were in Seattle Monday for another interview with Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and plan to make him their new head coach after the Super Bowl. The Seahawks losing Quinn would hardly be a surprise—going back to last season it seemed inevitable he’d get a head coaching job eventually—and Carroll said the possibility of Quinn interviewing this week wouldn’t be a distraction in any way.

“It comes along with the good fortune that guys get good opportunities like that,” Carroll said. “I am pretty wide open and flexible about making sure that it works out, and that it won’t be a distraction. There will be questions and stuff like that that will come up, but we have such a big mission that we are on and Dan wants nothing more than doing exactly right to help us do what we have to do these next couple of days and the next week. He has no intention other than that, he is dead solid on that, so that’s what we will get, but some logical questions will come out.”

Asked what about Quinn would make him a good head coach, Carroll said, “Dan has tremendous character. He has great leadership qualities, he is an excellent communicator, he’s had great experiences behind him, he has worked with a lot of people who have influenced him and helped him along the way, and he remembers them all. He’s got a competitive nature that I think he conveys—look at what he’s done to our guys. He has been a fantastic guy on this staff; he works well with people at this level. The players totally believe him and can communicate and understand what he wants—he conveys the message. He’s a baller, I don’t think he’ll have any problem, I think it’s going to be a great step for him when the time comes.”

Quinn might have been a head coach last year if not for the Seahawks’ Super Bowl run, but after he interviewed for several jobs, teams filled their head coaching vacancies before the Seahawks’ Super Bowl victory over Denver. And again this year, most of the openings have been filled, though it appears Atlanta is willing to wait. Even if it meant losing coaches like Quinn or offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Carroll would like to see the hiring rules changed so that assistants of teams playing in the Super Bowl aren’t hurt by their success.

“I really think that would be a good idea if they can do that,” Carroll said. “They’d have to figure it out; not everybody would agree with me on that I’m sure, but guys should not be restricted because of their success. It does give other guys opportunities too, but in our situation, I wish these guys had a level playing field.”

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