May 24, 2022


Bears News

Analyzing the Bears head coach finalists: Dan Quinn

Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn looks on during warmups before playing the Washington Football Team on Dec. 12 in Landover, Md.

The Bears appear to be working out a deal to hire Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles as general manager, according to reports.

Poles, 36, brings 13 years of front office experience, but has never been an NFL general manager. His first move, and one of his most important moves, will be to hire a new head coach.

The Bears’ five-person search panel has already interviewed a dozen candidates for head coach. Former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is expected to conduct a second interview with the Bears.

Here’s what to know about Quinn.

Dan Quinn

Current position: Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator

Head coach experience: Six seasons (Atlanta Falcons 2015-20)

Head coaching record: 43-42

Playoff record: 3-2

Accomplishments: Won the NFC with the Falcons during the 2016 season. The Falcons led the New England Patriots, 28-3, during Super Bowl LI before ultimately collapsing in the fourth quarter. ... Made the playoffs twice in Atlanta, winning at least 10 games in both 2016 and 2017. ... The Falcons fired Quinn after an 0-5 start in 2020. He moved to Dallas to become the defensive coordinator under head coach Mike McCarthy. His Cowboys had the No. 2 scoring defense in the NFL this season. ... Prior to becoming a head coach in 2015, Quinn was the defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013-14. The Seahawks defense was dominant in 2013, winning Super Bowl XLVIII over the Denver Broncos, 43-8. They returned to the Super Bowl following the 2014 season and lost on the final play of the game against the New England Patriots. ... Came up as a defensive line coach during the mid-2000s with the Dolphins, Jets and Seahawks.

Chicago connections: There aren’t any obvious connections to Chicago. Quinn grew up in Morristown, New Jersey, and played Division III college football in Maryland. New Bears general manager Ryan Poles played on the offensive line at Boston College, protecting quarterback Matt Ryan. Ryan played for Quinn for parts of six seasons in Atlanta. Certainly Poles would value Ryan’s opinion of Quinn.

Pros: Quinn brings experience to the job. He led a team to the Super Bowl and nearly won it in an overtime loss. ... He has a strong understanding of defenses and could help bring the Bears defense back to the top of the league. The Bears weren’t a bad defense in 2021, but they weren’t elite. ... Quinn has a varied experience at multiple stops, which gives him a wide contact list of potential assistant coaches to bring with him.

Cons: Holding a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl is a dream scenario, but blowing that lead was hands down the worst collapse in Super Bowl history. ... What happened at the end of Quinn’s tenure? The 0-5 start in 2020 was disastrous. ... It’s fair to question why Atlanta’s defenses struggled throughout much of Quinn’s tenure. With a defensive-focused head coach, the Falcons ranked in the top 10 in yards per game only once.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for Shaw Media. He also contributes to high school football coverage at Friday Night Drive. Sean has covered various sports at the amateur, college and professional levels since 2012. He joined Shaw Media in 2016.