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SEC Bloggers: 5 Thoughts On Dan Quinn
Please, no Josh Groban jokes
Please, no Josh Groban jokes
Posted Jan 6, 2011

CFN's SEC Bloggers give you five different perspectives on the hiring of Dan Quinn to run the Florida Gators’ defense

Gabe Harris: On Quinn

Dan Quinn is a safe hire for Will Muschamp, in that there is a familiarity between the two and an understanding that Quinn will run Muschamp's defense. The two know each other well, having coached together on the Miami Dolphin defense under head man Nick Saban.

Quinn comes to Gainesville from Seattle, after one season as the defensive line coach of the Seahawks. Prior to that, he has a decade's worth of NFL experience with the Jets, Dolphins, and 49ers.

As to his college experience (or lack thereof), Quinn has only one year as a DC, and that was at Hofstra (2000). As such, his college experience may be raising some eyebrows for Gator fans.

However, his lengthy NFL coaching career once again shows Muschamp’s intentions with this staff. It will be one that can continue to attract NFL potential, and just as importantly, the promise that Florida has the coaches to get that talent to Sunday play.

Barrett Sallee: On the decision

Different year, same story. Sort of.

It may be a different year and under a different coach, but the Florida Gators have again reached into the NFL ranks to find a defensive coordinator. Last year, it was Urban Meyer hiring Teryl Austin to run his defense. This year, it's new head coach Muschamp hiring Quinn.

Quinn doesn't have much college football experience, but let's be frank: this is going to be Muschamp's defense. Quinn's neither a splashy hire nor a familiar face, but neither was Teryl Austin, and he led the Gators to the 10th best defense in the nation last season.

We will watch closely to see how Quinn and Muschamp work together. Considering the talent that's typically drawn to Gainseville, there should be much dropoff - if any.

Billy Gomila: On recruiting

Muschamp is putting a lot of eggs in the NFL experience basket, and herein lies one of the riskier aspects of this hire.

While "getting to the league" always sells with high school kids, you have to wonder what sort of touch Dan Quinn has in this area. What are his connections to various high schools? How does he deal with families? Most importantly, how well can he deal with the prima-donna recruits the modern recruiting process helps create?

Certainly Muschamp himself is one of the most aggressive, efficient recruiters in the game today. But Quinn’s lack of experience in this area is a big question mark.

Brian Harbach: On Muschamp’s staff

Clearly Muschamp's staff has a NFL feel to it. But its compilation has been eerily similar to the Florida head coaching search itself.

A lot of big names surfaced for Urban Meyer's replacement and Jeremy Foley went with Muschamp... A good hire but not necessarily a sexy one. Same goes for the coordinators and position coaches; big names came up like Alabama DC Kirby Smart, but we end up with Dan Quinn.

Remember Pete Carroll's first staff at USC about ten years ago? No one knew who Nick Holt, Lane Kiffin, Ed Oregeron or Steve Sarkisian were, but he did get a well known OC in Norm Chow who was the offensive catalyst for years at Southern Cal.

Tick tock forward a decade. Will Charlie Weis become Florida's version of Chow, or will this staff of relatively smaller names fade into obscurity? At this point there is no way of knowing and patience will be key. Pete Carroll's first year at USC ended at 6-6, with a loss to Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl. However, Trojan fans were rewarded shortly thereafter. (RM note: We think, anyway – we can’t find it in the record books. )

Muschamp has the pieces he wanted in place. I don't love the hires, but nor do I hate them. Wait and see is all we have at this point.

Russ Mitchell: On what this means for the SEC

Little, actually. That or a sea change.

Muschamp is filling his staff quickly, which will likely help with recruiting. And by all accounts Quinn is an intelligent, dedicated, NFL defensive coach. So, why the move “back” (and we use that word loosely) to college?

Perhaps he fancies himself head coaching material and thinks there are far more collegiate opportunities than NFL ones, and wants more CFB experience under his belt. Perhaps he enjoyed coaching with Muschamp and is eager to do so again.

Or maybe he’s just tired of the rain up in Seattle.

Florida's DC job is one of the few college gigs that has enough cache to leverage into an NFL DC offer. Perhaps that’s his motivation. While that’s fine and good for Quinn, what about the Gators? Remember, his only previous shot as a coordinator at any level was the aforementioned single year at mighty Hofstra.

Hey Gator Fan, at least Steve Addazio had three years as the coordinator at Indiana before Meyer gave him the coveted Florida job.

Breathe Gator Fan.

Let’s be clear – this is going to be Muschamp’s defense. Quinn simply has to shepherd it.

Thinking a little deeper… Does this perhaps signal a sea change for the conference? Will the SEC now forsake the “Spread” craze and move back towards a pro-style offense? Note that even MSU with Dan “Miracle Whip” Mullen has been far more of a conventional running team.

It’s too early to tell.

Though it does beg the question – was Florida (and Auburn 2010) successful at the spread offense because it can work as an everyday scheme in the SEC, or because of a once-in-a-generation talent like Tim Tebow (and Cam Newton – short generations)? Absent a freak talent like Tim Terrific or Cam, can the spread work as an every down offense in the SEC?

Please follow Russ Mitchell on Twitter @russmitchellsec, Brian Harbach @harbabd and Barrett Sallee @barrettsallee.

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