The news came out today that Dan Quinn, defensive coordinator for the Gators, turned down the Buccaneers’ offer to run the defense next season. Quinn comes with a solid NFL pedigree as a defensive line coach, but has never coordinated at the NFL level and has questionable levels of responsibility at the collegiate level.
I mention this because Will Muschamp, the coaching wunderkind who once held the keys to the Texas Longhorns as a coach-in-waiting before the Gators pried him from Austin is himself a D-coordinator. Quinn, for all his talent, isn’t truly the guy behind that defense he is at best is a co-coordinator with Muschamp, at worst he’s an administrator of Muschamp’s D.
I know the knee-jerk reaction to this post on Twitter will be that he was a good candidate or that this was a good decision by the Bucs, but I don’t see it. Greg Schiano has never even coordinated in the NFL himself, let alone run a team. It’s incredibly important to bring in experienced coordinators so that Schiano doesn’t have to coach the coaches, Quinn is not an experienced coordinator.
I would say the Buccaneers were looking to be thrifty but Quinn’s salary at UF is a bloated 510 k, so I don’t know he would have necessarily come cheap. I just don’t understand the draw.
Now, don’t take this as me knocking him as a coach, Dan Quinn is a good coach. He deserves that respect. But zoom out for a second, as a candidate with no NFL coordinating experience coming on to the staff of an inexperienced head coach, is that the kind of risk you want to take? Talent aside, that’s a risky foundation with regard to experience.
Butch Davis is a good candidate, he comes with head coaching experience and a great NFL pedigree. Dave Wannstedt (whom Schiano worked under in Chicago and will now run Buffalo’s defense) would have been a great candidate.
But hiring another coach to run the defense who himself has never even been an NFL coordinator is madness. Part of the reason the last staff failed was lack of experience and so far the only known candidates the Bucs have offered jobs to seem to share that lack of qualification.
Dan Quinn did the Bucs a favor on Monday. Don’t weep for this one.