Creative use of defensive personnel
Darrick Forrest, Kamren Curl, Khaleke Hudson, and Casey Toohill. Four players whose versatility was underused or often ignored altogether by Ron Rivera and former defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.
You can bet on Dan Quinn making more creative use of such flexible personnel. The promise of broader remits might be enough to convince Curl, Hudson, and Toohill to return in free agency.
Curl is an interesting case because he's the kind of safety/linebacker 'tweener Quinn has usually included in his defenses. Kam Chancellor, Keanu Neal, and Jayron Kearse have all played the role.
Linebacker-style safeties and safety-like linebackers aren't the only personnel tweaks you can expect from Quinn. He also favors a roving pass-rusher who can wreck protection from anywhere along the front.
Defensive tackle Michael Bennett did the damage for Quinn's 'Legion of Boom' defense that helped the Seattle Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII. For the Dallas Cowboys, it's been outside linebacker Micah Parsons rushing the passer from all angles.
Parsons was often most devastating when lined up over center, like for this pressure against the Carolina Panthers.
Quinn used Parsons as a standup linebacker, traditional defensive end, and undersized defensive tackle. Good news for Toohill provided the former Stanford man sticks around.
The Quinn playbook is good news for every member of the Washington Commanders' defense. Things were predictable under Rivera when a four-man rush and soft zones were the default setting.
Quinn will change the picture more often. That should lead to a defense easier on the eye and more effective on the field. It's in contrast to the offense, where a clearer blueprint is cause for excitement.