Is the door about to open further for Dan Quinn in his quest to become the next Washington Commanders head coach?
Washington Commanders fans are still reeling from the news surrounding Ben Johnson. His decision to remain with the Detroit Lions took everyone by surprise - least of all the hiring committee en route to Michigan for their second interview.
A pivot is needed, and quickly. Especially considering another twist in the coaching tale could chalk another shortlisted candidate off the list in the not-too-distant future.
According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Seattle Seahawks are flying Mike Macdonald in for a second interview after traveling to speak with the Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator earlier this week. He's also someone who's drawn interest from the Commanders, but they might be forced elsewhere when one factors everything into the equation.
Macdonald wouldn't have traveled all that way if he wasn't interested. The Seahawks wouldn't have made the call back so urgently if they weren't suitably impressed. If their second meeting goes well, then it would be a shock if Seattle didn't name the shrewd defensive mind as the man to replace Pete Carroll at the helm.
Commanders search could lead to Dan Quinn after dramatic week
This would leave the Commanders with a choice between three candidates who've gone deep into the interview process. Anthony Weaver is taking an interview to become the Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator, which suggests he's not entirely confident about getting the Commanders gig. Aaron Glenn did meet with those in power on Tuesday. Nothing concrete has emerged from their discussions.
Then, there is Dan Quinn.
The Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator has head coaching experience. He's reportedly made a strong case during interviews. After spurning advances over the previous cycle, this could be the year Quinn takes another leap into a top job.
Adam Peters stated he was looking for a legitimate leader of men. Quinn ticks the boxes in that regard despite things turning sour with the Atlanta Falcons. He also has enough strong connections around the league to form a prolific staff quickly.
Quinn seems to have galvanized his coaching career in Dallas. Aside from a complete capitulation versus the Green Bay Packers to exit the postseason. it was a solid year overall. After so much excitement heading into this cycle - surrounding Johnson, in particular - some fans will no doubt feel a little underwhelmed if this is the Commanders' choice.
Unless they decide to go back into the pool for someone like Mike Vrabel, the door is wide open for Quinn to get his shot at redemption. That will be difficult for some fans to accept - they've been burned by suspect hires and retreads plenty under the previous ownership regime - but trusting the process and giving the experienced figure a legitimate shot at turning around this storied franchise is the best course of action.
If he's hired, of course.
Patience is key. Commanders fans don't have much left of that over the last 20 years. This piles additional pressure on Quinn right out of the gate. The only way he can alleviate concerns is by demonstrating on-field progress and putting the right pieces in place to build a contender over time.
Easier said than done, but he might be the best Washington can hope for at this juncture.