The Jacksonville Jaguars began the interview process for their next head coach this week extending offers to meet with the Jags’ top brass to many current coordinators and former head coaches. One name that declined to pursue the role further was Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator and former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. Charles Robinson & Eric Edholm dive into this rare spurning of an open HC role, why Quinn is content in Dallas, and why many seasoned coaches may not be keen to take on this rebuilding role with Jacksonville, even with Trevor Lawrence at QB.
CHARLES ROBINSON: I thought it was remarkable that Dan Quinn was requested, and Dan Quinn is like, eh, I’m good. Like, it’s not– you know, it happens every– but here’s the thing about denials. When guys decline, usually it’s because you have four or five teams that are trying to get interviews with you, right? Dan Quinn, as far as I know right now, that was the first and only request for Dan Quinn to interview. Now, do I think that that will widen as other jobs open? Yes, absolutely, I do.
I do think that the Jaguars, what’s interesting to me and something I might end up writing about is, you know, Trent Baalke, the general manager there, survives all this. You know, he survived the Urban Meyer changeover. He survived the Doug Marrone firing.
And to me, I think when you go back and you look at Trent’s end in San Francisco and just absolutely how acrimonious that was. And in football, there are strong personalities all over the league. People will come and they’ll have all kinds of very, very hard-edged opinions. Trent is one of those guys, OK? Trent has some people in the league who straight up do not like him. Jim Harbaugh did not like him, like, when they kind of broke up. Chip Kelly on his way out of San Francisco did not like him.
And so I wonder if part of this is also you’re going to have some candidates who are either waved off or they’re a little longer in the tooth like Dan Quinn, and they go, mmm, maybe I don’t want to get involved in that whole thing.
ERIC EDHOLM: Oh, I have no doubt. Especially for the younger coaches, they’re in their 30s and they get that interview, they’re probably going to take it, right? At worst, it’s good practice. You get your name out there. Maybe they offer you the job, who knows? For an experienced coach who’s been around the block and has, in his case, been a head coach before, they understand that the dynamics go beyond who’s your quarterback and how’s your roster look, right? It matters who the owner is, who the front office is, how much say in personnel they may get or may not get. You know, what’s the history of the team, and does it feel like this thing is doomed to fail no matter who steps into the job? All those factors matter, I think.
And so somebody like Dan who obviously I think did a lot of good things in Atlanta, you know, probably learned some some tough lessons, and was maybe star-crossed for for some reasons that were out of his control, also probably had his own faults as well, he could afford to be pickier. It’ll be fascinating to see, like you said, if that scope does widen and he gets requests from other teams, more established teams, teams with respected hierarchies and whatnot. You know, maybe he does have a different opinion on that. I’ll be fascinated to see that.
I mean, I think Dan’s done a fantastic job this year. I think he probably did get somewhat of a raw deal at times, but his record also, you know, especially after the Super Bowl speaks for itself.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Deep down, I have a very sneaking suspicion that Dallas probably is paying its coordinators more than anybody in the league.
ERIC EDHOLM: Oh, no doubt, yeah.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Other than maybe– I mean, I know Josh McDaniels makes more as OC in New England because of– I mean, look, they ponied up for him to get him to turn his back on Indy after taking that job, so I know he’s the highest paid OC in the NFL. That said, I think Kellen Moore, when he got his little bump last year, I think that he’s getting a hell of a lot of money. And people would probably be surprised by what the figure is. And I wish I knew the exact figure. I’ve heard rumors. I’m not to repeat what the rumors are. But I mean, it’s quite a bit.
And Dan Quinn as well, I would assume that Jerry is very, very happy with his coaching staff. Stephen is very, very happy with his coaching staff. Like, it is in Dallas’s mind to retain Dan Quinn, seeing the defensive turnaround that they’ve had this year, and frankly, the strides that the young guys are making. It would not surprise me at all if Mike McCarthy is in the middle of the pack from head coach pay, but their coordinators are pretty much near the top of the scale. I kind of feel like that’s how it trends in Dallas right now.
ERIC EDHOLM: Yeah, yeah.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Could be hard.
ERIC EDHOLM: I mean, look, if you don’t have a salary cap, Jerry’s going to probably spend or outspend, you know what I mean? Why wouldn’t you? I understand there’s a competitive advantage there.