Leaders fans appreciate the appointments of Quinn, Kingsbury and Waite

Leaders fans appreciate the appointments of Quinn, Kingsbury and Waite

In this week’s Reacts poll, we asked Hogs Haven readers to rate hiring decisions for the head coach and coordinator positions.

The hiring decisions of head coach Dan Quinn, offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury and defensive coordinator Joe Witt received surprisingly similar report cards.

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In each case, about 30% of respondents gave the employees an “A,” while about half gave the employees a “B,” and about 15% gave the employees a “C.” No more than 5% of respondents gave any of the employees a lower score.

Dan Quinn

Hiring Quinn, in particular, appears to be the “safe” move compared to the riskier move of hiring a younger, less experienced candidate. Quinn represents the “anti-Sean McVay” move — the decision not to chase the next hot young offensive coordinator as many teams have done since the Rams hired McVay in 2017 at the age of 30.

On the “positive” side, Adam Peters said he was looking for a leader, and Dan Quinn certainly seems like a good fit for the job. We’ve heard testimony from former players, former presidents and former coaches from different teams and different time periods who spoke out in the wake of the hiring, each praising Quinn’s leadership ability. Quinn also has a Super Bowl win as defensive coordinator and an NFC Conference Championship as head coach on his resume, showing he can win on the field. His performance as defensive coordinator has been impressive, as he has had success in both Seattle and Dallas in the past decade.

On the flip side, the Falcons’ fourth-quarter collapse to lose in their only Super Bowl appearance this millennium, and Quinn’s apparent lack of success on the field without Kyle Shanahan as his offensive coordinator.

But identifying and recruiting good personnel is also part of Quinn’s accepted skill set, so his decision to hire Kingsbury and Whitt to run the offense and defense respectively is an interesting choice that has been generally well received, but – especially in the case of Kliff Kingsbury – with some reservations.

Cliff Kingsbury
Kingsbury has had limited success as an NFL head coach. He won 5, 8 and 11 games in his first three seasons, with his Cardinals losing in the wildcard round in his only playoff season in 2021. In early 2022, Kingsbury was reportedly rewarded with a 6-year contract extension, but after a dismal 4 season -13-1, was fired, and finished his only NFL coaching stint with a 4-season record of 28-37-1.

We all know, of course, that head coaches and coordinators do different jobs, and while Kingsbury’s tenure in Arizona may have ended in chaos, his offensive success is what landed him the job in Washington.

Joe White
White made it clear, even when Dan Quinn was still working in Dallas, that he wanted to be wherever Dan was. While he has a history with Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy, White was on Quinn’s staff in Atlanta, and followed him to Dallas when Quinn was hired as defensive coordinator in 2021. Now, he has followed Quinn again, this time to Washington, where Whit will be DC.

As a first-time coordinator, it’s as if fans in Washington believe White is the right man for the job. Dallas certainly had a much better overall defense and secondary than the leaders did, and if Quinn attributes a lot of that success to Whitt and trusts him, it seems Washington fans are willing to believe in him.

Position coaches and special teams coordinator

In the latter part of the week, after most people voted in the poll, there was more news about Washington’s coaching staff.

Brian JohnsonHe, who was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator in 2023, joined the offensive coaching staff. His exact title has not yet been announced, but it is expected that he will be involved with the quarterbacks, perhaps as a passing game coordinator. The sticking point in his job title is that current QB coach, Tavita Pritchard, will remain with the team. In the same way that Kingsbury’s struggles as head coach of the Cardinals don’t necessarily dampen his prospects for success as a leader in Washington, the fact that Brian Johnson was fired from Philadelphia’s staff at the end of the ’23 season means nothing. Really underestimates what he did in his career to get to this position. Many people have looked to the duo of Kingsbury and Johnson as a sign that Quinn is assembling an impressive team on the offensive side of the ball, though there have been some concerns expressed about whether Kingsbury, Johnson and Pritchard might mean a young Washington. A quarterback may end up with too many competing voices in his ear.

Jason Simmons It is a name that is perhaps less well known to Washington fans. He’s on the Raiders’ coaching staff and the defensive side of the ball. He was the defensive passing game coordinator in Vegas, and will reportedly have a similar role in Washington.

Larry Izzo He will reportedly take over as special teams coordinator from Nate Kaczor. Kaczor originally joined Jay Gruden’s coaching staff, but was retained when Ron Rivera came to town. He did not survive the second coaching change. Izzo was the Seahawks ST coordinator, and he was undoubtedly successful. He only appears to be available due to the fact that the Seahawks changed head coaches this offseason, pushing aside longtime head coach Pete Carroll in favor of former Ravens defensive coordinator Peter Carroll.

Izzo was a three-time Super Bowl champion as a player with the New England Patriots, and his special teams units in Seattle ranked fifth, fourth and eighth in DVOA, respectively, over the past three seasons in the NFL.

Final thoughts

I get the feeling, from reading the comments on Hogs Haven, listening to the podcast, and scrolling through what was formerly known as Twitter, that Washington fans were a bit surprised early on at how the coaching search turned out, and that the early response to Dan Quinn was muted Because his appointment was a consolation prize; His hiring was not the expected outcome, and his age and NFL history were the complete opposite of what fans were preparing for.

As the days go by and some of the shock wears off, I feel like fans are preparing for the hiring, and that process is being supported along with each piece that is added to the 2024 coaching staff.

While fans are certainly not dancing in the streets, I think a level of positive acceptance is already taking root, and some quiet optimism is starting to develop. We may not have gotten what we were told to expect, but the coaching staff appears to be shaping up well.

With the start of veteran free agency in just over 4 weeks, it’s time to pay attention to the roster as we begin the next promising era of Washington football.

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