SEATTLE — The Seattle Seahawks said goodbye to the charismatic leader of the team’s top-ranked scoring defense and hello to a familiar face brought in to maintain continuity.
Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, a finalist for the Philadelphia Eagles head coaching job given to University of Oregon’s Chip Kelly, was hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars as that team’s fourth head coach in franchise history on Thursday.
“I am very proud to accept the offer to be the next head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars,” Bradley said in a statement. “Shad Khan (owner) and Dave Caldwell (general manager) expect to win, and that’s what I wanted to hear. That’s why I am coming to Jacksonville — to win a Super Bowl.”
Bradley, 46, was considered a players coach.
“That was tough to see that,” Seattle defensive tackle Brandon Mebane said about Bradley leaving. “But in this business that’s how it is. You get somebody for a period of time, and then it comes down to the other opportunities that are out there, and guys take them and move on.” Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell also interviewed for the Jacksonville position, but reports late Thursday had Bevell agreeing to an extension in Seattle.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll wasted little time in filling Bradley’s position, bringing back former defensive line coach Dan Quinn as Seattle’s new defensive coordinator.
“Dan Quinn is an excellent teacher who is familiar with our system and allows us to maintain continuity,” Carroll said in a statement. “Dan did a great job for us in 2010 and I’m pleased to get him back.”
“I’m very excited to come back,” Quinn told 710-AM Seattle. “I’ve followed the development of the defense and the team over the last, few years. And I couldn’t be more thrilled to get back there.”
Quinn was the University of Florida’s defensive coordinator for the past two seasons, helping transform that unit into one of the best in college football.
The Gators ranked third nationally, allowing 12.9 points a game, the lowest in school history since 1964.
Quinn, 42, was named a finalist for the Broyles Award this past year, which honors the top college assistant coach in America.
And now Quinn returns to Seattle, where he served as defensive line coach for two seasons — one under Jim Mora in 2009, the other under Carroll.
Quinn started his NFL coaching career in San Francisco as the team’s defensive quality control coach in 2001. He later coached the 49ers’ defensive line from 2003-04.
Quinn also coached the defensive lines for the Miami Dolphins (2005-06) and the N.Y. Jets (2007-08).
He initially had been considered for the defensive coordinator position when Mora took over as coach in ‘09, but Bradley won the job. Quinn was brought on as the defensive line coach/assistant head coach for the 2009 season.
“I look at it as a good thing,” Mebane said about Quinn returning to Seattle. “DQ (Quinn) taught me a whole lot of things in my early years of being in the league. And him being familiar with our scheme, I think that’s good for us as a whole”
Mebane and fellow defensive linemen Red Bryant and Chris Clemons played for Quinn during his first stint in Seattle. It was Quinn who suggested to Carroll that he switch Bryant from defensive tackle to defensive end.
He also recommended that the Seahawks select 2012 fourth-round pick Jaye Howard, who played for Quinn at Florida, and should benefit from his arrival in Seattle after being active for just two games his rookie year.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams