Falcons coach Dan Quinn, who took over calling the defensive plays during the Kansas City game last season, believes that first-time defensive coordinator Marquand Manual will be just fine in his new position.
“Marquand has been someone that’s been a very trusted aide to me for a long time,” Quinn said Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine.
Former defensive coordinator Richard Smith left to become San Diego’s linebackers coach after the season. Manuel will call the defensive signals.
“We are very connected in terms of scheme and the attitude (with which) we’d like to play,” Quinn said. “He’s well equipped for that, and I’m very excited for him and this opportunity.”
Quinn doesn’t believe that Manuel’s lack of NFL experience calling defenses will be a factor.
“I don’t think there’s anything like when any of us took a job, you don’t have any experience doing that,” Quinn said. “There is some on the job training that for sure goes on. I didn’t have any head coaching experience before I took the job and I’ve learned some things along the way. Even in my first time calling plays way back at Hofstra. You learn and you grow.”
Quinn said he had two goals in mind after taking over the defensive play-calling duties.
“I wanted to make sure that we could improve with our communication,” Quinn said. “I think we did that. The second thing was could we improve our ability to create turnovers. Those were two of the things that were at the front of my thinking. I thought if I could really emphasize that with the defensive unit that could be a spot that we could improve upon.”
Quinn called the plays when he was the defensive coordinator for Seattle.
“There wasn’t a time that I was so disconnected from the defense that I wasn’t in tune to the calls,” Quinn said. “I felt that was something that I needed to do to help our team at that time. That’s (why) I decided to do that.
“Moving forward, Marquand will call it. I’ll be involved like I always am. I’ll be involved a lot. The connection that he and I have is strong. I’m excited to see him do his thing.”