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January 28, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Dan Quinn: “We certainly have our hands full”

Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn spoke at Media Day about the challenge of Denver’s offense, Richard Sherman, and more. Here’s some of what he said:

(on the excitement of getting to the Super Bowl) “There’s no question this is an awesome time for us, just to be with this team and this group of guys. That’s one of the things that makes it most enjoyable here, we’ve got a really tight group of players and coaches, so we get a chance to come to compete. We couldn’t be more excited to be here.”

(on what he’s learned from Peyton Manning that he didn’t know before this week) “I don’t know if there’s anything new that we’ve learned. We hold them in such high regards. I think when you go through all the tape and all the things that they do well, that’s when you’ll know, as opposed to studying this week, as opposed to knowing them from afar. I think just knowing that the concepts that they have and how accurate they are his quickness and the decision-making, that’s something that you’ve seen more often.”

(on the key to defending an offense that has so many weapons) “We certainly have our hands full there. We know that they have a powerful offense where they can really feature a number of different players. I think that’s one of the unique things about them. Where a lot of times its, there’s a featured tight end or a featured wide receiver or a running back or a quarterback, but they really have a bunch of featured players. That’s one of our challenges.”

(on the challenge of showing Manning different looks but staying close to their strengths as a defense) “We don’t want, generally, to go too far away. That is the balance, in terms of our different looks to compared to what we do really well. We never like to get too far away from that in terms of our style and our attitude and how we like to play. There certainly will be some different looks that we have during the week.”

(on his season in 2008 with the New York Jets and QB Brett Favre) “He was one of the most fun guys to be around as a player. He had a great energy about him in terms of Brett and the way he conducted himself. He wanted to shoot hoops. There was a break in the meeting and they had a hoop up in where the quarterbacks met. (He was) really competitive. I think one of the things that I most admired about him was his ability to connect with teammates and coaches. He had a real way, a language to talk to people that made him real easy and approachable. I’m sure from the teammates they felt that. We certainly did as assistants.”

(on the disappointing finish to the 2008 season when he was with the Jets) “Yeah, it definitely was. It will always be one. When you don’t finish in a style and fashion that you like, they always stay with you and it’s certainly one for me, that year.”

(on their defensive style) “I think really there’s a real style that we like to play with and when you talk to our players this week, and you ask them that question, the first thing that I’d hope they’d say is we’re fast and physical. We take pride in the way that we want to play, in that style. I think that’s one of the first things that jump out for us: Let’s make sure we have a style and an attitude we like to play our game in.”

(on whether it takes time to develop an effective defense and their scheme) “I think so. I think most of the time that’s usually the case, and how do we best feature the players? What things do they have that we can feature, so that they can play at their best? And I think that’s one of the things, through Coach (Pete Carroll) and (coaching assistant/special teams) John (Glenn) here, let’s find what the players can do best and let’s feature them and put them in those roles. And that’s (SS) Kam (Chancellor) playing safety, or (FS) Earl (Thomas) playing the middle of the field, or our corners that can play on the end of a line. Or how do we feature our big guys or how use our rushers? That’s one of the things I’ve learned most from Coach Carroll, is how do we feature our players.”

(on whether he gets questions about the “Leo” role in the defense) “Yeah, there’s no doubt. He’s our open side end, but another way we can feature him is as an outside pass rusher with real speed. That’s one of the things that I’ve learned most from coaches, is how to have the unique players and feature them. When I left here after my first year with Coach Carroll and went to the University of Florida, I kind of tried to find a way that, even there, some of the things that the guys can do best and let’s put them in those featured roles. And then, certainly when I came back here, with the additions of guys like Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril and how can we feature them and put that as part of our plans.”

(on how being the defensive coordinator at Florida helped him grow as a coach) “I thought it was important for me from a leadership standpoint. I had been a defensive line coach for a long time, so I wanted a bigger leadership role, where instead of just the defensive line, now you could lead a defensive unit and the defensive staff. So, it was important for me, and then just going through the play calling. I certainly couldn’t have been more fired up to be part of the SEC. It was great for me. I never thought I’d have a chance to come back Seattle. When (former defensive coordinator) Gus (Bradley) was hired at Jacksonville, I was so excited for him. Then for me to have the opportunity to come back, it couldn’t have worked out any better.”

(on his coaching journey) “Awesome. And I think the relationships that you have as a coach with players and other assistant coaches, as you’re going through the different stops on your way through your coaching career, are some of the things that you remember the most. And it’s those relationships with the people that you keep up with, year in and year out, and for a guy like Mike (Tomlin), who we’re still close and still getting to talk. Getting a chance to meet people like that is as important as anything.”

(On if head coach Pete Carroll coaches his coaches.) “I think so. It felt that way to me. I’m sure it was happening all throughout my career, but I think he’s the first one that really challenged us. ‘Keep thinking. What’s your philosophy? How do you want to do that?’ So, he’s been awesome in that respect of really helping develop coaches. We’re a developmental staff, which means, in essence we try to take the players as far as they can. Really, as a head coach, he does that with us. And so, it’s one of the things that’s most fun about coaching with him is he’s constantly challenging us to see where we can go to, and in turn, we’re trying to do that with our players.”

(on CB Richard Sherman’s ability to remember things) “I think one of the things, there’s a number of things that make him so unique, but he’s got extreme recall: formations, plays, information from this game, last season, last week and he can recall it fast. My first experience with that was I think when we were getting ready to play Carolina in the opener and he said, “Last year this, this, this” and so it was without even getting into the game plan that week he had some formations and some alerts he remembered already. So, I think the mental quickness for him when he sees information, he can transfer it so quickly. Almost like a quarterback that has that kind of quickness, he has that at corner.”

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