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January 22, 2015 at 6:09 PM

Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn talks to the media about the Patriots, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and more

Today almost certainly was the last press conference at the VMAC for defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who is expected to be named head coach of the Atlanta Falcons after the season.

Quinn had little to say on that topic today, though he did it with some humor, channeling his inner Marshawn Lynch.

Asked about having a second interview this week with Atlanta, Quinn said: ” I had a great meeting with all the teams and I enjoyed the process—thanks for asking.”

Here’s the rest of what he had to say:

(On the Patriots offense) Yes—this is a big playbook. There’s teams like this, that when we go against them, it’s a long preparation that goes into it. We’ve talked about that before with some of the teams that we’ve had where they can use a number of different personnel groups—from big groups to small groups, different features, and different styles. So it makes us go through the whole process and it’s a great challenge for us.

(On different offensive looks) They’re a terrific challenge—so I think you have to go about preparing for a lot of it—the offense that you may face and as we get into the game, we’ll let the game unfold and play it from there, but they do have a big book of stuff so it’s going to be important for us to go through the process, whether it’s in the run game or the pass game and play the game as it unfolds.

(On a similar team to the Patriots) Just from a preparation standpoint, our time against San Francisco has been that way—certainly they had a lot of stuff, a lot of groups that they could use. The style of the teams is not the same, but in terms of the preparation, I would say that you would have to look through a lot of stuff, that would be the one that came to mind first.

(On the weird things the Patriots do) It’s a focus for sure—like I said, they’ve got some really unique ways to attack. Just like every team does, how they use their feature guys—I think they’re one of the best at that in terms of finding their feature players, and how to feature them in their system. It has been that way for a long time. So terrific challenge for us, but they’ll make us go through the process of eligible/ineligible, that’s just a small part of what they do really compared to all the ways that they can attack.

(On the Seahawks defensive versatility) It’s one of the things we pride ourselves on—we’re quick to play whatever style comes and we’ve had styles of games like that before, where if teams want to stay in that small group, we’re able to do that because of the depth we have at nickel, the rushers, and we’ve got some big guys that are able to do some things. Fortunately for us, as you go through the season, we have a lot of different styles of teams, and this is a team that is able to do a number of them all within the same game—sometimes it’s more with one team than it is another. Well with this team, they’re able to do it all within the same game.

(On Rob Gronkowski) He’s a terrific tight end—I think he’s a unique guy; the run game, the pass game, the catching radius, and I think at the end of it—just great hands to finish on routes. So when he’s up in the air, generally he’s strong handed to come down with it so those are a few of the things that impress us about him and why we regard him so highly.

(On Landon Cohen) When we went into that game we said, ‘Ok do we need to have more available rushers for us?’ So he had been here with us for a few weeks and we’ve tried to get him acclimated in this system. We knew he had quickness to move, and that’s why we tried to feature him into our nickel packages. For the first time out, that’s a hard job after not playing all year. It was important for him to get a few weeks of practice here with us and then get back into it so for the first time out, he did well.

(On Packers offense) Honestly, I have to give them a little bit of credit too—they were not only able to get the ball out, but they did a good job of blocking, but really not allowing us to do anything unique and changing anything in the 2nd half. I thought they came out and played well, I think their run game early was a factor—they had some that got out too. So I have to tip my hat to them and said they played well against us too.

(On Tom Brady) Yes—it’s one of the most fun and challenging parts of coaching in the NFL. It was all the way from the starting the season with Aaron [Rodgers] and now finishing the season with Tom—you can’t ask to go against two better competitor than that and Tom certainly fits into that. His resume and records speaks for itself, but it is one of the real challenges and one of the most things I enjoy about coaching is the challenges that we face each and every week—the different styles of people, the different styles of quarterbacks, tight ends, running backs, wide outs, quarterbacks, and where the matchups are coming from. So each and every week there are different challenges and Tom is another one for us this week. He certainly has our highest regard right now.

(On catching players up that comes in later in the season) I think a lot of it goes to the assistant coaches, in his [Landon Cohen] case; it goes to Travis [Jones]. It may be a linebacker with Ken [Norton] or a defensive back with Kris [Richard]. So that time spent early in the morning before meetings began for that new player come and get acclimated, and one thing that’s nice parts about here, is that their teammates will also take an active role in that to make sure that they’re up to speed. They’re not going to have a guy out there that’s not comfortable in what they’re doing. So it’s not only from the position coach, there’s also a lot of mentoring and teaching from his teammates. I think when you have that kind of locker room and the guys are that tight, if there is somebody on the team, they are going to help bring them along.

(On Ken Norton) I think the thing that jumps out at me is the intensity that he brings—whether it’s him yelling across the line of scrimmage, you can think of goal line stands, you can think of a lot of plays that he made—just his toughness, attitude, and those are the things that made me respect him as a player. Here as a coach, there is a long list of things—he really wants to find these guys and get to know them and you talk about a guy that can develop a player, I think really almost every guy on this roster started with Ken—that goes all the way from guys who were with him at college, to Bobby [Wagner], to K.J. [Wright], Bruce [Irvin], Malcolm [Smith], Mike Morgan, and the whole group. They started with him from the very beginning so his intensity, his attention to detail, the mindset—I think it goes way past the scheme that he brings to the defense and certainly to the linebackers.

(On logistics of ineligible receivers) Well he reports it—so for the guys on the field, they’ll know and give the signal of who’s eligible and an ineligible player so each and every time, they have to report to do that so that information is passed along through the official to the defense.

(On teaching signals for ineligible receivers) We have—in fact, it’s not the first week that we have so usually us as coaches, we study everything that goes on around the league. So generally when it happens, you don’t wait until that game week to prepare for it. So it’s one of the things that if something comes up in the league, you talk about it right away and you want to be prepared for it.

(On practicing for the ineligible receiver) I don’t know that we’ve been practicing for it—each and every week we may have talked about things that have come up around the league.

(On eliminating yards after the catch) It’s huge—it really is. I think one of the mottos that we talk about here is being one of the best fundamental teams in football. So for us, it’s the emphasis that we try to place on tackling and sometimes the yards after the catch—how much space is there with the guy, are they results of missed tackles, so for us, it’s a huge number. The linebackers and the defensive backs are so keyed in to being able to close when we play zone and tackling—I think those are the real big emphasis that we lean on.

(On the keys to guys being in the right space) Well I think one—it’s the guys having so much more experience in the system now. As we go along, it’s not so much as to what we play, but how we play it and when people study us and watch us play, there’s not going to be ten different things that we do or ten different new schemes, but the things that we do, we want to take great pride in the way we do them. So it allows us to play really fast and to free ourselves up mentally to play that fast so I think that frees us up as well.

(On if he likes the NFL Coaches interview system) The way the league sets it up, it worked just fine for us.

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