Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Washington Commanders fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate in regular email surveys.
This week, we ask you to grade the hires: defensive coordinator, offensive coordinator, and head coach.
DC Joe Whitt
Whitt joined the Cowboys in 2021 alongside Quinn, the duo having spent the 2020 season together with the Atlanta Falcons, where the latter was head coach at the time.
Whitt also has a longstanding relationship with Mike McCarthy from their time together with the Green Bay Packers, where the former served as cornerbacks coach before being moved up to defensive passing game coordinator.
That relationship, along with his bond with Quinn, allowed Whitt to hit the ground running in Dallas — quietly helping Quinn to orchestrate a defensive unit that excelled in pressuring the quarterback and in taking the ball away.
The 45-year-old will now get his first-ever shot at coordinating an entire defense.
OC Kliff Kingsbury
Kingsbury’s spread offenses have been pass-heavy, dating back to his early days with Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, but he did rely on the running game more when calling plays for the Cardinals. Arizona finished in the top 10 in offensive yards in 2020 and 2021 and was also in the top half of the league in points scored in each of his first three seasons.
As head coach, Kingsbury had a 28-37-1 record with the Cardinals. Kingsbury’s head-coaching record is spotty on the pro and college levels, but the 44-year-old tutored two-time Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech and Kyler Murray with Arizona. He also overlapped with new Commanders GM Peters on the 2003 Patriots.
Kingsbury likely will offer a good pairing with a mobile, first-round quarterback. He returned from some time off after he was fired last year in Arizona to help out at USC in an advisory role, so there is a connection with potential No. 1 overall draft pick Caleb Williams.
HC Dan Quinn
Quinn was Atlanta’s head coach in the 2016 Super Bowl and the defensive coordinator during Seattle’s back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, including the 2013 “Legion of Boom” champs. Naysayers note that the Falcons’ success came with Shanahan running the offense and ended when he left for San Francisco. Quinn’s last game, a 48-32 playoff loss to Green Bay, left a dubious last impression.
At his introductory news conference last month, Peters said the choice wouldn’t be limited to an offensive or defensive box, but rather “the best leader for this organization.” Passionate comments from Parsons and Quinn’s other former players show why the coach fits that job description.
Qunn’s coaching career began in the general DMV area: Quinn coached at William & Mary, Virginia Military Institute and Hofstra before joining the 49ers as a defensive quality control coach.
Qunn’s first coordinator position was with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013, where he orchestrated one of the best defenses in league history. The Seahawks had 63 turnovers in that two-year span, including a league-leading 39 in 2013. They also led the league with the fewest yards allowed (270.4), points allowed (15.2) and passing yards allowed (178.8).
Quinn spent the past three seasons (2021-23) as the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, where his unit was top-10 in net yards per attempt, takeaways, and points allowed during his tenure.
Comments & Results
Of course, we invite you to answer the survey questions below, but also feel free to expand on your answers and provide nuance in the comments section. I rely on those comments when discussing the results of the survey when they are posted in a separate article the next few days.