Did the Washington Commanders make a mistake hiring Dan Quinn?

Did the Washington Commanders just replace Ron Rivera with... Ron Rivera?
Dallas Cowboys v New Orleans Saints
Dallas Cowboys v New Orleans Saints / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Washington Commanders have entered a new era, recently hiring former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn to be their new head coach, replacing the fired Ron Rivera. Was this the right move, or did the Commanders just replace Ron Rivera with another version of Ron Rivera? This is an interesting move by new Commanders GM, Adam Peters.

Dan Quinn gets his second shot at being a head coach in the NFL. His first head coaching gig was with the Atlanta Falcons from 2015-2020. In his second year on the job, the Falcons made the Super Bowl and infamously sprung out to a 28-3 lead. Yeah, I think we know what happened there. Well, Quinn was fired after Week 5 of the 2020 NFL Season; the Falcons had started the year 0-5.

And now, after spending a few years as the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator, he gets his second shot with Washington. But this hire feels eerily similar to when the Commanders hired Ron Rivera. Rivera's first head coaching gig was with the Carolina Panthers from 2011-2019. Like Quinn, Rivera lead his team to the Super Bowl, the year before Quinn made it with the Falcons.

And like Quinn, Rivera's squad lost. Both coaches head coaching records hover around .500. Rivera has a .498 winning percentage in the regular season, and Quinn has a .506 winning percentage in the regular season. Both men are old-school, defensive mind who seem to be respected by their players.

So, did the Commanders upgrade from Ron Rivera? It seems hard to say yes at this point. The biggest factor in this might be who Dan Quinn brings along on his staff, especially with the offensive coordinator and QB coach spots. Washington owns the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, so they are in a perfect position to select a QB, perhaps like Drake Maye from UNC.

Maye has all the qualities to be a franchise passer in the NFL, and the Commanders would be silly to pass him out. But at this point, it seems hard to say that the Commanders brought in a better head coach than what they had previously.