With Dan Quinn departing for Washington, what happens now to guys like Jayron Kearse and Markquese Bell, who Quinn sort of found hybrid positions for? How about the tall, lanky cornerbacks that he liked so much? Do you think we see Micah Parsons in more of a linebacker role as opposed to Quinn's hybrid role? In other words, is there going to be a big domino effect with his departure? – Justin Oswalt/West Haven, UT
Nick Harris: Depending on who the next defensive coordinator is, I think there could be some shuffling around with specific hybrid players. In regard to Micah Parsons, his pass rush ability is too elite to take him away from the defensive line, but I think you could see Markquese Bell hone in on a safety role and Juanyeh Thomas find a specific role at safety. Attacking tall, lanky cornerbacks in the draft could remain the same. I don't see that as a Quinn philosophy, but more so a scouting department philosophy. Trevon Diggs is the perfect example as a player that came in before Quinn that the team identified.
Patrik: I love this question because it goes deeper than simply wondering what happens with the coaching staff on the defensive side of the ball, and it's something I immediately pointed out once Quinn departed: the personnel concerns that now loom. Kearse, as one example, was playing in a contract season in 2023 and, as such, is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March (unless a new deal is done). I believe there's a very real chance that Kearse takes his talents to the Commanders to reunite with Quinn — a possibility for Dante Fowler Jr. as well — and losing Kearse would thrust emerging talent Juanyeh Thomas onto the main stage alongside Malik Hooker and Donovan Wilson at the safety position. As for Bell, it's likely you see him return to safety under a new coordinator, especially since depth would be needed at that position, as the linebacker group works to upgrade with bigger-bodied actual linebackers alongside Damone Clark, and the return of DeMarvion Overshown from a torn ACL will also impact how the LBs corps is run in 2024. Will there be a domino effect with Quinn heading out of town? You bet your ass there will be. It's already begun, to be honest.