Winning a Super Bowl together, as Dan Quinn and Pete Carroll did together in 2013 with the Seattle Seahawks, is one of the better ways to forge a lasting friendship, and that's exactly what the two head coaches have.
Quinn and Carroll have both enjoyed success throughout their careers, but the Falcons and Seahawks are in different places as they prepare to meet in Mercedes-Benz Stadium for their Week 8 matchup. Atlanta is currently on a five-game skid that has left Quinn and his staff searching for answers to turn things around.
When asked about the qualities Quinn possesses that lead him to believe the Falcons' coach can get the Falcons back to winning games, Carroll had a list ready to go.
"I think all of the qualities that you guys have witnessed: The leadership, toughness, the style of play, the effort that the team plays with, utilizing personnel and schemes," Carroll said. "All of the stuff that he's done so extremely well in his past. There's nothing that says it's not going to absolutely turn in the direction like you guys have come to know it and he's expecting."
Quinn served on Carroll's first staff in Seattle in 2010 as the team's assistant head coach and defensive line coach. He returned to the Seahawks after a brief stint with the Florida Gators to serve as defensive coordinator for two seasons before joining the Falcons in 2015. Seattle reached the Super Bowl in both of the seasons Quinn was defensive coordinator and boasted one of the best defensive units in league history.
Given the production Quinn had as Carroll's defensive coordinator and in leading Atlanta to the Super Bowl in 2016, the Falcons' 1-6 start this season has been a bit of a shock to many people, including Seattle's head coach.
"I think everything with the start surprises me," Carroll said. "They've been doing a lot of great things and been really consistent. Obviously, it's just taking a little time to get their consistency right … The games just haven't been finishing up the way they've wanted and it's been a hard start."
The Falcons have won their last two games against the Seahawks, including a victory in the NFC Divisional Round the year they went to the Super Bowl, but they are coming off a 37-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams and have been unable to sustain much consistency across all three phases.
"He knows what he's doing," Carroll said. "He's just trying to get his club going, as we all do. It's all week-to-week battles, and that's all we do and that's how we know how to go about it. I know that he's digging in and putting together a game plan and getting ready to go win a football game, and we're doing the exact same."