Dan Quinn's not the type to waste time or effort. If it's going to be done, it's going to be done right and it's going to be done with the smallest detail in mind.
Facing Philadelphia in an all-important Week 14 game during the 2014 season, Quinn had a little extra time to prepare as the Seahawks had played in one of three Thursday night games in Week 13, so he did what any coach would do with the extra time. He spent quality time with his family and took in a little extra film work.
How much extra? About 12 games and two camera angles worth.
To put that into perspective, Quinn told SI's Peter King that he usually gets to watch about four games of an upcoming opponent to prepare a game plan for that team. Against Philadelphia, Quinn watched almost all of the Eagles' 2014 games to that point from both the coaches all-22 angle, as well as the television broadcast version.
The reason for taking the time to watch their games in what was essentially real-time was simple. Philadelphia and head coach Chip Kelly boast a high-powered, quick-tempo offense, and Quinn wanted Seattle to be prepared for just how quick.
Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has been named the 16th head coach in Atlanta Falcons history and he brings with him an impressive defensive resume
So, Quinn sat in front of his television, watching the broadcast of Eagles games and he held a stopwatch in his hand. He wanted to see how long it took the Eagles to get from the end of one play into the start of another.
"If they want to play fast, they take 12, 13 seconds. That's pretty fast," Quinn told King before the matchup with Philly. "Normally, they probably take 18, 19 seconds. Fortunately, we've played against some teams that played pretty fast, so we're accustomed to it."
For Quinn, finding the difference between those six or seven seconds helped him prepare his Seahawks defense for what to expect against Philadelphia. After all, both teams were heading into the game chasing division titles. The Seahawks eventually earned theirs. Philadelphia missed the postseason, thanks in part to dropping the 24-14 decision to Seattle and Quinn's defense.
Coming into the game, the Seahawks had gone eight straight quarters without allowing a touchdown — against Arizona and then San Francisco — but Philadelphia needed just the first 13 minutes of the Week 14 matchup to break the streak.
Quinn's Seahawks defense buckled down immediately after allowing the touchdown, which was the result of a fumble recovered by Philadelphia in Seattle territory. The Eagles would never lead again after going up 7-0.
Quinn's unit held the Eagles, who had averaged 272.2 offensive yards per game in 2014, to 139 total net yards — 57 rushing, 82 passing. The defense forced two fumbles, recovering one, and notched an interception. Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy, who finished No. 4 in the league in yards per game with 82.4, was held to just 50 on the day — a non-factor as a marquee player in a marquee game.
Performances like that by the best defensive unit in the NFL start in the film room and with Quinn's attention to the small things that can make a difference. Called "obsessive in the film room" by MMQB's Robert Klemko, Quinn's penchant for the little things and the time he's willing to spend on them are a big reason why Seattle has been so successful defensively.
"I think his attitude, his scheme, how he approaches the game, how he prepares for the game — I think that will definitely make him a great head coach," Seattle DE Cliff Avril said last week. "His attitude toward everything is huge."