Commanders HC Dan Quinn: Bobby Wagner is ‘all that I love about football’

Linebacker Bobby Wagner was one of the headline pickups for the Washington Commanders this offseason, and the move reunites Wagner with Dan Quinn, Washington’s new head coach and the linebacker’s defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks from 2013-14.

Quinn can’t praise Wagner enough.

“He’s all that I love about football,” Quinn said. “He’s a tackler; he’s aggressive; he’s tough; he’s smart; he takes care of himself. … He’s a multiplier. Because this is how the standard is, this is how I operate. This is a process to go through, so if you are a young linebacker being around somebody, this is the exact type of linebacker you’d want to be around.

“Seeing that standard of how we operate — I thought that was really important, and so that’s why I’m so lit up about getting him here. It’s been a long time since I’ve coached him. I coached against him a lot. I remember circling that number and [saying], ‘Do not let this person ruin this game, you know, with 15 tackles.’ It’s really good to get a chance to work with him and some of the other guys.”

Wagner, a six-time All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowler, spent last season with the Seahawks in what was his second stint with the franchise. He posted an NFL-high 183 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, three passes defended and one fumble recovery. The 33-year-old spent the 2022 season with the Los Angeles Rams and has totaled 100-plus combined tackles in each of his 12 seasons in the NFL.

Outside of Wagner, safety Jeremy Chinn, defensive end Dorance Armstrong and linebacker Frankie Luvu are among the new faces on Washington’s defense — one which surrendered 262.2 passing yards (last in the NFL), 126.8 rushing yards (27th), 388.9 total yards (last) and 30.5 points (last) per game last season.

This is Quinn’s second stint as an NFL head coach, his first one coming with the Atlanta Falcons from 2015-20. The Falcons went a combined 43-42 under Quinn, highlighted by an appearance in Super Bowl LI and two 10-plus win seasons. Quinn spent the past three seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys.

The Commanders are coming off a 4-13 season and own the No. 2 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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