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Aligned vision applies to more than scheme to Dan Quinn, Adam Peters

02052024 Quinn Press Conference KC49906

In case you haven't noticed, there's a new buzz phrase being thrown around the Washington Commanders' facility.

General manager Adam Peters and head coach Dan Quinn have been charged with the task of turning the Commanders' roster, which finished 4-13 a year ago, into a playoff contender that can compete with the NFL's best for years to come. Both have some experience in that regard; Peters was a prominent voice in the San Francisco 49ers' front office that help make it to the NFC Championship in four of the last five seasons, while Quinn led an Atlanta Falcons team to a Super Bowl two years after he was hired.

Peters and Quinn will play instrumental roles in bringing some of that success to Washington, and both have expressed a desire to share an aligned vision on figuring out how to get there. Technically, Peters will be the one to call the shots, but he wants every decision to include input himself, Quinn, the coaches and scouting department, rather than being dominated by one person's perspective.

To Quinn, there's some nuance to being in lockstep on every choice the franchise makes in the coming months.

"It's more about the play style and the vision of how to feature players into that play style," Quinn said. "And so that's one of the things that I love about coaching is finding unique traits that a player has and then how could we fit them into a system, into a structure, to make it happen."

Take a behind-the-scenes look at Dan Quinn's first day and the Washington Commanders' new head coach.

Both Quinn and Peter have been part of several franchises in their combined 45 years of experience in the NFL. From a schematic standpoint, most teams aren't all that different from one another from a schematic standpoint. The Commanders are going to do things differently on both sides of the ball -- offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury has ties to the Air Raid system, and defensive coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. has ties to a 3-4 scheme -- but there's still going to be some familiar concepts that are utilized by all 32 teams.

Having the right scheme is important, but Peters believes finding the right players who fit a shared identity is an even bigger priority.

"When you watch it on TV and you turn the volume down, you just see how fast and physical and aggressive you are on both sides of the ball, finishers," Peters said. "That type of style is what you're looking for. And whether it's 4-3, 3-4, however you want to talk, Wide Zone, any type of offense, it's finding those types of guys that...we want to bring in the building and people that love football who are going to give it all for us on the field."

This is the first time Peters and Quinn have worked together, but they have been aligned from the moment they spoke during the interview process. Peters felt as if he was "interviewing almost a person just like me," and the two were "speaking the same language."

Peters didn't say much about what his and Quinn's shared vision is for the roster, other than to say that "you guys will all love to watch, the fans of the Commanders not only just here in the DMV but all over the world, will love watching Dan's team play." Quinn, however, did provide some insight; regardless of the offensive and defensive scheme, his team is going to be "explosive and physical."

"You've gotta be bold," Quinn said. "You've gotta be aggressive. Having the players to do that, that's part of what we do. And then train them to do it over and over and over again. It's so important for us to find guys of things they can do versus things they can't do."

When it comes to finding the right players to fulfill that vision, the Commanders have nine draft picks and the most projected available cap space in the NFL to shape the Commanders in Peters and Quinn's image. Peters promised that he and Quinn are going to stay in constant communication on how to utilize that capital. He even joked that they may have a door connecting their offices.

"That's collaboration, right?" Peters said with a laugh. "Every decision we make, we're gonna talk. We're not gonna make a decision without talking to each other. We're gonna come out that room, which whichever door we come out of, with the same answer in mind."

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