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Efe Obada was sold on Dan Quinn long before he became Washington's HC


Dan Quinn is known around the NFL for being a master when it comes to relating to his players. It's one of the reasons Managing Partner Josh Harris wanted him as the Washington Commanders' head coach, and his former players have spoken highly about the care he has for them.

Efe Obada, one of the few players Washington kept from its own crop of free agents, got first-hand experience in that months before Quinn was even considered as a candidate for the open job in Washington, and it showed him all he needed to know about Quinn's approach.

"He's the only coach that I would want to play for right now," Obada said.

The 2023 season was a difficult one for Obada, who signed a one-year contract to remain with Washington after tying a career high with 24 tackles to go with four sacks in 2022. He started the season on Injured Reserve and only played in five games before breaking his leg in Week 11 against the New York Giants.

Obada was understandably in a depressive state once he was returned to IR, ending his season with just two tackles. He was going to make a full recovery, but he had no idea what the setback would mean for his career. At his press conference in late March, Obada called it "my lowest point" as he worried about how he would provide for his family.

Obada got a handful of text messages after his surgery to show their support. One of them was from Quinn.

"He messaged me that I was a warrior and that I would get back," Obada said. "And that meant so much to me."

Quinn's message came as a surprise to Obada. The two had crossed paths before; Obada had been invited to a training camp with the Atlanta Falcons, where Quinn was the head coach at the time, and spent about a month with the team in 2016.

Obada didn't think much of it back then, but hearing from Quinn after nearly a decade showed him how much the head coach still cared about him.

"It's a testament to the kind of guy that he is because he cares about someone eight years later," Obada said. "He didn't need to text me, and he did."

Obada knows he isn't the only one who has experienced something like that from Quinn.

"I'm sure there's so many other guys, so many other players, coaches that have amazing testimony to the character of Coach Dan Quinn and how much he cares and how much he goes above and beyond."

Quinn said during his introductory press conference that players were the reason he began his coaching career. He loves being part of a team, and developing a camaraderie that allows him to guide and support his players is crucial to that. The magic stuff happens, Quinn said, when everyone is close and helping each other win.

That's been the mood so far at the Commanders' facility as the team begins its offseason workout program. Obada could feel it from the moment he returned to the building. Even though most of the players and coaches are still getting to know each other, everyone he's interacted with is focused on helping their teammates improve.

Obada gets to be a part of that now, and he doesn't want to be anywhere else.

"He [Quinn] is one of the only coaches I want to go to war for," Obada said.

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