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Jeremy Chinn is all in on Washington's new defensive philosophy


The Washington Commanders were not the only team interested in Jeremy Chinn's services. He had other offers on the table, and according to him, they were at least a little more lucrative from a financial standpoint.

Chinn turned them down in favor of joining the Commanders, though, because of the opportunities he could have in the DMV.

"Just the situation here with Dan Quinn (defensive coordinator), Joe Whitt (Jr.), and (defensive pass game coordinator (Jason Simmons) and TD (secondary coach Tom Donatell), this is where I'm supposed to be, man," **Chinn said on SiriusXM NFL Radio.** "I know this is where I'm supposed to be."

Chinn, the 2020 runner-up for Defensive Rookie of the Year, has made it clear that he wants to be in Washington and part of the franchise's new era. While he has never played for Quinn or Whitt in his NFL career, observations from afar convinced him that they were the ones who could get the most out of his skill set. The past two months have lived up to all of Chinn's expectations.

"It's been more than I could imagine or ask for," Chinn said. "Just the places that he [Quinn] has been, from Seattle to Dallas and Atlanta, just seeing his defenses thrive and how people have played in those defenses."

Quinn and Whitt's work with the Cowboys is the most recent example of how they can turn a defense that is going through a rough patch into one of the league's best. In the time that Quinn was the Cowboys' defensive coordinator, the defense finished top 10 in points allowed, ranking fifth during the 2023 season. The Cowboys were also fifth in total yards allowed and tied for 12th in turnovers.

Chinn was certainly aware of the Cowboys' defenses in recent years, but he has been admiring Quinn's defenses for longer than that. He grew up watching the "Legion of Boom" become one of the best units in NFL history, leading the Seattle Seahawks to a blowout Super Bowl win over the Denver Broncos on the way to leading the league in points allowed, yards allowed and takeaways that year -- a feat that had not been accomplished since the 1985 Chicago Bears.

That resume of success "speaks volumes" for Chinn, and like most defensive backs, he tried to emulate that physical style.

"Every football player, DB, whatever, we all looked at the 'Legion of Boom,'" Chinn said.

However it ends up looking in September, Washington's defense has been described as having a "run and hit" flare by coaches and players alike. Chinn has made a career of that, racking up 324 tackles, three forced fumbles, four sacks, 17 pass breakups and two interceptions over his four-year career. That is what drew Washington to Chinn in the first place.

"I think he's down by the line of scrimmage," Quinn said. "He's blitzing. He's guarding tight ends, and so that was one of the things that we thought would be really important. We want to play tight. We want to play aggressive, so the more man-to-man, the more blitzing ability, that's what we're looking for into that spot."

Check out the top photos of the Washington Commanders taking the field for the first day of minicamp.

And that is why Chinn decided to enter the next phase of his career in Washington; to him, that mentality is "perfect" for what he wants to do on the field.

"I'm just excited for this opportunity that's in front of me," Chinn said. "I'm ready to take full advantage of it, and I can't wait to get to work."

Whitt has made his expectations clear to Washington's defensive players. They are going to prioritize turning over the football, provide more opportunities for the offense and invite contact with a sense of urgency and eagerness. The unit, Whitt said, has bought into that philosophy. "There's nobody that's baulked at that at all," the defensive coordinator said, and the meetings are so fun because of how committed everyone is to those goals.

Chinn has no problem being the enforcer for those principles.

"We're going to be physical and fast," Chinn said. "Run-and-hit type defense. That's the standard we hold ourselves to. Run to the ball, and the rest of it will take care of itself."

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