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Seahawks' Dan Quinn will draw head-coaching interest

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Dan Quinn's Seattle Seahawks' defense has returned to the historically great level of last season, suffocating opponents to the tune of 6.7 points and 169 total yards per game over the past three weeks.

Last week's performance was the most impressive by any defense this season, limiting the Eagles' high-powered offense to 139 yards -- 61 fewer than any previous game under Chip Kelly.

NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock broke down the tape on NFL NOW's Mayock's Slants, highlighting Richard Sherman's dominance against No. 1 receiver Jeremy Maclin and Byron Maxwell's closing speed and tackling ability to thwart Mark Sanchez's receivers on third downs.

"They won a Super Bowl last year," Mayock explained, "because their defense was significantly better than any offense they played in the playoffs."

Now that Tharold Simon has emerged as Sherman Lite, allowing a healthy Maxwell to excel in the slot, the Legion of Boom has the potential to match last season's Super Bowl run.

Sherman hasn't allowed a completion in three weeks. Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor remain the NFL's model single-high/box safety combination. Seahawks corners boast the lowest passer rating in the league for the third consecutive season. Despite the mid-season swoon due to a litany of injuries, the defense is allowing only 1 more yard per game than they did last year. The past two opponents have combined for just one play over 17 yards.

Seattle's ongoing hegemony in the NFL's defensive rankings raises an obvious question about Quinn's future.

Thanks in part to Quinn's masterful game plan that succeeded in tearing Peyton Manning's record-breaking offense asunder in the Super Bowl, Pete Carroll's top lieutenant is listed by NFL Media's Albert Breer as one of the league's top head-coaching candidates as Black Monday approaches.

"He's one of the main reasons I have improved as a player," defensive lineman Michael Bennett has said of Quinn's impact. "Just the things he's taught me, I took them and used them to get better."

Quinn interviewed for the open jobs in Cleveland, Tennessee and Minnesota last January and made it clear he would have been interested in becoming the next Browns field general.

If teams come calling again, Quinn told TheMMQB.com's Peter King that Carroll will encourage the opportunity.

"When the time comes, I feel I'll be ready to take that step," Quinn said. "What's great about coaching for Pete is that a lot of coaches do all they can to keep their staffs together -- Pete wants you to get ready to take a (head-coaching) job."

Asked about the potential of a Super Bowl run inhibiting his chances for a second straight offseason, Quinn quipped, "I hope it does."

In addition to his rapidly expanding résumé, that team-first loyalty will endear Quinn to prospective owners during next month's interview process.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Sunday game from Week 14 and discusses the Seahawks' return to Super Bowl form. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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