Ex-Maryland coach DJ Durkin helping Falcons at camp

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Former Maryland coach DJ Durkin has joined the Atlanta Falcons as a guest coach during training camp.

Last year, Durkin was placed on administrative leave following the death of Maryland player Jordan McNair due to practice-related heatstroke. Durkin was later fired.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn expressed support for Durkin on Monday, characterizing the circumstances at Maryland as an "Unfortunate situation, of course."

"I hope people would understand, and people know me well enough, that nothing is more important than team," Quinn said, via ESPN's Vaughn McClure. "The fact that I know this coach firsthand, I know what his character is, and then the due diligence that goes with that, I would certainly hope that anyone covering the team or the fan base knows that I always have the team's best interest in mind and would never put anybody in a space that would be otherwise.

"That said, it's not that unusual for me to have people come to be a part of our program and add value to it for a smaller period of time. I've done it before, and I'll do it again in the future."

Quinn and Durkin spent two seasons together on the Florida Gators defensive staff, 2011-2012.

"I know DJ firsthand, about what he is as a coach,'' Quinn said. "I've coached with him. And I know what his character is. We did all of our due diligence of calling everybody at Maryland and had our own follow-up to there. So, what I would know is in the past, we've had Ron Wolf come to help me with another set of eyes. Last year, Darrell Bevell coming into the same role.

"I think it's a huge advantage that you can have somebody of respect and can look at some certain things to help your team in the evaluation.''

Quinn emphasized that Durkin was a guest coach for camp. The Falcons also added three Bill Walsh Coaching Fellows, Lance Schulters, Jamel Mutunga and Tracy Zimmer.

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