Falcons' Quinn says he is 'sure' Shanahan will draw interest

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, expected to be one of the top targets for teams looking to replace head coaches, could be available for interviews late this week.

''I'm sure he will be contacted by some teams to do that,'' Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Monday.

Quinn wouldn't confirm any teams which may hope to interview Shanahan ''out of respect to other teams. That's their news, not ours.''

Denver and the Los Angeles Rams are among teams which could have interest in Shanahan. At least six teams are looking for new coaches.

The NFC South champion Falcons (11-5) earned a first-round bye with Sunday's 38-32 win over New Orleans. Quinn has scheduled practices on Wednesday and Thursday.

''Our coaches will have some time at the end of the week that they would be off and it would be in that time if it happens,'' Quinn said of potential interviews.

Denver general manager John Elway said he hopes to hire one of the league's ''very bright, young guys'' to replace Gary Kubiak, who resigned for health reasons.

Shanahan is the son of former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan.

Kyle Shanahan's stock as a candidate has climbed as his Falcons offense has flourished. Atlanta led the NFL in scoring, averaging 33.8 points per game. Quarterback Matt Ryan is a MVP candidate .

''I think Kyle has been outstanding the entire year,'' Ryan said Sunday. ''He has a really good feel for the guys that we have in our locker room and what they are capable of doing.

''He's done a great job of putting everybody in positions to succeed. He's handled that as well as anybody. I think he's done a great job this year.''

Quinn said he has no concern that Shanahan's possible interview with one or more teams could interfere with preparations for the Falcons' NFC divisional playoff game against Seattle, Green Bay or the Giants on Jan. 14.

''For us it's not a distraction because we do what we do,'' he said. ''You don't have to leave anywhere or go anywhere.''

NFL teams would have to interview Shanahan in Atlanta.

Quinn has the perspective of being a highly regarded defensive coordinator with Seattle who went through the interview process with the Falcons only two years ago.

''I've been through that,'' Quinn said of the interview process. ''As coaches, any work you may do, it's been done long ago. And when the opportunity comes to speak to another team, it happens pretty quickly so you better be ready when the opportunity comes.''

Quinn said he will ''share just some insight of things I learned through the experience'' with Shanahan.

''He's got his world in order, too,'' he said. ''If I can give him some insight on some things that would help, I'll certainly do that.''

NOTES: Quinn said TE Austin Hooper (knee) and WR Taylor Gabriel (foot) will practice this week after missing Sunday's game. Quinn said LB Vic Beasley ''did great'' after returning to the game following a shoulder injury. ''It was sore, but he came through the game fine.'' S Keanu Neal also returned after leaving with a possible head injury. ... Beasley finished the regular season leading the NFL with 15+ sacks. He shared the lead with six forced fumbles.

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