By Danny O'Neil
"Person of Interest" is a weekly feature in which we put the microscope on one player from the Seahawks' upcoming opponent. This week, it's St. Louis' Robert Quinn.
• Position: Speed-rushing quarterback cruncher, NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate
• Height: 6-4
• Weight: 264
• Age: 23
• Experience: Third season
The Seahawks got the NFC West title and a playoff berth out of their victory over the Rams in the 2010 regular-season finale. St. Louis got Robert Quinn.
Well, not exactly, but he's the player the Rams picked with their first-round choice, No. 14 overall. Had the Rams beaten Seattle, they would have been picking in the 20s.
In his third season, Quinn has 18 sacks, which broke the Rams franchise record held by Kevin Carter. He had three sacks in the first game against Seattle this season and he has a total of six sacks in the five games he has played against the Seahawks.
It's impossible for coach Pete Carroll to hide his admiration when discussing Quinn, and in a defense that utilizes a speed-rushing defensive ends as the Seahawks do, it's pretty clear why.
Quinn has speed coming off the edge, which is exactly the reason Seattle chose Bruce Irvin in the first round with the 15th choice a year after Quinn went No. 14 overall coming out of North Carolina.
The Seahawks were missing both their starting offensive tackles in that first meeting against St. Louis this season, but matching up with Quinn is going to be a heck of a challenge for Russell Okung or – if Quinn lines up on the opposite side – Breno Giacomini.
As Carroll made clear, Quinn is a handful for anyone.
"It starts with his speed," Carroll said. "He's really fast. He's a tremendous athlete. He's got great flexibility and terrific quickness. He's got the body of a skilled athlete, of a defensive back-type of athlete at 260 pounds and can roar around the edge. He's a rare athlete for this position. This is the kind of guy, exactly what you're looking for in the Leo position. He's got that speed, he's got the athleticism. He can do whatever you need him to do."