Ex-Chargers coach Anthony Lynn’s ‘beliefs’ could land him Seahawks OC
We’re just a few days removed from the big news that the Seahawks are moving on from offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer after three seasons due to “philosophical differences.” And with free agency and the draft months away, the focus is now on who will be Schottenheimer’s replacement in 2021.
There have been a couple names floated out there this week, and the latest name is arguably the biggest: Anthony Lynn, who was the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers the last four years before being fired earlier this offseason. He has spoken to Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll about the offensive coordinator opening, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport.
Former #Chargers coach Anthony Lynn has spoken with Pete Carroll about the #Seahawks offensive coordinator job, sources tell me and @RapSheet. Lynn hasn’t decided what he wants to do in 2021, but he’d be among Seattle’s top choices.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 15, 2021
Someone who knows Lynn well is Eric Williams, who currently covers the Los Angeles Rams and Lakers for SI Now, but previously covered the Chargers for ESPN.com from 2013 to March 2020. Williams, who also used to cover the Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune, joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant Friday morning to discuss why the Seahawks could be interested in hiring Lynn.
“I really like Anthony Lynn. Good coach, good man,” Williams said. “He had a lot of respect in the organization and the locker room.”
Aside from being someone who is well respected both in the Chargers organization and across the league, the way Lynn views offenses would make him a good fit for the Seahawks and Carroll, Williams said.
“It makes some sense for Anthony to be talked about for that position because I feel like his beliefs and his philosophy on offense kind of align with what Pete wants to do, which is run the football,” he said. “Anthony was a running back in the league, his specialty is running, (and) he was a running backs coach for a long time.”
Lynn’s background both as a running back and a running backs coach would make him an ideal candidate for Carroll, who is a huge proponent of running the football. Carroll also made it clear after the Seahawks’ season finished that he wanted Seattle to run more down the stretch of 2020 and plans for the offense to run more going forward.
“I think in terms of getting the running game back to what it was when the Seahawks were going to Super Bowls, that’s kind of (Lynn’s) specialty,” Williams said. “He knows a lot of different ways in terms of diversity in the running game, he knows how to teach it, knows how to coach it, so I think that would be one of the reasons Pete would be interested.”
Another reason Carroll could be comfortable with Lynn? Gus Bradley.
Bradley was Carroll’s defensive coordinator in Seattle from 2010-2012 and Lynn’s defensive play caller in Los Angeles from 2017 to 2020.
“Pete would be able to have a good idea of Anthony Lynn as a coach because he still has a good relationship with Gus, and I’m sure he’s talked to Gus about that,” Williams said.
While Lynn’s experience with running the ball does fit in with Carroll’s apparent vision for the offense, there’s a key area when it comes to being an offensive coordinator that Lynn lacks.
“Anthony hasn’t called plays, though, so that would be an issue,” Williams said. “I think the last time he called plays was when he was an interim offensive coordinator in Buffalo (in 2016) before he got the head (coaching) job with the Chargers, so that would be a concern going in.”
Lynn not the only LAC coach to watch
Before Lynn was reported as a candidate for the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator position, NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reported Chargers offensive coordinator Shane Steichen was a top name to watch. Later, Josina Anderson reported that Pep Hamilton, the Chargers quarterbacks coach and a former offensive coordinator for Stanford and the Indianapolis Colts, was also a candidate for the job.
Williams said given what the Chargers have done offensively in recent years, it would make sense that the Seahawks would be interested in taking a coach from that team to call plays in Seattle.
“When you look at the Chargers’ offense, I think they did a pretty good job of balancing the run versus the pass,” he said. “I think both (Steichen) and Pep did a good job with (quarterback Justin Herbert) overall just in terms of his maturation in his rookie season, so I think that’d be one of the reasons you’d look at a guy like Shane or Pep. Both those guys are well respected in the Chargers organization.”
Neither Steichen nor Hamilton have been fired from the Chargers like Lynn has, but Williams believes Los Angeles’ next coach will be offensive-minded and allowed to bring in his own staff, meaning Hamilton and Steichen will likely be let go eventually.
Listen to the conversation with Williams at this link or in the player below.