Clayton: Seahawks catching breaks in the division and in OC search

Jan 18, 2021, 3:03 PM
Seahawks Doug Pederson...
The Seahawks have reportedly reached out to Doug Pederson about the OC opening. (Getty)

The Seahawks, still reeling after their wild-card loss to the Los Angeles Rams, may be getting a few breaks that could help them next season.

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We all acknowledge that the NFL West is the deepest and best division in football. The division has great coaches, top-level quarterbacks and star players on offense and defense. The breaks for the Seahawks started last week.

It began with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh getting the head coaching job of the New York Jets. Salah grew as a defensive coach and a leader to a point it was almost a guarantee he was going to get a head coaching job. The 49ers will have to see how DeMeco Ryans does in trying to replace him.

The other break was the Los Angeles Rams losing defensive coordinator Brandon Staley to the Los Angeles Chargers as head coach. Staley was clearly the assistant coach of the year. He came to the Rams from Denver and turned the Rams into the league’s top defense. In two years, the Rams have lost Staley and Wade Phillips. This will be a difficult hire for McVay. Staley stunned everyone with how well he did in one year. Of course, McVay deserves credit for hiring him and letting him make the defense that good.

Say one thing about McVay: He’s a great coach who can keep his franchise in the Super Bowl hunt each year, but he takes playoff losses hard. It took him months to recover from the Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. Saturday’s loss to Green Bay might keep him scrambling for the next couple months.

One of the big stories to watch this offseason is what is going to happen to Jared Goff. Even though Goff helped get the Rams to the Super Bowl, he’s not in McVay’s favor and apparently hasn’t been for a while. It was easy to see when the Rams lost to Miami that defenses had figured out the Goff offense. If a defense can stop the run and not allow Goff to complete play-action passes, Goff struggles. His turnovers increase. He looks uncomfortable.

Following the loss to the Packers, McVay said Goff is the Rams quarterback for now. He followed that up saying the quarterback position is going to be reviewed. It’s almost a guarantee that he will bring a quarterback in to compete against him. It’s not out of the question for McVay to move on from Goff. Goff also doesn’t appear to be pleased with what he’s hearing.

Another break for the Seahawks is what’s available for offensive coordinators.

The big break was Doug Pederson being fired by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Seahawks have reached out to Pederson, who is from Ferndale. He would be the best hire for Pete Carroll if he does want to work this fall. It doesn’t appear Pederson will get a head coaching job. Only two are open: Houston and the Eagles, who fired him. It’s not known if he would be willing to be offensive coordinator.

He’d be a perfect fit. He likes the two-tight end offense. He likes to run the ball. He’s a great play-caller. He would work run-pass options with Russell Wilson and let him have a different way of cooking.

Passing game coordinator Dave Canales is also a candidate. He turned down the offensive coordinator job at Vanderbilt. The perfect scenario would be for Pederson be the coordinator and take the year to develop Canales as his replacement. Figuring Pederson would be successful with Wilson, he clearly would get a head coaching job the next season.

Carroll has reached out to a lot of coaches. He’s talked to Adam Gase, Anthony Lynn, Pep Hamilton and many others. This is a tough division for offensive coordinators, but if the Seahawks make the right move, it might not be as hard going against the Rams and the 49ers.

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