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Seahawks OC Candidate Adam Gase
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Why does Seahawks’ ‘very wide net’ of OC candidates include Adam Gase? ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler explains

Adam Gase is one of three 2020 HCs the Seahawks have talked to about the OC opening. (Getty)

The search for the Seahawks’ next offensive coordinator continues on, and while names have been added and subtracted from the list of reported candidates, it doesn’t appear that a decision will be made anytime soon, according to ESPN senior NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler.

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Fowler was the first to report that the Seahawks spoke to former Jets head coach Adam Gase, which drew raised eyebrows from many who follow the team and really the league as a whole. He spoke to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy Wednesday and said the Seahawks talking to Gase isn’t that surprising given who they’ve spoken to already.

“It’s my understanding that Pete Carroll wanted to cast a very wide net and Pete Carroll wanted to talk to recent head coaches, so that explains (ex-Chargers coach) Anthony Lynn, (ex-Eagles coach) Doug Pederson and (later Gase),” he told Jake Heaps and Stacy Rost. “… I don’t think it’s like a formal interview where there’s a final stage ready to get a deal done. I think Pete’s talking to a lot of people and Gase happened to be one of them.”

Gase, Pederson and Lynn are three names linked to the Seahawks, along with Chargers offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, Chargers quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton, Raiders running backs coach Kirby Wilson, Chiefs passing game coordinator Mike Kafka and Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott. Elliott has reportedly told teams he’s staying at Clemson, Kafka is reportedly staying in Kansas City and Pederson is expected to take 2021 off.

That’s obviously a wide variety of names, and Fowler said that speaking to Gase doesn’t mean much of anything at this point.

“I would consider it exploratory in nature to see if they have a good vibe there,” he said, later adding that though Gase’s head coaching history has been scrutinized, he’s still seen as a bright offensive mind and is “known as a skilled play caller.”

As noted, Fowler’s report that the Seahawks reached out to Gase came as a surprise after his Jets went 2-14 record and had arguably the NFL’s worst offense in 2020. Fowler said that Carroll talking to Gase, as well as Pederson and Lynn, is because they’re not with another team and are available to talk right now.

“They’ve worked their way to the highest level and a lot of those guys have an offensive background,” he said.

Fowler said that even though the Seahawks have talked to Gase, he doesn’t expect him or Pederson to be the hire, and that as of right now, there’s no obvious leader in the clubhouse for the role. Fowler also broke down what it is that Carroll is looking for with his next offensive coordinator.

“I think it’s somebody who can kind of marry the play-action with the running game,” Fowler said. “It’s pretty clear that Pete Carroll wants someone who can run the ball well. I think they’re going to want shades of the Packers or 49ers influence as well … From what I understand he’s going to take his time.”

In addition to all the names listed above, the Seahawks could also go with someone who already is a member of the organization in passing game coordinator Dave Canales, who has worked with Carroll since 2009 and used to coach Seattle’s receivers and quarterbacks. Canales reportedly turned down the offensive coordinator opening at Vanderbilt as he’s looking to call plays in the NFL.

Despite Canales’ familiarity with Carroll, quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in general, Fowler believes Seattle’s next offensive coordinator will be someone not currently with the team unless Wilson really goes to bat for him.

“I think Dave Canales is somebody who’s known Pete Carroll for a long time and has worked his way up and has probably talked with Pete about the job, but I know he’s looking for other offensive coordinator jobs as well,” Fowler said. “… Unless Russell Wilson really stands on a table and stumps for a guy like Canales, I think he would probably look outside. I do know that (Carroll) wants to give Russell Wilson sort of a fresh start, some new options.”

You can listen to the full segment with Fowler at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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Jake & Stacy