Huard: The unconventional pick for next Seahawks coach

Jan 11, 2024, 1:06 PM

Seattle Seahawks coach search Lincoln Riley...

USC head coach Lincoln Riley goes over the game plan with QB Caleb Williams on Sept. 30, 2023. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

(Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

A lot of the same names are being thrown around online when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks’ coach vacancy left by Pete Carroll.

Seattle Seahawks Coach Candidates: Who will succeed Carroll?

Dan Quinn, who helped the Hawks win the Super Bowl as Carroll’s defensive coordinator a decade ago, makes a lot of sense. Mike Vrabel, another defensive mind who was recently let go as Tennessee Titans coach, is another potential option.

But those are conventional picks. What about one that’s more unconventional?

On Thursday’s edition of Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk, former NFL quarterback and current FOX college football analyst Brock Huard detailed who he thinks would fit that bill.

“Well, look at all the coaches who’ve been fired: Pete, defensive guy. Ron Rivera, defensive guy. They’re all defensive guys,” Huard said. “The most unconventional would be Lincoln Riley.”

The 40-year-old Riley just finished his second season as USC head coach, leading the Trojans to an 8-5 record in 2023 that ended with a 42-28 win in the Holiday Bowl over No. 16 Louisville. Offense is the name of the game for Riley’s Trojans, who led by star quarterback Caleb Williams scored 40 points or more in nine of their 13 games.

“If you were just to say, ‘Who’s the most brilliant offensive mind and schemer and game planner and playcaller going?’ Lincoln Riley’s on that list,” Huard said. “He’s really, really good.”

That was made clear by the fact that with Williams sitting out the Holiday Bowl, the Trojans were still able to fly high on offense with redshirt sophomore Miller Moss taking over at QB.

“Six touchdown passes by Miller Moss in the bowl game just kind of reaffirmed that once again,” Huard said.

Huard compared Riley to Rams coach Sean McVay, another young and well regarded offensive mind. McVay was still days short of his 31st birthday when he was hired by Los Angeles in 2017. The Rams won the NFC West in each of McVay’s first two seasons, then won the Super Bowl in his fifth year at the helm. But does Riley have enough support around him for an NFL job at this point?

“Leading men and pros and everything else, could he do that?” Huard said. “Could he do what Sean McVay did when he interviewed for the Rams job and said, ‘Hey, here you go, (Rams chief operating officer) Kevin Demoff. Here’s Wade Phillips on my cell phone, talk to him because he’s my D-coordinator.’ Could he do that and be aligned with enough defensive coaches to do what could not be done at the collegiate level? I don’t know, but that would be to me the most unconventional choice for Seattle.”

Listen to Thursday’s full edition of Blue 88 in the final segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below. Blue 88, where Huard answers three football questions, airs at 7:45 a.m. daily on Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk.

More on Seattle Seahawks’ coach change

Lefko: Seahawks leap into unknown with bold yet necessary step
Who should be in mix for Seahawks coach job? Huard, Bumpus weigh in
Carroll explains why he’s no longer Seattle Seahawks coach, what’s next

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