Why Seahawks head coach candidate Ejiro Evero is so highly regarded

Jan 24, 2024, 10:40 AM | Updated: Jan 25, 2024, 10:50 am

Seattle Seahawks coach candidate Ejiro Evero...

Carolina Panthers DC Ejiro Evero during a 2023 preseason game against Detroit. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

(Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks’ head coaching search rolls on and is reportedly into the second round of interviews.

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Someone who is reportedly meeting with top Seahawks brass for a second time is Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, who also reportedly has second head coaching interviews with Carolina and Atlanta.

Many eyes are on the young offensive coordinators, such as Detroit’s Ben Johnson and Houston’s Bobby Slowik, but Evero, 43, is a younger defensive mind that’s in the mix for at least three of the five remaining head coaching vacancies.

So what do you need to know about Ejero? Panthers radio broadcaster Anish Shroff joined Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob to share his firsthand insight.

“Just in person, very impressive. When you meet with him, when you speak with him, he has the aura, has the presence of a head coach,” Shroff said, later saying, “He’s somebody who’s highly regarded in NFL circles.”

Ejero has two years of defensive coordinator experience, and both were very similar.

In 2022, Ejero was in Denver as the Broncos went 5-12 with a horrid offense. But Denver’s defense was hardly the problem as that side of the ball was eighth in yards allowed and 14th in points allowed.

In 2023, Ejero, now with the Panthers, got the same treatment. Carolina’s offense was the worst in football while the defense ranked fourth in yards allowed. The Panthers were 29th in points allowed, but Shroff said much of that was due to the offense.

“Offensively, it was a disaster, there’s no way around it. The team struggled to score. And this was a defense that believe it or not kept them in a lot of these games,” he said. “There were a number of games where the defense kept the opponent in the low-20s or the teens and points were scored because the offense turns it over on a short field.”

The flip side to some of Carolina’s impressive defensive numbers, Shroff said, is that teams had so little respect for the Panthers’ offense that they’d be go conservative and play for field position.

But, Shroff added, Ejero did more with less.

“The other part – and this is to Ejiro’s credit – there were a lot of injuries. Outside of (defensive lineman) Derrick Brown, who had an incredible season, there was mostly regression or neutral movement by some of these players,” he said. “And with all the injuries and moving pieces and different parts coming in, it was kind of this bend but don’t break defense for most of the season, and then for the most part, it was bend but ot break. They kept a bad team in a lot of games.”

Ejero also clearly has the respect of the Panthers players, Shroff said.

“The players that I talked to speak very highly of them. All of them are for Ejiro coming back and keeping this defensive coaching staff intact to run back the same defense last year. He was able to extract, I thought, some pretty good production against what was essentially scrap metal talent at times,” he said. “… Somehow he was able to keep that together. And again, they were a functional defense for most of the season. If you asked me is he a scheme guy, he’s got his scheme. It’s a 3-4 defense and they play a lot of strong nickel. But I think the leadership component resonated in the locker room, and that’s real.”

Listen to Wyman and Bob’s full interview with Anish Shroff at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

More on Seattle Seahawks coach search

• What make Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson appealing
• Report: Hawks set up second interviews with five coach candidates
• Will next Seahawks coach be Texans OC Bobby Slowik? Three things to know
• Seahawks Candidate Deep Dive: Isaiah Stanback on Dan Quinn
• ESPN insider details what Seattle Seahawks have asked coach candidates

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