Why is the Seattle Seahawks’ coaching search taking so long?

Jan 26, 2024, 10:10 AM | Updated: 10:31 am

Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Macdonald...

Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald of the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 31, 2023. (Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)

(Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks moved on from Pete Carroll as head coach more than two weeks ago. Now, they’re one of just two teams that have yet to hire a head coach, along with the Washington Commanders.

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Less than two weeks ago, Seattle was one of eight teams with a head coaching vacancy. But six teams have since hired new head coaches, including Atlanta and Los Angeles on Thursday.

So why is the Seahawks’ coaching search taking so long? Former Hawks safety and coach and current radio analyst Paul Moyer discussed that with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Thursday.

“I’m just surprised – maybe I’m not surprised – that (general manager John Schneider) has waited this long. But it tells me (the next head coach is) still in the playoffs,” Moyer said.

There are just four teams left in the playoffs, and the Seahawks have reportedly interviewed one of those teams’ coaches – Detroit offensive coordinator Ben Johnson – already.

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Seattle also has reported interest in talking to Baltimore defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, but because the Ravens had a first-round playoff bye and when the Seahawks made their coaching change, the two parties have not been able to meet. That can’t happen until the Ravens are done in the playoffs, which could be either this Sunday or the Super Bowl.

Moyer asked Wyman and Bob host Dave Wyman, a former NFL linebacker and current Seahawks radio color commentator, if he’s surprised that the Seahawks haven’t made a hire yet.

“No, I’m not just because it’s been a long time waiting, and I think (Schneider) is going to take his time,” Wyman said.

When the search started, Wyman thought the Seahawks would move very fast.

“I thought, hey, the reason why they kind of moved on from Pete a year before his contract expired is because there’s somebody that’s there and the window is closing, they gotta get him now,” he said. “It’s not the case at all. It’s actually that they’re going to do an exhaustive interview process.”

“The one thing I worry about, though, with this taking a long time, is there a guy you would have wanted that’s already off the table?” Wyman later said. “It makes me think that (their top target is still available), and that it’s maybe more of an obscure pick or it’s somebody that’s on one of these teams that we’re waiting to get eliminated (from the playoffs).”

The perception with Quinn

With the search now lasting more than two weeks, Moyer doesn’t think a presumptive favorite is going to get the job in Seattle.

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“I mean, Dan Quinn, you would think if it was Dan, this is a no-brainer,” Moyer said.

Quinn, a former Seahawks defensive coordinator under Carroll, just finished his third year running Dallas’ defense. The Cowboys are out of the playoffs, and the Seahawks have already interviewed Quinn twice. He’s also a top candidate in Washington.

If Quinn is hired this offseason by Seattle or Washington, it would be his second head coaching job. He was Atlanta’s head coach from 2015-2020.

“You would think that would be the hire if that’s the guy (Schneider) wants, would you not say that?” Moyer said.

Quinn has helped make the Cowboys’ defense one of the NFL’s best over the last few years, but the Cowboys fell 48-32 to Green Bay in the Wild Card Round. That has changed the perception around Quinn, Moyer said.

“Perception is so weird, isn’t it? I mean, before (Dallas) played Green Bay, Dan was the guy. He really was,” Moyer said. “I mean, here’s a guy who everywhere he’s gone, he’s been successful, particularly coaching defenses. And in Atlanta, it’s kind of like the Seahawks. If they win that Super Bowl, what happens to his career? What happens to Atlanta?”

Moyer thinks Quinn is a great coach and teacher.

“You get in a room and just go listen to him talk on film about what’s going on with plays, you will go, ‘Oh yeah, that’s an impressive guy. Really respected.’ The perception is just, ‘Oh, they laid such an egg against Green Bay, maybe he’s not the guy after all,'” he said.

Moyer still believes Quinn would be a good hire, he just doesn’t think it’ll happen.

“It just seems like it’s gone on so long that I just don’t know if he’s gonna be the guy,” he said.

Who Moyer likes

Moyer said he’s still intrigued by the possibility of former Tennessee head coach Mike Vrabel coming to the Seahawks.

“I just think as a CEO-type, that would be interesting,” he said.

But Moyer thinks there’s a strong chance the Seahawks’ next head coach is still in the playoffs, and he loves what he’s read and heard about Macdonald in Baltimore.

“Everything I’m reading about this Mike Macdonald, man, there’s something really special about him,” Moyer said. “… If you’re gonna get somebody that young, they’ve got to be super unique, and they’ve got to have that ‘it’ factor the second they walk in the room. And everything I’m reading about this guy is he has it.”

“But I am surprised (the search is still going),” Moyer later said. “We’re getting kind of long in the tooth and I worry about assistant coaches going (to other teams) and filling out your staff and everything. But I am confident John will make the right decision.”

Listen to Wyman and Bob’s full discussion with Paul Moyer at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

More on the Seattle Seahawks coach search

• NFL insider Pelissero breaks down ‘truly open’ Seahawks coach search
• What to know about Seahawks coach candidate Patrick Graham
• Why Kafka is a Seahawks coach candidate despite poor Giants offense
• Why Seahawks candidate Ejiro Evero is so highly regarded
• Salk: Five things the Seahawks should prioritize in search
• Why is the Seattle Seahawks’ head coach job so appealing?

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