Could Mike Kafka be the ‘surprise Seahawks candidate’ some have anticipated?

The day after Pete Carroll was fired, I appeared on Puck and Jim on KJR. Jason Puckett brought up a point that I’ve since heard in a couple of other places. John Schneider is known for being unpredictable in the draft. Could the same thing happen with his first Head Coaching appointment?

Initially it was difficult to imagine who that could be. Then the names started to come in, including a few most people hadn’t anticipated. Mike Kafka was on the list of interviewees and he’s since been invited for an in-person meeting this week.

Making him Pete Carroll’s replacement wouldn’t be any more surprising than, say, Patrick Graham or Ejiro Evero. Yet very few people talk about Kafka. He’s the one guy everyone overlooks. He’s an afterthought. I think there’s at least a chance if Schneider is going to pull off a shock, this could be his guy.

He’s not the most charismatic individual. He seems quite low-key, similar to Doug Pederson in that regard. In a recent interview on KJR, a New York based journalist told a story about how Kafka’s own mother, during an interview, referred to him as boring. Yet he’s had something of a meteoric rise through the coaching ranks after a journeyman playing career.

Here’s a quick recap. A former fourth round pick by the Andy Reid-led Eagles, he bounced around six different teams before trying his hand at coaching at alma mater Northwestern. It’s there he decided to commit to a coaching career and after a year, he hooked up with Reid in Kansas City, taking on the role of offensive quality control coach. A year later, in 2018, he was promoted to quarterbacks coach — working with a certain first-year starter called Patrick Mahomes.

After two seasons he added the title ‘passing game coordinator’ and he began to gain buzz around the media as a highly thought of lieutenant of Reid’s. He was also being touted as the heir apparent to Eric Bieniemy, should he be offered a job as a Head Coach. That never happened — so Kafka took the plunge in 2022 to move to New York and reconnect with Brian Daboll, who coached him during a stint in New England. Funnily enough, a year later Bieniemy moved on himself. You have to wonder how vaunted Kafka would be right now if he’d just waited one more year with the Chiefs and replaced Bieniemy.

With the Giants, he called plays (likely a promise that lured him to New York). However, Kafka was a victim of what is appearing to be an increasingly toxic environment under Daboll’s leadership as this article explains:

Daboll “constantly second-guessed” Kafka’s play calls, according to the report. That characterization isn’t a surprise based on conversations with team sources.

The Daily News also reported that Daboll took play calling away from Kafka “multiple times” during the season and even gave those duties to quarterback coach Shea Tierney in the second half of the Giants’ 49-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10. I haven’t been able to confirm that, but a league source indicated Daboll took play-calling duties away from Kafka during the second half of a blowout loss midway through the season, and the Dallas game fits that description.

The New York Post published a story Tuesday that pushed back on aspects of the Daily News report (tabloid wars are fun!). The Post story made no mention of the play-calling situation, which is interesting since that’s the most sensitive topic from the Daily News story.

So, what does this all mean? The Giants are operating under the “expectation,” to use Daboll’s word from the day after the season ended, that Kafka will remain as offensive coordinator. But Kafka is a candidate for the Tennessee Titans’ and Seattle Seahawks’ head-coaching vacancies.

Kafka is a long shot for a head-coaching job, but it’s still possible he’ll leave the Giants this offseason. The Giants can block interviews for a lateral move, but if another team wants Kafka as OC and he’s interested in the opportunity, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s granted permission. So there’s still a chance Daboll will replace all three coordinators this offseason.

It all sounds fairly nightmarish and not exactly the platform to launch a Head Coaching career. Indeed if it’s possible Kafka could ask to be released from his contract, it’s not improbable the Seahawks are open to bringing him in as an offensive coordinator and that’s one of the reasons they want to further meet with him. This is a way to converse, when otherwise the Giants could block any request.

There are reasons, though, why the Seahawks might consider Kafka for the top job.

Firstly, Schneider respects Andy Reid. There’s a lot of love for Reid among the current and former Green Bay contingent, which Reid is part of (having worked for the Packers between 1992-98 before joining the Eagles). Kafka has been getting a seal of approval from Reid, who vouched for him when he was runner up for the Cardinals job a year ago:

He also had this to say about Kafka a year ago:

“He’d do a great job as a head coach. He’s good with people, and he’s smart. He’d be good with the ownership and good with players, too. Still be able to relate to the players. And you know, he’s young enough to where it wasn’t that long ago that he was playing.”

Let’s consider what we know here. Kafka worked for Reid and has likely adopted his offensive approach and philosophy. He has been praised for his role in the development of Patrick Mahomes. He’s described as a good person with high intelligence.

At least initially, Daboll also offered plenty of praise:

When asked recently why he hired Kafka, Daboll said it was because Kafka had good presence in his coordinator interview, handling the room well. He could tell Kafka would be a good teammate. He could also tell Kafka was smart.

He might not fit the mould of a Dan Campbell type leader — and his press conferences, it has to be said, can be positively sleep-inducing. However, we don’t actually know what Schneider is looking for.

There’s at least some thought, as I noted in my horizontal board piece, that this is going to be a very different Seahawks moving forward. Schneider’s vision could be offense-orientated. Appointing a coach steeped in an ideology you like with a track record for developing QB’s, having worked for Andy Reid and mentored Patrick Mahomes — that could be appealing to Schneider. Begin drafting quarterbacks until you get the guy, then pair the coach and signal-caller together and make that the identity of the team.

That feels very Green Bay, very Andy Reid and, I guess, very John Schneider.

It won’t be the most inspiring direction but it does feel left-field and, to some degree, plausible. I don’t think Schneider is committed to Geno Smith at all. I’ll just copy and paste my thoughts from the horizontal board article:

I think John Schneider is itching to take a quarterback. I’m just trying to work out what I think that means. In Green Bay, they would take them frequently. Schneider hasn’t done that but was it a decision influenced by Pete Carroll? Could we now start to see Schneider taking shots at the position, until he gets ‘the guy’?

For that reason, it wouldn’t surprise me if he took a chance on someone at #16. Rightly or wrongly. Can I see Schneider believing the physical qualities of Nix or Penix Jr are worth rolling the dice on in the middle of round one? Maybe.

After all, he reportedly was willing to draft Andy Dalton in round one in 2011. Here’s an article from Danny O’Neil, reflecting on what happened:

The Seahawks very much considered choosing Dalton with the 25th pick of the 2011 draft. In fact, there were rumors his name was written on a draft card that never turned in…

Now, before we continue it’s important to offer a few qualifiers. The information that forms the basis from this story comes from multiple sources who were actually present in Seattle’s draft room during the two years in question. It does not, however, come from Schneider, and that’s important to disclose because not only does he figure so prominently in the storyline, but he is adamant about avoiding giving any one person credit for a team’s selection. That’s the way he has been since the day he was introduced as Seattle’s general manager in 2010.

Dalton was a serious consideration in the first round for Seattle. In fact, Schneider advocated for that selection. The issue was one of consensus. Specifically, Schneider didn’t want to force his conviction on a player on the rest of the scouting department and the entire franchise.

This wasn’t about who has the final say, either. Schneider runs Seattle’s draft. The question was how he would run it, and he has never wanted a front office in which his voice is the only one that makes the decisions.

This is a really important piece of information. Schneider is now in charge of decision making at all levels. It’s not unrealistic to think that left to his own devices, Schneider would’ve taken Dalton. Now, is he going to be emboldened to make that call?

Dalton played in an extreme spread, four-verticals heavy offense at TCU. It was user-friendly. He played very well in college but not in a jaw-dropping way. Schneider liked him. Could he feel similarly about, say, Bo Nix at #16? I wouldn’t rule it out even if I think he’s a day-two pick.

Schneider’s answer when asked about Geno Smith last week was extremely lukewarm and offered no hint of commitment. Could he just outright move on, with the intention of proceeding with Drew Lock as a safety-net and someone taken at #16 as the way forward? I don’t think it’s beyond the realms of possibility.

Let’s imagine a scenario where the Seahawks cut Geno Smith to save money with the intention of drafting a quarterback, potentially to start quickly. If Schneider is convinced Kafka is a great developer of quarterbacks, he might want to pair him with the younger player. If you can land a talented defensive coordinator and build a quality staff around Kafka, you might’ve set up something akin to a younger version of Andy Reid’s operation.

At the end of the day, they’re talking to Kafka about replacing Pete Carroll. He has to at least be in the running. Is it possible they snub some of the bigger names and pluck Kafka out of the Giants, challenging him to do with a younger QB what he did with Mahomes?

It’s worth thinking about.

And as Jeff Simmons has been quick to point out — it’s not always the highly successful coordinators who make the best Head Coaches. Kafka might not be the most outwardly exciting candidate — but that doesn’t mean he’s not up to the job.

In the last few days I’ve gone and forth on what might be going on here. There are some facts to consider. The Seahawks won’t have fulfilled the Rooney Rule until they interview Ejiro Evero on Saturday. As of today, they have not set up a second interview for next week with Ben Johnson. A lot of people in the media are going back to Dan Quinn being the ‘clubhouse leader’ while others continue to suggest that isn’t the case. They never arranged a second interview with Bobby Slowik or Frank Smith.

It’d be a lot more reassuring, at least for those of us hoping there’s still a chance of Ben Johnson coming to Seattle, if a second interview was announced. He’s due in Washington on Tuesday. The fear has to be that they won’t let him out of the building without a deal, thus leaving the Seahawks to pick from the people they interviewed this week or wait until February 12th to speak to Mike Macdonald.

Adam Schefter is saying the Seahawks and Commanders want to wait until after the conference Championship games to proceed. Mike Holmgren has also said he thinks John Schneider would like to appoint Ben Johnson if he can. You do wonder, if the Lions lose and the Ravens win this weekend, whether the two teams remaining with vacancies will make a big push to employ Johnson. It seems pretty clear the Commanders have the upper hand given all the talk about a relationship with GM Adam Peters and the fact he already has an interview booked in for Tuesday. It still seems somewhat fanciful that the Seahawks would wait until mid-February to even have an initial conversation with Macdonald. So perhaps next week is key. Can they persuade Johnson not to go to Washington? Or do they resort to Plan B, from the list of candidates they have been interviewing?


  1. Big Mike

    Definitely would be interesting if they hired this guy. Certainly would give me more hope than Quinn.
    Even if the new hire seems uninspired, anyone that signifies a clean break from Carroll is preferable to me. Quinn is not that guy.

    • Peter

      Same with you I am big time team “clean break.”

      I’m already practicing my groaning and sighing with Quinn hearing pretty much any broadcaster still talking about LOB 2.0.

      • Rob Staton

        The big problem with Quinn for me is the Seahawks will have neither a difference maker at coach or quarterback

        We’d be consigning ourselves to be average. Again.

        I’d rather be bold and risk failure than be safe and meh

        • Peter

          Agree. It’s a huge problem that quinn has never shown an ability to bring something to the table greater than top flight talent around him.

  2. Big Mike

    And thanks for then rundown on who Kafka is Rob. Good to “get to know him”.
    By the way, if I were the Giants owner, Daboll would already be gone. Talk about toxicity…

    • Rob Staton

      Can’t believe they haven’t fired him and moved on

    • Group Captain Mandrake

      It’s amazing how quickly he went from being celebrated for turning the Giants around to the toxicity for whatever the hell happened this year. It’s almost impressive how quickly he has edged closer to tanking his job.

  3. geoff u

    Very possible. I think it’s reasonably safe to say, with two vacancies left and everyone chosen so far presumably not on Johns list, that hes going to get the guy he wants. That’s important. He’s running the show now and John’s career may sink or swim on this choice, I don’t think it could be any better than this to see what John’s made of. Hope it works out and we can get back on top.

    • Peter

      Good points. Whether we like the hire initially or not in a strange turn of events none of the preffered names have recieved job offers anywhere yet. It’s not like the draft ( hello and goodbye second round) where we are dreading seeing our favorite players taken before we get a shot.

  4. EC

    I think a Rattler & Kafka pairing could be really exciting.

    • BK26

      I think that Rattler is MUCH more possible with Kafka. Or a 1st round qb period.

      But you look at Rattler and see more Mahomes in him than anyone else since…Mahomes. He is going to want to go with that, he knows it already works and that he was a huge part of it.

      • Joseph

        It’s funny because Rattler does have 1rd level talent. Some draft experts have him as the most pro ready with the most upside. Yet they have him projected as a late round pick and have guys like McCarthy Nix Penix Maye rated higher. I say that’s pretty ironic. Another problem is people are still projecting him based on his experience at Oklahoma.

        • BK26

          I’ve had people complain about his maturity and his issues. I ask if they saw that stuff while he was at SC.

          “Well no, he was at Oklahoma.”

          These people make my head hurt. With their thinking, Russ is still a top 5 qb since it was 3 years ago and nothing can change since then.

          And as far as I’m concerned, McCarthy, Nix, Penix, and Maye aren’t all that close to Rattler. But no expert is going to say that.

  5. Waldo

    IMHO Three Options Remaining
    1) Kafka head coach (with hopes of Evero DC): whether the fans like it or not, he is the only OC they are still talking to, so that tells me Johnson and Slovic are either lower on the list or no chance to get them. No risk of losing the OC to another team with this option
    2) MacDonald as head coach (with hopes of Kafka OC): media keeps brining up MacDonald…where there is smoke?? I think this is only an option IF the Ravens lose this weekend…to wait for an initial interview after the superbowl does not seem viable. JS picks this option sif he feels like MacDonald is a potentially special head coach
    3) Quinn with Chip Kelly as OC: Rob’s article yesterday lays out how there is a lot of signs pointing towards Quinn. Kelly knows innovative offenses, working with young QBs, and would be low risk to lose to a head coaching job (since he bombed in SF a few years ago)…I could see JS liking this option

    • Rob Staton

      I think we can park this Chip Kelly talk. Garafolo poured cold water on it yesterday on KJR. Just a young journalist seemingly passing on something he’s heard, probably not from a good source, and hoping to strike lucky.

      • Brett

        Didn’t help that Corbin Smith was talking it up as well. I like a lot of Corbin’s analysis, but sometimes it seems like he goes way outside the box, like having Frank Smith as one of his top candidates (who didn’t get a second interview).

    • Peter

      1. Kafka + evero, or Graham. I’m pretty stoked what either DC has done in pretty lame situations.

      2. I don’t see one iota of smoke with macdonald if I don’t count Pellisero, and I dont, who essentially tweets out every coach and team until one sticks. I watched a video Rob either posted or mentioned. About him talking about being a raven. I thought at the time…heck yeah, I’ll take some of that…then I looked at his resume/CV and thought…no, he literally is going to be raven for a long time.

      The only people talking about him or Seahawks fans. Whether hawkbloggger Nemhauser, or Corbin Smith, saying..”you’re telling me there’s a chance!!”

      3. Quinn maybe. But the chip Kelly connection was most likely created by Kip Chelly ( h/t geoffu I think for that) Kelly doesn’t know innovation. His innovation was speed and literally more downs equals more chances to score. He has a very bad track record with qb’s.

    • London Seahawk

      Slowik/Johnson – ‘no chance to get them’ – aren’t we guaranteed one of them, whoever doesn’t want or isn’t wanted by the Commanders?

      • Group Captain Mandrake

        There’s a chance, but since neither has a second interview scheduled, it doesn’t seem like they are high on John’s list. I’d love for Seattle to take a shot at them, but it doesn’t seem like that is in the cards.

      • Rob Staton

        The Seahawks didn’t even set up a second interview with Slowik

  6. Ghost Mutt

    Rob, you’ve spent years advocating for Carroll to move into a ‘figurehead’ role. A leader that sets the culture but is completely hands off as regards game planning.

    I’d imagine Schneider spent the same amount of time wishing for the exact same thing. So do you think that’s how he might view Dan Quinn? A great leader who offers continuity around a culture that he definitely values, but who wouldn’t be leading defensive game planning?

    It’d explain some of his emphasis around choosing coaches. Maybe he’s trying to sell the likes of Graham, Evero, Kafka etc on the notion of full autonomy while working under Quinn as a tone-setter.

    Not sure DQ would accept that arrangement, but he’s out of other HC options at this point.

    • Peter

      Dann Quinn is not out if options….he just might not be considering his best one and one option I think that’s going to start making very interesting drafts shortly….

      Going back to college. Where defense still matters. Since some kind of playoff has been in effect a lot ( most?) Of the winners have had the best defense. Formerly Saban, Kirby Smart, Harbaugh.

      I love football but the NFL in a mostly pretend attempt at player safety has introduced a raft of rules that have made the game silly to sterile. The no touching the qb, pass interference is the full yardage of the play, etc.

  7. Sparky

    Seems like the ideal fit at OC.

    My best guess is Johnson is their #1 and theyd go Evero or Graham at DC. DQ is the backup with Kafka lined up at OC?

    • Rob Staton

      Sounds frustratingly plausible

  8. Sultan

    I’d happily try out Kafka as HC rather than hiring Dan Quinn. Under no circumstance would I be happy with Quinn as HC.

    I’d take literally anyone else, even Robbie and Adam could each give it a go as HC. Rob you should go for GM

  9. BoiseSeahawk

    Great article Rob as usual. A younger version of what Andy Reid has built in Kansas City sounds pretty awesome. Do you comp Rattler most closely to Mahomes in this draft class?

    • Rob Staton

      They share some characteristics — but Mahomes is one of one

    • BK26

      I’ve got to point out the troubles that Andy Reid’s coaching tree has had. Nagy failed horribly and might be gone as an OC this year, Bienemy can’t buy an interview (but CAN coach an offense), Pederson is the one, but it hasn’t been rainbows in Jacksonville. It’s been pretty lacking compared to how it was viewed a few years ago.

      That being said, Kafka would be the different one if anyone is. He’s been under Reid the longest and Andy Reid gave him his most prized posession to watch and groom. There are rumblings down here (mostly fans) about replacing Nagy with Kafka. With him, it will come down to respect: can he get the guys to buy in and listen if he is so…boring. Mahomes did it. Their backup qb’s did it and came into games and dragged out tough wins.

      And I think a first round qb with Kafka is more likely than with any other head coach.

  10. ThaiThai

    I do think Kafka is the “Dark Horse” for the HC position and intriguing as well. This move feels like Mike McCarthy-esque in which John was a part of. OC on a bad team, who was highly thought of in the coaching circles. I for one would much rather have Kafka than a Quinn or Vrabel, so count me in if this happens. Still holding hope for Ben Johnson but this feels like hes already the Commanders next HC.

  11. Sparky

    Dan Quinn would be underwhelming. But I can’t really understand the level of disappointment and anger for him from some commenters here.

    He’s been one of the most popular coaching interviews this year. Many teams obviously think highly of him.

    His players love him. That much is obvious. Micah Parsons went to bat for him.

    He’s coached before and been to a Super Bowl. You could argue that was mostly due to a rising Shanahan. But: 1) DQ had the foresight to hire Shanahan and other good coaches and 2) the 2013 Washington team was stacked with promising coaching talent, including Shanahan at OC and McVay and all the others. They were terrible. Surely DQ gets some credit for leading a great team.

    Ok the Falcons totally collapsed in the Super Bowl. Fair enough. It’s also one game. It also hasn’t seemed to spell absolute disaster for Kyle Shanahan as a coach, who was also a part of that. We seem to put the entire credit for the Super Bowl season on Shanahan and all the blame for the SB collapse on DQ. Doesn’t really work that way.

    He’s led a top defense this year. Ok so they buckled against Green Bay? But surely a lot of the credit for the Cowboys’ yearly collapse has got to be placed largely at Jerry Jones’ feet? This happens every year and was happening long before DQ got there. The culture there does not seem focused.

    I get that he’d be underwhelming. But it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

    • Rob Staton

      I think the arguments against Quinn have been fleshed out in detail ad nauseum. I’m pretty sure you can find the arguments and get a better grasp of why people are against it, even if you yourself are not as opposed to the move

    • Peter

      1. He has only been successful as a DC with top top end talent. When the talent goes so does his defense.

      2. He gets the Blame for the super bowl loss because the iffense had racked up a 28-3 lead.

      2b. The Dallas defense didn’t just get boatraced by the ultra young packers. The laid some horrible eggs this year.

      2c. Pretty sure he was the DC when one team had a 14 point lead in another superbowl and gave that all away in a quarter but didn’t get the blame they probably should have due in large part to one very specific play call.

      3. He did hire shannahan. True. Great move. But…like Vrabel, BB, others when they lose their OC’s the drop off for the QB’s is pretty pronounced.

      4. I don’t think people hate Quinn. Set aside the Pete connection. If he was just Dallas’s DC and never worked here what would his calling card be? Is he a master tactician? Is he brilliant at finding guys in any round and creating crushing dlines? Are his secondaries so creative and lock down they are unpassable? Did he invent some great 4 safety/lb concept where everyone can play the run as well as the pass?

  12. Rob Staton

    I’ve just edited the piece with one more paragraph at the end

    • Peter

      I’m just grasping but what do you make of the two ( ?) I believe WAS/slowik interviews?

      While we worry about not getting Johnson they, to me, seem as worried about not getting Johnson.

      • Rob Staton

        I think that has to be the hope — that it indicates BJ to DC isn’t a done deal

  13. Alex Potts

    The only thing that would I guess intrigue me about Quinn is thinking about the cohesion in the draft room.

    It is an underrated aspect. How often have we seen coaches get upset and hold grudges against their GM for picking players they weren’t on board for? It just happened with Vrabel. It happened with Holmgren. It happened with Harbaugh.

    It seems that Schneider and Quinn would be in lockstep. In fact, in many ways, I think Dan Quinn’s style of defense would fit our personnel better than the most recently run defense.

    They both like big corners with ball skills. Quinn could probably get more out of DreMont Jones playing him in the Michael Bennett role.

    I could well imagine a base front of:

    RDE: Jones
    NT: Reed
    3DT: Williams
    LEO: Mafe/Nwosu

    Could that unit stop the run better than what we’ve been seeing? I think so.

    We have Woolen on the RCB, and Witherspoon either in the slot or outside and Michael Jackson manning another outside spot.

    With Love at safety, we are really just a one safety and a couple LB’s away from “re-creating” a version of the former Seahawks defense.

    I miss having that identity. Where you knew… okay yeah that’s a seahawky-type player. Great organizations have a type. You know a good Raven when you see one. You know a Steeler type player. You know a Patriot.

    I don’t think it’s all bad with Quinn. I know he got torched in the last game, but realistically nothing went right for them, offensively or defensively, and it just sort of unraveled. That happens.

    Is Quinn my top choice? No. Maybe i’m coping with what seems to be an inevitable reality, but I can see a path to success with Quinn running the show.

    • Rob Staton

      The vast majority of GM’s and coaches are in lock step if we’re being honest, or at least have a healthy relationship and give and take. I’m not too concerned about this or see it as a reason to find comfort in the possibility of what would be a very average appointment

  14. Seattle Person


    I think we can try to connect the dots here now. We can still hold out for Johnson or MacDonald but I think JS had circled Kafka’s name awhile back.

    Kafka is straight up football. With him, he’s not going to argue with the GM about things. He’s is in mold of Andy Reid, Doug Pederson, and Mike McCarthy.

    I find it interesting that McCarthy’s name was brought up during JS’s end of year presser. Connecting it with how John has say over coordinator jobs, and how Ron Wolf was an influence, the GB way.

    It does certainly make it seem like Kafka is a serious candidate. Especially now if you pair him with a serious DC — which Schneider is probably going to be heavily involved.

  15. FloridaHawk

    This is just internet hearsay, but one of the more prolific commenters at Field Gulls said that Quinn and Schneider were seen having drinks near VMAC yesterday. Like many of you, I will be extremely underwhelmed with a Quinn hire and disappointed in Schneider.

    • Peter

      Pictures or it doesn’t count.

      But for real it’s long been known they are friends. Interview aside they wouldn’t get many chances to reconnect as they move away to different locations.

    • Rob Staton

      Somebody posted that on here too

  16. ShowMeYourHawk

    I think I’ve reached a place where I just want Evero as our DC/AHC, regardless of which offensive minded HC we end up with. Dude just gets results.

    I see no point in chasing Graham for DC, as he likely has his position set with LV with Pierce being retained. If Canales chooses to keep Evero, noy sure where we land as capable a DC who’s as proven.

    • Rob Staton

      It’d be poor form to prevent both coaches leaving if that’s their preference

      Plus they might be able to make them assistant HC’s and call it a promotion anyway

      • ShowMeYourHawk

        If our HC pursuit is delayed due to JS having to wait another week to land a second interview with Johnson, my fear would be that Canales has a week to convince Evero to stay in Carolina, regardless of what ancillary titles another team may offer him. With Tepper running the show in CAR, I’d think any bus out of town looks good but if Canales is a good schmoozer, maybe Evero looks to make roots there due to his recent history of jumping from job to job. To be seen….

        • Rob Staton

          Would you want to stay in Carolina though? It’s a shambles

  17. cha

    I do like very much what the Giants did with Daniel Jones in his first year with Daboll and Kafka.

    It is stunning how much more effective he was.

    In short, they reduced his time in the pocket dramatically.:
    -They had him throwing shorter, quicker passes
    -They designed run plays for him (spread the defense out and then let him pick an opening to run at)
    -They instructed him to scramble if his early reads were not there, and run if he had a lane

    His accuracy went from #23 in the NFL in 2021 to #5 in 2022 (he was #7 this year in half a season)

    His sacks were less consequential (7.27 yards lost in 2021 / 5.52 in 2022)

    His rushing yards doubled and his rushing first downs tripled

    Kafka and Daboll basically transformed him from a middling ‘do we really want to extend this guy?’ QB to a ‘yes let’s extend him’ QB. (the guaranteed money they gave him is another matter altogether. Yikes). They did what all layman fans want their coaches to do: look at the skills of their best/most important player(s) and adjust their game strategies accordingly, instead of trying to jam misfit pieces into their preferred offense.

    Keep in mind this is while the Giants OL has been a pretty big mess.

    I think it is fair to give Kafka a good chunk of credit for this big uptick in play.

    But that is what effective coordinators do. Does he have the qualities to do what an effective head coach does? I don’t know.

    • Rob4q

      Good info Cha – thanks! Would be interesting to see what he could do with Lock…maybe draft a project QB and give Lock the 2024 season.

  18. Clayton Russell

    Another interesting coach with connections to Wisconsin that some have discussed in the media is Frank Smith / currently the OC of the Dolphins. Not sure what the latest is on him meeting with the Seahawks is but there is definitely a Wisconsin connection with Frank as he is from Cedarburg, Wisconsin located just outside Milwaukee. I don’t think this has even been mentioned by media. Maybe it is an oversight. All I am saying is Schneider likes his connections through the Packers and possibly those from Wisconsin. Outside sleeper?

    • Brett

      He did a virtual interview but wasn’t invited for an second in-person interview, which I think means he’s out. But I guess Johnson and Slowik didn’t either and we’re hoping we can get one of them.

  19. Big Mike

    *Tommy DeVito but I like Tony Danza better 😀

    • geoff u

      I prefer Danny DeVito

      • Blackthorn

        Yeah, but Danny DeVito already plays QB for the Cards.

  20. PJ in Seattle

    I believe Ben Johnson is indeed the guy the covet and hope that, as has been speculated, the fact that they haven’t moved on him more aggressively and publicly is because they have already told him that he’s their guy.

    ‘Out of respect, we’re going to stay out of your way right now and let you focus on taking the Lions to the Super Bowl. But, when it’s time to decide on your future, you’d be doing yourself a disservice to take another position without coming out here to learn what we’re willing to do for you and to position this team for a sustained run of success.’ Seems like a baller move. With a plan to floor him when he comes to the VMAC, back up the Brinks truck, and not let him out the building without signing. Which would also align with Washington now putting real effort into lining up their own contingency options if they believe JS is about to make a full court press on Johnson.

    If that ISN’T the case, or if the strategy fails and Johnson is off to Washington, then Mike Kafka makes more sense to me as option 2 than Dan Quinn. I don’t think John’s comments about the harm caused by churning through OCs were some sort of smokescreen for a defensive-monded HC hire. I think he was speaking honestly about his thoughts on what’s important to be considering when selecting a head coach, and the due diligence at this point is about lining up potential DC’s to work under his new offensive-minded head coach.

    Sucks we have to wait until next week, but I think the dominos are going to fall quickly when they do.

  21. Forrest

    I like that you’re thinking outside the box and I enjoy reading these posts. They ARE giving Kafka a second interview, so it’s worthy to look into each candidate. But, I can’t see any way that the team’s ownership approves Kafka as an unknown potential liability when they’re looking to sell the team. A mistake hire on a risky newbie could blow a TON of franchise value if he flops.

    • cha

      A mistake hire on a risky newbie could blow a TON of franchise value if he flops.

      No it won’t.

    • PJ in Seattle

      Not Rob, but a mistake hire on a ‘safe’ retread like Dan Quinn could yield the same result.

    • BK26

      They aren’t going to care about that. A coach that might not pan out is going affect the value of the team? Minimally, if at all.

      Too much is being made of selling the team affecting daily decisions. By your logic they would have to sign Belichick since he’s won so many Super Bowls to save some value for a team that is still probably going to break the record to what a professional team sells for.

    • MMjohns195

      nah, the franchise value is the franchise value, what would kill it is if the nfl continues to try and kill the golden goose with expansion to other countries, moving games to streaming only (ie peacock), the dilution of the quality of the games. Those are the only things to bring franchise value down. The Commanders were a trainwreck of a franchise, they still got 6 billion. Getting a hire wrong and losing a bunch of games doesn’t affect the value of the franchise. It may end john’s career in seattle if it’s disastrous but it wont’ affect the teams value.

  22. Happy Hawk

    Now with virtually all the chairs taken, the only downside to waiting to make your hire is that all of the new coaching staffs are being constructed NOW. In 2 weeks it might be slim pickings for whoever is selected. Hoping for Ben Johnson.

  23. DK

    Apparently, Quinn is getting a third interview with Washington. Something tells me this isn’t just due diligence. Throw in they are interested in Aaron Glenn as well tells me Johnson to Washington isn’t a done deal.

    The longer this goes, the more I think Schneider is looking for options other than Dan Quinn.

    • PJ in Seattle

      This is really good news. I would like to hear all the pundits saying Ben Johnson is a lock for Washington explain why they would do this if that were truly the case. Quinn is not making a lateral move to a division rival that just traded away their most promising DL talent. A third interview must mean a serious vetting as a head coaching candidate.

    • Rob Staton

      Someone’s got the wires crossed. It’s not a third interview. He hasn’t had his second interview yet!

  24. Joseph

    We got field Yates prediction Seattle is gonna hire Quinn 🙄. What’s with every analyst predicting Quinn to Seattle? Sounds like putt convenience. They’re also predicting Ben Johnson to commanders just be cause of his link to the new GM. Not liking what I’m hearing and I get they’re projections.

    • DK

      Everyone said Belichick to the Falcons was a done deal before they hired Morris.
      So, Johnson being assumed to be heading to Washington could just be a smokescreen, and the fact they are having an in person with Aaron Glenn and a third interview with Dan Quinn tells me it isn’t as wrapped up as many thought.

      I won’t be surprised if Bobby Slowick ends up being the new Seahawks at this point either. I could totally see Schneider keeping things under wraps until the hire is announced. Slowick was said to be very dynamic in his Zoom interviews.

  25. LouCityHawk

    I’ll get to Kafka at the end.

    Spent a flight up from the gulf pouring over Commies blogs.

    The fan base has rallied around Johnson, but still have factions calling for Belichick or Vrabel or Quinn.

    The moderators on those forums have pointed out that the reporters juiced with the org (they name Heim and others) haven’t reported Johnson as a done deal, but have not poured cold water on it. They note the 2nd/3rd interviews With Quinn and Slowik not as hedgdes, but as looking at viable options. They see Johnson as 1, but unlike Seahawks fans seem very open to Quinn and Slowik. They view it as an embarrassment of riches. Only winning.

    I laid out my thinking on another post about what Schneider is doing. I won’t repeat it.

    Kafka, to me, is a depressing choice. He isn’t a choice that makes it a disaster. I’ve watched interviews and he reminds me of an offensive Belichick.

    With any hire I’m likely to be open minded. With Kafka, I’d be encouraged that we were getting a keen offensive mind. Nix would be like a giant Mississippi mud pie shit on the plate.

    • BK26

      I was shocked to see how open Commie fans were at Quinn. Or the number of fans who didn’t buy into the “Ben Johnson deal is done, he’s ours already.”

      Kafka to me, is fine. I think he’ll do fine with the offense but not sure if he can coach at the level of McShanaVahan. He might be more apt to focus on building the team overall up and playing catch up that way, compared to what is done on Sunday. I would still rather have him than Vrabel, but he’s a far 3rd/4th (not sure how I feel on MacDonald now).

      • Sean

        I’m not shocked that the Commanders would be more open to Quinn than Seahawks fanbase. I think we should acknowledge that some part of the negative vibes from some of us Seahawks fans for Quinn is part of a hangover from Pete. If you feel like Quinn is underwhelming because it is more of the same or “Pete 2.0”, then you are approaching your evaluation of Quinn from a perspective that a Commanders fan is not. They cannot view him as a continuation of something that grew distasteful.

        I’m not saying that Quinn is or is not a good or bad coach for either team. And I’m not saying there are not evidence-based arguments against Quinn, and Rob has made them eloquently. But just as some hawks fans like the Quinn idea in part due to subjective nostalgia, others don’t like the idea based on subjective Pete association.

    • PJ in Seattle

      Yeah, watching Kafka’s pressers it’s obvious that charisma isn’t his strong suit.

      That said, if they are serious about keeping Pete in the org as Chief Motivation Officer for the players, a personality like Kafka’s wouldn’t necessarily be a disqualifier. He clearly knows how to connect with QBs.

      Personally, a presser without hearing ‘jacked’, ‘fired up’, and ‘championship opportunity’ feels like a bit of fresh air.

      • cha

        if they are serious about keeping Pete in the org as

        They’re not. They fired him.

        He’s not coming back in any capacity. Except to raise the 12th man flag and/or get his Hall of Fame ring.

      • Rob Staton

        Pete was fired

        This whole ‘advisor’ thing is just a soft landing while they pay off the final year of his contract

  26. Thomas

    Unless there is someone they really want, they might be angling for a low head coaching contract. There’s still the strange scenario of selling the team soon. They might want to wait until they are the last team so their potential coach has no leverage.

    I know it sounds odd, but if they are indifferent they’ll wait. Remember that according to Pete, “non-football” people made the decision on him. They probably don’t want to shell out much on a coach.

    • BK26

      The sale of the team will not have any affect on the coaching search. They aren’t going to get cheap, plan around the sale, any of that.

      No matter what, the team is probably going to break the record for a pro team’s sales price. You aren’t going to destroy your product by getting cheap on your coach.

      And according to Pete he knew how to fix the team, despite the same problems for years and years. His opinions at the end were the same as a fart in the wind.

    • TatupuTime

      I don’t think I buy this. If the sale of the team is the goal, the best thing they can do is hire the best possible coach and have success on the field. If this coach is successful it’ll show a stable franchise.

      If the Commanders are worth over $6B, any coaching contract is a drop in the bucket. There is maybe no more toxic shitty team then the Commanders with the need for lots of facility updates. They were still coveted. NFL team ownership is still a scarcity (with huge financial upside) relatively to the number of billionaires looking for an ego purchase. I think location, fanbase and existing facilities matter to some extent when purchasing a team. I think current team quality and coach matters so very very little to the overall sale price.

    • cha

      No. Just no.

      A head coaching contract is pennies.

      The sale of a team is in $100 bills by comparison.

      • PJ in Seattle

        This. Coaching staff is an area where you are virtually unrestained to spend whatever you like to get the people you want.

        Even a record breaking HC contract would be little more than a rounding error on the Vulcan balance sheet.

    • geoff u

      Saving 4 million on a coach for a 5 billion dollar franchise seems…odd

  27. TatupuTime

    I’m not sure how accurate it is, but there is an article I read that Kafka satisfies the Rooney rule and would net the Giants draft picks because of his Puerto Rican heritage. Don’t think it changes much for the Seahawks.

    • Hoang Pham

      Sort of explains why the Giants haven’t fired him yet.

  28. Mr Drucker in hooterville

    It just occurred to me that the same ‘nonfootball’ people hired Pete in the first place.

    • BK26

      Yeah, but they knew what they were doing then. They just forgot what they were doing right before they fired him.

    • cha

      “My ex-girlfriend who dumped me after 14 years together wasn’t all that pretty.”

    • MMjohns195

      i mean it’s not the same, because it was Paul Allen then in charge. John wasn’t responsible for the search.

      • BK26

        He still was a “nonfootball person,” by Pete’s logic.

  29. Jeremy

    Reading about Daboll, how on earth is he so safe with New York? Guy sounds like a complete jerk.

  30. chavac

    Would be a big no thanks from me. That Giants passing offense has done nothing since he arrived. My guess is they’re probably trying to offer him an escape from the mess in NY to be OC here, probably under a Quinn/Vrabel type. Are there outright restrictions on offering/interviewing for a coordinator spot?

  31. Arron Hardesty

    I wonder if Sanjay Lal withdrawing himself from consideration in Chicago is an indication that he’s got an offer to stay in Seattle and a hire is coming today??? Maybe Carolina with Canales??

    • Rob Staton

      He better not be. Can’t see it, the dude doesn’t have a great track record

  32. Palatypus

    Mike Kafka is so boring he makes Chuck Knox look like Jim Carrey.

  33. Blitzy the Clown

    I’ll be disappointed with anyone not named Johnson at this point.

    But I wouldn’t hate if it’s Kafka. At least I can see the logic, especially if they follow it up with a splash QB draft pick. I’ve always preferred a shot to the moon that fails than playing it safe and middling.

  34. MNF_Hawk

    Im old enough to remember when the national narrative was Debald was a generational football mind, a leader of men. Flash forward to reality and sounds like he might find more success playing the yellow M&M in his next career.

  35. samprassultanofswat

    Rob: You have Schneider taking Penix in the first round. Let’s say both Rattler/Penix are both on the board. Who do you think Schneider would take?

    Also from reading all your comments on Rattler. I get the feeling you prefer Rattler over Penix ,

  36. VanHawk

    The latest GM shuffle has some good insight into the whole head coach hiring process. Lombardi’s opinions on best head coaches to hire and attributes of a good head coach are quite distinct from the general views here.

    • Rob Staton

      Let me guess… you need to be a leader of men, have to be more than a coordinator, have to speak well and be liked etc

      Meanwhile well known misery guts Kyle Shanahan will be in the SB again in two weeks because he’s a great tactical schemer

  37. David

    Is it a foregone conclusion that we cut Geno Smith if we know we’re going to draft a QB? I get the cap savings implications but I like the old school approach of letting the rookie learn their first year rather than being thrown to the wolves.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s very possible they keep him but I would imagine that would include negotiating his salary down

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