Something to consider…

One of the things we’ve done this week is discuss and project the direction the Seahawks might take under John Schneider. His press conference was interesting and revealing for a number of reasons. He admitted the need to be conscious of modern NFL trends and he reiterated the concern over losing successful offensive coordinators, among other topics.

Listening to Schneider speak, it felt very much like things were heading in the direction of the Seahawks appointing an offensive play-caller to lead their team. However, I want to present an important alternative view — just to give you something to consider.

Ron Wolf is John’s self-confessed mentor. Schneider even said during his press conference he’d spent considerable time talking to Wolf on Friday.

Is there anything to learn from Wolf’s approach to football that perhaps inspired those around him?

I reached out to someone who knows Wolf and asked about his philosophies. This is what I was told about Wolf’s approach — build your trenches, the draft is your life-line and when it comes to Head Coaches, you want a father figure. You want, in the words of the source, ‘a tough SOB’. Someone very capable of standing up in front of the guys and leading.

Having specific offensive or defensive-minded leadership was never mentioned.

The game has changed a lot over the last 30 years and Schneider, as we mentioned, referred to being across those changes when he spoke on Tuesday. Listen to any former players or coaches speak in the media and they all talk about the challenge of leading modern-day players. They are different. They expect to be treated differently. These are things you have to consider and it’s arguably why a growing line of Bill Belichick’s coaching tree haven’t succeeded.

Frankly, it wouldn’t be surprising if this is the kind of thing Schneider is talking about when he speaks about being mindful of the direction of the league. Yet there are still ‘tough SOB’s’ coaching in the league and having success. Dan Campbell, DeMeco Ryans, John Harbaugh. Not everyone has to be quoting rap songs and cracking jokes like Mike McDaniel. There is a way of adapting an old-school style, if you want to call it that, for the modern game.

Wolf hired three coaches — Mike Holmgren, Ray Rhodes and Mike Sherman. Two offensive guys, one defensive.

The point I’m trying to make here is — I wouldn’t read too much into the way Green Bay have ended up appointing offensive coaches over the years, working with a big-name quarterback. I’ve referenced that myself a few times. I’m not sure it’s actually that relevant.

If we’re going to consider anything from Green Bay and the Ron Wolf era — it actually points more towards the Mike Vrabel and Dan Quinn style of coach, or any of the younger guys who might similarly fit the bill.

Another thing I did learn in my conversations this week — there’s real clarity on how the game has changed — with an increase in spread concepts, deception, creating mismatches. In return, defensive football has adjusted more towards speed and quickness instead of size. Even so, it was spelt out to me that irrespective of all that — if you can’t run the ball or stop the run with your play in the trenches, you won’t succeed. That remains a significant thought process within the NFL, even if it isn’t popular online.

Kyle Shanahan loves to run the ball and takes it very seriously. Look what’s happening in Detroit. The 49ers have the third lowest opponent rushing yards per game this season and the Lions are second. San Francisco has the third best running attack, the Lions are sixth. The way it was put to me was — you might be throwing more these days to set up the run (rather than the other way around) but at some point, typically playoff time, you’re going to need to be able to run the ball and stop the run.

None of this is that revelatory but it was interesting to hear it from someone inside the league. Running the ball and defending the run are two things the Seahawks don’t do well. That is going to have to change, irrespective of the type of coach they appoint.

That person could be the man currently running Detroit’s #6 ranked run offense. Ben Johnson fits the modern day profile for a Head Coach but he’s also been around Dan Campbell and he’s delivered a physical, productive run game.

It also might not be him, even if they would like it to be. Here’s the latest piece of evidence. There was already plenty of chatter, per Mike Garafolo, that Johnson and new Commanders GM Adam Peters had talked about hooking up. Johnson was asked about Peters at his press conference today. When he said, “I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about (Peters)” — with a ton of emphasis on ‘fantastic’ — it made it seem like the writing is on the wall:

Garofolo mentioned on KJR today that, despite saying in this clip that he’s ‘looking forward to meeting him’, they’ve already met. He also said that Johnson’s preference is to ‘go somewhere and build it from the ground up’ — drafting a quarterback early and all of that. Everything points to Washington for Ben Johnson. This is a lot of smoke and I think it’s near a big old fire, although Ian Rapoport says Johnson will speak to the Seahawks on Saturday.

If Johnson ultimately proves to be a non-starter for Seattle, I’d just keep in mind the likes of Vrabel and Quinn. If Schneider’s mentor was big on leadership, toughness and being a father figure to his players — they both fit that mould.

Garafolo mentioned Scott Fitterer will give Ejiro Evero a glowing reference after the pair worked in Carolina. It’s also worth noting that long-time former Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers, who Schneider will be familiar with, has worked closely alongside Eviro for the last two years in Denver and Carolina. Garafolo says he has a punchers chance at the job.

He also had some interesting things to say about Vrabel — suggesting he’s very different to Pete Carroll and if they want to maintain the positive vibe in the facility from the Carroll era, his appointment would create a sea change. He says Vrabel’s famous public reaction to the A.J. Brown trade would be typical of his reaction to things he disagreed with.

On the contrary, it’s also worth pointing out again that Adam Schefter said this week that Schneider and Vrabel have a ‘great’ relationship. Schefter has today reported the Seahawks want to meet with Vrabel about the job.

What does it all mean? It’s hard to decipher. I sense for the next two or three weeks we’ll be tying ourselves in knots trying to parse every report and statement. Meanwhile the Seahawks will likely go through the process properly and simply appoint whoever impresses them the most.


  1. BK26

    Man, I am just not patient enough for this process. This could and probably will be weeks, back and forths, reports, speculation.

    As long as they get their guy in the end. I’m ready for the roster to start shedding some dead weight and the focus to move onto the draft. We’ve been spoiled to not have to go through this process in…a while.

    • Parallax

      I’m so glad we’re finally going through it. Wish it had happened two years ago, when we had all that draft capital on the horizon. Might have been easier to land the right coach.

      As for needing patience, I agree. As fans, we have no control. So there’s also an element of surrender. Patience and surrender. Maybe we’ll eventually wind up with a good team in the next few years. Maybe we’ll struggle. We can only watch and try to enjoy whatever comes. Appreciate the good and not get too bent out of shape when things go badly. What else can we do?

  2. cha

    Listen to any former players or coaches speak in the media and they all talk about the challenge of leading modern-day players. They are different. They expect to be treated differently.

    In return, defensive football has adjusted more towards speed and quickness instead of size. Even so, it was spelt out to me that irrespective of all that — if you can’t run the ball or stop the run with your play in the trenches, you won’t succeed.

    I think the attitude of the modern player and stopping the run on defense are linked in way.

    More than ever this season, I have seen so much sloppy, half-hearted tackling attempts on players that penetrate to the second level than ever before. (to be fair I probably have a little recency bias, as I’m a Seahawks fan).

    Last week, watching Buffalo Bills players ping-pong off Steeler defenders was a prime example. A Mike Tomlin-coached team tackling that sloppily? That’s what a national perspective would ask about a Pete Carroll-coached team and their tackling this year. How can it be happening?

    But the attitude is coming out more and more. Quandre Diggs throwing shade at fans for saying he doesn’t do enough, despite visual evidence he’s standing around giving no effort on key plays.

    Tariq Woolen going from hard-nosed edge tackler in the run game to cream puff in just one offseason.

    If you want more “lighter and faster” guys on the field, they damn well better be good tacklers, and have a tackler’s mentality. And if they have the skills and not the desire, you had better be able to reach them.

    Quandre Diggs had a dreadful year last year. The New Orleans game was an absolute disgrace. If the subject of his effort and tackling was the reason Jordyn Brooks was yelling at him on the sidelines – to the point they had to be seperated by Clint Hurtt – I get it.

    Not only did Pete not reach Diggs this offseason, he rewarded him! He not only kept his entire $18m cap number, he restructured his contract and handed him a bonus check in lieu of salary. What did he get in return? Awful, awful play and lots of backtalk from the podium and on Twitter.

    And that’s one of the many reasons Carroll had to go. He didn’t adapt.

    • Sandman

      You are absolutely correct, Cha! That has really bothered me as well. It seems like most tackles are high and tacklers are intent to stalemate the ball carrier in place rather than put them on the ground. It’s not just a Seahawk issue, it seems like most team tackle that way now.

    • Big Mike

      Well said.
      This defense needs a serious overhaul and he and Adams need to be the first ones shown the door. If it hits in the cap for a year and one or two young guys are burned several times but still give max effort, so be it. This team has to change. The words “soft” and “Seahawks” need to stop being used in the same sentence. That’s the “culture” I want from this franchise, not Pete blaring loud music at practice.

      • Parallax

        If it were up to me, I’d have us cut them both early, and Dissley and Geno. Take the cap hits this year. Clear as much dead weight off the books as soon as possible. I’d consider resigning Geno as a bridge if he’d come back at $10M per year or less. Othewise, no way. Give Drew Lock a chance to battle against a rookie. If we’re not good, we’ll at least by interesting, dynamic and fun.

    • bmseattle

      It almost seems like “business decisions” are becoming accepted, if not expected, amongst many players.
      Not as an indication of “softness”, but as a “smart” way to play, to ensure longevity and, as a result, more $$$.

      Woolen had a shoulder injury early in the year, apparently. Perhaps that was an eye opener for him, and an indication that it’s risky to play too aggressively in situations where he is more likely to get hurt?

      We’ve seen guys like Adams and Diggs adjust their style of play as a reaction to injuries, as well.
      I mean, it is speculation that that is what is happening, but it seems like a reasonable guess.

      The one guy on the defense currently who stands out as an aggressive tackler is Witherspoon.
      Of course, his frame is somewhat slight, and he has already had to deal with injuries.

      I can imagine “leaders” like Diggs, talking to guys behind the scenes about playing “smarter” (ie, picking your spots).
      Even if it is not explicitly stated, the young guys can see what’s up.

      Except for the players that have a true “dog” mentality, like Witherspoon, it may just be the direction the league is headed.
      Perhaps identifying those guys will be the key to success going forward… for every team.

      • Big Mike

        Good points and you may be correct. If so, your last sentence carries a lot of weight.

      • DJ 1/2 way

        Unfortunately, it is not only a “business decision”. It is also a brain damage decision as well as a quality of life decision. We saw it with Kam Chancellor. That dude destroyed opponents until he couldn’t do it anymore. I do not think we ever see a player like him again, but hope that we get some middle ground. A lot will depend on who the next coach is. Michigan sure did tackle well in the Nation Championship game.

        • Parallax

          So many guys walk away from the game permanently disabled. CTE is horrible and the worst of it but there are many ways to harm one’s future. If they’re looking out for themselves, one can’t really blame them. They make a ton of money, the good ones who are lucky too, but I don’t think it’s worth it. Wouldn’t want my kid to play tackle football.

          I know this sounds nuts to a lot of people but I hope the NFL in time converts to flag. Would be a much more wide open game. Plenty of excitement. Way less injury. No risk to leaving it all on the field.

      • DriveByPoster

        In my experience, playing rugby & football in the UK (not at a professional level, mark you) , ‘business decisions’ are more likely to get you injured than making a proper tackle. Kam Chancellor had a relatively long career by NFL standards even though he was a famously big hitter. If you watch some of his highlight film, you will see that when he is at his best he leads with his shoulder, not his chest or his head, he comes in low & drives up through the tackle. You will often see him try to wrap up the opponent with his arms. And, most importantly, he is totally committed to the tackle.

        Kam was mostly available to play. Jamal Adams is the total opposite.

      • Elmer

        Yeah. Separating the real football players from the flag football players. Defense and offense. Blocking and tackling are still important. Toughness and commitment can be requirements within a positive culture. We need a HC who can pull that off.

  3. Blitzy the Clown

    I keep thinking how hard it would be to pick the Commanders over the Seahawks.

    Horrible facilities. Shambolic organization. Meager offensive roster. Anemic fans. First time GM. Compared to one of, if not the nicest, facilities in all of professional sports. Solid organization. Excellent core of offensive players. Fervent fan base.

    If the man wants to succeed in his next position, his best bet is not in Washington DC.

    • Rob Staton

      Something to consider though, based on what’s been reported…

      — His preference is to live in the North East
      — He wants to build something from the ground up
      — He has connected with their GM

      Plus, with new owners, you imagine the facilities might be upgraded soon and that the shambolic nature of the franchise will change

      • Pran

        And its the place of powers be. will be high profile should be able to turn this around.

        Does Seattle let Ben build the team ground up? WAS is probably the only club that can do it. if you don’t do it the right way, you will become Saleh at Jets.

      • Brett

        I also think that Johnson may feel less pressure in Washington, which I have to imagine would be appealing for a first time HC. He’d be taking over a team that’s been bad for a long time and doesn’t have a great young core of players, so he won’t feel the pressure to “win now.” The Seahawks definitely need to build the trenches but have some good talent to build around and I feel the next HC will be expected to at the very least win a playoff game by the 2025 season (maybe 2024). In that respect, getting a proven winner like Vrabel would make a lot more sense for Schneider (who’s signed through the 2027 draft and therefore needs to win now).

        • Ross

          I moved from Seattle to DC a while back and the pressure to win in DC is far greater than it is in Seattle, regardless of where the teams are in their competitive cycle. The media and fans are tough there and they expect wins in DC. Period. He should not choose DC if he wants to avoid pressure.

          • Parallax

            Absolutely. Born and raised in New York, I’m familiar with that region. New York is more intense but, honestly, DC, Baltimore, Philly, New England, Buffalo, Pittsburgh — all those towns are tough. The Jets have stunk forever and they booed Wilson mercilessly. Zack was just a kid but you’d have thought him a child molester. Tough crowd.

      • Phil

        Folks who have lived in Washington DC (like me) don’t refer to it as the Northeast. The area is thought of “Mid Atlantic” to differentiate it from Boston and NYC and Philly. Some people refer to Virginia –just across the Potomac River from DC — as part of the South. Not trying to nitpick ….. DC is certainly closer to the NE than Seattle is.

        • Phil

          Johnson grew up in North Carolina and his first coaching position was at Boston College as a Graduate Assistant. So, if he was quoted as saying he would like to live in the NE (while becoming a head coach), I would think this would mean the Patriots. Could this quote come frm an interview when the Patriots HC position had not yet been filled?

          • Rob Staton

            No, it was a general feeling I think from Garofolo that he wants to live in the north east and it wasn’t to do with the Pats

            There’s too much smoke about BJ to DC

        • Parallax

          There are difference. But having lived in Baltimore after growing up in New York, and then leaving for the west coast, I think of the whole region as cut from basically the same cloth. Wait two seconds to accelerate when the light turns green, and someone leans on the horn. That never used to happen in Seattle. Now it does occasionally, probably because there are so many transplants, some too recent to have caught on yet.

          London was funny. Never lived there; just visited. But people REALLY use their horns there. Yet they’re not at all ornery. The horn has a completely different meaning. Drove me insane, the honking. But then I’d pull up next to someone who had honked me intensely at the last light, he’d roll down his window, and very pleasantly say, “Everything aw’right mate?” without even a hint of sarcasm. Rather, what seemed an authentic desire to help. Stuff like that happened several times until I finally realized that, whatever goes on there, I just don’t get it.

          • UkAlex6674

            ‘Everything ‘aw right mate’ doesn’t mean exactly that over here, in the right context!

            If you’d just been honked and then they pulled up and said that, it translates into American speak as ‘bro, do we have a problem or not?’.

        • Rob Staton

          Whether they refer to it as that or not, if you look at a map… it’s easy to say it’s north east

          And it’s way more north east than Seattle…

    • cha

      I am not one to stifle anyone’s ambition, but going from topping out at a Coordinator job to a Head Coach and partnering with a first-time GM to building an organization from the ground up is a lot. Add in any effort to develop new facilities and you have a job on your hands that is daunting.

      The odds just are not in his favor if that is what he chooses.

      Does not mean it won’t work. Does not mean he is wrong to choose it.

      But he has to know, he would be bypassing in Seattle the best current roster of the available head coaching jobs, a very seasoned GM and an already-very-well established franchise. Also I sense that Schneider would absolutely listen to him on personnel and devleopment matters.

      • Rob Staton

        Another thing to consider here, Dan Campbell ‘wanted’ the Lions job so badly (apparently), for the reason of the ground zero rebuild

        He wanted to bring in his own players, set his own culture, start everything off his way. It has worked

        I wonder if Johnson is influenced by that

        • cha

          Good point. There’s nothing like holding the reins.

        • Troy

          Great point. Carrol also wanted to basically start group up.

          Really thats an ego thing, if you think you are the best, then you think that you can take ultimate shit and turn it into a super bowl. that is the ultimate test and if you can do it then you truly are great.

          can’t blame them for having high ambition

          • Parallax

            I apologize if anyone feels I’m taking this in a different direction but I’m still astonished DeBoer wanted that head coaching job at Bama. Yet I marvel at the self confidence. He could win a national championship at Washington with zero pressure while people worship the ground he walks on while giving him a fair amount of privacy. Instead he chooses a place where, first day on the job, he’s already on the hot seat. “Can’t recruit, never signed a top 5 kid, not one of us . . .” A place without a lot of room for anything less than a stellar performance. He’s too intelligent not to know that. Yet is seemed he was angling for that sort of opportunity. Talk about cajones. Must have a wheelbarrow for his schmeckel.

            • MMjohns195

              it’s astonishing really, he could win 3 championships in 10 years and be a failure there. What happens if he loses 2 games this year? is he done, what if it’s 3 games? He might be fired this year if they lose 3/4 games. I suspect he’ll be successful and in 2/3 years head to the NFL

      • line_hawk

        I disagree here. Building your culture from ground zero is a lot easier for a fresh first time guy than changing the status quo at a place like Seattle. There will be some difficult guys in Seattle like Tariq, Diggs, Metcalf to name a few. Guys will be resistant to changing the culture that is deeply entrenched versus at a place like Washington where you can install everything fresh.
        Also, starting with a QB on a rookie contract is a lot attractive. Basically, the highs are higher and lows are lower in Washington. Which is what you want if you are smart and motivated.

        • Blitzy the Clown

          I doubt Diggs will be around to cause any problems.

          As for the rest, they’re pros. They can handle it as well as guys like Emmanuel Forbes, Johnathan Allen or Daron Payne.

          It’s not quite the same thing as Carroll when Johnson is coming in behind Peters. I wouldn’t presume to prognosticate what Washington would offer him, but I gotta believe Peters didn’t sign up to be GM for new owners of the worst franchise in the NFL without guarantees of significant power. How does is there left to give to a HC?

          • Blitzy the Clown

            How *much* is there left…

          • Gary Garland

            I would push back a little on this. As talented and competitive as he is, I would not call DK a solid pro. From publicly not caring about his stupid penalties to his ridiculous candy diet he has shown he still has a long way to go in that department.

            • Peter

              Candy diet…..see right here I think people just think a certain way about DK. I’d rather DK or anyone have a ridiculous diet, show up looking like that than I dunno…dui’s, domestic assaults, etc.

              Penalties? Sure I’d love that cleaned up. But when we’re talking Penalties maybe low key Woolen should clean up his absolutely ridiculous nearly double the Penalties for over double the yards on DK. On a team as heavily penalized as Seattle, DK isn’t near the top of the problems.

              Cha called Aj Brown “all world.”….I said it all year and I stand by this. DK with his no good rotten Penalties and his pretty crummy catch rate of 55% is literally the most under used, TOP wr in the game. Disagree? Go check out what he did on his targets vs guys with 60 to 70 more targets thrown this year.

      • Ben - Fort Worth

        I would have to think that the Chargers job is just as attractive if not more than Seattle’s if we’re looking through a totally unbiased lens.

        • Peter

          Spanos family. You have too many cooks.

          • Patrick Toler

            Yep. Worst owners in the league.

        • Rob Staton

          I think the Chargers job is a mirage

          Herbert is very talented but has never taken the next step. They have major cap issues coming up. No fans. Lousy, cheap ownership. Have to rent the stadium. In a division with Mahomes

          Not all it’s cracked up to be

    • Anonymous

      The new coach and gm will have time in their favor thought. That team is awful they need a full rebuild.

    • Arnie

      With all due respect, if you are than 35 years old or less and live on the other side of the country you probably couldn’t know or appreciate the fan base of Washington DC and the DMV area. Even before the Skins were one of the dominant NFL teams of the 80’s and early 90’s — going to 4 super bowls and winning 3 — starting in the early 60’s with the Sonny Jurgenson/Sam Huff teams, a sold out RFK Stadium was a wild and rocking place be.
      Since Dan Snyder bought the team has for the most part been awful and we’ve been an embarrassment and that’s what you know.
      But with the new Harris ownership, Peters as GM, and (hopefully) Johnson as the next head coach (not to mention the #2 pick in the draft for a QB, 4 picks in round 2 &3, 4 later round picks, and the most cap space in the NFL for FA’s, things are FINALLY looking up to say the least. If Johnson is successful in turning things around, he’ll own this town. DC might not make a lot of noise next year, but moving forward, lookout! 🙏

      • Arnie

        And best of lick to the the Seahawks!!

        • Arnie

          Luck 🤨

  4. Silly Billy–w?feature=shared

    From minutes 1-3 in this 710 interview, Matt Hasslebeck validates Rob’s thoughts.

    Every coach the league knows their X/O’s, so getting worked up over it is silly. You need a leader of men who can set the tone, and the coordinators will follow.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think it’s quite that way

      You need really good coordinators

      • Silly Billy

        Obviously you need good coordinators.

        But we are looking for a head coach right now.

        • Rob Staton

          Yes but the head coach won’t succeed without a great staff

    • BK26

      Hasselbeck also wanted us to keep a head coach that was not good with his x’s and o’s, FWIW.

      They aren’t all good at it. Some aren’t even ok at it. It is an aspect of the job. As is getting the right coordinators. It’s silly not think that it is nothing to get worried about. That’s why Pete got schooled over and over.

      • Tom

        I’m hoping they go with Slowick as he seems to really know his X’s and O’s. He has demonstrated the ability to scheme guys open (something we rarely saw with Waldron). Love what he has done with the Texans’ offense (and he doesn’t have the same dominant offensive line that the Lions have).

        That said, I would be just as happy to have Ben Johnson as the next head coach. Let’s get someone who knows offense – it’s time for a BIG change in Seattle.

    • Chris 206

      The good coordinators don’t just know their Xs and Os, they’re able to innovate with them.

      Just because a person knows the Law or knows Math it doesn’t make them a lawyer or a mathematician.

      • Silly Billy

        Sure, but we are talking head coaches here. Obviously you need good coordinators.

        To put in a way Tech-heavy Seattleites would understand: when hiring a Team manager, you shouldn’t necessarily promote/hire a guy because they are the best coder. While you obviously want coder on your team, does not mean he’s the best manager.

        • BK26

          Except football isn’t that black and white. You said that they are all good x’s and o’s. Pete Carroll proved that that isn’t the case. There are guys where that is their specific strength. Shanahan and McVay coach circles around other guys. There are other cases (John Harbaugh) where the coach’s strength is in his ability to manage the entire team and have his coordinators do more work. Take away Shanahan’s coordinators compared to Harbaugh’s and see which team falls farther.

          You need a guy that can get the coordinators besides lead. So it isn’t silly to have that be a very, very strong focus. Once again, this is a big reason why Pete failed. And I don’t trust any ex-Seahawks for their current opinions. Hasselbeck wanted to keep Pete.

  5. AggieHawk

    Thanks, good stuff Rob. I’m warming to the idea of Vrabel but not there with Quinn. As a fan I know my wishes don’t mean much and I’ll still wind up following the team no matter who is in charge, but Quinn feels like Carroll 2 for me.

    • Parallax

      Definitely don’t want Quinn and I’m not feeling particularly warm to Vrabel either. And God, please, no McCarthy. If we can’t get Johnson, I’d like Slowik. McVey didn’t cast a long shadow when he landed in L.A. In a lot of ways he still doesn’t. But he’s a hell of a coach. Shanahan too. Give me the young whiz kid over the barnacled graybeard.

  6. Mr Drucker in hooterville

    If we can get Johnson to make an in-person visit to Seahawks facility with a seaplane…that would help a lot. Just a zoom call isn’t enough to make the case.

    • Parallax

      These guys are so focused on stuff other than quality of life. Particularly younger coaches. Family can be a big pull. I’m guessing he or his wife have close family on the east coast.

  7. BrandoK

    Just a question when are teams allowed to have interviews on HC candidates in person instead of over zoom?

    • Ian

      After divisional round for those candidates still employed by other teams

  8. Sea Mode


    Jonathan Jones

    The Browns are interviewing Seahawks OL coach Andy Dickerson for their vacant offensive coordinator position, source says.

  9. Daniel D.

    I don’t think there’s anything to make of any reports, other than the Seahawks are out there competing. I’d be very surprised if they hired a younger DC without head coaching experience. If they hire an OC, I’d expect that guy to be a dude– if not a father figure, someone with charisma and sound judgment. I don’t think we’ll get some feckless savant regardless.

  10. cha

    Peter King says Mike Vrabel will be ‘perfect’ with John Schneider.

    • Sea Mode

      He might be right.

  11. Sea Mode


    And the NFL tweeted this…?

    • cha

      And by contrast, the Seahawks’ head coach in the last game of his career got so lost on the sidelines and so confused he could not call a timeout and it nearly cost them the game.

    • Troy

      Thats a coach that is 100% aware of whats happening, has studied film, and ensures a PI.

      Do you think Carrol would ever do that? no. we need a coach at least at that level

      • Big Mike

        But, but….”culture”.

        • Parallax

          Ha! Culture of confusion. The vaunted HKTB (hot knife through butter) defense. WOF (wheel of fortune) offense. Great special teams. Just need to clean up a few things. Your 2023 Seattle Seahawks!

  12. Chamberlain

    I have definitely been wanting either Johnson or Slowik, but I have definitely been better too about the possibility of Vrabel. He would still be my 3rd choice I think but I just have a feeling he could be a great coach. Especially if he can get some good coordinators.

  13. Joseph

    Listening to the way John talked about OC’s, it does sound like he’s leaning toward an OC. But why look to interview Vrabal, Quinn, and other DC’s?

    • Rob Staton

      Because they have to do a thorough search and leave no stone unturned

      And it seems like that is what they’re doing — credit to them

  14. Rob Staton

    Mike Holmgren just said on KJR he told Schneider to go for an offensive-minded Head Coach

    • bmseattle

      So… Mike is angling for one more shot, huh? 😉

    • Whit21

      Last week he had said that he went into headquarters and missed seeing pete. But talked to JS.. they asked him on kjr if they should go for and offensive coach and he said he was biased as an offensive coach

      You had the feeling last week that he talked to john about it and referenced that ron wolf only had ray rhodes (defensive coach) one year..

      I got the feeling with that interview he told JS his opinion.. i think JS is playing the field.. if he has to.. he will hire vrabel and a solid Qb developer.. i think JS is going for a solid vet coach to be on the staff somewhere..

  15. samprassultanofswat

    It’s only been a week since Carroll was fired. And already I cannot stand the suspense. It’s driving me insane.
    I am guessing either Bobby Slowik or Mike Vrabel. Just heard that Dave Wyman doesn’t believe it will be Vrabel. He is predicting and offensive coach to snag the opportunity to lead the Seahawks. Well other than Ben Johnson/Bobby Slowik what coach on the offensive side of the ball excites me? I am no longer on the Eric Bieniemy band wagon. With all I’ve heard about Johnson/Slowik it’s hard to believe that Frank Smith was rated number one among the players.

    • Joseph

      There’s Brian Callahan OC for the Bengals. I would imagine multiple teams wanna hire Ben or slowik, so I feel it’s them choosing the right situation.

    • Olyhawksfan

      Wyman is probably hoping a guy named Cete Parroll gets hired. Looks just like Pete but has a fake mustache.

      • CD

        And loves to say “fired up”, “heck” and “get after it”.

    • Dregur

      He was rated #1 not because he’s a great X and O’s coordinator, but rather he’s able to connect with his players. The two examples that are brought up are Waller, who helped him become a thousand yard TE with the Raiders and got him through as recovering drug addict, and Reshawn Slater, who stated Smith was instrumental in helping him become a 2nd team All Pro as a rookie and getting through his rookie season.

      I don’t know if Frank Smith is a good HC, but I know he’s a good person.

      • Seattle Person

        I have been digging into Frank Smith a little bit more.

        Honestly…he meets a lot of what the Hawks are looking for.
        1) Offensive Dude. He doesn’t call plays in Miami but apparently plans very well. He knows his X’s & O’s.
        2) The offensive lines and RBs improved at every stop. Smith played OLine and knows its importance.
        3) Relationships matter to him. Read how Mike McDaniel describes him. He’s organized, teaches well, and connects with his players.
        4) He’s very positive and we know Jody Allen wants that part of the Pete Carroll culture to continue.
        5) His pressers are as boring as his name though…

        • Ben

          He’s also from Wisconsin, which while normally I wouldn’t think much, it is a tight group out of the Green Bay area it seems.

          I could see him juming again to be assistant head coach and OC with Slowik as HC. And Pettine as the vet DC. (I can’t find a good one with Schneider connections to pair that isn’t making a lateral move)

          • Ben

            To further expand- Slowik went to HS in Green Bay. And by my theory this is all that matters.

            Somebody find me a Green Bay/Wisconsin born D Coordinator

  16. STTBM

    One thing you avoided mentioning, Rob: Wolf appointed 3 head coaches, and Holmgren was the first, and only successful one. I sure hope JS takes that into consideration.

    The idea of Vrabel as coach makes me queasy. He’s an utterly unimaginative coach,and an old school negative, harsh tough-guy. That’s not really what’s winning in today’s NFL. And he hasn’t done squat in the playoffs. Personally, he’s last on the list.

    But obviously JS thinks well of him. Sigh…

    Evero is interesting, but I’d prefer a great Offensive mind as coach due to the trend of good OCs getting stolen for HC jobs.

    • Ben

      I think there’s some coaches that aren’t good with rookie QBs. Like Mike Zimmer and kickers.

      Watching Vrabel interact/talk with Levis, and how Willis was handled. It’s more tough love. If Pete overprotects, he seemed a little closer to Flores the opposite way. Kinda want someone to help a rookie be in easy situations and then let them loose.

  17. STTBM

    I too believe you have to build the lines, then find a qb.

    Hoping Carrols philosophy of saving money by not paying Oline or DT (and not drafting DT high) went out the door with him. Also plugging non-athletes in at C. If we try to save money, it should be at FS, SS, and TE, positions you can get good performance value. Money needs to be spent on the lines to fix this roster.

    • Joseph

      Agreed, it’s still mind boggling we’re spending over 50 million for 2 under performing safeties. I’ll be sad if Diggs goes even though it’s necessary. And Adams without a hint of doubt should be gone. Money definitely should be spent on the O-Line, D-Line, and I’ll even thrown in LBs.

      • GerryG

        To be fair, it would be rather irresponsible to pay to top safeties 50M

  18. T-Mac

    Thanks, Rob, your reporting and lucid summaries have been wonderful to read. Much appreciated and much respect!

    • samprassultanofswat

      One thing that sticks in my side like a thorn. Pete Carroll said the decision to let him go was made by (none football people.) Well who in hell hired Pete Carroll. It was NONE FOOTBALL PEOPLE that hired Pete Carroll. Like I said before. Pete Carroll has had 10 years to “fix” the defense. And Pete Carroll’s defense gets worse every year.

      • Palatypus

        The game has evolved and I don’t think we can re-invent the Legion of Boom.


        If you were going to try to do it with a defensive guy as head coach…

        I would draft Sainristil out of Michigan in the mid-rounds to be our new Jeremy Lane slot/nickel. I think he is a better tackler than the grades I have seen.


        You move our rookie wunderkind cornerback to single high-safety in the role of Earl Thomas. You have Sainristil and Witherspoon lurk and roam a bit pre-snap to counter what the Rams and Niners do with motion.

        Then when they get all weird, you just put Devon on the best receiver. We need a pass rush that can collapse the pocket though and move the quarterback off his spot,

        We need a 5t and a 1T in this draft, a couple of fast and teachable linebackers, and two cheap safeties to replace the disaster.

        …and a guard…

        …and a center…

        …and possibly an offensive tackle.

        • Brodie

          You want to take our best tackling & most aggressive DB and move him as far away from the line of scrimmage as possible? Then line him up one-on-one with WR1’s on occasion?

          You want Spoon as close to the action as possible, not playing CF 25 yards back. Put freaking Woolen back there if anything. Speed and length to cover ground with good ball skills and crap tackling. At the very least he won’t be able to get hands-to-the-face penalties trying to jam guys off the LOS.

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you!

  19. Patrick Toler

    Great article Rob. The difference between Vrabel and Quinn is that Vrabel had success in a tough situation and Quinn had a short run of success with the most important offensive coach of the last 20 years running his offense. If none of the young OCs blow them away I would be into Vrabel, with Arthur Smith as OC.

    • Palatypus

      I think Rob has produced about 20, 000 words for us this week, plus the video.

    • Rob Staton

      That’s the concern. Every time Quinn has had success there’s been the LOB, Parsons, Shanahan. And within that success there’s been chaos (28-3, last Sunday etc). It’s a hard sell

    • Sneekes

      I agree, the availability of Vrabel effectively rules out Quinn. If John is valuing experience then Vrabel seems to have everything Quinn can offer, but with a little less doubt about it. A little more certainty that it was he who created the positive thing rather than lucked into it.
      I’m seeing the top 3 as Vrabel, Johnson & Slowick, with Slowick behind Johnson. Johnson goes to DC and it’s straight choice between the other two. We then get to see John’s appetite for risk – does he gamble on the high risk, high reward guy?
      Someone mentioned before – if we were in the NFC South one might go Vrabel, but competing directly with McVey and Shanahan – I think I’d gamble on Slowick.

      • Rob Staton

        I wouldn’t rule out Quinn

        Not my choice. I think there are concerns, I think there are reasons to believe his success is tied to others (Shanahan, Parsons, LOB)

        But he is a leader, he is different to Vrabel in terms of energy and an upbeat approach, he could easily present a great plan for a staff

        So I wouldn’t rule it out

    • Peter

      Just busting chops here but the most important offensive coach in the last 20 years is actually Reid. Shannahan the younger has a bigger current tree though much like Reid his coaches haven’t done anything yet of note.

  20. Jo

    Rob, I love that you try and give us every possible angle and point of view but the ONLY common denominator that actually matters is the quarterback. They have to be at least above average like in Detroit or San Francisco every other successful OC pretty much has an elite quarterback to work with.

    I will stop caring if Quinn is hired seen that done not impressed but Vrabel I wouldn’t mind if JS wants someone older and proven because it’s a fact he can take average and make it great give him pretty good and an elite quarterback then we’re talking Houston a team that will be true contenders until the quarterback is gone like Baltimore or Kansas City.

    • Rob Staton

      I agree, the QB is critical to future success

      They have to find one. I’m not sure if they will in this draft, though

      • Jody L Perry

        If they get blocked like last year just build the lines and give Locke a team friendly contract but hopefully we can get Rattler in the 3rd round? I like him he can deal with a shit OL.

      • seaspunj

        my guess is that the new head coach will decide what type of QB they would want to develop. Hopefully JS goes Ron Wolf and drafts a QB to develop

        if the Seahawks dont draft a QB this year. What backup QBs would be a decent target to develop vs Drew Lock?

        my hope is that the Seahawks roster 3 QBs with if Geno is still QB1

        I would be very interested to see if the Bengals would be willing to part with Jake Browning. Unsure what the draft pick cost would be but maybe a swap trade down scenario in the draft?

        I think its a very low percentage shot but Browning showed a lot of poise and vision when Burrows was hurt.

        also doesn’t hurt Browning was a Huskie

        • Rob Staton

          I think John will have 100% control over the next QB

          • Peter

            I’m a little curious about this… a world where they do land Johnson or Slowik to be successful doesn’t it matter what kind of qb your coach especially on offense prefers?

            Goff, Stroud,and Tua. All are pocket passers. And the three HC names have worked with them. Just me but seems to really be effective you need to work together to find the right person. Maybe not in the developmental Range ( travis or other) but if they go big on QB.

            • Rob Staton

              In fairness two of those three were inherited and could be upgraded

              I don’t think BJ or FS would choose a Goff or Tua

      • Phil

        Rob – really off-the-wall question, but what would it take to trade for Anthony Richardson or Bryce Young? I still think of Richardson and what he could bring to the Seahawks as a real dual threat QB. What would it take to get him, injuries and all? Would our #16 first round pick, coupled with the Colts #15, offer the Colts enough value where they could then move up in the draft to go after, say, Jaden Daniels? I know it’s a weird idea, but sometimes when you can’t afford a brand-new car, buying one that is only a year old can be a really good idea….

        • Rob Staton

          I think they’d want a lot, too much

        • BK26

          They just drafted their guy and solved a problem that about half of the league is trying to solve. They aren’t trading Richardson. Same with Young.

  21. Jo

    I’m totally fine with a couple 5-12 years if that’s needed to completely erase the stink of what the Pete era left us. Personally I believe he was actively trying to fuck up the entire franchise for the last 2-3 years. We are in need of a culture that is completely different the current players show this in spades.

    • Peter

      Disagree. I think Pete like a zillion old and formerly successful business owners was simply doing what they all do. Circling ranks and hoping that there was one last move to make the team relevant.

  22. Jo

    IF quarterback pick isn’t done please just build the lines and cut all the offensive outside weapons and hopefully get Rattler in the 3rd round. That man can perform with shit OL and weapons.

    • Brodie

      This is a bizarre take on many levels.

      If a QB isn’t done, take Rattler – in the same sentence.

      Draft OL and Rattler because Rattler doesn’t need a good OL.

      Cut all of our WR’s because Rattler doesn’t need good WR.

      This is coming on the heels of the take that “PC was actively trying to fuck up the entire franchise”. To what end? Why on Earth would that make any sense? Pete is guilty of many things, but self and team sabotage? Come on.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I agree with Jo that Pete at least subconsciously took risks that sabatoged the team. Starting with trading two 1st round picks and a third(?) rounder for Adams. My recollection was he did that right before Pete’s contract extension so some other coach could have gotten stuck with Adams.

        Lets couple that with trading away a 2nd rounder for renting Williams for 8 games. How is that contract extension working out? Not so well. Williams is arguably the best defensive linemen they got, but he won’t be with them next year unless something changes.

        Anyway, I believe there was a destructive pattern to his trading away draft picks, a selling of the teams future. And the high contracts he approved for Adams and an injured Diggs. Yowzer. Not to mention the escalation on Geno Smiths contact forces them to choose whether to keep him or not.

        • Brodie

          Right, but that’s willful ignorance of how close we were. It’s making moves for the here and now because he thought we were ‘almost there’.

          Actively trying to screw up the team has a sinister vibe to it that just isn’t in Pete’s nature. For as much as he made some confounding decisions and by extension messed up the team in the process – Pete loved the Hawks.

  23. Sea Mode

    I get the Commanders if you want a true blank slate, and I guess the Chargers if you want a QB in place (the owner, though…), but the Falcons as more attractive than the Seahawks surprises me.

    And nobody seemed to mention having JS to work with as a huge positive.

    • Big Mike

      I saw this breakdown this morning. I’m with you on your assessment.

    • Brodie

      ATL –
      Weak division
      Loads of good offensive weapons (as do we, but relative to other openings)
      Way more cap room
      More draft capital
      Don’t have tons of money tied up in underperforming positions of poor value (ie dead cap)
      New coach likely gets a large say in personnel

      I can see the argument for us, but the list above has plenty of reasons to argue for ATL too.

  24. L80

    The game has “evolved” but one thing NEVER changes. You win up front. I’ve watched 6 decades of NFL football, and nothing has evolved that doesn’t include the play of both lines which Seattle has been woeful for a long ass time.

    You could hire Lombardi as coach and get the same results.

    • Big Mike

      I am also now going into my 6th decade and could not agree more. I especially believe the o-line is the most important because it allows you to control the clock and keep opposing Ds off the field.

      • Peter

        I’ve been watching a bunch of the classic early Pete era games lately and a few things stick out to me. The Oline play has always been rough under Pete. Better then than now but not good even then.

        Last night I rewatched the “you mad bro,” game which is kind of a nail biter. Even then patriots had dlinemen running straight at Wilson free and unencumbered. I truly can’t understand why this team could never build an okayish oline.

        Sidenote: when did Pete decide to throw pretty much to the sidelines all day everyday? Pretty much every pass that game is straight down the middle to Baldwin, Rice. Or a release to Lynch, Turbin, or Washington.

        All this to say I hope the new captain in admitting offense might be key moving forward also realizes that you can rarely go wrong building both trenches.

        • MMjohns195

          They could never build a great line because you have a finite resource in the cap. They judged (rightly/wrongly) that the athleticism of the QB would allow them to get away with cheap oline players.

          Can you imagine the pushback if they’d have not paid, kam/earl/sherm/avril/bennett/clemmons, because that’s why they didn’t spend a ton on Oline. They picked the wrong guys of course Drew Nowak for a half a year is beyond my capacity for understanding.

    • Rob Staton

      Yep, the trenches are key

      Dominate there and get a QB you’ll be fine

      • Peter

        Of which….I do a ton of mocks to goof off and mostly to find names I haven’t seen yet.

        On the note of trenches recently Satoa Laumea, Utah RG/RT prospect has caught my eye. I wouldn’t be looking but with the Lucas Knee thing and not feeling settled with Bradford, Forsythe, Curhan I’ve been seeking out possible fits on that side in the later rounds.

        Nearly every time I mock on any site I can get Fantauna, Byron Murphy, Van Pran, Zintner, and Rattler and I just chuckle….if only it was that easy!

  25. LouCityHawk

    I’m officially off the retreads. Thinking about it the list of NFL coaches who greatly succeeded in their second stint is short. The list of failures is long.

    Whats more, if I take Schneider’s statements at face value (and I do) he is looking for a young Offensive minded coach who might mitigate OC churn. Vrabel and Quinn are off my board.

    I’ve written at length here (sorry) about my belief that Ben Johnson was seen as the heir apparent as early as last January, and that the Org’s decision to no e on from Carroll had a lot to do with getting Johnson.

    I’ve started to think there was another preferred name, and the deeper I’ve dug into the candidate the more connected it seems to suggest that maybe I was looking at a Johnson when my eyes should have been on Smith.

    Frank Smith – age 42 -career coach

    Miami (Ohio) (2004–2005)
    Graduate assistant

    Butler (2006)
    Offensive line coach
    Butler (2007–2009)
    Offensive coordinator & offensive line coach

    His stint at Butler was associated with an uptick in relevance and especially in OLine play.

    New Orleans Saints (2010–2014)
    Assistant offensive line coach

    Starts off in the Payton tree, under very good OLine coach Kromer – and the Saints OLine play picks up during these years, lots of little wrinkles and details, I’ll go into them if he is hired by the Seahawks.

    Chicago Bears (2015–2017)
    Tight ends coach

    Now switches to the Fox/Gase tree. He got to be a full position coach here and work with Zach Miller.

    Oakland / Las Vegas Raiders (2018–2020)
    Tight ends coach

    Under HC gruden and OC Greg Olson worked wonders. If you haven’t read what Waller has said about Smith, do yourself a favor and do. Greg Olson spent the last year in Seattle.

    Los Angeles Chargers (2021)
    Run game coordinator & offensive line coach

    Staley and Lombardi. Also intriguing to note connection to Shane Day (pass game coordinator, current Texans coach). Look at what the Chargers did on the ground and it’s OLine during his tenure, compare before and after.

    Miami Dolphins (2022–present)
    Offensive coordinator

    Poached! To work with McDaniel. Questions about the tail off towards the end are fine. Consider the bodybof work however, and the talent compared to Seattle.

    In Miami and in San Diego he ran a lot of two back sets, and designed runs that utilized varying degrees of OLine talent. His Pass concepts are solid, different from what McVay and Shanahan put out.

    Is this fighting fire with fire? I’d argue yes. Especially if paired with a modern DC that can negate two of the NFCW offenses.

    Frank Smith the person seems serious but friendly. He reminds me of a close freind – so a bit hard to personally judge. I was cool on him until I read the Waller story, then did some more digging and found that Smith definitely has some of the vibes. I couldn’t find any firey speeches or leader of men clips. In a way he reminded me of Andy Reid, and I will take Andy Reid.

    Sometimes things just click.

    Frank Smith would presumably retain Olson, perhaps poach Shane Day to be OC, and generally assemble a staff, at least on offense, that would be enviable.

    Pairing him with the right DC would make a difference (no Staley, thanks). Graham over Evero would be my preference. There are other names worth considering – Babich (Bills), Cooley (Panthers), Foote (Bucs)…

    Smith would not energize the 12s the way that Johnson would, he is not as effusive. He is no classic Harbaugh/Vrabel sideline stalker. He seems like the friend who will always pick you up at the airport, or help you move, and I’m not sure that is a bad thing in a HC.

    So count me in as excited if Frank Smith is the hire.

    • Rob Staton

      I think he’s a good option

      The issues are as you mention the way things tailed off for Miami, which puts a Quinn-esque downer on things. Plus he hasn’t ever called plays. And he’s not exactly the most inspiring bloke to listen to.

      I think he is behind Johnson and Slowik because they both call plays and give off a similar vibe to McVay in terms of charisma.

      But I wouldn’t hate the hire if that’s who they go with. It would be intriguing.

      • Seattle Person

        I was very cold on him untill I read how McDaniel described him. How instrumental he was to the Dolphins and how he was hand picked by McDaniel despite being a complete unknown to Mike.

        The Reid comparison does ring with me. Smith is pretty boring but I think his name is more popular among NFL people than fans. He ticks a lot of boxes. McDaniel says that he thinks about everything when it comes to an NFL team. I do think Smith is probably a top 3 candidate for the Hawks.

      • Ian

        Could Smith be lured by the OC role by giving him play-calling responsibilities?
        Vrabel, HC
        Smith, OC
        Evero, DC

        • Rob Staton

          Not sure but they could offer him assistant HC to do something like that I think

        • LouCityHawk

          Will be awesome when Smith leaves to go coach another team the following cycle.

          • Peter

            Mild disagree again….that will Not be awesome😀

    • Simon McInnes

      I got the impression that John Schneider’s message was “we’re open minded about everything” (with the possible exception of wanting to do things in a style that has worked for Green Bay for the last 30 years).
      None of the names listed fill me with dread, and whilst people inevitably get excited about the possibility of giving the next wonder-coach his first HC role, for every Sean McVay there is a Nathaniel Hackett, so even the most sought after candidate of that nature comes with a certain degree of risk.

    • Peter

      Mild disagree about the ‘retread,’ comment:

      I may be missing a name but I count 17 HC’s this century with a ring. Of those:


      Were all ‘retreads.’ 3 of those names have two or more rings. Of the first timers none yet have multiple rings. I’m sure one of them will as we are cycling into a new generation of coaching. A lot is made of youth and young minds. The best coach for me that is still in the playoffs is Reid who is significantly older than the names we talk about in our division.


      Re: Frank Smith. I can’t get a feel on him. You hear a ton of great stuff about him. But when I watch snippets of him talking I can’t tell if he’s just slightly cautious in his approach or actually awkward with attention. I think he’d be pretty great with details but I also get a vibe of a guy who should maybe be coaching at a plucky try hard Midwestern school molding young minds with a “row the boat,” kind of energy.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      I don’t see anything in this resume that jumps out and eclipses any of the other candidates, let alone Ben Johnson.

      If Smith ends up with the job, it’ll be because their other preferences aren’t available. Totally underwhelming choice IMO

  26. Big Mike

    10 years ago today………….Seahawks 23, 49ers 17
    Can’t believe it’s been 10 already.

    • Peter

      Another game I watched recently. So good. It’s basically a perfect football game.

      • BK26

        It was The Big Game. The Super Bowl turned out to be the celebration party, we just didn’t know it at the time.

        Is it a sign? Where the team is today with new changes on the 10th anniversary?

        • Peter

          You got Rob curiously changing his website then the anniversary of that epic game….maybe it’s all coming together😀

        • Group Captain Mandrake

          I think a lot of us thought it was the big game at the time. My friends and I referred to the Super Bowl as the game that would crown Seattle or SF. We all thought whoever won that game would beat Denver. I thought it would be a lot closer though.

  27. Ian

    Apparently, Frank Smith was interviewed yesterday:

  28. Blitzy the Clown

    Before we slip too far down the Frank Smith rabbit hole, someone, anyone please tel me why he’s a good candidate.

    Where in his coaching past can you look and see success that is attributable to him and his coaching? Hell, where in his coaching past can you see success, regardless of who properly gets credit?

    Only one season out of a decade, back in 2013 for the Saints when he was an “offensive assistant”. They went 11-5 and won their wild card match up, only to lose to the Seahawks in the Beastquake game. That’s it for success in Smith’s coaching past. Not much, and he was but a lowly offensive assistant, so how much credit do you want to allocate to him for that one playoff win?

    I’m kind of being facetious, but also serious. What’s this guy got going for him on paper that you can point to that makes him a logical choice?

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      Agreed. All I see on this guy is his working with Darren Waller to help turn his life around which, while very admirable, means exactly jack squat for cultivating a coaching staff others will want to poach, developing BAMFs on the field and leading this franchise back to a championship. 🤷🏽

    • Peter

      I get what you are saying. I’m taking a page from Rob’s book on prospects about what they can be.

      An example: mike McDaniels when he was the run game coordinator for the niners didn’t actually have amazing run games every year. And with him gone their run game has still been very good. In that time Seattle actually bested him a few times.

      Then he was the OC for Shannahan.

      Smith seems sort of like that to me.

      If we look at Johnson ( and squint,) he actually hasn’t done anything yet with Goff that Mcvay didn’t already do. Sure the offense has been great. We give him credit and rightfully so for maximizing talent. But….Gibbs and st. Brown were supposed to be good.

      Slowik. It’s one season. It’s a great season. And Stroud had a great year. But….he is also a top five pick. Is it as good of a job as say turning third round Wilson into as good of a prospect as Luck that Bevell did that year?

      • Group Captain Mandrake

        Flip side of that last part is how many top 5 picks do we see totally bomb? Quite a few, it seems. Stroud has the talent, but Slowik is the guy who made it possible for him to use it. Same with St. Brown and Gibbs. “Supposed to” doesn’t really mean much. And Goff was considered a retread and trade throw in for the Stafford trade. I don’t think many expected him to have the success he has had. I certainly didn’t.

        • Peter

          Qb’s: the top qb bombing thing probably needs to be thoroughly addressed at some point. Of the teams remaining five of the teams standing have top 10 qbs. Two remaining have first rounders.

          The point of the post is not to disagree with Blitzy. It’s to say I can easily see a pro and con for nearly every candidate.

          Quinn…flopper. but go watch the ‘you mad bro ,’ game…before the LOB was the LOB he has awesomely designed pre snap alignments and really interesting coverages.

          Vrabel…meh….also got farther in the playoffs more recently with lesser players and had GM’s picking Willis and trading brown underneath him. Teams play hard as heck for him.

          Slowik….awesome putting it all together. One time. So much like Geno last year what happens when people figure him out? What does he do with less talented players? He’s probably developing Stroud but maybe Stroud is that good.

          Mcdonald…awesome defense….can he field a decent coaching pool with Harbaugh and Harbaugh in the league.

          Frank Smith….is he doing a bobcat goldthwaite impersonation? What has he really done….also has coached several different areas and has apparently excellent coaching skills with players and attention to detail. Which we lack for years.

          • Group Captain Mandrake

            I was just talking about the “Should be” part of your comment. You are correct that many of the teams still in the playoffs have first round QBs, but for every Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes, there is a Zach Wilson, Sam Darnold or Blake Bortles. Based on their draft position, they should be good too. Now, whether that has to do with everyone misevaluating them or being stuck on garbage teams is certainly something worth discussing.

            • Peter

              I actually think there are tons of GM’s that aren’t good at their jobs. Or meddling owners. I’m just a guy on the internet but I wouldn’t have drafted Ponder, Manuel, or Tebow in any round. But guys “with more knowledge than me,” all thought sure, let’s do it. Tebow in college looked like he was throwing the ball with his eyes closed….

    • BK26

      John Harbaugh. One of the best, most successful coaches right now was only a special teams coach. So his resume was worse than Frank Smith’s. Yet here we are. There is a hell of a lot more to being a head coach than “what has he done as a position coach, what are his wins, etc.” There are intangibles.

      Guy relates to players. Everywhere he has gone. McDaniels is swearing up and down about how great and necessary he has been for him. One of the better offensive minds today. There are concerns, such as what kind of staff can he build, but a lot of what makes a great coach are things that we won’t get to see. John has to be the one to know it.

      He’s got a resume. A legit resume and a legitimate shot at becoming a head coach. In the end, it isn’t our decision and we won’t see or know most of why the decision was made.

      Personally, he’s higher on my list than Vrabel. There is something about Vrabel that I don’t like or feel will make the team any better. Frank Smith could be what Pete needed to be: a guy who can dictate where it is needed. But he is a legitimate candidate.

      • Dregur

        Honestly, I think Frank Smith could build a staff “easier” than Johnson or Slownik. He’s been all over the place in his 20 years of coaching in 4 very distinct coaching trees. The big thing about him is that he has stated publicly that he does not have a specific scheme, but rather works with how the roster is constructed.

        • BK26

          There might be more up and down years with him, but long term, someone that is that fluid? Could be a big positive.

          I agree, he could probably build a better, deeper staff. I think that Slowik and Johnson just do one thing very well that it would be taken care of, fully, by themselves.

    • Phil

      He and Schneider were at GB together …. and maybe Smith’s “passing game coordinator and QB coach” in Miami (Darrell Bevell) has told him nice things about Seattle? Really reaching here, but you asked.

      • Brodie

        Frank Smith hasn’t ever been in GB.

        I made some loose connections a few threads back, where he coached with Fangio, Staley and Desai in Chicago.

    • LouCityHawk

      This is Andy Reid’s resume

      BYU (1982)
      Graduate assistant
      San Francisco State (1983–1985)
      Offensive line coach
      Northern Arizona (1986)
      Offensive line coach
      UTEP (1987–1988)
      Offensive line coach
      Missouri (1989–1991)
      Offensive line coach
      Green Bay Packers (1992–1996)
      Assistant offensive line & tight ends coach
      Green Bay Packers (1997–1998)
      Quarterbacks coach & assistant head coach
      Philadelphia Eagles (1999–2012)
      Head coach
      Kansas City Chiefs (2013–present)
      Head coach

      Not analogous, but not dissimilar.

      Take a closer look at what the Dolphins ns ran, their designs. Look at the Chargers run system.

      This is sort of the offensive coach’s pedigree OLine, TE, QB or run/pass coordinator.

      I’ve said since last offseason that Johnson is the crown jewel, but I am warming to both Slowik and Smith as worthy second choices that may be better fits in the long run.

      It is also worth hilighting the Olson connection. I have a ton of respect for Olson, so much so I thought he may have been brought in to replace Carroll.

      • Blitzy the Clown

        But Reid was assistant HC (+ QBs coach) for a team that won their division and the NFC championship in ’97. And he followed that up with another 11-win, wild card appearance in ’98, before getting the big promotion.

        Demonstrated success, and participating in a high level role that resulted in said success.

        I don’t see either for Smith. Unless I’m missing something?

        Taking nothing away from Darren Waller’s personal struggles, and acknowledging the prominence of influence Smith might have had on him, but the guy’s a phenom in his own right. What X’s and O’s help did he need from Smith to become what he is? And to the extent Smith’s influence was mostly personal, and even in combination with all the other personal praise heaped on him, guidance counselor is not a relevant qualification for the next Seahawks HC. At least not at the expense of actual strategic acumen.

        In the modern NFL, if your HC isn’t for all intents and purposes one of your team’s two coordinators, offense or defense, then your team is at risk of major continuity disruption if you have any success because the non-HC coordinator will get hired away. And because currently the greater demand is for OCs than DCs, it just makes sense to lock up the OC spot with your HC. Smith may be OC for Miami, but he doesn’t call plays. Sooooo, what kind of OC are you getting in him? And is it strong enough to allow him to be HC and de facto OC in the way Mike McDaniel is for Miami? These questions have no answers. Only opinions. Because there’s no record to look at. And I think it’s a massive, massive risk to take, with little concrete upside.

  29. DW

    Looks like the Seahawks assistant QB coach will be coaching the QBs in Mobile for the Senior Bowl. That’ll provide a nice look at Rattler.

  30. Happy Hawk

    One of the factors I have been thinking about is the “Musical Chairs” aspect. As the candidate pool starts to be signed the fear of being left standing without a chair kicks in. My sense is that after this weekend the winning coaches will be safe and the music will start playing big time. Hope JS has a solid plan.

  31. samprassultanofswat

    Bobby Slowik. It is going to be VERY INTERESTING to see what Slowik’s offense does against that Baltimore defense. I suspect the Texans will probably score somewhere between 20-24 points against the Ravens.

    I am pulling for the Texans. However, if the Texans are going to win they will need to score at least 27 points. If the Texans are going to have any chance of winning they will need to win the turnover battle. It will also be interesting to see if LaMarr Jackson comes out flat like he did four years ago against Tennessee. Ironically, Jackson has a losing record in the playoffs.

    With that said. My prediction is the Ravens win 27-23.

    • Rob Staton

      I think the Ravens will blow Houston away

      • VanHawk

        Hot Take!


  32. LouCityHawk

    Looking at the playoff games this weekend, there are lessons we can draw.

    Texans at Ravens – two teams everyone poundign the table for Morris/Eviro/Graham point to and say ‘see?’ It runs deeper than that for me though. Peter laid it out better above, but the Ravens needed elite Jackson and OC Monken to be where they are. And for the Texans – how will Stroud perform if Slowik and Day are poached? Will the Texans be back or will they regress? My sense is that Baltimore may have rested too long, so the first half may be close and in the second half they remember who they are and pull away. Especially with this storm.

    Bills v Chiefs – in my youth, my uncle taught me to bet on the better QB in the playoffs, and if the QBS were equal to bet on the better coach, and if the coachea were equal, bet home field. Allen has played better than Mahomes down the stretch. Reid is clearly better though. And here is the point, Reid provides consistency. Allen needed Brady to take over as OC to elevate, and Brady may be gone next cycle.

    3 out of the first four teams are cases for needing everything ng to be just right to compete, razor thin margins of error.

    SF and GB – here are the two modern teams doing things the modern way. Yes, if CMC is healthy the Packers might give up a Seahawk-esque 500 yards rushing. But Love is the better QB, how much better is Shanahan then LaFleur? The thing is, both of these teams are succeeding without a franchise QB. They look like the will continue to succeed. They have a bigger margin for error.

    Tampa at Lions. This is the call I keep hearing today, we could have been Tampa! Why not us? And they are doing it with a D coach and replacement level QB (neglects to mention Canales may be gone this offseason). Of all the games this weekend, this one screams blowout to me. And then we ask the question and get an answer, what do the Lions look like without Ben Johnson?

    • Patrick Toler

      Baltimore has an excellent figurehead type of head coach who benefits from an excellent QB and currently has good coordinators. Harbaugh is probably the best example (along with Tomlin) of what you would hope for Vrabel to be. There have been some ups and downs, but mostly very good. Honestly not that different from Carrol, though probably more willingness/ability to effectively adapt to the constantly changing NFL landscape.

      Houston has a figurehead/defensive head coach who has greatly benefited from his OC who he may lose after 1 year.

      KC has a great schematic coach who is also known as a great leader. IMO Reid is the best overall coach in the NFL.

      Buffalo’s McDermott I think of as a figurehead type, but maybe he is a defensive schematic wizard? Their fortunes have fluxuated in part due to OC changes (Daboll leaving in particular).

      SF and GB are led by scheme wizards.

      Tampa and Detroit will have to show that they can keep up their excellence if and when they lose their hotshot coordinators. I’m not convinced Canales is Johnson’s equal, but we will see.

      Ultimately I think this just supports the idea that you can succeed with a figurehead/leader type of coach, but go get that offensive genius if you can.

  33. line_hawk

    The AFC playoffs look like all about young superstar QBs. Doesn’t matter who is the coach (offensive or defensive); the teams are built around QBs (Texans might be an exception but getting there) and they will deliver no matter who is the coach.

    The NFC is currently devoid of young elite QBs. So, its about scheming, whether its Shanahan, McDaniel, Ben Johnson or Canales. We can argue all we want about how good McVay and Shanahan are but they have only made it deep into the playoffs (super bowls) on the back of elite defenses. Shanahan’s record against elite QBs (in addition to blowing two super bowls) is not great. I think its much more important to get elite QBs. If you only have a great offensive coach, your team will have a ceiling because your QB needs to win games in fourth quarter of playoffs. The lack of elite QBs currently in NFC kind of muddles this argument (and lets 49ers get off easy) but I don’t think it will stay like that in the mid to long term.

    The game has changed but elite QBs still rule. Ravens and Bills (potentially Texans but too early to say) kill it year after year. So, the question to me is can someone like Vrabel be what Harbaugh or McDermott.

    • SeattleLifer

      Made last year’s draft real tough with us being the team picking right after the top QB’s dissapeared. And this year picking 16th with so many QB needy teams ahead of us doesn’t bode particularly well.

      I’m a firm believer that the best things often come after/through some pain and difficulty – I really hope that from Jody down to John and our new coach that everyone could be ok with a first rough losing season to get into better draft position next year. Dump a bunch of the guys that need to go including Geno, give Lock a one year 12 million range contract and take your lumps in 2024 to clean up/better our salary cap situation and get a high enough pick to take a shot at a top tier QB in the draft. All this assumes that there will be a few QB’s in the next draft that are worth positioning for though…

      • BK26

        I am more than fine with this. If they decide to retool on a bigger scale, ok. I just want a plan and hope behind it.

  34. Mr Drucker in hooterville

    An insane rating of NFL HC openings….. This had to have been done by the Redskins PR department in an effort to mislead Ben Johnson….

    4. Seattle….”non football people” running things….(eye roll)

    • Blitzy the Clownb

      I’m sorry the franchise owned by the same family for 27 years is less attractive of a job than the franchise that just got bought by…checks notes…a first time NFL franchise owner?

      What a load of bollocks

      • Peter

        Am I wrong bit isn’t about half of WAS operating staff literally not football people? Magic Johnson, some other basketball exec, the owner….

        The chargers and their perennial do nothing team and that family with all of them running…..sure thing.

    • Whit21

      People dont want to admit that or see the hawks as being stagnant for awhile.. paul allen was pretty no nonsense as an owner and i think jody allen knows her brother.

      She let the RW saga unfold and kept pete for 2 more years with no improvement in sight.. you dont need to be a football person to be embarrassed by your expensive strong safety thats always hurt and ineffective..

      Besides, yahoo is always ran by doofus’. .. they didnt buy google when 3 or 4 times when they were a steal.. i wouldnt trust many national media types to talk about why pete carroll was fired or the inner workings..

      The local media have no idea, but they pick up on the little nuggets.. national types dont..

  35. Blitzy the Clown

    One vacancy down

    Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

    Raiders are working to finalize a deal to hire Antonio Pierce as their head coach, per sources.

    Raiders made Pierce their interim HC on Halloween night and now are closing in on making it a full-time job. Players who campaigned for Pierce soon are expected to be happy.

    • Mr Drucker in hooterville

      I have no idea if Pierce if the right hire, but I do question giving players too much input in hiring of coaches.

  36. Robert Las Vegas

    Just a quick question for you Rob anyone in the East West shrine game interest you?

    • Rob Staton

      Xavier Thomas DE
      Steele Chambers LB
      Curtis Jacobs LB
      Matt Goncalves T
      Edgerrin Cooper LB
      Ja’Tavion Sanders TE
      ZTF DE

      Although I’m not sure all of these guys will show

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