Why the Seahawks need to focus on tactical brilliance, not ‘leadership and toughness’

With the Lions winning in the divisional round at the weekend, I’ve started to see people highlighting the work of Dan Campbell. Undoubtedly, he’s done a great job. Many people on social media are now calling for the Seahawks to appoint someone who can provide his level of leadership and expertise.

I think there’s a significant chunk of context to add here.

When Campbell was initially appointed in 2021, he hired Anthony Lynn as his offensive coordinator. He took over an offense that had Jared Goff, Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Swift, Josh Reynolds and T.J. Hockenson. Four fifths of their current starting offensive line, including first rounders Taylor Decker, Frank Ragnow and Penei Sewell were on the team too.

The Lions started that season 0-8-1 before Lynn was removed from playcalling duties, with the offense struggling badly. The Lions finished the season 3-5.

Under Lynn, they averaged 16.6 points per game. When he was removed, they averaged 21.8. Despite the uptick in production, they finished the season with the 29th ranked offense per DVOA.

Johnson was promoted to the coordinator role for the 2022 season. The Lions improved to 9-8 that year, they scored 26.6 points per game and the offense ranked 7th per DVOA. They were dependant on the offense, because the defense ranked 27th.

This season, the Lions are in the NFC Championship game with an overall record of 14-5. They’re scoring 27.1 points per game and the offense ranks fifth per DVOA (the defense ranked 13th).

The point is, Campbell with Lynn as offensive coordinator was a winless Head Coach with a struggling offense. Since promoting Johnson, the Lions have been an offensive-reliant team that has improved its output and performance consistently. They’ve gone from being so bad they earn the #2 pick in the draft to being within a game of the Super Bowl.

What’s the bigger factor here? Campbell’s leadership or Johnson’s appointment as offensive coordinator?

I’m not trying to undermine Campbell who is clearly a person players want to play for. Meshing with Johnson’s tactical quality, they make a great pair. However, in the hierarchy of importance, without Johnson calling plays, Campbell’s Lions were winless. Look at the difference — 0-8-1 with Lynn, 26-18 after. 29th ranked offense before, top-seven ever since.

Another quick point to make regarding the importance of experience, leadership and staff-building, which I fear is going to take great prominence in the discussion this week. I want to highlight this article again from 2017. It’s Gregg Rosenthal’s coaching hire rankings from that year. He had Anthony Lynn ranked first, when he was appointed the Chargers’ coach. Sean McVay was second, Kyle Shanahan was fourth.

Here’s what Rosenthal said of Lynn:

This ranking is not just about Lynn, but the staff that he quickly built. Lynn chose to keep offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, reportedly at the prodding of Chargers management. Lynn also convinced former Seahawks defensive coordinator and Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley to run his defense.

Lynn’s inexperience running a team — he’s never been a head coach at any level, though he did serve as the interim head coach in Buffalo after Rex Ryan’s firing heading into Week 17 — will be mitigated by the presence of two former head coaches (Whisenhunt and Bradley) on his staff. Those hires show a self-confidence and lack of ego that will serve him well.

Lynn won the job in large part because he was a “natural-born leader,” according to Chargers president John Spanos. It’s easy to see why players swear by him after listening to Lynn address the media. He carries himself like someone who will be doing this a long time.

He’s a leader, he’s built a great staff, he speaks with authority, he has no ego. All admirable qualities I can imagine people in Seattle saying to justify the appointment of someone like Dan Quinn.

Lynn lasted four years with the Chargers and was fired after going 33-30.

Here’s what was said about McVay:

McVay, 30, is a far bigger question mark. He’s the rare offensive ingenue who is prized for his acumen and known for communicating well with his players. But how much credit do coach Jay Gruden and Washington’s deep receiver group get for the well-constructed Redskins offense?

Clearly, with hindsight, we can see that a lot of what Washington did was down to McVay and very little to do with Gruden. It shouldn’t have been viewed as risky, more inspired.

Vance Joseph’s hire in Denver came in third, with Rosenthal noting: “Elway cited Joseph’s “great vision” and his leadership skills.” Those leadership skills again produced an 11-21 record and a firing after two-years. Here’s Shanahan’s blurb, in lowly fourth place:

There are red flags, however. Shanahan’s previous stop in Cleveland ended bumpily, with Shanahan asking to leave after one season under contentious circumstances.

The delay in Shanahan’s hiring will hurt him greatly in terms of putting together a staff. Chip Kelly was sunk in San Francisco partly because he was stuck with a lousy defensive roster and couldn’t find a high-quality coordinator to save it. Shanahan is the captain in gym class stuck with the last pick. Getting quality coaches to San Francisco, where he will be the fourth head coach in as many years, won’t be easy. Nothing about Shanahan’s job will be.

So there was the risk of the unknown for McVay, the risk of an abrupt departure in Cleveland of all places for Shanahan, paired with an inability to put together a highly regarded staff. They were both ranked below Lynn with Shanahan also below Joseph. They’ve since gone on to dominate the NFC West since 2017, have both appeared in multiple Super Bowls and NFC Championship games and McVay has a ring.

It feels like there’s a lesson to be learnt here. Maybe, just maybe, leadership and being the guy who can stand up in a room and deliver a great speech isn’t as important in the modern NFL as having some of those qualities but, more importantly, also having the tactical acumen offensively to outmanoeuvre opponents?

Campbell’s experience in Detroit only took off when he got the right offensive coordinator. What happens when he loses Ben Johnson? Does he end up being Dan Quinn in Atlanta minus Kyle Shanahan? This is the issue John Schneider talked about last week. You can eliminate this problem by hiring a great offensive play-caller to run your team and finding the tough-guy leadership elsewhere, such as your coordinators or assistants.

Check out my guest appearance on the HawksZone Rundown this week:


  1. cha

    I’m convinced there will be a lot of discourse about this on the airwaves this week. Why? The PNW loves folksy, gritty type stories and this one is a whopper.

    With all due respect, the Lions beat the Rams and a Tampa team that won maybe the weakest division in the NFL and drew an imploding Philly team. It’s been decades since they were successful yes, but this year is one of the most watered down conference slates in a long time.

    I want the Lions to win next week but they’re about to be fed to a buzz saw in San Francisco.

    It shouldn’t diminish what they’ve done for the city. But I imagine next week, the stumpers for rah-rah leadership guys will conveniently fail to point out the lions just got dismantled by a tactical genius.

    • LouCityHawk

      I still believe everyone continues to overrate the 9ers.

      In the playoffs I was taught to always back the better QB, and if they are equal to back the better coach, and if not the better team. But balance them out – great coach can overcome good QB, etc…

      Green Bay took SF to the limit, and for the Ben Johnson believers – I don’t see why Detroit can’t do the same. Jordan Love and Joe Barry ultimately betrayed GB. Will Jared Goff turn back into Goof? Is Glenn about to make similar mistakes?

      Of course, the point is, if Detroit wins it will be because of the offense’s firepower and Glenn taking Shanahan to a standstill, combined with exploiting MVPurdy.

      • Big Mike

        Vegas has SF as 7 point favs. I get your points but the weather in Frisco is supposed to be extremely favorable for Purdy as well (73 degrees for a high which should occur right about kickoff). Of course that is ideal for a dome team too. Regardless, I gotta agree with cha here, think the NFC is so watered down and the Lions path was so relatively easy that the 9ers cruise by 2 TDs. That said, I’m rooting for Detroit.

        • LouCityHawk

          9ers cost me my parlay this last week, so hat do I know 😂😂😂

    • Blitzy the Clown

      I usually agree but Green Bay came within a dropped interception (two, actually) of ending the 49ers’ season and rendering this discussion mute.

      Offensively, they’re a juggernaut. But their defense isn’t and they are vulnerable.

      • cha

        I have consistently stumped for running on the Niners as a way to chew clock and keep their offense off the field. I’d love to see Ben Johnson devise a two-headed monster run scheme with some creative runs to Amon-Ra and use Deporta to get some first downs when the defense is sufficiently tenderized.

      • Hebegbs

        Agreed. But GB is (or was) playing really well on both sides of the ball.

        They neutralized the 9ers because they ran it down their throat with amazing success. That really moderated Bosa, young and crew substantially.

        I don’t believe Detroit will have the same success running straight at them. Hope I’m wrong as I’d love to see Detroit get the W. They will try I just don’t think their O line is quite the level as it was end of 22 when they just missed playoffs and were the team nobody wanted to face. Hawks stole their spot…and promptly fell flat on their faces.

        The formula for success in the NFL is still really simple. You have to be able to run it through the trenches on offense (which requires spreading out the D so they can’t stack the box) and on the other side, stop the other team from ramming it down your throat.

        Am I missing something? Who needs high priced safeties or even WR? Focus on the trenches!!!!!

  2. LouCityHawk

    These are great points.

    I’m exhausted by the number of people trying to be the smartest guys in the room or alternatively advocating for the Seahawks to play 12D chess.

    There is a reason that every team in the league is talking to Johnson. Harbaugh isn’t the most obvious answer, it is Johnson. talk radio should be focusing on what the Seahawks need to do in order to get Ben Johnson in house.

    The arguments for why we should pick from Evero, et al. are becoming more and more convoluted and emotional. It seems a dedicated portion of this fan base refuses to engage with the challenge of OC turnover. They cling to the argument that they are being smart by zigging while everyone else is zagging – ie the best minds are defensive.

    Ben Johnson did five interviews and got his team ready to play the Bucs – no slouch on defense. QB play hindered his offense. The NFL is concerned about one interview throwing off coaches.

    I’m not out on Slowik or Smith. I am increasingly looking at the start of Andy Reid’s tenure in Philly and wondering if that is what we are buying with them.

    Vrabel is maybe the consolation prize, I have about the same emotional response to Quinn and Vrabel. My brain says Vrabel, then Quinn

    I also think it might be time for everyone to put away their Macdonald shirts, my guess is that his people have communicated ‘no interest’ to the Seahawks.

    I posted this on the other thread, but I’ll reup it here, I think Waldron to the Bears is signaling they intend to stick and pick Caleb, and may move for Geno as well. Not sure what the total compensation in draft picks would be, but maybe a 2nd and 2025 4th?

    And for all the excitement about Rob’s horizontal board dropping, I’m curious how that will align with Nagy saying the cupboard will be bare in Rounds 5-7 this year.

    I thought this was the OFF-SEASON.

    • STTBM

      If you think Geno is worth a second, I got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you….

      I’m glad to see Waldron get another shot, this time without Carrol to meddle. It’s put up or shit up time.

      I’m not interested in any Old School coaches. Vrabel is another nightmare in my mind. I too want a tactical genius who can communicate with players: winning makes any coach a good leader. And unemployment is littered with ex coaches who were dubbed Great Leaders of Men…

      • STTBM

        Put up or shut up time. Dang autocorrect!

        • Big Mike

          Shut to shit? Not buying. LOL

      • LouCityHawk

        Waldron + Geno might be worth a second to Chicago.

        I’m in record as being against retreads, but if it has to be one, Vrabel, I guess. Rather that then some DC that will hang around for 4 years of diminishing returns.

        • STTBM

          Seattle already gave their contracted staff permission to seek jobs elsewhere. They aren’t interested in holding them hostage, nor would many teams wish to trade for staff: I don’t think I’ve seen an OC traded on the last 40 years…

          And Geno isn’t garbage, he’s just not going to command a second round pick in trade. Even after his better 2022 season, nobody was beating down his door as a Free Agent. His stock has not improved since.

          • BK26

            I think he means that with having Waldron, that might push them giving up a second round pick for Geno.

        • Mr drucker in hooterville

          Does Seattle get compensation for Waldron? Wasn’t he let go?

          • cha

            No they do not.

      • Plebian

        Waldron is the problem, not Geno.

        I don’t get all the hate for Geno. Geno may not be Mahomes, Allen, Herbert, or Burrow, but what are the odds you can trade for one of those – or find one at #16 in the draft?

        How about giving Geno a running game and then seeing what he can do?

        • Rob Staton

          What hate is there exactly?

          Is it hate to think he’s not the long term answer?

          • geoff u

            Well I’d certainly hate to think he’s the long term answer

        • LouCityHawk

          How am I hating Geno by suggesting he could bring us 2nd round compensation, exactly?

          This team needs every young asset it can acquire moving forward, and moving Geno in a trade in the next week would be a big step in that direction.

        • Peter

          1. There’s no hate. Geno is what he is.

          2. Why not this? Why not that? ….that’s not how football works. You can’t maintain and hope the 25-27 suited up offensive pieces are all going to be in alignment all the time for the qb. I totally agree if Geno had prime walter Jones, hutch, and lynch running he’d be better. A great qb has to bring something beyond to the table than if everything around him is dialed in he’s fine.

        • BK26

          He is also not the solution. You don’t win with qb’s that are “fine.”

          I don’t get the excuses for Geno. We aren’t winning with him. That is pretty evident at this point. And the odds are also good to trade up for a guy if we think one isn’t there at 16.

    • Rob Staton

      Spot on about why there should be more talk about Johnson

      710 have barely given him the time of day

      Ian Furness poured cold water on his candidacy after I went on and made the case for Johnson

      He should be being talked about as ‘the’ guy they need

      • Peter

        Seattle media….

        1. Has embraced one of the most pathetic teams in North America for 50 years with a ” I guess it could be worse,” energy. Remember that time almost a quarter century ago where we won a ton of games?….that was sweet. Take ne back.

        2. Then has for seven years spent much of its time talking about “how great is Wagner,” and how * awesome* it is that mostly cooked players want to return ‘home.’

        3. If Quinn hadn’t had the brakes beaten off him in keeping with Seattle’s general forever ‘homecoming,’ energy he’d be the only name anyone would talk about.

        I’m a mid level Bruce Springsteen fan but Lumen should be rocking “glory days,” by the Boss before kick offs as our fight song.

        • LouCityHawk

          I’ve kept segregated Twitter accounts for each of my favorite teams, my school, etc…

          Deleted the M’s one this offseason. I’m going to take a break from them this year, a trial separation.

          A hire of Morris would likely push me towards the end with the Seahawks.

        • Big Mike

          And before every Mariners’ game………oh wait, what Glory Days? Yeah the “116 wins but didn’t even get to the World Series let alone win it” as you mentioned happened nearly 25 years ago glory. Hell yeah, Go Ms!
          (low level Springsteen fan here)

          I get why you feel compelled to listen to Seattle media Rob. I feel fortunate that I am not despite the fact that I could online any and all days if I so chose (as a retired guy). I do not choose to and that’s emphatically. It’s a group full of Downey sofy sycophants.

        • Wilson502

          This isn’t limited to just Seattle media. This is an issue with the culture of this region. The things you identify are part of a larger issue with the culture/mindset of this region. People here are notoriously passive and hate the idea of “rocking the boat”. Hence the frustrating obsession with mediciority.

      • Tomas

        In terms of football analytic ability, the arrogant Furness is not fit to shine your shoes, Rob — but then again, you probably wouldn’t want him to.

    • RomeoA57

      I see Geno Smith, Baker Mayfield, Kirk Cousins, and Jared Goff as a similar level of Quarterbacks. If you put a good team around them, they can have success , but none of these guys seem to elevate their team.

      I am skeptical that any of these Quarterbacks are worth close to a Second Round pick in a trade.

      • bmseattle

        Unless JS is trading for them. 😉

  3. Waldo

    Mike Kafka has more of a shot to get the job than anyone is saying. He was the QB coach when Mahomes first entered the league…JS likely watched Mahomes development closely. He made Daniel Jones look good enough to get a new contract…which, ironically, was impressive. He is the only OC on the interview list (so far), and JS prefers an offensive minded coach. Johnson is likely committted to Washington. He also fits the bill as a tactician rather than just leadership and toughness.

    • LouCityHawk

      Kafka would be the most depressing follow up to Carroll.

      Positives: Andy Reid tree. Northwestern grad.

      Negatives: Giants OC in 2023, was passed on by Cards and Colts last cycle.

      • LouCityHawk

        Re: Reid tree

        Sean McDermott, John Harbaugh, Todd Bowles, Doug Pederson… 3 of those 4 were coaching last weekend.

    • Waldo

      Keep in mind, Sean McVay was the OC on a very average Washington team. He got a head coaching job because he was able to make Kirk Cousins look good. Kafka is very similar, and nobody could have made the Giants offense look good with their offensive line (even the Seahawks dominated that line)

      • LouCityHawk

        That is revisionist on John McVay’s grandson

        I feel like the league has successfully fed the media narrative of ‘nobody saw it coming’ as an alternative to ‘we all missed out’

        McVay was part of the all-star group assembled by Shanahan Sr in Washington, retained by Gruden. The questions about his qualifications surrounded how much of his success was Gruden/Cousins/WR group. Was this the chef? Or his ingredients

        Kafka is the inverse of McVay – is the chef spoiled because of his ingredients

      • BK26

        He also is from Reid’s coaching tree: if you take out everyone other than Doug Pederson, it is full of failures. We are kind of seeing it being more Andy Reid than anyone else.

        He could be fine, but he isn’t someone who is being talked about too much for a reason.

    • Rj

      Id be happy with kafka. Definitely biggest risk head coaching candidate but could have huge rewards. For what he’s had to work with I think he’s done pretty darn good

  4. Ruthless pass

    Waldron closing in on a deal with the bears as their new OC

  5. Mr drucker in hooterville

    My takeaway from this: Gregg Rosenthal is not a good predictor of HC success

  6. Sea Mode

    Jim Nagy

    Nobody’s talking about it because few truly track later round prospects but combination of NIL money, widespread use of extra Covid year, & smallest junior class in over a decade completely wiped out depth of this year’s #NFL Draft. By late December, our
    @seniorbowl board fell apart in Rounds 5-7. Teams will either be trading away Day 3 picks to preserve value or selecting players from their free agent side board in April.

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      Sounds like a good year to have thrown away a middle 2nd on a rental player. 🤦🏽‍♂️

      • Big Mike


      • geoff u

        Hey we wouldn’t have made this deep playoff run without him…oh wait.

        • Peter

          When your best dlinemen is a rental that cost you a highpick and the team collapses after getting him…. time for a new process.

  7. Peter

    I know it’s all coach all the time because that’s the most important thing….but just read Daniel Jeremiah’s first mock from three days ago…

    Have to say feels like Jeremiah has been replaced by Staton. No goofy bs moves early. Three qbs go 1,2,3. Oline talent early. Fauntanu to us at #16.

    I wonder which lurker or even poster here also works as an assistant to the NFL draft team???

    • geoff u

      So who then is going to be our quarterback? Geno or Drew? Hard pass. Also hard to get a read on until we have a coach.

      • Peter


        I mean even if he gets great buzz what does that translate to? Second round? Third?

        Said a few times I’m all about qb….this whole thing had become a borderline joke.

        But….there’s a case to be made to get Fauntanu, van pran….or Zintner. And just take swing this year on someone late.

        I know Drew is John’s guy but paying him and Geno upper mid tier qb money for “reasons,” is malpractice.

        Re: ewers….the ‘plan’ can not be just hold out hope you get him next year.

        • geoff u

          Ewers is going to be a top 5 pick next year.

          I don’t think there’s any way Rattler lasts to round 3. We’ll have a better idea after the Senior Bowl and his pro day. I don’t think he makes it out of round one, but i could be an idiot. I’ve been known to be one before.

  8. Big Mike

    Thanks for the VERY strong argument to go tactician Rob. This will be career defining for JS. I worry cuz he knows that he’ll go the “safe” route.

    Like LouCity I’m stepping back from the Ms this year. No games in person (which means no shit traffic to get up to Seattle so that’s a bonus!) and very few on TV.

    If Quinn is hired I may do the same with the Seahawks. So tired of rooting for Washington sports teams and being disappointed:
    Seahawks in 49
    Gonzaga 2Xs in championship game
    Huskies in championship game
    M s an endless joke
    Blazers horrible…..yeah I know, Oregon but they’re just across the river and since no Sonics 🙁

    • Peter

      The m’s break/broke my heart. More than seahawks, more than Sonics they were my whole world. Reading the box scores, going to the games with my uncle who had a cup of coffee as a pro prospect. Watching the ‘k’s’ rack up over the railing in the King dome when the big unit was throwing fire…..

      That team for far too long does not give a crap.

      • RomeoA57

        Around the turn of the century, I used to be a giant M’s fan who tried to watch all 162 games. Junior is still my all time favorite athlete.

        The worst Mariner ever, Ichiro Suzuki, destroyed my love of the Mariners. He could care less about helping the team win as he just wanted to get a couple of hits everyday. He was the best outfielder who wouldn’t play Centerfield. He was also the best power hitter who didn’t want to hit for power. He was one of the best base stealers who was too afraid to steal a base.

        • ShowMeYourHawk

          Not an M’s board, but not sure I’ve ever disagreed so wholeheartedly with a sentiment on this board. Imagine choosing Ichiro as “the worst M ever” when you’ve got evidence that Carl Everett and Scott Spezio exist.

          Different strokes, I guess….🤷🏽

          • Big Mike

            Chone Figgins just called in and said “hey what about me?” or maybe he thinks we’re just talking Ms worst FA signing?

  9. Jabroni-DC

    Getting quality coaches to San Francisco, where he will be the fourth head coach in as many years, won’t be easy.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but hasn’t SF received about 18 3rd round comp picks for all of their coaching departures? Seems like the quality coaching thing wasn’t a problem.

    I believe John gets it. He & Pete we’re probably diverging on philosophy for some time. Sitting on your hands doesn’t work for long in the NFL. It’s time to aggressively sift for coaches & players until you get what you need.

  10. Jules

    I don’t usually agree with you Rob but I think you’ve been spot on this whole coaching cycle.

    The one thing I would add is a little bit more context to the Rosenthal article. Prior to the Sean McVay hire, no one hired coaches that young and with so little experience. Since then, his hire changed the hiring culture of the NFL entirely. This Wikipedia article I believe summarizes the change pretty well. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_McVay_effect
    (Yes, I know not the best source but it summarizes the hiring dynamics in the last few years pretty well)

    An interesting quote from ESPN at the time of the hire: “Prior to McVay’s hiring, the four youngest head coaching hires in the Super Bowl era – Lane Kiffin, Raheem Morris, Dave Shula, and Josh McDaniels – had a combined win–loss record of 52–115 before being fired by their respective teams.”

    My overall point here is that you can’t really blame Rosenthal for that article since it wasn’t a conventional hire for its time and that since this hire happened, it started a trend around the NFL for the last few years. This is what I believe John Schneider was referring to in his press conference.

    Makes me think from John Schneider’s POV (bar anything surprising in the interviews) Ben Johnson and Bobby Slowik are the front runners with Mike Vrabel and Dan Quinn (Quinn being more of a backup option) following behind them.

    I also agree with you that I’m surprised about the lack of interest in Mike McDonald. Even if he’s going somewhere else, it wouldn’t hurt to sit down and talk to the guy right? Kind of like when Pete and John interviewed all the QBs of the last draft class. Don’t see why that wouldn’t apply here.

    Anyways thanks for the coverage in this coaching cycle. I wasn’t all too convinced on Ben Johnson prior to your article. Feels like more people should be talking about him in Seattle.

    Also a bit of a side note: Even though the NFL has adapted their hiring practices since Sean McVay, I am not so sure that sports media in general have adapted their preconceptions of younger head coaches.

  11. DK

    I am getting the feeling that Schneider is talking to some of the candidates that have been head coaches before to get an idea of what he can use to build a staff around his eventual hire. Along with, Graham and Ejaro could be potential DC hires with the DC/AHC, might even throw Quinn into that category.

    I think a second list will come out with a few other names based on the weekend interviews, and I think Slowick is Schneider’s top target. Coached with both McVay and Shanahan, very analytic driven coach which fits the Seahawks philosophy, offensive mind, and his dad coached in Green Bay while Schneider was there. Slowick knows the Green Bay way based on his dad’s time there, which mean he can work well with Schneider.

    Imagine Slowick as HC, Kafka coming in brining in some of Reid and Daboll’s offensive concepts. Then hire an experienced DC, to take that side of the ball and run with it. I like that staff a lot.

  12. BrandoK

    I hope this team and John strives to have a great or bright minded offensive HC and not just settling on a safe, mediocre hire (Dan Quinn). Having a great leader in the lockeroom is great but what happens when that great leader can’t produce on the field. Can the great leader help scheme up an innovative offense maybe if they have a good OC but most likely not.

    A lot of people just want to play it safe in the next HC hire they just want to know what they are getting (9-8 or 8-8 maybe 10-7). Be bold and hire the unknown. You’re going against McShanahan in the division offense is they way you can compete head to head with them. Modern NFL is all about the best offense and how you put your best players in position to beat the defense.

    • BK26

      A lot of people think that what Pete did and created will just magically carry over, so the “play it safe guy” can ride on those coat tails. They don’t realize that what Pete set up was decaying and becoming part of the problem….

      • Peter

        Meanwhile a lot of us are worried that it will carry over.

      • DK

        Anyone who thinks that needs to see how well USC did when they fired to keep the Carroll culture going with Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian following Pete heading to coach the Hawks.

        To me Quinn would be a hire that is trying to keep the Carroll vibe going. It is the same reason why I don’t see why some want Dave Canales to get an interview, it’s not like the Bucs were an offensive juggernaut, but oh yeah they were ok and he coached in Seattle before.

        The focus needs to be on someone who can continue the winning culture with the Seahawks. Not trying to recreate the Carroll culture.

    • Group Captain Mandrake

      If they wanted 9-8 or the occasional 10-7, they could’ve just held on to Pete. You are absolutely correct: be bold! It may not work, but what if it does? Sure did for LA and SF.

  13. geoff u

    I’d say another theme that keeps popping up for these young tacticians is communication. How well can you communicate to today’s players and relate to them? You can design a great play, but if the players don’t understand it or buy in or out to execute it, it means nothing. The best offensive coaches are great at communicating and getting the players to listen. Pete was great at this, but as time passed, and former players bad mouthed Pete, i think it became harder and harder for the young guys to buy into Pete speak. He also stopped following through on “always compete” and putting the best player in, preferring boneheads who were all talk and no follow through I think he himself became more about all talk and follow through, and you know what they say about the boy who kept crying wolf.

  14. ShowMeYourHawk


    Mentioned in passing above but I view Waldron in Chicago as the Bears declaring that they will be taking Williams and that Fields is available to the highest bidder. If Geno’s turnaround from tomato can to slightly above average starter is attributable to Waldron’s play design, Caleb shares (and amplifies) many more of qualities that work for Geno than Fields does. It’ll be interesting to see where Fields lands. ATL was a hot rumor but if Belichick is taking that HC job, I can’t think another young QB that can’t put it together would be preferable at his age.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      I dunno. I doubt they’ll want to rush Caleb by forcing him to start year 1. Maybe if they got a strong offer for Fields. Otherwise why not see if Waldron can do for him what he no doubt argued he did for Geno?

  15. BeingZinfull

    Why the Seahawks need to focus on tactical brilliance, not leadership? Simple: leadership can be acquired quicker than tactical brilliance.

  16. Ian

    Is the Dan Campbell example actually an argument that the OC and DC coordinators are more important than the Head Coach? The Sirianni situation would bear this out as well, though the switch to Antonio Pierce in Vegas might contradict it.

    • cha

      It’s not that black and white. You need both.

      You need a team leader who can connect with his players, deal with the press, AND recruit a good staff around him.

      • Ian

        Makes perfect sense…in that case would there be OC and DC hires that would allow you to be comfortable with Vrabel, Morris, or Quinn as the new head coach? Is it possible that one of them wows Schneider with his plans for his assistants?

  17. Peter

    Can not believe I’m living in a timeline where fans on other sites are bummed to be losing Waldron and still talking about oline injuries.

    Are there Hawks fans that don’t know there are 31 other teams in the league? Do they think Flacco was the starter and not the 4th qb? That the Bengals and Texans scored more than us with injuries to key positions?

    Good luck Shane. Chicago is definitely not a mess for almost my whole life.

    • cha


      There are people in Buffalo saying Josh Allen needs to go this morning.

      • ShowMeYourHawk

        “Needs to go” is a huge leap .

        “Is showing that he somehow needs even more weapons despite his offense already ranking Top 8 in the league” is totally valid.

      • Peter

        Someone needs to go and it’s not Allen and it’s almost certainly the coach.

      • geoff u

        He does need to go….to the Seahawks

        • Peter

          With Pete strutting in the sidelines I was very against this kind of move….now though.

      • RomeoA57

        You can say that Josh Allen is not as good as Patrick Mahomes. You can say the same thing about 31 other starting Quarterbacks. Without Josh Allen, the Bills have a poor offense along with a porous defense. They may not be favored against Carolina.

        The Bills scored the “Game Winning” touchdown last year with 13 seconds left, but their defense let KC score anyways.

        Yesterday, although Allen may not have been perfect on that last drive, he did get them into range for a make able field goal.

        With Burrow”s injury,, Allen is probably the clear 3rd best QB in the NFL right now behind Mahomes and Jackson. Who would they replace Allen with?

        • Peter

          Watching Simms and Florio discuss building around Allen all I thought was this is coming down to the FO or the coach at this point.

  18. Ron

    There is a lot more to football than play design. As with everything else is life, the ability to execute is the number one factor in success, and a disciplined approach to the details is likely the number factor in one’s ability to execute.

    John Harbaugh and Mike Tomlin are not creative geniuses, but are two of the most successful coaches of the past 10+ years. We’ll see how Dan Campbell fairs, but I’d put money on his continued success.

    • Peter

      I’d argue that the #1 factor is ” do what you do best and delegate the rest.”

      • geoff u

        I’d argue the #1 factor is find a franchise quarterback and who cares about the coach.

    • TatupuTime

      There isn’t a perfect solution. There is some balancing of risk/reward though.

      I’d argue that best case scenario is a good head coach who is also a great offensive mind (like Andy Reid, McVay or Shanahan). That’s the shot you take with Johnson or Slowik. And you take that shot with eyes wide open that either could be a complete bust of a head coach.

      The problem with John Harbaugh, Tomlin, Campbell and Vrabel is that there is high year over year variance based on the quality of OC/DC they have. All of those coaches have looked great with the right OC/DC, but then lose OC/DC and have not great years. They’ll keep you competitive most years, but there are a lot of years where their coordinators aren’t good enough and they are not legit SB contenders.

      • Dregur

        I sort of disagree with this regarding those coaches. Campbell is a little too soon to determine, but for Harbaugh and Tomlin, it’s all come down to their QB’s. Harbaugh’s teams were bad when Flacco aged off a cliff for a couple of season. They started making the playoffs again when they drafted Jackson. Tomlin until 2021 had Roethlisberger his entire coaching career, but when he went down the team usually went with him.

        Vrabel two best season, he peak Derrick Henry, but a decent QB in Tannehill. He wasn’t a world beater, but he was basically Geno Smith. Once he fell off a cliff, his team’s record followed.

    • TatupuTime

      You can put money on Campbell having long term success (I think that’s reasonable), but I’d put money on the Lions taking a step back next year when they lose Johnson.

    • SeattleLifer

      I would argue having consistently good drafts/aquiring and keeping talent is the biggest hallmark for franchise success, and often enough shots at going to the Super Bowl. Both the Steelers and Ravens consistently draft well.

  19. cha


    “One of the best things Ben Johnson did was when he was named offensive coordinator… he and Jared Goff sat down in the offseason and they built this around Jared Goff and the quarterback position,” Twentyman explained. “You know, ‘Jared, what do you do well? What don’t you like? What don’t you do well? You know, obviously I have my principles, I want to do these things, but let’s stay away from things you don’t do well, and let’s really build this around the things that you do do well.’ And so I give him a lot of credit for that.”

    • Big Mike

      It’s almost like he realizes the quarterback position is the most important position in football. And he adjusted his own philosophy and approach to work well with the quarterback he has? Yeah but he’s not HC material right Petehawk fans?

      • Big Mike

        In fact it could be argued that a guy like this is less of a risk than someone stuck in his ways like Vrabel or Quinn because he’s QB focused and has demonstrated he can and will design his offense to the strengths of his QB.

        I mean Jared Goff folks, Jared freaking Goff.

        • geoff u

          You mean the Jared Goff who couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn at 5 yards? The guy who used to lose to us all the time because he’d whiff constantly on wide open throws, making our defense actually look competent on occasion? It’s like we’ve all forgotten.

      • Joseph

        I worry a lot that JS will hire someone whose worse than what we saw in the last 3 years with Pete.

        • Mr drucker in hooterville

          So you look at floors and not ceilings?

    • Joseph

      Show that to JS before he considers hiring one of the underwhelming candidates lol

  20. Matt

    If the Seahawks miss out on Ben Johnson, which seems like a likely outcome, then Slowik will be the only offensive candidate left. Well, other than Mike Kafka, but there’s no way he’s being seriously considered. It sure seems heavily weighted towards them choosing a defensive-minded coach at this point, or whatever Vrabel is. I didn’t really realize the dearth of legititmate offensive coaches available in this cycle.

  21. Andrew M

    Andy Reid is on to his sixth AFC conference championship game, straight. He also had the Eagles in five NFC conference championship games. Before that he was a positional coach and assistant with the Packers, working under Holmgren. There is an interesting piece here with former Philly team President Joe Banner about what they were looking for back in 1998, and how Reid separated himself from the other prospective coaches that cycle. A cycle that included Holmgren, Bill Parcells, and Bill Walsh.


    • cha

      I’ll never forget, the Eagles had basically pre-fired Reid before their last game of the season.

      By Friday the Chiefs had scooped him up and he turned them from a 2-14 team into an 11-5 season in his first year with Alex Smith as QB.

    • SeattleLifer

      The article speaking to key attributes in top coaches “about attention to detail, the ability to evaluate coaches and manage people”. This is the way imo.

      Actually reads as the opposite of Pete’s way btw . . . . .

  22. Thaidolla

    I don’t think it is fair to say a tactician is a better hire than a “leader of men”. The best HCs probably have a unique blend of both qualities amongst others. I’m sure there are statistics supporting “leader of men”as a better hire. Too difficult of an assessment to say one attribute is definitively better than the other. The most important factor will be JS’ relationship with the HC which is entirely subjective and one we can’t speculate on.

    • Rob Staton

      I think any coach has to be able to lead

      My point is people are talking like a Campbell type is the answer when he has only succeeded with a tactically brilliant OC

  23. Anonymous

    But Lynn was an offensive guy too. That year the hot offensive candidate turned out to be a bust while teams who made more questioned hires struck gold. This year Ben Johnson is getting all the media hype but as Lynn’s story shows that’s no guarantee he’ll actually turn into the best HC. I’m glad John is doing his due diligence and not just blindly following the hype.

    • Rob Staton

      Lynn didn’t call plays, ever

      He wasn’t “an offensive” hire in terms of tactics and play calling. He was hired for leadership, toughness, staff etc

      That’s the point

      • Anonymous

        He called played in Buffalo. Also I’m not sure your opinion about why he was hired is correct, this article at least seems to disagree:


        “Lynn, who played in the NFL for six seasons, has earned his reputation as a running game guru. The Jets had strong rushing attacks in his time there and he brought one of the most versatile, complex running schemes to Buffalo. The Bills finished first among all NFL teams by a wide margin in part because of the diversity of their scheme and the excellent cohesion on the offensive line.”

        • Rob Staton

          He never called plays.

          As the article I linked to points out, he was charged with influencing scheming for the running game

          Come on. You don’t have to try so hard to disagree. In no way shape or form is Lynn’s role pre Chargers akin to what Johnson, Slowik etc were doing, controlling the offense

          To try and make out this is apples for apples is a try hard effort to disagree

  24. Happy Hawk

    You are just “Killin it” Rob. Best content. Can’t wait to see what is next each day! The suspense is agonizing. New chapter of Hawks football begins with this important hire.
    1. Johnson
    2. Slowick
    3. Vrabel
    4. Oh MY?

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you

  25. Blitzy the Clown


    Jon Ledyard @LedyardNFLDraft

    In the Final 4

    -3 coaches from the offensive side of the ball, 1 special teams

    In the Final 8

    -3 defense HCs, 4 offense HCs, 1 STs

    In the playoffs

    -4 defense HCs, 9 offense HCs, 1 STs

    11:16 AM · Jan 22, 2024

    • Peter

      Cue Rob…..”just sayin'”……

  26. JimQ

    I think that especially position coaches need to be good communicators and teach their players exactly HOW to execute their assignments. The OC & DC manage their subordinates. and provide a lot of additional support, teaching and coaching to their players and must be good communicators to both their assistant coaches and their players and ensure the direction of the team is well established. I hope the Seahawks new coach can bring in a great staff of subordinates that can teach grown men how to play the game.

    The head coach needs to be like the director of a movie, ensuring that the overall plot is carried out and all of the details are accurate and effective. However, EVERY coach needs to be a leader type, with good knowledge and teaching abilities to ensure team success. One would hope that our new coach would be able to fill out his staff with young, knowledgeable and aggressive teachers of the game.

    Especially on the defensive side of the ball, the defense under Hurt was like watching a pee-wee players game with players not knowing where to be, standing around and looking lost and unable to even make a simple tackle. Anyone with elementary football knowledge can easily see that Hurt was not capable at his position. Why didn’t PC? The buck stopped at the top when PC was canned.

  27. Thomas

    Maybe Johnson and Slowick do not want the job…

    It could be that they require final say on the players and John won’t budge on that.

    • Peter

      Question. Outside of possibly Reid which coach has final say on players? Not game day roster, but the totality of the process?

      • BK26

        And I don’t even think Andy Reid has final say. He has the power and is in charge, but he hired Veach so he wouldn’t have to worry about it. I think Mahomes has more say (I know he was asked about the receivers ahead of time this last draft).

        It’s a pretty similar set up to what Seattle had these last two years: coach in charge but the GM that is a great scout makes the draft decisions.

        • Palatypus

          Andy Reid has final say on chicken nuggies.

          • BK26

            He does on BBQ places (not kidding, he’s a regular at a few of them, one specifically was the one thing he mentioned going to after the first Super Bowl; Jason Kelce even said that he had his bbq places picked out in Philly).

            Oh the weird things we get to know hahaha.

            • Jordan

              The Andy Reid episode of DDD was one while I was getting my haircut a couple of days ago. Everything looked so delicious; and there is something about him that I would 100% trust with food recommendations.

              • BK26

                As someone that has….perused some of those locations and lives down here, the man knows his bbq hahaha.

                Travis Kelce said that he knows the places in St. Joe too, the town where they have fall camp. Wasn’t at all surprised. Then Jason said that he did the same thing in Philadelphia.

        • Peter

          I tend to agree with this. Not sure any non legendary head coach certainly guys that have never done it get final say.

          That’s the whole point of the process/project of running a team.

  28. PeteCarrollPorVida

    I would love to hire Ben Johnson, but this article leaves out so much context and makes it sound like Dan Campbell would be nothing without the sage wizard that is Ben Johnson. That could not be further from the truth. The Lions organization was a downtrodden mess in dire need of a culture change. Similar to the Seahawks when Pete was first hired. That cannot be understated. This wasn’t some roster that was ready out of the box and just needed that right mix at coaching either. They purged a lot of their roster, including their franchise QB and rebuilt by nailing a ton of their draft picks. Dan Campbell’s presence to essentially get that locker room to believe that they could win and would no longer be a laughing stock is precisely what happened in Seattle in 2009.

    This all just feels like convenient cherry picking on your part to prop up your preferred candidate, and I get it, I think Johnson will be outstanding. But it’s not this black and white. Having a leader that builds a winning culture is just as important as having someone that is schematically sound. If X’s and O’s were all that mattered, Kyle Shanahan would be the greatest coach in history.

    • Rob Staton

      I would love to hire Ben Johnson, but this article leaves out so much context and makes it sound like Dan Campbell would be nothing without the sage wizard that is Ben Johnson. That could not be further from the truth.

      This is incorrect. Some quotes from the article:

      “Undoubtedly, he’s done a great job.”

      “I’m not trying to undermine Campbell who is clearly a person players want to play for. Meshing with Johnson’s tactical quality, they make a great pair.”

      If you’re going to pick holes in the piece, at least use things I’ve actually said.

      The Lions organization was a downtrodden mess in dire need of a culture change. Similar to the Seahawks when Pete was first hired. That cannot be understated.

      I wouldn’t dispute this. But without Ben Johnson calling plays, they were 0-8-1 with Lynn at OC and finished 3-13-1. They turned things around when Johnson became OC. So really, what’s the determining factor here?

      This wasn’t some roster that was ready out of the box and just needed that right mix at coaching either. They purged a lot of their roster, including their franchise QB and rebuilt by nailing a ton of their draft picks.

      I listed all the players they had in 2021. It’s virtually the same offense they had in 2022. They stunk, couldn’t win games. Then Johnson came in and that changed.

      This all just feels like convenient cherry picking on your part to prop up your preferred candidate

      It’s not though, is it? I’ve used statistical facts explaining how things rapidly improved since he took over.

      For some reason you seem to have some kind of issue with the piece, which is your prerogative I guess, and you’ve come in hot accusing me of things that don’t fit the shoe. Nothing about this is ‘cherry picking’.

      Having a leader that builds a winning culture is just as important as having someone that is schematically sound.

      So give me the evidence of this.

      Show me the great culture builder and leader in the NFL who will drive his contender to glory, even if he loses his OC.

      John Harbaugh maybe? Is that it?

      The point of the article is to push back on this cliche that ‘culture’ and ‘leadership’ are anything other than buzzwords. You know what? If you have great tactics that win games, that’s your culture. Winning = culture. Winning = people will follow you. It’s that simple.

      And Campbell didn’t win without Johnson as OC. We’ll see how he gets on next year when Johnson goes.

      • BK26

        It takes too much time to read the whole thing Rob. You know it’s easier to read the title and then comment.

  29. Pran

    Lets not fight the trend. League is tilted towards offense. Ideally one would need an young offensive genius who can relate to players with some assistants to help with other qualities needed to help him grow in to an all-round coach. At some point league will run out of good offensive minded HCs, defensive HCs will make a run. its a cycle. Getting a good defensive minded DC means he should be a genius like Belchick who can spit out top 10 defenses consistently with less and be able to hire a good OC every few years. you got to be really good on one side and middle of the pack on the other side to have a chance to compete for championships.

    • Pran

      meant.. Getting a good defensive minded HC means he should be a genius..

    • Pran

      few more points from https://www.prideofdetroit.com/2021/12/10/22828124/getting-to-know-detroit-lions-te-coach-ben-johnson-rising-influence

      Coaching legend Al Saunders taught Johnson that you can only teach what you know, but at this point in his career, Johnson knows a heck of a lot.

      “My dad was an educator, my mom was a teacher, my sister is an assistant principal at my high school,” Johnson said. “So I think just growing up in that environment has helped out more than anything in terms of the teaching aspect of coaching.”

      He played QB, coached Tight ends, learnt multiple offensive systems…. who knows the result but one could roll the dice on Johnson

  30. Wilson502

    Dunno if anyone else is feeling this way but are you fearing that JS will go with one of these underwhelming candidates and seemingly passes on Slowik? That list that came out yesterday scares me and I just got a bad feeling that JS is going to mess this up (not that I want to, just a gut feeling).

    • Rob Staton

      I think there’s one name on the list nobody is talking about who he really could go for…

      Article on Wednesday

      • Wilson502

        Looking forward to that Rob. Appreciate your dedication. My only hope is that they are interviewing those guys just to satisfy the Rooney Rule and they really want to press for Slowik or Vrabel.

      • Andrew M

        Mike Kafka?

        • Rob Staton


  31. Alex Potts

    The two best tactical coaches seem to be:

    Ben Johnson


    Mike MacDonald

    I don’t think hiring a Shanahan disciple in Slowik is smart. The protege is rarely as good as the master. Shanahan would welcome going against Slowik as would McVay probably.

    You have to think they would also love going against Quinn. “Oh so you are sticking with your defense as is? Perfect!”

    The guy that i’d be worried about if I was Shanahan/McVay is Mike Vrabel. Toughness and smarts. Bully ball against the boy-geniuses. That’s who I want at HC.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think hiring a Shanahan disciple in Slowik is smart. The protege is rarely as good as the master.

      Mike McDaniel is pretty good…

      • BK26

        Do you just completely pass then because the guy MIGHT not be as good?

    • Gross MaToast

      Everyone is a protege of someone else.

      After thinking it over, just give me a leader who really knows how to culture, make great speeches, and is good with the media. Hopefully his name rhymes with Meat Schmerill.

  32. Rob Staton

    Check out my appearance on the HawksZone Rundown podcast this week:


    It’s also available on Spotify:


    • Peter

      Enjoyed this.

      Interesting to hear some pre-horizontal board nuggets from you.

      So….zintner, van pran, and Rattler remain in play.

  33. Zane

    I just have to say Rob, you’ve been in top form lately. Beautifully cogent arguments, one after another. You’ve even managed to sway my stubborn-ass on the whole MacDonald thing.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Zane — I really appreciate that

  34. BrandoK

    Just a thought experiment what are your thoughts on if John picks Mike Kafka at HC and brings in Eric Bieniemy in as OC while having either Ejiro Evero or Patrick Graham at DC.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t see them bringing in Bienemy for that role — think it’d be more of a complimentary OC (someone with an OL background or running game).

      But I think it’s more plausible than people think… might be article coming on this…

  35. ErickV

    Great write-up Rob. Tbh, I’ve changed my mind on which coaches I want on a daily basis. At this current moment though I’ve the same top 3 candidates you mentioned on your podcast appearance. Although I’m preparing myself to trust that Schneider will make the best choice possible and look forward to the unknown.

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you Erick

      • ErickV

        I was wondering how long you think before they hire their guy ? Schefter was saying on McAfee show how this year’s hiring process was a lot slower than usual.

        • Rob Staton

          It depends if they’re serious about waiting to meet with Ben Johnson in person (the only candidate they requested still in the playoffs) or whether they’re going to do all of their interviews this week and make a call by the weekend

  36. Anonymous

    Agree completely. Fingers crossed.

  37. Alex Potts

    Off topic but check out this Jim Nagy senior bowl interview.

    Mentions Spencer Rattler as someone the league has higher than the media.

    Rattler talk starts at around 17 min


    • Peter


    • Group Captain Mandrake

      Wait, are you saying that the media often gets this stuff wrong? The same media predicting JJ McCarthy to go in the top 20? Sir, I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    • Nick

      Rob you heard of this guy? 😉

      • Rob Staton


    • Palatypus

      I feel sorry for the children at the NFL Flag event who must catch Michael Penix’s fastball.

  38. 805Hawk

    Callahan to the Titans. So that’s another team filled.

    • Ian

      Seems to help us in this game of musical chairs.

  39. Palatypus

    NFLN reporting from Tom Pelisero that Brian Callahan will be hired by the Titans.

  40. Hebegbs

    Was just over at Field Gulls for a minute and they have an article up about the various Seahawks free agents (all categories). 14 unrestricted. The only guy listed in that category when I think “must have back” is Leonard Williams.

    Every other guy on the list I could basically care less if they bring back. I don’t see one other “must have”. Some decent players I’d like to think we should have back. But really an overall weak state of affairs with our FA class.

    In some ways maybe this is good. We can churn the roster with a new HC quickly and there is some talent in place, just not nearly enough.

    • Rob Staton


    • nfendall

      I agree.

      I wouldn’t be opposed to Brooks, Lewis, Fant or Parkinson back if their markets are cold and we can get them at a below market value, but it won’t upset me if they do not come back.

      • BK26

        Brooks, I wonder what a different coach could do. And/or having a better running mate.

  41. Troy

    NE – Mayo
    LV – Pierce
    TEN – Callahan
    ATL – Belicheck?
    LAC – Harbaugh?
    WAS – Johnson?
    CAR – ??
    SEA – ??

    • Ian

      It will certainly help Seattle if we can get rid of the question marks next to Harbaugh and Belichick.

    • Rob Staton

      If only Dan Snyder could’ve clung on for one more year

      • Sea Mode

        Alas… 😅

    • 805Hawk

      Why do I just have this feeling that if Johnson isn’t available, it’s gonna be Kafka? I just don’t see Morris or Evero (they are likely fulfilling the Rooney rule with them.) It feels like Vrabel and maybe Quinn are the fallback.

      • Palatypus

        “I am a cage, in search of a bird.”
        ― Franz Kafka

      • Rob Staton

        I fear it’s been Quinn all along and aside from Morris, everyone else are ‘due diligence’ and potential coordinator candidates

        • Troy

          Yep. I think Quinn is the guy they wanted all along. And then that playoff game happened and some much of the fan base soured on him. Now JS is trying to layout a detailed, thorough search that will eventually circle back to Quinn.

          • DarrellDownUnder


          • Big Mike

            Please God no

        • BrandoK

          I hope that’s not the case. That would be a nightmare for me.

          Please don’t just go for the safe hire that’s Let’s run it back crew.

          • Wilson502

            I agree, what the hell was the point in getting rid of Carroll just to appoint another PC protege? We all clamored for change, we finally got it with Carroll gone, but hiring Quinn would just put us right back where we started.

        • Murphy

          Is this just your fear, or do you think this is what will happen?

          • Rob Staton

            Fear, I don’t think anyone knows what is going to happen

  42. Wilson502

    If this ends up being true, then this definitely reflects quite negatively on JS. The fact he waited 14 yrs for this opportunity just to appoint PC 2.0 just makes me think we’ve vastly overrated him as a GM. Obviously how the draft and FA play out will tell the full story but I can’t help but think of this HC search as nothing but a massive fail by going with a retread in Quinn or some other uninspiring hire.

    • Jordan

      I would advise waiting to see the product on the field prior under whoever the new head coach happens to be. Then decide if you’re pleased with the hiring.

      It’s not uncommon for retread hires to win their first Super Bowl beyond their first shot at being a Head Coach. Belichick, Reid, Carroll, Dungy, Vermeil, Arians didn’t win the big game at their first stop. A number of them had less impressive first showings than Quinn.

      • Rob Staton

        Arians had Brady

        Quinn was awful without Shanahan in Atlanta

        It would be an underwhelming hire. I think fans would be well within their rights to treat it with a ‘ho hum’ response

        • Big Mike

          “Ho hum” would be a positive for me.

  43. ShowMeYourHawk

    One has to wonder if that should Reid does retire/step down if KC fails to make the SB, how many of our potential options leave us high and dry for the ultimate job?

    • BK26

      He’s more or less said that he isn’t retiring this year.

  44. Joseph

    Rob, it’s very concerning that we haven’t heard Ben or Slowik’s names brought up in 2nd round interviews. I really hope our next HC isn’t either of the 5 listed, especially Quinn. I hope the 5 listed is just JS throwing everyone off.

  45. Karl

    This is interesting about the sequencing of interviews and letting Pete go in relation to interviewing Macdonald. . Sorry if this was posted before. https://x.com/hawkblogger/status/1749616987377131911?s=46

  46. Jabroni-DC

    It’s gonna be Tater.

    • Palatypus

      President Tater.

    • STTBM

      Kill me now….

      Perhaps my least favorite staff person, just below the Carrol sons and Norton…

  47. Palatypus

    Here is Emily Blunt showing perfectly how I feel about Waldron leaving.


    • UkAlex6674

      For a brief moment I thought my dream had come true and she was appointed Head Coach 😞

      Damm you Palatypus.

  48. Tomas

    In a bold move, JS names Adam Gase.

    • Big Mike

      At least he’d be less of a bore than Pete Carroll 2.0

  49. Donovan

    Put another way, superior tactical acumen gets Jared Goff and Brock Purdy to verge of Super Bowl appearance.

    Absent that, your part lies in having a Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes.

    Maximize your chances by taking a swing on tactical brilliance.

  50. Palatypus

    Rob, at the 13:21 mark of the Hawkzone video you mention Ben Johnson going to “Renton” instead of “Kirkland”, is that where your source is?

    Because we all know you wouldn’t make that kind of mistake.

    • HawkfaninMT

      I didn’t listen that far yet… but Hawks HQ is in fact in Renton/NewCastle just off 405 exit 7

    • Dregur

      The Seahawks haven’t been based in Kirkland since 2008…

      • Palatypus

        Damn beer speaking.

  51. Fudwamper

    To pick up about the conversation about unrestricted free agents and meld it with the Geno Smith/QB conversation.

    Per OTC the Hawks are in the Red (-4,435,353) with the cap.

    Dumping Adams, Diggs, Dissly, Mone, and Geno. The cap goes to ($57,924,647) in the Black for 2024. The 2025 cap goes from 40,520,664 to 83,020,664.

    That is a lot of scratch to build top tier interior O and D lines. By establishing dominate O and D interior lines it hurts less to trade away top picks looking for your QB of the future. We have the weapons on offense to be great, to carry a rookie or bridge QB, and to place the D in a favorable position to play fast and physical with some growing pains. Only if we find a head coach who can scheme and set up mismatch situations.

    • STTBM

      They can work it out to keep Geno too. Who knows if they will, but its certainly possible.

      I’m ok with that, if the price is fair. But I’d rather see Lock.

  52. UkAlex6674

    The fact Campbell made the OC change shows his aptitude.

    I don’t see much difference – defensive minded head coach who employs a young, dynamic OC? Or an offensive minded coach who calls the plays, who employs a stout DC?

    I think I’d rather a Vrabel/Campbell type leader at HC. A leader is what this organisation needs. Someone who demands and expects full accountability from the players. A tough sob the players want to emulate – on both sides of the ball.

    • Rob Staton

      But what good is that kind of coach if you aren’t schematically capable to exploit opponent weaknesses? Campbell inherited Johnson, made him OC and only then did he start winning. Next year it might fall apart.

      Is that what we want? To be at the mercy of lucking into an inspired OC? Only to lose them and panic? Just so we can have someone we think is a ‘great leader’?

    • BK26

      I’d like to have someone who is able to do more than “be tough.” That doesn’t mean that you win because of that.

      And Rob has written about 5 articles mentioning why you go offensive head coach. It is the smartest idea. And what is working in the league.

  53. Sea Mode

    One JS protégé out, another one in for the Panthers.


    Wonder if JS brings Fitterer back in some capacity.

    And it seems Ed Dodds might get the Raiders (or Chargers) gig too. The tree grows…

    • STTBM

      Always wondered why they never brought Idzik back: he was their Cap specialist, and given the last few years, they need him.

      Far as I know, they haven’t brought any Front Office people back. JS not operating the way Carrol did with his players…

  54. stankoniaks

    Great job Rob. My top 2 are definitely Johnson and MacDonald – though disappointed to hear that they didn’t conduct any first interviews with the latter.

    I point of contention on MacDonald though – strongly disagree that his skills are not transferable. He’s not a product of the Ravens ecoystem; case in point is the job he did at Michigan. As a Mich. alum, saw first hand him coming in to a team coming off of a 2-4 2020 campaign. Further, Michigan has recruited ok (top 15-20), but certainly lacks the recruiting prowress of UGA or Bama or their chief rival OSU. Yet, MacDonald came in, took a bunch of players that had been recruited by Don Brown and a completely different system and turned it around in 1 year. He didn’t have the luxury of recruiting his own players and the transfer portal wasn’t what it is now in 2021. His defense confused a much more talented OSU team, led by CJ Stroud, and he turned Aiden Hutchinson from an early pick to 2nd in the Heisman race.

    He was known as a brilliant tactician and when he left Michigan after 1 year, while bummed, everyone acknowledged Mac was going places and was a real wunderkind. His style and coaching IS transferable and is not a product of the Ravens ecosystem.

    And he’s not going back to Michigan to coach. It’s no secret that he didn’t love recruiting, he’s more of a NFL guy anyway, the NCAA gave him a show cause for some recruiting violations and if Harbaugh leaves, Michigan is 100% hiring Sherrone Moore.

    • Rob Staton

      To be clear, I am not saying Mike Macdonald’s skills as a coach are not transferable.

      The point is — and a Baltimore fan reached out yesterday to further emphasise how accurate this is — the Ravens are a unique organisation. You say he’s not a product of the ecosystem, but everyone is there. That’s what you get for basically having the same people making decisions for two decades, having complete clarity on who they are, having consistency at coaching and a HC who is willing to adapt and change in a way most aren’t. This is an organisation led from the top and everything connects. Taking ‘one’ coach out and thinking, yeah this will just travel to Seattle, is extremely ambitious. And that’s proven by how few coaches from Baltimore have moved elsewhere and had sustained (or any) success.

      Then you throw in the NFL MVP and an offense that does a better job than anyone else at applying scoreboard pressure. None of these things are coming with Macdonald to Seattle.

      I think people have convinced themselves that he’s essentially the defensive version of Shanahan. That isn’t it, as I’ve noted a few times now in videos and articles. We cannot and should not underestimate how much the Ravens are a Lamar-driven team and the defense feeds off that. When you’re winning by a boat-load and teeing off most weeks, it’s kind of easy to look like a ‘wunderkind’. Everyone talks about the way they beat the 49ers. They had fluky, weird turnovers and gave up 429 yards, including 121 in the running game. This wasn’t a shut-down job. This was benefitting from some of the weirdest Purdy picks you’ll see, the offense scoring regularly and Lamar playing brilliantly.

      It was not a brilliant tactical demolition of Shanahan.

      You mention Michigan but they basically replaced Macdonald with another Ravens coach — Jesse Minter — and he did an even better job than Macdonald this year.

      I’d argue the reason for Michigan’s success is the incredible Head Coach and that what we’ve seen over the last two years is the defensive coordinator is more or less transferable.

      I think Macdonald is a talented coach and if he’s appointed, cool, I look forward to seeing how it goes. But I think people are willing the concept of a defensive genius into reality. The Ravens are good because of the established organisational brilliance they possess, they have a good Head Coach and most importantly, the freakin NFL MVP plays quarterback for them.

      I’ll happily confess I have added to the hype myself. I kept pointing out he’d turned the 28th best defense into a top-10 unit. I should’ve provided context. In 2020, the year before they had a down year in 2021, they had the sixth best defense under Wink Martindale. So they’ve consistently produced on that side of the ball, but for one year.

      If Macdonald gets a job somewhere else and Baltimore hire Minter back from Michigan, I bet they don’t miss a beat. Because of everything else that franchise has.

      And this is before we even get into Macdonald’s task of building a staff when his only experience is working for one Harbaugh about to appoint a whole staff for probably the Chargers, and another Harbaugh who will need to replace some coaches too. Limited pool.

      • Bmseattle

        As an aside.. it seems like in today’s NFL, especially with the rules favoring offense, its just much more difficult to sustain a high level defense (over multiple seasons), than an offense.

        “Scheme” advantages are less reliant upon players and get advantages that the league promotes.
        Basically, the NFL wants great offense, and doesnt want great defense.
        That’s difficult to consistently overcome.

        • Rob Staton

          As an aside.. it seems like in today’s NFL, especially with the rules favoring offense, its just much more difficult to sustain a high level defense (over multiple seasons), than an offense.

          That’s such a great point

      • Orcas Viking

        Hire Johnson or Slowik as HC and then get Jesse Minter for DC. Do we get the best of both worlds then?

  55. Joseph

    Rob, do you think JS is looking for a yes man HC? It was kinda telling considering it was said that Schneider wants full control. If Ben or Slowik don’t make it to the 2nd wave of interviews, you think full control is the reason?

    That be pretty hypocritical of John if he were to hire a DC like Quinn, considering he mentioned losing good OCs to HC positions hurts the team.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure if ‘yes man’ is the right term to use. Do I think he wants someone who will focus on coaching and accept that John constructs the roster? Yes.

      I don’t think Johnson or Slowik, to be fair, are going to be asking for control. They would be first time Head Coaches — and Johnson has been linked with Washington. No way is Adam Peters giving up control there. Control will be saved for people like Harbaugh and Belichick.

      • Ashish

        Control to coach (PC) is not good we end up with mindless trade and your team end up with peacocks.

  56. Daniel

    The analysis is actually pretty simple.

    You’re looking for a candidate with both tactical expertise and leadership qualities.

    There, I saved you 2,000 words!

    • Rob Staton


      • Daniel D.


  57. DK

    Looks like Slowick had an in person with the Commanders last night and is going to have one with the Falcons as well. Per Rapoport


    • Daniel D.

      By the time we get Ben Johnson, we’ll have convinced ourselves we’d rather have Slowick instead.

© 2024 Seahawks Draft Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑