The Seattle Seahawks weren’t expected to be conducting a head coaching search this offseason. It was announced on Wednesday, January 10, that Pete Carroll will not be returning as the head coach next season. Chair Jody Allen clarified in an official statement that Carroll has agreed to remain with Seattle as an advisor but will be giving up his head coach position.
Let’s take a look at who should be on the shortlist for Seattle as they conduct their first coaching search in over a decade.
Dan Quinn, Dallas Cowboys
Position: Defensive Coordinator
Quinn makes a lot of sense for the Seahawks. He was with the organization from 2009-2010 as the assistant head coach and the defensive line coach. Quinn was with the team during Carroll’s first season in 2010, but left the next year to return back to college coaching. He returned to the NFL in 2013 and spent two seasons as Seattle’s defensive coordinator. Quinn has spent the past three seasons as Dallas’ defense and is among the top coaching candidates this offseason.
Ben Johnson, Detroit Lions
Position: Offensive Coordinator
It feels like Johnson will be with a new team next season. He has found plenty of success in turning around the Lions’ offense under head coach Dan Campbell. Detroit’s offense averaged the third-most yards per game in the NFL this season, including the second-most passing yards and fifth-most rushing yards per game. Seattle has all of the offensive weapons for what should be an explosive unit but had the 12th-fewest yards per game this season.
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines
Position: Head Coach
Harbaugh has been linked to a return to the NFL since last season when he interviewed with the Carolina Panthers. It worked out for him that he took his name out of the conversation and returned to Michigan as they just won the national championship. The timing of this couldn’t be better as Harbaugh can get back to the NFL while leaving college football on top. Harbaugh last coached in the NFL from 2011-2014 with the San Francisco 49ers and would get the chance to face his old team twice a year if he took this job.