HomeFootball DirtCommanders Extend Head Coaching Offer to Mike Macdonald?

Commanders Extend Head Coaching Offer to Mike Macdonald?

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After a succesful two-year run as the Ravens’ defensive coordinator, Mike Macdonald was one of the top head coaching candidates around the league. He took the Seahawks’ HC position on Wednesday, but that does not appear to have been the only offer on the table.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports the Commanders offered their head coaching position to Macdonald. The timing in this matter is critical, given the involvement of Lions OC Ben Johnson in both Washington’s and Seattle’s searches. Florio notes the Commanders’ offer was made after Johnson made it known he was electing to remain in Detroit for at least one more season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds (via Earl Forcey of 106.7 The Fan) that Washington contacted Macdonald while he was en route to Seattle to inquire about his continued interest in the position.

That certainly points to Macdonald being the team’s preference over its eventual hire, Cowboys DC Dan Quinn. For much of the hiring cycle, Johnson appeared to be the Commanders’ top choice, with his decision forcing the team to move in a different direction. As Schefter’s colleague John Keim reports, however, Johnson was not seen as a unanimous top choice at any point in the vetting process. No offers had been made to Johnson (or any other candidate) before the highly-acclaimed OC bowed out of the running, Keim adds.

Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik also agreed to take himself out of the picture after receiving head coaching interest, although Keim notes he was never considered a likely hire for Washington. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Dan Graziano adds that while Johnson was considered by many around the league to be the Commanders’ top choice, Macdonald may have actually been the team’s No. 1 option.

The 36-year-old led the Ravens to a first-place finish in a number of defensive categories in 2023, and he will be tasked with overseeing a turnaround on that side of the ball with the Seahawks. Offensively, however, Seattle offers much more in the way of known commodities compared to Washington. The latter team has an unsettled QB situation which will likely be addressed with the second overall pick in this year’s draft, along with plenty of room for improvement along the O-line. The Commanders’ defense also bottomed out late in the 2023 season, and it will be a focus for free agent and draft moves. Macodonald’s decision to forgo the Commanders in favor of the Seahawks – if he did indeed have such an opportunity – is thus reasonable.

Quinn will be at the helm moving forward in the nation’s capital, and the ESPN piece notes how his leadership traits were well-received in his interview process. The beginning of his tenure with Washington will, however, likely be marked with the belief he was not atop the team’s pecking order for coaching candidates.

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