HomeFootball DirtThe most recent updates on Pete Carroll's departure from the Seahawks and...

The most recent updates on Pete Carroll’s departure from the Seahawks and the team’s search for a new head coach

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Hours after the Seahawks closed the regular season with a win over the Cardinals, Pete Carroll said he was ready to return for a 15th season in charge. Two days later, the Seahawks officially announced other plans, moving on from the Super Bowl-winning HC.

Carroll may not have been resolute on returning, however. During the season, the longtime Seattle HC informed some team decision-makers he was moving toward retirement and was interested in staying with the team in a different capacity, Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline notes. That path came to fruition, though it is not known what role Carroll will play going forward. He is not part of the committee searching for his own replacement.

The apparent Carroll backtracking did not sway Seahawks management, per Pauline, as team higher-ups were ready to move in a different direction. Carroll, 72, said he lobbied to keep his job and expressed frustration he was forced to convince non-football staffers. That said, GM John Schneider — effectively Carroll’s right-hand man for 14 years — has since assumed full control of the Seahawks. The veteran GM is leading the HC search.

This proved to be a disappointing season for the Seahawks, who faced higher expectations after a 9-8 2022 slate and a busy offseason. Seattle used two first-round picks, gave Dre’Mont Jones a $17MM-per-year deal and brought back Bobby Wagner. The team also traded for Leonard Williams, sending the Giants second- and fifth-round picks at the deadline. The Carroll- and Clint Hurtt-run defense struggled, finishing 30th in points allowed and 28th in DVOA. The team rallied back from its 6-7 place, but the mini-surge was not enough to qualify for the playoffs — even in a weak NFC wild-card chase. Hurtt is now with the Eagles, having agreed to become their D-line coach.

With Ben Johnson off the board, the likelihood of Ravens DC Mike Macdonald landing one of the two remaining jobs increases. Macdonald remains in the thick of the Seattle derby, ESPN’s Dan Graziano relayed on NFL Live (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta), but Giants OC Mike Kafka has also emerged as a name to watch here. Bobby Slowik has joined Johnson in bowing out and agreeing to keep his current job.

It would surprise if Kafka landed this job, if only because the Giants are coming off a rough follow-up to their surprising 2022 divisional-round run. The Giants tumbled to 30th in points scored and in offensive DVOA. Granted, Daniel Jones‘ injury changed the equation for the Giants, who have employed Kafka as their play-caller over the past two seasons. Jones, however, was not playing well before his ACL tear. And tension between Kafka and Brian Daboll ran high at points, leading to the head coach yanking play-calling duties during games. Rumblings about Kafka being out of the picture in New York surfaced, but he remains on staff. Kafka is not in contention for the Washington job.

Here is how the Seahawks’ HC search looks:

  • Ejiro Evero, defensive coordinator (Panthers): Conducted second interview 1/27
  • Patrick Graham, defensive coordinator (Raiders): Conducted second interview 1/23
  • Ben Johnson, offensive coordinator (Lions): Conducted second interview 1/29
  • Mike Kafka, offensive coordinator (Giants): Conducted second interview 1/24
  • Mike Macdonald, defensive coordinator (Ravens): To interview 1/30
  • Raheem Morris, defensive coordinator (Rams): To conduct second interview 1/26
  • Dan Quinn, defensive coordinator (Cowboys): Conducted second interview 1/25
  • Bobby Slowik, offensive coordinator (Texans): Interviewed 1/21
  • Frank Smith, offensive coordinator (Dolphins): Interviewed 1/18
  • Mike Vrabel, former head coach (Titans): Mentioned as candidate

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