As the Seahawks head into the final month of the season, seemingly prepared to fulfill their preseason destiny as Super Bowl champs, other clubs will be eyeing their top assistant coaches.
It's the price every successful team pays.
The Seahawks lost defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to Jacksonville after last season, and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell interviewed with three teams.
With the Hawks doing even better this season and quarterback Russell Wilson making him look good, Bevell figures to get some more looks. So might assistant head coach Tom Cable and first-year defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
Cable's name already has been floated in association with the Houston Texans' open position (the Texans fired Gary Kubiak on Friday). The Texans reportedly want a veteran NFL coach and are starting with interviews of former Chicago coach Lovie Smith and former Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt. Jon Gruden also has been mentioned (as he always is).
Mike Shanahan seems on his way out in Washington, and some have suggested he could be an option for the Texans as well.
If Washington's job opens up, it would not be hard to see Bevell as a candidate there. His experience with Wilson might be a huge selling point for dealing with Washington franchise QB Robert Griffin III, who is a similarly skilled player.
Other teams that could be looking for coaches include the New York Giants and Jets, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Oakland. With former Seahawk exec John Idzik running the Jets, it's easy to connect the dots to Bevell there if Idzik decides to part with Rob Ryan.
"He's going to be a head coach," coach Pete Carroll told Minnesota reporters last month before the Hawks beat Bevell's former team. "I'll be excited for him when he gets that opportunity. I'll do everything I can to help him get it. If that time ever comes, we'll really miss him because he's done a fantastic job for us."
Quinn has the top-ranked defense in the league and has done what Bradley could not last season, keeping the defense consistent and fixing problems before they get out of hand -- e.g., the run defense that melted down against St. Louis and Tampa Bay.
Quinn has just one year of NFL coordinating experience, but he has been around the NFL for a long time. He was in San Francisco under Steve Mariucci and also coached under Nick Saban in Miami and Eric Mangini with the Jets.
Quinn talked about his history with MMQB: “I learned a lot from Mooch with the energy that he brought every day and just kind of the whole organization at the time. Coach (Bill) Walsh was still there and Terry Donahue was the general manager, so I had these types of guys that were really influential on me. It was an awesome place to start. Saw the West Coast offense way of practicing.
"Then I was in similar systems that were rooted in what Bill Belichick does with Nick and Eric. And to come here and kind of get exposure to coach Carroll’s philosophy and how we do things, I’ve learned that there are a lot of different ways to be successful.”
The Seahawks certainly have been, and Carroll's assistants will be in demand because of it.