As the Super Bowl favorite, the Seahawks were bound to get plenty of interest in their top assistants, but Darrell Bevell and Dan Quinn are also facing plenty of competition in the quest to lead NFL teams.
Bevell, Seattle's offensive coordinator, reportedly interviewed with Washington's brain trust on Tuesday and reportedly will talk to the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings before the end of the weekend.
Quinn, who led the Seahawks' defense to the top ranking in his first year as coordinator, reportedly interviewed with the Browns on Wednesday and is expected to interview with the Vikings, who are doing a two-for-one trip to Seattle.
The Detroit Lions were said to be doing some background on Seahawks assistant head coach Tom Cable, but other reports indicated that they are not interested. They reportedly are focused on Baltimore OC Jim Caldwell and Arizona DC Todd Bowles.
Cable had a controversial stint (who didn't?) as coach of the Oakland Raiders before coming to Seattle, and there seems little danger of the Hawks losing him to another NFL team. (The NCAA could be a different story.)
In Washington, Bevell has competition from Caldwell, Cincinnati OC Jay Gruden and Carolina DC Sean McDermott, among others.
In Minnesota, Bevell and Quinn reportedly are going against Bowles, Denver DC Jack Del Rio and OC Adam Gase, Cincinnati DC Mike Zimmer, Bowles and Gruden for now.
In Cleveland, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and New England OC Josh McDaniels are both being hotly mentioned, and Bowles and Gase also are candidates.
Houston already has replaced Gary Kubiak with Penn State coach Bill O'Brien, and Tampa Bay hired Lovie Smith to replace Greg Schiano.
Oakland, Tennessee and Miami still might make moves, which could keep Bevell and Quinn in play if they do not end up in Washington/Cleveland/Minnesota.
Bevell and Quinn must finish interviews by the end of the weekend. Any further interviews would have to be conducted the week after the NFC title game.
Bevell runs a pretty vanilla offense that has been average (ranked 17th) the past two years. But the unit dealt with a lot of injuries this season, and the success and progress of second-year quarterback Russell Wilson has thrust Bevell into the spotlight. Washington surely is intrigued by that success as it looks to get Robert Griffin III back on track.
Quinn took over for Gus Bradley last year after Bradley was hired to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars, and all Quinn did was elevate an already elite defense to the best in the league. Of course, he got an assist from general manager John Schneider, who brought in pass rushers Michael Bennett (8.5) and Cliff Avril (8), plus tackle Tony McDaniel.
"Dan is a terrific football coach," coach Pete Carroll said earlier this week. "He’s got tremendous background in the game, he’s got great character about the game, he’s a great communicator, he’s tough, he knows what he wants. Look how well he transitioned to take this thing over so quickly and seamlessly. Getting along with people, working with people, and also managing the talent, all of that. He’s really well-equipped."
Carroll said the interest in Bevell and Quinn is "a credit to our program," and he knows Seattle's success will bring attention to his assistants.
"I’m not trying to kick anybody out of here," he said. "I just want to give them a chance to be the best that they can be, and I also know that the word is out (that the Seahawks are good). So if somebody wants to get someplace, we’ll help them in every way that we can and we’ll make this an attractive place for the next person to come."
If they lose one of the coordinators, who might the next person be?
A number of offensive coaches became available in the staff purges that just happened around the league.
Possible options include Scott Linehan, Gary Kubiak, Kyle Shanahan, Rick Dennison and Rob Chudzinski.
Linehan most recently ran Detroit's offense. Before that, he had a failed stint as coach of the St. Louis Rams (2006-08). He also served as OC in Miami (2005) and Minnesota (2002-04). His forte is the passing game, and he has a background in the West Coast scheme.
Kubiak, Shanahan and Dennison all worked in Houston together, running a very similar West Coast offense to what Seattle runs (zone blocking, play action). Shanahan joined his father, Mike, in Washington in 2010, and both were let go last week. If Carroll wanted to continue to run pretty much the same offense, one of those three could make sense.
Chudzinksi, who was fired by Cleveland after just one year in charge, is known as a very flexible schemer, which fits Carroll's overall philosophy. Chud also is a former tight ends coach, and he likely would feature that position more than Bevell has (it is one of Bevell's biggest failings).
As for defense, the coordinator is merely an extension of Carroll. He could promote Rocky Seto, who coordinates Seattle's pass defense, or linebackers coach Ken Norton.
But Carroll did well with a former line coach, Quinn, running the unit this season, so that might be a good way to balance out Carroll's love of the secondary.
One name to keep in mind is Ed Orgeron. He was USC's defensive line coach and assistant head coach under Carroll in the early 2000s before he became head coach at Mississippi. He went back to USC as line coach under Lane Kiffin in 2010 and resurrected the Trojans' season after Kiffin was fired last September. He has almost no NFL experience -- one year as line coach with the Saints -- but he knows Carroll and could be a fit if Quinn leaves.