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4 Seattle Seahawks coaching candidates to replace Pete Carroll

Matt Johnson
Seattle Seahawks coaching candidates
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks became one of the best teams in the NFL and a Super Bowl champion with Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson, enjoying a level of success that no one expected. But with a disappointing season drawing to a close, it’s time for Seattle to think about its future.

A Russell Wilson trade this offseason is inevitable with the rift between the star quarterback and this franchise likely beyond repair. As this organization prepares to turn the page on an incredible era, the best option is a commitment to a full rebuild that also results in a coaching change.

  • Seattle Seahawks record (Pete Carroll era): 117-73-1, 10-8 in playoffs

Let’s examine four potential Seattle Seahawks coaching candidates if the franchise is ready to move on from its longtime head coach.

Brian Daboll, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator

NFL: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Daboll will be one of the most coveted NFL coaching candidates in 2022. A resume that includes five Super Bowl rings and a CFP national championship, with years spent learning from Nick Saban and Bill Belichick, already put him on the radar. But Daboll’s time with Josh Allen and the Bills’ offense is what will make him a head coach next season.

  • Josh Allen stats (2020-’21): 8,592 passing yards, 71-22 TD-INT ratio, 101.9 passer rating, 67.1% completion rate

In Allen’s first two NFL seasons, he completed just 56.3% of his pass attempts, threw 21 interceptions and posted a 78.2 passer rating. While there were flashes of greatness, no one ever thought he could put it all together. But after two seasons working with Daboll, Allen is now one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

Of course, this is about more than just one quarterback. Daboll’s sharp football mind makes him one of the best play-callers in the NFL, designing ways to get receivers open and creating a weekly game plan that always puts his quarterback in a position for success. We even saw it in the preseason, when Mitch Trubisky posted a 103.6 QBR in the preseason.

This is exactly the kind of coach an NFL team wants to develop its young quarterback. With Daboll calling plays in an offense featuring DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, the Seattle Seahawks would also be a great landing spot for the next top draft-eligible quarterback.

Byron Leftwich, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It remains absurd that Byron Leftwich didn’t receive any interviews requests during the 2021 hiring cycle. It seems to be the fault of NFL front offices, believing that the Buccaneers’ offense is one of the best in football because of Bruce Arians and Tom Brady. But ask either of those future Hall of Famers and they will tell you Leftwich deserves far more credit than he receives and he deserves to be an NFL head coach.

Arians raved about Leftwich in November, making it clear he controls one of the NFL’s best offenses. As for Brady, who is putting up some of the best numbers in his legendary career, he heaped praise on Leftwich before the Super Bowl. Despite injuries to playmakers, Tampa Bay’s offense is averaging the second-most points (29.5) and the most passing yards (300.0) per game this season. Leftwich’s play-calling even found success with Jameis Winston under center.

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense stats (2019): 302.8 pass yard/game (1st), 28.6 ppg (4th), 8.1 ypa (5th), 52.9% fourth-down conversion rate (11th), 26.1 Offensive Points per Game (6th), 64.81% red-zone conversion rate (3rd)

Leftwich is ready to be a head coach and NFL teams are finally taking notice. If the Seattle Seahawks want to inject a new voice into the locker room, one who will immediately earn respect and can bring an explosive passing offense back to Lumen Field, Leftwich is a great target.

Marcus Brady, Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
Marcus Brady in the Colts new offensive coordinator.Nfl Indianapolis Colts Rookie Minicamp On Friday May 11 2018

The Philadelphia Eagles fell in love with Nick Sirianni in 2021, targeting the Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator with the hope he could help unleash Jalen Hurts. The Eagles got what they wanted and in Sirianni’s absence, Marcus Brady is proving he deserves the same level of attention from clubs with coaching vacancies.

Brady began his coaching career in the CFL, first working with wide receivers before becoming an offensive coordinator. After winning three Grey Cup championships, the former quarterback landed on Frank Reich’s staff in 2018. He only spent a year as the assistant quarterbacks coach before taking on the primary position and when Sirianni departed, Indianapolis wasted no time promoting Brady again.

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  • Carson Went stats (2021): 62.8% completion rate, 3,230 passing yards, 25-6 TD-INT ratio, 6.2 ny/a, 5.4% TD rate (second-highest in career), 1.3% INT rate (second-lowest in career)

He played an influential role in the Colts’ decision to acquire Carson Wentz. Praised by his former colleagues in the CFL for his attention to detail and his work ethic, Brady’s coaching of Wentz has helped the quarterback post some of the best numbers in his career.

Brady isn’t going to be the most popular name discussed for openings, but some of the best hires in recent years weren’t the most well-known candidates. Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur and Reich have all become underrated hires that paid off in a big way. Brady could be that next guy.

Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If the Seattle Seahawks want to bring in a defensive-minded coach, Dennis Allen needs to be at the top of the list. While the 49-year-old’s stint as the Oakland Raiders head coach (2012-’14) didn’t go well, he is certainly deserving of a second chance based on what he is accomplishing in New Orleans.

  • Dennis Allen coaching record: 8-28

Hired as the Saints’ defensive coordinator, this team has been one of the best run defenses in the NFL since 2018. New Orleans is also phenomenal at making life difficult for opposing quarterbacks. After finishing in the top eight for pressure rate (26.3%), knockdown rate (12%) and sacks (45) in 2020, the Saints are replicating that success once again.

Of course, Allen is best known for being kryptonite to Tom Brady. Pro Football Focus dove deep into exactly how Allen’s game plans cause so many problems for the greatest quarterback in NFL history. In his last four regular-season starts against the Saints, Brady has a 71.45 passer rating with 13 sacks taken and eight interceptions. In a division with Matthew Stafford and Kyler Murray, Allen’s defensive mind could be just what Seattle needs.