Hawks hire new OC

The Seahawks reportedly will hire Rams passing game coordinator Shane Waldron as offensive coordinator.

Waldron, 41 (and born in Portland), has some background with Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski (TEs coach) and the Patriots and obviously comes from Sean McVay’s powerful offense, which was a top-five passing unit under Waldron’s charge in both 2018 and 2019 before taking a step back in 2020. The Rams also have been a top-10 rushing team under McVay, so Waldron comes with the sense of balance Pete Carroll wants.

The Rams use a lot of pre-snap motion, including jet sweep plays, and favor play fakes. Tight ends are sneaky weapons in their offense, too.

Expect the Seahawks to retain most of their offense, as they did when Schotty arrived in 2018, and blend concepts the Rams use while keeping a focus on the running game.

Per various reports, the Hawks started their search to replace Brian Schottenheimer by talking to several recently fired coaches: Anthony Lynn (Chargers), Doug Pederson (Eagles) and Adam Gase (Jets).

The Seahawks also reportedly wanted to talk to Buffalo quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey (whom we mentioned as someone they should consider).

The Seahawks also reportedly wanted to interview Saints QB coach Joe Lombardi — a Seattle native who is the grandson of Vince Lombardi — but he joined Brandon Staley with the Chargers. Lombardi had been Drew Brees’ QB coach in New Orleans for much of the past decade, with a short and unproductive stint as Detroit’s OC in between (2014-15).

Carroll also reportedly reached into his past, interviewing Kirby Wilson, Las Vegas Raiders running backs coach. Wilson was Carroll’s RBs coach in New England in the late 1990s and joined him at USC in 2001. He has worked for a half-dozen NFL teams since 2002 and is in his second stint with Jon Gruden now.

The Seahawks also apparently wanted to speak to Chiefs QB coach Mike Kafka and had interest in Lynn’s Chargers assistants Shane Steichen and Pep Hamilton. Steichen joined Nick Sirianni’s staff in Philadelphia. Tennessee and Pittsburgh both interviewed Hamilton.

Pederson is the guy who excites Seahawks fans the most, but he reportedly is not really interested in taking an OC job and may sit out 2021.

Lynn joined Dan Campbell as Detroit’s OC on Jan. 23. He would have been an underwhelming choice for many Seahawks fans. He comes from Pete Carroll’s school of thought: Be physical in the running game and hit big plays in the passing attack.

Gase was a headscratcher. His first stint as offensive coordinator was with Denver in 2013-14, when Peyton Manning was the QB. Carroll’s Seahawks held that record-setting 2013 offense to eight points in Super Bowl XLVIII. Gase went to Chicago in 2015, leading a very average Bears offense. And he somehow got both Miami and the Jets to hire him as head coach after that.

Gase would have been a terrible hire — and that is without considering the horrible idea of reuniting Gase on the same team that has Jamal Adams, who has criticized the coach for his poor management of the Jets.

Kafka may have been the most interesting of the early names. The former Northwestern QB has been on Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City since 2017 and has helped tutor Patrick Mahomes. Kafka’s impact on Reid’s offense and the uber-talented QB is surely minimal, but he would bring a lot of Reid’s aggressive offensive philosophy to Seattle — something Russell Wilson would love.

Dave Canales, Seattle’s passing coordinator, could be an option for promotion. He reportedly turned down Vanderbilt’s OC job because he wants to stay in the NFL. Canales has been with Carroll since 2009 (at USC); he was receivers coach for the Seahawks from 2010 to 2017 and QB coach in 2018-19 before being promoted to passing coordinator last season.

Also mentioned early on was Clemson OC Tony Elliott, who declared his intent to stay in college.

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