Defensive coordinator Kris Richard could follow Darrell Bevell out the door, while other assistants have been encouraged to look around at other coaching openings.
The firing of Darrell Bevell as the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator could be just the beginning of multiple changes on the Seahawks’ coaching staff.
In fact, the team then later fired offensive line coach Tom Cable, releasing a statement announcing that both Cable and Bevell had been let go.
But the changes might not stop there.
Shakeup in Seattle
Several reports also surfaced Wednesday morning that Seattle could be parting ways with defensive coordinator Kris Richard with Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network stating that Richard “would be allowed out of his contract for another opportunity.”
Richard interviewed last Friday for the head coaching job with the Indianapolis Colts but could also pursue other vacancies amid growing rumblings he won’t be back as the team’s defensive coordinator. Dave Mahler of KJR-AM reported that sources have told him Richard will not be back regardless.
One source told the Times Wednesday afternoon that there was nothing yet official on Richard but that the coaching staff remains under review.
Rapoport reported: “Any time a head coach decides, ‘You are allowed to now go seek other opportunities,’ generally that means the person is not coming back. And that is the case for Kris Richard. Very close relationship with Pete Carroll, but from my understanding, Pete Carroll believes that Richard will benefit from having a new coaching experience.”
One source confirmed to the Seattle Times that several assistant coaches, including Richard, were being encouraged to look around at possible other openings as the team looks to shake up the coaching staff following a disappointing 9-7 season that finished with Seattle out of the playoffs for the first time since 2011. One source said that trying to help assistants find other jobs is the preferred option for Carroll — who was fired twice as an NFL head coach and part of other staffs that have undergone significant overhauls — preferred method for making coaching changes.
Richard has been the team’s defensive coordinator since 2015 when he replaced Dan Quinn, who became the head coach with the Atlanta Falcons.
When asked about assistant coaching changes last week when during his postseason press conference, Carroll mentioned some coaches having other opportunities.
“There’s guys up for jobs now, and this is that time of year when stuff happens, and we’ll see what goes on,” Carroll said. “… I think a lot of respect is to be dealt to these guys. They have families and lives and careers and dreams and hopes as we all do, and we’ll see what happens. I’ve always been here to help our guys, and I want them to go and do what they’re capable of doing and meet their challenges of their lifetime as well, and I’m up for that. When it works out, I do everything I can to help them and we’ll see what happens.”
As for who would replace Richard?
Two possible candidates — Mike Pettine and Gus Bradley — found new jobs in the last day or so. Pettine, a former head coach of the Cleveland Browns who it was reported did some consulting work this year for the Seahawks, was hired Tuesday as the defensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers, while Bradley was retained by the Los Angeles Chargers, where he worked this season on a one-year contract. Bradley was Seattle’s defensive coordinator from 2010-12 before leaving to become the head coach of the Jaguars and replaced in Seattle by Quinn.
Seattle promoted Richard in 2015 when it also considered linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. That compelled Norton to leave to become the DC for the Raiders. Norton was fired at midseason this year and was recently hired as the linebackers coach of the 49ers and while there has been speculation he could return to Seattle it’s unclear if he can be an option.
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It’s also thought that longtime quarterbacks coach Carl Smith — who turns 70 in April — could also be on his way out, potentially moved to another position with the organization.