Former Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn has spoken to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll about becoming their new offensive coordinator, according to a report Friday from NFL Media.
Lynn was the coach of the Chargers the past four seasons before being fired this month.
And one reported stumbling block to Lynn potentially getting the job was apparently removed Friday night.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Friday morning that Lynn hadn’t decided what he wants to do in 2021 — he will be paid by the Chargers for one more year — but that he would be among Seattle’s top candidates if he’s interested in replacing Brian Schottenheimer, who was fired this week.
However, football reporter Josina Anderson reported Friday night that Lynn “is open” to returning in 2021 to the NFL as a coordinator. So, that would mean the decision now would be in the hands of the Seahawks and whether they want to offer him the job.
Lynn is the first reported person to speak with the Seahawks about the job.
He was a running-backs coach for Jacksonville, Dallas, Cleveland and the Jets from 2003 to 2014 and assistant head coach with the Jets in 2013-14. He was running-backs coach and assistant head coach with the Bills in 2015-16 and offensive coordinator and interim head coach of the Bills in 2016 before taking over with the Chargers in 2017.
Lynn went 33-31 with the Chargers, including 7-9 in 2020.
Lynn, 52, has a connection to Carroll, having played for the 49ers as a running back and special-teams player in 1995-96 when Carroll was their defensive coordinator.
In his one season as offensive coordinator with the Bills in 2016, Buffalo led the NFL in rushing yards per attempt, rushing yards and touchdowns and was second in attempts. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor rushed for 580 yards, the kind of background that may appeal to Carroll, who said Monday that the Seahawks “have to run the ball better. Not even run the ball better, run it more.”
Lynn’s background with a running quarterback such as Taylor also may stand out to Carroll and Seattle QB Russell Wilson, who has always been among the NFL’s top running QBs in his nine years in the league.
Buffalo played at Seattle that season. The Bills rushed for 162 yards in a 31-25 loss to the Seahawks on a Monday night. Buffalo’s leading rusher that season was LeSean McCoy with 1,267 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns.
The Chargers in 2020 were ninth in rushing attempts (466) but just 30th in yards per attempt (3.8). They were ninth in offensive yards per game at 343 behind rookie quarterback Justin Herbert.
With Lynn as coach, the Chargers beat the Seahawks 25-17 in Seattle in 2018, rushing for 160 yards on 22 carries. The Chargers went 12-4 that season and advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs before losing to the Patriots.
The Chargers’ nine losses this season included two in overtime and three more by five points or fewer.
Shane Steichen, who was the Chargers’ offensive coordinator in 2020, has also been mentioned as a possible candidate for the job, though there has been no report that he has talked to Seattle.
Pep Hamilton, who was the Chargers’ QBs coach this season and with Steichen received ample credit for developing Herbert, has also been mentioned as a possible candidate.
Another rumored possible candidate for the job, Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, reportedly has informed NFL teams he will remain at Clemson.
Lynn played in the NFL from 1992 to 1999 and had his best season as a running back in 1996 with the 49ers — the second of Carroll’s two years there as defensive coordinator — rushing for 164 yards on 24 carries. He also earned Super Bowl rings as a player with Denver in 1997 and 1998.