Chiefs’ Joe Cullen Drawing DC Interest From Seahawks

The Commanders made their defensive coordinator hire last night, tapping Joe Whitt for the position. He was joined by Joe Cullen in terms of drawing interest for the position in Washington, however.

Cullen is also on the Seahawks’ radar for their DC position, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports reports. Cullen has been in Kansas City for the past two years holding the familiar title of defensive line coach. He has worn that hat on a number of occasions at both the college and NFL levels, and his time with the Chiefs has been successful.

Kansas City ranked 29th in sacks one year before Cullen’s arrival, a move which was preceded by his one-and-done stint as defensive coordinator of the Jaguars. The defending champions have posted the second-highest total in that department in each of the two seasons with Cullen in place, though. While draft investments along the edge (particularly the selection of George Karlaftis) have played a role in that turnaround, Cullen’s work has not gone unnoticed during the 2024 hiring cycle.

The 56-year-old has only one season of coordinator experience at the pro level, but he has been an NFL staffer in all but one year since 2006. Jacksonville ranked 20th in total defense and 28th in scoring under Cullen, and Seattle would be looking for better statistical showings than that in 2024 with a new DC. Clint Hurtt is out as part of the sweeping changes to the Seahawks’ staff, with Mike Macdonald taking over from Pete Carroll as head coach. Both the OC and DC spots are open in Seattle at the moment.

A shortlist of candidates to replace Shane Waldron as offensive coordinator has emerged, but Cullen is the first name linked to Seattle’s defensive coordinator posting. With the Commanders having found their preferred candidate already, the Seahawks could be in the lead to pursue Cullen, although Jones notes that Michigan is also interested. The Wolverines are likely to lose DC Jesse Minter to the Chargers as part of Jim Harbaugh‘s staff, and an opening will soon exist in Ann Arbor should that take place. Cullen could thus have a few options to consider if he wishes to take on another coordinator opportunity.

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