Fallout from the Seahawks and Commanders’ HC hires points to Seattle winning out, hiring Mike Macdonald despite Washington’s push. It took a six-year contract for the Seahawks to land the young defensive coordinator, but they are starting over after initially being connected to Dan Quinn.
Likely the Commanders’ fallback option during what turned into a complicated HC search that featured some notable Ben Johnson involvement, Quinn was the first name mentioned in connection with the Seahawks’ job. But the veteran staffer’s past with Pete Carroll may well have been an issue for the team. As the Seahawks sought a fresher option, Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline notes Quinn’s two stints under Carroll worked against him.
The team viewed Quinn as too similar to Carroll, per Pauline. Considering Quinn worked under Carroll in 2010 — after being added to the then-Jim Mora Jr.-led Seattle staff in ’09 — and then led the team’s defense from 2013-14, comparing Quinn to his former boss is understandable. The Seahawks led the NFL in scoring defense during both Super Bowl seasons under Quinn, and he reestablished his value with the Cowboys over the past three years. But he will be tasked with leading the Commanders now, as Macdonald is moving forward with assembling his Seahawks staff.
Quinn and Commanders front office boss Adam Peters informed Eric Bieniemy, following the team’s Kliff Kingsbury OC addition, he would not be retained. At this time last year, Bieniemy had been a Commanders target after five seasons as the Chiefs’ non-play-calling OC. Seeing HC interest decline in recent years and his first year as a play-calling OC produce a decline on offense in Washington, Bieniemy sits in limbo late in the hiring period.
The Seahawks should still be a team to watch in connection with Bieniemy, according to ProFootballNetwork.com’s Adam Caplan, who connects the NFC West team to the veteran assistant for the OC job. The Seahawks have thus far been tied to new Alabama OC Ryan Grubb and Lions pass-game coordinator Tanner Engstrand for what will be a play-calling OC post. The Giants blocked the Hawks from interviewing OC Mike Kafka.
Bieniemy’s failure to land a head coaching job during his five-year run as Chiefs OC became one of this period’s defining coaching storylines. Bieniemy’s Washington departure also leaves the NFL with no Black offensive coordinators or offensive play-callers. This has been a longstanding issue for the league, even as four teams hired minority HCs during this year’s cycle. The three Black candidates hired — Antonio Pierce, Jerod Mayo, Raheem Morris — came from the defensive side. This pattern has shined a light on Bieniemy’s candidacy, but after the Commanders finished 25th in scoring offense and closed the season on an eight-game losing streak, their 2023 OC’s stock has dropped.
Additionally, the Seahawks will retain their defensive pass-game coordinator. Initially linked to following ex-Seattle DC Clint Hurtt to Philadelphia, Karl Scott will stay in Seattle, according to the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta. Scott has been the team’s DBs coach for the past two seasons, and while Condotta adds his role under Macdonald is unclear, the Seahawks will keep a Carroll assistant on that side of the ball.
The team is also hiring Kirk Olivadotti from the Packers, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets. The son of former Dolphins DC Tom Olivadotti, Kirk has been an NFL assistant for most of the 21st century. Spending much of his career (16 years over two stints) with Washington, Olivadotti joined Macdonald on the Georgia Bulldogs’ staff from 2011-13. Olivadotti coached the Bulldogs’ linebackers in that span, while Macdonald was on the quality control level. After spending the past five seasons as the Packers’ ILBs coach, the 50-year-old assistant is expected to coach the Hawks’ linebackers.