After 14 seasons on the job, Pete Carroll is done as the Seahawks’ head coach, moving off the sidelines and into an advisory role on Wednesday. Carroll had told reporters following the 2023 season he expected to return to his post in 2024, but now the 72-year-old former Super Bowl champion has cleared the way for a successor.
Seattle experienced sustained success under Carroll’s leadership, making the playoffs in 10 of his 14 years atop the staff, but failed to reach the postseason in two of his last three seasons. Who’s most likely to take over now that he’s hung up the headset? Here are five logical candidates to become the Seahawks’ next head coach:
5. Ben Johnson
Current title: Lions offensive coordinator
If it’s new and innovative designs the Seahawks are seeking by bumping Carroll upstairs, then Johnson, 37, could very well be their guy. Hailed for designing a quarterback-friendly system in Detroit, where he’s a big reason for the Lions hosting their first playoff game in 30 years, Johnson could help usher Seattle into a more forward-thinking era.
4. Mike Vrabel
Current title: Former Titans head coach
All indications are that Vrabel, 48, was ousted in Tennessee not so much for a lacking track record — he led three playoff runs in his first four years on the job — but a misaligned vision with changing team brass. In Seattle, where presumably the goal is to remain in win-now mode with veterans at key positions, he might find a welcome new home. His defensive prowess could also be a perfect addition considering Seattle’s recent struggles on that side.
3. Shane Waldron
Current title: Seahawks offensive coordinator
Carroll staying within the organization could signal an effort to maintain as much continuity as possible, in which case Waldron, 44, makes a world of sense as an in-house promotion. After four years under Sean McVay in Los Angeles, he became Seattle’s OC in 2021, helping the…