Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll covered a wide range of topics during a 40-minute conversation with reporters this morning.
Carroll confirmed that Minnesota offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is a candidate for the offensive coordinator position and will be interviewed today.
Carroll also said he had a conversation with former Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels, now the offensive coordinator for St. Louis
“I got a call from Josh, I talked to him,” Carroll said.
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He did not confirm that Jim Zorn, now the quarterbacks coach for Baltimore, is a candidate for either the quarterbacks or offensive coordinator position.
“I’m not that far along right now,” Carroll said. “He’s a great coach, and he’s on another staff right now.”
On Jeremy Bates being fired as offensive coordinator, Carroll indicated that there was a difference in philosophy, and his dismissal had little to do with the offense’s performance this season.
“We saw things differently,” Carroll said about Bates’ departure. “And as we’re going to move ahead, I had some thought on how I wanted to go, and I think this was the best thing to do.”
And on the hiring of Tom Cable as assistant head coach/offensive line coach, Carroll sees Cable as a younger version of Alex Gibbs, who abruptly quit just before the season began, and wants the emphasis of the run game to once again become a focus of his offense.
Carroll said that Bates’ relationship with Gibbs had nothing to do with the longtime offensive line coach’s departure earlier this year.
“I’ve been working with Alex for years,” Carroll said. “And Tom was his No. 1 guy for a long time. So philosophically we’re able to recapture a younger version. Tom’s been on his own, and has proven he’s a tremendous football coach. He’s a tremendous line coach. He’s as good as you can find.”
Carroll said Cable will have say on the offensive coordinator hire.
“He’s the assistant head coach, so he’s involved in every aspect of the decision, yes,” Carroll said. “And I’ve been talking to him about that specifically, since the moment we got a chance to visit. So yeah, he is a big part of that.”
Carroll said that he did not hire Cable as the offensive coordinator because he wanted to structure it differently.
Carroll also addressed Cable’s off-the-field issues, including allegations of domestic violence and an altercation with assistant coach Randy Hanson during his time in Oakland that left Hansen with a broken jaw.
“Tom has dealt with all that in a very professional manner and taken care of business,” Carroll said. “And we’ve done our due diligence to understand the background and all of that. And I feel that this is a good time to come to us. And he’s going to get supported.”
Carroll also said that bringing back Matt Hasselbeck as the team’s quarterback is the No. 1 priority this offseason. And he admitted that changing offensive coordinators and installing a new offense could be troublesome with the uncertainty of the CBA and how much time coaches will have with players during the offseason.
“Matt finished beautifully with us,” Carroll said. “He did everything we asked of him. So we’ve already talked. We’ve already met – John (general manager John Schneider) and I sat down with Matt already, and we’re going to move forward. And we have to see what it all means, but we’re on it.”
Carroll went on to say he does not know when or how free agency will take place this season, so that will force the team to focus more on retaining the guys they believe that can help them moving forward along with the draft, and less on the free agency market.
“I can’t imagine that we’ll be anywhere close to the amount of transactions that took place this year,” Carroll said. “We don’t have any number in mind or care about that. But the attitude is not changing. The mentality of working hard and pushing to improve is going to be there.”
And Carroll said to expect that “always compete” theme to continue.
“As our guys went out the door, that’s what they were left with,” Carroll said. “When you come back, get ready. There’s going to be guys coming after your jobs, and the best man is going to win.”