For the first time since 2011, the Seattle Seahawks are looking for a new offensive coordinator.
That is, unless they've already zeroed in on one.
There's a good chance the search was already underway before Wednesday's announcement that the Seahawks had fired Darrell Bevell along with offensive line coach/assistant head coach Tom Cable.
Seattle's coaching staff as a whole appears to be undergoing a major overhaul with reports that defensive coordinator Kris Richard is also among those who aren't expected to return in 2018. But whatever coordinator is running Seattle's defense will really be running coach Pete Carroll's defense. That means the offensive coordinator vacancy might be the most important one Seattle has to fill.
Two names that can be crossed off the list of possible candidates: Steve Sarkisian and Gary Kubiak. Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn told reporters Wednesday there's "zero chance" of Sarkisian, his offensive coordinator, leaving for Seattle. Kubiak, the former Houston Texans and Denver Broncos coach, is expected to remain in a front-office role with the Broncos.
As for possible candidates, here are some names to know based on either reported interest from the Seahawks, potential availability and/or how the individual's background might make for an appealing match:
Brian Schottenheimer: The NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the Seahawks have interest in the 44-year-old Schottenheimer, who's spent the past two seasons as the Indianapolis Colts' quarterbacks coach. He was the New York Jets' OC from 2006-11, a stretch in which they made back-t0-back AFC Championship Games with Mark Sanchez as their quarterback. The St. Louis Rams had below-average offenses during Schottenheimer's three seasons as their OC from 2012-14, but that was with backups at quarterback half the time because starter Sam Bradford missed 25 games because of a pair of ACL injuries. Schottenheimer's father is longtime NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer, who worked with Seahawks general manager John Schneider in Kansas City and Washington, for whatever that may be worth.
John DeFilippo: He's spent the past two seasons as the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterbacks coach and his stock has soared after the work he's done with Carson Wentz. DeFilippo has been credited with helping Wentz improve his mechanics and make a second-year leap into an MVP candidate. The 39-year-old DeFilippo drew interest from the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals for their head coach vacancies even though QB coaches don't often make that jump. His lone season as an offensive coordinator was in 2015 with the Cleveland Browns, who changed coaches after going 3-13. DeFilippo is reportedly not under contract with Philadelphia beyond this season. Any job he takes elsewhere might have to wait a bit longer, with the Eagles still in the playoffs.
John Morton: His lone season as an NFL offensive coordinator was this past season with the Jets, who finished 28th on offense with a unit that was hardly overflowing with talent. Morton, 48, has a direct connection to Carroll. He worked under him for three seasons at USC and was the Trojans' offensive coordinator in 2009, the year before Carroll left for Seattle. Morton sounds like a Carroll disciple. In his introductory news conference with the Jets, he called ball security his No. 1 priority and said, "If we win the turnover battle, we have a better chance of getting to the playoffs." Morton is a former wide receiver and has a background in the West Coast offense, having worked under Jon Gruden and Sean Payton.
Mike Shula: The 52-year-old Shula, whose father is hall of fame coach Don Shula, was fired this week after five seasons as the Carolina Panthers' offensive coordinator. Carolina was 19th in total offense in 2017 and never ranked better than 11th under Shula. Those are underwhelming results, to be sure, but Carolina's offense was affected this season by a lack of weapons at receiver. That No. 11 ranking came during Cam Newton's MVP season in 2015, when he threw for a career-high 35 touchdown passes and led the Panthers to the Super Bowl. Carroll has spoken highly of Carolina's rushing attack on several occasions in recent seasons. It's included a heavy dose of read-option plays with Newton, something Seattle had tremendous success with earlier in Russell Wilson's career.