Just when it seemed there was a good chance the Baltimore Ravens could retain Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald, following a flurry of head coach hires around the league, that might still be in jeopardy.
The #Seahawks plan to interview #Ravens DC Mike Macdonald for HC this week if Baltimore loses, sources say. If the Ravens win, Seattle has to wait. And SEA seems willing to do so -- a la Shane Steichen last year.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 28, 2024
This and more in my coaching notebook: https://t.co/Vlf8tKuinC
If the Ravens prevail, the Seahawks would have to wait until after the Super Bowl to be able to interview Macdonald. They missed the window to interview him while the Ravens were on their first-round bye during leading up to Wildcard Weekend. The Indianapolis Colts had to exhibit the same amount of patience last year before officially hiring Shane Steichen, who was serving as the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator through the Super Bowl.
The Seahawks recently conducted a second interview with Carolina Panthers Defensive Coordinator Ejiro Evero over the weekend and have intentions of interviewing Detroit Lions Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson a second time. However, they’d have to wait to talk to Johnson again if the Lions upset the No. 1 seeded San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night in the NFC title game.
Seattle also spoke with Dallas Cowboys Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn early last week. They interviewed Las Vegas Raiders Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham and New York Giants Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka in person as well.
Macdonald was expected to be one of the hottest names in this year’s hiring cycle, along with Johnson. There’s only two vacancies left in Seattle and the nation’s capital with the Washington Commanders, who also requested to interview them both. The two young star play-callers might be leading their own team as soon as this week or the second week of February if their current teams play in the Super Bowl. When the Lions came to Baltimore in Week 7, the Ravens dismantled and held Detroit’s potent offense to just six points and recorded five sacks.
The Seahawks targeting Macdonald would be a brilliant, forward-thinking move, given difficult to slow down the Kyle Shanahan offense and those of its ilk have been to deal with. The Ravens beat a quartet of offenses with roots or ties to one of the best coaching trees in league history. That includes the Houston Texans twice, the Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Rams, and San Francisco 49ers.
No defensive play-caller in the league has proven to be as effective against that style of offense as the 36-year-old. Macdonald is still just in his second season designing and calling plays for a dominant Ravens’ defense. His unit features a rare blend of ascending young talent and experienced veterans, several of whom are having career years.
If Macdonald gets poached, the Ravens would have to act quickly if they want any hope of promoting Defensive Backs Coach Dennard Wilson, who is emerging as a hot name for teams looking to fill their defensive coordinator vacancies. He interviewed with the New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, and Rams over the weekend and is expected to finally land a play caller job this cycle. He was passed over for the Eagles’ position last year in favor of Sean Desai, who was relieved of his duties before the season was even over.