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Coaching notebook: Examining Seahawks', Commanders' HC vacancies; popular coordinator candidates

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With three games to go on the field in the 2023 season, there are also two head coach openings to go off the field. The Titans, Chargers, Falcons, and Panthers all hired coaches this week, leaving only the Seahawks and the Commanders remaining. Both are ready to take their time if this weekend's results dictate. There is also a trickle-down effect.

What's next for the two vacancies and all the resulting fallout? Here is where everything stands after conversations with a variety of NFL sources:

Seahawks general manager John Schneider has been methodical in his search that is now set to ramp up. After speaking with Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero this weekend, Seattle plans to meet for a second time with Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson early in the week. After that, the Seahawks' search committee expects to be in Baltimore if the Ravens lose. That way, it can speak with impressive young defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald for the first time. 

Because they were unable to interview him virtually during the Ravens' first-round bye, a Baltimore loss is the only way the Seahawks can speak with him next week. If the Ravens win, Seattle might wait until after the Super Bowl to speak with Macdonald. It’s similar to what the Colts did last year with then-Eagles OC Shane Steichen, who became their head coach. Often, it’s worth the wait, especially considering how slow the process has been around the NFL.

The Seahawks also spoke with Cowboys DC Dan Quinn early in the week, plus Raiders DC Patrick Graham and Giants OC Mike Kafka also interviewed in person.

Similar to the Seahawks, the Commanders' search committee has taken its time in a process that figures to ramp up soon. Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is set to meet with Washington early this week (flying there Monday and interviewing Tuesday), and he’s considered a strong candidate. On Tuesday, the plan is to travel to Detroit to visit for a second time with both Lions coordinators -- Ben Johnson and Aaron Glenn. In addition, Washington is also set to meet with Ravens defensive line coach and associate head coach Anthony Weaver early in the week, as his interviews have been noteworthy.

Johnson and Quinn have been considered to be among the top candidates throughout.

Owner Josh Harris wants a full look at each candidate, and the Commanders might even have finalists after the second interviews for more conversations. 

Dennard Wilson
Dennard Wilson
Ravens secondary coach

Wilson has emerged as a top defensive coordinator candidate, as the Giants, Titans and Rams all interviewed him on Saturday. Wilson’s work in the secondary for Baltimore this year has stood out, and it’s likely he lands as a DC whenever Baltimore’s season ends.

Brandon Staley
Brandon Staley
Former Chargers head coach

After an interview with the Packers for their defensive coordinator spot this week, Staley interviews with the Dolphins on Monday, a source said. Staley will have plenty of options as among the top -- if not the top -- defensive mind still available. 

Klint Kubiak
Klint Kubiak
49ers passing game specialist

Kubiak has received offensive coordinator interest, already interviewing with the Saints for their vacant job. Sources say he also has a slip from the Raiders, who might interview him early this week if the 49ers are out. Las Vegas is set to make an early decision this week either way.

The Bucs found themselves without an offensive coordinator thanks to the hire of Dave Canales in Carolina. While they do have an in-house candidate in quarterbacks coach Thad Lewis, the expectation is that they’ll open their search. Among the names who have interviewed or have been requested to interview: Former Bills OC Ken Dorsey, Texans QBs coach Jerrod Johnson, Eagles OC Brian Johnson and Lions WRs coach Antwaan Randle El.

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