Since Pete Carroll became Seattle's head coach, he has seen two defensive coordinators, Gus Bradley, then Dan Quinn, move on to become head coaches with other teams. The Seahawks have also lost assistants to promotions on other teams, including linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. who is now the defensive coordinator in Oakland.
And with the Seahawks again in the playoffs and six NFL teams looking for new head coaches, it's entirely possible that one or more Seahawks assistants could again be candidates for those jobs, whether that be offensive line coach/assistant head coach Tom Cable, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell or defensive coordinator Kris Richard.
But where some might see losing assistants as a negative, Carroll goes out of his way to help his coaches land those jobs if that is their goal. Of course it goes without saying that those assistant coaches' first priority this time of year is preparing the Seahawks for this week's game against the Detroit Lions, but if the opportunity arises and the timing works out, Carroll is all for promoting career advancement.
"Honestly to me, it's a very positive thing," Carroll said. "When guys come to this program and we first talk about coming, I'll tell them I'll do everything I can to help them get wherever they want to go and do whatever they want to do with their careers. I mean that. When the opportunity comes up and our guys are getting some looks and stuff, I'm the first one cheerleading for them and working with them, in every way that I can. Whether it's getting ready for interviews, getting ready for staff stuff, whatever they want. I'm not trying to tell them what to do, I'm just there available to help them because I want them to do well."
A big part of Carroll's coaching philosophy is striving to help people be the best they can be, and that includes coaches, so if he is going to stay true to that, helping an assistant earn a head coaching job only makes sense. But there is another reason to encourage the upward mobility of his assistants—it makes it a lot easier to hire the best candidates in the future when an opening arises.
"Part of that is the messaging for the next guys that come in," Carroll said. "I want the next guys that come in to know that if you come here, you'll get supported and you're going to have a chance to do whatever you dreamed of doing in your career. I'm going to bust my tail to help them do that."
Cable has been a head coach before, and he makes no secret of the fact that, in the right situation, he would be interested in being one again, so he can appreciate Carroll's willingness to help his assistants reach their career goals.
"Pete is great in regards to that," Cable said. "That's what he's training all of us to do. From the beginning, that was his philosophy. To try to do this better to take guys where they want to go. It's a great thought and opportunity down the road, but right now the most important thing is this football thing and Detroit."
Get to know the faces of the Detroit Lions' offensive and defensive units heading into the team's Wild Card playoff matchup with the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.