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Sources: Darrell Bevell firing by Seahawks could be first of many coaching changes

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 10, 2018, 3:22 p.m.

In this June 18, 2015 file photo, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, right, speaks with defensive coordinator Kris Richard during the team’s minicamp in Renton, Wash. (Joe Nicholson / Associated Press)
In this June 18, 2015 file photo, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, right, speaks with defensive coordinator Kris Richard during the team’s minicamp in Renton, Wash. (Joe Nicholson / Associated Press)

The firing of Darrell Bevell as the Seattle Seahawks’ offensive coordinator could be just the beginning of multiple changes on the team’s coaching staff.

Several reports also surfaced Wednesday morning that Seattle could be parting ways with defensive coordinator Kris Richard, with Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network stating that Richard “would be allowed out of his contract for another opportunity.”

Richard interviewed last Friday for the head coaching job with the Indianapolis Colts but could also pursue other vacancies amid growing rumblings he won’t be back as the team’s defensive coordinator. Dave Mahler of KJR-AM reported that sources have told him Richard will not be back regardless.

One source confirmed to the Seattle Times that several assistant coaches, including Richard, were being encouraged to look around at possible other openings as the team looks to shake up the coaching staff following a disappointing 9-7 season that finished with Seattle out of the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

Richard has been the team’s defensive coordinator since 2015 when he replaced Dan Quinn, who became the head coach with the Atlanta Falcons.

The Seahawks could also be looking at other changes on the offensive coaching staff, specifically offensive line coach Tom Cable and quarterbacks coach Carl Smith, but possibly others, as well.

One source told the Times that additional offensive coaching staff changes could wait until the hiring of a new offensive coordinator. But depending on the new OC – who would undoubtedly be given the latitude to hire much of his own staff – among the changes could be a new offensive line coach.

Cable has been Seattle’s offensive line coach since 2011. He has coordinated the team’s running game since then and also carries the title of assistant head coach.

But a new OC would be given the ability to hire a new offensive line coach and it’s thought that the Seahawks have told Cable to pursue other opportunities, as well, with uncertainty surrounding the entire offensive coaching staff. There has also been speculation that Cable could be promoted to offensive coordinator but one source indicated it’s unclear if that’s an option.

When asked about assistant coaching changes last week when during his postseason press conference, Carroll mentioned some coaches having other opportunities.

“There’s guys up for jobs now, and this is that time of year when stuff happens, and we’ll see what goes on,” Carroll said. “… I think a lot of respect is to be dealt to these guys. They have families and lives and careers and dreams and hopes as we all do, and we’ll see what happens. I’ve always been here to help our guys, and I want them to go and do what they’re capable of doing and meet their challenges of their lifetime as well, and I’m up for that. When it works out, I do everything I can to help them and we’ll see what happens.”

There has also been speculation about the fate of Smith, who has been Seattle’s QB coach since 2011 but will turn 70 in April. Smith could get a different position with the team instead of returning as QB coach.

As for who will replace any fired coaches?

One immediately mentioned possibility to become the new OC was former UW coach Steve Sarkisian, now the offensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons.

But Quinn told reporters in Atlanta Wednesday that there is “zero chance” Sarkisian will leave the Falcons, who are preparing for a divisional playoff game Saturday against the Eagles.

As for who would replace Richard?

Two possible candidates – Mike Pettine and Gus Bradley – found new jobs in the last day or so. Pettine, a former head coach of the Cleveland Browns who it was reported did some consulting work this year for the Seahawks, was hired Tuesday as the defensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers, while Bradley was retained by the Los Angeles Chargers, where he worked this season on a one-year contract. Bradley was Seattle’s defensive coordinator from 2010-12 before leaving to become the head coach of the Jaguars and replaced in Seattle by Quinn.

Seattle promoted Richard in 2015 when it also considered linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. That compelled Norton to leave to become the DC for the Raiders.

Norton was fired at midseason this year and was recently hired as the linebackers coach of the 49ers and while there has been speculation he could return to Seattle it’s unclear if he can be an option.