The Falcons have officially named former Seahawks' Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn as their 16th Head Coach. This was the worst kept secret over the past few weeks as players have been singing his praises and wishing him good luck since early January. Regardless, it's now official, and Quinn can begin putting together his staff.
One notable addition to that staff is Seahawks' assistant OL coach Chris Morgan, who will take a promotion to OL coach in Atlanta. The Seahawks are still in good shape in that spot though, retaining, at least for now, both Tom Cable and longtime Carroll OL coach Pat Ruel.
Best of luck to Dan Quinn, who has always been a class act and player favorite in Seattle. His work has helped Seattle mold their defense into one the best groups in the NFL over the past two years, if not the best.
As for who will fill the Seahawks' now-vacant defensive coordinator position, I'll again refer to a succession list I put together with the help of Scott Enyeart a few weeks ago.
Internally, Passing Game Coordinator Rocky Seto, Linebackers Coach Ken Norton Jr, and Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard should likely be considered favorites for the Defensive Coordinator job.
Seto has been with Pete since the first staff at USC and has served as his Defensive Coordinator once there before. Norton also been with Pete for a number of years, and we all know his persona and style. Richard is the hot name currently -- he's done an amazing job helping Carroll develop the Legion of Boom into the elite group in the NFL, and he also played for Pete as well, so he knows this system inside and out.
Those are the internal names to watch for. As for external names, here are a few guys with connections to Carroll. These are in no particular order:
San Jose State Defensive Coordinator Greg Robinson:
Robinson is a longtime Carroll protege, dating back to the NY Jets days. He served as Carroll's DC in NY in 1994. He was the defensive coordinator for the Broncos from 1995-2000, including two Super Bowl seasons. He's been a defensive line coach at times during his career so if Carroll wants to replace Quinn with another DL guy, this is an option.
Jacksonville Jaguars Defensive Backs Coach DeWayne Walker:
Walker is another longtime carroll protege, and he coached with Carroll in New England and first staff at USC. He was a Defensive Backs coach in the NFL (Washington, New York Giants), and he was Defensive Coordinator at UCLA from 2006-2008 then head coach at New Mexico State from 2009-2012 before going back to the NFL.
Miami Hurricanes Defensive Line Coach Jethro Franklin:
Again, another Defensive Line coach that could fill a vacant role, depending on who leaves. Franklin coached DL under Carroll at USC in 2005 and 2009, spent 2006-2008 in the NFL with the Bucs and Texans, and spent a year at Temple.
Jaguars Defensive Line Coach Todd Wash:
Wash coached Defensive Line in Seattle with Carroll in 2011 and 2012 before leaving with Gus Bradley for the same position in Jacksonville. Wash has played and coached alongside Bradley for many years, dating back to their time together as players and coaches at North Dakota State.
After playing outside linebacker in college and a brief try at the NFL, Wash got into coaching and broke into the NFL as a defensive quality control coach with the Buccaneers while Bradley was the team's linebackers coach. Many coaches start their careers in quality control, and after cutting his teeth, he was promoted to defensive line coach and held the position in Tampa Bay for three seasons before joining Carroll and Bradley's staff in Seattle in 2011.
Dallas Cowboys Assistant Head Coach of Defense Monte Kiffin:
Kiffin was one of Carroll's primary mentors, along with Bud Grant and Bill Walsh. He's a longtime NFL defensive coordinator.
Jacksonville Jaguars Linebackers Coach Scottie Halzelton:
Halzelton has never coached with Carroll, but is a respected coach and disciple of Monte Kiffin. Carroll has gone to the Kiffin "well" before for other hires, so it's not unreasonable to think he may do it again.
Falcons Defensive Line Coach Ray Hamilton:
Hamilton coached with Carroll in New England, and is a longtime NFL assistant.
New Mexico State Defensive Coordinator Larry Coyer:
Longtime coach, was defensive line coach with Carroll in New York in 1994.
Jaguars Defensive Coordinator Bob Babich:
Babich is another Kiffin disciple that would be an option for Carroll. Was a longtime coach with the Bears.
Couple other long shots, but worth noting:
Bo Pelini - Pete's Linebackers coach in NE, but just took a job with Youngstown St.
Ed Ogeron - Pete's DL coach at USC, but just took at job as DL coach at LSU.
Candidates who were eliminated:
Joe Barry - Played at USC pre-carroll era, just signed in Washington as DC. Another Kiffin disciple.