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Report: Seahawks show interest in Chiefs assistant as defensive coordinator

Joe Cullen coaches the Chiefs defensive line.

NFL: DEC 17 Chiefs at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks are still searching for coordinators for their new coaching staff, and a new name has emerged on the defensive side of the ball.

CBS insider Jonathan Jones reports that Kansas City Chiefs defensive line coach Joe Cullen is a candidate to be Seattle’s defensive coordinator. Cullen is also drawing interest from the Washington Commanders and the University of Michigan, who just lost Jesse Minter to Jim Harbaugh’s Los Angeles Chargers staff.

The Commanders have hired Joe Whitt Jr as DC, so strike them off the list.

Cullen was the Ravens defensive line coach from 2016 to 2020, so he has prior experience working with head coach Mike Macdonald. He was hired by Urban Meyer to be the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defensive coordinator in 2021, which... yeah. Cullen quickly landed a job with Kansas City, where the head coach actually knows what he’s doing. The Chiefs defensive line includes Chris Jones and George Karlaftis, who both posted double-digit sacks in 2023.

Throughout his entire collegiate and professional coaching career, Cullen has been almost exclusively a defensive line coach or defensive coordinator. The Ravens defense fared well with Cullen on staff, and even the hapless Jaguars showed considerable improvement amid dysfunction. Obviously, Cullen is a little busy this week with the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers.

Regardless of who the defensive coordinator is, Macdonald told reporters on Thursday that the plan is for him to be the play-caller.