BY Art Thiel 07:54PM 12/29/2014

Thiel: Seahawks happy, healthier; Quinn sought

If getting a bye and home field weren’t enough, coach Pete Carroll said Monday some other injured players are likely to be ready to return by Jan. 10.

Pete Carroll wishes Jim Harbaugh “all the best” in his new gig at the University of Michigan. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Given the strife and tumult besetting NFL franchises in and out of the playoffs — Lions All-Pro DT Ndamukong Suh, making a late run for Dumbest Sports Guy of  2014, was suspended for Sunday’s playoff game against Dallas for stepping on Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers — the Seahawks figuratively are grinning by the fireside, surrounded by loved ones, on a bonus football holiday week wrapped around the civilian holiday week.

“We’re playing fast, our energy is there, we looking like we’re in midseason form,” coach Pete Carroll said Monday at his weekly press conference. “We’ll be fresher for this time of year. (The bye) is a huge advantage.”

He forecasted the return of WR Jermaine Kearse (hamstring) and was hopeful on DT Jordan Hill (knee) and CB Jeron Johnson (elbow), both hurt Sunday in the division-clinching, 20-6 win over St. Louis.

“We won’t practice those guys (this) week,” he said. “They will benefit from the week off. We’ll wait until we loop around to next week for those guys. They were hurt significantly . . . they’re not out at this point.”

C Max Unger (ankle), CB Tharold Simon and TE Cooper Helfet (ribs) are likely returnees, which could leave the Seahawks as healthy as they have been during the season.

“It’s going to make some difficult decisions on the roster,” he said. “It’s a good problem to have.

The best part about it is (being) home.”

Jets, 49ers to interview DC Quinn

After the season the Seahawks defense put in, it’s no surprise that coordinator Dan Quinn is a popular guy for head coaching vacancies. The 49ers and Jets, two of the five teams whose jobs came open Monday (also the Bears, Falcons and Raiders), have asked for permission to interview him this week.

The Jets will fly out their executives to Seattle Friday, the New York Daily News reported. The Jets fired coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik, a former Seahawks executive, after finishing 4-12 and missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

The Jets have also requested to interview Seattle’s director of pro personnel, Trent Kirchner, presumably to replace Idzik, according to

As expected, the 49ers, who finished 8-8, ousted Jim Harbaugh, who has agreed to return to his alma mater, the University of Michigan, with a press conference booked for Ann Arbor, MI., Tuesday. Reportedly he will receive a six-year deal for $48 million. He was making $5 million with the 49ers with another year to go

Quinn began his NFL coaching career with San Francisco in 2001 as the defensive quality control coach and later the defensive line coach. He served as the Jets defensive line coach from 2007-08 and has also been the defensive line coach for the Dolphins. He succeeded Gus Bradley as Seattle DC in last season. reported the request to interview. The 49ers will also interview Arizona’s DC. Todd Bowles.

Carroll wouldn’t confirm specific interest, but his phone is ringing.

“What we’d like to do is let the teams who are doing their work speak for who they’re talking to,” he said. “But there have been the calls coming in.”

Carroll bids Harbaugh good riddance bye

After winning five of the past six meetings between the clubs, Carroll apparently has chased his 49ers and USC rival, Harbaugh, from the pro game. Although Bay Area fans will say the dubious duo of owner Jed York and GM Trent Baalke were the principal perps in the offing.

“It’s good he’s out of here in that regard —  was tough,” Carroll said. “We wish him the very best. He had a fantastic run in this division. He meant a lot to us building up a little reputation of being a hard-nosed, tough division.

“I’m sure they’ll make a great replacement. He was tough to go against. We enjoyed it.”

Off the record (maybe?): Nee-ner, nee-ner, nee-ner.

2015 opponents set

The Seahawks’ opponents for  2015 have been set, although dates are months away.

At home the Seahawks will face the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers.

On the road, the Seahawks will face the Cardinals, 49ers, Rams, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings.

Neither list is in any order.

The schedule has six games against division rivals (Cardinals, 49ers, Rams), eight games against teams from two other rotating divisions (the AFC North and NFC North), and two games against teams that finished in the same place as the Seahawks in their respective divisions (the NFC South champion Panthers and NFC East champion Cowboys).


  • jafabian

    Curious that Tom Cable doesn’t get more interest. Does his Raiders stint hurt him? He may not be the Hawks OC but he is the associate head coach and he gets a lot out of what’s been a challenging O-Line the past three years. I’m sure Quinn will get a head coaching job in the offseason. Also curious that the Jets would go to that Seahawks well again after striking out with Idzik. IMO, that shows that his firing is more to placate fans than actually placing blame on him for their woes. But again, why go to that same well a second time? Jets fans will be asking that question.

    I would have loved to have been in the coaches office when they got official word on Harbaugh. I keep flashing back to the “What’s your deal” handshake.

    • 12th man

      According to my Raider fans in the East Bay, Cable had his opportunity and showed he was not head coach material. He was in over his head at Oakland.

      • jafabian

        The Raiders are not a model of stability when it comes to coaching tenures. Facebook has been around for 11 years and during that time not one post has been about the Raiders making the playoffs.

        • art thiel

          Failing in Oakland is not necessarily the coach’s fault. The Davis regime continues its foolishness.

        • eYeDEF

          Breaking an assistant’s nose in a meeting will earn a guy a rep of not being head coaching material irrespective of how bad it was to work for Al.

          And I’m sure it was bad.

          • jafabian

            That isn’t terribly unique. Heck, in baseball that didn’t stop the M’s from hiring Lou Pinella.

      • art thiel

        Possible, but give the man credit for capacity to change.

    • art thiel

      Cable is a darkhorse, but his Raider tenure hurts him. I sense a changed man emotionally and physically, and he has learned much on player management from Carroll.

    • 12th man

      The NY Jets have asked permission to interview Cable.

  • 1coolguy

    “the dubious duo of owner Jed York and GM Trent Baalke were the principal perps in the offing.”

    34 year old York will quickly realize he’s a dumb ass for not figuring out how to get along with Harbaugh, regardless of how difficult Harbaugh may be.
    Bottom line: From a SHAMBLES of an organization, Harbaugh made it to the NFC FINALS THREE straight years and the SB once.
    That means 14 NFC teams DID NOT make to to the NFC finals and 30 NFL teams didn’t make the SB.
    York has a very short memory of what the Niners were before Harbaugh and even though Harbaugh came across as an over exuberant jerk sometimes, he was YORK’S jerk who produced. It can be argued Harbaugh’s winning served to get Levi Stadium built, just as Safeco is the House that Junior built.
    Including post season the guy won 49 games in 4 years!
    6-10, 8-8, 7-9, 5-11, 7-9, 4-12, 2-14 were the Niners BEFORE Harbaugh.
    To all the youngsters out there, one aspect of being a success if hiring really good, really smart people then getting out of their way. York hasn’t learned this yet at his tender age.
    I hope to H they auger in the next few years so that everyone can blow up York and Baalke’s (and his daughters) Twitter accounts!
    Of course, this will bode well for the Hawks but we did just fine.
    I just hope Quinn uses his brain and does not sign with these fools, for his own sake.

    • art thiel

      York is over his head, and Baalke has his own ego issues. It will be tough on anyone. My guess is they will promote from within, Tomsula or Fangio. Quinn would be a good hire for them, and I wouldn’t blame him — it’s one of 32 in the world. Every NFL comes with baggage and weirdness. SF isn’t the worst.

  • 1coolguy

    Excellent reading for all Hawk fans: Kawakami is the San Jose Mercury News’ #1 sports writer and he just rips York in this article. Also, 99% of the reader comments rip York and Baalke.

    • art thiel

      Tim is on top of the Niners’ scene, and many readers can’t deal with his honesty regarding Harbaugh. Bad for them, good for Tim.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    On the Hawks being happier,healthier part? Going 9~1 to end your year has a way of airbrushing a smile on your face. What an accomplishment to be at home as Carroll alluded to~ you just cant understate that advantage.Top that off with we will almost certainly have a 1st round opponent we are familiar with…it will enhance film study.
    And the bye week to heal? Crucial….but this blue collar bunch wont change. It will be back to going 1~0 next week which could be a recipe for a little vitamin A in the Valley of the sun soon.

    • art thiel

      Beats hell out of flying to Carolina through the midwestern ice.

  • poulsbogary

    Looking way out here, but that home game with the Steelers should have a hype playoff-type vibe to it. Hawk fans will never forget.

  • Gerald Turner

    Hopefully we get to payback the Pittsburg pukes this season

  • I’m just wondering, how many resumés have “Head Coach, Raiders” on them. I’m willing to bet it’s a long list compared to the rest of the league. The Raiders go through coaches faster than a lot of teams go through quarterbacks.