The Washington Redskins began what appears likely to be a wide-ranging search for a new head coach to replace the fired Mike Shanahan . Team officials traveled west to meet with Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and scheduled an interview for this weekend with Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.
Meantime, Baylor University Coach Art Briles, who coached Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III in college, told reporters at the Fiesta Bowl that he had not heard from the team at this point.
The Redskins requested and were granted permission by the Seahawks to interview Bevell, according to a person familiar with the situation. It was believed the interview was to take place Tuesday in Seattle, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Under league rules, Bevell is eligible to interview for head coaching jobs this week since the Seahawks, like McDermott’s Panthers, have a first-round playoff bye. Under those rules, the interview takes place in the city where the assistant coach works and the assistant coach’s team has input as to when the interview occurs.
Bevell, 43, could be an attractive option after working with young quarterback Russell Wilson in Seattle. He previously worked with Brett Favre in Green Bay and Minnesota.
The interview with McDermott, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed, is scheduled for Saturday in Charlotte.
McDermott, a William and Mary graduate, spent the first 11 years of his coaching career with the Philadelphia Eagles, taking over as defensive coordinator in 2009. He has served as Carolina’s defensive coordinator since 2011.
Under McDermott, 39, Carolina’s defense ranks second in the league this season, limiting teams to 301.3 yards and 15.1 points a game.
Briles would also be coveted for his ability to work with Griffin, but he said he hadn’t heard from any NFL teams.
“I don’t think I’ve got a missed call from Dan Snyder, do I?” Briles told reporters as his team prepared to play in Wednesday’s Fiesta Bowl, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “Okay.”
“It’s all rumors and speculation,” Briles said. “I haven’t had any contact with anyone collegiately or NFL. My focus is on winning this football game, being a Baylor Bear. The six years I’ve been at Baylor, I’ve never interviewed while I’ve been there. I love the job. I love where I’m at.”
Likewise, ESPN reported that Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin will remain at the school and will not consider any offers from NFL teams. It is not clear if Sumlin was on the Redskins’ list of candidates.
General Manager Bruce Allen didn’t specify on Monday what type of coach he was looking for to replace Shanahan, who came in with an offense-focused background but was fired on Monday after four seasons with the team. Allen said only, “We want to pick the right coach, the right leader for this franchise that can inspire this football team, that can lead this team and teach them the fundamentals that are so critical in the game.”
Allen had said that the Redskins would leave their front office in its current structure with Director of Pro Personnel Morocco Brown and Director of Player Personnel Scott Campbell reporting to him. Allen did say, however, that the team could make another hire, giving Campbell and Brown someone to assist them.
Former Redskins quarterback Doug Williams, who worked with Allen in Tampa Bay, has been mentioned as a possible candidate. When reached on Tuesday, Williams said that he has yet to hear from the Redskins, but added that he would be receptive to the opportunity to join the front office.
On Monday, a person familiar with the situation called former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith a legitimate candidate for the head coaching vacancy. Smith already has interviewed for the Houston Texans job and has been mentioned as a potential leading candidate for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher also has been mentioned as a prospective candidate for the Redskins. There have been reports that the Redskins already have been in contact with Cowher. One person who has worked with Cowher said Monday, however, that he “would be surprised if he coached anywhere this year.”