Is Mike Macdonald the ‘defensive Sean McVay’?

On Tuesday, the Washington Commanders’ head coaching search took an unexpected turn when Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson withdrew his name from the Washington and Seattle openings.

So, Washington’s head coaching search, which began with seven names, was essentially down to four: Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, Ravens associate head coach/defensive line coach Anthony Weaver, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn.

To the chagrin of most Washington fans, no names from the offensive side of the ball are listed among the perceived finalists.

It’s widely assumed that Commanders are down to Quinn and Macdonald; however, as we learned from the Johnson pursuit, things aren’t always as they appear. On Monday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said Washington liked Johnson, but he wasn’t the slam-dunk pick to the Commanders that many believed.

On Monday, Washington had a second interview with Weaver and Macdonald. On Tuesday, they met with Quinn in the morning and traveled to Detroit in the afternoon to interview Glenn.

Macdonald and Quinn are both believed to be finalists for the Seattle job, too.

Macdonald met with the Seahawks on Tuesday.

Quinn’s meeting with the Commanders went well on Tuesday, but it sounds like Macdonald has been impressing multiple teams.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said on Tuesday that one of the teams looking for a head coach this cycle called Macdonald the best interview they’ve had “by far.”

“He is young, he is bright, sort of the defensive Sean McVay is how he was described to me,” Rapoport said.

Rapoport called Macdonald a “really, really strong candidate” in Seattle.

In his appearance on Monday’s edition of “The Pat McAfee Show,” Schefter said Washington was impressed with Macdonald, Weaver and Glenn, and they all had a legitimate chance to become the next Commanders coach.

He didn’t mention Quinn.

Another nugget in that Schefter appearance: He spoke on the widespread assumptions that Johnson and Quinn to Seattle being locked into Washington and Seattle, respectively. He said he’d bet, at a minimum, one of those would not happen, maybe both. Well, Johnson didn’t happen. Was Schefter’s “maybe” in regard to Quinn to Seattle?

As for Macdonald, he has a connection to the Commanders. His wife, Stephanie, is a Virginia native and former Washington cheerleader.

Stephanie Macdonald spent eight seasons as an NFL cheerleader, including stints with the Titans and Ravens. Her final three seasons were with Washington. She sang the national anthem for the Commanders “a couple of times.”

In an interview with “The Purple Chair Podcast,” Stephanie Macdonald says she was raised a Washington fan, and her father remains a fan.

There’s also the connection between Mike Macdonald and Washington’s senior vice president of football strategy, Eugene Shen. Shen and Macdonald worked together for six seasons with the Ravens.

What does that mean for Washington’s chances with Macdonald? No one knows. However, if Macdonald’s interviews went as well as Rapoport believes, the Commanders could have a hard time keeping him away from Seattle.

Regardless, Washington’s coaching search should wrap up this week.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire