The Seattle Seahawks made the most significant changes to their coaching staff this offseason since Pete Carroll was hired as the team’s head coach in 2010.
Eight coaches from last year’s staff aren’t returning in 2018, including each of the team’s top four assistants. Six coaches have been added to the group with three coaches moving to new roles as well. Carroll discussed his reasons for the changes for the first time in Indianapolis on Thursday.
“Wanted to make sure to challenge the opportunity to get better,” Carroll said. “Wanted to find ways to make… and there was some tough decisions here to get that done, but I wanted to work at changing just kind of the approach to it so that maybe we can find our ways and maybe some newness to uncover. It was difficult to make those choices, because the guys that left we have done so much together and worked together in great fashion. But I just felt it was time. It really just comes back to competing and just trying to find a way to get a little better. That’s why we made those choices.”
The team hired Brian Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator and Mike Solari as the offensive line coach. Ken Norton Jr. returns to the team to take over as defensive coordinator after three years with the Oakland Raiders. The team also hired Jethro Franklin as assistant defensive line coach, Larry Izzo as assistant special teams coach and Steve Shimko as an offensive assistant.
Seattle also moved Carl Smith from quarterbacks coach to associate head coach, moved Dave Canales from wide receivers coach to quarterbacks coach, and promoted Nate Carroll to wide receivers coach from the assistant position.
“I’m really excited about the guys that are here and how it’s working out so far,” Carroll said. “We are seeing the new energy. I am energized by it. The whole group is. And we are looking forward to working to see how it’s going to turn out.”
Carroll also made it clear that he wants Schottenheimer to be heavily involved with the progression of quarterback Russell Wilson.
“The quarterback will always be a focal point in your development and really excited about Schottenheimer coming in and Canales taking a hold of that thing and challenging him like maybe he has never been challenged before. That would be great,” Carroll said.
“I like the fact that he can connect the play caller and the quarterback leader, and the guy that’s going to be with him on the field, as well, on a regular basis. I like the fact that…I wanted to make that connection for Russell, so we could communicate directly with him in a little bit different fashion than we have. Dave Canales will work with him, too, of course, but I think Brian brings something that we are looking forward to seeing.”