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February 7, 2015 at 10:51 AM

Saturday links and notes: More on coaching situation, and some salaries become guaranteed

One thing about the new NFL, there really isn’t much of an off-season anymore.

While the games are now done until September — and even a little later than usual with the schedule pushed back a week next year — there will be a steady trickle of events and news throughout the off-season.

Right now, Seattle’s focus is on reassembling its defensive coaching staff, which has taken some hits with the loss of three coaches, including defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to Atlanta.

As written today, expect Kris Richard to be named the new DC soon, possibly early next week, though there’s a chance the team may want to wait until all of its defensive coaching jobs are filled and announce everything at once.

That will likely also mean a new job title for defensive passing game coordinator Rocky Seto, who would take over the secondary. The Seahawks have updated the coaching staff page of their website to reflect the departures of Norton, Manual and Quinn — everyone else remains in place at the moment.

That would leave the linebackers coach job (Ken Norton, Jr.) and another defensive assistant position (Marquand Manual) to be filled. Manual worked primarily with the defensive backs, so the Seahawks would look for someone to fill a similar role.

If you’re worried about Richard’s relative lack of experience as he takes over the DC role, history shows it may work out just fine.

Gus Bradley had just three years of NFL coaching experience as a linebackers coach with Tampa Bay before becoming the DC with the Seahawks in 2009 under Jim Mora and then keeping that job when Carroll arrived in 2010 (Carroll, like Bradley, was a Monte Kiffin protege). That obviously worked out just fine.

Quinn had also never been an NFL defensive coordinator before replacing Bradley in 2013 — he had been one at Florida in 2011-12 — and that also obviously worked out just fine.

As you’ve heard numerous players say since it became apparent Quinn was leaving, while they will miss Quinn, it’s the players that play the game. Seattle could return nine or 10 starters — or even every defensive starter if it really wanted to — off of the 2014 team. That’s the bigger deal, as is the fact that Carroll is a defensive coach and nothing will really change all that much as long as he’s in charge.

Carroll actually was USC’s defensive coordinator his first five years there before hiring Nick Holt to fill that job in 2006. You can insert your own joke here about the fact that the combination of Carroll and USC was able to turn Holt into one of the most highly-sought after DCs in college football.

So while change always brings some unknown, the combination of Carroll and a relatively stable Seattle defense still in its prime should mean a pretty seamless transition to the Richard era.


As noted in a series of Tweets by former NFL agent-turned-writer/broadcaster Joel Corry, that most or all of the 2015 contracts of a number of key Seahawks became guaranteed today. None are a surprise and none changes anything about what the team may do going forward as all are players who would be back under any circumstance — Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, K.J. Wright, Doug Baldwin and Cliff Avril.

That’s an impressive group of players, tough, and speaks as loudly as anything about why the hopes for this team to remain a Super Bowl contender for the next few years remains strong (though now to make sure all of the LOB guys get and stay healthy).






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