By Gregg Bell
The News Tribune
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll’s vow to “compete our butt off to figure out how to get better” has led to the most sweeping remake yet of his coaching staff.
How sweeping? The remake, officially announced this weekend, ends at eight assistants fired or otherwise gone, six new coaches hired and two reassigned to other positions on the overhauled staff.
The newest confirmed moves — beyond the team’s previously announced hires of Brian Schottenheimer as new offensive coordinator, Ken Norton Jr. returning from Oakland to be the defensive coordinator and Mike Solari as the offensive line coach — are:
n Jethro Franklin, a 27-year coaching veteran, as the assistant defensive line coach
n Former New England Patriot Larry Izzo as assistant special teams coach
n And Steve Shimko as a first-time NFL offensive assistant
Carroll also moved Carl Smith from quarterbacks coach to a relatively ceremonial title of associate head coach. The 69-year-old Smith was Russell Wilson’s position coach from Wilson’s rookie season through last season, Seattle’s first without a playoff appearance in six years.
Seattle confirmed Dave Canales, the former wide receivers coach, is the new quarterbacks coach. Thirty-year-old Nate Carroll, the head coach’s youngest son, moves to wide receivers coach after four seasons as the team’s assistant wide receivers coach.
Franklin was Norton’s defensive line coach in Oakland from 2015 through last season, Norton’s time as the Raiders’ defensive coordinator. Clint Hurtt returns as the Seahawks’ defensive line coach for 2018, with Franklin assisting.
Izzo, a three-time Super Bowl-winning player with the Patriots, comes to the Seahawks after spending 2016 and 2017 as the Houston Texans’ special-teams coordinator. Brian Schneider remains Seattle’s special-teams coordinator.
Shimko worked with Schottenheimer at the University of Georgia in 2015. Shimko spent the past two years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Garden City Community College in Kansas.
The Seahawks have changed their top four assistant coaches since their 2017 season finale on New Year’s Eve. Last month, Carroll fired Darrell Bevell, his offensive coordinator since 2011, and defensive coordinator Kris Richard, who had been on his staff since 2008 at USC.
Bevell was reported to be a candidate for OC jobs with the Giants and Colts, but New York hired Mike Shula and Indianapolis went with Nick Sirianni.
The Dallas Cowboys hired Richard to be their secondary coach and passing-game coordinator.
Carroll, working with Seahawks general manager John Schneider for the ninth consecutive offseason, foreshadowed these staff changes last month.
“John and I have a big job,” Carroll said Jan. 2, two days after Seattle’s 9-7 season ended. “As I always say at this time of year, there’s a lot of huge decisions to be made, and we’re faced with big challenges, always. There’s a lot of people and families involved, heartfelt friends and loved ones that we’re dealing with. We take all that into account to compete our butt off to figure out how to get better, and back on track, the way we want to be.”
Carroll is scheduled to talk for the first time about his new coaches — plus everything else related to his team — at 9 a.m. PST Thursday at the NFL’s Scouting Combine in Indianapolis