Seahawks add 3 to coaching staff including former DB DeShawn Shead
The Seahawks already made two coaching hires this offseason with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and running game coordinator Andy Dickerson, but that won’t be all as Seattle announced three more coaching staff hires on Wednesday.
Former Seahawks defensive back and special teams captain DeShawn Shead will be returning to Seattle, as will longtime Pete Carroll assistant and confidant Carl “Tater” Smith. Additionally, Smith’s son Tracy Smith will join the coaching staff. The Seahawks also officially promoted Larry Izzo to special teams coordinator.
An undrafted rookie free agent out of Portland State in 2012, Shead worked his way from Seattle’s practice squad to someone who played in 54 games for the Seahawks from 2013 to 2017, including 22 starts. He played both safety spots as well as cornerback. Shead had two interceptions and 24 pass breakups during his tenure with the Seahawks and was also a standout special teams player and a one-time special teams captain.
Shead, 31, will serve as a defensive assistant/defensive backs coach. It is his first NFL coaching job.
Carl “Tater” Smith
Carl Smith returns to Seattle after serving two years with the Houston Texans. He will be the Seahawks’ associate head coach.
Carl Smith has a long relationship with Carroll dating back to the early 1980s. He worked for Carroll in New England as well as at USC and came to the Seahawks in 2011 until 2018. He was quarterbacks coach for from 2011 to 2017, and was an associate head coach in 2018.
Tracy Smith also returns to the Seahawks, where he coached for one season in 2011 as an assistant. He has also worked for the 49ers, Browns, Raiders and was the Texans’ special teams coordinator in 2020, where he worked alongside his dad, Carl.
Just ahead of the 2020 season opener, the Seahawks announced that Izzo would be the team’s interim special teams coordinator as the man who held that position, Brian Schneider, was away from the team for personal reasons.
Schneider, who has been with Carroll since 2009 at USC, returned to the team during the season, but Izzo kept the coordinator duties. After the 2020 season concluded, Schneider took the special teams coordinator job with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Now, Izzo officially has the coordinator job.
Izzo has been with the Seahawks since 2018 working with the special teams and spent seven years as a coach before that with the Texans and New York Giants. He played in the NFL for 14 seasons.
A big part of why the Seahawks went 12-4 in 2020 was the play of the special teams. Punter Michael Dickson had a great year, kicker Jason Myers was perfect, long snapper Tyler Ott and special teams standout Nick Bellore were Pro Bowlers and Seattle’s punt and kickoff units were strong and rarely penalized. Additionally, the Seahawks didn’t have any kicks or punts blocked.