Huard: Seahawks’ coaching changes not ‘a minor tweak’ but a ‘significant shakeup’
The Seahawks officially announced their coaching staff for the 2022 season on Tuesday afternoon, and while most of the names are familiar to fans of the team, the staff looks very different than it did a year ago.
Overall, the Seahawks have 22 coaches listed on their coaching staff. Of those 22, just eight are returning to the same role they had a year ago despite Seattle adding only three outside hires – associate head coach Sean Desai, defensive passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach Karl Scott and offensive passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal – to the mix.
The official announcement also verified what’s been reported for a while now, which is that defensive line coach/assistant head coach Clint Hurtt is now the defensive coordinator.
Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk Show told former NFL quarterback Brock Huard Wednesday morning that the new-look coaching staff signals that the Seahawks are “really consolidating and building behind” offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and “his vision.”
What does Huard think?
“I would agree with that. And there was a lot of movement, right? This was not just a ‘Hey, let’s elevate Clint Hurtt and let’s just keep things status quo,'” Huard said. ” … Shane Waldron and Clint Hurtt and those guys have to elevate and lead that entire staff. And Shane Waldron, I think you’re right, I think he’s kind of empowered to do so.”
Huard noted the offensive coaching staff looks very different than a year ago with Dave Canales, who was the passing game coordinator the last two seasons, returning to quarterbacks coach.
Additionally, head coach Pete Carroll’s son Nate is no longer receivers coach and is instead a senior offensive analyst, while Lal returns to the team after a year away with the Jacksonville Jaguars and assumes that role as well as Canales’ old passing game coordinator role.
The team also moved on from veteran offensive line coach Mike Solari and promoted running game coordinator Andy Dickerson to that position. With Dickerson now Seattle’s offensive line coach, running back coach Chad Morton adds the running game coordinator title to his duties, as well.
“This was not just a minor tweak. This was a shakeup,” Huard said.
Huard pointed to the Seahawks having just 10 coaches in the same roles as last season, but he noted that this shakeup goes back even further as Seattle has just three coaches in the same roles they had in 2020. Those coaches are Carroll, linebackers coach John Glenn and tight ends coach Pat McPherson.
“Over the last two years, this is a major, major shakeup,” Huard said.
Huard wants to know how much of this was directed by Carroll versus ownership and the front office.
“I’ll be very curious when Pete finally meets with the media and finally discusses all of this, what was the impetus? And how long was this building?” he said. “And how much of a say did (owner Jody Allen) and others have in this, or (general manager) John Schneider have in this? There’s a lot to be sorted but to finally look at the list in totality, this is not a tweak, this is a shakeup.”
With such a major shakeup to the coaching staff happening for the 2022 season, Huard wants to see the players respond right off the bat.
“I think they’d better get to work. I think much like a new system was brought in last year, with now new assistants in a lot of different places and empowering a voice in Clint Hurtt to be D-coordinator, you know what you need to do? Practice,” Huard said. “And you know what needs to happen here in mid to late April? Everybody get on that campus and get to work within the program.”
Last April, Seahawks team leaders announced that they would be opting out of voluntary in-person practices amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Many veterans did arrive, however, for the final stage of organized team activities (OTAs) just before mandatory minicamp began. In 2020 at the start of the pandemic, offseason workouts and meetings were held virtually until minicamp began in the summer.
Veterans skipping optional OTAs isn’t anything new and happened even before the pandemic began, but Huard thinks it’s critical that Seahawks players maximize their time spent with the new-look coaching staff, especially after players admitted last season that there were some growing pains in the first year of Waldron’s offense.
“Pete has shaken this thing up. And offensively, defensively, you’re going to see some new wrinkles, you’re going to see some new scheme,” Huard said. “Desai comes in and he’s going to bring, I think, a new perspective, a new set of eyes. You know what this can’t be? ‘Well, we’re good. I’m good, man. I don’t really need OTAs. What are these? Who needs practice? Who needs it in April and May and June?’
“You know who needs it? The Seahawks need it.”
Huard pointed to ESPN’s early offseason power rankings, which had the Seahawks listed at 23rd out of the NFL’s 32 teams, as a reason players need to show up to early practices.
“I hope that with this pretty significant shakeup with new voices and new leadership, I hope the leadership of (captains Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner) and the players, the veteran guys say … ‘Get our butts back in that facility, get our butts back on the practice field, get our butts spending time together, because we’re going to need to do that amid some new voices and new faces.'”
Listen to the full second hour of Wednesday’s Mike Salk Show at this link or in the player below.