The Seahawks’ largest shakeup of their coaching staff of the Pete Carroll era continues. But now it’s behind the scenes.
Now, for what it signals for franchise quarterback Russell Wilson...
Reports from the East Coast through Arizona say Carroll is not done remaking a new staff one week after firing his top four assistants and replacing them, including with Ken Norton Jr. returning to the team as defensive coordinator and Mike Solari back as the offensive line coach nine years after he left Seattle. Carroll is reportedly intent on moving wide receivers coach Dave Canales, 36, to be the Seahawks’ new quarterbacks coach to replace long-time Carroll assistant Carl Smith.
That would be the fifth coaching move in the last two weeks. This month Carroll’s Seahawks missed the playoffs for the first time in six years.
On Tuesday the report on Canales becoming QBs coach gained steam--and credence over former NFL GM Michael Lombardi suggesting last weekend Jim Zorn may be the Seahawks’ new QB coach. arizonasports.com reported the Cardinals denied the Seahawks permission to talk to Arizona’s assistant wide receivers coach Kevin Garver--presumably to become Canales’ back-fill as Seattle’s wide receivers coach.
Earlier Tuesday the Cardinals hired former Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks as their new head coach.
Garver is a 2009 graduate of Alabama with a degree in marketing. He spent six years on Nick Saban’s staff as an offensive assistant for the Crimson Tide, who won three national championships in four years while Garver worked at Alabama. The Cardinals hired him in 2013. He got promoted to assistant wide receivers coach last year by now-retired Arizona head man Bruce Arians.
The interest in moving Canales to quarterbacks coach strongly suggests Seattle’s new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer will have a role similar to the one predecessor Darrell Bevell had for the last seven years with the Seahawks: Essentially as Wilson’s intricate position coach as well as the play caller.
Canales played wide receiver at Azusa Pacific University through 2003. He began his coaching career the following year, at the high-school level in the Los Angeles area. Carroll hired him in 2009 to be his assistant strength and video man at USC. Carroll then brought Canales with him to Seattle the following year to be an offensive administrative assistant. Carroll promoted him to wide receivers coach before the 2015 season, when Kippy Brown retired. The only time in Canales’ 14 years as a football coach he’s solely coached quarterbacks was in 2008 at El Camino College, a two-year community college.
Like Bevell, Schottenheimer played quarterback in college, at Kansas and then on Steve Spurrier’s Florida team that won the national championship in 1996. The 44-year-old Schottenheimer has been an NFL assistant for 18 years. All but two of those years in the league he’s coached and worked intricately with quarterbacks. That includes Andrew Luck and Indianapolis’ as the Colts QBs coach the past two seasons.
Last week Kellen Clemens, a veteran quarterback who has had Schottenheimer as his coach for seven of his 11 seasons in the league, portrayed Schottenheimer as anything but an overseeing delegator of QBs while as a coordinator.
And Clemens said Wilson, who has two years left on his $87.6 million Seahawks contract, will benefit from Schottenheimer’s exacting hands-on style.
“Brian understands how to get players in positions to make plays--and he’s got some play makers there in Seattle,” Clemens told me on Seattle’s KJR-AM radio Thursday.
“It all starts with the trigger guy, Russell Wilson. He’ll try to maximize (Wilson’s) talents and what he does well. ... Brian is very detailed-specific. One thing Brian does is he’s going to hold people accountable.”
Smith, who turns 70 in April, has been believed for weeks to be moving out of the Seahawks’ quarterback job, perhaps into a senior, more advisory role on Carroll’s staff.
Seattle’s absolutely remade staff.