The Seahawks are bringing back two familiar faces to the sidelines, Carl Smith and DeShawn Shead. The team could use some good news after this past week, and they got it.
The Seahawks aren’t exactly in a good place, 12s. It appears that QB Russell Wilson is less than happy with the direction he sees for the future of the Seahawks. From all reports, Pete Carroll and John Schneider don’t agree with him. So it’s good to see any good news coming out of Renton. In my mind, the returns of Carl Smith and DeShawn Shead are very good, indeed.
I’m sure all try 12s remember Carl Tater Smith. He served as the Seahawks quarterback coach from 2011- 2017, and associate head coach the following year. He spent the last two seasons with the Texans and is now back in the fold. Wilson obviously has more than a little familiarity with the man. Carroll and Smith have worked together, off and on, since 1997.
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Smith is not returning as the QB coach, but reportedly will assist Caroll in in-game management. Read that as watching the clock. With his familiarity with Wilson, you can be sure he’ll offer his observations on Number 3’s play as well. But from all appearances, the biggest reason for his return is as a sounding board – an honest one – for Pete Carroll. This is what Seattle’s head coach had to say about the return of Tater Smith, as reported by Ben Arthur for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
“The true loyalty is the people that will tell you what you need to hear when you might not want to hear it, you know?” Carroll said Jan. 11. “‘Tater’ (Smith) would tell me anything, you know? He was awesome. I demanded it of him because he knew the truth and he needed to speak to me. So I’ve lost a few guys like that. It is something I’m looking at.”
Reportedly, Wilson said that Carroll answers to no one. As this hire was actually in place in January, it seems that Pete recognized the need for an honest voice, to hold him accountable. That can only be a good thing for the Seahawks. And god knows, they can use another set of eyes on the game clock.
As for the second hire, I’m even more excited about the return of former corner DeShawn Shead. He was never a star at the level of Richard Sherman, to be certain, but his work ethic and occasional spectacular play definitely made him a fan favorite in Seattle. Shead made an all-too-brief comeback in the preseason of 2019. I thought for sure he’d return to the roster, but I guess this is a clear case of better late than never.
As I wrote two years ago, Shead’s football IQ was never in doubt. The Seahawks still have plenty of room for improvement in the secondary. Shead joining the staff as a defensive quality control coach should definitely have a solid impact on the Hawks D.
Smith’s son Tracy has also joined the Hawks to work with the special teams, something he’s done in both Cleveland and Houston. So overall, no, in the grand scheme of things, these aren’t huge hires. Neither Smith nor Shead will have the impact of a new coordinator. But before we even reach preseason, I expect both will have an outsize impact on the play of the Seahawks in 2021.