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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

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January 6, 2009 9:45 AM

Seahawks already have man expected to call defensive plays: Jim Mora

Posted by Danny O'Neil

The very day Rod Marinelli interviewed with the Seattle Seahawks he received a job offer to serve as defensive coordinator.

Except the job offer was from the Chicago Bears, according to the Chicago Tribune. Here's a link to their story right here.

The former Detroit Lions head coach received a formal offer from the Bears, with current defensive line coach Brick Haley bound for LSU.
   -- Chicago Tribune, Jan. 6, 2009

But here's something to remember: The guy who will call the defensive plays for the Seahawks is probably already in place. That would be head coach Jim Mora. Now, we'll find out for sure next week when he conducts his first press conference as Seahawks coach, but the expectation around the league is that Mora is going to call the Seahawks defense.

So the initial question about whether Marinelli and Casey Bradley of Tampa Bay are being interviewed to replace John Marshall as defensive coordinator is kind of moot because the organizational structure of Seattle's coaching staff is going to take a Seismic shift. For the past 10 seasons, Mike Holmgren has called the plays for Seattle's offense and admittedly had very little to do with the defensive game planning.

There have been times he's told the defensive coaches what he wants done. He wants a certain quarterback pressured or in the NFC Championship Game against Carolina when he said that he wanted at least one person to make contact with wide receiver Steve Smith on every single play.

But Holmgren did not sit in meetings and supervise the defensive game planning. He told them what he wanted and expected them to formulate the game plan to get that done whether it was Steve Sidwell or Ray Rhodes and for the previous three seasons it has been John Marshall.

The defensive coordinator is not going to have the same autonomy under Mora, and that's not to cast Mora as a micro-manager or someone creating a puppet position. It's just the reality that Holmgren left the defensive game plan to others for the past 10 seasons and no one expects Mora to be hands off like that. His fingerprints are going to be all over the defensive game plans constructed during the week and the calls made on Sunday.

So as the Seahawks prepare to restructure the coaching staff under Mora, here's a look at the composition of the staff for 10 seasons under Holmgren: (Editor's note: Much appreciation to those who pointed out the omission of Bill Lazor and Kasey Dunn in the initial version. A previous chart was copied mistakenly into the space. Danny O'Neil has been punished accordingly.)

  1999 2000 (3) 2001 (2) 2002 (2) 2003 (6)
O.Coordinator Mike Sherman Gil Haskell Haskell Haskell Haskell
D.Coordinator Fritz Shurmur* Steve Sidwell Sidwell Sidwell Ray Rhodes
Special teams Pete Rodriguez Rodriguez Rodriguez Rodriguez Rodriguez
Asst. special teams   Johnny Holland Mark Michaels Michaels Michaels
DL Larry Brooks Brooks Brooks Brooks Dwaine Board
Asst. DL       Zerick Rollins Rollins
LBs Jim Lind Ken Flajole Johnny Holland Johnny Holland John Marshall
DBs Ken Flajole Dick Roach Ken Flajole Ken Flajole Teryl Austin
Asst. DBs          
QBs Mike Sheppard Mike Sheppard Jim Zorn Zorn Zorn
RBs Stump Mitchell Mitchell Mitchell Mitchell Mitchell
WRs Nolan Cromwell Cromwell Cromwell Cromwell Cromwell
TEs Mike Sherman Jim Lind Lind Lind Lind
OL Tom Lovat Lovat Lovat Lovat Lovat
Asst. OL       Bill Laveroni Laveroni
Defensive assistant Dick Roach        
Defensive assistant Bob Zeman        
Off. quality control Jerry Colquitt Colquitt Colquitt Colquitt Gary Reynolds
Def. quality control Clayton Lopez Lopez Lopez Lopez Lopez
Strength Kent Johnston Johnston Johnston Johnston Johnston
Asst. strength Rod Springer Springer Springer Springer Darren Krein
Strength asst.       Bill Gillespie Gillespie
*Shurmur died before the season began. LB coach Jim Lind served as Seattle's defensive coordinator during regular season.
  2004 (1) 2005 (1) 2006 (4) 2007 (2) 2008 (6)
O.Coord. Haskell Haskell Haskell Haskell Haskell
D.Coord. Rhodes Rhodes* John Marshall Marshall Marshall
Special teams Mark Michaels Bob Casullo Casullo Bruce DeHaven DeHaven
Asst. special teams   John Jamison Jamison Jamison Jamison
DL Board Board Board Board Board
Asst. DL Rollins Rollins      
LBs Marshall Marshall Zerick Rollins Rollins Rollins
Asst. LBs         Mike Phair
DBs Austin Austin Austin Jim Mora Mora
Asst. DBs     Larry Marmie Marmie Marmie
QBs Zorn Zorn Zorn Zorn Bill Lazor
RBs Mitchell Mitchell Mitchell Mitchell Kasey Dunn
WRs Cromwell Cromwell Cromwell Cromwell Keith Gilbertson
TEs Lind Lind Lind Lind Lind
OL Bill Laveroni Laveroni Laveroni Laveroni Mike Solari
Asst. OL     Keith Gilbertson Gilbertson Mike DeBord
Defensive assistant       Ray Rhodes  
Defensive assistant          
Off. quality control Reynolds Reynolds Reynolds Reynolds Chris Beake
Def. quality control     Tom Headlee Headlee Headlee
Strength Mike Clark Clark Clark Clark Clark
Asst. strength Krein Krein Krein Krein Krein
*Rhodes suffered a mild stroke the week before the regular season began. John Marshall was acting defensive coordinator during the season.


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