Seahawks announce addition of Schottenheimer, Norton Jr. & Solar - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Seahawks announce addition of Schottenheimer, Norton Jr. & Solari

Photo: Seattle Seahawks Photo: Seattle Seahawks

By Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks announced three additions to their coaching staff Tuesday, naming Brian Schottenheimer offensive coordinator, Ken Norton Jr. defensive coordinator and Mike Solari offensive line coach.

Kris Richard, who served as defensive coordinator the past three seasons, was relieved of his duties, as was linebackers coach/assistant head coach/defense Michael Barrow. The Seahawks relieved previous offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and offensive line coach/assistant head coach Tom Cable of their duties last week.

Norton returns to Seattle after spending the past three seasons as the Oakland Raiders’ defensive coordinator. Prior to that, the former All-Pro linebacker had a long history coaching under Carroll, serving as the linebackers coach at USC from 2004-2009, then with the Seahawks from 2010-2014. As a player, Norton was a three-time Pro-Bowler and two-time All-Pro for the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, winning three straight Super Bowls in the 1990s, two with Dallas and one with San Francisco. During his earlier tenure in Seattle, Norton played a big role in developing two players who remain key pieces of Seattle’s defense, middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and weakside linebacker K.J. Wright. From 2012-2014, Norton was part of a defensive staff that helped the Seahawks lead the NFL in scoring defense each of those seasons and in total defense in 2013 and 2014.

Schottenheimer, 44, most recently served as the quarterbacks coach in Indianapolis over the past two seasons, but also has significant experience as an offensive coordinator, holding that position with the New York Jets from 2006-2011, the St. Louis Rams from 2012-2014, and the University of Georgia in 2015.

Schottenheimer, who played quarterback at the University of Florida, has coached that position in the NFL with Washington, San Diego and most recently the Colts. He is the son of longtime NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer. Drew Brees, who began his career in San Diego and eventually became one of the most prolific passers in NFL history, credited Schottenheimer with helping him develop as a young quarterback.

“He’s been such a great influence for me,” Brees said in 2006. “I don’t think we would have had the success we’ve had as a team or as an offense without him, nor do I think I would have had the same individual success were it not for Brian. As great a coach and mentor as he has been, he’s been an even better friend off the field. I couldn’t ask for someone to do a better job of instructing and preparing me to play the game each week.”

And despite his background as a quarterback, Schottenheimer’s track record also suggests he should be able to help Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s goal of “not losing the essence of who we are” when it comes to having a successful running game. During his six seasons with the Jets, Schottenheimer’s offenses finished in the top 10 in the NFL in rushing yards, attempts and yards per attempt three times, and top ten in rushing touchdowns four times. The 2009 Jets, who advanced to the AFC championship game, led the NFL both in rushing attempts and yards.

Solari, 63, has enjoyed a long career as an NFL offensive line coach, including two seasons in Seattle in 2008 and 2009. He also served as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator from 2006-2007. Most recently, Solari spent the past two seasons as the offensive line coach for the New York Giants.