The technician that has grounded the "Legion of Boom" in fundamentals will now get the chance to do the same with the Seahawks' entire, top-ranked defense.
The team announced this afternoon what became known last week: the Seahawks have promoted Kris Richard from defensive backs coach to defensive coordinator. Richard replaces Dan Quinn, who left last week after two seasons on the job to become the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.
"Kris, we go way back to his playing days at USC, as well as here. Kris has done an extraordinary job," coach Pete Carroll said, days before the Super Bowl on Feb. 1. "He’s an excellent secondary coach. Everything you can look at to evaluate that jumps out at you, the way these guys have achieved, the camaraderie that they have, the high level of play that they’ve maintained for a long time, the stats and all that kind of stuff. Kris does a fantastic job. He’s a real product of our system.
"He’s obviously a guy that we raised up in the system and we’re proud of the job that he does. He has gone beyond maybe what normal expectations for such a young career for him. We rely on him heavily. He’s done a fantastic job for us.”
The Seahawks also announced Michael Barrow, a former 13-year NFL veteran and before that an All-American at the University of Miami, is their new linebackers coach. Barrow has been the linebackers coach for the Hurricanes for the last eight seasons. He replaces Ken Norton Jr., who on Friday became the new defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders.
Seattle also announced former Seahawks middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu is returning to the team, as an assistant linebackers coach. Tatupu played six seasons for Seattle, including in Super Bowl 40 in February 2006, before injuries cut short a comeback attempt to play for Atlanta in 2012.
Richard just finished his fifth season as Seattle's defensive backs coach, after being Carroll's graduate assistant at USC through 2009. He has been hugely popular with Seattle's renowned secondary.
“He makes us quickly forget about all the accolades. He knows how to bring us right back down to earth,” All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman said last month. “I think he has the respect of the whole room being how he was the one who came in the beginning with all of us. With a fifth rounder (Sherman), and Kam (Chancellor) is just a fifth rounder, Brandon Browner is a Canadian football player, and the only first round guy that anyone ever knew about was Earl (Thomas). Now everyone is like, ‘Oh you guys have this big time secondary, you guys are cheating.’ Where were you guys at in 2011—when no one knew us from nobody?
“I think his growth with us through that process to where we are now is the reason we respect him so much,” Sherman said of Richard, “because he kind of built the giant that we are now with discipline, attention to detail, always being on it, and always keeping us humble and down to earth.”
The Seahawks have also added Carroll's son Brennan Carroll as an assistant offensive line coach. Brennan had been a wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator on the same staff as Barrow with Miami. Brennan is the second son of Carroll on his Seattle staff; Nate Carroll is an offensive assistant for the Seahawks.