New Coaching Staff Brings Plenty of Experience To Seattle

Anthony DionContributor IMay 26, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 28:  Assistant coach Jim Mora of the Seattle Seahawks holds a ball during warmups for the game with the Arizona Cardinals on December 28, 2008 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals won 34-21.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

It is the dawn of a new age in Seattle for the Seahawks as almost an entire new coaching staff takes over for Mike Holmgren, who stepped down after 10 years of rebuilding the franchise into a major player in the league.

As Jim Mora ascends to the top of the totem pole, he brings long-time partner Offensive Coordinator Greg Knapp along with him as well as Casey Bradley to lead the defense and Mike Solari, who will install a new blocking scheme in the offensive line.

Each of these newcomers brings valued knowledge and experience from different organizations that will be a breath of fresh air for the Seahawks players.

It's not that they were necessarily tired of the same old plays and concepts for the last 10 years under Holmgren, no, on the contrary, it re-awakens their senses. They feel reborn.

"It's not even Memorial Day and we've installed pretty much everything in the offense and we've run, you know, ones versus ones in a very competitive situation as opposed to previously not hitting this point until June or even July," Matt Hasselbeck said after Thursday's organized team activity (OTA).

"It's kind of refreshing to learn all of this new stuff. I think that has been an exciting thing."

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Mora, of course, is a native son. He grew up in the Northwest and attended the University of Washington where he played college football as a defensive back.

After an unsuccessful attempt at playing professionally, Mora turned to coaching, where he finally got the opportunity he had worked so long and hard for with the Atlanta Falcons as Executive Vice President/Head Coach in 2004.

He coached the Falcons for three seasons, amassing a 26-22 record while leading the franchise to the conference championship before falling short against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2005.

After a disappointing season in 2006, Mora was let go and soon joined the Seahawks under Holmgren as secondary coach and Assistant Head Coach.

In early 2008 when Holmgren announced it would be his last year coaching in Seattle, Mora agreed to terms to take over upon his departure.

Now captain of his hometown ship, Mora has brought in several talented new faces to help him along the voyage to Miami and Super Bowl XLIV.

Knapp, Bradley and Solari will be critical pieces as the team seeks to return to the playoffs after a disappointing 4-12 season.

Knapp was also the offensive coordinator for the Falcons during Mora's three seasons with the franchise.

He has 14 years of experience in the NFL, breaking into the league in 1995 with the San Francisco 49ers, where he served three years as offensive quality control coach and then an additional three years as the quarterbacks coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator for his final three (01-03).

After his stint in Atlanta, he joined another Bay Area team, this time the Oakland Raiders, as the offensive coordinator for the '07 and '08 seasons.

Bradley, a California native, is a disciple of Tampa Bay's Monte Kiffin and the "Tampa 2" defense that is run there. He joined the Bucs in '06 and coached the linebackers his final two seasons as a part of the staff.

Prior to his time in Tampa, Bradley worked for 10 years on the coaching staff of his Alma Mater, the North Dakota State Bison, where he was Assistant Head Coach for six seasons ('00-'05) and defensive coordinator for seven ('97-'02, '05).

Meanwhile, Solari is another California native who brings a plethora of offensive experience to the Seahawks staff.

He joins Seattle after 11 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he was offensive line coach for nine and most recently, the offensive coordinator for the final two under Head Coach Herm Edwards.

As offensive line coach, he helped groom one of the best offensive lines in the league, which propelled running back Larry Johnson as he set Kansas City records with 1,789 rushing yards and 11 100-yard rushing games in 2006.

Now together—Mora, Knapp, Bradley, and Solari—will combine all of their unique knowledge and experiences to form a team in Seattle that will be different from any other—a champion.


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