Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Brad Seely Close to Joining Seahawks Staff?

by: Michael Steffes

It would appear that special teams coach Brad Seely is the likely favorite to become the Seahawks' special teams coach. It was reported this morning by Mike Reiss of The Boston Globe that Seely will NOT be back with the Patriots. So far, the Seahawks are the only team reported to have shown interest in him. So yes, this is a bit of speculation on my part, but it would seem that there is a good chance he will end up with the Hawks. The Hawks have also shown interest in Raiders special teams coach Brian Schnieder, who has interviewed in numerous places for the same position. The Hawks are trying to get their staff together by the end of the week, and may not want to wait for Schnieder's decision.

Why should you be excited about Brad Seely? Well, there are several reasons, assuming he brings over a similar philosophy that was used in New England. New England is one of the few teams that truly value special teams as an equal to offense and defense. Under Seely, they used their best players on special teams, starters included. Also, they have carried players on their roster who were specifically special teams aces. This is a big change from the special teams philosophy under Mike Holmgren, and a welcome one if you ask me. While he was in Atlanta, Mora seemed to hold special teams in the same regard as Seely.

Here is what the Globe has to say about Seely:

The Patriots place a heavy emphasis on special teams, whether it's devoting extra practice time to the kicking game, or having top players playing on those units. Under Seely, who just concluded his 20th NFL season, the Patriots had the league's third-ranked kickoff-return unit in 2008. They started, on average, at the 30.5-yard line.

On an individual basis, one of Seely's top accomplishments in New England was helping develop kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who joined the team in a difficult situation, stepping in for the iconic Adam Vinatieri. In just his third season, Gostkowski was named an All-Pro this year.

Part of what made Seely so valuable was his ability to piece together successful special teams units even when the Patriots were struck by a string of injuries.