Report: Kris Richard to be new D-Coordinator

The Seahawks are expected to name former defensive backs coach Kris Richard as the club's new defensive coordinator, according to a report from King 5 TV in Seattle. Richard, who has served the past three seasons as Seattle's primary defensive backs coach, will take over for Dan Quinn, who was formally introduced this week as the new head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

Since being drafted No. 85 overall by the Seahawks in the 2002 draft, the 35-year old Richard has quickly risen up the coaching tree.

Richard (pronounced Rish-ard) played 38 games in three seasons in Seattle but was traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2005. He spent time with the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders in subsequent years before returning to his collegiate roots at Southern Cal in 2008, accepting a graduate assistant job with Carroll and the Trojans.

Richard spent two years in this role with the Trojans, helping Taylor Mays, Kevin Ellison and Cary Harris hear their names called in their respective drafts. Richard moved on with Carroll to Seattle in February, 2010, serving first as an assistant defensive backs coach and then taking over the primary coach for this position a year later.

Richard is credited with aiding the growth of All-Pro defensive backs Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor as well as the development of Jeremy Lane, Tharold Simon, Jeron Johnson and DeShawn Shead as well as assisting Brandon Browner's successful return to the NFL after spending time in the CFL. Players and others close to the franchise rave about Richard's teaching and communication skills and it isn't difficult to understand why the Seahawks made him their choice given the success of his Legion of Boom secondary the passion, poise and intelligence he's shown in interviews, such as this one with KJR's Dave "Softy" Mahler.

It will be interesting to see what new wrinkles that Richard brings to the Seahawks' defense in 2015. Dan Quinn proved a more aggressive blitzer than Seattle's previous defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who left Seattle two years ago to take over as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Sources suggest that Richard was one of several in-house candidates the Seahawks were considering as Quinn's replacement. Defensive passing game coordinator Rocky Seto and linebacker coach Ken Norton, Jr. - each of whom followed Pete Carroll to Seattle from the University of Southern California - were also thought to be considerations.

Seto could be in line to take over as Richard as Seattle's primary defensive backs coach in 2015. Seto played two seasons with the Trojans (1997-98) and steadily worked his way up the coaching ladder, first volunteering as a graduate assistant in 1999 and working specifically with safeties then linebackers and ultimately being named Carroll's defensive coordinator in 2009 before each made the jump to Seattle.

Seto's previous experience as a linebackers coach leaves him as a potential replacement for Norton, who confirmed Friday that he would be returning to California to serve as the Oakland's defensive coordinator with new head coach (and former teammate) Jack Del Rio.

The coaching carousel is just one more challenge the Seahawks will face next season in their attempt to win the NFC for the third consecutive time.

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