For those who just became Seahawks fans in the last four years, Tatupu was the Bobby Wagner of Seattle’s first Super Bowl team. Tatupu played for Pete Carroll at USC and again in 2010, when Carroll came to Seattle.
Tatupu, a second-round draft pick in 2005, was part of a defensive overhaul that year that helped the Seahawks reach the Super Bowl (where they lost in controversial fashion).
Tatupu went to the Pro Bowl in his first three seasons as the middle linebacker on Mike Holmgren’s Seahawks, but the undersized player quickly wore down with a multitude of injuries.
By the time Carroll arrived in 2010, Tatupu was basically playing on one good leg, and Carroll and John Schneider had to let him go after that season. Tatupu sat out of football in 2011 and then returned in 2012, signing with the Falcons. But a torn pectoral — his second such injury — ended his career.
Tatupu is just 32 and this is his first coaching gig, but he seems well-suited to help Michael Barrow — the main linebackers coach who is replacing Ken Norton. Tatupu knows Carroll’s system and was a smart player.
Former Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck thinks he will do fine, tweeting, “Lofa is going to be a great coach.”
The Hawks pulled two coaches from the University of Miami. Barrow played there before going on to a 13-year career in the NFL and had coached linebackers and special teams for the past seven years. Six of his linebackers were drafted.
The other coach coming from Miami is Brennan Carroll, who joins brother Nate on father Pete’s staff. Brennan started out under his dad at USC (2002-09) and had been at Miami since 2011, coaching tight ends and wide receivers. The Seahawks said he will be an assistant line coach, apparently replacing Chris Morgan as one of Tom Cable’s two assistants.
As for Richard, he steps up from secondary coach, which he had been since coming to Seattle with Carroll from USC in 2010. He also played for Carroll at USC.
While Seattle’s defense is most definitely Carroll’s creation, Richard knows it so well that he has been one of Carroll’s key teachers for a young defense that already has become one of the league’s historic units.
The Hawks should not miss a beat on that side.
Richard Sherman apparently will not have elbow surgery. Dr. James Andrews — surgeon to the sports stars — recommended he let it heal and come back in a month to see how it was doing.
So scratch one member of the Legion of Boom from the operating table this offseason. But Earl Thomas (torn labrum), Kam Chancellor (hip/ankles) and Jeremy Lane (broken wrist) all figure to be fixed up soon (Lane probably had it already).
Lane’s injury apparently was so bad there is question about whether he will be ready to play in September. With Byron Maxwell expected to leave and Tharold Simon struggling horribly vs. Carolina and New England, it raises the concern that the Hawks need to add a corner.
Walter Thurmond’s name has been brought up, but it wouldn’t make much sense to bring him back.
He left last year on a one-year deal with the Giants worth $3.5 million — and ended up on injured reserve again (torn pectoral).
Why would the Hawks want a guy who has missed 42 of 64 possible games the past four seasons, due to injuries and suspension? Remember, he’s in the league’s drug program after being suspended for the last month of the 2013 season for a positive test (allegedly for marijuana).
Sure, if the Hawks could bring him back on a minimum one-year deal, it would be worth it. Nothing more, though.
You can lay big odds on the Hawks drafting a cornerback this year. Last year was the first time they had not done that — they picked project safety Eric Pinkins in the sixth round — and they surely will go back to adding a corner in the fifth or sixth round.
Some think they might even consider doing it higher than that — Rob Staton of Seahawks Draft Blog touts Jalen Collins of LSU for the No. 31 pick, although he might very well be available in the second round.