It may just be more of a coincidence and a matter of circumstance than anything else.
But a months-long trend of Jacksonville hiring a coach who has Seahawks ties continued Friday when it was reported that Nick Sorensen is leaving Seattle after eight years to become the special-teams coach of the Jaguars.
The move had not been made official Friday, but NFL media reported it is “expected” to happen. A source confirmed to The Seattle Times that Sorensen’s hiring by the Jags is expected soon.
Sorensen will become the sixth coach the Jags have hired this year with ties to the Seahawks.
Sorensen joined Seattle’s staff before the 2013 season as an assistant special-teams coach, became a defensive-backs coach in 2016 and in 2017 took on the title of secondary coach. This year he was named secondary and nickel specialist.
Interestingly, he will replace Brian Schneider, who had been Seattle’s special-teams coach since 2010 before leaving for the Jags earlier this year to join the staff of new Jacksonville coach Urban Meyer.
But Schneider recently took a leave for personal reasons. He had also taken a leave of absence while with Seattle during the 2020 season for personal reasons with Larry Izzo taking over as special-teams coach. Izzo became the permanent special-teams coach after the season when Schneider left for the Jags.
Jacksonville undoubtedly liked that Sorensen has background in Schneider’s system since he is being hired with offseason programs well under way.
But Sorensen also played for the Jags as a safety from 2003 to 2006 and was also a special-teams captain. The move also marks something of a homecoming for Sorsensen, who is a native of Winter Haven, Florida.
Along with Schneider, Meyer had earlier hired four other coaches with recent Seattle ties — former offensive coordinators Brian Schottenheimer and Darrell Bevell, receivers coach Sanjay Lal and offensive assistant Will Harriger.
Bevell, who was Seattle’s offensive coordinator from 2011-17, is now the Jags’ offensive coordinator. Schottenheimer, who replaced Bevell before being fired following the 2020 season, is passing game coordinator while Lal, a former UW player who spent last season with Seattle as a senior offensive assistant, is receivers coach. Harriger worked with the Seahawks from 2014-18 as an offensive assistant and assistant quarterbacks coach before spending two years with the Falcons. He is now an offensive assistant coach with the Jags.
Jacksonville also signed three players as free agents who were Seahawks last season — cornerback Shaquill Griffin, running back Carlos Hyde and receiver Phillip Dorsett II.
It all means there will be a lot of familiarity on both sides when the Jaguars play the Seahawks at Lumen Field on Oct. 31.
It also means the Seahawks could be suddenly on the lookout for a new coach to help with the secondary.
One coach on staff whom the Seahawks could look to give expanded responsibility is former player DeShawn Shead, who was hired earlier this year with the title of defensive assistant/defensive backs coach. Shead played for the Seahawks from 2012-17 and then was with Detroit (2018) and New Orleans (2019).
Coach Pete Carroll on Thursday praised Shead for making a quick acclimation to coaching.
“He has carried over our football and he has retained it and retained a really good command of what we did, the techniques of the cornerback position in particular, as well as the safety spot,’’ Carroll said. “He played all over for us, a big-time special-teams player for us. He just has a lot to offer. A lot of guys can play and don’t take that stuff with them. He did. He is very sharp. I expect really big things from him. I think he is going to do a great job immediately, but down the road we are going to see DeShawn Shead do some great stuff. He is really talented.”