The Seahawks have made three additions to their coaching staff for the 2021 season, including bringing back longtime assistant Carl Smith and adding former defensive back DeShawn Shead, a source confirmed.

The Athletic first reported the moves Sunday.

Also added to the staff is Smith’s son, Tracy.

Carl Smith, who has an association with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll dating to 1982, was Seattle’s quarterbacks coach from 2011 to 2017 and associate head coach in 2018 before spending the last two years with the Houston Texans.

It is expected Smith — who more commonly is called by Seahawks coaches and players as “Tater” — will again serve as something of an “eye in the sky” in the press box for Carroll, helping out with clock and game management decisions as well as whether to challenge replays, a role he also held during his previous Seattle tenure and will likely again hold a title of associate head coach, as reported by NFL Insider Adam Caplan.

Shead, who played for the Seahawks from 2012 to 2017 and was in training camp with the team in 2019, is joining the defensive staff, filling a vacancy created when Tom Donatell left after the season for the Chargers. Donatell was a defensive quality control coach with the Seahawks the past four seasons.

Tracy Smith, who was the special-teams coordinator with Houston last season and has 12 years experience in the NFL, is expected to fill a role as special-teams assistant with the Seahawks.

The Seahawks had an opening on their special-teams staff after Brian Schneider — who had been the special-teams coordinator since 2010 — left for Jacksonville. Larry Izzo is taking over Schneider’s role. Schneider took a leave of absence for part of last season and Izzo ran the special teams in his absence.


Carl Smith, 72, and Carroll first worked on the same staff together at North Carolina State in 1982 and Smith worked under Carroll with the Patriots in the late ’90s and as QB coach at USC in 2004 before rejoining Carroll in Seattle in 2011.

A source confirmed the moves are not a reaction to any of the statements of Russell Wilson or his camp in recent weeks, but have been in the works since the end of the season when the team parted ways with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and had other assistant coaching jobs come open.

The Seahawks had an additional opening on their offensive coaching staff when Sanjay Lal, who spent last season as senior offensive assistant, left to become the receivers coach at Jacksonville, which is the spot essentially being filled by Carl Smith.

Shane Waldron was hired to replace Schottenheimer and Andy Dickerson was hired as run game coordinator to fill an opening created when Brennan Carroll — one of Pete Carroll’s two sons on the staff last season — left to become the offensive coordinator at the University of Arizona.

The moves have not yet been announced by the Seahawks, who typically announce all of their coaching staff at once. But an announcement of the full staff could come soon.