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Thursday, January 22, 2009
Adding Lewis a strong move for Seahawks

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Adding Tim Lewis as secondary coach upgrades the Seahawks' defensive coaching staff. Lewis' experience as a two-time coordinator is significant.

The Seahawks excitedly announced the hirings of defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and defensive line coach Dan Quinn. New head coach Jim Mora hailed both as rising stars in the profession. Mora might be right. In Lewis, he adds a coach with more established credentials.

The Steelers' defense ranked among the top 10 all four years Lewis was coordinator. When did the Seahawks last hire a defensive coach able to make such a claim? Perhaps you can think of one. I cannot. The Giants' defense jumped from 28th to 12th with Lewis as coordinator.

The Panthers' defensive staff is breaking apart. Yes, their defense struggled late in the season. But after letting Lewis and other assistants go deep into the 2008 season without new contracts, it appears as though some of those coaches would rather take their chances elsewhere. Linebackers coach Ken Flajole has left to become the Rams' defensive coordinator, for example. Coordinator Mike Trgovac has told the Panthers he won't be back. Even Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers wants out of Carolina.

The Panthers' loss appears to be the Seahawks' gain here. Lewis steps in for Mora. Larry Marmie remains as assistant secondary coach. That gives Seattle three very experienced defensive coaches with lots of experience overseeing the secondary.

On a side note: Lewis' brother, Will, is the Seahawks' pro personnel director.