Alex Gibbs Headed to Seattle: Carroll’s Best Hire Yet
Several sources within the NFL reported today that the Houston Texans’ offensive line coach Alex Gibbs is headed to Seattle to serve under new head coach Pete Carroll.
With two assistants from USC following Carroll to Seattle already, it’s refreshing to see a non-USC coach making his way to the Seahawks organization. Although he’s only officially been the head coach for a day or so, this is Carroll’s best decision yet.
Gibbs has a long, illustrious career in the NFL, helping to elevate numerous running attacks and to beef up a number of offensive lines.
His longest stint was an offensive coaching gig in Denver under former head coach Mike Shanahan and Jeremy Bates, the new offensive coordinator in Seattle. He spent three marginally successful years there (1984-1987) before returning to establish one of the league’s most dominant running games (1995-2003).
At Denver, the offensive line set numerous franchise records including most total yards (6,554 in 2000), most first downs (383 in 2000), most rushing yards (2,468 in 1998), and most rushing touchdowns (32 in 1998).
His offensive line also knew how to pass protect. From 1995-2000, Gibbs’ line did not allow more than 35 sacks per season. During that time, center Tom Nalen was chosen for four consecutive Pro Bowls. In 1998, three Broncos’ offensive linemen were nominated to the Pro Bowl; all three had previously attended two consecutive Hawaii berths. They were also commended for blocking for then-NFL MVP Terrell Davis, who rushed for over 2,000 yards.
Gibbs then spent a year coaching in Atlanta before becoming a consultant for the Falcons in 2005 and 2006. In the year he spent coaching, the Falcons led the NFL in rushing for the first time in team history.
They rushed for a team-record 2,672 yards, third highest rushing yards total in the NFL since 1990. During Gibbs’ time in Atlanta, the team also led the NFL in rushing with 8,157 yards.The Falcons were also the only team during that three year span to amass a rushing average that exceeded 5.1.
Gibbs’ zone-blocking scheme has a been a long-respected attack and his influence in Seattle will be strongly felt in the running game. Seattle’s run game has lately been weak, finishing in the bottom half of the league for two consecutive years.
With two early picks in the draft, Seattle will have their options to either beef up their dwindling offensive line or add some size and strength to their running game, or both.
Either way, with Alex Gibbs at the helm of their offensive line, Seattle, in time, should find nothing short of tangible progression.