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The Relationship: Seahawks-Jets
All the connections to be made between these two franchises: Seaside Joe 1396
Jets head coach Robert Saleh was a defensive quality control coach on the Seattle Seahawks from 2011-2013. He followed Gus Bradley to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014 as linebackers coach before becoming Kyle Shanahan’s defensive coordinator in 2017.
Said Saleh of Pete Carroll’s decision to hire him in 2011 after he was a part of a housecleaning with the Houston Texans that year: “I had a 3-month-old at the time, my wife and I, and she’s panicking because she’s wondering where our next meal is coming from because I didn’t have a contract,” Saleh recalled Wednesday. “And the good Lord came off the top ropes and sent me a blessing. [I’m] always appreciative to Pete and all the things that he did for me and my family.”
Said Carroll in 2019 on hiring Saleh: “We interviewed him and really liked him, and were fortunate to get him, and he worked his way up,” Carroll said. “There was no question that Robert was going to be a really good ball coach and be a leader of the defense and all of that from the start. He’s doing a fantastic job (as 49ers DC).”
Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley on Saleh: “He doesn’t sugarcoat things.”
Saleh says that returning to Seattle won’t carry any nostalgia or pressure for him because he already coached there eight times as defensive coordinator of the 49ers.
The Jets, like the Seahawks, have many star rookies, including Sauce Gardner and Garrett Wilson. Saleh says that Carroll once told him, “You can’t be afraid to play young guys. They’re hell on wheels, and they’re fun to watch.”
It is no surprise that there are other Seattle connections on Saleh’s coaching staff. Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich was Pete’s assistant special teams coach from 2010-2011 and he later worked his way up Dan Quinn’s staff on the Atlanta Falcons. Jets safeties coach Marquand Manuel was Pete’s special teams and defensive assistant from 2012-2014, later worked on Quinn’s staff, and spent 2004-2005 on the Seahawks as a player; Manuel had a 32-yard interception
pick-sixin the 2005 NFC Championship game.
Jets defensive assistant Ricky Manning was an assistant defensive backs coach on Seattle from 2016-2017 and he also intercepted a Seahawks quarterback in the playoffs; as a member of the Bears in Chicago’s divisional round win in 2006.
Special teams assistant Leon Washington is Leon Washington.
When searching for replacements for Rex Ryan and former Seahawks front office exec John Idzik as head coach and GM in 2015, owner Woody Johnson went to Seattle to interview Trent Kirchner (now the Panthers GM), Dan Quinn, and Tom Cable. He ended up hiring Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan.
The Seahawks are 12-8 all-time against the Jets. The first meeting was a 17-0 shutout by Seattle, not only their first shutout in franchise history, but the first time that the Seahawks had allowed fewer than 10 points. Seattle had the worst scoring defense in the NFL in 1977, but the Jets were shutout three times that year. New York’s offensive coordinator? John Idzik, Sr., father of the former Jets GM.
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The Seahawks and Jets played seven times between 1977-1983. Seattle went 7-0.
The Seahawks and Jets played nine times between 1985-2004. New York went 8-1.
The Seahawks are 4-0 against the Jets since 2008.
In their most recent meeting, Seattle beat the Jets 40-3, sending New York to an 0-13 record at the time. It got so bad that Geno Smith made his first and only appearance of the season, going 4-of-5 for 33 yards. The Jets would end up winning their next two games (Rams, Browns) and that’s why they ended up drafting Zach Wilson instead of Trevor Lawrence.
Former Seahawks on the Jets: LT Duane Brown, RT George Fant, CB D.J. Reed. Cedric Ogbuehi is on New York’s IR list.
CB Isaiah Dunn, who the Seahawks picked up on waivers this year after final cuts from the Jets, was designated to return from IR this week.
Come to think of it, Jamal Adams was once on the Jets.
The two first round picks that the Jets got from Seattle for Adams ended up being guard Alijah Vera-Tucker (New York traded up from 23 to 14 to get him, basically giving up a third and a pick swap) and receiver Garrett Wilson. Both picks seem to be working well, though Vera-Tucker has been out since Week 8.
Greg Zuerlein is the eighth Jets kicker since New York let Jason Myers leave in free agency after the 2018 season. Since missing a field goal and an extra point in Week 1, Zuerlein is perfect on extra points and 25-29 on field goals. He can make it from 60, but Zuerlein is spotty beyond 52.
Seattle once scored 100 unanswered points at home over several games, starting against the Jets.
I was burned (rightfully so) in last week’s The Relationship for not mentioning a historic game for Derrick Thomas against the Seahawks. Well, I won’t forget the pain this time… December 6, 1998,
Monday Night Football. The Seahawks hold a 31-19 lead going into the fourth quarter. New York cuts the lead to 31-26 on a touchdown pass from Vinny Testaverde to Keyshawn Johnson. Later, with 0:27 seconds left, facing fourth-and-Goal from the 5, Testaverde remarkably SNEAKS (probably one of the most interesting playcalls ever, even if it should not have counted) it and it is called a touchdown on the field to give the Jets a 32-31 win.
Well, it wasn’t a touchdown. TV replays showed that Testaverde was clearly down before the goal line and the Seahawks should have won the game. A couple months later, the NFL finally voted “Yes” in favor of instant replay and the league was forever changed. In more ways than one…
Had Seattle won the game, they would have finished the season 9-7 instead of 8-8. Instead of the Seahawks reaching the playoffs, the Patriots reached the playoffs. New England’s head coach in 1998? Pete Carroll. Seattle fired Dennis Erickson after the ‘98 season and brought in Mike Holmgren, so maybe it was all for the best. Carroll lost in the playoffs (to the Jaguars, as the extra win helped the Jets get a playoff bye over Jacksonville) so maybe we could butterfly effect this into Pete Carroll coaching against the Jets this Sunday.
Carroll was the Jets defensive coordinator from 1990-1993 under Bruce Coslet, and spent 1994 as New York’s head coach for a 6-10 season. His QB that season? Boomer Esiason. The color commentator this Sunday for Jets-Seahawks? Boomer? Mark Sanchez? Robert Smith. Sorry, just teased you.
I don’t know what to do with the Mark Sanchez connection. Recruited to USC by Carroll, passed over in the 2009 draft by the Seahawks, a losing QB in one of the worst starts of his career against Seattle in 2012, and a precursor to the Geno Smith “era” with the Jets, obviously Mark has his connections here. Sanchez made two career starts against the Seahawks, combining to go 19-of-42 for 220 yards with two touchdowns, two interceptions, and a fumble.
On December 6, 1981, Steve Largent had 169 yards against the Jets, the third-highest single game total of his career.
Richard Sherman intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick two times in a 2016 win over the Jets. Sherman, Jay Bellamy, Dwayne Harper, and Josh Wilson each had a two-pick game against the Jets.
Okay, what did I miss?