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Seahawks coach Carroll constructing his staff, some from USC

RENTON, Wash. -- Pete Carroll's coaching staff with the Seattle Seahawks is coming together with a heavy mix of NFL experience and few ties with Carroll's last coaching job at Southern California.

Carroll said Wednesday that most of his staff is in place with just a few positions still to be filled. Carroll had previously announced that renowned offensive line coach Alex Gibbs would be joining the Seahawks after spending last season with Houston.

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Coming with Carroll from USC will be Jeremy Bates as offensive coordinator and Ken Norton Jr. as linebackers coach. Bates was previously the offensive coordinator in Denver before joining Carroll last season in the same position with the Trojans. Bates replaced Steve Sarkisian at USC when Sarkisian left to be the head coach at Washington.

Before becoming the offensive coordinator in Denver, Bates worked as an offensive assistant in Tampa Bay and quarterbacks coach with the New York Jets.

"It's a really good core. A good mix of experience and background," Carroll said. "I love the familiarity on the offensive side of the ball to make Jeremy to really ready to rock n roll and hit it full speed. And Alex is a big player in all of that to give us the running game emphasis that we want."

All of Norton's coaching experience has come at the college level following a 13-year NFL career with San Francisco and Dallas. Norton joined Carroll's staff at USC in 2004.

Brian Schneider is also coming from USC to be Seattle's special teams coordinator. Schneider held the same position for one season with Carroll at USC after two seasons with the Oakland Raiders.

Carroll is keeping two coaches from the previous staff in Seattle under former coach Jim Mora. Gus Bradley will remain as Seattle's defensive coordinator, while Dan Quinn will coach the defensive line for a second straight season.

"I'm really pumped up about Gus. We've been working late at night here to put our thoughts together," Carroll said. "And the background between Gus and Monte Kiffin and myself is really unique, and we're very fortunate."

Also joining Seattle's defensive staff is Jerry Gray, who is leaving the Redskins after four seasons as their secondary coach. Gray was previously the defensive coordinator for five years in Buffalo and played in the league for nine seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, Oilers and Buccaneers.

On the offensive side, Pat McPherson is leaving Denver to coach tight ends with the Seahawks, the position he most recently held with the Broncos. Jedd Fisch will be the quarterbacks coach after spending one season at the college level with Minnesota. Fisch worked on the Broncos staff with Bates and McPherson in 2008.

Carroll will interview Sherman Smith on Thursday to potentially become Seattle's new running backs coach. The 55-year-old Smith was Washington's offensive coordinator during Jim Zorn's brief tenure coaching the Redskins. Zorn and Smith, a former NFL running back, were teammates on the original Seahawks of 1976 through 1982.

Last week, new Redskins coach Mike Shanahan informed Smith he won't be back; Shanahan is bringing his son Kyle in to be Washington's offensive coordinator. Smith coached running backs under Jeff Fisher for the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans from 1995-2007.

Carroll is also seeking a new wide receivers coach in Seattle.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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