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Seahawks O-line coach Gibbs retires 8 days before opener

One week before their season begins, the Seattle Seahawks are looking for a new offensive line coach after Alex Gibbs' sudden retirement Saturday.

The veteran coach known for his success with zone-blocking schemes stepped down just eight days before the Seahawks' season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.

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A team source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora that some players only noticed Gibbs was gone when discovering his office was empty. They were informed the coach was no longer with the team and told it was for "health" reasons. Given the timing of the move, so close to the opener, that reason is being met by some skepticism within and outside the organization, the source said.

A team spokesman said Gibbs, 69, was "worn out."

Gibbs was considered one of coach Pete Carroll's key hires as he assembled his first Seahawks staff during the offseason. Intent on using Gibbs' zone schemes in the Seahawks' run game, Carroll hired the coach away from Houston, where he was an assistant coach with the Texans for two seasons.

"We wish Alex the best in his retirement," Carroll said in a statement released by the team. "We're grateful for the time we had with him and we're all better for it."

Gibbs, who joined the Texans in 2008, began coaching in the NFL with the Denver Broncos from 1984 to 1987. He assisted with the then-Los Angeles Raiders (1988-89), San Diego Chargers (1990-91), Indianapolis Colts (1992) and Kansas City Chiefs (1993-94) before returning to the Broncos for his greatest successes, from 1995 to 2003. He won consecutive Super Bowl championships in 1998 and '99.

Broncos running back Terrell Davis was the NFL MVP in 1998, rushing for 2,008 yards and 21 touchdowns inside Gibbs' blocking schemes.

Jim Mora, whom the Seahawks fired last winter to clear the way for Carroll's return to the NFL, hired Gibbs on his first Atlanta Falcons coaching staff in 2004. Gibbs left when Mora was fired by the Falcons following the 2006 season. Gibbs then spent two seasons out of the league before joining the Texans.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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