Will Tukuafu

NFC Coaching Notes: Seahawks, Vikings, Falcons, Packers, Bears

With the various changes to coaching personnel around the league winding down, teams are beginning to officially unveil their 2022 staffs. The Seahawks recently did so, confirming a number of changes following a disappointing season, but some important retentions as well.

As Bob Condotta of The Athletic tweets, Sanjay Lal is remaining with the team in his current role of wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator. The 52-year-old has worked with that position group on seven different teams dating back to 2009. He spent the 2020 campaign in Seattle, but spent last season in Jacksonville. Meanwhile, Karl Scott, 36, is officially being brought in as the team’s secondary coach and defensive pass game coordinator. That move had been expected since last week when it was reported the team was in talks with him.

In addition, Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reports (in a pair of tweets) more names on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Dave Canales will remain as the team’s QBs coach, a role he first had in 2018, but he will no longer have the passing game coordinator title. Brad Idzik has been added as an assistant WRs coach; he entered the NFL with Seattle in 2019. Lastly, Nate Carroll has been promoted to senior offensive assistant, after spending 11 years with the Seahawks in various roles.

As for the defensive staff, Aaron Curry is now an assistant defensive line coach; the former Seattle draftee spent the last two seasons on their sideline. He will be joined in that role by Damione Lewis. Another former player on staff is DeShawn Shead, who has been promoted to defensive backs coach. The last to fit that description is Will Tukuafu, who is coming aboard as a defensive quality control coach.

Here are some other coaching notes from the NFC:

  • USA Today’s Mike Jones tweets that it is “sounding like” Wes Phillips and Chris O’Hara will be following newly-hired head coach Kevin O’Connell to Minnesota. The former, who is also the son of Wade Phillips, has been a TEs coach with three different teams, the most recent being the Rams. It was reported earlier this week that O’Connell was expected to give him the role of either OC or passing game coordinator. The latter only spent the 2021 season in L.A., but worked as an offensive assistant in Jacksonville and Washington before that.
  • According to Josh Kendall of The Athletic, the Falcons are parting ways with WRs coach Dave Brock (Twitter link). The 54-year-old has an extensive background in the college ranks, but his only NFL experience was in Atlanta starting in 2017. Chandler Henley, who had been an assistant offensive line coach with them, has left to join the Dolphins.
  • The Packers are supporting new ST coordinator Rich Bisaccia with Byron Storer, reports Matt Schneidman of The Athletic (Twitter link).The 37-year-old has worked with Bisaccia in each of his other three NFL coaching locations, and even knows Aaron Rodgers dating back to their college days.
  • Lastly, the Bears are hiring Brent Salazar as their strength and conditioning coach (Twitter link via Wilson). He has more than a decade of experience in the NFL, having previously worked with three different teams. He also spent the years between 2017 and 2020 as the director of performance for the United States Tennis Association.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/13/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Seahawks have made a series of roster moves, announcing that they’ve signed running back Kelvin Taylor and cornerback Ronald Powell to their 53-man roster while placing running back Troymaine Pope and fullback Will Tukuafu on IR. Tay is the son of former NFL great Fred Taylor.
  • The Bears have signed tight end MyCole Pruitt off the Vikings‘ practice squad, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispacth, while Chicago announced that it has cleared a roster spot by waiving defensive back De’Vante Bausby. Pruitt, a 2015 fifth-round pick, has played in 18 games over the past two years.
  • The Packers will sign linebacker Jordan Tripp, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Tripp, primarily a special teamer, was recently waived off Seattle’s IR.
  • John Hughes won’t be staying home alone any longer, as the Buccaneers announced that they’ve re-signed the veteran defensive tackle. Hughes, 28, has already played in three games for Tampa this season.
  • The Ravens announced that they’ve placed running back Lorenzo Taliaferro on injured reserve and signed linebacker Lamar Louis to the active roster. Taliaferro, a 2014 fourth-round, hasn’t been able to get on the field in Baltimore, as he’s managed only 14 carries over the past two seasons. The Ravens are also promoting WR Michael Campanaro, tweets Jeff Zriebec of the Baltimore Sun.
  • The Rams have signed cornerback Troy Hill from the practice squad and placed tight end Cory Harkey on injured reserve, the team announced today. Hill had been waived following a DUI arrest, but has now earned a second chance on the roster.
  • The Bills signed safety Shamiel Gary and offensive lineman Michael Ola to the active roster, per a club announcement. Linebacker Bryson Albright has been waived in a corresponding transaction.
  • The Redskins announced that they’ve promoted linebacker Nick Moody from the practice squad to the active roster and placed defensive end Anthony Lanier on injured reserve. Lanier, 26, has 25 games of NFL experience under his belt since entering the league as a San Francisco draft pick in 2013.
  • The Cardinals have swapped out punters once again, announcing that they’ve waived Drew Butler in favor of Matt Wile, who was promoted from the practice squad. Arizona also signed quarterback Zac Dysert off the taxi squad.
  • The Falcons have re-signed cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson, the team announced today. BWW had just been waived last week in order to clear a spot for wide receiver depth.
  • The Browns announced that they’ve promoted DL Gabe Wright from the practice squad to active roster. Wright, a former Detroit draft pick, was claimed by Cleveland earlier this year.

Seahawks Release C.J. Spiller

The Seahawks announced that they have released C.J. Spiller. C.J. Prosise is healthy and good to go, making Spiller expendable. In a related move, the team has re-signed fullback Will TukuafuC.J. Spiller (vertical)

Spiller signed on with the Seahawks in late September and reportedly heard from eight interested clubs before choosing a landing spot. The 29-year-old had the luxury of being selective because his $1.7MM salary with the Saints was still guaranteed, even after his release.

Unfortunately, his stay in Seattle lasted about three weeks. Spiller was at his best as a rusher and pass catcher in Buffalo from 2011-13, but his numbers declined in 2014 and he then inked a deal in free agency with the Saints. Spiller averaged just 3.1 yards per carry on 36 attempts last season, though he did catch 34 passes and two touchdowns during his 13-game Saints tenure. This year, Spiller appeared in two games for the Seahawks, totaling nine yards off of three carries. He did slightly more in the passing game, catching five of nine targets for 43 yards and one touchdown.

With Spiller out of the picture, the Seahawks’ RB depth chart is once again headlined by Christine Michael and Prosise. Fifth-round rookie Alex Collins and Terrence Magee comprise the balance of the group.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/21/16

Wednesday’s minor moves from around the NFL:

  • The Seahawks have released fullback Will Tukuafu, according to Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link). The 32-year-old has bounced in and out of the Seattle organization since signing there as an undrafted free agent from Oregon in 2010. He played the 2011-13 seasons with San Francisco.
  • The 49ers have promoted linebacker Shayne Skov to the active roster from their practice squad, tweets Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. Skov suited up for 15 of the 49ers’ 16 regular-season games last year.
  • The Buccaneers have promoted wide receiver Freddie Martino from the practice squad and waived linebacker Josh Keyes, per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Martino has only appeared in one NFL game, which came as a member of the Falcons in 2014. Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter was Atlanta’s offensive coordinator then.

Seahawks Swap Cornerbacks, Fullbacks

The Seahawks have made several roster moves this afternoon, replacing a cornerback and fullback with free agents. Dov Kleiman tweets that the team has waived cornerback Tharold Simon and fullback Taniela Tupou. Bob Condotta of The Seattle Neiko Thorpe (vertical)Times tweets that the team will be signing fullback Will Tukuafu to take Tupuo’s place, while Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets that the Seahawks have signed Neiko Thorpe to take Simon’s place.

Tupou was a feel-good story coming out of the preseason. The 23-year-old made the Seahawks’ roster after making the switch from defensive tackle to fullback. The undrafted rookie out of Washington played only seven snaps in Sunday’s win over the Dolphins. The Seahawks ultimately decided to side with the veteran Tukuafu over the rookie. The 32-year-old played in a career high 14 games for Seattle in 2015. The veteran, who also previously played defensive tackle, has made 43 appearances over six NFL seasons.

Simon, a fifth-round pick in 2013, only has 10 tackles in 11 NFL games. The 25-year-old didn’t see the field during Sunday’s game. Replacing him will be Thorpe, who spent time this past summer with the Colts. The 26-year-old appeared in 14 games for the Raiders last season, compiling 40 tackles, six passes defended, and one interception.

Seahawks’ Roster Now At 53

The Seahawks haven’t officially released their moves today, but as Curtis Crabtree of KJR noted (Twitter link), the club has listed their transactions on their official team depth chart.



Waived From IR:

The Seahawks also announced that they’ve acquired defensive back Dewey McDonald (for a conditional 2017 pick, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com) from the Raiders, and, as we previously noted, acquired safety L.J. McCray from the 49ers.

Seahawks Re-Sign FB Will Tukuafu

SUNDAY: Seattle has announced the transaction.

SATURDAY: The Seahawks appear to have re-signed Will Tukuafu, as the veteran fullback posted an Instagram picture of himself signing a contract while at the Seahawks’ facility, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Tukuafu worked out for Seattle roughly a week ago, according to Condotta (Twitter link).Will Tukuafu

[RELATED: Q&A with Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times]

Tukuafu, 32, spent the past two seasons with the Seahawks after playing for the divisional rival 49ers from 2011-13. He played on approximately 20% of Seattle’s offensive plays last year, blocking for breakout rookie Thomas Rawls and toting the ball four times himself, accruing a grand total of one yard (but also one touchdown!). Tukuafu can also help out a bit on special teams, as he averaged ~14% playtime on the Seahawks’ ST snaps over the past two seasons.

Clearly, given that he’s being signed this late into the year, Tukuafu is not guaranteed to make Seattle’s opening day roster, especially because the Seahawks are already certain to keep at least four running backs. In his most recent roster projection (obviously composed before Tukuafu’s signing), Condotta wrote that Seattle “hadn’t seen enough of the fullback contenders” to make the club keep one on the roster, but given that the coaching staff is familiar with Tukuafu, perhaps he’ll have a leg up.

In order to create a roster spot for Tukuafu, the Seahawks have waived fellow fullback Jonathan Amosa, reports Condotta (Twitter link). Seattle had just signed Amosa roughly two weeks ago.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Notes: Schilling, Jackson, Tukafu

Despite speculation to the contrary, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson reportedly won’t be receiving a fully guaranteed deal. Many believed that Seattle, looking for an outside-the-box approach to keeping their star QB, would give Wilson a fully-guaranteed but smaller overall contract. While they might still give Wilson a great deal of guaranteed cash, the full deal will not be 100% guaranteed. The 26-year-old will be eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2016. Here’s more out of Seattle..

  • Former Seahawks center Stephen Schilling told Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times (on Twitter) that he is retiring. Seattle had talked to the 26-year-old about returning in 2015 to compete at the center position, but he said that he is giving up football instead (link). There was no one reason for Schilling’s decision and he said that his health wasn’t the main reason either (Twitter links). The center started three games for Seattle last year before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
  • Coach Pete Carroll says the Seahawks still hope to re-sign quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times tweets. Carroll has said several times throughout the offseason that he would like to retain the athletic backup. The 31-year-old (32 in a few weeks) appeared in just one regular season game for Seattle in 2014.
  • The Seahawks coach went on to say that the newly-resigned Will Tukuafu will probably have an expanded role this season that will include some time at tight end along with some blocking roles, Condotta tweets. Tukuafu will battle with Derrick Coleman for the majority of the work at fullback.

Minor Moves: Wednesday

Teams around the NFL have been busy today, making minor roster additions and subtractions as they continue to survey the remaining free agent landscape and prepare for this month’s draft. Here are Wednesday’s minor transactions from across the league:

  • According to Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys have signed defensive end Efe Obada, who played last year with the London Warriors in England.
  • Meanwhile, a former Cowboys defender, Caesar Rayford, announced today on Facebook that he has signed a new contract with the Vikings.
  • The Jets have re-signed backup tackle Ben Ijalana, the team announced today in a press release. During his two seasons in New York, Ijalana has been inactive on game days more often than not.

Earlier updates:

  • Seahawks fullback and defensive lineman Will Tukuafu posted an Instagram photo today that showed him signing a new contract with the Seahawks, and the NFL’s official transactions wire confirms the deal, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Per Condotta (via Twitter), Seattle’s new deal with defensive lineman Jesse Williams, who was cut earlier in the offseason for procedural reasons, also showed up on the transactions wire.
  • Cornerback and special-teamer Sherrick McManis has returned to the Bears on a one-year deal, according to the club (Twitter link). Although he played just 46 defensive snaps for Chicago in 2014, McManis was a key contributor on kick and punt coverage, recording 11 special teams tackles.
  • The Steelers have re-signed defensive lineman Clifton Geathers to a one-year contract, the team announced today in a press release. Geathers, 27, joined the Steelers in December of last year after the club placed Brett Keisel on injured reserve, but didn’t see any game action.
  • Agent Mike McCartney published a tweet this afternoon congratulating his client Mike Kafka on the quarterback’s new deal with the Vikings. A participant in last month’s veterans combine, Kafka spent time in 2014 on the Buccaneers’ practice squad and active roster.
  • Running back Dan “Boom” Herron has officially signed his exclusive rights free agent tender with the Colts, ensuring that he’ll be back with the team in 2015. The move was a formality, since Herron couldn’t negotiate with other clubs.
  • The Panthers have waived guard Derek Dennis and linebacker Horace Miller, two players who signed futures contracts with the team at season’s end, the club announced today (via Twitter).

NFC Links: Ingram, Durant, Barron

As the Panthers and Saints face off on Thursday Night Football, let’s check out some interesting notes from around the NFC…

  • NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport expects Mark Ingram to hit free agency at the end of the season (via Twitter). Meanwhile, Joel Corry of the National Football Post says that the Saints shouldn’t be blamed for not picking up the running back’s fifth year option worth more than $5.2MM (Twitter link).
  • Cowboys linebacker Justin Durant underwent season-ending surgery today, and Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com writes that the 29-year-old’s future in Dallas is uncertain. “I’ll just leave that up to people in front offices to decide, let my agent handle everything that comes with free agency,” Durant said. “I just play.”
  • Mark Barron wasn’t expecting to be traded earlier this week, and the Rams newest safety admitted that he missed the phone call informing him of the move. “I was definitely in shock,” Barron said (via ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner). “I had no idea that any of it was going on. I was most definitely shocked but I am excited about the situation [in St. Louis]. I had no idea I was even available for a trade.”
  • Recently acquired fullback Will Tukuafu is excited about his opportunity with the Seahawks, but the 30-year-old sounds even more excited about blocking for Marshawn Lynch. “I love his style of play,” said Tukuafu (via Terry Blount of ESPN.com). “I’ve been on defense against him. He’s like his nickname — Beastmode. He’s a beast. To be able to block for a guy like that is a blessing. This is real similar to the offense we had at the 49ers. I’m ready to go.”