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Originally published January 12, 2010 at 9:26 PM | Page modified January 12, 2010 at 9:27 PM

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Pete Carroll expects to add Jeremy Bates, Alex Gibbs to staff

Bates was USC offensive coordinator and Gibbs is dean of zone blocking; DeWayne Walker could be hired as defensive coordinator.

Seattle Times staff reporter

RENTON — The defensive scheme Pete Carroll is importing from Southern California is not all that different from the one Seattle currently runs.

"There'll be likely a lot of commonality on what just happened defensively," Carroll said. "The background and the lineage of what's happened here defensively in the last year really does fit very well to where I come from."

DeWayne Walker may become the defensive coordinator. He is the former defensive coordinator at UCLA and currently coach at New Mexico State.

The offense will be facing the overhaul, and the two pillars of that change are reportedly in place.

Jeremy Bates was Carroll's offensive coordinator last season and is expected to come to Seattle. Before working at USC, he served three years on the Denver Broncos staff. In 2008, he was Denver's quarterbacks coach when the Broncos ranked third in the league in passing yardage in 2008, and Jay Cutler became a Pro Bowler.

As for Seattle's ground game, Alex Gibbs will become Seattle's assistant head coach according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. Gibbs is considered a dean of the zone-blocking scheme, working in Denver from 1995 to 2003 when the Broncos swapped out 1,000-yard rushers as quickly as some people change tires.

Gibbs served on Jim Mora's staff in Atlanta from 2004 to 2006 when the Falcons ranked first in the league in rushing yardage each season. He has worked the past two years for the Houston Texans.

Carroll was asked about Gibbs' addition Tuesday morning.

"I haven't talked to Alex yet today," Carroll said at the time, "but if that comes together, it'll be one of the great achievements in our early process of putting this thing together. He's a fantastic football coach."

Carroll endorses Hasselbeck

Pete Carroll asked for Matt Hasselbeck's phone number before he arrived in Seattle, and while that may not say everything about the quarterback's future, it does say something. Mike Holmgren never called Warren Moon in 1999 after being hired to the Seahawks, foreshadowing Moon's exit.

Carroll said the NFL is a quarterback-driven league, and the presence of Hasselbeck in Seattle's pocket is a big factor.

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"We have a quarterback that has played really good football in his career," Carroll said. "He's feeling pretty good. He's bouncing back from a sore shoulder during the season. He's ready to go. That is one of the key elements of putting together a team that has a chance to win right away."

Hasselbeck is 34 and has one year remaining on his contract. Carroll was asked if he worries about his health.

"I'm thrilled that he's got that background and experience," Carroll said. "He's not banged up."

Leiweke says sorry

Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke said he talked to Mora, the coach he fired Friday, and said he apologized after Mora conducted his final news conference the day after Seattle interviewed Carroll. Two days later, Mora was fired.

"While I apologized, it was also just one of those difficult awkward moments you find yourself in," Leiweke said. "Jim knew we were going to go have substantive discussions last week. We didn't know where those were going to come out.

"None of this was preordained. It was a fluid situation. The only thing preordained is we had to fix things here because what took place the last two years, to win nine games — and with all due respect, four of those to the St. Louis Rams — is simply not sustainable."

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