The Seahawks Wednesday made a rash of coaching changes, most notably naming Travis Jones, formerly of the New Orleans Saints, as a defensive line coach. The Seahawks also hired Nick Sorensen as an assistant special teams coach, Dave Canales as an assistant quarterbacks/offensive quality control coach, Nate Carroll as an offensive assistant and Marquand Manuel as a defensive assistant.
Jones spent the last five years with the Saints as an assistant defensive line coach. He entered the NFL coaching ranks with the Miami Dolphins from 2005-07, where he was on the same defensive staff as current Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
“Travis is an outstanding coach,” said Quinn. “He’s got energy out on the practice field and is a good teacher. I’ve always thought he did an excellent job in preparing his guys. We are fortunate to have him here and I couldn’t be more thrilled knowing he’s a guy who sees it exactly like I do.”
Jones began his career at Georgia, his alma mater, in 1997 as a graduate assistant/defensive line coach before moving on to Appalachian State (1998-00), Kansas (2001-02) and LSU (2003-04), where he was the defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator for the Tigers.
Jones was a four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs (1990-92, 94) as a defensive lineman and served as team captain as a senior. He played one season with the Baltimore Stallions of the CFL in 1995. He earned his master’s degree in 1998.
Sorensen spent 10 years in the NFL with St. Louis (2001-02), Jacksonville (2003-06) and Cleveland (2007-10) as a safety. He saw action in 131 games, primarily on special teams, collecting 133 special teams tackles. He volunteered as defensive quality control coach for Youngstown State in 2012.
Manuel is a former Seahawks safety, having played with the club in 2004-05. In 2005, Manuel was part of a Seahawks team that finished 13–3. In the 2005 NFC Championship Game against the Carolina Panthers, he returned an interception 32 yards to set up a touchdown. The Seahawks reached Super Bowl XL, but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21–10. Manuel started the Super Bowl at free safety, but injured his hip and was replaced by Etric Pruitt.
Following that season, Manuel signed with the Green Bay Packers as an unrestricted free agent. He also played for Carolina, Denver and Detroit after leaving Seattle and retired in 2009.