SEATTLE, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Ray Rhodes, who has moved a number of times in the last few years, has been named defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks.
Rhodes held a similar post with the Denver Broncos the last two seasons. He resigned from that job last month, and sources have said he did so under pressure.
With Seattle, Rhodes, 52, who is called by some a defensive genius, will have his work cut out for him.
The Seahawks were last in the NFL against the run in 2002, 28th overall, had only 28 sacks, and allowed opponents to convert in third-down situations a whopping 46.5 percent of the time.
Rhodes has 22 years of coaching experience, and has made a habit of improving defenses.
He has been a defensive coordinator at San Francisco, Green Bay, Denver, and Washington, and has been a head coach at Green Bay and Philadelphia.
Under his guidance in 2000, the Redskins' defense went from 30th to fourth overall.
"I wouldn't be here if we couldn't turn this thing around," Rhodes said. "I really feel that right now, we will turn it around. I have no question about that. I'm not trying to talk about certain situations here, but from a defensive standpoint, as a defensive coach, I've basically been a top-10-type defensive coach, and I'm not going to change. Let's put it that way. I'm not going to change. Whatever is necessary for us to get it done to improve to get to that level, that's what we are going to do."
In Seattle, he will be reunited with Mike Holmgren. The two worked together in Green Bay in 1993, when Holmgren was coach and Rhodes defensive coordinator.
"I know Coach Holmgren, have enjoyed working with him, and we work well together," Rhodes said. "The other factor is that I really think this team is an up-and-coming team right now. You look at the talent level, and I keep emphasizing the offensive side of the football a little bit, but there's a lot of young talent. When you have to face them from the defensive aspect, there's a lot of young talent on offense: the receivers, the backs, the offensive line, the quarterback. It's a talented, young football team, and they're on their way up."
"Having Ray here was probably the farthest thing from my mind because he had a good job (at Denver) and was very good at it," Holmgren said. "But things happen in this crazy business, as you guys know, and change takes place. When he became available, he was very much the answer to what I thought we needed to do desperately this offseason, and we were fortunate enough to make it happen. He's got a wonderful family, and I'm very happy that he's decided to join us. I'm going to give him all the support I can possibly give him as a head coach. We are friends first and colleagues second."
Rhodes, who signed a three-year contract, replaces Steve Sidwell, who himself was fired on Dec. 31.