The Seahawks didn’t waste any time finding a new offensive line coach.
In the wake of Alex Gibbs’ sudden retirement on Saturday, Pat Ruel, who worked with Coach Pete Carroll at USC for five years, was hired as assistant offensive line coach less than 24 hours later. The 59-year-old Ruel, who has five previous seasons of NFL experience, arrived in Seattle on Sunday afternoon and got to work right away to learn the intricacies and wrinkles of the Seahawks offense.
“I’ve been going a million miles an hour,” the affable, mustachioed Ruel said with a chuckle.
Besides the frenetic pace to play catch-up, Ruel has run into one issue since starting his new job — he couldn’t find his hotel on Sunday night and ended up taking an unplanned late-night tour of Renton.
Fortunately, though, the transition for Ruel and the Seahawks offensive line should be easier to navigate. Not only is assistant offensive line coach Art Valero helping take the reins, but Ruel worked with offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates at USC last season and, in his five years with the Trojans, ran the same zone-blocking scheme the Seahawks employ. Ruel has had plenty of success, too, as seven of his USC linemen were drafted into the NFL and the Trojans averaged 189.4 rushing yards per game during Ruel’s tenure.
“We’re very fortunate to be able to bring Pat in so quickly,” said Carroll, who first worked with Ruel at Arkansas in 1977. “He has the familiarity and background with this system and with many of our coaches, and he has a great history in the NFL, too. The continuity should be very helpful for us in this transition time.”