Adam Schefter recently tweeted that the Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers are reportedly speaking with Cleveland Browns special teams coach Brad Seely. The Browns are undergoing a transformation with a new head coach in Pat Shurmur and as we saw with the 49ers, the staff is undergoing a transition. The most interesting aspect of Schefter's tweet was that Seely is regarded as one of the league's top special teams coach.
I'm curious how exactly one assesses a special teams coach. Is it based on starting field position on your returns and opponent field position on kickoffs and punts? Do we look at special teams tackles? Do we look at average return yards? If we're looking at the last category, the 49ers finished ahead of the Browns in both average punt return and average kick return in 2010. However, in 2009, the Browns were quite impressive in the return game as they finished third in punt return average and seventh in kick return average? Is that more about the skill of the returners, or can the coaches have a significant impact?
Brad Seely as a whole lot of special teams experience (resume posted after the jump), which would have to be helpful. However, what can we really tell about the role of special teams coordinator?
Brad Seely Resume
1978 South Dakota State, assistant coach
1979 Colorado State, graduate assistant
1980 Colorado State, offensive line coach
1981 Southern Methodist, offensive line coach
1982 North Carolina State, offensive line coach
1983 Pacific, offensive line coach
1984-88 Oklahoma State, offensive line coach
1989-93 Indianapolis Colts, special teams coach/tight ends coach
1994 New York Jets, special teams coach
1995-98 Carolina Panthers, special teams coach
1999-08 New England Patriots, special teams coach
2009-10 Cleveland Browns, assistant head coach/special teams coordinator