French Connection: Seahawks Players and Staff With Ties To Louisiana

Several players and coaches have ties to New Orleans and the state of Louisiana, where the Seahawks will play on Sunday.

Louisiana State defensive tackle Al Woods (97) signals his glee after the defense denied Mississippi State a last minute fourth quarter touchdown during their NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009. Louisiana State won, 30-26. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

It's a homecoming or reunion for several Seahawks players and staff as the team heads to New Orleans. Let's take a look at the players and staff with ties to the Louisiana area in advance of the Week 5 matchup against the Saints.

Al Woods: Back at Home In The Bayou

Seahawks elder statesman, defensive tackle Al Woods, is currently on his third tour with Seattle, and is headed home to play in Louisiana for the first time in nearly a decade. Woods has played in New Orleans at the Superdome twice in his career - once as a rookie with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and in 2015 with the Tennessee Titans. The anchor in the middle of Seattle's defensive line from Elton, Louisiana starred for LSU in Baton Rouge before being selected by the New Orleans Saints in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. But Woods was released that September before ever playing a game for the team three hours from home.

Woods has played for four other teams, but carved his niche here in Seattle over time. In 2021, then 34-year-old Woods recorded a career-high 50 tackles along with 4 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. 

This game brings Woods back to the Superdome and to his family and friends, but unfortunately Woods won't have much time for tending to his cattle. The full-time run stopper and pass rusher for Seattle finds time to balance being a husband and father with being a cattle rancher on his family farm.

Surely Woods would love to record his first sack of the season in front of the people that matter most to him.

Bayou Brothers: Seahawks LSU Alum

In addition to Woods, the Seahawks roster sports two other LSU Tigers that played in nearby Baton Rouge in college. While he may be sidelined for the season due to injury, Seahawks safety Jamal Adams is very familiar with the area, as is guard Damien Lewis. Both Adams and Lewis are Tiger alums, but aren't from the state. Adams is from Texas; Lewis was raised primarily in Mississippi. 

Carl Smith: Fear and Loathing in New Orleans

Seahawks assistant head coach Carl Smith has more than 40 years of coaching experience from college to the pros. The former Cal Poly San Luis Obispo defensive back and longtime friend of head coach Pete Carroll got his first opportunity in professional sports with the New Orleans Saints in 1986. For the next decade, Smith would serve as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in the Crescent City. Aside from a brief spell with the Houston Texans, Smith has spent the majority of the last decade with Seattle, elevating from QB coach to associate head coach in 2018. Smith now gets to return to what he formerly known as the Louisiana Superdome in his time.

Chad Morton: The Pick Is in

With the 166th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, the Saints selected USC running back Chad Morton. Morton became of the first rookie backs in team history to get significant playing time as both a back and a kick returner. During the 2000 NFC Division Playoffs against the Minnesota Vikings, Morton set a then-rookie record for receptions in a game with 13.

Morton would spend his remaining time in the league with different teams before joining Green Bay as a coaching administrator in 2009, eventually earning a Super Bowl ring with the Packers as an assistant special teams coach. Morton would join the Seahawks staff in 2014 as a special teams assistant, before moving to running backs coach the following year.

The Seahawks face the Saints for Week 5 of the 2022 season at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. Take a look back at photos from the past games between the two teams.

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