Pete Carroll apparently has given recently promoted DC Clint Hurtt carte blanche to remake Seattle’s defense in Vic Fangio’s image – and it certainly sounds like Hurtt knows what he needs to do.
Among his revelations in his first appearance as DC, Hurtt said the Seahawks are at least partly changing their scheme from Carroll’s long-favored Cover 3, they will be more aggressive in both the pass rush and coverage, and Jamal Adams will be used closer to the line of scrimmage (as we all know he should be). Hurtt also expects new/old sidekick Sean “Doc” Desai to help with quick in-game adjustments.
The result should be fewer D-linemen dropping, fewer open zones, more man, more blitzing, more turnovers — and better defense.
A look at what is changing and what Hurtt said about the changes:
The Seahawks answered the prayers of many fans by firing Ken Norton Jr.
Mike Dugar of The Athletic broke down all of the defense’s key stats during Norton’s tenure (decent vs. the run, terrible vs. the pass) and surmised that Norton and Pete Carroll may not have been aligned on how Seattle should play defense.
So who will replace him? Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times says it looks like Carroll wants to be more aggressive. The known candidates are Denver DC Ed Donatell and Chicago DC Sean Desai (who both have ties to just fired Denver coach Vic Fangio), plus Seattle DL coach Clint Hurtt and Dallas pass defense coordinator Joe Whitt Jr., who worked under former Seattle DC Dan Quinn in Atlanta and Dallas.
Some fans inexplicably were expecting a big announcement from the Seahawks by the end of this week, after the season wrap meeting involving Jody Allen, Pete Carroll and John Schneider. But why would the franchise make an announcement that things are … staying the same?
It already was clear that Carroll and Schneider were not going anywhere. They both said it themselves as the season ended. Apparently, though, plenty of fans who want wholesale change think they are owed an explanation for why Allen is keeping Carroll and Schneider.
Jody Allen fired the Portland Trail Blazers’ longtime general manager Friday, leading some to speculate she might do the same with the Seahawks’ coach and/or GM after this season.
But Neil Olshey was fired for violating the Blazers’ code of conduct, not because the team may miss the playoffs for the first time in nine years. So, it seems quite unlikely Allen would fire Pete Carroll and John Schneider after one losing season, especially when she just extended both of them and neither has any personal black clouds hanging over his head.
It’s a ridiculous sentiment that has gotten a lot of traction this month in the wake of reports that Russell Wilson is upset that Carroll won’t include him in personnel and scheme decisions as much as the quarterback wants.
Colin Cowherd, a radio mouthpiece for Wilson and his agent, is the most visible peddler of this stupid abuse-of-power theory. All of the pass-happy data dorks who despise Carroll’s philosophy agree, of course. And fans who have been brainwashed into believing Wilson is a victim certainly believe it.
“I’m frustrated with getting hit too much.” – Russell Wilson
Did Shane Waldron know what he was getting into when he hired on with the Seahawks?
We already knew he was key to the Seahawks’ Super Bowl hopes – the offense needing some good innovation to beat stellar defenses and advance beyond the first two rounds of the playoffs. But Russell Wilson’s callout of John Schneider and Pete Carroll this week really puts the heat on Waldron, a first-time playcaller who suddenly appears to hold Wilson’s future in his game plans (assuming the relationship between Wilson and Carroll is salvageable).
In his first comments since the Seahawks hired Shane Waldron to run the offense, Russell Wilson said he was “adamant” about finding an OC who would maintain a dynamic offense and he said he already has talked to Waldron several times about how they are going to do that.
In his radio spot, he also said the Seahawks became “passive” in the second half of last season – due in part to offensive line injuries and his own uneven play.
The best thing Shane Waldron said Tuesday in his first public words as Seattle’s new offensive coordinator is that he wants to have an “attacking mindset” and to “be the one that puts the foot on the gas pedal.”
That’s music to the ears of Seahawks fans and Russell Wilson, who enjoyed the offense’s fast start in 2020 and want to continue to score early and often all the way to the Super Bowl.
Pete Carroll called Shane Waldron “a must-get for us” who has a “vision for the future” and will “expand the explosive ability” of Russell Wilson and the offense.
Those comments were included in the team’s announcement that Waldron will become offensive coordinator and fellow Rams assistant Andy Dickerson will come with him to coordinate the running game.
This setup harks back to the Darrell Bevell/Tom Cable days, but with a more definite hierarchy: Waldron is in charge.
Carroll said Waldron’s “creative and competitive approach to the game will bring out the best in our players and coaches. Shane also brings great knowledge and insight about our division. His vision for the future, along with the caliber of players on our offense, made him a must-get for us.”
That’s apparently what the Seahawks were thinking when they reportedly decided to hire Shane Waldron to fix an offense that diminished by 11 points per game in the second half of the 2020 season (from 34 to 23) and flamed out against Waldron’s Rams in the playoffs.
Waldron’s task will be simple (OK, simply defined anyway): Get Russell Wilson to sustain his excellent play into December and January, get the offense to play well against good defenses in the postseason and get back over the hump and into the Super Bowl.