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.
Here’s another reason Norton was let go: The Seahawks set a franchise low with 18 takeaways in 2021 (with an extra game, to boot).
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.
Next to the offense’s total faceplant, the lackluster pass rush has been the biggest surprise of the Seahawks’ season.
Although the defense has improved markedly in key areas since Week 4, it has been somewhat stunning that Carlos Dunlap, Kerry Hyder and the rest have not been able to get to quarterbacks. This unit was easily the strength of the defense entering the season – yet has underperformed expectations.
But it is not simply a matter of those guys suddenly stinking. A lot of the blame lies with Pete Carroll and Ken Norton Jr. They have eschewed the pass rush at times and simply have not created any chemistry because they keep mixing and matching rotations.
Continue reading Pass rush: How did Hawks turn strength into weakness?
Most observers are giving John Schneider major kudos for once again filling a big roster hole by taking advantage of another team’s dysfunction.
The trade for Carlos Dunlap – Schneider’s third October deal in four years — certainly was needed, and Schneider did well to get it done for a mere seventh-round pick and overpriced backup center B.J. Finney, as Cincinnati clearly was eager to get rid of Dunlap. (The GM would do better to add another pass rusher, too.)
But let’s not forget this is the continuation of an ongoing theme: The Seahawks were in this mess because Schneider created it – and then failed to fix it until now, maybe only for now.
Continue reading Schneider finally addresses biggest offseason whiff
Paxton Lynch and Jazz Ferguson made redemptive first impressions, Marquise Blair looked like he could be Seattle’s next great safety, Ken Norton Jr. showed signs of how he is going to fabricate a pass rush and the special teams covered all of the bases.
Those were the top takeaways as Seattle beat Denver 22-14 in the preseason opener Thursday.
Continue reading Lynch, Ferguson, Blair, Norton star in opener
Earl Thomas sat out a couple of practices and Pete Carroll was evasive in his explanation, calling it a “personal” issue. That led to fair speculation that the Hawks might be talking trade. But Dallas denied it was talking with the Hawks again, and then Thomas basically declared he was playing against his favorite team.
Russell Wilson has a hamstring injury but says he’s “ready to go.” Meanwhile, Ethan Pocic is out, with J.R. Sweezy moving to left guard as D.J. Fluker returns at right guard. Justin Britt (shoulder) is expected to miss more than just one game, meaning Joey Hunt will start at center. It also sounds like Doug Baldwin will be out several more weeks.
On defense, Bobby Wagner said he will start vs. the Cowboys after doing the “grown-up” thing and sitting out Week 2 (he watched the game with Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor). Mychal Kendricks could be available as his suspension appeal continues to be reviewed by the NFL — but he is questionable with an ankle injury.
After a steady three-year slide that ended with Seattle out of the playoffs this season, Pete Carroll apparently is ready to re-forge control of his team and re-establish his principles.
Carroll recently said he plans to make his team more disciplined while rejuvenating a once-strong running game that is the identity of the offense.
To do that, he needed some new voices in his coaching staff. So he reportedly is bringing in some familiar enforcers who will command players’ attention and be loyal to Carroll’s approach to winning.
Continue reading Familiar enforcers will drive Carroll’s club