Report: Seahawks expected to part with defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

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The Seattle Seahawks aren’t staying entirely status quo for 2022.

According to Bob Condotta and Adam Jude of the Seattle Times, the Seahawks are expected to part ways with defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. and defensive pass game coordinator Andre Curtis.

Assistant head coach/defensive line coach Clint Hurtt and long-time NFL assistant Ed Donatell are among the candidates to replace Norton at defensive coordinator.

Norton has been an assistant with Pete Carroll for long stretches of his coaching career dating back to their time together at USC. Norton was a linebackers coach with the Seahawks through the team’s Super Bowl runs before leaving to become a defensive coordinator with the Oakland Raiders. After Seattle moved on from defensive coordinator Kris Richard following the 2017 season, Norton was brought back to take over the coordinator position with the Seahawks.

Seattle’s defense has gotten off to horrendous starts each of the last two seasons. In 2020, they were on pace at the midway point of the year to allowing the most passing yards in NFL history by over 1,000 yards. This season, the defense again was subject to allowing offenses to move way too freely up and down the field as the finished the season 28th in total defense.

The Seahawks were far better in points allowed both seasons and significantly improved as both years went along. However, the issues two seasons in a row appear to have been too much for Norton to survive. The 379.1 yards per game allowed this season ranked second-most in franchise history ahead of only the 399.0 yards allowed in 2001.

Curtis has been with Seattle since 2015 working primarily with the secondary as a defensive backs coach and safeties coach. He was given the title of defensive passing game coordinator in 2018.

Hurtt has been the team’s defensive line coach and assistant head coach since 2017.

Donatell has spent the past three seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos under head coach Vic Fangio. He coached with Carroll for five seasons when they were a part of the New York Jets coaching staff in the 1990’s, including Carroll’s lone season as head coach of the Jets in 1994. Donatell also spent one season in Seattle as the defensive coordinator at the University of Washington in 2008.

7 responses to “Report: Seahawks expected to part with defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

  1. “Donatell also spent one season in Seattle as the defensive coordinator at the University of Washington in 2008.”

    As a Seahawks fan, I want nothing to do with anyone that was part of that 0-12 Husky team.

  2. There’s a lot to be excited about for Seattle on defense as we’ve watched Brooks, Taylor and Cody Barton et el all round into rock solid players this season. I think a fresh perspective will be like a healing tonic for this group.. Good move, GO HAWKS!

  3. So Seattle is finally figured out that called a variation of the same base 4-3 defence on 85% of the plays is NOT going to work?

  4. Ed Donatell. Author of 4th-and-26. Talk about a blast from the past.

    .. since its Petes defense, its hard to watch Norton fall on the sword. They’ve been together a VERY long time, going back all teh way to Nortons playing days. Maybe he just wanted to move on, do something else?

  5. This makes sense. The talent is there for Seattle on defense. They also need to go grab some more…

    Who will be DC? Seattle should be, and maybe could be, aggressive and pull a bigger name than people expect. Groundwork is in place for Seattle’s defense to be really good. Lots of young talent all over. Now if they get the right coordinator this time maybe it can come together.

  6. I remember watching the Pittsburg Steelers walk Troy Polamalu up to the line of scrimmage and making the quarterback think twice about the called play…the Seahawks got too predictable with their play calls…and need to get more talent on defense….

  7. I’m okay with this move. In fact, it is a season or two, too late. However, I’m also a fan of Mr. Norton. He has my respect and thanks for his past service. I do hope he gets another chance at DC after a self reflective analysis of his work and updating his “bend, don’t break” approach on ever series, on every game, for all opponents.

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