Ken Norton Jr leaves to become Raiders defensive coordinator


Oct 17, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. looks on during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The coaching staff of the Seattle Seahawks took another big hit today. Linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. has accepted a job to become the defensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders.

Norton is the third defensive coach to accept a promotion with other teams already this offseason. Defensive coordination Dan Quinn is now the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. He took assistant DB coach Marquand Manuel with him to become the Falcons’ DB coach.

The Raiders are a great fit for Norton. He is a great teacher and motivator, but wasn’t involved in the administration aspect of the Seattle defense. It’s a big jump for a position coach to coordinator, but Norton has earned this chance.

He also was not involved in Seattle game planning or play calling in Seattle. The Raiders have head coach Jack Del Rio who will be heavily involved in coordinating the Oakland defense. He’ll be a great mentor in helping Norton make the transition.

Seattle also needs a defensive coordinator, but it would have been a much tougher transition for Norton in Seattle. While Carroll is involved in the big-picture aspects the entire team, Quinn, and Gus Bradley before him, had complete control of the defense. Oakland’s situation will be a much easier transition for Norton.

Luckily for Seattle, the team had plenty of extra defensive coaches. They had three different guys coaching the secondary in 2014, so losing Manuel and promoting Kris Richard to defensive coordinator won’t completely strip the staff.

The Seahawks will likely add some coaches to the staff this offseason, but that was likely even without guys leaving. Carroll likes to collect coaches, which is how he ended up with such a large staff to begin with.

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