Number three: Letting Kris Richard go
Kris Richard was the Seahawks defensive coordinator for three seasons. In his first season of 2015, Seattle ranked first in points allowed. In his second year, Seattle was third. In 2017, the Seahawks ranked 13th. So yes, there was a bit of digression for Seattle’s defense after the historically great seasons of 2012 through 2015.
Still, 13th in points allowed is not bad. And there were a lot of reasons for Seattle going from first to 13th. One was that Seattle’s defense was starting to get a bit old and starting to suffer injuries. Kam Chancellor never played again after week 10’s injury. Richard Sherman was never a Seahawk again after his week 10 injury.
After those injuries, Seattle went 3-4. Seattle gave up 26 or more points four times in those games. Before week 11, Seattle gave up exactly 26 points or more just once. The problem wasn’t Richard, it was good players getting hurt.
After letting Richard go, Pete Carroll brought in Ken Norton, Jr. Norton, Jr. is still the Seahawks defensive coordinator. Seattle ranked 11th in points allowed in 2018, 22nd in 2019 and 15th in 2020.
Richard was beloved by his players and knew Pete Carroll’s system really well. Firing Kris Richard was a huge mistake by Pete Carroll.