The Seattle Seahawks appear to not have terminated head coach Pete Carroll or general manager John Schneider yet this offseason. But Seattle must make a change from defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.
If I had a guess, I would say Norton, Jr. is back again with Seattle next year. This means once again the Seahawks will struggle defensively. Throw out the points allowed this season. Seattle was 11th at 21.5. There may not be a more misleading statistic in the history of statistics than points allowed making the Seattle defense seem good this year.
Seattle faced a bunch of backup quarterbacks this year – or quarterbacks struggling in general (there is a reason Ben Roethlisberger is likely to retire after this year) – and those quarterbacks didn’t put up a bunch of points against most teams.
Seattle Seahawks: 3 coaches who should replace Ken Norton, Jr.
Yet, even as the offense improved late in the season (thanks to running back Rashaad Penny), the defense began to give up more points. In the last three games, Seattle allowed 28 points per game, 26th in the NFL over that time.
According to Football Outsiders, the Seahawks defense was 21st in defensive DVOA in 2021. In 2020, Seattle ranked 16th. One way of looking at this is that Seattle’s defenses actually got worse this season.
One reason for this is that Norton, Jr. had an atrocious idea of playing players like Carlos Dunlap and Benson Mayowa more in coverage while not using Jamal Adams as much in pressuring the opposing quarterback. It was an absurd way to run a defense.
Dunlap finally got back to his normal edge rusher position at the end of the season and put up massive numbers (7 sacks over the final four games to go along with 9 quarterback hits and 7 tackles for loss).
Ken Norton, Jr. needs to go. For those saying, “This is Pete’s defense!” It is to some degree but the defense was very good before Norton, Jr. came to Seattle so let’s not say Pete Carroll is suddenly bad now. Norton, Jr. is bad. Here are three coaches who should replace him.