The Seattle Seahawks are doing a coaching reset on the defensive side. The Seahawks have relieved defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. and pass defense coordinator Andre Curtis of their duties. It makes sense given the second straight year of slow starts on defense despite having talent. Whom they hire next will say a lot about the direction of the team.
For too long Pete Carroll has been insistent on hiring ‘his guys;’ Coaches in his inner circle. This is fine to a certain extent. It helps with communication and continuity.
However, when the majority of the coaching staff is filled with ‘my guys’ it removes any figures to challenge the status quo. For a guy who lives by the reputation of competing, in my opinion, his coordinators have seemingly too often been the opposite and not argued when any of Carroll’s scheme decisions.
Seattle Seahawks: Ed Donatell should not be hired as defensive coordinator
The Seahawks need fresh voices. They need fresh ideas and game plans. They need someone who isn’t afraid to speak up with authority and correct the ship. That next coach should not be Ed Donatell, however. Seattle has reportedly requested to interview Donatell for the open DC job. Donatell was Carroll’s understudy early in his career. More recently he has been Vic Fangio’s right-hand man, both with the Bears and Broncos.
Donatell commanded a very talented defensive roster for the Broncos. However, as a unit, they failed to live up to their potential. Sounds eerily similar to Ken Norton, Jr., right? The Broncos ranked anywhere from the middle of the pack to last in nearly every category despite the talent. Denver was 14th in yards allowed per play (5.3), 22nd in creating turnovers (19), 18th in sacks and 25th in quarterback hits (83).
That marks this as a ‘my guy’/ known entity hiring. Donatell likely would be an underperformer who will run and do what coach Carroll wants. As I have already stated, the Seahawks need fresh blood and fresh ideas.
What would make me feel a lot more comfortable in the direction of the team is if Pete Carroll relinquished some power. He is a phenomenal culture setter, communicator and motivator. However, his game plans and strategies have become stale. If he were to hire a hot-shot defensive coordinator and relinquish his control over the defense, the defense likely improves and becomes more aggressive. With Carroll focusing on the culture and less on the defensive scheme, I would feel a lot more confident about the future.
Let the new defensive coordinator come in with his own game plan and allow him the authority to see it through. Carroll shouldn’t try to micromanage the new DC’s day-to-day but just trust the new DC will get the best out of the defense. Carroll should focus on getting the most out of the players overall and focus less on the Xs and Os.