Seahawks defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt
Let’s be honest, Hurtt had kind of a rocky start to his career as a defensive coordinator. Hurtt is a well-respected defensive coach but had never been a DC before and it appeared to show. The Seahawks’ defense in 2022 was extremely inconsistent. In the four games between weeks 6 and 9 they were great, and then for the next many games the run defense especially was tremendously awful. And Hurtt didn’t know how to fix it.
Part of the issue with the defense was that they had a bunch of rookies either starting or trying to fit into the scheme while some veterans were having some of their worst seasons. One reason the interior of the defensive line was not good is that Poona Ford was mostly bad, for example. Ford also may have been playing out of his natural position of nose guard and this hurt his productivity.
But Hurtt needed to recognize this more quickly and make changes. The whole defense was slow to react to what an offense was doing and this seemed to stretch for weeks at a time. In 2021, Seattle was 31st in pass defense but rose to 14th in 2022. A main reason for this could be that teams realized they could run more easily against Seattle as in 2021 the run defense was second in the NFL in yards-per-rush (3.8) yet in 2022 fell to 27th (4.9) and Seattle was 30th in yards allowed rushing per game.
So can Hurtt fix the defense? Of course, it would help to get him more talent but the inconsistency is a major concern. If the defense isn’t better in 2023, Hurtt could have a short-lived career as a DC in Seattle.