Experiment 4: Clint Hurtt – Seahawks defensive coordinator
There is little doubt that Clint Hurtt has been a well-respected coach in the NFL for several years. He worked his way up through the Seahawks’ system and was named defensive coordinator last offseason. The issue last year was that while Hurtt may have had a solid plan heading into the season, once Jamal Adams got hurt in Week 1, the plan went out the window.
Worse, Hurtt not only failed to adjust to the loss of the one player that the defense seemingly was going to scheme around but Adams was replaced with Josh Jones. Jones might have some speed, but he isn’t good in coverage and can’t tackle. Ryan Neal was still on the roster and when he had replaced Adams in previous seasons, he was really good. Not replacing Adams with Neal immediately was a huge mistake.
The Seahawks’ defense was good for a stretch of about four games near the midpoint of the season and not horrible at the end, but the rest of the year the defense was just plain bad (25th in the NFL in points allowed and 26th in yards allowed). The inconsistency of the defense might partly be due to the inexperience of Hurtt as a coordinator. No matter what, though, the defense must be better in 2023. Seattle has improved its defensive line with the signings of Dre’Mont Jones and Jarran Reed so there is no excuse for the talent not being better this season.
One should assume that in a second year on a job, the person does better than in the first year because they have more experience. Hurtt probably has the ability to be a good DC in the NFL. But he needs to prove it in the coming season or he might need to step down before 2024.