Pete Carroll was an excellent head coach for more than a decade with the Seattle Seahawks. Think what you will about Carroll, but he was the franchise's winningest coach and was the head coach at the time of the only Super Bowl the Seahawks have won. But one aspect in which he struggled in the last several years of his tenure with Seattle was in picking coordinators, especially defensive coordinators.
One might also wonder how much input Carroll actually had in his offensive and defensive coordinators coming up with their schemes for their respective units. I do not mean game-by-game, but overall. For example, even though the OC changed from Brian Schottenheimer to Shane Waldron after the 2020 season, a couple of the issues transferred over from Schottenheimer to Waldron such as poor third-down efficiency and not running the ball enough.
The defense also had problems transfer from Ken Norton to Clint Hurtt in 2022. Third-down defense was bad under Norton and bad under Hurtt. And both coaches seemed to allow too many conversions on passes over the middle for about 10-15 yards. Odd that would happen even though the coordinator changed, right?
Seattle Seahawks needed to make coaching moves to make 2024 better
As good as Pete Carroll was in Seattle, he needed to go. Opposing teams just came to know his tendencies far too well. Third-down offense and third-down defense were clearly more of a Carroll issue than a Hurtt or Waldron issue because the same issues existed before they arrived in Seattle. In Norton's last years as the DC in Seattle (2021), the team was 12th-worst in allowing third-down conversions. In 2020, the team was 6th-worst. This season under Hurtt, the team was third-worst.
Offensively, Seattle was 10th-worst in third-down conversions this year. In Schottenheimer's final year as OC (2020), the team was 13th-worst. Not quite as bad, but still well into the bottom half of the league. Yet as the OC for the Dallas Cowboys this season, Schottenheimer's offense led the NFL in third-down conversions.
But while Carroll needed to go, so did Waldron and Hurtt. Waldron left to be the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears. Waldron was far too inconsistent as a play-caller and ran the ball far too little (Seattle ran the ball fifth-fewest times, per percentage, in the league this season). Waldron should have relied on Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet much more to try to balance out the time of possession and keep teams from loading up against the Seahawks' poor pass-blocking offensive line.
Hurtt never has proven to be able in full control of a defense. He might be a good defensive line coach, though his defensive lines were not good in either year he was the defensive coordinator for the Seahawks. Hurtt left to be the defensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. Hurtt was set up for failure by working under Carroll, most likely, but he never needed to be DC anyway.
The Seahawks should be better in 2024 simply because of their coaching changes. The team has young talent that needs to be put in better positions to do so. Carroll seemed to have lost the ability to get that done, and Waldron and Hurtt never showed they could ever accomplish putting players in their best situations to succeed.