After missing the playoffs for the first time in five seasons, the Seattle Seahawks rebuilt their coaching staff. Throughout the 2017 season, fans called for the heads of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and offensive line coach Tom Cable. From the start of the offseason, they got what they asked for and more. In total, there are six new hires and three moves within the coaching staff. The Seahawks coaching staff changes will definitely affect the way next season plays out. The question is how?
Making Changes To The Seahawks Coaching Staff
All-New Defense & A Familiar Face
Let’s face it, the Legion of Boom as we knew it is gone. Michael Bennett is now an Eagle. Richard Sherman‘s jumped ship in the NFC West to join the Niners. Cliff Avril has been released after failing his physical. Kam Chancellor‘s status is still in the air and Earl Thomas is skipping out on OTAs.
Once the season ended, the Seahawks informed defense coordinator Kris Richard he should start looking for work elsewhere. Not long after the team announced that Ken Norton jr. would be Seattle’s new defensive coordinator. A former linebacker and 3x Super Bowl champion, Norton Jr. already has a history with the team. He was there with Pete Carroll at USC developing players such as Clay Matthews and Lofa Tatupu. Norton Jr. was also there to help coach the Seahawks to their Super Bowl XLVIII victory.
What Norton Jr. brings to the Seahawks coaching staff is perfect for what Pete Carroll expects from his defense. Player accountability is a priority and Norton Jr. has the experience to relate to his players. Be on the lookout out for huge plays from linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright next season.
Fixing The Broken Line
The magic that Tom Cable worked during his time on the Seahawks coaching staff cannot be denied. Cable joined the Seahawks in 2011 and rightfully earned his Super Bowl ring.
Before his departure, Cable became known for his ability to transform players who never played on the O-line into productive athletes. J.R. Sweezey, who played defense in college, turned out to be a solid lineman. The most notable transition that Cable pulled off was George Fant. A power forward at Western Kentucky, who only played one year of football as a tight end. In 2016 Fant was one of Seattle’s best starting linemen, fulfilling his assignments perfectly in such games as the Seahawks victory over the Patriots during the regular season.
Some would argue that using players who never played on the offensive line is what set Seattle up as one of the worst offensive lines last season. As ESPN’s Brady Henderson points out, the addition of coach Mike Solari and offensive lineman D.J. Fluker will provide a much-needed boost to a unit that has high hopes for the future.
Bottom line: Russell Wilson needs better protection. Last season’s offensive line allowed 121 QB hits compared to Solari’s offensive line in New York allowing 70.
Bevell Out, Schottenheimer In
Ever since the infamous pass on the goal line in Super Bowl XLIX, Seahawks fans have had a sour taste towards Darrell Bevell. Even though coach Carroll took the blame for the play call, fans and players blame Bevell.
Ultimately, replacing Bevell seems to be more of the Seahawks needing a change rather than something “better”. Brian Schottenheimer was added to the Seahawks coaching staff as the new offensive coordinator. Spending a good chunk of his career as a quarterbacks coach, Schottenheimer likes to use the Air Coryell offense.
This offensive philosophy focuses on mid and long-range vertical routes, allowing Wilson to display more of his passing skills next season. Hopefully, these routes and a power run game will give Wilson a break from scrambling. That of course also depends on the execution of Solari’s offensive line.
New Horizons Through Fresh Perspectives
Coaches and players come and go like the changing of seasons. Sometimes they’re gone for good and other times they return with a fresh perspective. What’s great for the Emerald City is that the prospect of next season is a blank slate. Every blank slate has the potential to be a masterpiece, you’ve just got to take the first step. There are fresh rookies with lots to prove and the revamped Seahawks coaching staff is looking like an immediate upgrade from previous seasons.