Heaps: Seahawks should call Kam Chancellor, Kris Richard to help fix D
The Seahawks’ defense is heading to a place where no one wants to go.
Seattle is currently on pace to finish the 2020 season as the worst defense in the history of the NFL, so it goes without saying that they’re currently last in the league, giving up an average of 455.8 yards per game.
The biggest factor for that is how poorly Seattle is playing against the pass, allowing 362.1 yards per game through the air, just one of two teams averaging over 300 passing yards allowed and giving up more than 50 yards more than the next team.
Clearly the Seahawks need to do something. And while it’s highly unlikely that 6-2 Seattle is going to fire defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. at any point during this season, something that’s come up a lot lately is the possibility of the Hawks adding defensive consultants to their coaching staff.
While the name of former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who was dismissed as Atlanta’s head coach earlier this season, has come up a lot, 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps has two other people in mind that the Seahawks should be talking to: former All-Pro safety Kam Chancellor, who retired after suffering a career-ending injury in 2017, and Kris Richard, another former Seahawks player who was defensive backs coach and later defensive coordinator for Seattle.
“If you’re talking about adding a consultant… you could add somebody to help out with your secondary, bring somebody in that knows this scheme as good as anybody,” Heaps said.
If the #Seahawks were going to bring in anyone to help with the defense there are only one of two people I would call right now.
Kam Chancellor and Kris Richard. Not a second thought about it.
— Jake Heaps (@jtheaps9) November 11, 2020
And Heaps, who spent time as a quarterback with the Seahawks in 2016 and 2017, saw up close how knowledgeable Chancellor and Richard are about head coach Pete Carroll’s system on defense. He thinks their experience would go a long way with Seattle’s current group of DBs.
“I would advocate for either Kam Chancellor or Kris Richard (because) they have been there, done that,” Heaps said, “and the level of accountability that they would bring to that group would be at a very high level. I think the respect would be there. Not saying that’s not there with the coaching staff right now, but if you want an infusion of energy, you want an infusion of the ability to understand and teach this defense and get guys to buy in, I think Kam Chancellor and Kris Richard are two guys that I would absolutely be calling right now and seeing if they are interested.”
Stacy Rost, Heaps’ co-host on 710 ESPN Seattle, had two interesting follow-up questions regarding the potential of adding a defensive consultant and Richard specifically.
First, would Carroll hold off on bringing in somebody to help the defense due to his loyalty to Norton?
“It doesn’t matter if you offend anybody – you’re the worst defense in history,” Heaps replied. “There’s gotta be a level of accountability, and if you’re not willing to seek outside help with people that could legitimately get you better, that’s a bigger problem. That’s a whole entirely bigger issue that we would have to address, and I don’t believe Pete Carroll wouldn’t make a move just because it would hurt somebody’s feelings. And I think Ken Norton Jr. would look at it and say, ‘Look, I’m still the defensive coordinator, we’re just adding some help here.'”
Second, Richard was let go as Seattle’s DC after the 2017 season, and it’s believed that his relationship with Carroll may not be great as a result. Could that prevent him from coming back into the fold?
“Yes, he did get let go and there was a little bit of friction there between him and Pete Carroll I believe, but you need this,” Heaps said. “I personally believe that you need this, (even) if it’s picking up the phone and calling somebody that you look back and say, hindsight 20-20, maybe we would have loved to have kept this guy around.
“And you gotta remember, too, Kris Richard went over to the Dallas Cowboys after he was let go in Seattle (to become Dallas’ defensive backs coach), and that secondary was a top 10 secondary. And the moment he left, guess what happened to that defense? They’re now one of the worst in the NFL. Kris Richard is a tremendous communicator, he’s a guy who knows how to motivate guys to get them to do the right thing.”
You can hear the full conversation in the Three Questions segment from Thursday’s show in the podcast at this link or in the player below.
Jake & Stacy