Clayton: A look at Seahawks’ list of defensive coordinator candidates

Jan 20, 2022, 2:28 PM

Seahawks Sean Desai...

Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai looks on before a Dec. 26, 2021 game in Seattle. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

You knew something had to change for the Seahawks.

What parting ways with DC Ken Norton Jr. says about the Seahawks

A week ago, Seahawks owner Jody Allen met with Pete Carroll and John Schneider. They didn’t even discuss any possible changes at head coach and general manager. They shouldn’t have. Those two have had too many winning seasons together.

But there was change, and it wasn’t surprising. Ken Norton Jr. was fired as defensive coordinator and Andre Carter was fired as defensive passing game coordinator.

The Seahawks’ pass defense was bad, and the defense in general has had trouble for the past couple of years. This was a spot ripe for change.

What’s interesting is what the Seahawks are looking to do to replace them. They have five candidates for the defensive coordinator position and are waiting to see if Gus Bradley, who was Carroll’s first DC in Seattle, is going to be let go by the Raiders to be the sixth.

Heaps: Why Seahawks should look to bring Gus Bradley back

The Seahawks could promote defensive line coach Clint Hurtt. I think he is the best defensive line coach in the league, though it’s unknown how he would be as coordinator.

I think the most interesting name is Ed Donatell. He’s been a defensive coordinator for four different teams and is coming off a great season with the Denver Broncos. To me, he’s is the most intriguing candidate for Carroll. They coached together on the University of Pacific staff in 1983, and he was New York Jets defensive backs coach when Carroll was Jets DC from 1990 to 1993 and head coach in 1994.

There seems to be a Chicago Bears theme with these candidates. Donatell and Hurtt both coached under then-Chicago DC Vic Fangio, as did current Bears DC Sean Desai, who the Seahawks have also asked to interview.

On Thursday, Seattle added Dallas Cowboys defensive passing coordinator/secondary coach Joe Witt Jr. as a candidate. His secondary was unbelievable with turnovers and interceptions.

This is a good list of potential next defensive coordinators. Stay tuned.

More Seahawks coverage from

Heaps: Seattle may go with co-defensive coordinators
Salk: Five-step plan to make Hawks contenders again in ’22
Matt Hasselbeck Show: Does the Seahawks’ defense need to evolve?
How does Seahawks’ DC change impact Bobby Wagner’s future?
Huard: What’s next after moving on from DC Norton

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