Bumpus: Seahawks should promote Clint Hurtt to defensive coordinator

Jan 22, 2022, 9:31 AM
Seahawks Clint Hurtt...
Seahawks assistant coach Clint Hurtt watches from the sidelines during a game against Houston. (John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The search is on for the next defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks, and there are reportedly four coaches who are under consideration for the job.

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That number may, and likely will, increase in the next few days or even weeks, but here are the four names we currently know of: Ed Donatell, Sean Desai, Joe Whitt Jr. and Clint Hurtt.

Donatell and Desai were defensive coordinators in 2021, holding that title with the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears, respectively. Both may be in new cities in 2022 as their teams’ head coaches were let go this offseason.

Whitt, meanwhile, serves as the defensive passing game coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys in 2021, working alongside former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who held that same title in Dallas.

Hurtt, though, would be an internal hire as he’s been the defensive line coach and associate head coach for the Seahawks since 2017.

Many want and expect the Seahawks’ next defensive coordinator to be an outside hire. Not former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus, though. He explained to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy on Friday.

Bumpus said that after a disappointing 2021 season he wasn’t surprised the Seahawks fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. after four seasons.

“I knew a move needed to be made … The organization needed to make a move to have (fans) still believed in what they’re doing,” he said. “And they’ve been calling for Ken Norton (to be fired) for years now, and I think for good reason.”

The Seahawks under Norton have regularly been one of the league’s worst, especially when it came to total yards and passing yards allowed as well as struggles sacking quarterbacks and forcing turnovers.

So what should the Seahawks do next in Bumpus’ opinion?

“There’s two ways you can look at it. You can say, ‘Look, we need some fresh eyes in here. It’s not working and this isn’t the defense that we’re used to seeing,'” Bumpus said. “Or you can say, ‘Look, let’s get back to the good old days and really just keep it simple.'”

Bumpus said he falls into the second train of thought.

“That’s why I like Clint Hurtt,” he said.

Why does Bumpus think Hurtt is the right guy for the job?

“I think that one, he’s a guy that these guys follow, and that they love and (head coach Pete Carroll) trusts,” Bumpus said. “Pete is a defensive guy. If you bring in a defensive guy from the outside in, I feel like there’s gonna be some challenging going on there. I don’t know if Pete is capable at this point of his career in jut saying, ‘Look, my ways are done, let’s bring in a new guy and try his way of doing things.’ So I think Clint Hurtt is the way to go.”

Bumpus said Hurtt is well respected and he believes the 43-year-old coach will be an NFL head coach in the future.

Plus, Hurtt being a defensive line coach complements Carroll’s background in working with defensive backs, Bumpus added.

“He can hold down the box while the back end is going to be on Pete,” Bumpus said. “And that’s what (Carroll) wants to do, too. And that’s the other issue. If you bring a guy into address the big elephant in the room with the secondary, he and Pete are going to sit down before practice, after practice, and they’re going to challenge each other. And I’m just like, man, I just want Pete to be in a good space and get back to the good old days. And I think keeping Clint around and (promoting) him allows (Carroll) to do that.”

Hurtt’s familiarity with Carroll would also allow him to have his say in different issues, Bumpus said.

“Clint also has relationships where he can challenge (Carroll) a bit,” he said. “All those other candidates, they are qualified. And if they do go that route, I would understand. But I’m going the other way. I say you roll with Clint and let Pete take care of the back end and stop dropping defensive linemen into coverage and we’ll be good.”

Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the player below.

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