Heaps: ‘Strong optimism’ coaching changes will ‘revamp’ Seahawks’ D

Feb 17, 2022, 11:15 AM

Seahawks Bobby Wagner...

Arizona TE Zach Ertz is stopped by Seahawks LBs Jordyn Brooks and Bobby Wagner in a Nov. 21 game. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seahawks unveiled their 2022 coaching staff on Tuesday, and there are certainly some notable moves on both sides of the ball.

Salk: New DC Clint Hurtt is exactly what Seahawks fans have wanted

While the offense got some shakeup, the most notable move being offensive line coach Mike Solari’s firing, it’s still loaded with familiar faces. That’s not entirely the case on defense.

The Seahawks promoted from within by naming Clint Hurtt defensive coordinator after he spent the last five seasons as Seattle’s defensive line coach and assistant head coach. But he has two noteworthy new coaches joining his defensive staff: Sean Desai and Karl Scott.

Desai is a longtime Chicago Bears assistant who was their defensive coordinator last year. He also has worked with the secondary, and he’s now Seattle’s associate head coach for the defense. Desai and Hurtt worked together in Chicago from 2014-16.

Scott comes to the Seahawks after serving as the defensive backs coach of the Minnesota Vikings in 2021. He previously worked at Alabama and Texas Tech coaching defensive backs. Before that he was at multiple smaller schools where he coached defensive backs and linebackers in addition to time as a defensive coordinator. Scott is Seattle’s new defensive passing game coordinator.

Count former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps as someone who’s excited about the Seahawks’ new-look coaching staff, especially on defense. He shared his thoughts on Wednesday’s edition of Jake and Stacy on 710 ESPN Seattle.

“My overall impression is I like it and I’m very hopeful about what this staff can bring,” he said. “Lots of movement, a good chunk of new faces that were not on the staff a season ago. And what I think has happened is that they have streamlined their coaching staff that should and could work very well together.”

Heaps admitted that it’s “unknown” how Hurtt, Desai and Scott will work with head coach Pete Carroll in their respective roles, but he’s overall excited about what the future holds for that side of the ball.

“I have strong optimism there that they will revamp that defense, that there will be better communication from everybody on board in that coaching room,” he said. “I believe that when you look at this, the overall goal is to take this group from out of the basement when it comes to their pass rush, when it comes to their pass defense overall.”

Aside from finishing seventh in sacks in 2020, the Seahawks have had one of the worst pass rushes in football the last three years and have been among the worst in pass defense. Heaps doesn’t expect the Seahawks to finish in the top 10 of pass defenses in 2022 but does think they can “get out of the basement” in those key statistics in 2022.

“I think that Sean Desai, Clint Hurtt and Karl Scott can put that plan together,” Heaps said. “One of the things that stands out to me is that you’ve got guys that command the room, that are well-respected and are excellent communicators. Coaching matters, and when you have those three things, and you can convey your message very clearly and have one unifying message, that’s how you play great defense. And that has not been the case here in Seattle over the last four seasons.”

Hear the full discussion in the Four-Down Territory segment from Jake and Stacy in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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Heaps: ‘Strong optimism’ coaching changes will ‘revamp’ Seahawks’ D