JAKE AND STACY
Heaps: Carroll empowering Seahawks’ defensive coaches is ‘nothing but positive’
Feb 18, 2022, 2:52 PM
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
The Seahawks officially named their 2022 coaching staff this week and there’s definitely some shakeup, especially on defense.
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Ken Norton Jr. was let go as defensive coordinator, as was defensive passing game coordinator Andre Curtis. Clint Hurtt, Seattle’s assistant head coach and defensive line coach the last five years, is now the defensive coordinator and Karl Scott, who was most recently the defensive backs coach of the Minnesota Vikings and before that coached defensive backs at college powerhouse Alabama, is the new defensive passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach.
Additionally, the Seahawks also added Sean Desai to the staff as the associate head coach of defense. Desai was the Chicago Bears defensive coordinator in 2021 and was on the Bears’ staff from 2013-21. Desai coached alongside Hurtt in Chicago for two of those years.
Hurtt made two media appearances this week after his promotion was made official, and it’s safe to say he’s making quite the impression and saying all the right things that Seahawks fans want to hear.
During an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob on Thursday, Hurtt made it clear that he and his defensive assistants have head coach Pete Carroll’s blessing to run things their way.
“He’s given me full autonomy,” Hurtt said, referring to Carroll. “Obviously when you’re a coordinator and you have a head coach … you have somebody you have to answer to when there’s things that come up. That’s part of it, and that’s no issue for me. And I want to also lean on him for his expertise.”
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What does former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps make of Hurtt’s comments about Carroll? He shared his thoughts during Friday’s edition of Jake and Stacy on 710 ESPN Seattle.
“Does it surprise me? No,” Heaps said. “Given the fact that when you’re looking at the overall changes that need to be made defensively and what Clint Hurtt truly wants to do it is not really surprising to me that Pete Carroll is saying, ‘Look, you want to implement a new defense, we’ve looked at the last four years and the scheme that we’ve had over the last 12 just doesn’t match the personnel that we have right now. We need to change, we need to turn over a new leaf, and I am empowering Clint Hurtt, Sean Desai and Karl Scott to bring that together.'”
Hurtt mentioned a few times to Wyman and Bob that it’s a good thing when Carroll is involved with the defense because that’s his area of expertise. That being said, Hurtt made it clear Carroll is comfortable with the changes Hurtt and his staff want to implement.
“Pete being involved and knowing everything that’s going on, that’s a resource, that’s not an issue like some people are trying to make that come across,” he said. “He’s given us full rein to go and put in a defense, run it and it’s not the things that we’ve always been running here for the last 11 or 12 years.”
Heaps agrees with Hurtt’s sentiment.
“Pete Carroll will be there as a sounding board to be able to help connect the dots when needed,” he said.
But Carroll, who has a reputation for being too involved in defensive game planning and play calling – something Hurtt pushed back on, calling that thought “overblown” – is moving the Seahawks in the “right direction,” Heaps said, by empowering his defensive staff.
“This is a very good pivot and decision by Pete Carroll to bring in outside perspective, outside voices and to really empower them to have their vision fully realized on the field,” Heaps said. “Now we’ll see the results that ultimately it garners and obviously there still needs to be major talent upgrades to fully realize those scheme changes. But I view the decision from Pete Carroll to give that to Clint Hurtt as nothing but positive for the health of this team moving forward.”
Listen to the second hour of Friday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.
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