Seahawks’ mysterious D-coordinator led one free agent to Seattle

May 31, 2024, 4:30 PM | Updated: Jun 1, 2024, 6:34 pm

Seattle Seahawks Johnathan Hankins...

Johnathan Hankins of Dallas celebrates a sack against Washington on Nov. 23, 2023. (Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

(Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

There is a lot of mystery around the new-look Seattle Seahawks, particularly when it comes to their coaching staff.

Brock Huard: The biggest difference Macdonald brings to Seahawks

Not only is Mike Macdonald now a head coach for the first time at any level above high school, but the choice to be the defensive coordinator under the former DC for the Baltimore Ravens and University of Michigan left some people scratching their heads.

That new DC, former Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Aden Durde, is to this point known mostly for being the first British-born coach in NFL history – and if you already knew that, you’re probably in the minority.

What we learned from Aden Durde’s first interview as Seahawks DC

There is one person on the Seahawks’ roster who is familiar with Durde, however: defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins. And the fact that he’s now here in Seattle is actually an endorsement of Durde, it turns out.

Maura Dooley of Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk caught up with Hankins at Seahawks OTAs on Thursday, and she asked Hankins what led to the 11-year pro and former second-round NFL Draft pick to signing with the team this offseason after playing 19 games over the past two seasons for the Cowboys.

“I’m not going to lie: AD,” Hankins responded, referring to Durde. “Just having him as a D-line coach when I was in Dallas, just how much he loves the game and just my relationship with him. To leave Dallas and come with him to Seattle was definitely a great opportunity – (and) definitely got paid a little bit more money. The situation that we had here, talking to AD and feeling comfortable. You know, him being my D-line coach, I feel like I could come travel with him or be with him, and I think this year is gonna be a good year.”

The 32-year-old Hankins shared what stands out to him about Durde.

“Energy, juice. Great teacher and just fantastic leader, especially when he was on the D-line,” Hankins said. “Now he’s got the command of the whole defense, which I’m so happy for him and grateful for him. He’s going to get everybody on the same page. Practice is going to be fun. These last two days since I’ve been back here has been just going out there, learning, not really worried about making mistakes, but just going out there and having fun. He brings a great energy to the team and to the defense.”

Hankins added that he likes the potential of the Seahawks’ defense under the pairing of Macdonald and Durde.

“I think Mike, he knows so much about the defensive side. He pretty much got an answer for anything the offense has got,” Hankins said. “And then AD, his D-line presence of just getting to the quarterback, creating spaces or lanes for guys to be open and to attack, I think that’s an amazing combo to have.”

Hear the full conversation from Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk with new Seahawks defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post. Catch Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports from 6-10 a.m. weekdays.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

PFF analyst explains ranking Seahawks’ Geno Smith as NFL’s No. 18 QB
New Seahawks QB Sam Howell ‘excited’ to be in Seattle
Seahawks OTAs: What stands out to former UW coach Chris Petersen
Where does Seahawks’ running back room rank in NFL?
Do Shelby Harris’ comments reflect how players view Seahawks?

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Seahawks’ mysterious D-coordinator led one free agent to Seattle