The past two weeks have been rough if you happened to be a prominent assistant coach for the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks have conducted a spring cleaning on its upper coaching staff, firing offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable on Jan. 10, then dismissing defensive coordinator Kris Richard last Tuesday. It’s a remarkable change of course for a team that finished with a winning record.
The firings of Bevell and Cable have been ones called for by fans for some time. Both had been in place since 2011, helping oversee the greatest stretch of football in Seahawks history as Seattle won double-digit games every season from 2012-2016 and twice made it to the Super Bowl, winning it following the 2013 season.
However, Bevell and Cable had become the targets of fans’ ire in recent years. Bevell has never been forgiven for throwing the ball at the goal line instead of running it at the end of Super Bowl XLIX against the New England Patriots. Cable, a graduate of Snohomish High School, was held responsible for the Seahawks failing to gain continuity on the offensive line the past three seasons. The 2017 season saw Seattle’s offense decline to 15th in the league in yardage, and alarmingly the Seahawks’ once vaunted power running game dropped to 23rd. Their cases were not helped by the offense limping to the end of the season.
Richard had been with Seattle head coach Pete Carroll since 2008, when he served as an assistant under Carroll at USC. Richard was Seattle’s secondary coach from 2010-2014, then was promoted to defensive coordinator, a position he filled for three years. The Seahawks’ defense, the most dominant in the league from 2012-16, suffered some slippage this season, finishing 13th in the league in points allowed and 11th in yards allowed. Much of that, however, was attributable to injuries suffered by star performers Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril.
The Seahawks have already filled the coaching positions. Brian Schottenheimer, the son of longtime NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer, was hired as the new offensive coordinator after spending the previous two seasons as the Indianapolis Colts’ quarterbacks coach. Mike Solari, the New York Giants’ offensive line coach the past two seasons, was hired as the new offensive line coach. Ken Norton Jr., who was the Oakland Raiders’ defensive coordinator from 2016-17 before being fired in November, is the new defensive coordinator. Both Solari and Norton have histories with the Seahawks, as Solari was the team’s offensive line coach from 2008-2009 and Norton was Seattle’s linebackers coach from 2010-14.
So which of these changes will have the greatest effect on the Seahawks? Or will the changes have any affect at all? What’s your take?