The results are in, and its the Seattle Seahawks’ offensive coaching changes that readers believe will have the most impact.
It’s already been a busy offseason for the Seahawks, as they’ve overturned much of their top-tier assistant coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was fired and replaced by Brian Schottenheimer, defensive coordinator Kris Richard was fired and replaced by Ken Norton Jr., and assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable was fired and replaced as offensive line coach by Mike Solari.
Therefore, this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers which Seahawks assistant coaching change they thought would have the most effect. Here’s what you said:
POLL: Which Seahawks assistant coaching change — OC: Darrell Bevell out, Brian Schottenheimer in; OL: Tom Cable out, Mike Solari in; DC: Kris Richard out, Ken Norton Jr. in — is the most significant? Full context here: https://t.co/clMCuDHhZH
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) January 22, 2018
Add the two together and the change at offensive line coach received the most votes at 40 percent, with the change at offensive coordinator right behind at 38 percent. The defensive coordinator change received 15 percent of the vote, while seven percent said none of the changes will have a significant impact.
What these results suggest is that Seahawks fans had the most complaints about what was happening on the offensive side of the ball. This is not a surprise. During Seattle’s glory stretch from 2012-16 the Seahawks led the NFL in scoring defense four times and finished third once, so there wasn’t anything to complain about. Meanwhile, the offense swung between fourth and 18th in the league in scoring, and this year in particular Seattle’s offense limped to the finish line. Also, one need only take a glance at social media to know how a loud segment of the fan base felt about Bevell and Cable, with many wanting those two out for years.
The question is whether the new coordinators and assistant coaches will be an improvement. The replacements coming in don’t exactly have sterling resumes themselves. Schottenheimer was offensive coordinator for the New York Jets from 2006-2011 and for the St. Louis Rams from 2012-2014, with his offenses never finishing higher than ninth in the league in scoring, and the past year he was the quarterbacks coach of an Indianapolis Colts team that was 30th in the league in passing. Solari the past season was the offensive line coach for the New York Giants, who were 31st in the league in points scored and had an offensive line that was heavily criticized. And Norton was fired as defensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders in November.
These facts weren’t lost on one commenter in the poll:
“Ken Norton will have the biggest impact — for the worse. Schotty will also be a negative, though a positive impact from Solari could offset that.
“I just can’t get excited about either coordinator. How long do we keep saying “In Carroll we trust” before we start calling for him to go too?”
Since the poll was first posted there’s been even more turnover among the assistant coaches. Others who won’t be returning include defensive line coach Travis Jones, assistant defensive line coach Duane Board and assistant special teams coach Heath Farwell, with rumors of other shuffling happening among the assistant coaches. This is by far the biggest turnover of the Seahawks’ staff since Pete Carroll became head coach in 2010.
We’ll find out in 2018 whether the coordinators and higher assistants were the the reason why the Seahawks missed the playoffs for the first time in six years.