Seahawks defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. watches from the sideline during a game against the Rams on Oct. 7, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

Seahawks defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. watches from the sideline during a game against the Rams on Oct. 7, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

Seahawks part ways with defensive coordinator Norton Jr.

Seattle never finished higher than 16th in total defense during his four-year tenure as coordinator.

By Tim Booth / Associated Press

RENTON — The Seattle Seahawks have fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. and passing game coordinator Andre Curtis, the team said Tuesday.

Norton’s firing brought an end to what had been several seasons of continuity on the defensive side. The news was first reported by The Seattle Times.

Coach Pete Carroll had said last week it was too early to know the extent of changes coming to the Seahawks’ coaching staff. But he noted two specific areas for improvement — creating more turnovers and improving the pass rush — and both are on the defensive side.

“Our coaches worked their tails off, they did a great job. We started our season-ending meetings today, and I’ll get with all of these guys before we get out of here,” Carroll said on Jan. 10. “I’m really proud of the work everybody has done. I feel fortunate that we are doing this thing together.”

Carroll has now changed a coordinator for the second straight offseason. Brian Schottenheimer was let go as offensive coordinator after the 2020 season. In that instance, Carroll went outside his traditional coaching tree and hired Los Angeles Rams assistant Shane Waldron.

Norton spent four seasons as Seattle’s defensive coordinator, but the final two years were defined by a unit that struggled badly in the early part of the year and progressively got better. Those early struggles during the 2020 and 2021 seasons left the Seahawks well down in the league’s statistical rankings.

Seattle never finished higher than 16th in total defense or 11th in scoring defense during Norton’s tenure. Seattle was 28th in total defense and 11th in scoring defense this season.

A bigger issue was Seattle’s weak performance in the turnover battle because of a bend-but-don’t-break defensive mentality. The Seahawks created just 18 turnovers this season, ranking 25th in the league.

Norton rejoined Carroll’s staff after the 2017 season as the replacement for Kris Richard. Norton spent five seasons as Seattle’s linebackers coach from 2010-14 before leaving to get his first shot as a defensive coordinator with the Raiders in 2015.

Curtis joined the Seahawks before the 2015 season and was promoted to passing game coordinator in 2018. Curtis also worked for New Orleans, the New York Giants and the Rams before joining the Seahawks.

If Seattle stays within the organization for Norton’s replacement then defensive line coach Clint Hurtt would be a primary option. Hurtt has been linked with a similar position at the college level at Miami, his alma mater.

Seattle has also reportedly sought permission to speak with Denver defensive coordinator Ed Donatell.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Lynnwood’s Leyon Camantigue stops a ground ball hit past second base during the district semifinal game at Funko Field on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Brackets released for state high school baseball tournaments

Lynnwood, Edmonds-Woodway, Stanwood, Mountlake Terrace and Archbishop Murphy are headed to their respective state tourneys.

Arlington's Tyler Howe, left, and Edmonds-Woodway's Ryan Hanby vie for control of the ball Saturday afternoon at Shoreline Stadium in Shoreline, Washington on May 14, 2022.  The Warriors won 4-2. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Brackets released for state high school boys soccer tournaments

Kamiak, Shorecrest, Monroe and Edmonds-Woodway are headed to their respective state tournaments.

Seattle Mariners' Julio Rodriguez runs to first base after hitting an RBI-single during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
J-Rod has big day, Mariners hold on for series win against Mets

The rookie center fielder had four hits, including a home run, and Seattle handed New York its first series loss.

Seattle Sounders’ Jordan Morris crosses the ball while being defended against Minnesota United Sunday, May 15, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Roldan puts Sounders ahead for good in win over Minnesota

Raul Ruidiaz and Nicolas Lodeiro also scored goals for Seattle in a much-needed MLS win.

Stanwood’s Mason Goodson looks down to home plate while pitching against Meadowdale Saturday, May 14, 2022, during a 3A district matchup at Funko Field in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Stanwood baseball reaches state for just 3rd time in history

The Spartans beat Meadowdale 6-4 to clinch their first state berth since 1998.

Edmonds-Woodway's Benjamin Hanson avoids a tackle by Arlington's Kayden Allen to score a goal in the second half Saturday afternoon at Shoreline Stadium in Shoreline, Washington on May 14, 2022.  The Warriors won 4-2. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Dramatic comeback lifts E-W boys soccer into state

The Warriors rally from two goals down to beat Arlington 4-2 in a 3A District 1 Tournament loser-out game.

Monroe’s Diego Perez-Diaz, left, and Tanner Summers celebrate their win over Shorewood Saturday afternoon at Shoreline Stadium in Shoreline, Washington on May 14, 2022.  The Bearcats won 2-0. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Monroe boys clinch first state soccer berth since 2002

The Bearcats defeat Shorewood 2-0 in a winner-to-state, loser-out 3A District 1 Tournament match.

Lynnwood outlasts Edmonds-Woodway in pitcher’s duel to win district title

Mason Lane delivered the walk-off hit in the eighth inning for a 1-0 win.

Terrace routs Mt. Vernon to reach state baseball tournament

The Hawks win 11-1 in five innings in a winner-to-state, loser-out 3A District 1 Tournament game.

Most Read