In the wake of Dan Quinn leaving the team to be the next head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, the Seahawks will name Kris Richard, former defensive backs coach, as their new defensive coordinator.
Simply put, it’s the best hire we could’ve possibly hoped for. Richard has been in Carroll’s system since he was playing in it at USC, and later went on to join his staff there in 2008. When Carroll left for the Northwest in 2010, Richard followed him, and soon found himself being the position coach of arguably the best secondary in NFL history.
And now, Richard is taking the next step, and it’s a big one. He’s filling the shoes vacated by Gus Bradley and Dan Quinn, both of whom coached up this defense and made it elite. Bradley and Quinn’s career paths offer a lot of appeal, of course, and Richard stands a fairly decent chance of being the next one to walk down that path. Also worth noting is Richard turned down an offer to follow Quinn to Atlanta. It makes sense for Richard to stay with a system he knows and take the next step up, rather than go somewhere new and continue in the same role.
In related news, LBs coach Ken Norton Jr. has accepted an offer to serve as the defensive coordinator with the Oakland Raiders. Norton was always the one who I could hear the loudest on the field every summer during training camp at the VMAC. He was a huge morale booster and motivator. He is the classic example of a Pete Carroll disciple: Energetic, gregarious, positive, and expecting nothing but greatness out of his players. His presence will be missed this year, but as Carroll would likely say if asked, the team now has another opportunity to find someone to help make this team better.
Change is inevitable, and these are just the first two in what will be a long list of others until September.