RENTON, Wash. (AP) — New Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt gave early indications Wednesday there will be a different look to Seattle’s defense when next season begins.
He definitely wants a group that’s more aggressive and perhaps by using a different scheme.
“One thing that is going to be significantly different this year, we are going to be aggressive. We want that,” Hurtt said. “The aggressiveness is going to have to come from our guys up front getting after the passer, continuing on being strong in the run game like we have been in last few years. That’s the mentality of a defense that we want to have, and our players respond to that mentality.”
Hurtt was announced as Seattle’s new defensive coordinator earlier this week, taking over for Ken Norton Jr. who was fired after the season. Hurtt had been Seattle’s defensive line coach since 2017 before receiving his promotion.
But while promoting someone already on staff would seem to indicate a continuation of what Seattle has done defensively under head coach Pete Carroll, that doesn’t appears to be the direction the Seahawks are headed.
Hurtt’s first job in the NFL was in Chicago as an assistant under then-defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who comes from a background of mostly 3-4 defensive schemes. While Hurtt said the goal for Seattle is to be able to play multiple fronts, the 3-4 scheme is likely to become a significant part of the Seahawks plan.
“The 3-4 system is something that I’ve really embraced, obviously Vic Fangio being a big influence on that,” Hurtt said. “So with that being said, there are going to be some element of that — I would say we’re going to be multiple.”
Along with Hurtt’s promotion, Seattle brought on former Chicago defensive coordinator Sean Desai as an associate head coach working with the defense, and Karl Scott as the defensive pass game coordinator.
Adding Desai is a reunion for Hurtt after the pair worked together with the Bears.
“We already had a great relationship,” Hurtt said. “So when the opportunity came for us to have him with us, it was a no-brainer.”
One of Hurtt’s primary tasks will be trying to get more out of safety Jamal Adams. During the 2020 season, Adams struggled in pass coverage, but set an NFL record for sacks by a defensive back with 9½.
This season, Adams played just 12 games because of a major shoulder injury and while he was better in pass coverage, he was also used far less as a pass rusher and finished the season with no sacks.
Hurtt said Adams deserves credit for taking on a different role last season and improving.
“Jamal is still a difference-maker,” Hurtt said. “How we use him, that’s going to be on me. It’s our responsibility, my responsibility to make sure we put him in positions so he can be at his very best, and we know how great he is at doing that.”
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