The picture for how the Seattle Seahawks coaching staff will look for the 2022 season is a lot clearer. The Seahawks are on the verge of promoting defensive line coach Clint Hurtt to become the team’s new defensive coordinator, per The Seattle Times’ Adam Jude and Bob Condotta.
The news came hours after ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that former Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell will join the Seahawks staff but not in the defensive coordinator role. Donatell interviewed with the Seahawks and was one of the coaches most consistently linked to the vacancy.
“Former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell is set to join the Seattle Seahawks defensive staff, per sources,” Fowler tweeted on February 4. “He’s not expected to fill the open defensive coordinator role, but moreso a senior defensive role at this point.”
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The Seahawks Are Hoping to Run Ex-Broncos HC Vic Fangio’s Defense
Former Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai was another top candidate for the same position in Seattle, and the team is still in discussions with the coach to also join the staff, potentially as the passing game coordinator, per Jude and Condotta. All this means the Seahawks would be able to have a defensive staff featuring their top three candidates for the coordinator vacancy if they reach an agreement with Desai. What is abundantly clear is the Seahawks wish to install former Broncos head coach Vic Fangio’s defense as all three assistants have ties to him dating back to their Bears tenure together.
“All three have worked with Vic Fangio, a longtime defensive coordinator who was the Denver Broncos’ coach the past three seasons, each spending two years together under Fangio with the Bears in 2015-16,” Jude and Condotta detailed on February 4. “Seahawks coach Pete Carroll hopes to incorporate Fangio’s system into his own as they attempt to make over a defense that finished 28th in the NFL in yards allowed in 2021.
“Fangio’s scheme is generally described as one that features predominantly zone defensive looks out of a two-high safety defense, but with lots of variety. The Seahawks favored a Cover Three defense this season, meaning three players deep with each covering a third of the field.”
Donatell Can Help Seattle ‘Morph & Change This Defense,’ Says Ex-Seahawks QB
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is once again hiring a defensive coordinator that is from within his system as we saw with Ken Norton Jr. That said, the other additions should give Seahawks fans some optimism that Carroll is showing some flexibility on revamping the team’s scheme.
ESPN 710 Seattle’s Jake Heaps weighed in on the expected coaching moves. The former Seahawks quarterback praised the addition of Donatell as someone who can help “morph and change this defense.”
“Having Ed Donatell on that staff along with Pete Carroll to bring more of that Vic Fangio-type of defense, that type of mindset and style to morph and change this defense and having somebody like Ed Donatell on the staff would be very important, because this is somebody that brings a lot of knowledge, brings a lot of experience (against) the pass with secondary play, and also with Vic Fangio’s defense and how he likes to play it,” Heaps explained on February 4. “And Ed Donatell and Clint Hurtt have worked together in the past when they were coaching together in Chicago. So this makes a lot of sense on a lot of levels here. And I believe that this is a good move for the Seattle Seahawks, the right move in terms of bringing Ed Donatell in.”