The Seattle Seahawks firing defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. could be a sign of bigger things to come.
The former Pro Bowl and Super Bowl champion linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers began his coaching career for Pete Carroll at USC. Though the former UCLA legend worked on the sidelines for a bitter Pac-12 rival, Norton quickly became one of Carroll’s most noted defensive disciples. Norton served on Carroll’s staff for all but three seasons since 2004.
Norton had been the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator the last four seasons, serving in the same role previously for USC legend Jack Del Rio on his then-Oakland Raiders staff from 2015 to 2017.
For Carroll to fire his longtime defensive disciple is huge news, so what could be coming next?
Seattle Seahawks fire defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. after four seasons
While Norton has had his critics over his seven-year run as a defensive coordinator, this move is significant because of the Carroll connection. Seattle runs a different scheme defensively than many in football. Unless Carroll thinks he can get Gus Bradley back if the Las Vegas Raiders decide to go in a different direction instead of removing Rich Bisaccia’s interim tag, this move is strange.
Seattle is coming off its worst season since Russell Wilson was drafted a decade ago. He too might be out of town if he had his way. Ultimately, it feels like ownership is pressing Carroll to make a change to his staff or the old dog is learning new tricks defensively. All the while, things have not been this bleak in Seattle since the one season where Jim Mora was the head coach.
Norton will land on his feet elsewhere, but even more changes could be coming for the Seahawks.