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Clint Hurtt expected to be Seahawks’ new defensive coordinator

NFL: DEC 12 Seahawks at Texans Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks’ new defensive coordinator will, as some might have suspected all along, be promoted from within.

Adam Jude and Bob Condotta reported on Friday that defensive line coach and assistant head coach Clint Hurtt is in line to replace the recently ousted Ken Norton Jr as the team’s defensive coordinator.

Hurtt was linked to the University of Miami defensive coordinator job, but the hiring of Kevin Steele by the Hurricanes shut that opportunity down to return to his alma mater.

The 43-year-old Hurtt joined the Seahawks in 2017 and previously worked in the NFL for the Chicago Bears from 2014-2016, first as a DL coach before shifting to outside linebackers.

Seattle also is expected to hire former Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell in a yet to be determined role. It’s also been reported that former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai is being looked at to be the team’s passing game coordinator, but that role could end up as Donatell’s.

The common theme among Hurtt, Donatell, and Desai (if hired) is that they’ve all worked under Vic Fangio. Hurtt and Desai were on Chicago’s staff when Fangio was Bears defensive coordinator, and Donatell obviously worked with Fangio in Denver but also when Fangio was in charge of that dominant San Francisco 49ers defense from 2011-2014.

I think it’s well established that Fangio has a different philosophical approach to defense than the Cover 3 we’ve become accustomed to seeing under Pete Carroll. Brandon Staley’s defense with the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers is modeled after Fangio’s scheme, which relies more on two-high safeties. Just because Hurtt is an in-house hire doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t see more changes to Seattle’s coverages.

Anyway, if this hiring is imminent then congrats to Clint and hopefully he can lead the charge as far as bringing the Seahawks defense back among the elite of the NFL.