By HCR Staff | Jan. 14, 2020
One of the main jobs for Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll this offseason will be re-tooling his defense. He’ll need to add personnel, on the front and back end, but he also may have to contemplate a change at defensive coordinator, currently occupied by Ken Norton.
Norton and Carroll have a long association, and they’ve had a lot of success, but that’s in the past. One play in particular from last weekend’s loss to the Green Bay Packers reveals that change may be necessary in the present.
Trailing 28-23, the Seahawks had the Packers in a favorable 3rd and 8 situation, on the Packers’ 22-yard line, with the clock still north of the two minute warning. A stop here by the Seahawks would give quarterback Russell Wilson plenty of time to engineer a game-winning touchdown drive.
To this point, the Packer who had inflicted the most damage on the Seahawks was wide receiver Davante Adams. Adams is the Packers’ best WR, and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers’ most dependable target.
It would have made a lot of sense for Carroll and Norton to anticipate double teaming Adams, and force another lesser Packers player to step up and make a play.
The Packers smartly lined up Adams in the slot–giving him a “2 way go”–all the more reason Carroll and Norton should have been ready with a double team.
But this isn’t what the Seahawks did. Instead, the Seahawks had Adams singled up with rookie fourth round draft pick Ugochukwu Amadi, who is 5’9 and 199 lbs.
Rodgers quickly realized the mismatch. Adams, who is 6’2, 215 lbs, easily beat Amadi off the snap, and it was an easy pitch and catch conversion for Rodgers to keep the game-clinching drive alive.
Carroll and Norton are too good to not have diagnosed this. A good defensive staff simply can’t give up such an easy mismatch to a Hall of Fame caliber QB on the key play of the game.
This was an egregious mistake, and it’s one reason why we suspect there will be big changes coming to the defensive side of the ball for the Seahawks.