In a move that should come as no surprise given that the Seahawks hired a new defensive coordinator in Ken Norton Jr. on Monday, Seattle has fired ex-DC Kris Richard, the club announced today. The Seahawks also parted ways with assistant head coach/linebackers Michael Barrow.
Reports last week indicated that Seattle was prepared to move on from Richard, with head coach Pete Carroll reportedly suggesting Richard should develop further as a coach elsewhere. Richard is clearly held in high regard throughout the NFL, as he garnered a head coaching interview with the Colts earlier this month. Indianapolis is closing in on Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as its next head coach, so Richard won’t have a viable opportunity with the Colts going forward.
Richard could conceivably receive further interest as a head coach from other clubs, but it seems unlikely that teams will add a new candidate to their respective searches at this late stage. More likely, Richard will have the chance to resurface as a defensive coordinator with another team. As PFR’s 2018 Coordinator Tracker shows, there are currently no DC vacancies around the league, but a few more spots should open as new head coaches are hired.
Richard, 38, was named Seattle’s defensive coordinator in 2015 after spending five years as a defensive assistant with the club. While directing the Legion of Boom, Richard helped the Seahawks finish fourth, fifth, and 13th in DVOA in his three years as play-caller. That dip in 2017 coincided with a number of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, but may have also convinced Carroll & Co. to bring in a fresh voice.
Seattle has committed to a fresh start from a coaching standpoint, as the club has now fired its top four assistants, including two from each unit: Richard and Barrow on defense, plus offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and assistant head coach/offensive line Tom Cable.
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