Recipe for Success
So how exactly are they accomplishing similar results with less talent? Multiple factors go into the formula, but it seems as though new defensive coordinator Ken Norton has found a more successful recipe than his predecessor Kris Richard. in case you forgot, Richard favored more zone blitzes and fewer man responsibilities, when he ran the defense.
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Norton has had a nice blend of zone and man, along with an aggressive early down approach, which has helped create more third and medium to long situations. Not necessarily critical to third down success, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
Once Seattle’s communication issues were addressed between week two and three, the number of blown coverages decreased significantly. Seldom does the Seahawks defense fold on third and long any more.
Norton’s approach doesn’t appear to be as intricate or complicated, but the players are on board with it. They have performed their individual responsibilities within the defensive scheme amazingly well for young inexperienced players. There have been hiccups of course, such as Thompson getting caught flat-footed staring into the backfield at Matt Stafford in Detroit last Sunday, which led to a ridiculously easy score.
Even with those types of youthful mistakes, Seattle has found a way to be the NFL’s fifth-ranked defense in yardage allowed per game (327.3 YPG) and has surrendered a paltry 18.7 points per game (PPG), good for fourth best. Just three points behind that historically great defense and since game three the 2018 version has allowed 15.4 PPG, which is about dead even.
An enormous factor in this group’s success is their ability to get off the field. No matter what the defense is called, the “LOB” or “The Replacements,” it doesn’t change the fact that Seattle is one of the best in the NFL this season.