The Seattle Seahawks were a surprise playoff team last season and a lot of that credit was given to quarterback Geno Smith.
However, according to defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt, the defense might be what powers them to even greater heights in the 2023-2024 NFL season.
Thursday, Hurtt told reporters that what he sees from his defense heading into the season has him very excited about some big improvements this year.
“I’m very confident,” Hurtt said via the team’s website. “We’re going to be better, we’re going to improve… I’m not going to get into all the stuff and say we’re going to do this do that. I don’t get into all those things; the proof is in the pudding, and we’ll show that during the course of the year as we continue to progress. But I’m excited and appreciative about what John and Pete have put out here with us to work with. We’re a developmental staff, so we’ve got to get these guys up to speed and everything is going in the right direction right now.”
Hurtt sees consistency as the key to Seattle’s defense this season.
“Consistency has really been my name of the game for this whole offseason,” he added. “The consistency with fitting the run game the right way—if I’ve got to turn the football back, turn it back, if I’m fast flow spill, be fast flow spill, if I’m a cutback defender, let’s do that. But it has to be down after down, there’s a discipline to doing that. And again, that doesn’t all fall on players and coaches, we’ve got to make sure we hold them accountable for that too. And obviously cutting back the number of explosives. Control the run game, don’t let people run the football on you, and cut back explosives, because explosives lead to points. You fix those two issues, and you’re going to have a dramatic improvement right there.”
He added that he sees Bobby Wagner as a veteran leader who can instill a lot of what this defense needs in order to improve in 2023.
“You are still dealing with a guy that is the ultimate leader,” Hurtt said. “For those things, I wouldn’t expect anything different. What I do appreciate about him is, and it speaks to how great of a person he is, he is very humble. He didn’t come in assuming anything. He’s humble and it’s almost uncomfortable for me because I am like, ‘Look dude, we all know who you are, your work ethic, the kind of man you are, the effort you put into your everyday process, and the consistency as a player and how he prepares.’ For him, he just wants to work and still earn it with new teammates. For me, that’s beyond admirable, and for the young guys, I think that is a great thing to be able to learn. For my expectations in terms of him setting the defense up, his communication out on the field, and him and I being an extension of each other in the communication, it’s been great.”