Ken Norton brings familiar face to forefront of Seahawks’ new-look defense

RENTON, Wash. – The Seattle Seahawks’ new defensive coordinator is no stranger to Seattle or the NFL.

Ken Norton Jr. previously served as Seattle’s linebackers coach from 2010-14 before leaving for Oakland, where he was the defensive coordinator the past three seasons.

He also coached under Pete Carroll at the University of Southern California.

Seattle’s defense looks a bit different, though, than it did the first time Norton was in town.

“We come into the building and we’re used to hearing the certain names,” he said. “The Legion of Boom and the guys who make sacks, and now it’s the next group of guys who really want to stand up.”

Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett will be in opposing uniforms this season. Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril’s careers are likely over. Uncertainty surrounds Earl Thomas, who is holding out for a new contract.

But Norton is optimistic.

“We had a lot of good guys that were hurt last year,” he said. “The guys stepped up in their places and played very well. Those guys now are ready to become the frontline leaders and playmakers of this team and defense.”

Something Norton has experienced himself.

Drafted out of UCLA, he is the only player to win three Super Bowl rings in three consecutive years. He won back-to-back big games with Dallas, and then one with San Francisco.

One of many reasons his experience and leadership could be a difference maker in the Seahawks’ locker room.