8. Kris Richard – Seattle Seahawks Defensive Coordinator (35-years-old)
One of the hardest things in sports is to undergo coaching turnover and keep the team’s output at the same level – or close to it.
Kris Richard will be up to the challenge of sustaining the legendary status of the Seattle Seahawks’ defense.
Richard is arguably one of the most intriguing coaches in the league though. He was drafted by the Seahawks as a cornerback out of the University of Southern California in 2002. Can you guess who his head coach was? That’s right. It was Pete Carroll.
When his playing career came to an end in 2007, Richard joined Carroll’s staff at USC to coach the defensive backs. And when Carroll made the jump to Seattle, Richard was almost guaranteed to make the move with him.
Richard has been the defensive backs coach since 2012 and has pretty much been the man behind the Legion of Boom curtain – the architect of the madness that is the Seahawks’ secondary.
Again, he’s going to have his chance to prove he can handle the entire defense this season, and there’s no reason to believe he can’t do it. When Gus Bradley left the defensive coordinator position for the Jaguars, Dan Quinn stepped in and did the job almost flawlessly.
Now, it’s on Richard to orchestrate the Legion of Boom. With Kam Chancellor’s holdout dragging on, Richard may need to get creative until (if?) Chancellor returns to the team.
If Seattle can remain the bone-breaking, quarterback-killing defensive unit that it’s been, expect Richard to be getting head coaching offers soon.
Next: 7. Pete Carmichael Jr.