Bay Area

Ken Norton Jr. named Raiders defensive coordinator

Friday, the Oakland Raiders named Ken Norton, Jr. as their defensive coordinator, snatching him from the Seattle Seahawks where he had been the linebackers coach since 2010. The move reunites Norton with head coach Jack Del Rio, a teammate when both were linebackers on coach Jimmy Johnson’s Dallas Cowboys from 1989 to 1991.

Norton interviewed with the Raiders on Monday, a day after Norton and the Seahawks narrowly lost 28-24 to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, and the same day Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn left to become the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. Current Seahawks defensive backs coach Kris Richard is now the frontrunner to become the new defensive coordinator.

Norton was known during his playing career as a passionate, fiery player, and those traits helped him become the only player in NFL history to play on Super Bowl-winning teams in three consecutive years – with the Cowboys in 1992 and 1993, and with the San Francisco 49ers in 1994. Along with the Seahawks’ victory last year, that makes four championships for Norton, and those winning expectations are something new for the Raiders organization who hasn’t sniffed the playoffs in over a decade.

Norton becomes a first-time coordinator, and thus a first time signal caller too. As he told reporters on Friday, “In my early meetings with (Del Rio), his plan is to continue to groom me and I’ll be making the calls.” He’ll know doubt benefit players like budding star Khalil Mack playing out those play calls.

Photo Credit:  Seattle Seahawks

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Ray Hartjen

A Public Relations pro by day, by night @RayHartjen follows parallel - yet somehow still often conflicting - paths searching for hair metal guitar legend status, a career as a journeyman 4th line center in the NHL, and the treasured laminates to be a hanger-on in the circus that is Formula 1.
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