Those of you who partake in NFL Xwitter might have been startled on Monday by an image on your timeline. I understand. Not very often am I scrolling on my phone and a pair of shoulders suddenly stretch across my entire screen. It was not a painting, or an image created by artificial intelligence. The image was of a real live football coach named Clint Hurtt. He is the new defensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
I can see how the AI prompt “Defensive line coach, bald, tattoo,” might return a similar image, however this is a real human being. Unfortunately for this very football-looking man, he struggled as the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks the past two seasons.
The front office invested a lot of draft capital on that side of the ball in recent years. In his two seasons leading the Seahawks defense, the unit has been underwhelming. I am hesitant to place blame on a man who is built like a fully-stocked woodshed, but the Seahawks had 30 or more points scored on them six times during the 2023 season. Per DVOA, they had the fifth-worst defense in the NFL.
That Seattle gig was Hurtt’s first as a defensive coordinator. Young players, first-time D-coordinator, aging head coach, maybe it was a recipe that was destined to come out of the oven tasting funny. Hey, we live and learn, but a man who looks like Hurtt should be employed by the NFL until he decides that he wants to stay home forever — in a house that must have one of the widest doorways ever created.
Pelissero’s post about Hurtt being hired by the Eagles had more than 3.5 million views after six hours. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Friday that Deebo Samuel was cleared to play in the NFC Championship Game on Friday. A former first-team All-Pro being taken off of the injury report two days before the biggest game of the season, after missing most of the previous playoff game due to injury, still has fewer views on Xwitter than a post about the Eagles hiring a new defensive line coach that is less than 12 hours old.
Clearly, the RedZone production crew did not pan to Hurtt enough this season, because football media had to stop and stare at the picture that engulfed their smartphones. A profession that involves talking and/or writing about some of the most massive people on earth, those pros had to take a minute to acknowledge the enormity of the Eagles’ new defensive line coach. That also includes people who have actually stuck their hands in the dirt.
I don’t know if any person has ever looked that physically imposing in a social media photo. And clearly, a lot of people agree with me, because that image made its way on my timeline several times on Monday.
Regardless of how that defensive coordinator thing worked out in Seattle, Hurtt looks like football. As long as he can walk around a practice field, those shoulders should have a place in the NFL on general principle.