Kris Richard more disappointed than concerned about fourth-quarter collapses
When the Seahawks elevated defensive backs coach Kris Richard to the position of defensive coordinator, he became a de facto head-coaching candidate, given that both of his predecessors (Gus Bradley and Dan Quinn) fairly quickly parlayed that spot into teams of their own. Through five games, however, it’s been a bit rocky for Richard.
The Seahawks are having trouble holding leads in the fourth quarter, with most recently a 17-point margin blown in Cincinnati. On Thursday, Richard was peppered with questions from reporters looking to understand the problem.
Richard blamed the outcome on “our inability to finish,” and he said that finishing is simply “doing things right longer.”
So is Richard concerned about the situation?
“Concerned? It’s disappointing more than it’s concerned,” he said. “Because we know the type of defense that we are, and we just need to go out there and prove it, is ultimately what it comes down to. When we put a complete game together, that’s when we’ll know we’re ultimately going in the direction that we want to be, and it hasn’t happened yet.”
Against the Bengals, Richard admitted that the defense was worn down late.
"[T]here’s absolutely no excuse in regards to wearing down,” Richard said. “As long as we’re out there we got more opportunities, and that’s what we’re excited about. We love having opportunities to go out there and help our football team win. We haven’t stood up and got it done. Obviously, again last week, that’s an opportunity for us to do it and we did not do it.”
To do it next time, Richard said he took the defense “back to the drawing board,” in order to ensure that the team is doing “all the little things necessary in order to get it done.”
Richard admitted that a portion of the defensive performance arose from cornerback Cary Williams using a technique not “in the fashion that we prefer,” and that when a tight end runs by safety Kam Chancellor in the red zone (as Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert did twice on Sunday), Chancellor must "[p]lay his technique.”
Still, Richard took the blame for the second Eifert touchdown.
“The second time that it comes around and it happens, it’s ultimately my responsibility to put our guys in a better position to make sure that it doesn’t happen,” Richard said. “So I’m taking full responsibility for that one. I want to make sure that we put our guys in a spot to where they’re going to be able to execute and not leave those windows open.”
For the Seahawks, the window will close soon if the losses continue to pile up. And the window will never open for Richard to become a head coach if the Seahawks defense doesn’t hold the lead when the game is on the line.