Humboldt Beacon (http://www.humboldtbeacon.com)

Ken Norton Jr.'s 49ers return is short-lived, heads to rival


By Cam Inman, Bay Area News Group

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

SANTA  CLARA — Ken Norton Jr., hired a week ago onto the 49ers defensive staff, is apparently reversing course to Seattle and becoming the rival Seahawks defensive coordinator.
Norton’s 49ers contract had an escape clause allowing him to leave for that Seahawks post, according to NFL Media. He signed a three-year deal Monday to replace Kris Richard on Pete Carroll’s overhauled staff, KING 5 News reported.
Niners coach Kyle Shanahan issued a statement on Norton’s exit: “Last week, Ken was presented with an opportunity to once again coordinate a defense. Because of how we feel about Ken as a coach, we understand and respect his desire to pursue the position."
Norton got fired as the Raiders defensive coordinator 10 games into last season, which was his third in that capacity with the Raiders since leaving Seattle’s staff. He was the Seahawks linebackers coach from 2010-14.
Norton, who ended his distinguished career as a linebacker in 2000 with the 49ers, figured to become a major mentor to linebacker Reuben Foster, a first-round draft pick last year who was arrested Friday in Alabama and charged with marijuana possession.
Two years ago, the 49ers saw another inside linebacker coach leave shortly after his hiring: Hardy Nickerson left two months into the role to become the University of Illinois’ defensive coordinator.
The Seahawks staff shakeup has seen Carroll dismiss offensive coordinator Darrell Bevel and offensive line coach Tom Cable, the latter of whom will be replaced by Mike Solari, a former 49ers line coach, NFL Media reported.