Aden Durde coaching the London Warriors

NFL: Former London Warriors coach named Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator

An American Football coach from London has been named defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL.

The first British coach to work full-time in the NFL, Aden Durde, 44, has coached in the league since 2014 and continues his rapid ascent up the American football coaching ladder.

Durde served as the defensive coordinator for the BAFA‘s London Warriors from 2011 until 2016, and according to Warriors general manager Simon Buckett, it was always clear that he was destined for great things.

Buckett said: “If you asked any player or coach on the Warriors who knows Aden well enough if they are surprised he’s in the position he is – they would all say no, not in the slightest.

“Ad is like a sponge, he absorbs information so well and understands the game of football better than almost anyone.”

Aden Durde giving a team talk during his time with the London Warriors

The GM outlined how Durde’s incredible understanding of the game was clear from his early days with the Warriors.

Buckett said: “There would be times on the sidelines where he would see a play happen, and he’d yell at one of the players for doing something wrong.

“Then he’d yell at me, the defensive backs coach, and the linebackers coach for not yelling at our players for doing their things wrong.

“And I would be like, ‘how have you seen all of that live?’

“It would take me three goes to watch on tape and dissect that, but he’s just an absolute student of the game with an amazing footballing brain.”

Born in Middlesex, Durde began his football career playing as a linebacker for the London Olympians.

He also played in the now defunct NFL Europe and had stints on the practice squads of two NFL teams: the Carolina Panthers and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Durde got his first NFL coaching opportunity in 2014, serving as an intern for the Dallas Cowboys until 2015 and continuing to build his knowledge of the game.

Durde coaching with the Warriors

Buckett said: “After his first internship at Dallas, he drew on some of the experience and plays that they use and said, right, we can use a simplified version of this.

“We had some unbelievable blitzes and coverages going on that I’ve never seen before.

“He’s a guy that everybody wants to be around and he led an unbelievable Warriors defense.

“It was frightening, I’m not sure our offense wanted to play against us in practice half the time!”

The Warriors defense was particularly effective in 2014 when Efe Obada, now a defensive end in the NFL with the Washington Commanders, signed with the team.

Durde identified Obada’s talent and recommended him to the Cowboys, who signed Obada to their practice squad in 2015 after impressing in a tryout in London.

Obada is one of the many British players to have been helped both directly and indirectly by Durde, who was the head of football development at NFLUK and helped create the International Player Pathway program.

The IPP grants international athletes the chance to train and transition into professional American football, with Wales rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit the latest to commit to the program.

Efe Obada image credit: All-Pro Reels

Buckett said: “Ad is really good at identifying different players’ strengths and personalities.

“We saw a lot of it at the Warriors, the kind of leader he is, it’s a different level.

“He’s great fun to be around and inspirational to listen to.”

In April 2018, Durde received his first full-time role as a coach in the NFL when he was hired by the Atlanta Falcons as their defensive quality control coach.

He followed Falcons head coach Dan Quinn back to the Dallas Cowboys in 2021 after Quinn was fired by Atlanta, spending three seasons as the Cowboys’ defensive line coach.

Buckett said: “If you look at Dallas’ defensive line the last two years, moving Micah Parsons away from linebacker and down on the end, Ad was thinking – what advantages can we get?

“I mean Micah Parsons listens to Ad, that’s unreal, in a 100,000 seater arena with Super Bowl trophies plastered everywhere.

“Everyone at the Warriors is so proud of his success, he deserves everything that he’s earning at the moment.”

NFL coaches are notoriously hard workers and Durde is no different, with Buckett revealing he would often be in the Cowboys team facility by 6am and not get home until 10pm.

Durde’s work ethic has facilitated his rapid rise in the NFL ranks, landing a coveted job in Seattle under new head coach Mike Macdonald and blazing the trail for British coaches.

Buckett added: “Aden is forging his path over there and hopefully it will encourage others to follow and look at the game in a different way.

“What you don’t see with Ad is how hard he works behind the scenes, it didn’t come from luck at all – quite the opposite.

“I think he’d make a great head coach, but for now he’s going to be a phenomenal defensive coordinator up in the Pacific Northwest.”

Durde and the Seahawks will begin their offseason training in the summer, while Buckett is currently overseeing the London Warriors’ preseason before their BAFA season opener in April.

Image credits: London Warriors

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