After 14 seasons, Pete Carroll’s reign as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks has come to an end and it is Mike Macdonald who will now be leading the team. Macdonald spent the last two seasons as the Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator, creating the league’s top scoring defense in 2023.
The Seahawks will have a new look going forward, as Macdonald does not plan on mimicking what Carroll has done in Seattle for over a decade. The new head coach had high praise for Carroll and noted the differences between them.
“Always admired him from afar. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, his track record,” Macdonald said (via NFL.com). “He’s probably a Hall of Fame coach. Pete has a great personality but it’s his and it’s authentic to who he is as a person. I think that’s why the players resonate with him and why he has a great reputation, and his track record is what it is. I have a different personality.”
Macdonald noted that he is not a carbon copy of his predecessor and he will not try to be.
“You’ll get to know me, but my plan is to be myself every day. You’re just going to get me. It’s not a facade, there’s no alternate agendas or anything like that,” the 36-year-old said. “It’s all about what’s the best interest for the team, what’s the best interest for the players, and how we can be successful. There’s a sense of humor in there, I promise. Some people like it more than others, but it will come out. If you’re trying to be somebody you’re not, one, it’s exhausting, and two, people see right through it.”
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His specialty is defense and in sticking with his plan on being his authentic self, he is going to play into those strengths with his new team. Macdonald told reporters that his current plan is for him to call the defensive plays.
“Right now, the plan is I’ll be calling the plays,” Macdonald said. “Ultimately, I’m the head coach of the football team, so I want to coach the football team. Right now, the best way that we can win, in my opinion, is for me to call the plays, and when it becomes obvious that someone else is ready to go and we see it the same way, then we will make that change.”
The Ravens faced the Seahawks in 2023 and Macdonald was able to take note of the strengths of his then opposition’s defense, which includes Devon Witherspoon, Boye Mafe and Tariq Woolen. Macdonald is optimistic on where these young stars can go from here and does not believe it will take long for them to be a defense teams fear.
In 2023, Seattle was 30th in total defense and 31st against the run, so they could benefit from a strong defensive coach like Macdonald.
“We went against Seattle this year and there’s a lot of great players on this team. We’ve a great job of drafting — it’s a young corps — and we have [an] opportunity to build these guys and build a really competitive team sooner than later,” he said.
The job won’t be easy, but Macdonald could be walking into a much worse situation for his first head-coaching opportunity. And after making the difficult decision to part with Carroll, Schneider couldn’t be much happier with who he’s secured to lead the Seahawks into a new era.
General manager John Schneider has confidence in Macdonald as well as the team, saying, “This is the future right here.”