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The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Seahawks pivot from Pete Carroll in new head coach hire

What’s in store for the Seattle Seahawks after bringing in Mike Macdonald from the Ravens?
Mike Macdonald is the Seahawks’ innovative new head coach.

The date is Jan. 11, 2010. The Seattle Seahawks are coming off a 5-11 season and are looking for their next man up at head coach. What they need is someone to get them over the hump and regain the success they saw when they reached Super Bowl XL just a few years prior. What they need is someone to rejuvenate their locker room and build a winning culture. They would do just that. The Seahawks hired Pete Carroll, who at the time was the head coach at University of Southern California (and a very successful one at that).

And oh boy, did they make a good decision.

Pete Carroll quickly became an icon for the city of Seattle, leading the team to an electrifying 41-36 wildcard win in his first season, which came alongside the infamous Beastquake run by Marshawn Lynch and four touchdown passes from quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. 

This would be just a taste of what was to come.

Fast forward 14 seasons. The ‘Hawks have one Super Bowl win in two appearances, and a plethora of hall-of-fame-caliber players have come and gone. Names like Lynch, Russell Wilson and of course all the members of the Legion of Boom. These are the names and faces that made the Seahawks what they are today. These are the memories that Carroll has given to the 12s. These Seahawks teams were winners.

Since moving on from Carroll, Seattle has established a youth movement in the building, and they are not looking back.

On Jan. 31, the Seahawks hired Mike Macdonald as their ninth head coach in franchise history. Macdonald, who is coming across the country from Baltimore, has seen tons of success at the NFL level as the defensive coordinator for the Ravens. The 2023 Ravens were the league’s top defense, being the first in history to earn a triple-crown in defensive stats like sacks, takeaways, and points allowed per game.

So what? What does this mean for the future of Emerald City football? Well, there’s lots of work to be done, but the future is bright. With many candidates on the board, many are speculating that Macdonald was leagues above the competition. His savvy defensive play-calling helped propel the Ravens to the top of power rankings lists across the country.

For the Seahawks, the hope is that Macdonald can turn this bottom-eight defensive unit into something greater. Seattle has an abundance of young talent, on both sides of the ball. Particularly on defense, names like Riq Woolen, Devon Witherspoon and Boye Mafe first come to mind. With the cornerstones already set in place, player development will be key for the next handful of years.

“This is why we do what we do,” Macdonald said in his opening press conference. “It’s about the players. We’re trying to build something special and the players are the ones that drive the bus. They’re the driving force behind everything that we do.”

With Macdonald comes an all-new coaching staff, though fans will have to hold tight for a bit until everything gets filled out. There are still vacancies at the offensive and defensive coordinator positions, however, Macdonald hinted at the fact that he will continue calling plays for the defense.

“Right now I’ll be calling the plays,” he 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, right now, is for me to call the plays. When it becomes obvious that someone else is ready to go and we see things the same way then we’ll make the change” Macdonald has had play-calling duties for the last three seasons as a coordinator, so it is something he is very comfortable doing.

It’s safe to assume, as it’s something we see new head coaches do often in the NFL, that the Seahawks could potentially welcome a handful of former Ravens defenders following Macdonald to the team through free agency. Linebacker Patrick Queen is a big name to look out for. He is expected to enter free agency this offseason and it’s possible we see him replace Bobby Wagner (who is also a free agent after this season) and join Jordyn Brooks in Seattle’s front seven.

Another Baltimore free agent who could fill a massive need for the ‘Hawks is interior defensive lineman Justin Madubuike. The Seahawks have had holes in the trenches for a few seasons now and someone like Madubuike would fit right in alongside Leonard Williams, assuming Seattle keeps him around. Madubuike is coming off a career year with the Ravens, tallying 13 sacks, 33 QB hits and a Pro Bowl nod.

This year we saw Mike Macdonald get the most out of his defenders, which is evident when considering that Madubuike was far from the only one to have a career year in 2023. The Baltimore Ravens became the first defense in the NFL’s long history to lead the league in points allowed per game (16.5), takeaways (31) and sacks (60) in the same season. This took multiple veterans setting or tying their career highs.

Macdonald is being welcomed into the city of Seattle with open arms. Even if things don’t end up working out, which is not uncommon at this level of competition, there is no doubt that in this moment, the Seahawks nailed this hire. There is no clear or obvious reason to doubt Macdonald, and fans should be very excited to see where this train goes.

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About the Contributors
GABE KAIJA, Evergreen reporter
Gabe is a junior multimedia journalism major from Gig Harbor, Washington.
GRACIE ROGERS, Evergreen Illustration editor
Gracie Rogers is a graphic illustrator for the Daily Evergreen. She is a senior Digital Technology & Culture major from Pullman, Washington. Gracie started working for the Daily Evergreen back in Spring 2022.