Heaps: Shane Waldron has ‘answers’ that Seahawks’ offense was missing

Mar 14, 2021, 10:20 AM
Seahawks Shane Waldron...
New Seahawks OC Shane Waldron comes from Sean McVay's Rams coaching staff. (Getty)

The Seahawks are changing their direction on offense next season after hiring new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, but that direction he sets them on may not be as important as something else he brings to Seattle with him.

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Waldron takes over the OC spot from Brian Schottenheimer, who the team parted ways with shortly after his third season with the Seahawks ended in a first-round playoff loss. And while there is concern for some that head coach Pete Carroll is stuck in his ways of favoring running the ball, it needs to be mentioned that Seattle actually tried out a new style of offense under Schottenheimer in 2020 – at least for the first half of the season.

Quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett all set franchise records in the passing game last season, but their high-flying ways were much less effective after the first half of the season as opponents showed they had figured out a way to keep down the more pass-heavy attack. That led to Carroll switching back to a more conservative approach that was in line with what his teams have been known for throughout his career.

With that all in mind, there’s something that jumps out about Waldron to Jake Heaps, a former Seahawks quarterback who now co-hosts 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy, when comparing what he’s heard about Seattle’s new OC to how the 2020 season went with Schottenheimer.

“Something I keep hearing is how ‘on it’ this guy is,” Heaps said of Waldron. “He knows what he’s doing. He knows his system inside and out, has the answers. And I think one of the big critiques from last year was Brian Schottenheimer was operating an offense that he was not fully invested in or that (he) knew all the answers (for). ‘Hey, we’re in a bad situation. What’s our answer? How do we get out of this situation?’ And I don’t think there were enough answers, where I think Waldron is going to have plenty of them.”

It’s certainly interesting to consider for a team that tried something that wasn’t in Carroll’s comfort zone a year ago. While his comments after Seattle’s playoff exit in January had many speculating that Seattle would be even more run-centric in 2021, the switch to Waldron at OC suggested that wasn’t entirely the case. And with it widely known that Wilson has a desire to throw more, Heaps’ point about Waldron knowing the “answers” for his offense could signal that the days of Seattle airing it out may not actually be over.

Whether or not Waldron’s system allows for Wilson to set the tone with deep shots down the field early in games, Heaps said it’s at least becoming clear through what he’s been told that Waldron’s arrival will be a positive for Seattle.

“I continue to hear great things about Shane Waldron. And for anybody out there who’s worried or concerned about, ‘Is Waldron is going to just be a new steward of the same offense?’ That isn’t the case,” he said. “Waldron’s bringing in his scheme, his system, his style of play, his vision to this offense, and I think now it’s a question of whether or not you can get everyone on the same page and dialed in to fully open up that playbook in a way that maximizes all the talent and maximizes every aspect of this playbook that Shane Waldron will be bringing in.”

You can hear Heaps’ full thoughts in the Four-Down Territory segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below from Thursday’s edition of Jake and Stacy.

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Heaps: Shane Waldron has ‘answers’ that Seahawks’ offense was missing