Heaps: What Pete Carroll meant with his confusing explanation of Seahawks’ new offense

May 18, 2021, 12:27 PM
Seahawks Pete Carroll...
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll did his best to explain the team's new offense Saturday. (Getty)

Coming out of the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp over the weekend, the biggest question wasn’t about any of the players who participated during the two days at team headquarters in Renton. No, the biggest question was: What on earth was Pete Carroll trying to say about his team’s new offense?

Wyman’s Observations: Standouts from Seahawks rookie minicamp

Seattle’s longtime head coach has a new offensive coordinator in Shane Waldron, who comes to Seattle after a tenure on Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay’s coaching staff, and he’s bringing a lot of the principles from the Rams’ offense with him.

People are still trying to get a handle on what exactly the new offense will look like, and Carroll had quite the response when asked Saturday if Waldron’s offense is difficult to learn, with the reporter who was doing the questioning adding, “I don’t want to say simplistic but I’m guessing it’s not an Al Saunders 700-page playbook.” (Saunders had stints as an offensive coordinator with four NFL teams between 2001 and 2015 and, yes, reportedly used a 700-page playbook.)

Here’s what Carroll said in response:

“It’s very intricate and very precise. That (simplistic) is not the right way to describe it. It’s beautifully thought-out. It’s got such a complementary makeup to it, that’s why I fell in love with what (Waldron) was bringing. It really makes sense, it’s really smart, our guys have to really work hard at the discipline to execute it in the right manner. There’s a lot of terminology. It won’t look as much different as it sounds to us because the system that we’re putting in to make sure that we can utilize all of the variations and the complements that are packed in here, so it’s not a simple offense at all. I wouldn’t give Al that much credit, either.”

OK then.

Luckily for us, we have a former Seahawks quarterback on staff at 710 ESPN Seattle in Jake and Stacy host Jake Heaps, who tried his hand Monday during the show’s daily Four-Down Territory segment at explaining exactly what Carroll was trying to get across.

Here’s what Heaps said:

“The offense in and of itself as he described is ‘a beautiful thing’ from an X’s and O’s standpoint where you can have the same formation, the same motion, the same type of setup and keep it relatively simple that way, and yet be extremely complex in the way that you attack and utilize those things. The one thing that I have been so impressed about with this offense is the ability to take something simple and to be purposeful to make it more complex. The fly sweep motion has a purpose to it in terms of how it manipulates and moves the defense in the running game, the play-action pass game, the quick game, the screen game – it all has a purpose and a function along with everything else. And what other systems have a hard time with is they’ll say, ‘We’ll take a formation and we’ll have 15 plays,’ but they all don’t complement each other. They’re completely different.

“I think what Sean McVay in this system has been able to do is create something that is complex in a very simplistic way of same formation, same motion, same setup and everything, and it makes it really difficult on defenses and defensive coordinators to really get a true beat on what you’re going to do next.”

Dave “The Groz” Grosby, who was filling in as a guest host with Heaps on Monday, was thoroughly confused by what Carroll said, responding: “If you just saw that written on a piece of paper, you would think this is from someone without a grip on reality. It’s gibberish.”

Heaps didn’t disagree, but he said he understands why Carroll seemed to tie himself up in knots trying to explain the Seahawks’ new offense.

“It still doesn’t make sense, Groz,” Heaps said with a laugh. “There’s no excuse for what he said, but just trying to parse it a little bit for everybody out there and why it’s an exciting thing, why it might be difficult to kinda explain why Shane Waldron’s offense might be not be super complex but it’s complex at the same time.”

You can hear the full segment in the podcast at this link or in the player below beginning around the 18:45 mark.

Clayton: Taylor the star of rookie camp | Bumpus on WRs at rookie camp

Jake & Stacy Show

Jake and Stacy

Mariners general hat glove...
Brandon Gustafson

Mariners Prospects: Baseball America’s Glaser details Seattle’s top arms

Led by George Kirby, a first-round pick drawing comparisons to the 2020 AL Cy Young, the strength of the stocked Mariners farm system is now on the mound.
1 day ago
Seahawks Dunlap Woods...
Brandon Gustafson

Bumpus: Seahawks top offseason priority should be addressing the trenches

As the Seahawks enter the 2022 offseason, former NFL WR Michael Bumpus says, once again, Seattle should prioritize the OL and DL.
2 days ago
Mariners OF Julio Rodriguez...
Brandon Gustafson

Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser: Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez can be one of the faces of MLB

Talented Mariners OF prospect Julio Rodríguez has the potential to be a star and among the league's best, Kyle Glaser told Jake and Stacy.
2 days ago
Seahawks Quandre Diggs...
Brandon Gustafson

Heaps: The 6 ‘no-brainers’ the Seahawks must re-sign this offseason

When it comes to the Seahawks' pending free agents, Jake Heaps believes there are six the team must prioritize bringing back for 2022.
4 days ago
Seahawks Ethan Pocic...
Brandon Gustafson

Heaps: Big offseason priority for Seahawks is to find ‘top-tier’ center

After starting two players at center who were on the roster in 2020, Jake Heaps thinks the Seahawks need to go get a stud at the position.
5 days ago
Seahawks Russell Wilson...
Brent Stecker

ESPN’s Mina Kimes details what Seahawks must address this offseason

ESPN NFL analyst Mina Kimes joined 710 ESPN Seattle's Jake and Stacy to discuss where the Seahawks stand going into an important offseason.
6 days ago
Heaps: What Pete Carroll meant with his confusing explanation of Seahawks’ new offense