Heaps: Shane Waldron bringing much-needed tempo to Seahawks’ offense
The Seahawks added many new pieces to their roster this offseason, but perhaps the biggest move the team made was the hiring of new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron.
Despite setting team records in numerous offensive categories in 2020, the Seahawks struggled on offense over the second half of the season and put together arguably their worst performance of the year in a playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Speaking of the Rams, that’s where Waldron comes from. Prior to being hired by Seattle, Waldron was a Rams assistant for four years, serving as passing game coordinator during his final three seasons.
Head coach Pete Carroll has spoken glowingly of Waldron, his offensive system and his plan throughout the offseason, and that continued at organized team activities this past week.
“There’s a sense of continuity that Shane brings that I’m really excited about. Things fit together really in a connected fashion and more so than I’ve seen us have in years past in the design of it,” Carroll said. “And with that, Shane also brings a real eye and intent on tempo and utilizing tempo in different areas and aspects of our game, which is really something we’ve always liked to implement with (quarterback Russell Wilson) and Russ has really taken to it as well at this point. We’re off and moving.”
Former Seahawks quarterback Jake Heaps was very excited after hearing Carroll’s latest comments about Waldron’s system. He explained the two things that stood out to him during Friday’s edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy.
The first thing that stood out to Heaps?
“How everything is connected,” Heaps said. “Why is that important? You’re not just calling plays to call plays. You have an understanding of what exactly you’re trying to set up a couple plays down the road or the next series or the next half. You know exactly what you’re setting up with your play calls as an offense because everything is staying connected (with the) run and pass.”
One complaint with the Seahawks on offense over the second half of the 2020 season was a lack of adjustments and running the same plays and formations despite opposing defenses taking them away.
But more important than Carroll’s comments about continuity, Heaps said, was that Carroll singled out “tempo.”
“The reason why I was so excited about Shane Waldron and this offense being paired with this personnel and with this quarterback in Russell Wilson in particular is tempo,” he said. “Pete Carroll highlighted the tempo and that part of it is so important because it’s something that they have not been able to successfully grasp and get a hold of in the entire nine seasons that Russell Wilson has been here.”
Something that has plagued the Seahawks offensively in recent years is slow starts and not having much urgency early in games. As a result, Seattle often plays close games and has to come from behind to win, and a lot of that comes down to Wilson, who seems to have a lot of success running the offense in up-tempo or two-minute situations.
“But they have not been able to package that together in the first quarter, the second quarter or the third quarter,” Heaps said. “And what I think that (Rams head coach) Sean McVay’s offense has always been – and that Shane Waldron was a part of – is they are masters of tempo and masters of how to continue to run your normal offense but have tremendous tempo and do it in a variety of different ways. I think this offense is finally going to have that attack tempo that this quarterback has always wanted and plays at his best in and I can’t wait to see it happen.”
Listen to Heaps’ full comments in the second hour of Friday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.
Jake & Stacy