Bumpus: 3 Seahawks that can help anchor Macdonald’s defense

Feb 3, 2024, 9:32 AM

Seattle Seahawks Jordyn Brooks free agency...

Jordyn Brooks of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after a sack on Sept. 24, 2023. (Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

(Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks have their new head coach in Mike Macdonald, and he comes to the Hawks after a stellar run with Baltimore’s defense.

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Macdonald, 36, is a longtime Ravens defensive assistant, having spent nine of the last 10 year’s on John Harbaugh’s staff. In 2022 and 2023, Macdonald was the Ravens’ defensive coordinator, and he was especially impressive this past season when his defense was No. 1 in the NFL in scoring, sacks and takeaways. Macdonald told reporters Thursday that he plans to call the Seattle Seahawks’ defense in 2024.

Macdonald’s defense did a lot of great things in 2023, especially against some of the top offenses in football. Seattle’s roster is obviously different than Baltimore’s, but former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus thinks there are three players that could be anchors for Macdonald’s defense this upcoming season.

Jordyn Brooks, he needs to be here,” Bumpus said during Thursday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports.

Brooks, an inside linebacker, has been a key part of the Seahawks’ defense the last four years after being selected in the first round in 2020. Brooks, 26, did not receive the fifth-year option on his contract, so he’s set to hit free agency. Bumpus thinks Macdonald will want him back in Seattle.

“I would assume that Mike Macdonald looks at that film and says, ‘I can see him being a Patrick Queen, I can see him being a Roquan Smith. Let’s keep this guy here,'” he said.

Bumpus thinks another pending free agent is a must-sign for the Seahawks’ defense.

“I look at the interior lineman and I go, Leonard Williams has to be on this football team, especially if you’re not going to get anybody in the second round because obviously you gave that to roll the dice on Leonard Williams in hopes that he’s going to stay here,” Bumpus said.

The Seahawks acquired Williams, a 29-year-old defensive tackle, from the New York Giants at the trade deadline this year in exchange for second- and fifth-round picks. The former No. 6 overall pick is a pending free agent for the first time in his career, and for a Seahawks defense that struggled to stop the run the last two years, Bumpus thinks Williams coming back would go a long way in helping fix that. He also believes Macdonald being the new head coach could help sway Williams to return.

“I would love to think that the presence of Mike Macdonald being a defensive guy and the way that he was able to get the Ravens’ defense to execute entices Leonard Williams to hang around for a little bit,” he said.

The third player Bump brought up? A surprise Pro Bowler in 2023: 25-year-old safety Julian Love, who had four interceptions in his first year with the Seahawks.

“I like the way Julian Love was used last year, and there are some things that Mike Macdonald liked to do with the Ravens that I can see Julian Love doing as well,” Bumpus said. “A lot of versatility in the safety play.”

Listen to the full fourth hour of Thursday’s Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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Bumpus: 3 Seahawks that can help anchor Macdonald’s defense