BROCK AND SALK

Rich Eisen: Seahawks’ identity won’t change much under Macdonald

Mar 22, 2024, 2:39 PM

Seattle Seahawks Mike Macdonald...

Mike Macdonald as speaks to the media as he is named the new head coach of the Seattle Seahawks on Feb. 1, 2024. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

For the first time since 2009, the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks isn’t Pete Carroll.

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The Seahawks parted ways with the franchise icon in January after a 9-8 season and no playoff appearance. Since then, Seattle has hired a new head coach in Mike Macdonald, who most recently was defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens.

Someone who has covered Carroll’s time with the Seahawks is legendary radio host Rich Eisen, who is also a member of NFL Network. Eisen joined Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Tuesday and shared his reaction to Carroll’s dismissal, as well as what the Seahawks may look like under Macdonald.

First, what did Eisen think when he learned Carroll was let go by the Seahawks?

“Shocking. Everything that I heard was few people expected it, even in that building,” he said.

Part of why it was so surprising to Eisen is because Carroll was such an “identifier” for the Seahawks for so long.

In 2011, Eisen and NFL Network called a game in Seattle between the Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles where the Hawks won 31-14. Since Marshawn Lynch, the clear star of the game, declined a postgame interview invitation, Eisen and his colleagues interviewed Carroll.

That was Carroll’s second season in Seattle, and it was when the Legion of Boom were starting to develop into a legendary defense. It was also before the Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson at quarterback.

With it being so early in Carroll’s tenure, Eisen asked him about the Seahawks’ identity.

-Said it was so surprising because Carroll was such an “identifier” for the Seahawks.

“He talked about his usual mantra of ‘always compete’ and defense and running the ball and having a power game and things of that nature,” Eisen said. “He was essentially the identity of this franchise the moment he strolled off the campus at USC and into the Pacific Northwest. It’s just jarring to not see him there bouncing around and being the world’s oldest teenager.”

Now, the Seahawks enter life without Carroll as Macdonald gets his first head coaching job.

How will the Seahawks’ identity look as they are now led by Macdonald?

“I don’t think it’s gonna change very much,” Eisen said. “They’re going to just try and road grade, dominate the line of scrimmage, and play tough defense and try to limit the turnovers on offense and make the plays down the field. I don’t think it’s gonna change very much, to be honest with you … Running the ball is going to be another forte for them, clearly. I don’t think it’s going to change very much. The only question is how long does (quarterback Geno Smith) have the gig there and what’s going to be the next step should that be Seattle’s plan to maybe move on in short order?”

“I think it just comes down to Macdonald coming from the Harbaugh mentality, from the Ravens mentality, and obviously that dovetails a lot with what Pete did,” Eisen later said.

Hear the full Brock and Salk conversation with Rich Eisen in the podcast player near the top of this post.

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Rich Eisen: Seahawks’ identity won’t change much under Macdonald