Reaction: Are Seahawks’ removals disrespecting their history?

Apr 18, 2024, 12:30 PM | Updated: 5:55 pm

Mike Macdonald Seattle Seahawks...

New Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald on Feb. 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

(AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

When Mike Macdonald came in to be the new Seattle Seahawks head coach, taking over after Pete Carroll oversaw the most successful period in franchise history, there was something interesting that Seattle Sports’ Mike Salk thought about.

“When Pete was let go and Mike Macdonald was hired, my mind did immediately go to that basketball hoop,” Salk said Thursday on Brock and Salk.

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The basketball hoop in question lived in the Seahawks’ meeting room at team headquarters in Renton throughout Carroll’s 14 seasons, and it symbolized the culture and kind of program Carroll run.

According to Salk, Macdonald “had to remove it,” which the Seahawks had already done by the time defensive lineman Leonard Williams and others spoke to members of the media in that room Wednesday. Also gone are pictures of players from Carroll’s Legion of Boom-era teams that adorned some of the walls at Seahawks HQ.

“It just would have been a constant reminder, looking over (Macdonald’s) shoulder, of the massive personality that had walked out the door and who he was trying to replace. It had to go,” Salk said.

Williams, a nine-year NFL veteran who was a midseason trade acquisition in 2023 and is set for his first full season with Seattle after re-signing last month, seems to feel similarly.

“I remember the first day we came into the team meeting, Mike (Macdonald) pointed out that – you know, there’s empty walls in the hallways and things like that,” Williams said. “For a person like me, I think that made me really excited, and I hope it made the rest of the guys excited. We’re obviously going to respect tradition and the history of of the Seahawks, but I think it’s giving us a clean foundation to create whatever we want to be. We’re not chasing to be like any other team that’s been here before. We want to create our own identity.”

Salk’s co-host, former Seahawks quarterback and current FOX football analyst Brock Huard, shared his view as someone whose name is included on a small plaque in an area of the Seahawks’ building that lists every player in team history.

“There’s quite a bit of reaction to this, rightfully so, and everybody can have an opinion,” Huard said. “And I think there was a lot of folks like, ‘Oh, I don’t really like that.’ … Do you think Pete Carroll is in any way offended by this? I mean, I think Pete Carroll will totally understand, like, ‘Yeah, you guys have to go make your way now.'”

Huard believes the Seahawks can create a clean slate with these changes while still keeping intact things that fans have grown attached to over the years or that honor the team’s history.

“I think they’re still going to raise the 12th man flag. I think those plaques of every player that has ever been a part of the organization, that’s not going down. I think the banners in the indoor facility showcasing their Super Bowl championship and their NFC championships, those aren’t going down. None of that history is being thrown away,” he said.

“… You can celebrate the past, but you’re not connected to it, so make your own connections. And I think that’s what you hear from Leonard right there. (Williams is saying) this is not a a disrespect to anybody that that did everything before us, but we’ve got work to do. We’ve got to put our new photos on that wall. We, this whole new regime and all this new youth on the staff and all the new faces that are going to be, we are the ones that they now have to set this journey. So I don’t see this as a level of disrespect.”

Listen to the full conversation from Thursday’s Brock and Salk in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

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Reaction: Are Seahawks’ removals disrespecting their history?