Huard: The Seahawks position group most thrilled by new schemes

May 22, 2024, 9:14 AM | Updated: 9:16 am

Seattle Seahawks edge rusher Boye Mafe...

Boye Mafe of the Seattle Seahawks during a 2023 home game. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The 2024 season marks a new era for the Seattle Seahawks.

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After 14 seasons, the Seahawks moved on from head coach Pete Carroll and hired former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald as their new leader. That change also greatly impacted the rest of the coaching staff, which saw a near 100% turnover from the previous regime. The new coaching additions most notably included offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb, who led the UW Huskies’ prolific offense the past two seasons.

With a new staff comes a number of changes, especially with the principles and schemes on either side of the ball. Is there a particular position group that should be most thrilled about what the coaching changes mean for them? Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard answered that question Tuesday during Blue 88 on Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk.

“I was doing a little digging last night actually looking up stats for a different story, trying to find kind of a (Devon Witherspoon) comp,” Huard said.

Huard didn’t find a player similar to Seattle’s talented young cornerback in his research, but he found something else.

“I’m kind of looking through tackles and I’m looking through sacks and I’m … like ‘Man, I’m not seeing a DB with a lot of sacks like Jamal Adams had years ago, but man, I’m seeing a lot of Baltimore Ravens,'” Huard said.

The Ravens were the NFL’s stingiest defense last season, allowing a league-best 15.5 points per game. A big part of that was Baltimore’s ability to create havoc in the backfield with an NFL-high 60 sacks. Huard noticed that the players who accounted for the biggest portion of those sacks all put up the best numbers of their careers under Macdonald.

The trio of defensive tackle Justin Madubuike and edge rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy led the Ravens in sacks. Madubuike had the most notable breakout of the group, leading the team with a career-best 13 sacks after totaling 8 1/2 in his previous three NFL seasons. While some of the 26-year-old Madubuike’s jump could be credited to it being a player continuing to improve as he hits his prime, that’s not the case for the others. Clowney posted 9 1/2 sacks in his age-30 season, which matched a career best he set six years earlier. It was also 6 1/2 more than the three he had during his disappointing one-year stint with the Seahawks in 2019. Van Noy posted nine sacks in his age-32 season, which was a career high by 2 1/2.

Huard believes those are good signs for the likes of Seahawks first-round draft pick Byron Murphy II, edge rushers Derick Hall and Boye Mafe, veteran Leonard Williams and others.

“Do those guys have more traits, more physical, God-given gifts than Byron Murphy? Than Derick Hall? Than Boye Mafe? Than a bunch of these edge pieces and defensive line pieces that (the Seahawks coaching staff gets) to work with?” Huard said. “(The Seahawks’) D-line group has got to be thrilled about the scheme, the movement and the game plans that are coming to set you up for your one-on-one successes.”

Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the audio player near the top of this story. Tune in to Brock and Salk weekdays from 6-10 a.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sport app.

More Seattle Seahawks coverage

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• Did schedule makers make it easy for Seahawks? Insider explains
• What are experts predicting for Seahawks’ 2024 record?
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