BROCK AND SALK

Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett: How Carroll and Macdonald differ

Jun 19, 2024, 2:52 PM

Seattle Seahawks Mike Macdonald rookie minicamp 2024 Getty 900...

Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Macdonald watches a workout during 2024 rookie minicamp. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

There are plenty of differences around the Seattle Seahawks these days after the franchise moved on from longtime head coach Pete Carroll and replaced him with Mike Macdonald.

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There might not be a player more equipped to speak about those differences than wide receiver Tyler Lockett. The 31-year-old veteran is heading into his 10th season with the Seahawks, making him the franchise’s longest-tenured player.

Last Friday, Lockett made an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show and detailed the contrast in coaching styles between the 72-year-old Carroll and 36-year-old Macdonald.

“The thing that I loved about Pete is Pete gave so much freedom,” Lockett said. “And I love that aspect of his approach, because when you give somebody freedom, they can’t hide who they are. Sometimes you see who people really are when they have a (lot) of freedom. … With Mike, I like the fact that he’s bringing structure because it’s like, ‘Hey, this is who we are. This is how we’re gonna be.’ You’ve gotta be able to tap into that and you’ve gotta be able to buy in. And if you’re not gonna buy in, then you’re pretty much not gonna be here.”

During his success-filled 14 seasons in the Pacific Northwest, Carroll was known in part for his exuberant personality and the freedom he afforded players to be themselves.

“It made people who came in on our team, they think, ‘Oh, because we got this much freedom, it’s gonna be like this,’ but then they’re not on the team (anymore),” Lockett said. “Why? Because you’ve gotta have that self-motivation and you’ve gotta be able to like push yourself and you’ve gotta do all these different types of things. And if you’re not strong as an individual, … then it (was) gonna be tough for you to be here.”

Lockett said Macdonald has a more regimented approach reminds him of his college days, when he played under legendary Kansas State coach Bill Snyder.

“When I (say) structure, it goes back to like that military style,” Lockett said. “Mike tells us stories about the military and stuff like that. … And so when you kind of understand and look at kind of how the military functions and how they go, that’s kind of how our team is.”

Brock’s reaction

During Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Monday, former Seahawks quarterback Brock Huard and ESPN Seahawks reporter Brady Henderson reacted to Lockett’s comments.

“He’s talking about how much he loves that freedom, but he also clearly acknowledges the downside of that,” Henderson said. “And if guys aren’t self-starters, if they’re not self-motivated, then yeah, they (were) not going to last long here.”

Huard pointed out how Carroll’s approach enabled him to get the most out of so many players during a legendary run of success that included 10 playoff appearances, two Super Bowl trips and the franchise’s lone Lombardi Trophy.

“The freedom that Pete gave those guys (brought) out the very best and the very most and winning at a level that we had never seen in this market,” Huard said.

However, Huard said there can be a tradeoff with giving players so freedom.

“You want (players) emotionally right on the edge, and Pete always (supported) all of his guys and he would go to bat for them and he would fight for them,” Huard said. “But did they cross that edge? For the (Richard Shermans and DK Metcalfs) that are so volatile, did it eventually come at a cost at times for the protection of the team?

“I think it did. I think there were obvious things last year where it just didn’t feel right. Pete said that to us at the end of the year – (that) there are some things that just don’t feel right and guys taking that freedom to a place that I don’t think was always team-first. And I think this regime is gonna be a little different, as Tyler said. A little more militaristic. A little more structure.”

Listen to the full conversation on Brock and Salk at this link or in the audio player near the middle of this story.

More Seattle Seahawks coverage

• Why Bump likes Seahawks’ decision to conduct joint practices
• The biggest position battle on Seattle Seahawks’ O-line
• Bump: The great decision Seahawks’ Mike Macdonald made
• Moving around: How Seahawks’ D-line is fitting into new scheme
• After standout spring, JSN primed to be ‘massive piece’ of Hawks’ offense

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