What Seahawks players are saying about new coach Mike Macdonald

Jun 21, 2024, 9:13 AM

Seattle Seahawks Mike Macdonald 2024 minicamp...

Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald looks on during minicamp on June 3. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

It’s a new era for the Seattle Seahawks under first-year head coach Mike Macdonald.

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The 36-year-old Macdonald has massive shoes to fill in replacing the legendary Pete Carroll, who Seattle parted ways with this past January after a storied 14-year run at the helm. Carroll is undoubtedly the most successful coach in franchise history, having guided the Seahawks to their lone Super Bowl title and so many other memorable moments that will forever be treasured by fans throughout the Pacific Northwest.

But despite being the youngest head coach in the league, Macdonald has already started to build a strong reputation of his own. As the Ravens’ defensive coordinator for the past two years, Macdonald showcased a cutting-edge scheme that confounded opposing offenses and helped Baltimore’s defense become the envy of the league. Last season, the Ravens were the first defense in NFL history to lead the league in points allowed, takeaways and sacks.

As a head coach for the first time at the NFL level, Macdonald now steps into a new challenge. For nearly the past five months, he’s been busy hiring a new coaching staff, laying the foundation for his program, building relationships with players, and of course, installing his new defensive scheme. Along the way, Seahawks players have started to get to know their new coach.

Here are some highlights of what players had to say about Macdonald during press conferences at the team’s recent OTAs and mandatory minicamp.

QB Geno Smith: “Coach demands excellence, and that’s what we’re trying to provide. … Every coach has got his own style, his own philosophy, and it’s about buying in. And I think guys are doing a great job of buying into what Mike’s doing, and we’ve gotta continue to do that. I think he’s a great, great coach, man. He understands exactly what he wants to do and he’s laid it out for us, and so it’s our job to execute.”

WR DK Metcalf: “I just like the way he’s open. He loves communication, open communication, talks to each player. And he’s bringing his own style to Seattle, and that’s what I like. He’s not trying to copy anything that anybody’s done in the past. He’s just bringing Mike Macdonald to the Seattle Seahawks.”

CB Devon Witherspoon: “He’s cool, man. Coach is different, though. He’s a brain guy. He’s very smart and intellectual. So the way he builds a defense is not natural or normal around the league. That’s what makes him different. … His mind works different, for real. … The way he structures his defense, you would never know what he’s gonna run. One thing may look like something and it’s completely not.”

OL Laken Tomlinson: “Mike Macdonald is awesome, man. Obviously just watching him, especially last year, how he coaches the defense, it’s really cool I have a guy like that as a head coach and coaching the defense as well. It makes these practices extremely competitive, but that’s what it take to build a great team.”

EDGE Boye Mafe: “I can tell how much he’s really dialed in on his details. He’s a very detail-oriented person. And so for us, it’s one of those things where you have to match that energy and make sure you know what he wants and what his vision is for the team – what he wants it to look – and just doing our best ability to applicate that.”

DL Leonard Williams: “He’s a really smart coach. He’s really coming along with just the connection between the guys. Obviously, I think any new head coach is gonna go through some growing in that area, where you have to kind of learn your guys and learn the team. And there’s certain guys that have been here forever under one specific coach, and there’s definitely some growing pains in there. But I think the guys are really coming along (to) accept him as a new head coach, and I think he’s a great guy.”

QB Sam Howell: “He’s doing a great job. And I think one of the things that I love about him is just how much he’s talking about the culture side of this team, because I feel like in the NFL, that’s something that can be lost at times – how important having a good culture, a winning culture is. That’s something that obviously he’s been a part of in Baltimore and he’s trying to bring here. And definitely doing some things different, doing some things his own ways. But I think he’s been great for the whole team as far as getting everybody on the same page and really just trying to build this family-like atmosphere.”

More Seattle Seahawks coverage

• From Jamaica to Seattle: The Seahawks’ new ironman left guard
• Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett: How Carroll and Macdonald differ
• The biggest position battle on Seattle Seahawks’ O-line
• 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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