How new Seahawks coach Mike Macdonald can revitalize Seattle’s defense

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Eric Williams

NFC West Writer

Seahawks president of football operations John Schneider hired defensive wizard Mike Macdonald as Seattle’s head coach in part because of the new ideas he’ll bring to reenergize a defense that underperformed in 2023.

Last season, the Seahawks were awful at stopping the run for a second year in a row, finishing No. 31 in run defense. They were No. 21 in pass defense. 

Meanwhile, Macdonald’s Baltimore Ravens unit led the NFL in scoring defense and sacks. 

“The illusion of complexity that everybody talks about, you can see it on film,” Schneider said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine about Macdonald’s scheme. “It’s the product. You’re watching it, you saw it happen several times this year.

“You saw it happen … a couple of years ago when Mike was at Michigan as well. Where he’s taken that [Ravens] defense is really impressive.”

However, Seattle’s problems on defense were not just scheme, but also a need for better personnel. And if Macdonald is to improve on his new team’s performance on defense, he needs an upgrade in talent up front.

The cupboard is not bare. Seattle should benefit from Uchenna Nwosu, one of the team’s best run defenders and pass rushers, returning from a season-ending pectoral injury in Week 7. Edge rusher Boye Mafe took another step in his development, finishing with nine sacks in his second season, and veteran nose tackle Jarran Reed totaled seven sacks in his return to Seattle after two seasons away. 

Seattle must figure out how to keep defensive tackle Leonard Williams in free agency. Acquired from the New York Jets for a second-round pick in a midseason trade, the USC product finished with 17 combined tackles, 11 quarterback hits and four sacks in 10 games with Seattle.

Overall, however, the Seahawks finished without a player totaling double-digits in sacks for a fifth straight season. Specifically, the Seahawks didn’t get a lot of production from defensive…

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Publish date : 2024-03-04 20:23:31

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