With the hire of Mike Macdonald, the Seahawks will show the difference between the legacy of Pete Carroll's concepts and the reality of his latter years. Macdonald will be his own man, but the core values will remain.
It couldn't have been an easy decision for the Seahawks to move on from the finest coach in their 48-year history. As Jody Allen said in her official statement regarding Carroll's departure, "His expertise in leadership and building a championship culture will continue as an integral part of our organization moving forward." His indisputable role in building the Hawks culture was key to John Schneider's coaching search. He said that the search wasn't only about X's and O's or scheme, but about character and leadership. Mike Macdonald certainly checks those boxes
Anyone who's watched even one Ravens game in the past couple of years knows how ferocious that defense is. Heck, I'm still trying to forget the Seahawks' Week 9 annihilation. As it turns out, that game was a lead bullet point on Macdonald's resume for a head-coaching position. He had already delivered the third-ranked then top-ranked defense in the league in his two seasons as the Ravens DC. I'm not about to say that his track record on the field wasn't a priority for John Schneider and his search committee.
The Seattle Seahawks will continue the mindset under Macdonald
Yes, the Hawks needed a reset, not just on defense, either. Considering the hire of Macdonald and the addition of assistant head coach Leslie Frazier, it looks like the defense will be sorted out, and quickly. Seattle still needs to hire a defensive coordinator and their counterpart on offense, though. I have zero doubts that those hires will be equally as dynamic as Schneider's first two hires of the post-Carroll era. The schemes are less important than the totality of the approach, though.
So why do I say that Mike Mac will preserve Pete's ideals? He made it very clear in his introductory press conference that the players matter. So much focus has been on his record on the field - deservedly so - that this seems to have been glossed over. Macdonald said, "It's all about what's the best interest for the team, what's the best interest for the players, and how we can be successful." Not how he could be successful, but how the team could be successful, with a focus on the players.
If you have any doubts about how his players feel about him, watch the responses of these Pro Bowlers to his departure. Gotta love Roquan Smith's comment, "It feels like Seattle took a huge part of me away."
When discussing his own personality, he gave Pete Carroll a shoutout, acknowledging, "Pete has a great personality but it's his and it's authentic to who he is as a person. I think that's why the players resonate with him and why he has a great reputation." He recognizes Carroll's ideal - recognition of the players - works. He also made it clear that the team comes first, as it must.
As John Schneider said, he believed one of the most attractive aspects of the Seahawks' job was the Hawks culture, the foundation that has been built over the years in Seattle. Mike Macdonald will continue that culture while keeping players ever more accountable by putting the team first.