3 pressing priorities for Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald in 2024

Macdonald gets a team with some young talent but a lot of glaring holes.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
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Fixing third down offense and defense

The last grave concern might not be completely under the control of Macdonald. At the same time, Macdonald will have a huge say over the defense, obviously, the biggest decision he will probably have immediately is who to hire as offensive coordinator. That OC will have to address Seattle's awful third-down offense over the last few years. The problem was not caused by quarterback Geno Smith either but by the plays and approach that former OC Shane Waldron had in any third-down situation.

Seattle was 23rd in third-down conversions this season converting only 36.2 percent. The Seahawks were 20th in 2022 at only 37.8 percent. It also did not matter if the Seahawks had the ball third-and-short or third-and-long. Seattle simply could not convert. (And I am not even addressing red-zone offense which was also terrible - 28th in 2022 and 25th in 2023.)

Macdonald will at least have a lot more input on what his defense does on third down. Sure, he will hire a defensive coordinator who understands what he needs, but there is no way Macdonald is going to be very hands-off in his coaching approach. The Baltimore Ravens were 7th defensively in third-down conversions in 2023 and second in red-zone percentage for a reason: Macdonald knows well what he is doing.

One key is that the Ravens also had good coverage linebackers. That is something that clearly was taught better in Baltimore than in Seattle. Even fixing that problem alone should make the Seahawks' defense better. Seattle might not have a top-ten defense next year, but it certainly will be a lot better than it has been recently.

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