Super Bowl LVIII shows that new Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald has the winning formula to take Seattle back to the postseason. You'd think he scripted the game. Other than the part with Taylor Swift being a Pentagon psyop, of course.
Not to be petty, but - suffer, Niners fans. Now that I have that out of the way, on to more important topics. Mike Macdonald gave several insights on his plans for the Seahawks during his appearance on the Brock and Salk Show this past Monday. Understandably, the main topic was the Hawks, but the results of that little tussle on Sunday support much of Macdonald's concepts. You can watch the interview here; I highly recommend it!
In his introductory press conference just weeks ago - that seems crazy, right? - Macdonald stressed that the Seahawks would play with intensity in 2024 and beyond. As Bob Condotta reported for The Seattle Times, the new Hawks head coach went into much more detail about his vision for how the team will be constructed and how they will play. Let's dive into those remarks, and see how the 49ers' loss - yeah, I love writing that - echoes those philosophies.
Seattle Seahawks can look to Super Bowl LVIII as a road map
So what exactly did Macdonald have to say? Thanks to Bob Condotta, it's all here. Well, the part about the offense, anyway. As you'll see, the new coach sees the Seahawks' offense as being very similar to their defense. The unspoken byword here is consistency.
Macdonald said, "I want to build the offense through the same lens of how we built the defense [at Baltimore], and we’re going to build it here. So we have to be really, really good at the core philosophies, core fundamentals, core concepts and want to be able to apply those things on a game-to-game basis based on who we are playing so we don’t want to reinvent our offense every week."
Macdonald continued in this vein, again stressing concepts he spoke about in his first press conference. 12 have to be happy hearing this. These aren't exactly new concepts for the Seahawks, but I picture the dedication to achieving it will be new. It's fine to have a philosophy, but until it's delivered on every single play, it doesn't mean much.
According to Macdonald, "So we have to have a core identity. So what is that? We are going to be a physical unit, we are going to run the football, we want to have the answers for the quarterback, we want to keep it consistent for him so he can play fast and play decisive and get the ball to our playmakers."
Hey, there's the unspoken byword - consistency! Okay, not exactly, but, yeah, it's there. Macdonald sees his team as a physical unit, one that will run the ball, one that will feature quick, decisive plays by the quarterback. We've seen that in Seattle for years under Pete Carroll. The problem was, we didn't see that consistently. Too often, it seemed that the Hawks didn't have a plan, and when they did, they abandoned it at the first sign of struggle.
Which brings me to the Big Game this past Sunday. So why did San Francisco lose? Well, let me hand it over to our friends at Niner Noise, FanSided's 49ers site. Despite their questionable choice of loyalties, the peeps at this site know their stuff. Peter Panacy detailed five reasons for the loss, although he inexplicably missed that they deserved to lose because they're the Niners. I'll just focus on his biggest reason. All are most definitely valid, by the way.
I'll combine two of his reasons, as they're basically the same. The 49ers did nothing in the third quarter. They got the ball in Christian McCaffrey's hands to the tune of 88 combined yards in the first half. 41 of those yards came on the ground, with Elijah Mitchell adding eight more on two carries. So what did the Niners do in the third quarter? They had two designed runs and targeted McCaffrey once. His seven-yard reception and five-yard run accounted for 12 of San Francisco's 29 yards in the quarter. Uh, that's not going to win many football games.
Despite having the league's most versatile threat - yeah, it sucks to write that, but let's be real here - the 49ers forgot they had Christian McCaffrey in their backfield. That was their other huge failure. They ran the ball just twice; that sounds familiar, right, 12s? You're leading 10-3 at the half, so then you decide to go Air Coryell? Actually, that's a bit of a misnomer; even Don Coryell knew you needed to run the ball to set up those explosive passes.
And that, dear 12s, is exactly what Mike Macdonald is talking about. Playing physical football andconsistently running the ball to set up explosive pass plays. He's got the blueprint, and I believe he'll execute it to perfection.