Seahawks coach Mike Macdonald makes another move away from Pete Carroll era

Macdonald has made a notable change at Seattle practices already.
Steph Chambers/GettyImages

New Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald might never say it, but he very likely thinks one issue Seattle had over the last few seasons is a lack of focus on what is most important to the team: A lack of focus on football. Macdonald took away the basketball goal in the meeting room at the VMAC. Macdonald wants players to pay attention to the words being said and not a game of hoops later.

Macdonald may also believe that practices should be much more focused than they were. One notable change he has made, at least during this weekend's rookie minicamp, was turning the music playing during practice down. Not a little, but a lot. According to the Seattle Times, the coach thinks the emphasis should be put on communication and not on which song might play next.

He is right, of course. For all the games Pete Carroll won in Seattle, and there were a lot of them, the team saw diminishing returns the last several seasons. Twice in the past three years, the Seahawks missed the playoffs. Carroll always wanted his players to be themselves and the coach wanted to create a loose culture, but Carroll also was unwilling to adjust when his approach was not working.

Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald does not want the noise of music to drown out his message

That was fine as long as Seattle suffered through a stretch of games when the team was not performing as well, but it wasn't fine when not making the playoffs started to become the norm. Carroll needed to change or the team needed to make a change and now Seattle has a new head coach.

After one practice this weekend, Macdonald said, "Obviously, you want to bring the juice and have energy, and have the music flowing. That’s all good. But you also want to temper that with, ‘OK, we’re trying to get some teaching done at the same time.’ What’s the right volume? How can we communicate the best?"

Teaching is the keyword there. For the most part, Carroll's teams either stopped learning, especially defensively, or were not being taught well. The Seahawks had the same issues from season to season such as a lack of depth in coverage by the linebackers and symptoms that led to poor third-down offense and defense. That these problems continued even when players were changed would imply Carroll and his staff stopped teaching correctly or did not know how to fix things.

Macdonald wants to streamline his concepts and make sure his message is not drowned out by the literal noise of the music. Sure, music will be a part of practice to some degree, even Macdonald's former team, the Baltimore Ravens, had some music at practice. But Macdonald wants players to know practice is not simply for entertainment but to prepare for what lies and ahead and improve. Hopefully, that translates to the field beginning this coming season as well.

Read more from 12th Man Rising