Seahawks HC Mike Macdonald reveals five truths in his introductory press conference

Seattle hired Macdonald this week to replace long-term coach Pete Carroll.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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The Seattle Seahawks made official the hiring of Mike Macdonald as head coach on Wednesday. On Thursday, Macdonald held his introductory press conference with the team. For someone who was rumored to be fairly introverted, Macdonald instead came across as an intelligent coach with a clear vision of how the team should look moving forward.

In the past few years, Seattle seemed to have lost its identity. When Pete Carroll took over in 2010, 12s knew immediately that Carroll wanted a team that could run the ball well and play great defense. But the team began to change in 2015 as Seattle allowed Russell Wilson to throw a lot more and the defense slowly began to diminish.

Now the Seahawks have moved from the oldest coach in the NFL (Carroll) to the youngest head coach (Macdonald). The former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator is only 36 years old. He certainly seemed years older in his first press conference, though (once general manager John Schneider stopped talking and let Macdonald speak, that is - Schneider admitted he "prayed" for the Ravens to lose in the AFC Championship game so that Seattle would have a chance to interview Macdonald).

New Seahawks HC Mike Macdonald shares thought on future of the franchise

Truth No. 1 - The implication of more intense practices

Macdonald said he was "juiced" to get going as head coach and that there would be no secret plays to make the team better but that everyone would need to work hard to see improvement. That sounds a lot like coach-speak, of course, but the Ravens appeared to have highly intense practices. This will differ from Pete Carroll's more laid-back atmosphere. That might be what Seattle's defense needs as they often were far too apprehensive in attacking opposing offenses.

One aspect that was very clear is that Macdonald is much more stoic in his approach compared to Carroll. Carroll was unnaturally effervescent. Macdonald is more measured. I do not mean to imply either way is better, but simply the sideline presence during and immediately after games will be dramatically different. Macdonald also made a point of saying he would lead a "physical football team."

Truth No. 2 - Macdonald is the head coach but John Schneider will be in full control

For much of the beginning of the question and answer part of the press conference, Schneider was doing most of the talking. When Carroll was the coach, he had the final say over roster decisions and the coaching staff. Now Schneider has control over those aspects. Based on the press conference alone when Macdonald listened to Schneider more than he spoke to begin the press conference, Schneider is the alpha of the Seahawks organization now. That might ease Macdonald's transition to becoming a head coach, though.

Truth No. 3 - The defense will belong to Macdonald

Macdonald confirmed he would be calling the defensive plays during games. He did not mention names as to which coaches he might be thinking of bringing in to be assistants, as expected, but Macdonald said he would call the plays until he feels confident that whoever his defensive coordinator can take over playcalling duties. The implication seemed to be that Macdonald would be calling defensive plays well into the future.

Truth No. 4 - The change to Macdonald seemed intentionally different from Carroll

Macdonald revealed that he has never met Pete Carroll. He also pointed out that his personality is completely different from Carroll's and that Macdonald would continue to be who he is. He promised he had a sense of humor, but that that might not be as apparent as Carroll's jovialness.

Macdonald seemed so quick to answer the question that he likely expected that to be asked. This likely was part of the conversations between Macdonald and Schneider as well. Possibly, Schneider wanted to make sure Macdonald was not replacing Carroll's personality, just Carroll as the coach.

Truth No. 5 - Macdonald did not commit to Geno Smith as QB1 but praised him

Macdonald said whoever the quarterback was, the offense would be built around QB1. He made a point of saying Smith is a good quarterback and "at the Pro Bowl right now," but Macdonald also briefly mentioned Drew Lock. Lock is a free agent this offseason and might not return. Mentioning Lock seemed somewhat odd.

Macdonald clearly did not act as if he had never been the focal point of a press conference, though. He appeared to be confident and ready to lead the team on the field while Schneider does the rest. Now the Seahawks just need to go win games.

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