3 Seattle Seahawks defensive players who will improve under Mike Macdonald

Three Seattle players are likely to see a rise in production in 2024.
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The Seattle Seahawks are under new management, and these three players are the most likely to make the biggest improvements under Mike Macdonald's guidance. I expect the entire defense to improve, but the biggest jumps will come here.

Seattle added former Cowboys defensive line coach Aden Durde as their new defensive coordinator in something of a surprising move. He coached Atlanta's outside linebackers in 2020. They didn't exactly remind anyone of Uchenna Nwosu, at least according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Combined, the EDGE defenders racked up just 11 sacks; they did have 64 hurries, though. The 2023 Seahawks edge rushers totaled 17 sacks and 79 hurries, and that's with Nwosu out for 11 games.

Durde's success story lies in his work with Dallas from 2021 through last season. Again with Pro Football Focus as a source, the Cowboys were rated seventh in pass rush in 2021, then second in both 2022 and 2023. They ranked fourth in pressures per dropbacks in 2020, then first in 2022, then dropped to 16th last year. Overall it's a solid body of work.

Since Macdonald will be calling the plays anyway, Durde's impact, at least initially, will be to incorporate the best of the Cowboys' line concepts with the Ravens. Combined, I expect the two to create a huge boost to the Hawks' defense, and especially to the following three players.

The Seattle Seahawks will see a sophomore surge from Mike Morris

Defensive lineman Mike Morris never got a chance to show what he could do in his rookie season in Seattle. Injured after just 26 defensive snaps in Week 1, Morris missed the rest of the season. There are a few important things to note here. With a defensive line featuring Dre'mont Jones, Jarran Reed, and Mario Edwards, the Seahawks still gave a rookie 26 snaps in the season opener. That shows their confidence in the 6'6" 295 former Wolverine. It's also important to note that Morris registered three tackles in the game, the same as Jones and Reed, despite having almost half the snaps.

To say that Morris was excited about the hire of Macdonald would be quite an understatement. Macdonald was the Wolverines' defensive coordinator in 202, Morris's junior year. Macdonald certainly knows what Morris brings to the field, just as Morris knows the intensity and work ethic Macdonald demands of his players. I expected Morris to work his way into the starting lineup in 2023. Well, better late than never.