3 signs Seahawks will make a huge leap in 2024 under new coaching staff

Multiple encouraging signs suggest the Seahawks will leave some frustrating tendencies behind under a brand new coaching staff in 2024.
New Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald should make a huge difference
New Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald should make a huge difference / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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The Seahawks' blue-chip talent will be utilized to their full potential

If you looked at the Seahawks roster in 2023, featuring the likes of Ken Walker, DK Metcalf, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Leonard Williams, Riq Woolen, Devon Witherspoon, Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, and Bobby Wagner, you'd think they'd have one of the best records in the league. As we know, that was not the case. Why didn't those incredibly talented players translate into wins?

Beginning with the offense, Shane Waldron just failed to utilize his players to their full potential. Smith-Njigba, the first wide receiver selected in the 2023 NFL draft, was plain and simply neglected as part of the Seahawks offense.

Ryan Grubb, the incumbent offensive coordinator, was able to utilize all three of his NFL-caliber receivers with the Huskies, especially slot receiver Jalen McMillan, who is practically a Jaxon Smith-Njigba clone. Washington had two fantastic outside receivers in Rome Odunze, a top-10 pick in April's draft, and Ja'Lynn Polk, another early draft pick. It's a similar situation to the Seahawks' receivers, as DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are the top outside receivers with JSN on the inside.

The difference between the two Seattle squads is the fact Grubb was able to not only utilize McMillan in the slot, weaponize him, and let the three receivers feed off each other. Meanwhile, the Seahawks were vastly underutilizing JSN in the slot for the majority of 2023.

Aside from rookie Devon Witherspoon, who was a monster anywhere on the field, former defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt also struggled to utilize the blue-chip players on the Seahawks defense. Far too often were linebackers who struggled in coverage, left alone with coverage assignments and burned by speedier receivers.

A pass rush unit consisting of Uchenna Nwosu, Boye Mafe, Leonard Williams, and Dre'mont Jones failed to produce pressure, allowing opposing quarterbacks to stand relatively unbothered in the pocket for an egregious amount of time. I find it very hard to believe the players just couldn't produce; this seems like a coaching error.

As Seattle ramps up toward training for the 2024 season, there's a palpable sense of hope and excitement for the new team. Would you feel as confident of the progression and utilization of first-round pick Byron Murphy II under the tutelage and defense of Pete Carroll and Clint Hurtt? Would you be excited about the re-tooling of the offensive line and utilization of the receivers under Shane Waldron? Probably not as much as we are now.

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At the very least, we can expect these guys to be utilized differently. It could be a complete nightmare, and Seattle could be miserable to watch, but at least it's different. However, I am personally cautiously excited to see these players under a completely new system -- both offensively and defensively.

It'll be exciting to see how Ryan Grubb and new offensive line coach, another former Husky, Scott Huff, build the offensive line en route to a hopefully more cohesive and exciting offensive product. I'm absolutely stoked to see head coach Mike Macdonald and new defensive coordinator Aden Durde scheme up exotic coverages and blitz packages to utilize the strengths of each individual player. Buckle in, and next season should be a ride.

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