My reaction to the Seahawks hiring Mike Macdonald as their new Head Coach

It’s the start of a new era and I’m looking forward to it. Mike Macdonald is young, fresh and comes from a team known for playing a brand of physical, fast and mostly winning football. My preference was to hire an offensive minded Head Coach but with the options dwindling, this is a perfectly acceptable alternative.

Here are some thoughts on the hire…

Bring on the youth movement

Sometimes you just want to embrace the unknown. Is it a risk to appoint the youngest Head Coach in the league with only three years of coordinator experience (two in the NFL)? Sure. Give me the risk of disaster to try and achieve greatness any time. It’s so much better than hiring a ‘safer’ coach who might just keep the Seahawks in the middle-ground where they’ve been stuck for a few years. Roll the dice.

This feels like an attempt to find someone a bit special. If Macdonald can’t live up to that, so be it. I never felt Dan Quinn would lead the Seahawks to greatness so give me a coach who, if nothing else, carries a bit more mystery and intrigue.

I like Seattle’s hiring process

I never wanted the Seahawks to just go out and crown a new Head Coach. Not unless they firmly had a top, top candidate in mind and wanted to go all-in to land him, like they did with Pete Carroll. Once it became clear they weren’t going to be looking at candidates like Jim Harbaugh, a thorough search was needed.

That certainly happened. They interviewed numerous people with various backgrounds, took their time and while it would’ve been slightly underwhelming to go through all of this just to appoint the so-called favourite in Quinn, the fact they ended up targeting Macdonald and landing him suggests they legitimately considered their options and were calculated in this decision.

That doesn’t mean they necessarily got it right but if nothing else, I like the way they went about it. Unlike the Commanders, who now look stuck sifting through what’s left on the market, they went and got a hot-name and delivered.

What does it say about John Schneider?

This was his first hire as a GM and it’s interesting that he went with a defensive coach. A few weeks ago I spoke to someone who worked for Ron Wolf, Schneider’s mentor, and asked for advice on Wolf’s approach to coaches. I was told he had no offensive or defensive preference — it was all about the person. Whether he could lead. This decision, ultimately, seems to fit with that.

I think it’s reassuring that Schneider had no biases in this process, kept an open mind and specifically targeted the best Head Coach candidate, not someone who fit a specific preference.

How will they build the team?

I don’t want to start chasing free agents from Baltimore like Geno Stone, Justin Madubuike or Patrick Queen. They’ll cost a fortune and the Seahawks don’t have a lot of money to spend. I hope they play a slightly longer game here and try and find their own versions.

Macdonald and the Ravens excelled developing players who had been drafted by Baltimore and finding great value in free agency. That’s what I’d like to see in Seattle. Develop Boye Mafe, Derrick Hall, Riq Woolen and Devin Witherspoon. Find cost-effective contributors in free agency to mimic Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy. Draft players who can fit into roles at safety and linebacker. Don’t splurge to accelerate a situation that needs to be developed slowly.

For example, there are good linebackers who could be available in rounds 3-4 this year. Macdonald has coached one of them, Junior Colson at Michigan. Payton Wilson’s toughness, speed and intensity scream ‘Ravens’. Try to find a younger and cheaper version of Patrick Queen, don’t pay him for one good year in the NFL.

What I would like to see is a big focus on the trenches on both sides of the ball. The Seahawks have claimed to want to be a bullying team for many years but every decision they’ve made has inched them closer to being finesse. Time to rectify that. If you want to play like Baltimore, you’ve got to be better up front.

The offensive coordinator hire is vital

You have to believe Schneider has a plan. He interviewed enough defensive coaches to know he might appoint one. He must have offensive coordinator names to target and that process is hopefully well underway.

People are saying the Seahawks have enough pieces to be fine. Not true. Look at the 2023 season. They were way too streaky, couldn’t run the ball and they were shocking in the red zone. It was a major disappointment.

They need someone with good ideas, innovative thinking and a plan to get the most out of their weapons. They can’t just plonk anyone into this role and hope for the best.

Tanner Engstrand is a name that really intrigues me. He’s the passing game coordinator in Detroit. If you can’t get Ben Johnson, can you get his right hand man to bring the Lions’ offense to Seattle? Engstrand is bright, young and worked closely with the tight ends in Detroit. Sam LaPorta’s rookie season is a feather in his cap. I hope they give him an interview.

Can you try and find your own version of Bobby Slowik? Klint Kubiak perhaps from the 49ers? He’s their passing game specialist. Or tight ends coach Brian Fleury? What about Nick Caley, the highly rated tight ends coach with the LA Rams? Or Jake Peetz, the Rams’ passing game specialist? Joe Bleymaier is Kansas City’s passing game coordinator, could he get a look in?

Many have wondered whether they can coax Mike Kafka to find a way out of the Giants to come to Seattle. Whether he’s keen to do that after missing out on the top job is unclear.

This is a highly competitive market with a number of teams still searching for an offensive coordinator. It’s absolutely vital the Seahawks get this right. They should be working out who has the potential to be the next hot-shot candidate. Unlike in the Carroll era, they can probably offer full control of the offense. They have to make this a highly attractive gig and they need to land the best candidate they can find — no settling. It’s the difference between being the Texans with DeMeco Ryans and Slowik, or one of the defensive-led teams who toil and struggle because the offense stinks.

Add some experience to the staff

Macdonald is going to be learning on the job and he’ll need someone he can go to for advice. It’d be worth adding someone as an Assistant Head Coach, on either side of the ball, who he can lean on. Sean McVay had Wade Phillips as his defensive coordinator and really benefited from having that experience on his staff. You can’t force an appointment like this on Macdonald but if there’s someone who fits the bill, it would probably be a good idea.

What does it mean for Geno Smith?

I think if they’d appointed someone like Kafka as Head Coach it’d be indicative of perhaps wanting a person well regarded for quarterback development paired with a rookie QB. This hire makes things a little less clear.

Schneider was incredibly lukewarm about Smith at his press conference. There was no commitment or effusive praise. His cap hit in 2024 is three times what it was in 2023. However, he’s far from a problem for the Seahawks and he remains an ideal bridge option.

They’re going to have to draft someone eventually. They can’t keep putting it off. The question is whether they’re better to just go ultra cheap with Drew Lock and a rookie this year and risk regression on the offense as part of a longer term plan, or continue with Smith as a shorter-term fix.

It could go either way. It’ll be fascinating to see what they do. My guess would be they re-work Smith’s deal to lower his cap hit but I think there’s still every chance the Seahawks will just move on and draft a quarterback this year. Smith lost his biggest fan in the building when Pete Carroll was fired.

I’m now going to watch the Senior Bowl drills from day two and will post my notes either tonight or tomorrow. If you missed the live stream with Jeff Simmons earlier, reacting to the Macdonald appointment, you can watch it here:

I was also live on VSiN today, please watch this video too:


  1. samprassultanofswat

    Guys! Check out what they are saying at Ravens headquarters.

    It’s obvious that the Ravens feel like they have been left at the altar .

    • Nick

      This was a fantastic perspective addition. Thanks!

      Finally, a new era has arrived.

    • Sea Mode

      Good read. Thanks!

    • pdway

      contrast that to what we’d say about losing either our DC or OC from this past season…..

      Great to read it.

      • geoff u

        Pretty sure I was saying those exact same things when we lost the big Hurtt…

      • Elmer

        I don’t fault the hiring of Waldron from the Rams. At the time he was considered to be an offensive mastermind that we badly needed.

        The promotion of Hurtt from within as DC is another story. It’s like they weren’t really trying for excellence.

    • Joe

      That is some great perspective coming from the ones that saw him closest.

  2. VanHawk

    January 11, 2024 at 11:17 am

    While the Seahawks job might be attractive, I think the biggest competitor for Ben Johnson will be the Lions themselves.

    Looks like he could get just as much money to stay in Detroit as OC and take a few more years to transition to an HC job. I can’t see Detroit not putting up a big fight to retain Ben Johnson.

    Rob Staton
    January 11, 2024 at 11:23 am

    If he wants to be a Head Coach, he’s not going to stay at Detroit (not exactly the most glamorous gig) to be OC

    Do do you think Johnson will never want to be a HC?

    To me seems more like a guy who wants to do things steadily, to gain experience and longevity as a future HC.

    • Rob Staton

      Do do you think Johnson will never want to be a HC?

      Impossible to say. His mentor was Adam Gase, who had a very successful coordinator career then a horrific Head Coaching career, bombed and was out of the league

      If Johnson thinks he’s onto a winner in Detroit, he might be in no rush

  3. GF

    What do u think rob about MacDonald + Frank Smith ? I like it

    • Patrick Toler

      Frank Smith seems more likely than Kafka, imo

      • Rob Staton

        Not sure why

        They interviewed Kafka twice, Smith once. NYG is toxic under Daboll and there’s been chatter that Kafka might be available. There’s been no such talk about Smith. Schneider loves the Andy Reid style of football, which Kafka is from

        • Patrick Toler

          My thought is more that Kafka, as a discussed HC candidate over several seasons, is such an obvious one and done candidate if he’s successful. It feels like you might have a better job of keeping Smith for a couple of seasons.

    • david slater

      Has Frank Smith done anything in Miami? I know hes the coordinator but he hasnt called plays. I would hope we got someone that is experienced to call plays to be honest. Bienemy even.

  4. Nick

    Mike Macdonald coached Michigan LB Junior Colson.

    I would LOVE Colson to be our starting ILB next year. Dude just screams “Ravens”, which now means “Seahawks”! What a time to be alive.

  5. PJ

    Welll at least it’s a splashy and feel good hire. Hope he pans out. Really do.

    Wonder if Johnson would’ve been first choice is he was willing. I’d bet yes.

    Wonder what the backup choice was if neither of these two panned out.

    Anyone have stats on new HC hires and how they succeed or not? This hiring of coaches is like the draft – hit or miss – no near certainty on how it will work out.

    As proven, it’s ultimately all about having the best horses (players) and a stellar QB. That combo trumps all else.

    JS real job starts now. Needs the best roster or Mr Mac will not look like such a splashy hire.

    Actually surprised he took the job….

    Here’s what matters most for JS…

  6. cha

    Good read Rob. I think you’ve covered the relevant topics and asked the right questions with this piece.

    • Rando31


      I know the position of wanting to hire an OC to the head coaching position to keep the offense stable and prevent turnover. Do you both think that the pendulum is going to swing back the other way now that so many head coaches are offensive minded? Meaning, defensive coaches will soon be in demand because the position poaching will soon be on that side of the ball? Are we just ahead of the curve there?

  7. Parallax

    I’m open to McDonald. I share concerns about having a defensive minded head coach but he is young and dynamic so let’s give him a chance and see.

    I’m hopeful we’ll move on from Geno. Time to try someone new. Lock and a rookie would be my preference, though not necessarily a first round pick. I’d like to use that pick on the best available player, ideally a guy in the trenches. Quarterbacks are so hit or miss. If we could pick up Penix in the third round, I’d be for it. But not with pick 16.

    I have a question, Rob. You wrote “classic passive-aggressive PNW, ‘Seahawks Twitter’ style”. I’m wondering if you would say more about that. You bring an outsider’s perspective to this community. I’m an outsider too, though I first moved to the PNW in the mid-80s. Still, I don’t get this place. I find people here so friendly but then ultimately unreachable. I’m from New York, which is more a world where people said what they meant. It wasn’t always pretty or polite but you knew where folks stood. In many ways I preferred that. But then I couldn’t get away from it fast enough. Guess the truth is no place is perfect. There are many things I love about this region and overall feel fortunate to be here.

    • Rob Staton

      I think Seattle as a place is wonderful. Everyone I ever meet in Seattle, in person, is a joy

      Online I find the Seahawks community to be really frustrating. Everyone splits into teams over every subject and goes to war with each other. And they do it in a really mealy mouthed way. Like I think if you have a problem with someone, have it out and move on. Don’t have sly little digs in the background

      • Parallax

        Thanks for your insights, Rob. My sense is similar. When I meet people, they seem delightful. As one gets deeper into friendship or acquaintanceship, when challenge inevitably arises, people deal with it in an avoidant way. I find it makes it hard to connect with people deeply because we can’t work through things. People don’t want to.

        Maybe they’re content to connect lightly. Coming from a culture where people connect more deeply, with real commitment and loyalty, I miss that.

      • RJ

        That pretty much sums up Americans on every subject all the time on Twitter.

      • Frank Frankson

        Toxicity? In MY fanbase?

        It sucks that people can’t just relax and enjoy their entertainment.

        I, for one, look forward to next season, and appreciate your perspective and insight – especially regarding potential OC hires.

        Go Hawks!

      • Julian

        Love that penultimate sentence. A proper Yorkshireman!

        • Rob Staton


  8. Sea Mode

    Re-posting a couple player quotes I really like:

    “I just think he’s a wizard,” Ravens middle linebacker Roquan Smith said. “He more so finds out what teams struggle with, [what] a team’s weakness is, and [knowing] our strength and being able to make those into a game-plan situation. It’s pretty sweet.”

    Cameron Wolfe

    “He’s super cerebral. Probably the smartest guy in the building. Don’t tell him I said that… Whatever is coming in his future, he deserves it.”

    1 hour before news #Seahawks to hire Mike Macdonald as HC, Ravens Pro Bowl DB Kyle Hamilton told me what makes Macdonald special.

  9. GoHawksDani

    Can we just start to trust JS a little more now? Last couple of drafts Pete has less say and these were really good drafts. Based on Johnson not available, MM is likely the best overall HC candidate. Schneider deserves some trust from us, fans.

    I trust him until he screws something up. And I think if they appoint a good OC and a DC who can help MM (maybe older, more experienced?) and if they clean out the roster from unecessary players (Diggs, Bobby, JA, some DL who are slacking), do another 1-2 good draft and FA this team can be ANYTHING – even an SB champ

    • Peter

      It’s not about trust for me.

      It’s a steady move towards greatness.

      I’m stoked on the hire. I like a lot but not all of the the last drafts.

      By not going with the obvious…quin…he’s shown he’s willing to make his own way which I totally appreciate.

    • Parallax

      I feel like we’re just starting to get to know him. It’s been my sense that the stupid moves have had Pete’s fingerprints all over them. The bad trades and draft picks, some of the signings. But I have no way of really knowing. So now we’ll see.

      This hiring is a good sign. I’ll stand by that even if it proves a failure. If MacDonald proves to be Staley 2.0, that won’t make it less true because, knowing what we know now, it was a solid choice. Maybe the best option on the table. Johnson appears to have overplayed his hand, wanting too much money and even control over big decisions. Can’t blame Snyder for declining, particularly after waiting all these years to obtain control. Typically brand new head coaches don’t make those sorts of demands.

      Word is that MacDonald interviewed really well. So I support his hire whole heartedly. Can’t say that about the Unger trade, the Adams trade or, God knows, the Williams trade. I loved the 5th round pick for Diggs. Great value at the time and it worked out until this past season. This hire I support. Now we’ll see how it turns out.

  10. Gross MaToast

    Rob, thanks for the time you put into this over the past few weeks. Great work. I’ve come around a bit on this hire; I don’t know that there was anyone out there that they obviously missed on. This article sums it up best, I think. It’ll be exciting to watch something different.

    Now it’s draft season!

  11. Sea Mode

    Just found this Q+A from his press conference right before playing us this year (11-2). Wonder if this might lead to him insisting that JS re-sign Leonard Williams. (though it’s not like any NFL DC wouldn’t like interior pass rush…)

    How much does DT Justin Madubuike’s emergence as a pass rusher just make it more stressful for the offensive line to worry about what you guys do before the snap, because now there is someone to worry about inside, outside, slot or wherever?*_(Jonas Shaffer)_*

    MM: “It’s great; it’s awesome. I think Odafe [Oweh] said it last year, ‘It just happens faster.’ You can affect the quarterback quicker in there, so definitely there’s a time element, for sure. And if the guys outside of where ‘Beeks’ [Justin Madubuike] aligns can’t do the things they’re doing, it doesn’t allow him to have those opportunities and vice versa. If Justin is not playing at the level he is, then that doesn’t free up the single blocks on how we scheme up the rest of the stuff, so it all works hand in hand. But having an asset like that and a guy playing at that level, especially inside where it gets to the quarterback quicker, definitely is a big difference maker for us.”

    By the way, I wish the Seahawks published transcripts of all the press conferences on their official website!

    • cha

      Can’t climb the pocket if the pocket is trying to climb you.

  12. Sea Mode

    Center watch.

  13. JJ

    Would Geg Roman be an option?

    • Rob Staton

      I think Greg Roman is yesterday’s news — I want more innovation than he can deliver

  14. CWagner

    “Smith lost his biggest fan in the building when Pete Carroll was fired.”

    Well said, Rob. I’m curious how MacDonald addressed the Geno question because you know it came up during the job interviews.

  15. Parallax

    Not sure what happened to my post. Will try to rewrite it.

    I’m hopeful. Was hoping for Johnson or Slowik but I’m happy to give MacDonald a chance. In a lot of ways, it feels like we’re giving Schneider his chance.

    I’m hoping we move on from Geno and a lot of the older guys. Ideally, let’s take all the cap hits in 2024 and go all in on a rebuild. That’s my preference.

    Rob, I have a question for you. You wrote, “classic passive-aggressive PNW, ‘Seahawks Twitter’ style”. Since you’re an outsider to the PNW, as am I, I’d love to hear more of your reflections. Don’t get me wrong. No place is perfect and I feel lucky to be here. Particularly in Bellingham. But there’s an aspect of this culture I do not get. People are so nice but they never seem totally real. I’m from New York, where people said what they meant. It wasn’t always polite, pleasant or pretty but you knew where you stood. Here, I’ve had trouble connecting with folks.

    By the way, I’m totally enchanted by the English. Particularly out in the countryside. So many times, people literally took me in and didn’t want to let me leave. Some of them became lasting friends. I love the quirkiness of English culture. There’s a celebration of eccentricity. I love it. Most Americans are so focused on not drifting too far from the norm. Of course there are exceptions. Never want to paint with too broad a brush when speaking of an entire culture.

    • Commander Ga

      I like people from everywhere. I might be able to help you out with the PNW.

      Not to stereotype, but a lot of people around here are as real as it gets. Those people you can’t connect with could be Bering Sea fisherman, loggers, wheat farmers, apple pickers, high tech hustlers, or ace musicians. All real.

      The problem is that we mind our own business and don’t tend to be interested in convincing others that we are a big deal. So we smile a lot and itch to walk away. I know it is not very satisfying, and it’s definitely not personal.

      Now for the real problem: Who taught these fuckers to drive?

      • Big Mike

        If you think they aren’t real here, try growing up in the NW and then living in SoCal. A lot of people can be an awfully long way from real down there. I will say tho, they are MUCH better drivers, at least when they’re not sitting in a traffic jam

      • Peter

        Well….I’ve got a hypothesis on that. When I left Seattle not one of my friends was born in the NW.

        I think Seattle just attracts the worst drivers in the US.

        Though I chuckle mightily when folks from flat as a pancake Midwest and yes Denver, front range area whine about the snowplows and bad winter driving and then I can spot them from a literal mile away on a rainy day with no lights on going 45 mph on the I-5/405.

        • James Z

          Being a native PNW guy and living there for over 40 years, I thought Seattle drivers were the worst, but then I moved to the SF Bay Area and trust me they’re the WORST by a large margin… aggressive, too.

          • Peter

            I lived in the bay area and hated the drives.

        • Palatypus

          Peter, I should get a medal of valor for my drive back and forth from the Senior Bowl. You think you know bad driving? Try entering and exiting the tunnel in Mobile.

    • Group Captain Mandrake

      What’s really interesting is that most people who live here aren’t from here (including me). In Seattle it’s something like 3 in 10 are natives. It’s like they have to go through a re-education camp to learn the Seattle way to be.

    • Rob Staton

      I saw your last message and replied but in case you missed it:

      I think Seattle as a place is wonderful. Everyone I ever meet in Seattle, in person, is a joy

      Online I find the Seahawks community to be really frustrating. Everyone splits into teams over every subject and goes to war with each other. And they do it in a really mealy mouthed way. Like I think if you have a problem with someone, have it out and move on. Don’t have sly little digs in the background

  16. Chris

    Baltimore message boards are having a meltdown over losing McDonald.

    • Sea Mode

      Some in the link posted in the first comment above even thought that the Ravens should have moved on from John Harbaugh if that’s what it took to keep Macdonald around.

  17. Sea Mode

    Game recognizes game.

    My hope is that a defensive mastermind, who has been studying and diagnosing all the modern NFL offenses in order to stop them, might have some input on where the game is headed and what kind of offense he thinks can be most effective, and maybe even who might be able to come in and run it.

    Will be really interesting as well to see if he brings any of his defensive assistants with him.

  18. JP

    Unless this team is going into “tank” mode for a QB, I’m not sure what the logic is behind moving on from Geno.

    I guess if the team and owners are fine with taking some lumps this year so we can get a better QB next season, then I’m fine with whatever, but if the goal is to win games, then Geno is the only realistic option outside of getting Kirk Cousins. How much worse is Geno than Goff really? One is playing behind like the best offensive line in football.

    • Tallyhawk

      I could see the logic in moving on from Geno for financial reasons. I also dont think moving on from him means tanking. Let’s not pretend like outside of the first half of last year he’s been anything other than average. I think this team can still be competitive even if they go with Lock and a rookie competing at QB. They’ve been a .500 team with an inconsistent O and invisible D. I’m assuming MM will at least improve the D. Get him a good OC who can better utilize the weapons we have and we should be in the .500 range IMO.

    • Parallax

      Really disagree with this. Last season, if we’d let Geno go, we could have gotten Mayfield, paid him a lot less and probably made the playoffs. I just don’t think Geno’s the guy. If we could trade him for anything at all, I’d be all in.

      • STTBM

        Common denominator for Baker last year and Geno the year before is Canales. Geno was pretty good with him, not so much last year without him, and with Ol Tater and Carrol ruining him and the Red Zone Offense.

        • STTBM

          And I say that as someone who wants to dump Geno and resign Lock cheaper…

    • Ocean Birds

      1. They don’t have to release Geno outright; they could trade him. An acquiring team only has to pay Geno $22.3 million in 2024 and $24.8 million in 2025. A relatively inexpensive cost for Geno’s production. Even a third or fourth round pick would be pretty useful for a Seahawks team that needs a lot of new players (QB, TE, C, G, LB, S).

      2. It would save the Seahawks $17.4 million on the cap.

      3. If they want to draft and develop a QB in 2024, the Seahawks may want that rookie to play at some point in 2024. Having a $32 million starter on the bench isn’t an ideal use of resources. Better to roll with a Drew Lock or some other free agent until the rookie is ready.

      4. Does the difference between the 2024 Seahawks being a legitimate contender *really* come down to the upgrade in QB play from a Drew Lock to a Geno Smith? Hard to make that argument after where they finished. It’s probably more like a 2-3 year project.

      • cha

        I don’t know. $47m for 2 years of Geno Smith doesn’t seem appetizing enough to trade for him. His market was lukewarm coming off a 70%, 30TD season. A 65% 20TD season isn’t going to move the needle in the right direction.

        And if he hits his escalators that $47m goes up to $62m.

        A team will likely be able to sign Kirk Cousins with cap hits of $47m in the first two years (maybe less) and give nothing in trade.

        Or sign Baker Mayfield to less than that.

        Or take a shot at Jake Browning. Or Drew Lock for that matter.

        Or just start a rookie.

        The best thing about Geno’s contract is there will be no guaranteed money at all in 2025. Even if he hits all the escalators. But that doesn’t work for the Seahawks in a trade negotiation.

        Teams won’t pay Geno $22.3m this year. His $9.6m roster bonus locks 5 days into the new league year. Teams will either just make the Seahawks sweat it and leverage the return way down, or force the Seahawks to eat a chunk of it in return for a better draft pick.

        At which point, you’re then chipping away at the $13.8m you’d gain by trading him.

        • Ocean Birds

          It seems that at least the following teams have significant needs at QB: NE, PIT, WAS, MIN, CHI, ATL, LV, TAM. Add Seattle to that list if Geno goes.

          Even factoring in Cousins and Mayfield–who are both low ceiling options–there are not enough quality QBs in the draft to fill everyone’s needs. Teams like PIT and ATL would probably consider a trade for Geno.

          Geno was a slightly-above-average QB in 2023 by QBR and ANY/A. A $24 million AAV for two years looks like it is below market for his level of production: It is basically the same AAV that Jimmy G. (a worse QB with a bad injury history) received last year. I think the absence of guaranteed money in 2025 also works in the Seahawks’ favor for trade value, as Geno’s contract is really a one-year $22.3 million contract with a second year team option at $25 million (assuming no escalators).

          • cha

            significant needs at QB: NE, PIT, WAS, MIN, CHI, ATL, LV, TAM

            This is an annual discussion that always gets blown out of proportion. Those ‘significant need’ teams get filled up pretty quickly.

            Chicago has Justin Fields and will have Caleb Williams.
            Washington has Sam Howell and the #2 pick in a “2 great quarterbacks” draft.

            Pittsburgh (Mason Rudolph) and Tampa (Baker) have incumbent QBs who have outperformed Geno who are UFA’s and they probably would look at them before Geno.

            Las Vegas has Jimmy G on $28m dead money if they cut him. $40m if they wait 5 days and let his roster bonus kick in. Would they really feel ok acquiring Geno and having a $50m (or $62m if they keep JG) cap number at QB?

            New England is a dumpster fire and rebuilding. They may want a Geno, but the #3 pick is there and a QB is in play.

            Minnesota has $28.5m dead money on the books for QB. Extending Kirk Cousins is their best bet to salvage some of that cap space. It’s not a slam dunk, but again – do they really want to commit $50m to the QB and give the Seahawks compensation for the privilege?

            That leaves Atlanta. They may be a destination for sure. But are they interested? It is hard to say. They might take a shot on Justin Fields, try a buy-low option with Jameis Winston, or go with Jake Browning.

            These aren’t nailed-on absolute sure to happen scenarios. But we went through this last year. People put up lists of teams that would happily pay Geno Smith massive money. Geno and his agent took the pulse of the league and found nothing to match fans’ ideas or expectations. They accepted a deal with the Seahawks that was flexible and had options.

            Again, he then went out and underperformed vastly relative to his 2022 numbers.

            Thinking he’ll have a strong trade market is just asking to be disappointed.

            • Ocean Birds

              You’re right there are lots of moving parts, but I could still see it happening with one of those teams.

              For Atlanta, the issue with Jake Browning and Jamis Winston is that they are probably not very good.

              Cousins just has prorated bonuses on void years. MIN paying him even more on a new contract won’t solve their issue of needing to pay new money for good QB play.

              LV has lots of cap space and only takes a $15 million hit if they cut Jimmy G. with a post-June 1 designation. Geno would be a big upgrade from what they got at QB last year.

              And if Mike Tomlin is sticking with Mason Rudolph–a guy with a career record of 16 TD – 11INT and sub-40 QBR from 2019-2022, and who couldn’t beat out Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky for the job–based on a sample size of 3 games against SEA, CIN and IND, he can probably kiss his job goodbye.

              It will be interesting to see what happens though.

              • cha

                Minn can pick up a bunch of money by extending Cousins

                And I doubt Jimmy G/Browning/Mason/etc are so far worse than Geno that people will be in a hurry to send picks and spend cap space on him.

    • Rob Staton

      They might just want to draft a QB this year and let them start

    • BK26

      Either way, they aren’t winning it all with Geno. It’s just that simple. Geno, Goff, Cousins, they aren’t going to win you a Super Bowl.

      To me, it’s 100% a mute point on who it is starting out next year. They aren’t the plan or the end goal. It could be Generic Joe that they sign in free agency.

      • Peter

        Cousins, carr, garropolo, geno, tannehill probably coming up. These names that just go round and round. Goff as well.

        I don’t know how they do it this year but by next year it has to happen.

        I’m well and truly over the if only ‘x’ happens then Geno will be flying. Let’s put it to bed. I’ve said for forever that we wouldn’t want most of these good never great guys so….why is it different for Geno? No one wanted him when he was fairly good.

        The future is now.

  19. Sea Mode

    FWIW Rapsheet says “this was their guy all along”:

  20. Palatypus

    Okay, I am tired, sunburned, and cannot keep up with this blog. I’ve got a lot of videos to upload, but I’m taking a time out.

    • Elmer

      Time to focus on Senior Bowl, Combine, free agency, the draft. I would start by freeing up every dollar of cap space that makes sense.

    • STTBM

      Dude, go get a Mexican Popsicle and then a tall cold one…

      Thanks for the updates!

    • Rob Staton

      Love the videos man, I checked them out earlier. Big help!

  21. geoff u

    Geno Smith against the Ravens:

    13-28, 157 yds, 0td, 1int, 4 sacks, 49.3 rating, 12.1 qbr

    His worst game as a Seahawk.

    Think Macdonald knows his weaknesses?

    • 805Hawk

      This is one big reason that I think Mac and JS will want to move on from Geno. Mac already studied him and knows he’s got issues. I’m sure he’ll work with whoever gets hired as OC to make a final call, but I’m not sure Mac will be a big fan of Geno’s.

  22. Anthony

    Can someone explain to me why Bo Nix is a top 15 pick when he routinely makes throws like these on balls farther than 10 yards down the field?

    • Parallax

      I’ll believe he’s in the top 15 when he goes in the top 15. Color me skeptical. (That’s an understatement.) Excellent person. Wonderful character. Could see him doing in well in the right situation. Rooting for him. Thinking he goes in the third round or lower.

    • Elmer

      Yes, but he’s kind of slow.

    • geoff u

      He has a great name. Bo Nix. Hard to beat a name like that.

      • slartibartfast42

        Penix beat him three times the past two seasons.

        • geoff u

          Maybe on the field, but that’s not important now

          • slartibartfast42

            Are you saying results on the field aren’t important. Surely you can’t be serious.

            • geoff u

              I am, and don’t call me Shirley. No quarterback ever made it with that name.

        • Palatypus

          slartibartfast42, here is a Vogon poem about the hiring of Mike Macdonald created by AI.

          Oh freddled gruntbuggly,
          Thy micturations are to me,
          As plurdled gabbleblotchits,
          On a lurgid bee.
          Mike Macdonald, oh so grand,
          Hired by the Seahawks, in the land.

          That mordiously hath bitled out,
          Its earted jurtles,
          Into a rancid festering confectious organ squealer.
          Now the jurpling slayjid agrocrustles,
          Are slurping hagrilly up the axlegrurts,
          And living glupules frart and stipulate,
          Like jowling meated liverslime.

          Groop, I implore thee, my foonting turling dromes,
          And hooptiously drangle me,
          With crinkly bindlewurdles,
          Or else I shall rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon,
          See if I don’t!

  23. Mr Magic

    I like it but what the hell do I know? All comes down to the staff he gets around him as well as the culture he can create so we have to see. If there was any comment I would make is that the Harbaughs generally run tight ships and hold a lot of control. It will be interesting to see if McDonald is legit or the next Brandon Staley…

  24. icb12

    What are the odds on one of the first questions at McDonald’s first presser will be “mike, as a defensive coach, how good is Bobby Wagner??”

    • LouCityHawk

      If the first quote doesn’t include a subtle reference to a Michael Macdonald song the reporter clearly didn’t understand the assignment.

  25. Rob Harrison

    I’m hopeful about this hire, but the main thing for me is I don’t want a playcalling head coach–ever. Pete never really got the OC hire right, but he had the right approach: articulate a vision for offense and defense, look for coordinators who he felt fit his vision and trusted to execute it well, and then let them do their jobs while he led the whole team.

    My hope with this hire is that Schneider had three basic questions for McDonald: one, who would you trust as your DC to run the kind of D you want run to the standard to which you want it run? Two, who are the offensive minds out there who give you fits with their creativity and problem-solving ability, and who you would love to turn loose to run your offense? Three, are you committed to a culture in which the players are empowered according to their contributions as athletes and as human beings, and in which the focus is on what players *can* do rather than what they *can’t*, and how will you cultivate that?

  26. Orcas Viking

    Given MacDonald’s apparent stellar reputation with his defensive players, excited to see if the Seahawks become the favored destination for highly desired defensive free agents.

  27. Tofino

    Hey Rob, Peter King had some comments on who he thought might get a look in as potential OC hires earlier this season.

    Some additional names he had on his list were: Brian Fleury, TE coach, San Francisco
    Charles London, QB coach/pass-game coordinator, Tennessee, Tee Martin, QB coach, Baltimore, Justin Outten, 40, RB coach/run-game coordinator, Tennessee, Dan Pitcher, QB coach, Cincinnati

  28. SeaTown

    Very happy with this hiring! Even if it doesn’t work, I couldn’t deal with another year of Pete Carroll. Something fresh and new is what was needed. Now I am really looking forward to the offseason and draft. Let’s Goooo!

  29. Rob Staton

    Here’s my appearance on VSiN earlier, please give it a watch:

    • bmseattle

      Very well done!

    • Peter

      Always great spots

    • Sea Mode

      Hey, is that a new mike on this and your previous video? Sounds clearer and fuller than the headphones mike and MILES ahead of the echoey black lapel mike! Maybe tweaking some settings could become even better. Great addition to the setup!

      • Rob Staton

        It is! I set it up in about five mins before the live stream so haven’t had a good look at all the features yet so I’ll try and tweak the settings

  30. Sea Mode

    Now that it’s official, first vids and quotes coming out:

    “What an honor,” Macdonald said after he and his wife, Stephanie, were greeted by team employees upon their arrival at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. “We are super excited to be here. Just getting to know John and the rest of the folks, the reputation of this place, what drew us here was the people. That’s why we’re here, to bring a championship back to Seattle and the 12s.

    “We’re going to have a lot of fun, we’re going to work our tails off, and it’s going to be an incredible ride. We’re going to be here for a long time, and we’re going to win a lot of football games.”

    • Mr drucker in hooterville

      Schneider shaved and pit on his new sweatshirt. Coronation day!

    • Peter

      Sea mode,

      Thanks. I’m super stoked as a grumpy fan to hear these corny but hopeful words. Seriously I’m getting pumped for game #1 next year.

      Doubt the opposing team will “want it more,”.

      • Peter

        Who is that big goofy guy giving out hugs? He’s got to retire soon and I can probably do that.

  31. Sea Mode

    A couple more quotes from players:

    “I think he’s the best (head-coaching) candidate out there right now,” Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen told reporters on Monday. “I don’t think anybody does it like him. Nobody cares like him. Nobody will do what he does. He will not rest until he has everything right. Whoever gets him, if he leaves, they’re getting the best candidate out there. The guy is all around just the best person I’ve ever been around, coach-wise and person-wise. He really cares and truly cares about the players, the people around the organization and the fans.”

    “Mike is going to do a really good job,” Ravens linebacker Kyle Van Noy told reporters on Monday. “If he gets a head-coaching job, he’s going to be really, really good. Very solid coach, very good at Xs and Os, very good at communicating and getting the team galvanized in the right direction for the main goal – and he loves football. I think that it’s awesome for him to get looked at as a head coach at such a young age…I expect big things out of him.”

  32. Sea Mode

    Excited for the press conference. Announced for tomorrow, February 1 at 11 A.M PST

    Link already up:

  33. Seattle Person

    Now that Mac is on board, I’m interested to see how the roster is constructed. I’m guessing versatile players are going to be key for his defense.

    I mean Cooper DeJean seems to fit this type of defense to a tee.

  34. STTBM

    Anyone else wonder why we haven’t heard about OC, DC etc? JS made it clear he would be final decider on staff…

    Wondering if they are trying to line up guys like Kafka, Evero etc or what?! Just promoting McDs pals from Bal might not be the best bet: somebody has to have experience….

    The staff matters…

    • Seattle Person

      The initial names are Tee Martin and Zachary Orr Both from the John Harbaugh staff.

      • Rob Staton

        Zachary Orr is very impressive

        I think it’ll be quite an open, maybe even extensive process at OC

    • geoff u

      John said every candidate would have to come to him with a list of names. Presumably he has a good idea of everyone, we just don’t know.

  35. samprassultanofswat

    Really, really excited about Mike MacDonald. The last 3 or 4 years the defense has been a atrocious. If the Seahawks would have stuck with Pete Carroll as the head coach it would have been more of the same.

    The Seahawks do have some good young talent on the defensive side of the football. As for Geno Smith. If they can find a trading partner I am all in. Getting an extra pick plus saving 17m in cap space. Plus I am dying to see what Drew Lock can do. Trade Geno Smith. Sign Drew Lock. Draft a QB.

    • Seattle Person

      Seeing him in some of the videos the Seahawks have been putting — I’ll tell you what. Dude carries himself really well. He knows he’s a dude.

      • Brennan

        There was a Mike Morris sighting in those videos at the VMAC. He is a big dude…… hope we see more of him next season. He was at Michigan when Macdonald was there.

  36. samprassultanofswat

    I have never been interested in who the Seahawks have hired as assistant coaches. That is going to change. Especially the OC, DC and QB coach.

    Mike MacDonald was a grand slam. So I am also hoping/expecting for home runs for the assistant coaches.

    • Peter

      Same Samprass. Very intrigued who else is on staff.

  37. Schrub

    Thanks Rob for all you do to get us through all the Seahawks news.

    I’m thrilled with the thought that the defense will finally improve after the last 6-7 years and I like the hire.

    A bit concerned about having a revolving door at OC if this team is successful, but I guess that’s a worry for another day.

  38. Palatypus

    Alright, I have all 12 Senior Bowl videos I took today uploaded. I am aware I used #7 twice. They are different videos. I am exhausted.

    I would like to call your attention to #8, the metrics they were showing on the Jumbotron. Specifically, Joe Milton threw 76 mph on day one with a rotation rate of 735 rpm.

    That might explain a few drops.

    • Palatypus

      Oh, also, one person I spoke too compared Joe Milton to a certain quarterback popular on this board who was taken right before our first pick.

      • Dregur

        Physically yes, but he lacks everything else why Richardson was considered a high draft pick, including the elite pocket presence, and high processing ability.

    • Palatypus

      Okay, YouTube is saying I uploaded too many videos, so they are under review.

  39. Nick

    I don’t know this draft class yet very well. Like Witherspoon last year, who’s the obvious BAMF in this year’s draft? Either side of the ball. Thanks!

    • Palatypus

      Outside of the offensive linemen like Guyton and Fuaga, check out the metrics.

      • Nick

        Thank you!

        • Palatypus

          BTW, the gumbo from Walk-Ons, the sponsor, is great! And the day of the Senior Bowl they give it away FREE!!! And there are lots of pretty girls giving it away.

          • Peter

            News you can use.

            Was legitimately waiting for the Gumbo update. Platypus you are killing it this year.

            • Palatypus

              I have bad news to report. The sorority that is adjacent to the main parking lot has removed the volleyball court and put some lame porch swings in the backyard. Before, reliably there would be girls in Daisey Dukes and bikini tops playing on game day.

              I am heartbroken over this.

              • Peter


                • Palatypus

                  But, suddenly, it is way easier to find parking right next to the main gate.

                  AND YES !!! I did bribe that security officer with a Buc’cees Brisket Sandwich.

                  • Peter

                    You’ve not confronted your own mortality until your 40 year old self has to kill the dreams of your 15 year old self when you get a job remodeling a sorority house and you spend a good portion of the first few weeks dry heaving at the most disgusting bathrooms, kitchen you’ve ever seen and the dreary triple bunk sleeping area that smells like a failed septic tank that someone is lighting a vanilla candle to cover up. Hold your dreams close Palatypus because once you know it’s like staring into the void.

      • Palatypus

        One more note that I would like to add is that Payton Wilson has a really LOUD voice. They had him making all the defensive calls today and it was impressive.

        • Seattle Person

          If he checks out, I’m willing to draft him in the first round. But…that’s probably not going to happen.

      • Brodie

        Here is the website from the QR Code that was onscreen. It has all of the info in sortable spreadsheet format. They must have motion trackers on all of them. They’ve got acceleration, deceleration, top speed, distance traveled, etc.

        It goes back to 2018 too.

        • Brodie

          In fact, I’m noticing a quick trend here regarding top speed and Hawks drafted.

          2018: #4 Shaq Griffen, #5 Rashaad Penny
          2029: #2 Gary Jennings
          2020: Nada – Brooks and Taylor were both injured and DNP
          2021: Covid
          2022: #1 Tariq Woolen, #13 Bo Melton (also timed a 4.33 there)

          • Seattle Person

            Pete loved those speed/explosive dudes.

            • DriveByPoster

              He did, yes. But he never really developed them as players. They only guy they drafted in the last 10 years who reached anything like his true potential is Tyler Locket. I think that that, more than anything else, shows the coaching failure in Seattle.

        • Sea Mode

          Sweet, thanks for pointing this out!

        • Palatypus

          Thank you for doing this. I figured somebody would.


          • Brodie

            You bet. Now – Hit the hay soldier!

  40. geoff u

    I like how Macdonald said in his opening press conference with the Ravens as DC that they don’t want to be a top ten defense, they went to be the #1 defense. Then went out and did it by his second year. When he says he wants to work his ass off to bring championships to the 12s, I believe it.

  41. Jo

    If we had to go defensive HC he’s the best option by far. It’s going to be weird to actually have at least a decent defense again.

  42. My name is Unio

    Thank Goodness! A Head Coach for the Seattle SeaHawks has been announced. Clearly, the Baltimore Ravens minions, and especially the players (from the reports) believe the loss of Mike Macdonald is significant. Now attention turns to staffing and player considerations, as they well should. Mac-D is by all measures a defensive guru, but that is only half the equation for a Seattle team that needs to harness a (potentially) very potent offense. Besides the question of OC, the BIGGEST question is about Geno, “Should he stay or should he go?” A question best considered while listening to The Clash ( If that’s before your time (1982), I apologize. We Boomers may suck in many regards, but our music was and is …epic (with mucho kudos to ’90’s Seattle Grunge). Anyway, if SeaHawks are (hopefully) going young, and fast, and modern-thinking on Offense, how about drafting a mobile QB…someone like a Jayden Daniels, and sign Tyler Huntley as a bridge QB. Admittedly, it might be a stretch to get JD (in the top 3), but would it not make sense to at least target SOMEONE with similar traits in a later round and let him learn behind someone like Huntley.? Not sure who that might be, but that’s why I rely on SDB and Rob’s analysis.

    • UkAlex6674

      Said it before and I’ll say it again:

      Yes please to Justin Fields.

      He is nothing that better coaching can’t fix. The talent is uncountable. And now Pete has gone……

      Let’s make this happen.

      • Rob Staton

        I have no idea what the obsession is with Justin Fields

        He isn’t good

  43. Schadyhawk001

    Not saying I’d advocate for it or that it’s even likely but is a trade for Justin Fields a possibility? He shares similarities to Lamar Jackson as a dual threat QB

    • BK26

      Nah, we’re good on running backs.

      He’s a turnover machine that still doesn’t know how to play quarterback. Would be a waste of any pick.

    • cha

      For a 2026 5th round pick?

      And he signs a 2y $8m extension giving them 3 years of control at about $11m?

      And he is cool with no promises about starting or even being used as a QB? And will play special teams? And will return kicks and punts?

      Count me in.

      • PJ in Seattle

        I would brake both ankles running to the phone to close that deal.

    • Peter

      Or just trade up for daniels.

      Or keep your fifth and get Jordan Travis who can throw a beautiful ball. And will cost nothing.

      • UkAlex6674

        I can throw a beautiful ball but it doesn’t mean I can play in the NFL.

        • Rob Staton

          But you want to trade for Justin Fields…

        • Peter


          This is not a dig on fields. It’s just dollars. He’s either getting a new contract shortly and who knows what that will be worth or the fifth year option as I read it is roughly 25 million.

          Travis on the other hand is a solid college qb. Maybe he plays like lost child on the field?

          Maybe he never plays. Maybe he has lots of starts and reps already and is a solid back up with hopeful upside. And in the fifth round he’ll cost roughly 1 million a year for four years. That’s good value.

          I don’t dislike fields. I don’t like fields. I’m pretty ambivalent to a gut who has never shown anything different in three years. I know he’s very mobile but at some point the passer part needs to improve.

  44. 805Hawk

    I just want to say that today is my 52nd birthday and I asked for a new coach for the Seahawks. You’re welcome.

    • Palatypus

      Happy Birthday!

    • Peter

      Happy birthday!

    • Brodie

      Happy Birthday. Next year please ask for a Super Bowl Victory!

    • Sea Mode

      Haha, happy b-day!

      And I’m 36 like MM, so that’s got to count for something too!

  45. Ground_Hawk

    What great news! So pumped for Seahawk football again. It’s like receiving a shave after several years overdue lol!
    Rob, your informative articles have been helpful looking into many of the candidates, so thanks again for all of your efforts! Also thanks to the regular contributors here at SDB; Cha with the alley-oop!

    • Peter

      Very stoked for what happens next.

  46. Patrick Toler

    Thinking Football tends to be a bit overly effusive with his praise, but this is a fun video on Macdonald’s defense:

    Feels safe to assume we are done sitting back in a basic zone over and over. That in itself is exciting.

  47. MJ

    Damn it feels good to have a new coach with tons of upside. Schneider is off to a great start, I can’t wait to see the staff and the roster take shape this offseason. A jolt of genuine optimism is exactly what this fan base needed.

  48. Brodie

    Great spot on ViSN Rob. You are a great interviewer. Calm and thoughtful, yet able to get out so much info in such a short span of time.

    Thank you for all of the updates along the way with this search. It has been so nice to have a place to catch all of the latest goings on, along with some thoughtful pros and cons.

    It feels like we walked into a theater and saw the greatest movie of all time 12 years ago. We happily stayed to watch it again and again, but then the air got stale and we’d seen the same thing so many times that it felt like a chore to turn our eyes to the screen over and over. Now we’ve been let out of the theater and into an outdoor concert of a band we barely know. It could be amazing or awful, but at least there is a breath of fresh air.

    • Sea Mode

      Cool analogy! I, too, feel reenergized as a fan, ready to move forward into the unknown and shoot our shot.

  49. Henry Taylor

    I think Spoon is gonna be a superstar under Macdonald.

  50. Charlie TheUnicorn2187

    I was watching a YouTube show that was discussing Wink Martindale as the new Seahawks DC. I can’t say I hate this idea. When he was with Baltimore, coaching alongside the new HC, they were a top 5 or better scoring defense for 3 seasons. He is slightly more aggressive than MacDonald but could also be an invaluable resource for bouncing defensive schemes and strategies off of, due to his extensive history within the NFL.

  51. Wilson502

    Thanks for all the content Rob. Now that Macdonald has been hired, Im willing to give JS the benefit of the doubt. Like Rob, I wanted Ben Johnson, but with recent reports it appears he wasnt actually a realsitic possibility (deciding to stay with DET, being extremely picky, etc.) Macdonald was the next best option and he made it happen so ill give him props for him getting it done. Like many on here there was a sincere worry that JS would just hire his old pal in Dan Quinn and would more or less be a continuation of the PC era. Refreshing to actually look forward to whats next for a change.

  52. London Seahawk

    Love this hire!
    Have been since Rob mentioned in him very early on in the process.

    The Ron Wolf associate tidbit is v. interesting. Perhaps we were all diverted from the main objective here, which was to hire a smart, strong, inspirational team leader – and that was always going to have a heavier weighting than OC/DC.

    I also wonder if we’ve tapped into a more important trend in going young at HC, than even the offensive playcaller trend.
    Not just in the NFL, and not just in sports, but leaders in all walks of life are getting younger..
    A third of newly appointed S&P 500 CEOs last year were younger than 50 – to take one example.
    In soccer that trend has been clear for some time…
    In politics (outside the US!) it’s true too…

    There’s a bunch of reasons for this but the main one is that talent from younger generations are responsive and engaged by a different leadership style now. They have different motivations and different ways of learning and communicating.

    In a way this isn’t a huge change (bizarrely) for the Seahawks, as Pete was famously ‘young at heart’ – but more than that he actively displayed a lot of qualities that younger gens value highly… i.e. trust, support for talent, affording talent a lot of freedom and encouragement to express themselves. These things were unusual qualities in a 70+ year old but more par for the course in a younger leader.

    • Peter

      Pete may have been young at heart by his decisions were that of a pretty regular old business guy. Where he increasingly shrank his circle of trust and held on to his favorites for far too long.

      Enjoy the slight dig at us in the states.

  53. London Seahawk

    Final point – really interested by Jeff’s comments on the stream yesterday about PC and JS bonding over their love of Ravens and Steelers teams with tough characteristics. Basically all the good stuff that you, Rob, have loved about this team down the years!

    In that context, you’ve got to love the hire even more. This is JS staying true to his footballing values and a brand of football that is part of Seahawks franchise DNA. A lot of the most successful franchises over time are the ones that do that and preserve that culture over time… the Ravens being a top example of that – but the Steelers and Packers too in different ways.

    Rob, the strategy you’d laid out as your preference was v. appealing – building strength on strength by adding a playcaller to unlock our offensive weapons…. On the flipside, the alternative strategy is no less valid to me – which is to address the weaker side of the ball, knowing that your offense (with the right OC and more talent at O-line!) should really be able to elevate itself.

    I really love this hire, am totally energised about it as a fan (as Rob summed up very well on the stream yesterday). Can’t wait to pour over all the decisions this offseason.

    Go Hawks!

  54. Ben - Fort Worth

    Well this is what I knew about him from a few years ago. After getting spanked by Ohio State, Jim Harbaugh was speaking to his brother John, regarding the defense and the difficulties of dealing with Ohio State. Jim asked John if he knew anyone that could be a defense coordinator to deal with them. John gave them two names. First one was Mike Macdonald, and the other one was Jesse, who is now the defensive coordinator for the Chargers after spending a year at Michigan. I believe John mentioned how he would go with Mike and that’s what Jim Harbaugh did. Mike Macdonald installed that number one ranked defense and there was huge improvement from the previous season till then. After the first year, Mike went back to the ravens as a defensive coordinator And again showed huge improvement and their defense for two years. I’m only the messenger just giving info on Macdonald.

    I did hear about when he was in ninth grade going to the head coach telling him he wanted to be the defensive coordinator for the high school team. The team was 7-0, with six shutouts.

    He also worked for University of Georgia who I’m sure through the teachings of Kirby Smart, Mike learned quite a bit.

    All this being said, I’m glad to have Mike over Dan Quin any day

    • London Seahawk

      Love that background.
      The fact he’s got a masters in sports management is a good sign too.

  55. Bmseattle

    In trying to figure out how to get more picks in the upcoming draft, comes the realization thst we dont have many players that would bring much value back.
    What about Ken Walker?
    I know RBs arent valued super high…but Walker is young and dynamic.
    Could we get a 3rd for him?
    Would that even make sense for us?

    • Peter

      The most realistic move that I would normally frown on would probably be trade back from 16 to 26-28.

      Player wise?

      Maybe Woolen.

      I think we are just going to have to forget that second round pick and the half dozen players I already would like around pick #48.

      • Gritty Hawk

        Why would we trade Woolen? Despite his tackling issues he’s still a superb cover corner. He was 9th best among corners this year in Yards/Target, and still in the top 30 CBs in Passer Rating. He’s young, talented, and ridiculously cheap at a premium position. Trading him would be bonkers.

        • Peter

          We’re not. It was just a thought experiment to BMseattle’s question.

          Just spitballin the player I thought could be the most coveted on our team.

    • Sandman

      No. K9 is a huge talent that will be an offensive focal point in the upcoming years.

      I agree not trying to invest too much future resources in the roster in year one.

      The draft is fantasy football for fans. Its ffun to load up and dream but not practical to build a long term winner.

  56. Yikes - Cut Adams Now

    Great news about JS hiring our future ’26 and ’27 SB winning coach.

    Looked for Senior bowl news and noticed this at PFN – “Particularly during team drills on Wednesday, Rattler was impressive. He was composed on his dropback, went through his progressions quickly, and was decisive triggering on throws.”

    And this – “It doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise, but NC State’s Payton Wilson was quietly superb during Wednesday’s practice. At 6’4″, 231 pounds, Wilson was very smooth in coverage during 1-on-1s, and he scored a pass breakup in team drills, triggering quickly on a slant over the middle.”

    Backup later draft plan at LB in case we miss out on Wilson or the medicals are bad – “Trevin Wallace was also a standout performer during Tuesday’s Senior Bowl practice. In 1-on-1 coverage drills against RBs, Wallace used his speed and length at 6’1″, 244 pounds to blanket throws up the sideline. And in team drills, he nearly scored an interception by reading Carter Bradley’s eyes and occluding a second-level passing window.”

  57. LouCityHawk

    Re-up of Rob’s last horizontal board for reference while watching the Senior Bowl

    A quick scan of it this morning after playing some catchup (thanks Palatypus) it looks like James Williams(S) is playing with LB, Quinyon Mitchell is look ong like a R1 grade and King might need to be dropped, I can’t figure out what to make of Sweat, Fiske and the DT from LSU (Johnson?) may need consideration, Darius Robinson looked better to me, JPJ might warrant a first, Fuaga>Guyton?, thought Roman Wilson was snubbed – looks like this year’s Nacua, QBs are failing to impress – of what I saw Rattler looked the best -had a lot of Drew Lock to his game.

    I’m curious if we will see the return of character flags to the board this year? Read that Hall (OhSt DT) has serious concerns and heard that Cooper (A&M LB has turned off teams). Heard some Podcaster talking abiut general immaturity being a theme for players this year.

    With as loaded as OT & WR are this year, I wonder if the Seahawks will be able to resist some of the talent that will likely slip to the 3/4 rounds?

    • Rob Staton

      I will publish a new board after the Senior Bowl — that was always the intention

      • LouCityHawk

        Knew you would, I think you said so explicitly, but I like to follow along and see the progression. And I like to check my own thoughts against what others are seeing.

        Example: other places Milton keeps getting discussed. Or Nix as R1 lock. Milton isn’t an NFL QB to me. Nix is backup at best.

        • Peter

          Looking forward to it.

          Intrigued that Rob rates Guyton so high. I trust Rob on olinemen but I’m also curious about a player with so few starts at Tackle. Though this year because of the Lucas effect I’m very open to his previous year idea of moving Abe inside.

          • Rob Staton

            He won’t be my top rated tackle after this week

            • Blitzy the Clown

              Fuaga is OT1 for me.

              But Powers-Johnson might be OL1.

      • LouCityHawk

        Just FYI

        I usually print out the horizontal board and make my own notes on it, transfer notes from the last one, etc…

        Really is invaluable, especially as I have an initial bias for the teams and conferences I see a lot more of or see live (especially)

  58. Big Mike

    Please allow me brief whine…………When Carroll was fired I was out of town, across the state, helping my elderly parents who are in an assisted living facility. I was unable to listen to the livestream with Jeff and then later with Robbie and was barely able to participate in the comments section. Then 3 weeks later, the Hawks hire a new HC and where am I? Yep, same place so I finally get to listen to Rob and Jeff last night well after the livestream was, well, live. It was very frustrating because I knew both times what had happened but duty called and kept me away from my Seahawk friends here. Oh well, my duty was more important.

    Very excited for a new regime and hopeful Mike Mac and JS get the OC hire right.
    What happens with Geno is going to be interesting. Like many have said, I’m all for ridding the team of the chaff and biting the bullet on bad contracts e.g. Adams, Diggs, etc. even if it means a step back for one season.

    • LouCityHawk

      Real life takes priority, I’ve been busier than ever!

      I think we have to wait for the OC to start imagining what moves happen on offense.

      On defense, it clearly signals a youth movement. And this defense will get better right away because of addition by subtraction (Prez, Diggs, etc…), then scheme and coaching should improve performance, coupled with Macdonald likely having his eye on some low cost FA gems.

      I think a ‘step-back’ is unlikely. Even if we do what I think will happen – cut/Trade Geno, sign Lock to cheap deal, draft QB on day 3 (barring Daniels falling) so Rattler in the 3rd or Travis in the 5th.

    • Peter

      I was legitimately wondering “what the heck is going on with Big Mike?”

    • Blitzy the Clown

      Never apologize for being a good son.

      I could only listen to the first 20 minutes or so of the live stream because work something something. It happens

      • Big Mike

        Thanks guys

  59. Robin

    Crazy idea: What about an Air Raid guy as OC? Potentially Kliff Kinsbury? Maybe paired with an experienced/grizzled O-line coach. Geno excelled at that in college. I know Kliff wasn’t great as a head coach, but he’s still a respected offensive mind, and you were open to Lincoln Riley as HC.

    • Rob Staton

      I never offered any opinion on Lincoln Riley. That was a Brock & Salk thing. Kingsbury is one of the all time mirage’s. Awful as a college coach, awful at Arizona, awful as OC at USC. But still gets jobs. Hard pass

      • Peter

        I’d rather talk about Frank Smith or more likely we won’t know. Simmons made ( as have you, sir) a great point in another show that a good deal of coordinators are guys we’ve never heard of. The passing game, TE coach types.

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t really know why Frank Smith keeps coming up. They didn’t even invite him for a second interview

          • Peter

            1. I’d rather talk about it than an air raid guy.

            2. Doubt they’d do it for a few reasons.

            3. I know they didn’t give him a second interview for HC but I don’t recall them talking to Arthur Smith for anything but seems he was in contention for an OC prior to knowing who the head coach was?

            • Rob Staton

              Sure but Arthur Smith wasn’t a HC candidate. There’s no reason why Smith would want to come here, even if it means calling plays. At least with Kafka and Evero there’s been buzz they might move on

              • Peter

                Fair. I think he might want to call plays to boost his stock. But he’s got a great situation there.

                Mostly I think it will be a bit of an unknown guy.

    • BK26

      No. It’s just a horrible, horrible offense. You don’t win if you don’t run the ball.

      And Kingsbury might have had the most qb talent ever and did ZERO with it. I don’t want him as any form of a coach.

      I’d rather not settle or find gimmicks for the offense.

  60. Palatypus

    God morning from Mobile!

    Thursday is going to be nuts.

  61. Rob Staton

    Garafolo says Arthur Smith was in contention to be Seattle’s OC before taking the Steelers gig

    • Sea Mode

      Hmmm… Does that maybe tell us anything about what kind of offense JS might be looking to bring in?

      • Blitzy the Clown

        The kind that won’t get poached away in a season or two ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        • ShowMeYourHawk

          So… Bieniemy, then? 😂

          • Pran

            Bring him in..

      • DK

        Well Tannehill wasn’t setting the world on fire throwing the rock and Vrabel seems like the type of coach who wants to have an offense similar to Carroll. Smith also was an O-line coach and those guys usually tend to have a very run based scheme. Having Derrick Henry tends to help with that as well.

        Macdonald being a younger coach, and having an understanding of what his defenses struggled against. I am seeing him looking to the younger ranks and building a staff that will fit the mold of where the NFL is going. Harbaugh always had top notch Coordinators working with him, and I think Macdaonald will do the same thing.

  62. Palatypus

    Just saw a kid walk by with a commemorative football signed M. P. Dawg #9.

  63. Sandman

    Another coach add to look for is Chuck Smith “Dr. Rush”! I heard MM first HC Z. Smith mentione a Chris or Chuck Smith in an interview on Wyman n Bob. I think coach Z. Smith was talking about this Dr. Rush dude and he has an exciting resume online.

  64. Sea Mode

    I’ll take it! Anything to believe we got our first choice and didn’t have to settle.

    Earl Forcey

    Schefty says #Commanders were calling Mike Macdonald as he was heading to Seattle to see if he was still interested. No matter how they eventually spin it, #HTTC missed on their top 2 choices for Head Coach.

    • geoff u

      Rookie gm off to a not so promising start. Maybe they’ll draft Bo Nix #2

      • cha

        Did he get the $100 bill taped to the playbook?

  65. cha

    There it is.

    Adam Schefter
    From Dallas to D.C.: the Commanders are hiring Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as their head coach, per league sources.

    Quinn and Commanders’ GM Adam Peters are the two men now charged with leading Washington into the future.

    • BK26

      Happy that he’s getting another chance. Especially at a place where he doesn’t have any ties or preconceived thoughts.

      Sounds like their fans were more or less open to having him come in too

      • cha

        Personally I’m glad he’s out of Dallas.

        Micah Parsons threw management under the bus yesterday, saying they didn’t bring in the players they needed to get where they wanted to go.

        (pro tip: When Dak has the team by the cojones on a contract extension, and you’re entering the last year of your deal and will probably be seeking a $25m-30m deal yourself, might not be the smartest thing to say the team needs to spend more $)

        • STTBM

          Word is Parsons is a selfish player. Seems accurate, given his comments. Even if what he said is true, it’s not a great look.

          Can you imagine Quinn saying something similar, blaming players publicly like that?!

      • DK

        Probably because it weakens the Cowboys. Brings Al Harris with him as DC, who helped develop Diggs and Bland help get the Commanders defense on the right track.

        Happy Quinn gets a second chance, just happy it wasn’t in Seattle. To me this is a great pairing, Peters has seen the success built by Lynch in SF, but hasn’t run his own show. Quinn can give insight to what he has seen with Seattle and Dallas, and what didn’t work well in Atlanta.

    • Mick

      Wishing him the best, but sounds like he was at least their 3rd option, hard to sell him to the fans as something else.

    • geoff u

      Taking over the worst defense in the NFL. Nowhere to go but up.

      Seems no one wanted the job. Soon as Seattle met with Macdonald, Johnson and Slowik put out releases they’d rather stick with their current teams. I’m no longer convinced Johnson turned Seattle down and not vice versa. Could have, but I give it a 50/50.

      • Orcas Viking

        At this point it more likely 80/20 Seahawks let Johnson know he wasn’t their clear favorite…once Seahawks left Detroit, Johnson pulling out while the Commanders were in the air is quite telling.

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      Really happy for Dan. And, even happier it wasn’t for the Hawks.

  66. cha

    Sounds like Mike Kafka is staying in NY as OC. Not sure what’s going on there.

    • geoff u

      I think we’ve been dream teaming coordinators too much. John and Mick are going to pick people who fit the culture and vision they’re trying to build, and who work well as a team.

      • geoff u


        • Mick

          Now that’s a disappointing correction 🙂

          • geoff u


  67. DK

    First coach “added” to the staff, Karl Scott is staying on as a senior defensive coach.

    Great keep, this has me thinking MacDonald wanted Dennard Wilson as DC, but he is heading to Tennessee to be the Titans DC.

    I think Orr gets promoted to DC in Baltimore, Weaver is interesting with how well the DL has developed for the Ravens. Chris Hewitt the passing game coordinator/secondary coach paired with Scott to keep developing DBs, might be a great pairing.

    • Peter

      Orr promoted over Weaver the assistant head coach with more experience?

    • Rob Staton

      Good news on Karl Scott IMO

      Orr is impressive. Hopefully Baltimore give Weaver the DC job

      • DK

        That was quick Orr already promoted to DC in Baltimore.

        Weaver, or C. Smith the OLB coach?

    • Blitzy the Clown

      Was personally hoping for Wilson. Shame Tenn got him.

    • Brodie

      Mild & pleasant surprise. Philly was rumored to be getting him via Peliserro

  68. Frank Frankson

    “Sean McVay had Wade Phillips”

    Do you think he could lean on Pete for a bit of mentorship in some of the areas that a Wade Phillips type helped with for McVay? Or would that be too awkward for one\both?

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t — and wouldn’t want Macdonald having to ring the old coach

      He needs someone different in the building every day

    • Blitzy the Clown

      Omg no. Just, no.

    • JJ

      If he rings an old hawks coach I hope it would be holmgren.

    • Big Mike

      Hawk fans man….smdh

      It was a damned good decade and a half but can we PLEASE start looking forward rather than back.
      Former players and present media, this means you too!

    • geoff u

      Pete: bottom 10 defense past 5 years
      MM: top ten defense last 2 years, 1st this year.

      If anything, Pete should be calling Mike. Perhaps Pete should’ve hired him 2 years ago instead of Hurtt and he’d still have a job.

      • Peter

        Truth on Pete still being here.

  69. MNF_Hawk

    Put Pete, Bill, and Saban on a boat sailing west for Valinor. Their age has come and gone.

  70. ShowMeYourHawk

    Rob, were you planning to highlight a few of the college options for our OC opening? I know you threw out a few names in one of your videos yesterday but didn’t really elaborate.

    Not that I’m looking to burn you out at your current stride. 😂

    Cheers. 🍻

  71. Scott

    I wonder if David Shaw might get consideration as OC. He’s got Harbaugh connections and has been taking NFL interviews this cycle. Of course he would make Pete Carroll look like Dan Campbell in terms of how conservative he is with play calling…

    • Rob Staton

      Hard pass from me

      Go and get some innovative and young

      • Scott

        Oh I totally agree. The fans would hate his play calling. I once saw him punt from inside the opponent’s 40. That said, he’s incredibly smart, he’s got NFL, play calling, and head coaching experience, and I’m sure he will interview great if he gets the opportunity. I’m not advocating for him, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if he got a call.

    • Mr drucker in hooterville

      Shaw? Nooooo. No..God…no

  72. DAWGFan

    Garafolo just mentioned that Grubb is going to interview for the Hawks OC position on KJR. I think Grubb is an excellent play caller, but have concerns about not having any NFL experience and that he has always been under DeBoer’s wing.

  73. Brennan

    From listening to Mike Macdonald speak I can see why Schneider likes him… their messaging is very similar. Heck, they even sound alike when they speak. Are we sure Schneider didn’t clone himself and created a younger version ?

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