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How Far Can The Seattle Seahawks Defense Take Them In 2024?

After being led by the great Pete Carroll for so many years, much of the Seattle Seahawks coaching staff got younger. This past March, Seattle signed ex-Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator, Mike Macdonald to be their new head coach. Seattle also added youth, signing the former Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach, Aden Durde. Now, the pair and the Seahawks are looking forward to a revamped season on the defensive side of the ball in 2024.

Macdonald's Baltimore defense had an outstanding season in 2023. Baltimore led the league in turnovers and was in the top 10 in both rushing and passing defense. Furthermore, Baltimore became the first defense in NFL history to lead the league in points allowed, sacks and turnovers. As for Durde, the first British coordinator in NFL history, his Dallas defensive line had been stout during his three seasons there. Both coaches seem to be embracing the city, especially Macdonald.

Solid Defense is a Must to Win Games

In a high-scoring modern NFL, if you want to win games, you must have a great defense in place. Your offense can light up the scoreboard, but if you cannot make timely stops when it counts, you will never win consistently.

As a defense, you must first have a great defensive back core to stop the passing game. Luckily for Seattle, they have a great duo brewing. Seattle struck gold in the NFL draft in back to back seasons, drafting cornerbacks Tariq Woolen in 2022 and Devon Witherspoon in 2023. The athletic and disruptive Woolen and hard-hitting Witherspoon make up a scary tandem. As time goes on and they are on the field together more often, they will continue to make an impact.

The two have a chance to re-create the magic that Richard Sherman and Cam Chancellor once did in Seattle. Overall, with the duos' potential and with the help of Julian Love (2023 Pro-Bowler), Rayshawn Jenkins and Michael Jackson, Seattle's defensive back room can be one of the best in the NFC.

The 3-4 Defense Still lives in Seattle

To be a dominating defense, you also need a tough front-seven who can get after the quarterback, be fundamentally sound and execute in all phases. Seattle has the luxury of having a great returning front line and an athletic line-backer core. Seattle, a 3-4 defensive team, returns back an upfront-trio of Leonard Williams (DE), Jarran Reed (DT) and Dre'Mont Jones (DE) who all had good moments last year. When all were healthy, the trio combined for 17 sacks and 87 tackles in 2023 and they can eclipse that total with ease next year. With each players' pure strength and improved rushing ability, they will terrorize opposing offenses.

The additions of Johnathan Hankins and Byron Murphy II (2024 NFL Draft choice) will also be a huge boost this defensive line over time.

Togetherness is Key

At the line-backer spot, while it is not a Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright-led group anymore, Seattle has great potential in there. With a pair of new faces (Jerome Baker and Tyrel Dodson) and the return of solid 2023 contributors, Durde is going to have a lot of talent to work with in this department. Each starting line-backer is a solid tackler and are efficient at collecting sacks, making it difficult to play against.

None of them are as versatile as you want and might struggle early on covering opposing tight ends. However, with fantastic defensive backfield behind them to lean on if they get beat, these linebackers will be a huge asset to this defense and could determine a lot of possessions during games.

Macdonald and Durde came into town at the perfect time. The Seattle defense is no longer on the older-side, gaining youth in recent years. They are athletic, tough and coachable, making Durde's job a lot easier. The saying "defense wins championships or games", is still credible to this day and this Seattle defense has the ability to bounce back and do just that in 2024. Legion of Boom 2.0? That sounds mighty possible.

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