The Times They Are A-Changin’: Will a New Coaching Staff Help Jaxon Smith-Njigba and the Seahawks’ Receivers Fly High in 2024?
Image Credit: Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

POP QUIZ, HOTSHOT: Who was the Seattle Seahawks’ last head coach prior to Pete Carroll getting the job in 2010?

THE ANSWER: Jim Mora Jr.?

Yes, Mora Jr. had one forgettable (at least to me, apparently) 5-11 season as the head coach of the Seahawks following Mike Holmgren’s 10-year run in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe I’m the one getting old, but I find it hard to recall anyone other than Carroll patrolling the Seattle sideline; the image of him watching intently with his hands on his knees while aggressively chewing a piece of bubble gum has been burned into my psyche.

Ever since leaving USC to be Seattle’s head coach in 2010, Carroll has led the Seahawks to their most successful stretch of football in the team’s history. During that time Seattle has made the playoffs in 10 out of 14 seasons, highlighted by two Super Bowl appearances and one win. While Carroll’s success as a head coach cannot be denied, he was also given the title of VP of Football Operations when he joined the Seahawks; a position that gave him authority over the team’s general manager regarding personnel decisions. It was in this role that Carroll regularly made unconventional decisions that led many — perhaps, most of all, scorned fantasy managers — to question the logic behind the moves.

After missing the playoffs in 2023 despite a 9-8 record, Carroll was relieved of both positions he had occupied with the Seahawks for the previous 14 years. At the time of his firing, Carroll was the oldest — and fourth-longest tenured — head coach in the NFL. The team apparently wanted to go as far as possible in the opposite direction when they hired former Baltimore defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald — currently the youngest head coach in the league — to replace Carroll. While the hiring of Macdonald is not very telling in and of itself, the subsequent hiring of Ryan Grubb as the Seahawks’ new offensive coordinator should be enough to get fantasy owners intrigued. While coaching in college last season, Grubb was the offensive coordinator of a University of Washington team whose elite passing offense showcased three high-level WR prospects, as the team made it all the way to the National Championship Game. After the changes that the Seahawks have made this offseason, should we be buying into the idea that the team’s receivers will be taking their production to higher levels in 2024, or should we temper our expectations when drafting pieces of the Seattle passing game?

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Kevin Szafraniec

Full-time Cat Dad, Sneakerhead, Record Collector, LOTR Fanboy, and Jeopardy Enthusiast. Fantasy football writer, operations manager, and beatmaker in my free time.

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