The Seattle Seahawks are going to have a different look and a new approach this season. Much of it has to do with the change the team made at the top as head coach Pete Carroll was dismissed at the end of the 2023 season and replace by Mike MacDonald.

Carroll, 72, had been an excellent coach for the Seahawks during his 14-year tenure, but the feeling within the organization was that a new and younger voice was needed. Macdonald is 36 years old and he built his reputation and earned his new position after an outstanding run with the Baltimore Ravens as their defensive coordinator for two years.

It clearly makes sense that the Seahawks have hired a coach who has expertise on the defensive side of the ball. Even though the Seahawks had a 9-8 record and were in playoff contention up until the final week of the season, the defense had turned into an extremely porous unit. The Seahawks gave up an average of 371.4 yards per game, and that ranked 30th in the league.

Additionally, they got pushed around by opponents on the ground as they gave up 138.4 rushing yards per game, ranking 31st in the league. They also allowed 23.6 points per game, ranking 25th in the NFL.

Seahawks sign Tyrel Dodson to man MLB spot

The Seahawks have made a number of moves in the offseason to upgrade the defense, and one of those was signing former Buffalo Bills linebacker Tyrel Dodson to take over at middle linebacker from 34-year-old Bobby Wagner.

There is little doubt that when Wagner hangs up his shoulder pads, he will eventually find his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was one of the Seahawks greatest defensive players and a leader who almost always put himself into a position to make the tackle.

As the years piled up, Wagner clearly lost a step or more and finding a replacement for him was essential for the Seahawks in the offseason.

The 6-0, 237-pound Dodson played a significant role for the Bills last year. It was his 4th season with the Bills after seeing limited action for his first three seasons after being signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2019.

Dodson played in all 17 regular season games with the Bills and started in 10 of them. He had 74 tackles, 8 tackles for loss and 6 quarterback hits. Dodson registered 2.5 sacks, 2 passes defensed with 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery.

Prior to last season, he had started just 5 games in 3 seasons. He had his most notable contribution in 2022 when he had 32 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit and 1.0 sack.

Asking a player with just one full season in which he made a significant contribution to his team's effort to take over for a future Hall of Famer seems to be a risky maneuver for the Seahawks.

Seahawks made several moves to improve the defense

Dodson took over as a starter when Matt Milano was injured in Week 5. After he moved into the starting lineup, he demonstrated excellent efficiency as he regularly took a straight-forward approach to the ball carrier and rarely missed when he had a chance to make the tackle. He was an especially effective run defender, and it's clear the Seahawks need help in that area.

In addition to signing Dodson, the Seahawks made several moves to help their defense. They also signed linebacker Jerome Baker after he was released by the Miami Dolphins, safety K'Von Wallac from the Tennessee Titans, DT Jonathan Hankins from the Dallas Cowboys and safety Rayshawn Jenkins from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

They made DT Byron Murphy of Texas their first-round draft choice and linebacker Tyrice Knight of Texas-El Paso was selected in the fourth round.

The pressure will be on Macdonald and his defensive coordinator for the defense to show significant improvement after the poor performance last season. The Seahawks have replaced older players with younger ones and they should be faster.

However, will the new additions find a way to play as a cohesive unit or will it take time before they can play effectively. That's the key question for Macdonald and his staff.