The Seattle Seahawks’ commitment to running the football was evident for many years under former head coach Pete Carroll.

Geno Smith on Seattle Seahawks new-look offense: ‘Great things coming for us’

For quarterback Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks, learning a new offense is definitely nothing new at this stage in his career.

The 33-year-old Smith is getting ready to play under his seventh different offensive coordinator as he gets ready for his 12th season in the NFL, which will likely be his third as Seattle’s starting quarterback. After a fruitful two years as the offensive coordinator for the UW Huskies, Ryan Grubb moved across town to join first-year head coach Mike Macdonald’s staff. Grubb is the new man in command.

Though the Seahawks are only in the early phases of implementing their new offensive scheme, Smith already believes that Grubb’s scheme complements his skill set.Following Seattle’s second organized session on Wednesday, Smith remarked, “I feel like I’m a dropback passer, and I feel like this is a dropback offense – an offense that’s gonna spread the ball around (and) trust the quarterbacks to make the right decisions pre- and post-snap.” And it seems like I’m incredibly skilled at that.


Seattle Seahawks Geno Smith Titans 2023...


Grubb managed one of the most successful offenses in college football while he was at UW. Leading quarterback Michael Penix Jr., the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, and three receivers selected in the top 100 of the NFL Draft, the Huskies destroyed opponents’ defenses on route to the College Football Playoff national championship game.

Grubb’s job with the Seahawks will be to improve an offense that finished 17th in the league in 2023 after falling from 10th in 2022 in scoring. Undoubtedly, a number of injuries on the offensive line contributed significantly to the team’s downfall in the previous year, but there is optimism that Grubb’s scheme will work better for Smith and the gifted receiving group of DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Described Grubb as a “very detail-oriented guy,” Macdonald added. “He is certain of what he wants to find. He is extremely accurate. We desire clarity in all we do as a team. He has the knowledge of exactly what is expected of him and what the boys are expected to do. He has excellent communication skills.

Regarding the offense’s current position in the installation process, Smith is pleased. He claimed to have devoted a significant amount of time to his studies and meetings with the different offensive position groups.

To be honest, I think we’re in a really good place,” Smith remarked. “I think I understand the offensive quite well on a personal level. I am aware that I still have a lot to learn, but based on the installations we’ve completed, those things are quite sharp.

“I believe that great things are ahead for us,” he continued. “.. Grubb is doing a fantastic job, and our responsibility is to bring the plays to life and make everything look nice.

Seahawks challenging Geno

Following six seasons as an NFL backup, Smith had a breakthrough 2022 season in Seattle to revitalize his career. That season, Smith led the NFL in completion percentage, finished sixth in ESPN’s QBR measure, threw for 4,282 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions, and won AP Comeback Player of the Year.

Smith missed two games due to a groin ailment last season, which contributed to his declining stats despite playing behind an offensive line beset by injuries. He finished with 3,624 yards, 20 touchdowns, and nine interceptions while dropping to 14th place in QBR and a five percentage point decline in his completion percentage. But in the last six weeks of the season, he put up a league-best 81.4 QBR, capping off a stellar year.

After having the opportunity to collaborate with Smith, what impressions does Macdonald have of him?

He is quite competitive, according to Macdonald. I like Geno’s working style. I believe he is responding to our calls for him to step up as a leader and as a football player. I’m really looking forward to getting to know Geno. I have the utmost admiration for this man’s dedication to his trade.


Seattle Seahawks RB Kenneth Walker III...

Geno, Howell building rapport

The Seahawks now have two quarterbacks on their roster who were full-time starts last season after obtaining 23-year-old Sam Howell in a trade with the Washington Commanders in March. Howell, a fifth-round pick in the 2022 draft, started each of the Commanders’ 17 games in the previous campaign. He threw for 3,946 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions while finishing 24th in QBR.

Smith mentioned that he and Howell have been getting along nicely. They were a part of the Seahawks’ offseason trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, along with about fifteen other offensive players.

“We’ve been spending time together, visiting Cabo, playing golf, and strengthening our bond,” Smith remarked. “Sam is an incredibly gifted young player.” For his age, he has played a lot of football. He recorded a huge deal of amazing stuff. And I don’t think I’ll ever be able to understand the starter-backup dilemma. The group of quarterbacks must function as a cohesive one. The other player must be behind whoever enters the game. Thus, in my opinion, the most important thing is that we keep learning, cooperating, and pushing one another since doing so will only provide us a great opportunity to improve.

As the NFL has increasingly emphasized the passing game during Pete Carroll’s tenure, the Seahawks have remained committed to running the ball. This commitment was evident in their NFL Draft choices, where they frequently selected running backs early. However, recent on-field performance hasn’t reflected this dedication.

Former NFL wide receiver Michael Bumpus discussed the need for the Seahawks to revitalize their ground game during Four Down Territory on Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy.

“You have to be able to run the football,” Bumpus said. “Looking back at the glory days, or just when this offense was thriving, when Chris Carson was at his best, they were rushing well over 2,000 yards, around 2,220 to 2,300 yards. I need that to happen again, and I need this team to have a 1,100-yard rusher.”


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Last season, the Seahawks ranked 28th in the NFL in rushing with 1,580 total yards and 92.9 yards per game. They managed a respectable 4.1 yards per carry, ranking in the top half of the league, but they were 31st in rushing attempts. Only two of the bottom 10 rushing teams made the playoffs last season, and Seattle wasn’t one of them.

Bumpus noted that successful rushing teams had better outcomes last season. Five of the top seven rushing teams – Baltimore, San Francisco, Miami, Detroit, and Buffalo – made the playoffs. Four of these teams surpassed 2,300 rushing yards, and aside from Baltimore with Lamar Jackson, all had a running back rush for over 1,000 yards. The Lions nearly had two 1,000-yard rushers, with David Montgomery reaching 1,015 yards and Jahmyr Gibbs hitting 945.

The Seahawks have the potential to achieve similar rushing success with 2022 second-round pick Kenneth Walker III and 2023 second-rounder Zach Charbonnet. Walker rushed for over 1,050 yards in his rookie season and 905 yards last year, while Charbonnet added 462 yards as the backup last season.

“If you can get a 1,000-yard rusher on your team and collectively rush for over 2,300 yards, your playoff chances are high,” Bumpus said. “You need to pair that with a good defense, but you cannot ignore this part of the equation: Run the ball well and you give yourself a chance.”



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