SEATTLE — Shane Waldron hit all the right notes Tuesday as he discussed his first opportunity to be an offensive coordinator in the NFL.
Now comes the wait for the fall to find out whether Waldron’s offensive beliefs will mesh with what works best for Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks on the field.
“I’ve talked to Pete a bunch about this throughout the process. He has my back, fully supportive with what I want to do and what direction we want to take this thing together,” Waldron said. “So it will be a situation where I feel like I’m walking into a great scenario, with a bunch of great coaches that have such a solid foundation.”
Waldron, who was announced as Seattle’s new offensive coordinator last week, is being given his first chance at running an NFL offense after spending time previously in New England, Washington and most recently as the pass game coordinator with the Los Angeles Rams.
But the philosophy Waldron laid out in his first comments since getting the job seemed to mirror much of what Carroll said he was seeking following a season during which Seattle set a franchise record for points scored but sputtered offensively over the second half of the year. The Seahawks fired Brian Schottenheimer after the season due to “philosophical differences” between himself and Carroll.
Waldron wants balance. He wants to protect the football. He believes in teaching fundamentals.
And he doesn’t want the offense to be labeled as conservative.
“I think the great part about Russell Wilson within this system is he does have an ability to do a lot of different things,” Waldron said. “Just because I’m saying that it’s a balanced attack doesn’t mean that that’s a conservative attack. I don’t ever want to get that confused.”
In announcing Waldron’s hiring, Carroll called him a “must get.” He had been linked with previous offensive coordinator openings in the past, but Seattle provided Waldron a chance to stay in a division he knows well and move closer to home. He grew up in Portland, Oregon.
Waldron said he had no relationship with Carroll prior to begin contacted for an interview by the Seahawks. Waldron also noted he had discussions with Wilson during the interview process and has had subsequent talks with his quarterback since his hiring.
“The starting point for him and I was just trying to build that relationship. See how we would interact together,” Waldron said. “When you’re able to sit there and have conversations that are natural and fluid, and talk about everything and not just football, I think that’s a great foundation for where this relationship can go.”
Along with Waldron’s hiring came the addition of Andy Dickerson as Seattle’s new run-game coordinator. Dickerson spent the past nine seasons with the Rams and was a college teammate of Waldron’s at Tufts University in the early 2000s.
It became a package deal when Carroll asked Waldron what would help him make the transition to the Seahawks.
“My first thought was Andy, and then it timed up with the way everything worked out,” Waldron said. “He’ll be able to come on board as the run game coordinator, and he’ll be instrumental in helping with the transition and really a chance to blend with (offensive line coach) Mike (Solari) and get things all connected and marry everything that we want to do together philosophically.”