10 questions on the Seahawks present and future

December 30th, 2019 | Written by Rob Staton

A quick heads up — today Brandan Schulze and I interviewed Jim Nagy. It was great to chat with Jim about the Seahawks, the draft and the upcoming Senior Bowl. The podcast will be available tomorrow.

With the regular season complete we can now reflect on where this team is compared to a year ago and raise some questions for the future (even if things remain somewhat open due to the possibility of a playoff run).

1. What’s going on at Century Link Field? They were 4-4 at home this season and they’re 14-10 at home since 2017. In that same period they’re 16-8 on the road. For years the Seahawks were able to rely on their fortress for an advantage. How do they get that back? It’s surreal that if they win against Philadelphia next week, they’ll have won twice as many road games vs home games in 2019.

2. How much have they actually improved this year? They won one more regular season game. The offense remained similarly potent. Yet they went into the 2019 off-season needing to upgrade the pass rush and improve the run defense. Rather than improve, both areas regressed. Suggesting they haven’t shown any progress sounds unfair and negative — yet it’s difficult to identify clear aspects that have taken a big step forward in 2019. It’s been more of a general continuation and they’re still waiting for that big, game-changing off-season to push them back into the top echelon.

3. How do they fix the D-line? The pass rush needs to be better. They need more speed. They also need to finally get back on track defending the run after two difficult years. Too often this season they haven’t won the battles up front. When they have (eg San Francisco, Philadelphia on the road) they’ve looked like a totally different team. This will be a huge challenge in the off-season. Firstly, they need to make a call on Jadeveon Clowney and Jarran Reed. They can ill-afford to launch into a D-line rebuild by losing one or both of their best starters. Replacements on the open market will be costly and this isn’t a good D-line draft class. Yet both players could, realistically, reach free agency. And it could create a dilemma where the Seahawks are forced to focus on retaining their own when ideally they’d be concentrating on ways to improve the D-line, not simply maintain the status quo.

4. How do they take the next step as a team? Russell Wilson has played at a high level and will presumably continue to do so. People will forever talk about the O-line but the last two years have been a vast improvement based on the 2015-17 level of performance. This is mainly down to the D-line. If the Seahawks are going to impose themselves on opponents with greater regularity, if they’re going to impact games and become a strong home team again — they need better run-defense and they can’t have players leading the team with four sacks. In Clowney they’ve found the dynamic five-technique they’ve seemingly been seeking for years. Now they need speed to threaten teams off the edge and quickness in the interior to collapse pockets. It’s such a striking need that they might need to create even more cap space to properly do this justice. They need multiple additions. Rest assured though — this will be addressed aggressively as a priority.

5. How can they seriously proceed without Jadeveon Clowney? A year ago they let Frank Clark go because they could get a first and second round pick in return. This year they’d receive nothing for Clowney as they’ve already agreed not to franchise him. Because they’d need to replace him, it’s unlikely they’d qualify for a comp pick. The D-line is bad enough without losing their best performer. Granted, he’s not a 10/15-sack monster who brings the speed and quickness to wreck games at an Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack or Chandler Jones level. Yet we have seen him take over games, we’ve seen him play the run superbly and he’s received very little support this year — probably meaning he’s faced more double teams than he otherwise would. Keeping Clowney will be costly but what’s the alternative? Shirk paying him $20-22m a year and pay $15m a year to a much lesser player? Sometimes you have to be willing to take a punt on a contract. The Seahawks might need to be creative to protect against being lumbered with a bad deal years down the line. They can’t afford to start the off-season, however, by saying — ‘right, let’s rebuild the D-line… first priority, replace our best player’.

6. Which players are they going to add to help Russell Wilson? It’s clear he needs more weapons. Wilson has virtually no safety net. He has dynamic, explosive receivers in Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. He needs a reliable intermediate option for games like yesterday and last week when things don’t go according to plan. Look how San Francisco featured George Kittle early, creating a package of plays to get the ball in his hands isolated against good matchups. Kittle is the best tight end in the league currently so that’s an extreme example. Yet without Will Dissly, it’s often felt like Seattle’s safety valve has been missing. They need someone who can do what Tyler Higbee has been doing for LA recently. This could be a good time to target a tight end. Austin Hooper and Hunter Henry will be free agents but both could be re-signed to keep them off the market. There was talk of O.J. Howard potentially being available via trade this year. Evan Engram could be another player dangled as the Giants try and move forward. David Njoku is expected to depart Cleveland. There’s also Hunter Bryant in the draft. They’ve invested in a big way at tight end in the past — trading for Jimmy Graham and paying Zach Miller big money. It feels like they could be bold again this year. It’s an excellent receiver draft class and adding one more — especially with three early picks — would be wise. There could also be interesting veteran receiver’s available via trade.

7. How are they going to solve some of their contract dilemma’s this off-season? It’s not quite as serious as a year ago when they needed to extend Russell Wilson’s deal, Bobby Wagner’s deal and find a solution with Frank Clark. Yet they’ve got Clowney, Reed, Ifedi and Fant all approaching free agency. They also need to make a call on Shaquill Griffin and Chris Carson — both entering the final year of their contracts. They need to make a decision on Justin Britt due to his injury and the size of his contract. They need to make a decision on K.J. Wright. Just be aware that if any of these players depart they’ll need replacing — which is easier said than done.

8. Can their high picks in 2019 take a much needed step forward in 2020? L.J. Collier has been a non-factor. Marquise Blair has played in fits and starts but with Quandre Diggs and Bradley McDougald the established starters, what is his pathway to the lineup? Cody Barton has struggled quite badly when he’s been on the field. Even the usually positive Pete Carroll, when given a softball opportunity to discuss his performance against San Francisco, volunteered that there were plays where they expected him to perform better. On the positive front, Travis Homer and John Ursua are showing they warrant an expanded role in 2020 and both Ugo Amadi and Ben Burr-Kirven have played well on special teams. D.K. Metcalf has been highly impressive, even if he has areas to work on (catching, body control and positional leverage, high-pointing, using his size better). But do you trust Barton to start in 2020 based on what we’ve seen so far? What about Collier?

9. What do they do at running back next year? Chris Carson will always be an injury risk of sorts. Rashaad Penny is coming back from an ACL tear. Travis Homer looks like a very good #3 or #4 runner. They’ll need to add one more at some point in the off-season but who? Mike Davis returning could be ideal if he becomes available. They could draft another back — although probably only on day three. Whether you agree or not, Carroll has always liked a stable of talented backs. Make no mistake though — they love Carson. They will feature and highlight him as a star on this team. There’s a good chance he will be offered a good second contract. Making sure you have depth at the position, however, has shown to be quite important over the last month.

10. Will there be a review on what’s happened with the injuries this year? It could be purely bad luck. It happens sometimes. Yet two weeks ago the Seahawks were two home wins away from the #1 seed in the NFC. Now they’re on a two-game losing streak and they’re the #5 seed — mainly due to the injuries hammering this team. Last night they lost Mychal Kendricks to a torn ACL to make the situation even worse. They’ve had multiple starters suffering serious injuries. Why has this happened and how do they prevent it happening again, if possible?

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188 Responses to “10 questions on the Seahawks present and future”

  1. GerryG says:

    Waaay too many hamstring injuries this season to not believe they could improve the training staff

    I agree on Clooney, have to retain him, and it’s going to take some serious Schneider black magic to fix the rest of the DL issues.

    • Elmer says:

      Rob’s question # 10 needs to be discussed. Are all the injuries just bad luck? That can happen.

      But it is worth asking whether the quality of the strength & conditioning, injury prevention/rehabilitation program is up to the quality of the rest of the organization. Too many injuries not to ask the question, sometimes different injuries to the same guy.

  2. cha says:

    Collinsworth said last night he asked PC why the Hawks’ HFA has evaporated and PC said it’s because the pass rush hasn’t been there. Which makes sense. When you have quick-twitch guys, and fans screaming out of their minds, that extra half heartbeat makes a huge difference.

    Issues 1, 2, 3 and 4 are fix the DL and pass rush. Shoring up this area creates so much more balance. It even helps the offense – RW won’t be expected to constantly go 75-90 yards for a TD every drive, where his lack of weapons get thrown into even more sharp relief.

    I made a case a couple threads down for franchising Reed. Not necessarily paying him the $15-17m but using the franchise tag as a hedge against losing Clowney, and a way to see where the market is for him in trade and potentially an extension.

    Does Reed deserve the franchise tag? No, just like Ifedi didn’t deserve the 5th year option. But as you rightly noted Rob, the prospect of losing both those guys off an already paper thin DL is terrifying. They may be handcuffed and have no other option but to franchise Reed.

    • mishima says:

      Heard that about HFA and pass rush and immediately thought, ‘BS.’

      As team popularity (bandwagon) and ticket prices have risen, the type of fans attending games has changed. ‘Ride or die ‘ fans from Burien and Bremerton have been replaced by ‘Uber and tweet’ fans from South Lake Union and Kirkland. Fans have gone from appreciative to entitled.

      Rant over. Sorry.

      • SeaHusky says:

        I honestly think that HFA is often one of the most overrated things that are cited in sports. Does a raucous home crowd help? Hell yes. But you know what wins a lot of home games? A consistently great team. For the past few years, we’ve been a good team that has flashed spurts of greatness, but never consistently.

        A home crowd can only impact the game so much when the opposing team lining up across from you is more talented and executing more consistently.

      • Ian says:

        I went to last nights game after not having gone for 5 years. It was just as loud and raucous. Not soft at all. Fix some of our talent gaps to get to the top echelon and it is still a beastly place to play.

      • cha says:

        I’m not following what you’re saying mishima. I went to the TNF Rams game and the MNF Minnesota game this year and we were loud as any game from the LOB era I’d been to.

        Now sports talk radio, message boards, and twitter? Yeah, I’ll grant your premise.

        • mishima says:

          We shouldn’t confuse MNF or final game of the season with the average home game.

          My point: Fan participation has devolved from team loyalty and appreciation to social media takes, fantasy leagues and armchair analytics. Easier to jump on/off the bandwagon, even in game or even play to play. Not saying anything new: Since our Super Bowl win, the fan demographic at home games and how fan bases participate in general has changed and not for the better.

          • Dingbatman says:

            Prime time games made up half the home games this year. They are “normal” games. The demographics of the season ticket holders don’t change on a game by game basis based on time slot. There are likely many factors contributing to our home record not being what it once was, the primary driver being the talent on the team is not what it once was.

          • cha says:

            Fan participation has devolved from team loyalty and appreciation to social media takes, fantasy leagues and armchair analytics. Easier to jump on/off the bandwagon, even in game or even play to play.

            We were talking about the Seahawks not having a home field advantage. I’m not sure how any of what you’re talking about addresses that. Social media takes are hurting the teams’ performance on the field, but only in Seattle?

          • Kyle T says:

            You are 100% correct on this. The former stadium noise level was deafening during the huddle and at the LOS. I attended the opener and the MNF game and neither were as loud or loud at the right time. In fact half the stadium is sitting down while we are on defense.

            You need both good fans and a good pass rush / defense to have the kind of HFA we used to have. But that HFA made mediocre teams seem good because they would win most of the home games even if the road record was bad

          • Ralphy says:

            I’m so sick of this take. People are screaming their heads off. It does get tiresome when you’re screaming and teams keep converting.

            So if you’re such an avid fan why are you no longer going to the games?

            • rad man says:

              Been a season ticket holder since the inaugural season. It’s not the fans. It’s the talent on the field. And opposing offenses knowing more about how to attack this very base defense. In other words, lack of pass rush, and lack of creative scheming to overcome that.

      • Dale Roberts says:

        Show me some evidence for your rant. The fans seem just a loud and rabid as ever.

        • mishima says:

          Did you see Reed imploring the crowd, last night?

          • Hawkdawg says:

            They’ve done that for years. Including the LOB years.

            I’ve been a charter seat guy since the first Clink game. Our section stands for offense, defense and special teams, all game. No difference there.

  3. Nick says:

    Re-sign Clowney.
    Let Reed walk.
    Go after Fowler?
    Draft for speed and violence across D position groups. This is the main priority as far as I’m concerned.
    Target a TE and WR in the draft.
    Try to re-sign Ifedi for a reasonable amount. Maybe two year deal?
    Try to restructure Britt. If that doesn’t work then look to FA for C veteran. Not convinced they want to go young on OL.

    Thoughts?

    • cha says:

      Draft for speed and violence across D position groups. This is the main priority as far as I’m concerned.

      Don’t disagree, keep drafting but they 100% need the guys in that profile already on the roster to develop more and be healthy (Diggs, Collier, Blair, Green)

      Try to re-sign Ifedi for a reasonable amount. Maybe two year deal?

      I don’t think that is realistic. He’ll get $13-15/year on a 4 year deal with someone else.

    • Dan says:

      If both Clowney AND Fowler command $20 million per year on the open market, which one would you sign? Given the dearth of sacks here and that you’d hurt the Rams, I’d sign Fowler. Both Green and Collier could play the 5-technique without Clowney.

  4. neil says:

    You cannot prevent acl’s but with better conditioning you can limit hamstring, groin pulls, and back strains and possibly core problems.

    • neil says:

      I believe they changed conditioning coaches two years ago. Might be time for another change.

      • SoCal12 says:

        I remember people were really criticizing the Ivan Lewis conditioning coach hire, saying that in his time at USC and UW the players had been chronically injured and out of shape, with things improving immediately after he left. I didn’t really think much of the hire at the time, but I’m starting to think there may have been merit to the warnings.

    • LouieLouie says:

      Neil: One of the drawbacks to the physical style of play that Pete Carroll likes to play is that it also is hard on the good guys (Seahawks). The physical run game has always caused injuries on the O-line, etc.

  5. mishima says:

    They should probably re-sign Clowney for his run defense and Reed for his interior pressure, but I would understand a complete Front 7 overhaul.

    Clowney’s game is predicated on elite athleticism and I fear minor injuries will limit his effectiveness. He’s elite in the run game and generates pressure, but good QBs and offenses can handle that. Need edge rush that gets home and that’s rare and expensive.

    Confident that PC/JS will prioritize fixing the pass rush. Main concern is the LB unit, esp. their inability to cover and their overall lack of speed. Wagner is my favorite Hawk, but he could become a liability in pass pro against the NFC West.

    My big question: Can they fix the defense by committing big money to Wagner, Clowney, Reed, eventually Griffin? Or, is this plan just playing it safe, more fear-based roster construction? Probably ‘rubbish,’ but I could get behind using Clowney/Ansah money in free agency to buy true edge speed, tag/trade Reed and consider trading Wagner. Bold moves that will never happen.

  6. Doug says:

    Re-sign Clowney and Reed. Re-sign Fant. Let Ifedi test the market before signing.

    Carson… can’t extend him until the impact of his hip fracture is assessed. Let him play out next season and if he stays healthy re-sign. There are just too many RB options to potentially overpay for someone injury prone. No doubt they draft another RB and depending on how things go with Lynch in the post season it is not beyond reason that he is offered a one-year deal to return.

    While the Seahawks will undoubtedly draft a WR, I think the Seahawks are better off than it might seem there. DK is going to be better next year. Ursua has been effectively red-shirted this season, but they did trust him enough to throw to him near the goal line yesterday. If the Seahawks can play more than one postseason game, we may see more of him. TE is a bigger need.

  7. James Z says:

    The quickness that the SF d-line and LB’s showed relative to the SH’s d-line and LB’s was a study in contrasts. Whether age, talent or scheme related or all 3 demands some study by the SH’s management. Samuel is a real weapon as a WR and this is his first year in the league. The SH’s need a dynamic WR like that in a big way! They need to hire a coach or 2 who has a Phd. in clock management who is in Pete’s ear regularly. And finally, Shanahan’s play designs are flat-out superior to much of what Schotty throws out there. SF will be a force in the West for awhile and if the SH’s are going to hold there own they definitely need to draft and sign and coach with an updated vision or fall short.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The Seahawks were an inch away from beating the Niners twice and winning the NFC West.

      And they need to change their entire vision?

      Come on.

      • neil says:

        Maybe the Hawks place too much emphasis on size on offense, and not enough on speed. The Chiefs have speed galore. Miss a tackle on a few of those guys and they are gone to the house.

      • James Z says:

        I just want to re-iterate, Rob, that I used the phrasing ‘update’ (or perhaps ‘renew’ would be a better word) their vision and I certainly did not say and certainly did not mean ‘change their entire vision’. I am not quite sure why you characterized it as such in your comment. It seems over reactive to me.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Update/change. It’s the same thing.

          Like I said, they were an inch away from doing the double over San Francisco. They don’t need to change anything. They just need to be healthier and improve the DL.

          • RipleyRay says:

            The big letdown last night was the delay of game penalty, not that we were an inch short Rob. Yes we almost pulled a rabbit out of the hat again but I fault the coaches for not having the right players ready to come in. There’s really no excuse for that penalty at that stage of the game.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I’m just going to come out and say this. Don’t take it personally, it’s a message to everyone.

              Get over it.

              It was a frigging five-yard penalty. They had zero timeouts, were going to have to throw the ball to win.

              It’s a complete non-event that people are getting hung up on for whatever reason.

              • RipleyRay says:

                I don’t take it personally Rob, but tell me why they “were going to have to throw the ball to win” with the ball on the 1 yard line. You had the option to run it or throw it. With it on the 6 yard line I agree we had to throw it to win it. The penalty took away an option that SF didn’t need to worry about from the 6 yard line.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  I’ve addressed this a few times already but it’s quite simple really.

                  If you run into the scrum on the goal line with no timeouts and only 22 seconds remaining, if you don’t score you might not get another play off. Good luck getting out of the ruck, getting everyone lined up properly in any kind of reasonable time. At absolute best you have to sprint back into formation and either spike the ball or run a really rushed, disorganised play. Either way, you’re unnecessarily costing yourself one extra chance to get into the end zone.

                  So essentially if you run there, you’re putting the entire game on one play. Which no team — literally no team — would do in that situation. They had three shots at scoring with the ball in Wilson’s hands, a franchise quarterback. The only scenario where they potentially WOULDN’T have thrown was 4th and goal from the one with the clock stopped due to an incomplete pass on third down.

                  Both teams knew the situation. The clock and the lack of timeouts put the game in Wilson’s hands.

                  • Paul Cook says:

                    I’m only responding here because that is not the way it had to be, as pointed out by many football writers. First, you’re assuming that the ball would have been snapped with 22 seconds left, the absolute limit of the play clock. If they had been better prepared for the situation, the ball could have been snapped with, say 32 seconds or so on the clock, and given the ball to Lynch, in which case…

                    a) He scores and we win the game (likely, but not a sure thing)
                    b) He doesn’t score, the play takes, say 5-6 seconds, and then even if 10-12 seconds run off the clock you still have time to, say, spike the ball and leave anywhere from 10-15 seconds on the clock, which…
                    c) Would give you a chance to run at least one more play from the one, and probably two

                    I’m not bent out of shape about this, and I’m over it. I’m just creating a different portrait that was entirely feasible if, say, they were better and more decisively prepared for such a moment.

                  • Paul Cook says:

                    Sorry, brain-farted on that. There was 22 seconds on the clock. You’re right. I remember better now. Situation remains the same though. You give the ball to Lynch, and he..

                    a) Scores and we win…(likely but not certain)
                    b) He gets stopped, 5 seconds or so runs off the clock, and another 8-10 seconds to get the ball spiked
                    c) You have time still left (6-10 seconds or so) to run at least one more play

                    I actually think it’s fun to diagnose such plays and learn from them. It’s a fun part of being a fan.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    But that’s the point I’m making. If you run and it’s stopped you are rushing to get ONE more play off. The alternative was three measured and organised pass plays.

                    Nobody is running in that scenario.

                  • DougM says:

                    I agree with your logic 100%. But what if Wilson throws a pass that gets picked instead of handing off to Lynch from the 1 yard line. Do you think Pete might want to avoid that possibility and take the delay penalty?

                  • Hawkster says:

                    They had personnel on the field.
                    They took the delay penalty.
                    They changed personnel.
                    So, regardless of what we say here, according to the Seahawks, at the time, it was NOT a notihngburger. Instead is was something that required a change of personnel, a direct measurement of the Seahawks sentiments at that time.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    Come on though, of course you’ve got different personnel. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s a goal line formation vs a standard red zone formation. It doesn’t mean you’re going to run the ball just because Marshawn’s on the field — and it doesn’t make you any more likely to succeed.

              • EranUngar says:

                NO IT IS NOT!!!

                Even if it had little effect because they had to “throw the ball to win” on 2nd and 3rd down, it would not be case on 4th down.

                Facing the Seahawks on 4th and 1 with Lynch in the back field after already scoring from the same place after they failed on two previous pass attempts – would you really ignore the run???

                • Rob Staton says:

                  I’ve already said several times the only realistic play that could’ve been a run was fourth down.

                  But come on, are we really going to argue the penalty was massively significant because it prevented them having an option to run on fourth and goal? They had three goes to get six yards to win the game and came up inches short. C’est la vie.

                  • EranUngar says:

                    I agree that they had their chances to get it done and they failed. The delay of game penalty was not massively significant.

                    However, stating that “It’s a complete non-event” is in my opinion totally wrong. It had an effect just like the none PI call had an effect. (Just look at the wide 9 alignment of the 9er’s DL on those plays)

                    In the end C’est la vie indeed.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    Well then we’ll simply have to disagree. It was a non-event. People are acting like it changed the game, that it had a significant impact and was some major gaffe. They were throwing three times from the 6 instead of the 1. Big freaking deal.

            • Awsi Dooger says:

              I can’t believe this is seriously being rationalized as no big deal. It is happening here and nowhere else. As I mentioned last night, Seattle’s win expectancy dropped considerably based on the 5 yard penalty. All the in-game win probability sites were reporting that.

              Heck, you can use the manual model on Pro Football Reference.com to get an idea. Just plug in the various numbers at this link:

              https://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/win_prob.cgi

              The proper numbers are -5 for score differential, 3.5 for Vegas line, 4th quarter, time remaining 0:22, 1st down, and then use either opponent’s 1 yard line with 1 to go, and then switch to opponent’s 6 yard line with 6 to go.

              The results are:

              Win probability 45.88% from the 1 yard line
              Win probability 38.96% from the 6 yard line

              None of this is complicated. Only biased rationalization throws a wrench into matters.

    • cha says:

      This is the same baloney we heard last year about the Rams being the vanguard of the NFL, with the “search for ‘Rams’ and replace with ‘Niners’ ” function enabled.

      Next year it’ll probably be Arizona because Kyler Murray is so fun to watch.

      • James Z says:

        Nice shot! Jumping on the band wagon, are ya? Status quo is, well, status quo. There is no question that SF has superior talent and play design. Rather than go along with Rob’s comment with a curious and unnecessary edge, why not try to say something that’s actually helpful?

    • HawkfaninMT says:

      I think your main points are:
      SF front 7 > Seattle’s front 7
      Shanahan > Schottenhiemer at designing plays
      Pete’s clock management needs adjusting

      I think all 3 of those are correct. But they come with the caveat that no team is perfect. The Niners built that Front 7 off the backs of some very high draft capital and alt resources that the Hawks aren’t currently spending on the DL (yet). I would argue Shanahan is a better ply designer than anyone in the league and that includes McVay. And I’m sure Pete would agree that the delay of game, and 4th down calls this year could have gone better. I also feel like he’s probably a harsher critic on himself than anyone else.

      So while I think you are right, I think it’s important to keep expectations in check. No matter how the off-season goes, your first two points will still probably remain true next season.

      • IHeartTacoma says:

        While we are at it:
        Deebo Samuel > DJ Metcalf . (same draft, same round)
        George Kittle (5th round!) > Anyone
        Fred Warner > Cody Barton (both 3rd round)

        Does this mean John Lynch > John Schneider? The talent differential between SF and SEA is glaring.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Deebo Samuel was taken 28 places before D.K. Metcalf. This does the opposite of what you’re suggesting. It shows the Seahawks made a fantastic move to get a superb young receiver much later in the second round.

          Every team let George Kittle drop to the 5th round, including the 49ers. It says nothing about either team.

          Cody Barton — pick #88
          Fred Warner — pick #70

          Again, a significant difference between where the two were taken, with Warner the earlier pick.

          Don’t go down this road it’ll be fruitless.

          • One Bad Mata'afa says:

            And that doesn’t even take into account that the Niners picks have been almost an entire round higher than ours for the last 5 years.

  8. Hawks31 says:

    Rob,

    What would it take to move up into range where we could get a blue chip DE?
    Do you see any players that are on other rosters that could be cut and signed a la Bennett and Avril?
    I hear a lot of criticism from fans with Ivan Lewis and Norton. What other options are out there?
    Could they bring in a Kam Chancellor or Lawyer Milloy to help coach the defense?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Three first round picks and change.

      Because the only way you’re going to get a blue-chip DE in this draft is to get into the top two.

      • Ian says:

        What about a big trade with Washington to grab the #2 pick and take Chase Young? Give terms ala the Jared Goff trade giving a couple firsts, seconds, and thirds over a couple years. High risk but get a dynamic player on a cheap contract, and pair with some good FAs.

  9. line_hawk says:

    Excellent piece.

    Outside of what you have written, I would just add a backup free safety a.k.a someone like Steven Terrell.

  10. Frank says:

    It’s pretty hard to armchair Gm without any real numbers, but certainly Clowney must be retained in part because it makes the move of trading Clark so much sweeter. Ifedi is criminally under rated in our system, and really hope he and Reed make it back to the Hawks.
    Te just seems like a late round gem or two come out every year, and hope that’s a position they find someone 3rd round or later.

    I’m suspicious that Reed will go for a short term prove it deal as he’d rather be paid as a 10 sack a year type guy.

    Blair has a little magic to his game, and definitely think they have to find a way to get him, Diggs and McDougald on the field at the same time. I kinda wish they’d groom him for the nickel role.

    Homers performance last night definitely moved Rb down the priority list for me, and no longer hope it’s addressed in the top 2 rounds.

    I know it taboo to speak of but, I’d still like to see them add to the Oline competition although will absolutely agree that the Dline is a higher priority. You can’t be a bully of a team and lose in the trenches.

    Really curious what type of Wr they will target, as the Wr core has definitely gotten bigger lately.

  11. Stevo says:

    Good points, Rob. Thanks.

    I say if you can bring back this sane offense (perhaps minus Ifedi) then this offense will be plenty competitive in 2020. I can’t wait to see Dissly and Hollister and Penny and Carson together and healthy!

    As for the D. So Much work to do.

  12. mishima says:

    Sincere/genuine question: What makes Clowney elite and/or worth $20m? Did he do enough?

    I’m not seeing a consistent game wrecker that teams build around. Glad to be wrong.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think people should be realistic in what they expect from a game-wrecker. There’s probably only one person in the entire NFL who wrecks games consistently and that’s Aaron Donald. Clowney practically won Seattle the game in Santa Clara. That was the definition of being a game-wrecker. And when you consider he’s been playing on a totally hopeless line with no support all year, you have to manage your expectations accordingly.

      Let’s put it this way. If you had the best left tackle in the league but the rest of the line sucked and therefore gave up loads of pressures, would you second guess re-signing your left tackle?

      • mishima says:

        Agree about perspective and realism.

        I wouldn’t include Clowney with Donald, Mack, Watt(s), Bosa(s), Garrett, Lawrence, etc. I consider him an elite run defender, but limited as a pass rusher (technique). What pressure he generates can be mitigated by plan/scheme and quality QB play.

        He dominated against SFs backups (like C. Jones against our Jones), but struggled most of the season. Kind of his MO. Perspective: season > outlier game.

        Begs the q if you start with the assumption that Clowney is elite on a bad DL. We could just as easily dismiss (wrongly) Reed’s season because of Clowney’s play. I would tweak analogy to compare Clowney to the best run blocker on an OL that can’t pass protect.

        Again, appreciate the reply. Truly struggling with my take on Clowney’s play. IMO, if we make the wrong decision on Clowney, we won’t fix our defense for the duration. Risky.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Well you ask when has he wrecked a game. Then when presented with a game he absolutely destroyed you’ve conveniently then suggested he was merely facing backups.

          You say you wouldn’t include him with Donald, Mack, Watt, Bosa (x2), Lawrence and Garrett. Despite playing in fewer games he had only eight fewer pressures than Nick Bosa this season and he had one more pressure than Lawrence. Again, despite playing in fewer games he had one more hurry than Chandler Jones and was only three behind Nick Bosa. He had the exact same number of QB knockdowns as Nick Bosa, one more than Aaron Donald and five more than Chandler Jones. The only statistic he compares poorly against the elite rushers is sacks — and unlike the other players listed he wasn’t a one-man band playing with one of three most inept defensive lines in the NFL. Thus, he almost certainly faced more double teams and had a more congested route to the QB.

          It seems to me people are focusing too much on sacks.

          • mishima says:

            I see your point and agree more than not. Given a better supporting cast, he would put up better numbers.

            No concern about his technique? Seems he explodes into blockers, gets good push, creates ‘pressure.,’ but can’t get home. IMO, ‘pressure’ is a relative stat, affecting some QBs and offenses more than others. You can have pressure w/o sacks, but not sacks w/o pressure. Clowney offers expensive disruption.

            Not really arguing, just fleshing some thoughts about Clowney, pressure / sacks, value.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I’m not concerned by his technique because he isn’t an all-out pass rusher. He’s a five-technique who holds his side of the line superbly, creates pressure from different angle and alignments and can win with power and athleticism.

              It’s very easy to look at sacks and congratulate a player. Clowney’s overall game goes way beyond sack numbers.

          • hawkdawg says:

            Why is a DL with Reed, Poona and Jefferson one of the three most inept lines in the NFL? They collectively have more talent than that, at least.

      • Eburgz says:

        I think Clowney is a legit game wrecker worth 20M a year or so. My issue with giving him that kind of money is the injury history. He’s had something like 4 knee surgeries and like 3 sports hernia core type injuries going back to college. Can the guy stay healthy and consistently produce? He didn’t this year.

        I wish we would have shelled out the money for Frank. Frank and clowney would have been an awesome young, athletic, violent duo. Hopefully we do something good with that 2nd rounder because Collier has shown absolutely nothing (although I like to think of Metcalf as our R1 pick).

        FOUR KNEE SURGERIES 😬

        • Rob Staton says:

          Clowney’s injury history is a bit overstated. Since 2015 he’s played 13, 14, 16, 15 and 13 games in the following seasons. I can live with 2-3 missed games a year. Heck, people wanted to pay Earl Thomas and his injury history was a lot worse last off-season.

          Frank Clark would be the ideal partner for Clowney but the situation was totally understandable. The price was extremely high and there was an offer on the table of a first and second round pick.

          • Eburgz says:

            His injuries this year were a major concern and have completely derailed his season. Sounds like a guy who has never had a major knee injury/surgery. Let alone 4 of them. It’s great his knee has held up the last couple years since his micro fracture surgery. It’s an issue though.

            Earl was an iron man who broke his leg once then broke it again with two hamstring pulls in between. Both had/have injury concerns but clowney is younger so I’ll give him the slight edge maybe. Earl wasn’t going to command 20+ million a year. Resigning earl would have been a smart move IMO, resigning clowney could be too. Just saying there are legit concerns, knees don’t get better over time after multiple surgeries (Thomas Davis says hi though):

            • Rob Staton says:

              Frank Gore had one of the worst knee injuries imaginable in college and he’s still playing in 2019.

              Like I said, the facts are Clowney hasn’t missed more than 2-3 games a season for five straight years. This season he’s suffered a core injury and flu. It seems to me like you’re adding 2+2 and getting 5. If he’d had knee issues, fine. But he hasn’t.

              Sometimes I feel like people just create arguments to fit around their pre-conceptions. Clowney — let’s talk about an injury that happened half a decade ago that hasn’t reappeared. Earl — missed 19 games in three seasons with two broken legs and hamstring problems and yet he’s an iron-man who should’ve been paid a massive contract.

              • Eburgz says:

                Earl didn’t miss a game for his first 6+ years including deep playoff runs. Clowney has played a full 16 games one time in his first 6 years in the league. Earl became an injury concern as he got older after a freak injury that happened to get re-injuried. Clowney has been nicked up since he came in the league.

                Both have injury concerns at this point in their careers. Not sure why you’d argue otherwise after watching Clowney’s effectiveness and availability be hampered by a third known hernia this season. Another recurring soft tissue injury that I haven’t even gotten into.

                I’d probably lean towards paying him. But I’m not a doctor and there are legit injury concerns so I’d understand if they don’t.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  You on Clowney — ‘He had a knee injury half a decade ago and while it hasn’t made him miss time since and he’s played nearly every game for five straight seasons, we should be worried about it’

                  You on Earl — ‘Sure, he might’ve missed 19 games in three seasons at the end of his Seahawks career but prior to that he was fine so pay the man!’

                  Do you not see how this reads? You sound like you made up your mind on each player and are now trying to fit an argument around those stances to justify your position.

                  • Eburgz says:

                    You did a terrible me impression and I’m sad if that’s what you got from it.

                    I think maybe you pay both those guys. They’re elite players. but both have injury concerns at this point in their careers so I’d understand not wanting to hand either a ton of guaranteed money. That’s what my argument is.

                    I even said I’d give Clowney the edge in the health department considering he’s younger.

                    If you are not somewhat concerned about paying Clowney a boatload of money considering his injury history that’s crazy to me. On top of currently struggling through this season with an injury he has missed games every year of his career but 1 and he has had at least 4 knee surgeries and 3 sports hernias. Those are just facts. Just like the fact Earl hadn’t missed a game at the same point in his career. Maybe that’s why one guy is a perceived iron man (he WAS,) and one guy is considered an injury concern (he IS and has been). Not twisting anything.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    But again, you’re overstating the injury concern with Clowney. We’re what, six years removed from that injury now? He’s played nearly every game since. He misses 2-3 a year. I don’t know why you keep implying craziness on my behalf for saying I’m comfortable paying a guy who has played nearly every game for half a decade.

                    You’ve latched on to one serious injury he’s had and see that as a major problem — but in the same answer you’re willing to turn a blind eye to two broken legs, multiple hamstring injuries and 19 missed games in three years for Earl Thomas.

                • hawkdawg says:

                  I do think that the number of games missed in this context is not the end of the analysis. Clowney has played hurt in games because of lingering injuries, and in those games he’s been a relative non-factor. He’s a stud for playing hurt, but it’s missing an important point if you focus only on games he has not stepped foot on the field.

    • GerryG says:

      You can’t just look at this with Seattle, you need to look at his Houston tape/play as well. He was never a 15 sack guy, and that really isnt his game, but he did get 6-10 sacks in his healthy years there, playing on better DLs than this. He has rated out as a top run D guy every season.

      His pass win rate, double team rate are both really high. Personally I look at him as a must keep, and I dont see him getting some completely insane offer from elsewhere due to the sack numbers.

      • Volume12 says:

        Yup. He’s always been a better run defender than anything else. I think people forget that any time you have a JJ Watt, opportunities are going to be created for everyone else.

  13. Re sign Reed, Fant and Ifedi. Think about re signing Clowney or signing some other FA who has more speed and is more suitid for LEO role.

    Try to sign stud OG for 8-10mil (Schreff). Sign nickel corner for 10mil.

    Draft C, LEO and WR with first 3 picks. Draft RB with 3rd round pick.

    LT- Brown, Fant
    LG – Iupati, Hynes
    C- Rookie, Pocic
    RG- 🌟 FA, Jones
    RT- Ifedi, Fant, Jones
    WR- Lockett, DK, Ursua, Rookie
    RB- CC, Penny, Homer ,3rd round pick
    TE- Disley, Wilson, Holisteru

    DL- Poona, Reed, Green, LJ, 🤡 or FA, rookie LEO, Woods+ 2 more
    LB- BWag, KJ, Cody, BBK
    CB – Tre, Shaquill, FA NCB
    S – Blair, BMac, Digs

    As of pass rush we need to find more speed and we need to get much more from LJ and Green. If that happen we are championship calibre team.

    • Eburgz says:

      You think we could get by on the DL by resigning Reed, drafting a Rookie speed rusher and hoping that Green and Collier develop? That offseason would piss me off so bad haha.

      I say we do some drastic stuff to fix the DL. resign clowney, resign reed or sign/trade for Calais Campbell AND sign a proven speed rusher like Beasley, Fowler, or E. Griffin. THEN consider drafting another DL in the first two rounds depending how the draft falls.

  14. Great write up as these are all tough questions. Here is my take:

    On offense the starters look pretty good on paper. We still have Wilson as our QB, Carson and Penny we hope can we a tough 1-2 punch for the whole season. We have a good starting 1-2 punch as well at the WR position in Metcalf and Lockett. Dissly will hopefully be back at full strength and I would assume they bring back Hollister unless a bigger name comes in. The OLine may or may not be set as we have Brown and Fluker coming back, not sure if Ifedi will be back or maybe they just resign Fant and let him and Jone compete for RT. LG will be interesting to follow as well, do you go with Pocic, Haynes or maybe to and resign Lupati. The big part is what they do with Britt. He has a large cap hit Im sure they dont want but it would be tough to lose him from a continuity stand point.

    On defense the back four look set for right now with Diggs, McDougald (Blair for the future), and Griffin and Flowers at the corner spot. We know Wagner will be there and personally I believe KJ did enough to get his second year. Barton can play strong side with 50% snaps or so and maybe go nickel the other half. But we all know what the main problem is and it is the DLine. We couldnt generate pressure or stop the run with the guys we had so how many do we want to keep? I am a huge Green fan and believe he will take the next step and other than that we have a second year LJ Collier coming back along with Poona Ford. The main starting point is do you bring back Clowney? Like Rob said Im not sure you have much choice. Maybe 4 years $80-$85 million with it back loaded to help you if you need to release him. If Jarran Reed wants Grady Jarrett money then I think you have to let him walk. If he is more reasonable then maybe you keep him. He seems to be better when he has someone next to him that is great. Then outside free agency will be expensive like Rob mentioned. There is a good handful of options and maybe the word has spread around the league how the culture is around here and that might entice someone to come. Either way it will be one of the funnest off-seasons due to out good high draft picks and available cap space.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I guarantee one thing.

      The Seahawks don’t mess around when they have a CLEAR need.

      They are going to be very, very, very aggressive fixing this D-line in the off-season.

      • Trevor says:

        +1

        I think they end up keeping both Clowney and Reed then add a high priced edge rusher in Free Agency like Fowler as well as a lower priced veteran like Robert Quinn.

        Personally I hope they target a young DT like Phillips from Buffalo or Vernon Butler but I am not sure that would be in the budget.

        • I would hope so. You just wonder who they are targeting as other teams probably want the same players. This year kind of reminds me of 2012 going into 2013. Maybe they can go back to the Tampa Bay well and grab Barrett? You have thoughts on who they could target? I wonder if they will be day 1 free agent players or try to wait until day 2 or 3 like 2013 to pounce?

  15. Denver Hawker says:

    A few random thoughts to add:

    1) I’m quite encouraged by Fant’s play this year to let Ifedi test the market and even walk. It’s hard to assess the overall line play of late. Watching Hunt/Iupati trying to pass block together is brutal.

    2) If this is the year they go for it, there are few positions worth rolling the dice on with the 1st pick as day 1 starter. Center and TE are two that come to mind, but definitely not hoping to draft a starting offensive tackle. Must secure Ifedi or Fant likely at the $8-10MM range.

    3) Linebacker is a big question mark right now. Wagner and KJ racked up tackles, but seemed to have lost a step this year in speed. The Kendricks torn ACL situation/FA/jail situation is rough. Barton and BBK aren’t ready to takeover. I assume improving the pash rush and overall DL play would aid the LB performance.

    4) The Griffen/Carson cap room issue is an interesting one as I’m not sure where they have the flexibility on the roster. Another issue is McDougald/Diggs as well- but Blair/Amadi appear to be the understudies.

  16. Adog says:

    Now that Russell Wilson is woke…I expect to see the Hawks in the NFC championship game…when he plays like he did in the second half of the niners game…he is jordanesque. Not sure how or why this otherworldly focus comes and goes, but it has arrived at the best possible time. With kyndricks out…I hope they have some death backer packages for Blair. Here you go buddy…just run around and hit people…seems like a great strategy for Blair. For all the curious coaching decisions…the one that gets my goat…is starting Jones over fant against Arizona. Hopefully diggs returns…and they can run Pete Carroll’s defense. Not sure that is a three linebacker base…but facing the eagles…I hope they don’t rest their laurels on previous game plan.

    • Volume12 says:

      I kinda think Pete should stay in their base D against Philly. Don’t let their running game get going, try and shut down their TE duo, and force their pedestrian receiving core to make plays.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I had to read that first sentence or two a couple of times. When you said he was ‘woke’ I was expecting a reference to some social media virtue signalling.

    • smitty1547 says:

      Only us older farts will remember this, but there use to be a joke about the only person who could hold Jordan under 20 a game was his college coach Dean Smith. To me Pete is Wilson’s Dean Smith, we burn the whole first half before we turn him loose. Let him go and create from the get go and we can win it all.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Yes it’s very convenient for fans to blame all the negatives on anyone but Wilson and then allow Wilson to take all the positive plaudits when things go right.

        Here’s a suggestion for those people — Carroll’s a great coach, Wilson’s a great QB, we’re lucky to have both, neither are perfect.

        • Adog says:

          Yes…I agree… Carrol is a not getting in Wilson’s way, although when Wilson is at his best…it seems pretty straightforward that that kind of play is uncoachable…but Carrol encourages/fosters this game tilting with his positivity and compete mantra.

  17. drewdawg11 says:

    Why no worry about the O-line? Where is the youth/long-term plan? Duane has a couple more years, Iupati is short-term, Ifedi can not be retained for big money, Fluker is a solid veteran, and Britt may or may not be part of the plan moving forward. It’s an average unit at best, but it’s not exactly stable past 2019. Outside of Bobby, there is not enough speed or talent in the linebacker Corp. KJ has struggled mightily this year, and Kendricks appears to be finished in Seattle. Barton? No way. Playing base all year with THIS unit was absurd. Please, draft an OL, an OLB, and let’s face it. We need a better corner opposite Griffin. Flowers has not been good in coverage, nor has he been physical in the run game despite his size. The defense needs a revamp, and probably a different coordinator. Keep Clowney, but let Reed go. Use that money on another edge player and find a plugger at DT to keep Bobby clean. Oh, and play more of a nickel package and incorporate Blair as mentioned before.

    • hawkdawg says:

      Wow. Disagree on Flowers–dude was a safety two years ago, and does not shy away from hits at all. He has the right body to play CB the way Pete wants it played, too. The weakness of our DBs is at safety and nickel corner. Diggs helps a lot, though, when he can play. When he plays, our safety tandem is good. And, maybe, Blair can convert potential into reliable play, although he has not yet. Curious about Amadi at nickel, too.

      On the O-line, though, I agree. That thing is a patchwork now, and the future is not bright.

  18. LAHawk says:

    I think a lot is going to depend on how some of these rotational players develop on our D-line. If Green and Jefferson, who have flashed at times, can make a jump, and Collier can start producing, the unit as a whole looks a lot better, though I think they need to retain Clowney and Reed and also sign a speed rusher. If those guys don’t step up, we’re gonna be hoping the offense can score 30 points a game.

    • Pran says:

      I could see this.

      Resign Clowney for $20APY
      Tag and trade Reed for a round 3 pick or let him walk for Round 3 comp
      Resign Fant for backup tackle money $3-5m
      Ifedi is gone for a comp
      Britt is cut
      KJ contract restructured
      Kendricks is gone
      Shaq may be resigned during the season
      Carson will have to wait another season or resigned towards the end of the 2020 season
      Dickson, Jaron gone
      Hollister resigned for backup, Luke Wilson resigned for cheap insurance

      I am worried about our draft and development despite promise in the off season results were not there. Only one player each in last 2 drafts being good contributors is a slap on the face reality. This is what is holding the team back. Many teams have multiple rookies contributing significantly in year 1-2. Hawks have either a slow process to bring along talent or missing the boat altogether. You cannot be expected to bring elite talent from FA. There is no problem in reclamation projects or retreads but more often they do not significantly contribute to elevate the team.

      • Volume12 says:

        👀. You don’t consider Penny, Dissly, Flowers, Dickson, or Poona as contributors?

        • Pran says:

          Poona is UDFA. Dickson is the only pro bowler I missed. Dissly and DK were covered in the two and add Flowers as 4th.Can flowers be a pro bowler?

          Penny is still a backup who contributed in 3-4 games in 2 seasons, which points that it will be year 3 before he may be significantly contribute, ala slow development. We could only expect 1-2 good years before they go FA. Hawks typically retain elite talent and let mid range players walk expecting reinforcements from draft and FA. Unless you hit drafts with a steady stream of contributors there will be gaps like the ones we are experiencing.

          They targeted Safeties in two drafts, Blair and Umadi are hope at this time with no answers for future.

  19. line_hawk says:

    Now that Kendricks is out, may be they play more Blair/Amadi and less Barton? It probably would be hard to change from majority base defense to majority hybrid/nickel so late in the season. But, they have to consider that with Barton a liability. It might be the single biggest difference (either positive or negative) maker on defense in the next couple games.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Last time they played Philly I’m pretty sure they had King at nickel. If they play more nickel I’d expect that.

      • dcd2 says:

        Ya, if anything King would see the biggest uptick. He’s our best bet to cover Ertz/Goedert. Maybe Blair or BBK could keep with them. I wouldn’t expect to see much from Barton or Amadi, unless they put BMac on a TE and Ugo/Blair get reps at safety.

        • line_hawk says:

          I forgot about King. He is tailor-made for Ertz/Goedert. Not sure if Ertz will play though.

          • We need to hope Ertz cant play or if he does make sure you drill him in the ribs a couple times. He torched us the first game and we saw how much Kittle helped them out in the second match up.

  20. drewdawg11 says:

    https://youtu.be/NlV3hXHOiyw

    Mississippi St DE may be a day two guy for the hawks. Physical and pretty athletic. Perhaps Collier is the guy with whom they’re going to stick. Was never a fan, though. Rivers is better, IMO.

  21. BobbyK says:

    There are times this team seems so close to being legit Super Bowl frontrunners and times when you wonder how they’re better than .500. It’s really weird.

    It’s nice to finally have a draft where they have their (and extra) picks in the first two years, as opposed to going into the draft without the ammunition they should. The best way to get competitive (or better) is getting young guys on the cheap.

    I’ve heard a guy like Von Miller may be available this off-season. Food for thought. Definitely not a young guy on the cheap, but a potential option (as the case with many other teams).

    I’ve just been so disappointed in the Collier pick. He has/had bust written all over him (though it’s not fair to label him a bust well into next year). I was talking with a former student of mine last summer when he worked in the scouting department for the Jets (sure, insert Jets inept joke if you want) and he told me the Jets would not have taken Collier unless he was available in the later third round at the earliest. They had him graded as a 3rd-4th rounder. By mid-summer he became a head regional scout for the Cowboys so we’ve had some limited, yet fun dialogue so I know a few things at least from the perspective of a scout (not that he’s a decision maker).

    Another funny thing about Collier is that Rasheem Green is almost 2 years younger than him. I don’t see Collier beating out a younger, better player at this stage. And Green isn’t exactly very good so the bar isn’t set too high. Frustrating.

    • dcd2 says:

      Denver is picking up Von’s option year, so he’s off the table.

      Agree with you on Collier. I’m still convinced that we wanted Abram, who went a pick or two before (maybe Tillery or Sweat), but either way it seemed like Collier wasn’t the preferred plan. There were 10 or 11 DL taken by the time we picked and only one (Trystan Hill) in the 2nd round, so Collier might have been seen as the last of a tier. Maybe they just couldn’t find a trade partner.

      Yannick Ngakoue might be available, but he’s going to cost $22M/per or so. He’s one of the real difference makers at DE in the NFL though.

      • Rob Staton says:

        By picking up his option they simply don’t lose Von Miller in free agency.

        It doesn’t mean he won’t be available via trade.

        I suspect they might work out a new deal but he’s not 100% off the table.

        The second-guessing over Seattle’s picks makes me chuckle sometimes. If you think they were after someone and ‘missed out’ thus leading to a reach with Collier — ask yourself why they traded down from #21 when they could’ve simply moved down from #29 to replenish their board? If they ‘really wanted’ Abram they would’ve taken him at #21. The reality is they were fully prepared for the consequences of moving down, knew what they were doing, weren’t overly concerned about missing out on a specific player and were comfortable with the situation.

        I suspect you might be right that they liked Abram. I don’t think Sweat was even a consideration due to the medical issues (durability was a huge part of the 2019 class) and Tillery was always a bit overrated.

        • dcd2 says:

          Why would they trade down? I think it was a risk/reward scenario. We only had 4 picks to start with, so we knew that they were going to trade down. I’m pretty sure you mentioned once or twice that there was no way we were going to leave the draft with only 4 picks. I think that they looked at who was on the board and would likely be available. If they didn’t get the guy they wanted to fall to #29 they would trade back again and couldn’t find a partner. That is pure speculation, but I remember thinking that Pete didn’t seem his usual jovial/exuberant self after day one. Collier just seemed like a consolation prize at the time.

          True about Von, but that will cost picks and $$. If you go down that rabbit hole, everyone on a rebuilding team is a potential target.

          • Rob Staton says:

            The point is though — if there was anyone they really wanted they would’ve taken them at #21 and then traded down from #29. By going from #21 to #28 they accepted the situation and that makes it highly unlikely they were pining for any one individual and felt like they ‘missed out’.

            • BobbyK says:

              Agreed. I remember watching the draft and when Gary went to the Packers – I remember thinking, “Crap. What’s left for 21 that they would need to stay at 21 to take.”

            • dcd2 says:

              Maybe you’re right. But it’s all kind of a game of chicken at some point. You hold out for as long as you think you can to get the guy you want. Sometimes you trade up a handful of spots in the 5th round because you think your guy (Dickson) won’t last another few picks. Sometimes you just take the guy there because you think he’s the best (penny) or last (Collier) of a group of similarly ranked players. Sometimes, you hold your water and it works out (Russ).

              I liked Abram a lot, but didn’t think we would spend a top pick on a safety last year. When we took Blair in the 2nd, is when I came to the line of thinking that he was the guy they wanted. That Pete wanted to take him at #21, but John thought they could land him at #28, and that’s why Pete looked so uninspired at the Day 1 presser. I do think that they take calculated risks and sometimes it doesn’t break the way they want. Again, I’m speculating, but I think it happened there.

              Either way, I wish nothing but the best for LJ. Hopefully he can start to make an impact soon.

    • LouieLouie says:

      Hey BobbyK. Collier missed the preseason with an injury. Sometimes it takes a 3rd year for a player to come into his own. Frank Clark is an example of that. I remember some people thought he was a bust, even in his second year. I suspect that Collier may have that same time-line. Same could be said for Barton, Blair and any of the 2019 draftees.Green started to look halfassed decent at times this year.

      The difference with SF is they had a young group of backups who could come in and play. The Hawks are a year away from that. With the treasure trove of draft picks they have in 2020 that depth may come around.

      • BobbyK says:

        Pete made comments that they made a mistake not playing Clark more during his rookie year (shortly after his rookie season ended – transcripts should be in the post-season press conference). I don’t remember anyone saying Clark wasn’t good or a bust at the end of year two.

  22. Paul Cook says:

    When it comes to LB, there’s hardly ever mention of BBK. If you’re a Husky fan, you’re quite well aware of this guy’s smarts/instincts, his work ethic, his effective speed on the field, and his supreme tackling ability. This guy was everywhere the ball was his last two seasons in college. His absence this year was profound, and only made me more aware of how good he was.

    Now, I don’t know what he’s doing in practice against NFL vets. And he is a bit undersized. But I’d love to see this guy get a chance next year. He’s already shown he’s a ST’s stud.

    • drewdawg11 says:

      I think he’s strictly an inside backer behind Bobby, and they don’t see him as having the versatility or the length to play outside. Need to find someone in the draft on day two, probably. What happened to Willie Gay this season? I heard he had been suspended or something early on? He was the type of athlete we could use based on what he had done last year at Mississippi St.

      • Paul Cook says:

        No doubt he was an ILB in college. And true that he lacks some in size/length. I’m not sure he doesn’t stack up in the versatility department though. He was a great tackler, cover guy, blitzer in college.

        Anyway…

        • Volume12 says:

          Day 3 pick more than likely selected just for that. ST’s. Anything more from guys like that in year 1 is a bonus IMO.

          • Paul Cook says:

            Yeah, you’re probably right. The size/length is probably just not there. Reaching for answers. LOL

            • Volume12 says:

              All good. I get it. Your a Udub fan and your favorite NFL team took 1 of your fuys from your favorite collegiate team and you just wanna see them succeed.

              I’m a Nebraska fan so I’m still waiting for them to even sniff a prospect from there. lol

              • Kenny Sloth says:

                Ugoooooooo

                • Volume12 says:

                  I Would love Shane Lemieux or Deommodore Lenoir.

                  • Kenny Sloth says:

                    Think Lemieux is a round 2-3 guy. He’s got ferocious hands. I think Throckmorton is a better pick for Seattle and couldd likely be had a half round later. He’s played every position except LG for us and has been captain for a few games.

                    Does Lenoir have enough length to be a legit target over the course?

    • JimQ says:

      A couple of LB’s that would be good Seahawk picks (IMO), in the Round 2/3/4 area of the coming draft. At the very least, a couple of guys to keep an eye in in the post season games and at the combine. Potential and
      “eventual” replacements for the aging Wagner and/or Wright?? All stats from cfbstats,com.

      ILB-Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech, 6-1/245, Currently ranked late Rd-2 pick, #6 in FBS in TFL’s with 20.
      2019: 11-games, 108-tkls., 66-solo, 20.0-TFL, 3.0-sacks, 12-QBH, 2-FR, 1-FF.
      Career: 46-games, 360-tkls, 224-solo, 32,0-TFL, 6.5-sacks, 26-QBH, 2-INT, 6-PD, 3-FR, 2-FF.
      Highly ranked by PFF, Leads all LB’s in QB pressures, + vs run too as a disruptive, 3 down LB.

      ILB-Evan Weaver, California, 6-3/245, Currently ranked as a late Rd-3 pick. A true tackling machine!
      #1 in FBS in total tackles with 173, (14.42/game), next closest has 147, a difference of 26 tackles, also #1 in
      FBS in solo tackles with 95, (7.91/game).
      2019: 12-games, 173-tkls, 95-solo, 11.0-TFL, 2.5-sacks, 3-PBU, 5-QBH, 3-FF.
      Career: 45-games, 402-tkls, 222-solo, 23.5-TFL, 8.5-sacks, 2-INT(1-TD), 11-PD, 6-QBH, 3-FF.

  23. Paul Cook says:

    D-Line is definitely top priority, especially in that our two best DLmen at the moment are FA’s.
    Re-signing Clowney is somewhere between a top priority and no-brainer to me. Greene finally began to pique my interest as at least a solid rotational player for next year. Seeing some green shoots there. Ford…serviceable rotational tackle. Jefferson bring back at a fair price. Collier…I have no idea. I just didn’t enough or anything special yet.

    Reed is the tricky one of the lot. I’m a little shaky on my confidence level signing him to big bucks long term. Franchise tagging him, as someone mentioned before, and kind of buying time to see more seems at least a decent thought. I don’t know.

    Is this Fowler idea really have a chance of happening, or is it more just wishful thinking? We need somebody on the edge. And what are the best ideas for a DT in the draft in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th round?

    I agree that the Hawks will be aggressive in addressing this need. I have no reason to think otherwise.

  24. Brazilian Hawk says:

    Hello Rob. I hope you had a great time at Christmas and wish you a happy 2020.

    My best guesses to answers your questions.

    1. The Seahawks are simply not that good as a team overall. We won all the high variance games because we have the best QB in the league, and that’s it. 3 out of our 4 losses at home were against the three best teams in the NFL. Two of our early losses were two dominant teams, Ravens and Saints, and the last two, we were decimated by injuries. We did look top tier at some point on the season, when Quandre Diggs played, though.

    2 – The Seahawks regressed in all areas, except for the passing offense, and passing defense when Quandre Diggs played.

    3 – Spend. The bad thing is that even if we spend much, it might not deliver. All of the Seahawks ammunition must be used to provide a killer pass rush.

    4 – In my opinion, fix the defense. Mad respect for Clowney, Griffin, and Diggs, though.

    5 – Clowney is a great player, but the guy that improved this defense the most wasn’t Clowney, that was Diggs. I believe Clowney is our guy for a long time. But the guy that I don’t want to lose at the moment is Quandre Diggs.

    6 – IDK, I would be okay with Dissly, Willson, and Hollister if Metcalf improves. In my opinion, the Seahawks should have Metcalf working his slants in the offseason. I am watching many Saints games, and one thing that always catches my eyes is how well Michael Thomas slants work for the Saints almost as a second running game. Such an effective short passing, if Metcalf can be half as good as Thomas is in the slants, I believe our passing game will be just beautiful. Ah, this is also a great offseason to add a WR via Draft or Trade.

    7 – Shaquill Griffin must be handled like we handled Clark. Let him play for a mega deal on his final year of the rookie contract, if he’s excellent, we have the Franchise Tag. Quill is a fantastic CB, but I don’t know if I would like to commit to him long term right now. I would pay a mega-deal for him, but he would need at least a repeat. I love the Tyler Lockett route for Carson. Yeah, take a mid-level 3-year deal, and he should take to not risk a Jay Ajaiy scenario, with fumbles on the tape.

    8 – I definitely expect Metcalf to improve, this guy is smart and committed. Blair will be our superstar hard-hitting free safety in 2021 once he gets disciplined, book my words. No idea what’s going on with Collier but doesn’t look right. The one I am expecting to show something is Amadi. Is he going to bring the NCB job or not? All I see is Akeem King out there as NCB.

    9 – I am as good with the Seahawks situation at RB, just like I am with their status at TE. We already have the pieces, and I don’t believe it would impact much improving these positions as we would improve with a better WR corps or an excellent partner for Duane Brown on the left side.

    10 – The Seahawks’ injury problem is not a 2019 problem. We’ve always been like this under Carroll.

    6

  25. Largent80 says:

    Reed missed the first 6 games but was in camp. His impact is unseen. Ziggy ain’t the Ansah. He looks like a mini me of his former self.

    Jefferson Had stepped up but is now invisible. Ford?…No huge impact. Green, still developing while the rest of the league has studs. Collier played very little. The D-line is a MESS.

    Also, there are gigantic issues on the OL, I’m not going to trash them but good lord we need different bodies than what is currently available.

    These positions are obvious regardless of injuries.

  26. Jordan says:

    I Agree with your points Rob, i would also argue that finding “those guys” that are selfless and just about playing ball is all as important. case in point, just watching marshawn run last night, the old hawk teams would have gang mauled lynch forward, our O-line just stood by on a lot of those plays watching to see if he will break a run…. meanwhile im screaming at my TV for someone when lynch gets stuffed to get in the mix with him and push the pile!

    Couple of questions i have:

    I am really confused as to why Lano got the start last night instead of Blair. Lano’s hesitancy is his biggest problem. Blair wiffs more than he’s right but he just seems to wanna hit everybody and could have used a couple more of those last night.

    Fant held up his own last night against that D-Line. Would imagine he has to be back.

    What is holding Pocic up from starting at center? Joey hunt is the smartest were told, but just lacks size.

    Why is Jaron brown starting ahead of Ursua?

    thanks Rob!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think that’s a bit harsh on the O-line. I don’t think anyone can doubt the O-line’s desire and passion for the game. Having personally interviewed D.J. Fluker, I’m not sure there’s anyone who exudes more passion for football than he does. I didn’t notice any plays where they particularly could’ve helped Marshawn.

      Lano Hill plays because it’s very, very clear Marquise Blair isn’t ready. Carroll has spelled that out a few times and when you look at the advanced coverage stats, Blair struggled when he played. He needs time, just as Kam Chancellor did, to settle into the league and the scheme.

      Hunt has done a fairly decent job since replacing Britt and I think a change at this stage would potentially just disrupt things. Plus Pocic has only just returned from injury.

      Ursua is probably just the same situation as Blair. He needs time.

  27. Dale Roberts says:

    Hopefully Diggs can return for the playoffs. There were many times during the SF game where I thought that Diggs would have reacted more quickly when Hill was still five yards away when the catch was made. I felt the same way about filling holes in the run defense. We desperately miss Diggs.

    With Kendricks out and Barton playing at a less than optimum level might we see the Hawks revert to a more conventional nickel where Blair or Amadi take the nickel corner spot and bring some additional coverage ability to the position? I know we played the three linebackers to beef up our run support but both Amadi and Blair are good tacklers with especially Blair bringing some pop.

    If Reed is one of our best players and Wagner is a great middle linebacker what’s the weak link in our run defense? Is Poona Ford a wonderful story and a great value but not truly a starter on an elite defense? Are KJ and Kendricks not as good as we thought? Did the run defense improve when Diggs stepped in? I’m sold on Diggs however even though I like McDougald I wonder if he’s just a little above average when we need an impact player in that position. I admittedly don’t have the skills to study film but it appears that we miss Kam and Earl filling lanes with decisive moves and hard tackles.

    Taking the next step requires three things,
    1) pass rush speed
    a) sign Clowney, move him around from snap to snap, and dedicate his off season developing
    pass rush moves,
    b) sign a FA speed rusher,
    c) get more aggressive with blitzes.
    2) improved run defense
    a) draft/acquire another big bodied run stuffer,
    b) get Blair up to speed or find another larger than average SS to emulate Kam,
    c) get more aggressive with run blitzes,
    d) be honest about what our outside linebackers bring to the table.
    3) A beefy, mauler type center
    a) Hunt is physically overmatched. Even Britt wasn’t the physical specimen that could dependably
    get us a yard when we had to have it. A power running scheme needs a power center.
    4) Another reliable guy who understands how to get open on third down
    a) a speedster from the upcoming draft that pushes Lockett into the slot.
    b) Dissly when he’s healthy,
    c) Cooper Kupp’s clone,
    d) Ursua?
    e) Baldwin un-retires

  28. Trevor says:

    Rob for the same $ to you think Clowney or Chris Jones would be the best option for the Hawks?

    If the Hawks let Clowney and Reed walk then cut Britt and Dickson they would easily have the cap space to sign

    Chis Jones, Dante Fowler and Erverson Griffen.

    If you add those 3 to Collier, Green, Ford, Mone, Jefferson you have a vastly improved DL and pass rush IMO.

      • All things being equal, personally I would always want to sign my own guy as you have had him in your building for a year or more. You get to see so many small details you dont get to see with outside free agents.

    • Dale Roberts says:

      Jones, Fowler, and Griffen are all defensive ends. Collier, Green, and Jefferson are also defensive ends. Griffen is at best a short term fix. If we cut Reed the only big, inside run stopper to play next to Ford is Mone and I’m not sure he’s an NFL starter. I’m not convinced Ford is an NFL starter. Fowler will command at least $16 million/yr and likely someone will pay $20 million/yr plus a big chunk of guaranteed money. If we can get Clowney for $5 million/yr more it’s a no brainer. Bpth Clowney and Ford will likely command $22 million per year.

      Here’s an idea from CBS Sports on what Chris Ford will command after his big year:
      “A long-term deal will likely require a bigger commitment by the Chiefs than the one made to Houston in 2015, when he was Kansas City’s franchise player. Houston, who was coming off a 2014 season in which he came close to breaking Michael Strahan’s single-season record of 22.5 sacks by posting an NFL-leading 22 sacks, signed a six-year contract averaging $16,833,333 per year with $52.5 million in guarantees. The deal, which was done when the salary cap was $143.28 million, is outdated in the current pass-rusher market. It averages over $22 million per year if adjusted to the expected 2019 salary cap environment.”

  29. Donald says:

    How nice it would be to draft this weapon with the first pick in RD 1 ?

    WR Devonta Smith, Alabama

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv6bBg_lqvQ

  30. dcd2 says:

    Has anyone done any looking into this years’ centers? I’ve seen as many as 3: Biadasz (Wisc), Ruiz (Mich) and Humphrey (Okla) mocked in the 1st round over on Pauline’s site.

    • Volume12 says:

      Yes. And I would agree. All 3 are excellent.

      I personally prefer Humphrey because I think he has the most upside. Couldn’t go wrong with any of them.

      Udub’s Nick Harris is up there probably in the next tier and from the very little I’ve seen, Matt Hennessy (Temple) is pretty good too.

  31. Kenny Sloth says:

    How important is a 1st-round bye? Last 12 Super Bowl teams (seed):

    2018
    (2) Patriots
    (2) Rams

    2017
    (1) Eagles
    (1) Patriots

    2016
    (1) Patriots
    (2) Falcons

    2015
    (1) Broncos
    (1) Panthers

    2014
    (1) Patriots
    (1) Seahawks

    2013
    (1) Seahawks
    (1) Broncos

  32. Volume12 says:

    What happened to DE Ronald Blair? Was he hurt? Are the 9ers just so loaded up front that it’s almost impossible for anyone else to get meaningful snaps?

    Seemed like he was trending up. He’s not exactly the type Seattle needs nor would he be a solution, but he might be a nice pickup from the bargain bin or the 2nd wave of FA.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Blair tore his ACL.

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      They had 3-4 guys go down on the DL with major injuries in the last few weeks (49ers). They are having to play their starters more snaps per game and they are waring down. Even in the Seattle game last night, after the first quarter, the DL of the 49ers made some plays, but were not nearly as formable as the start of the game. If they continue to play these guys at such high rates, they will fall in the playoffs, since the fatigue will really pile up…. if the Seattle OL (or any team frankly) can lean on them a little bit more early in a game, then they will break.

  33. Gohawks5151 says:

    Out for the year with a bad knee if I remember right. But yeah he would be a great second wave FA guy. He seems like a better Q Jeff with more upside. He was relegating Thomas and Armstead to the bench in seasons past

  34. charlietheunicorn says:

    I’ve seen it mentioned that Seattle needs to utilize the center of the field more.
    The most obvious asset to attacking the center of the field is the TE. Quite frankly, Seattle is playing with a 3/4 depth TE and FA TE and a practice squad TE as their primary guys for at least half the season. If I were a betting man, this position will be addressed aggressively in the offseason.

    1 draft pick and 1 major FA signing. A guy such as Hunter Henry would be ideal, but I’m not sure how you can fit a 8M+/year salary onto the team, when you need to also retool the DL and potentially 2 spots on the OL.

    So let’s say you could have Dissly, Bryant (draft pick), Henry (FA signing) and Hollister as your 4th TE. That would be a very solid group… able to do a multitude of things on offense. That would end up being around 12M of your salary cap tied up in these guys, but you would be set-up for some long term success then…. and the ability to explosively attack the center of the field would be taken care of, in the offense.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think we’ll see two big splashes (high-ish pick and a big FA signing). I do think we’ll see one significant move though. That could be a trade, a free agent signing or a high pick like Bryant.

      I don’t think Hunter Henry will reach the market to be honest. Same with Austin Hooper. But with Njoku likely to be dealt and TB/NYG might listen to offers for Howard/Engram, there will be some options.

      For me it’s not even about the middle of the field. It’s about having a safety valve and a player you can scheme into matchups. They were doing that with Dissly but we’re missing it now. Hollister is doing an admirable job but the difference with SF/Kittle and LAR/Higbee is noticeable.

  35. jopa726 says:

    Ohio State Running J.K. Dobbins declared Monday, he will enter the NFL Draft.

  36. I could really see Robert Quinn as a target for the Seahawks. A nice comp for him would be the two years $23 million the Colts gave Justin Houston last year. A deal like this would make sense for both parties. He has the speed off the edge we need even though he isnt what he once was. The two year deal would give them flexibility that they like as well.

  37. BobbyK says:

    I’m generally 9 times out of 10 a guy who wants youth and cheap contracts (and keeping players hungry). That being said, there’s an exception to every rule.

    I would be in favor of trading a draft pick to the Broncos for Von Miller, provided it’s not in the first two rounds. Sure, he’s slated to earn over $17 million next year – but you know you’re going to get production in a year when the pass rushers won’t be there (again) when the Seahawks pick in the first round. I’d rather pay $17.5 million for Von Miller and a consistent pass rush in a contract year for him, as opposed to another Ziggy Ansah type experiment that will cost the Seahawks about $10 million. Just throwing one pass rush option out there for us to consider.

    That being said, I really think these guys can make a deep run this year in the here and now…

  38. Tony Marble says:

    I just spent the last 30-40 minutes reading everyone’s posts and nobody has mentioned our OL draft pick from last year in Phil Haynes. I believe he is a guard and got injured and basically was redshirted because of that. Does Rob or others have some insight or thoughts on how Phil might be used on the O-Line next year?

    • dcd2 says:

      Hard to speculate on how he might look, given that he has yet to play his first NFL snap. That said, they were working him out at center last month. Pete said he had a long way to go when he came off PUP and that was only 6 weeks or so ago. Would be nice if he could back up all 3 interior spots, but really no way of knowing anything at this point apart from him getting some run at center in practice.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Well depending on how he’s developing he could be the LG next year.

  39. Subman Joe says:

    I think continuity is important. Keep Clowney if it’s not too absurd which it shouldn’t be. Keep Jefferson, keep Reed.
    Keep Ifedi and Fant. Could see Iupati gone. Britt will be an interesting decision.

    They just need a good edge and an interior for some rotational depth and some actual pass rush, a pass rush that can come from any direction…

    Need another catcher too, TE and receiver. Don’t get the Jarron Brown thing… Wonder if Paul Richardson comes back once he’s cut by Washington.

    Go all in on Dline and find safety depth and another corner and a catcher and I think they’re good, linebacker depth too, could see Kendricks back now that his FA situation isn’t any good.

    Go Hawks! Happy New Years!

  40. Pran says:

    Watching the last 4th down play, Hollisters lack of size showed up.if it’s Dissly, Kittle etc strong dudes it’s a TD

  41. Awsi Dooger says:

    Re my post upthread somewhere, I just remembered it was 2nd and goal not 1st and goal, due to Wilson spiking the ball. Big deal. I doubt it changes the win probability difference very much. But plug in 2nd down in that Pro Football Reference link, not first down:

    https://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/win_prob.cgi

    • Rob Staton says:

      But again, as I’ve kept repeating on here, you have two options when you’re approaching that 2nd down play:

      Option A — Run the ball knowing if you don’t score you’ll be rushing out of a huge scrum of bodies to either spike the ball to set up one last play on fourth down, or you’ll be rushing to get a disorganised play off on third down. Either way it increases the chances of a mistake (false start) that could lead to a run-off or an inexperienced player making a mistake or not getting the play call right. You significantly reduce your chances of winning (two plays vs one) simply for the sake of running the ball with a 33-year-old who wasn’t in the league last week.

      Option B — three organised passing plays with no reason to rush, every opportunity to get things organised, an ability to stop the clock or score on every play and zero lost opportunities to score.

      I’m really surprised I’ve had to keep laying this out. The only realistic scenario where they run the ball was fourth down with the clock stopped. But even then you take away the chance of an extra dead play because if you get a PI or holding call in the end zone, you get an untimed down. There’s no chance of that if you run the ball.

      There is not a single chance they were going to run on 2nd or 3rd down.

  42. Rob, in my earlier post I said I am expecting something like this on D line:

    Re sign Reed for 10-12mil
    Re sign Clowney or sign Ngaque or Flower jr for 20-23 mil
    Draft LEO with 1st or 2nd round pick
    Sign one or two more veterans but not for more than 3mil on one year contract

    So D line would look like

    Reed, Poona, Clowney or FA, Green, LJ Collier, 1st round pick, Mone, Woods and maybe one more veterans or Q Jeff..

    You said you expect them to do much more than that…

    They have 70mil in cap space and I am projecting they will spent around 40mil on D line + 1st round pick…I just can’t see they spending more than that…

    What do you think, what more they could do?

    • Rob Staton says:

      They can create more cap room.

      They also don’t have to sign one massively expensive player. They can add multiple DL’s.

      Ngakoue is probably going to be tagged.

  43. @Trevor

    I saw you expect them to re sign Reed and Clowney and sign somebody like Nagque or Flower + one more cheap veteran…

    With what money? It’s about 50-60 mil only on that 3 players and we have 70mil cap space…and that would mean we have 70-80 mil only on D line… I just don’t see that as a possible…

  44. Sea Mode says:

    Ian Rapoport
    @RapSheet
    12h

    The #Seahawks continue to look at available RBs, as they worked out old friend Alex Collins and FA RB Roc Thomas today, source said

  45. Sea Mode says:

    Tom Pelissero
    @TomPelissero
    10h

    The #Seahawks are signing rookie WR Jaylen Smith to their practice squad, source said. Lamar Jackson’s onetime target at Louisville (and briefly with the #Ravens) has a new home for the playoffs

  46. Sea Mode says:

    Shhh, Jim, don’t let my guy’s name get out there!

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JimNagy_SB/status/1211869933346447360

  47. Georgia Hawk says:

    Not to re-ignite the flame, but for those who think the delay of game penalty lost us the game, I personally don’t think there was EVER any chance of Lynch getting the ball there on the 1. I think pass was always the plan, with Lynch being used to draw focus.

    he had already been used from the 1 once before. SF knew he was getting the ball any time he stepped on the field and stacked the box every time. The only reason his first TD went in was because of an herculean effort on the leap, no way SF was letting that happen again. I’d be they had a guy pegged to meet him in the air before it even got there. From a football perspective it makes way more sense to use him to get them to load the box, fake the hand off to get them to sell out, then roll out and either walk in with Russ or a short dump to a TE off the chip block.

    Moving back to the 6 changed that in that SF knew the runb was completely off the table. They had stuffed Lynch completely up to that point. At worst I think it changed the play call and force a personnel switch.

    Just don’t think it is the big deal folks are making it out to be. Sure the clock management is infuriating, but that’s long been a Pete thing.

    • Rob Staton says:

      You are 100% correct.

      • Kelly says:

        The true is answer is none of know what the hell they were going to run. No one 100% knows what the plan was before that delay of game period the end. You can speculate all you want but until someone outright comes out and says it we won’t know.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Well sure, none of us know for 100% sure. If you want to argue over semantics.

          But arguing semantics doesn’t dispute or contradict anything I wrote which is extremely convincing.

    • Henry Taylor says:

      The only difference it would have made, and I suspect why Lynch was brought onto the field, was because the 49ers have to stack the line or they would just check to a run and score an easy TD. Theoretically that makes it easier to pass, the missed PI was the real killer in that sequence however.

  48. EranUngar says:

    Maybe, just maybe, losing 4 games at home this year had something to do with the NFL schedule having us play three 13-3 or better teams at home and losing those 3 games?

    As for the delay of game penalty – yes, it was not a crucial game killing mistake and they had the time and opportunities to get the score they needed from the 6 yard line. However, pretending that those extra 5 yards do not matter at all is preposterous. Just the threat of a possible chip shot run would draw a player inside from other assignments on 2nd/3rd down and once both attempts failed, the threat of a run play of 4th down would be VERY REAL especially with Lynch in the backfield.

    All the above attempts to make it meaningless are just FALSE.

    • Georgia Hawk says:

      While I don’t think you are wrong in the threat of Lynch running on 4th down, I would counter with moving back gave us a much more open play book for the throws that were coming regardless…moree options when you have 16 yds to work with than 11.

      Did it matter? Sure

      Was it the game breaking curse most are making it out to be? I really don’t think so.

  49. Henry Taylor says:

    Given that the Seahawks have a good stock of draft picks this year, and the class is lacking impact Dlineman, do we make a similar move the Chiefs made in trading for Frank Clark? The Jags’ cap situation is a bit of a mess right now and they look to be heading into a mini rebuild, so perhaps we could trade our first round pick for Ngakoue, he’d be a perfect speed threat to pair with Clowney imo.

  50. cha says:

    Washington has officially hired Ron Rivera.

    Jacksonville has decided to keep Doug Marrone.

  51. Denver Hawker says:

    How do you currently rank the WRs in this class? I’m seeing mocks all over the place.

    Seems consensus on Jeudy and Lamb in the Top 20, but a jumbled bunch below them. Trying to decide who I like more among the group.

    Raegar looks like he’ll test well and move up. Shenault is still an enigma to me. Similar traits to Fitz (but definitely not Fitz)- could be a versatile weapon in the NFL. Buffs used him as a goaline back too.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Jeudy will be WR1.

      Lamb needs to run well. I think he will potentially go very early but he’s probably more highly vaunted by the media and twitter than teams.

      I think teams will end up loving the fast, sudden guys. Reagor, Hamler, Aiyuk. It seems Ruggs and Smith might not declare but we’ll see.