A few further thoughts after the Atlanta game

November 21st, 2017 | Written by Rob Staton

It’s often useful to reflect back on a game after a period of thought. A day is sometimes a good benchmark.

The defeat to the Falcons was damaging and could cost the Seahawks a playoff berth. The two home losses to Washington and Atlanta were avoidable and mistake-ridden. The margin for error is so small now — and yet this is a team that hasn’t been able to get out of its own way all season.

They can still win the NFC West though — and that has to be the focus now for the fan base. Whatever hopes you had of a #1 or #2 seed and a 2013-14 type post-season run are likely evaporated. Yet the Seahawks can still make the playoffs. And in a year where the NFC is wide open with weird, strange things occurring — you just don’t know what’ll happen if you get there.

Here are LA’s remaining games:

New Orleans (H)
Arizona (A)
Philadelphia (H)
Seattle (A)
Tennessee (A)
San Francisco (H)

That’s a tough run. And with the Seahawks owning the tiebreaker over Los Angeles, staying alive until the game at Century Link the week before Christmas has to be the target.

Make that contest, if possible, a kind of NFC West ‘Championship’ game.

And ‘staying alive’ is very much what Seattle needs to do here. This has been an arduous season. The injuries, the mistakes, the slow starts, the penalties. So much adversity, so many self-inflicted wounds.

For the first time in a long time, there’s also a fair amount of uncertainty. What does the future hold for some of the ageing veterans on the roster? Are we seeing the slow death of this Championship window? Are we witnessing something akin to the 2007 season under Holmgren? What happens if the Seahawks don’t make the playoffs? How much longer does Pete Carroll want to do this?

Were the aggressive trades for Sheldon Richardson and Duane Brown indicative of a team leaving no stone unturned, always looking to add talent? Or was it about ringing the last few drops out of this current group before an inevitable changing of the guard, possibly in 2018 or 2019?

Fans can be forgiven for feeling quite insecure at the moment because there are so many things to consider and contemplate. It’s unnerving. There’s not an expiry date on the bottom of the roster, you can’t just check how long you’ve got.

We also know tough decisions are forthcoming. Do they almost have to find a way to keep Jimmy Graham now? He’s become an automatic go-to solution in the red zone. It’s taken three years — but he’s now the player they traded for. A touchdown machine.

If they keep Graham — and considering they’ve also added Duane Brown’s contract now — is there room to re-sign Sheldon Richardson? Will they move on from some of the ageing players regardless and be bold and aggressive to start the roster re-shape?

And with limited draft stock in 2018, what positions will they prioritise?

They’re approaching the most significant off-season in a long time.

These are things you don’t really want to think about at the moment — but they creep into your mind. Because nobody expected this group to be struggling to make the playoffs.

In two weeks time they could be 8-4 and we’ll be talking about playoff seedings again. In two weeks time we could also be having a conversation about whether Derwin James could be a possible Kam Chancellor replacement.

Hopefully it’s the playoff conversation — because nobody wants to see this unbeatable era of Seahawks football drift towards a sad conclusion.

Keep battling. Keep trying to stay alive in the NFC West. Rather than hope the likes of New Orleans and Philadelphia can be caught in the NFC — you instead root for them against the Rams.

Limit the mistakes and the penalties, give Russell Wilson the best shot to win you a few games.

Get a win next week and play the Eagles with a point to prove.

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179 Responses to “A few further thoughts after the Atlanta game”

  1. Ishmael says:

    Could Derwin James really slip that far? He’s looked stiffer than I thought this year, but man.

    Even a day later, I still think the biggest issue is the coaching. Things are muddled, confused, and Not Good. Everything feels a bit stale.

    • KingRajesh says:

      Everything feels PREDICTABLE.

      3rd and 10+? Here comes a blitz (usually Wagner in the A gap).

      2nd and 10 after the first down pass was incomplete? Here comes a run.

      Where has the creativity gone? Outside of that interesting formation and set of fake handoffs that Bevell blatantly stole from the Texans this year (that hasn’t worked because it needs to be sharper and faster), when was the last time the Seahawks did something truly unexpected? The 2014 pop pass against the Packers?

  2. AndrewP says:

    Interesting choice… Jimmy/Sheldon/Joeckel. Can likely only keep two, unless they want to get uncharacteristically cold-blooded on cuts and restructures. Easy to say keep Jimmy/Sheldon, the two most talented/physically gifted, but is that the best way to build cohesion on the line? On the other otherhand, Joeckel has had injury issues the last two years… is he breaking down?

    Interesting/crucial offseason of choices indeed.

    • C-Dog says:

      Right now, for me, my money would be on them extending Graham and Sheldon Richardson. Joekel could definitely be a possibility. PRich could also be up there as well.

      I think some extenuating circumstances would be if Kam and or Cliff retires, and how much $ that frees up. In terms of Sheldon, do they see a similar type of player emerging in Naz Jones, or are they nervous with his health history? Is Malik McDowell a DT or DE? In terms of Joekel, do they feel young talent like George Fant and or Rees Odhiambo are starters on the rise? With PRich, do they feel Darboh is ready to take over there?

      Graham might be the one that they feel they must retain above everyone else, just because of the production, and not having anyone else behind him that is close to what he can offer.

      • CDog says:

        SLIGHTLY PESSIMISTIC BUT REALISTIC DEVIL’S ADVOCATE TAKE TO FOLLOW:

        Definitely are some interesting questions as to who to resign. Maybe none of them?

        Joeckel-Injury prone

        Sheldon-might lose interest after everyone else gets injured and teams possibly waivers

        Jimmy-Too expensive, can’t block, go with cheaper younger slightly less productive but more team oriented guy.

        P-Rich-Dissapears too often, maybe find a more dominant less injury prone guy.

        Brown-Too old, on the decline. Go with Fant.

  3. drewdawg11 says:

    There should be zero attempt to resign Joeckel. None. He’s overpaid as is to be a mediocre to poor player, and he’s never healthy. Next.

    • East Side Stevie says:

      That isnt a fair assestment. He was coming off a torn acl entering this season.

      • Trevor says:

        I agree completely Drew Joeckel was a terrible signing.

        • drewdawg11 says:

          Actually, the assessment of him not being a very good player IS fair. He’s considered a bust at this stage of his career and there is zero evidence to suggest otherwise. What does he do exceedingly well? This guy’s performance dictates veteran minimum salary, possibly what Aboushi makes. Why would we invest cap space into this guy? Our division rivals in LA went out and spent on Whitworth. We got a cast off for $7 million. The worst part is that he’s injured. I’d rather keep Jimmy than resign this guy.

    • Pran says:

      He’s a good pickup and it seems like he was improving. problem is with his pay..he should have been on a $1-2m prove it deal rather team paid for his draft status.

  4. C-Dog says:

    Actually had a thought today that a not making the playoffs scenario or a short playoff run might make it more likely that Carroll could want to stick around longer than if they were to win the whole thing. If he sees enough young players making the right strides, that could get his competitive juices stirred in a rejuvenated way.

    He’s looked tired and stressed on the sidelines lately, but he lost Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman, and Kam Chancellor, all stalwarts on his defense on top of loosing his starting LT and a promising young running back at the beginning of the season. Not to mention loosing Malik McDowell before training camp even started.

    It’s understandable that he might look a bit more worn out than usual, but this team is 6-4 and still very much in it. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds a way to rally this team for another late season surge. We’ve seen this before.

    IMO, it’s a lot to ask a Sheldon Richardson and Duane Brown to become late additions and just automatically fit right in. Playing on the line in new systems with players you’ve never played with before takes time to adjust. I’m eager to see how things shake out. There were positive signs vs the Falcons.

    IDK, but there is something about this coach, this quarterback and team where I kinda like their chances when their backs are firmly in the corner. I wouldn’t bet against them.

  5. Cameron says:

    Good stuff as usual Rob.

    I’m getting ready to start watching draft videos. What names should I be watching as a Seahawks fan?

  6. Forty20 says:

    I think most frustratingly personally is the fact the we can’t seem to get all three phases of play going at the same time. In a sense we really do not know how good the 2017 iteration of the Seahawks can be. It makes for an interesting duality – you have legitimate cause for frustration and pessimism as much as faith and optimism.

    One thing that jumped out to me with further reflection of this game is that there were few, if any, of Bevell/Wilson’s customary deep shots. The payoff was obviously a good deal of success in the screen game. Hopefully we can find some harmony between the two now that the offence has gotten away from repeatedly stalling drives.

    Also, I saw some further review of the fake field goal call and I think Pete was some what right in defending it – to a degree at least. Taking the 3pts was definitely the safe call and yes it did come back to hurt us but if there is any sort of block on Jarrett, Luke Wilson is actually off to the races.

    On the other hand I do wish we would just eat the 5-yard delay of game penalty when it is a tight affair in the second half. 3rd and 12 or 3rd and 17 as it was in this case, we are likely going to end up taking a shot at a field goal in both scenarios. Having that extra time out up your sleeve is worth so much when it comes to a clutch 2min drill.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think more than anything the wasting of the two time outs in the second half was the biggest error. At least with the fake FG they’re trying to score.

      • Forty20 says:

        If things go awry from here Rob and we end up with a relatively early draft pick what is your initial impression on our drafting position. Do we take something that we haven’t had in a long time in a premium first round talent or double down on the trade backs and recoup the lost picks and then some?

        • Rob Staton says:

          My early thoughts are it’s not a particularly exciting draft class to pick early. If you have a top-10 pick, you’ll be taking a player that otherwise would’ve probably been a 15-25 type prospect in other classes. That’s not to say there aren’t some very interesting prospects. And there are players who are super talented but with flaws — and if those types drop a bit, you can get some good value.

          I think it would’ve been an ideal year to draft late again after a good post-season run and seek value at RB. And if they want to go RB early they probably trade down. If they want to go DL or DB then maybe they stay put.

    • Pran says:

      Observing Grady Jarrett on that play.. it appears they sniffed it and were ready to defend, no surprise at all call it out coached

      • Dale says:

        That play required Ott, the long snapper, to actually block. By the time he looked up from his snap the guy that made the tackle was already by him.

    • Mark Souza says:

      And don’t forget that a five yard delay of game penalty inside two minutes also comes with a 10 second run-off on the game clock.

  7. East Side Stevie says:

    Wow.. Rob, thank you so much for the content. Your dedication and tireless hours you put in truly means a lot. Such a gifted writer.

  8. East Side Stevie says:

    ” If they keep Graham — and considering they’ve also added Duane Brown’s contract now — is there room to re-sign Sheldon Richardson? Will they move on from some of the ageing players regardless and be bold and aggressive to start the roster re-shape?

    And with limited draft stock in 2018, what positions will they prioritise?

    They’re approaching the most significant off-season in a long time. ”

    You hit it right on the nose here.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      To cut or trade Bennett or Chancellor doesn’t really help you all that much this offseason but it would next offseason. I think you have to extend Earl. Sherman to me will be the most interesting one. I’d rather have Richardson than Graham if I had to choose. For us nerds like myself the offseason stuff is almost more fun than the season itself.

      • red says:

        I think Sheldon Richardson is gone after this year take the third comp pick. To make the room for Sheldon you probably have to let KJ Wright go. I think to save cap space we draft a PK and cut the punter for it saves us 2 mil on cap next year, Joel Corry said the tag for DT is maybe 14.8 mil. Suh is going to get cut if his market is say 10 mil I might look at that. Logan and Poe are free agent DT as well who might be in the 8-10 mil range. If we draft a new PK and P and cut P Avril and Lane we should have about 33mil in cap space. I think Jordan is RFA so 3 mil same with Coleman who I think we extend for 5m PY. I also think they sign P Richardson And Luke Wilson for about 8 mil together. With these moves we are at about 15 mil. Then we probably extend Earl and Clark that adds maybe another 5 mil to the cap. That Puts us at 20 another 5 mil for IR/draft which puts us at 25mil we probably have enough to sign graham at this point, but does he want to stay? With the 8Mil left we can get a Poe type DT and draft a LB early or sign a LB and draft a DT early.

  9. Preston says:

    Great article rob. These are all topics we saw coming towards us on the horizon. Maybe we didn’t realize it would come THIS soon. Inevitable nonetheless.

    For speculations sake, I can imagine Pete hanging the boots when his Legion does. It’s about the right time for his age and coaching career. While not a rebuild, it’s still an overhaul to replace that kind of talent. It seems there are coaching changes in the air somewhere on the team soon. It’s a lot to ask of Pete at this point in his career.

    Getting back on track, this will be a pivotal offseason for Schneider and the Seahawks. Some late round magic will need to be made once again to return to our dominance. I wouldn’t be surprised if Michael Bennett decides to join his brother in retirement. Losing Bennett and Avril OR Chancellor would give us plenty of cap for the extensions we need.

  10. Mac says:

    I think we have to get rid of chancellor, Avril, lane and maybe more. It’s a tough pill to swallow, you want to reward players for their efforts but the time of the legion of boom has come to an end. Gone are the big hits, the ground and pound running game and the certainty of the playoffs. I believe we need to retool this defense and bring on a fresh defensive coordinator. It’s nothing against Richard but we need someone who can take advantage of Richardson, Clark and Bennett. I would like WSU’s Alex Grinch. We also need to revamp position coaches who can assist in taking our talent to the next level. We need a new offensive coordinator who can scheme a game plan to take advantage of the opponent weaknesses. PC needs to realize that he must roll with the times. We have one of the most revolutionary qbs in the game today. I hope PC can adapt, for life beyond him I would say *gulp* Jim Harbaugh.

    We need to resign JG, Sheldon Richardson to longer deals,
    Draft Nick Chubb, Mike Gesicke, Mata’afa, a safety and a late round corner. It just depends on how free agency plays out. We will have $19 mil in cap space and can expect a cap raise of about $10 to $15 mil. With $33 mil we could resign Richardson and Graham but we also have to look at rookie deals, FA acquisitions, practice squad etc.

    • KingRajesh says:

      The defense is too OLD. I’ve been saying for years that the original LOB outside of ET shouldn’t get a third contract. Chancellor always had a short shelf-life and his number was going to be called sooner rather than later. We got all we got out of him, we should have cut bait with him when we had the chance. But we’re stuck with his contract, and that sucks. I hope he can come back and we can trade him somewhere to get out of his contract. If he retires, that’s a lot of cap he’s going to eat because the Seahawks won’t go back after his signing bonus.

      Avril is long gone. I’ll miss him. Without him, the pass rush is really disappointing. Clark isn’t an every down player it seems, which sucks.

      Lane should be cut the day Shead comes back to send a message to the defense – play better or you won’t be back next year. Nothing is guaranteed.

      Sherman is also probably a casualty. If he’s not ready for camp, I think we need to cut bait. I don’t want to spend $13m on a corner that will never be the same – Achilles injuries sap explosive ability, and Sherman never was the fastest or most explosive corner. He’s going to get roasted even more by shifty WRs. Sometimes you gotta do what’s best for the team, not the player.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The thing is though — Richard is running Pete’s defense. So if they’re going to change and adapt to the personnel, Pete has to be willing to do that. And considering they didn’t adapt at all for the Atlanta game, I suspect it’s unlikely to happen even if they switch defensive coordinators.

      A lot of people highlight Dan Quinn’s tenure in Seattle and the great job he did at DC. He did do well. But he also had this group when they were at their very, very best. They still had frustrating days (see: Kansas City road game 2014). So for the kind of defensive change we’re talking about, Carroll has to be the one who changes. It’s unlikely IMO. Ditto any big offensive changes. Everyone — Bevell, Cable, Richard — they’re here to make Pete’s vision happen.

      • C-Dog says:

        +1

        At the end of the day, this defense is Pete’s baby.

      • SeventiesHawksFan says:

        Kris Richard has, since the first game of the season against the Packers, been in my mind the biggest glaring liability on the entire team.

        There were multiple plays that game where it was just obvious the OC (Edgar Bennett) and Aaron Rodgers knew exactly where the defense would be on the field and what play to call and where their receiver needed run to and how to set the line protection to buy Rodgers enough time to get the ball out and beat what Richard was doing. Even all world talent can’t beat that.

        And we’ve seen the scenario repeatedly throughout the season. Richard was truly lost against Houston in particular. Having NO IDEA how to beat their frequent six and seven man protection schemes while often rushing just a vanilla four and therefore ALL of his linebackers and a safety are standing in space guarding no one and essentially taken out of any passing down.

        Or they were useless anyway because the weren’t fast enough to cover their three fastest receivers, even in zone coverage. Houston was constantly sending only two or three receivers into routes knowing they’re all going to be singled up and anyone else we had in coverage is basically irrelevant and guarding no one.

        But with near constant six to eight man protection packages against our four man rush, they were buying both Watson and their receivers the TIME they needed to get open against either zone or man coverage. Against our near-constant four man rush. Because Richard never figured out what they were doing and so never adjusted.

        Even worse, this was all telegraphed on the second play of the game, when only two receivers were even sent to run a route and Earl was slow to react to Fuller running deep.

        Which okay we got burned early, but we know what they’re doing now. And it’s not hard to guard now that we know. Except it still happened all game long. And Richard simply had no answer on play after play running variations of what I’m describing.

        To me it’s just inarguable that Richard is simply out of his depth anytime a good OC has a few weapons who can beat his scheme. Or who does things his scheme isn’t designed to defend.

        Yes, Richard is there to execute Pete Carroll’s vision, but he’s also supposed to diagnose what other team’s offensive coordinators are doing (especially by mid-game) and be a enough of a voice to offer solutions. Richard has shown no such inclination on so many occasions now.

        And his abysmal record not just on third down but just critical down and distance situations in general pretty much speak for themselves.

        If there is any off-season personnel wish I have with respect to the team, it’s a more capable defensive coordinator who can add to Pete’s ‘vision’ or stand up to him when necessary and point out why what they’re doing is unlikely to succeed and hasn’t been working.

  11. lil'stink says:

    I’m hopeful that last night was the moment that brings this team together. Wilson, Wagner, Baldwin, ET3… nobody on this team is going to roll over. We were also 6-4 in the 2014 season before winning our last 6 games and getting the #1 seed. While we currently face a bigger challenge than 2014, anything is possible. I think one, quite possibly two, of the teams ahead of us will regress to the mean. How we respond against SF could be very telling.

    The Rams have to play New Orleans, Philly, at Seattle, and at Tennessee. The NFCS teams all have tough schedules and will beat each other up. The Vikings and Eagles? Well, catching either of them at this point will be a stretch, but the Vikings do have a pretty brutal 3 game stretch starting next week.

    It’s those little mistakes, the sloppy plays, that are killing us. GB, Washington, Atl – all those losses came down to a few critical plays (or even one single play, really) where the other team got the best of us and won the game as a result. My greatest concern is with the coaches. Carroll looks tired. Almost like he doesn’t know what to do or where to go. And watching our defense on 3rd and long is far more stressful than it should be. I have to give credit to Bevell, though. He can be incredibly frustrating at times, but I think he’s done an admirable job this year all things considered.

  12. LeoSharp says:

    I’d love to resign Jimmy Graham but it would have to be at a significantly lower APY more inline with his actual value on the field. His propensity to drop catch-able balls has lead to interceptions,, missed touchdowns and killed drives. This undermines the big plays he has made and lessens his value as a pass catching TE.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I complete disagree LeoSharp. I can think of two bad drops vs the Giants (he also scored a TD in that game). The drop vs Atlanta was a broken play but hardly a huge error. He is a touchdown machine this season and he’s provided a fantastic solution for a team that was wretched in the red zone until Graham got it going.

      They must keep Graham, otherwise the red zone offense just regresses again.

      • drewdawg11 says:

        Yeah, not sure what you’re seeing now. He’s been on fire for the last month and a half. He’s one of the team’s best players.

      • LeoSharp says:

        He played poorly against the Packers.
        He failed to catch a ball against the Colts which directly resulted in an interception
        The drops vs the Giants. He may have scored a touchdown but that’s kinda offset when he also drops a TD
        His TD’s against the Texans were just breakdowns in coverage
        It was a broken play against Atlanta but the ball still went straight between his hands and probably had a huge influence on the game.

        He also leads the team in drops since he joined in 2015.

        The Redzone offense is in the bottom third of the league. It has continued to regress every year since 2012. 2015 was an outlier and even then Graham had no part in.

        At 30yrs old Graham should not be one of the top 3 paid TE in the league. Somewhere in the 7.5-8.5 range is were he should be valued

        • D-OZ says:

          Really Leo??? Enough from you already!!!! All but the Packer’s were win’s and it wasn’t JG’s fault we lost the game.

          • mishima says:

            Easy, tiger. Let’s keep it civil.

            • drewdawg11 says:

              Yeah, he’s a dynamic playmaker and others have had occasional drops. Didn’t T.O. Lead the league in drops more than once? He’s a matchup nightmare. A short term extension is definitely a good play here.

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          Mustve missed the AZ game

        • Rob Staton says:

          Leo, you’re trying too hard.

          When you start breaking down why TD’s ‘weren’t that good’ you’ve jumped the shark.

        • Leosharp says:

          Team wins and individual performance are two separate things. You wouldn’t just excuse the play of whoever was at RG in those games just because they still won.

          T.O was a dominant receiver. Graham hasn’t been dominant in Seattle. Pretty sure T.O had finger injuries in at least one of those years.

          If you plug Luke Willson into those plays he scores just the same. That’s not Graham being the dynamic playmaker he was traded for.

          Travis Kelce $9,368,400, 28yrs
          Jordan Reed $9,350,000, 27yrs
          Rob Gronkowski $9,000,000, 28yrs
          Zach Ertz $8,500,000, 27yrs
          Charles Clay $7,600,000, 28yrs
          Greg Olsen $7,500,000, 32yrs

          These are the top paid TEs in the league by APY and their age.

          He’s not had the same impact in the run game as Kelce or Gronk.
          He hasn’t improved the redzone performance.
          He’s older than everyone except Olsen.
          He’s not worth 9 mil.

          • Rob Staton says:

            You do realise there’s a reason Jimmy Graham has so many career TD’s and other TE’s don’t get anywhere near his production, do you?

            If only it was true that Luke Willson ‘would just get those touchdowns’.

            Here’s what I think LEO — I think you’ve made your mind up on Graham and are basing your opinions to work towards the conclusion that you want him out. I think you’re unwilling to accept that actually Graham has been a fantastic target for the Seahawks and Wilson, the single best red zone receiver/TE in the NFL this year. A weapon that every team in the league would love to have.

            It would be madness to let him walk.

            • Leosharp says:

              Rob you can watch the plays yourself. It was busted coverage.

              These aren’t opinions. It’s just facts.

              Redzone offense has been bad.
              Poor to OK blocking for the run and pass
              Older than the top paid TEs
              He has dropped the most passes on the team since 2015

              I have never said I don’t want him back. He just doesn’t deserve to be paid where he is currently or higher. At a minimum he should be paid less than Gronkowski who is younger, better and makes more of an impact per play.

              • Rob Staton says:

                When you start suggesting your opinions, and your overly negative opinions, are facts — I know it’s time to stop discussing.

                But while we’re here, I’ll deliver some actual facts.

                Jimmy Graham — seven touchdowns in his last six games. #1 red zone receiver in the NFL based on targets and production.

                • Leosharp says:

                  Seahawks are ranked 25th in the league in the redzone at 47.06% scoring for the year. They have regressed in the last 3 games with only a 41.67%
                  They have regressed from 47.62% in 2016

                  Jimmy Graham has a catch percentage inside the 10 of 46.15% That’s behind. Gronk, Ertz and Kelce.
                  He has only scored one TD outside the 10 in 9 attempts . Paul Richardson has one in 6 attempts. So that’s not really where he is having the biggest scoring impact.

                  He hasn’t changed this teams redzone performance for the better.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    Leo — Do you realise the Seahawks have 15 passing touchdowns in the red zone and ONE rushing touchdown (Russell’s vs Atlanta)? Do you realise that Seattle’s red zone issues are not because they have Jimmy Graham — they’re because they have nothing OTHER THAN Jimmy Graham. He IS their red zone offense.

                    Before the Falcons game, this was written by PFF:

                    “Russell Wilson has been able to produce 14 passing touchdowns, tied with the Patriots for second-most in the league, despite being in the red zone on 51 fewer plays. The Seahawks have been 100 percent reliant on Wilson though, as they are one of two teams with no rushing scores inside the 20.”

                    Graham has seven touchdowns in his last six games. Maybe you can fish out the stats for how effective he’s been in those games, rather than including the rough start?

                    To try and argue Graham hasn’t changed the teams redzone performance for the better is to try and argue the sea is red and the sky polkadot.

                    Time to move on.

                • mishima says:

                  What do you mean by ‘based on targets and production?’ Number of targets, completion percentage, number of touchdowns, points/target?

                  JFG has been fantastic, lately, but his ranking/numbers are inflated because he’s our only option in the red zone. Teams that can run the ball in the red zone aren’t entirely dependent on their TE, depressing their stats.

                  In short, just because Graham has scored 7 touchdowns / 6 games, doesn’t make him the best red zone receiver in the NFL. It just makes him our best red zone option.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    He’s our only option in the red zone — you make it sound like it’s a bad thing about Graham!

                    And if that’s the case, why aren’t teams stopping him?

                    I will try to find the statistic ESPN published before MNF. They listed Graham as statistically ranked #1 in several red zone categories.

                    It really does feel like people are more interested in holding firm their ‘made up mind’ on Graham and are now not willing to adjust their thinking with the Seahawks finding ways to make him the exact playmaker they traded for.

                  • mishima says:

                    To be clear, Wilson to Graham in the red zone is a good thing…our only thing. However, saying he’s the ‘#1 red zone receiver in the NFL’ is misleading and may be a product of confirmation bias. He’s a red zone weapon, without a doubt. The best? Debatable.

                    Statement is comparable to our passing offense being #2 in the NFL. Kind of a blessing and a curse. Would love to have a more balanced attack, in/out of the red zone. If we had a rushing attack, JG’s numbers would be slightly down and that would be a good thing…in a way.

                    (I was never in favor of signing JG and wanted them to trade/cut him early in his Seahawk career. I was wrong. He recovered from his catastrophic injury, developed some chemistry with RW and become the threat we always hoped for, in/out of the red zone. Without JG, we’d be 4-6, outside looking in.)

      • Pran says:

        I think we need to think long term. just becos it worked this season after the initial struggle of few games means it will continue to work. FO handling of re-signing players bit us hard and team is now in serious danger with vets aging and injured, lost draft picks and no cap. Vets asking for 3 or 4th contract should take a serious discount not top of the market to retain.

        team need to bring in more youth and speed and let the vets move on except 3-4 must haves ala pats. Jimmy is replaceable in draft or FA.

        I see a complete make over in the offseason but having lost so many draft picks puts in a spot!

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think it would be a massive mistake to get rid of the one player who is suddenly making Seattle a good red zone team again.

          • Matt B. says:

            I agree, I think he’s a huge difference maker on the offense not only from a production standpoint but also from the standpoint that teams have to consider double-teaming him leaving opportunities for other WR’s to have easier coverage. I don’t think he is an all-pro blocker but I think he’s a lot better than people give him credit for and has improved significantly from that point. Finally, there’s something to be said for continuity in working with Wilson and developing a relationship over time in which you know how to work well with him. It took a longer than we wanted for it to develop, partially due to that horrific injury, but we are clearly seeing the fruits of that labor pay off this year. I like Lockett, Richardson, and Willson but it’s hard to see us building a strong offense around them as the #2 pass catching options behind Baldwin.

            As much as I’ve enjoyed watching Richardson and what he adds to the team, I think I’d rather see us try to retain Graham and Brown as offensive building blocks and work on developing our younger defensive line potential. Hitting on Naz Jones and seeing the progression in Reed this year as well as having McDowell as a potential for next year makes me more willing to part with a higher paid defensive lineman after this year. I don’t see the same depth on the O-Line or at TE/WR.

          • AlaskaHawk says:

            I think resigning Graham is more of a Kim Chancellor moment. He is very valuable but his body is deteriorating. I would be very interested in seeing how high he can jump. On field it is about 6 inches. I would say he has good hands but he has dropped plenty of passes this year. Overall I think it better if they restock with a high round draft pick at tight end. And resign Brown and Richardson.

            • Rob Staton says:

              What evidence is there, at all, that his body is deteriorating?

              They only have one high round draft pick in 2018. Why let Graham go, to then have to spend a R1 pick on a replacement, while leaving another need unaddressed?

              They don’t need to re-sign Brown. He’s under contract.

  13. tony says:

    gotta resign Sheldon. he’s 26, and can be that next wave. he can fortify that line with reed, Clark, Jones, and Malik. not sure how hawks will do it. but they will find a way to keep these guys. the sad part is losing prich, who has been stellar. maybe a modest 6mill deal, but unsure where they find that cash. the decisions coming up will be huge in the next 2 years. but gotta believe jg, Sheldon, Clark, lockett, Duane will all stay. biggest concerns are kam, avril. lane is an easy cut. extend/restructure a couple guys, I can see them trimming some fat. but there will be losses. I don’t see joekel resigned. injury issues and I think they roll with a young guy. with Brown and Britt now, a young LG could grow into that role.

  14. House says:

    Rob,

    Great write up as always. The biggest frustration to me is choking the 2 above mentioned games away. The ATL one really stings as we were missing 75% of our starting secondary (Sherman, Kam and Griffin) and still pretty much minimized damage. If not for the 2 1st half turnovers, the halftime Fake FG and the burning of the 2 timeouts in the 2nd half, I would like to think we would’ve won by at least 10 pts.

    The silver lining is the NFC West. LA has a difficult schedule and that helps. The fact that we play one more time allows us to still control our destiny.

    What are your thoughts on Dwight Freeney getting waived today? I haven’t seen any news on Shead or McDowell, but I feel someone is close to making it back.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      Hopefully McDowell doesn’t come back this year so we can start his 4 year contract next season

    • Rob Staton says:

      I was shocked by the Freeney news. Can’t wait to hear the reason for it.

      • peter says:

        agreed I thought he was a great late season addition and with the absence of Avril a needed boost off the edge.

      • C-Dog says:

        Activating Shead? Bringing in Marcel Reese to help the run game?

      • 503Hawk says:

        Do you think we will ever hear the real reason? Probably just get the “coach-speak”.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        2 reasons:

        1. The emergence of Dion Jordan as a viable option.

        2. Freeny was all over the place. Zero gap/assignment discipline that directly led to some big gains vs ATL.

      • SeventiesHawksFan says:

        Freeney lost contain – and so blatantly – on that Matt Ryan third down run. And it was just REALLY egregious.

        I remember when watching that play I saw the DE cut inside (I didn’t know it was Freeney at that point) and there’s no linebacker home on the outside thinking ‘OH F****’ when it happened.

        And if I’m seeing it then the coaches are too.

        I think they cut him for freelancing and completely blowing the scheme and his primary assignment.

  15. 1976Hawk says:

    Rob, excellent insight as usual. For me, this past day or so has been a time of pondering. Are we seeing the end of the LOB? I think so. It has been an awesome 5+ year’s to watch these guys as a unit. With that said, I wouldn’t resign Joeckel and I’m going to pull a shocker here: I would cut Sherman. Why? Achilles take a lot longer than six to eight months to come back from. Usually, with good rehab, it is a year. If you bring him back under the premise we can let him go at the end of the year and get a compensatory pick, what’s the best you’re going to get? A third maybe fourth round pick if we’re lucky. Cut um and use the money on the o line for a right or left guard (depending on where you decide to play Pocic, who’s been more than adequate as a replacement of Joeckel). Also, I would cut Avril. I believe he’s done. I would also look at cutting Kam. These two guys are literally one hit away from being wheel chair bound from what I have read. Does it stink to lose them? YES. Are they beloved by all? YES. But, who has taught NFL organizations the model of suvcess on how to,sustain greatness? HC of the Pats. His motto is cut players when you know it is time, not when they’re past their prime. He has done it for years and shown the way. Coach Carroll, you need to do the same.

    Twp aspects of the game I don’t feel have been addressed are: 3rd and long collapses by our defense and Kris Richard as a DC. Let’s face it, since Dan Quinn left, the defense hasn’t been the same. For the past two years and 10 games, our defense has progressively become tolerable to putrid on 3rd and long situations (even with Kam and Sherman playing). I put this on the players and DC Richard. We need a new DC who understands Coach Carroll’s philosophies, but who can put new twists on them. Heck, bring back Gus Bradley. I’m sorry, Richard either needs to go or push him out the door to a head coaching job so he can become another team’s problem.

    With that being said, this season is la roller coaster ride. One minute your up and the next your down. But, it is better then the 90’s, when we were a consistently futile NFL franchise.

    • drewdawg11 says:

      I’ve had a lot of issues with Kris Richard. His schemes are basically an extension of Pete, but Quinn and Gus had their own fingerprints on the defense. There was a bit more stability, fewer breakdowns. We usually forget to cover someone a few times a game, and that was with everyone healthy. I don’t think he’s a great coordinator. He’s inherited a great defense.

      • Drew says:

        Richard’s fingerprints is more blitzing

        • drewdawg11 says:

          I’m not seeing the same types of pressures but I’m not studying film. I feel like they went away from blitzing Bobby compared to previous seasons. They still us it, but not as much. We don’t have a ton of good blitzers on that roster.

    • SeventiesHawksFan says:

      I wrote a few paragraphs above before reading this on why I have believed since the Green Bay game that Kris Richard is easily the largest liability on the entire team.

      He was especially exposed as clueless in the Houston game. They constantly schemed their way to Kam and the LB’s being constantly just taken out of the play and us singled up on their three fastest receivers while we are rushing four against six to eight man protection schemes.

      And made Watson look like and all-pro with three to five seconds to run around back there and make a throw.

      My greatest off-season wish is that Richard is replaced by someone more capable and qualified to diagnose what the OC is doing and how to defend it.

      Richard should go back to where he was effective, which was coaching the secondary. I have zero confidence in his ability to make the right calls for rushing the QB or managing our defensive line.

  16. Old but Slow says:

    The Freeney release was a surprise (can’t have enough pass rushers), but I wonder if he was not able to stay assignment steady. Only one play that I noticed, but late in the game, Ryan scrambled and ran for about 20 yards up the left side when a play broke down. It seems likely that Freeney was the contain on that side, but he made a move to the inside and left that side open.

    It may be a clue to what Carroll is seeing in him, as being a bit too undisciplined.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Hopefully it means more snaps for Dion Jordan.

      • TJ says:

        Maybe Jordan’s presence/play is the reason he was cut. I found Gruden’s “looks like Jordan has found a home” comment to be encouraging.

    • SeventiesHawksFan says:

      The Matt Ryan scramble on third and eight was entirely on Freeney attempting an inside rush and completely abandoning outside contain.

      It was especially egregious, since there was no linebacker behind him to keep contain. It was clearly Freeney just blowing his assignment.

      I think he was freelancing, and that is just not going to be tolerated in Pete’s scheme.

  17. 12th chuck says:

    I don’t think we will re-sign Graham, he will be courted from teams with way more cap room, and with any luck get a big contract. I say that to get a higher compensatory pick. I am also thinking, Joeckel , along with Lacy will move on to other teams as well. That’s will free up some cash, to re sign Richardson and Clark. They will draft d lineman, but it takes time to have an impact that they have now. with Freeny gone, questions about both Avril and Chancellor it is a bigger priority. Add that with an aging Bennett

  18. Greg Haugsven says:

    Even with Jimmy Graham producing touchdowns I still wouldnt want to spend the money on him. I go back to something Bennett said when we beat New Orleans in the playoffs. He said he’s soft. He is soft, he always goes down easy and he doesn’t fight for yards. He reminds me of Shawn Alexander. To be the bully again we need tough guys not soft even though he is scoring. I would rather spend the money elsewhere.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think he’s soft. He’s not 2013 Kam — but I don’t get a sense he’s soft either.

      • Pran says:

        See Gronk Vs Jimmy

        Jimmy plays like a WR. Gronk needs an extra body to bring him down if you see his YAC

    • peter says:

      not sure if he’s soft now. He seems to box players out and catch enough in traffic for me. TO be fair the Saints team that year actually was soft compared to Seattle. Seattle new it could muscle it’s way past every team if it need be.

      As for TD’s however. Seattle would need to find a replacement for that level of production and thus far under the PC era they have Baldwin and no one else that can do it in passing game like Graham. Unfortunately, if they are going to continue to fool around with the RB position and a ton of combos on the OLine then they are going to remain a passing team.

      When I say “fool around…” with the the RB position I do know that they drafted Michael high and he just didn’t pan out but realistically from USC era to present day if you want a great run game you need to fill your RB ranks with first round level talent.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        He’s 6 7 265, I see him go down way to easy. I understand the high center of gravity but I don’t see him fighting for extra yards like other Tight ends. He got blown up at the goal line against the Falcons that could have cost us. One other thing about the Jimmy in the red zone. Quit throwing the fade, just put some zip on it and throw it up high towards his helmet.

  19. Aaron says:

    Good article Rob. It’s always good to reevaluate these games 24 hours later. Hawks are good, not great, and might not even make the playoffs. Maybe that’s a good thing because they might actually evaluate not just players but coaches too in order to figure out who needs to stay and what new blood we need to add. Pete’s era in Seattle is on the decline, but this team doesn’t have to follow suit. We have lots of great talent, but also lots of decisions to make this offseason. Here’s what I would do with our pending free agents…

    Jimmy Graham: Extend
    Luke Joeckel: Extend
    Eddie Lacy: Cut
    Sheldon Richardson: Extend
    Bradley McDougald: Cut
    Luke Willson: Cut
    Michael Wilhoite: Cut
    Deshawn Shead: Cut
    Paul Richardson: Extend
    Blair Walsh: Cut
    Marcus Smith: Cut
    Oday Aboushi: Cut
    Byron Maxwell: Cut
    Terence Garvin: Cut
    Austin Davis: Extend
    Matt Tobin: Cut
    Dewey McDonald: Extend

    I also think Avril, Kam, and Bennett will retire this offseason.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      If Avril retired we would save $7.5 against the cap with only 500k in dead money. If Bennett retires you would save about $3 million in cap space with about $5.2 million in dead money. If Chancellor retires your dead money is $7.5 million and you would save $2.3 million in cap space. In all you would open up about $12.8 million in space. Personally I would rather have those 3 guys. If they leave/retire/cut the year after Avril would be off the books and you could create about $13.3 million in space between Bennett and Chancellor.

      • Matt B. says:

        When you look at that split it’s hard to make a case that the cap savings on Bennett or Chancellor is worth cutting them. The only one that makes sense to me would be Avril retiring, $7.5MM is a big enough chunk that the team could use for extending younger talent.

    • Sea Mode says:

      You’re going to cut our entire secondary depth when we don’t even know if Sherm or Kam will be back? For me, McDougald is a lock for extension at this point unless Hill all of the sudden breaks out this year.

      • Aaron says:

        McDougald was the hardest one for me. He will turn 28 during next season which gave me some pause. I’d like him back, but I think you’ll get one of Sheldon or McDougald, and I’ll take a disruptive 3 tech all day, especially since I think Bennett is gonna retire. I’d like to get younger on D since we’re the second oldest D behind only the Cards.

    • drewdawg11 says:

      Why extend Joekcel?
      Also, several of those players are one one year deals. How can you cut them?

    • Pran says:

      Only long term extn
      Sheldon – Extend

      Extend 1-2yrs
      Shead -Extend, will come cheap and spl teams leader
      Maxwell – Extend on cheap. will get a comp pick if plays solid and gets a good contract(which is unlikely).
      Blair Walsh – will still have a chance if he can play rest of the season solid. will come cheap
      Dewey – Extend
      McDougald – Extend

      Jimmy, Luke, Eddie, Wilhoite, Marcus Smith, Oday, Terence, Austin, Paul Richardson – Gone
      Luke Wilson has chance to remain for a year if Jimmy goes.

  20. Greg Haugsven says:

    One other positive note, Naz Jones is playing lights out. That guy makes plays. Love what we have there. We have some good young DT’s

    • JamesP says:

      Totally agree. Best rookie this year for my money. Re-sign Richardson and Reed, Jones, Richardson and (hopefull) McDowell looks super talented.

  21. Dale says:

    I hope Avril and Chancellor retire. I’d much rather see them able to enjoy their lives than eek out another year of football. I’d love to keep Chancellor in the organization.

    I love Bennett’s impact but this is the right time to trade him for some badly needed draft capital. The draft is how you keep the payroll from exploding. Sheldon Richardson will be 27 and Frank Clark 25. Along with Reed, Jones, Jordan and McDowell(if we’re lucky), the D-line should be in good shape. Clark won’t be cheap but Jordan and McDowell could help our cap situation with cheaper contracts. Is Hercules Mata’afa the Michael Bennett heir apparent?

    We need Sherman back and the DB draft picks from this year need to emerge (besides Griffin). Maxwell and Lane aren’t the answer. Tarvarus McFadden might be a little rich for our blood but he fits the profile. Isiah Oliver may end up out of reach so my choice is Quenton Meeks.

    I just don’t see Jockel being worth $8 million/year with the Hawks having salary cap demands elsewhere. If OG Quenton Nelson were available there would have to be a mighty good option on the board to pass. I doubt he will be available when the Hawks selection comes around. Will Hernandez is guy that might be around for the Hawks on day 2.

    Is Chris Carson the bell cow RB we need? I think it’s interesting to watch the Husky’s Gaskin because he’s so patient and seems to wring every yard out of his runs. None of our back exhibit that style. Surely Lacy, and Rawls will be gone. Can we afford to keep talented, brittle Prosise on the roster? I wouldn’t be unhappy with a Carson, Davis, McKissic, Newguy backfield. I would like to see them use a fullback again. They certainly seemed to run better out of that set. Newguy might be Chubb or

    Wilhoite and Garvin don’t seem to have the necessary speed for their position. You look at Atlanta’s Dion Jones or Arizona’s Riddick and I think that blueprint would serve us better. Roquon Smith or Dorian O’Daniel would be nice additions.

    My pick for our biggest draft need is… Big bodied WR (and cut Jimmy Graham).
    Graham be 31 next year and he’s expensive. After a draft that featured four uber talented tight ends in Howard, Njoku, Engram, and Everett the pickings seem to be much slimmer in 2018 so TE’s not an option. However, a big bodied red zone WR coupled with losing Jimmy Graham to free agency would have four very positive impacts. First it would improve our running game since we could use a real blocking tight end, second we need the cap space, third we could allow Paul Richardson walk if his price is too high, and finally we would get a 3rd round compensation pick. Courtland Sutton, Arden Tate, Simmie Cobbs Jr., and Collin Johnson would all fit the bill.

    • peter says:

      I really dont understand why they don’t use a fullback more.

      Jones and Reddick were high picks and the last time Seattle was able to pick that high they went after Irvin. I would like to see Seattle get younger and faster at SAM. Right now its just some JAGS.

    • Ed says:

      Avirl. Agree
      Kam. Agree
      Bennett. Agree
      Sherman. Disagree. Because he’s hurt, can’t trade him though, so last year will be 2018.
      Joeckel. Agree
      Carson and Co. Agree, but want new guy to not be late round hopeful
      LB. Agree, although Rob had spotted HR ahead of the curve but he got drafter higher. Speed Speed Speed
      Graham. If they keep DB as OC, then let him go. If they fire DB, maybe you keep him at right price

      Biggest draft needs:

      RB (220+ with some speed)
      WR (6’2+ with some speed)
      OL (has played position and solid. don’t need project or just potential)

  22. swisshawk says:

    Does anyone have an idea why the pass rush is so unproductive this year (sack wise)? In games like monday you would expect much more production out of this DL.

    • swisshawk says:

      My opinion is that they are stunting and doing other crazy stuff to often, which need longer time to develope and often give the QB either a rushing lane through the middle or a big window to see his receivers

      • Jason says:

        From my eye I am seeing a lot of quick reads from opposing qb’s. We are getting pressure, but not getting home on the longer developing plays.

        How much longer does Bennett have on his contract? I think next year we are going to have to really think about limiting his snaps to 50%. I see the occasional flash from him, but they are becoming fewer and fewer.

        • C-Dog says:

          1+

          I think a lot of QB’s are cutting the ball out quickly. That’s the MO playing against this defense.

          Bennett’s been solid, IMO, but other players are flashing around him. I think they have him for a few more years because of his extension last year.

      • 12th chuck says:

        I think Atlanta has only 6 sacks this year, and 1 from the Seahawks. that’s pretty damn good. the other part of your question, I would put blame on Chris Richard. they have been in steady decline since he took over.good against the run, gets pressure on q.b. but not enough sacks. It seems that when we do get sacks, they come in bunches, so the number we have is kind of deceiving I think

    • Ed says:

      They don’t blitz a lot and teams get the ball out fast against the Hawks. It’s the MO to beat them. Dink and dunk. For the Hawks, it was bend but don’t break and they were good at it. Now, they give up too many TD

  23. drewdawg11 says:

    Bennett is showing decline for sure. Avril is getting older and now he’s out for the year. The biggest shock to me is that Sheldon Richardson hasn’t lived in the opponents’ backfields. If someone wants to give up picks for Bennett, I would make that deal ASAP. I think he’s on the way out of his effectiveness. As mentioned before, the cap savings won’t kick in until the next offseason. Resign Sheldon, Clark, develop Naz, Reed is a run stuffing monster. There are pass rushers in this draft that can be helpful. They have to switch gears without tearing it all down. Use some money on the offensive line. Holmgren lamented the fact that, when rebuilding the Seahawks, he didn’t go young and hungry on defense instead of spending money on aging veterans. Keep the core Veterans to lead the new guard into the future. Sherman, Earl, hopefully Kam, Bobby are all still excellent players. Griffin, Reed, Jones, Clark, and some new blood can carry them into the next decade.

  24. Stephen Pitell says:

    Too many questions and not enough answers.

  25. Kenny Sloth says:

    Diocemy Saint Juste at Hawaii; is that Thomas Rawls?

    Royce Freeman might have the best vision in the group. Just such a classy mover and runner. Wish he was more physical at all times though. He’s a great pass protector, but his blocks are really kind of timid. Plays like he doesnt want to hurt anyone. Which is a shame because his feet are lethal. He’s seriously like a dancer out there. The subtlety and foresight with which he runs makes him able to rip off 7 yard gains untouched. He does it so much he forgets how to drive through a guy and break arm tackles. He has so much upside. Maybe you leave the Rolls Royce in the garage though. Is he going to test well enough to be considered an explosove athlete at RB?

    Not a huge fan of Kerryon Johnson thus far. Kind of a slower Bryce Love, no? Little more thunder to his game and he has a decent stiff arm. He looks like a solid backup at the next level. He’s got a real strong back and can shoulder his way into the end zone.

    I might like him more than someone like Rashaad Penny who reminds me of a less tough McCaffrey. He’s not great at any one thing amd needs to build up a head of steam SDSU has him start like 9 yards back. He’s pretty good in the open field and has great vision on kick returns. He looks like a backup too.

    Josh Adams is talented at ND but he just runs right behind Quentin Nelson (who’s my favorite guard prospect since Chance Warmack)

    Ronald Jones II is really ballsy and will try to break your ankles. He can lower his head and beat you outside. Accelerates quickly and slams into the hole, something this class lacks in some cases.

    If you miss out on Bryce Love, Junior Lex Thomas could be a decent consolation prize out of UNLV

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Jeffrey Thomas Jr. has some unique qualities. Extremely fiery player. Plays at top speed. It’s interesting the way he can make these bending curving runs at full speed. Very very stiff runner, but it works for him somehow. U of North Texas- with a name like Jeff Wilson, no wonder.

      His team was recently thrashed by FAU who have the top RB by touchdowns in cfb this year.

      Devin Singletary has 24 on the ground and counting. I don’t think he’s draft eligible, but he’s on a tear. Maybe it’s the lesser competition, but noone can seem to tackle this guy

    • C-Dog says:

      Watching Freeman against the Wildcats, I was thinking all game that he would look nice in Seahawks blue. I see what you mean about the physicality thing, though. At times he was breaking through some tackles, and at other times he just kinda went down when there seemed like there were other yards to be there. Coachable fix?

      • Gohawks5151 says:

        Watched him for some years here in Oregon. He really looks the part but something is missing. Slick runner with size but always goes down on first contact. If it comes down to a 1 vs 1 he always goes down on a tackle. Good pass catcher. Could be a coaching thing as i used to say the same thing about former Duck, turned Beaver(!) Thomas Tyner (Who may be a super sleeper if he declares). Oregon has some different coaching methods. Some of the things we are saying were said about Carson in the past but he made the adjustment his last year in college. Guess its possible.

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          He can be a power back he has that classic LT frame.

          He really has similar potential if he could turn on the fire and be more than a trophy back

  26. Mancunian Dave says:

    Another great, positive and thoughtful article. If I was the Seahawks FO, I’d be bold and start planning for the future in the offseason, and getting the team younger again. Although I would try and re-sign JG if possible, and Sheldon Richardson too. It could be time to say goodbye to Richard Sherman, Kam, Cliff Avril may well retire. It’s hugely sad to see such a vibrant and entertaining team slowly come apart, but it’s always going to happen at some point. But, like the Patriots, the Seahawks have a unique quarterback and they will always be in with shout in those circumstances.

    One point that I would like to re-make and echo. What has been frustrating this season has been the sloppiness of the play, it’s felt like one long pre-season. No team can be giving up over an entire football field’s worth of penalties to the opposition every single game. 3 out of 4 drives seem to have some penalty knock-back, every key drive seems to have two of them. It’s frustrating to watch. What is going on with the coaching in this regard? This is over and above the officials inconsistencies.

  27. Gohawks5151 says:

    Haven’t had to think about this stuff in a while. I really feel like we haven’t put together a full game yet this season which is kind of impressive. Should/could have 8 wins and last 2 were against teams playing well (WAS pushed NO to the brink. Defense held up against a hot NO offense). I have a fear that some of our trouble spots like the O line and defensive back field will improve and hit their stride just in time to be too late. Hopefully I’m wrong.

    I think you keep JG and Shel Rich. P Rich too on a Kearse like contract. Let Lane go and keep Shead or Maxwell on a vet deal. Maybe Mcdougald too if you don’t believe in Delano Hill. I think Avril retires. Keep Bennett because we actually have D line depth to maximize his snaps when all DL are healthy. Plus he reminded everyone how good he was Monday. Let Joeckel walk. Keep Pocic or maybe Roos next to Brown. Move Ifedi to RG. Fant at RT. Uggh… Kam… My instinct is to keep him as he moves into a deathbacker role but that doesn’t help his health issues. He is the heart and soul of the D and what they do with him will speak volumes on the direction of the team. I said it before, i believe this group can still be a stingy vet crew that will mostly hold their water and be flat great time to time ala the mid 2000’s Ravens. All this while giving one of the best talent developing coach time to raise the next gen up.

  28. vrtkolman says:

    I’d be a little wary of keeping Sheldon here long term. He has a history of disciplinary issues, as well as some locker room distractions. He’s in his contract year, but what happens after he gets his $12-15 million a year? If they do keep him, I hope they move McDowell to end. I think he could be a fantastic oversized edge player, a la Carlos Dunlap.

    • Drew says:

      It’s not like Sheldon is on a small contract, he’s already making $8M or whatever it is a year. In Seattle’s locker room, I highly doubt he’ll be an issue.

      • lil'stink says:

        There’s also his arrest for trying to elude cops by driving up to 143 mph with a 12 year old in the car. Isolated incident? Perhaps. That’s for PCJS to figure out. Profoundly poor judgement to say the least. He’s been solid for us this year and I wouldn’t mind us trying to re-sign him, but I have some doubts. Especially with the emergence of Jimmy Graham in the red zone this year.

  29. vrtkolman says:

    Positions that could use an upgrade next season –

    RB is the obvious major need. Do they get active in the free agent RB market again?

    WR could be a need depending on if we keep Graham and Richardson or not. If we don’t keep either, Alshon Jeffrey will be a free agent and the Eagles cap situation isn’t pretty. He could be that bigger body WR that Carroll has always wanted…

    TE… what is the deal with Vannett? Is he just too far down on the depth chart right now due to Graham/Willson, or is he just not performing well enough to play?

    RT, Ifedi just keeps getting worse. Can someone like Pocic take that spot next year? The free agent class for lineman looks awful.

    LB needs to be addressed going forward. KJ is getting up there in age and we don’t really have a SAM difference maker.

    EDGE rush, the team may lose Avril and Bennett in the same off season. Bennett hopefully stays on, he’s still a machine but the team could use another young pass rusher to pair with Clark.

    CB will yet again be another need. I feel this is the last year of Lane and Maxwell, and who knows how long Sherman has got left in the tank. Not a big Shead fan either, he’s great depth but he can be picked on. Get another big, ultra athletic outside corner to run with Shaq and Coleman.

  30. swisshawk says:

    How do your current mock drafts look like?

    1. trade down for additional 3 & 4
    2. HB
    3. CB
    4. LB
    4. HB
    5. LB
    5. K
    5. P (saves you 2 mill)
    7. project
    7. project
    7. project

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Not drafting any pks Thats for sure.

      • swisshawk says:

        I know thats a general wisdom, but in my opinion it’s worth to invest a 5th into someone who should score the second most points after the QB. Besides, which 5th in the recent past did deliver something meaningfull for the hawks? (Tye Smith, Jefferson, Collins surely not).

        • East Side Stevie says:

          Thank God you’re not our GM Swisshawk.

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          Kind of missing the point

          Is there an historical significance that suggests drafted kickers fare better than udfa pks? I highly doubt it

          Why pay premium for something you can get for free.

          • swisshawk says:

            Well your rigth, I know of now evidence whatsoever that drafting kickers means better production. I admit to having overreacted with placing a kicker and a punter in there. The point I wanted to make was, that I’m tired of neglecting competition on special teams, because this positions are very important in my eyes and are way less competitive then the rest of the roster (I don’t blame Walsh for the losses against Washington or Atlanta, but I fear he will not be the longterm answer. Ryan will have a cap hit of 3 mill and is up there in age and not as good as in past times, but still ok).

  31. FuzzyLOgic says:

    Well, we all knew this rebuild talk was coming soon. I just didn’t think it would be until 2018-2019. We have the most important piece any team could have though which is a young top-5 QB who just happens to be clutch as hell.

    Sad but I think we need to let these guys walk or trade them:

    -Sherman
    -Richardson
    -Joeckel
    -Chancellor
    -Avril

    I still think we just might have our RB in Carson so I’m not to thrilled about the 1st round RB talk. Griffin seems legit and N.Jones looks great. I think we can get by with several pieces leaving and younger guys stepping up on defense for a few years to come. I honestly think we need to focus on offense now with Russ in his prime. If we have Brown at LT and Fant at RT with Britt in the middle and Ifedi at RG all we really need is a decent LG. We keep ALL of our offensive weapons and improve the O-line. We have to concede that our defense will not be as good anymore so lets shift priorities to offense. my 2cents

    • Ed says:

      Sherman/Joeckel/Chancellor/Avril yes.

      Richardson is young and disruptive. He needs to be resigned. I have been on the get rid of JG train and if they keep DB I would still say lose him. But if PC is smart and gets rid of TC, DB and KR (yes, very unlikely), get a OC that will truly utilize JG talent, because this team needs to score more, because the D is not what it was. Would be happy with:

      Brown/Pocic/Britt/Ifedi/Fant as the starting OL.

      Draft:

      RB
      WR
      LB/DE

  32. FuzzyLOgic says:

    Rob,

    Will there be any good kickers in the draft this year?

    • drewdawg11 says:

      The kid at Auburn’s name escapes me, but he’s got a leg.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s a bit of a crapshoot with kickers. The Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson is a senior and has made some big, long range kicks. He also has misses too though.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        He’s not the most reliable, but he has a big leg.

        Can’t teach composure.

        Hauschka was an udfa we picked up on waivers I think.

        No need to burn a pick on a high profile guy

  33. FuzzyLOgic says:

    I’ve been going over some simple highlights of the top RB’s coming out this year and I still think our guy Carson looks more beastly than them. I will look more in depth this week though.

  34. JC says:

    When trading away future 2nd and 3rd round picks, even if you acknowledge a flawed team, you hope for the playoffs, as a mediocre end to the season benefits the Texans and Jets nearly as much as the Seahawks. I do think Brown and Richardson need to be priorities to extend, as they are in position of need with Brown, and Richardson with his age.

    Yes, the last 2 games were winnable, especially if self inflicted wounds did not occur, but there are more games that the Seahawks pulled out of a hat to where the 6-4 record is a pretty accurate reflection of the season. When playing a bunch of down to the wire games needing breaks to pull them out, sometimes that good fortune will work against you. The Eagles haven’t been worrying about a final possession to pull one out, they’ve been steamrolling many of their opponents, as have the Rams. The Seahawks have a few comfortable wins by game’s end, but those games were in doubt until well into the game. First half offense vs ATL was encouraging on that front at least. Hopefully that can continue.

    49ers are home off a bye, Seahawks have 6 days.. and it’s the Jimmy G debut. This game feels concerning.

  35. FuzzyLOgic says:

    If Q. Nelson falls to the late teens maybe we should finally go up in the first round this year. How much better would our line look next year and what could Russ do behind it?

    LT: Brown
    LG: Q. Nelson
    C: Britt
    RG: Ifedi
    RT: Fant

    Yes please.

    • Ed says:

      I think Pocic is fine. The Hawks really need a RB and WR. Those would be my first two picks. The defense won’t be as strong anymore. The RB are fragile. The WR are fragile (outside of ADB).

      Last year the Hawks went heavy in the secondary, I hope this year they go heavy on making the offense more explosive.

    • East Side Stevie says:

      Q Nelson LONG gone by the time we pick. Especially if we trade down.

  36. red says:

    Thoughts on Jalen Collins if he is there on waivers. 2015 2nd RD 6’1 32 1/8 arms. Just coming off 10 game suspension.

  37. East Side Stevie says:

    Here’s a link to some Senior Bowl updates. If anybody is interested in that.

    https://twitter.com/ledyardnfldraft/status/933432993980481536

  38. Hi rob thank you for the article very good information my question is I know Pete I very loyal to his coaching staff but perhaps time for some changes. Do you foresee any coaching changes during the off season.I totally agree this upcoming off season will be very interesting. Not everyone is coming back

  39. SeventiesHawksFan says:

    My off season priorities are: Sheldon Richardson, Frank Clark extension and Paul Richardson.

    And now maybe Dion Jordan and Shead, depending on how he plays.

    I think Luke Willson and McDougald are easy decisions to bring back as well, but that will depend on their price.

    I’d let ALL free agents walk just to re-sign Sheldon Richardson and Frank Clark if it came down to that. With Avril and Bennett both looking like the end has come, they have to be considered top priorities. And I can’t imagine the front office thinking that Jimmy’s value is higher than Sheldon’s.

    I like Jimmy Graham but don’t think he’s a the best use of cap resources, given our current situation. I think the Brown signing means Graham will be let go, and the decision has already been made.

    As for Kam, Avril, Sherman, Bennett . . . we just don’t know enough about any of their situations yet.

    Kam, Avril and Sherman all have NOT shown major signs of an major athletic fall off yet.

    And Sherman in particular was playing on a leg he said he was kinda protecting from making hard cuts on all season. He may come back as good as he once was. As much of his game is mental and knowing how to react in most situations.

    So in summary:

    The salary additions / increases I expect are: Frank Clark, Sheldon Richardson, Paul Richardson, Dion Jordan, McDougald. FA: Kicker, Left Guard, possibly another running back, possibly a blocking tight end.

    The bigger salary subtractions I expect are: Joeckel, Lacy, Jimmy Graham, Lane, Blair Walsh.

    The maybe subtractions are: Avril, Kam, Sherman, Bennett . . . all depending on health. If they all go, then that opens up a ton of additional free agent scenarios. And maybe we are bringing back Jimmy Graham.

  40. Hawk Eye says:

    I think it is way to early to decide who stays and goes, have to play out the rest of the year, see how they do and see who is healthy.
    I do think they make a couple of tough decisions in order to free up cap room. Right now they have the smallest amount of cap room for 2017 of any team.
    I think the O line will improve next year, the young guys improve naturally and they get better playing together.
    and I doubt they bring Joeckel back. Cost + performance + injuries. I also think they are paying Brown and Britt, plus have a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick, and Fant to compete for the rest of the line. I think they have to let this group play together and grow together.

    JG and Sheldon will depend on how much they want. If they cost to much, they will get good comp picks. Not sure anyone pays Sheldon big money. Only 1 sack, has a couple of drug suspensions (I think?) and while he has played well, he has not dominated. Who is going to pay $14 Mil + for him? With Reed, Malik and Jones they might be able to let him go for a lot less $$.

    My draft priorities would be CB and LB on D and RB on O. They always have a corner who gets picked on. I think Sherm and Griffen will be fine, but maybe Sherms last year in 2018, due to cost. I want a FAST LB who can play and eventually take over for KJ. I want more speed at CB and LB

    I think Procise stays, they have usually stuck with young, talented guys on rookie contracts. But they won’t count on him. And I hope they don’t pay another retread $4 mil at RB. Draft a couple of kids, let them compete. And if P Rich leaves, they may pay him at WR also.

    I think they still have control for Shead and Jordan next year. Maybe Shead goes back to safety if Kam retires?? But I don’t think Kam retires, and he is the Ray Lewis of that D. He is an Alpha Dawg among Alpha dogs. Don’t under estimate what he does for them.

    doubt they trade Bennett, and I doubt he retires. He plays too much now but I think they have enough kids to play to drop his plays to 50-60%, and he is still disruptive and a leader.

    I was going to add a WR or CB who can return kicks since Lockett has not done much this year UNTIL the last game when he showed us what he can do. But still want someone else to back him up.

    I doubt they change any coaches. Not Pete’s style. But I hope he has a different approach to penalties, they are are killing drives on O or extending them on D. Not a winning formula.
    I know Bevell does not have too many friends among the 12’s, but the offense is doing ok considering the situation at RB and O line. Now that JG is catching TD’s, I do not think he is the problem and he was creative against Atl. Maybe he is better with no running game that reduces his play sharing with Cable. I don’t blame either guy, but I don’t like that arrangement.

  41. Alex Higgins says:

    Coaching staff has to change. They’re not getting enough out of the talent. Especially the DC. Also, I don’t see what Cable has added as Ass’t Coach/OL Coach.
    We have the richest owner in the NFL. The one advantage is being able to buy the best coaching staff. Does anyone really think our coaches get the most out of the talent?

  42. Steele says:

    The Raiders, in panic mode, fired Ken Norton. Stupid of them. He wasn’t the problem. The next team that grabs him will benefit. Any takers?