CFB week two notes: Auburn loss emphasises O-line struggles

September 12th, 2017 | Written by Rob Staton

Auburn pasting highlights O-line issues (again)

It’s not what Seahawks fans want to hear but it’s really hard to find college offensive linemen who stand out. Washington’s Trey Adams didn’t have a great start against Rutgers and Texas’ Connor Williams hasn’t lived up to his hype so far. I’m yet to watch Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey this season but this isn’t encouraging:

Georgia beat Notre Dame 20-19 on Saturday, and the clinching play came at McGlinchey’s expense.

On first down at the Irish 36-yard line, Bulldogs linebacker Davin Bellamy skipped past left tackle McGlinchey, a preseason All-American and potential first-round NFL draft pick, and sacked quarterback Brandon Wimbush to force a fumble. Linebacker Lorenzo Carter recovered the ball and Georgia celebrated its win.

There’s a tendency sometimes to focus on the Seahawks and imagine they’re the only ones struggling on the offensive line. Tell that to fans of the Saints, the Texans (gave up 10 sacks on Sunday) or the Bengals. Most of the league is searching desperately to upgrade. Sadly, O-line play in college is terrible, the top High School athletes continue to want to play defense and this problem isn’t going away any time soon.

Clemson absolutely decimated Auburn’s O-line on Saturday to the tune of 11 (ELEVEN) sacks. That’s a line that includes a player — guard/tackle Braden Smith — whom some have touted as a potential first round prospect.

Christian Wilkins looked every bit a top-15 pick. He had two sacks, absorbed blockers and just dominated. Future 2019 high pick Dexter Lawrence was tremendous, Clelin Ferrell had a sack and worked relentlessly off the edge. Austin Bryant had four sacks.

Auburn couldn’t throw the ball (74 passing yards) and couldn’t run either. Brilliant, physical running back Kamryn Pettway managed 74 tough yards on 22 carries. Every single yard had to be earned.

It was a complete mismatch. A perfect illustration of the problems facing the NFL.

Even a team like Clemson, often known for big passing production and star receivers, is now winning games in the trenches relying on defense.

This one ended 14-6 to Clemson.

The 2018 draft is going to be dominated by quarterbacks (more on that in a moment) but then you’ll see the top end littered with the usual cluster of defensive linemen. Wilkins, Bradley Chubb, Arden Key, Vita Vea, Harold Landry and others. And, as is becoming the norm, we’ll wonder if the tide will ever turn back in the favour of offensive linemen.

There just aren’t many Zack Martin’s out there.

College quarterbacks continue to shine

This has been billed as ‘the year of the quarterback’ and with good reason. I had the opportunity to watch Sam Darnold, Lamar Jackson and Josh Rosen again over the weekend. All three continue to perform at a high level and appear destined for the first round.

Darnold again had a really impressive outing. He threw two interceptions against Stanford but it doesn’t really matter considering what he did in the game. His ability to throw into difficult spots, adjust his body and make plays on the move and just be the ultimate college playmaker is highly impressive. He looks like a complete natural.

Jackson looks like he’s heading for a second consecutive Heisman and who’s going to stop him? His performance against North Carolina wasn’t quite as accomplished as his Purdue effort — but he still finished with 393 passing yards, 132 rushing yards, six total touchdowns and zero turnovers. He’s taken major strides as a passer. His next game against Clemson on Saturday should be fun. He’s the most dynamic player in college football and this level of talent warrants first round consideration:

Rosen had a bit of fortune in his epic comeback against Texas A&M (as discussed in last weeks podcast) but he flashes a pro-skill set and has shown the ability to make some of the more difficult throws. Against Hawaii he had five touchdowns and 329 passing yards. He has the frame, arm talent and natural ability to be a first round quarterback. He lacks Darnold’s improvisational skills and Jackson’s physical profile but he’s no slouch. He looks like a future NFL quarterback.

Scot McCloughan recently predicted on his fascinating Twitter feed that we could see five first round quarterbacks next year. These three could quickly develop into a lock for that range. With Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Nick Fitzgerald also in the reckoning — 2018 could see a rare influx of young talent at the games most important position.

Receiver makes another statement

Last week we highlighted Indiana’s Simmie Cobbs Jr as a player who impressed against Ohio State. On Saturday he made another impression against Virginia:

In two games he has 211 yards and a couple of touchdowns. He’s listed at 6-4 and 220lbs. As stated a week ago, this is a guy to keep an eye on in 2017.

86 Responses to “CFB week two notes: Auburn loss emphasises O-line struggles”

  1. peter says:

    love these writeups. and do agree it’s not going to be easy to solve the line as easily as many think. I’d still like to see some consistency and assume they will pick a lineman early in the draft. my early thoughts are going to be seattle looks to add a receiver unless darboh really emerges. if Richardson stays healthy I think he’ll be too expensive to retain….if they want to keep graham and Sheldon Richardson.

    Have to think that lb/ de are in the mix with avril looking great but getting up there in age.

  2. Clayton says:

    Rob,
    I was wondering if you are following Mitch Hyatt, Clemson LT. It seems like he is generating some attention:

    http://www.profootballweekly.com/lists/2017/05/31/89dfd129979b408fb83bdfb0d1a4c13b/index.xml?page=1

  3. AlaskaHawk says:

    USC is the team to beat in the Pac 12 this year. Sam Darnold looks great in his second season starting. He has a couple real good wide receivers to throw to.

    #80 Deontay Burnett is a Junior and a real speedster with good hands. Has a bit of an attitude which is fine as long as he controls it.

    #4 Steven Mitchell Jr. is a Senior and looked great also.

  4. RogerT says:

    Hey, Rob. Maybe here in the comments, could you—or anyone else out there who’s knowledgable–explain to me a little about what you see that the good O lines in the NFL have that the Seahawks don’t.

    How, for instance, has Dallas built its line? Dak is very good, but I have to think Russell Wilson would be lights out if he had that kind of time and the run game? I know Dallas had high picks, but did they just luck out by not missing on these picks? Do they have some secret to drafting that we don’t?

    Also, the zone blocking scheme is always regarded as complicated, difficult to pull off, etc. I’m not sure why it’s in such heavy use then, instead of something simpler. Even just asking our linemen to fire off the line and not pull back at the snap seems like it could buy RW just a half second more, which might be all he needs.

    Thanks.

    • Rob Staton says:

      In Dallas’ case it’s quite simply — they were fortunate enough to pick early and in range for two absolute studs in Zack Martin and Tyron Smith. They then added a quality center (who, IMO, shouldn’t have lasted as long as he did in R1 and wrote about him a fair amount at the time) and the line is complete. Had the Seahawks not won the NFC West in 2010 with a 7-9 record they would’ve picked at #8 and Smith likely would’ve been in Seattle. C’est la vie. I wouldn’t swap that for Beast Quake.

      Nevertheless, Smith, Martin and Frederick were three players that a consensus was built on that they would make good pro’s and it’s proved to be the case. The one thing I suppose you can credit Dallas on is for committing to building, patiently, one unit of the line. And while they’ve done that, they’ve also managed to find a potential franchise quarterback in round four and Rod Marinelli gets every little drop out of that defense. So they don’t suffer for focusing on one unit.

      • Hawk Eye says:

        but while Dallas has a great o line, the money spent has caused problems for their defense.
        I think that their o line is at $46 million for 4 players next year. Before a Martin extension that makes him the highest paid guard.

        I doubt a first round pick will help the Hawks next year. They need time.
        In theory,
        Rees should be better this year than Fant was last year.
        Joekel should be an upgrade on Glow
        Britt in year 4 should improve
        Glow or Aboushi should be better at RG than Ifedi last year
        and Ifedi at RT should be equal or better than Gilliam was last year at RT.
        That theory did not hold water at GB, but they should improve as the year goes on.
        If they do not, then we have a coaching issue, whether it is teaching or scheme.
        I am on the fence for Cable. Britt was seen as a reach by most when he was drafted, and in year 3 he became a Pro Bowl alternate. Need to see what he can do with Ifedi and Rees this year. If the line does not improve you have to make changes or you fall into the “repeating the same thing and expecting different results level of insanity”.
        The line should improve just by staying together all year and the young players learning and getting a bit better. Right??!

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          I’m unsure if it matters how the offensive line plays if the opponents continue to load the box and Seahawks continue to try to run the ball into 8-9 defenders. The numbers just don’t work out.

          Need a different offensive scheme. Seahawks haven’t looked good with bubble screens in past. Had some luck with jet sweeps until the opponents figured it out. And haven’t run many quick slant plays to the middle, with the exception of the superbowl debacle. They were successful with read option and some roll outs. They need to find a scheme that suits the current team.

  5. Preston says:

    Rob,

    Great piece on college talent we’re looking at in 2018. Agree 100% o line talent is as rare as it comes.

    Wondering if it’s too early in the season to do a write up on Avril and Bennet past this season and the level of urgency Seattle will be looking to replace their services given their age? Considering Seattle has a few rentals in Jordan, smith, and potentially Richardson, what does the depth of DE talent look like in this upcoming draft in your opinion? To be clear, I do believe they intend to give Richardson an extension.

    With what you said in this post, I believe our strategy will continue to be focused on developing lineman rather than praying for a drafted plug and play. Looking at rookie dlinemen, they seem to be ready to make instant impacts

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think they’ll be looking too urgently beyond Avril and Bennett. To me they still look very good and they’re both on team friendly contracts. That said, I think it’d be wise for the Seahawks to keep adding talent on the DL and OL wherever possible. It’s looking like a decent D-line class but we’re again left hoping that O-liners will emerge.

  6. Michael M. says:

    I wonder what the NFL will do to try to counter this problem. You know Goodell wants the score of every game to be in the 50’s

    • RealRhino2 says:

      Good point. I really think the issues aren’t as simple as saying there aren’t enough good guys around to play OL. It’s possible, but unlikely. The issue, IMO, is more one of development.

      The problem probably started in the 1970s, in college. To break the stranglehold of the football factories, coaches at smaller programs had to change their offenses. Fast forward to the present, and you see dozens of programs running some version of the spread, uptempo, etc., where OTs don’t even get in a 3-point stance any more. And the ball is out in 3 seconds, so they don’t have to hold blocks, just get in the way. And the QB is a runner, they roll the pocket, etc., so again, OL don’t have to actually move anybody. Not to mention that practice time is incredibly limited.

      So it’s hard to tell who is even good sometimes. Heard Stephen White talking about Laremy Tunsil’s tape before the draft, said he’s probably the best guy, but had literally not one time seen him make a kind of block that he’d be asked to make in the NFL several times per game (can’t remember the specific block technique). And they get to the NFL, and you get very little actual contact work to teach them.

      A DE needs just one move to succeed, really. Derek Barnett got a jillion sacks with just an outside speed rush. Tim Williams got a jillion with basically just an inside counter after setting up the speed rush. But an OL needs to be able to handle both. Which takes practice time they don’t get.

      I think at the NFL level they’ve got to come up with some way to get extra OL on the PS and get them legit practice time and experience against other teams.

  7. Aaron says:

    All we gotta do is go .500 on the road and undefeated at home and we’re 12-4. That record is likely to get you a no. 1 or 2 seed. We just gotta find the best five up front and execute on plays. I have huge reservations about Tom Cable’s leadership and coaching, but I personally have confidence in a Tobin-Joeckel-Britt-Aboushi-Ifedi group to resemble a semi functional o line. What do y’all think? What’s your best five?

    • Thy Hawk is Howling says:

      Aaron I’m pretty sure we’ll roll with the same line this Sunday against The 49ers. We shall see what happens after this game if they don’t get it going!

  8. Thy Hawk is Howling says:

    Found this these were the OL grades Sunday

    Go Team!

    https://twitter.com/Seattlechawks/status/907306513982742535/photo/1

    • RealRhino2 says:

      You know, I’m sure those have some basis in reality, but I just rewatched the 1st quarter, and honestly, IMO it wasn’t the O-Line’s fault. It makes me feel a little bit better. I don’t know if part of it is fixable (the Tom Cable is an idiot part), but it wasn’t nearly as trash as people say, and didn’t really cause our slow start.

      Here’s what I saw:

      We DID do things to help us out, knowing the OL would have trouble. Day after the game I read all about how we beat our heads against the wall, that Bevell was terrible for not getting us into some stuff that took into account our likely OL problems. But he did.

      You read, oh, first play Russ runs for his life. Second play stuffed. Third play Russ again swarmed. But that first drive got nowhere because of two guys: Russ and his BFF Jimmy Graham. (With a little Carson). That first play, no need for Russ to run for his life, because Bevell had designed a neat little play with the bunch formation to the right, close to the line. ADB, Preach, Tre Madden. JG on the left does a little pick for Carson’s release. Russ looks to his right, where Tre Madden is clearly going to be free in the flat for probably a 6-8 yard gain if he doesn’t break a tackle b/c the LB chasing got caught up inside. Inexplicably, Russ doesn’t throw and looks to his left instead. Where he has Carson free b/c the LB got caught up in JG’s pick. Now, Carson had a bad angle if it was just a checkdown release, but he carries upfield on a wheel route. It would have been a tighter fit, but Russ could have gotten him the ball. Instead, he holds it to wait for Carson to get farther downfield, and….

      Tre Madden was open. Once again Russ decided not to go with the guy the play designed to get open.

      Second play, Ifedi just slipped. But ADB could have gotten 3-4 yards at least on that little WR screen if JG could/would block. AT all. POC. JG had the outside guy, Ifedi would have been responsible for the defender that ended up taking away ADB’s cutback option. But he wouldn’t have needed or wanted to cut back if JG did his job.

      Third play, JG is supposed to chip the DE to help Odhiambo, then release. Well, in true JG form, he doesn’t do one of those. NO EFFORT at all to do his job, Russ goes down.

      Second series, the Eddie Lacy everybody is complaining about looked good, got us to 3rd & 2, OL blocking okay. on 3rd, Graham, actually trying because he knows the play is designed for him, gets open for a quick slant. But the ball is knocked down at the LOS. It happens, but the OL did it’s job okay that series.

      Third series, Prosise comes in. Running play. Gets blown up in the backfield. Thing is, I don’t think it’s anybody’s fault on the OL (maybe Britt). Yeah, Mike Daniels got in the backfield to blow it up, but he’s only there because Tom Cable is an idiot. I see him frequently putting guys in a position to fail. In this case, on a play designed to go to the RIGHT, Daniels shifts from directly over Joeckel to in the A gap, like a tilted nose. He’s closer to Britt. And we don’t change anything. So Joeckel has to execute a reach block on a guy lined up well outside his right shoulder who is also rushing AWAY from Joeckel. Britt doesn’t combo block at all, goes to the 2nd level immediately, Joeckel is left with an impossible block to seal that lane. Even so, Prosise could/should have cut back to where the play was blocked well, to Joeckel’s left, and he just didn’t do it.

      3rd and 12, Russ has all day, just throws 6 yards short of the sticks for some reason.

      Summary: The OL wasn’t very good, but the guys ON the OL itself performed well enough so that if other guys (Russ, Graham, Carson and Prosise) had been on point we’d have kept a few drives going in that 1st quarter. Oh, and the guys themselves would be better if Cable did a better job coaching them, either not asking the impossible or doing a better job with combo blocks, etc. Odhiambo obviously struggled, but it shouldn’t have been the death knell it turned out to be.

      • Thy Hawk is Howling says:

        Great analysis Rhino you’re keeping it real! You really do know alot about the fundamentals and techniques to the game! Question for you, what changes would you implement to improve our Offensive production giving Russ some damn time to throw? Seriously I would Love to see what would happen with Wilson calling the plays and I don’t understand why they don’t turn the reigns over to him more? Cheers

        Go Hawks

      • Joshua Smith says:

        Interesting analysis! Thanks!

      • Ishmael says:

        Thanks for this. Just goes to show how important it is not to completely blow up watching on game day.

        I wonder if Wilson has a bit of a mental block about Green Bay at this point

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Yes thanks Rhino. Good to have some thought put into the first series.

  9. Joshua Smith says:

    There is something that I noticed not long after I started watching football that nobody talks about. Defensive linemen are schemed to have every advantage over offensive linemen. Defensive linemen get to sit plays out and rest, whereas the same 5 O-linemen are usually expected to play every snap. There are also defensive line personnel packages designed specifically for run downs and passing downs, while offensive linemen have to be jacks of all trades – dealing with run specialists on first and second down, and pass rushing specialists on third. Its also a mostly thankless job and no position group outside of maybe QB is more scrutinized

    • Old but Slow says:

      Interesting observation, and worth some additional thought. The immediate reaction would be that Offensive line requires discipline, and defensive line is more free flowing, but, really, that is a bit weak. It does not seem beyond logical to have rotations on the O line. Most of the time both teams know what a teams focus will be. Behind by 20, you’re going to chuck it, up by a dozen, you sit on it. What are you giving up by giving players a rest?

      I’m not settled on this one, but it is worth a thought.

    • C-Dog says:

      One reason to shift to uptempo is to keep the DL and defense from subbing in other players and packages.

  10. Coleslaw says:

    Probably nothing but maybe the FO wants Pocic to know RT because they don’t want to have to take another one early and they don’t trust Ifedi yet. They’re set up nicely to get a LG in the first. The talent is there and teams are likely going to be focused on all the OTs and DEs and the usual QB/WR. Also could be an early run on RBs. Joeckel is nice but idk that they want to spend 8M+ per year

    • FresnoBrad says:

      Cole Quentin Nelson is the best OL in 2018 doubt the LG falls to the back of round 1. The next best LG is the former LSU guard that transferred, HE’S PROJECTED LATE 2nd/3rd. How do you come to the conclusion 2018 draft is set up for LG prospects? It makes sense to me that we sign a LG in Free Agency because Jimmy Graham, Luke Joekel, & Paul Richardson won’t generate much in compensation draft picks. 9.5 million a year might generate a 3rd but even if it does none of our FA will get 9.5 million a year. Due to the pressure from Paul Allen to fix the OL, the fact the dynasty window is closing, & Pete Carroll is a year closer to retiring it makes sense to source the FA market. If Joekel plays like the best LG in the NFL we keep him but at the moment it seems like Hawks overhyped Joekel.

  11. millhouse-serbia says:

    I don’t like this.

    So does that kind of talk create issues between the offense and defense? Receiver Doug Baldwin addressed the topic during a Tuesday visit to PFT Live.

    “You guys know this,” Baldwin said. “We’re very open with each other and vulnerable in our locker room. We speak truth. It’s very important to us is that we hold each other accountable and we’re honest with each other. Earl was being honest, and if I’m being honest he was speaking truth. It has been like this for a lot of years.”

    There’s a business reason for it, as Baldwin sees it.

    “The reality of the situation is that the majority of our money is spent on the defense,” Baldwin said. “They are gonna be tasked with pulling more of the weight because that’s their job. Offensively, yes, that’s not an excuse offensively. We have our job and our weight to pull as well. We didn’t play well last Sunday and we’re gonna get that corrected. But he’s right. Our defense has always led the way. Pete Carroll is a defensive-minded coach. So it’s important that our defensive guys feel that and understand that.”

    • Old but Slow says:

      Great reaction. Baldwin will be a great politician.

    • C-Dog says:

      I don’t think it does at all. My guess is that most of the guys on the offense who have been in the program long enough understand that the emphasis has been placed on the defense. Some might not like it.

      Going back and looking at this last game, it was interesting in a not so good way to see Jimmy Graham’s body language and effort at times. That was not a good outing for him. I want to say that the other outings against the Pack weren’t the best for him either, so maybe it just is the way that defense has their number, but considering what he came from in NO, and that he was traded for and not signed, I’m starting to doubt a bit whether he’s staying a Hawk beyond this season, depending on how this season shakes out.

      • mishima says:

        Jimmy Graham disappears. Extending him would be a mistake.

        • Smitty1547 says:

          I agree with the Baldwin statement, whats not to like? Also agreed they should part ways with graham between his lack of effort and are creativity or lack there of, money would be better spent on Richardson and some line help.

    • Ishmael says:

      I love it.

      That sort of open communication, honesty, and clarity inside the locker room is massively important. It’s an unusual group of talent they’ve got there, a lot of tightly wound guys with massive personalities. Letting things simmer away, pretending there’s no problem, would blow up in a big way at some point.

  12. Logan Lynch says:

    I took an interesting tidbit from Pete Carroll’s weekly Monday show with Brock and Salk. They were talking about how hard it is to find OL who can both pass block and run block and mentioned something about rotating lineman in based on the situation to suit their strengths. Pete said that he’s thought about that in the past.

    It’s not a huge, revolutionary piece of information, but it clearly shows that Pete is always trying to get an edge. All of the points we’re bringing up that we think he should do with the offense have already been discussed inside that building and are either being worked on or are being dismissed due to some inside information we’re not privy to.

    As fans we have a right to voice our concern or displeasure with a team, but to assume that we’ve come up with some answer that the coaches (who are paid millions of dollars to do this for a living) haven’t thought of is asinine. That being said, discussion and speculation is fun. Go nuts!

    • vrtkolman says:

      Interesting idea but wouldn’t that completely tip off the defense as to what play they are going to run? I remember two years ago reading an article on Denver, and I think it was Von Miller who said that one certain team had a lineman or two who had a small tell on running plays. Made Denver’s day really easy. I forget which team it was but it seems like it’s important to hide that information pre-snap.

    • Trevor says:

      That is interesting but how does that help this years OL? Would you not be telegraphing run or pass based on the OL rotation? We can’t even find 5 competent starters let alone enough for a rotation.

      I agree they are always looking for ways to improve and get an edge. Love that about PC/JS but whatever they have been thinking about for the last 5 years with regards to OL has not worked. The abysmal results on the feild speak for themselves.

      • Logan Lynch says:

        I agree with both you, Trevor, and vrtkolman above that it would tip plays and I’m sure that’s why PC decided not to pursue it. In theory, you could use gamesmanship to run out of your pass OL or vice versa, but that would essentially defeat the purpose since they’re not suited for that type of blocking.

        I was mainly using this nugget as another instance showing Pete is always thinking and trying to get an advantage. I agree about the OL play being generally terrible, but that seems to be a leaguewide trend unfortunately.

        Interesting article on ESPN about OL. Howard Mudd reviews OL play from the struggling teams and gives his thoughts. Actually pretty high on Ifedi (thinks he has a chance to be in the top 20% of the 64 starting NFL T once he gets more experience) and Britt (already a top 6 or 7 C). Also thinks Odhi already better than Fant last year.

        http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/20688504/nfl-2017-o-line-calamity-index-trouble-front

    • Hawk Eye says:

      as someone who has to to help others fix their businesses on occasion it seems easy to see a problem from the outside, but have a very different perspective when looking at it from the management side. The easy answer is to say the Pete, John, Cable, Bevel don’t know what they are doing with regards to the o line, but they have both more information about the situation than anyone else does, and they have a level of success in their industry that only exceeded by Bellichek & Co.

      as frustrating as it is to watch the o line get dominated, repeatedly, we cannot just say they don’t know what they are doing or are not trying. The other team on the field is also trying to win, and the hawks still win 2/3 of the time. Just because we expect them to win 3/4 to all of the time does not mean they are a failure.

      that said, I really, really, really hope the o line improves. I would ask Pete to sell his soul for a Super Bowl, but Bellichek would probably not do that deal……

  13. Trevor says:

    That Clemson DL is loaded! Dabo Swinney has built something special at Clemson. Seems like a great recruiter. Positive and lots of energy. The ACC version of Pete.

    Christin Wilkkins will likely be a top 10 pick but if not he would be the ideal pick. He would almost be a Sheldon Richardson clone without the price tag. Imagine Wilkins and Mcdowell lining up at DT for the next 4-5 years for the Hawks.

  14. Trevor says:

    I have been a big Jimmy Graham supporter all along and thought he should be a priority resign.

    Having re-watched the Packers game, my goodness he was awful and even worse his body language and energy was terrible. Hope it was just a one off bad game but the body language and energy is something to monitor.

    I love Earl and Angry Doug! They keep it real and always show up. I thought Sherm played hard like always as well.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      He looked like a Saint again 😖

    • 503Hawk says:

      Trevor, my exact thoughts. He is a unique and dynamic weapon, but that was an embarrassing performance.
      Like Russ, could there be some underlying issues going on? It’s clear to me that he is being misused be this coaching staff. He is probably massively frustrated, and rightfully so. Because of this miscasting of his talents, I can’t see him resigning next year.

      • Trevor says:

        I tend to agree I am sure he would prefer to go to a scheme like he had in NO where he was used as a mismatch receiver not inline blocking TE.

        I am not a Bevell hater but the Hawks use of Graham is mind boggling.

        • DC says:

          The Graham trade seems like a fantasy football move. He went from the ideal situation for him to a team that really needs another peak powers, Zach Miller type. Maybe JG will yet prove to be a core player on our team but our inability to free him up with better OL blocking means he may never be ideally utilized as a hawk.

  15. Kenny Sloth says:

    Mike Daniels has one less career starts than Joeckel and Britt combined. Then you have 3rd year slump Glowinski, and the sophomores; rapidly improving Ifedi, and absolute eyesore Odhiambo.

    Can’t pressure Wilson if you run it.

    • Trevor says:

      Good point Kenny. SF is awful against the run. I really hope the use this game to feature Carson and Prosise and run it down SF throats to let the OL build some confidence. Would love to see 30+ runs.

  16. nichansen01 says:

    I kind of hope we have a losing record this season. Just so carrol is forced to make some personnel changes, and so we can pick in the top 10.

    • DC says:

      I hope we win the Super Bowl.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      I literally always secretly wish that.

      But the idea that it would actually be good for the team is….. Just so unspeakably dissonant.

      Like saying you hope the USA soccer team misses the world cup.

      No. We don’t need to waste a peak championship window year and further strain the franchise (especially these snowflake fans).

      Just utterly deluted to hope we’re ‘forced to make changes’

    • Logan Lynch says:

      So you would be ok with losing another year in the prime of many of our best players’ careers just to have the chance to draft a player that may or may not turn out to be good? Solid reasoning.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Anyone saying they want to fail this year to pick in the top ten makes me thing they’re just here to troll.

    • Ishmael says:

      This is such a spoiled, childish, fanbase at times

    • Thy Hawk is Howling says:

      Ah Nic I know you’re just frustrated man and said that because it was so disappointing against the Packers. I’m very confident we will get it going against the Niner Miner’s this Sunday. The way I see it now we won’t have the stresses of going 19-0 so I’m thinking 18-1 this year now. Superbowl here we come Minneapolis!

      Go Hawks

    • vrtkolman says:

      If you aren’t enjoying it then you may want to take a break. Even if the line was average, the odds making the Superbowl is so low. Enjoy the wins while they are here man.

    • nichansen01 says:

      Anyone else get feeling we are in football purgatory? Like we’re not good enough to make it past the divisional round in the playoffs… but we’re not bad enough to pick where we can actually get an impact rookie.

  17. Kenny Sloth says:

    Notice how no-one talks about the margin of victory against the seahawks anymore.

    Ever since our streak of not losing by more than a touchdown was broken we’ve been supremely beatable.

    Seems to coincide with a decommitment to a struggling run game.

    Which is the opposite of what you’re supposed to do.

    Run game struggles, you struggle with it.

    This ain’t hockey

    • Logan Lynch says:

      Since Week 9 of 2011, we’ve lost exactly 3 games by double digits including playoffs. Twice to GB (2015, 2016) and the ATL playoff game last season. Yes, all 3 of those occurred over two seasons but that’s still 3/36 games including playoffs which is remarkable really.

      I’m curious to see how GB performs this week. I remember how teams that played SEA in 2013/2014 tended to lose the week after. It seemed like they put everything they had into playing us and had a down week the next time out. With how our defense is this year, I would like to see that trend come back.

      • Hawk Eye says:

        very possible.
        As long as the D is not on the field for 40 minutes every game…..

        • Aaron says:

          +1
          If our defense is on the field a lot again this season because of offensive line ineptitude then they’ll run out of gas by playoff time. Everything hinges on the o line becoming functional…EVERYTHING!!!

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        I know that.

        I’m more interested in the narrative of the seahawks keeping it close.

        I mean. You can include this game and the key difference becomes clear.

        A reliable run game.

        • Logan Lynch says:

          I wasn’t arguing your point about the run game being important Kenny, just providing a counterpoint to the extremely beatable comment because I think SEA is far from that.

          A strong running game is at the core of Pete’s philosophy and I hope they can get back to that too.

      • 503Hawk says:

        Refresh my memory. Weren’t all of those games on the road and w/o Marshawn Lynch?

  18. vrtkolman says:

    Seems like the national media is finally picking up on the general awful state of offensive lines in the NFL. A little bit late there, especially since Rob and company figured this out a few years ago :).

    The Bengals/Texans Thursday night game is going to be horrific.

  19. Ed says:

    I know it’s way too early to say, but as of now 2018 will be full of changes:

    Joeckel
    Lacy
    L. Wilson
    Graham
    Oboushi
    McDougal
    Richardson

    Of that group, I would think only Richardson gets offer from Hawks:

    Lane
    Sherman
    Thomas
    Avril
    Wright
    Lockett
    Clark
    Glowinski

    Of this group that will have 1 year left on contract, so cut/trade etc…, Thomas and Clark are my locks to resign. Sherman (trade). Lane (cut/trade). Avril (let deal expire). Wright (let deal expire or short extension). Lockett (has he really shown enough to get big 2nd contract, no. Glow, just a backup, don’t spend the money.

    Could they trade JG and Lane to Cleveland for J. Thomas? Or maybe to Houston for D. Brown and something?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think it’s time to rest the ‘trade for Joe Thomas’ talk. If the Browns were interesting in moving him, they would’ve done it by now. They are starting a rookie QB and there’s little sense in getting rid of one of the best left tackles without any obvious replacement.

      • FresnoBrad says:

        Agree with Rob & the fact our players won’t generate as much as you think in trade value. Also now that Lane is still on the team I’m counting on him to improve this year & now I consider him a stud CB that we have on a cheap contract. If Lane gets injured or plays bad, at that time I will count him out in 2018. Unfortunately I believe Sherman will be traded due to his age as a NFL CB, it’s the right thing to do for our cap & team, hopefully Sherman rebounds from 2016 so we get good value for him. Also as good as Frank Clark is I’m seriously horrified guaranteeing Clark big $$. Punching defenseless Ifeldi & knocking him out is a crazy criminal act, that should have resulted in jail time.

        • Ed says:

          Very true. So for you, no Clark either? Wow, that will be a big overhaul. Please add DB and TC to that list for me. For how good the defense looks, KR might get a look somewhere else after this season too.

        • Hawktalker#1 says:

          What? You seriously think Lane is a stud CB? Seriously? IF he plays bad??? Come on man. 🙂

      • Ed says:

        A boy can always dream Rob. You going to tell me Santa Claus and the Easter bunny aren’t real too?

        • Rob Staton says:

          Dream away — but by now I think it’s fairly well established Cleveland isn’t trading Thomas.

          • Trevor says:

            I agree Rob! There was one chance to acquire Thomas at the trade deadline two years ago before the new regime came in at Cleveland. The Hakws should have made that deal but didn’t. Since Hugh Jackson and the new management came in they seem very clear that Thomas is the face of the franchise and going nowhere. Who better to protect a young developing QB.

  20. Hawk Eye says:

    In response to Fresno Brad asking about the Home =town discount Brady gives the Pats.
    bit of a myth

    here are total salaries of top earning QB’s up to last season

    Flacco $85.800,000 8 years
    Brady $162,779,000 16 seasons
    Palmer $138,127,242, 13 seasons
    Manning, P $248,732,000, 18 seasons
    Manning, E $187.700,000 12 seasons
    Brees $150,455,000 15 seasons
    Rivers $151,000,000 12 seasons
    Roethlisberger $140,000,000 12 seasons
    Romo, $118,900,000 13 seasons

    while Brady has made less money than the Mannings, they were #1 picks, and Brady was a 6th round pick. He has not made THAT much less, and a few years ago his salary cap hit was $25 million. And his current salaries are low because the Pats did not think he would be playing, but it was like the last Marshawn deal, they would pay him and let him keep the rest, stretching it out over a few years.

    more important to look at the salaries the NE pays Gronk and a few other guys. They have been able to get a lot of other players on really good deals, but Brady is paid in line with Top QB’s. Isn’t Brees considered greedy? Compare his earnings to Brady!

  21. nichansen01 says:

    Watched the Jags-Texans game. To my eyes, Leonard Fournette looks no better than Chris Carson. Doesn’t really break tackles, doesn’t have great speed.

  22. Volume12 says:

    Seattle wont change anything when it comes to the O-line. PC always was and always will be stubborn. Its just who he is. He’s an amazing car salesman for lack of a much better word. They’ll ride this thing out for better or worse.

  23. Volume12 says:

    Texas OT Connor Williams is so damn overrated.

    What is with that garbage pass set? Is he taught that? He literally hops backwards. If he’s been taught that, may god have mercy on these hapless future NFL QBs.

  24. John_s says:

    John Kelly looked like a stud for Tennessee. Kid can do it all