Eight things that I think about the Seahawks this week

September 8th, 2020 | Written by Rob Staton

1. Mixed messages from Pete Carroll

Seattle’s Head Coach was asked about Jadeveon Clowney twice in yesterday’s press conference but his answer contradicted itself.

He started by saying, “We were involved throughout” and then later added, “We were in it the whole time… We were with him the whole time in the discussion… John (Schneider) was in on all of it.

Yet he also said, “We moved on, you know, for the most part well early in the offseason.”

Unfortunately the message from Carroll was as muddled as Seattle’s approach to fixing the pass rush.

Frankly they needed to pick one of the options. Be with Clowney ‘the whole time’ and get a deal done or move on and sign someone else — such as Everson Griffen, who was available for a very modest $6m.

2. Carroll is well aware of the situation

It was a flat press conference with very little energy. It was reminiscent of the conference immediately following the first round of the 2019 draft. It’s easy to tell when Carroll isn’t happy. It was written all over his face here.

He bristled at the modest handful of questions about the pass rush. When asked directly if they’d improved the unit from a year ago, he simply spoke about the hope that Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa’s 2019 sack production would translate and that Jarran Reed could return to 2018 form.

Carroll also used the word ‘anxious’ several times when discussing how he needs to see both lines at the weekend. This doesn’t have to be construed as a negative. You can be anxious to see something in a positive sense too. Yet to me, it all contributed to reveal how Carroll actually feels. His body language, his words, the way he chose to answer questions.

He knows this defensive line is a problem and I think he is concerned. I think he was flat because the goalposts have moved. For weeks and months the likes of Jadeveon Clowney and Everson Griffen remained available. Carroll publicly revealed his expectation that there would be some surprise cuts that could lead to an opportunity before the season started.

Now Clowney and Griffen are gone and those surprise cuts didn’t materialise.

He knows they’ll be walking into Atlanta with more hope than expectation that this is going to work out OK. It’s not just the D-line either. He said he was anxious about the O-line too and rightly so with three new starters — including a draft bust, a rookie and a player benched by the Jets last year.

The Seahawks will start the season with a potential glaring problem in the trenches that isn’t going to be easy to solve. It’ll probably be giving Carroll sleepless nights.

3. It was a disappointing press conference

This was the ideal opportunity for Seattle’s media to quiz Carroll on the defensive line. After all, both he and Schneider said fixing the pass rush was the priority this off-season.

Kudos to Art Thiel for asking whether the D-line had improved from last year. There should’ve been more questions though. Had they faced unexpected issues in addressing this need? Is the lack of depth at defensive tackle, with only three on the roster, a concern? Have they addressed this issue as much as they would’ve liked? How does Carroll feel about PFF ranking the D-line as the worst in the league?

None of these questions are unfair or particularly mischievous. They were relevant though. Even if you’re willing to give the Seahawks the benefit of the doubt on their pass rush ‘repair’, you’d surely at least acknowledge this is a topic that warrants some examination and some digging?

It would’ve been nice to see a bit more done in this area. In 20 minutes there were two blasts at the Clowney topic and Thiel’s question on the D-line. More time was spent on the impact of Covid testing, how Carroll felt about the impacted pre-season and protests — all of which has been covered in great detail already. Carroll even dedicated a whole conference to an impassioned speech on social justice.

It would’ve been nice to flesh out a bit more on how the pass rush priority ended up equating to losing Clowney, Quinton Jefferson and Al Woods and only signing modest replacements. This could be the defining factor of the season after all. Even if you anticipate Carroll batting away the questions — you still have to ask them.

4. Carroll’s praise for Ethan Pocic felt forced

Pocic was named the starter for next Sunday with Carroll stating:

“He had a great camp. Ethan had offseason surgery on something that’s been bothering him for a number of years, an athletic hernia thing that he’s been dealing with. All I can tell you is he did a great job in camp and looked terrific. He was our most experienced guy with handling the whole system and all, and it showed. So we’re fired up to see him go.”

The thing is, we already know the Seahawks worked out Justin Britt last week and tried (but failed) to re-sign him. He’s since travelled to Green Bay for a try-out.

If Pocic had enjoyed a ‘terrific’ and ‘great’ camp — you wouldn’t be needing to try and re-sign Britt the week before the season.

The truth is if Britt and the Seahawks had agreed terms, he could’ve been starting on Sunday having been rushed back for kick off.

5. The Seahawks need to assess how they operate in 2021

How many times did you hear the words, ‘they’re not finished yet’ or something along those lines?

From free agency to the draft to even this week. Everyone assumed they would do more because quite simply, they had to do more.

This has to change in the future.

The Seahawks need to get out of this recent habit of needing to address crucial needs when the main roster building events (free agency & draft) are complete.

Last year they had to rush Ziggy Ansah in after the draft to fill a glaring hole at pass rush. With hindsight, the Seahawks badly misjudged that addition given he played through semi-retirement in 2019. He wasn’t healthy and he didn’t look particularly motivated.

Thus they ran the risk of going into the off-season relying on Barkevious Mingo, Jacob Martin and Cassius Marsh for a pass rush until Houston bailed them out with the Clowney trade. This year, no such bailing out occurred.

So despite all the calls throughout the summer and during camp that they wouldn’t be finished — actually they were. They didn’t sign other players and instead of Mingo, Martin and Marsh they’re now relying on Mayowa, Green and Irvin.

Next year, if there’s a problem to be solved — get it done in March. Don’t assume things will be OK down the line.

The Seahawks shouldn’t be banking on last minute antidotes.

6. I’m not sure it’s going to happen for Quinton Dunbar

He was already playing catchup when the allegation of armed robbery was dropped. However, in the last week he’s also been away from the team again for an unknown reason and now he’s being freshly linked with the DeAndre Baker case.

Who knows whether this will lead to any future legal trouble but it could certainly have an impact on the NFL’s decision over a possible suspension.

Regardless of his work with Marquand Manuel — he’s still learning a new scheme that other players have struggled to pickup. Maybe it’s just a hunch but I’m anticipating Tre Flowers as a starting cornerback in 2020 — not just for week one.

7. Clay Matthews on the way?

Don’t be surprised if he goes through Covid testing by the end of the week to enter Seattle’s bubble. Michael Silver linked Matthews to Seattle weeks ago — as did Tony Pauline last week.

D’Andre Walker is simply on an extended trial. He had a good career at Georgia and flashed talent. Yet injuries led to a fall to round five and he didn’t play a down for the Titans before being cut.

He’s worth having a look at and it seems pretty obvious that’s what Seattle is doing. Nobody should expect him to be active this weekend though. He hasn’t played for nearly two years.

If he doesn’t flash, doesn’t seem 100% healthy or if the Seahawks struggle in Atlanta, Matthews will probably be brought in to take his place.

8. A thought on the Falcons game

You won’t be surprised to read that I think the Seahawks’ D-line is going to struggle on Sunday. I think this is a difficult first game for the unit. Matt Ryan has had plenty of success against Seattle’s defense as has Julio Jones. The chances are they will both put up huge numbers and if I had either in a fantasy team — they would be gold star starters.

However, that doesn’t mean Atlanta will win.

The key for Seattle, in my view, is going to be keeping up. That’ll be on Russell Wilson — something we’ll say a few times this year. He can also have success against Atlanta’s defense. If he can keep scoring and keep Seattle in the game, they’ll have a shot to win and it could come down to which team holds their nerve at the end.

If Wilson can’t keep up, however, it could be a long day. The Seahawks have a terrible opening day record under Carroll on the road (1-5) and even when they’ve won at home against bad teams like Miami and Cincinnati they’ve made hard work of it. They do not start seasons well — often playing squalid, frustrating, sloppy football.

Fortunately the Falcons have a similar recent history. They are 2-3 in season openers over the last five years. This includes poor losses to Minnesota (28-12), Philadelphia (18-12) and Tampa Bay (31-24). Their two wins were narrow and close against the Bears (23-17) and Eagles (26-24).

The chances are it will be a close game at least in terms of the scoreline — possibly because neither team has a reputation for starting well. Again though — in order for the Seahawks to stay in it and have a chance they’re going to need Wilson to be on top form and they’re going to have to bend not break on defense.

Ryan is going to get yards galore against this pass rush. Matt Schaub managed 460 last season and don’t forget even Andy Dalton had 418 in week one a year ago. Red zone defense will be crucial for Seattle to limit the damage in terms of points to give their own star quarterback a chance to steal a victory.

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134 Responses to “Eight things that I think about the Seahawks this week”

  1. Big Mike says:

    Making things happen in March……there’s an idea. Another good idea is not sucking on draft day.

    • DC says:

      Agreed…I think Ursua would be a good slot receiver after a couple years playing and could be a good contributor to move the chains. Hopefully he’ll be on the PS at least.

      • HAWKTALKER#1 says:

        Especially after Pete said sometime ago that he regretted not giving him more playing time. How do you regret not giving somebody more playing time and then wave him? I hate getting more questions than answers through these processes. And then some recent information about Clowney is even more irritating. Starting to feel like a negative Nelly here. But I can tell you I would not have botched this this badly.

        • Noah Parker says:

          Can’t agree with you more on Carroll’s lack of energy in the presser. Was weird to see him so deflated going into week one. I think it was frustration on the Clowney deal. They offered the guy more money than he eventually got. I don’t think Clowney was in the cards as soon as Reed took back #90. That was early in the offseason, as Carroll mentioned. I’m worried about Sunday. I’ll be starting Julio on my fantasy squad. Is there literally ANYONE that can help the pass rush at this point? What’s the latest on Snacks?

  2. RWIII says:

    For Seattle to win. I think Jamal Adams is going to have to have a Jadevon Clowney. I think Adams could have a bigger impact on the Seahawks than Clowney. Oh. BTW: Quinton Dunbar is not out of the woods to yet. It appears that some text message have come to light. https://clutchpoints.com/seahawks-news-quinton-dunbar-back-center-armed-robbery-case-harmful-text-messages/

  3. SeahawkeyezSubj80 says:

    Good write up. Brutally honest and nailed the flow of the whole press conference as to how it most likely will play out. I have accepted the fact they have messed up the defensive line. But I do believe the secondary is by a far a better unit then last year that surrendered all those yards to Matt Schaub and Andy Dalton. I feel better about that.

    Yes the defensive line on paper has taken a step back from last year. Losing Clowney, Woods and Jefferson hurts. In fairness we now need to see this play out in reality. Definitely need Reed and Ford to step up this year. I would feel a whole lot better if we had more depth at defensive tackle.

    As Jake Heap commented on radio that they are putting extreme pressure on Greene and Collier to rotate inside, not a comforting thought. Knock on wood(no pun intended) if injury should occur. If this is going to happen absolutely going to need good years from our young unproven defensive line talent. Take the chip on there shoulder and run with it. We now know they have little in the way of proven starters blocking their way. Go Hawks!

  4. DC says:

    I don’t think it’ll be Matt Ryan that is going to cause us to lose to ATL. He’ll definitely get yards and so will Julio, but I think it’s their running game is what’s going to be what does us end. I imagine a close scoring game, but late in the 4th quarter the D won’t be able to get off the field cuz they’ll be running the ball and getting plenty of 1st downs, keeping the ball out of Wilson’s hands.

    • BobbyK says:

      How does a 4-3 team go into a season with only 3 DL and only 1 of them being any good? Even if Poona was good – only 1 player as depth? Of course, he was unemployed not too long ago (i.e. nobody wanted him), too.

      Maybe they can trade a 2nd round pick for a DT. It’d be fun going into a draft not picking until about 150 or something ridiculous.

    • DC says:

      It still weirds me out a bit to see my name when I didn’t post.

      I think it’s the 3rd DC over the last decade+. Maybe I should’ve picked something more complex.

  5. BobbyK says:

    But they have LJ Collier instead of Frank Clark. Collier’s cap hit is much lower than Clark. And he’s under contract for a longer period of time. How can you not be ecstatic?

  6. cha says:

    Every time PC was asked about the Center position, he regularly listed Pocic, then Fuller, then Finney. Always with the explanation that Finney was behind. He also pretty emphatically stated (more than once) that he wanted to make a decision sooner rather than later for continuity’s sake.

    Making a decision a week before the game isn’t true to plan. He was likely nudging Finney to catch up.

    So what to make of having Britt in and trying him out? I think they have bagged Finney as a center and have relegated him to a Guard backup.

    Sure, Finney will backup Pocic this week, maybe next too if Britt doesn’t come back. But when Fuller’s suspension is over they’ll have to address whether they can have 3 centers on the roster.

    • cha says:

      Oh, and Grady Jarrett is licking his chops.

    • Ukhawk says:

      Wonder if the PC is battling with JS?

    • dcd2 says:

      Makes you really question the scouts because Finney, Shell & Ogbuehi were the guys they identified and targeted early in FA. Now Shell is a starter by default, with the other two as backups who haven’t had a lick of positive reports that I can remember.

      • cha says:

        It’s not the scouting so much as the valuation. If they ID’d those guys and said they were the ones they want, fine. But they overpaid for all 3.

        While trying to squeeze relative pennies out of Clowney.

        Another reason Rob’s post title “OL-ing the DL” is appropriate.

        • dcd2 says:

          I agree that their valuations were off, but it’s hard to argue that ‘their guys’ were good targets either.

          Finney can’t beat out Pocic, who couldn’t beat out Hunt, who we cut.

          Shell was benched for one of the worst OL in the league.

          Why are these the guys we ‘identified’? Compounding the problem (a common theme lately) is overpaying these JAG’s.

  7. Chris Alexander says:

    I think Week 1 is going to be pretty ugly league-wide, not just in Atlanta. With no preseason games and players only having had 14 padded practices, I think there will be a lot more substitutions than usual at pretty much every position except QB. And even there, I think some teams will spell their starters.

    For me, I think whether or not Seattle wins comes down to turnovers – can the new and improved secondary take the ball away more times than the offense (I’m looking at you, Mr. Carson) gives it away? That and 3rd downs – both in terms of how often each team faces third down (maybe not many for Atlanta if our D-line is as bad as many fear) and how often they get converted to first downs or touchdowns.

    • dcd2 says:

      Going to be hard to rotate DT with one sub.

      Is there even time to get a street FA through protocol? I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it HAS to be LJ Collier, right?

      Moore is listed at 260, Mayowa & Robinson absolutely can’t play inside. Green is the only other biggish body, and I can’t see him playing 3T.

  8. Chris Alexander says:

    Also, I read somewhere that free agents signed after Week 1 don’t get guaranteed contracts. Is that true? If so, I would expect that Seattle will be pretty active after the Atlanta game, perhaps reaching out to Clay (sigh) and others (“Snacks”, Dareus, etc.?) to try to shore up the line.

    • Scot04 says:

      I’m sure other teams will as well. If Seattle had serious interest in any of those players they should have just got it done and been ready for week one. They got cute with Clowney and lost him. Could easily happen again.

      • Gohawks5151 says:

        I’m not sure of the confusion on #1. They moved on in the sense that they had to sign someone. Clowney was being Clowney, Griffen wasn’t ready to sign yet and they signed probably what they thought were backups. They wanted Clowney down to the end. Pete-speak at its finest.

        It’s an interesting time. We are very concerned about our flaws. Clearly PC is as well. But it’s not like Atlanta’s O Line are world beaters. Mack getting old, Carp was the 8th worst OG last year, right side are young guys with everything to prove (Like how people treat Rasheem Green). Some timely blitzes should help. Just have to see how it goes.

        Seattle O line vs Fowler and Grady will be tough. Expect a lot of runs to the left

  9. cha says:

    5. The Seahawks need to assess how they operate in 2021

    Well said Rob.

    The Seahawks have noticeably stopped parroting the line “championship offseason” during that time as well.

    Ziggy was a disaster. They gave him $9million. NINE. MILLION. DOLLARS. The only thing he could muster this offseason was a tryout next to Dion Jordan with SF. And they signed Jordan.

    Unacceptable. I’ve said it multiple times. They could have paid Frank Clark that $9m as part of an extension. And had Clark and Clowney last year. And at least have had Clark locked for something like $17-20m this year. Oh my goodness is that a failure.

    This year’s desperation move was the trade the house for Jamal Adams.

    No doubt that move will prove better than Ziggy. But the price is crippling. They can’t afford to have another offseason like 2019 and 2020. Something has to change.

  10. Seahawk65 says:

    I think both things Carroll said were essentially true. They made an offer to Clowney early based on their value, and realized he wasn’t going to take it. Then they moved on, but continued to stay involved (as they say they always do). But that was just in case Clowney had no other options and came down to their number. Based on what they have shown, I think they believe they can bolster the pass rush by improving the back seven. I can’t read Carroll’s mind based on energy at a press conference or lack thereof. I’m sure the Hawks know they don’t have a perfect team, but neither does anyone else. I’m excited to see what they do Sunday, and then see if any of the skepticism is warranted or if it was a bit overblown, as I’m hoping it is. Either way, I’m glad the talking is almost over and we have football again. That was never assured.

    • SeahawkeyezSubj80 says:

      I too am glad there is football to watch this year. Hopefully that stays true and all players and team personnel stay safe.

      Here’s to our Offense plays out of their mind and hopefully our defense is not as bad as we think. What choice do we have? Cards have been dealt and played it seems.

      Go Hawks!

    • Rob Staton says:

      You can’t move on and be in it until the end.

      You do one or the other.

  11. DougK says:

    On your point 4 regarding Pocic and Britt…do we know money was the issue with Britt and not health concerns? I hadn’t heard any news on either money or health with him. I saw the Packers were giving Britt a tryout but haven’t heard any deal with them yet. Maybe we’ll see next week after game 1 if there is any serious interest by anyone. My guess is the Hawks were just doing their due diligence giving Britt a look in case he could help. If he was healthy then I would think his experience would give him a leg up on Pocic.

  12. Cortez Kennedy says:

    Don’t worry, after Sunday I’m quite sure there will be a LOT of questions about the defensive line and the thought process behind 2020’s inaction.

    Why didn’t they sign Britt? It’s not like we don’t have fairly recent examples of how it goes when we “wing it” at center.

    It’s like the team is snakebitten when it comes to linemen recently, scared to make a mistake and go bold: ignoring the defensive line, ignoring center and tackle during the draft, insisting on signing cast offs along the offensive line and going with quantity over quality, etc.

  13. DC says:

    The good news for those that have the Seahawks’ DL penciled in as the worst in the league is that worst case scenario, your expectations will be met.

    Now there’s something positive to feel good about!

    • SeahawkeyezSubj80 says:

      Exactly can only go up from here! Laughing emoji’s in a row followed by crying emoji’s in a row.

    • Chris Alexander says:

      Interestingly, some of the same publications that are saying Seattle has the worst D-line are also picking the Seahawks to have a middle-of-the league defense overall. ESPN’s season preview predicts Seattle’s overall D at #15 which is a damn sight better than last year’s #26.

      • Richard Cantrall says:

        PFF has the Seahawks ranked at 12th in the NFL at defense. They say, “While the pass-rush unit is perhaps the worst in the NFL, they have a plethora of coverage standouts, and as we all know, that’s what matters most to defensive success.” That’s how the Patriots shut down the Rams in the Superbowl two years ago – with an outstanding secondary. Kyle Brandt of “Good Morning Football” recently said that he thinks Jamal Adams will win the Defensive Player of the Year Award and will “bring chaos to the Seattle defense.” Also remember that the main reason the defensive line wasn’t able to get to the quarterback last year was that, because of the Seahawk’s weak secondary, most opposition quarterbacks focused on a quick release pass game. The secondary’s weakness meant that the Seahawks defensive line didn’t have time to get to the quarterback. That probably played as much of a role as the double teams in limiting Clowney to only three sacks.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Maybe it’s just me but I think people are overstating Seattle’s secondary.

          As good as Adams is, and I really like Diggs, it’s not the LOB and not enough to elevate the worst DL in the league to a top-12 defensive unit.

      • Scot04 says:

        Some of those same publications are predicting 9 wins and possibly missing the playoffs.

    • BobbyK says:

      I love the line in that 1990s Gin Blossoms song, ‘Hey Jealousy.’ It’s perfect for our DL this year.

      “…and if you don’t expect to much from me, you might not be let down…”

      ***John Schneider theme song for fans 2020!!!

      • Big Mike says:

        With all due respect Bobby, please expalin to me why you don’t include Pete for that theme song as well? I still say this is far more Pete’s “vision” than John’s. I believe John has some autonomy, but most of the time Pete has to approve any larger decisions. When he was introduced 10+ years ago, it was made clear he was the final authority and I believe that is still the case.

        • DC says:

          Ricky:
          With all due respect, Mr. Dennit, I had no idea you’d gotten experimental surgery to have your balls removed.

          Mr. Dennit:
          What did you just say to me?

          Ricky:
          What? I said it with all due respect!

          Mr. Dennit:
          Just because you say that doesn’t mean you get to say whatever you want to say to me!

          Ricky:
          It sure as hell does!

          Mr. Dennit:
          No, it doesn’t–

          Ricky:
          It’s in the Geneva Conventions, look it up!

        • cha says:

          PC runs the show.

          • Big Mike says:

            Exactly my feeling as well. As for the “with all due respect” Bobby is one who deserves it and I wanted him to know I wasn’t trying to knock him, etc., only legitimately wondering why he (and other people) only mention John when it comes to transactions/drafting/etc.

  14. Kip Earlywine says:

    Loved the podcast intro.

  15. cha says:

    https://www.seahawks.com/team/depth-chart

    I assume it’s the latest since it reflects today’s move of promoting Penny Hart and cutting Ursua

    Subject to change of course, but there are a few interesting things:

    * Jamarco Jones at RG behind Lewis, while Ogbuehi is the swing tackle

    * Homer ahead of Dallas at RB

    * Collier ahead of Green at 5T

    * Mone is shown behind Reed at 3T, not behind Poona at 1T/NT

    * Alton Robinson #2 LEO behind Mayowa, ahead of Moore

    * Cody Barton #2 SAM and MIKE, Walker #3 SAM

    * Brooks #2 WILL behind KJ

    * Blair at #2 FS, Lano at #2 SS

  16. WallaSean says:

    Point 5 is the key, they need to change this up. Answer the obvious question sooner than later, even a third DL at the level of Irvin or Mayowa would have felt like a plan with a direction. The addition of Adams would have seemed less desperate, and talk of a Clowney reunion a luxury.

  17. Big Mike says:

    Disappointed Ursua has been cut.

  18. Scot04 says:

    Tom Pelissero
    As we discussed on @nflnetwork today, the #Seahawks offered Clowney 1 year, $15M (max $16M) way back in April. The #Browns made a strong offer months ago, too. In the end, Clowney waits, takes less from Tennessee … and now hopes it pays off next March.

    Not surprised he took less to play in Tennessee.

  19. Strategicdust says:

    Not to jump the gun but I’m wondering what might happen if this season goes as poorly as some of us think. The Seahawks will have been facing season long criticism and going into the offseason with a large number of free agents/holes to fill with little draft capital, a salary cap going down by around $25M and needing to deal with some unhappy players. It would be interesting to see if John and Pete feel they have the energy to rebuild yet again. If they decide to stick around, they may be forced into trading some good players to increase their draft picks and accelerate the rebuild.
    Our line depth, as Rob has noted, is perilously thin and we’re ill prepared for a lengthy season with the normal amount of injuries. However it happened, it can’t be repeated again. This club needs to identify whose choices, optimism or stubbornness was to blame and fix it.

  20. Sea Mode says:

    Tom Pelissero
    @TomPelissero
    · 3h

    Breakdown of Jadeveon Clowney’s 1-year deal with the #Titans:

    $6.25 million signing bonus
    $5.25M base salary (guaranteed)
    $1.5M in per-game active bonuses

    $500K for 75% playtime
    $250K for 75% playtime + playoffs
    $250K for Pro Bowl
    $1M for 10 sacks

    Base value $13M. Max $15M.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Ian Rapoport
      @RapSheet
      ·3h

      The #Titans wound up raising their offer by $1M to seal the date late Saturday night with Jadeveon Clowney. In all, he gets $13M base value.

  21. Sea Mode says:

    So is our strategy not to protect anyone so as not to give away who is more valuable to us…?

    https://mobile.twitter.com/AlbertBreer/status/1303451415310893056

  22. Noah Parker says:

    Can’t agree with you more on Carroll’s lack of energy in the presser. Was weird to see him so deflated going into week one. I think it was frustration on the Clowney deal. They offered the guy more money than he eventually got. I don’t think Clowney was in the cards as soon as Reed took back #90. That was early in the offseason, as Carroll mentioned. I’m worried about Sunday. I’ll be starting Julio on my fantasy squad. Is there literally ANYONE that can help the pass rush at this point? What’s the latest on Snacks?

  23. DriveByPoster says:

    Desperately hoping the ‘hawks have at least a half-way decent season. If the defence implodes, the way I suspect it will, then they won’t even have the consolation of getting some decent draft picks out of it. I am really not looking forward to watching the Jets scoop up good players with the ‘hawks draft picks. Talk about rubbing salt into the wounds! Go ‘hawks! Please?

  24. Matty says:

    Pete defo came across as grumpy during the press conference.
    It felt like regarding the clowney saga, and I know you’re being saying move on if it’s not going to happen but possibly/feels like that the info coming from the clowney camp may have been false/used Seattle just to get more money elsewhere as this was always about money and Seattle where naïve enough to be strung along.
    Questions regarding dline where short and no info/answer given.
    Still I’m looking forward to the weekend and am predicting a win for Seattle, based on our big guns are better then theirs. Go Hawks

    • Rob Staton says:

      1. On Clowney — regardless of the situation, at the end of the day they couldn’t come out of this process with nothing. It had to be land Clowney or do something else. Whatever led them to essentially coming away empty handed — it was unacceptable.

      2. Seattle’s big guns are better but let me put this to you. I’m almost certain Atlanta will put up major yards against Seattle. I’m not sure the Seahawks will do the same. Which, if I’m right, makes it a game based on red zone defense and Seattle’s ability to keep up. That’s not really a position I think you ever want to be in going into a game.

      • matty says:

        1. True

        2. im not too sure, Russ will be let loose to fly, and the defense might have something to prove to all – with the characters/captains on that side of the ball pulling all together to keep it simple and tight

  25. Richard Cantrall says:

    Maybe you’re right. But Adams is an all pro and the defense improved noticeably when Diggs came on the field last year. I think Adams is more disruptive than Clowney — he certainly has a higher PFF rating. Since entering the league as the sixth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, Adams is the only defensive back with 10-plus sacks, 20-plus quarterback hits and 25-plus tackles for loss, per NFL Research. And don’t undereestimate Jordayn Brooks. He won’t start at first, but he will play a lot. He had 20 TFLs in his last collegiate season. Furthermore, MIT Sloan had an article on player value in american football and concluded “”the more a player is in coverage, the more valuable they are, which is consistent with a conclusion we have that coverage is more valuable than pressure, all else being equal.” Also they showed that the most valuable positions according to WAR (wins above replacement) are No. 1 quarterback, No. 2 wide receiver, No. 3 and 4 (tied) cornerback and safety. The article said least important positions were defensive line and edge defender. http://www.sloansportsconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Eager_PFF_WAR.pdf

    • Rob Staton says:

      “Maybe you’re right. But Adams is an all pro and the defense improved noticeably when Diggs came on the field last year.”

      The safety position improved, yes. The Seahawks still finished with 28 sacks, second fewest in the league. Their sack percentage was 4.5% — third worst overall. The Seahawks produced a sack or quarterback hit on just 14.4% of opponents’ pass plays — worst in the NFL. They had only 126 pressures, sixth fewest in the league. Seattle’s pressure percentage was the fourth worst in the league (19.3%) behind Detroit (18.9%), Houston (18.1%) and Miami (16.7%). Seattle hit the quarterback 68 times — fourth fewest. They had 52 TFL’s — also fourth fewest. They gave up 55 explosive running plays on defense, seventh most in the NFL. Their explosive run play percentage (14%) was the third worst overall and they gave up 4.9 YPC — fourth most overall.

      So while Diggs was a clear upgrade over Tedric Thompson, there’s very little evidence that anything a safety does will impact what’s happening up front where the Seahawks were a total and utter abomination.

      “I think Adams is more disruptive than Clowney — he certainly has a higher PFF rating”

      Adams might be a better player overall — it’s very possible. But he’s not more ‘disruptive’. He’s not going to improve Seattle’s ability to disrupt opposing quarterbacks and running games. And his PFF grade does not qualify him being more disruptive.

      “Since entering the league as the sixth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, Adams is the only defensive back with 10-plus sacks, 20-plus quarterback hits and 25-plus tackles for loss, per NFL Research.”

      This old chestnut. Here’s the response to this one — remember who he was playing for in New York. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams embarrassingly calls himself ‘Doctor Blitz’. Adams blitzed 90 times during the 2019 season, ninth most in the entire NFL at any position. Baltimore’s Chuck Clark, in a similar scheme, was the only safety who blitzed at a similar rate.

      In comparison, Bradley McDougald blitzed 21 times. Even Bobby Wagner only blitzed 71 times last season.

      In Seattle’s scheme, Earl Thomas recorded the grand total of zero sacks in his career and Kam Chancellor had two. So Adams’ sack total is unlikely to translate in this scheme. They simply don’t do what Gregg Williams does and they never will.

      “MIT Sloan had an article on player value in american football and concluded ‘the more a player is in coverage, the more valuable they are, which is consistent with a conclusion we have that coverage is more valuable than pressure, all else being equal’.”

      Which is perfectly fine if you want to make an argument about the overall value of a specific player. It means absolute nada in the context of whether the Seahawks are going to be able to get by with the worst D-line in the league.

      “Also they showed that the most valuable positions according to WAR (wins above replacement) are No. 1 quarterback, No. 2 wide receiver, No. 3 and 4 (tied) cornerback and safety.”

      Again, all that does is make an argument about which positions are most important in direct comparison to others. It doesn’t argue that the Seahawks will be fine fielding possibly the worst defensive line in the league — and one of the worst overall units in the league. It doesn’t provide any evidence that a good safety can prop up an entire other unit.

      Until you can provide an article that basically argues D-lines don’t matter, it’s not much of a case.

  26. Largent80 says:

    Looking at PC’s face during the PC (LOL)…..He looked like his dog just died….Until the very last question by Levine…

    To me, I think he’s reaching the end of his desire to keep going in coaching. With money being such a sticking point in putting together a team, it seems nearly impossible to take advantage of when you actually are able to take advantage of that once in a lifetime QB. You pay that QB, but you need to give him players to succeed, but then you have the other side of the ball to build as well.

    I fear the Hawks are in no mans land right now. They sold the farm and there’s no hay in the loft…..It’s going to be a long next few years for a Seahawk fan.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think it’s anything to do with his ‘desire to keep coaching’ and I wish people wouldn’t jump to that conclusion all the time.

      The guy is coaching approaching his 69th birthday. Pete Carroll’s ‘desire to coach’ is NEVER going to go away.

      It’s much more plausible, realistic and likely that he simply knows as well as we do that they messed up fixing the D-line.

    • Big Mike says:

      L80, if they’d done a decent job, just decent drafting o-line and d-line, they wouldn’t be in this position. The one guy that they drafted that was quality they traded to KC.

  27. Richard Cantrall says:

    I don’t think anyone can really argue that any part of the defense or offense doesn’t matter (although the analytics people certainly want to argue that about running backs). But what you can argue is that coverage is more important than pass rush. Here’s an article from PFF that uses data to exactly argue that. https://www.pff.com/news/pro-pff-data-study-coverage-vs-pass-rush. PFF argues that the perception that pass rush is king is an outdated concept. They state: “The game has changed in substantial ways since many of us started viewing it. During the PFF era (2006-present) alone, first-down passes have increased from 47% of plays to almost 52% of plays. Time to throw and play- action percentages have gone down and up during this stretch, respectively, in many ways mitigating the effect that the pass rush can have on an offense.” They use additional data to back up their claim. “During the PFF era, teams with elite coverage (67th percentile or better) and a poor pass rush (33rd percentile or worse) win, on average, about a game and a half more than teams with the reverse construction.” Many have argued that the Seahawks do, indeed, have elite coverage this year and that alone should improve their defense. Based on that belief, PFF argues that the Seahawks have the 12th best defense in the NFL despite their defensive line.

    • Rob Staton says:

      That’s merely an argument or a projection by PFF.

      I completely disagree that you can trot out the #32 defensive line and Jamal Adams & Quandre are going to convert that to a top-12 unit.

      After all, nobody knows how good Marquise Blair is at nickel. Tre Flowers is going to start the season, not Quinton Dunbar (PFF clearly hasn’t taken that into account). Shaquill Griffin is decent. Not great.

      And you can’t trot out the long list of stats I did earlier and expect to finish in the top-12 defensively.

      • Tree says:

        The Jets were 11th in DVOA with Adams. If you compare defenses, I think the Hawks have more talent (the Jets DL was bad).

        • Rob Staton says:

          The reason the Jets were 11th in DVOA for defense has nothing to do with an apples for apples comparison on personnel.

          Whatever you think about Gregg Williams as a person, he is a fantastic defensive coordinator who delivers results. He is extremely creative, extremely aggressive and year after year his teams rank highly in terms of defense. He blitzes like crazy and is a very difficult coordinator to play against offensively.

          If you think you can just plonk Jamal Adams into Seattle’s scheme and you’ll turn into the #11 DVOA defense, you are wrong.

    • McZ says:

      What we can agree upon is, that teams with above average coverage and pass rush win more games than teams with one or the other hole.

      And this is the core of the problem we are facing. Good enough to make the playoffs, not good enough to survive peer teams playing there.

      The #12 spot comes with Dunbar playing and Adams having no problems fitting into a system that will impact his mobility, and the question how much an improvement in coverage he really is (McDougald being the most underrated coverage player).

      So, lots of excitement, and we are only able to find out vs Atlanta.

  28. Hawkmonkey says:

    If you can’t make it happen in March, at least make it happen in the first half of games. Playing with a lead would go a long way to improving the pass rush.

  29. Hawkhomer1 says:

    Rob, excellent article.

    I fear my homer status slipping away as I come to the realization that we did nothing to bolster our biggest need. I have to agree with you Rob that this off-season was unacceptable. I do think it is likely that our defensive line stats improve this year but more from dumb luck and poor luck last year than actual improvement.

    Our cap situation moving forward doesn’t look great especially when you look at the guys we will need to extend.

    For the first time in a decade I am not looking forward to this season with optimism. We have too many middle of the road paid players and not enough high paid stars mostly because we have failed in the draft in recent memory. Ouch, reality hurts.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think people have properly analysed the Jamal Adams trade either. It’s kind of settled in as a great move, unquestioned.

      But look at what this defense would look like without Adams. That is terrifying. It’d be a DOWNGRADE from 2019.

      Consider that for a moment. Then look at the compensation — two firsts, a third and a player. Nobody was ever talking about that much compensation.

      They paid that much because they were desperate. It was a desperation move, a month before the season, because they knew if they didn’t do it — they couldn’t look fans in the face and trot out that defense.

      Which is remarkable. People are giving them the benefit of the doubt because Adams is exciting. But they just blew up their next two drafts to cover the fact they did NOTHING to improve this defense.

  30. Sea Mode says:

    In other news, Bryan Edwards apparently has been the story of Raiders camp and won the starting job…

    (article not really worth the read, IMO. Just says that Edwards grew up 15 min. down the road from Hunter Renfrow, and now they’ll be lining up together)

    https://theathletic.com/2052777/2020/09/08/raiders-cant-hide-bryan-edwards-anymore-not-that-anyone-ever-could

  31. Sea Mode says:

    Bye, Shaq…

    Ian Rapoport
    @RapSheet
    ·21s

    The LA Rams are making Jalen Ramsey the highest paid defensive back in NFL history and by a wide margin. The extension is for $105M over 5 years ($21M per year) & has $71.2M in guarantees at signing. This brings the DB market into a new stratosphere. 💰💰💰

    • Rob Staton says:

      Bye, Jamal?

      By the way — there’s NO WAY the Seahawks should go anywhere near that figure for Griffin.

      • James C says:

        Yep – if I am Jamal’s agent I am saying “you gave up two firsts for him – we want the same as Ramsey at a minimum”. HUGE mistake not extending him after the trade.

        • Rob Staton says:

          And the Seahawks will have to give it him.

          They will have no choice.

          He will expect to become the most expensive DB in history.

          • Denver Hawker says:

            Add to the list of miscues resulting in overcompensating. Each one compounds on the other and weakens the roster. They are acting very conservative and unwilling to pay up for anyone. This works great if you can draft/develop average or above average starters and sign cheap vets. Hawks have done the opposite.

      • Simo says:

        Given the pending uncertainty of the salary cap, it’s amazing to me that teams are still signing players to record deals. Obviously teams need to retain their best players (Ramsey, Watson, Mahomes, etc), but do they need to set a new record every time a deal gets done?

        It just seems a bit surprising to see player salaries rising so sharply in these uncertain times! Even if the cap doesn’t bottom out next year, a number of teams will still be in very tough cap situations.

      • Pran says:

        Jamal to be highest paid strong safety? I don’t think one should expect to be paid like a CB or DE.

        15m$ is top paid SS now

    • cha says:

      Tunsil trade = 30% markup over the highest paid player at his position

      Ramsey trade = 25% markup over the highest paid player at his position

      But no. We don’t need to extend Jamal Adams anytime soon. We’ve got plenty of time….

      • pdway says:

        know you’re joking here, but we do have some time to see if he is truly great in our system. If he is the player they believe he is – then he’s the going-forward linchpin/cornerstone guy, and we’ll pay him.

        • cha says:

          If he wasn’t the player they believe he is they wouldn’t have traded their future for him. It’s too late to be arguing that they need to look at him first. They’ve backed themselves into a serious corner. They HAVE to extend him.

          • Sea Mode says:

            They will move on from Bobby and Adams will be the leader of the defense for the future. (still doesn’t justify the cost and not extending him right away. Waiting for Godot–I mean Clowney–screwed us in so many ways this off-season)

            • Rob Staton says:

              I don’t think they’ll move on from Bobby any time soon.

              • Sea Mode says:

                Yeah, I guess he is only 30 this season. But they are going to have to get back some draft capital somehow.

              • Noah Parker says:

                Bobby is already on the decline. Hawks have been willing to part with stars at the end of their prime (earl, sherm). Maybe this where Brooks comes in…

                • Rob Staton says:

                  People assume Bobby’s on the decline. I’d say nobody should expect a LB to play at an elite level behind a crap D-line.

                  The Seahawks view Bobby on a Wilson level. That’s why he’s earning $18m a year.

      • Simo says:

        This is exactly what I was talking about. Pay bumps of 25-30% over the previously highest paid at the position doesn’t seem smart, even for star players. Do you think Ramsey wouldn’t have signed for a 5-10% jump?

        I agree the recent deals for Ramsey and several of the RB’s around the league, make getting reasonable deals done with Adams, Shaq, and Carson much more challenging.

        • cha says:

          Why would he sign for less? The Rams traded a massive haul for him and didn’t bother to condition it on an extension. They handed a blank check to Ramsey, just like the Texans did to Tunsil.

          Just like the Seahawks did to Jamal.

      • dcd2 says:

        Why not extend him now? Spread out the hit over an extra year.

        That money we were holding back for Clowney may as well get used. Bite the bullet and tack on a 3 year extension. That locks him up for 5 years. Waiting until next year really puts us up against it. Adams may want to wait, but he may also want to cash that $30M+ signing bonus check.

    • Henry Taylor says:

      I’m actually quite concerned they wont end up resigning him.

      Theyll come up with a price they think is fair, Jamal will demand more because of what they gave up and the Seahawks will monitor the situation until he signs for a reasonable amount elsewhere.

      • dcd2 says:

        Ugh. I want to say you’re crazy, but considering recent events, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

        • Scot04 says:

          if that’s the case. Then you franchise him twice

          • Rob Staton says:

            Good luck with that.

            Holdouts and drama galore.

          • cha says:

            I don’t think fans are grasping this.

            The Hawks have given up their leverage already. The negotiation is essentially over. It’s only about how much they pay him. A ridiculous amount of money or an insane amount of money.

            Those are the choices they’ve saddled themselves with. Back up a Brinks truck or face getting a diminishing return on a massive investment.

  32. hawkfanforetenity says:

    A thought that I had, the expectation is that to make up for our crappy defense and win games we are going to have to let Russell lose and score a bunch. I’m wondering if Pete might look at it the opposite way. He may look at it and think to protect my defense, I need to play ball control, drain the clock and get to the 4th quarter with the score tight.

    I don’t know that Pete’s going to do that, but we’ve seen a lot of coaches try to minimize the impact of an opponents offense by doing so. In which case, we’re going to see even more runs, and more “let Russ cook” howling.

  33. pdway says:

    Not that you need posting ideas from me – – but just in case – – I’d be interested in sort of a ‘lemonade’ analysis, meaning – a closer look at how Irvin and Mayowa put up good sack numbers last year (and whether we think it’s a total fluke or not), and then also, what we think Carroll/Norton Jr. will do to generate any semblance of pressure this year.

    Carroll has deservedly taken his blows on here over this off-season, but he’s coached at a high level for a lot of years now, and nearly always has managed to put a strong defensive team on the field.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The defense was awful last year and not very good the year before.

      • pdway says:

        I know it was terrible last year . . .we did catch some bad breaks with unexpected career-ending injuries to Avril, Kam, and the implosion factor of Sherman/Earl/Bennett, but fully acknowledge how poor we were in ’19.

        I don’t think it completely unmakes my point that Carroll has a history of putting together good defenses. And do you not think he’ll figure out any ways to have this unit generate enough pressure to keep it respectable?

  34. Sea Mode says:

    Not sure four straight 9-7 seasons is something to be that happy about, but ok…

    Teresa Walker
    @TeresaMWalker
    ·35m

    Reminder: #Titans with four straight 9-7 seasons have NFL’s 4th-longest active streak of winning seasons, trailing only the Patriots (19), Seattle (8) and the Chiefs (7).

    • Frank says:

      I don’t understand how Matthews would add anything to the pass rush, seems like doubling down on Bruce Irvin as a Sam Backer with KJ already in house. Hopefully it isn’t a damning review on Brooks that makes for musical chairs again. Who would he be taking snaps from, and would he actually be an improvement? This seems like an absolute lack of a coherent plan as anything this season, why even draft positions of need, and then stack 15 aging veterans that are just good enough to keep the young players from developing? It just seems easier to improve DT depth, or 5 tech than to have an obnoxious amount of Leo’s on the team, after having none last year. Irvin, Manowa, Taylor, Robinson, and Matthews for only having one of them on the field at a time? The Seahawks have paid attention to PFF pass rush success numbers recently, and for good reason as they are the most deterministic of success of all PFF stats for college players of NFL performance but this year didn’t compromise, size or athleticism while doing so like with Griffin or LJ.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Well if Mayowa and Green/Collier can’t get home, they might feel like they need to do something.

      • cha says:

        Mayowa got 300 snaps last year for the Raiders.

        His career high is 550 for the 3-13 Cardinals in 2018 (he got 4 sacks).

        There’s simply no way Mayowa is lining up at LEO for every defensive snap in 2020.

        The Seahawks cannot count on Damontre Moore or Walker to significantly take snaps.

        It’s really, really hard to see giving a 5th round rookie in Alton Robinson significant snaps.

        Who knows if Taylor will even play this season?

        If you really have to adjust with what you have at this moment, you give Irvin significant snaps at LEO and hope and pray that Barton at SAM and/or Blair at Nickel doesn’t become a weak spot.

  35. AlaskaHawk says:

    I was just looking over Clay Matthews stats, he did okay last year. He’s past his prime but still is useful. I’m all in for signing him as a pass rusher.

    This first game really feels like a preseason game. So many questions about performance to answer. I’m wondering if Pete won’t emphasis the running game, it has proven to be stronger early in the season. I would like to see Hyde play some downs.