How important is a star RB to the Seahawks offense?

September 20th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

So far the Seahawks running game has mostly stalled — but there are a number of reasons for that. Injuries, Russell Wilson’s current immobility, poor blocking.

Yet this quote from Mike Sando’s latest piece featuring the Seahawks raises an interesting point:

“What you see missing with that group is the imposing running game,” a personnel evaluator from another team said. “When we played those guys, people would talk about Russell Wilson or Doug Baldwin, but Marshawn Lynch really stirred the cup for that team, got it going physically and brought a degree of toughness. I do not think Rawls and those other guys can bring that. There is not the same fear of the running game, but they will be in games, and they will be in the conversation at the end of the year.”

Will the Seahawks offense ever function as effectively without that fear factor in the run game? Can Thomas Rawls prove this evaluator wrong and become the man? Do the Seahawks need to be looking for a Marshawn Lynch replacement or can they progress with a committee?

It’s too early to judge this situation, particularly with the injury nightmare on offense. Having Wilson hobbled would be bad enough — but look at the extensive list of issues right now:

Russell Wilson (ankle)
Thomas Rawls (shin)
C.J. Prosise (wrist)
Doug Baldwin (banged up vs Rams)
Tyler Lockett (knee)
Germain Ifedi (ankle)
J’Marcus Webb (questionable vs Rams but played)
Nick Vannett (ankle)
Jimmy Graham (still recovering from his knee injury)

Am I missing anyone?

To make any definitive statements on the performance of the offense so far would be a big mistake. It’d certainly be premature. After all — the Seahawks didn’t look particularly explosive in weeks 1 & 2 in 2013 when they were completely healthy. They scored 12 points vs Carolina and had just five vs San Francisco in week two before a late tear thanks mainly to Colin Kaepernick turnovers.

Last year is another example. The offense was an abject mess behind a faltering O-line before ending the year on a record setting pace.

Running the ball well is especially important right now, however, with Wilson suffering the first really serious injury of his pro career (at least one that seriously impacts his ability to function). The blocking of the O-line will be judged to the Nth degree. The running backs will also, eventually, come under the microscope. This will be a good test of where the Seahawks are at with their running game.

Overall there aren’t many elite backs in the NFL these days and teams have moved so far away from the run in some cases it’s become an afterthought. The feeling is you can find production late in the draft and it’s almost cool to be passive about the position.

And despite all of that — there’s nothing quite like watching an elite runner in full flow. It’s one of the true glorious sights in sport. Seahawks fans know that better than anyone and we’ll likely find out how badly Seattle needs a ‘great’ in the next few weeks.

The Seahawks ranked Todd Gurley as the #1 prospect in the 2015 draft per ESPN reports. It’d have to be a special player to take a RB in round one and I don’t think they’d sell the family silver to get at a running back — but I’ve still felt obliged to focus on the position in college football this year, just in case.

It’s a deep class with only one guy who gets you out of your seat — LSU’s Leonard Fournette. He is a complete player and should be considered a possibility for the #1 overall pick. He will almost certainly go in the top five.

The rest of the class have so far been largely underwhelming. Dalvin Cook is a home-run hitter but needs open space to be at his best. He has looked average in 2016 so far. Christian McCaffrey is an exciting dual threat runner/receiver but is probably better suited for the offenses in New Orleans, Detroit or San Diego.

Samaje Perine just hasn’t got going at Oklahoma while team mate Joe Mixon has incredible potential but also major character flags that need to be investigated. Royce Freeman is fast for his size but doesn’t play with any real intensity. He’s a big finesse back.

Kalen Ballage, Matt Dayes, Nick Chubb… all have their qualities. In fact those three might be better than the Cook’s and Freeman’s out there getting more publicity. Nobody comes close to Fournette though…

If a team is willing to spend the house on Jared Goff — I don’t see why teams won’t similarly covet Fournette. Good teams should consider it. Would the Seahawks? Like I said, I think it’s highly doubtful. But he looks like a special talent.

86 Responses to “How important is a star RB to the Seahawks offense?”

  1. Aaron says:

    Every time I see that first Vine up there, this image comes to mind:

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

    • OC Hawk says:

      For some reason, he reminds me of a young USC tailback we called the Juice…I know, showing my age.

      Forgetting all of his post-football terrorism, OJ was a special runner and Fournette’s style looks a lot like his (to me).

  2. Ukhawk says:

    Couldn’t agree more, getting Fournette would be like going back to the future. Someone for the offense to hang it’s hat on; someone to re-establish that toughness Lunch brought. A buttkicker to reassert the ability to dominate.

    Chubb on the otherhand would be a nice consolation prize without mortgaging the future.

  3. Ukhawk says:

    Lunch Lynch, same same

  4. Volume12 says:

    Great piece Rob.

    Agree 100%. I’ve been saying for some time that this team misses Lynch. His physicality, presence, tone setting, and ability to carry the load if needed.

    None of our backs bring that for me. Rawls and C-Mike are nice no.2’s in a RBBC, but not ‘the guy.’

    Regardless if that changes or not, I fully expect this team to take a RB this year. Too talented and deep.

    Texas RB D’Onta Foreman intrigues me. Kid is all heart and grit. Power, balance, quick/short steps. Intimidating.

    Other than Fournette, for me, the most exciting back, and probably most talented behind Fournette and Chubb is Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon. Shame about his red flags.

  5. icb12 says:

    I wouldn’t leave out Sony Michel, or Kareem Hunt or Vic Enwere

  6. GoHawks5151 says:

    24 was just a different animal. I really don’t think you are gonna find anything close to him (even Fournette is more like Peterson to me), but its not that you have to. Personally i like Nick Chubb a lot. I think it may be a style change more than anything. When our run game was in a lull at points 3-4 years ago, I remember the offense would “go back to basics” and run more power (man) blocking schemes. The Saints game in particular sticks out. Zone blocking is a little finesse-y by nature. When Cable coached in Oakland and lead the league in rushing, no one considered them fearful. Not saying the zone should be shelved at all but a few wrinkles goes a long way. No sense talking about how we want athletic linemen up front if we aren’t going to let them match up man-for-man every once in a while.

    • Volume12 says:

      They did mix it up on Sunday. Actually didn’t use a ton of zone blocking elements. When they did, every run except for 1, by my count at least, went for 4-5 yards minimum or average.

      They had no success running out of the power scheme.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        Which begs the question……. why continue calling power rush plays as the OC…. if the ZBS is breaking guys free… keep hitting them until they adjust.

        • 12thManderson says:

          After watching guys like Breno, Carp, Kung, and Unger depart and seemingly not only play better, but also openly state that it’s easier to play their way with muscle vs thinking about scheme responibility, play after play. Has really made me wonder…

          With how non-existent OL development has become in college. Is requiring them to not only forget what they were taught in college, but also to become quality O’Lineman against REAL football players, and also learn such a difficult scheme, slowing down their NFL development? Hell, most draftees, depending on draft position, are expected to become immediate contributers. Running a ZBS not only seems to make it difficult for college Lineman (and NFL veterans) to learn and run, but also limits you in drafting the type of O’Lineman the scheme requires, athletic big men. Also finding a running back to draft or sign that fits or can adapt to scheme seems to be more difficult as well…

          Whether right or wrong, I’d love some other viewpoints

        • GoHawks5151 says:

          There was a good amount of zone run. I was speaking mainly about Guard pull action power runs (like the 2 beast mode runs) but it is understandable considering Webb was at guard. Not sure any run play averaged 5 yards a pop when the had 67 yards as a team. And definitely not going to re-watch THAT game to find out. Haha

  7. Volume12 says:

    Only 1 player in the NFL with more sacks than Frank Clark. Ton Miller. Clark is only playing 60% of defensive snaps.

    Yes, it’s 2 games, but his potential is limitless.

    • Volume12 says:

      *Von

      -Jacson A. Bevens

      • DC says:

        Clark is on pace to set the all time single season sack record… Sure it’s two games but dang if he doesn’t look the real deal. Defense is #1 in ypg and ppg after two weeks also.

        I’m not saying we won’t win it this season but I am saying we WILL win it all next season. One more great draft to team with our last two and we will be fully ripe again. A year for the O line to grow together plus a key addition or two. Another RB to come in and hit it. In the mean time lets heal up!

    • nichansen01 says:

      Week 2 is too early to analyze player productivity in my opinion. But Clark has looked great.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        This is true. The effort and the ability are flashing…. as he starts to get more attention from OCs, the others will start to get “theirs” and the defense will become even better… which is scary.

  8. Ed says:

    Michael averaged 6 yards a carry. Would an elite RB be great, yes, but as PC said, Michael looks like he was shot out of a cannon. Is the oline great, no. We need a better offensive gameplan and adjustments.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Can we knock this talk of gameplan’s and adjustments on the head?

      We don’t know the gameplan. We do know they’ve been a legendary adjusting team under PC.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        Game plan was essentially…. keep the game close and make a few explosive plays at the right times. Sadly, several of the long pass plays were negated via OPI yellow hankies. These couple of calls got the team in a hole on offense (yards/down/distance) and they couldn’t get into the flow of the game for more than 1 or 2 series.

        I also think the loss of CJ Prosise was huge… he was that other gear.. duel threat RB they needed to hit the defense with a few times a game. I’m hoping he is playing Sunday… he brings great energy to the team when he has the ball in his hands. When the team had 2 WRs down with injury and only 4 active, made it tough sledding trying to execute any game plan.

        The defense played perfectly fine and arguably played exactly how they drew it up. 19 points in 2 weeks… I’ll take it! Hold Gurley to under 60 yards rushing, you take that every week as well.

        • nichansen01 says:

          I don’t think Prosise’s presence would have made much of a difference. From what I have seen not a great blocker. He didn’t gain many yards against Oakland. One catch for ten or so yards is all we have seen. Would catching one pass out of the backfield for 10 yards made the difference.

          Of course not. Procise or no Procise our offense is an embarrassment. Stop making injur excuses. Stop making roster excuses. It’s the coaching and play calling and lack of offensive chemistry.

          • nichansen01 says:

            Haha sorry Prosise*

            • nichansen01 says:

              We have great players on offense… It’s not like it’s a unit of nobodies or anything else like that. Graham Baldwin and Wilson are all elite NFL players. Offensive line is honestly better than at the beginning of last year. Something else is wrong.

              • Kenny Sloth says:

                YEAH THOSE GREAT PLAYER YOU MENTIONED

                THEY WERE HURT.

                THEY WERE NOT PLAYING AT AN ELITE LEVEL.

                THEY WERE MOT THEMSELVES.

      • Ed says:

        Rob, time to look past the tree into the forest. Is the oline an issue, yes. Are injuries an issue, yes. But good teams adapt to their roster and who they are playing against and the Hawks have done neither. And I disagree that the Hawks are legendary at adjusting. They are the bully that think they will always smack you in mouth (on offense and defense) and teams will eventually wilt away. That is not the case anymore. Get some ingenuity and quit being so predictable.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Ah right, so after two weeks and a 1-1 record now the Seahawks don’t know how to combat an injury crisis. As for adjusting, they are the #1 team in the league at adjusting during a game.

          The sky is not falling Ed.

          • Ed says:

            I don’t think it is either, but I do see the pattern for the last 4 years and to me something philosophically needs to change. And I absolutely don’t agree with you about #1 team adjusting in the league. The D always has trouble vs good TE and they can’t beat a team that only has a D line. The only adjustments they make on offense is late in the 2nd and 4th quarter and just let Wilson play. That’s not a philosophy, that’s a time thing.

            • Rob Staton says:

              The cover 3 has an issue with TE’s. Everyone knows that now. They still had the #1 scoring defense in the league and have done for four years.

              This team has been the team of the decade and you’re seriously suggesting “philosophical change” is needed?

              How spoilt are Seahawks fans to be saying things like this??

          • STTBM says:

            How can you say they are the number one team at adjusting?! I find that ludicrous!

            That would be NE. Followed by several other teams. Seattle is hardly among the elite at in-game adjustments. If we were, we’d be scoring a TD before the last 2 minutes of the second quarter way more often.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Of course they’re great at adjusting. How many times have they come from behind in the second half? How many tight games do they play/win? You mention the Pats. BB is a great all time game planner but he does his best work in the week, not during the game.

              Seriously, the negativity around this team this week is scary.

              • Ed says:

                You created this great blog to share opinions. But to say that I am being negative because I think the offensive playcalling and adjusting during a game is a problem and you want to blame the entire problem on the offensive line, isn’t fair.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  I created the blog to provide a unique place for Seahawks fans to talk draft because no such site existed. I didn’t create it for people to come on and make out the sky is falling because Seattle lost a road game in LA in week two and are now 1-1 like most of the league. I accept that overreactions are part of sport after any team loses — but I’m bemused at some of the things being labelled against the team, staff and players this week after basically four years of rampant success.

                  And I don’t want to blame it all on the O-line. I think it’s clear what the problem is. Russell Wilson is playing on one leg and half the offense is injured. They just need to get healthy.

              • STTBM says:

                While Im certainly not doing cartwheels with joy, calling a spade a spade is hardly negative. Disagreeing is hardly a positive or negative.

                They all too often run the same offense all game, except for the 2-minute version. They win close games vs vastly inferior opponents precisely because they fail to adequately adapt, in-game, to their opponents.

                All too often, they repeat the same 10 Red Zone players–especially runs and the play where they send all WR’s except one into the endzone, then always throw to the underneath guy crossing the field. And teams know what play is coming just by the formation, you can see it on film. And we settle for FG’s all too often.

                They also fail to do as Belicheat does, which a) take the best player on offense and defense totally out of the game and b) minimize an opponents strengths while attacking their weaknesses. All too often, Seattle just tries to Do What they Do, even if it doesnt work for 3 or 4 quarters straight. Or this year, in 8 straight quarters.

                Beating vastly inferior teams by a few points on a last minute drive is hardly evidence of excellent adaptation, rather the reverse.

                Noting that and the areas Seattle must improve to play well and win is hardly being negative. Just as insisting their blown offensive line picks (Carp, Moffitt, etc) werent really that bad since other teams blew their picks as well is hardly positive. Its simply a reach at best, and illogical at worst.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  I find it really bothersome when people make sweeping judgements about what the Seahawks ‘do’ and don’t do and start slamming the predictability of an offense that has been thoroughly productive for years — and based on what exactly? Lynch and Wilson masked issues? The two best players on the offense compensated for some of the weaker aspects of the team? Welcome to the NFL!

                  Some Seahawks fans this week have basically acted like a bunch of spoilt brats in a sweet shop.

  9. Joan Horseberry says:

    The passing Troymaine Pope onto the Jets was poor planning. He and Michael Sr. showed the one:two punch Pete was talking about. It would have given Rawls a little time and sorry C.J. was an accident waiting to happen. Alex Collins never showed much more than an Irish jig. Is there any chance to get Pope back???

    • STTBM says:

      But the absolute worst decision was to cut Jahri Evans. Within three days, Ifedi was out and we were stuck with Webb. Within days Evans was back with NO, Webb was also hurt and gimpy, and Seattle was screwed.

      You can understand why Seattle cut him–not wanting to guarantee his salary all year and wanting to keep young guys–but it backfired bigtime.

  10. The Hawk is Howling says:

    Man I wish we had a chance to get Fournette, what football fan wouldn’t? The only way to get him would be to trade someone like Michael Bennett and a shit ton of draft picks.

    It’s like being in love with a girl who you have no chance with.

    Then the drinking starts again.

    Go Hawks!

  11. The Hawk is Howling says:

    I still believe that Christine Michael is who we drafted him for in thr first place. He’s average per carry is I believe between 5-6 yards a carry.

    Thomas Rawls just needs to get healthy, we all saw what he can do last year. Positive thinking!

    C.J. Prosise will be a weapon for us, I jusy know it!

    So when we beat the 49’s 40-10 are you guys going to think we’re still fracked? Can’t wait to find out! I know it’s been frustrating but……

    Go HAWKS!

    • dylanlep says:

      If we win 40-10 I will be ecstatic Howling

      • David says:

        The problem is, given the talent level on this team, we SHOULD beat the 49ers 40-10, just like we should have beat the Rams and Dolphins 40-10.

        • David says:

          Before the game on Sunday, the Rams (and I know power rankings are fluff but it is a data point) were a consensus bottom 5 team in the league (and worst to many). And we lost to them.

        • Rob Staton says:

          How many teams lose by a score of 40-10 in the NFL?

          In week one there was a record number of 1-2 point victories.

          Teams don’t get blown out like this very often at all.

          • STTBM says:

            For once I agree with you whole-heartedly. While Seattle should have beaten Miami by a wider margin, and beaten the Rams handily, that wasnt happening with RW injured and Ifedi out, and the rest of the in-game BS like bad calls and injuries galore. And as you say, few teams win by 40-10, let alone two weeks in a row.

            I thought we’d beat Miami 23-13, the Rams 16-9. And I was overly optimistic. But there are legit reasons for the Seahawks struggles–I just want to see them adapt better, utilize Graham in the Red Zone as well as NO did, and connect with Lockett in stride rather than watching him have to slow down and wait for another badly thrown deep ball by a gimpy RW. Those things CAN happen despite the injuries.

  12. Tien says:

    Interesting article, Rob. Like almost everyone here, I’m a HUGE fan of Lynch but I still hold out hope that if Rawls can get fully healthy AND our OL gels into something competent again, he’ll be the back that we were drooling over last year before that injury. I’m supportive of always drafting RBs to replenish our depth and perhaps finding diamonds in the rough and though Fournette would be AWESOME in a Seahawks uniform, I just think that it’s too much draft capital to pay for such a fungible position like RB, especially when our OL struggles every year to get to competence.

    Speaking of which, though the OL has looked terrible through the first two games, I still think they’re playing (and probably have more potential for improvement) a little better than the line we had starting the season last year! Sowell has sucked worse than expected but then again, it’s not as if the Hawks had a lot of options in the offseason to make dramatic improvement on the line. For whatever reason, Okung didn’t want to stay in Seattle (there’s no way I’m gonna believe that Seattle didn’t offer as good an offer and probably a much better deal than the contract that he accepted from Denver), sticking us with the huge question mark at LT. Sweezy was decent but he wasn’t irreplaceable. We were hoping that Gilliamwould become that cheap homegrown starting LT but unfortunately, he’s not ready yet (maybe never?). But if Ifedi (and damn, I’m really optimistic about him!) can become that powerful G and help solidify the interior then, we have the pieces for a good young line that can grow with our offense.

    Bottom line, the offense is a hot mess again but it’s early enough that I’m still optimistic that the OL will find its way to competence. And if they do become competent and our offensive players get healthy, this offense (with Rawls/Michael; Jimmy/Luke in the middle; Baldwin, Lockett, Kearse, & Richardson outside) can still be an explosive force! The secondary and LBs don’t look as tough as in years past (but still very good) but I think our DL has really improved in both talent & depth this year! Barring more injuries, I still expect us to be one of the legit contenders for the SB by the end of the season. Go Hawks!!

  13. Troy says:

    Oh man if the Hawks were somehow able to draft Fournette, that would make their offense so legit for the coming years (assuming they also shore up the Oline), he looks the closest thing I have seen to Adrian Peterson, just a man outclassing everyone else while on the field. Gotta expect great things from him in the NFL barring any catastrophic injuries.

    • David says:

      I don’t think having Fournette really would have changed Sunday’s game for instance. Even a generational talent at RB isn’t going to succeed vs an elite front 7 and horrible OL and a defense determined to sell out on the run. Gurley, who many would consider to fall into the category on Fournette’s level, only ran for the same amount of yards at CMike on more carries.

      • LordSnow says:

        What I’m gathering from this article, and V12’s comments, is that it’s not about changing the result of one game, but an identity that is gained by having a dominant rb that defenses have to focus their whole game plan on. And that dominant rb actually possesses an ability to encompass that role. Like Gurley and Lynch before he retired. Or Apete.

        The quote of the front office guy would support that idea.

        The question is, is rawls that kind of rb? Again, he’s my favorite hawk, but if he can’t stay healthy, they won’t stick with him. We’ve seen them move on from injured guys like Jordan Hill who has a unique talent but was basically absorbing the roster spot. Cmike is likely gone after this year. The running game still lacks a signature identity and rbbc will not keep dcoordinators up at night.

        • Volume12 says:

          Thank you.

          Well said. It’s much more than impacting 1 game.

          Did you hear SF HC Chip Kelly’s presser? He gushes about our defense. RW. Bennett. The LOB. Mentions nothing about the run game, because teams aren’t worried about it.

          I love Rawls too. One of the most fun guys to watch tote the rock. But, one reason he was an UDFA? Injury concerns.

          This offense is missing a toughness and physicality. Ifefdi will add to that can bring some of it back, but only so much.

          I think Seattle will be a RBBC from here on out, but they need that lead guy to set the tone. C-Mike is a 2 for me, and Rawls would probably be best in that role too.

  14. Volume12 says:

    Anyone watch Marshawn Lynch on Conan O’Brien tonight? Pure gold!

    U B****tch!

  15. Frank says:

    No didn’t see it, but I’ll go logo it up. Condolences Vol 12, you are a stud man and love reading your write ups here. Gilliam was supposed to be that left tackle and Webb was supposed to be the right, until Gilliam looked bad on the left, now his technic is behind after the attempted position switch. I think it’s harder to change from right to left than from tackle to gaurd and expect him to improve a lot over the next few weeks as he settles back in on the right. I see hope everywhere but Lt that some seasoning can fix the issues. I think the hawks really want to keep a veteran pressance at Tackle this year to season there young interior. Okung made a business decision and wanted to play in a less smash mouth system. Maybe by mid season we test a rookie out at Lt, but I almost want to see Webb really push Gilliam for the role on the RT just to have a massive brawler type at RT,

  16. smitty1547 says:

    Kearse is hugely over rated and did not deserve big pay raise and everyone who wants Lynch to come back, remember him from 3 years ago not last year. We are more likely to get last years version especially with this OL. Kearse money should have been spent on OL.

    • Aaron says:

      Hate Kearse and didn’t want to resign him either. But he came back on WR3 money and the WR continuity with Russel is nice.

      • vrtkolman says:

        Without Kearse, what would happen with the eventual Paul Richardson injury? We only have 4 functional receivers as is, and one has a terrible injury history. Kearse was frankly a need re-signing because Kasen nor Kevin Smith have progressed, and we have failed at developing the most recent projects (Chris Matthews, Kevin Norwood).

  17. Vista says:

    There is a rumor going around that the Browns are going to cut Scooby Wright. They hope he will clear waivers so they can get him in the practice squad.

  18. Trevor says:

    Great write up Rob and the idea of a lead back is nice. I would still not give up on Rawls he came back too quick IMO and is just not the same guy physically yet.

    For me the problem with the run game in two fold #1 Wilson is hurt and not a threat to run which makes the read option impotent. #2 and most importantly the OLine is not getting any push or creating holes. I hope the returns of Vannett and Ifedi will help with this.

    In the off season I was a big proponent of adding Joe Thomas even if it meant trading a first rounder. Most thought it was a terrible idea and that Gilliam was our LT of the future. I am not willing to write off Gilliam yet but Sowell is not a starting tackle in this league. Our OL would look a whole lot better with the best OL of this generation at LT and he would have been a great veteran presence for this young group.

    The Browns are in complete rebuild and do not have a young franchise QB to protect. Thomas has to be available one would think. Looking at our cap situation with our core players we have a legit 3 year window to compete for multiple Super Bowls. I still think this is a trade JS should be considering as I don’t see an option to fill that spot in this years draft either.

    • Ground_Hawk says:

      That would be great to add a talent like Joe Thomas, but his 9.5 mil cap hit doesn’t appear to be something that the Seahawks could accommodate with their 5.7 mil cap space.

    • Acquiring Joe Thomas from Cleveland would make a huge statement, and help lay to rest the ongoing and never-ending disputacious, internecine family squabble regarding the Oline.Even if expensive in terms of draft or trade material, such an action would: Help protect our single most important asset, Russell Wilson; Help open up lanes for the run game; Improve blindside pass protection; reduce out of control LT penalties; With improvement in all those areas, reduce heat on the Offensive Co-ordinator, and; By making such a direly needed improvement, show a flexibilty, not always apparent.

      • Rob Staton says:

        If a deal for Thomas was viable, he wouldn’t be in Cleveland right now.

        • Trevor says:

          Rob do you think that is really the case or do you think JS just believed Gilliam was ready to play LT and they trusted Cable to turn the OL around so did not want to spend the financial and draft capital to acquire him. JS has made very few mistakes (Harvin trade, Carey Williams, Webb signings excluded) But I definitely think relying on Gilliam to play LT and Webb to play RT was his biggest yet and has Cables finger prints all over it.

          Even if it costs them a 1st rounder it would be well worth it. What OT in this draft class coming up is ready to start much less make an impact this year or next.

          I

          • Rob Staton says:

            Yes I really think that’s the case because this isn’t exclusive to the Seahawks. Thomas hasn’t been traded to any team. If a deal was viable, somebody would’ve taken him. Which probably means the Browns are asking for too much for a soon-to-be 32-year-old or they just don’t want to deal him.

  19. Drew says:

    The TD run at 5:31 dropped my jaw…

  20. STTBM says:

    The offensive line SHOULD have been under a microscope since Day One: Wilson has masked their pass-pro deficiencies a great deal, and Lynch masked the fact their run blocking was not nearly as good as many believe or rushing yards show. (too many try to count Wilsons escape from pass rush runs as proof of the lines run blocking “prowess”, for one thing…). But this line appears nearly as bad, if not as bad, as the debacle from early last season. And there is no excuse for that. They are utterly inept and inconsistent. Right now they are likely the worst line in football, by a good margin.

    Add to that the apparent regression of our offense from what was working at the end of last seaon (quick passes setting up the run) to a run-based offense (that isnt working) and you have a crisis of one TD scored in 8 quarters.

    Webbs injury doomed us last week. He inst good to start with, injured he’s terrible.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      I actually do agree that the OL is kind of inexcusable.

      We lost several long term starters and have struggled immensely to replace them.

      There is a huge dearth of OL talent league wide with only the most talent deprived rosters able to shell out for the Kelechi Osemeles of the world.

      I think we forget that a huge part of any position group is consistency and playing together for a while.

      1 TD scored in 8 quarters is a horribly out of context stat.

      Football is a situational game and the situation was our QB was injured and we gameplanned around that. Bevell did a marvelous job sticking with the run keeping the game close to the last offensive play.

      We needed to make this game short and play it close to the chest.

      In the end, tremendous efforts from some exciting young players kept us in it, but were ultimately not enough. Despite a great game plan and a ridiculous rash of injuries this team showed the same courage, resilience, and effort on an individual level that got them to the playoffs every year since RW.

      If we’re going to continue to ignore the precedence of excellence and comeback potential this team has exhibited, then I just can’t help but view these sensationalists views as anything more than anxiety of a formerly tortured fanbase.

      Nothings broken. Its the same team. We need to draft OL again.
      Simple as that

      • STTBM says:

        Problem is, despite all too often running two downs in a row for no gain or worse vs the Rams, Carrol has come out and said we need to be MORE committed to the run. Which to me is mind boggling. IT sounds like the definition of insanity–endlessly doing the same thing expecting different results.

        The line isnt able to run block worth a damn, and Rawls is awful–he looks slow, he’s hitting the holes too fast and not being patient enough, he’s running sideways all too often, and the line isnt blocking. Michaels is making chicken salad with chicken crap, but the line is too inconsistent to lean on the run or expect it to carry us.

        Rather the reverse: the short passing game needs to set up the run and deeper throws. They need to use what was working late last season, rather than abandon what was working and go back to what wasnt and isnt.

      • STTBM says:

        I think we finally have OL guys worth developing–at least the G’s and C and our backups. The big mistakes were Webb and Sowell, especially Sowell. But perhaps he improves as the season goes on.

        Bevells game plan got Russ hit at least 8 times, several times with Donald coming straight up the gut unblocked. Ridiculous! You cant have that. The game plan should have called for a lot more Shotgun runs and passes, and it should have been a huge point of emphasis for RW to get the ball out quickly enough to not get hit. If Manning and other non-mobile QB’s could get the ball out without getting hit vs badass Defense so often, Seattle should be able to emulate that. It appeared they werent trying, that their pass plays were predicated on the line being able to block better than they could, and it didnt appear they adapted to the line. Rather they just kept expecting the line to improve. Just like early last season….

        What is broken is the offense. Seattle isnt gameplanning or adapting enough to counteract the defenses. Other teams are managing with similar injuries, and Seattle has not. They cannot run the offense they have been for two games with this line, and if they do RW will get killed AND we will lose.

  21. STTBM says:

    Fournette has been utterly shut down several times in College by good defenses that keyed on him. Which is what teams are doing to the Seahawks.

    Micheals averaged 6 ypc, often with blocking as bad as Rawls had. Yet he isnt the unquestioned starter as he should be. Seattle needs to face it, that Rawls isnt the same after his injury and let him work his way back SLOWLY.

    The line is the problem, and the only answer is to fix it, and to bring back the offense we had after Game Seven last year. Short passing to set up the run, with some bombs in there.

    • vrtkolman says:

      Good point about Fournette, but you have to wonder how much effort he is actually putting in week to week. He knows he’ll be a top 5 pick regardless and frankly Les Miles is destroying that program.

      • STTBM says:

        That is a good point. He looked like he was trying to me, but he had nowhere to run. It looked like Lynch in 2010, only he is no BeastMode. If there are no holes, a back cant get much yards no matter how great they are. At least not week to week, year to year. Lynch and Barber were two who could, but it wore them out quickly. And they couldnt do it by themselves all the time.

        A stud back is negated if your line is bad enough.

  22. STTBM says:

    As much as I harp on the O-line and Seattle’s decisions there, why do you guys think Unger and Okung are doing so much better elsewhere? A big part of that HAS to be that they are in offenses that pass the ball more, and expect less rough stuff in the run game. Both players were constantly injured here, and now they are doing well. Cant blame Seattle for moving on.

    I still think they should have found a way to sign Okung for more than Denver did. They fouled up bigtime there.

  23. Volume12 says:

    Despite all the injuries, we were a few plays from winning this game. Despite the play of the O-line, they had the right game plan.

    Seattle is good because of 2 things IMO. Defense and controlling the clock.

    Can’t control the clock when your not converting 3rd downs, when your not running the ball consistently.

    It’s not a personell or coaching issue. It’s a lack of execution.

    • Trevor says:

      Amazingly that is true Vol but more a testament to how bad the Rams offense is really I think.

      • Volume12 says:

        The Rams were going to put up some points. It’s almost like the expectation going in was for our D to shut them out. Do we realize how incredibly rare shutouts are in football?

        The same argument could then made that Seattle would be putting more points on the board if they weren’t facing 2 good D-lines.

        • Volume12 says:

          RW’s injury combined with the poor play of the O-line is having a huge negative impact on his game. More than it has ever appeared to.

          He can make plays from the pocket, but the majority of the time he’ll leave it even where there isn’t pressure. Now he’s seeing ghosts and it’s hurting him.

  24. vrtkolman says:

    Anyone else think Clark finishes with 12+ sacks this year? And if so, how does that affect the future of the defense? Does Bennett suddenly become expendable in the off season?

    • STTBM says:

      Nobody in the NFL is like Bennett. He’s one of a kind. And he isnt as injury prone as Watt. You cant replace Bennett with Clark, they are different players. As Bennett ages and/or leaves, Seattle will have to change their D.

      And as good as Clark has looked, he’s still not earning the reps the other guys get, nor is he doing much from the DE spot. Which is weird since he’s lost so much weight since last year. I expected him to have a bigger impact at DE and not so much at DT. Clark may replace Avril someday, or play opposite him, but he isnt Micheal Bennett. No one is like that guy, as I said, and his run support is unparalleled.