Instant reaction: Seahawks shut out Giants

December 15th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Metlife Stadium was anything but frosty for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks

This was a 23-0 win that could’ve been 50-0.

Seattle completely destroyed the New York Giants. Only penalties and some uncharacteristically poor execution on offense stopped it being a complete blow out.

The main story of the day was the performance of the secondary. Despite missing Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond again, the Seahawks still picked off Eli Manning five times.

It’s worth noting at this point that Manning has been hopeless all year. He has 25 interceptions in 2013 and only 16 touchdowns. He’s had an absolute nightmare.

But it’s not the numbers that matter today. It’s the manner of the picks.

Byron Maxwell had to fight for his pair. He took the ball away from New York — contesting in tight coverage and then ripping it away from the receiver on both occasions. His second interception on a route over the middle flashed everything you want to see — recognising the play, recovery speed and an acrobatic catch.

Top drawer cornerback play.

We all saw in pre-season how good Maxwell could be. He just needed time on the field to prove it.

In 2011 Richard Sherman came into the team and stole a starting position away from Thurmond with his performances. Is Maxwell repeating the act two years later?

Perhaps.

Here’s an interesting question — let’s say Browner trains this week. Does he start?

How the heck can you take Maxwell out of the line up playing like this?

He has to stay in there. And if he continues at this high level, he’ll probably be starting in the playoffs.

Manning tried to take him on and quickly realised he wasn’t going to get anywhere. So he challenged Richard Sherman instead.

Yeah, not the best idea.

I’m amazed how many quarterbacks try to beat Sherman with the fade. It’s like an automatic pick. You can see it coming as soon as the ball loops into the air. What are they doing?

Sherman’s second pick came on a hail mary, but he had a big assist on the final interception. The NFL Network did a feature on Sherman earlier in the year. In the piece he talked about tipping a pass to Earl Thomas. It’s something they actively work on.

Fast forward to the 6:30 mark:

How many other defensive backs practise stuff like that? I’d love to know. Either way, it worked for the Seahawks.

Without doubt this team has the best secondary in the league. Athletic, prepared, organised. It’s a nailed on certainty that Sherman and Thomas will get new contracts in the off-season — meaning three out of the four positions will be locked up for the long term.

It’s not just the starters either. Jeremy Lane had another terrific game. On one play on 2nd and 8 with 6:41 left in the third — he completely shut down Victor Cruz leading to an incompletion. Seattle picked up a sack on the next play and forced a punt.

Lane also continues to prove his worth on special teams — and he made a really nice stop on a running back too.

Just another one off the production line for Seattle’s defensive back factory. There isn’t another coaching staff in the league that keeps churning out corners like this.

Here are some other thoughts immediately after the game…

– Red Bryant is quietly having a big year. I’ve noticed in the last few weeks that he’s blowing up a lot of run plays with interior pressure. He really is a crucial part of the defense and still doesn’t get enough credit for me.

– Paul McQuistan gave off a ‘bad game’ vibe but I need to re-watch it. He whiffed in pass protection on one play at left guard to give up a sack and had a false start on 4th and goal to eliminate a likely Marshawn Lynch touchdown. Carroll spoke to him after that flag. I suspect James Carpenter will start to get more and more time at guard.

– In terms of the pass protection overall, there seemed to be a few errors today. Missed assignments, silly mistakes. Having said that, the Giants pass rush did a good job creating pressure.

– If they can afford to do it, Michael Bennett needs a new contract. We say it pretty much every week. Today he opened the second half with a big run stop and then a strip sack. He was constantly causing problems for the Giants’ struggling offensive line.

– Steven Hauschka’s only miss this year was a blocked field goal. Think about that. He’s been sensational.

– Penalties on third down were a big story in the first half — on both sides of the ball. It killed a few drives for Seattle and extended a couple for the Giants. In total the Seahawks were flagged eight more times today. Tidying this up still has to be a priority.

– As I mentioned earlier, for some reason there were little mistakes on offense. Golden Tate dropped a couple (unusual for him), blocks were whiffed and Russell Wilson had his worst decision and throw of the year on his interception. I’m not sure why he forced that one downfield. Rare impatience from Wilson? Whatever it was, it’s something he doesn’t do that often.

– The Percy Harvin will he/won’t he saga has gone beyond boring, but I think they need someone who can just be that X-factor on offense. The last two weeks that’s been evident. Let’s hope he makes it back for the post season.

The Seahawks are 12-2 ahead of two home games to finish. They’re one away from tying the franchise record for wins in a season. They became the first team to shut out the Giants at home for 18 years. And they’re back on top of the NFL as the only team on 12 victories.

This was the best possible way to rebound after last weeks tight defeat in San Francisco.

Now it’s all about taking care of business at home, securing home field advantage and regaining the NFC West title.

62 Responses to “Instant reaction: Seahawks shut out Giants”

  1. Zach says:

    I was truly baffled on the Wilson INT. They’re up 16-0 at the time, late in the 3rd, 1st and 10 at the Giants 47, and you throw a jump ball into double coverage to Ricardo Lockette? Russ didn’t have his best game, he missed a few throws, but that was the one play that really just baffled me. The sack he took at the end of the first half was odd, too.

  2. Colin says:

    I’m getting pretty tired of the ‘let’s start Carp so we can play Paul the next three series and then let Carp play some more” routine. Pick one. It’s clear as day this is a better run blocking team with Carpenter at LG, and I don’t believe his pass pro. is as bad as was shown earlier this year.

    Russell had a pretty bizarre day. He had multiple down the field throws that made you scratch your head. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised he had a bit of an off day. It will happen.

    • Chris says:

      Even if starting, I’m not sure Carp can make it through most of a game.

      • Ted says:

        Carp played full games at LG when Okung was out and McQ was playing LT. Cable loves McQ, but either Cable or Carroll said in an interview this week that someone will take hold of the LG spot soon. I think we’ll see Carp get more time there. Pass pro is a weakness, but how can you expect a guy to improve when he’s splitting time? He’s a mauler, and having Okung and Unger flanking him can help hide some deficiencies. Carp did have some decent pass pro plays today. McQ was the one with the false start on 4th and goal from the 1 too. I just feel like we need to let Carp play a full game and see what happens. He’s under contract for next year unlike McQ.

  3. JW says:

    great defensive performance, and great example of how a defense is something you can lean on on the road or when offense is missing a beat for whatever reason. Defense is a reliable date, usually shows up. Offense, while prettier, might leave you hanging.

    That said, having a great difference maker on offense would be really nice for this team.

    Speaking of bad decisions- Eli made one of the worst I have ever seen throwing to a WR who was completely blanketed by Sherman. He’s such a hard QB to figure out. It’s like he accidentally hits the off switch on his brain.

  4. FC says:

    You hit on everything I noticed about this game. The pass pro was struggling at times, McQuistan in particular had a poor game, but the Giants has good pass rushers. Tate had a poor game, I counted 3 drops. The interception just made no sense, it was a terrible decision for no reason. The defense was pretty much perfect. IMO Maxwell is now the #2 corner. WT3 is still ahead of Lane as the slot corner, but it’s close.

    • Austin says:

      I’d still prefer Browner by a small margin. He is so dang good at run defense and I know he would’ve bullied Boldin last week, which would have been great to see after the shit he did to Lane.

      • Robert says:

        I would mix in Browner for some nasty. But Maxwell is playing out of his mind…looks like a top 5 CB! He’s our #2 now…

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          I agree that Maxwell should be the #2 and Lane #3. Browner is good but he usually watched the receiver instead of looking for the ball. He had numerous penalties for pass interference because he wouldn’t swivel his head. Now for run defense he was great!

  5. Mark says:

    McQuistan stank again.

    It’s fairly obvious that while he is better at the job than I would be, he gets paid to do that shite and fails regularly, and is barely sufficient at all other times. He should be a weather man, not an OG (T) with that accuracy rate.

    He seriously needs to be on the damn bench, or in my view optimally gone. (obviously later on if the latter cause while he stank it up, deep bench isn’t likely better, but for perhaps Bailey).

    Other than that, great read and my view mostly as well.

  6. Kenny Sloth says:

    Man, Mebane’s been pretty freaking stellar this year, too. Are ya’ll sure we’ll get rid of one of him or Bryant? They’ve both played hard and well all year. If it’s me. I think it depends on which of this year’s rookies we picked up that we like more. If Jesse is healthy then we can drop Bryant. If Hill’s improved and put some sand in his pants we can move on from Mebane. And what about McDaniel? Who’s our 3T next year? What about Greg Scruggs. He looked great at times last year. Where would he even play? is Scruggs a 3tech or a 5? Could DT be a target AGAIN?
    I think two of the incumbents will be on the outside looking in.

    Could that pick have been on Lockette? I just have a hard time believing that Russ threw such an ugly ball without some kind of miscommunication. Perhaps his hand just slipped or something. It sure looked like Lockette would’ve beaten his man on a go.

    • williambryan says:

      I think Lockette probably wasn’t expecting the pass but still could have gave better effort (though still showed more effort than any NY receiver). I have to think Wilson didn’t see the safety or didn’t think he was responsible for that part of the field. You see the jump ball in single coverage, but not with the safety help. It’s good to have those moments though. Can’t be all great all the time. That’s why I’m nervous as heck for when Hauschka misses his first under 50. It’s probably going to be one the team will need.

    • Colin says:

      That pick was all Russell. He made a similar throw earlier in the game that made you go “WTF?”, but it was incomplete. He was a bit off today, which seems odd, because an off day for him is pretty good for the Andy Dalton’s and Tannehill’s of the world (although Tannehill played very well today).

    • Robert says:

      I think the swirling wind got under the interception, which caused the ball to not travel as far or fast. RW may have thrown it a fraction too late, as well…imo.

  7. Brandon says:

    In my opinion Mebane probably stays. Our depth, upcoming talent at DT is not on par with our DE’s. You’re probably going to lose McDonald and maybe McDaniel. Losing Mebane with those three has your projected starters as Jordan Hill and Jessie Williams(if his leg is a go). Plus, Mebane only carries a 5 million dollar cap hit.

    Bryant’s the one who might be in trouble. Don’t get my wrong, I agree with Rob, he’s maybe having his best season. He’s also carrying a sizable cap when you’re due to go into next season with Avril, Clemmons, Mayowa, Scruggs, and Irvin if he needed him in a pinch. In an off season where cap space must be cleared Bryant might turn into the logical choice. For the record I don’t like losing him. I’d just rather have Michael Bennett to an extension, and I think it’s Bryant that would have to be cut to make it happen.

    • Rob Staton says:

      That’s the point though — cutting Mebane gets you $5m without any ramifications. Cutting other guys (like Bryant) will come with penalties. There is no dead money attached to Mebane’s contract.

      I feel like we’ll be going over old ground and don’t want to turn this into another Mebane debate, but unfortunately this is the situation. Seattle’s priorities this year are going to be re-signing Thomas and Sherman and trying to re-sign Michael Bennett. I suspect re-signing Golden Tate will also be a priority. Any savings you can make in order to keep those guys, is going to happen. Which is why I think Giacomini moves on, purely because of cost. And it’s why others will move on too. And some of those cuts will hurt, but they simply have to be made.

      Mebane is playing well. He’s a good player. But he isn’t Sherman/Thomas/Tate/Bennett.

      Mebane, Browner, Rice, Giacomini. These are all guys who are likely gone. Clemons might be gone too. But that’s how you keep your team good. You don’t risk losing shutdown corners and elite pass rushers for a good defensive tackle who doesn’t rush the passer that much. And sadly keeping Mebane’s salary is one of the easiest to cut.

      But nobody should be panicking over this. Nobody knew about Tony McDaniel before Seattle signed him. Who expected Clinton McDonald to have a pretty incredible year? And we’ve not seen enough to judge the young rookies who haven’t played too often (although I believe Jordan Hill had a sack today).

      One other thing to note with Bryant — clearly they see him as a big time emotional leader. That can’t be underestimated. He’s a captain on the team and does count for something. They pretty much have made him one of the focal points of the defense.

      • Jeff M. says:

        We have been through this before, and it’s not whether there’s dead money or not that matters, simply how much potential savings could be realized.

        Mebane has $5.2m cap hit and $400k dead for $4.8m savings.
        Bryant has $8.5m cap hit and $3m dead for $5.5m savings.

        Which (or both, or neither, of course) of the two we keep will be determined by their play on the field and potential replacement, not a difference of a few hundred thousand dollars, but it’s worth pointing out again that there’s zero financial reason to prefer cutting Mebane to cutting Bryant (the latter would save more, not less).

        • Jeff M. says:

          Also, let’s not forget the possibility of extensions/renegotiations to generate short-term cap savings.

          Okung will almost certainly receive a long-term extension that lowers his 2014 cap number way below the current $11.2m.

          Bryant’s deal (guaranteed money all paid out, $3m roster bonus for next year) was almost certainly negotiated with the idea of tearing it up and re-doing it this offseason.

          If we’re willing to commit a few more years to Miller, we could probably reduce from his $7m number; same with Lynch if we would add years to his deal (although less likely for a RB).

          We probably still have to pick one or the other between Clemons and Avril, but presumably whichever it is will sign an extension that reduces from a $9m+ cap number.

          If we extend/re-do deals with, say, Okung, Bryant, Miller, and Avril, we could eliminate $10-15m off the 2014 cap before cutting anyone. We’re still going to have to make some cuts this offseason, and you just push the problem down the road, so we’ll have more painful decisions to make once the Sherman and Wilson deals kick in, but it’s an additional avenue for affording Tate, Bennett, etc. in the short term.

        • Rob Staton says:

          There’s no dead money on Mebane’s contract in 2014 and his cap hit is $5.7m.

          • Steeeve says:

            According to OverTheCap.com, Mebane has 400k dead money next year, so it would be a $5.3M savings. Just cutting Rice, Clemons, and Mebane would save about $20M next year.

            • Colin says:

              According to Spotrac, Mebane is owed no dead money.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I’m not familiar with that site. The ones I’ve come to trust over the years like Sportrac say no dead money after this season.

              • Jeff M. says:

                The Spotrac page for Mebane (http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/seattle-seahawks/brandon-mebane/) only lists his dead money for this year (this is pretty common on their site); the dead money for next year isn’t a zero, it’s just a blank field in their database.

                He had a $1m signing bonus in 2011 prorated across 5 years, so $200k per year remaining on the contract is dead if he’s waived, ie it would have been $600k this year (the amount Spotrac reports) and it would be $400k next year.

                But yes, I did misread the cap hit and cite this year’s instead of next’s: Mebane would be $5.7m-$400k=$5.3m savings to Bryant’s $5.5m (but again, note my other comment that Red’s contract was essentially designed to be torn up and re-done this offseason no matter what).

                • Rob Staton says:

                  Having used Sportrac to look at a lot of players, I’ve found they don’t include $0 as an amount for dead money. If it’s blank I’d take it to mean there isn’t any. If you look at other players (eg Sam Bradford) it breaks down the dead money across the deal.

      • Hay stacker509 says:

        Rob what’s the cap hit on Clemons? Seattle has too much involved with Bryant to cut him but mebane can be replaced with Williams or hill (who I honestly think will be better then mebane down the road) and Clemons will be replaced by Bennett, Irvin, mayowa, Scruggs etc, giacomini and McQ can be replaced… Move on with the good players so we can re-sign the elite players and keep our core together

  8. Mylegacy says:

    Rob – first off, after every game I get over to your site asap to wait for your quick – insightful reactions. I’m always delighted. Rob – all your stuff is really great you don’t get enough praise.

    Watching Bryant and Mebane early each game I’m impressed with their strength, aggression and penetration into the backfield. I think they both might actually be better pass rushers than they are being allowed to show. On pass blocking the O-Line guys stand and retreat into their stance – both Red and Brandon are so strong they take a step or two and then literally bull rush the OLine guys back to their locker room. Our seven headed DLine is a thing of beauty – or at least as beautiful as several tons of sweating fat guys can be.

  9. Stuart says:

    All Defense stats aside, the Hawks are now #1 in the league in points against. Carolina gave up 20 today, they stand at 208. We remained unchanged at 205. This, this is my favorite Defense statistic.

    I was happy to see Russell and Marshawn come out of the game when they did. We had the game won by that point so why risk injury. After we win next week against Arizona, that will be a big talking point about resting our starters in game 16.

    A few years ago the Green Bay Packers ended up 15-1 in the regular season and rested most of their starters their last 2 games of the regular season. Then they got crushed at home against the NY Giants in the playoff’s. Aaron Rogers said he would never sit out a regular season game again, ever…Something to consider…

    • Miles says:

      Today Pete was asked if he would ever consider resting his starters for the playoffs and he countered with a decisive no. We won’t bench our starters for any game, we already know this. We know this because last year the final game of the year didn’t matter either (we had already clinched the 5th seed and had no shot at the division), and we played all our starters.

      I don’t think it will be a big talking point, because Pete has already shot that notion down.

      • Michael M. says:

        If I remember correctly, We actually could have improved our seed in the final week of last year had we gotten the – admittedly unlikely – help we needed from the Cardinals beating the ‘Niners.

        • Rugby Lock says:

          We would’ve won the division

          • Miles says:

            Now that I recall I believe you are correct. Thanks for the verification.

            Nonetheless, I don’t think Pete will bench starters at any point this year. He may rotate players more, but the starters will be playing throughout the game.

            • Connor Jackson says:

              Haha yeah that game definitely mattered. I slept over at one of the Coaches house’s the night before the game and he told me that Pete was going to have someone in the headset telling him about the score of the SF and GB game the whole afternoon. The players and coaches were all well aware of the situation. At the game I remember high fiving my girlfriend when GB lost to the Vikings and then AZ got up early on SF and we were like no way is this gonna happen and SF eventually won and we didnt get the #2 seed.

  10. AlaskaHawk says:

    I enjoyed the excellent defensive effort I can’t believe how many corners we have used this year – and they just get better with each one! It’s unreal. Love the effort from the defensive line. The linebackers had a quiet day so they must have taken care of business.

    On the offensive side – it is hard to believe we have such a good record. Looking up after the first five (or was it four?) offensive drives and we had 3 points. Marshwan had 9 carries for 27 yards. Pretty pathetic for a team that wants to run. I keep waiting for our offense to gel. It just seems obvious that we should be drafting for the offensive line. We have a QB, we got running backs, our receivers our excellent, but we just aren’t blocking.

    • Robert says:

      It seemed like we were starting to run the ball well. Then we finally got our starting Tackles back and our running game has been in a funk ever since. Is it a coincidence because of the teams we have faced? Or are we in a lull while we wait for cohesion to be re-established? I hope it is the latter and they get their groove back soon!!!

      • Miles says:

        I think teams are just keying on the run and they happen to have pretty good D-lines. That’s not necessarily an excuse to fail in the running game though, as the Seahawks have faced other big-time run defenses this year and succeeded (San Francisco comes to mind from Week 2). But it’s a testament to how multiple our offense is, that we’ve still been able to have fairly prolific offensive outings without a good rushing attack. The Saints game was a prime example of this.

        I may be wrong, but perhaps the rotation of the o-linemen is partly to blame for the drop-off. The left guard position may be one of the most important for our run game, and putting Carp on the sideline so McQ can get his reps may not allow the whole line to gel and get something going. Plus, McQ is not our answer on the o-line this year and doesn’t have the physical traits J.Carpenter does that can open holes for Marshawn. He is a grizzled veteran with technical intelligence but it appears his best year was the penultimate year of his contract and we need to find other answers.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          I wonder if it is the player or the blocking schemes that give us trouble in running plays? So many runs are between the guard and tackle spot, with cutbacks if the hole isn’t there. We aren’t much of an end around team, though we do throw the bubble screen with mixed success. We were very successful with sending Marshawn Lynch to the sideline for an outlet pass. In general we were more successful with passes then rushing.

          Overall – we could use some draft competition at RG, LG and RT. I like our guys but there are better players out there to choose from.

  11. Carl Shinyama says:

    Re: Browner and Maxwell: You don’t necessarily need to have a dilemma of deciding who gets the start. Rather, think of it as more of a dilemma as to who should get more playing time, and make them compete for it this week (and next week, and so on). I wouldn’t be surprised if the coaches are thinking along those same lines.

  12. House says:

    Gone via FA: Giacomini, McQuistan, Browner and McDonald or McDaniels (possibly Thurmond as well)

    Released: Rice and Clemons (could be on reduced pay list)

    Reduced pay: Mebane (released if he doesn’t take pay cut), Bryant and maybe Miller.

    Extensions: ET, Sherm, Bennett and Tate

    A key to remember… Red Bryant and Michael Bennett were teammates and friends at Texas A&M. Bryant had a big influence in Bennett returning. I’d almost guarantee he’d give up some money to help keep him around.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think that’s very likely with Bryant — but I do think he and Zach Miller are locks to stay with the team.

      • oz says:

        Rob, interesting chatter going on. While we are on the subject I would like to point out some of my favorite sleepers or late round picks at DT and DE.
        Justin Ellis DT Louisiana Tech 6-2 /357 Very impressive speed for his size.
        Caraun Reid DT Princeton 6-2 /305
        James Gale DE Virginia Tech 6-4 /260 I like him a lot.
        Players who will go earlier -DeQuan Jones DT Penn State 6-3 /318. Another Penn Stater?
        Chris Smith DE Arkansas 6-2 /268 – Fast,very good tackler. Has got Hawks written all over him.
        Dominick Easley’s two surgically repaired knees will surely drop him on teams draft boards. If he can stay healthy,he would be a steal.
        Keep up the reat work Rob!!!!

      • oz says:

        That would be GREAT> my bad….

        • Miles says:

          Why is everyone so sure Red Bryant will take a pay cut? Normally, it’s a lot to ask for a player to reduce his contract. I don’t know that Bryant won’t be willing to do this, but I just don’t see any hard evidence that this will be the case. I guess you could look at it logically, and say okay, Red Bryant’s going to be 30 next year, and it’s pretty well-known his best fit is in Seattle. He may not have success if he goes somewhere else and plays under a different defensive system. Thus, you could theorize that he will take a pay cut in order to remain where he’s best-suited. But in this NFL era with politicking agents and big-money contracts, I’m hesitant to believe it will be that easy for Bryant to take money off our cap.

  13. James says:

    Did anyone else think Jeremy Lane (#20) had an absolutely blinding game?

    Seemed like he was everywhere.

    • House says:

      Lane was all over the place and I loved it! The play were he closed about 11 yds in no time turned a sure 5-8yd gain into 2 yds. The beauty of having such great depth is when they get a shot, they are SOOOO hungry for more playing time.

      Lane has always been a tremendous gunner on Punts as well. He is constantly keeping the ball out of the end zone within the 10-yd line. If we decided to move on from Browner and Thurmond, Lane is definitely the NB.

      As someone mentioned last week, Maxwell played confident and you could tell how much better he played yesterday. I am also excited to see Simon get healthy and make an impact next season.

      • Miles says:

        I am very happy about how both Maxwell and Lane are playing. The way they are performing out there will make it much easier on the Seahawks if they end up having to wave goodbye to both Browner and Thurmond.

    • Mark says:

      I thought that body slam by Lane on Victor Cruz was unwarranted. I mean, it just seemed dirty even if not intended to cause a concussion. I always cringe when I see receivers pretty much make a solid catch only to be blown up by a defender, even though I am a devoted Seahawks fan.

      • Hay stacker509 says:

        Are you kidding me? That was a tackle of beauty! Little guy like lane comes up and cleanly slams Cruz down causing the fumble, if that’s not playing aggressively and clean then I’m confused. That ine play summed up our secondary… You think because we’re down a couple cb’s our backups are gonna fold? Lane just sent a message saying te your secondary out and you’ll get smoked! I’m betting Sherman had a bottle of tequila for lane after the game!

      • Colin says:

        What are you talking about?

        Lane barely even grabbed him. Cruz hurt himself for the most part by overextending himself to make the catch. Saying Lane ‘bodyslammed him’ is laughable.

        Sucks he got hurt, but he signed the contract and it is still the NFL…. at least for now.

        • Miles says:

          That was a very unfortunate injury. The reversal of the call also took Victor Cruz down from 1000+ yards to 998. That is just cruel…

          In no way did I think Lane was too aggressive on that play. He more or less let Victor Cruz fall to the ground and touched him to ensure he was down. It was actually the ground that did the damage to Cruz on that play. Hope he heals up soon so he can get that 1,000.

  14. Michael (CLT) says:

    2014 Salary cap expected to by around 127M. That is about 5M more than this year. You can restructure Mebane and Red, perhaps make a change at WR. In my biased opinion, there will be little change is personnel in 2014. Now, 2015, when RW III is reupped… now we will see some fresh faces.

    I’m probably wrong on all of this. That said, JS and PC do want to show enough loyalty in the large contracts they offer. Restructure Mebane by making most of his money bonus may be just as good as cutting him. Now you keep him and avoid the cap hit.

    Just my two cents.

  15. MJ says:

    Regarding some of the contract decisions…

    Maybe I am foolhearted/naive with this, but it won’t shock me if a few of the older guys take paycuts/rework contracts to stay on this team. I’m not in the locker room or know any of these guys personally, but this team is just different man. It really is like a family and I don’t think I’ve seen a team 1-53 who really have each others backs/truly care about the other guy. I’m not saying they’d all sacrifice for the “greater good,” but it won’t shock me if a handful of guys take the unselfish approach to stick with this team.

    This really is something special…I have truly never seen anything like this in all my years.

    • CD says:

      I think 90%+ of the players will take the money. Their careers are short, they have their own familiy and friends to take care of, and 3 or 5 million is the difference of setting up your kids kids up for life.

      I think hoping for guys to take a pay cut is wishful thinking. You see how these guys shake hands and smile at the end of a lose right, its just a game at the end of the day.

      • Jeff M. says:

        It won’t in general be pay cuts, but multiple guys will end up with extensions that lower their cap number in the short term. See my above comment, but this will almost certainly be true for Okung, probably for Bryant if he’s retained, and most likely for either of Avril/Clemons that’s kept.

        This is just standard NFL contract protocol, where base salaries/roster bonuses will be renegotiated into signing bonuses that can be prorated over future years.

        • House says:

          The biggest changes on the DL will be the DT position. McDonald and McDaniel will both be free agents if both leave, that leaves us with Mebane, Hill, Williams and Scruggs. We will more than likely need to address DT in the draft early if we can’t keep McDonald or McDaniels…

          Bryant has ties to the Seahawks organization (his father-in-law is Jacob Green, former Seahawks DL) and he has started his family in SEA. He loves the area and is a major staple on the team. When he signed his 5-yr/$35M deal, he said something along the lines of “I’m getting to stay with family and play football where I want to be. I’ll have more money than I’ll ever need.”

          If Avril didn’t get so many damn penalties, the decision between cutting him or Clemons would be easy. Clemons is getting up there in age (32) and isn’t making the big splashes that Avril is. We also have Benson Mayowa just waiting in the wings and he is impressive.

  16. madmark says:

    I got a Question for ya Rob. I saw a play in the Cincinnati vs Pittsburg game on the 1st set of downs by the Bengals. It was a receiver screen to the left in which Troy Polamalu got a good read and jumped it. If he had play it right it should have been a pick 6 for him but instead he never look for the pass but was in the process of doing a WWF slam down on the receiver when the ball hit him between the shoulder blades. MY question is can you tackle the receiver before the ball even gets there if its behind the line of scrimmage or if it was PI like I think it should have been called how would you access the penalty?

  17. Dregur says:

    “There can be no pass interference at or behind the line of scrimmage, but defensive actions such as tackling a receiver can still result in a 5-yard penalty for defensive holding, if accepted. ”

    http://www.nfl.com/rulebook/passinterference

  18. sdcoug says:

    I noticed that too. Unless there’s a rule I am not aware of, I thought Polamalu got away with one there. I’m not sure how the Refs miss that when it is the focal point of the entire play. Curious if anyone else has thoughts on that…

  19. Ralphy says:

    Before writing this I will confess to being a huge Ok State (and Dez Bryant) fan.

    With all the press he has received lately and with that team in turmoil I wonder if he could be in play for a first round pick? If so I would love that. I know it would cost us and that would be a lot of money tied up in WRs but the Hawks like guys that can do what most players can’t and he is one of those guys.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think you’d be looking at two first rounders at least for Dez, plus a huge new contract, and that’s if Dallas are willing to deal. And despite everything, he’s just too talented to trade.