Seahawks three pieces from NFC contention

July 29th, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

Will the Seahawks take a look at Antonio Cromartie?

Bold statement in the title? Perhaps. However, I truly believe the Seahawks are three key pieces away from being a contender in the NFC. Let me explain…

For starters, you don’t need to be a dynasty to win the weak NFC West. If you are solid, consistent and good at home – you’ll win the conference. The fact you have the opportunity to play six games against NFC West opponents also helps in terms of playoff seeding. If you’re in the post season regularly, you’re a contender. If the Seahawks are playing playoff games at home, even more so.

I think this off-season has been a unmitigated success so far. I’m not a ‘homer’ who backs every decision this team makes, far from it. Neither am I overly critical, but certainly I would like to be considered a realist. I felt the Seahawks had to move on at quarterback and rather than assume a 36-year-old often injured Matt Hasselbeck was far better than any other option, I think the Seahawks made the right choice to at least try and turn over a new page. This team is not building around Hasselbeck or even a quarterback with his current skill set. I understand the popularity he enjoyed and deserved in Seattle, but let’s be brutally honest here – Matt’s reputation and general ‘great guy’ personality is the only thing separating him from other ageing (and struggling) quarterbacks like Donovan McNabb.

I’m a big proponent of the receiver position and feel it’s vastly underrated by fans who clamour for ‘building in the trenches’ as the only way to success. I don’t mean you can’t build a team with strong line play, but looking at recent Super Bowl teams like Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Arizona, Indianapolis – none of these teams had the kind of elite line Seattle enjoyed in XL. There are many ways to skin a cat – so the saying goes – and that is true in the NFL. Playmakers compliment an offensive line just as much as an offensive line gives the playmakers the opportunity to produce.

As it happens the Seahawks have tackled both areas. The offensive line is now one of the most expensive in the league as not many teams will start two recent first round picks at tackle, a free agent guard who was a former #2 overall pick, a center drafted in the second round and a right guard drafted in the third after a move down from round two.

That is some serious stock spent on your offensive line.

But the signing of Sidney Rice was equally as vital in my view, as was the re-signing of Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu, the drafting of Golden Tate and the Marshawn Lynch trade. Playmakers are vital. You need someone who will draw coverage and make a defense think twice about stacking the box. You need someone who can stretch the field. You need someone who can be a reliable security blanket who you KNOW is going to catch several passes a game. The Seahawks haven’t had that for many years and without Mike Holmgren running his precision offense that generated the numbers, they needed a big time receiver.

Rice will be 25 in September – coinciding with the time he should be hitting his prime. He has all the tools - except perhaps blistering speed – to be an elite receiver. His presence will not only aid the much desired improvement in the running game, he’ll open up a lot more opportunities for the likes of Williams and  Tate. Was the price high for Sidney Rice? Yes, but I’d rather gamble on salary than draft stock and Rice cost absolutely nothing in terms of picks.

Brandon Mebane appears close to agreeing terms with the Seahawks, filling a gigantic hole (literally and figuratively) in the defensive interior. Losing Mebane would make little sense for a franchise hoping to build around players reaching their best years at the right age so it’s a good sign he will be staying in Seattle, albeit probably at a premium price.

Suddenly a team with no key players, nothing to make an opposition team fearful… actually has quite a few pieces to the puzzle. Due to this belief, you suddenly want more. When Seattle’s name suddenly cropped up regarding Nnamdi Asomugha - I felt myself dreaming of an elite addition to the defense. Many fans started to talk about Vince Young believing he could offer more than Tavaris Jackson or Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback. Even if they hadn’t necessarily noticed, I think Seahawks fans were getting their hopes up – including those who were very disappointed following Hasselbeck’s departure.

This brings me onto the three areas I think need to be filled for us to realistically believe in this team – not just in the NFC West, but in the NFC.

Quarterback

The Seahawks did the right thing moving on from Matt Hasselbeck in my view, but nobody can hide behind the fact that the current two quarterbacks on the roster have major question marks hanging over them. Maybe one of Jackson or Whitehurst grabs this opportunity and runs with it? We’ll find out soon enough.

Even so, the situation remains unresolved as of today in terms of filling a long term need that should’ve been addressed ages ago. People point to next year’s draft and certainly I have some optimism for Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, Landry Jones, Austin Davis and Kirk Cousins. The rest of the class? Not so much.

Can something still be done this summer? I’m not going to rule it out. I really enjoyed this piece by ESPN’s Mike Salk almost imploring Mike Brown to trade Carson Palmer. Lots of people have slammed the door shut on a potential trade this year. Listen – there have been negotiations on a trade between the teams. Palmer IS Pete Carroll’s #1 option. Some took smug delight (heaven knows why) in the press conference this week where Brown simply reiterated what he’s said all along as if this time it was particularly defining. He will trade Palmer. Maybe it will be next year? Maybe it will be five weeks into the season? Yes Mike Brown wants to make his point, but if he gets a deal he likes now…

The Bengals have big needs. If you want to try and solve one of those needs, one option is a trade. The Bengals have been bystanders in free agency, losing their top free agent Jonathan Joseph and trading Chad Johnson. Putting Palmer on the ‘did not show’ list won’t help them make up the cap limit but trading him for a veteran will. If you’re trying to drive a hard bargain, then reiterating a stance of ‘no deal’ via a much publicised press conference is one way to do it. If the Seahawks want a quarterback who can still get it done in the NFL, who can add veteran leadership and be an excellent bridge option to the future, then put together a package that will get this done. If it creates other holes at the same time, well isn’t that what free agency is for?

Perhaps next year’s draft will provide the answer instead, but it’s an area that will be addressed.

Defensive End

Chris Clemons had an excellent year rushing the passer in 2010 and will be the teams top LEO this year by the looks of things. Keeping Mebane and adding Alan Branch improves the quality/depth ratio on the defensive line but with Raheem Brock in limbo, the Seahawks need to see what else is out there.

Ray Edwards is unsigned and Osi Umenyiora could be traded. The Seahawks were linked to both before free agency began, but haven’t been mentioned in relation to that pair since the lockout ended. The LEO position is designed for sack production and Pete Carroll may believe it’s an area that doesn’t require major free agency dollars. Even so, can you imagine a line with another proven pass rusher included?

Beyond Edwards and Umenyiora (and it’s important to remember both have played alongside other very talented players in Minnesota and New York) there aren’t a ton of alternatives. However, either would fit comfortably into the rotation, they have the right size and skill set. Can a deal be done? Who knows. This may be an area that gets the treatment in the future, but there are options open for the Seahawks to explore now if cap room allows.

*Update* Ray Edwards agreed to join the Atlanta Falcons today.

Cornerback

Marcus Trufant will be 31 in December and hasn’t reproduced the form that earned him a Pro-Bowl selection in 2007 and a fat new contract. Injuries have played a part, but at times he’s been a liability in coverage and has become prone to penalties. A better defensive line and improved T.O.P. from the offense would help, as would greater support in the secondary. Trufant has been flanked predominantly by Kelly Jennings the last few years and could line up across from untested sophomore Walter Thurmond this season.

Eric Wright, Jonathan Joseph and seemingly Nnamdi Asomugha are out of contention in free agency – but Antonio Cromartie remains available. For all his criticisms, he’s a good starting corner in this league who matches the size criteria set out by the Seahawks. He likely won’t return to New York if they sign Asomugha. Of course, having invested a lot in the secondary during the most recent draft (albeit with later round picks) the Seahawks may be happy to give their young guys a chance to compete and ultimately start.

Is a combination of a Palmer trade, defensive end signing and cornerback addition too much to ask from this single free agency? Almost certainly. It’s Madden ’12 territory. Pipe dreams. If they find a way to pull it off in the next 12 months though, then teams are going to start giving the Seahawks a lot more respect.

59 Responses to “Seahawks three pieces from NFC contention”

  1. Will says:

    Wouldn’t want Cromartie. He’s too much in the DeAngelo Hall mold. Sure he’s a ball hawk who’ll get a lot of INTs, but in exchange he’ll gladly let a receiver get behind him for a chance at the ball, letting a lot of TDs happen. Also, from what I’ve read, his strengths are in man coverage while Gus Bradley runs a lot of zone defense. Not a fan.

    • Dan says:

      How is Cormartie anything like DeAngelo Hall? Hall is 5’10″ and relies mostly on his speed to be able to cover guys. Cromartie is 6’2″ who has the strength and size to bump receivers at the line and make them change directions. Also, I’m sure that Bradley would love to play more man coverage if he had CBs that could handle the job. I would love if the Hawks got Cromartie.

      • ba_edwards24 says:

        The point that Cromartie is a risk taker like Hall is true. Both guys make impact plays, but for both teams. Picks and long touchdowns. Both overrated by the casual fan because of their otherwordly athletic abilities and knack for big plays, along with visible production (picks). Scouts and informed fans know that both guys are borderline liabilities because of their risk taking. DRC is in that same mold.

  2. D Hawk says:

    I would say DT is still a need. Mebane needs to be re-signed, but I think we need an upgrade for Cole. We have Bryant at DE…I’d still love to get Edwards, but Branch will be a decent reserve if Bryant misses time again. I’d love to see us look at Gholston as a compliment to Clemons and to replace Bryant on passing downs and in the bandit.

    • Rob says:

      It’s a need, but not one which I would argue is the difference between competing and not competing. Cole is servicable as a run stuffer, but offers nothing in pass rush – but he’s a NT, so that’s expected. I think Seattle can contend by getting QB, DE, CB additions and cope with Cole at DT.

      • I’d say Cole is worse than that, even. He’s not necessarily supposed to provide sacks or pressures a lot, but he is supposed to collapse pockets and demand double teams. Cole doesn’t even do that. Every pocket on his watch is nice and pristine. I’m definitely longing for a legitimate 3-tech to bump Mebane back to 1, but I don’t see any available.

        • ba_edwards24 says:

          Mebane isn’t a 1 tech candidate in this scheme. He has never effectively 2 gapped. Cole is fine. Re-watching games, it is evident that he has incredible range for a man so large. Always first guy to diagnose and arrive to screens. Definitely commands doubles in the run game. Gets off blocks extremely well and makes tackles always around the LOS. The only guys that are as good as him against the run while also providing great pass rush are the 10 mil a year super-elite d linemen ike Haynesworth, Ngata, Raji, Kevin Williams, Kyle Williams, and probably Suh in the future (not great against the run yet). He does his job well. He’s in the 1 dimensional run stuffer tier 2 below Sione Pouha and Antonio Garay.

          • “Ngata, Raji, Kevin Williams, Kyle Williams…”

            So, the guys on good defenses. Funny connection there. ;)

          • ba_edwards24 says:

            Brandon- I’m a little confused about your point. Are you saying that if we can get a type like that our defense would be good? I agree if that’s what you’re saying, but the original argument made by Rob was that he is serviceable to which you replied he is worse than that. I replied he is in fact very serviceable, just not an impact guy. Having one of those Ngata, Raji type guys is an absolute luxury, as we could only list ~5 that exist in this league of 1900 players. To me, that means that his position is not a need, he is indeed serviceable, but also that one of those super-elite complete tackles would upgrade our defense immensely.

    • Karlos says:

      Vernon Gholston has been on my wish list… I think we can revive his carrer, then again were dealing with our own potential bust in the making Aaron Curry.

  3. Matthew says:

    Rob, what do you think of Vernon Gholston as an option at DE? The fact that even Rex Ryan couldn’t pull something out of him borders on damning, but he seemed to be a scheme misfit in NY. It seems that there could be a lot of untapped (and now cheap) potential there as a Clemons-style, ‘look-there’s-the-QB-pin-your-ears-back-and-get-’em’ type of LEO.

    • Rob says:

      Hi Matthew,

      He’s not a polished pass rusher, and that’s the big concern. Where’s the repertoire? He just beat guys in college through sheer athleticism… he looked like one of those terminator robots in college the way he was built. In the NFL, he’s been shown up as a body builder. It’s not just a lack of technique as a pass rusher, it’s the fact he’ll be a major liability playing in a front four in run defense. I’m not confident he’d work as a LEO prospect.

  4. Karlos says:

    1st of all nice article Rob I like the way you explored the “What if” situations for our team. In a matter of days I have only wondered how dangerous our offense will be with dual threat qb’s, 6’4+ receivers on the outside, an O-line injected with a little swagger, & of kourse our 1-2 punch at rb. San Fran is taking steps back, the Rams are not making much noise (Their just 1 Sam Bradford injury from exile & aren’t very talented on paper), & Arizon has to prove who they are (Kolb to Fitz won’t work every play). I 100% agree that we may not draft top 15 because what team in our division match-ups well with our receivers. If they stack the box 1 on 1 for either Mike or Sid, if they play of the line we’ll chip away at yards & wear thier defense out. The 49ers were the most talented team in the NFC West but now I’d say we are. Our offense won’t ask the qb to be Peyton accurate I think we’ll be conservative & rarely take deep shots.

    • Matty B says:

      I like your positivism about having 6’4 receivers and our division but our offense is going to succeed based one thing our offensive line. I see our offensive line being good but not at the start of this year with how young we are (lets hope that Gallery can be a leader and help our line). Pete wants to run the ball and based how we run the ball will determine our passing game with our QB situation. I want us to be good right away but i think it takes time and we will see our QB of the future in next years draft, which will set the pieces for us being dominant in the NFC.

  5. Misfit74 says:

    QB, CB I think are missing pieces. I’m not so sure about DE and I’m also unsure of SS. I like to remember that our Special Teams should once again be great. A blocking fullback is also a ‘need’, IMO. I think Alan Branch and Chris Clemons help round out the DE position more than adequately – I really like Branch and Bryant as 5-techs and Branch can probably play some NT, too. The Hill signing allows us to not miss a beat should either Tatupu or Heater go down to injury.

    • thebroski says:

      We will find out about the SS position this year. I’m very interested to see how Kam does by the end of the season. With the number of CBs and DBs we have signed we will sift through them and determine who is really worth keeping for this year and beyond. Based on the talent we have on our team, my guess would be that we will heavily invest in the DL and the LB position. While I’m excited to see Hill back (and picks like Wright and Smith), I don’t have too much confidence that he can stay healthy.

  6. Misfit74 says:

    Oh, and can we get Orton now, please?

    • Rob says:

      He’s owed $11.5m this year I think.. he could be cut. Denver made a big mistake trying to fight a quiet market.

  7. Al says:

    I think we should be looking to improve at inside linebacker sooner rather than later too. I don’t see Lofa being around for much longer and, in any case, last season he often seemed a liability.

  8. Lance M says:

    Just to update players mentioned on here (not just players mentioned for the Hawks):

    Edwards signed
    Joseph signed
    Wright signed

    • Lance M says:

      All signed elsewhere. Didn’t make that clear.

      • Rob says:

        I referenced Wright and Joseph were unavailable in the article. Edwards signed for Atlanta after I’d finished the piece.

        • Lance M says:

          My bad. I thought you meant they were out of Seahawks contention. Wasn’t trying to edit you, I was just listing who was gone regarding players mentioned above.

          You do great work.

  9. D says:

    As it looks right now our best talent is at the FO. A clear vision and the guts and mulah to go through with it will pay off in the long run. It won’t win us the super bowl this season but it will make the team a fun one to follow.

    I would also like to put emphasis on how they never seem to panic. They were all over big WR last year and couldn’t find the right guy for the right price, they play it cool and now all of a sudden we have a young promising kid with a highlight reel that is simply jaw dropping. Way to play your hand the right way guys… They could have gone nuts with a Cardinalesque QB -trade but the guy wasn’t out there, plain and simple…

    • Lance M says:

      Exactly. Panic now, pay later. That hasn’t been them. Good post.

    • thebroski says:

      While I wouldn’t say they panicked when they first got hired, I think we can all agree that they payed a bit too high of a price for Whitehurst.

  10. Cliff says:

    I think the hawks stillll might go after a MLB. They know Tats is about done. I wouldnt be surprised if he reworks his contract a little to make room. I know Zac Diles signed with the Rams but there are other MLBs out there..

    But i agree we just need a 3tech, Leo end, QB, and a CB and our roster is essentially set. A star Leo should be easy to find compared to the others and i hope we end up drafting Bruce Irving. A starting corner is harder to find since he has to be tall, fast, and a ball hawk. Pete never had star corners playing for him at USC and maybe one of our draftees turns into something but as of now thats a need. Starting penetrating 3 tech is the hardest find after QB which i think will be figured out next years draft in rounds 1-2. Mebane is good but not a super rusher. That may change but to me he’s an awesome 1 tech and a good 3 tech. Mebane at 1tech is able to provide some pocket collapsing abilities which Cole cant do. Throw in a MLB to replace tats and our roster is starting to look very good once those spots are filled. It seems like all can be filled in about one draft and in two years after the QB has a year of starting experience we’re looking at playoffs!

  11. Champ51 says:

    Hey rob what are your theories as to what Pete
    was meaning will happen on Saturday in his twitter conversation The other day?

    • Rob says:

      I suspect he was talking about a possible press conference to discuss the new additions, including Tavaris Jackson. All of the guys were signed officially this afternoon, not in the week. We’ll know for sure by tomorrow, but I don’t anticipate a bombshell announcement tomorrow. Even so, John Schneider said the team weren’t even on phase two of free agency yet and the Eagles did a great job keeping their interest in Asomugha quiet… so who knows. We only have to wait one day fortunately, unlike the lockout when we waited for months for news on he QB situation.

      I will say this though – do not rule out a splash at the quarterback position for you know who. There have been talks, it’s blatantly obvious there have been talks. I know for a fact there have been talks. I also know there have been talks even this week. It’s being talked about on a national level (Pat Kirwan, Chris Collinsworth, Sam Farmer) and for every member of the media like John Clayton saying ‘no chance’, there’s a guy like Chris Mortensen saying.. “This is just me speculating, not based on any information, but what if the Bengals do decide to trade?” and refusing to rule it out.

      Simple fact is, the people basing their view on no deal do so purely on Mike Brown’s reputation. There’s nothing wrong with that. They could easily be proven right. Yet this is a trade that has been in the pipeline all off season. It’s about getting the right deal to get it done, at the right time. That right time may be 12 months, it could be tomorrow. Cincy want someone to help their team now, not just picks. It was different just before the draft.

      So we see what happens at QB. My gut tells me though that tomorrow Tavaris Jackson will be talked up and that’s what PC was referring to. Put Palmer on this offense and he will succeed, though.

      • I love the guys who dismiss the rumor solely based on Mike Brown’s reputation, as if their awareness of his hardheadedness makes them sound all knowledgeable and insidery.

        • woofu says:

          It is simplistic to refer to it as harheadedness. It may be passe’, outmoded, misguided and the like but it is a negotiation position. A business model if you will.

          The trouble with guys who hunker down like Brown is that once you go against your stance you may never take that road again. If you do, nobody believes you and that makes it a non-starter. So if he really believes in his “old ways”, he can’t alter his negotiation stance on forced trades, etc..

          I said that to say this. What flew in the face of the situation recently was the Ocho trade to NE.

          I viewed that as a “yeah but” from Brown. Maybe twice removed but still a tremor in the Brown force field.

          Some have said the offer for Palmer from Seattle was a 3 and 5, others a player and a 3. Apparently Tatupu and a 3 was turned down in another rumor. Should Brown have blinked on his stance, having just lost Joseph and has a po’d Zimmer as a result, he may be game for Tru and a choice who knows.

          If he blinks he’s in for a whole lot of blinking down the road. That equates to spending money which we all know is behind this. One more point on that note is, if he is that close to a buck,
          Brown may view a Palmer retirement as cost saver, money not paid. Millions in fact! Some people really blink at that. lol

      • Will says:

        Dangit Rob, you’re getting my hopes up for Palmer again! And just when I had gotten over the assumption that the trade was dead! : (

      • Your Mom says:

        I had just come to grips with the whole Palmer thing now this. Man I hope the Bengals come to their senses

      • thebroski says:

        It isn’t just Brown’s reputation that people are going off of. He came out this week and said that Palmer isn’t going to be traded. I would be just as quick to question the whole “reputation” argument, but the affirmation of his dedication towards that reputation throws a wet blanket on things a bit in my opinion.

        • Matty B says:

          Brown would be so stupid not to trade palmer. It’s either you get some value in return or nothing! What’s the obvious choice? We all know he is not a smart owner but we can hope that he will come to his senses….

        • Rob says:

          Of course if you wanted to try and drive the price up, why would you repent from your previous stance? I think the point is, Brown is very prepared to make Carson sit this year. Brown is very prepared to tow the party line that’s he’s now ‘retired’. However, he will trade Carson Palmer. That might be in 12 months, 6 months, 6 weeks, tomorrow. He will trade the guy but it will be on MIke Brown’s terms. That means, either when he’s finished playing games or when he gets the price he wants.

  12. Daniel says:

    I was just wondering why anyone hasn’t taken a flyer on Tommie Harris. I refuse to believe that he has got nothing left in the tank, due to the fact that he is only 28 and he has proven earlier in his career that he can be a pro bowl type of player? I’ve would love to get your take on that? Surely he could at least make a low-risk high-reward type of a guy right?

    • thebroski says:

      Purely speculation: I’m not sure how much Harris fit’s into our scheme. If he did, it would probably be at the 3 tech position that Mebane has just been resigned for. Then again, there is a chance he (Bane) gets moved back to the 1 tech…

      Having said that, I have to defer to Rob’s expertise….

      • ba_edwards24 says:

        What Tommie Harris was in 06 couldn’t have been a better fit for our 3 tech. He was an elite pass rusher who sometimes go in the backfield at the risk of being out of position and losing gap containment in the run game. Watching him being a healthy scratch for multiple weeks last year assures me that he will never rejuvenate his career, but his play style could still be a good fit in this front. I hope we sign him assuming the price is right.

        • Rob says:

          Unfortunately the health issues haven’t been kind to Tommie Harris and he’s at a point now where I don’t think he’ll ever come close to his previous best. I’m not even sure he’ll get the opportunity to make a camp, it’s really such a shame that’s he’s fallen so far in such a short space of time.

          The Seahawks need depth so I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that they invite him to work out and take a medical. But likewise it wouldn’t surprise me if this was the end of the road for Harris.

          • Your Mom says:

            What about M. Lawson or Z. Miller? Both seem like upgrades. Especially Lawson. Don’t really have a second pash rusther behind Clemmons (R. Brock role)

  13. Donald Duck says:

    Thanks for a wonderful article.

    What do you think about making a move for Kyle Orton since Miami seems to be out of the hunt and Denver needs cap room.

    • Rob says:

      As far as I’m aware they’ve never shown interest in Kyle Orton so I doubt a move would be likely. I like Orton, but the Seahawks are looking for a certain type of quarterback and Orton doesn’t really fit the bill. It also appears Denver are playing hardball on price, which is why he’s not in MIami right now.

  14. AlexHawk says:

    By any chance could the Palmer trade include a veteran such as Lofa and a pick. I have read in a few places that we might be shopping Tatupu and it would make sense to include him for Carson

    • Rob says:

      If a deal happens before the end of the 2011 season, it’ll almost certainly involve a player. If it drags on and Palmer does have a sabbatical, then you’re talking picks before the draft, as would’ve been the case this year but for the lockout.

  15. Jeff M. says:

    What about Derrick Harvey (cut by JAC) as LEO depth? His body type fits the profile (6-5 268) and he’s still only 24. He hasn’t shown a lot of ability to beat NFL tackles once they get hands on him, but I think he could succeed in a scheme like ours that allows him to use his speed and athleticism off the edge.

    I also really, really think we should meet the Texans’ rumored price for Amobi Okoye (4th or 5th). He’s another guy who’s still really young and fits our 3-tech requirements perfectly.

    I like the DL rotation a lot if we have Bryant, Branch, Balmer, Clemons, maybe Brock, and Harvey at DE, plus Mebane, Okoye, Cole, and Siavii at DT (with the 5-tech guys also able to slide inside).

    • Rob says:

      Harvey needs to realise his career is hanging by a thread with a lot of wasted potential. If he wakes up and realises that, then sure he’s worth a shot at adding some depth to the line. Seattle needs quality and depth on the D-line. There aren’t any more key free agents out there and trading for Osi Umenyiora will be expensive in terms of picks. It’s a real area of concern, the DL. It’s why re-signing Mebane was such a priority.

      • Jeff M. says:

        Yes, and if we’re honest with ourselves, I think we know that depth should be in the form of young players with upside, rather than vets on the downside of their career.

        I’d still take Brock back at low money on a one-year deal–in fact, I become more hopeful that this will occur, since I’m not hearing anything about other teams in on him–another guy out there in a similar mold to Brock (one year younger and a little more consistent over recent years) is Stylez G. White.

        But it’s silly to assume that a guy like Brock or White will be a contributor on a contending Seahawks team at this point (I even think Umenyiora is older than I’d like to invest heavily in).

        We need to look at available guys and ask “who’s available that can be depth now but possibly still blossom into a real player?” Harvey and Okoye (who, by the way, was actually just also released) fit the mold and would be a similar type of move to the Branch one (recent top picks who haven’t really capitalized on their abilitiy), though hopefully quite a bit cheaper.

  16. James says:

    I attended the practice on Saturday morning, and here are some impressions:
    - it is true that this team is younger, bigger, stronger and faster. Virtually every starter on the team, with the exception of Earl Thomas, is bigger and more athletic than the average NFL player at his position; and Earl is the quickest guy on the team.
    - the best athlete on the field is Aaron Curry, truly amazing freakish physical talent. It is on the coaching staff to make Curry and John Carlson more productive than they have been, because both guys have the physical and mental makeup to be playmakers. Maybe both guys lack the intangible instincts to be All-Pros, but the coaches must find the right way to get the most out of them.
    - Okung and Carpenter look great at the OT bookends. Both dominated today, in fact Okung just devoured his man in the one on ones.
    - Ricardo Lockette (the Rocket) is the fastest Seahawk. He just flies past his defender time after time and was catching the ball all over the field.
    - Pete Carroll is very happy to have Sydney Rice on the team. They were all smiles while chatting.
    - Tarvaris Jackson is ripped for an NFL QB. He looks like a WR or DB out there. About 6’3″, 230, as far as I could see.
    - Jameson Konz is another freak athlete… hope he makes the team.
    - Robert Gallery is huge, but surprisingly lean for a 330# guy… he was often giving tips to Okung between plays. Allan Branch is another huge guy, even bigger than Red Bryant.
    - Heater Hawthorne is a natural Mike LB and ought to be the starter. The young DB’s made some big plays, but the Hawks could use a top quality backup at both S and CB.
    ….bottom line: there are enough playmakers on offense for this team to score plenty of points if Jackson can do an adequate job at QB, but with the Hawks schedule (vs. Eagles, Steelers, Bears, Cowboys, Falcons, Giants, Ravens!) I don’t see how they do much better than another 7-9 season, but should be fun anyway.

  17. Steve David says:

    The Seahawks need a Quarterback of the future. They know that an aging veteran is not the answer and is only delaying the inevitable. They did not like anyone they saw in the draft enough to justify the pick. The quarterbacks in this draft were mediocre. You cannot completely rebuild a team in one year. They have done a good job in rebuilding the supporting cast. They are hoping to get their quarterback of the future in the upcoming draft. A quality veteran quarterback might ruin the opportunity to get a quarterback in a very good quarterback draft.

    • Rob says:

      The draft will come to us, we can’t go to the draft. You never know who will or won’t be available. What happens if Barkley doesn’t declare and Luck goes #1 and Landry Jones #3 and Seattle picks #4? It’s a lottery. We can talk about draft prosects and direction for this team, but I’ll never accept playing for picks. My aim next year is playoffs for Seattle, which is definitely achievable in the NFC West.

  18. Don says:

    Don’t want Palmer,

    Why get an old player like Palmer, it will only delay the need to get a franchise QB. Palmer is not the franchise QB of the future. Jackson, Whitehurst, or top 5 draft pick is the future. We don’t want another 8-8 season with the 18th pick in the draft.

    There is a reason Harbough and the Fortyniners are steping back and regressing. They are positionng themselves for Luck or one of the other top three QB’s. Harbough deep down would do anything to reunite with Luck again, and the owner agrees with it as well. It is a QB league, you cant just put a band aid in that position and expect to win a super bowl.

    The seahawks should do the same and not put themselves out of the top 5 picks.

    • Don says:

      One more thing, use Golden Tate as a running back. We already have too many good receivers and need speed in the back field. Think Reggie Bush

      • Rob says:

        Hi Don,

        For starters, if Golden Tate was a running back Notre Dame would’ve played him there rather than switch him to wide out. He’s not physically built to play RB and although his straight line speed tested well at the combine, he’s not in the same class as a Reggie Bush type out of the back field. A better role for him would be the Percy Harvin role in Minnesota. Slot, screens, get the ball to him in space and let him go to work. He’s not as explosive as Harvin, but he’s at his best with the ball in his hands, not running down the field on a deep route.

        As for the quarterbacks, no team can ever position itself to be awful. The reason being, there are 32 teams in the league and you can never guarantee you’ll be quite bad enough to position where you want in the draft. San Francisco could be awful next year, pick 6th overall and miss out on the best three quarterbacks. Unrealistic that three go in the top five? Sure, but it could happen.

        In fairness to the Niners, they drafted a quarterback at the top of round two. They have decided to keep the veteran they have (Smith) over pursuing guys like Kolb, Orton, McNabb, Hasselbeck. I can understand that line of thinking. I don’t think that’s trying to be bad, rather just not committing to going all-in right now.

        The Seahawks want to grow and win at the same time. You can always be pro-active in the draft (see NYJ, Sanchez and ATL, Jones). If the Seahawks can be competitive this year – even if that means ending 6-10 or 7-9 – and only pick in the 8-12 region, they can still find a way to get a QB. If they actually have a winning record – which I’m hoping for – then sure it’s a bit more expensive but there are other QB’s we can target (Austin Davis, Kirk Cousins).

        • Don says:

          Thanks Rob.
          The Niners read the local paper and probably watch Luck every week just down the street. With the success that the coach and QB had last year at Stanford, it isn’t out of the question that the owner and everyone else in the Niner organization wouldn’t mind taking it easy for one year with the hope of landing Luck. Even if they were in the top 10 of the draft, they could trade Kapernick (sp?), and picks to move up. The fact that the Niners aren’t doing much, in fact regressing a little with Gore out, crabtree out, clements gone, as well as other key players released, means they have there eye on the long term future.

          If I were a team owner, investing millions of dollars, I would look at whats best long term. Especially when you consider what the rewards would be for a franchise QB. The “win Now” montra is only for the teams that have the franchise QB and other key players in place. Seattle is far from it, and 49er’s is just a QB away.

          Thanks again Rob for your input, I appreciate your patience with us fans.