Seattle’s O-line: Surely they have to keep it together?

December 14th, 2015 | Written by Rob Staton

Keeping Russell Okung feels increasingly necessary

Another game, another reason to believe Seattle’s priority in the off-season is keeping this ever improving offensive line together.

The Seahawks allowed 32 sacks in their first seven games. They were on pace to give up 73 for the season. In the next six games? They’ve given up just seven sacks. Now they’re on pace for a yearly total of 48.

According to Brian Nemhauser they’ve gone six straight games allowing two sacks or less. The last time they did that? 2012. Before that? 1983.

What a turnaround.

It’s taken time, patience and a change of center — but suddenly this unit looks like one of the best in the league. Teams all around the NFL are struggling up front. The Seahawks suddenly have a functioning O-line that looks pretty good.

Some of those seven sacks they’ve given up in the last six games aren’t even proper sacks. One includes Russell Wilson keeping a zone-read against Minnesota and being hit in the backfield by Danielle Hunter. It was a run play.

With an estimated $35m to play with in cap space (assuming Marshawn Lynch does move on) they’ll have plenty of scope to do whatever they want.

Re-signing Russell Okung is very possible and feels increasingly like an absolute necessity. In a league with so few elite offensive tackles (there’s probably only 3-4) — keeping a good one is pretty vital. Letting Okung walk to save money seems futile when there’s so much available, the cap is constantly rising and you’d probably have to spend a late first round pick replacing him.

Is it worth risking going into 2016 facing the same kind of growing pains you experienced this year? Hoping either a rookie or Garry Gilliam can fill in at left tackle? They let Breno Giacomini, James Carpenter and Max Unger depart and had some difficulty replacing all of them. Now things are settled — is it worth gambling on further disruption?

That also means keeping J.R. Sweezy — who has really come on strong in recent weeks. It’s hard to imagine what his market value is. He fits Seattle’s scheme well — is he adaptable?

According to Spotrac, if the Seahawks cut or trade Lynch they’ll be among the top-ten teams for free cap space in 2016 (that could change if other teams make high-profile cuts). Not only would they have the room to keep Okung and Sweezy — they could potentially upgrade the O-line. We’ve discussed the possibility of adding a new center. Patrick Lewis isn’t doing anything wrong. If you get an opportunity to sign one of the top center’s in the NFL among this blossoming group — you’d still have to consider it. Look at the way the offense and Russell Wilson has performed with great protection. That’s why there’s no point ruling out the possibility of adding Alex Mack, if he voids his Cleveland contract, to this unit.

Look at Wilson’s play. And this is without Jimmy Graham — who rather than be a distraction I suspect would be putting up monster numbers in this thriving passing game. He certainly was against Pittsburgh pre-injury. For a while the Seahawks have chosen to put a value O-line together. It might be time to adjust that thinking slightly. The results could be a legendary passing quarterback with Aaron Rodgers-style production. It’s genuinely not ridiculous to make that suggestion considering the last four games. Wilson has shown what he can do in a clean pocket.

If we imagine a scenario where the Seahawks do re-sign Okung and Sweezy (and maybe add a new center), it’d shift the team needs elsewhere. They might still add another O-liner in the draft (I would still like to see Adam Bisnowaty from Pittsburgh targeted to provide competition at guard/tackle, replacing Alvin Bailey). Yet ultimately there would be other needs to focus on early.

It’d be easy to point to the interior defensive line. I thought, however, Pete Carroll made some interesting remarks today in his weekly spot with Brock and Salk. Fast forward to 33:59 in the podcast below:

Carroll on Athyba Rubin: “He is really solid now, he’s as tough as you can get. You can’t move the dude and he pursues the football really well. I think he’s been the most effective guy playing three-technique for us that we’ve had. And (the) most consistent. He just won’t budge.”

The Seahawks don’t have a naturally brilliant interior pass rusher in the mould of an Aaron Donald or Geno Atkins. Those players are so rare. It’s one of the reasons why Ndamukong Suh has an average salary of +$19m in Miami.

Carroll talked about Rubin moments after a detailed evaluation of the run defense. The Seahawks are #2 against the run (55 yards behind the Jets at #1). They’re averaging 83.2 rushing yards a game. Philosophically I think the role of the DT in Seattle is, first and foremost, to provide excellent discipline in the run game. Fill gaps, play within the scheme, master your role. Then there are the complimentary rushers. Currently it’s the likes of Frank Clark and Jordan Hill. In the past it was Clinton McDonald.

If the Seahawks aren’t in position to land that other-world pass rushing DT, I suspect they’ll continue with this plan. They’ve plugged in veterans they can trust. And it’s not like they aren’t getting pass rush production elsewhere. Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Bruce Irvin have combined for 21.5 sacks. The team has 33 overall — just one less than the Houston Texans with J.J. Watt. Avril is sixth in the league for QB hurries (25).

They’ve made their investment in the pass rush by re-signing Bennett and Avril and then drafting Frank Clark in round two. They may yet re-sign Bruce Irvin or replace him with a high draft pick. I suspect that is more likely than chasing any of this defensive tackle class early in the draft. There really isn’t going to be that dynamic interior rusher in rounds 1-2. Louisiana Tech’s Vernon Butler might be the most intriguing prospect for this role — and he could be available in the middle rounds.

They may well have to replace Irvin early if he moves on (and remember, they already rejected the opportunity to keep him for $7m in 2016 when they refused to take up the fifth year option on his contract). We’ve looked at possible replacements in Eric Striker and Miles Killebrew. What about Georgia’s slightly overrated linebacker Leonard Floyd? Does he come into play if he tests well at the combine? He’s tall and lean and can cover surprisingly well at 6-4 and around 230lbs. As a pass rusher he’s inconsistent. He only had 4.5 sacks in 2015 after opting not to declare a year ago. He’d have to be some athlete to warrant consideration.

Of course, with so much free cap space in 2016, the Seahawks could do a deal with Irvin that gives him that $7-7.75m average but limits the first year cap hit (something Davis Hsu considered last week).

The secondary could come into play and we’ve run through some of the possible cornerback options (Tre’Davious White, Cameron Sutton, Eli Apple, Mackensie Alexander — all should go early and all would make some degree of sense). They’ve consistently drafted prospects to develop on the third day — and they might continue to back themselves in that regard.

And then there’s running back. I’m still not convinced the Seahawks would go for this position early after the success of Thomas Rawls. The depth at RB is also good and you should be able to get a good back — such as UCLA’s Paul Perkins — in the middle rounds. Even so, let’s consider Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t force his way into round one. And maybe you’ve traded back into the early second. Do you consider it? Watching Rawls’ burst and explosive ability to take advantage of a lane — and then seeing that lost when he got injured — makes you crave more of the same. Elliott shares the same level of suddenness and drive. It’d be a heck of a one-two punch. I’m not convinced, however, that Elliott makes it out of the late first.

152 Responses to “Seattle’s O-line: Surely they have to keep it together?”

  1. Buckeye2015 says:

    Drafting Zeke sounds good to me

  2. cha says:

    Just out of curiosity, is it a foregone conclusion that Mack will opt out of this deal in Cleveland? I haven’t followed it much, except the headline-grabbing Manziel garbage and the aborted fire sale at the trading deadline.

    Are the bad feelings about the Jacksonville offer sheet?

    It’s shocking / pathetic that a team has an OL with so many notable players but cannot put an offense together.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think it is. It appears they drafted Cam Erving last year to eventually replace Mack at center and were planning ahead.

      • Zach says:

        Though to be fair, Erving has been a complete disaster this year. Not that it would change Mack’s decision, but maybe the Browns would be more desperate to keep him around.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Unfortunately for the Browns they have no say — it’s Mack’s decision all round. And I think they drafted Erving because they suspect — or maybe even know — he fully intends to void the rest of his deal. It could be an insurance pick.

  3. Cameron says:

    I haven’t had much of a chance to dive into any tape yet this season, but are there many ‘Seahawky’ type corners who could step in and upgrade the DB2 position?

    Seems like a luxury but keeping this defense young and talented will always be a Pete Carroll priority. I could see spending a 1st round pick there

    • matt says:

      Until the arm length and wing span measurements come in, time is better spent evaluating other positions. IMO With the Seahawks length requirements of 32″ arms and/or a 77.5″ wingspan, it’s hard to tell who measures out. Desmond King is a CB I really like watching games, but have done very little tape watching for the above reason. There’s quite a few CB’s ranked in the 1-2nd rounds, so I too see CB as a viable early option-even though we’ve never drafted a CB before the 4th round.

      • Nick says:

        Is this a known tactic they have with CBs? If so, you’ve just saved me hours of film study.

        • Matt says:

          Yeah pretty much. We haven’t drafted a CB without those arm length and/or wingspan requirements to the best of my knowledge.

  4. Attyla the Hawk says:

    I would definitely say this:

    At this point, there isn’t a high need position that we can see right now. Depth/injury hedge needs seem to be kind of the theme as we look at the roster.

    Where six weeks ago, I was advocating the possibility of moving up to secure ‘their guy’ at OT — it really feels like this offseason is going to be the hardest one to prognosticate that we’ve seen in the Carroll era.

    Move back? Done that. Move up? Well the results of Lockett this year show that there is a lot of value to aggressively getting your guy. Seems like Seattle will be in a position to have a lot of flexibility to get their guys this year.

    Seems like it’s going to be a wilder ride than normal.

  5. Nathan says:

    If there’s a gun O lineman sitting on the board when we pick, I’d still like to see us take him, so that we can be competitive for years to come.

  6. Tien says:

    If we can resign both Okung & Sweezy then I think we should go with BPA with our first round draft pick, which may be Irvin’s replacement if we can’t resign him. I still would want another OL in the first 3 rounds though as you can never have enough quality OL. Also, our OL has been playing great these last few weeks but it’s still a small sample and a fluke injury here or there could lead to regression so we should take any opportunities available to keep improving/strengthening it.

    Rob – Due to Rawls’ injury, do you think it makes it more likely that Lynch is brought back, assuming that he shows the same burst and battering ability he’s always had in the playoffs? If Rawls was healthy, I’d be sad but more comfortable with moving on from Lynch and drafting another back in the mid-rounds as a complement to Rawls.

    Great write-up and it’s great that the Hawks may have options in the upcoming rather than having to draft strictly by need.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Thanks Tien. As for Lynch, I think it’s very unlikely he sticks around for reasons discussed in this piece: http://seahawksdraftblog.com/derrick-henry-a-fourth-round-pick

      • Tien says:

        Thanks Rob. I agree that if Rawls comes back strong, it’s unlikely that Lynch also returns, due to his high salary and probable unwillingness to be part of a RBBC. My concern is if Rawls’ recovery takes longer than expected and if so, it’d be nice to have Lynch around. But if in fact Lynch moves on, I think we’ll need to get at least two new RBs (draft & FA) to pair with Rawls to provide the necessary depth.

  7. HB says:

    I can see EE giving Bevell the one finger salute for not giving him the ball more.

    With that said, I do like his running style, great balance of power, agility, and speed.

    I’d rather wait until the later rounds for RB. I like Kenneth Dixon of Louisiana State. I would still go OL early. I’m sold on your research on Shon Coleman…hope he stays under the radar. Either that or go after one of the CB, but it seems like this front office prides itself on selecting DBs in the later rounds.

  8. Nathan says:

    Speaking of cap space, how dangerous will Oakland be next year if they get the right guys.

    Imagine another gun pass rusher with Mack.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The trouble they have is convincing players to move to Oakland. Had real trouble even paying the minimum cap amount.

      • matt says:

        That’s very true Rob, but this is a new Raider team. They’re competitive now, and can afford to over pay for the right players-Hudson and extending Crabtree. If Bruce Irvin doesn’t stay in Seattle I really see Oakland as a great fit for him. Mack and Irvin would be a dynamic duo both can play all over the field and rush the passer. Could see Irvin the biggest deal he can find as this is likely his only big money deal, his late developing, career will see. Plus the Ken Norton Jr. connection couldn’t hurt.

      • Nathan says:

        Wasn’t part of that, that they were a dud team?

  9. Cysco says:

    “Watching Rawls’ burst and explosive ability to take advantage of a lane — and then seeing that lost when he got injured.”

    I’ve generally been of the belief that RB’s are kinda a dime a dozen (Rob, “Dimes” are the third smallest form of currency in the US) ;0)

    Living in Dallas and seeing what the loss of Murray did to the Cowboys run game and then seeing the massive drop off in production yesterday has me thinking that the league may be undervaluing good running backs. It also confirms that Rawls is actually pretty special. Let’s hope he returns healthy.

    At this point, I can’t imagine the team spending big on OL. Maybe bring in some competition/camp bodies, but like the post says. Do what you can to keep the band together. Then, take what’s left over and just throw it at Cable because that dude is a wizard.

  10. drewdawg11 says:

    I’m sorry, but I completely disagree on standing pat. The recent improvement is against some bad teams, as well as a bit of a mirage. Rawls hits the hole more quickly than anyone else on the roster, even lynch. This means that the line doesn’t have to hold blocks as long. We have seen what happens to the running game when anyone else carries the ball. There are still pass protection issues with Sweezy and Britt. Some people here completely overvalue Sweezy’s “improvements”. He still whiffs every game on a block or two. If he’s cheap maybe you hang on to him. If he wants a significant raise… Go elsewhere. Get at least a tackle and a guard in this draft. This is NOT a good line. It’s patchwork and it’s not good enough and if we do improve the line everyone else sees an uptick in their offensive stats.

    • drewdawg11 says:

      Also, unless Russell Okung is willing to be realistic about his place amongst NFL left tackles and doesn’t require a large raise, he’s not worth paying the big money to. I would rather trade up and attempt to draft the heir apparent than waste cap space on players who aren’t going to be in the upper echelon of their position.

      • cha says:

        I’d be more inclined to play that standoff game with Sweezy, not Okung. Guards are much more replaceable than LT’s.

        In your scenario the cost of trading up should be considered as well. With the Hawks in the middle of a SB window and the need for low-cost talent in 2017 & 2018 when the pain of the big contracts is worst, draft picks are prized assets. Hard to walk away from the known quantity that is Okung and trade some of those low-cost assets to acquire the less known quantity of a young player.

      • Chris says:

        Okung still kills almost 1 drive per game with his penalties. Between his high injury risk and absurd amount of penalties, I don’t see anything special about Okung.

        • cha says:

          Okung has 6 penalties in 13 games this year, 10 in 19 games last year. C’mon man.

          • Chris says:

            That’s artificially chosen, and even then it still stinks.

            Bennet is the only human on this team that makes stupider decisions than Okung. #3 isn’t even close.

            Anyone that thinks Okung isn’t massively penalty prone should retire their football watching card.

            • CMoney87 says:

              You said Okung still kills almost 1 drive per game with his penalties.” and then cha listed his total penalty numbers over the last 2 years. Listing raw totals is the exact opposite of cherry picking and the numbers show that your statement is incorrect. The numbers show that Okung commits a penalty in less than half of all the games. Even factoring in games missed, which dilutes the sample, you also need to account for how many of his penalties actually killed drives which definitely hasn’t happened “nearly once per game”. You’re suffering from confirmation bias. Every player in the NFL, especially OLinemen, commit penalties. Okung is definitely an above average LT, a former top 10 pick & not easily replaced. Just because you spend an early pick on a player doesn’t mean they’re going to be good & with the Seahawks picking as late as they will there’s no chance they will be able to draft a player more talented than the former 6th overall pick.

              • Alex H says:

                Yes, looks like some people get it.

                THIS
                “Okung is definitely an above average LT, a former top 10 pick & not easily replaced. Just because you spend an early pick on a player doesn’t mean they’re going to be good & with the Seahawks picking as late as they will there’s no chance they will be able to draft a player more talented than the former 6th overall pick.”

                X 1000

                I honestly laugh a bit when people just assume we can draft a replacement LT. Ignoring the fact that LT’s are typically chosen within the first 10 picks, which we won’t pick at, the two top left tackle prospects aren’t even guaranteed to be on par with Okung. There simply aren’t that many quality LTs in today’s NFL.

                Even if we sacrifice the farm for a top 8 pick, the net cap savings would only be around 4-5 million. I would honestly prefer to use that 4-5 million on Okung as a sure-thing at LT AND the ability to choose another descent prospect. Otherwise, if you let Okung walk, you’re just creating a hole and then immediately filling it again. The team would have no incremental improvement.

                • glor says:

                  If Okung is willing to take what he is currently getting, IE 8mil average, then I say keep him. If he wants to be in the top 5 (11-13mil average) let him walk.

                  • glor says:

                    Stud: Using the term “stud” loosely, it’s Russell Okung (60.9) for the Seahawks, the 35th-ranked NFL tackle this season. That still puts his Seahawks peers to shame.

                    from Profootball Focus.

          • glor says:

            accepted penalties, I think he has more that weren’t enforced in that time frame. The dude false starts at home for crying out loud.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Every lineman in the league whiffs from time to time (guys like Walter Jones don’t exist any more). When you’re giving up seven sacks in six games — the line deserves more credit than you’re offering here. It’s very hard to play as well as Seattle’s OL is playing right now. Watch tonight’s game and you’ll see why. The O-lines around the NFL are horrendous. Even Dallas’. The Seahawks have found a group that are clicking. And I’ll keep saying this — consistency and familiarity with the scheme and the personnel is the single most important thing for an O-line. Five guys working as one. It’s easy to forget that at the start of the year Britt was learning to play left guard, Garry Gilliam was learning to play right tackle and Nowak was struggling to learn center. That was not conducive to success. Now? Britt gets it. Gilliam gets it. Lewis is in. They’re playing as a collective. And they’re playing very well.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        Walter Jones was unbelievable. He was able to handle the speed rushers and bull rushers with ease. When he got his hands on you, as a defender, you were done. The guy was simply a HoFer. It is sad, but the mid 1990s/ mid 2000s had 3-4 of the greatest LTs to ever play the game. Each was dominant in their own ways and each played for a number of years. Everyone is in Canton now, except Pace…. but he is very close.

        Jones, Roaf, Ogden and Pace specifically.

        • Alex H says:

          Even the second tier of tackles would be All Pro today. The likes of Tarik Glenn and Lincoln Kennedy were great.

          Of the tackles since that time, only Duane Brown (2011-2012) and Ryan Clady (2009 and 2012) briefly reached the Pace or Jones level. Both had a 2 year stretch of HOF level play with dominant pass pro and run block. Unfortunately injuries hit the both of them and their level of play leveled off.

          Today the best are probably Tyron Smith, Joe Thomas, & Trent Williams and each of them have various weaknesses. It’s no coincidence that they are also the 3 most expensive LT.

      • Chris says:

        Russel has decided to get the ball out faster … period. That’s at least 80% of the lines “improvement” right there.

        Guys like Holmgen and Millen have been wanting him to actually play quarterback for a while now, he’s finally doing it, and it has helped everything else out immensely. I think this coaching staff has even resisted the idea of making him play as a typical tempo quarterback, and after 4 years are finally realizing he’s can actually be very good at it.

        More AaronRodgers, less Vick please.

      • drewdawg11 says:

        You can’t hope and pray that this group will improve based on a hot month. Sweezy is consistent in his mistakes and I believe that we can do better than he or Britt. Center is ok right now, but talent-wise we can do better. I don’t want to go with the “known quantity” if that guy is an ankle sprain waiting to happen and doesn’t finish off blocks. Elite tackles make a ton of money. Why would I be comfortable paying a decent player like a Joe Thomas? No, draft some guys with higher upside and let’s just see what we can do with some players who have a chance to be very good vs. guys who are up and down for the sake of continuity. I sincerely need to see some better line play. Physical, athletic, and more importantly, technically sound players. There are guys in this draft who fit the bill. Line play can win a lot of games. We are winning with a marginal one at the moment. We could use an interior pass rush as well. That would do wonders for the defense. Russell Wilson with lynch/Rawls playing behind a top 5 line would have made for a special season from the start. Why can’t we expect better?

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          They don’t need to improve per se. They just need to stay consistent.

          I couldn’t disagree more with your post, but I’m willing to change my mind if you can name one offensive line in the NFL with perfect players at each position. A line without any penalties, without any whiffs, without any injuries.

          In fact, when you look around the League, particularly teams at the top of their divisions, pretty much all of them are playing with some degree of OL issues. NEP, GB, DEN and PIT come immediately to mind. Not as sure about CAR or ARI because I don’t follow their personnel changes. But you can be sure both have their fair share of penalties and whiffs. CAR in particular doesn’t pass pro very well, but Cam is able to compensate for that with his mad scrambling skills.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            Also, SEA had ZERO OL penalties vs BAL to go with ZERO sacks and only 1 QB hurry.

            • drewdawg11 says:

              Baltimore… You said it. No Suggs. Nobody left, really. They are terrible and defeated. Let’s see that type of effort against a team with a pulse. How about the Rams defensive line?

              • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                Penalties happen vs all levels of competition. No penalties is a good game regardless of the opponent. Besides, decimated or not, BAL has the 14th ranked D in the League. Statistically, they’re better than more than half the teams out there.

                Also, Harbaugh explained that their scheme vs SEA was NOT to blitz or rush RW, but rather to contain him in the pocket. It didn’t work. That may explain the zero sacks, but it doesn’t mean a thing for zero penalties.

              • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                Also, BAL’s offense is way more decimated than their D. And yet, prior to the game with SEA, they hadn’t lost a single game by more than one score. In their 8 losses prior to SEA, the average score differential was less than 4 points. And this with an anemic, decimated offense. Doesn’t sound like a terrible, defeated defense to me.

                Their point differential vs SEA? 29 points, more than 8 times the average in their previous losses. SEA’s OL did a fantastic job vs the Ravens.

          • drewdawg11 says:

            Who needs perfect players? You can always upgrade. This line, even in super bowl seasons, has been at best somewhere in the middle of the pack. So we are now supposedly blocking better. Well yeah, that’s not saying much. Niners, a beat up Vikings team, a decimated Ravens team. A terrible defense in Pittsburgh that still gave us some fits at times. Rawls leaves the game and we couldn’t block the run anymore. Britt is tall and plays with so-so leverage. I would take a josh Garnett over him any day and I’d be willing to bet that his transition in year one would be superior to what Britt offers now. I’m actually hoping that glowinski is a very good player so that we don’t have to pay Sweezy. It’s not about perfect, but someone you guys are forgetting what this line looked like before the cake part of our schedule. Let’s see how they look in the playoffs. We have an elite qb. Let’s find a way to protect him better.

            • CHawk Talker Eric says:

              Funny how 2 people can look at the same situation and see totally different reasons for it. You think the OL is playing better because the schedule has been “cake” lately. I think the OL is playing better because Lewis replaced Nowak at C.

              Speaking of cake schedules, SEA lost early games to GB and STL, with the 18th and 19th ranked defenses, respectively. During that same stretch, they almost beat CIN (10th ranked D) and CAR (3rd ranked D), losing both games on a single, end of game play given up by the defense, not offense.

              More recently, they beat DAL, MIN and BAL with the 9th, 14th and 15th ranked defenses, respectively. And just like with CAR and CIN, they lost to ARI (4th ranked D) on an end of game play vs the defense.

              I’m all for improving the OL, but there isn’t an improvement for Okung on the roster, nor in the draft. Even IF (and that’s an unrealistic “if”) SEA could draft Tunsil or Coleman, neither would be a day 1 upgrade over Okung. Chances are neither would be even a season 1 upgrade.

              I don’t know that there is an improvement over Sweezy on the roster. Maybe, but people with much better knowledge of the situation than either of us have put their faith in Sweezy instead of Glow, Poole or Sokoli.

              Boone would be an upgrade over Britt – at least this season’s Britt. But at what cost? And how valuable an upgrade would it be to switch up LGs? Britt has improved dramatically in his not-quite-full first year at the position.

              Mack would be an upgrade over Lewis, and IMO the improvement would justify the cost.

              • C-Dog says:

                I think the line that stays together plays well together. Okung is a solid LT, he’s no Walter Jones. It’s almost as drastic as comparing Brandon Mebane to Cortez Kennedy. If Seattle let’s Okung go, the chances of finding his replacement in the draft is pretty slim where they will be likely picking. They could land a RT, but then you are looking at Gilliam shifting to LT. Do they really want to do that?

                Also, I think the team really likes and values JR Sweezy. Cable loves him. Glowinski was maybe drafted to be a replacement, but we haven’t seen him hardly at all.

                With the way they are playing now, it’s hard to imagine Carroll wanting to go through another season next year of breaking in new players, by letting his two best players on the line walk.

                • matt says:

                  C-Dog- Really like “Okung is a solid LT, he’s no Walter Jones. It’s almost as drastic as comparing Brandon Mebane to Cortez Kennedy.” That’s a great point. Jones and Tez are HOFers and have their names on the ring of honor. MeBane and Okung have been really good players over the years for us, and they should be treated/compared as such. By no stretch of the imagination are they HOFers.

                  • Alex H says:

                    While the comparison somewhat works for Brandon Mebane, it doesn’t quite work as well for Okung. The level of LT play is down across the board. The key isn’t whether Okung plays as well as Walter Jones. We know the answer to that. Further, there is simply no one today playing at Jones’ level. No one is even remotely close.

                    The real key is how well Okung plays at his cost relative to the other team’s LT play at their respective cost.

                    And for that question, Okung would probably grade out at about average, which is fine for such an important position. It’s why I’m fine with anything around 8-10 million/year.

              • drewdawg11 says:

                Umm… Look at the defensive fronts in those games. We have not been able to block at a respectable level against St. Louis. The packers were on the road and we didn’t protect well at all. The bengals game was blown in part because the defense was tired and the offense dos nothing in the second half. The defense set the offense up to get the lead with some big plays. You HAVE to look at the total picture. Defense couldn’t hold late leads, but they were forced to be on the field a ton because of some putrid offense against good fronts. Panthers defense is also great. The penalties were also really prevalent in most of those games. Even the cardinals game was a joke from a blocking and penalty standpoint for much of the game. Niners, steelers, (they still struggled), decimated Vikings and Ravens. It’s silly to think that they all have suddenly found the miracle to become an excellent line. Call me stubborn, but I’ve always felt that dominant line play is important. We.can.do.better. I don’t want to kill the cap for mediocre players.

                • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                  Nowak was the C for STL, GB and CIN. I’d say that, more than anything, affected the play of the entire OL.

                  However, we both agree that they haven’t suddenly become an “excellent” line. But I hope we can also agree that they are getting better.

                  • Thorson says:

                    I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between the two sides outlined in the comments above. The Hawks have certainly faced an easier schedule of late with less talented defenses, but they’ve also made adjustments, including inserting Lewis at center and designing quicker hitting plays. Both have likely played a role in the line’s resurgence. It will be interesting to see how they play against StL and Az in the coming weeks, as well as in the playoffs. The OL performance will likely go a long way towards informing PC/JS as to their needs in the upcoming offseason. It would be a luxury to draft BPA, or to cover the FA losses anticipated after the 2016 season, as they seem to like to do.

                  • drewdawg11 says:

                    I think they are improved. I’m not blind. However, I want that dominant, young line or at least one side of the line. We can definitely do better.

        • Rob Staton says:

          “You can’t hope and pray that this group will improve based on a hot month”

          It already has improved. And as I noted — Britt started the year learning his position. Gilliam started the year learning his position. Nowak started the year learning and struggling. Now he’s been replaced and Britt and Gilliam (almost starting the season as rookies) are settled and know what they need to do.

          This line is playing very, very well. They’ve moved beyond the growing pains. Now they’re one of the best performing units in the league.

          • Robert says:

            I agree and think Lewis at C is huge because Russ no longer has to make the line calls as he did with Nowak in there. This allows Russ to focus more on his pre-snap reads. The emphasis on keeping Russ in the pocket by calling plays that allow him to throw quicker is another huge contributing factor. We will put up significantly more points vs Rams, Cardinals and Panthers than when we played them previously. And this increased offensive output greatly helps our defense!

      • glor says:

        What about going after Donald Penn, he grades out a hell of a lot better than Okung. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see what he is resigned or signed in FA for.

    • Steele says:

      I am with drewdawg11. There is cause for optimism, but it should be tempered. A lot of things happened all at once. The o-line’s issues have been obscured by the quicker Rawls replacing Lynch, absence of JG has freed up RW to play with confidence and familiarity, less hesitation. And yes, we have to question the competition they faced.

      I am not ready to pronounce this o-line, or this team, settled or championship caliber. Still a work in progress.

      • Volume12 says:

        Looked like RW was playing with plenty of confidence and familiarity when Jimmy was in the lineup against Pittsburgh.

      • Rob Staton says:

        “I am not ready to pronounce this o-line, or this team, settled or championship caliber. Still a work in progress.”

        Seems a bit unnecessarily cautious to me. It’s clearly settled and Championship caliber. Whether they win the Championship is another thing.

    • Ben2 says:

      And Glowinski has a year in a pro weight room/trainig/diet/coaching/scheme and he actually played OL in college!

      • Volume12 says:

        So if the O-line plays well against STL is it going to be because Robert Quinn is out, or this guy or that guy is hurt?

        ” This line, even in super bowl seasons, has been at best somewhere in the middle of the pack.” And…?

        • drewdawg11 says:

          Why is this hard to fathom? This line isn’t suddenly going to become the 90’s cowboys lines. People sometimes suffer from recency bias. The last sample that they see becomes the reality. They aren’t as bad as they appeared early in the season, and they’re not great now. I want a line that can consistently get some push in the running game and athletic enough to protect consistently. This group is ok. They are showing well right now. So what happens when they all make some money and start off painfully slow yet again next season? The salary cap needs to factor into the equation. You pay excellent players big money. You let slightly above average or average players walk and let someone else pay them. We let Brenno walk. We let carpenter walk. They were both superior to Sweezy. So what, we pay JR because of timing of the cap number and the fact that we don’t want to start over at right guard? I disagree. Okung can stay if he’s not making franchise tackle money. Only a fool would pay him like a star player.

    • Ukhawk says:

      The line is playing well & providing phenomenal value given the current allocated cap cost.

  11. Kyle says:

    I say bisnowaty if we can land him in fair range. Let sweezy go… He is improving but we have some guys behind him and I think bisnowaty would be an improvement over him immediately. But I’m also not a good o line scout. I say do whatever we have to to resign okung, and try very hard to get Irvin to a deal. He is just to good of a player to let go. He fits our scheme perfectly. If this happens, then we have no real needs with our first pick. We can go after bpa and would be better for it. All this talk about Mack has got me scratching my head a bit. If we resign okung and Irvin and then swing a deal for him sure. That would be great. But to let Irvin go when we have seen Lewis handle the position really well just to sign Mack doesn’t make sense to me. I also see the allure of getting zeke in the draft, but I’d rather grab a mid rounder rb to compliment Rawls next year. We should be looking at the CB, ss, or dare I say it, wr early if they are outstanding. In all seriousness though, I’m not a great scout or even an average scout. I get enamored by each guy rob brings up. So truly thank you rob. Go Hawks, and if anyone has any insight on guys I should look at or opinions on why I’m right or wrong please let me hear it. This is a multi daily read for me.

  12. Ed says:

    1. Resign Irvin
    2. Restructure Bennett and Avril
    3. Resign Shead
    4. Resign Okung to friendly deal, if not, let him go

    Won’t find another Lynch, I think Rawls has shown a need for a quick hitting RB. He hits the hole fast and hard. One good read and go

    • cha says:

      “2. Restructure Bennett and Avril”

      Not happening. This would be a huge mistake. Why do that after “winning” the Kam holdout?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Why would you restructure Bennett and Avril? I’m not sure why this keeps being brought up.

      Avril only signed his extension on the 19th December 2014. That’s not even a year ago. He won’t be expecting a restructure. As for Bennett — he’s just being Michael Bennett when he talks about his contract. It’s a punt. His deal is not even 18 months old.

    • Belgaron says:

      Shead is a RFA, that one will be an easy one.

    • Alex H says:

      I also don’t understand #2. Both of them signed their extensions just a year or two ago. There’s no reason to restructure unless you want everybody knocking the door. You don’t just adjust salaries for performance. If so, players would demand a raise anytime they outperform and teams will automatically demand a pay cut when players are playing below contract. It’s just a bad practice.

      For #4, I’m pretty sure we can get something done. It doesn’t even have to “team friendly” unless you mean minimal guarantees. It just has to be fair value. LTs are paid handsomely because of how few there are and the importance of that position. End of story. You can’t try to go cheap at that position or else you won’t have a LT.

  13. Donald says:

    It seems that RB is the position of least depth. I would like to see the Hawks select the best RB in 1st rd. Ez Elliott has a type of style similar to Rawls, and I like Alec Collins as a Lynch type. Either would work.

    Though RB are a dime a dozen, they do not have the same talent. You can’t just plug anyone in and expect the same results. Therefore pick a top RB in the 1st rd.

  14. C-Dog says:

    It makes all the sense in the world to resign Okung and Sweezy, and not meddle with continuity, and constantly building a new line. I like how Patrick Lewis has been playing, but if Mack is available and wants to come join the club, don’t know how they would say no to that.

    I caught Carroll’s remarks on Rubin this morning, and was pretty surprised, but I see where he is coming from, considering how they ideally like to rotate. In my eyes, Tuba looks like a 1 tech playing 3, but he’s big, smart, seasoned, pursues pretty well for 330lbs, and if gap control is most vital to anything else, he makes sense. Seeing the way Clark is now being used inside lately has honestly mitigated some of my concern about pass rushing DT, but also seeing how Hill is continually battling injury, drafting a kid like Butler in the middle rounds makes sense. If Irvin doesn’t return, I can honestly see them going for more outside rush in the draft.. ala Striker.

  15. KD says:

    It does throw an interesting dynamic into the draft situation in that the Seahawks are not 100% obligated to go OL in the first round, though we will have to wait to see how the FA period shakes out. Going BPA at several positions could give this team a real spark whether it’s RB, OLB, OL, DT or CB.

    One thing that I have seen several times out of Elliot is that he is at times a pretty decent blocker. He’s prone to make some gaffes, but given how much OSU runs the read option, he’s called upon quite often to block.

    • Matt says:

      Agreed that we should have the luxury of going bpa throughout the draft. That’s a huge luxury to have!

      Elliott does block well-he does everything well. Blocking is something I’m looking closely at withe RB’s this year. Booker is another guy whos very well rounded,like Elliott. Collins usually cut blocks on coming rushers…could be how he’s coached or a lack of strength/desire to take a rusher head on. I haven’t seen Perkins do much pass pro, as he’s usually leaking out as a receiver. All 4 are great looking RB’s that have their strengths. From a value stand point I like Booker an awful lot in the 3-4third rounds. Everything he does on the field is done hard. I believe the proper term for Booker is “Seahawky”. 😉

    • Nick says:

      Don’t you not think WR is also a position we’d target? Seeing as Kearse is a FA, I could see us targeting someone like Sterling Shepard in the 2nd or 3rd.

      • KD says:

        One guy that I find intriguing is Aaron Burbridge from Mich St. I’ve only seen a little bit of him, but he has OK size and good production. I was watching the video below to watch Anthony Zettel (and after watching Zettel i don’t know why so many people are so high on him) and Burbridge came up with an eye popping play at 3:50

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzgyK-cNoBE

        I’m curious if he regularly brings that competitiveness to the field. I definitely want to see more.

  16. DC says:

    Okung is an absolute must sign, no ifs, ands or buts about it. Sweezy is a keeper too. What will he get, $3M-ish? I still like to add an Alex Boone type who can play either G spot. He can compete for a starting role or be one hell of a backup. Some people from yesterday’s thread LOVE Britt and that’s fine, your opinion is valid. I feel Boone is a better all around G and would add a great veteran to a rapidly improving group.

    Pre Rawls injury I had the draft looking something like this for the offense:

    1. BPA Defense

    2. Sterling Shepard WR OU (All V12)

    3. ?

    4. Willie Beavers OT Western Mich

    4c Jack Allen C MSU

    5. CB, obligitory

    6. Rushel Shell RB WVU

    7. Sparq freak

    7d Spark demon

  17. matt says:

    Great write up Rob! The OL improvement has been remarkable! I think the majority of us on here agree that keeping Okung to anchor LT is a must need. Surely JS/PC have a figure in mind that they’re willing to keep Sweezy around, and I bet it’s lower than what Sweezy can get on the open market. We have young guys-Glowinski, Poole and Soko- waiting to take his spot. The PC quote about Rubin- ” I think he’s been the most effective guy playing three-technique for us that we’ve had. And (the) most consistent.”-makes it pretty clear that Rube will be resigned. Mebane…less sure.

    JS/PC have a lot of roster structuring to do and I’m sure they have a great plan in place. At this point in time, with so many unanswered questions, I could honestly say that we could pick any position with our first 4 picks. The roster has an incredible amount of depth and flexibility, along with superb talent! Go Hawks!

  18. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Assume Okung is retained / resigned. Sweezy is not retained. Irvin may or may not be with the team in this scenario. Also assume a trade out of the 1st round getting an upper 2nd round pick and a 4th round pick back in return (which seems pretty likely to me with recent draft history)
    ** = my preference at the pick

    Round 2 (2)

    PHAROH COOPER, WR** or STERLING SHEPARD, WR or similar explosive/sudden player at WR
    HUNTER HENRY, TE

    Round 3 (2)

    Chris Jones, DT/DE
    Miles Killebrew, SS/OLB** or Eric Striker, OLB

    Round 4 (2)

    BRIAN POOLE, CB/S
    DEON BUSH, FS

    Round 5 (1)

    Isaac Seumalo, C** or Kareem Are, G

    Round 6 (1)

    Devon Johnson, RB/FB

    Round 7 (3)

    Jonah Austin, G/OT
    Trevone Boykin, QB
    Storm Woods, RB

  19. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    SEA will resign Okung, even if they have to chase him a bit salary-wise. His replacement is neither on the roster, nor in the draft (at least not available when SEA will pick).

    SEA will probably resign Sweezy, mainly because he fits their scheme better than any other team (his worth is higher to SEA), but they won’t chase him the way they would with Okung. If he gets a better offer, they won’t match it.

    SEA will make a strong play for Mack if he voids his contract. No guarantee they’ll be able to land him. But you can bet they’ll be in the hunt. The OL would be much, much better with Mack starting and Lewis backing him up than with Lewis starting and Nowak(?) backing up. If they can’t land Mack, they’ll probably draft a C prospect (but not necessarily someone currently playing center).

    I highly doubt they’ll be in the market for a FA guard like Boone.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      Boone will command too much money, he is going to be in the 5M+ range imo. I would retain Sweezy for a few million less than grabbing Boone. He primarily played a man scheme, not a ZBS… if I recall the SF offense of the 2011-13 heyday.

      The one word of caution about Okung, this is the first season he has been relatively healthy. This might be a big consideration as to whether to give him a generous deal or not.. at least from the Seattle perspective.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        My guess is that guarantees, not average salary, will be the big issue with Okung’s contract. I suspect SEA can keep Okung’s salary at or below $9mm/yr by guaranteeing at least half of it.

        I said in a previous post I see him signing a 3 year deal worth about $28mm total, with about $16mm guaranteed.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          I’m thinking Okung will be 8-10M a year and you will have to do a 4 year deal. I agree, the guaranteed money will be the sticking point, he will want as much as possible, while the team will want to keep that as low as possible. I think he will be looking for around 50% of his salary as guaranteed.. so 20M or so

          • Alex H says:

            That’s about fair. The top 3 make about 12 million. The next tier are the “solid” LTs”, which Okung falls into. He’s in this 8-10 million range. These include Brick Ferguson, Brandon Albert, etc.

            Even the best prospects in the draft like Tunsil will probably just be at this “solid” tier.

    • Belgaron says:

      I don’t see them making a run at Mack; they’d rather see Sokoli emerge, they’ll draft/guys more interior guys to compete to push him or beat him out.

  20. sdcoug says:

    slightly off-topic, but speaking of good O-line play…

    Anyone else wish we could see Chris Matthews with this version of Russ/O-line? Seems like the type of guy who is effective IF Russ has time to read the field and let routes develop, which was clearly lacking the first half of the season. Seeing him sky up and grab that ball for Balt makes me wish had waited a bit longer instead of cutting bait.

    • Steele says:

      We have been dreaming about matching up this receiver and that receiver with Russell, imagining how great certain combinations would be. But in the end, Russell only clicks with certain guys. HIs security blankets. I think he is, at least at the moment, less flexible than other QBs.

      • Robert says:

        At the Probowl, he seemed adept at throwing to strangers! Furthermore, we spread the ball around more than most teams, even though the volume of passing is lower. I disagree that Russ is less flexible than other QBs.

    • HI Hawk says:

      He was solid on ST and was still let go… To me, that means PC didn’t see him as capable of producing in the Seahawks offense for whatever reason. No idea why he was so good in the Super Bowl, yet unable to repeat that success AT ALL. I just don’t understand it, but I trust PC made the right call. He’s certain to get one on one coverage on most plays, so you’d think he would win 50/50 balls with regularity. I can’t help but scratch my head because every time someone throws it to him, he catches it.

  21. Mike B. says:

    Cheers for the good write-up, Rob. So many questions and thoughts about this team, including:

    – If both Lynch and Fred Jackson aren’t back next year, how do you best complement Rawls? Draft two RBs, maybe one in an early-mid round (e.g. Alex Collins) and then one as that feisty, chip-on-his-shoulder UDFAs? (For this year’s UDFA pick I like Texas Tech’s DeAndre Washington, a 5’8″ 200 lb senior who’s a great blocker and pass catcher.) Then perhaps snag a wily veteran or two and let everyone compete like the dickens during training camp.
    – If Patrick Lewis is as solid as he appears and is a great communicator, why not prefer to keep him as the starter next year?
    – Which college center(s) would be worth drafting within, say, rounds 2-5? The only center to whom I’ve paid much attention is Ryan Kelly from Alabama, who’s looked pretty good. Nick Martin and Max Tuerk are two other big names there.
    – What in the heck will happen with Kristjan Sokoli and Mark Glowinski next year?

  22. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    I think it is worth noting 2 things…..

    1) Bevell has created more plays with combo routes…. built in slants and “rub” routes… almost a Patriots feel to the offense now…. which led to….
    2) RW is tossing the ball out “quicker” now, instead of holding the ball like earlier in the season.

    The combo of these 2 changes has been devestating the last 4 -5 weeks. I’m not sure who should get credit, but I really do not care…. keep up the good work SEA O.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      SandoESPN: Hearing @seahawks’ email servers overrun with electronic apologies from fans who had called for offensive coordinator’s job early in season.

      • Nathan says:

        I know I might get shouted down for this.

        But does anyone think the decision to run on the play that Rawls got injured was a shocker?

        Go back and look at the defensive formation, I was thinking, ‘please throw it, they’re selling out to stop the run’

        Rawls tried to run straight through the middle and gets crunched.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          It was to find out how much the OL really wanted to block….. run block is about heart…. he ran to the left and it looked like it should have went right.. but he was crushed due to a missed block on the left of the OL.

        • oz says:

          Britt got blown up on that play by Canty.

  23. Drew says:

    How about extending Baldwin? The man deserves it!

  24. nichansen01 says:

    So happy right now but it could all be an illusion.

  25. Nathan says:

    Some interesting free agents UFA’s this year, young ones too.

    Lamar Miller, both the denver guys,, both Jets runners.

  26. Nathan says:

    Holy shit, did anyone else notice that we are now the 5th ranked offense in YPG?

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      Seattle is also roughly 6th in PPG on offense and #1 in rush offense.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        and roughly 2x the points SF has put up this season on O 🙂

      • Alex H says:

        We’re #5 in offense and #2 in defense (though this defense with the exception of run defense has fallen off relative to the prior 3 years). We’re #6 in scoring offense and #3 in scoring defense.

        The Bengals are #2 in scoring defense, but only #10 in total defense. With their injuries, they’ll probably fall. The Panthers I believe are #4 in scoring defense and #3 in total defense (behind the hawks by 1 yard). The Broncos have a gigantic #1 lead by yards and a solid #1 scoring defense by a solid margin. They’ll probably win the #1 overall defense this year.

  27. Volume12 says:

    I gotta agree.

    Keep this O-line together, draft an OT in round 3, maybe round 2, and then take the yearly develipmental guy in the later rounds. Someone that can play C and G. If they can keep this unit together, the only thing missing is a backup OT to fill in for Okung or Gilliam if an injury arises, and an interior gut if they don’t add a veteran FA.

    As for their 1st overall selection? Tough to say, ecspecially if they keep Bruce.

    I feel like a Sweezy extension is coming soon. And with PC’s remarks today, possibly Rubin too. Thought he’s played fantatic all year myself. KJ and Avril got the extensions around Christmas time last year. It’ll be interesting to see if they do the same this year. You could even make an argument for ‘Douggie Fresh.’

    • Belgaron says:

      Agree. I think we’ll see an extension announcement for 1 or more of “our guys”.

      • Miles says:

        I am thinking the Seahawks may let Sweezy walk. Obviously, LT is a premium position on every NFL team. But it seems like the Seahawks philosophy has been to spend as little cap on the offensive line as possible, especially with Tom Cable coaching the O-Line. PC/JS operate with the philosophy that the engine of the team is the skill players. The offensive line is more like the spark plugs. Without the offensive line (spark plugs), the car doesn’t work, but even if the spark plugs work, the car won’t perform well if the engine is not pristine.

        If you’re still reading, thank you. I appreciate you sticking with me on that one.

        Here’s a thought: If Tom Cable gets a head coaching job somewhere, that’s when the philosophy will change. Spending little resources on the O-Line only works if the great coaching is there. Once it leaves, the Seahawks will pay a JR Sweezy or even an Evan Mathis. Until then, the Seahawks will work with just replacement parts but an expert mechanic. 😉

  28. Volume12 says:

    If Baylor O-lineman Spencer Drango is on the board in round 3 and Seattle hasn’t gone OL yet, pass or take him?

    He’s not unlike Alvin Bailey and might be a better athlete with a mean streak.

  29. nichansen01 says:

    I think that Gilliam and Lewis are two of the best young offenive linemen in the country. Cable coached these guys up. We need Okung and Sweezy back and resign Irvin and Shead. In the draft, our needs will be defensive tackle, cornerback, wide receiver and runningback. What do you guys think of a draft order of:

    1. Desmond King CB
    2. Chris Jones DT
    3. Paroh Cooper WR
    3c. Paul Perkins RB
    4. Joel Heath DT

    • Volume12 says:

      Not crazy about King’s length until the official measurements come in.

      Don’t think they’ll doublr dip on 2 guys who are the exact same at DT.

      And I actually like Lawrence Thomas, who’ve I brought up before, from Michigan St more than I do Joel Heath. Thomas is 6’4, 310 lbs., but looks about 290, highly vesatile, and is said to be a freak athlete. He was a FB, then a LB, but out grew both.

  30. red says:

    If Lynch goes we should have about 34mil if you keep all he Oline together it probably will be at 17mil Okung 9-10mil sweazy 5mil and Lewis RFA tender 3mil but I bet the hawks budget 12mil for oline. I like the idea of someone like Bullard from Florida in the first, and USC center in the second coming off the ACL in camp he can compete at Center and RG if Sweazy leaves. Cable likes lineman who can play multiple positions. I think we resign Kearse for 3-3.5 mil we are starting to collect alot of WR on PS which might suggest that we might not draft a WR alot of competition in house for WR5 WR6. Might also be a good idea this offseason to come to Baldwin about an extension.

  31. Old but Slow says:

    What I like is that we seem to be dictating what form the game will take. We are defensively making the run very difficult, so teams need to pass to beat us, and we have a very good secondary.

    On offense, we are an up front running team, although, currently with a damaged running cadre. We will continue to try to run with what we have, but in the meantime our passing game has become a bit of a phenomenon in the league. So, if you are the defensive coordinator for the opponent, what do you do as a focus?

    While I was devastated by the injury to Rawls, who I have loved since watching his college clips, I am still confident that this team is coming together at the right time, as they have seemed to do the last couple of years.

    It seems apparent to me that no team is wanting to play us right now. I like that like I like chocolate.

  32. Old but Slow says:

    Just to be straight about things, it is not reasonable to think that a lower round offensive lineman, as talented as he is is going to step in as a starter in our offensive line. They are playing well together right now, and it seems that all of them are athletic.

    Most of the problems for this line have not been a lack of ability, but a lack of familiarity. You can be a great athlete, with great strength and agility, but if you misread your assignment, you look like a bafoon. With time, that physicality, and agility begins to pay off, and you become an NFL lineman. I think you are beginning to see that with this line. Certainly, in the Ravens game we saw some real protection, and the while the Ravens have had some real problems, they have not mostly been on their defense.

    So, in my mind, kudos to the offensive line, as they have made some significant strides.

  33. EranUngar says:

    If you trust the end product, you have to trust the proccess.

    We had spent so my time and enery on upgrading this OL when it was functioning terribly that we find it hard to let go from all the great options we identied looking for a solution. There are two points to remmember:

    1. We no longer NEED a solution. Problem solved. This OL is playing great and is still improving. It does not need a Mack or a Boone or our top draft pick.

    2. If Cable managed to get this line playing the way it does, using 2 UDFAs, a 7th round DT, an ex TE and a 2nd year Tackle playing at LG, he has proven his point. His proccess works and can produce great results without a major cost. There is no need to replace any of the working parts on this OL. If we have to replace one due to contract issues you can’t help it but just looking for an upgrade that comes with millions of cap cost, does make make any sence. Keep stocking the group with “Cable guys” on day 3 of the draft to have an available stable of talent like Soko/Glo.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I would like to see how they hold up against Arizona before declaring them a final product.

      • HI Hawk says:

        That could very well be a meaningless game for both teams, so it may not work well as a testbed. The defenses they’ve faced are plenty good to identify that they have improved.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          Well this is their usual cycle. Look like crap at the beginning of the year and peak at playoffs. Been happening for three years now. I find it amusing that the fan base still goes through this emotional roller coaster and thinks something has changed. You want to impress me- show up prepared at the beginning of the year. In the mean time I’ll reserve my excitement for a Super Bowl run and see how the line holds up.

  34. Trevor says:

    I love how the OL is playing and the need for immediate help in the draft certainly appears to be a lot less urgent. Still really like Shon Coleman though and if he is there I think you have to taken given the premium on OT in today s NFL. That being said I think there is less than a 10% chance he will be.

    If the OL continues to progress and shows it can handle Ariz and Stl which should be two stiff challenges here is my revised off season plan.

    Offense

    #1 Resign Okung 4 year approx $9 mil per year with 60% guaranteed
    #2 Sign Patrick Lewis to RFA tender $2.2 mil
    #3 Re-sign Sweezy 4 years $3 mil per year with 60% guarenteed
    #4 Extend Doug Baldwin 3 year extension with $25 mil in new money so basically a 4 year 30 mil deal with 60-70% guaranteed.
    #5 Let Marshawn retire as a Hawk with 2 SBs hopefully. Or trade to Oak. $6.5 mil in cap space freed up.
    #6 Let Kearse walk he wants #2 money and is a #5
    #7 Sign Free Agent Chris Ivory RB 3 years 12 million (Perfect compliment to Rawls IMO and would be ideal for our system.
    #8 Get Graham rehabbed and healed up and do not trade him. If he can’t come back to start year perhaps look at getting him to restructure deal. I just think he would have been amazing with the changes Bevel and Cable have made to our offensive scheme and will be a great weapon going forward.

    Defense
    #1Figure out how to deal with Kam and Bennet to avoid hold out and contract issues. (I have made my feeling known about Kam but will go with the premise now that he will be a good citizen and be back)
    #2 Re-sign Deshawn Shead 3 years 9 mil he has shown is solid backup who can play all scondary positions which is very valuable.
    #3 Resign Rubin 3 years 9 mil might even get done soon the way Carrol is talking
    #4 Let Bruce walk if he wants more than $7 mil per
    #5 Try and sign DT Derick Wolfe from Denver if you can get him for 3 mil per
    #6 Resign Mebane 2 years 4 mil
    #7 Develop Ty Smith and get Simon healthy so we have some depth at CB

    Draft
    Rd #1 Miles Kilebrew (SS) Southern Utah – Great athlete and we need some depth at Safety no matter what happens with Kam
    Rd #2 Eric Striker (Edge) Oklahoma- Replacement for Bruce. Love his character and he is a play maker
    Rd #3 Adam Bistonoway (OL) Pitt perfect development swing prospect to replace Bailey
    Rd #3 Comp Corey Davis (WR) Western Michigan- Love this guy has good speed and size and would be perfect compliment to Baldwin, Locket and P Rich
    Rd #4 Deandre Hall (CB) Northern Iowa- Great length and ball skill just looks like a Hawks corner. Looking forward to seeing him at Senior Bowl
    Rd #5 Comp Vernon Butler (DT) L-Tech
    Rd #6 Josh Ferguson (Rb) Illinois has great receeiving skills and might be a good 3rd down back in the rotation with Rawls and a vet like Chris Ivory.
    Rd #6 Comp James Crowser (Edge) Southern Utah – Saw this guy looking for Miles Kilebrew tape and really liked his speed and burst. He is undersized though
    Rd#7 (Dal pick for Micheal) Robert Booker (Center / Guard) Missouri State – He is a small school guy who I think could develop into a solid NFL backup at Center or Guard.
    Rd #7 Eric Rawls (CB) Kentucky State – Another long CB who fits the Seahawks mould

    • cha says:

      I like the general makeup of your plan Trevor. A couple things to keep in mind though

      -need a backup QB as Tarvaris is a FA
      -need a punter as Ryan is a FA
      -need a FB (tender Coleman or resign Tukuafu or a FA or elevate Cottom from PS)

      -are you suggesting Lane & Burley won’t be back? I would think one of those will be back next season

    • Belgaron says:

      Sweezy won’t be that low. Graham will be back but they’ll strengthen the TE group with an inline blocker and move him around a lot.

      • cha says:

        Usually teams build about $4m for the rookie pool and $3-4m for injury replacements into their caps. I agree though, a TE in the mold of a Moeaki type guy is likely a necessity.

    • Nathan says:

      Derek Wolfe for 3 mil is a pipe dream.

  35. Hoberk Unce says:

    Rob, if the team decides to keep Okung and Irvin, then go for RB and CB in the later rounds, do you think they would use a late first rounder on Mebane’s eventual replacement? Is there value in doing that this year?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think it’s unlikely for two reasons. One, I can’t see them taking a run stopper early in the draft. Two, I don’t like the options as a fit for Seattle in terms of what they like to do.

  36. […] McShay doesn’t have Elliott going in the first round. That’s interesting and follows on from a point we raised earlier in the week. The Seahawks need to add a rushing partner for Thomas Rawls in 2016 (assuming Marshawn Lynch […]

  37. Trenchtown says:

    I’m okay with letting Okung walk. He has missed 21 regular season games since he was drafted and there are times where it has looked like those injuries have sapped his talent on the field. He and the line are playing great right now, but I think it is unrealistic to expect Okung to perform as well into the future considering he has been so streaky in the past. As one of the last bonus babies, he makes a very hefty salary and will probably get a comparable deal as a free agent. I think the Seahawks should keep the rest of the o-line together and ferret out a new left tackle. There is definitely risk in such an approach, but I think there is comparable risk in extending Okung.