Some thoughts with the Seahawks season going south

December 12th, 2022 | Written by Rob Staton

1. It’s clear for all to see the defense needs a talent injection. It’s critical that improvements are made in the next draft and some difficult decisions need to be made on underperforming, expensive veterans already on the roster. They need to be ruthless in the off-season.

2. It’s also vital that the Seahawks are investing talent in the right scheme. Nothing about what we’re seeing this season suggests the changes for 2022 are worth persevering with. Fair play to them for trying something different but doubling down on a mistake would be a critical error. They should seriously consider going back to the classic Carroll defense, while ever he remains Head Coach, and drafting for that system. If that means further coaching changes, so be it.

3. If you’re running a Vic Fangio-style defense without Fangio on your staff — it probably isn’t going to work. See the Seahawks, Vikings and Chargers. Meanwhile Dan Quinn, Robert Salah and DeMeco Ryans are running schemes with a lot of Carroll DNA attached. To me it’s obvious if you’re adding talent, especially in the top-five of the next draft, you should put that talent in a system that is working within the league. Carroll isn’t hiring Fangio — so the Seahawks shouldn’t run a scheme influenced by him. It’s showing to be very difficult to re-create the success Fangio typically produces. If Fangio is a Rolex Watch, the Seahawks, Vikings and others seemingly bought a cheap knock-off on a street corner and are trying to pass it off as the real thing. Clearly, nobody’s having it.

4. Speaking of coaches — there was a Sunday Splash report suggesting San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans is a hot name for a Head Coaching role next season. It would be the third consecutive season a Niners coordinator was given a promotion. One thing we don’t talk enough about is how limp Seattle has been in this area. They have not added quality coaches with the talent and upside to progress through the ranks for many a year. There has been, however, some nepotism and cronyism. Admittedly they’ve also gone outside of the Carroll comfort zone to get Shane Waldron and Shaun Desai and credit to them for being prepared to do that. They need to keep looking though because the Niners are churning out candidates, the Rams have churned out candidates and the Seahawks have been badly lacking for some time. It appears they need more talent on their staff.

5. For all the talk of needing more talent on defense, here’s a quick reminder. Jordyn Brooks and LJ Collier were first round picks. Darrell Taylor and Boye Mafe were second round picks. Cody Barton is a third round pick. They paid to retain Poona Ford and Bryan Mone and Ford has the biggest cap-hit on the team this year. Uchenna Nwosu is the most expensive outside free agent they’ve ever signed. They re-signed Al Woods and brought back Quinton Jefferson. Next year, Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs are set to account for $36m of Seattle’s cap space. Nwosu and Shelby Harris combine for $25m. This is a defense that has been built and frankly, resources have been squandered. That should be remembered as we discuss whether this is just a situation that can be fixed by these decision makers simply adding more players. They need to do a much better job than they have been doing.

6. I feel like, as a fanbase, we’re on the brink of entering a really crap debate. I’m seeing it on Twitter today. It’s becoming ‘team draft a QB’ vs ‘team draft defense’. Here’s a suggestion — keep your options open. If they see a quarterback they love in this class, of course they should consider it — even if their intention is to re-sign Geno Smith. There’s nothing wrong with investing in that position and keeping Smith. If they love one of these QB’s, nobody should criticise them for taking that player. Equally if they aren’t enamoured with the early first round QB options and love a defensive talent — that’s fine too. Avoid a braincell-killing debate and just keep an open mind. There’s no right or wrong pick — QB or defense. Both are fine.

7. With the way the Seahawks are playing it’s hard to imagine them beating the Niners or Chiefs. Any given Sunday (or Thursday) and all that but if they lose both, they’ll be 7-8. Both the Jets and Rams games are winnable but the Jets are competing for the playoffs and the Rams seem determined to finish on a high despite their injuries. My prediction is they lose the next two and I think they win at least one of the Jets or Rams games to finish the season on a small high. The Lions have a reasonably favourable final four games (Jets, Panthers, Bears, Packers) and I think they’ll make the playoffs — meaning it’ll be one spot for the Seahawks, Giants and Commanders. Really, none of that trio belong in the playoffs — making a mockery of the nonsensical ‘seventh seed’ back-door qualifier which should be scrapped ASAP (but won’t be).

8. I don’t study every team of course — but is there another team with such a clearly defined preference on what they want their identity to be — but so consistently dip in and out of actually owning such an identity?

9. When you have a problem as serious as failing to stop the run — plus an inability to run the ball effectively yourselves — and these aspects are critical to your identity — when do some serious questions need to be asked about the total inability to scheme around such weaknesses to even limit the damage (or improve your situation) on even a minor level? Especially when you’re struggling against some of the weaker teams in the league?

123 Responses to “Some thoughts with the Seahawks season going south”

  1. Mike McD says:

    On number 6. I think you should also add Drew Lock to that point. The Seahawks have loved Lock since the draft and if it wasn’t for Covid he may have won the starting spot. PC has continued to talk him up throughout the year. I would not be surprised if they signed Geno and Lock and passed on a high draft pick rookie QB.

    The great thing is, the Hawks have a multitude of really good options. They are in great position.

    • BK26 says:

      Lock should be considered nothing more than a throw in on the trade. He hasn’t done anything to show that he should be given another shot to start. Pete talks up everyone so that is a mute point. Couldn’t beat anyone out in Denver. If they pass on a quarterback because of Lock being any type of future plan then they’ve failed.

      • Mike McD says:

        I always hear this “Pete is so positive you can’t trust him” … I just don’t see it that way. I think Pete is very misunderstood. I understand Pete pretty clearly. It’s the media that misunderstands him then they get confused which gets fans confused.

        Until proven otherwise, the hawks love lock. Also, it’s pretty clear that QBs need NFL experience. He will have that if and when the time comes.

        And if the hawks aren’t as a high on them, or they see higher upside with a different rookie QB? Then grab the rook. Hawks are in a great position but I would think it’s pretty likely Lock comes back. We will see soon

        • Rob Staton says:

          The media doesn’t misunderstand Pete. He uses coach speak, like most coaches. That is what is being referenced and it is fair comment.

          To be fair you are assuming the Hawks love Lock. We have no idea what they really think about their backup QB. They have said they really like lots of players over the years who they then let walk away. We have to wait and see how much they like him.

          • Gomhawk says:

            With regards to Lock, taking Denver’s backup QB has helped our draft position so far, good move.

          • Mike McD says:

            “The media doesn’t misunderstand Pete” <- I guess we just flat disagree there.

            Couple easy examples:

            Media: Pete is an outdated coach that just wants to run the football and doesn't allow his QB to shine in modern NFL

            Actual: No Pete is a coach that wants to win above all else. He believes that the best path to winning is running the football because it reduces turnovers (variance) and leads to ball control/game control. But, he will throw the ball if it is necessary to win by utilizing the talent he has.

            Media: There is no possible way he is starting Geno or Lock. He will be getting Baker/Jimmy G/ draft a rookie. etc.

            Actual: No. PC believed that Geno and Lock were good options to start in the NFL and put together a competition. Geno won out (possibly due to Lock getting covid) in a close battle. Geno is now a Pro Bowl QB.

            "To be fair you are assuming the Hawks love Lock" <- well I disagree there also

            I think it is pretty clear that the Hawks like Lock and have liked Lock since the draft. Now does that mean they will keep him? No, of course not. But to say that Lock isn't an option moving forward is crazy. Lock is absolutely an option to retain and groom behind Geno. The guy is only 26 years old.

            But that is my point, they have put themselves in a great situation to have a multitude of options. Lock is one of them.

            • Mike McD says:

              I would also say another option that seems to not be getting talked about much is kicking the can down the road. That is to say, sign Geno and Lock. Trade back their first pick to someone like the colts for their first pick in 2022 (7th) and first pick in 2023 along with other considerations.

              I understand that this will likely not be a popular option on this blog or for Hawks fans. But, I would guess it will be something that JS explores.

              Ex: Niners moved up from 12 pick to 3rd pick overall for 2022 1st and 3rd rounder, 2023 1st rounder

              I think this would interest the Hawks if they do not want a QB or think that Jalen Carter/Will Anderson are that much of a sure thing. We also need an heir apparent to Tyler Lockett.

  2. Old but Slow says:

    Zing! Great perspective, Rob.

  3. Deltron says:

    I’m not sure there’s a scheme change we could make that would cover up how bad the D line play is. Just getting thrashed at the point of attack

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m pretty sure they can still do better than giving up 200 rushing yards a game

    • Gomhawk says:

      They did better last year against the run with much of the same defensive front.

      • Forrest says:

        If the Hawks like Lock, the best thing they can do is keep him on the sideline all year. Then sign him to a long term backup money deal in the offseason closer to the vet minimum (maybe $3M per for three years).

    • TatupuTime says:

      I really don’t think it’s a D line talent issue. They absolutely lack the difference makers to be a high end run stopping unit, but it’s a collection of competent proven NFL players. Al Woods, Poona Ford, Quentin Jefferson, Shelby Harris, Bryan Mone. They are all proven NFL players – these aren’t rookies or guys that all aged out of being effective at the exact same moment. You should be able to get middling to slightly below average run performance from this group. This is abysmal and all of those players look worse than they ever have before. I don’t think the scheme and coaching is putting these guys in a position to succeed. This team has had plenty of success with journeyman DL previously. Was Clint McDonald better than a 27 year old Poona, or is the difference that Clint McDonald was put in a position to succeed and Poona is too often being asked to take on a role that he doesn’t’ excel in?

  4. Romeo A57 says:

    I bought a “Rollex” watch for $20 when I was in South Korea. It ran about as well as the Seahawks did yesterday.

  5. Big Mike says:

    Your last sentence in your last point about struggling against weaker teams…0-4 against a horrible NFC South. “Struggling” is being kind.

    Thanks for the full written summation of the state of the Hawks Rob. With the amount of money committed to dead weight players, I am quite skeptical that this can be fully turned around. My approach considering how many draft picks the team possesses would be to slash all the dead weight and go with mostly rookies and 2nd year players and the occasional Ryan Neal next year and take our lumps. I fully expect Carroll will do no such thing but instead will trot Adams back out in a sad attempt to continue to justify the trade as well as over paying for some more dead weight on defense. Leopards rarely change their spots.

  6. Jessie says:

    I don’t want to revert back to the 4-3. There are many teams (including the cowboys who ran it 2 years ago) and had one of the worst defenses in nfl history slightly worse then us who were also running 4-3. Those other teams especially the 49ers have 4 top 15 picks on their defensive line with one of those picks being #2 (like we are likely to have). I don’t think those teams are as great on defense as they are made out to be other then all those teams have consistently been bottom dwellers and stacked top 10 pick over and over on the line.

    The thing that’s nice about the 3-4 is you don’t need elite players to get pressure. Broncos have 0 noteworthy players on their front 7 with randy Gregory on ir and Chubb traded but they have a quality defense. Patriots have 0 noteworthy players on their front 7 but they stop the run. We just need 2 more 3-4 dt’s in the quality of Shelby Harris. Al woods should retire , he started the year strong but his age is catching up to him as he just has no explosiveness as the year goes along, Bryan mone can’t shed a block ever or move, Poona same. All those guys are stand in place and clog holes d-tackles with limited movement.

    Remember Shelby Harris when he ran down Daniel jones on the sideline. He’s the only d tackle we have fit for this scheme. But as you mentioned they did resign guys who are god awful in what we are running which is a major concern. Either way I see the light at the end of the tunnel and the holes we have to fix are the easier holes to fix (line backer , center, right guard, d tackle), could use another edge the only hard hole to really fix out that group and will Anderson is there at 2

    • Rob Staton says:

      Well if you don’t need elite players to get pressure, why aren’t we creating any consistent pressure?

      • Forrest says:

        I completely agree with both of you. Poona and Mone don’t fit the 3-4 and it’s killing us. Similarly, Woods is just too old. Taylor is a 4-3 end who doesn’t fit, but finally showed some progress as an OLB rusher. Barton should NOT be resigned and definitely doesn’t fit. Diggs has also been subpar in the run, missing numerous tackles around the LOS. That’s a LOT of players who don’t fit the 3-4.

        If you go back to a 4-3, Poona and Taylor could fit better. But, that status quo wasn’t working for years and Pete properly noted that it had gone “stale”.

        It might be time for Clint Hurt to go and for Sean Desai to take over. I think the best outcome would be to continue to build a 3-4 with true 3-4 players. If you added a nose and 3-4 end who could shed blocks to go along with Shelby Harris, replaced Barton with just about anything and cut Diggs and Adams to add a young hungry, hard hitting, run stopping strong safety I think we’d be one year of growth away from an awesome defense.

  7. Zane says:

    For awhile I was really starting to come around on the idea of signing Geno long-term and trying to build the roster around him. But now, it’s become so clear that this roster is still rebuilding, I can’t stomach paying a solid 32-yr old QB $30m+ a year. It’s more likely to put us in mediocrity purgatory than anything else.

    I think our best move is let Geno walk, use the money to sign some defensive talent, then use our first pick on Levis or Richardson. Remember, there is nothing – *nothing* – more valuable in the modern NFL than having a great QB on a rookie contract. It’s risky, but the upside is obvious.

    • BK26 says:

      I don’t think we have to worry anyone ANYONE giving Geno 30 mil a year. I think he’ll be affordable and want to come back since Seattle gave him his first real chance to start and succeed.

    • Chris says:

      I’m warming to this train of thinking as well. With all the resource mismanagement and dead-cap garbage to get out of, the Hawks are still a solid 2-3 years from where they could reasonably be considered a contender. Letting Geno walk, starting Lock and hopefully drafting a quarterback, and then using that money elsewhere makes a lot of sense until our drafted QB is ready to step in.

  8. DK says:

    I could get behind drafting Jalen Carter, he has flashed the potential to be a playmaker on the d-line.
    Will Anderson, has had an OK year and I’d really living on his season last year.

    Give me Levis as a guy who has a grasp of the concepts of Waldron’s offense, upgrade the interior OL to help the running game and the offense can be serviceable next season.

    Rob, what are your thoughts on Joey Porter Jr.? Is he a guy who might be worth looking at with the lower of our two picks. Tall, long CB who is willing to tackle, and could keep Bryant inside at nickel.

    I just think we are starting to see all the issues that have been there but the team found ways to score and win some shoot-outs.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I like Porter. Very competitive and athletic. A good player. But if there’s one thing this team can do it’s plug in CB’s. Their focus needs to be up front on defense

  9. Old but Slow says:

    From a naive perspective (always open to learn), I always thought that support defensive players (LBs and safeties) should approach running plays like a running back does on offense. In other words, watch the blocking, find the hole, and hit it. Our guys seem to miss the hole pretty regularly, with the exception of Ryan Neal who is playing exceptionally.

    Am I naive?

  10. Hoggs41 says:

    We just have to get the scheme right. You can have success with no name players if the scheme is right. Great players and scheme is when you can be top 10 or even 5. I belie e we bave good enought talent to at least be in the middle but we are no where ne that.

  11. MCO Hawk says:

    I think it’s clear we are many pieces short of actually contending. I am talking myself into wanting to trade the Denver pick to a QB needy team (if one presents itself). Hear me out… If you can get multiple 1st rounders this year PLUS one next (which promises to to be high cause of the rookie QB). That could really set your roster up for next year and beyond. Hate to “kick the can down the road” but it seems we have multiple starting spots that need filling. Something to think about.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It could also mean passing on a unique chance to pick very early to get a whole bunch of LJ Collier’s

      • GeoffU says:

        Yes, we are getting very, very lucky this year that Denver is tanking. Really shouldn’t waste it if there’s a chance for a generational talent. Very unlikely will be picking this high ever again.

  12. Gross MaToast says:

    Good points all.

    There’s a great Albert Brooks movie called ‘Lost in America’ where Brooks and his wife want to live a simpler life seeing the country in their Winnebago while relying on their “nest egg” of cash. They stop in Vegas. Brooks finds his wife in a casino at 4 AM, staring at the roulette wheel muttering “22…22…22.” It takes a minute to figure, but she’s lost the entire nest egg betting on ’22’ – only on ’22’ – at the roulette wheel and won’t walk away. They’re ruined.

    I think Pete has so much self-esteem tied up in the trades and picks he’s made that he can’t walk away from the table. He’s still sitting there muttering, “22…22…22” like it’s possible to salvage the some/all of point #5. It’s not. It’s just an epically awful run of poor drafting, poor FA signings, terrible trades, god-awful allocation of salary cap, and a stubborn adherence to his guys. The nest egg is no more.

    Maybe they beat the Rams. Pete will tap dance and talk about the glory days and how special Seattle is and how pumped he already is for next season and we’ll do it all again for at least one more year. But the real rebuilding begins only when the team is sold, as per Paul Allen’s directions. Spring ’24 seems like a great target. At that point, I’ll feel like it’s real. This is all just another bet on “22…22…22.”

    • Big Mike says:

      “22” is Adams, no wait, Collier, no wait, QJeff, no wait Diggs, no wait……………….oh nm, I get it now.

    • Hawkdawg says:

      Love that scene…

    • Mike McD says:

      Wow … That is a crazy take.

      You are taking about the NFL which is hyper competitive, and structure based on parity. You have two guys Pete and John that are the second winningest coaches since they have taken over. Incredible. With a crazy playoff run. Just absolutely legendary stuff and cementing Pete as one of the best coaches of all time.

      Embrace these years. And if a Sportsbook wants to give me Super Bowl odds to win over the next 3 years … Then I’ll take a look.

      As for life after Jody/Pete/John, that could be very, very bleak. Seahawks could be in a very bad spiral for the foreseeable future post Jody/Pete/John, as is the case with most NFL franchises.

      • Rob Staton says:

        You have two guys Pete and John that are the second winningest coaches since they have taken over.

        So they get a free pass forever now?

        With a crazy playoff run

        Which is quickly imploding and the wins have come against Arizona (x2), Rams, Broncos, Chargers, Lions and Giants. They’ve not turned water in wine here — even if it has been very impressive at times to see Geno Smith perform way beyond expectations. The defense, however, is a total shambles.

        As for life after Jody/Pete/John, that could be very, very bleak

        It could also be absolutely fantastic.

        Seahawks could be in a very bad spiral for the foreseeable future post Jody/Pete/John, as is the case with most NFL franchises.

        Assuming the worst isn’t an argument.

        Here’s my counter to this — things could also be awesome. Not much of a point on either side, is it?

        Neither is implying any kind of change within a NFL team leads to bad results. Where’s your evidence for this?

        • Mike McD says:

          “Here’s my counter to this — things could also be awesome. Not much of a point on either side, is it? ” <- No, I would disagree here. I think you can look historically at the best NFL franchises and see that stability leads to a better chance at success.

          I would have been more inclined to move on from Pete after the Russ trade but not in the middle of a strong rebuild. The decision was made in the off-season need to let it play out IMO.

          Otherwise, you would have to bring in a new coach … that coach needs to put in their new systems … and get their guys… Get rid of the old guys. Etc. It could work, but it is risky. Furthermore, I like PC/JS chances in the next 3 years at returning/winning a SB.

          • Rob Staton says:

            But franchises don’t change ownership enough for you to provide any actual evidence

            I’m afraid all you are doing is appealing to doom and gloom as a means to avoid any change and prop up the incumbents

            Not much of an argument

            Any way — Jody Allen isn’t a long term option. She isn’t an owner. She and the current group are a holding position until the team is sold, probably in the next 2-3 years. Change is inevitable

  13. cha says:

    10. There is no home field advantage at Lumen because the fans have been let down too many times for too long with the defense. You can feel it in the crowd. There’s no confidence. Fans don’t want to scream and make noise when the defense is on the field because it won’t have any effect.

    My friends and I were screaming our fool heads off like the old days. After two or three quarters of that, our screaming changed from trying to help the defense to being directed AT the defense. “JUST DO SOMETHING.”

    The only time the defense made a stop is when the Panthers stopped themselves by inexplicably quitting running the ball and asking Darnold to be very precise.

    It’s a chicken and egg problem. The LOB defense got the fans amped up with good play and devastating hits and timely turnovers. Thus the fans were all in. Now, you can yell all you like, it doesn’t matter. The other team can run up the gut all day long and the defense cannot stop them. So many fans are left to wonder ‘what’s the point?’

    • Gomhawk says:

      It seems to me that a good home crowd enhances a good defense. If the defense isn’t good, there isn’t much to enhance. I remember a lot of false starts this year, but if the opposition converts on 1st and 15 easily…

    • Hebegbs says:

      First off I read all Rob’s points and think every one of them is spot on.

      Second, there is nothing worse for a fan base than cheering your defense on when the defense can not stop the opponent from running the ball down their throats. It completely takes any wind out of our sails.

      Bruce Irvin was quoted today that each guy needs to step up and win man to man on the front 7. Feels to me that is like asking a 7th grader to man up and beat a HS senior 1:1. Sounds nice but ain’t going to happen. They have too many 7th graders playing against HS seniors in this analogy. Scheme is a problem too no doubt. Taylor, for the most part, is a wasted pick in this scheme. Sad. Go back to what worked and get the right guys. Damn.

  14. cha says:

    Josh Weinfuss
    @joshweinfuss
    Cardinals QB Kyler Murray is expected to have an MRI tomorrow but there is “little doubt that it’s torn,” a source told me, referring to the quarterback’s ACL.
    5:51 PM · Dec 12, 2022

  15. BobbyK says:

    1. They’re such hypocrites. You don’t pay big third contracts to guys, especially defensive players. Yet they give Diggs a third big contract and are screwed by his cap number. Go figure. #stupidity

    2. Pete’s either delusional or a liar. I believe he’s delusional. I think he wants to run the ball and stop the run in his heart, but he’s too dumb to realize one should invest in those areas and be tough up front.

    3. Either you have a philosophy or you don’t. Either you know who you are or you don’t.

    4. I would argue that coaching Nick Bosa makes anyone look better than they are (though I’ll admit his ACL injury and the team still had a SB defense the following year). NFL organizations, in my opinion, are too stupid to evaluate coaches based on a combination of production and talent, rather go the production route. This makes it “easier” to justify a hire. Even if a coach has the “talent” of a unit that should rank 28th but gets them to overperform and rank 17th nobody is going to care. But if some guy with some stars can get the most talented unit and even get them to a top 3-5 finish… people with think they are smart and want to hire them.

    5. Poona was resigned as a 4-3 DT and now he’s not. Stupid, stupid, stupid. And the herpes of Jamal Adams is the gift that keeps “giving”.

    6. I agree. Play the hand you’re dealt. You can’t force something. The Seahawks did that with Stouffer, McGwire, and Mirer and look where it got them.

    7. Thanks to the team for giving us a fun month. I expected this to be a worthless season but I’m glad to know I never actually bought in. But that month was a nice distraction.

    8. See comment about being delusional.

    9. See comment about being delusional.

  16. Stuart says:

    Any thoughts on what it might take for Pete to retire after this season? Kudos for pointing out the big coaching successes from 49ers and Rams.

    • BobbyK says:

      Some of which provide comp. picks back to the organization.

    • Big Mike says:

      I am NOT wishing this on him, let me make that clear……………the only thing that would spur him to retire would be health problems with himself or his wife. Very unlikely. The only other thing that could make that happen is if she sold the team in the offseason. That’s even less likely.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I think he flirted with USC a year ago, there’s a reason why that mysterious LA Times interview suddenly appeared when they had a vacancy, with PC talking about the Trojans.

        And then there was the UCLA link.

        I think he just wants to work and wants to work in a situation that suits him (lot of control). It would require an offer he prefers (probably back in Cal) but none is going to come up.

        • Romeo A57 says:

          I was think that the Stanford job might be a nice soft landing for Pete. Back in California, where like Seattle, the media would give him a free pass and not be too worried about winning very much. Could you imagine what the media would do in Dallas or New England fielded a defense like this for several years.

  17. Joe Verhei says:

    I often thought it was a farce that Pete has so heavily favored running the ball and stopping the run. Yet, we’ve struggled with both since trading Unger. Who is the last OL and DT we’ve had make the all star team? Max Unger in 2014

    They kept hitting on the skill and perimeter players, and had to pay them, that they had to go cheaper specifically on OL, and adopted the philosophy of just finding big stop gap players in the trenches.

    You would think, year after year, they would prioritize this. Yet, here we are. A team with a stated identity, but can’t execute it. That starts to erode confidence in everything you do.

    What Pete really needs are coaches around him that can feed him some truth serum.

  18. Rj says:

    Considering that we are even discussing the seahawks possibly making the playoffs at this point shows how great pete has done this year. This team wasn’t supposed to win more than 4 wins this year, it was supposed to be a rough year and regardless on how it ends I would say the culture is stronger than ever. It’s clear that the defense needs more talent, but to think that it’s time to move on from pete like a lot of people are calling for is bonkers

    • Rob Staton says:

      So how many years of terrible defense until the defensive minded Head Coach is allowed to be questioned?

    • Tallyhawk says:

      I’m not sure how it’s possible to have watched this team especially on D the last few seasons and not question Pete. Sure most didn’t expect much this season but to point to that as why Pete is right doesn’t sit well with me. They overachieved early and had themselves in a position to do something with it. Instead they’ve let teams run all over them to the point they are right where I thought they’re be. I felt like they would win 7 at least but to have them lose 5 straight and 6 of 7 to get there is atrocious. Pete made his mark on D and for the last few seasons it’s been the main reason we are mediocre to terrible.

      • Rob Staton says:

        We’ve also beaten:

        Arizona x2
        Rams
        Broncos
        Giants
        Chargers
        Lions

        While also losing to:

        New Orleans
        Tampa Bay
        Carolina
        Atlanta
        Vegas

        Hardly a gauntlet of achievement

    • Group Captain Mandrake says:

      This team was supposed to be bad, and they have been for the most part, except for that one month of good play. I think where you really have to question Pete is that the team has not improved at all in the areas that he is supposed to really value. Not only have they not improved, but they have gotten worse. How many times do you see other teams plug in a backup RB and have success? You just saw it last weekend with Carolina. Seattle couldn’t even run with their starters against some pretty poor or mediocre defenses. It is absolutely appropriate to question whether they should move on from ol’ Pete.

    • Mike McD says:

      Well said.

      Amazing work from Pete and John. The fact that the Seahawks have made the playoffs almost every year since they have been here is a statistical anomaly. Second best record over that life span. Then as some talking heads wanted to give all the credit to a third round draft pick that is vertically challenged … Pete comes back and says nah.

      Legendary stuff from PC/JS. The hawks are setup in incredible position to make a run at the SB over the coming years.

  19. JP says:

    Geno Smith:

    Weeks 1-4: 5th in EPA/play, 30.9 total EPA
    Weeks 5-14: 18th in EPA/play, 29.7 total EPA

    Defense isn’t the only thing coming back down to earth lately and they still have a rough road ahead. Maybe taking a QB isn’t such a bad thought.

  20. Ukhawk says:

    Great write up, Rob!

    One other thing I think is “missing” is veteran leadership on defense. Maybe this is linked up to #5 which focuses on how we’ve squandered resources.

    I’m not sure how it gets fixed but I do think in prior years we had steady heads who were starters. Guys like Red, KJ, Bobby, Cliff, Bennett, Mebane we’re all with us in 2nd/3rd contracts at some points.

    Maybe this can get rectified after next year after some of the deals roll off ??

    • Forrest says:

      And yet, Pete blamed the veteran leadership because of the soft guys they drafted who admired and looked up to Bobby and Kam, rather than trying to take their jobs. That’s not on Bobby and Cam!

  21. Julian L says:

    I actually quite like the ‘seventh seed’. It’s a carrot that motivates and rewards teams that have a rough start to the season, but start to improve late. The Lions look to be a good example of that this year. If they’re still crud, they’ll be dumped out at the Playoff stage anyway, it doesn’t prevent the right teams getting to the Superbowl. Just by statistical definition it also means less dead rubber matches, as the season draws to a close, when you take account of teams jostling for position within the playoffs themselves. The rewards are still there for the top teams, Conference winners get the bye, Division winners home games.

    For what it’s worth, I think also that the regular season should now push on to 18 games. 12 games outside the divisional match ups, would mean a nice symetary to play teams from 3 full divisions during the regular season. Though I think an extra bye would be needed to help players recover durnig a campaign that would stretch to 6 months for the Superbowl finalists.

  22. MarkSouza says:

    I have two takes on what is going on:

    1) The 3-4 defense the Hawks are running isn’t because it best utilizes the talents of the players they have. They are running it because of the players they don’t have, namely true linebackers. We really only have two. The players they call 3-4 outside linebackers are really defensive ends. They are asked to drop in coverage, which they are not suited to. They are as poor a fit in coverage as Tariq Woolen would be at nose tackle. They have to read to determine whether they are moving forward or dropping. That read causes indecisiveness and takes away their aggressiveness making them easy to block.

    2) This is from Dave Wyman and I agree – It looks like the defenders have a whole host of options for what their role is on any play based on what the offense does. It’s like they are trying to account for everything. The prooblem is it slows them down because they have to think. It also leads to a lack of coordination if one player sees one thing, and the guy next to him sees something different. When Wyman played under Tom Catlin, Catlin made it simple. In this defense, this is your role. No thinking. Just be fast and carry out your assignment. And he would admit that if we have this defense called and they run the right play, they will get their yards. But he was willing to give that up because the benefit of having everyone being aggressive outweighed the occasional big gain.

    We need to make things simpler so the players don’t have to think and can play fast and aggressive rather than sitting back trying to read all the options and turning themselves into catcher’s mitts for the opposition’s o-linemen..

    • Big Mike says:

      Basically you’ve just stated 2 obvious reasons in support of Rob’s (and others) opinion that the Fangio defense isn’t working. Add to that the personnel doesn’t fit the scheme and you have the 31st ranked run D and an absolute mess.

      “Defensive minded” head coach.

    • Group Captain Mandrake says:

      They may only have two LBs, but that is a choice they made. They could have picked up other linebackers, but they have stuck with what they have.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I thought the 3-4 was done because a team didn’t have enough great defensive tackles for 4 on the line (lets not forget rest and rotations) and it put another player in the secondary to defend passes.

        Seems like the linemen just aren’t good enough anymore. I like them, but really would it make any difference what scheme you put them in?? I don’t think so. We want answers but the answers may be they are aging and not going to make it on any team.

        Also we really need to emphasize that the linebackers work in tandem with the running backs to stop the run. You know your defensive line is good when they make the tackles behind the line of scrimmage. But normally it will be a linebacker making the tackle.

        Last week I watched a running back make a 5 yard touchdown run. He ran through tackles by Shelby Harris and Woolen. This is normal for the team. Missed tackles.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          Linebackers work with the defensive line to stop the run – usually by filling holes or making tackles on the edges.

  23. Sea Mode says:

    Did anyone catch the whole segment? Seems relevant to the topic at hand.

    Brady Henderson
    @BradyHenderson
    ·15h

    A telling answer from Carroll when Salk asked if they have the right personnel for their new defensive scheme: “Well, we have to fit the personnel to the scheme …” He noted they moved DT Al Woods outside to 5 technique yesterday before he hurt his heel. No word on his status.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I listened for a bit then turned it off because I found it to be a frustrating listen. The same issues are there every week and the coach can’t say anything other than ‘have another go next week’ at this juncture. The line on Woods I kind of just thought highlighted that they’re throwing everything at the wall right now and hoping something, anything, sticks.

    • Rob4q says:

      If you get a chance, go read the whole PC response to the question. The last part is interesting where PC says it’s easier when you have a “big-time playmaker” and how they just need to find ways for their guys to make plays. Even he knows what they have on the DL isn’t good enough!

      This defense needs playmakers on the DL in the worst way. You can get by with average LB play, decent safeties and good CB’s. But you absolutely need some DL playmakers to disrupt what the offense is trying to do.

      Mazi Smith would be ideal to plug into the middle.

  24. Gomhawk says:

    Great points. I enjoyed the convo about why we’re sports fans in the postgame video. Have a nice trip to the Arctic! I’ve always wanted to see the northern lights, I hope you’re able to see them!

  25. Sea Mode says:

    So will the Broncos backups still manage to lose against the Cardinals backups…?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Building up to be an epic contest…

      The only people watching will probably be Seahawks fans

      • Big Boi says:

        Most fans of top 10 pick-worthy teams will watch. This is a crapshoot game with an over/under of 38 and the sliver of a win for either team could move our draft pick at least 3 spots. If the Broncos win two meaningless games against the Cards’ and Rams’ back ups, it could swing us back to 8-10. Crazy. Meanwhile the Broncos fans will be cheering for us to try to knock their 49ers pick up a few notches haha.

  26. Andy J says:

    Fanbases enter crap debates when regimes have gone stale and everyone is powerless to establish a new narrative.

    The Senior Bowl is in Feb. The Combine in early March. The Geno decision can wait until mid-March. Team Dfens vs Team QB can wait until then too. It won’t though. The stale of suck pervades.

    I just hope this draft has quality depth. There aren’t enough LJ Collier and Marquise Blair’s in the world that will fix this suck.

  27. Denver Hawker says:

    Curious to get others’ hot takes on this- I’ve thought this NFL season to be relatively uninspiring and unspectacular. This isn’t directed at the Hawks (though it certainly could be), but the entire NFL.

    My eyes tell me each week that for one reason or another it’s just a bad product right now. Maybe it’s the dieing stars (Brady, Rodgers, Brees), maybe the way the game is called/played as two-hand touch, I don’t know. I just don’t feel excited to watch it and I love football.

    Where are the great teams? Eagles look good, Bills/Chiefs/Bengals will dust it up in the AFC, Vikings pretenders, Cowboys limping. Half the league looks like a bad team. Too many cap constraints? Mediocre QB play? What is it? Or I am just having a “they don’t make them like they used to” moment.

    Feel free to share what has you feeling differently this year.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Yep, a thoroughly mediocre season

    • BK26 says:

      I’ve thought this too. It’s almost like there is too much chess and not enough of teams just going out there and battling. I don’t see players that are just taking over the games. I think it is that the old guard is/has retired and the new guard is still too young and it is getting a little coach focused.

      Week to week my perception of too many teams are changing. There are very few games each week that I want to watch. Part of that might be Seattle’s season and a little apathy setting in.

      There is something, and at least for me, “they don’t make them like they used to” feels right. But I am also turning into my dad and back in my day blah blah blah *insert everything was better but harder.*

    • Sean says:

      Maybe it’s that there isn’t anything new and exciting to really captivate this year. No exciting rookie QBs, no Deebo/Cordarelle breakout, no new McVay offense. There just aren’t many of those shiny objects to inject some novelty, though Miami seemed to be it for awhile at least.

      Or maybe, since we’re Seahawks fans, everything is just a darker shade of gray right now. It is depressing to give up run after run after run, when you know it’s coming, and know the other team isn’t very good. Can we all just shake that off and get excited about Justin Jefferson or something? I can’t always overcome that malaise.

    • DriveByPoster says:

      I don’t entirely disagree with your general conclusion, but I would say ‘mediocre’ rather than outright ‘bad’. it probably doesn’t help that the ‘hawks have been so poor at times. That does tend to give us a jaundiced view of what we are seeing.

      For me, it comes down to a few factors.
      Firstly, too many games. I think that the seventeenth game is a mistake.

      Secondly, too many teams can make the play-offs. It makes me wonder what the point of the regular season is when half the teams will get into the play-offs. They might as well just run the NFL as a knockout tournament straight from week 1!

      Thirdly, we do seem to be in a bit of a transition regarding ‘star’ players. Brady, Rogers, even Aaron Donald, are all having a hard season. There really doesn’t seem to be anyone stepping up to take their place. That’s not to say that there aren’t good players but nobody really is standing out from the rest in the way that these guys do at their best.

      Fourthly, injuries. Despite alleged concern about reducing injuries in the game, it seems to me (just on gut feeling; I have no stats to back this up) that there seem to be more players leaving the game than usual. Although this might be a by-product of actually taking care of guys by not putting them back in the game if they are not really fit to go.

      Coincidentally, the college season has been a bit meh this year too. Something in the air perhaps?

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I’ve certainly followed the concussion rules and Tua’s medical struggles in Miami. Seems like after his incident everything is back to normal. Nothing to see here folks, move along!

        A couple of quarterbacks have been playing hurt with rib injuries. That lowers the quality of quarterback play.

      • Big Mike says:

        Agree whole heartedly with your points about the 17th game being unnecessary and too many teams making the playoffs.

  28. Rad_man says:

    I liked the mix-up they did on the D staff, and I think both Desai and Hurtt are quality staff. scrapping them and starting over feels a bit like wheel spinning. But this is just an outsider perspective. It did feel like Pete’s D was very predictable and the Rams in particular had a very easy recipe for destroying it.

    For me the real criticism of the staff, and Pete, is- why did you make the change from a 4-3 to a 3-4 and not make the necessary roster changes? I keep hearing how they don’t have the players for this scheme. Well, WTF. That’s like knowingly starting a dish without all the ingredients, and then doing a palms up when it turns out terribly. No excuse. That’s on you.

    I like the track record of JS+PC of finding effective space eaters/ run stuffers on the cheap. I don’t know why they didn’t do a better job of that this off season, but it’s actually been a strength of this front office for their entire run. So I am optimistic they can find that this off season. It shouldn’t be hard/ too expensive to find a MLB and DE/DT space eaters/ Stuffers. Those guys historically are cheaper than pass rush. Find some of those on the second and third wave of FA, maybe this situation improves substantially.

    As far as the draft goes, I won’t pretend to know what’s best, but it’s clear they need talent across the board at all positions really save for tackles and RB (I suppose). So I’m completely fine with whoever they take as long as they have a good reason for liking the player. I don’t expect even a top tier defensive player will solve any of these problems by himself even if he happens to be great in year 1 (highly unlikely).

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Unfortunately I would say they need another running back also. This team would look totally different if the right running backs were playing. You can squawk for a rookie quarterback but it’s Bijon Robinson that they need.

  29. Palatypus says:

    I’m confused. Should I go with the Rimex or the Tolex?

  30. Sean says:

    Interesting article about the growing pains switching from 4-3 to 3-4:

    https://www.nfl.com/news/changing-a-base-defense-not-as-easy-as-1-2-3-4-09000d5d80ea8c1d

    • Sea Mode says:

      Sean… Desai? Is that you posting asking for patience…? 😉

      JK, good link! Thanks for sharing.

      I wonder if the switch is part of some master plan by Carroll to somehow get ahead of the league’s offenses as more and more spread concepts are used.

      OR… whether it was more a desperation move cause he ran out of ideas. Seems kind of unusual for a defensive coach like him to move away from his base philosophy/system after so many years.

      I found this part interesting to think about:

      Even though the 3-4 has been around for years, Capers believes it could be a neutralizer against offenses that are using more plays more often — plays that used to be called only on third downs, when defenses went to nickel or “sub” packages. He views it as a defensive scheme that gets the best athletes on the field and forces more mismatches than a 4-3.

      “If you’ve got a number of linebackers with outstanding athletic ability, you can match up better with all the athletes offenses are putting on the field,” Capers said. “It’s possible to match all that ability on defense. You’ve got to be able to match up your skill with their skill.”

  31. Starhawk29 says:

    After the game Sunday, I was pretty glum. It took me a while to shake off that funk, that feeling of depressed frustration that somehow only sports can bring. We’d been walloped in our own stadium; manhandled by an “inferior” opponent. How could I not be pissed?

    It wasn’t until Monday morning I finally understood why I was really frustrated, though. It’s because, for a brief few weeks, there was excitement. Despite entering this season expecting a 7 win team, constantly telling myself that the record wouldn’t matter, I’d let myself get swept up by the emotion of it all. The whole timeline for the team seemed to have changed, we were ahead of schedule! And then we weren’t. I think all of us are suffering from this same letdown right now.

    With the benefit of more than a day to reflect, I find myself growing more hopeful again. The stated goal going into this season was to see green shoots. Draft position was nice, but my goal was always to try and win as much as possible, if only to get the players invested. I think most of us wanted to see signs this team was headed in the right direction at a minimum. And, despite the awful performance in run d, I legitimately DO feel like we’re on the right path.

    There’s some magic to the drafting again. There is energy and attitude coming from the leaders (such as Geno Smith). Obviously the defense is pathetic, but the fact that we’ve somehow snagged another CB in the 5th round with HoF potential is more than I could have asked for. We’ve got holes galore, and scheme issues to boot. That is certainly worrying. Yet, we’ve also seen the value that can be added in a single offseason. Deciding what to do with Hurtt is beyond my pay grade, and I can only hope they make the right choice there. Without watching tape, I have no clue who these issues are on, players or scheme. I do think it is relevant that we are still in the first year of a new scheme. We don’t necessarily have ideal personnel, and that can be a factor.

    Regardless of the myriad issues rearing their ugly heads, I’m feeling better about this team than I did Sunday. We are still far from being the superbowl contender we dream of being, but the foundation stones are being laid. Playoffs or no, this season should be considered successful.

    • TomLPDX says:

      Good post Starhawk29. I’m also back to keeping my perspective on the season and on the team. Still lots of work to do to be a true contender once again.

    • Rob4q says:

      Great take! I was feeling the same Sunday night and it took until Monday to wear off.

      I do really believe that a true game wrecker on the DL would change things dramatically for this defense. I mean put Chris Jones out there with Shelby & Poona and I bet things go a lot differently. And that’s not a shot at Al Woods as he’s done all he could this year. I think the draft and FA need to bring that player along with an aggressive, attacking LB to pair with Brooks.

    • Ashish says:

      Well explained, also i would rather see the real issues than faux cover up on team issues. Geno is great but can’t miss opportunity to take QB for next 10 years. Your defense needs new blood, trim the vets who are not performing to infuse new leadership. You can’t go back to Irvin shows what you missed in off season.
      There is nothing called good loss but this might be if hawks take right actions. I fully expect SFO will crush us but .. if miracle happen let’s hold on our expectation.

  32. Gabe B says:

    “Avoid a braincell-killing debate and just keep an open mind. There’s no right or wrong pick — QB or defense. Both are fine.”

    Voice of reason. This is why I’ve started reading your blog!

    • BK26 says:

      And that is exactly what it is: a frustrating debate where no one is going to win. I’ve gotten stuck in too many already and there is WAAAAAY too much time until the draft.

      Also why I always come here and any other place less and less.

  33. Blitzy the Clown says:

    Condolences to the Leach family and to everyone who will miss him

    Rest in peace Mike Leach

    https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/35242848/mississippi-state-coach-mike-leach-dies-hospitalization

  34. Kenny Sloth says:

    I think we’ve been competitive despite losing our top 4 running backs since May and Star safety week one.

    Credit to the team for keeping the playoff hopes alive.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Yes, credit to the team for keeping their playoff hopes alive… by losing three of the last four games. And conceding 200 rushing yards a game. And struggling to do anything defensively against weak opponents. A great effort.

    • Big Boi says:

      The 9ers have incurred much worse injuries and are Super Bowl contenders. I don’t think the Hawks have any injury complaints compared to other teams around the league. I was just thinking about how lucky we’ve been on the injury front and it’s one of the reasons that we’ve been semi-competitive. If we had injuries like some of these teams, we’d have two top 5 picks.

    • Big Mike says:

      “Star” safety….bwa ha ha

      • Big Boi says:

        Ohhhhh, “star” safety! I thought he meant we lost someone named “Star Safety”, maybe like a front office person so I was just going with it because I knew for dang sure we didn’t have lose any star safeties at any point this season.

  35. Matt says:

    I can totally understand people wanting to commit to Geno, but the discourse amongst the Seahawks Twitter Braintrust (TM) is comical. “He is basically a 25 year old with how little wear and tear he’s had.”

    Guys…he hasn’t been in a cryogenic chamber immune to the human aging process. Assuming anything past 35 is an extremely boneheaded idea, IMO. Most QBs not named Rodgers or Brady have fallen off cliffs in their mid-30s. And it’s not due to “wear and tear,” it’s just the aging process.

    So, I think if you’re in the Geno camp – your sell should be going all in on a 3 year window. This “he has 5 good years left” is a preposterous bet. This is a short term play and everything you propose should be around that 3 year window.

    I personally think that if you have a chance at Richardson with your first pick – you have to do it. Then splurge on all the other picks with a more short term view of how quickly they can impact the team.

    I just firmly believe that while Carter and Anderson are studs – this defensive system will hold them back. And neither guy strikes me as a “dominate the NFL from their first snap” type. Heck, I honestly don’t believe either guy has a ceiling higher than “a really good defensive player.” I personally don’t see either of those two has game changing talents. And I certainly don’t believe that in our current dysfunctional defensive system/scheme.

    • Rob Staton says:

      You’re so right.

      People age. Physically you weaken. It’s not about wear and tear. Father time is undefeated. Well, maybe he’s taken one loss on Tom Brady.

      • Matt says:

        The lack of nuance is so frustrating. I’ve been pretty consistent that a) Geno has played really well and b) he’s been a beneficiary of great turnover luck (last game had 5 TO worthy throws, 2
        Intercepted). It’s been that way for about 6 weeks now.

        But no…he’s either the greatest QB with no flaws or he’s terrible. God forbid the gray area.

        Keep up the awesome work, Rob. You are truly 1 of 1 in the world of Seahawks blogs.

    • cha says:

      That’s why 140 character limits are so silly. The situation with Geno and the Seahawks is far too complex to reduce it to a simple black and white opinion.

      Whatever point Seahawks Twitter is focusing on today is just a single thread in a whole tapestry of the discussion about his future with or without the Seahawks.

      It is possible to resign Geno and not commit to him playing at this 2022 level three or four years from now.

      It is possible to resign Geno AND draft a QB with their top pick.

      It is possible that Geno’s market in free agency will be soft. Or robust.

      Anyone taking a black and white stance on this issue is missing a ton of nuance and are just setting themselves up for a big overreaction when this issue plays out.

      • Matt says:

        Couldn’t say it any better. There’s no gray area with these people.

        I think you absolutely try to commit to Geno for another few years, BUT, a) you do not break the bank and b) you don’t bypass a great QB prospect that you believe in.

        “Well QB bust rates are so high!”

        “I’d like to introduce you to almost every Seahawks 1st rounder over the last 10 years.”

  36. Pran says:

    With better CBs in-place now, is it better to go back to Carroll’s scheme. Every player on the D is literally from years past and should fit the old scheme. Will the new adds Mafe and Nwosu fit Carroll’s scheme?

  37. Palatypus says:

    You wonderful people can be delightfully neurotic. But if you want to hear some REAL neurosis listen to THE FAN in Denver sometime on Audacity. Absolutely hysterical today.