Sunday thoughts: GB plan, ‘the trade’ and cut down day

September 3rd, 2017 | Written by Rob Staton

What is Seattle’s thinking at defensive tackle?

At the moment Seattle’s roster is light at defensive tackle. Only Sheldon Richardson, Naz Jones and Jarran Reed are what you’d call orthodox interior linemen. Michael Bennett can move inside — but usually Seattle carries a bit more beef on the D-line.

This could be indicative of a plan to face Green Bay.

The Packers are probably not going to try and ram the ball down Seattle’s throat. In the 38-10 rout at Lambeau last season, starting running back Ty Montgomery rushed only nine times for 41 yards. Christine Michael split the carries with a 10/36 stat line.

Montgomery (a converted wide out) remains the lead back, supported by rookie Jamaal Williams. This doesn’t scream physical running attack. Plugging the middle and taking away rushing lanes isn’t necessarily going to be the key to winning this one. Pressuring Aaron Rodgers and getting the pass rush going could be.

When they want to be stout up front, Richardson, Jones and Reed can line up possibly at the same time and handle those duties. We might see a lot more ‘attack mode’ though in an attempt to pressure Rodgers. That could mean, at least for one week, a lot more of Bennett lining up inside next to Richardson with Avril and Clark working the edges with Bass and Smith also getting involved.

Attack mode.

They have to try something new, because Rodgers hasn’t had a tough time working Seattle’s defense in the last two meetings at Lambeau. He’s 43/56 passing for 495 and five touchdowns (zero interceptions).

After this game, we might see a bit more beef added to help Seattle take away the running game (their modus operandi on defense). For example, it’s hard to imagine Seattle carrying only three defenders when they head to Tennessee to take on ‘exotic smashmouth’.

In Lambeau against the Packers in week one? Quickness >>>>>> Beef.

Some thoughts on the cuts yesterday

It’s probably fair to say there was some mild hysteria when it was revealed the Seahawks were going to cut Kasen Williams. There was also a lot of disappointment expressed when it was announced Pierre Desir was departing too.

Both players have subsequently been snapped up on waivers by the Browns and Colts respectively.

However, I wanted to try and bring some perspective to these two decisions.

As fans and observers, we really do have limited access to the overall decision making process. We see four pre-season games and some training camp workouts. We might believe that’s enough to judge who ‘won’ a competition for a roster spot — but how accurate is that?

Seattle’s coaches and front office staff have to consider many things here. Club control, future cost, age, who best fits the specific role, who has the most potential, who works the hardest to improve or absorbs coaching easily? These are things we don’t really have any clue about.

The decision to keep Amara Darboh over Kasen Williams has been described by some as evidence of ‘third round pick survives because they spent a high pick on him’. Ask yourself this — what do we actually know about Amara Darboh as fans?

This team has poured over the college tape on Darboh, extensively studied his backstory and in the draft clearly believed he had the potential to be a very useful player in Seattle.

Are they now going to go against all of that work, all of those judgements and cut the guy just because Kasen Williams had a good pre-season?

Here’s Darboh matching up with Shaquille Griffin in 2016. That’s the Shaquille Griffin a lot of people want to see starting at corner for the Seahawks…

It’s nothing to do with abandoning ‘competition’ or any of that jazz. Are we really going to limit ‘always compete’ to four games against backups in the pre-season?

Imagine in 2015 if Tyler Lockett, as a third round rookie, got hurt and never really got into his stride during his first pre-season. And then Seattle cut him in preference of a pre-season phenomena. Would we be looking back on that as a wise move?

So why didn’t Williams get in ahead of Tanner McEvoy, you might ask? Perhaps it comes down to the role they’ve earmarked for what is, essentially, the fifth receiver on the roster? If that spot is about special teams and the occasional opportunity to make a big play — they might see McEvoy as a better special teamer and he’s shown he can make explosive plays.

Some people will also wonder about J.D. McKissic. He carries a lot of value for his ability to wear a number of different hats and be a key special teamer. Despite Pete Carroll’s claim that Tyler Lockett will do all the returns, do we know if he’s even going to make week one? Furthermore, did you notice how the sideline roared every time McKissic made a play in pre-season? It might not have shown up in the games but behind the curtain, it appears there are quite a few people impressed with McKissic’s potential and attitude.

It’s a difficult balancing act sometimes, especially when your cuts actually matter on a loaded roster. A team like this always leaves itself open for criticism. It’s the price of success. If they’d cut Darboh and he went on to have a good career — imagine the grief Seattle would get for giving up so quickly on a third rounder? Now if Kasen Williams becomes the second coming of Terrelle Pryor in Cleveland, people will equally criticise. There’s no easy answer.

Further thoughts on the Sheldon Richardson trade

The deal received almost universal acclaim, which is unusual given the high price of the trade and the fact it could end up being a one-year rental. Usually when a pick in the first two rounds is involved, there’s a few dissenting voices.

Scot McCloughan said something interesting on Twitter this week when asked about the trade. He said it was a great deal because he’d never get a player like Richardson in round two next year.

It’s an interesting point — and one worth indulging.

The Seahawks are using their draft capital in a way that suits them at this moment, in 2017. Yes high draft picks are important. However, it’s evident how difficult it is becoming for some of the younger guys to make an impression when challenged to displace players within arguably the most talented roster in the league.

This years natural second round pick, Ethan Pocic, would probably be a rookie starter in Seattle in the past. Instead he’s on the outside looking in, unable to usurp the incumbents who in fairness have made improvements gradually as pre-season progressed. Amara Darboh, a third round pick, was being touted as a potential cut by some people.

Taking into account Malik McDowell’s injury, only Naz Jones, Shaq Griffin and Chris Carson have really scratched the surface of genuine playing time. It’s unclear how much any of the three will play against the Packers — you’d still expect the veteran players in front to get most of the snaps.

There’s a tendency to point the finger at the front office in a situation like this and say they should do a better job in the draft. In reality, this roster is absolutely jam packed as it is. Rich in talent across the board. It’s a difficult roster to crack. The only exception is the O-line really — but even there we’re seeing green shoots of potential.

In comparison, there is no doubt whatsoever that Sheldon Richardson is going to have an impact or win a starting job. He’s not only a terrific defensive lineman, he fills a need which is incredibly difficult to solve via the draft. There just aren’t that many players like Richardson in the NFL or college football. Quality interior pass rushers are surprisingly rare.

Seattle’s 2018 second round pick has been used here to bolster the team significantly for this season. To genuinely enhance their chances of winning another Super Bowl. It’s not a desperation move — it’s a calculated one. The very thing an asset should be used for.

There’s a stigma within the NFL that using picks in this way is a bit of a negative thing. The popularity of the event, the way the draft effectively builds teams quicker than the NBA or MLB and the desire to analyse the process has made draft stock more and more valuable.

Indeed we’re seeing teams now, even in the last few days, accumulating picks knowing they face a big rebuild ahead. Almost cutting their losses and preparing for the future before week one is even on the horizon.

The Seahawks aren’t in that position. They’re right in the middle of a Championship window. Ideally you want those early picks and an opportunity to have a fun and exciting draft. Yet this trade for Sheldon Richardson is worth so much to the team today. Seattle really is in a position now where the future — and the 2018 draft — can wait. It’s time to get after a Championship. Richardson helps them do that.

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181 Responses to “Sunday thoughts: GB plan, ‘the trade’ and cut down day”

  1. Alex says:

    I notice the Patriots and Seahawks making similar type moves.

    Brandon cooks for a 1st
    Kony Ealy to move back 9 spots
    Dwayne Allen for a 4th
    Cassius Marsh for a 5th

    Seahawks have made similar trades. When you reach a point in a teams development when there truly isn’t very many needs it may be safer to just “cherry pick” specific players from other teams that fit your team needs.

    With draft picks, you have to be patient to allow them to develop. Sometimes your stars won’t even allow that player to develop. Development takes game reps, making mistakes, learning from those mistakes, and improving.

    Is Tedric Thompson really going to see the field before his 4 year contract is up? I doubt it unless Earl is injured again. Is Tedric going to be battle tested enough to be ready once his number is called? Would trading for a player on the last year of his rookie deal, when you know you could potentially recoup a comp pick, present a better risk:reward payoff?

    The Patriots seem to be of the belief that their value is better spent through 1 year rentals with the comp pick recoup the following year.

    • C-Dog says:

      I think Tedric is now listed depth chart wise as the third SS behind Delano Hill. McDougald is he direct backup to ET. Folks have been a bit down on Tedric. I still hang onto hope for him.

  2. michigan12 says:

    I love this trade. Richardson is not only a hard to find talent, but he gives us a true three down back, to help eliminate the need to substitute in the fast guys all the time. This will help us when we play teams like the Packers and Patriots that take advantage of those opportunities and have burned us in the past. I hope he plays like his hair is on fore and has 8-10 sacks this year.

      • FAN Person says:

        +1

        • Thy Hawk is Howling says:

          Plus one as in it’s another player added to our Hawks. Unfortunately it’s also a Minus One as in “fare thee well” Jermaine.

          Will someone enlighten me to this +1 fad?

          It’s obvious what it implies – ‘I agree or, I do indeed concur with you fine Sir, or that’s pretty sweet. Whatever it means to you it’s fine I guess. However in this age of lazy writing on a Blog that Robbie puts a ton of effort into his articles and is very well spoken and creative in his wording. Leave +1 for the lazy Millennial’s!

          Unless you are one, in that case touche.

          Go Hawks

          + 53, and Pete, John, Paul Allen, the rest of the coaches, the entire training staff, all of their Families, and us the Fans/Enthusiast’s!

          • hawkdawg says:

            I’m pretty sure it’s not a “fad” by now…unless you’ve been living under a rock, of course 🙂

            And I’m not sure prose is always better. Concision is good.

            • Thy Hawk is Howling says:

              Thank you for UR (Just Jesting) Your personal opinion HawkDawg I’m a Huskies Football enthusiast as well. That’s all I was hoping to hear from someone. I have been told mostly from my Mother that I say what I think too much for Honestly matters always to me. I get it, I’m in a mood lately because I live with Insomnia and sometimes it is so cruel so I am exhausted and misserable right now and due to that sometimes I weakly talk a little shit. That’s not who I am or want to be. IIappreciate your honesty however and Cheers to you and all you Love!

              I’ve never lived under a Rock, Sadly I’ve felt like crawling under one and Dying before.

          • mishima says:

            Agree, Mr. Howling Hawk.

            It adds nothing to the discourse, only bogs the scroll with lazy ‘agreements.’

            Carry on.

  3. Coleslaw says:

    Yes Rob I agree 100% It’s super bowl or bust for everyone. Great article

  4. cha says:

    You also have to factor in Schneider’s capability to turn a natural pick into 3 or 4 quality draft picks further down the board. They’ve consistently been able to find teams wanting to trade up, and benefit from their depth of scouting to get good players in those spots. A top team having 3 3rd round picks? That would be infuriating for fans of lesser teams.

    That gives them the flexibility to deal a high pick for a rare player like Richardson, and come 2018 have fans still upset that not all their draft picks and UDFA’s made the roster.

  5. Volume12 says:

    Great piece.

    Switching gears a bit here, I get the feeling Seattle will be checking out this VA-Tech defense more than once. Tremaine Edmunds is incredible. 6’5, 250 and runs a mid 4.4-4.6 range? Thats insane!

  6. Daniel Bryan says:

    Rob,

    Would you mind doing a piece on Justin Coleman and Isaiah Battle?

  7. Rowdy says:

    In respect to Williams, his great preseason was a bunch of contested catches. As great as they were we rarely seen separation of any kind, a big factor for Carroll. Mcevoy has been able to find the soft spot in coverage consistently and make contested catches. On top of that, how many bad plays have we seen from him? And he’s only been playing wr for two years.

    • FAN Person says:

      He dropped one pass…but who cares!

      He blocked a punt last year, had multiple WIDE open touchdown catches, covers well on ST, and even THREW a TD pass!

      Plus we have him for 3 more years cheap… RFA in 2019…

      • Thy Hawk is Howling says:

        Also having played Quarterback and Safety McEvoy has a greater understanding for coverage which allows him to be in excellent positioning. He’s a real baller straight up and has made incredible adjustments throughout his American Football career. He doesn’t get the due credit he deserves for his determination, focus, and effort he has put forth on his professional sports path!

        Can I get a +1, Psyche!

        Take a minute to say something constructive about the Man!

        Go McEvoy!

        Go Hawks!

  8. drewdawg11 says:

    I really can’t state how big it is to finally have an interior penetrator like Richardson. In the 90’s we had Cortez and even Sam Adams one-gapping and disrupting offensive lines. I would say it’s been our one defensive weakness the past few years. I do disagree with cutting Jefferson, though. It appeared that he was starting to make some plays and we don’t have enough depth there. I don’t really understand cutting Ruben, unless it’s a straight salary dump. If someone gets hurt we could be in trouble. Still, I love this trade and I can’t wait to see how they all mesh.

    • Hoberk Unce says:

      It looked to me like Rubin played poorly in this preseason. He got pushed around a lot, and since his primary role is to not get pushed around, I can see why he was let go. But seeing Jefferson go was a surprise. Maybe he isn’t 100% after last season’s knee injury, and we couldn’t see it as fans. Hard to tell.

      But I wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see a run stuffing DT come in at the expense of one of the 6 OLBs.

    • Jeff says:

      Rubin was a combination of 2 things, Salary dump for this year and next, along with declining performance last year and during preseason.

      I actually agree with the cutting of Jefferson, they brought him in to be an inside outside type of guy but in his first year the injuries ended that, and this year Bass outplayed him both inside and out. Also if you look at the last game, there were times where he lost gap discipline or didn’t set the edge when he was playing outside. He made a lot of fundamental mistakes in the run game that led to the Raiders meat puppet backups looking good. While Run defense was never going to be his forte, he looked like a straight up liability in run game. And like i said Bass outplayed him, especially when asked to play outside at DE.

  9. Hawksince77 says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but everyone keeps putting a second round pick as the cost to acquire Richardson. Isn’t it a conditional second, based on Seattle signing him past this year? A third if he walks?

    That means if Seattle extends Richardson, the second round pick is a great price for such a talent. If he hits FA and signs a huge deal elsewhere, Seattle gets a 2019 3rd round comp.

    That means, worst case, Seattle gets Richardson for 2017 at the cost of a 2018 third round pick while getting back a 2019 3rd. Sure, the future third isn’t worth as much as the earlier 3rd, but it’s close, and a small price to pay for what he adds to the defense.

    • House says:

      You hit the nail on the head. Scot’s comment about not being able to find Richardson talent in the 2nd rd solidifies that.

      I have a belief that he will see how different the team is structured in SEA compared to the Jets and some players would take a little less to play for a winner and a place they like coming to work. He already is being perceived as the “missing piece” we have coveted. He doesn’t even have a jersey with a number on it yet!

      • FAN Person says:

        …and on the Seahawks Depth Chart he is the only player (besides FB) with NO ONE listed behind him…

        I bet he gets TONS of snaps…especially if it is a one year ‘rental’, WORK that horse!!

        I bet after we SEE directly how he impacts our defense for the better, NO player on Seattle will care how much or what players it cost to keep him…

        It’s like, are you telling me if John Scheider could get Aaron Donald, he wouldn’t PAY???

        John would! Even if it cost trading Jimmy Graham for the cap space…

      • Lewis says:

        I’m not worried about the 2. Chances are, we will still wind up picking in the second anyway after trading out of the bottom of the first.

    • C-Dog says:

      There was talk of the being the case, but didn’t it ultimately end up being a 2nd and a swap of 7ths?

  10. House says:

    Rob,

    Thank you writing your piece on the WR situation. I have read so much verbal garbage on the situation and you calmly, articulately, spoke your mind and it makee sense. To me, they were business decisions that made sense.

    Darboh: 3+ years of roster control and the team seems very high on him. I don’t see the problem with him on the roster.
    McEvoy: Proven to make plays in regular season and playoff games. He also is a key contributor on ST. He is also younger than Williams. To go a step further, he has played QB. On a team only carrying 2 QBs, havnig an emergency/gadget guy NEVER hurts.

    IMO, I would have preferred Williams on the roster over McKissic, but I understand McKissic’s role. With the reluctance to use Lockett in the return game, McKissic meets a specific need. When I saw the Coleman trade happen, I thought he was going to be our return guy. It could possibly still happen.

    I personally wanted Desir to make the squad and I think that came down to the # of CBs and Ss on the team. Thompson/Desir is very parallel to Darboh/Williams in regards to roster control and versatility. I personally would’ve liked Lane gone, but that would’ve meant Griffin, Thorpe or Desir forced in the starting CB position and maybe they just weren’t 100% that was the best team decision.

    In regards to the gameplan for GB… Put Rodgers in the gas! ALL DAY!!!

    • House says:

      *GRASS, not gas

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        Gas, Grass or Ass, no-one rides for free. Sorry House, I thought of that when reading your post 😉

    • Hawksince77 says:

      Another thought on Seattle’s WRs after cuts. Maybe after two years on the practice squad Williams has reached his potential: a decent 2nd or 3rd WR. Well, Seattle already has starters at the position and it’s unlikely that Williams would be one of them, had he stuck. Whereas Darboh hasn’t even scratched the surface of his potential, or so we can assume given his rookie status.

      Perhaps Williams starts for the Browns. That would be great for him. Best case for Seattle, Darboh develops into a dominant #1WR. Worst case he busts out of the league, ala several other WRs Seattle has drafted. Most likely he develops into a competent NFL WR and contributes over the next few years.

      Regardless, Seattle probably prefers an upside guy in the 5 slot versus a player near his peak.

  11. Jeremy says:

    Nice article. The Richardson pickup was awesome. Value to a team isn’t linear. The closer you are to contending to win it it, the more valuable a difference maker is until you reach a point of diminishing returns. For example, if Sheldon Richardson is theoretically worth 2 wins to a team, the difference between 11 to 13 wins to the Seahawks is far more valuable than the difference between 4 to 6 wins for the Jets. The numbers are all theoretical but if Richardson is the difference between home field advantage and playing a game on the road, that’s way more valuable than just a piece on a rebuilding or even an average team.

    WRT Williams, sports seems to be the one discipline in life where we think we know as much as the elite folks who are running teams. If I was dealing with one of the 30 best lawyers in the nation, I would have my opinion but if my opinion differed from his, I would try to understand what the gaps in my knowledge are rather than automatically assuming the lawyer was wrong. I remember a couple year ago where to my eye Rod Smith seemed to outplay Thomas Rawls in the preseason and the team kept Rawls. Rawls went on to have a really good year and Rod Smith is depth for the Cowboys and barely ever plays. Every year, there are guys who ball out in preseason and part of the front office and coaching staff evaluation is to assign the appropriate value to each performance when weighted against all the other factors that Rob called out in this article. Do they get it right every time? No, and hopefully they learn and adjust as they go.

    What I saw from Williams was him winning on the red line on a bunch of go routes. I thought he played well enough to make the team but there may be other things that I don’t know as a fan. I’m glad he played well enough to pursue his dream as an NFL player and wish him the best. I also hope that this year is a great year for Seattle football. It sure feels that way.

    • C-Dog says:

      There were those out there who follow and write about the Seahawks who weren’t impressed with Rawls during the preseason, and didn’t see what Carroll was excited about. It’s really funny to me, I would think when the HC who has won championships and Super Bowls is excited about a certain player, maybe that is a strong indication that the player could be something special, even if the circumstances of the preseason aren’t necessarily showing that.

    • Roger Davis says:

      Your first paragraph says it all.

      There is a time when the stars align, when the reward is of such a magnitude that paying $50,000 (if that’s what it takes) to replace a broken spoke on your bike is what it takes to win the Tour de France. You spend the $50,000, win the race, and tell the story over and over for a lifetime. Priceless.

  12. joel says:

    Rob, when you said this:

    “After this game, we might see a bit more beef added to help Seattle take away the running game (their modus operandi on defense). For example, it’s hard to imagine Seattle carrying only three defenders when they head to Tennessee to take on ‘exotic smashmouth’”

    Are you thinking that they will try to bring Rubin back after that GB game (assuming he’s available), like they did with Trukafu in the past? I guess it will only be WK1/2 so maybe some talent is out there still available, but that seems like a huge gamble at such a critical position.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      That would be nice. I would defiantly feel more comfortable with the run d. I just don’t think it would be worth risk g him if they really wanted to do that.

      • FAN Person says:

        Well Rubin is making $1.5 million this year and next in DEAD money against Seattle.

        Perhaps they told him that like him and he might return “as they need him”… Kills $2.2million in salary.

        No guarantees after week one for vets, so a minimum deal for the weeks they want him might work out…

        No one has sniffed him yet for a reason.

  13. Greg Haugsven says:

    Having Richardson is flat out awesome and it does give us something we haven’t had. That being said the bread and butter of our defense is the run d. I really dont like the release of Rubin. I dont know if Richardson has good gap control or not like Carroll likes our d tackles to have. Hopefully our run defense doesnt suffer because its great to have Richardson being able to rush the passer but if you have third and short all the time because the other team is running on you then it doesnt mean much. I guess we will find out soon enough.

    • Ishmael says:

      Richardson is one of the best run defenders in the league, it’s just that he can also get after the passer as well. Rubin looked fat and weak in pre-season, he was getting shoved around. I reckon they will pick up a big boy at some point though, Carroll has always liked having a big run stuffing 3 Tech.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        As long as he stays in his gap I’m good. I didn’t realize he was such a good run defender. Still feel we need another guy for depth.

        • Ishmael says:

          Yeah, no one really talks about it but he’s a beast there as well. He is 290 pounds after all, serious unit.

        • DC says:

          I’d like to get 49ers castoff DL Quinton Dial in here on a modest 1 year deal. Bama boy. He was always solid, not spectacular. At 27 yrs and going into his 5th year he would make a nice vet pickup. When we go big up front he could man the middle with Jones/Reed and let Sheldon kick out to end.

          Rumored to be visiting the Packers on Monday though so he might not be available by week two.

  14. C-Dog says:

    Excellent piece, Rob!

    Thank you for being the steady voice of reason and perspective.

    This roster is LOADED. Love this aggressive get of Sheldon Richardson. I’m excited to see how that bad boy mixes in with Bennett and company.

    We could see early on there would be tough cuts coming. IMO, the local kid shines angle of Kasen Williams greatly intensified the sting for many. But mark my words, these boys ball out, all that sting probably goes away.

    Go Hawks!

  15. C-Dog says:

    Is anyone watching the Josh Rosen heroics right now? Wow.

  16. James says:

    Rob, you are correct as usual about the decision process of John and Pete. Everyone loves to play GM, but only a fool thinks they have more information about the performance and future plans of this team than these two.

    Relying solely on my observations of the four preseason games, I would not have been alone in asking Tom Cable to decide between Tobin and Battle, and using that 10th OL slot instead to keep Kasen Williams. I would also have kept Desir over Thorpe, as the superior cover corner.

    Yet, Kasen runs a 4.62 (at best) vs Darboh’s 4.4, and let’s be honest, Kasen does not run good routes or get separation at an acceptable level. He specialized in the spectacular post-up jump ball against backup CBs, but there is no reason on earth why John and Pete would retain Darboh if Kasen was the better receiver. Those who allege that it is an ego choice to not cut a R3 pick, need to examine their own ego first.

    Desir, as the 5th CB, would be unlikely to ever see the field, and as a FA, would be long gone next year anyway. Thorpe at least can earn his keep on Special Teams. It is fine and good to play arm-chair GM, but there comes a time when we should learn from the Master rather than having a tantrum at his feet.

    • Hawktalker#1 says:

      Fans for many teams like to express their opinions about the teams that they love. For the record, expressing your opinion doesn’t necessarily mean you are a fool.

      • Jeremy says:

        Not all opinions are equal. Some are formed with more complete information than others.

        • Hawktalker#1 says:

          That is actually a very insightful and absolutely true statement. Even on this blog there are many tiers of football experience, expertise, etc. However, just because someone, regardless of their football background, expresses their opinion on a football subject, that does not necessarily make it foolish be use someone doesn’t grew with it. We are definitely all not going to like every opinion expressed, but disagreeing with another’s opinion does not make someone’s well intended opinion foolish. Uninformed, against the grain, imperfect, perhaps. But not foolish.

  17. C-Dog says:

    That UCLA come from behind win against TAM was epic. Holy smokes. Let the Josh Rosen hype train commence. I’m on board.

    • vrtkolman says:

      How much was Rosen and how much was pitiful defense? Texas A&M let UCLA’s tight end gather 200 receiving yards in one HALF?

    • Volume12 says:

      NFL scouts will still question Rosen’s passion or the love for the game. Which is beyond ridiculous. Cant have an interest outside of football.

      That’s the type of performance that cements u as a top 3 pick.

      • Ishmael says:

        NFL guys don’t want their players thinking too much, bad for business.

        • Hawktalker#1 says:

          True. Think about it. How horrible would it be if somebody thought too much and actually ended up in somebody’s front office?

      • C-Dog says:

        The dude was cool as a cucumber when it mattered most, and for anyone to question his passion, I would have them observe his expressions at the end of the game. It was pretty evident that he was filled with emotion. Was really solid in his post game interview. What a great showing.

      • Trevor says:

        I like that Rosen speaks his mind and has a personality. Sounds like a Seahawk to me!

  18. Coleslaw says:

    I think if Richardson fits in the locker room he will get an extension over Graham. He’s young and someone to build around. Him and Clark would be great cornerstones for our D Line with Reed and Jones. We’d only have a starting DE spot not under contract for a few years and I think it’s likely we address that early in the 2018 draft. Avril and Bennett aren’t getting any younger.

    • Coleslaw says:

      Maybe Marcus Smith turns into that guy too

    • C-Dog says:

      +1

      If McDowell is able to get back in 2018, he could be looked at as the 5 tech of the future, as well.

      • Lewis says:

        It’s crazy to me that people have been talking about extending Graham. Through no fault of his own (the injury) his production doesn’t warrant it. If he has a great year this year, that’s a different story, but right now, if I had to choose between the two, Richardson would be an easy choice.

        • Volume12 says:

          Sheldon wants $18 mil a year. Jimmy had a great year last year so I’m not sure where that is coming from.

          • C-Dog says:

            $18 million is a steep price, and you know Frank Clark is going to be wanting some serious cheddar as well.

            • D-OZ says:

              LJ 8+ million…

            • Lewis says:

              Hadn’t heard that he wanted that much. Salary cap is probably going up 10 mil next year, but they already have an awful lot tied up in a relatively small number of players.

              The most dangerous part of that would be having all the other elite guys on defense wanting comparable pay. I think you get away with it for a QB because it’s a QB. But if Richardson were to get that kind of money, some of the others will want similar.

          • Lewis says:

            > Over his first two seasons with the Seahawks, 29 games, they are 13 for 31 throwing to Graham in the red zone for 120 yards, six touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 79.3.

            They brought him in to improve red zone efficiency, first and foremost. Hadn’t worked, yet. Again, that could change this year, with Graham having more time to recover from the injury.

            He could absolutely end up being worth it, but I sure wouldn’t be in a hurry to extend him until we see how this year goes.

    • vrtkolman says:

      Can’t say I disagree. Richardson is an elite talent at a rare position. Plus he’s only 26.

  19. Seahawcrates says:

    I’ve been expecting all day that Seattle would sign a run stuffing defensive tackle. Rob, your theory of a possible first game specific attack mode approach is interesting. It’s really got me thinking. Would Pete and John form a roster specific to a non division opponent and make changes after? It seems bizarre, but teams purposely cut valuable players for the first week and hope to sign them week two in order to not guarantee the player’s contract. So if teams are willing to sacrifice talent for that first week, why not build that first week for your opponent instead?
    I love the idea of an ever ready NASCAR package to go after Aaron Rodgers. Picking up run stuffers after week one makes some sense.

    • Phil says:

      Against Rodgers, Richardson’s ability to play 3 downs is a big asset. Rodgers is a wizard at going no huddle and catching opponents who are trying to get substitutions on the field. His ability to get “free” plays when the opponent has 12 players on the field is uncanny. Our front 4 are going to be gassed by the time this game is over.

  20. Volume12 says:

    2 really fun games to end the night. CFB is back!!

    UCLA QB Josh Rosen went full on Dan Marino and fake f***ing spiked it! All the while A&M HC Kevin Sumlin just watched his job go up in flames. ‘Breakdown at at the RoseBowl.’ Amazing stuff.

    And that 4th quarter of the W. Virginia/VA-Tech? 🔥

    • C-Dog says:

      I leaped out of my seat with that fake spike.

      • Volume12 says:

        Me and u both. I marked out (wrestling term).

      • Volume12 says:

        What do u think of USC HB Ronald Jones III? I forgot to ask ya yesterday.

        That dude runs hard! I sit up every time he touches the ball.

        • Volume12 says:

          6’0, 207 lbs. Jamaal Charles 2.0 or as close as ya’ll get.

        • C-Dog says:

          I thought he looked really good. Ran fast and decisive. It’s going to be a really interesting PAC 12 this year.

        • Matt says:

          Ronald Jones looked dynamite! His burst and top gear speed are impressive plus uses the stiff arm well especially for a lighter RB. Jones has to be in the conversation in that 2nd tier of RBs behind Barkley and Guice.

    • Phil says:

      Sumlin’s clock management late in the 4th qtr, was awful. His team is up by 13 pts. with something like 5 minutes left, his QB is a freshman with 2 completions in 10 attempts, and he decides to throw the ball, stopping the clock with every incomplete pass. I’m not trying to take anything away from UCLA — my alma mater — but A&M just found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  21. Steele says:

    Kasen Williams’ specialty, demonstrated in preseason, and in his college career (which was impressive, if not for injuries), were high point contested catches. Situationally, there will be moments where that ability will be missed. I would much rather have seen him on the team this season than not.

  22. Vista says:

    We might be seeing more of Quinton Jefferson since he is with the Rams now.

    • Hawktalker#1 says:

      Right, not exactly the way I had hoped to see him. Sure wish them well though, just not against us.

      GH (Go Hawks)

  23. Old but Slow says:

    Just noticed that Sheldon Richardson and Britt were only a year apart at Missouri. Have we had a comment from Britt on the acquisition? They must have met sometime in practice, like, maybe, head to head?

    • C-Dog says:

      Sheldon was with Britt at the Mariners game the other night when Britt threw out the first pitch.They took pictures together. Looks like they are buddies.

        • D-OZ says:

          Yea, me too!!!!

        • C-Dog says:

          Yeah, it kinda warmed up my spirits as well. Doing a little more reading into the guy, I thought Nik there’s a chance he fits in well in Seattle. There were a lot of folks upset inside the Jets organization that he was dealt. Apparently, in spite of the off field issues that he has had, he has a great love for the game in practice and on game day. That’s a big time plus, in my book.

  24. One thing I will probably never understand is why everyone on your 53 man roster can not suit up for game day. .the inactive list makes no sense to me.

    • Volume12 says:

      Became if a guy gets banged up but not hurt he can have some weeks off instead of going to the IR.

      There’s no way once I get to week 6 or 7 for example that a team could dress 53 healthy players.

  25. And you concerns me is I really really hope that are left tackle cab stay healthy I can remember Pete saying he would prefer to keep Luke inside .I am keeping my fingers crossed that Rees can stay healthy

  26. Volume12 says:

    If Seattle liked Ty Montgomery and P-Rich doesn’t show anything this year, keep ur 👀 on S. Carolina WR Deebo Samuel- 5’11-6’0, 210-215 lbs.

    Touched the ball on Saturday 7 times for 185 yds and 3 TDs. Or 6 times on 95 yds and 2 TDs if we take off the 90 yard opening KR

    Not saying they’d spend an early pick on a WR, but it wouldn’t be surprising. He’s one of the more fun ones to watch regardless.

  27. Mancunian Dave says:

    Another great article from Rob. Its certainly a good time to try something new against the Packers at Lambeau. I think most people would have this game down as a L in their predictions for this season, so let’s try getting at Rogers. This new approach is what they seem to have been building up to over the close season. They do need to add another DL though. They need to be able to rest/rotate Richardson and Reed and Jones is still a rookie.

    I was also a little bemused by the reaction to the Kasen cut. From how I see it they had to keep McKissic (he covers Lockett on returns and is a hedge for injury prone Procise as RB/WR hybrid), and McEvoy has some great characteristics that help create strong match-ups.

    I was more worried about the Desir cut as CB depth looks a little shallow now. Of course that probably means they are confident longer term that Shead will make it back in time after the bye week, which is placed nicely for anyone on PUP list this year.

    It is a strong looking roster, let’s just hope they can avoid the same kind of injuries as last year…

  28. seedog says:

    good read.

    Curious to hear your thoughts on the Battle trade, making the rooster at the potential costs of pushing Our known assets on the streets….this was the most disturbing move, and hope it doesn’t end up hurting long term.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think they brought him almost on a workout basis, to see how he fits. It seems he had a good pre-season. If they don’t like what they see, presumably they cut him and don’t give up a pick (it was a conditional trade). If they do like him, maybe cut one of the other OL and sign a DL.

  29. Old but Slow says:

    An interesting changing of the roster. Richardson, McDougald, Mcdonald, Lacy, Joeckel, McKissick, Madden, Battle, A Davis, Bass, Garvin, Wilhoite, Coleman, Aboushi, Tobin, Walsh, and did I miss anybody? And then the rookies.

    Griffin, Hill, Thompson, Carson, Roos, Naz Jones, Darboh and Pocic.

    I probably missed someone, but the picture is clear. Even a strong team can grow, and it looks very much like growth has happened.

    Great anticipation to see how this new chemistry works. I am jacked.

  30. D-OZ says:

    The Packer’s first pick-up was Chris Odom from Atlanta. 🙁

  31. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Known/rumored Practice Squad players so far:
    David Moore, WR
    Joey Hunt, C
    Tyrone Swoopes, TE
    Garrison Smith, DT
    Mike Davis, RB
    Cyril Grayson, WR
    Mike Tyson, CB

    courtesy Fieldgulls

    • Brseahawks says:

      Garrison Smith is probably going to join the main roster in place of Isiah Battlr after week 1.

      Mike Davis could get a call to the main squad if we make a trade or injuries bite the Seahawks in the running back group. Joey Hunt wil have a shot to make the roster if Pocic earns a stsrting spot or we see Britt injuried.

      Nice to hear that the Seahawks will be able to continue with thr Swoopes, Moore, Grayson and Tydon projects. These three could be nice long term for Seahawks. I think the first two specially could find roles to play for the Seahawks regularly long term.

    • Trevor says:

      I like that PS alot!

    • C-Dog says:

      Really jazzed up that they got Swoopes, Moore, Davis, Hunt and Grayson on this PS.

      • FresnoBrad says:

        Practice squad is loaded no complaints it’s a dream situation, Garrison smith is a big win. If we’re able to stash a 1 tech on the practice squad it’s almost unfair. Adding Battle makes sense but it also demonstrates we got issues at tackle. Are weaknesses are slot corner, OT, & back up QB! This year our LB corps is dramatically improved, safety depth improved, Guard better, DE improved, 3 tech dramatically improved, W #2 dramatically improved.

    • Matt says:

      Really surprised that Davis didn’t get picked up. Great to have him on the ps! Swooped and Moore showed some promise this preseason, dig it.

  32. Trevor says:

    Kind of off topic but I think this is the year the Hawks take a QB early to develop behind Russ. JS comes from that Ron Wolfe / Packers tree and it is a trademark to always be developing a QB.

    I think the interest in Mahomes last was legit.

    I think a guy to keep an eye on is Mason Rudolph ao Ok.St. He has a great arm, mobile and tough as nails. IMO he would be a great guy to develop behind the future 2018 NFL MVP Russ W.

    • Sea Mode says:

      I liked Josh Dobbs. We’ll see how they turn out.

    • Rik says:

      Virginia Tech redshirt freshman QB Josh Jackson had a great game against West Virginia last night. Very elusive, good speed, and a strong arm. And he won the game with a fairly porous offensive line. He’s one to keep an eye on.

    • C-Dog says:

      I definitely think that they might be drafting a QB next spring, but with the 2nd rounder dealt, not sure how early they would take one, but you never know.

      I agree that the interest in Mahomes sounded like it was very legit. One thing to keep in mind though, Schnieder had wanted to take Andy Dalton round one and Carroll didn’t, so they went with Carpenter. Then in the following year, Schnieder really wanted to pick up Wilson in round two, but Carroll wanted him to wait. It seems like, based on that history, Carroll might have a different philosophy than the Green Bay model, and if Mahomes was available at Seattle’s pick, Schnieder might have wanted to pull that trigger, but Carroll might have easily vetoed it in favor of the big pass rusher from Michigan State.

      • Volume12 says:

        Rik. I disagree. Both of those LTs in last nights game are ones to monitor here for Seattle.

        W. Virginia LT Yodney Cajuste and VA-Tech’s Yosuah Nijman. That very well could’ve been who they were scouting.

  33. Sea Mode says:

    Now just take a min to imagine Richardson and McDowell rushing the interior next year…

    Don’t know how we manage to extend both him and Clark though honestly.

    Glad Grayson Made it to PS as well.

    • BeaconHill Hawk says:

      If both Frank Clark and Sheldon Richardson have monster years and it comes down to choosing who Seattle retains, I would pick Richardson. Reason: pass rushing Defensive Tackles are rare and the Seahawks are probably going to be picking in the twenties in the First round for five years. This might be our last chance of having a true pass rushing Defensive Tackle while the championship window remains open.

      • C-Dog says:

        I think it might come down to how well Malik McDowell has recovered and probably how well Naz Jones evolves throughout the regular season. If they think they got a legit three down player in Jones that can get after the QB at the end of the season, they might let Richardson go chase his money dreams elsewhere in favor of extending Clark. If Richardson fits into the culture and shows leadership and production, and want to and a willingness to stick around, a la Michael Bennett, that could sway the organization to try to work out a deal and it might come at the expense of another popular player or two.

        • Volume12 says:

          Miami’s DL Chad Thomas- 6’5, 280-285 lbs. is someone that’s due for a breakout season and if McDowell’s injuries are career threatening could be a ‘similar’ player and had 1-2 rounds later.

          Huge personality and great athlete too. Has produced music for hip hop artists such as Rick Ross.

  34. dean says:

    Love this aggressive get of Sheldon Richardson. cost us a 2nd if he only if re-ups and a 3rd if he leaves .so let me see if I got this right Seahawks have three one year rental’s ( Richardson , lacy Joeckel ) and are own Graham and Willison so with a limit of four comp pick who do we keep and who do we let walk ?? Richardson 3rd, Graham 3rd, Lacy and Joeckel 4th thru 6th and Willison 5th thru 7th. So enjoy this super bowl run 12s !! love this front office and coaching staff! possible draft 1,2,3,3,4,4,4,5,6,7,7

    • C-Dog says:

      I don’t think that 2nd round pick is conditional. It was first reported that way but later confirmed that indeed Seattle sent their 2018 second round pick.

  35. DC says:

    2017 season predictions?

    12-4
    NFC West Champs
    NFC Champs
    And since we get there we might as well be Super Bowl Champs

    • C-Dog says:

      I was going 11-5 before the Richardson trade. I would think 12-4 or 13-3 are definitely in reach.

      We need to see how Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson hold up. I think there are some injury concerns with three of the running backs, and would be lovely to limit injuries on the OL.

      • 503Hawk says:

        This opener against GB will be big on who gets NFC home field. GB rightfully feels they got robbed a couple of times at the Clink and must have loved last years thrashing at Lambeaugh (sp). Get a win at GB = 12-4 or 13-3.
        GB, Carolina, Arizona have all turned into nice rivalries.

        • C-Dog says:

          Man, if Seattle can go into Lambeau and beat those Pesky Packers, that would be a huge start for the season. They are a different squad than the one that showed up there late last fall. I definitely give them a shot.

  36. Joshua Smith says:

    Who cares if we don’t have enough “beef”. Our weakness defensively has always been against the pass, mostly because of an inconsistent pass rush.

    • DC says:

      Our roster is designed to play against Green Bay and New England & righly so as they are our top competition. If you can’t harass Rodgers & Brady you’re getting carved up.

      A team like Tennessee might wear us down over 4 quarters by pounding the rock if the roster stays as is.

      Let’s get this season started already! Can’t wait.

  37. Kenny Sloth says:

    Jarron Jones the DT from Notre Dame on our practice squad as an OT??

  38. Volume12 says:

    Oh my god!

    Seattle is calling their D-line ‘Death Row.’ Here. For. It.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/mosesbread72/status/904788599748444160/photo/1

  39. Volume12 says:

    Some interesting notes:

    – SI’s Peter King said Seattle really wants to re-sign Sheldon Richardson

    – JLC aka Jason La ConFora estimates Seattle will have $30 mil for FA

    – One NFL executive said draft picks are becoming less and less valuable. And with all the 5th, 6th, 7th and even some 4th rounders being cut quite a bit this weekend he might actually be on to something here.

    • C-Dog says:

      Freaking love that too!!!

    • DC says:

      Gonna guess that the cash emphasis shifts a bit from the LOB to DR to make this happen. To me that means Sherman gets traded in 2018 (Colts) for at least a highish 2nd rounder & to free up the required cap space to retain both Richardson & Clark. It also means we aren’t winning the 2019 Super Bowl while the 2ndary regroups. But we just won in Minny so I’ll find a way to live with it after losing the best CB we’ve ever had.

    • Ishmael says:

      Dude that is the best thing I’ve seen all year. Death Row is an even better name than Legion of Boom.

      First guy who makes the shirt of that picture is going to make a killing on game day

      • Volume12 says:

        They definetly need a corner in the pipeline that can eventually replace Sherm down the line. I’m not sure that dude is on the roster. Quil’ was and still is my favorite pick other than Carson, but I see him as more of that corner who can slide inside the slot and back out as the #2.

        This class of CBs is a bit better than I originally thought, it ain’t as deep or talented as last years, but there’s some really nice bigger, longer project types. Still think they take a corner with 1 of their first 3 picks FWIW.

        • DC says:

          I could see a “shotgun” draft of CBs this coming year to find 1 or 2 that stick. Especially if RS does get traded. Similar to what we’ve seen at the RB position trying to find the heir apparent to Marshawn.

    • cha says:

      “One NFL executive said draft picks are becoming less and less valuable.”

      I saw that. He must mean 3rd round & later, because teams are still giving up boatloads of trade value for 1st and 2nd round picks. That can only be good for the Hawks, as they’ve consistently gotten value out of trading down and stockpiling picks. And when you have a stocked roster, you can more readily trade future picks for established players to fill needs, since you can nearly count on picking some other teams’ pocket in a trade down situation in the next draft.

      A market inefficiency the Hawks are all to happy to exploit!

  40. FuzzyLOgic says:

    Sweet to see Britt and Sheldon at the Mariners game together!

    Sheldon will be a monster on our line…period. He may end up being the best player on our line. Remember being pretty excited about getting Avril and Bennett? Remember he played in a 3-4 defense on the Jets and was consequently used entirely wrong. He is a top 3..4-3..3-tech. He is a tough minded player who will fit right in with the boys in blue. My guess is PC/JS have wanted him for a awhile now and I don’t see them wanting him around for just “a one year rental”. Obviously it will be tough to give him a 4 year 70 million dollar deal or whatever it takes but it can be done even signing Clark to a deal worth about same. We need young studs to replace Avril and Bennet….and we have them already!

    So if Richardson and Clark totally ball-out how would we make it work? Cut Jimmy? What?

    • Ishmael says:

      Sherman starts shaping up as a guy to trade/cut tbh. Especially if Griffin shows up in a big way.

    • C-Dog says:

      They wouldn’t cut Graham but that might mean that they don’t resign him.

    • cha says:

      The may have some room with Avril. In 2018, he’ll be 32, in the last year of his deal and have a $7.5m cap savings / $500k dead $ if cut. The Hawks may take the tough route and cut him altogether in order to keep Clark and Richardson, but also could extend him and save some cap $.

  41. DC says:

    Jimmy’s an FA. It’s gonna be a Sherman trade. 😔

  42. Jeff says:

    My surprise with Williams being cut had less to do with the WR they kept in his place and more to do with the fact they only went with 5 WR, and 10 Oline. However it seems that the team feels with Procise and even Mckissic that a 6 WR is too much.

    I always felt Darboh was going to make it. Heard good thing about him in practice. To me they way he run routes and his size… well he looks like a young Anquan Boldin in the making. Williams looks like a redline route only guy, similar to what Kearse was his first year. Didn’t see much inside work from him. To me both PRich and Lockett are good Redline route guys, and we have seen PRich last year and preseason elevate and grab a tough ball. It looked a little more effortless at times during the preseason for Williams but he was a high jumper in Track & Field.

    While Williams played well in ST McEvoy seemed like the better player there. We have also seen how McEvoy can contribute during an entire season Haven’t seen that with Williams. I felt that gave McEvoy a huge leg up going into preseason and it isn’t like he failed to look good. He did, so experience and superior ST play got him the nod.

    I felt they would keep 6 WR, and the 6th would be Williams, but alas they only kept 5. But this is probably best for Him. Sure he is going to a team without an established QB. However, he has the opportunity to create chemistry with the young QB, and the depth chart there is about 3 guys at best. Right now for the brown i would pencil in Coleman and Britt as the first 2, after that i would say he is only behind Sammie Coates for the #3 spot, who is a recent acquisition himself. Neither Britt nor Coates is all the great, and neither have been really impressive in their career to date. Williams could supplant both or one by the years end. That wouldn’t of happened in Seattle without an injury.

  43. Volume12 says:

    U guys think Seattle is desperate for OTs in this years draft or what? And it’s a good, deep position group this year too.

    Battle, Tobin, and Jarron Jones. Those types signal something, but I’m not sure what.

    • Ishmael says:

      I actually think they’ve got the right idea about the O-Line and how to address it, it just hasn’t quite come together yet. There’s some interesting analytics work being done by some rugby guys, they seem to think team cohesion is massively important to success – and that it comes from the top down. Stable coaching/head offices lead to continued success – look at the Patriots, the Steelers, the Seahawks in recent years… There’s a reason they’re always there or thereabouts. And then, similarly, they’ve largely been able to keep a core of players together. If we’re able to give a few guys a consistent run on the O-Line, it’ll pay dividends in the long run – as they get more comfortable with each other their overall performance will improve. Individual skill is only one indicator of performance, and it’s less important than most people think.

    • Coleslaw says:

      It’s gonna be interesting, it’s way early but I see it as either OT or DE after we trade out of the first round. Both are super deep and we need to make up a bit for not having a 2nd.

  44. FuzzyLOgic says:

    By the way….Rob, good to have you back brother. Hope fatherhood is keeping you happy 🙂

    • Hawktalker#1 says:

      Ditto. Hello Thomas the train and Paw Patrol. If I had a nickel for every toy injury to my feet I have related to just one of those two brands, I’d be a rich man.

  45. Volume12 says:

    Boy. The NFL has a ‘loaded’ 1st week lined up.

    How’s this for some All-time great QB play? Josh Allen hype train just went into overdrive baby!

    Scott Tolzien vs Jared Goff
    Blake Bottles vs Tom Savage
    Nathan Peterman vs Josh McCown

  46. Donald says:

    Thank you Rob for adding some sense and putting me at ease with Williams getting traded.

    Thank you also for the video above showing Darboh repeatedly beating Griffin for a touchdown over and over again by calling the same play. He appeared unstoppable. 🙂

  47. dean says:

    hello ROB can you give your thought’s on the newest Seahawks how they fit : Jarron Jones OT(Tom Cable new project??) like the NYG or DT while at Notre Dame. 6’6 320 with 35-inch arms . linebacker Austin Calitro ,offensive lineman Isaiah Battle (Tom Cable new project??)6’6″ 312-pounds with 35-inch arms and slot/cornerback Justin Coleman