The reality of what we’re seeing from the 2023 QB class

September 19th, 2022 | Written by Rob Staton

While watching Seattle’s latest outing against San Francisco, you may have taken comfort in thinking about next years draft.

After all, the media have done a great job telling you it’s a remarkable quarterback class loaded with options.

Unfortunately, after three weeks of the college football season, there are more questions than answers.

Nobody has started in the way Joe Burrow did in 2019 for example. There are some intriguing players but that’s the adjective you’d have to use to describe them. Couched language is necessary at the moment.

I’m afraid to say this is not a group so far that is ‘other worldly’ — as has been portrayed. I want to go beyond the rhetoric of the ‘amazing’ quarterback class and try and describe what’s really going on.

For a variety of reasons the group is yet to really get firing. There’s still time for that to happen — but it has been a bit of an underwhelming start.

At this stage I don’t think we can assume that the antidote to that performance in Santa Clara yesterday — and the future of this team — is going to be readily available next April.

It is still possible though. There’s plenty of time left for fortunes to change and form to be established. There are good quarterbacks (and players at other positions) who will be part of the 2023 draft.

But again — it should be noted that the narrative of this being a mind-blowing class perhaps needs to be toned down.

Here are my quarterback notes from the weekend…

More of the same from Will Levis

Kentucky’s quarterback has a legit chance to be the first quarterback taken. Yet his first three games have been a mixed bag.

Youngstown State were never going to provide the sternest test and so it proved. Levis showed off his amazing physical traits, command of the play-action heavy Shanahan-style offense and ability to make impressive throws from a strong base.

He also had another game where his O-line tried to get him injured (his right tackle is absolutely horrendous) and he threw two more interceptions.

His first pass of the game was a great play-action play. He launched it down the middle for a 27-yard gain. Classic Levis — play-fake, set and throw. It will excite the pro-teams how comfortable he is operating in this system.

Levis’ first two third down plays resulted in sacks. The second was arguably a coverage sack but the reality is it was another four-sack, multiple-hit day. He faces weekly adversity in the pocket that the likes of C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young never encounter.

He showed off his easy arm strength again and can launch a rocket on an in-route 15-30 yards downfield with a little flick of the wrist/arm. He arrows passes into tighter windows and defenders often can’t recover when the receiver separates because Levis is adept at setting, being decisive and getting the ball to the target quickly.

His throwing base and balance is often textbook and when it isn’t — it’s obvious as we’ll discuss in a moment. The positives in terms of technique, his size/frame, his throwing motion, his experience in this offense, his arm strength and the fact he is elevating Kentucky will make him highly attractive to teams and he has arguably the best shot of the 2023 quarterback class to come in and start quickly.

The negative is obvious. He had 13 interceptions last season and it was important to get that number down this year. So far, he has four in three games. Really he only has three because one of those picks was a sack/fumble that looped into the air as he cocked his arm back to throw. Even so — it’s too many.

I will say — I’m not overly concerned by it. There are good and bad interceptions. None of Levis’ are as bad as Anthony Richardson’s (more on him later). Bryce Young has also thrown similar picks to Levis.

I’ll repeat this from my article last week:

— In Patrick Mahomes’ final year at Texas Tech he had a run of six straight games with an interception. He lost seven games in total. He had 25 interceptions in his last two seasons in college.

— In Andrew Luck’s final year at Stanford he ended with a run of six straight games with an interception. He lost two games in his final year despite playing on a loaded Stanford team. He had eight games with 256 passing yards or fewer.

— Josh Allen had 21 interceptions in his final two years in college. He had a completion percentage of just 56.3%. He had three games in 2017 with sub-100 passing yards and he started his final season with six picks in his first seven games.

— Russell Wilson had 25 interceptions in his final two years at NC State. He never had a completion percentage above 60% at NC State. He had 11 games at Wisconsin where he threw 255 yards or fewer — including six sub-200 yard games. He also lost three games in his final season at Wisconsin.

If Levis was being reckless, indecisive, misreading coverages and costing his team games — it would be a worry. I think the reality has been very different.

On his first pick it was a good play by the defender. He tried to look someone off in the red zone, then snap his head back round to the left and throw. It’s a risky play-call because you have to hold the right side for longer than you’d want and then throw almost blind to the slant from the left. The defender stuck in coverage well, the receiver didn’t run through his route and it led to a pick.

Rich Scangarello, who doesn’t mince his words or protect Will Levis during interviews, blamed the receiver for this pick in his post-game interview.

He was critical of Levis for the second pick and rightly so. He doesn’t step into the throw, he’s leaning back and it sails on him. The pass flies over the head of the intended target and it’s an easy interception. That’s bad execution from the QB, poor technique.

Here’s the thing though. Can you teach a quarterback with generally good technique most of the time to make sure he steps into a throw like this to avoid making a similar mistake in the future? Of course. If Levis’ technique was generally bad and he needed his mechanics re-working — that’s a problem. If he doesn’t read a defender and throws it straight to him, that’s a problem.

These picks don’t bother me in terms of draft stock. I want to see Levis throw fewer interceptions, 100%. To me it feels completely fixable though and everything else is really good.

With 6:50 left in the first half he broke away from pressure, set off running and picked up 24-yards. He can do that because he’s an elite athlete. His two passing touchdowns were made to look simple and easy — a whip-route and a fade both in the red zone.

He threw a post with great velocity over the middle and there were multiple examples of him going through progressions and reaching a third target. Few college QB’s do that.

I think a ton of teams needing a quarterback next year are going to look at Levis and feel he has the physical tools, the athleticism, the knowledge of pro-concepts, the technique and the personality to lead their team. And these aspects will outweigh the things he needs to improve. As such, he will be a very high pick.

But there’s no doubt he can play better than he has so far and I can’t say with conviction that he can be ‘special’. I do think, however, that he’s very capable of coming into the league and playing at a reasonable level somewhat quickly.

A final note on this game. The referee misspoke on a penalty and accidentally said, “Piss interference, defense”. It made me chuckle.

Bryce Young had a mixed game

Having led Alabama to a comeback win against Texas with one wonderful quarter of football offsetting three awful quarters, Young had a similar fluctuating performance in a blowout win against UL Monroe.

He threw a terrible interception in the first half. He had all the time in the world in the pocket but decided to scramble anyway. He tried to create something and just lobbed it downfield recklessly. He didn’t come close to giving his receiver a chance to make a play — it just went directly to the defender. It was a hopeless throw-and-hope play.

You can’t make that mistake under no pressure.

Strangely, it benefitted Alabama. Two plays later Will Anderson caught a tipped pass and returned it for a pick-six. Then, on the corresponding series, Alabama blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown. The pick sparked a 14-0 run.

Young showed off his creative ability as a runner on a scrambling TD, twisting away from two defenders to reach the end zone. He also had another sort-off turnover when he threw incomplete on fourth down. It was a rushed play as they tried to get the snap off before the end of the first quarter. Nobody was ready, Young threw it in a hurry and the receiver was nowhere near it. Careless.

There’s a lot of RPO stuff in Alabama’s scheme which I’m not a huge fan of. It’s going to be a lot harder for Young to read defenders in the NFL than it is at Alabama against these overmatched opponents.

He had a tremendous deep pass down the right side of the field — throwing to his tight end in a favourable matchup. Young showed ideal ball placement and a good arm. On the next play he directed traffic to throw to an uncovering receiver in the end zone.

He had a second interception on an inaccurate pass thrown high and slightly behind. It was tipped and picked off. His third score was a dump-off into the flat and the running back ran for 40 YAC.

There’s no doubt he’s a very naturally talented player. He’s creative and can be very exciting to watch. However — it also has to be noted that he has not started as well as he ended last year. He benefits greatly from superior pass-pro and playing on a loaded team. And there isn’t anyone like him in the league. He is very slight and undersized.

What is his upside? How good can he be? These are very difficult questions to answer.

While it’s very tempting to point to the likes of Kyler Murray as evidence for smaller players succeeding — Young lacks the ‘wow’ factor that Murray had or the unique physical tools. I think Young is better than Tua Tagovailoa was at Alabama — but I’m not sure he has the upside of Murray or Russell Wilson either.

Jaren Hall continues to impress

BYU laid an egg against Oregon (which was disappointing seeing as I took them +4) but despite the lopsided game, Hall actually played quite well.

When I watched his 2021 tape I thought it was underwhelming. I’ve watched all three of his games this season and I like what I’ve seen. He has a good arm (looks better than a year ago), he’s creative, mobile, throws with touch but can put a bit of mustard on things when needed and he lofts passes into good areas similar to Russell Wilson at Wisconsin.

He’s an older player — a year older than even Will Levis. He’ll be a 25-year-old rookie. I don’t think he’s necessarily a first round prospect but this is the problem with quarterback assessment. We only ever tend to talk about players in first round or undraftable terms.

Hall could be a day two type who can stick. He’s intriguing to me. There’s something there.

Tyler Van Dyke is being let down

Not to make excuses for him. He can and should be playing better.

However — I detest the Mario Cristobal offense.

Everything is painfully conservative. Cristobal makes Pete Carroll look like a maverick renegade in terms of balls-to-the-wall high-octane new-age football.

Case in point — they were trailing 17-3 late in the game. They’re in the red zone. They ran on 3rd and goal from about eight yards out and didn’t score. Then kicked a field goal.

I’m not a Miami Hurricanes fan — but I was shouting at the screen at this point.

Over and over again they kept throwing passes behind the line of scrimmage and hoping for YAC. As we saw in Oregon with Cristobal — it’s a whole bunch of runs, screens, slants, extended hand-offs and it’s boring.

When they needed points, they kept kicking. Despite the fact their kicker was having a rough day.

TVD burst onto the scene last season throwing all over the field, regularly topping 300 yards and looking brilliant. Now he struggles to get to 200 yards, doesn’t look remotely comfortable and his draft stock is taking a hammering.

Even so, he still has to do better.

He almost threw an interception on his first drive failing to read the safety properly and throwing to the left front corner of the end zone. His base was poor, he took a big stride forwards to step into the throw which impacted his velocity and he was lucky the safety didn’t pick it off.

He nearly threw another pick to the right sideline. He didn’t step into his throw properly, double clutched just as he did vs Southern Miss last week. He tossed an ugly looking throw and again was fortunate not to turn it over.

There were other times where he missed the target and his radar felt off throughout. He did also suffer from some bad drops (including a particularly egregious flub by the running back on 3rd and 9 on the second drive).

His top receiver and roommate was also injured and out of this game.

It wasn’t all bad and Miami mixed in some good running with the occasional flourish in the passing game. He chucked a nice wheel route to the tight end despite facing heavy pressure.

Yet Cristobal played the entire game like they were leading by three points, not trailing throughout.

I would hate to have him coaching my team. It’s boring. The entire game plan is frustrating and dull. The offense doesn’t attack opponents and is safe. TVD is not thriving in this system, just like Justin Herbert didn’t.

An easy day for C.J. Stroud

A game against Toledo was never going to trouble Stroud but it was an opportunity to show off his physical qualities again.

He flashed wonderful footwork to throw a brilliant post to set up the first touchdown — a red zone shot which is really well caught by Marvin Harrison Jr. He looked brilliant on play-action — dropping, setting and throwing with accuracy, velocity and base.

Stroud had a ‘wow’ touchdown on the move. He scrambled and extended the play then threw from the right side to the one area of the end zone where his receiver could make the catch. It was terrific improv, skill and creativity.

He throws out-routes with impressive ease.

He also had a somewhat dangerous, fortunate downfield shot to Harrison Jr which was almost picked-off but ended up being a big positive play.

His third and fourth scores were an easy red zone touchdown to Harrison Jr who was wide open, then he threw an equally easy red zone pass to Julian Fleming. It was 42-14 at half-time. The fifth touchdown, again, was a very easy wide open throw in the red zone.

It was very easy but also, I suppose, another strong showcase of what he’s capable of. Ohio State don’t have a really difficult game until Michigan in late November. They have some Big-10 games that shouldn’t be difficult (but you never know) against Wisconsin, at Michigan State and at Penn State.

Stroud has a great opportunity to dominate the Heisman conversation and have an undefeated regular season. There’s no doubting the immense physical talent he has. There are special throws in his arsenal. We just need to see him consistently do it against tougher opponents — while improving his processing and intermediate accuracy in those contests.

And that’s the key thing. It’s all well and good doing it against Arkansas State and Toledo. He was ‘off’ against Notre Dame. How will he perform in his more challenging Big-10 contests and, eventually, the playoffs? Consistency and exciting plays in those games will define how high he goes.

Some thoughts on Michael Pennix Jr

Although this is a Seahawks Draft Blog — I’ve never really had Husky or Coug fans pushing for their own.

Until this year.

I’m asked a lot — on Twitter, via email, on YouTube — about Cam Ward (who I haven’t watched) and Pennix Jr.

Firstly, I thought Pennix Jr played very well against Michigan State. Washington haven’t been a fun or interesting team in a long time. They look fun again.

However — let’s not forget that Michigan State had the worst passing defense in college football last season. It looks no better in 2022. They were a fraud being ranked at #11. The good news is — Ken Walker clearly carried that team last year and now he’s in Seattle.

On top of that, Kalen DeBoer’s scheme is very quarterback friendly. He was appointed for his work at Fresno State where he made Jake Haener look good. The design and scheming is terrific, modern and a real positive for UW. They are in good hands.

But I think people are going to start talking up Pennix Jr as a major pro-prospect and we really need to be careful with that. He is a player who achieved very little in four years with Indiana. Last year he had four touchdowns and seven picks before getting hurt. He’s had three major injuries in his career. He’s playing in a system that does a lot of the heavy lifting and doesn’t demand too much from the quarterback in terms of progressions.

He’s in a scheme that is great for quarterbacks and he’s enjoyed playing the opponents he has so far. Right now — I’d suggest just enjoying the games and letting this thing roll.

It’s time to let Anthony Richardson be

Despite all of the impressive physical tools — Richardson isn’t ready for the NFL.

He needs to focus on development this year.

He is yet to throw a touchdown pass and has now delivered four interceptions. He played badly again in a nail-biting Florida win against South Florida. A quick reminder — USF were 28-0 down in the first quarter against BYU two weeks ago.

Richardson did everything he could to help the Bulls pull off an upset.

He threw a dreadful interception on 3rd and 7 with 12:16 remaining in the third quarter. He progressed to his second read and yet I have no idea what he saw to make him think, ‘I’m throwing this’. He chucked it over the middle and didn’t see the defender, who was just stood there waiting to pick it off. It was a horrible mistake and showed the great processing we saw in week one against Utah was a mirage.

The error blew open the game. Florida was in control and suddenly, they were on the ropes.

Then, in an attempted recovery, he helped Florida to first and goal at the five with 7:58 remaining. Richardson tried to throw a back shoulder fade to the left front corner of the end zone. The defender just read it, gained position and intercepted the pass. He needed to throw the pass higher with more loft.

Florida escaped with a 31-28 win because South Florida duly threw a pick of their own and blew a chance to pull off the upset.

Richardson finished 10/18 for 112 yards, a QBR of 11.6 and again he was a non-factor as a runner — going 7/24.

He simply isn’t ready to be talked about as a NFL prospect. He might just be a great athlete, to be honest. We have seen nothing in the last two weeks to think he should even be on the pro-radar. He has the tools, now he needs to become an actual quarterback.

He has a career TD/INT ratio of 7/10. He is off the radar until he plays far better than this. He looks like a player with a handful of starts. At this rate, he might be benched soon.

Closing thoughts

Based on what we’re seeing so far — I’m not convinced Tyler Van Dyke and Anthony Richardson will even declare. That could create a three horse race at the top of the first round involving Levis, Stroud and Young.

A lot of teams need a quarterback and appear to be readying themselves to draft one in 2023.

It’s still far too early to say definitively how easy it’ll be for the Seahawks to find an answer — whether that’s based on how the prospects perform or how many games Seattle wins.

However — based on what we saw in Santa Clara — they are going to need to find impact game-changers who dramatically increase the talent level on this team moving forwards.

The plan to do so — moving on from Wilson, getting a bunch of picks — is sound.

Actually being able to execute is a whole different ball game. Ask the 49ers how easy it is to find a quarterback, after they spent a kings ransom to acquire Trey Lance. Ask the Colts — who go from one tired quarterback option to the next year after year. Ask the Bears — who haven’t had a franchise quarterback in decades.

The assumption that solutions in the draft would be readily available was comforting and helped justify the direction. It might not be quite as simple as some perhaps considered.

As such, Seahawks fans deserve to see more than they did on the field on Sunday. As they try to see a future that involves competitive football again — the baffling trick-plays in the red zone, the poor tackling, the six quarters of scoreless, impotent offense where they struggle to cross half-way (let alone threaten the scoreboard), the inability to game-plan D.K. Metcalf into any kind of role, the missing-in-action running game — it all needs to be far better to warrant faith in this process.

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180 Responses to “The reality of what we’re seeing from the 2023 QB class”

  1. Big Mike says:

    If I’m Van Dyke, I declare no matter where I’m projected just to get away from Cristobal. I also hope that the pros take into account how I played before Boring Mario arrived and also how Herbert has thrived since he got away from that system.

    • Henry Taylor says:

      It might make more sense for him to enter the transfer portal to rebuild his stock somewhere else before declaring.

      • Seattle Person says:

        If he does declare, he can make up a ton of stock based on how he looks during pre-draft process.

    • Palatypus says:

      TVD repeat after me, “transfer portal.”

      • Kyle R. says:

        Honestly Palatypus that is what I would do if I were him. Transfer to a more friendly offense and put a years worth of good tape out there and then declare the next year. I can’t see how Cristobal will be able to recruit a decent QB with his history of neutering the good ones he’s had.

    • seaspunj says:

      you have a solid point. I do think even if TVD gets drafted late in the 1st or early 2nd he can sit and learn the NFL game vs regress under Christobal.

    • DJ 1/2 way says:

      So guys shut it down before the bowl game. I think there were a few that did it earlier. If I was TVD I would shut it down right now and prepare for the draft.

  2. Rob Staton says:


    Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith has filed to trademark “They wrote me off, I ain’t write back though.”

    He uttered the phrase after beating former Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and the Broncos 17-16 in Monday Night Football.

  3. Maybe I should be more upset or disappointed in Seahawks loss but I really not because they are what they are. they aren’t that good. I guess if anything really bothers me it’s the poor tackling on the defense isn’t it suppose to improve at some point..I have been reading 49ers Twitter today it’s interesting . A lot of people angry with Kyle . It’s second down and 8 yards to go. And we run Trey Lance up the middle like a fullback . Three number one draft choices doesn’t look like a great deal for San Francisco at this more thing Rob any possiblity of moving Gabe Jackson at the trade deadline?I am not all that impressed with him these days

  4. Denver Hawker says:

    Broncos injuries are piling up and what was a rough looking schedule, looks even harder now. I think they’re a wild card contending team talent-wise, but hard to see them yielding worse than a Top 15 pick, maybe even Top-10 given current trajectory.

    The prospect of 4 picks inside top 45 next year has me really enjoying watching CFB again.

    • Bmseattle says:

      I really dont want to have to package those picks to move up for a QB.
      This teams needs as many shots as possible at top tier talent.
      We’re going to need those picks for other positions.

  5. Palatypus says:

    Top Gun III: Maverick Renegade

    Starring Pete Carroll.

  6. cha says:

    Salk is already laying the groundwork for excuses…”it’s really hard to stay motivated after that Week One”

  7. AlaskaHawk says:

    With college quarterback prospects getting reduced by attrition and performance, it’s a good idea to keep our eye on the prize. Seahawks cannot win more than 3 games if they want to have their pick of quarterbacks. In 2020 this would have been a third place worst performance. If the Seahawks finish higher, they my as well figure on keeping Geno Smith for another year.

    Also – while I don’t like Pete Carrolls play calling or training methods, If you think there is angst about finding a quarterback just wait till Pete is gone and they are looking for a new coaching staff! Both these events could happen simultaneously.

    • Cambs says:

      And they are likely in the end to have the worst of the strength of schedule draft slot tiebreaker against most comers owing to the AFC West-NFC West murderer’s row they play. If they manage to beat Atlanta this week, they might be in a spot already where we need them to run the table (with Ls).

      1992 Seahawks – 2022 Seahawks handshake meme: blowing your chance to draft a franchise quarterback thanks to a cathartic and irrelevant home win over the Broncos.

  8. Roy Batty says:

    Pete says they’re holding Geno back by playing conservative.

    You heard it people…(Let me channel my inner Liam Neeson)


  9. Thomas says:

    Again, as a huskies fan I agree with you on Penix. I’m going to enjoy him but not push for him as a high pick. He’ll get a shot as a UDFA and maybe even a 6th round pick. Really fun to watch though.

    Rob, as a real wildcard what if the Seahawks tried to sign Lamar Jackson? (Provided we didn’t have to trade anything…)

  10. JJ says:

    Going into this year I thought with Wilson gone we might see more of a Rams style offense. With Wilson’s influence and preferences out the door we would see motion and an innovative look. I know Geno has his limitations, but what I have watches the first 2 games of the year is similar to what my high school ran almost 30 years ago.

    I have seen no effort to get DK the ball or throw down field. No motion.

    I don’t mind the losing as I expected that, but the way this team plays is just boring and hard to watch.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I have a question about whether the receivers are getting open. I guess San Fran put their best defender on Metcalf. Anyway, I’m just curious whether Geno has anyone open to throw to? How much of this is bad passing and how much is I can’t get open? I guess that goes back to predictable play calling and pass routes.

  11. cha says:

    PC Show on 710

    [q] What happened yesterday? “Didn’t play well in any phase, special teams was solid. I wanted to get this done right, didn’t come out of the short week well. Made mistakes, gave them opps to make it easy. Not on our game. That’s my fault. I gotta get it ready. We knew it would be that way. Didn’t get it done. Penalties badly hurt us. Clean up easily.”

    [q] Post-Week One letdown? “Have to deal with that game as we go towards SF. Play like garbage now we gotta get ready from the other end of the spectrum. Consistent at, find focus. Challenged by it, gotta get it done this week.”

    [q] (Huard) Gauge emotional tank of group? “Watch, all of signals. Wednesday felt it. Short day walk through practice. Didn’t feel right. Friday was pretty clean. Guys doing stuff right. You could kinda tell we were still a little bit foggy. I take it too. WE carried it too, that was a big game, we had a lot of good fun. We need to overcome it with good play. They came roaring out after a loss last week.”

    [q] Concerned about offense? “Haven’t had easy drive. Convert bigger plays, changing field position. Double pass perfect play, DK catch. Official said to me pregame OL downfield stricter. Used to have grey area. Bit us twice in game. Didn’t have chance to convey to players, heard that just before kickoff.”

    [q] (Huard) Only 47 snaps offense? Physical or mental? “Mistakes we haven’t made. Missed INT didn’t run route correctly, allowed safety to be more involved. Mental things can be fixed. Tried to much on a short week. Not as clean as we need to be. Two weeks of Geno play, got his game ready to go. Not hold him back at all. Solidly conservative so far. Didn’t have much mix that we needed. Too many explosive avenues to go to.”

    [q] What you mean by expand? “DK, the tight ends get them the ball. More of the attack. Haven’t shown it. Don’t convert don’t get chances. Last week second half only had ball 3 times. Same this game.”

    [q] Geno shown you ready? “Handling everything fine. Calm, poised, accurate, hooking up with Tyler first couple weeks. Need to use the speed we have. Marquise Goodwin will be a factor for us.”

    [q] (Huard) Need to take two go-route shots, league be strict on flags, illegal contact, reward bad throws, don’t you have to take shots downfield? “You can’t throw 8 deep balls when you’re not making first downs. Odds aren’t very good. Absolutely on point, make everyone play the game, that means the officials too. Official told me ‘I can’t not throw flag’..What are you talking about, you can not throw it!”

    [q] (Huard) League rewarding poor execution, poor throws, feels like a tool to utilize? “I agree.”

    [q] Tackling a problem again, improve tackling in practice? “Have to get off blocks better. Chenna hits RB 4 yards deep but we make the tackle for loss because others there. We need to be better schematically there. Some plays behind the LOS make tackles. Can’t remember those because of all the other bad plays. Taylor missed Deebo on 50 yard play in backfield, changes the game entirely. Get more guys to the football. I see it more schematically we need to play better. They did a nice job on us yesterday. They earned their win.”

    [q] Deebo Samuel? “Incredible FB player. Runs through, around tacklers. Unique. Glad he only ran 4x yesterday.”

    [q] (Huard) Rookies not overwhelmed. Cross? “Getting going. finding consistency with so much room for improvement. Holding up. Hard game, good solid game. Got knocked back a few times. As did Abe. Nice job, Bosa knocked back both. Few mistakes from Abe. Won’t make those mistakes consistently again. Physically held up.”

    Ken Walker? “We’ll see him, it’ll happen. Didn’t make enough space for him. Exciting FB player. He’s something. Excited for contributions.”

    Boye Mafe? “Did well again, got the QB, made a couple nice plays. Strong, good athlete, fast. He needs to play more. He will.”

    Tariq Woolen? “Knocked a TD for us. Shows you the tackle he made on Deebo. Guy on asset on our team to keep Deebo from scoring TD. Had a couple fits in the run game, gaining confidence. Corners covering guys. Getting a couple PI’s but we’ll fix it. They’re getting them because they’re close to the WRs.”

    • cha says:

      [q] (Huard) Tell the truth Monday? “Expressing we had chance coming off a win, didn’t capture it. Coming off a loss we have to capture it. Answer the bell. We will get this done.”

      [q] Last time you ran a 3-4? “Never strictly 3-4. Some of time 3-4. Part of the scheme. Need all to get it done. Big mix.”

      [q] Challenge of adjusting to running this concept? “Back in SF days, doing same thing doing now. Didn’t call it 3-4 but same stuff. Exactly that. Really good back then too. Not really a departure, doesn’t feel new, except for style of athletes you need to play. We need 2 guys instead of 1 guy.”

      [q] Pros and cons of 3-4? “Pros, have guys on outside to cause problems, better position to come off and be part of game plan. Instead of down inside. Happened yesterday, fans to watch how players play edge. Chenna great start. Experience, knows when to and how to. Taylor and Mafe still learning. Factor of outside guys makes it special.”

      [q] Maximize talent? “Didn’t get explosive plays.”

      • James Z says:

        So Pete knew pre-game that the refs were going to clean-up down field blockers on the OL and ‘didn’t have a chance’ to tell them?!?! Really, that is a just flat-out lame excuse.

        • cha says:

          I think what he meant by that is not literally to walk over and tell the guys but drill it in practice.

          But still, I have a hard time understanding how the NFL would just drop “oh by the way we’re enforcing this more tightly” minutes before kickoff.

          NFL clubs have constant communication with the league, particularly on penalties. Teams send clips in that were or were not called all the time.

          If the league made some sweeping mandate and didn’t put it in writing, but just trusted the refs to give word right before the game, I’m guessing several coaches would be making a ton of noise about that, and Schefter, Rapaport and Florio would do segments on it.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I love that Boye Mafe is already getting the ‘needs to play more’ line

      Cue fewer snaps next week

      • Mick says:

        Taylor plays more than he should. Same with Myles Adams, you know Harris is banged, keep him in the roster, or you end up playing Woods and Jefferson more than you should.

      • Bmseattle says:

        It’s funny cuz its true.

      • cha says:

        Also props to “we have all these weapons but we’re not using them enough”

        • Roy Batty says:

          The Baldwin with Sherman goof off pressers had more truth to them than Pete’s.

          Pete stating the obvious, then promptly forgetting his own talking points by the time the next game comes around.

  12. Jackson says:

    With how the college football season has started out, I’m slowly starting to entertain the possibility in my mind of just drafting Will Anderson Jr. with our first pick (assuming he’s even still there when we’re selecting).

    • Ben says:

      Loving the in-season attention to the draft. I think it’s worth still tracking some of the guys who are struggling since it hasn’t stopped some guys from going into the draft. Doesn’t seem like we have to get the #1 pick, but a top 4-5 pick seems necessary to avoid having to trade up. If we have to draft a top defender that’s not the worst thing at least. 4 picks in the top, likely 50, means we should be able to get a high floor or higher upside QB somewhere in there hopefully. I would hate to the Colts, having a good roster and never pulling the trigger on a QB, but patience is worth it early in the build.

      Adjacent thought- we don’t really have any expiring contracts that are worth trading for picks. Having the trade deadline be interesting is always nice for a crappy season but oh well. I guess we haven’t seen Schneider with a bad squad in a long time. For the sake of memory lane..

      In 2010 the hawks made more trades than I remembered… 6 trades sent players away, 6 trades brought players in. The only in season trades saw Marshawn come to town for a 4th/5th and Deion Branch leave for a 4th (that became KJ!)

      The rest of the (non-win now) trades during the season:
      In 2011 the hawks traded Aaron Curry for a 2012 7th and 2013 5th. Sweezy and Simon.

      In 2014 Percy for a 6th

      In 2019 Nick Vannett for a 5th

      So *big* names 3 times and Vannett when another team came calling.

      The only names that vaguely fit are: Penny (but we can hardly run as is), Collier (for a conditional 2033 7th), Drew Lock (embarrassing, and leaves us on empty at QB), and then a mix of vets like Godwin, Jones, Burns, Coleman. None of which are likely to fetch much, plus have been hurt aside from Godwin.

      Boring! Dark horses could include Fant, Q Jeff, G Jackson, Shelby Harris, and Al Woods. The latter of which seem like key players that fit well with the team.

      • cha says:

        The opposite is also true.

        Schneider has occasionally struck gold with some in-season value trades. Getting Quandre Diggs for a swap of 5th and a future 7th has paid off tremendously. Carlos Dunlap for the dead weight of BJ Finney made 2020 somewhat less unbearable.

        • Ben says:

          I was focusing more on trades of players for picks. I put those both in the win now bucket- however they definitely did make the season better! And the Diggs trade would be a great fit for this team if they could do it again for a similar player. Perhaps they’ll be some more shrewd trades of that ilk.

  13. Trevor says:

    Great writeup as always Rob!

    Was listening to the post game video and I could not agree more there is no plan on Offense and if there is one it is incredible vanilla / boring showing no creativity. Waldron had to take some responsibility for this and is clearly no Mcvay.

    Went back and watched the 1st half against Denver to see what changed if anything. In that half they had what looked like a great plan stealing some formations for the Patriots when they used TE heavy formations with Gronk and Hernandez. They used 2 TE sets most of the half giving help to the two young OT and making throws to the TE a priority. It gave Geno time and some easy throws and also helped in the run game. Then early in the 2nd half Denver made some defensive adjustments. The Hawks then all but abandoned this philosophy going with more 3 Wr sets and we saw the results. In the 49ers game instead of going back to the TE heavy formations and running the ball they went the opposite route and then got behind. The rest is history.

    Developing the OL and run game while taking pressure off Geno from having to make tough throws should be the focus of Waldron and he did a great job of that in the 1st half of the Denver game. Awful ever since. If we are going to pay Dissly and Fant like premier TE then make them a focal point of the offense. It is not exciting but it helps the young OL and run game and keeps the defense off the field.

    Just my 2 cents.

    To be honest I now think the best scenario for this year might be that the Hawks are so bad that Pete is forced to resign and bring in all new coaching staff with the new QB a top 3 pick and perhaps 4 picks in the top 50 would help recruit a HC as well.

  14. Trevor says:

    If you want to consider how bad Pete and JS have been at constructing the roster there are only 10 guys who were on the roster last year that they should even consider keeping going forward after this season.



    The rookies and Nwosu are reason for hope but the fact that the core of the roster was so bad heading into this offseason shows just how bad a job Pete and JS have done.

  15. Rob Staton says:

    Pete Carroll, talking with @BrockHuard and @TheMikeSalk about re-setting after their emotional Week 1 win, said things felt a little off in Wednesday’s practice. It was better Thursday and Friday, “but you could kind of tell that we were still a little bit foggy unfortunately.”

    Carroll continued: “I’ll tell you: me too. I carried that game. That was big win and we had a lot of fun on that thing and I need to do better too. If I could feel it, then certainly they’re feeling it as well. We needed to overcome it with good play and we didn’t.”

    But don’t you dare do any videos warning against this…

    • cha says:

      Isn’t this exactly why Tater is in the building?

      What other job does he have than to look at the schedule 8 weeks out and say “hey Pete I know we have a big game Week One but we can’t afford to put all of our energy into it and then get blown out in the division Week Two. Let’s try to be measured and balanced in our approach.”

    • Big Mike says:

      You really ought to go to that other site and just post to this quote
      without any comment whatsoever Rob.

    • Jerry says:

      There is a lot of discussion in the local media based on the false premise that the Hawks preparation and coaching are a major issue. I’m not arguing that this is meaningless, but the problem isn’t preparation. Its talent.

      In both the Hawks games, they were playing teams that were very clearly much much more talented. They didn’t beat the Broncos. The Broncos shot themselves in the foot repeatedly, and blew a game they should have won easily. They had multiple opportunities to put the game away, and it still took two fumbles on the one yard line and epic coaching malpractice for them to lose. Seattle had an emotional investment in the game, and the home crowd helped. But the Broncos lost that game more than the Hawks won that game. Then we got smoked by a team with a much better roster yesterday.

      There was a very clear difference in talent between the Hawks and their opponents in their first two games. And neither the 49ers or Broncos are elite teams.

      The next two games will be telling, as we’ll be facing two teams who who are on the same tier talent wise. The question is whether the Hawks are interesting yet flawed or simply bad. Atlanta and Detroit are both pretty bad teams, so the Hawks matchups with those clubs will be telling.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Was the decision to call back-to-back wildcat plays in the redzone and have Deejay Dallas throw the ball down to lack of talent or preparation/gameplan?

        How about Seattle’s horrible tackling?

        Or their inability to come up with a plan to involve D.K. Metcalf on offense?

      • Starhawk29 says:

        Not sure I agree with you here. Sure, our talent is lacking. We all knew that coming into the season though. What the Denver game showed, however, is 1) we can come up with a competent game plan to move the ball (at least for a half, with weeks to prepare), 2) we can beat teams with greater talent than our own, and 3) Hackett isn’t ready.

        We looked completely out of sorts on both O and D yesterday though. And it isn’t the first time we’ve had these same issues. How many times do we produce no offense, play awfully on defense (like we don’t know how to tackle, cover, or stay in a gap), and look outcoached? It’s at least every other week these days. Criticizing prep is totally fair imo, it’s been a consistent weakness of the coaching staff.

  16. Kyle R says:

    I know is a post about college QBs, however, as a WSU grad I say look at LB Daiyan Henley transfer from Nevada who has been a revelation for the Cougs on D so far this year. Speed and tackling ability as been all over. I would love to see the Hawks get him in the mid to later rounds.

  17. Kyle R says:

    I know this is*

  18. samprassultanofswat says:

    I think Mario Cristobal needs to get a new Crystal Ball. It seems like the old one has a big “Crack” in it.

  19. Blitzy the Clown says:

    I don’t know what’s going on with Darrell Taylor, whether it’s the new scheme or he’s dealing with a latent injury or something, but through the preseason and both games so far he’s clearly performing way below his average play from last year. Other than one good play yesterday, he’s literally been a liability in both games. He looks alternatively lost like he doesn’t know his assignment, or he goes straight for the pass rush to the detriment of his containment duties. And even on pass rushes, he’s mostly ineffective so far.

    Any ideas as to why he’s trending down so badly?

    • cha says:

      1-They’re running him into the ground. 82% of snaps Week One, 70% of snaps Week Two. He only had one game where he topped 60% of snaps last year. As well it’s not just about % of snaps but volume. They’re once again among the league leaders as a team in most defensive snaps (and least offensive snaps). They really, really miss Alton Robinson – assuming they had even planned to play him this year. I would guess scrap heaper Darryl Johnson will reduce his workload when he gets up to speed.

      2-All indications are they are doing what I’ve feared and preached about for the third year in a row. Start out an absolute mess on defense and iron it out a few weeks in.

      • Seattle Person says:

        I get that. He wears down and I buy that. I don’t understand why DT has been so ineffective in the early parts of the game. 1st quarter. 2nd quarter. I think there are other questions that needs to be raised about him. The role and fit in the defense is a possible issue. Is he more effective standing up or with his hand in the ground?

        DT is not known for his power but he can bull rush. We haven’t seen that at all. We’ve just seen him try to speed rush someone or dance around. I hope he turns it around. HIs start is very strange.

        • cha says:

          To be fair, lining up across from Trent Williams will have a lot of players looking silly.

          But watching Taylor, it feels clear they don’t have a real pass rush plan.

  20. Trevor says:

    I am no expert but given their personnel and resources invested in the TE position. I would like to see the Hawks go with a ton of two TE alignments and lots of pre-snap motion. They have two really athletic OT let’s see them start to attack the edges of the run defense and play to their strength instead of running it up the middle where they are getting blown off the ball.

  21. King Felix says:

    I feel like the Wilson trade may turn out to have no winner in the long run.

    I think Russ might be at a point in his career where he’s definitely still a good QB, but may no longer be a great one. He obviously covered up a lot of warts for the Hawks over the years, and the Hawks would obviously be a better team with him right now than without him, but I don’t think this current front office is capable of building a legit contender around him anymore.

    For the Broncos, I don’t think their roster is as good as they think it is and they just committed a lot of money to an aging Russ that may be past his prime if he doesn’t start to adjust more to his decreasing mobility. In the division they’re in I don’t see them being better than 3rd place most years for the foreseeable future. I can see why they took the chance, but I don’t think see them being an upper tier team in the near future.

    The depressing part as a Hawks fan is my lack of faith in this current group to continue this rebuild and turn the draft capital they have into a legit Super Bowl contender again.

    • Rob Staton says:

      You may be right

    • GHouse says:

      I’d also add that Nathaniel Hackett is looking potentially like a terrible hire. I know it’s been just 2 games so perhaps it’s unfair to say that so soon but the guy looks completely out of his depth. Russ might end up escaping some blame if Hackett keeps up this up.

      • King Felix says:

        Yeah, if they got the coaching hire wrong it’s just going to complicate and delay things even further for them. Not great early returns.

  22. Trevor says:

    Can’t believe I am saying this after the 2nd game with the team 1-1 but I tend to think the ideal scenario now for the Hawks would be a 3-4 win season ending up in a top 3 pick that is so bad it forces Pete to pack it in.

    Broncos don’t make the playoffs either and the Hawks end up with a a top 3 pick and another in the top 15. Total of 4 in the top 50.

    This type of draft capital would allow them to perhaps entice a Sean Payton or one of the hot names in next off seasons coaching search.

    I think the top 3 pick is critical as I really only see two legit options in this years draft who could end up being special (Levis and Stroud). I think both go in the top 3 along with Will Anderson.

    Then hope with the second 1st rounder that one of the elite pass rushing DT options is still available. Interior pressure has been a huge problem for the Hawks for years and they need to address it this draft IMO.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Payton’s next gig will come with an established QB

      My guess would be Denver or Dallas

      • Trevor says:

        I am sure you are right. Just dreaming I guess. Just think it would be nice to get a proven offensive guy to come in and develop the QB. I know everyone likes the hot college names but give me a Sean Payton or Andy Reid any day.

  23. cha says:

    Monday Press Conf PC

    [Boyle] What do you need to see to get offense on track? “Little bit of everything. Running game more active. Needed to take what they were giving us moreso. They were laying off and giving us some room. Geno was popping the ball around, good shape to throw it, protection wasn’t bad. I’m such a broken record, when you don’t get convert you don’t get more chances. Had a chance to throw more than we did.”

    [Corbin] LBs acclimating to new scheme? Not getting to tackles? “Works hand in hand with guys up front. Need to work together better. Some plays worked together well, others out of whack. Gonna take a little more time than we want to get tightly connected against offenses that are dedicated to running the FB like the Niners. Had enough chances. We’ll grow. Fits not good. Connection of guys up front and backers flowing properly.”

    [Niko] Geno 80% comp but no offensive scoring? “Encouraging. No question he is acclimated. In command, poised. I implied we could have thrown FB more. Trust we have in him, we need to do that. No holding back at all.”

    [MSD] What is “not holding back” ? “Not gonna go into that. One concern was protection. Didn’t want to expose tackles more than we had to. But they’re holding up, Geno’s in command. Freely taking advantage more than being concerned about our ability to hold up.”

    [Niko] Wildcat successful in game? More success in offense? “Two shots one backfired. Not enough info to be excited. Continue to explore.”
    Why run it? “Different way to utilize offense. Quick sub, they have to figure out. Numbers advantage helps you run FB. Another dimension.”

    [Gregg Bell] Rookie OT’s passed the test? Full pass playbook? “Making great progress. Doing well for so early. We’ll grow more. More confidence to be gained. More room to grow.”
    More conservative 2 games in that you planned? “Respect for SF. This game had picked out as game tell us info about what we can expect. Gained confidence to keep moving. Guys still brand new – it’s a process. Feel good about it.”

    [Brady] Denver took deep shots, approach in SF? “Both team have laid off us in both games. Have to take advantage. Clear decision to lay off, we have to be comfortable. This is a whole new week. Atlanta mix their stuff a lot. A lot of off coverage, maybe more of the same.”

    [?] Shelby Harris & Damien Lewis? “Damien sore. Thigh bruise. Harris hamstring, really a glute. Wait and see, don’t know yet. No better today.”
    Rookie CBs? “Frustrating to break them in, so close and tight in coverage. They’re not getting beat and chasing guys. Michael couldn’t be tighter in coverage, officials thought too much jostling. Doing fine. Have to clean it up. Stay off but stay close. Both effective. Not a big adj for us. Don’t give officials something to call.”

    [Crabtree] Run D 2 games perimeter? “all or nothing two games. Knocked the heck or gave up big runs. All about fits. Big 50 some yard play, gotta get him down. That really rocks us with the numbers. More consistent with fits. Newness. Still working together to get it right. Teams so good, so equipped if you have a hole, they’ll take adv. Find consistency, not there yet. No time. Have to get it done now. Atlanta similar with their run game. Quick.”

    [Maz Veda] Balance of CBs close but not penalty? “Comfort in coverage don’t need to do beyond that. Calls all judgmental close calls. Little more finesse oriented. Big and strong. Just lay off a hair more. Really be poised to make a play.”

    [Jen Mueller] Mistakes mark of a young team. Their response? “Learning how the calls are made. We have officials at practice. Always on it. Still have to learn in games can and cannot do. Considerable hand jostling. If official does not see you look back, more apt to call penalty. Have to learn. Look back, you can still jostle. Devastating penalties, almost like a turnover. Get better at it.”

    [John Boyle] 6 rookies contributing good for future? “Important stuff now. Guys gain comfort of being in moments and settings. Choices under pressure. As we press them to play, more we do it sooner they’ll be acclimated. Nothing but the highest of hopes. Tackles in the firing line. Growing pains there, part of the process but will be worth it.”

    [Shane] Ken Walker hoping to use him next couple weeks? “Roll him in there. Rashaad and Ken go at it, shared plays. Nothing Ken can’t do. Pass pro, catch the ball out of backfield. No restrictions. Just getting back in game shape. Made it through game felt all right. Helps us progress. Calling for regular workload as we go forward.”

  24. Jed Simon says:

    “At this stage I don’t think we can assume that the antidote to that performance in Santa Clara yesterday — and the future of this team — is going to be readily available next April.” –Rob

    Yep, and, without competent executive leadership and sound organizational structure in place, the same would be true even had the QB class been tearing it up with next-level promise. For some time now, Pete Carroll’s State of the Team addresses have not exactly reflected competence and soundness, have they? The 1972 Miami Dolphins they are not, apparently.

    Carroll talking up the 2022 product and discrediting negative reviews, however differently motivated, reminds me of the shill media frantically doing likewise with the Rings of Power, She-Hulk, and other such high-cost, low-quality franchises. His PR messaging is the Tomatometer reading 85% to the Audience Score’s 39%—yes, coaches and critics technically are better papered in their opinions, but can they match the objectivity of the discerning fan? Remember: Without us, there is no them.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I wish we were more ‘House of Dragon’

    • Henry Taylor says:

      I’ve not seen She-Hulk (not sure it was really made for me anyway) but The Rings of Power is good and that audience score is absolutely ridiculous.

      Did you all (and no one in particular here) just decide it was gonna be bad before it came out after an, admittedly, trash marketing campaign and stick with it? Like it had a bit of a slow start (much like a certain film trilogy I know about) but beyond that I just don’t get the complaints.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I don’t have Amazon Prime so can’t watch it

        I know someone who loves LOTR though and she hates ROP. Says it’s boring, breaks lore and Galadriel is massively irritating as the main character

        • Blitzy the Clown says:

          It definitely started out slow and boring but the plot lines are quickening.

          It definitely breaks cannon, but I doubt most of the audience knows that. I didn’t until I saw an article about it.

          Morfydd Clark’s Galadriel is definitely more irritating than Cate Blanchett’s, but I’m already not minding so much.

          It also has excellent production values and a pretty good cast.

          • Rob Staton says:

            My big problem is this.

            Amazon saw the enormous success of Game of Thrones (pre: 7th & 8th season) and decided they wanted some of that

            But they couldn’t be arsed to come up with an idea — so they just bought whatever tiny portion of Tolkien rights they could find and are using the ‘Lord of the Rings’ name to tell whatever story they want

            It’s classic modern media. Using and abusing established franchises to push content that isn’t a patch on the original material

            • Palatypus says:

              So, my guess is you have actually read The Silmarillion.

            • Starhawk29 says:

              They’ve bet big on trying to replace HBO as the go-to place for fantasy TV. They also bought the wildly popular Wheel of Time rights, and dumped money into this project. I will watch ROP, though I’m waiting to binge it as I prefer to do so (except for HoTD, can’t miss out on that), but what I’ve heard about it isn’t encouraging.

              Personally Rob, I really don’t mind having money thrown into the fantasy genre. It’s my personal favorite, and I’m just happy to see high quality productions in different worlds. My expectations for ROP are mid, as they were for Wheel of Time and HoTD. So far, HoTD is exceeding expectations, Wheel of Time was right about even with them, and jury is out on RoP. Honestly, I just want a show in Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere now….

              • Rob Staton says:

                I haven’t seen Wheel of Time (I don’t have Amazon Prime TV) but didn’t that fall flat on its face?

                Based on HOTD, I am definitely up for more GOT spin-offs

                • Starhawk29 says:

                  I have no idea what the viewership numbers were for WoT, but flat on it’s face feels a bit of a stretch to me. It was solid. I liked certain characters, the production felt strong, and while the narrative is pretty typical, I thought there were enough subversions of tropes to keep it interesting. I didn’t come away obsessed as I do with good media, but I didn’t feel as though I’d wasted my time.

                • Chris says:

                  Actually it ended up having very high ratings once it got going. It was initially review bombed for the same reasons Rings of Power got review bombed.

                  I think I like Rings of Power slightly more, as I find Tolkien’s universe a bit more interesting (I actually read all the Wheel of Time books), but they both suffer a bit from slow pacing in parts and seem to get better as they go along.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    Review bombing happens both ways though — and often because nobody can trust online reviewers any more

                    I haven’t seen it but I’ve only heard bad things about it

              • 509 Chris says:

                A friend of mine recommended Sanderson so I bought one of his books a bit ago. Still haven’t read it but this reminds me about it haha. I like to see our football discussions take a light hearted nerd out for a bit.

            • Henry Taylor says:

              I think all that is true about the cynical and uncreative nature of modern media, but I’d argue that’s nothing new and is also true of House of Dragon. This is the modern state of things but plenty of good stuff still comes out of these cash grabs. The studios have no passion but the creators often still do.

              For me, who loves LOTR, I’ve enjoyed the show. It has nothing of the soullessness of the Hobbit trilogy and has actually made me interested despite heavy sceptisism. And fwiw I think Galadriel is that way on purpose because she’s supposed to be young and angry, the point of the show is largely about her growth as a character and we can’t exactly get there if she starts out with all the same characterisation as we see in the original trilogy.

              • Henry Taylor says:

                And while I’m at it, the LOTR film trilogy (aka the greatest films of all time) changed heaps from the Tolkein canon as well.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  Having seen those, however, I would argue that what you saw was a true reflection of Tolkien’s work

                  Mainly because they had an entire book series to frame it around

                  ROP is just a story cooked up by, unless I’m mistaken, some fairly undistinguished and inexperienced writers

                  • Palatypus says:

                    Emergency Awesome and New Rockstars have really good breakdowns of ROP and why they did the things that they did. The basic problem is that it is thousands of years of history.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    To be honest, I’ll never watch it because I probably won’t get Prime.

                    I’m just going off what my friend said. She’s a big time LOTR fan. And she hates ROP and one big reason is what she feels they’ve done to Tolkien’s work.

                    But alas — we’re getting very off-topic here

              • Rob Staton says:

                I suppose the difference with House of Dragon is — they’re just adapting a book that has been written and the author, George RR Martin, is heavily involved in the programme’s production

                A lot of the controversy of ROP is that it has seemingly gone majorly against a lot of what Tolkien stood for and is using a fairly flimsy set of rights (and the LOTR brand/name) to try and put a cynical piece of content out there because they admitted they wanted a slice of the worldwide phenomena that was Game of Thrones (when it was at its peak)

                The problem is — GOT absolutely crashed and burned as soon as the writing became crap. People turned away from it big time, they destroyed the brand with the way that series ended. So you can’t just put stuff out there and expect people to accept it.

                By all accounts, I’m told (admittedly, I haven’t seen it) that ROP is boring and Tolkien fanatics (I know of one) are absolutely furious with the way they’re moving around events and characters to ‘fit’ what they want — and my friend hates what they’ve done to Galadriel. I appreciate you have a different take Henry — but I kind of get sense, looking online — that the damage is done here. There’s a very negative vibe around the series. And are the writers, with no source material unlike GOT, capable of putting something worthwhile together?

                House of Dragon, meanwhile, received a healthy dose of scepticism because of the bloody awful way GOT ended. I’ve been massively pleasantly surprised. Brilliant acting, razor-sharp writing, it looks great. Fantastic. But it helps that the creative force behind the series is alive and active in its creation.

                • Starhawk29 says:

                  Something to add about HoTD is that it apparently has changed canon too several times. I haven’t read the book, but I know even the super skeptical fans like Preston Jacobs have been thrilled with some of the changes. The reason is intent. The changes followed the themes of the story, acknowledged wider lore, and used seemingly extraneous things as subtle foreshadowing. There was thought, care, and dare I even say love put into specific choices, and it shows.

                  An example (Spoilers for a several week old episode) is there being a weirwood tree in King’s Landing (there isn’t one in the books). Initially, fans were pissed that they had so blatantly broken canon. Then a certain character swore falsely in front of it, and all the fans were stoked. Why? Cause in universe, lying in front of a weirwood tree is certain doom. Suddenly, the canon breaking object wasn’t a blight, but a huge boon.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    But again, two things to remember here.

                    1. The bloke who wrote the book is still alive and is actively helping produce the programme. So really, if George RR Martin is the man working the controls — it’s acceptable. Tolkien isn’t here to oversee ROP and the argument from many is he wouldn’t approve of their actions.

                    2. Martin has already stated numerous times that the books are from the perspective of ‘unreliable sources’ — thus giving himself the freedom to manipulate anything he wants to (and he’s taking advantage of that)

                  • Starhawk29 says:

                    Not really disagreeing here Rob, I’m aware GRRM is heavily involved. My point is more that good writing is good writing. Making changes make sense in canon adds to the suspension of disbelief, the opposite increases audience awareness that they are watching fiction. This is essential in the fantasy genre. Making changes to adapt something to screen is ok. Making changes that don’t feel sensible upon viewing is the fastest way to turn off an audience. The point I was trying to make was that, regardless of the original author’s involvement, changes should make sense and be handled carefully. When done right, they can add to immersion.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    And that’s fine

                    But we shouldn’t compare a series where the original author is alive and actively involved and a series where the author is dead and has no say (and many think he wouldn’t appreciate the changes)

            • Chris says:

              They’re breaking canon a bit here and there, but it isn’t THAT bad. They actually have some contractual requirements when telling the story that prevents them from getting too inventive

              Tolkien fans are like Star Trek fans, so if they see a little something like Gil-Galad seeming older than Galadriel they lose their minds. The core parts of the story will all still be there. Peter Jackson broke plenty of canon, but if the end product is good then that stuff gets forgiven over time.

              • Rob Staton says:

                I’m only relaying what my friend is saying — and she hates it

                I don’t think she’s unreasonable or an unhinged fan. I would be annoyed if someone took something I cherished and used it to try and shoehorn your own answer to GOT into the media-sphere

                And people need to remember that this work is very important to a lot of people, especially people over here. It’s kind of a sacred text. A mythology for Britain — being used and abused by Jeff Bezos

        • Group Captain Mandrake says:

          People I know that are big into Tolkien hate it. People I know who don’t know the lore that well like it. I fall somewhere in between. I know the Hobbit and LOTR pretty well having read them multiple times, but I never bothered to read the Sil. Since I don’t know that lore, I can enjoy it without all the “they didn’t do that right” that people get into. And the same thing definitely happens with GOT fans.

  25. Romeo A57 says:

    The Five Stages of Seahawks Grief 2022

    Denial- PC is a great coach and there is a ton of talent on this team.
    Bargaining- We can lose a lot of games this year and get a Franchise QB in the draft.
    Depression- This team may not win another game this year.
    Anger- We have sucked for years and will continue to suck for years to come.
    Acceptance- This team needs a full reboot. A new Owner, GM and Head Coach are needed so we can move forward.

  26. Blitzy the Clown says:

    I want to withdraw my in-game praise for Lucas-Jackson as a blocking duo. Yeah they’re pretty good in the run, but Jackson is so bad in pass pro, it’s hard to watch. Bosa, Armstead, Kinlaw and Omenihu are quite a handful, but the OGs really struggled yesterday. I kinda understand that with Haynes. He’s still developing and he came in off the bench when Lewis got hurt. But Jackson…he is what he is. He still has the sand in his pants to bulldoze between the tackles. But he can’t get outside or anything, and he definitely can’t handle speed/power in a pass rusher.

    I’ve also removed my rose glasses for Barton. He’s getting smarter, but he’s just not enough of an athlete. Not pleased with Brooks so far either. He’s not playing like a first round LB.

    • UkAlex6674 says:

      Bosa, Armstead, Kinlaw and Omenihu are quite a handful for anyone – our line won’t be the only ones to get rinsed this season..

  27. HawkFan907 says:

    Jaren Hall played last year with a rib cartilage injury, so it would make sense that he has more zip on the ball this year (although the same injury didn’t seem to bother Herbert on Thursday night football with his dime for a TD lol). Age/Size/Injury history are all factors, and he should be there late day 2 I imagine.

    I am really hoping we end up with a top 3 pick. It means we will get one of Stroud, Levis, or Will Anderson. I’m really hoping with our first 4 picks we come away with QB, IDL, LB, IOL.

    Speaking of the issues with our IDL, do you think that Siaki Ika would be a great fit for us in the middle? We need a true nose and he might be the best in the draft. Huge, immovable, with a hint of pass rush juice. If we are truly going to go with a 3-4, then plug in a massive nose and be done with it.

    • Trevor says:

      Would love if they could come away with that in the draft along with another WR either in the draft or free agency. I just don’t see Eskridge ad the answer.

  28. Tezza says:

    Hey Rob, Does Stroud have Allen/ Herbert upside wastching him its hard not to be impressed with his natural gifts. Or should just wait for QB next year and draft Will Andersen?

  29. Big Mike says:

    Watching Kelce play center for the Eagles makes me jealous and also makes struggle to figure out why Carroll doesn’t value the position.

    • 12th chuck says:

      he does, he traded for Max Unger… oh wait… you’re right

    • Ashish says:

      Big Mike, we have to stop dreaming about center but pray we lose all remaining game and Hawks fire Pete. We get new offensive coach and so on..

  30. Trevor says:

    Hurts looking like a legit NFL QB.

  31. Hawks4life says:

    He looks great tonight

  32. Hawks4life says:

    Slay is having himself a night! Best game by a CB I’ve seen in a long time

  33. Chawks1 says:

    SEA Current Pick #10
    DEN Current Pick #14
    4 QB needed teams in front of us

    • Ashish says:

      That’s the kind of data I’m looking for. Also rooting for Daniel Jones Giants so we have one more QB needed team ahead of us.

  34. Rob Staton says:

    Ready for new leadership, new ideas, a new era

  35. shotime says:

    But would any GM or head coaches want to come to Seattle when they know they are going to have a new owner in couple of years? When Seahawks get sold and new ownership comes in they would want to hire their own people to run their football team. I’m afraid we are stuck with the current regime until the team gets sold.

  36. Forrest says:

    Well said, Rob. If the Seahawks didn’t take a QB and we have two top 10 picks, what positions would be worthy of those picks for this team (assuming players were available at each position). We have bookend tackles and are growing CBs. We have a WR 1 & 2 and we have growing pash rushers, RB, TE and OLB.

    Outside of a franchise QB, this team needs an ILB, a WR3, a kick returner and maybe a guard. But, I’d hate to use a top 10 pick on these positions (unless there’s a game wrecking, can’t miss ILB). The two picks in R2 will be ideal for these positions. I could see a game wrecking DT, but in a 3-4, you typicall look for larger DTs like Al Woods to keep your LBs clean to do the work. If you just collect talent at any position, you can end up like the Jets and Jags.

    The obvious answer if a game wrecking pass rusher. But, we’re sort of growing those now with Nwosu, Taylor and Mafe, and a 4-3 DE is easier to project. We could go R1 DT/DE, ILB, R2 WR3, Guard and R3 kick returner. But, that feels like a wasted opportunity and we’d still be searching for a franchise QB without the juice to move up next year.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I haven’t been impressed with Taylor this year. One play I remember is that he got into the backfield and either the QB or the running back ended up running into him, and Taylor didn’t even put his arms around him before the guy bounced off him and ran past.

      The other two, Nwosu looks strong, Mafe is a maybe. Lets see how they develop. None of these guys are elite level – yet. So yes they need an elite pass rusher.

      Second pick if non quarterback, maybe it should be a wide receiver that can step into Lockett’s shoes, he won’t last forever.

      • 12th chuck says:

        i miss Dunlap. No saying how much better he made the d last year. Now we don’t really have the personnel for a 4-3 or a 3-4

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          Yes they should have resigned Dunlap. Why are they acting cheap?

          • Rob Staton says:

            Well technically he doesn’t fit the scheme any more

            But what they shouldn’t have done is re-sign him to a two year deal a year ago and then in typical fashion be forced to take on dead money

            For a team so strict in not using the credit card with the cap, they love taking out a high interest loan via dead money

    • GoHawksDani says:

      I’m no expert on college QBs…but based on what Rob writes, I’m not sure there is any obvious choice there. Maybe Lewis…but if we are picking #3 and Lewis is off the board, I’d like them to pick a DT/DE-OLB-EDGE/CB/WR in that priority order. Then pick a QB with the Denver pick (#10-14). Apart from Lewis, not sure any of the mentioned QBs worth a top5 pick, and most/at least some of them will last into the range of the probable Broncos pick.

      We need to take shots at QB, but shouldn’t force it if it’s not there.

      As for iDL: Woods is pretty good, but he’s also really old. We need someone who can move the LoS, plug holes, stonewall runs and break through and used on passing downs too to rush the passer some. If a guy capable doing that and fits the 3-4 is there at #1-2-3-4-5, we should take him.

      If not, I can see only one clear OLB/EDGE/DE/outside passrusher (not exactly familiar with 3-4, so not sure what’s the correct name for those guys), that is Nwosu. Taylor doesn’t seem a fit, Mafe didn’t show too much and still if Mafe develops nicely, you need more than 2 guys for that position to be able to rotate them.

      As for CBs: Woolen has great length and speed, but he’s really raw. Will he be able to turn his head ever, be at a good position and make plays on the ball? Jackson is great vs the run, but he struggles against the pass. Will he be able to develop there also? Jones was awful when he entered the game vs the Broncos. Coleman doesn’t seem good now. Burns is a question mark. Bryant struggles badly. Right now I only see potential in Mike Jackson and Woolen. But that’s not a given thing. If one of them can elevate their game we’re very lucky. But we need 3 CBs. If both of them can get better, I could see Jackson as nCB, Woolen as outside CB2 and maybe a high draft pick with the physical qualities and game smarts as outside CB1 who can defend the best WRs in the NFL

      And for the WRs: Lockett will start to get older soon. DK is a bit of a mixed bag. I just don’t see him as a true elite top3-5 WR1 in the NFL. Maybe it’s the QB, maybe it’s the scheme, but he didn’t really showed that yet. Actually to me Lockett seems like a better WR. Even if DK gets the hang of it and starts playing like a star WR1, Lockett will get older. I wouldn’t mind a big, fast, quick, good route runner young WR, DK and Lockett as WR3 while he can do it with a young QB.

      +1: If a guy like Kittle, Kelce or golden years Gronkowski would be available, who can block fiercely, awesome in passpro, run blocking, screen blocking fast, big and can catch a ball and break tackles after…well I wouldn’t mind a TE pick either. It can be a safety blanket for a young QB and I doubt anyone would reject the idea to add a young Kittle to the roster

  37. Zach says:

    Hey Rob one name I haven’t really seen you mention that I know of is Hendon Hooker out of Tennessee. He fits the physical and athletic profile that Pete alluded to when talking about the “ideal” qb. Hes a little older but I mean Levi’s is too. Another thing that was alluded to by Pete was that lack of interceptions mattered and since he’s shown up at Tennessee he’s thrown 2. I think it was why Pete said he went with Smith over Lock if I remember correctly

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not a very likely NFL quarterback for me

    • DriveByPoster says:

      Haven’t seen anything of Tennessee yet this season but they seem to be on an upswing this year. They are playing the Gators this weekend so could be an interesting watch. I am also interested in the Clemson/Wake Forest game. Clemson seem to be getting their act together & Wake always seem to have an entertaining offense, so it could be a banana skin game for the Tigers, although I am not going to hang my hat on it after all the blowout wins last week.

      Aside from that, there doesn’t seem to be anything too challenging in store for the top ranked teams.

  38. Pran says:

    When can we expect Drew lock in game? any guesses.

    Seeing young new coaches on the sideline was fun yesterday in eagles vs vikes game

    • Blitzy the Clown says:

      At the moment, I don’t expect we’ll see Lock at all. Obviously with 15 games to go that’s subject to change.

      But Geno is doing exactly what Carroll wants him to do. Why would he switch to Lock?

  39. Forrest says:

    I think there’s a fundamental problem with our offense that Pete acknowledged in his press conference. Pete likes to run the ball successfully and then hit a long pass on play action. But, smart defenses are simply taking the deep ball away and giving us the short stuff underneath, which Pete keeps saying “we need to take what they give us”, but we seem inept at doing that.

    I watched the 49ers and Broncos run and pass underneath successfully. They schemed running plays where they pulled a TE and had numbers barreling down at our LBs. But, we seem to run the same basic running plays.

    Our lack of a big WR3 to catch passes underneath and find holes in zones hurts (but that has been a choice – getting small, fast WR3s). So does our lack of successful TE usage underneath. But, DK and Tyler haven’t been able to do much on short passes in soft zones. I don’t blame that on them, I blame a lack of creativity to get them open for 7 yard passes underneath to “take what they give us”. Our use of small WR3s in Eskridge or Goodwin hampers this.

    Pete acknowledged that the Falcons will likely take away deep passes and give us some stuff underneath. Knowing that, I’d like to see some heavy runs with pulled TEs (like the 49ers and Denver do so well) and some double TE packages with Fant and Dissly as receivers. Let’s disguise the heavy runs with heavy packages where we pass and get mismatches with our big TEs. Isn’t that why you said you paid Dissly so much? That should open the deep ball again when the defense adjusts. I just don’t have any confidence that we will do that and defenses won’t change how they play us until we do.

  40. samprassultanofswat says:

    I hope Pete Carroll is happy with Geno Smith. The offense is now at 6 scoreless quarters AND counting.

    Pete plays to open up the playbook for Smith. They are playing the Atlanta Falcons. So maybe the offense can come up with at least one measly touchdown.

  41. samprassultanofswat says:

    BTW: Was just checking Profootballtalk. They had the Falcons ranked 32nd (dead last) on their power rankings.

    Well the Seahawks after defeating the Broncos. Won their Super Bowl.

    Does that mean playing the worst team in the NFL (Falcons) should be called the Tidy Bowl?

  42. 12th chuck says:

    nice to see that the seahawks are looking into linebacker additions, but ffs, the season already started. there was a total of 16 linebackers in for tryouts to different teams, to say the least the talent is pretty watered down. All this from a defensive minded coach, finally coming to terms that we need more linebackers on the roster, 2 games into the season. I am so ready for a change in coaching, preferably an offensive minded coach to take care and train a new high draft pick rookie qb. For all the good, and great things Pete did for the seahawks, he is burying them into a hole now.

  43. Troy D says:

    Im getting Bills at the end of Levy and well into Wade Phillips vibes. Saying the good times passed and Phillips came in and did a couple playoff cameos. Hard to see a solid path here because we have to rip the band aid off and get rid of this brass. Unforunately a sale needs to happen to get to that point.

    This spiral can happen fast and looks like it will. I just hope we can be entertaining in some fashion. We arent even at bottom either.