The start of the Seahawks off-season article

January 6th, 2019 | Written by Rob Staton

What happens next? How much cap room have they got? What is the strength of the draft? And why is perspective needed on the Dallas loss?

Time to get into it. Here are some of the key points going into the off-season…

1. They have limited cap room

The Seahawks are currently projected to have $60m in cap space in 2019. That’s seventh most in the NFL. And it’s a red herring.

Seattle has only 34 contracted players for 2019, the lowest number in the league. The Colts, with a league-high $122m to spend, have 41 contracted players. It means that while the Seahawks have some money to spend, a fair portion of it will need to be spent filling out the roster.

They can create cap space by parting with Kam Chancellor. There was no financial gain to be had here in 2018. It would’ve actually cost them an extra $5m. In 2019 the situation is different. They’ll save $2.8m ($13m cap hit and $10.2m in dead money).

They’ll also save $2.75m if they cut Jaron Brown. Barkevious Mingo would save $3.3m (they might prefer to spend that on K.J. Wright and/or Mychal Kendricks).

The $60m quickly shrinks when you consider they’ll pay to keep Frank Clark. The franchise tag cost $17.143m for a defensive end in 2018. They may decide to use the transition tag ($14.2m cost in 2018) which would give the Seahawks an opportunity to match any offer made to Clark.

The Seahawks don’t have a good history with transition tags, however.

Such a move would allow Clark to set his own market though. It’d be a calculated gamble. The Chicago Bears used the transition tag on Kyle Fuller this year. It paid off as a tactic — he agreed a four-year, $56m extension two months later. He was able to set his market and then come to an agreement with the Bears.

For the purpose of this piece, let’s use the most expensive scenario — an $18m franchise tag. So wipe away $18m from the $60m projected cap space for 2019. You always need to save about $7-10m for the draft and injured reserve.

This leaves approximately $30-35m for any further moves.

I asked Pete Carroll in London whether he intends to keep J.R. Sweezy and D.J. Fluker. His answer was a resounding ‘yes’. They also have big calls to make on K.J. Wright, Mychal Kendricks and Justin Coleman.

Jordan Simmons, David Moore and Austin Calitro are ERFA’s and will likely be kept. They’ll have a decision to make on Malik Turner and Akeem King (also both ERFA’s).

George Fant is a restricted free agent and seems almost certain to be retained. Joey Hunt, Quinton Jefferson, J.D McKissic, Branden Jackson and Tyler Ott are also RFA’s. Do the Seahawks tag them or try to negotiate separate, cheaper deals?

Shamar Stephen, Dion Jordan, Mike Davis and Brett Hundley are free agents you’ll either need to retain or replace.

Take all this into account and it won’t leave much money to spend.

A realistic expectation is a repeat of a year ago. Calculated moves in the second and third wave of free agency. A big splurge, however, does not seem likely.

2. They only have four draft picks

The Duane Brown trade (second rounder), Brett Hundley trade (sixth rounder) and Shalom Luani trade (7th rounder) has left the Seahawks with a league-low four draft picks. They are not expected to gain any further comp picks either.

What does this likely mean? Trading down again.

The Seahawks will own either the 21st or 22nd overall pick depending on the result of the Eagles vs Bears game. A year ago they traded down from #18 to #27, collecting a third and sixth round pick in the process. It’s fair to imagine they’ll work on trying to find a similar deal this year.

3. What are the strengths of the draft?

It’s an incredible year for defensive linemen. One of Bob McGinn’s scouting sources is quoted as saying, “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams, Clelin Ferrell, Rashan Gary, Dexter Lawrence, Ed Oliver and Christian Wilkins will likely go early. It’s possible Derrick Brown, Jachai Polite, Raekwon Davis, Josh Allen, Zach Allen and Jaylon Ferguson go early too. That’s how good this class is for defensive linemen.

The list doesn’t stop there.

Jeffery Simmons has top-15 talent but could last due to an off-field incident dating back to High School. Brian Burns and Montez Sweat are long and quick but there are concerns about their ability to play early downs vs the run. D’Andre Walker is underrated while Dre’Mont Jones, Jabari Zuniga and Jerry Tillery are names to monitor.

The depth will easily stretch into the late first or early second round.

4. Could this impact free agency?

Possibly. With the price of defensive linemen growing year after year, we could see a regression in 2019. Teams might be prepared to play the draft class against the veteran free agents. The top players (Lawrence, Clowney, Clark) will still get paid. The next tier of players might be left frustrated.

The Seahawks need a player or two to buy into the Michael Bennett/Cliff Avril approach from 2013. Short term prove-it deals. Seattle has an advantage here. Although they’ll have to pay Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner top money, Seattle’s only other pending 2020 free agents are players like Nick Vannett and Barkevious Mingo (assuming they extend Frank Clark and Jarran Reed).

If a player like Anthony Barr, for example, ends up with a cold market — he might opt for a prove-it deal. And the Seahawks can say to any player in that situation — we’ll have the 2020 money to pay and keep you if you perform. They kept both Bennett and Avril in a similar situation.

Another option for the Seahawks could be to try and sign an ageing veteran. Cameron Wake, Brandon Graham, Clay Matthews and Terrell Suggs are all free agents in the off-season. All could be available at a reasonable price on a short-term basis.

5. Is it a good draft class for defensive backs?

It’s an uninspiring cornerback class and the safety group is even worse. Bob McGinn’s sources note: “This class of safeties lacks quality and quantity.”

Johnathan Abram — a hard hitting former Georgia DB who transferred to Mississippi State — is considered the best safety prospect and only a second round prospect. Alabama’s Deionte Thompson gets a lot of hype but he has limitations. One of McGinn’s sources says: “I’ve watched all the Alabama tapes and I can’t grade him… I don’t see the guy doing things.”

A high pick at safety seems highly unlikely given the class. Tony Pauline has reported strong interest from the Seahawks in tall, physical cornerback Jamal Peters of Mississippi State. He looks like a prototype for Pete Carroll’s defense and could be a target in rounds 3-4.

6. What are the keys to the off-season?

Here are five potential priorities:

1. More pass rush
2. More speed
3. Keep building the culture
4. Improve the depth
5. Build on the experience of 2018

In terms of improving the roster, the main priority could be finding more playmakers on defense.

Here’s why:

Seattle’s defense is a well organised, properly coached unit with togetherness and spirit. They will need more than just Frank Clark, Jarran Reed, Bobby Wagner and Bradley McDougald to become a top-tier unit.

The encouraging thing is how well Jacob Martin played in his handful of snaps. It hints towards a bright future. It also might be that he works best in a limited role. We’ll find out over the next year or two.

The graph also highlights how well Quinton Jefferson contributed and it’s a shame Dion Jordan couldn’t have a greater impact.

They still need more. Whether it’s on the D-line or among the defensive backs, they need 3-4 more names to get among the group of four in the top right corner of the graph.

7. Please, let’s not do this for eight months

A lot of Seahawks fans have decided the loss yesterday was down to an unwillingness to adjust. The Cowboys did an excellent job shutting down the run, so why didn’t the Seahawks just cut Russell Wilson loose? Perhaps, as some believe, like they did in Carolina against the Panthers?

A few quick points here…

The Seahawks struggled to run the ball in Carolina and trailed by three points at half time. The deficit was four points against the Cowboys. To start the second half against the Panthers, Seattle ran the ball three straight times. Then they hit a 54-yard deep pass on 3rd and 12. They followed up with two more runs before scoring on a red zone throw to Tyler Lockett.

On the following drive, they started by running the ball three out of five times.

They only really turned to Wilson when they trailed by seven points with less than seven minutes left in the game.

It’s not true that a major adjustment occurred early in the second half against Carolina. They continued to run and play for manageable third downs.

They turned to the pass right at the end of the game when they needed to press. They still required a low percentage deep-shot on fourth down to result in a touchdown, a missed field goal by Graham Gano and some Wilson-to-Lockett magic to win the game.

The approach in Carolina was actually very similar to the approach in Dallas. Keep it tight, try and take it down to the final possession. The Seahawks would’ve been in the same position had they managed to stop Dallas on their final scoring drive to give Wilson the ball back. Instead, they had back-breaking pass interference penalties on third down and gave up a 3rd and 14 run by Dak Prescott.

Pete Carroll’s approach — and it is his approach despite all the grief directed at his offensive coordinator — helped get this team to the playoffs against the odds. It helped regain a productive running game and helped Russell Wilson put up career-best numbers. It helped win in Carolina and at home against the Packers, Chiefs and Vikings. It helped this team compete against the Rams — twice.

Here’s the perspective for Carroll’s philosophy. There’s a reason very few people predicted the Seahawks would go to the playoffs. The roster, really, isn’t as good as some have maybe started to believe. Not yet, anyway. It’s young and growing.

The Seahawks spent a season playing a style that would help them be competitive. It enabled them to stick in games where, arguably, they otherwise would’ve struggled. And with a quarterback very capable of finding a way to win at the end — taking it down to a final possession worked on multiple occasions in the regular season.

If Wilson had the football in the fourth quarter with two minutes on the clock and a six-point deficit, there’s a decent chance they would’ve beaten the Cowboys.

Seattle’s defense is 3-4 quality players short and was exposed in some games. The protection was extremely suspect when they focused on the pass in weeks one and two.

The style, the approach — it’s probably designed on purpose to suit the players on the roster and cover up weaknesses.

In Dallas, they played their way. Just as they have all season.

They came up short. That’s football.

8. No, they don’t need to fire anybody

Sports fans always need someone to be accountable when things don’t work out. The strange thing is, things did work out for the Seahawks this year.

They got to the playoffs in a year with modest external expectations. That’s a success. They were energised, entertaining and had some good wins mixed in with some frustrating losses.

In a reset year, this was a strong showing.

The key now is to add more talent, add more depth and get better. Not start overhauling the staff and roster again.

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305 Responses to “The start of the Seahawks off-season article”

  1. Rohan Joseph says:

    Wrong on one point, Spec Teams Coach Brian Schneider needs to go. He should have been fired last year.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Why, because they had two rough games?

      They were a top-15 special teams unit before the Niners road game.

      Nobody needs to be fired.

      • hawkdawg says:

        No, not because they had two rough games. Instead, because they have gotten worse in three successive seasons in DVOA.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Their depth has also got dramatically weaker and they’ve signed players like Blair Walsh.

          We don’t need a scapegoat to point out every time something goes wrong.

        • Rob Staton says:

          So I see we’re back into the habit of crediting the player when anything works and hammering the coach when things go wrong.

          Because clearly Schneider, the special teams coach, has had zero impact on Michael Dickson being an all-pro as a rookie.

          He’s only responsible for the bad stuff.

          • Eburgz says:

            Dickson was the MVP of his bowl game as you know, and awesome in college in general. Schneider can’t take too much credit for Dickson, he’s a punting phenom and he definitely buoyed the special teams DVOA. He was an awesome punter before Schneider ever got his hands on him.

            Something has to change on special teams coverage.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Why can’t Schneider take much credit?

              Why do coaches get all the blame and none of the credit?

              Even the most talented players require coaching.

              People need to stop looking for a scapegoat.

              • Eburgz says:

                Not trying to scapegoat the guy. Trying to see solutions to an obvious problem. Pete knows better than you or I what the issue is and I trust him to address the issue. Maybe it’s as simple as finding a badass gunner or adjusting the way we kick. But I won’t be surprised if the coach of our underperforming (excluding Dickson) special teams unit gets let go.

                How many punters win their bowl game mvp then a team trades up for them in the fifth round? The guy is a superior talent, he could have been an All pro with any other squad if you ask me. Look at the way the ball flys off his foot and the control he has. Not saying he has nothing to do with it but he sure can’t take much credit if you ask me.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  If it was such an obvious problem, why did it take until week 15 before anyone started complaining about the ST coach?

                  • Duceyq says:

                    Rob, I agree with everything you said earlier but Schneider needs to be replaced. The statistics back this up…personnel not withstanding. Just for players not keeping lane integrity during punt/kickoff coverages.it’s just abominable.

                    This year Seattle ranked 27th in Kickoff coverage at 24.8 Even Philly who was decimated with injuries ranked much higher than Seattle.

                    Punt coverage was better…ranked 15 in average yards against with 8.4..middle of the pack…combine that and it’s relatively weak…

                    ST costs Seattle the SF game, possibly SD, and could’ve cost Seattle Dallas if Austin’s return wasn’t called back and KJ didn’t get the int after another big return by Austin.

                    KC also almost ran one back. He needs to be replaced. Two blocked punts in the same game is inexcusable. That’s being outscouted. He’s had an ok run but his time is up.

                    Maybe Jeff Fisher can coach our ST..lol..

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    Kick off coverage is so reliant on good depth on the roster. The Seahawks don’t have good depth.

              • Derrick says:

                Glad that wasn’t Pete’s thinking last year when he made necessary coaching changes. Special teams needs a change!

                • Rob Staton says:

                  No it doesn’t.

                  They had some bad moments at the end of the season after a long, decent start. Depth is as much of an issue here as anything. They were really stretched at the end of the year.

                  Speak to people in the league and they’ll tell you Brian Schneider is one of the most respected ST coaches in the league. Can they improve? Yes. Will they work to improve? Yes. Does anyone need to be fired after 2018? No.

                  And it’s not going to happen either. Carroll confirmed he expects the staff will stay together today.

                  • Derrick says:

                    He said he didn’t expect any “major changes.” Not to mention, if he did intend to fire Schneider do you think he’s going to tell the media in that presser? Um, no! In fact, he’d probably say exactly what he did say, lol.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    Firing your special teams coordinator is a major change.

                    They’re not firing Brian Schneider.

    • FresnoHawk says:

      Hawks have a consistent history of making personnel changes & always attempt to fix issues from previous season.

  2. Zxvo3 says:

    Great write up Rob, I appreciate what you’ve done this season. I always wait to see your analysis about games rather than going to Seahawks Twitter and seeing the hate and pessimism towards this team after a loss. Seahawks Twitter turns into such a dark place after a loss. People forget that the run game is what got us into the playoffs. Without the run, the team wouldn’t be in the position that it is right now. And I like your point of saying that we often forget we are playing another team on the field. Most believe that the loss was ALL self-inflicted but in reality it wasn’t. Dallas dominated the LOS and beat us the way we play. But I’m not devastated that we lost. This is a young team that has a bright future and I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully we resign our key free agents like Clark, Fluker, Sweezy, Wright, Kendricks, Coleman, Fant (maybe I’m forgetting some). 2018 felt like 2012 and I’m ready for 2019 to be 2013!

  3. Rad_man says:

    A VERY uninspired run game plan. The continual shotgun hand offs up the middle, and then blasted for losses on zone reads. I didn’t notice a single I formation run the entire game, which was bread and butter in the first Dallas game. Nor did I see any misdirection runs, or reverses to expose an over pursuing Dallas defense. Horrible execution on screen plays but at least they were called at times.

    I understand the desire to avoid play action early as it can lead to sacks and big negative plays, but I don’t understand the stubborn commitment to shotgun hand offs up the middle. It’s tough way for a RB to get up to speed when a defense is penetration the LoS. Which it was, at least partly because it was predictable play calling.

    I tend to also conclude that Richard knew his enemy well.

    I accept the run game strategy. But this staff needs to improve on run game tactics. I was told many times this season that Schotty is great at that. I did not see it yesterday.

    Agree on the defensive issues.

    I’m not convinced going another year with Sweezey and Fluker is a good idea. Those guys can’t last a season and the also show up with penalties at key points to tilt games- happened a few times this season.

    It’s old ground, so I apologize. But I hate that they drafted a RB in the first round instead of what has turned out to be some very good Guards and Tackles that were available after. Penny looks talented. But he also looks fat to me. Carson is better. Now we gotta bring back these pretty 1 dimensional banged up vets instead of looking forward to a second season of an emerging player.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Considering the huge leap forward the O-line took this year, I think they absolutely must keep Sweezy and Fluker. Why wouldn’t you? I’d take them both even if I knew they’d only play 12 games each in 2019. Both helped set the tone, regain the identity. Simmons is a good backup for Fluker. Pocic is in last chance saloon but they might bring in some competition there.

      • Rad_man says:

        Why? because as I stated in the off season, the O line leap, and running game improvement, is from the coaching staff, not personnel. Cable is a disaster. The game passed him by. Ask Oakland. Solari is the key. The improvement to the O line is Solari. The mediocre O line pieces are interchangeable.

        I’m fine bringing them back on a good deal that protects the team but those players are limited one dimensional players, prone to penalties and injuries. They are vastly overrated by fans.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I can’t watch D.J. Fluker dominated Suh and say he’s overrated. Sweezy has been superb.

          I think you’re massively underestimating what those two did.

          • Rad_man says:

            well, speaking of overrated, Suh is too. His skills have also greatly diminished.

            I posted on here back when Fluker was in the draft that I wanted Fluker as a seattle pick. I liked him as a power blocking guard. Fluker today is a one dimensional player with injury concerns and age not on his side. He also has had numerous costly penalties that tilted games. Sweezey, same, same, same. will also likely not be cheap.

            We don’t need to get lost on the weeds on this, but signing them both will not be cheap in a market they have little room to play with, and presents opportunity costs for adding players elsewhere.

            The real error was not taking a more impactful position in the first round last year. They have real exposure at the guard position.

            I hope they have a better plan than simply re-signing them both.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I disagree, they will be well priced and incredibly valuable to Seattle.

              You know as well as I do this is a horrible time for OL play in the league. If you want to go back to paying Luke Joeckel types $7m a year, I’m not down with that.

          • David says:

            What gives you the impression sweezy has been Superb? I think he is decent sometimes good but more average with a good scheme fit rather than being a non replaceable type. Think they could easily upgrade though I like him more as a backup than anchor on the Left. Fluker fits perfectly for our style wouldn’t change him although injuries are a concern. Ifedi can still go or be relegated to a back up, gets overwhelmed too often for my taste still

            • Rob Staton says:

              He’s been blowing guys off the LOS all year. Ditto Fluker. I’ve also talked to Justin Britt, D.J. Fluker and Pete Carroll specifically about the impact of him. There’s a reason they’re the #1 running team.

              • Rad_man says:

                Jordan Simmons stepped in and played to effectively the same level.

              • David says:

                Idk as always I appreciate your perspective I just dont see Sweezy as a dominant run blocker. He is decent even good at times but not pancaking like Fluker nor does he have an upside in pass protection. I understand interviewing after the Raiders pummeling that they were riding high just dont think those are very accurate to the overall play for the season. I attribute our running game success to everyone plus solari scheme not one lineman he isn’t going to dominate good dline play though.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  In fairness he’s probably about 60lbs lighter than Fluker.

                  Sweezy, to me, had a great year. I think the whole line did. Not flawless, but a major step forward. They became almost the heart of the team. A strong part of the identity and the toughness. I wouldn’t do anything to risk losing that.

                  (And FWIW — I spoke to Carroll before the pummelling about Fluker/Sweezy).

                  • David says:

                    That’s kinda my point though. If you are going to go full hogmoly and commit to that style I would try and put another Fluker type in there. 330 or more that’s going to be similar. I guess we will see I won’t be disappointed if Sweezy is back but I would go huuge.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    The skill sets they look for at LG and RG are different though. And thus the body type they desire for those two roles is different.

                  • David says:

                    ie LG & RG being different. You are correct except that doesn’t always have to be the case. Its only a generalization based on whether you can have someone good at LG at pass protection. I don’t think sweezy has ever been known for being plus at pass protection

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    But they still kept Pocic at LG and Simmons at RG. So there was a size ideal there.

              • Duceyq says:

                Sweezy has been superb, especially when you consider what Seattle paying him. Him and Flucker were steals. Same with what little I saw of Simmons

                • David says:

                  Idk, maybe we were so used to crap offensive line play that regular line play is superb. I’m not buying it though. The only lineman you could make a case for that is Duane Brown overall and Fluker on Running plays.

        • Sea Mode says:

          I’d rather have Fluker for 12 games than Pocic for 16…

          • Rad_man says:

            Lucky for them those aren’t the only two choices.

          • Elmer says:

            I would get Pocic on a massive offseason strengthening and conditioning program. Give him specific goals, make sure hw knows that it’s do or die. We can hope that the Hawks have the strength coaches to do that successfully Quality O-line depth is always a good thing..

      • hawkdawg says:

        All depends on price. Fluker will not be a 16 game starter, as his history injury thus far demonstrates. Sweezy is not a good pass blocker, and for that matter neither is Fluker.

        If we can get them on short term deals for decent money, sure. But no going out on a limb for either of them.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think they’ll be extremely affordable and very motivated to stay in Seattle.

          • rad_man says:

            So you think they’ll be good and cheap for seattle but O line talent in the league is bad and expensive? If they’re good, they won’t be extremely affordable. If they’re extremely affordable they probably aren’t that good.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Yes, I think generally speaking the O-line market is horrendous. Over-inflated, overpaid. The 2017 off-season is a good example of that from a Seattle point of view.

              They struck gold with these two. Both a good match for us. We’re a good match for them. I asked Carroll and Fluker personally about a new deal. Both are desperate for it. Everyone wants to get it done. Seattle’s O-line was better than it’s been in years.

              There’s no need to even RISK mixing things up. No need.

              • Rad_man says:

                So your argument here is that the O line market is bad, over-inflated and over paid, but some how Sweezey and Fluker are good and will be “extremely affordable”. Surely you can see the hole in this argument.

                You say you’re seeing my argument but I don’t think you are. They’re mediocre/average players. Simmons came in and played at basically the same level as either.

                We don’t need to act like they’re “the reason” the run game improved. There are lots of reasons the run game improved- coach, style, system change and Carson healthy. Sweezey and Fluker are not the savior to the run game nor the key to the off season and we don’t need to pretend that they are. They should definitely not be paid like they are.

                If the O line market is over inflated, as you argue, and they are good, as you argue…how will they be extremely affordable?

                Be prepared to walk away from these dinged up, penalty prone one dimensional players. Have a better plan than re-signing both. They’re either going to get juice on the market that the Seahawks can’t afford, or they’re basically the kind of player I’ve described- nothing special.

                The Seahawks got themselves in a real pickle with their O line with their draft choices and talent development. Here they are now. The solution is their coaching, not their pocket book.

        • Rad_man says:

          I am simply hoping our O line coach finds the next guys, not retread these guys. The solution to the run game and the o-line was a coach not named Tom Cable.

          Improvement was across the board, not just those two. Better scheme. Better scouting. Better coaching.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Simple.

            • Rad_man says:

              You seem to be intentionally missing the argument against. Which is odd given you keep engaging.

              Fluker and Sweezey are nothing special and I hope they don’t get paid like they are.

              • Rob Staton says:

                I’ve not missed the argument. I just think you are wrong and think it’s a strange position to take. Especially if you’d watched the 2016-18 Seahawks O-line. People have short memories.

                • Rad_man says:

                  On the contrary I remember well. We have a new coach who replaced one you insisted wasn’t the problem. You’ve yet to address that component of the equation. Another false argument. Between this and your other post yesterday I tend to agree with the comments there that express your lack of genuine engagement with the comments with which you disagree. your tendency to dismiss another perspective as flawed is strong.

              • Trevor says:

                You resign Fluker and Sweezy because they are solid guards who excel in run blocking. Most importantly however they are tone-setters! This OL got bullied for 3-4 years and then these two guys come in with Duane Brown and completely change that in one year becoming the bully again instead of he victim. They are key to this team going forward if that is they type of offense Pete wants.

                • hawkdawg says:

                  Fluker played in 9 games in 2017 and 10 in 2018. Again, he’s worth resigning if we don’t overestimate his value.

                  • FresnoHawk says:

                    Fluker has no leverage with anyone why would the stingiest (Seahawks) team in the league over pay him? Don’t forget he’s a 1st round bust.

      • Mike B. says:

        Why must they keep Sweezy and Fluker? Huge leap for the o-line? How about a modest leap. The o-line was certainly improved compared to 2017, but I’m not sure by how much–the run game success was largely due to a combination of Carson and Davis playing so well and averaging lots of yards after contact, and Solari’s improved run-blocking scheme. Outside of Duane Brown the o-line was pretty dreadful.

        Here are my counterpoints to your claims:
        – Footballoutsiders ranked Seattle’s o-line 30th out of 32 for pass-blocking. Only Miami and Houston had worse adjusted sack rates.
        – PFF rated Fluker 70th and Sweezy 74th out of 80 guards. Yeah, some disagree with PFF’s grading, but their rankings still provide a good picture of how well a player has performed. The only argument to keep those two guys is for the sake of o-line continuity and because they’re on the cheap side. Fluker has gotten progressively worse since his 2nd season.

        • Rob Staton says:

          It was not a modest leap from the 2017 performance to the 2018 performance. It was a gigantic jump.

          The line is set up to excel in run blocking with a scrambling QB. We have to live with that. It’ll always grade poorly in pass pro. Plus Wilson sacks himself and that doesn’t help.

          PFF also graded Shaquill Griffin as one of Seattle’s best five performers against Arizona, even though he went off injured after a series, and didn’t include the dominant Jarran Reed. PFF has an undeserved reputation.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      By all means let’s resign Sweezy and Fluker. The performance of the backups was poor, worse than I thought it would be against the Cardinals. I would like Schottenheimer to get his chance to pick out of the draft, with a couple good run blocking guards. I don’t care where they are picked, I would just like to see some successful development in the organization for the day they are needed.

      I also agree that the run offense was very simple against the Cowboys. To sum up the scheme -run up the gut. I think they were afraid of Dallas side to side pursuit speed. I suspect that Fluker and Sweezy were playing at 80% and that didn’t help things.

      The Cardinals and Rams have had Seahawks number for years. Load the line with 5-7 players. If it’s a run tackle at the line. If it’s a pass – blitz or drop a few back to cover the middle. That’s why there are so many defensive players crowding the line and Wilson is always getting blitzed.

      • Rob Staton says:

        They didn’t just ‘start the backups’ vs Arizona. They were on their third choice right guard, second choice left guard and second choice right tackle. Furthermore, the right guard had to switch from right tackle.

  4. Pratt says:

    Great article rob. I thought Seahawks accomplished more than was expected – it was always going to be a developmental year. I don’t think every star must sign player will be retained, there’ll be a shocker in the off season for sure. Unfortunately I see next year possibly as another developmental year because of this. You mention they need 3-4 more impact players, but if they lose 2-4 impact players in FA, that’s only further pushing out our timeline to compete in the Super Bowl with limited picks this year.

  5. 80SLargent says:

    1. According to overthecap, Seattle saves $8M by cutting Kam Chancellor.
    https://overthecap.com/player/kam-chancellor/847/
    It doesn’t change your point. Seattle needs to have another offseason like the last, where they found value instead of the “big splash” moves.

    2-3. They’re definitely going to find ways to gain draft picks, whether trading down, or trading current players.

    4. I think there’s going to be a lot more DL/pass rushers on the market. There’s quite a few potential cap casualties on teams like Jacksonville, and Seattle might find value there.

    5-6. Their secondary needs development. The run defense and pass rush needs to improve. A better pass rush further helps the secondary.

    7. People want to cry about yesterday’s game, but Dallas just out-Seahawked the Seahawks on their home field. Seattle wasn’t even supposed to make the playoffs. Color me pleasantly surprised.

    8. Their special teams coach (Brian Schneider) probably should’ve been fired at least a season ago. I’ll be even more shocked if he doesn’t have a pink slip waiting for him now.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Yeah the spotrac and OTC data is different for Chancellor. Either way, there’s a saving to be made.

    • Eli says:

      No idea of the feasibility of it, but if they designate Kam as a post-June 1st cut the dead money hit would drop by another $2.5 million.

      • 80SLargent says:

        Absolutely. Also, while extending guys like Clark and Reed are going to take a pretty big bite out of their cap space, extending guys like Wilson and Wagner will actually create more room. They’re not in a bad spot, especially if they can be value shoppers like last offseason. PC/JS seem to hit better when they take “small swings” in free agency and trades.

        • red says:

          Kam money will be saved and i bet Mingo will be cut to save another 3.3 mil Dickson and Johnson probably stay for lack of depth at TE and WR. So we probably start at around 72 mil. If David Moore would have finished strong a case could have been made to cut Johnson.

          • 80SLargent says:

            I’m assuming you mean Jaron Brown and not “Johnson”.
            Not to play devil’s advocate, but I don’t think Brown is prohibitively expensive to keep onboard, and he scored 5 TDs on a very limited number of targets.

  6. millhouse-serbia says:

    What do you think, should they bring Shaquill back at RCB and make Tre a LCB?

    • Volume12 says:

      Shaq didn’t have his best game yesterday, but he wasn’t awful playing on a bad ankle either. 6 catches, 52 yds on 11 targets.

      That would be the 2nd time in 3 seasons they’ve switched sides with him. Perfect example of why that can cause a lack of progression was the TD he gave up. Turned his head the opposite direction.

      • 12th chuck says:

        receivers had a few drops, no thanks to shaq. I thought king was having a better game. I hope we haven’t seen the ceiling on shaq, hasn’t seemed to improve over last year./ Maybe with a more consistent pass rush, his game could improve

      • chris says:

        Shaq is a rookie, so 2nd time in 2 seasons.

    • FresnoHawk says:

      We need a bigger RCB than Quill.

  7. Sea Mode says:

    Great article, Rob. Defensive playmakers is a huge point. And looking back to what PC/JS did at the end of 2012 might give us some insight into how they plan to go about it now if they see themselves “on the brink” of contending.

    Not sure if any changes have been made recently in an attempt to fix the comment delay, but I just wanted to report strange behavior in the past 2-3 days. Suddenly, a few (3, I think) of my comments started appearing immediately like they used to. The rest have continued with the usual delay. And now, since you posted this latest article, refreshing hasn’t loaded any comments for me in a good while on neither this nor the previous article.

    Willing to collaborate with any tests you might need if it could help find a solution heading into draft season.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m continuing to work to find a solution to this now we’re in the off-season. Apologies to anyone effected in a similar way. I have no idea what the issue is. Again, I can only presume it’s because there’s so much data on the site these days after a decade. Or the design is outdated after all this time. I will keep seeking answers and try and find someone who can fix this or offer an affordable re-design.

      • Sea Mode says:

        Thank you for that effort. I know from IT experience that it can be frustrating trying to identify the cause of a problem for something that seemingly has no reason not to be working. We will be patient and it certainly hasn’t stopped me from reading and participating on the blog!

        I’ve worked on a WordPress site design before and noticed that outdated plugins can often cause problems. One idea could be to check if they are up to date or if any are obsolete and should be replaced entirely.

        Perhaps you could also consider a caching plugin and CDN solution for WordPress such as this:
        https://www.wpbeginner.com/blueprint/w3-total-cache/
        Not sure if you are using one already. This one should be free I believe as it is open source.

        There are a few other possibilities that your web designer could also look into here, though the issue is not exactly the same (load time):
        https://kinsta.com/blog/wordpress-comments/#fix-slow-loading-comments

        Just trying to be helpful by tossing out ideas. I’m no expert.

  8. Aaron says:

    I always love coming to SDB after a game like last night for some rational perspectives. Hey Rob, do you intend to write another article after Pete’s end of year chat with Brock and Salk and his end of year press conference? Pete usually is very transparent and offers great insight into their priorities for the offseason.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Absolutely! I will be listening and taking notes as usual. Looking forward to it already.

      Hopefully someone will ask Pete about the off-season priorities (or he will volunteer the answer) because as you say, he’s always up front and honest about it.

  9. Uncle Bob says:

    Glad you’re being the voice of reason regarding the available dollars for free agent pick ups for next season, all things are relative. No matter how many dollars there are, there are others out there with more available that we are competing against. It’s going to be a thin year for improved player acquisition which means we will need to rely more heavily on “grow your own”. Last draft was frustrating for me. I get the philosophy that JS follows, effectively “more is better” for number of picks. But thinking about where in their careers Wagner and Wright were/are it pained me to see them trade down rather than grab Vander Esch. Not using hind sight here, at the time he looked awful good to me. Yeah, we got Penny and Green, both of whom MAY work out as they mature/grow, but what we could have had……… I know, waste of time to wish. Given the high need for a quality D line guy, and the likelihood of one falling to 21-2 it will likely happen again next draft as JS does what JS does. We’ll see, and we’ll have plenty of opinions to go round.

    Also appreciate the level headed response to the inevitable “fire Shotty{” chants………what? Ya want Pete’s ol pal Sarkisian guys? I hear he’s available……… That mockery aside, there is a problem with the decision making at both the coaching level as well as player. I get not bailing early on a game plan that got you to the playoffs, but once it was well demonstrated (say by the end of the first quarter) that Dallas was well prepared for Carson’s running style (Richard’s Revenge?), it might be a good idea to shift to a different running style…………isn’t that part of why Penny is there? Game success is often dictated by acknowledging matchups (e.g. Dallas better hope to get LA rather than Chicago). When they finally did it was late (as usual), but it worked. 28 yards (eclipsing Carson’s entire day) on one run. The Penny haters will counter with “yeah then he lost 7 on the next play”……ignoring that it was poor line blocking rather than poor running choices. If you’ve got alternate tools they should be used. Similar in the passing game. It’s pretty clear that RW has lost faith in any receiver not named Baldwin or Lockett, Moore appears to have worked himself out of that faith, and Brown is a mystery to me. Perhaps summer work outs will fix that, or………………slim choices. And why JD Mc didn’t get more work continues to baffle me.

    Anyway, keep on with the sane perspectives you always grace us with, it’s going to be a somewhat torturous offseason despite this having been an enjoyable season of overachievement.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Thank you for reading. I get so much enjoyment out of writing this blog and talking Seahawks with you all.

    • Dh says:

      We give up a 44 yard run on 3rd down and 1 that led to a touchdown then you give up 16 yards on a 3rd and 14 to seal the game and questioning why we wouldn’t abanded the run game earlier, we still scored 22 points and don’t forget 10 points came directly from the run game ,and if the defense tackles Presscott on that 3rd down and hold em to a field goal the score is 20-16 with enough time to score and win the game.

  10. To the “unleash Wilson” crowd…

    For all of the improvement in the offensive line’s run blocking this year (and it was substantial), our pass blocking was still statistically terrible.
    Our sack/pressure % numbers were at the bottom of the league… even ranked worse than last year.
    Yes, Wilson was actually pressured *more* often this season that with last year’s historically bad line.

    Even to the amateur eye, watching the game, it’s clear that when a defense knows we are passing, Wilson is consistantly under pressure.
    So, the key to our successful passing attack is to continue running the ball, like it or not.
    Unless we see major changes in our O-line personnel (which is unlikely), we will continue to see the stubborn committment to the run game.

    The good news is, we are really good at that, yesterday aside.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I also think some of this is Wilson. He creates problems for himself sometimes.

      • I agree Rob, about Wilson creating his own problems at times.
        My observations would lead me to believe that he has improved somewhat, in helping out the line, by staying in the pocket more than in the past.

        Regardless, my point was that %-wise, our pass blocking (as a team, Wilson’s contributions included) were actually *worse* this year… which goes against our notion that Solari has built/created a substantially better line.
        Run blocking, yes… pass blocking, not so much.

    • Phil says:

      Brandon – I agree with your comment ” ,,, it’s clear that when a defense knows we are passing, Wilson is consistently under pressure.” With this in mind, I’m not a big fan of the Seahawks going to empty back formations where RW is alone in the backfield.

      Taking this a step further, what would this season — and past seasons — have been like with a healthy CJ Prosise? When our running game is stalled and we are having problems converting on 3rd downs, it would be nice to have a guy who can be a real pass-catching threat in the backfield, or motioning out of the backfield. Someone who can be a consistent threat in screens, or draws. Someone who has the speed and pass-catching skills to run wheel routes.

      WSU’s James Williams caught more passes than any RB this past season. He impressed me with both his pass catching and his running in several games this season, but did not look good IMHO in WSU’s bowl game. He just declared for the draft but the pundits don’t seem very interested in him at this point. He might make a good addition to the Seahawks, especially if he can be picked up as an UDFA. Are there other RBs who might be seen as Prosise-like, but healthier?

      • Phil,

        Your comment about Prosise struck a chord with me, regarding the whole 3rd down back situation this year.
        It is surprising to me that once JD Mckissic was healthy, that he wasn’t incorporated into our offense at all.
        I got the sense that Pete wanted to “reward” Davis for his hard work, and give him a steady role, which ended up being 3rd downs.
        It sure does feel like a wasted opportunity to not have used Mckissic a bit more as a change of pace/receiving back.

      • Eli says:

        Big fan of James Williams – sounds like he’s an awesome guy off the field too. Another back who might fit into this sort of role is Trayveon Williams out of Texas A&M. He might be more of a mid-Day 3 guy though which wouldn’t be much of a fit for us. Justice Hill at Oklahoma State is another scatback type, but he’s looking like he’s gonna go Day 2 or early Day 3.

        • Phil says:

          One concern about Williams is his size — 6 ft. 205# — which makes me wonder about his durability. But, look at Darren Sproles who is reported as being 5′ 6″ and 190# and it seems like he’s been playing forever (he’s 35 yrs. old).

          I’m not saying that getting a productive 3rd. round back is the team’s best use for one of their rare picks this year, but if we could get someone as an UDFA, who has been passed over for one reason or another, I’d be happy. I’m open to using McKissic more, or even Prosise should his health suddenly improve in the last year of his rookie contract ….

  11. millhouse-serbia says:

    Derrick Brown staying at school.

  12. Gohawks5151 says:

    Great job Rob and the SDB community. What an exciting year and so much more to do. Really looking forward to the prospect review, draft and free agency periods.

    Again, i think most want to add wrinkles to the offense not change it. Not just scheming things like isolation plays for Doug or Tyler but the timing of plays as well. They had 8 in the box early and went 3 and out on 3 runs. I understand the establishing dominance aspect but seeing that maybe we move the pocket early and come back to the bread and butter when they loosen. Also they scored the first TD on a drive heavily featuring the read option look again. Perhaps a better mix of that. Also it was pretty obvious when Smith was spying Russ. Ideal time for a throwback screen or even an RPO look. I know this all seems hindsight for one game but I think it’s great to brainstorm adding to the offense not changing or replacing.

    Pass rush is obvious. Still hoping Calais Campbell is a cap casualty. He would look great. Resign Frank. The draft also gives a good opportunity to drop back a few pick and recoup a pick to use on Walker, zuniga, or Simmons possibly.

    Can’t help but notice Earl is still on the chart in point 6, above T2 and many others. I know, I know… But no one can question how much he changes this D and I shutter to think if Dallas does get him.

    Future looks good. Can’t wait to see what happens

  13. Troy says:

    Rob always appreciate your takes, but I offer the following comment in regards to our offensive playcalling last night.

    Dallas knew we wanted to run the ball. Seattle wanted to run the ball. This is fine, this has been their identity all season, and it was worked for them.

    HOWEVER, Dallas has the 5th best defense against the run in the entire NFL. They keyed on the run, and it should have been obvious from the first quarter in that Dallas was not going to allow the Hawks to win with their run game.

    My question to you is, what would Belicheck do in a situation like this? Would he dogmatically and stubbornly stick to a ‘philosophy’ for the sake of his ego/thinking, or would he take advantage of the match ups on the field that were there to be had? Pretty obvious, he would play to win and take advantage of matchups in his favor.

    Lockett and Baldwin could have easily had a field day against this team if we had a head coach/OC who did not hand cuff them.

    At the end of the day, that is the really disappointing thing about this loss to me. PC is great on defense, and it is great to have an identity on offense, but when running the ball is not working the solution is not to keep doing the same thing over and over again. The first play action pass was a huge success, maybe learn a little from this Seattle head coaches. Ok, rant over.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Well, Belichick does have his stubborn ways. I’m loathe to compare to the best and most successful coach to ever participate in the NFL. But BB has this thing where he constantly tries to ‘take away’ an opponents best weapon on offense. It frequently leaves his defense exposed when the opponent has multiple weapons and is willing to scheme away from their main guy. Case in point — Seattle’s game against New England in 2016. He tried to take Jimmy Graham away for some reason. Devoted everything to stopping Graham. Seattle anticipated this and featured Baldwin and C.J. Prosise who were constantly given favourable match-ups. So even the GOAT has his moments.

      I reject the notion that Seattle ‘stuck’ to the run for ego. That’s not it at all. I’m totally baffled by this argument that fans are making. In a three or four point game they mixed in some runs. That’s football. That’s the Seahawks. Dallas are good against the run, sure. You don’t just give up half way through a game. That’s not how it works. They weren’t stubborn. They weren’t forcing anything. You’re talking like they ran 30 times in the second half and had ten passes. They threw more than they passed. They just played their game, like they always do. They just lost this time.

      Lockett had 120 yards. He did have a field day.

      I’ve said it a few times already. And believe me, I’m not trying to be insensitive here. I know fans react to losses differently. But people need to stop overreacting and acting like the Seahawks were the only team on the field and all they had to do is do what the fans want and they would’ve easily won. It doesn’t work like that. The Cowboys played a hell of a game. They deserved to win. We move on.

      • Zxvo3 says:

        Well said

      • Hawkmonkey says:

        Intermediate passing, passes to running backs, and using the middle of the field more would open up the run. The problem wasn’t that they wanted to run, it was that they tried to run the same way with the same personnel in an utterly predictable way and expected different results. When they mixed in Rashaad Penny, they made themselves less predictable. When they tried to throw to Carson that was good process. Throwing the TD to McKissic was good use of running backs in the passing game. Changing patterns isn’t giving up, it’s being smart. Peteball uses too little of the field laterally and has too few 7-8 yard passes that are anywhere but the sideline. This has been a consistent feature of the team.

        This team has more offensive potential than Peteball let’s them show. If they had any intermediate passing game it would also open up the run. I like the bully attitude of the Seahawks and Chris Carson is a joy to watch punishing defenders, but slow developing, extraordinarily predictable draws on 65% plus of 2nd downs even after the first down run play went nowhere doesn’t give them the highest probability of success. Running plays with a 2% chance of success on 3rd and long makes the team look like fools. Playing for the field goal makes the team look foolish. The team has always had killer instinct on defense, but they play conservative far too often on offense. The best way to help your defense get turnovers is to build a lead and create a snowball effect. Leads beget bigger leads when you have a great defensive coach like Pete. He doesn’t give his team enough opportunity to build big leads. He doesn’t go for the jugular offensively. He doesn’t understand momentum or knock-out blows. Almost every game is played tight, no matter the quality of opponent because of conservative play calling.

        • Whit21 says:

          I was really wondering why they didnt attack the middle of the field.. Espicially when they switch to that overhead camera.. it was wide open a few times they showed plays and I wonder if they don’t is because of RW height.. or lack of receiving options.

          But the truth is when they were passing formations.. Dallas’ Dline was getting constant pressure and when they blitzed a few times, got to RW right away. Jaylon Smiths sack case in point. People are crazy if they needed to go Pass heavy… its boring to see them struggle, but being balanced is the best success this offensive personnel is going to have ATM… It helps RW and gives him the best chance of success IMO.. he cant be a traditional high volume throwing QB.. Hes a better Dak Prescott.. Just like how Nick Foles needs a certain offence to be successful.

          When they get a Jimmy Graham or even Brandon Marshall for a few games, RW tries to force the ball too much, if he has a balanced offense that can get Lockett 1on1 deep cross route.. he can move it in chunks.. shotty just needed to work the middle a bit more with how fast the pass rush got to RW.. thats my only complaint in the play calling to be honest.

          sorry, not sorry..

        • Duceyq says:

          What makes you think our RB’s would’ve matched up well in the passing game vs Dallas’ fast LB’s. Those same LB’s limited Kamara and Ingram when they played the Saints.

          Outside a few more PA plays on 1st or 2nd down I have no issue. I’m sure if Madden weren’t hurt we may have seen more PA on early downs because Seattle is more effective with PA out of I-Formations. But Philosophically I’m fine with what this offense is overall. Get Dissly back and then boom!

          Dallas only gives up 21 points a game, Seattle scored 22. Seattle’s defense gives up 22 a game and gave up 24 to a Dallas team who only averages 21 a game…blaming the OC is convenient narrative because people take issue with BS as the OC…but Seattle scored 26 a game this year. That’s really good.

          If anything, the defense didn’t hold up it’s end in Dallas. Run defense has been an issue for Seattle all year and that was exposed by the leading RB in the NFL. The run 44 yard run before the half and Dak’s 16 yard run to seal the game cost us. Not the OC! I just don’t know what people want from the OC.

          Sean Peyton’s “high powered” offense only scored 10 pts in Dallas, should he be fired?

          Seattle just has to add more pieces on defense along with getting more players experience too. Next year the SB window is officially open again.

  14. hawkdawg says:

    To the contrary, the Panther game should have taught the staff that when a team consistently shuts down the run, you need to loosen up that defense before the second half of the 4th quarter. That victory was hard-earned, but also quite fortunate.

    It looked like we had learned this when we opened the third yesterday, but that was an illusion, unfortunately. Pete mis-stated the problem in his press conference. It wasn’t “third downs.” It was that first and second downs were so bad that third downs were very likely to suffer. And first and second downs were bad because we insisted on running throughout the game, and the Cowboys manhandled our line, especially the interior. They were not prepared for blitzes, missed assignments, got no push, etc. The Cowboys beat us at our own game–run effectively enough, pass occasionally, control the clock and the ball.

  15. Ehurd1021 says:

    The way some of these Seahawk fans are acting – now take into consideration most of them are on Twitter – is unbelievable. Based on some of these illogical reactions, you’d think some of these people were expecting THIS current Seahawk roster to win a Super Bowl this year.

    Calling for Shotty to be fired. Calling for Pete to resign and/or be fired. Building a false narrative that Pete doesn’t know how to adjust when Pete Carroll has consistently been on the best in-game adjusting head coaches in football. Ridiculous. The Seahawks established themselves this year – salvaging this season – by establishing the run and being consistent. It led to the Seahawks having the top-rated run offense in the NFL and assisted Wilson statistically having one of the best seasons of his career statistically. Logical and sound Seahawk fans see this season for what it was/is… a building block.

    This Seahawks team winning 10-games and making it to the playoffs speaks volumes about the job this coaching staff did this year. Why it’s so hard for some Seahawk fans to simply admit that the Cowboys were/are a better team (with home-field advantage) is mind-boggling to me. The Seahawks are BUILDING a championship level roster; the coaching staff is showing progress, and Pete is establishing the identity and culture of the team moving forward.

    This off-season is vital. However, there is a championship core that is here with an extremely young roster.

    Defensively:

    The Seahawks have to build their defensive-line and have to improve their rush and pass defense. Whether those pieces come through the draft – which I think will happen – or through free agency, that is the greatest concern and need this off-season. Pete and Norton know this. You can’t play sound defense if you can’t stop the run and yesterday vs. the Cowboys was simply a microcosm of the larger issue, in terms of run defense. The second area of concern that needs to be addressed is the overall talent and competition within the secondary. Tre Flowers has great potential and while Shaq has been consistent, there needs to be more competition present moving forward to push both corners. In terms of safety, I think Bradley is one of the best safeties in the NFL and his versatility is amazing. However, Tedric – the same with Shaq and Tre – needs to be pushed with fresh blood and competition. There is no doubt in my mind KJ needs to be resigned if he’s healthy. He’s one of the most unique and physically gifted WILL backers in the NFL and his ability to both plays the run and pass is a premium.

    Offensively:

    The Seahawks have to re-sign and keep this offensive-line together. And while I think Ifedi improved tremendously, I think a good dose of competition at the RT spot is needed. I would love to see Fant push Ifedi for that spot next year. Having Disley come back next season is going to be key as well. I would love to see the Seahawks target a veteran WR this off-season, however, with cap space, I don’t think that’s a possibility.

    I’m excited about this off-season. We know who we are and have the ability to start creating a dominating roster and team once again.

  16. RWIII says:

    Seahawk fans you need to settle down. What happened yesterday is not going happen very often. The Seahawk fans are forgetting that Kris Richard is the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys. Yes, the Cowboys defense is good. Very good. But it is NOT as good as it looked yesterday. Why? We all are forgetting that Kris Richard was our defensive coordinator last year. Richard KNEW our playbook. By looking at our formations they could sniff out our plays. Richard knew our strengths/weaknesses. He knew where to attack what defensive schemes to avoid. That makes all the difference in the world.

    If you are not happy with the play calling I guess we could go back to the days of Jim Mora when the Hawks went 4-12.

    Another point. The Seahawk announcers talked about how the Cowboys were constantly moving their defensive lineman during the snap. This was causing confusion along the offensive line. The offensive lineman did not know who to block. That could be why we had so.many negative plays and why Chris Carson couldn’t get going.

    • Rad_man says:

      there’s a defeat for that, and the Seahawks never employed it. They kept playing into it. This was a bad game for the coaches. That doesn’t mean I’m calling for anyone to be fired. Coaches have bad games. This was one.

  17. C-Dog says:

    Great write up, Rob. I can not thank you enough for this blog and this forum and for being the continual voice of reason for our beloved Seattle Seahawks.

    For my part, I’m fine with the coaching and the dedication to running the ball. It’s something to continue building on.

    I think for this team to make the next leap, they got to hit on at least a couple players in this coming draft, and have a couple from last year’s group take a big leap forward (Rasheem Green and Jacob Martin for example). Pass rush as got to be the focus, and this is seems poised to be the year to do it. Personally, I don’t care if the first pick in used on a guy like Burns or Sweet, even if they are just third down specialists, if they have rare desirable requisite traits to bring the heat. That was essentially rookie Bruce Irving. Will be interesting to see what they do. Conversely if one of the many talented DTs are still on the board, would be just as happy with that. Just get more pass rush.

    What I don’t want is to see the first round pick being shipped to Pittsburgh for Antonio Brown. Don’t think that will be the case, but you never know.

    Like I said before, it was a fun year of Seahawks football. Generally feel good about the state of this team. Will be fascinated to see how they approach this big offseason.

  18. Ukhawk says:

    Rob. Great 2 articles the last few days and wholeheartedly agree with your measured views.

    I think the Hawks got beat by a better Cowboys team and a team that very much beat us at our own game. Just like the during our last Super Bowl run, they have a 1st contract, field tilting QB, the most physically dominant RB in the league and a front 7 which can stop the run and rush the passer. They benefitted being further along the curve in terms of maturity than our current Hawks and they also had a major advantage like we used to do in terms of home field advantage. The result wasn’t surprising especially given they played good, mistake free football. In a few more offseasons, the result will assuredly be different.

    Pete, Doug and Russ talked in their presser about the opportunity for growth and improvement, about the unique, driven characters in the clubhouse and the fact that they will continue to get better. This season the Hawks recaptured their identity on both sides of the ball and not only performed but also markedly improved; it’s a wonderful and exciting start to a new era.

    Pete has always said he wants to run a balanced offense rather than a run first offense. To my eye, they need to and will get better in all phases. And when they do, they be able to make those adjustments and learn how to win better (just like the last era).

  19. Volume12 says:

    Rivers arm is toast. Pop gun.

    • BV Eburg says:

      Yep and that pop gun won against a great defense. Did the SD offense continually run the same play up the middle with an occasional deep ball? Nope, it was sideline to sideline runs and passes. Short, middle and deep passes, aka balance and attacking all parts of the field.
      It’s even more disheartening to know we have Wilson’s skill set and can’t get it done.

  20. line_hawk says:

    2. Regarding the draft, they have had major misses the last few years in round 2-3. There is no point moving down from 21/22 if you are going to get the next Prosise, Darboh, Pocic, Odhiambo and company. The day-2 drafting has been below average to put it nicely. I can guarantee they try to be cute and miss out on players. Kind of like they took Paul Richardson in a strong receiver class. Or the year after year of drafting raw athletes to play O-line.

    7. Regarding last night’s game, I get Carroll’s philosophy. I am not saying they need to be Andy Reid. But, I also think stubbornly sticking to what doesn’t work was stupid. The game plan was doomed from the get go. I posted in the previous thread that the way Dallas’s LB are playing, there was no way you run on them on the road. The Seahawks did not have a plan B. Especially in a playoff game on the road when your season is on the line, do you put the ball in the hand of your mediocre defense or your start QB? They put in the hands of the defense and failed. There is no reason to make the young defense to make stop after stop in a playoff game because your offense led by your star QB repeatedly 3-and-outs. What happened to big-balls Pete?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Also drafted in rounds 2-3 — Frank Clark, Tyler Lockett, Jarran Reed, Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, Golden Tate.

      • line_hawk says:

        Drafting during 2010-2012 was off the charts. Since then, its been average at best. Reed, Clark & Lockett to show for the last 6 years of blowing day-2 pick after pick. Not sure what they are missing but the drafts have been average at best. I know it happens; look at the Saints and Colts drafting mediocre for years and suddenly kicking it out of the park the last couple of years. But, suggesting the Hawks are all-world at drafting is a fallacy.

        The bigger issue is that to win in the league, you need young players to emerge quickly. The ones who play above average but make below average. If you wait until year 4 for players to break out like Reed/Lockett/PRich/Tate (& potentiallyT2 and company), you will soon have to pay them market rate or lose them. At which point, you will again have to man some positions with below average rookies or street FAs. This is a cycle that one-time great teams fall in, look at Saints, Chargers, Steelers of the last few years. Can the Hawks be the exception and avoid this cycle? I am not sure given their last few drafts.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Where did I suggest they are all-word at drafting?

          I merely listed a bunch of fantastic 2nd and 3rd round picks in response to the suggestion they’ve had major misses in rounds 2-3. They’ve drafted some of the NFL’s best players in that range too. Perspective is key.

        • JohnH says:

          There’s no team in the history of the league that never misses on mid round picks. I won’t say that they’ve been historically great like the early PC/JS years, but the draft is in essence just an exercise in gambling and even the best hit losing streaks. We are the only team in the league with two players with 10+ sacks, and both of them were taken in the second. We have the most efficient wide receiver in league history, and he was taken in the second.

          And that’s not even taking into account the later round picks, like a top 5 RB taken in the 7th.

          PC/JS certainly haven’t been perfect, but looking at their tenure as a whole I’d say they’re probably top 5 in the league.

    • FresnoHawk says:

      Darboh & Prosise are on the last year of their cheap contracts, if healthy they will be back at camp competing for roster spots. Both could still turn out to be impact players.

  21. SamL says:

    Any one else think penny was looking better than Carson yesterday. Clearly Carson is better but I cant wait for that two headed monster next year. That with flowers strong play points to us being even better next year. Cant wait!

    • Rob Staton says:

      Carson appeared laboured. Like he was feeling the toll of a long season. Plus Dallas seemed determined to shut him down. Penny was bright when he got his totes.

      • FresnoHawk says:

        Zeke rested last game Carson did not. Next year we need more depth at RB & Guard by the end of camp. If we have this depth on the roster that’s fine but we cannot go into next season with banged up Olinemam & RB’s like we did this year.

    • David says:

      Don’t count Penny out yet. Although Carson was great this year and a better overall back both him and Penny have different skill sets with intriguing upside at what they are both good at. I would be surprised if Penny isn’t challenging Carson for carries next year with an offseason of training and the right conditioning he could be a home run threat whenever he touches the ball. We got some taste of that this year

  22. RWIII says:

    Rob: Let’s say that Jeffrey Simmons is sitting on the board The Hawks are on the clock.

    a). Hypothetical question. Would you take Simmons or trade down?

    b). What do you think the Hawks will do? Will they take him or will they trade down?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I can’t answer those questions RWIII. Not without being able to do all the work on Simmons the teams can (and will do). My sense is he’s a changed man. If that was true on further study, I would be willing to take him. But I can’t sit in a room with him and grill him about it like the teams.

  23. RWIII says:

    Rob: You mentioned the Hawks need 3 or 4 more good players on defense. Hypothetical question. If the Hawks sign Michael Kendricks would he be one of those 3 or 4 players needed that you mentioned earlier.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Very possible. He’s very good. I think K.J. can be one of them too. I’d seriously consider re-signing both and cutting Mingo.

      • Sea Mode says:

        We would save $3.3m on the cap with $1.1m dead money if we cut him. That could go towards Kendricks/Wright. Mingo played 52% of def. snaps (of course inflated by injuries to other LBs) and 81% of ST, so lots of ST value there to consider as well.

        Jaron Brown seems like the only other candidate for cap casualty, but he would only save $2.75m and would leave $0.97m in dead money. He might be cheap enough to hold on to. He played 33% of offensive snaps and 27% of ST.

  24. Doug says:

    Rob, thank you for the article last night and this one today, and really ALL of your great analysis on the Seahawks this year!

    Quick comment on the game last night–I haven’t seen anyone comment on the fact the Seahawks lost by 2, when Seabass missed a long-but-makeable FG in the first half. That miss “hamstrung” the Seahawks in the second half yet they still managed to stay in the game. No disrespect to Seabass, who had three GW FGs this season, but an upgrade at placekicker for next season would be in order.

    Also, I am surprised Penny did not get more touches last night. Carson looked like he was maybe a little less than 100%? Or the Cowboys D was very focused on stopping him–and if so credit to the Cowboys.

    The Seahawks surprised me this year, even though I am always very optimistic about a Pete Carroll-coached team. Some surprising performances by Jarran Reed, Akeem King at the end of the season, Tre Flowers starting as a rookie in a new position for him (and balling out), Lockett stepping up big time, Clark exceeding high expectations… many more items could be listed. It makes me think that there are surprises still on Seattle’s roster that are going to shape the team’s approach to the FA market and the draft.

    Green had, essentially, a “red shirt” year with the Seahawks, who were lucky to grab him where they did in the 2018 draft. I wonder if he is the guy who really takes a big leap in year two opposite Clark, with Reed, Naz Jones, and Poona Ford being the DT nucleus? Adding just one more quality player to that group will make for a great DL.

    I still see the need for a hybrid edge/LB (someone who can rush in a NASCAR package but is also great in coverage against TEs and RBs), and another quality backup for Bobby (which could be Kendricks if he is available).

    The Seahawks need another playmaker on Offense. It was disappointing to see the performance arc for David Moore–in the last quarter of the season, he seemed to take a step back. The Seahawks need another quality WR to complement Lockett and Baldwin.

    Still, there is a young, quality core on this team that shows some promise of good things to come.

  25. Ehurd1021 says:

    Question… I personally think the Seahawks need to sign a vet WR this off-season.

    Would anyone be interested in bringing back Jermain Kearse or Golden Tate? Both know and understand the Seahawks identity and offensive philosophy – which might work in our favor in FA. I know Wilson would love to have one of them back… especially Kearse.

    • Rad_man says:

      I can’t see how spending FA money on a vet WR would make sense. They’ve got to start finding real values everywhere on the roster and veteran FA WR3 probably isn’t it.

      In fact, I’d argue the seahawks need to have a real moment of truth to themselves if their philosophy matches their spending choices or not. I don’t think it does. I don’t think it can with the amount of money they spend on offense already. I am not sure it’s realistic to have the team they want with the why they’re spending their cap resources. They haven’t been able to do it for several years now. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect that you can, and that might mean they have to change.

      How many teams in the history of the salary cap era have had an elite salary QB, a top notch run game, and a top notch defense? I’ll be more precise: how many times has Pete Carroll? The answer is Zero and it’s not for a lack of trying.

  26. Seahawkwalt says:

    Thank you for this great article. Ive been following you a long time. What do you think Poona’s ceiling is? I really like his explosiveness, low center and long arms. Who are some of your favorite 3T and edges from the ones you mentioned? Do you see Shaq as a long term starter? I think Kendricks stays. I remember the war room being upset when the eagles picked him just before us.
    Thank you!
    Go Seahawks

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think Poona can develop into a nice, solid rotational DT.

      I don’t see Shaquem as a long term starter. Shaquill yes he can be.

      I like Christian Wilkins and Jachai Polite a lot.

  27. millhouse-serbia says:

    Hm, hawkbloger on KJ situation:”K.J. Wright played wonderfully in what is likely his last game in a Seahawks uniform”.

  28. Mike says:

    Rob, I appreciate your attempts to stifle the knee jerk reactions and calls for heads. I’m not upset because I didn’t expect any of this this year. All that said, there is room for a middle ground discussion about the merits of the approach.

    Ultimately, my question is this: can we win another super bowl with this offensive strategy? I don’t think so, unless we have a generational talent at RB. Yes, the approach kept us in games and was largely responsible for 10 wins. It also kept games close that we should have won easily (Arizona, for instance). Point to our past super bowl appearances as proof all you want, but we don’t have Marshawn and don’t have a historic defense. Yes, we have solid parts but the only star we have is at QB. Why not trust him to win a playoff game? Why not build the offense around him?

    Look at the Chiefs game as an example of what the offense is capable of when they take the training wheels off and let Wilson just play ball.

    I’m not calling for heads, I’m not overreacting to the L. It was a good and unexpected season. I think that there are merits, though, of questioning if this is the right approach in today’s NFL.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think they absolutely can win another Super Bowl with this strategy. They’ve already nearly won two.

      And that Chiefs game was still part of the strategy. They ran for 210 yards and ran about 15 more times than they passed.

      For me, they just need to keep adding talent.

      • Hawk Eye says:

        of course they can win with this offence
        with everyone upset about the game last night they forget they were the 6th highest scoring team in the league. I think they need to keep the o line stable, get Dissly back, and either see Moore take a step forward or get another WR to add into the mix

        The D is ok, but needs some more pass rush and at least one more guy at the back who gets picks and more speed
        and depth everywhere because injuries happen

        I would say the D is holding them back from SB contention more than the O

    • 80SLargent says:

      I’m not picking on you, but just the general sentiment focused on the offense, and specifically yesterday’s game.
      The real story is, and should be, Seattle’s defense didn’t play well enough to win. Dallas’s offense is nothing special, but their defense is pretty legit. They shut down the Saints and their genius playcalling to the tune of 10 points on the same field Seattle played on yesterday. Should the Saints fire Sean Payton and Pete Carmichael? As much as I hate the Cowboys, we should give them a little credit here.
      Take a look around at the wild card games, none of them have been high scoring offensive shootouts. It’s playoff football, and the best defenses step up this time of year. Seattle’s didn’t. They’re young, and also need an infusion of talent, which I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts will happen this offseason.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        The offense will show up in the next round. Remember last years superbowl shootout? Both teams had a good defense, but it didn’t matter when the quarterbacks get hot with passes.

      • Mike says:

        I’m not calling for heads, and yes—give the Cowboys credit. I think our perspectives actually aren’t that far off. Given that we don’t have a dominant defense, why not open the offense up and increase the margin of error a bit? Repeatedly going 3 and out by running into a wall doesn’t give the D much of a chance to rest or win the field position battle. Why not hang our hats on our best player?

        I actually admire that Pete has a vision and a philosophy and the courage to stick to it even when things don’t go his way. I just think that if you are going to beat good teams in the playoffs with that philosophy you need a dominant defense and a top 5-10 running back or dominant O-line. Other wise the margin of error is too small.

        Just doesn’t make sense to me that you attempt less passes than any other team in the league when you have Russell.

  29. A, Chris says:

    Thanks Rob. I look forward to your site being the only one I check in on for the next few months. You’re a rational voice in a sea of, well, pure chaos actually. I appreciate your time and dedication. On to the next

  30. Trevor says:

    Rob one guy myself , Seamode and a couple of others here on the blog think might be a good fit for the Hawks is Andy Isabella (WR / UMass).

    Undersized but incredible production and elite speed. Would love if you could check him out and get your thoughts. Their game against Georgia should still be online most of the other stuff is clips or hi lights which don’t always give an accurate take on the player.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I will check him out.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Shoot, I just posted on him again as well and this comment appeared for me after refreshing the page. Let me know what you think about his potential draft range. 1v1 drills at the Senior Bowl practices will be big for his stock, and of course he has to prove that speed at the combine.

      Anyway, he’s not any more undersized than Brandin Cooks, for example. Cooks ran 4.33 at 5-10, 189. I think Isabella will be right there. Same size as Baldwin. He’s got 10 lbs. on Lockett and is probably faster.

      And his great fit for our offense comes from being able to line up both in the slot and outside as a deep threat.

  31. smitty1547 says:

    It was a fun year, team has fight and appeared better after they removed some of the locker room lawyers.

    I agree was troubling to watch them pound the ball straight ahead time after time for no gain, no mis direction no traps no anything, against the strength of Dallas D. Leavening Wilson 3rd and long every damn time.

    Seabiscuit is done, unless he wants to compete with Pocic as a 4th string Guard (i’m done with him as well)

    I know we have only 4 picks, and I know we won’t, but Im all for them staying put and taking the best player who falls. If it happens to be Simmons pull the trigger, it hard to hide bad behavior for 4 years if he hasn’t changed. Yes Ive seen video and it was horrendous.

    I hope Kendricks stays out of the iron bar hotel and resigns, I think he played great with minimum practice. If by chance KJ comes back on the cheap, because of injuries, it would be the best LB corp we have had in some time, Plus with Kendricks, KJ and Wagner would not have to play so damn much, keeping them fresher and healthier. Are secondary played good and will only get better the next couple of years. (if Coleman is resigned of course)

  32. laphroaig says:

    Little cap space + few draft picks = need to work some more UDFA magic

    Hopefully, SDB will do its bit helping identify some of those unheralded prospects. Looking forward to your posts this offseason, Rob. It’s your time to shine!

  33. Sea Mode says:

    Trevor, a follow up on our chat about Andy Isabella in the last thread. Just for fun, I went ahead and checked into some numbers:

    – Over the last 5 drafts (2014-2018) there have been 15 WRs who ran sub 4.40 in the 40yd dash.
    – Half of them (7) were R1 picks.
    – Two of them were R2 picks.
    – Of those who had at least one college season with over 1,000 receiving yards, only ONE was drafted after R2: that was John Brown at R3P91.

    Isabella had 1000 yds his Jr. year and 1700 his Sr. year! So yeah, in conclusion, I would put it at a 1/15 chance he makes it past R2. 🙂

    But hey, if Lockett has turned out this special and they know Baldwin might not be around for too much longer, maybe they would be willing to move up to get Isabella as well. We know they love, love, love WRs with huge, sustained college production.

    • Trevor says:

      That is some great info and thanks. If he runs in the 4.3s and performs as expected at the Senior Bowl I agree he should be a top 50 pick. He can be a difference maker in today’s NFL.

      Sadly when I watch him I can help but think of him in a Patriots uniform.

  34. Matt says:

    After a night of sleeping on this – here are my general thoughts on the season and moving forward:

    1. Yesterday’s loss, specifically the reaction to it (by many of us) is a direct result of unrealistic expectations. We successfully navigated an extremely friendly second half schedule. This team, is not very talented…at least by playoff team standards. There are massive holes, many of which have no chance to be filled for years (plural); thanks to limited usable cap space and burning future draft capital – which is going to hurt this offseason (as Rob documented above).

    2. PC’s team identity is important and successful…even if it is frustrating right now. It’d behoove us to understand that he is going to play a certain brand of ball even if he doesn’t have the personnel to do so. That is going to be a godsend when the right pieces are in place; whilst also being a major source of frustration in years like this. He played this season as if his defense wasn’t middling…that was frustrating. If the defense ever gets back to being a top unit…this mentality will win a lot of game…even if in agonizing fashion.

    3. PC doesn’t care about maximizing margin of error, with his football teams. He cares strictly about outperforming, “in the moment,” in every game…which is why their style of football leads to many close games and never truly being “out of a game.” I personally hate this mentality, but it has merit. It’s hard to complain when you have a chance in every game you play…which to PC’s credit, he has done consistently for years.

    4. This offense is not going to change. Accept it. PC has a weird dichotomy of having no faith in his QB and total faith (as evidenced by putting everything on his shoulders at the end of the game). Yes, it’s unconventional, but it is what it is. And it’s not going to change.

    5. PC has to step up his game in the secondary. It is atrocious. We have 2 massive holes (FS and Griffin), 1 question mark with upside (Flowers), and 1 good player (McDougald). I find it pretty shocking how bad Shaq Griffin has been. I am still very happy about walking away from Sherman, but Griffin was in no way prepared to be the guy on the perimeter and has proven to be a questionable starter. That…is a complete train wreck. I don’t see how you can field a great defense if both corners and your FS are incapable of getting INTs.

    6. I am preparing for a step back next year. Our schedule is extremely tough and teams know what we are going to do…even if we don’t have the personnel to pull it off. I don’t think next year is doom and gloom, but I think 8 wins is going to be tough, let alone 10. The 49ers and Rams will give us 4 extremely tough games next year. That’s 1/4 of the season right there. The rest of our schedule is extremely tough.

    7. This is not my commentary on what I think the team should do with RW…I think he HAS to be in Seattle for this type of team to function. That said, if I was RW…I’m doing anything I can to get out of town. He won’t do that because he is a better man than I am…but if I was in his shoes…I’m sticking to my guns on $35M and telling the FO to deal me if they can’t meet that. No way I’d sacrifice the prime of my career for this type of offense.

    The tenor of my post is certainly negative…but I must say that despite my vehement disagreements with how we are building this thing, it was indeed a fun season that drastically exceeded expectations. I don’t have favorable outlook on the future of this team, but I will say in PC’s defense…while I don’t agree with what he is doing – I think committing to something is far more important that going where ever the winds blow this week. All the best…I really hope the spirit of my post isn’t misconstrued as simply complaining. I have real questions about this team moving forward and am least trying to create dialogue, not simply piss in the cheerios.

    Cheers Rob…and here’s to a fun offseason.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Thanks for sharing. Interesting read.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Thanks for taking the time to write that out in an articulate and constructive way.

      1. Agree on the unrealistic expectations and the holes, but I don’t think it will take multiple years to fill them. A couple more playmakers on defense and we’re there. Keep looking for another weapon at WR in case Baldwin misses more time as he ages.

      5. I disagree on the secondary being “atrocious”. They had their hiccups and are not the old LOB, but for a young group with just two years together, they looked pretty dang good IMO. An improved pass rush will help them immensely. Find and/or develop that guy opposite Frank Clark who can pick up another 6-8 sacks and move the QB off his spot more consistently, and the secondary is going to look a lot better, and have more shots at INTs off of errant throws. I wouldn’t mind an upgrade at FS, but not sure if this draft class is going to offer one.

      6. Agree it will be tough, but we lost to the NFL darling Rams by just 3 points this year and had very real shots to win all the games we lost. We’ve shown we can hang with any team, but I do like the way Mike put it above: “Yes, the approach kept us in games and was largely responsible for 10 wins. It also kept games close that we should have won easily.” We do need to find a way to build a lead a bit earlier against bad teams, and put the game out of reach before the 4th quarter even rolls around.

      7. Another disagree. The grass is always greener on the other side. Seattle has made the playoffs in all but 1 of his seasons here, and has won a SB. This is a team clearly on the rise that needs a couple more pieces on defense to get back to where it was. And he is getting paid top dollar here anyway. He is at his best off a strong run game/play action/RPO. You don’t just walk away from that to make maybe $2-3m more and hope that you fit in on the hot team of the moment. I would rather be with a team that competes each year than on a team that goes all in one year, then falls apart the next.

      You are probably right that PC won’t change, but does he really need to with all that he’s won over these past 8 years? I think we just need a bit more talent on defense and to execute better on offense. Was it directly PC’s fault that Britt held that guy yesterday, or Fluker made that silly push after the play, or that Brown and Sweezy failed to communicate properly and got the run play blown up to set us off schedule on so many early downs? I’m all for expanding the playbook a bit and getting more creative against 8 men in the box, but sometimes you just get outplayed and lose. Not sure how else to put it.

      • Matt says:

        Sea Mode – 1st off…excellent post and I want to sincerely thank you for the constructive dialogue. I really didn’t intend my post to be the sky is falling; but I wanted to make sure that I adequately wrote how much I disagree with certain things PC is doing.

        1. We will have to agree to disagree. I see the holes on Defense being DE, LB, FS, CB. I don’t see how these are fixed in one offseason with no money to work with and limited draft capital. That doesn’t even address the offense. One side of the ball is going to be neglected with substantive additions, next year.

        5. Again, I have to disagree. While I admit that I’m being hyperbolic – I really have to vehemently disagree with them “looking pretty dang good.” Griffin is terrible. He has no instincts, ball skills, and continually makes the same mistakes, over and over. Griffin gets flat out abused by competent offenses. And on top of that, he’s a total liability with tackling (by Seahawks standards). I don’t give Flowers as much of a hard time because he is new to CB and he seemingly doesn’t do the same dumb things over and over again. FS has been a black hole with ET gone. Pete’s defense absolutely needs a FS…it doesn’t need ET 2.0, but it does need a higher end player on the back end. A bottom tier/borderline starter will not cut it at that position.

        6. Nothing to disagree with on this. I think at the Macro level, our schedule looks to be significantly tougher. The 49ers have a chance to be really, really good next year. We hung with the Rams but still haven’t been them in the last 4 or so matchups. You made a good point about all the games being close…I view this more in the vein of it making us look better than we actually were. I don’t see what they can do this offseason to really put us over the hump. We don’t have the resources.

        7. You absolutely have great points. This was a totally subjective thing for me. If I was a HOF caliber QB…I would not want to be here in Seattle playing for PC.

        You are correct. PC has earned the right to not change. But here’s the big, big thing for me and why I’m not positive moving forward. Pete had to field a generational defense to win at the level we want to win at. He’s not going to replicate pulling out 4 HOF caliber defensive players. That was an anomaly. I think it is foolhearted to build a program on things that are rare. It’d be like the Mariners saying, “we are going to draft the next Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw to build the team around.”

        And that is the crux of my problem with Pete. I think every sports team should build their team around the idea of maximizing the margin of error. Under that thought process – you need to adapt to what you have; not what you wish you had. Pete is unwilling to do this. I understand he wants an elite running game with an elite defense and a QB that doesn’t matter in the big picture. What he has is a middling defense, a good run game, and an elite QB. While his dream might be to lean on a hard nosed defense to win…he doesn’t have that. And that’s what pissed me off about yesterday’s game. It is not a preseason game where you roll with the punches. It wasn’t a week 4 game where you are still feeling you team out. It was a make or break game…and everybody on planet earth knows that the defense is middling. Everybody knows he has an elite QB who can bail the team out when the run game isn’t working. And what did he do? He kept banging his head into a wall thinking there was an elite defense under the surface. He kept banging his head against a wall that a great run defense who was shutting you down was magically going to stop being good/successful. That’s my issue.

        The best analogy I can give is that Pete Carroll is the guy who can be an all world salesman because of his wit, charm, ability to think on his feet…but he’d rather flunk out of an engineering program because despite him not having math/spatial/science skills, he wants to be an engineer. Dumb analogy.

        The bottom line is this…I want to have a team that runs the shit out of the ball, dominants on defense, and can make explosive plays on offense. That is really, really hard to build/maintain. The best teams work towards what they are good at and adapt as situations change. I thought Pete did a total disservice to his players by wasting 3 quarters of football being stubborn. Again, I’m not saying abandon the run. I’m not saying to give up on something 2 drives into it. The reality is you have 60 minutes to score more than the other team. And you can’t control half of the equation (the other team). So, it is paramount that you maximize the time you have to win and roll with the punches. It’s almost like Pete thinks the other team doesn’t have a say in the game. It’s a really cool bumper sticker, but it’s not reality, especially in professional sports. The Cowboys said, “we are stopping your run. We will continue to stop your run.” And Pete’s response was, “let’s keep running,” and then put undue pressure on the pass game to execute in terrible situations (ie 3rd and long).

        Sorry for the novel…I really like Pete Carroll. I think he is a terrific program builder. I also think he is stubborn to a fault and refuses to acknowledge reality on many occasions (the quality/build of his current team). I’m not calling for an Air Raid offense. I’m not saying I don’t care about running or defense. I’m simply calling for PC to be realistic about the team he has and to put them in the best position to succeed based on what they are good at. I didn’t see that yesterday. I don’t care that they ran for 200+ against the Chiefs. The Chiefs have a bad run defense. The Cowboys do not. They in fact have a great run defense. Gameplan accordingly and have a contingency plan that kicks in a little sooner than 2 mins left in the game, down 2 scores.

        Cheers dude. I appreciate the dialogue.

        • BV Eburg says:

          Matt,
          2 great posts. Nothing more needs to be said.

          • hawkdawg says:

            I think Flowers was close to a miracle this year. Starting CB as a rookie, who played safety in college? In the fifth round? No reason to think he won’t improve either. Great pick.

            To a lesser extent, because he’s probably not an every down player, our sixth round draft choice was also a hit.

            Add Dickson, and Schneider’s mojo in the late rounds staged a serious comeback.

        • David says:

          Excellent post!

  35. Trevor says:

    #1 goal next year should be to win division back from Rams and hold off the 49ers. So hard to make an SB run starting on the road.

    That is why I don’t Pete adjusting his philosophy of power running and ball control and security with good to hopefully great defense. To beat the Rams that is what it will take. The Hawks are simply not built to win a wide open shoot out against them. Look how close we came to beating them twice this year with clearly inferior talent. If the defense can improve and Wilson / Schotty continue to evolve the offense then those close losses can be turned into wins.

    Hawks need a split at least with Rams and to get to 12 wins.

    • Sea Mode says:

      +1, dang we are literally mind meld today!

    • Ian says:

      +1

      We have to win the division to have a chance in the playoffs.

      This style gives us that chance with our personnel.

      It’s also made for the most enjoyable Seahawks season in 3 years. Despite yesterday sucking, Seahawks are fun again.

      Go Hawks!

    • Jake says:

      Also keep in mind that the Rams have thrown all their chips to win THIS year the cap situation will not be good for them next year. The team will have noticeably less “blue chip players”

      • Rob Staton says:

        They do have nearly $40m in cap space. Might be able to have another big year next season. The problems start for them in 2020 (especially when Goff gets paid).

  36. Nathan W. says:

    I think the loss to the Cowboys highlighted a need for more of a run defender that offers some serviceable pass rush. Elliot was stuffed for a lot of the game but the outside contain on that 44+ run was rough to see. Also have some great backs in the NFC W that we’ll be needing to defend.

    I personally liked how the game was called. Use the run to set up the pass. Just a rough day at the LOS.

  37. Kelly says:

    Well it will be an interesting off season for sure. It’s too bad the damage may already be done between them an Earl when that extra three million he is asking for per year seems like it could easily be do able. Yes I think it’s unfair to expect that level of play again but if it could be had shouldn’t the front office at least consider a franchise tag or transisition tag on Earl? Safeties are known to have a bit more career longevity than other DBs. Plus as far as his leg I believe they said he is getting a plate put in it anyways so the likelihood of it breaking again should be a lot less.
    I would like to see the Seahawks take a look at Muhammad Wilkerson(30), Dominique Easley(27) at DT. For DE/LEO maybe Marcus Golden(26) or Eli Harold(24). Just can’t see them making a huge splash for someone like Clowney. Other than that FA doesn’t look all that impressive as far as adding to the D. I think they should resign Quinton Jefferson, KJ, Kendricks, Frank Clark, Dion Jordan, Jordan Simmons, J.R. Sweezy. I’m on the fence about paying Coleman the money he will command. Also D.J. Fluker needs to do some cardio and stretching. If he wasn’t hurt it seemed like he was playing hurt most of the year. If he could lose even 10-15 pounds I think he would stay a lot healthier during the season.

    • Rob Staton says:

      There’s a reason they haven’t paid Earl. Could be they know his medical situation and don’t think he can stay healthy. Could be something else. He’s had a lot of injuries the last three years. They’re taking the stance they have taken for a reason. He will move on.

      • Kelly says:

        What do you think about a Markus Golden or Muhammad Wilkerson coming to Seattle? Golden hasn’t exactly lit it up every year but I think he has lots of potential. Wilkerson isn’t coming off too bad of an injury and signed a 1 year 5 million dollar deal to go to a 3-4 in GB. I think he had his best years when he and Richardson were manning the interior of a 4-3 with the Jets. Could use him like Red Bryant maybe on 1st down then kick him inside on pass rushing downs. As you have stated the draft is D line heavy so perhaps it will be an either or. FA DT/Draft DE or FA DE/Draft DT.

    • Volume12 says:

      What’s the price tag on a Za’Darius Smith or Shaq Barrett?

  38. Volume12 says:

    The Saints, Cheifs, Rams, and Pats do play next weekend right? Someone promise me because Wildcard weekend has been garbage.

  39. RWIII says:

    Matt: I just read an article by Doug Baldwin. Baldwin the rest the N.F.L. needs to watch out. the Hawks are young hungry and only going to get better.

  40. Madmark says:

    Well first off it took me a bit to get my favorite website because we lost power in a wind storm here. Rob always has a good prospective what’s going on with this team and the people that make comments are for most part fairly well informed which makes this the website to go to. With that being said I’ll start off with what I liked about this year.
    I thought the team draft this year was excellent. Limited on draft choices, I thought PC/JS did a hell of a job drafting to fill needs. I want to also say that college to NFL is actually a lot bigger leap than many people believe. Many college players are just not prepared physically or mentally to walk right in and start and stay healthy for their rookie year. An example is of the 9 player we drafted Green, Dissly, and Jones had season ending injuries and Penny started the year injured which I believe hampered his development for the year. We did have 4 of our rookies who made it thru the year and played in the playoff Penny, Flowers, Martin, and Dickson who made it to the pro bowl.
    The best coaching hire that not many talk about was getting Ken Norton Jr. back on this team as the defensive coordinator. What he did with this young defense was phenomenal. He knows PC program having moved here from USC and help us win a super bowl and I just love seeing back here in Seattle. Now the OC and OL coaches I’m willing to give them a couple years to see what they can accomplish but there is a problem they did not fix that absolutely bugs me.
    The biggest priority this off season is Seattle needs a kicker. If you are going to play these close games you absolutely will need a dependable kicker. Everyone here I’m sure will agree. This team did exactly what I thought they would with there record and the results that happened in the playoffs. This was definitely not a super bowl contender. That’s just being realistic from watching the loss of talent we had last year.
    Now my negative that absolutely needs to be fixed. I’m absolutely tired of hearing RW say you win in the 4th quarter. I get it, but it is a 60 minute game and it seems the offense just doesn’t have the same intensity in the first quarter as they do in the 4th. Seattle has been the worst 1st quarter offense since 2016 and was the reason Bevel and cable were replaced. This team from the third game in 2016 to the end of 2017 season had not scored a TD in the 1st quarter. That’s 29 games! They broke that streak this year but they didn’t sustain it. You can’t be a super bowl contender having 3 possessions, 9 plays, and 5 yards. What happens is you don’t wear down their defense, in fact its your defense that wore out at the end of the game and that’s what I saw in this playoff game.
    Well I very happy with the direction this team is going in and other than the 2 problems I mentioned. I think was a slightly better team than the 2010 team. Next year I expect to see them do what they did in 2012 and the next year ends up being a 2013season. Thanks rob for website and go hawks

  41. SoCal12 says:

    Nick Foles magic is real. What a game.

    Honestly to me these playoffs so far have been displaying the importance of a good playoff experienced QB in running the gauntlet to get to the bowl.

    • Well good news Philly won so the Seahawks draft at 21 which is okay Rob I have a question for you what’s your thoughts on Justin Britt? I don’t think he a great game against Dallas. The one thing I look forward to draft more speed both sides of the ball.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      The latest news is the Bears doinked fieldgoal kick was deflected by an Eagles linemen.

  42. SamL says:

    The way I look at this offseason is yes we do need pass rush badly, however that’s something I dont see us solving in the draft. It comes down to what we could expect from a rookie. The way I see it if you draft a pass rusher you use him in a rotational role until he can start. Didn’t we already do that last year? Not sure how you feel about just rolling with green on early downs then sliding him in on 3rd and bring martin out to rush the edge. That could be effective next year and possibly dangerous the year after not to mention faster than drafting and needing to develop a whole new rookie. I think PC ans JS once again drafted what they knew they would need down the road. Not unlike drafting Thompson and hill. Which brings us to this draft. If we ignore d-line ( though I would love to get a d tackle I believe it would be better served solving that in free agency) the biggest needs become speed and depth at LB, a 3rd target for Russell and eventual replacement for doug, and depth and competition at CB. With this in mind I would like a trade back then the selection of marquise brown then a LB and CB in round three. I would like to hear your opinion on this line of thinking rob.

    • John says:

      That’s why seattle will need to pursue pass rushers in free agency so that they can develop there rookies while still getting production from the D-line

  43. RWIII says:

    I was kinda rooting for Philadelphia. If Philly loses they get to pick at 21 and Seattle at 22. Philly LOVES to load up on the DL. Well now that Philly has won, John Schneider and Pete Carroll will have the 21st selection in the 2019 N.F.L. draft. What happens if Jeffrey Simmons is still on the board? Do the Hawks trade down? Or do they grab Simmons?

    Personally I don’t think Simmons will still be on the board. One thing I would like to point out is that John Schneider took Frank Clark/Jarran Reed in the 2nd round. Clark/Reed are our two best DLs. I could be wrong but I am guessing that if Simmons was still on the (which I doubt) John Schneider would still probably trade down.

  44. Nate says:

    Rob, thanks for all the hard work you’ve put into this blog during both the offseason and NFL season. Although I don’t comment much and don’t necessarily agree with all your analysis and conclusions, I do always enjoy reading through them. A few thoughts as the Seahawks’ 2018 season comes to a close:

    1. A few years ago, you described the offense (2015-17 era) under Bevell as a “glass cannon” – deadly when everything goes right, but prone to falling apart at the slightest misstep. This has stuck with me since then, and I believe that somewhat ironically, we could use that term to describe this offense in the exact same way, despite transitioning back from a pass-heavy to a run-heavy style. Not sure where I read it, but I saw a statistic that showed that while the Seahawks were 6th in PPG, they were also top 5 in three & outs.

    To me, this shows that the offense continues to lack consistency. Maybe it’s just because I follow the Seahawks much more closely than any other NFL team, but it seems to me that we always struggle to be consistent for the most part. We either get a drive where the offense looks like gods and nigh unstoppable, or we get multiple series of run-run-pass-punt.

    (Sidenote: I also absolutely loathe the fact that we seem to basically give up whenever we enter a 2nd or 3rd and long, but that’s probably a discussion for another day).

    I don’t know whether you follow him, but a dude named Brett Kollmann had a pretty good film breakdown of the Russell Wilson to Tyler Lockett connection showing how unstoppable that duo can be. While that video was entertaining, I actually found it very concerning that we’re essentially reliant on Lockett freelancing and Wilson running around for 4-5 seconds to get anyone open.

    Where are the comebacks, slants, and drag routes, the staple of any modern passing offense? How come it is so difficult for our receivers to get open within a reasonable time frame? Its frustrating to me to see teams being able to move the ball so easily to wide open receivers, while the Seahawks offense has to essentially struggle for every single yard. While Wilson’s deep ball is a beauty and the best in the business, having a passing game that is completely reliant on him forcing to make multiple pin-point perfect deep ball throws to have any semblance of effectiveness is ludicrous in my opinion.

    At the end of the day I’m not saying fire Schotty (since a lot of these issues were under Bevell as well) or do something drastic like ditch the run-heavy offense (not that would ever happen anyways under PC), but I do think a hard look is needed on why exactly this offense always seems to make things so damn hard on themselves. We certainly have the weapons and an o-line to be a top-tier offense when healthy. I just want to see an offense where I’m not expecting a punt every time we get into a 1st & 15, 2nd & 12 or 3rd & 8 situation.

    2. Although we only have 4 draft picks for this upcoming draft, do you think it would be worthwhile for the Seahawks to spend it on a CB to push Shaq Griffin? I never expected him to become the next Sherman this year, but it seems like his play was much worse than a typical sophomore slump.

    There were multiple points in the season where he was getting outright abused due to his tendency to give up a massive cushion no matter what. While avoiding getting beat over the top is well and good, its essentially pointless if you’re giving up 8-10 yards underneath all day. To cap it all off he let Dallas take the lead at the end of the first half by screwing him the edge contain on Elliot during his long run. Right now I’m viewing him as a CB2 at best, which is not bad for a 3rd round pick, but you can’t have someone like that at the CB1 spot, especially with Tre Flowers seemingly rounding into form over this season.

    I do like Griffin and the story with his brother, but his performance this season makes me wonder whether we already need to start looking for his replacement.

    3. Run defense needs work. We’ve talked about this alot this season, but we likely need to either draft or sign a player that can be an effective run-stuffer (if only we could’ve grabbed Damon “Snacks” Harrison, especially at that cheap price of a 5th rounder). Clark and Reed are great, but we at least 1 more linemen who can get consistent penetration. Maybe a linebacker as well unless we re-sign K.J. and maybe Kendricks.

    Anyways despite all my complaints above, this season did exceed my expectations, since I was projecting the Seahawks to be around that 7-9 or 8-8 mark. Looking forward to the moves we make during the offseason, and as always, Go Hawks.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Thanks for those thoughts, a good read.

      1. I think Bevell was more of a glass cannon and the current offense is more orthodox. Even the Rams and Saints have had rough days this season. The best offenses do struggle occasionally. I think that’s what we’ve seen when Seattle’s offense has stalled a bit. I think it’s less boom or bust these days. More consistent. But it’s not unstoppable. I think it’s shown real growth this year though and will continue to move forwards in 2019.

      2. I guarantee they will draft a big, tall, physical corner. Nailed on.

      3. I think a run defender is a priority. It should help the LB’s too. I know people will have mixed views on him but I’d love to see Jeffery Simmons handle that role because he can stay in for third downs. If not, get a big, nasty veteran.

    • BV Eburg says:

      Nice post Nate. Like Matt above well articulated.
      I saw the same thing as you on that long run at the end of the first half by Elliot. Griffin was the corner on that side, he lost containment. Not sure why they were putting blame on King.
      Also noticed on 14 yard square in by Cooper on 3rd and long it looked like everyone else was playing man defense. The rest of our DB’s were right in the grill of their receiver yet Griffin appeared to be playing zone.

  45. Ceasar says:

    Good work Rob!

    Pretty obvious that the off season will require adding more talent but I would just point out that the odds makers put this team favored by 1 over the Cowboys on a neutral field. So either the Cowboys are not as talented as the national media believes or the Seahawks have a decent amount of talent already. Particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

    My off season priorities would be 1) Fix Special teams (kicker, coverage teams and work with Dickson to not outkick his coverage), 2) Extra tackling coaching for the DB group, 3) Spend your 1st Rnd Pick on the best Defensive Tackle available (Need a tree trunk next to Reed).

    I know most are looking at defensive ends but they were not good against the run and it may free up Reed to get more penetration in early downs.

    I think the DB group will make a jump this next season. Having played together one year and now having the offseason/camp to absorb/understand/train up on the issues that young players usually have.

    • Eburgz says:

      While I’d like another dominant DT if one fell to us (one of the Clemson guys would be great). It seemed to me like we had more issues setting and containing the edge which lead to giving up big runs on the outside. Also, run stuffing DT’s don’t cost a fortune in free agency if that’s what your after. I’m under the impression that the edge setting/containing responsibilies primarily belongs to the strong safety (remember Kam blowing up offensive tackles and forcing runs outside or just making the play) & the SAM (Bruce Irvin was good at this too) and defensive ends, along with the corners keeping contain.

      I think we have corners that can run and tackle with the best of them. Shaquille got punked by Zeke yesterday but give him a break, zeke is a beast and quill was playing on a sprained ankle. Studs like Rhodes with the Vikings had growing pains early in his career too. McDougald isn’t going anywhere at SS although not sure setting the edge is his best skill (maybe he could play FS with Hill or another at SS). That leaves the SAM linebacker and the defensive end opposite Clark as places where we can improve. Mingo doesn’t cut it for me and Dion Jordan is too inconsistent or injured.

      For that reason I’m looking at guys like DeAndre Walker (who Rob has mocked to us) to upgrade the SAM position, provide some linebacker depth, and maybe some pass rushing rushing juice. Or a stout defensive end like Zach Allen who can play the run and pass.

      In an ideal world Rasheem Green and Shaqueem Griffin could develop into those roles. I have more hope for Green in that regard because one of Griffin’s weaknesses is taking on blocks and shedding (probably why they played him at Will rather than SAM). I just don’t think we can bank on those guys.

      So at this point I’m thinking a tradeback and picking up someone like Walker might be the best draft pick to improving run defense AND helping the pass rush. Unless one of the dominant D-Lineman falls to us that is.

  46. LouieLouie says:

    Hey Rob:
    Another fun season for the Seahawks, and more solid writing and interesting articles from you. At the beginning of the season I posted that 9 – 6 would have been a “successful” season in my humble opinion. They surpassed my expectations. For the future they need to bring along the youngsters and sprinkle in some vets (like they did with the o-line).

    I hope they keep the old guards (no pun intended) on the O-line, and when they are ready to be superseded by younger players so much the better. A few similar signings on the D-line might help things along on that side of the line. The geezers also help show the way for the youngsters on both winning attitude and technique.

    I look forward to September, 2019.

  47. Josh says:

    What a fun year. I won quite a few bets over the season on the hawks. They surprised everyone. Defense played well at times. The offense played well at times. I would love to have kyndricks, Wagner, and Wright on the field next year at the same time. Wright is probably going to get a ‘prove it’ deal with Seattle with concerns on his Health. Hopefully Kyndricks avoids jail. I think this will be the cheapest approach to to field an above average defense. Need a playmaker in the secondary. McDougald is good but he needs another savage either at cb or safety. Second year in the new offense with a healthy Dissly and Baldwin sounds amazing. Can’t wait to see the young guys come along and put on nfl big boy weight and training. Pocic is also coming up on his 3rd year. Britt and Ifedi both took pretty healthy strides in year 3. I believe James Carpenter is going to be a free agent this off season. Could be a cool free agency steal as it seems wisdom is worth more then potential in the offensive linemen world these days.

  48. Bankhawk says:

    I don’t claim to be able to assess whether Simmons might or might not still be on the board at 21, or what JS would do if he were. But I cringe at the recollection of the PR hue and cry that went up at the time of the Clark selection and the shrillness of it all.
    This is not to say I don’t share people’s concerns on the issue. I do. I like Simmons as a player from what I’ve seen, and think he’s done much to show that he’s put his house in order and made ammends.He seems like he’d be a good fit as a player, but issue-fatigue gives me cause to pause. Other takes?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I share some of that. Not sure I could take a summer of hand-wringing either. Simmons, even if he has turned his life around, will be criticized and so will the Seahawks.

      But as we’ve seen with Clark, time can be a healer there.

      It’s a valid concern though. I have sympathy with it.

    • Kelly says:

      Walter Football had Simmons going #10 overall and said he could go earlier depending on how teams feel about his past issues.

  49. Martin says:

    When we compare the Seahawks to other teams could they also say these things?

    1. Draft performance is inevitably going to vary over time and we are going to miss picks. The better our team gets the later we pick and the less opportunity rookies have to make an impact and learn from experiencing game situations.

    2. Other teams expect us to play a certain way.

    3. Sometimes our team doesn’t play well.

    4. The coaches probably know more than me and would be aware that certain things aren’t working. But I remember the offensive plays that didn’t work and wonder what they were thinking?

    5. We often don’t really know how injured players are, or the impact of these upon performance. (There are reports about how many Seahawks were carrying significant injuries on Saturday and at that elite level that must make a real difference. Yes true they are playing a physical sport, it’s tough, highly-paid and they are often playing against injured players too)

    6. There are 32 teams in the league but we should win the Super Bowl every year and if we don’t something is wrong. Someone needs to be replaced!

    More Seahawks specific:

    It’s true I can find Wilson’s unwillingness to get rid of the ball frustrating but I suspect this is in part a function of his unwillingness to throw the ball into tight spots and risk an interception. I imagine the ‘we don’t turn the ball over’ thing plays a role in his style of play. I know that we benefit greatly from his lack of interceptions, but at times it may make our o/line look worse than it deserves to.

    It’s true that athletic performance declines at a certain age but isn’t it also true that it usually takes a while to ‘learn the ropes’ in any job? Perhaps we can be too keen to turn over a roster just because a particular player isn’t first-team all pro or had a poor game. This can be self-defeating. I’ll risk claiming that Ifedi has become serviceable. Griffin just played his first playoff game, Penny has had somewhat limited opportunities etc. I know the NFL is different and at some point hard calls have to be made but I think it is pretty well established that continuity can have benefits for sporting teams.

  50. GerryG says:

    Wow, forgot we have only 34 under contract. There could be quite a bit of turnover.

    I wonder how many of the 19 come back? Clark, Wright, Fluker, Sweezy most likely

    Definitely need more than 4 picks, and I could see a few udfa making it.

    • FresnoHawk says:

      We have 9 RFA’s and 9 ERFA’s = 18 players then we have the 10 from the practice squad We need a kicker from FA. It adds up quickly to the 85 man or whatever it is roster, We can do all sorts of things I bet it’s going to be a busy offseason. Next Year we should be a much better team and a healthy team. We were trapped last year due to the cap and couldn’t address some issues but we did a pretty good job fixing those issues, this year we can add to what we have already done and we should be good to go for next year.

  51. Stephan says:

    I thought Mychal Kendricks was getting 2-3 years in prison?

    Getting both him and KJ back at decent price tags would be huge.

  52. McZ says:

    The biggest question: will Russell Wilson sign another contract for a team, where his talent as the ultimative adaptive gamer will continue to be a mismatch in a risk adverse scheme?

    Step 1: telling all the world on ESPN, he’d be okay 2019 being his last year as a Seahawk.

    Bottom line: this offensive scheme needs to change and learn more tricks to be competitive.

    • SoCal12 says:

      I’m sorry, but that ESPN ‘headline’ just feels like a total click-bait non-story. He literally said the most generic answer of all athlete answers of ‘Yeah I’d like to stay, but am prepared for all future possibilities presented’. And of course modern sports media immediately goes into heat twisting and jerking it as ‘SHOCKING Wilson HINT that he is FED UP and LEAVING!!!’

      Sorry if that came across combative, but clickbait headlines have been really grinding my gears lately and I just hate when I see those beasts continue to be fed attention.

    • Sea Mode says:

      He said exactly what he has to say. It’s about leverage in negotiation. Nothing to see here; move along.

  53. Sea Mode says:

    OT, but I almost am inclined to believe this. I know it will be labelled as a conspiracy theory, but there was something fishy about Shaquem Griffen’s run as well. Seemed like the clock started quite late on replay, IIRC.

    https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/01/chris-johnson-john-ross-40-time-combine-record-conspiracy-video-doubts-nfl-reaction

    I don’t want to start doubting the validity of Combine numbers, but a little tweaking of precisely those two guys’ times made for a lot of extra spotlight shone on the Combine.

    • Rob Staton says:

      There was definitely something up with the clock on Shaquem’s televised run. It’s obvious for anyone who watches the footage. The clock starts a split second after he sets off.

      • hawkdawg says:

        But didn’t they do one of those things where they shadowed Shaquill’s 40 with his brother’s, when they got the same time? I’m pretty sure I remember seeing that and it looked darn close to me. Certainly not two tenths off…

    • JohnH says:

      Not this nonsense again. The clock projected on the tv screen is not the official time. It frequently does not match the actual score.

  54. Ross says:

    Rob, where does Seattle go with Shaquill Griffin? After a fantastic rookie season, he seemed to regress all year this year. Not just versus Dallas, but he really didn’t play well down the stretch. His tackling was poor. He still hasn’t learned to turn and play the ball. It’s telling that Prescott seemed to target his side of the field. Still a rookie contract so he stays, obviously, but I think Quill needs to compete for his starting job again. I’d like to see Thorpe given an opportunity, and I think PC needs to look at CB late in the draft again. Also, free safety needs to be addressed one way or another.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s a good question. I’m not sure if he regressed — but I’m also not sure he progressed either. I think one thing is certain — they will provide some competition there. I think they will draft a corner at some stage and/or sign a free agent. I don’t think they’ll give up on him by any stretch but he’ll need to be ready to compete.

    • SoCal12 says:

      One idea I’ve thought about is flipping Tre Flowers to CB1 and put Shaq back on CB2. Would make sense if we think Tre has a higher ceiling and is closer to Pete’s ‘prototype’ than Shaq is. Shaq also did pretty well as the number 2 guy last year behind Sherm. The risk there is that Shaq’s confidence might take a hit, and if Flowers also stagnates then we’d be back at square one. I’m curious what people think.

    • Gohawks5151 says:

      I have thought about this one a lot too. I think that one thing that is different about Shaq is that he was taken as an athlete first. He is the fastest and most explosive Db besides Earl. He was also on a horribly coached UCF backfield in college. I remember watching the film on a suggestion from someone on here and being very confused what was going on coverage and technique wise. Pete Carroll is the master but maybe he had further to go than anyone thought and the LOB covered up a lot of his faults (Some of his best games came with Earl still in the lineup this year too). To me this kind of syncs him up with Flowers as far as their growth curves. He had some good stretches this year and they will for sure add to the group but im thinking he is fine. He may need a bit longer to cook like Maxwell in the past.

      • smitty1547 says:

        Switching sides did not help his development, I was a high school corner, it’s not as easy as you would think. I doubt they would want to switch him again.

  55. Rob Staton says:

    Quick note to the community.

    I’ve had to delete a couple of posts by the contributor ‘Rad_Man’ and ban him from the blog.

    I will not have people turning the conversation into a personal attack and then emailing abusive messages. I will not have people being a jerk in order to try and win an argument. We will stay civil. Passionate debate and conversation is what we’re about. If you don’t like it, I would encourage you to visit Seahawks Twitter instead.

    This community thrives for a reason. We’re good to each other. It doesn’t mean we always agree. Sometimes we disagree intensely. However, there comes a point when a line is crossed. I don’t want that to happen with anyone else.

    Stick to football. Be respectful. By all means debate with vigor. Just don’t make it personal.

    Thanks all.

  56. Look Who's Hawkin? says:

    Great write up Rob! I was extremely bummed about the loss of course, but this post has me looking forward to the offseason content and build up to the draft, which is something I always get excited about once the sting of a season ending prematurely wears off.

    “The style, the approach — it’s probably designed on purpose to suit the players on the roster and cover up weaknesses.”

    This does not get talked about enough – especially by those who blame the play-calling/philosophy etc. I firmly believe you are dead on with this assessment and I have for most of the season. One of the reasons why this team does not air it out is that they do not have the personnel to do so. And yes, people love to point out that we should build around Russell Wilson, but that would require a complete roster scratch and frankly it’s just not who Pete is. That doesn’t mean this team can’t contend and that Russ can’t still be a focal point of the offense. It just means he isn’t going to be throwing it 40+ times a game, and the Seahawks don’t need him to.

    But back to the point you made that I wanted to emphasize, because again I think you are dead on. A lot of fans/bloggers, Twitter users etc. seem to ignore the fact that the roster lacked talent. Seattle still underwent a rebuild, they just did it in a way that allowed them to still be competitive in a year that otherwise would be considered lost – and would be for many teams. But they still have a top 5 HC and a top 5 QB so they designed their offense in such a way that it maximized what the roster had to offer. A lot of folks have talked about the improved OL play this season, and it has improved. But why is that? Because the offense plays to its strengths. This unit isn’t good at pass pro, but they are dominant in run blocking. PC/JS maximized free agency by finding players with specific strengths (Fluker, Sweezy). When the rest of the league wants to air it out, you can find dominant run blocking for pennies on the dollar. Not only that, but playing a run first offense minimizes mistakes and masks deficiencies. And it allowed them to win 10 games with a roster full of holes. This was also unavoidable, after you lost as many pro bowl caliber players as they did and were strapped by dead cap. But rather than lose an entire season, they took advantage of a certain style of football, exceeded everyone’s expectations, and still made the playoffs. And a part of me understands the frustration of everyone who says they should have adjusted and abandoned the run vs. Dallas, but that is a lot easier for an outside observer to say, especially post-game. If we had abandoned the run and stopped having any kind of forward progress ala week 2 @ Chicago, everyone would be griping about how they didn’t stick to their philosophy. I agree with what you said, people need a scapegoat, someone to blame. In a digital world, the easy target is Pete’s analog philosophy.. But doing so ignores how effective it was all season.

    Anyways, didn’t mean to ramble. Just wanted to say I whole heartedly agree that the philosophy/offensive approach was intentionally designed this season to stay competitive. And it was a success. I think this team still has big things in store. Really wish we had more than 4 draft picks, but I trust JS/PC to get it done.

    #GoHawks!

    • GerryG says:

      Good post.

      I have definitely read some people’s thoughts (that after thinking about I agree with) that the run heavy scheme is to protect the team from its deficiencies. This isnt to say that is why there is the commitment to the run, they obviously believe in the run, and so do I. But if you look at the sack rate this team had, it is bottom of the league. You factor in Russ and his propensity to take sacks, and many times awful sacks 20 yards behind the LOS, it makes sense to limit those plays.

      To me it looked like Schotty made a ton of progress with Russ manipulating the pocket much better than years past, but he still has a lot of room to grow there. We didnt see him spin backwards nearly as often, and personally I dont want to see him do that more than a few isolated times per season. Moving into year 2 with Russ improving in the pocket, and learning what Schotty wants to do, and wants Russ to become hopefully they can continue to grow. Hopefully the OL, which took steps forward this season can grow in their pass blocking. Ifedi has one more year on his rookie deal, and most likely will be pushed by Fant/Jones next year. We dont know for sure if both JR and DJ can be retained at an affordable rate, or if they can remain healthy enough. Brown is great and locked up, but is 33? Longer term can Fant/Jones replace him? The pass blocking has to improve, but this isnt the draft to address that; we dont have the picks, and the talent is not there.

      Go HAWKS

      Thanks Rob!!

      • Look Who's Hawkin? says:

        Definitely, and I think the fact that this was a new offense is another thing a lot of folks tend to forget, myself included. I know it is not a completely new scheme, but changing OCs, as well as other members of the staff is definitely an adjustments – especially when you consider that Russ has played his entire career under one coordinator until this season. I think I saw them develop some chemistry as the season progressed and that was very promising. My hope is that in year 02 together they can become even more comfortable with one another and that it will lead to more cohesion, that to us as fans will show up in better execution and maybe a bit more diversity. I think it is easy to point the finger at the run first philosophy when it doesn’t work, but if nothing else this season showed that it can be successful. If the Hawks can take it a step further and become a more dynamic run first offense, they can take the next step. Will be interesting to see what this offseason looks like and what the future has in store.

        Go Hawks!

  57. Look Who's Hawkin? says:

    Hey Rob, something I didn’t mention in my post, but still wanted to ask: how much do you think keeping Fluker and Sweezy will cost us? Just wondering what kind of market they have given their injuries and ineffectiveness outside of Seattle’s scheme. The OL market seems to be a bit inflated in recent years due to the shortage of talent, but just curious about those 2 players specifically.

    Thanks again for the great content!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think they will be quite cost-effective and cheap. Injury history, both left on the market for a while last year. But a great scheme fit for us and they both want to stay. So they won’t break the bank. They’re most valuable to us. I think after the combine we could easily see both sign before the market opens.

  58. Alex Higgins says:

    Special teams was a problem this year. Pete should think about a coaching change there.
    Although the draft is super-interesting and fun, the team’s fortunes for 2019 turn on the development of existing players who need keep improving: T. Thompson, S. Griffin, Delano Hill, Naz Jones, Germain Ifedi, etc. I was very encouraged by McDougald’s comments after the game which alluded to this. Guys need to dedicate themselves to their profession. He’s an excellent leader for the defense. We have to hope that hard work and improvement to our players under contract is a priority for them and the team.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Special teams was fine. Just had two rough games at the end. Michael Dickson went to the pro-bowl. That rarely gets mentioned when people talk about special teams.

      Nobody needs to be fired.

      • Eburgz says:

        Wait… do you think coverage on kicks & punts was “fine”?

        We have an awesome punter and kick returner so it wasn’t all bad.

        “Fine” isn’t good enough for a team built like us.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Yes I think for the vast majority of the season the kick coverage was fine. Clearly that wasn’t the case in weeks 15 and 17. But apart from that, yes. Other teams are allowed to have good weeks.

          • hawkdawg says:

            …and the first round of the play-offs….

            I’m not saying firing Schneider is the answer, at all. I don’t know the answer, in fact, other than the obvious one, in every area–more talent. But that is not the same as saying our special teams performance this year, overall, was “fine.”

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I don’t think Lockett is that great of a returner. Average at best. If he won’t return it, at least catch it before it bounces another 10 yards down the field. My vote is they pick up another punt returner in the draft.

  59. AlaskaHawk says:

    I want to give a shout out to ex Seahawks Golden Tate for catching the winning touchdown in Philadelphia’s Cinderella story. Once a feared duo with Doug Baldwin, since moved on to two other teams.

  60. Ishmael says:

    Seahawks fandom in throwing a tantrum complete non-shocker.

    Not going to pretend I enjoyed watching that game, because I didn’t, but it was close almost the entire way. Maybe closer than it should have been. And that’s always been the way Carroll coaches, playing not to lose before you play to win. Strongly suspect he hates losing more than he loves winning and that comes across in his coaching.

    There’s a couple of bigger picture things I don’t like around the coaching and performance stuff – namely the casual nepotism and cronyism that dominates the Seahawks like it does much of the league. And I do still wish they could find a way to develop some sort of intermediate passing game. Apart from that I’m really pretty happy.

    Lot of offseason needs, won’t be able to address all of them of course. Big needs on the DL, more speed at LB, another receiver who can actually get open – especially if Baldwin retires. I thought Griffin was overrated as a rookie, and his inability to track the ball in the air is starting to cause a few problems. He’s not awful or anything, but I’d like to see some competition there. Feels like an offseason where we need to see a real brawl for positions, throw 20 guys in the pit and let’s see who comes out on top.

    Frustrating end to what’s been the most fun season of Seahawks football for two or three years

  61. sdcoug says:

    What an enjoyable, fascinating, rejuvenating season. I’m only sad it’s over.

    I can honestly say that six months ago I was most looking forward to how high of a draft pick we would secure. I was a strong advocate of roster/coaching changes, but also knew it would likely result in a season or two of spinning in mud. I envisioned 4 wins, maybe 5. I was tired of the bickering, the drama, the seemingly constant turmoil, and mouths that were loud as ever despite diminishing returns from a team loaded with all-pros. After an 0-2 start I was already calculating our strategy with a top-5 pick. Then they went all Seahawk on my butt and shocked me.

    They were not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Frustrations remained, some of which seem to be etched into the Hawks DNA at this point. Weaknesses exist. Too many to list. But dang that was fun. The most fun I’ve had watching this team in several years. We could have lost 10 games and I think I still would have enjoyed this season. Why? Because they appeared to love football again. They appeared to have a new hunger. I’m in. And I can’t wait to see how we add to this new core.

    – Bobby Wagner – you the man.
    – Russ – you frustrate the heck out of me, but then you go do your special things.
    – J Reed – you weren’t only a dog, you lead the whole dang pack
    – Dickson – the fact that I just included a punter is all that needs to be said
    – Schotty – much maligned, but I sense the budding of a tougher-than-you offense.
    – Solari – bless thee
    – Flowers – what a revelation
    – Carson – you learned to be a gladiator and gave it all, every single carry
    – Lockett – I love you man
    – Dissly – heal up! You were quickly becoming a favorite.
    – Penny – you started to shine and the future is bright

    I could go on and on. This team of misfits took down the Chiefs, came close to beating the Rams juggernaut – twice, battled Chicago tough, beat Cam Newton (always a pleasure), etc etc. The future is bright, and that future just introduced itself to us this season. Can’t wait for draft season and 2019.

    Thanks Rob and SDB community for my daily fix

  62. LLLOGOSSS says:

    The #1 reason we struggled this year was run defense.

    It’s not a flashy topic, it’s not sensational, but it’s the biggest departure from the glory days of this defense. No, I don’t pin it all on one unit. The point is that in order to “complete the circle” everything starts with stopping the run. That’s step 1 in a Pete Carroll defense, and on a Pete Carroll team, I think it’s the only priority higher than running the football yourself.

    The order of operations, or the order of importance, to me:

    1) Stop the run; Run the football
    2) Explosive Passing; Defend the pass in 3rd-and-7+
    3) Control the field with ST; An explosive return is a cherry on top.

    That’s the circle.

    Stopping Zeke is always a tough order, but if we controlled their running game this game as well would have favored us, since we have the edge in explosive passing. I predicted we needed to keep Zeke under 115 yards of total offense to win.

    All year long we were gashed, though. We faced some really good backs, no doubt, but of all the traits from the LOB era that we missed the most this year — it wasn’t the interceptions, the smothering coverage, the ferocious and deep pass rush — it was that we couldn’t mob the LOS and make the other team one-dimensional enough.

    My opinion is we really need KJ back. Yet, it can’t all be LB play, can it?

    Rob, what did you see from the DL re: gap integrity and assignment discipline?

    Shamar Stephen and Tom Jones were supposed to be this year’s Tony McDaniel’s. Poona Ford had some moments at the end, though he and Naz barely played. Reed had a great year rushing the passer, did they have him more at 3T and we missed him at NT? Of course, Bennett and even Kam Chancellor are big subtractions from before. I can’t imagine Ken Norton Jr. wasn’t emphasizing run defense all year long, but perhaps there was some shortcoming there as well.

    This is an area of improvement that won’t be very heralded, but if we want to take another step next year it’s among the most pivotal. Thankfully, the Seahawks have shown resourcefulness in the past (and formerly dominance) in addressing it.

    How do you see this issue, Rob?

    Go Hawks.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Clearly they need to improve the run defense. I haven’t studied their gap integrity. Something wasn’t right though. So it’s an area to fix.

  63. Kenny Sloth says:

    ROB WHY WONT YOU GIVE CREDENCE TO MY S***** OPINION? /s

  64. millhouse-serbia says:

    While listing off players he’s excited to have return from injury next season (Will Dissly, C.J. Prosise), Pete Carroll on @710ESPNSeattle reiterated that he wants to have Mychal Kendricks back. He’s a free agent.

  65. neil says:

    With all the talk about how bad the game plan was, something just occurred to me. Where is the criticism of Wilson? If a run play is called and he sees 7 0r 8 in the box isn’t it his job to audible to a pass? All the other top qb’s do it.

    • LLLOGOSSS says:

      I think this again comes back to commitment. Certainly we could be more creative and employ some off-tackle, counter, draw plays, et al. But running the ball takes discipline and commitment. It’s hard. It won’t always bear fruit, but staying with it is necessary.

      Clearly that didn’t benefit us on Saturday the way we hoped.

      Remember also when Russ audibles three straight times early in the season and Pete burned a time out to have a little chat… The offense was cooking, yet Pete did not appreciate going off-script so readily.

  66. millhouse-serbia says:

    Carroll says they have a disciplined plan for the roster but it will take some time to get it all done.

  67. millhouse-serbia says:

    “I think we did a really good job of keeping our offense and defense connected… this is a very special team. This is the kind of team that can win championships. It’s just gonna take us some time to grow into it.”

    Pete Carroll on @710ESPNSeattle

  68. James says:

    …even though, in theory, the Dallas game came down to one play, the QB draw on 3rd and 14 when both Wagz and McDougald whiffed on the tackle, in fact Dallas flat out was the better team on the field. We did not take advantage of having the best player in the game (Russ) but allowed them to dictate. Despite the game turning on a single play, there are things that need to be fixed if we are going to win a championship.

    – after a long stretch where our OL played very well, we were physically whipped by the Dallas front 7. In part, this was because Dallas’ scheme sold out to stop the run, and we did not exploit the gaps this left for downfield passing. Were we whipped because Sweezy and Fluker were playing injured and less than full strength? Pete implied this was the case in his radio interview Monday morning. In any event, we have to have an elite OL if we are going to be a successful running team. Pete’s run-first philosophy is intended to create a physically-dominant team, so we can’t get physically whipped if that is the case.

    – we have to be more balanced on offense. Schotty said that we need to be able to run the ball when they know we have to run the ball, but the same thing applies to the pass… we have to be able to pass when they know we have to. I don’t think we will ever be a great dropback, pocket passing team, but we still need more movement, sprint-outs, and a refined underneath game, with quick outs, screens, drop-offs and TE drags.

    – we obviously need another elite pass rusher to compliment Clark and Reed, and we assume they will target that in the draft. We also need another WR, since Doug is running on fumes. Finally, I think we need an elite FS if we are ever going to have a dominant D backfield as in the LoB days.

    – Pete remarked this morning that their problem is converting on 3rd down… well, this is prima facie evidence that your scheme and playcalling is predictable. We must incorporate more motion and misdirection, and refine our underneath game.

    – we are very close, we just have to sign our own free agents and add a DE, WR and S, and we have the personnel. Then, we just have to have a system to maximize our talent.

  69. Sea Mode says:

    Oh wow, just saw that the missed FG from yesterday was tipped. That’s gotta be a huge weight off of Parkey’s shoulders.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001008740/article/eagles-treyvon-hester-tipped-parkeys-missed-fg

  70. RWIII says:

    First of all. What the H*ll happen to Naz Jones. Looks like he did a disappearing act. After a promising 1st year. Naz Jones only appeared in 9 games. He was a healthy scratch a number of times. What gives.

    Secondly: Listening to Brock. I think he nailed. First Sweezy and Flucker were not very healthy. Number two. There was only two teams that stuffed the run this year against the Seahawks. Carolina and Dallas. Brock said: Most defenses are either big or fast, not both . In the case of Cowboys/Panthers they are big and their linebackers are fast. Sean Lee for Dallas is a very good linebacker. But Leighton Vander is soo good that Lee is riding the pine because of Leighton Vander’s play. Brock said that the Cowboys linebackers are just plain fast.

    Everyone is crying that the Hawks should have thrown the football more. Couple of problems. Dispite the fact that the Seahawks ran the football more than any other team, Russell Wilson was near the top of the N.F.L. in being sacked. So obviously the Hawk OL are more geared to run blocking/verses pass blocking. Also: I noticed that at one point in the game the Hawks play calling was 12 run plays, 12 pass plays. Don’t know what the final numbers were. But that seems pretty balanced if you ask me. You just can’t sit there and have Russell Wilson throwing on every down. That is not going to work.

    BTW: Just checked. Seattle had 24 rushing attempts. Russell Wilson had 27 passing attemps. Russell Wilson was sacked once. So in reality. Seattle actually called for more passing plays than running plays.

    • Look Who's Hawkin? says:

      Well said. I saw a fairly reasonable assessment by one person that didn’t have a problem with sticking with the run, but that they wished Seattle had put the ball in Russell’s hands just a bit earlier and not had to rely on stopped that last drive by Dallas. Which I tend to agree with – even though the drive before, those 2 penalties basically killed any momentum we could have had after the KJ interception, I think if the Hawks had played with just a bit more urgency after going down 17-14, that things could have turned out differently. But hindsight is always 20/20. Like Rob has stated repeatedly, this was a fun team to watch and a fun ride and they exceeded all expectations in a supposed “rebuilding” year.

    • Volume12 says:

      At least for me it wasn’t throwing ‘more.’ It was lack of diversity. Running on 3rd & 7, throwing 2 yards behind the LOS backed up against your own 10 yard line on 3rd & 22.

      It’s be sweet if Sweezy and Fluker are back next year and I hope they are, but I’m not opposed to Seattle going O-line early and strengthening a strength in case one of them aren’t back. Scheme and O-line might be the 2 most important things in today’s NFL.

      There’s gonna be pass rushers available throughout day 2.

  71. Michigan12th says:

    I really think we need DT help this year, and edge rushers who con contain the rush. It is unrealistic to expect Reed to even come close to posting the sack numbers he had this year. Next year he will probably return his mean and will probably get closer to 5 sacks next year. Clark will probably continue to produce, but that leaves us 5-6 sacks short of what we got this year form them. We will need that production to come from some where.

    I’m in favor of a Shelod Richardson return. The market was cold on him last year, and he did not put up huge stats this year. Maybe we could get him for 4 years, 7 APY with maybe 12-15 mil guarantee,with all the young DT’s coming into the league. He might be able to be had for an average deal.

    That would get us back roughly 4-5 of those sacks, and shore up our run game a little. Any thoughts???
    I dont know where his market is now but

    • Matt B. says:

      Unfortunately I think that bridge was burnt based on his presentation of how the negotiation process went. I believe he said that the team had presented him with a number initially and then when they got to the table it was substantially less. Sounds like a bit of hurt feelings on his side and don’t think we’ll be one of the teams he’s going be looking at next offseason.

    • JohnH says:

      Didn’t they offer Richardson roughly as much as the Vikings did? I feel like he just doesn’t want to be here, and frankly he’s had two pretty meh seasons in a row. Not sure why we’d want to pay for that.

  72. RWIII says:

    Matt: In case you missed it. This was Doug Baldwin’s comments about the future of this team. https://www.yahoo.com/sports/doug-baldwin-message-rest-league-134845464.html

  73. C-Dog says:

    Some interesting takeaways from Carroll on 710 this morning.

    Fiercely shot down any criticism on Brian Shottenhiemer and noted that they just had one of the most successful statistical offenses in the history of the club this year.

    Shot down any notion Seattle should not pay $30 million to Russell and noted the explosive plays and efficiency is what they want.

    Noted that they see Frank Clark coming back.

    Said that he wants Mychal Kendricks back.

    Listed Rasheem Green and Poona Ford as players that can take big steps forward next year.

    Also mentioned that the young safeties will get better next year.

    Mentioned Prosise as a guy that was they are still intrigued with.

    Wants to focus on being better on third downs next year.

    Felt that the key to this season was that the connection between offense and defense was strong.

    My takeaways are that Frank and Russell aren’t going anywhere and sees young talent one he roster that will likely play bigger roles next year (Poona and Green)

    • millhouse-serbia says:

      Hm…Raheem, Reed, Poona, Clark. Our DL starters for next season?

      Maybe, just maybe, DL isnt seahawks 1st pick for 2019…

      • C-Dog says:

        We shall see. There were those that felt Green had first round talent but needed to maybe red shirt his first year to get stronger. He was only 20 years old coming out of USC. I’m still really intrigued by him. I think they still need to add more pass rush

      • Rob Staton says:

        It’s a nice young group of DL but it needs more. It’s not scary.

  74. hawkdawg says:

    Pete this morning:

    A lot of the critique postgame was that you were ineffective at running the ball and should have thrown more. That you should get out of this run-first mentality, get out of this run-run-pass, run-run-pass approach:

    “I don’t disagree with that, I wish we would’ve done something different too.”

    Later in the interview:

    “I wish we would have made some more plays in the throwing game that would have offset and just changed the field position.”

    He wasn’t criticizing Russell for not “making” those plays in the throwing game, if you listen to, or read, the context.

    But to his credit, as usual, he defended Schottenheimer for having a great season overall.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The issue isn’t that they shouldn’t have done this. It’s with all the kings of hindsight wanting to burn down the village.

      • john_s says:

        I did not have any issues with running at all. The issue i had was they types of runs that they called. Maybe the injuries to Sweezy and Fluker affected the lines ability, but I would have like to see more runs to the edges and jet sweep to Lockett. Something that the Dallas D had to account for other than up the middle.

    • Rowlandice says:

      I think one idea is that a quick and shifty WR or a healthy Procise could be able to run some WR screens or quick swing passes to a RB. They’d essentially be getting the ball out to the edge fast when teams load up the box. You don’t always have to hand the ball off to “run the ball”. I wonder why Mckissic wasn’t involved more after they had shut down Carson. Penny may have that ability next year too. Running 2 RB sets where they have to load the box against Carson or protect against quick screens and wheel routes would make the Hawks better able to adapt on offense.

  75. JohnH says:

    I haven’t enjoyed a season this much in years. I love the cohesion in the locker room, and the lack of guys who are still bitter over 49. SO much young talent, I’m excited to see how everyone develops.

    I’ve also really enjoyed this blog, and I want to thank you Rob for all the hard work you put into it. Really looking forward to the draft coverage!

    Just a few thoughts and questions I have heading into next year.

    1. I was sad Schneider wasn’t part of the coaching purge last year, and I think replacing him could be a Cable to Solari level upgrade. We’ve been getting worse every year for a while now.

    2. I was really bummed that Naz Jones disappeared off the face of the earth. His rookie year showed a lot of promise, I hope he can figure it out in 2019.

    3. I’m hoping that with another off season to learn and practice David Moore will play a whole season at the level he started the year off at, and not the level he finished at. WR’s often take time to really develop so I’m feeling good about him.

    4. Flowers, Ford, Green, Martin: I think that’s a really strong young core to build around, and I am anticipating some or all of them to really come into their own next year. Same with Shaquill G, and maybe T2.

    5. Keeping Sweezy and Fluker is essential, and I anticipate both taking team friendly 2-3 year deals. Also excited about how good Simmons looked.

    6. I’ve never liked Vannett all that much, but he did improve somewhat. Here’s hoping Dissly can recover from a brutal injury and Ed Dickson keeps producing at this level.

    7. If Kendricks doesn’t serve much jail time we may be able to lock him up for a very team friendly deal. I’m also hoping we find a way to retain KJ.

    • john_s says:

      I agree that special teams under Brian Schneider has gotten progressively worse under his tenure. I would definitely look towards replacing him in the offseason.

  76. charlietheunicorn says:

    FIRE EVERYONE!

    (sarcasm)

    I’m actually very impressed with this year. A bunch of parts and pieces tossed together….. new DC and OC and OL coach…. health challenges and less talent than has become normal for Seattle. Major change over in the defense, with some MAJOR players leaving via injury, trade or other reasons.

    As I sit, right now, I would much rather be sitting in Seattle’s spot than a vast majority of teams, even some that are still playing. The cliché of “the needle is pointing up” for this team fits. Trust the process and trust PC/JS to put the team in a position to compete for a SB in the 2019/2020 seasons.

  77. Matt B. says:

    It’s a weird feeling going into this offseason, specifically trying to think which players I’d like to see us move on from with upgrades. I feel like this team is still a growing team with a lot of players yet to hit their potential.
    I think we could use more talent on the D Line, but then I look at who we have and I’m trying to think who I’d like us to move on from. I want to keep Clark and Reed obviously, think we’ve got development potential in Ford and Green and I’m still holding out hope for Naz based on how he’s played off and on. QJeff had a really solid season for us and Jordan has had flashes as well. There’s a lot of good pieces there, if we find a game changing talent then obviously you want to add that; however, from a roleplayer perspective I like what we’ve got a whole lot.
    At LB, you’ve got Bobby and KJ you’d like to keep, Kendricks would be nice if he can play. Mingo and Calitro were ok, not great, but decent backups and Quem looked really good on Special Teams (and I love the story).
    At Safety McDougald is a stud, Hill and Thompson both showed some flashes and I’d like to see us keep Luani around for a full offseason to see how he can contribute.
    CB could use an upgrade; however, I really like Coleman and I feel relatively good about both Flowers and Griffin given how young they are and their ability to continue to develop as well as King as a good backup. Probably could use another piece there but probably another developmental guy from the draft based on this team’s philosophy.
    You’re probably ok at QB, get McGough a futures contract and I’m guessing we still have Hundley for another year?
    You’re also ok at RB with Carson, Penny, try to keep McKissic, probably still have another year of Prosise and if he’s cheap bring back Davis.
    TE you’re probably okay with your guys there knowing the system and being solid blockers with Dissly potentially coming back and contributing. Again, unless you see a real deal in FA or someone slip in the draft (in a bad class), you’re probably not needing to go there.
    WR, obviously Baldwin and Lockett are studs, keep Moore because he’s still on his rookie contract. I’d be ok with them releasing Brown, didn’t think he added much. Would like to see us add someone here, but in this system it’s hard to know really what they’re looking for.
    O Line – Feel pretty good about this group too, maybe more youth but mostly gonna depend on if we can keep hold of Fluker and Sweezy at reasonable deals.
    ST-Grab a UDFA kicker to provide some competition for training camp.
    All that to say, feel very optimistic about this roster, moreso looking for guys to develop than to be filling holes. Will be really interesting to see what they end up adding in FA, despite not having a ton of cap room after retaining guys, doesn’t feel like they need to grab a lot of new players this year like they did last year so they made go after a big splash in FA. This comfort with the current roster should also allow them to be really flexible in drafting, while they like taking the approach of lots of picks and hoping to hit on more later picks than fewer higher picks, feels like they could sit pat if they right one fell to them.

  78. Hebegbs4 says:

    Hi Rob,

    I really enjoy your blog. Out of all the Seahawk resources , I think your insight and writings are the most informative and fun to read.

    I don’t comment often but thought I would today. Not here to rehash the playoff loss. In hindsight everyone is 20/20 and the Hawks stuck to their identity. It’s also why the zone read Wilson ran for a TD worked. So I’m with you on moving on. While retooling, they really did overachieve.

    I just love KJ Wright. Always have. He is so unique. When healthy, he is still a difference maker. I really want the Hawks to find a way to sign him. Curious what you think his market will be? Do the Hawks have a good shot at signing him to an incentive laden contract based on his health or will he have significant demand? I really do not want to lose KJ. On top of his talent, I’ve never heard him talk of holding out or being disgruntled about his contract. He played it out and didn’t not whine and complain about the contract he signed. I’m hoping for a 2 year deal with major incentives for being on the field. Realistic?

    Have to sign both Clark and Reed. Feel like we should release Mingo based on what you said that could help with cap (sign KJ!!). Martin seems like he can fill his shoes fine. I know they play different positions but KJ made more impact in one playoff game than I can recall for “impact” that Mingo did in all his games played. He just looks avg to me. I feel like we need some more youth and speed in the secondary and think it’s time to find Colemans’s replacement. Am I off here? Other than perhaps David Moore, Sweezy, Fant and Fluker, none of the other FA (whether restricted or Un) inspire my imagination. Maybe Kendrick at the right price. Both Sweezy and Fluker should also come at a fair bargain I would hope. Fluker needs to prove he can stay on the field and so again, I like an incentive laden contract for him if we can do it. Not sure what Fant can command. Don’t see Austin Davis for with Carson and Penny. Will they still hold on to Procise because he’s cheap? What a bummer that guy can’t atay healthy. Side note, will Pocic develop for Hawks or are his days numbered with us?

    Draft needs: Super stoked the draft seems to line up with what I think is our most glaring need, D-line fortification. Reed needs an interior side kick. A Reed clone would be nice. What names should we be thinking about for interior D line between 21-31 (we all know the Hawks will trade back). I ask interior because that is what I want the Hawks to focus their first pick on. Any sleepers that could fall into 3rd round?

    Last question because I’m also a WSU Coug. With your mention that you and other experts agree that the draft is weak for corners and safeties-do you think it would be wise for safety Jalen Thompson to declare for the draft? Speculation is that he will stay in school after a supposed down year in some folks minds. Different CB coach, I thought he had a fine year. Thoughts on him? Thanks Rob. Hebe

    • Rob Staton says:

      Hi Hebe, thanks for the kind words and for reading. Appreciate it.

      1. I think they should sign K.J. personally as one of their priorities. Yes he was hurt this year but he did everything the right way — his approach to a contract year, his maturity, his leadership. I want him in Seattle. I think other teams will make a big push for him. Teams like the Niners for example. So I actually think they will find a way to get it done. The only stumbling block could be if they have bad intel on his knee. If it’s serious and could be a long term issue, that changes everything. We’ll see. I imagine we could see KJ and Kendricks return and Mingo cut.

      2. I think Prosise will get another camp because he’s cheap. It’s a big off-season for Pocic. Needs to be stronger.

      3. It’s a loaded interior D-line class. I like Jeffery Simmons a lot as a player and he might last due to the High School incident. We’ll see. Teams need to do their homework there. It’s a difficult situation to discuss or predict. I think the big names will be gone but Jerry Tillery, Dre’Mont Jones might last if you want a pass rusher. Gerald Willis had a very productive season but is undersized. Albert Huggins could be a mid-round option at Clemson.

      4. I’ve not studied Thompson unfortunately. I only had access to two Washington State games in 2018.

  79. Ukhawk says:

    Right, let’s talk draft prospects for tonight’s game who might be of interest beyond the obvious R1 talent. My top 3 must-watch later round prospects are:

    Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson, R3 (per Pauline), productive with 34 tackles with 10.5 tackles for a loss and 6 sacks in 2018. Perfect end size and rumored to be supremely atheletic at 6-foot-4, 268 pounds with 34.85inch arms, 9.13-inch hands, a wingspan of 82.13 inches, and 40-yard dash in 4.75 seconds.

    Albert Huggins, DT, Clemson, R4, 6-foot-3 315Lber who is the ‘back-up’ interior defender but starting tonight in the absence of Dexter Lawrence. Former four-star recruit and the No. 1 ranked player in South Carolina for the Class of 2015. Huggins earned the nickname “The Hulk” for his ability to bench 420 pounds in high school and was a Parade All-American. Perhaps more interesting is he made his way from DE to DT as his body changed but he has retained his ability as more of a pure pass rusher inside as opposed to Lawrence.

    Terell Lewis, DE/OLB, Alabama, R4+, 6-foot-5, 257 pounds with 34.5-inch arms, 9.38-inch hands, and a wingspan of 83.38 inches, and 40-yard dash in 4.82 seconds. Probably won’t see him play as he recovers from his second major injury in 2 seasons but he has miraculously been practicing ahead of schedule to the bemusement of his teammates. Rated by at least one scouting service as a first round prospect in preseason, fellow Alabama linebacker Christian Miller said, “I think he’d make a great impact. He’s a talented guy. He’s a special pass rusher. He’s great at playing the run. He’s an all-around outside linebacker so I think he would help out a lot.”

  80. FresnoHawk says:

    Naz Jones & Pocic came into camp sub 300lbs Pocic said he plays best at that weight. Am I wrong for wanting bigger guys?

  81. FresnoHawk says:

    Big Game tonight just what I needed relief from a tuff loss. Going to be watching everyone on the field so many prospects its crazy!

  82. Volume12 says:

    NFL: hiring coaches from the BB coaching tree

    Me: teams should hire guys from the Andy Reid coaching tree

    Such as Ron Rivera, Matt Nagy, Doug Pederson, John Harbaugh, Sean McDermott and soon to be guys like Eric Bieniemy and Dave Toub.

    • RWIII says:

      Volume: Interesting: Some of Andy Reid’s understudies have won a Super Bowl. While Andy is still looking for his 1st one. Andy Reid is one the GOOD guys. I hope he wins one this year. With that said. The Colts look pretty good. We will see what happens.

      • Volume12 says:

        Very interesting. I hope so too. The Chiefs are my AFC team. Would love to see a KC/N.O. SB.

        Agreed on the Colts. I’m excited for this game.

    • line_hawk says:

      not to mention Frank Reich, Pat Shurmur, Todd Bowles… ridiculous.

    • cha says:

      How about the Sean McVay tree? Packers just hired Matt LaFleur as HC.

  83. Trevor says:

    This was by far my favourite season as a Seahawks fan since our SB loss. Pete took back control of the locker room as re-established the culture of brotherhood in the locker room. They got back to being a bully on offense and got younger on defense. This team is primed to be a contender going forward IMO.

    This team had new co-ordinators on offense and defense which is never easy and there should be an improvement in both schemes and additional concepts with another full off season together. Russ and Schotty in particular need to evolve the offense keeping the power running and explosive play action while becoming more consistent in the mid – short passing game.

    OL-the job that Solari did was amazing. Another off season as a group with continuity if they resign Fluker, Fant and Sweezy and this could be an elite group.
    LT -Brown, Fant
    LG Sweezy, Pocic
    C Britt, Hunt
    RG Fluker, Simmons
    RT Ifedi, Jemarco Jones

    WR- Locket and Baldwin are an elite duo in the league. David Moore had his moments and should take another huge step forward this off season. Brown was an adequate 4th WR and Darboh will be back to compete likely. My dream offseason move for this group is that they draft Andy Isabella(UMass) and look for a big red zone target in he 2nd wave of free agency.
    2019 Wr Group
    Locket
    Baldwin
    Moore
    Brown
    Isabella or FA Signing

    Running Backs- This is a deep group and a strength of the team. I hope they bring back Davis and roll with a group the same as this year
    2019 RB
    Carson
    Penny
    Davis
    McKissic or Prosise
    Madden or Rookie FB

    QB Russ and whoever it doesn’t matter as Russ plays every snap anyways 🙂

    TE – Dissly coming back is a huge bonus if he is healthy. He should help in big run and pass game.
    2019 TE
    Dissly
    Vannett
    Dickson
    Swoopes or Rookie

    So there will be very little change on offense and that is good as they have a chance to get with a full off season as Schotty as OC. Would love to see them add one play maker either via draft or free agency. Dissly and Jemarco Jones coming back from injury will be like adding two solid draft picks.

    Onto the Defense. This is where PC /JS really need to focus this off season IMO.

    DL- Clark and Reed are the new leaders of this group and bring the nasty to this defense. Please JS just get both guys locked up as Priority #1 and take things from there. Poona Ford, R Green and J Martin have to take a step forward and should this off season. Jefferson is a solid rotational piece and they may bring Jordan back cheap. I hope they draft a dominant DT and pick up a veteran situational pass rusher in wave 2-3 of free agency.
    2019 DL
    Edge-Clark, Jefferson, Martin, Green, Vet FA
    DT- Reed, Ford, Jones, Rookie 1st Rd Pick, Vet FA

    LB Group- Hope they re-sign KJ and bring back Kendrick’s then draft an LB on day #3 to compete. cut Mingo for cap savings.
    2019 LB Group
    Wagner
    KJ Wright
    M Kendricks
    S Griffin
    Calitro
    Rookie

    Secondary- McDougald is the clear leader now. Griffin needs to bounce back and the rest of the young guys need to keep improving. I hope they draft both a CB and FS to come in and compete.
    Coleman is a must re-sign IMO.
    2019 Secondary
    CB -Griffin, Flowers, King, Coleman, Rookie
    Safety – McDougald, Thompson, Hill, Rookie

    That seems like a very doable off season for PC /JS and I think they would challenge he Rams and improved SF for the division.
    CB

    • Nick says:

      Agree with almost all of that, Trevor. My only q: why DT instead of DE in round 1? Poona and Reed are two young guys that will probably start next year and PCJS love bringing in veteran FAs for the cheap at DT. Is there a DT in this draft you love?

  84. line_hawk says:

    The more I think about a Wilson extension at 30M-35M a year, the more I feel uncomfortable about the direction the team is going. The way Carroll wants to play the game, he needs a top defense. And if you pay Wilson, Clark and Reed 65M a year, you are not going to have much money to build a defense. Where else are they going to get blue chip players when their last two drafts for the defense have underwhelmed and they have only 4 picks this year? The Mingos and Dontae Johnsons of the world might be cheap but they aren’t moving the needle for this team.

    Why not just sign Foles for Flacco and get a top FA pass rusher with the savings? And get 2-3 firsts for Wilson and build your dominant defense.

    • Volume12 says:

      Yeah finding a 3rd round pick who’s given you 27 starts at CB, learned an extremely hard technique and has switched sides of the field twice is terrible. Same with finding a starter at that same position in the 5th round.

      The audacity of a 6th-7th round pick like Jacob Martin to flash on come on strong at the end of the season instead of lighting the world on fire.

      How dare they find and carve out a role for a 5’11 UDFA DT

      Depth pieces at the worst in Hill and Thompson even if I’m not the biggest T2 guy at the moment.

      An Aussie/Rugby All-pro type of P who flips the field for your defense.

      Smoking Joe Flacco ain’t taking anyone anywhere.

      • DC says:

        I thought it was ‘smoking Jay Cutler’!

      • line_hawk says:

        The are starters but they are JAGS. The tweet in Rob’s article above corroborates this. They could develop but they are just below average prospects with upside at this point.

        2018 is all potential except Dickson. Some players have flashed here and there but its too early to judge. 2017 is mediocre at best. Sure you can find depth but what you need is blue chip players to fill your defense not depth (and that after having 6 picks during day 1/2?)

        For reference, look at Saints, Cowboys, Colts drafts in the last 2 years. That’s what the Seahawks need to be dominant again, not prospects with upside but real playmakers on cheap deals.

    • Hawk Eye says:

      l may have agreed with you in September, but not now. Pay him and move on.
      while Russ still has some slow starts and off games, he is a top 5 or 6 qb in the league and you don’t get better changing that to mediocre. The O was 6th in scoring this year
      better to find good cheap draft picks to fill out the roster, along with some FA bargains

      too early to say the last 2 drafts on D have underwhelmed. I see a lot of young guys who can get better and are hungry.

      • line_hawk says:

        Yes, he is a top 5-6 QB. But the way Carroll wants to play, I wonder if Foles + killer D > Wilson + average D.

    • Rob Staton says:

      No, no no!

      Don’t get hooked in by Seahawks twitter. You can easily afford to pay a QB and have a great defense. Drew Brees is a good example.

      You just have to be smart about it, draft well and stay on top of things. Seattle previously paid their QB and had a loaded defense after the 2014 season. It’s very possible.

      You won’t get much change out of $30m for Foles anyway if he wins any more playoff games. Alex Smith is on $24m per year! You don’t get much on defense for an extra $6m.

      • line_hawk says:

        Yes, Drew Brees who year after year single handedly dragged the Saints to 7-9 wins. The Saints have had mediocre drafts since 2011-12. They have only become world beaters after killing the last couple of drafts.

        Is Saints the new Seahawks? Year after year of mediocrity before finally breaking out.

        I doubt Foles gets $30M. But even if he does, its also multiple first round picks to build your defense. I don’t think that they actually do this but they have to at least think about it.

        • Rob Staton says:

          You said it yourself. The Saints sucked at drafting. And then when they improved in the draft they became really good.

          So you can win with an expensive QB. Clearly. What you can’t afford to do is be a terrible drafting team for three or four years in a row — whether you have a good QB or not.

          This whole idea that they can’t pay Wilson $30m but should pay someone else who is nowhere near as good $20m to save some money is the biggest load of nonsense you hear far too often.

  85. neil says:

    I am still befuddled as to why Carroll would not want Wilson to audible at the line of scrimmage. I can’t think of another reason other than he doesn’t have confidence in him doing it.

  86. Martin says:

    Winning the division would obviously be a big step towards winning in the playoffs. The argument is often made that teams should draft a certain player or adopt a certain style in order to defeat a particular divisional opponent with this goal in mind.

    Personally I wouldn’t view things this way because I’d sooner my team focus on simply making themselves better, and consider that 14 games are not against this opponent. Also in the NFL today teams often rise and fall quickly in comparison with many other sports so such a focus could be quite short-sighted.

    Do we need to think about the Rams in the offseason?

    • RWIII says:

      Martin. To answer your question. Do we need to think about the Rams in the 2019 N.F.L. draft?

      Answer: H*ll yes. The way the Ram throw the football. You NEED plenty of DBs and FAST linebackers.

    • McZ says:

      This would require the Rams to fall behind. The problem is, they are very good at scouting under McVay.
      Also, I fully expect the Niners to be next years turnaround team.
      Plus, our schedule will be tougher.

      I also expect the RW contract debate to consume much of the season.

  87. Volume12 says:

    I might be the only one here, but I love W. Virginia OL Yodney Cajuste. That dude is a bad a** run blocker and the edge and attitude he plays with is very attractive.

  88. […] our third article on the off-season already. If you missed the reaction piece to the Dallas loss or the article assessing the direction of the team, don’t forget to check them […]

  89. RWIII says:

    Undrafted free agents. This year Poona Ford was a steal. With so few draft picks no doubt (especially
    this year) John Schneider will be looking for gold in the undrafted free agent market. BTW: Speaking of so few draft picks I can’t wait see how many extra picks John Schneider will come up with. Trust me John Schneider values 5th/6th/7th round picks. BTW. John Schneider didn’t do to bad in 2018 draft. He got Trey Flowers, Michael Dickson and Shaq Griffin in the 5th round. He got Jacob Martin and JaMarco Jones in the 6th round. Not to mention Poona Ford. So the picks in the later rounds can be VERY valuable. John Schneider does his homework.

  90. Allen says:

    Have you checked out N. Adderly (S)?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I have a little. I think he’s being overrated a bit, as is known to happen with smaller school guys at this time of year. Will be interesting to see how he tests. A fairly intriguing player but talk of R1 is a bit much.