The win/lose debate – Pete Carroll joins in

November 14th, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

More audio at MyNorthwest.com

Above you’ll find the latest podcast from ESPN 710’s Brock and Salk show, where they discuss the conversation that has divided Seahawks fans over the last 24 hours. There’s no obvious answer to this situation. On the one hand, of course everyone wants their team to win on a given Sunday. However, if losing presents the best possible opportunity to solve the seemingly neverending need at quarterback – isn’t it worth taking the hit in the win column?

It’s a truly dividing subject and one of the many reasons the NFL is so unique. In one corner, you have the people who want to win every game and don’t even consider the draft until mid-to-late April. Others have a long term focus and believe one horrific season will pave the road to never enduring such misery again in the future. Get a franchise quarterback and you won’t have to worry about the draft anymore. A lot of people – including myself – fall someone in between the two arguments. This year I travelled thousands of miles to watch the Seahawks get beat by a rookie quarterback I graded in the late rounds. I hated watching that game against the Bengals, knowing it was completely winnable yet ultimately drifting towards a defeat. The one positive at the end? The draft position improved.

It was a reverse scenario yesterday against another NFC North opponent. Baltimore – one of the NFL’s elite teams – were roundly beaten by the Seahawks. Perhaps the best thing about the victory was that Seattle never really looked like losing the game, despite a late rally from the Ravens. The long term thinker may argue – this team still has virtually zero chance of making the playoffs and on current form the Seahawks would be picking 11th overall – behind rival teams like Miami, Washington and Cleveland who also need a quarterback badly. What actual benefit do you get from the victory in terms of building a consistent contender, which is ultimately what everyone wants? Even if you’re targetting the same player at #5 or #11 in the draft, wouldn’t you rather the insurance of making sure? Especially given the relative cost of rookies in the new salary cap?

So what really is best for the Seahawks? Aim for another 7-9 record by finishing strongly, pick in the mid-teens and risk spend another year scraping around at the greatest position of need? Could you imagine entering the 2013 draft – Pete Carroll’s forth in a five-year contract – still waiting for a quarterback to be drafted early? That would be 20 years since the Seahawks drafted a quarterback in round one, an astonishing statistic. At the same time, there’s a lot to be said for winning and building this team’s identity – setting the tone for the future.

Or is it actually best that this team loses out, picks above Miami, Washington, Cleveland, Denver and any other potential rival? After all, have we not seen sufficient promise from this team on the whole even when it’s lost games to be secure enough to lose a few more? Is there a danger of consistent mediocrity that comes with finishing 7-9 every year – stopping you getting a shot at the high pick for a quarterback? Or does winning become a healthy habit especially on a young team, and does this front office have enough talent in the scouting department to find a guy who can solve this problem without top-end investment?

Mike Salk wrote a blog post on this issue, I’d recommend checking it out by clicking here. He asks, “So, where are you? Are you an optimistic short-term thinker? A pessimistic long-term thinker? Or some other combination?” I suspect I’m closer to the pessimistic long-term thinker. After all, I write a blog about the NFL Draft and spend hours every week watching players – particularly quarterbacks – who would look good in Seahawks blue. This team does need a franchise quarterback for the long haul and without doubt the easiest way to find one is early in round one. That’s not to say every first round quarterback will be a success, but it’s pure common sense to expect the perceived elite players in each group having a better shot at success compared to whatever follows. You back your coaching staff and your front office to make the right choice and not be the ones to make the big bust.

At the same time, there’s something completely joyless to not appreciating a great win against one of the league’s toughest teams. The Seahawks pounded the Baltimore Ravens – they ran at them, they passed over them and they hit them harder than maybe they’ve been hit all year. Sure, this is also a Ravens team capable of such miserable performances as seen on Monday Night Football against Jacksonville. They’re also capable of beating the Pittsburgh Steelers (twice) something Seattle hasn’t had a lot of success with in recent years…

If you jump to the 32:28 mark in the audio above, Pete Carroll joins Brock and Salk for a live interview. He’s asked about this situation and discusses the idea of a portion of the fan base hoping for draft position at around the 47 minute mark:

“First of all I love that they (the fans) are thinking this way and competing. They want to get better and they want to win games and all of that and so that’s where that comes from. I know they don’t want us to point shave or something you know, of course not. I understand that they just want us to get everything we can possibly get, to get as good as we can get as soon as possible. I’m on board. There’s a lot of wins out there and we’re going to go for it, we don’t know any other way. This is so important for us to build on a mentality to build our style of play, to get better as individual players and as groups on this team. There’s just so much out there for us to gain. John (Schneider) is working real hard, he’s going to make great picks. We’re going to find these guys, we’re going to get guys that fit with us and they’re going to contribute and whatever we pick in the first round it’s going to be a guy that’s going to play. Look at what’s happened, look at our guys right now. I’m so proud. Look at the #1 picks we’ve had, they haven’t missed a step. They’re playing and they’re going to be contributing – they’re great players. We’ll find another one wherever we pick. There’s some exciting kids coming out of the draft, but there’s exciting ones that the people don’t know about too and they’ll be enough. I’m sure they’re not going to worry about where we finish right now. We’re going to try and win every game and get as good as we can be now. That will help us for the future and satisfy them as well so we’ll take care of business.”

This is exactly how you would expect the coach of the team to address this issue. Carroll is in the business of winning and that means every week not just in the future. He may see draft position as some form of consolation if the Seahawks do end up with a poor record, but you don’t expect a coaches attention to turn to the draft until the final game has been played.

Ultimately though, picking later will make it harder for the Seahawks to solve this issue in round one without a big trade up the board or a lot of luck (just not of the ‘Andrew’ variety). Would the Seahawks be aggressive for the right guy? I think they would. The Charlie Whitehurst trade was a calculated gamble which carried a degree of cost, but they were bold in that instance. Let’s not underestimate that move considering it cost the Seahawks a chance to draft three times in the top 40 picks in 2010 and also a valuable third round pick. I understand why they took the chance given the importance of finding a long term answer at quarterback, but the simple fact is they were willing to take the gamble. It was taking a chance then, so two years on why wouldn’t they make an even bigger move given the added pressures to get this situation sorted once and for all?

Of course, Whitehurst was Schneider’s project – his choice. We have to hope if he makes a second attempt next April, it’s a lot more successful than his first try.

Carroll also talked about players that maybe people ‘didn’t know about’. Clearly the team has taken some positives out of the decision to sign undrafted rookie Josh Portis, who showed some potential in pre-season. That’s all well and good, but you could argue the time has long passed for Seattle to be picking through the list of obscure projects to mould into a serviceable player. Tarvaris Jackson has one year remaining on his contract after 2012 and Whitehurst is a free agent at the end of this season. They may need a quarterback who can start games next year as a back-up or starter – they will almost certainly need that player to start in year two.

And let’s not mistake the seriousness of this situation – Carroll’s reputation and final shot in the NFL hinges upon his ability to find a winning quarterback. It’s not the only factor, but it’s the most important. They can’t afford to mess this up, but avoiding the situation all together and hoping to fill the problem with stop-gaps is just as bad.

In the worst case scenario that Seattle finds itself out of range and incapable of drafting a top college passer (and if Barkley and Griffin III don’t declare, that opportunity will be taken away), I keep coming back to Austin Davis. Could he be one of the players Carroll refers to as ‘unknown‘ to most people?

Regulars will know how highly I rate the Southern Miss quarterback. He’s an athletic and hard working player who runs a ball-control offense with a heavy dose of run and a determination to limit turnovers. The Golden Eagles are ranked at #20 in this week’s BCS rankings and will almost certainly play Houston for the Conference-USA title in a few weeks. That’s a major achievement for that school, an incredible achievement in fact. It wouldn’t be possible without Davis.

He doesn’t have elite size at 6-2 221lbs, but it’s good enough. Davis has worked hard to reach that weight, as discussed when I interviewed him during the pre-season. For the 2011 season he’s thrown 20 touchdowns to eight interceptions, passed for 2511 yards and rushed for two further scores and 227 yards. He’s completing 63% of his passes in the last two seasons. His success has coincided with that national ranking – the school’s first since 1994.

The Seahawks will be aware of his talents having sent a scout to watch one of his more impressive performances during a win at Virginia at the end of August. Davis may not be spectacular, he may not be the big name everyone is talking about. He does, however, fit the Seahawks criteria in terms of his attitude, the way he plays the game, his accuracy, mobility and intelligence. He’s one to monitor throughout this process.

48 Responses to “The win/lose debate – Pete Carroll joins in”

  1. Jim J says:

    I keep looking for Austin Davis on the QB draft polls, he doesn’t even make the top 25. I guess we will be able to get him then – as an undrafted free agent.

    • Rob says:

      Classic under the radar type – tape access is so limited most people have never seen him play. We have to remember, scouts can only watch so many games and from September-December most of the high profile types watch the main games we’re all watching. A lot of the deeper study takes place in the background – slowly – and during January-April. Eventually I think people wil start talking about Davis, if not – more fool them.

      • Matt says:

        Rob, how much game tape have you seen of Davis this year? I simply cannot find anything like the detailed tape of Luck, Barkley, and others out there.

        • Rob says:

          Very little, Matt. I’m basing it off previous viewing from 2010 and noticing the continued progress this season of Southern Miss and also speaking to the player and learning more about his situation. I feel like I have a grasp of what he brings, but we’re working hard to try and get 2011 tape to develop analysis. I intend to invest in College Gamepass one of the two remaining weekends of Southern Miss’ season.

  2. James says:

    Brilliant scouting, and a little luck, are the keys to finding an elite quarterback, not having the #1 draft choice. Look over the drafts for the past 20 years. If you define an elite QB as someone who performed at an MVP level in a Super Bowl while winning a championship, guys like Brady, Brees, Manning, Roethlesberger and Rogers, only one of them, Peyton Manning, was a #1 selection. With great scouting, you can find an elite QB in lower round one; but how many teams other than the Steelers and Packers have great scouting? If the Seahawks can’t scout their way to the next Rogers, they will need the dumb luck of the Patriots to find the next Brady.

    • Rob says:

      I think I’d broaded out the debate to round one, because the Seahawks have never owned the #1 overall pick. It’s about having a shot at the better QB’s in a class, which obviously picking early presents. A lot of the top QB’s in the NFL right now are R1 picks and without doubt it’s the easiest way to find something akin to a franchise QB. Eventually this franchise will have to draft for a QB in R1 – 19 years is a long time.

      Agreed on needing luck though – if New England truly saw Brady’s potential he wouldn’t last until round six. They got lucky, big time – but credit the team for helping groom the player into what he’s become.

  3. Colin says:

    Simply put, come April, what is our biggest need? Quarterback. It’s obvious, and Schneider and Pete know this. They will do something to upgrade the position. Hopefully it is drastic and involves moving up. The odds have already been explained in finding a franchise guy beyond the 1st round, and really, that’s the truth at any position.

    There are a thousand scenarios that could happen, and I have faith that they will be ready to move up if the guy they want (Barkley please) should fall at all.

  4. darnell says:

    The Rams and Panthers sucked – got the QB #1 overall – still suck.

    There’s something to be said for learning to win.

    • Rob says:

      Sure, but Atlanta picked a QB 3rd overall and I think they’ve made the post season every year since haven’t they?

      • Tom says:

        Rob, that is why we sligthly differ on our Matt Barkley opinion. You compare his upside to a Matt Ryan and I agree. Both are conversative QB that typically won’t lose games for you.

        I like Matt Ryan but my biggest play of the NFL playoffs last year was Green Bay at Atlanta. I didn’t even take the 2.5 pts when it came out. I jumped on the ML at +125 huge for an easy win.

        Matt Ryan is surrounded with Offensive talent and they keep adding more annually and he’s yet to win a stinkin’ playoff game. Attribute some to his D, but those interceptions against GB were pathetic when he was forced to comeback and match Rodgers.

        That is what I see in Barkley. A perennial playoff QB managing games with solid offensive talent but will Barkley step up at elite times and carry an NFL team deep into the playoffs?

        I truly have my doubts.

        • Colin says:

          Wouldn’t you say Barkley has stepped up each of the last two years when they played Stanford? Toe to toe with ‘the best QB since John Elway’ seems significant really.

        • Rob says:

          That’s not an unfair point you raise there Tom. I think it comes down to a lot of things really – I mean we can raise those concerns with Ryan but they won’t necessarily translate to Barkley. And if Matt Ryan does get in the playoffs again and again, one year it might click. Eli won a Super Bowl, Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay were what? 9-7 last year? It could even happen this year. And if Ryan wins one ring he was worth the investment x10. The mere fact that Atlanta remain relevant and have a remote chance every year was technically worth the investment.

    • Ryan says:

      Yeah, Cam Newton’s been leading the Panthers for all of nine games, and since they’re not yet Super Bowl contenders, I guess we shouldn’t pick a QB in the first round either.

  5. PatrickH says:

    Last Saturday night I was channel-surfing and stumbled across the second-half of the Southern Miss vs Central Florida game. This was my first (and only time so far) to see Austin Davis played. The following are my observations.

    Positives: He was accurate on short passes like slant routes and swing passes. Made multiple reads and did not lock onto a receiver. He seemed poised, did not panic with pressure, and ran only when necessary. He was quick, although on one play he was caught from behind for a sack.

    Negatives: Several of his passes were batted down or tipped at the line of scrimmage. I couldn’t tell if that was due to his height or some issues with his throwing mechanics. He also wasn’t accurate on the deeper passes. On one play his receiver ran a post route and got wide open in the endzone, but Davis overthrew him. However on one 3rd-down play Davis did throw a 20-30 yards fade to convert for 1st down.

    Also, Southern Miss ran a spread offense where the offense lined up, the UCF defense lined up, and then Davis looked to his coaches for a signal. I don’t know how he will do in a pro-style offense, where he will have to read the defense and make adjustments on his own. But Cam Newton made the transition successfully, so perhaps Davis can make the transition as well.

    Again, my observations are based only on the 2nd half of this game. I didn’t get to see how Austin Davis performed in the first half.

  6. Jim says:

    While I emphatically agree that Seattle needs to get their hands on their franchise quarterback, I wonder if we loose sight of the importance of winning with a young team. The Hawks are well past the point of patching holes via the draft and are in the middle of a complete retooling. If the team was to suck for a top five pick it would come at the price of stunted development of youth.

    For example James Carpenter has been the favorite target, not always unfairly, of beat writers, columnists and talk show hosts for penalties, missed assignments and generally poor play. He’s also intregal to the success of this team now and going forward. We should all want him to live up to his 1st Round selection. If he does, the team will succeed, or at least improve. Sometimes that will equate to wins such as Sunday. Other days will be like the loss to Dallas, where the line played better even in defeat.

    I am happy to see progress even at the cost of draft postion. Even the star of a show needs a strong supporting cast to make a mearly good script a smash hit.

  7. Andy says:

    I think I can’t come back to this blog until the season is over. I am so sick of people rooting for the team to lose. It is not long-term thinking. It is rooting for losing.

    You want to hear some long-term thinking? Long-term, we need 22 starters on offense and defense, not one. Long-term, we need lots of the players that are on the roster RIGHT NOW to be good players. Long-term, I want multiple players that are on this team right now to make the Pro Bowl. If all of those things are true, they’re going to be winning games right now. Winning 0-2 games in a season means your team is in shambles. Totally broken from top to bottom. One player, even a great rookie QB, does not take shambles to the Super Bowl.

    • Ryan says:

      Actually, it is long-term thinking. It is the essence of long-term thinking. It’s wanting to build the team into a perennial playoff contender, not suffer through endless 5-8 win seasons.

      Yes, we all know it takes more than a QB to take you to the Super Bowl. But it does take that QB. And we don’t have one. Is Tarvaris leading us to the Super Bowl?? Whitehurst?? Portis?? Kyle Orton?? Austin Davis?? Ryan Tannehill?? Matt Flynn?? Tell us.

      • Jim J says:

        All we need is good blocking and a QB that can hand the ball to Marshawn Lynch! Tavaris can do that.

      • Andy says:

        Okay, here comes a huge post :)

        Let’s assume two things:

        (a) Nobody wants the team to actually lose games on purpose, right? So you’re saying long-term thinking is hoping for a team that LEGITIMATELY loses 13-15 games in a season, because of the draft opportunity that will afford the team. Right?

        (b) You’re not saying you want top-5 picks every year. You want ONE top-5 pick to get the QB and then build from lower picks after that. Right?

        Given those assumptions, and correct me if I’m wrong about your viewpoint:

        What you’re saying is that [QB taken in the top 5] + [21 other starters who just earned a 2-14 record] = Super Bowl contender, as quickly as possible.

        What I’m saying is that [QB taken in picks 10-20] + [21 other starters who just earned an 8-8 record] = Super Bowl contender, as quickly as possible.

        That’s my main point, but ALTERNATIVELY, if you really want one of those top-5 picks, I would rather have to trade up for it than to actually earn it. Because I think having players on the team this year that will earn you more wins this year are more valuable than whatever pick you have to give up to move up. So the alternate math is [QB taken in the top 5] + [21 other starters who just earned an 8-8 record] – [next year's first-round draft pick] = Super Bowl contender, as quickly as possible. I don’t see it working out this way because I just don’t see Schneider as a trade-up kind of GM, but that’s a different discussion (where I think we would agree).

        **It’s all about the non-QB players on the team right now.** It’s all about wanting this team to be ONE PLAYER AWAY from winning 12 games in a season. A team that goes 2-14 is not one player away from winning 12 games. A team that goes 7-9 might be one player away from winning 12 games.

        Take a look at the last several #1 overall picks. Bradford, Stafford, and Cam Newton did not make their teams into contenders on their own. The Rams and Panthers both suck this season. The Lions look good but I see a LOT of players contributing to that, not just Stafford. And you agreed above (I assume) that we don’t want to be PERENNIALLY picking in the top 10, which is how the Lions assembled that roster. And look at the other teams with lots of top-10 picks in the last few years – most of them have not turned it into success like the Lions.

        Then look at the 2008 Jets. They finished 9-7 and “missed out” on the opportunity to draft in the top 5 and pick Sanchez with their own pick. They traded up to get the pick they could have gotten “naturally.” And with that trade-up pick they got a QB who was inferior to the #1 overall pick, Stafford. And yet, the Jets went to the AFC championship the next two years because the rest of the roster wasn’t garbage.

        Any chance you’d let me be a guest contributor and write this as a full “counter-point” post on your blog?

        • Colin says:

          EXCELLENT POST. I couldn’t agree more. Pete and John tore down the shambles of this team and have assembled a solid football team. Now they add the guy who helps take the next step.

          Rob, are there any 3 tech defensive tackles worth a 2nd round pick of the Hawks? We need to upgrade the pass rush, and although DT isn’t a need or a depth concern, I think getting one who can provide consistent pressure up the middle would be huge, but I’m not against another high motor defensive end. These needs are pressing after QB. I also think we let Lynch go unless he signs a reasonable deal. Solid running backs are not hard to find anymore, although another big back to compliment him would help.

          • James says:

            What a great post (Andy). I totally agree with the sentiment, I simply can’t spend the next 7 games celebrating if we lose. If for no other reason than it’s no fun. I’m going to back my team to win throughout the season then worry about the draft come April.

        • Rob says:

          Sure, Andy. Send me an email rob@seahawksdraftblog.com

  8. Rob says:

    Hi Andy,

    I hope you’ll keep visiting the blog. This is a topic being discussed a lot in Seattle and the media at the moment – I wanted to bring it to the table here particularly given that Pete Carroll embraced the topic on Brock and Salk yesterday.

    However, this blog is not a ‘Seahawks to lose’ petition. It’s a place to discuss draft need, college football players, what the team might do in April, who’s stock is rising or falling, who’s the diamond in the rough? I like to think we’re a unique service exclusive to Seahawks fans. We don’t just make rankings and leave opinion on the side. We get stuck in, we watch hours of tape, we have strong views, we encourage debate and opinion and we judge. That’s part of what makes a great blog. That also means differing views – and this is a divisive topic.

    I hope you’ll stick with us, even if you disagree with

  9. Jarhead says:

    Aside from the fact that some fans need to get perspective about this season (it’s NOT about rooting for the seahawks to lose, it’s about being frustrated with having a team so close to being in the upper echelon and craving the most optimal scenario to fix that one remaining weak link- OH and yeah we HAVE 21 players on o and d who are ready, so that 1 remaining player happens to be integral, thank you very much) but I want to know from Rob is: Austin Davis may just be that scheme QB that can fit our offensive game plan and most likely available outside round 1, so if that’s the case what do we do with our first round pick? Do we resign Lynch and go for T-Rich and really create a ball control offense? Because I’m struggling to see a defensive player who can make the impact you’d expect from a first round talent who would still be available at that draft position.

    • Hawkspur says:

      If the Seahawks can’t get their 1st round QB through trading up or their guy falling to them then I think that Richardson would be a great pick. However, at this rate (say we win 4 more) he may also be out of our range. Miller sounds pretty good too, but is he top-20 quality?

      If Zac Brown (or any other LB) has potential to be Matthews/Briggs/Suggs then that’s the pick for me.

      Otherwise, another corner would be nice; a secondary of Thomas, Chancellor, Sherman and, say, Dennard, Jenkins or Claiborne could be formidable for years to come. I don’t know enough about Thurmond but we could do with quality depth. Browner looks OK but could be upgraded.

      Other than that it’s O-linemen and receivers by the looks of things; not really positions of need. Out of those I’d probably want another receiver if a top talent was BPA.

      Oh for a couple of dominant D-linemen.

      I must admit that I have been inclined to approach gameday thinking that in the great scheme of things it might be best if we play well and lose. However, I really like this team and the fight that they generally show and think that they really do deserve victories like the one on Sunday. I think that the future is looking bright, but that we still really could do with a QB. We can only hope that somehow we manage to get one, as the rest of the team is shaping up nicely.

      • Jim J says:

        If we can’t get a top three QB – we still have needs at RB, LB, CB, DT or DE, OL (yes we need one more good blocker in case of injuries). I think we are pretty well set at receivers and tight ends, and have 4 out of 5 positions in our OL.

        Considering all that, if Trent Richardson is available he would be a great choice. The other positions aren’t as exciting, but would fill a need. I wouldn’t mind a DT, if our line gets injured we will need more help. We seem to have good luck picking CBs in later rounds.

        Or we could reach for a second tier QB in the first round. It is likely that at least 4 QBs will go in the first round again. And last year certainly proved that only 2 of the 4 were really first round material.

    • Rob says:

      I still think you do your level best to trade up for a QB and the Davis’ of this world can be the fall back when every avenue has been exhausted.

  10. I don’t agree with those who want to tank the season, but let’s at least avoid mirerepresenting their argument. For a lot of people, this isn’t about the #1 pick, it’s about Andrew Luck. Yeah, the #1 pick can bust, but is Luck going to? I doubt it. Maybe you guys are seeing tons of people claim that the #1 pick in and of itself is a surefire way to success, but I’m not.

    • Matt says:

      Thank you thank you. Huge misunderstanding with “tanking the season” going on lately.

      I simply want a QB and hope that JS and PC do what they need to do to get one. I am simply of the mindset that it’s easier to do that when you are picking closer to #1. Does that mean I want us to lose? No. I just want a legit perennial playoff contender. That takes good QB play.

      BTW, love your stuff Brandon. Always a tremendous read.

  11. LouieLouie says:

    Hey Rob:
    I have read that the Hawks considered taking Andy Dalton this year instead of Carpenter in the draft. That would seem to be a missed opportunity, but hopefully Carpenter will come around. They also had Jimmy Clausen on the board last year, and may have taken him if Earl Thomas wasn’t available.

    They might still be able to get Clausen in some kind of trade with Carolina for a much lower draft pick than round 1. He didn’t show well, but as Carroll said, you can’t always judge a QB too quickly because they (like other human beings) learn differently.

    Do you think that Clausen might be a better option next year than Whitehurst, or do you see any other back up guys around the league that Seattle might trade for, rather than taking one in the 1st round?

    • Matt says:

      Andy Dalton has been wildly mediocre for the year. He’s living off of a poor schedule thus far and a dominant defense and a W-L record that’s more representative of his team, not him. He somehow gets praised for a 15-30 performance for 140 yards and 2 TDs and 2 INTs. I will never understand that.

      I would just caution targeting other teams scraps as a means to address our QB situation. Not that it’s not an avenue to finding a QB, but the fact that this is a dangerous game if that’s the number one approach.

      • Jarhead says:

        Not to nitpick, but he is a rookie playing Pittsburgh for the first time in his life. How did Tarvaris Jackson fair against Pittsburgh? Yeah I’d take those 2 TD’s over the whopping NONE that Jackson threw. Just saying, none of us think Dalton is an automatic HOF’er, but he’s most likely better than what we alreay have

    • Rob says:

      Hi LouieLouise,

      I don’t think Dalton was ever a defined option. My sources tell me they were always leaning towards a lineman and we reported that just before the draft. They liked Nate Solder a lot, they liked the Baylor guard who went to Philly, they liked James Carpenter. If they could’ve moved down into round two and out of the range for the lineman, they may have considered quarterbacks. Even then, I understand Dalton was behind Colin Kaepernick in their gradings.

      Jimmy Clausen wasn’t even on their draft board according to my sources – again we reported this before Seattle and everyone else passed on the guy. It’s no surprise given he’s the polar opposite of what the Seahawks have looked for in a quarterback so far.

      I don’t see any backups worth trading for, unfortunately. And certainly Clausen will never be the answer.

  12. TJ says:

    This is an interesting topic. I have been a Seahawk fan since the mid 1980s and have had many dissapointing seasons just hoping for a .500 record. After the Super Bowl season, I have taken a lot more of a big-picture view of the team and the team-building process. I have watched with dismay as Tim Ruskell botched draft after draft, never addressing the team’s most important positions or most pressing needs. Mostly however, ever since the Super Bowl season I find myself unsatified with a mediocre record and an occasional playoff appearance. I want the Hawks to win the title that should have been theirs. The only way to win that title, I believe, is to draft franchise changing players. I have seen the fortunes of franchises completely change when they have been in the position to draft guys like Aikman, Manning, Elway, etc.

    I remember the game in 1992 between the Seahawks and Patriots. The two absolute worst teams in the league. If I remember correctly, the Hawks had 1 win and the Patriots had 2. It was late in the season and quite possibly the most meaningless game in the history of the NFL as far as playoff implications. It was an ugly game and Seattle squeezed out one of their only 2 wins of the season. I was happy for the rare win, but as the game ended I hit me that NE was going to draft #1 overall and Seattle probably #2. I had also been watching Drew Bledsoe play his final season as WSU and came to the sudden realization that we probably weren’t going to have an opportunity to get him. Of course we didn’t and NE did, and within a few years they were playing in the Super Bowl. That win may have been the most meaningless win in Seahawks history and I have never forgotten the real cost winning that game.

    I can’t root for Seahawk losses, but I also don’t feel any satisfaction when they squeeze out a couple of meaningless wins in an otherwise bad season. I think that with their past 2 drafts, they have set themselves up beautifully to welcome a young potential franchise QB. I would hate to see them miss out on the opportunity to draft their guy and end up with another decade or two of mediocraty. If they win a couple more games and end up in the middle of round 1 where they have to draft anything other than QB I will be disappointed. I understand the importance of learning how to win and how to succeed – I get that. However, the reality is, they aren’t going to the playoffs this year, and without a better QB, they aren’t contending for a championship any time in the near future either.

    • Rob says:

      Great post, TJ.

    • erik says:

      We did end up trading Mirer to Chicago for a 1st round pick in 97′. I can’t remember if we got Springs or Jones with particular pick. Either way it wasn’t a complete loss. Maybe lightning will strike twice and we get someone great with the Curry picks.

  13. Billy Showbiz says:

    This is a tough one. I’m never going to cheer for them to lose and I think that I’d be willing to see them give up this years 1st, next years 1st and some more picks to get in position to draft another QB high rather than see the team lose and regress. I thought I’d check out a list of starting QBs drafted after pick 15 to get a historical idea of what we may be looking at. Here’s how it looks.

    The good:
    Tom Brady
    Aaron Rogers
    Drew Brees

    The Not too bad:
    Tony Romo
    Joe Flacco
    Matt Schaub
    Josh Freeman
    Jay Cutler

    This is actually not that bad. Let’s do the same thing with the guys taken 15 or earlier:

    The good:
    Peyton Manning
    Big Ben
    Philip Rivers
    Mike Vick
    Eli Manning (not sure if he belongs in this category but does have a ring)

    The not so bad:
    Matt Ryan
    Sam Bradford
    Cam Newton
    Matthew Stafford

    The thing that stands out to me is that most of the younger up and coming guys are in the “picked early” category. I’m also hesitant to put Aaron Rogers in the other category as he was still the 2nd QB taken in his class and was in strong consideration as the number one pick. I think that we’ll have to get into that early part of the first round if we want to have any chance of finding a guy who can come in and play quickly. Especially now with the new rookie pay scale making it less of a risk for teams to take a QB high.

  14. Doug says:

    Last year I thought we would easily lose to the Rams and be picking #8, but we won and the rest is history.
    There was a lot of the same thinking that we should lose for the draft pick.

    The honest truth is that we will win every game we possibly can, and we won’t have a shot at a a #1 or 2 QB. We can’t even contemplate losing for a pick. Every moment for every game is built to succeed. A good team can win the SB, just ask Dilfer. I think it’s a silly areguement or even a point of discussion. We should be scouting every position, and pick the BPA, with a little wiggle room depending on positional needs. We beat Baltimore by out slugging a slugging team. A big monster RB to trade punches with Beast would really bum out teams that are getting ready to play us. I wouldn’t have a problem with anoth beast dirtbag OL.
    If we could find a DL who could get to the QB would be cool too.

    I guess my point is that reaching for a 3rd or 4th QB would do more damage than picking up another stud at almost any position.

    However, for Luck, I would trade almost the entire draft… But only half of the draft for Barkley..

    • Rob says:

      We also need to remember some perspective, because as great as the Ravens win was this is still a 3-6 team that has lost games and not competed at times because of bad play from Tarvaris Jackson or Charlie Whitehurst. My draft philosophy will always be BPA with a slight leaning towards need – but only once you’ve done everything in your power to identify and acquire a franchise QB.

  15. erik says:

    At this point it’s probably best to hope that more non-QB needy teams that are not in our division end up with the 2nd through 5th picks. That way we would at least have the opportunity to get Barkley, though at great cost.

  16. JC says:

    I wonder if there’s a problem with perspective between fandom and the team’s pubahs that’s at the heart of our collective frustrations.

    For John Schneider and Pete Carroll they’re not even through year two of their mission of getting back to the playoffs. All that came before can, after a fashon, be forgotten since it’s not their handywork. It was Tim Ruskell who passed on Mark Sanchez so it doesn’t factor into their self evaluation. At the same time we fans (more so the casual or sports radio consumer) liken the passing up of Andy Dalton to the passing on Sanchez.

    We fans on the other hand are in the middle of what will most likely be our fourth loosing season in a row. While meger compared to long suffering Bills or 49ers loyalist, we’re no different than any other town that, having tasted success, want more of it. The playoff trip and miracle take down of the Saints have only fed our desire to win now. More over we don’t need Doug Farrar or John Clayton to tell us that the biggest need is at the quarterback position and has been of all four of those years. We’re so desperate that trading two or even three 1st Round picks sounds just fine.

    Down at the VMAC, Peter Carroll can enjoy a solid season from the collection of existing players, castoff free agents and lucky mid round strikes that constitue his defensive unit while knowing he still needs a couple of studs to make it function properly. Those kinds of players either carry a hefty price tag on the open market or are drafted in the 1st Round. Earl Thomas and Marcus Trufant are the only defensive players on the roster that were drafted in Round One and I think it’s shows. There’s talent but not high end enough to be feared and certainly not in the key catagory: forcing turnovers. Trading away two or three 1st would pretty much consign that unit to mediocrity for years to come.

    This is more than simply aruging both sides, I think it’s a real disconnect between the team’s management and it’s fan base. And not for mean motives, like in the NBA, but a genuine lack of understanding. I have faith in the team’s strategic framework. Only time will tell if they have the tactical ability to pull it off.

  17. darnell says:

    I think we can all agree that the majority of good QBs come from the first round.

    But it isn’t always necesarrily the top 5 or even the top. Roethlisberger was mid-1, Rodgers late 1, Freeman mid/late 1, Cutler mid-1.

    Sure, you can flop on a JP Losman or Kyle Boller late, but you can also flop on a Jamarcus Russell, Alex Smith, Joey Harrington early.

    The evaluation of said QB is siginificantly more important than the draft position.

    • Rob says:

      I think the main argument about draft position Darnell is about having maximum choice to make the right evaluations. Picking later weakens the market. The Seahawks may well take the same player at #8 that they’d take at #25… but what if he leaves the board at #20? It’s really about being in position to get the right guy, not necessarily just having an early pick to spend on any given QB.

  18. [...]  My intention is to be a counter-point to the viewpoint below, taken from Rob’s article ‘the win/lose debate – Pete Carroll joins in’.   “So what is really best for the Seahawks? Aim for another 7-9 record by finishing [...]