Thoughts and concerns on offense

August 21st, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

I feel for you, Tarvaris

I will be taking a second look at the Vikings game tomorrow and perhaps my perceptions will change slightly. However, I came away from the game with a few thoughts and some concerns.

The offense looked poor, rhythmless and lacking focus. This isn’t a big surprise and major context is required here – we’ve not seen anything like a natural off-season and groups are being put together on the run. Teams that have a long term structure such as New England and Pittsburgh will likely dominate this upcoming season simply because of familiarity. Teams that are rebuilding like Seattle are going to suffer.

Yet there’s still something about the Seahawks offense that bothers me. The offensive line was flat out bad. For me it’s further evidence of a point I’ve often made amid constant promotions of ‘building through the trenches’ – that lines are not built around high picks and instant chemistry doesn’t exist. The best offensive lines in the league blend talent, execution, consistency, health and pure time on the field to create a perfect storm. You can’t just throw picks and dollars at the offensive line and hope to turn a major weakness into an overnight success.

The Seahawks have maybe the most expensive group in the NFL in terms of draft stock, yet you couldn’t tell last night. There’s going to be teething problems for a while and this is just something we’re going to have to live through. Hopefully James Carpenter and John Moffitt develop, Max Unger becomes a solid center and Russell Okung stays healthy. It may be that some of those guys don’t work out. Either way we’ll have to roll with the punches because this isn’t getting sorted any time soon. Enough stock and energy has been placed in the line and it’s time to let the things grow naturally. Seattle’s continuing issues on the offensive line are not going to be solved with even more first round picks.

When Sidney Rice and Zach Miller were signed, together with the investment and effort made to improve the line, I wondered if the Seahawks were creating an environment for a quarterback to at least be competitive. This was a reckless judgement on my behalf that went against everything I’ve argued in the past. Maybe I got caught up in the post-lockout euphoria coinciding with Seattle becoming big players during free agency? Whatever the cause, it was my mistake.

Tarvaris Jackson had basically no opportunity what so ever to succeed against Minnesota. Those still grumbling about Matt Hasselbeck playing elsewhere should be relieved their favorite former Seahawk isn’t faced with the situation that Jackson had last night. In fact Jackson’s ability to actually scramble away from pressure is looking more and more like a major positive, just because it at least extends the play momentarily giving him a slightly better chance than nil to make a completion or run for positive yardage. The Seahawks signed some very good players in free agency and certainly I cannot criticise the franchise for significantly upgrading several positions. Yet it comes back to the big issue I have always had with this type of rebuild. It is mind blowingly difficult to improve every single area of a team in order to create an environment fit for a fill-in quarterback to succeed.

People love to quote the New York Jets and point to Mark Sanchez as a counter. What they don’t realise is that the Jets are the poster example of the exact opposite argument. What was the first thing Rex Ryan and the Jets did upon their marriage? They made an aggressive trade to get Mark Sanchez. They then built around their quarterback, adding a number of big name veterans and developing a patented Ryan defense. Inheriting an offensive line containing two former first round picks is not ‘building’ a team before drafting a quarterback. The Jets did it the right way – get your quarterback, establish a direction and try to make his life easier. The Jets glorious success and the fact Sanchez hasn’t put up amazing numbers clouds the truth somewhat, but that’s to Ryan’s credit for doing such a great job building around his QB.

Look at New Orleans – a team going nowhere fast a few years ago. Sean Peyton arrives, the first thing they do is sign Drew Brees and establish an instant identity to build around. Championship.

The Atlanta Falcons – left with a severe Michael Vick sized hangover and awful football team, they go from bad to contender with one inspired move – drafting Matt Ryan. This enables them to play to their quarterbacks strengths and limit his weaknesses. They knew Ryan could manage a possession-based offense that controls time of possession. They get a power running back in free agency and then supply Ryan with an elite tight end, a new left tackle and most recently another dynamic weapon at receiver. Who would bet against that formula winning a Championship in the next few years?

Look across the league at the teams who have gone from bad to contending and a common theme emerges – they built an offense around their quarterback. The Seahawks appear to be doing the exact opposite.

A quarterback will make up for weaknesses elsewhere. They control so much of a game that a talented signal caller can manipulate things to his favor. A team that has invested in strength everywhere but the QB rarely bails out bad quarterbacking. It is much harder to win being great at several positions than it is to win being good at just one position – behind center.

So far the Seahawks regime has pumped two first round picks into the offensive line. They’ve made a big splash at receiver with a second round pick and a free agent grab and they’ve traded for a big name running back. They’ve gone through two offensive coordinators and two offensive line coaches. They’ve signed a tight end to a deal comparable to that awarded to Antonio Gates.

Yet at quarterback they’ve coasted along.

The trade for Whitehurst was promising in that if nothing else it was aggressive. Yet the investment has never been matched with an opportunity to prove it was all worthwhile. The only other significant move was to sign a quarterback seemingly based around the fact he was familiar with the new offensive coordinator and was mobile. That relationship between Bevell and Jackson leads me onto another grumble which I’ll come onto in a moment.

There seems to be a faceless vision for the future at quarterback. We know the Seahawks want someone who can move around in the pocket, that has been made clear. Yet when you build a team around a vision without actually committing to it’s central figure, you end up backing yourself into a corner. What if the team is well placed to draft a potential franchise quarterback who doesn’t match the criteria? Do you avoid them and prolong the agonising search? Or do you rip up the blue print and start again in spite of what you’ve built towards so far? At the moment I’m a little bit concerned that the Seahawks’ grand plan will forever be incomplete until they have ‘that guy’ at quarterback.

And to counter myself slightly I appreciate the lack of options the Seahawks have had so far regarding quarterbacks. Drafting 25th overall took the team out of any potential race for the Gabbert group this year and the 2010 class was just flat out poor. But eventually they either need to pull the trigger or they need to make things happen by being aggressive. This team will not be able to fully rebuild with stop gaps and re-treads at quarterback.

What confuses me a little is that while the Seahawks move along this off season, they appear so tied to Jackson. Where’s the competition? Isn’t that the mantra of this organisation? I understand the thinking behind backing Jackson – less time to work out the offense, his familiarity with Bevell etc etc. Even so, it seems somewhat selective and hypocritical that this isn’t an open competition. What if Whitehurst is the better guy? Is it really beyond comprehension that the much maligned Jackson isn’t the best option? Is Carroll now handcuffed to Jackson for 2011 just because of the Bevell connection? How does it relate to Sidney Rice, given how he was almost certainly recruited on the basis he would get to play with his friend?

Are we creating an environment of competition for some unless you’re a coaches favorite? Carroll has done a great job showing no defining loyalty to his USC guys, but does that extend to other coaches and their guys? If you make competition the heartbeat of the team, does it weaken the beat if it appears to be an inconsistent message?

This brings me on to the point I said I’d eventually get onto. Do the staff under Carroll have too much input on personnel?

My own view is that a NFL franchise needs a long term vision beyond it’s coaching staff because there are constant changes in that department. Appointing a General Manager is supposed to be a long term plan. Coaches tend to come and go a lot more regularly without instant success. You also have to factor in that succesful DC’s and OC’s will be poached.

When the Seahawks appointed Alex Gibbs last year, they went about making the offensive line in his vision, which Carroll agreed with. That completely changed when he abruptly departed and since then it’s changed again with Tom Cable coming in. Gibbs, Cable and Jeremy Bates have all had a go at designing a successful offensive line. Carroll wants a zone blocking scheme, but that in fairness is so vague and only scratches the surface. Why in just 12-18 months has this team lurched from one type of player to another, one ideology to another on it’s offensive line? Does there not need to be consistency and a departure from a position coaches vision to a franchise vision?

It appears Cable had strong input into the team’s two early draft picks and the signing of Robert Gallery and Zach Miller. Darrell Bevell must have had significant input into the signing of Jackson and Rice. What if in 12-24 months it’s two others trying to run Seattle’s offense? Do you start again by bringing in more favorites and changing ideas? It’s not like there hasn’t been major turnover within Carroll’s staff so far, so how can you rule such a proposition out?

The offense in fairness does seem to be being built around a master vision from Carroll, but it’s the staff below putting it together. Is that really a good idea? Of course coaches have input, but in Seattle they appear to have carte blanche.

As the Seahawks build this offense towards hopefully a productive unit, they’re going to need to roll with the punches and stay on track. Is it wrong to be slightly concerned that the major influencing factors in this personnel rebuild right now are not necessarily the team’s GM and Head Coach?

58 Responses to “Thoughts and concerns on offense”

  1. Whenever anyone offers input about how to build the team, they usually insist on adding O-line first to “protect” a future QB investment and immediately jump to one famous supporting example, David Carr. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard another example offered, especially one from the last decade in which the balance of power on the NFL field has shifted overwhelmingly to the quarterback. Meanwhile teams are drafting Sam Bradford without a strong line, understanding that it’s direction and fit that really propel an offense.

    • Rob says:

      Correct and I’m surprised that Seahawks fans are so risk averse at quarterback.

      • Paul says:

        Why risk averse? Kelly Stouffer, Dan McGwire, Rick Mirer.

        That said, I’d be shocked if Pete and John are not aggressive at QB with next year’s deep class.

        • Rob says:

          Seattle hasn’t drafted a quarterback in round one for 18 years. I don’t think Mirer, McGuire and co. are legitimate reasons anymore.

          • PerryCollective says:

            What about the tons of other early round busts since those days? Carr, Alex Smith, Leinart, Harrington, Ramsey, Leftwich, Boller, Grossman, Losman, Campbell, VY, JaMarcus Russell, Quinn, Tebow….there’s quite a few other reasons to be “risk averse” to picking a QB round 1. Sometimes it puts franchises back big time. A QB investment in round 1 is only worth it if you’re sure he’s the guy. They haven’t been sure. Maybe next year they will be sure. Who knows?

          • Rob says:

            I would never argue to draft ‘any’ quarterback but certainly I think within this franchise we look for holes in players and become overly critical. It’s almost like we’re waiting for the perfect player at QB, and that guy will almost certainly never appear. And there are busts at every position, there’s no such thing as a sure thing.

          • @Perry – You can’t just rattle off a bunch of early-round busts and conclude that top-16 QB’s are bad, without giving it statistical context. Steve McNair, Donovan McNabb, Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Michael Vick, Jay Cutler, and Matt Ryan all came from the early 1st round as well, not to mention the still-in-evaluation Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez, and Sam Bradford.

            Yes, the bust rate in the first round is below 45%. Most people reach that conclusion and then just stop investigating and assume they’re right. They don’t go on to learn that the bust rate of every other round is 15% or worse. Finding a franchise QB is hard, with massive penalties for failure, but that doesn’t magically make the late round any likelier to help you.

    • Ben says:

      The years before the Rams drafted Bradford, they spent a high 1st on a LT and spent a ton of money (6/$36M) on a FA center, Jacob Bell. The year that they drafted Bradford, they also drafted an OT with the 33rd overall pick. The Rams have invested significantly in their OL in recent years.

      Meanwhile, the Lions decided to draft a QB first and focused on surrounding him with weapons and instead of blockers. Sure, they’ve got a high-powered offense, but their expensive highly-drafted QB is getting blasted to bits. Carr isn’t the only example of a team squandering QB talent by protecting it with a lousy OL.

      • Ben says:

        And Sanchez started his rookie year behind a OL containing 3 former 1st-round picks (D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold and Damien Woody) that the Jets had spent considerably on in FA (both Faneca and Woody were signed in 2008 for 5 years/$40M and 5 years/$25M, respectively). The Jets were able to put weapons around Sanchez immediately because the OL had been addressed by the previous regime (at that point paying Alan Faneca the richest contract in NFL history for an offensive linemen). You can’t really say the 2009 Jets FO ignored the OL, it had already been done for them.

      • Rob says:

        In fairness St. Louis’ line has also been poor. The rookie LT performed very well last year but Smith has been a disappointment and the interior very poor. They avoided taking a QB because of Bulger’s contract and took one as soon as it became expendable. The Rams are not a good example on how to build a roster or as a legitimate counter here.

        As for the Lions – they certainly should’ve done more to improve their line. However, it’s hard to argue with the way they’ve improved every other area of the team – starting with that initial #1 pick Matt Stafford.

        • Ben says:

          The 2009 Rams OL didn’t look very good (and Smith was injured a fair amount), but I’ve heard that their 2010 OL was very solid. Smith looks like a RT but I’ve heard nothing but good things about Saffold (from Sando, Rams fans and others). FO even named Saffold to their 2010 All Rookie team ahead of Okung:
          http://www.footballoutsiders.com/walkthrough/2010/walkthrough-all-rookie-team

          Bradford looks like a future franchise QB but he also stepped into a situation with solid OL, good run game and (surprisingly) stout defense. The lack of WRs undoubtedly hampered his play, but at least he wasn’t getting killed behind a turnstile OL or having to depend entirely on his arm or fight back from significant point deficits every game.

          • Rob says:

            Saffold definitely had a good year, but the interior was a major need area still which they addressed in free agency.

    • akki says:

      It’s a little outside 10 years, but Tim Couch is another David Carr example. Guy was hit so much his first couple years that I don’t think he was ever fully healthy.

  2. LouieLouie says:

    Your concern about a long term vision is well founded. That is why Tom Cable was brought in, and that is why Carpenter, Moffit and Gallery were also brought in. A solid O-line does not happen overnight, and they aren’t going to look good for awhile. Let’s not forget that the best O-Line the Hawks ever had was stocked with two first rounders on the left side.

    The state of the O-Line has got to be one reason they brought in T-Jack. He can scramble (and take some big hits) while the O-Line gets its sea legs. Once the O-Line begins to gel, which I hope to see signs of by November, then perhaps T-Jack will become disposable and a franchise QB may come aboard next year if one of the other two QB’s on the roster aren’t that guy.

    • Rob says:

      They have to find the franchise QB sooner rather than later LouieLouie. I understand and agree with what you say regarding the offensive line, but they need to identify the QB this regime will place it’s faith to truly propel this rebuild into motion.

      • Ben says:

        Finding a franchise QB is easier said than done. Maybe Plan A was to trade for Palmer (which would put us immediately into contention for the playoffs) and then develop some QBs over the next 2-3 years. Maybe Plan B was to trade for Kolb but we thought he was too much of a risk (lots of draft capital in trade, big guaranteed salary, not a ton of production on a stacked offense). Maybe plan C was Orton (but he got bid up by Miami or Denver wanted too much).

        It looks to me like Plan X (whatever we ended up with) was to address everything possible but the QB and then fill the spot next year (when we could spend more draft capital, when we’d have a full offseason to properly prepare a rookie).

        I don’t think TJ’s a long-term solution, I don’t think Pete expects him to be one, but I think they’ve got a plan in place. But who knows. They could turn around and fire everybody next year (or get fired themselves) and decide to sign Alex Smith to a 2-year deal.

        • Rob says:

          Absolutely it’s easier said than done and I touched on that briefly in the piece. Certainly I don’t expect PC and JS to have drafted their future QB by now. My point is though that a.) I don’t think the offense is good enough to accomodate TJ or CW and win and b.) they won’t truly be able to rebuild this ship until they do get that QB.

        • Rugby Lock says:

          I have to agree that TJ is just a stop gap and probably at least their 4th or 5th choice this year. I also have a suspicion that TJ was signed as a means to get Rice to sign with them. As for the Rams, they have invested heavily in both lines with four first round picks in the last five drafts: Carricker 07, Long 08, Smith 09, Quinn 11 with the only exception being Bradford in 10. Prior to that the Rams hadn’t drafted a QB in the first round since Bill Munson in 1964…

          • Rob says:

            St. Louis would’ve drafted a QB sooner but for the fact they were financially tied to Bulger and refused to cut him because of the huge cost. I have no doubt that they would’ve looked much closer at Ryan and Sanchez but for their awful approach to Bulger. As soon as they could cut him they did – but only after they’d made themselves the worst team in the NFL. Then they drafted a QB.

          • Rugby Lock says:

            For the last two years JS and PC have not had a QB worth drafting available to them where they drafted IMO. I also think that they didn’t want the sort of contract that you would have to give a top ten QB (instead of drafting Okung) before this new agreement. I am at a major loss as well as to why the previous FO didn’t draft one…

          • meat says:

            @rugby- Well, yes and no in response to your comment that PC and Co. didn’t have a QB to draft at their picks. They could have used their 1st round pick on the QB’s that got picked in the 2nd rounds. Glad they didn’t! BUT, Mallet was on the board through the middle of the 3rd round. Seattle had plenty of chances to pick him up. He is one of three QB’s this year I would have been happy for them to pick up. Mallet is not mobile but wouldn’t start this year anyway. Perhaps he could have been the starter next year throwing to Rice, Miller, Williams, etc after the Oline came together ( i truly hope it does!). He looked great so far.

          • Aye, whether PC/JS acted properly in the QB arena still depends largely on our evaluations of the individual QB’s.

          • Rugby Lock says:

            @ meat- I think you are in a way making my point. None of the QB’s avail were worth our first rounder and the choice was better spent where it was. Mallet wasn’t an option due to his lack of mobility because they knew that the Oline would have some serious problems coming together this year because of the lockout. Can you imagine RM behind the line the way it’s playing now??? Ugggggly…. Not to mention that RM didn’t fit what PS & JC want in their QB. As for RM looking great now it is the same situation as we have with Charlie. Playing against the second and third stringers and not to mention he is on the Pats who are hardly in the rebuilding mode Seattle is in. Good conversation this…

  3. Ben says:

    I think we’re just seeing a multi-year rebuilding process that’s being slowed by the lack of a real 2010 FA and a 2011 real training camp. Pete knows he’s got some time to get everything in place but that this might be his last chance in the NFL, so he wants to make sure everything gets done the right way. Bates was fired because he wasn’t the right fit, not because Pete’s a capricious HC. Better to fire him early (and maybe push Gibbs out, too) than to try to muddle 3-4 years of conflict.

    The way I see it, we’re building an offense with a QB-shaped hole. This year will be spent building the OL, the run game and getting the offensive scheme installed and the WRs on track. We weren’t able to draft a decent QB or trade for/sign one in FA, but that’s not so bad because whoever’s playing behind this OL is going to end up with some bumps and bruises. We got a younger, mobile guy that knows Bevell’s system and can step in immediately. He’s probably not going to be a long-term solution at QB, but there’s a (very, very small) chance that he or Charlie could be “that guy”. If things don’t turn out, TJ (or Charlie) could be the vet backup behind a 2012 rookie QB.

    The real issue is whether we can get a QB next year. Its very unlikely that we’ll suck enough to draft the #1 QB and we’d probably have to spend a ton of draft capital to move up for the #2 QB. If its possible to draft up for a franchise QB, I think its worth whatever it takes.

    If we can’t get a QB in the draft next year, then I don’t understand what the plan is. You can’t plan to find a good QB in FA or in trade. You need a QB to win in this league, no matter how good the run game is or how elite the defense is.

  4. Colin says:

    Well, if T Jackson isn’t “The guy”, by the argument in this article, then the Seahawks will be in position to draft “The guy” next year.

    I think the Hawks made the right move selecting an OT and not a QB. You reach and miss on that QB, and now you really have nothing.

    And, to Pete’s credit, he’s always been a guy about defense, not offense. So I can somewhat understand letting those other guys have big inputs. Nobody question what Mike Holmgren could do with an offense, but in his time as GM here, he couldn’t build an average defense with the hand of God helping him.

    • Rob says:

      In fairness Colin I haven’t suggested that PC & JS should’ve reached for a QB so far. I’m merely saying they need to be aggressive to find that guy in the next draft to really get this rebuild going on offense. Until they do that, I think we’ll be held back from real progress.

      Also, being bad this year won’t guarantee a QB. Even a 5-11 record won’t necessarily put you in range for one of the top two QB’s.

      • Ben says:

        I agree with everything you just wrote. I’m hoping the plan is to spend big to move up in the 2012 draft to get “that guy”. If it doesn’t happen, I’m going to be very disappointed.

        • Rugby Lock says:

          I think that they will try if in position to but the cost may just be too much for JS & PC as they seem to place a very high value on draft choices. We still have some glaring holes IMO that need to be fixed such as CB and our DL while improved still needs major work…

      • meat says:

        agreed. Bills, Bengals, Broncos, Fins, Panthers, and Redskins will probably have worse records. You cannot tell me they wouldn’t draft another qb prospect like Luck, etc.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        That should be amended somewhat. 5-11 won’t allow us to get one outright. But a top 10 pick is much more attractive as trade bait than say, the 11th or later. There aren’t many teams that could pick in the top spot that would want to trade out. But could you see a team like Carolina doing that after spending their first selections in the past 2 drafts on QBs already?

        That’s pie in the sky admittedly. It’s possible that a legit QBOTF prospect exists OTHER than Luck. And we’ll be far better poised to make an offer a team can’t refuse, if we have a relatively high selection to use as bait. Regardless if the #1 or #2 selections come available, it’s easier to make that deal if you already have a high pick (recall the Vick/Tomlinson trade and the Manning/Rivers trade). Those teams were able to move up because their picks still had extremely high value. They did have to severely sweeten the pot, but the option to do so was still available and probably wasn’t the only deal on the table. When/if it comes time to trade up, we’ll have to compete with other deals as well. 5-11 helps to compete for early QB picks.

  5. Colin says:

    I absolutley agree they need to be aggressive in getting us a franchise QB. It will be harder though if they don’t finish with a losing record, as the new rookie salary cap will entice to teams to draft a QB where they normally wouldn’t.

    As much as it pains me to say this, a 4-12 season would get us over that hump a bit faster, especially if we could trade that 1st round pick and next years (and whatever else) to get into postion for a primier QB. We won’t be alone, however.

  6. PerryCollective says:

    This article is weird for me, since I usually find myself agreeing with pretty much every thing you post. :)

    I’m not sold on Jackson or Whitehurst – and I’m pretty sure the Hawks FO isn’t either. My opinion is that they are trying to upgrade the talent level across the board – getting younger, stronger, faster, wherever they can. Are they done yet? Of course not.

    I think your comparisons to the Jets, Falcons, and Saints are disingenuous. All 3 of those teams were much more competitive from top to bottom – by far – than the Seahawks.

    I think that the focus on the OL is entirely because they are focused on the long-term goals of this team. OL takes the longest time to gel. Makes sense to invest there first. QB should be next, and RB should be last, based on the amount of time it takes to grow into a productive player.

    • Rob says:

      Well the Falcons were 8-8, 7-9, 4-12 before they drafted Ryan. The Saints and Jets were not much more competitive before acquiring their quarterbacks – the Saints in particular were very poor.

  7. Jeff says:

    You touched on this briefly in the piece but here’s my biggest rebuttal

    I just don’t see where Schneider and Carroll could’ve got the QB from.. In 2010, bradford went 1.. Clausen looks like a disaster.. The only realistic option from there was Colt McCoy, who nly went to Cle becuase Atl took that DL Peters a pick before..

    2010 free agency didnt have many qbs as qb-needy teams like ari/sea went after whitehurst..

    2011 free agency.. options were limited to hasselbeck, who would provide stability but wouldve gotten smoked behind the young line… other options were a mcnabb trade or a kolb (which i think wouldve been a disastrous idea… potential of setting back franchise)

    the nfc west win took seattle out of gabbert/locker area.. i am VERY anti-dalton and you can see already how weak his arm is.. he rose up the draft because of his leadership.. kaepernick, mallett look like projects- not franchise guys

    so realistically i dont see any option where the seahawks couldve got a franchise qb.. its very easy to just point out this team needs a franchise qb.. yes i agree with that.. and ur points about asst coaches have too much personnel say is a very valid one.. but saying they need a franchise qb is much easier said than done.. look at whats happened to buffalo after kelly and dolphins after marino..

    tjack is clearly a stopgap.. the connection with bevell means there prob wont be a learning curve and ideally the 2011 pick will be used for a qb… if they continue to pass on qbs, then i will agree with you… but i find your article hard to agree with, because their not passing on franchise qbs.. they havent really had an opportunity to get one.

    the jets situation is a far different example.. like someone mentioned earlier.. they had mangold, ferguson, faneca, woody in place.. and an already top 10 defence…

    carroll/schenider took over a train wreck.. and in 2 off-season have added miller, rice, bmw, washington, lynch, okung to an offence with no playmakers.. i understand your concern- these 2 preseason games looked horrible.. but you need to be more realistic and understand how much is needed to rebuild what was left from ruskell

    if they pass on a qb in this draft it will be a disaster and i will share your views

    • Rob says:

      My point really isn’t a complaint at this regime for not drafting a quarterback yet because admittedly they’ve had few options. My point is that they absolutely must address this issue as soon as physically possible to really give this rebuild momentum.

    • Rugby Lock says:

      Very well said Jeff and I concur with your point.

  8. Osprey says:

    Its painfully aware that we need a franchise QB (every NFL team needs one) but there really hasn’t been a chance.

    In the 2010 draft I think we would have gone after a guy with either the #6 or #14 pick but there just weren’t any QB’s worth drafting with our 1st rounders anymore. After Bradford there was Tebow or Clausen and thats it. Clearly the 2010 Rookie QB class is shaping up to be the worst I think any of us can even remember.

    In 2011 we would have been in great position to get one of the guys we wanted….and then we won the game against the Rams and as they say the rest is history.

    I understand that it seems the Hawks are going about the process counter-intuitively, but I don’t believe it was a conscious decision to do so. I think they simply were dealt a poor hand and had to run with it.

    The good news is the 2012 QB class should be loaded with talent. Even if Barkley returns for his senior year we should be able to draft a possible franchise QB with one of our first two picks.

    • Hawkspur says:

      I’m not so confident about the depth of talent in the next draft. There could be only one or two long term answers at the position in this draft. As well as the Seahawks, Washington, Miami, Denver, Buffalo and San Francisco are all likely to be drafting high and have an equal desire for one of these QBs. Add Cincinnati to that list as well. Sure, they drafted Dalton, but if he has a year similar to Clausen’s at Carolina last year then they will be in the market as well.

      The only team guaranteed to have a shot at Luck, or Barkley if he declares, are the teams with the worst, and possibly the second worst records. And those 1 or 2 teams will almost certainly be from the list above. I can’t see them being open to trades.

      Rob, Danny at Fieldgulls (I think it’s him) rates Josh Johnson of the Bucs highly. Do you know much about him? I think we need to have a backup plan in case of a situation of not drafting 1st or 2nd.

      • Rob says:

        I’m not a huge Johnson fan personally. He falls into category of good back-up. I do agree with you Hawkspur that next years class of QB’s is being over hyped. There’s some depth, but if Barkley doesn’t declare there may only be 1-2 first rounders at the position.

        Osprey – agree there hasn’t really been a chance. I would’ve taken a punt on Mallett in round two but he doesn’t fit this regime’s profile for the position.

  9. SHPENTHER says:

    I wonder how the new CBA is going to affect the trading of draft picks. Lets say we get 6 wins this season, 6 wins got San Francisco 7th overall, so if we assume right now that we’re picking 7th, what would we have to trade up to get to #1 or #2 to get Luck or Barkley?

    • Rob says:

      It’ll be very interesting shpenther because the cost of high picks in terms of salary is much more reduced. Technically that should raise the value of early picks.

      • Vin says:

        Thats a good point, Rob. With the way rookie salaries escalated in the past, you wouldve thought those teams in that 1-5 range that didnt want to dish out the $$$ would be willing to trade for less. Now that rookie salaries are more manageable, even for the #1, I’d assume, like you, that the value of those early picks went up even more.

  10. SeahawkFan says:

    Only a pussy would still be afraid of drafting a QB in the 1st round. WAKE UP! NO POSITION IS SAFE! Drafting safe is what causes our roster to become the atrocious ruin that it is today because of Tim Ruskell. Kelly Jennings, Chris Spencer, Lawrence Jackson, and Aaron Curry are all garbage busts who were considered safe picks. Curry in particular is one of the absolute worst linebackers I have ever seen in my life and yet he was touted as a safe pick and pro ready and other BS.

  11. SeahawkFan says:

    No risk = No reward!!!

  12. seattl says:

    spot on Rob, it’s hard enough to find a QB who can be a good NFL starter, and it looks counterproductive to make it harder but putting further restrictions. We should get a QB, Period. What if we were positioned to draft a guy like Dan Marino, a great QB who can’t run, and decided No, we need a guy who can run? Mallet may have been this QB, only time will tell, but given the information that was out there … if you pass on him in R1 for a talented guy at a similar position that needs talent, that’s ok. But passing on him for a RIGHT TACKLE, when there were comparable talents in Smith and Ingram, and then again so we could trade down and pick a guard, WHY??? I can see that you doin;t think he was the guy, but I hate this “Wait till next year” mentality and fans should not enable Pete or make excuses for him. We pick lineman when other teams fill skill positions, and when they pick linemen we bolster our practice squad.

    • Vin says:

      Seattl stated what myself and co-workers were thinking…and also what Rob averted to–why pigeonhole yourself by limiting your options to a ‘mobile’ QB? I really really wanted Mallett, period. Now after looking at that Vikings game, Mallett probably wasnt a good idea, but for a 3rd rnd pick, its not that big of a gamble. The best we can hope for now is that there are at least 4 highly rated QBs so that we have a shot at one of them. Like someone else mentioned above, Bills, Skins, Fins, 49ers, Raiders, Bengals…..these teams will most likely have a worse record than the Hawks and will definitely go after the Luck’s and Barkley’s. And trading up most likely got more expensive since the rookie cap now makes those top picks easier to stomach financially.

  13. Dale says:

    In three years when this team is consistently in contention you will be lauding Carroll’s decision to give his assistants the authority to execute their vision. The ’91 Huskies owe much of their success to Don James’ vision that allowed Gilbertson and Lambright to create and execute cutting edge schemes. It looks like Carroll has a vision of his team but the intelligence to understand that he can’t do everything. I wonder if you were one of the people lamenting Holmgren’s GM days when he didn’t delegate. Any good leader understands that when you give responsibility you must also give authority. I applaud Carroll for his understanding of that concept.

    • Rob says:

      A college team created 20 years ago has little relevance to rebuilding a NFL franchise.

      I write both positive and negative articles on this site, calling things as I see them. I can’t promise to write 100% positive articles every time. This is not a praise Pete Carroll blog. You are in no greater position to judge what is right or wrong Dale. I’m glad you applaud Carroll for this decision, but it doesn’t make it right. We’ll see what happens as we go along, but I think it’s a perfectly legitimate point to question the level of delegation on personnel matters considering the extensive turnover in just 18 months of Carroll’s staff, particularly on offense.

      • Dale says:

        Rob I wasn’t calling you out, I was merely discussing a point you brought up. A college team created 20 years ago does have relevance because it speaks to a management style. It took me a long time to realize how bad Ruskell was so I don’t claim to be an expert. I agree that it is perfectly legitimate to question anything that the Seahawks do. It is also perfectly legitimate for me to counter that argument.

        • Rob says:

          Absolutely, I just wanted to make the point that I’m not one of these people who complains now and praises later. I’m happy to admit when I’m wrong on a judgement of a player/coach/scheme/trade etc. I’m just voicing a slight concern in this piece and hopefully it will prove to be an unnecessary concern on my behalf.

        • seattl says:

          Dale, If you were wrong about ruskell, what makes you sure you are right about Carroll? I am not sure if he’s succeeding or not, but I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but, some of the moves he’s made, or not made, make it hard for me to buy in. He did alright last year, but no more than that. He did great in USC, and Dennis Erickson won championships at UM. So I will give Pete credit, with some reservation at how that will translate in the NFL. I like his philosophy of big, fast, strong, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of talent. When he’s willing to trade a R3 and 20 spots in R2 for CW, but won’t spend a low R2 on Mallett, this makes me skeptical. And this was immediately after taking a flier on a prototypical CB who fits our system TO THE T and fills what looks like our biggest need, a top 10 talent so we could draft a top 40 right tackle when we already had Willlis, later-round draft picks and free agent money like everyone else, and New England gets Cannon in R5 and trades for Haynesworth for a R5–I don’t want a hundred, I don’t want to compete in 2014, I want to pick talent and compete now. or at least make the obvious moves that we are presented with. I want someone who, given the choice, will have the balls to pick Ryan Mallett, not Moffitt and Durham.

  14. Swamp_Fox says:

    I’m being patient with this FO and expecting a Top 5 pick next year, guys. This team pretty much sucks – the D is going to be horrendous and we’re on our 3rd OC in 3 years. We are what we are – in full rebuild.

    I’m a lifelong fan and watching very closely at PC and JS’s moves, and I don’t fault them for passing on the available QB’s this past draft year. They will not watch idly next year, of that I am near certain.

    Was I the only one who saw the Rice signing as a Burleson-ish waste of money? Hopefully he’ll be around when the offense takes shape a year or two from now. But until then he’s going to be running a lot of lonely routes without a football in his vicinity.

  15. Kip Earlywine says:

    Rob,

    There is a great article on Pete Carroll, Bill Walsh, and the QB position that was posted by Danny Kelly today.

    Its a must read for gaining a bit of insight on what Carroll’s plan at QB might be, and I added a few pieces of extra information in the comments (look for the massive comment).

    Long story short, Bill Walsh once told Carroll the following quote, and its something that has stuck with Pete ever since (paraphrased by Carroll):

    “…everything a coach does in designing his offense should be about making it easy for his quarterback, because his job is so difficult. He believed that everything should be be structured with the quarterback in mind.”

    In the comments, I defined “point guard QB” and listed two prominent examples, who by the way, were both highly drafted QBs. The more I learn, the more I believe Carroll’s aversion to drafting a 1st round QB the last two years has less to do with being risk averse and more to do with having very, very high standards for a franchise QB.