Thoughts on the Bears game & Sam Bradford’s injury

August 24th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

Rusell Wilson had another terrific performance against Chicago

– The offense hasn’t ever looked this devastating under Carroll. In the last two weeks it’s hit new heights. Russell Wilson is playing at a new level. The running game is rolling. The offensive line is doing a fine job. And with a healthy Percy Harvin, the Seahawks genuinely have one of the most explosive players in the NFL. Yes it’s pre-season, but this is incredibly encouraging.

– Jermaine Kearse had a big game. He’s still the best deep ball and contested-catch receiver on the team. His reliability catching in traffic and ability to make tough grabs should make him a key third down target. He’s incredibly underrated only because he doesn’t play on a pass-happy offense. He did a great job getting open in the first quarter and the touchdown on the third drive capped off an excellent display. Nobody stands to benefit more from Golden Tate’s departure than Kearse.

– For all the concern about the offensive line, James Carpenter and J.R. Sweezy are ready. It’s taken a while for Carpenter — who had a superb career at tackle for Alabama. He’s in shape, he understands the scheme. Sweezy needed time. He was playing defense three years ago. Physically he’s ideally suited to the right guard spot. He had a solid 2013 and will only keep getting better. He’s ready to take another big step forward. The only concern at the moment on the O-line is Russell Okung’s ability to stay healthy and a rusty display here. He was easily beaten by Willie Young on a Wilson sack and had a false start in the red zone shortly after. Let’s hope this was just a loosener.

– If there’s any concern right now it’s probably the interior pass rush. We’re still not seeing any real game-plan from the defense and the Michael Bennett/Cliff Avril duo will be effective. Losing Clinton McDonald could be a problem though. McDonald was a consistent force in 2013. The Seahawks need some interior rush and nobody’s really stood out so far. An injury or two inside and the big-bodied depth also looks a little weak.

– O’Brien Schofield has been excellent. He had one big sack on Jay Cutler and nearly had another. The battle with Benson Mayowa is essentially over. Schofield will surely get the opportunity to replace Chris Clemons. Cassius Marsh had a sack against the Bears and has flashed at times — he looks good. But I fear we won’t see the best of him until 2015. He looks like a guy who needs a year.

– Byron Maxwell couldn’t get the better of Demaryius Thomas but since then he’s been lights out. The downfield coverage on Alshon Jeffrey in the first half here was exquisite. He looks assured and ready for a big (contract) year. Recovery speed is absolutely necessary to be a top corner and Maxwell has it in abundance. Technically he’s taken big strides from last season. Jeremy Lane also looked good in the slot against Chicago — getting one pick at the end of the first half and almost grabbing another. If there are a few question marks with the pass rush, there’s nothing to worry about in the secondary.

– The ref’s let the DB’s play. The so-called ‘Legion of Boom rule’ wasn’t a feature at all. This is interesting too:

– It seemed like they wanted to get Christine Michael involved and he ran the ball with authority and added a touchdown in the passing game. As much as Robert Turbin and Michael are competing, I suspect we’ll end up seeing both players spelling Lynch equally during the season — with Turbin remaining #2 on the depth chart for now.

– It seemed like Terrelle Pryor had a shot of making the roster as a #3 quarterback. That lousy interception late in the game (throwing one up for grabs) suggested otherwise. He’s an athletic freak but is there any real reason to keep a player out of contract in 2015 who’s capable of such poor decision making? The Seahawks preach ball protection and that was ugly. He’ll likely get significant playing time against the Raiders and he’ll need to make it count.

– Heath Farwell had a sack. For the last couple of seasons people have written him off, but he sticks on the roster because he’s a special teams dynamo and a fantastic leader. Brock Coyle’s performance in pre-season might spell the end for Farwell, but don’t count him out. They really appreciate his value and the cost saving on his salary isn’t quite as significant as some make out.

Meanwhile…

The Rams passed on Robert Griffin III in 2012 to collect draft picks and build around Sam Bradford.

That’s all well and good, but given the question marks surrounding Bradford’s play and health — why didn’t they draft an insurance policy?

He’ll miss the whole season with another torn ACL and this pretty much signals the end to his Rams career. Surely they won’t go through another year of this in 2015? Eventually enough is enough and you have to move on.

They face another season with an elite defensive front and a substandard quarterback under center. Shaun Hill is the next man up without some kind of trade. Maybe former SDB favourite Austin Davis will get a shot?

Either way it’s a big blow to the Rams… and they only have themselves to blame. OK, they passed on RGIII for a kings ransom. They backed Bradford. To avoid the position in the three drafts since is a head scratcher though.

Surely it was worth investing in a QB in this years draft before the 6th round (where they took Texas flop/transfer Garrett Gilbert)? What about last year, where a host of QB’s dropped in the draft presenting decent project value in the mid/late rounds? Surely it was worth entertaining the idea of bringing in someone to develop just in case?

It’s not like they’ve had a shortage of picks either. They drafted 18 players in 2013 and 2014.

They put all their eggs in the Bradford basket — and now what?

They enter a sellers market unless they truly want to run with Shaun Hill. Mike Glennon showed enough last year to warrant at least a call to Tampa Bay. He deserves a chance to start in this league — but he won’t be cheap.

48 Responses to “Thoughts on the Bears game & Sam Bradford’s injury”

  1. Steve Nelsen says:

    Waiting for news on the injuries to Helfet and Farwell. They were both on the bubble to make the roster.

    The receiver depth is starting to seem not so deep. With Norwood out, nobody in the battle for the #5 or #6 spot showed much as a pass catcher. Harbin and Richardson need to stay healthy.

    I still have Hill making the 53-man roster but I don’t think he will be in the rotation much. He could be a healthy scratch most weeks like Mayowa was last year.

    • David says:

      Hill? really? he was the starting interior in Nickel package, he actually looked pretty good in my eyes. After re watching the game several times, he has a good interior rush. i can actually see him like McDonald was last year. start off slowly then something clicks and he plays on a different level.

      • bigDhawk says:

        Agree on Hill. I was entirely down on him starting the preseason but he has since shown me a little something. He is not McDonald right now but given a little time, by mid-season or so he might be a reasonable facsimile.

        I still think we need better interior DL depth and perhaps we acquire another player from the cuts pool or late preseason trade, like how we originally acquired McDonald. No Alan Branch, please…*cough*DUI*cough*

  2. Dan says:

    I bet they trade a third for Ryan Mallett. Or maybe a bag of fries for Sanchez?

  3. dave crockett says:

    GREAT point about the Rams and Bradford.

    This is exhibit A to all the people so frightened of scarring their “franchise” QB’s ego by drafting and developing at the position — or having a veteran backup who could potentially threaten.

  4. Mylegacy says:

    Pryor freak of nature…

    That interception was brutal. His Seattle career is clearly on the line next game. Personally, I really like Daniels. I think the team is playing him so little in hope he can be cut and then resigned. However, IF he is cut I think St Louis would be insane not to pick him up for a look see. Even if Pryor is cut I expect St Louis to pick him up. Lets face it St Louis will look at every QB cut in the NFL, CFL and every high school team from Tampa to Bellingham.

    • bigDhawk says:

      They seem to be competition-averse at the QB position in STL. They will likely trade for Sanchez, anoint him the season-long starter, and throw away the key.

  5. Brandon says:

    I think the savings on Fairwell compared to Croyle is right at a million dollars. While not a monster sum, it’s another million that could be added into some of the current negotiations that may be or may not have been on ongoing(KJ Wright?). Also, Coyle may have a advantage in that next year he would also be carrying about the same low cap hit as this season. We need these low price players to offset the many contracts coming laid to bare.

    Seeing Schoefield and knowing Irvin’s floor, I think we’ll get fine production from the Leo in nickle and dime situations. McDonald’s loss becomes the surprising hole in the Nascar package. Jordan Hill has shown nothing. As you said, Marsh looks good, but needs some seasoning. It would be really nice to keep Mebane and Williams as our run stuffers, but it’s looking like we’re going to need pash rush from them too. You guy think Hill could be in danger of being cut?

    • bigDhawk says:

      I am for replacing Farwell with Coyle. If Farwell does not get picked up by another team and he is willing to call it a career as a player, I would like him back as a ST assistant coach.

  6. Colin says:

    I’m done with the thought of Pryor being our QB2. He’s not the guy we want. The backup needs to keep the ship afloat- not sail it across the Atlantic. Yes, his physical attributes are off the charts. He’s more dynamic than Tarvaris Jackson, and he’s also more of a liability. He can go be somebody else’s project.

    The Bradford injury is discouraging, but it’s possible it is a blessing in disguise as well. He’s never flashed elite talent. How long would St. Louis allow him to play assuming he never got hurt? Time for them to move on. Cut him and find someone else.

  7. CC says:

    Wow – Sam Bradford out again! Tough, but he sure has been paid well for never playing a full year (or did he play a full season his rookie year?) But I don’t feel bad for the Rams – I agree with Rob – why didn’t they draft a QB last year, in the 2nd or 3rd round? I guess we’ll be looking at Mariota or Hundley next year.

  8. Steeeve says:

    The most amazing thing about Brian McIntyre’s tweets aren’t the facts involved but that he’s the only one who’s reporting them.

    • CC says:

      The LOB rule seems to be affecting everyone but the LOB!

      Oh, and watching the Bengals/Cards – and well, the Cards D isn’t looking like it did last year. Dalton is playing well, but receivers are wide open.

    • Coug1990 says:

      Good point. What most people think about the Seahawks is not how the Seahawks really are. Perception does not meet reality on all levels of the team.

    • bigDhawk says:

      Yeah, no one wants to hear the LOB-rule is not affecting the LOB, especially the Manning-worshipping mainstream media.

  9. Don says:

    Do you think Washington will call the Rams and offer Cousins or RG3 for a few 1st rd draft picks?

    • Jon says:

      haha, that is great. I just hope that the Rams find a way to win 6-7 games this year so they are out of the top picks. They have had so many top ten (no, top 5) picks in recent years.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think it’s doubtful. The Rams will probably look at the situation and see they have no leverage. Every team knows they are desperate at QB so the price goes up. It’ll be almost impossible to do any deals.

  10. MarkinSeattle says:

    While it does appear the offense has the potential to be significantly better this year, it is still pres season and the defense had a lot of veterans on it, which means they coasted more than younger players. We won’t know how good until we get into the regular season.

    I am still concerned about pass rush as well. Not convinced to Scoffield will provide the same pass rush ability as Clem last year. Although Marsh may get a little better as the season progresses, most of his production has come so far against the second and third teams.

    Seems to me that our biggest weakness without injuries may be on the DL. While the position with the weakest depth is OL (obviously QB excluded).

    We know that we will sustain injuries, I just hope they are minor (meaning guys will be able to come back from them in time for the playoffs), and not Wilson, Harvin, Earl, Sherman, Okung, Avril, or Bennett. Most other guys we can weather losing for a handful of games or even a couple of months.

    • Jon says:

      I don’t understand the problem with loosing Clemons from last year. He had what 4 or 5 sacks. And your examples of Schofield and Marsh? They had two combined sacks in the first half of this game against the Bears starters. If that happens 3 times for each of them over 32 half times throughout the season then it replaces Clemons.

      S

      • CC says:

        Obi played mostly as a LB last year because of Clem – but he has been a pass rusher. I like the fire he’s bringing, and he has something to prove. Light ‘em up Obi!

        • Coug1990 says:

          He will be playing to prove NY was wrong and for a new contract after this season. That should be a good combination.

        • Steve Nelsen says:

          Obi is playing for another free agent offer like he got from the Giants. I think they will regret backing out of that deal. But, it worked out great for Seattle. Obi looks very capable of filling a rotational LEO role this year for a bargain price and the Hawks will get a comp pick if he signs somewhere else next year.

  11. PatrickH says:

    It seems like the first round of cuts has started. Jackson Jeffcoat and Terrell Thomas have been released.

  12. David M says:

    Anyone else notice Spencer Ware looked a lot better against the Bears? he looked slow during the broncos game, and didn’t see him much during SD game.

    • bigDhawk says:

      I’m not impressed. Bronson has shown me as much as Ware this preseason. Honestly I don’t think we need him. BeastMode, Turbo, CMike, and a FB (probably Coleman) should be our RB squad. Who’s potential would you rather hide on the roster this year: Pryor or Ware?

  13. Kenny Sloth says:

    Ready for the wave. #seapeat.

  14. kigenzun says:

    Tough break for Bradford, but seriously, the Rams front office nerds have only themselves to blame. Perhaps Aaron Donald can play Quarterback…

    I, for one, am glad ‘Johnny Football’ is not running around in a Rams jersey; opposite Russell Wilson for the next 4 years.

  15. Cysco says:

    I don’t see the Rams swinging a trade for a young QB but rather trying to find a serviceable veteran, or just sticking with what they’ve got.

    If you trade for another young QB with potential, then you’re faced next year with similar decisions. “But Ryan Mallett showed flashes towards the end of the season. Next season he could be even better! We don’t need to take a QB early”

    They need to admit to themselves that they will be finding their QB of the future next off season. No rushing into things. Find a serviceable veteran and admit this season is lost.

  16. cha says:

    Cognitive Dissonance 101: SportsCenter, literally hours after the rams announce Bradford done for the year for taking a hit in the pocket, Jaws uses Cam Newton’s rib injury to launch another jeremiad on how running QBs get hurt more and staying in the pocket leads to longevity. Nice.

  17. bigDhawk says:

    Sterling analysis as always, Dave. I can’t add much else except I would like to see better performance in pass protection form the OL. It seems defenders are still too regularly crashing into the backfield on play action. Granted, good thing usually happen on the Wilson scrambles that ensue, but it is not optimal. I agree our run blocking looks fierce, though.

    Another small but noteworthy item to me is the relative quietness of Richardson thus far. I just wonder if perhaps the Seahawks are intentionally not putting him on tape only to unleash all of his defense-decapitating fury on GB in week one.

  18. BCHawk says:

    Hi Rob,
    Curious on your thoughts on Britt’s game. PFF had him down as having a horrible game. It seemed up and down to me. Some great run blocking pushing DE back into the LB like on the Lynch TD, a couple plays that looked like missed assignments. In pass pro he looked to be playing conservative, giving up ground which lead to consistent pressure on Wilson with Britt maintaining his position.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not a big fan of the way PFF grades players to be honest. I keep coming back to the Earl Thomas ranked as something like the 25th best safety in 2012. It’s a flawed system. I’m big on DVOA but PFF… it needs work. It looked like Britt did a fine job from what I saw (two quick condensed viewings). I’ll reserve proper judgement until week one against the Pack, but he looks like he’s ready.

      • Radman says:

        The interesting thing about that ranking is the spread from 25-10th was razor thin, in terms of scoring. There was a very tight cluster of safeties in that grouping. Once Thomas improved on his (self admitted) tackling, he jumped to the very top the next year. It was the only weakness to his game, by most accounts. Once he fixed it, his scoring in PFF matched what other analysts noted but had not quantified. I think your criticism of the scoring on this front needs more nuance.

  19. James says:

    Thoughts on the 53 man roster in light of the Bears game:

    - roster projections must include future roster projections, and must also include salary cap implications. For instance, with both Avril and Schofield are FAs after this year, and the Seahawks will hesitate to release Mayowa, if he projects as a need for 2015. Cap issues could impact (negatively) a guy like Farwell.

    - there is no logic behind keeping Pryor as the #3 QB. His play continues erratic, he is a FA after this season and would cost more than T-Jack to retain, not to mention he probably won’t re-sign with Seattle, since he seems determined to find a situation to compete for a starting job. That roster slot is too valuable to waste.

    - I only see the Hawks keeping 9 OL, so the final slot comes down to Gilliam or Schilling. I hope they go with Gilliam, because LTs are so difficult to find. He would be inactive all year and let’s see how he develops.

    - Does Ware project for 2015, after Beast Mode is likely gone, and therefore the Hawks burn a roster spot to retain him as an inactive all season? Or would Bronson on the practice squad be sufficient backup?

    - It makes sense to place Norwood on IR-designated for return. As the 6th WR, he would be inactive, so why burn a roster spot on him? Lockette is a lock, I believe, and Walters and Bates are the final competitors. Walters makes the team only if he is the starting punt returner… which I would prefer… I am with Baldwin and Chancellor and don’t want to risk ET, but Pete seems to think different.

    - do you place AJ Jefferson on the 53, and keep him inactive until his ankle heals in a few more weeks? Or do you try to get by with 8 DBs? I still am concerned about the quality of depth behind ET and Kam, and wonder if this is a place where someone is signed off the waiver wire to replace Shead?

    - do the Hawks go with 2 TEs, with Helfet banged up, and try to stash Allen on the practice squad as depth? On one hand, it makes sense, but on the other hand, the Hawks tried that last year and found they had to have a third TE for depth, since they run so many 2 TE sets.

    - I believe the Hawks must carry 10 DLs: Avril, Bennett, Mebane, McDaniel, Williams, Hill, Scruggs, Schofield, Marsh and Mayowa… for the reasons noted above they need to stash Mayowa for 2015.

    - the real crunch is at LB. The Hawks can only keep two or three of Farwell, Coyle, Morgan, Toomer and KPL. Whoever they release will not clear waivers. So, they are going to have to let someone go who should be on the team. I believe they keep Coyle and KPL, with Toomer on the bubble. I am surprised they did not keep Toomer on the PUP, in order to deal with the roster crunch.

    • James says:

      ….check that. Farwell out for the season with groin surgery. Coyle is in. That leaves Morgan, Toomer and KPL competing for either one or two slots.

      ….if Norwood returns next week as Pete may have indicated today, this means that the 6th WR slot is his….Walters and Bates would be out.

      ….Helfet appears OK, should take the 3d TE.

      …therefore, the injured players who will probably be inactive the first couple of weeks are Irvin, Norwood and Jefferson (if he makes the cut).

  20. Steve Nelsen says:

    The first round of Seattle cuts are in: Jackson Jeffcoat and Terrelle Thomas yesterday; Dimitrious Bronson, Wade Smith, Cory Brandon, Mike Dobson, Kevin Smith, and Trey Wolfe today.

    They need 7 more cuts.

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      Pete said in his press conference that all the cuts were in. I am guessing that means the other names will be IR/PUP moves:
      S – Eric Pinkins
      LB – Heath Farwell
      LB – Horace Miller
      WR – Kevin Norwood
      DT – Michael Brooks
      CB – A.J. Jefferson
      LB – Bruce Irvin

  21. AlaskaHawk says:

    Are the Rams any different then the Houston Texans? Quarterback is the most important position, yet both teams have passed up their chance to pick a high end QB. Will texans be happier with Clowney? They will end up with a great defense and awful offense again. Even with great defenses, both teams are cruising toward getting the first pick of the draft again. Kind of sad. Is it time to introduce an NBA style lottery so that other teams have a small chance of picking before them?

    For that matter: which team do you think is the worst at this moment?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think Houston is different. The Texans have a new staff this year, new Head Coach. They looked at the draft and felt Clowney was the outstanding player — an accurate assessment. They might not feel the immediate benefit but if they get a long term QB in 2015 or even 2016, imagine facing a team with a solid offense and Clowney + Watt on the other side of the ball.

      They did draft Tom Savage as a developmental guy in round four. I think they’re taking a long term approach and that should be applauded, even if they’re picking in the top ten again next year.

      The Rams have had this GM and this Head Coach for three drafts now and the only QB taken was Garrett Gilbert in round six this year. That’s unacceptable and they’re paying for it now.

      Even so, I doubt they earn the #1 pick. They were good enough minus Bradford to be competitive last year and it’ll be that way again. They’ll have some wins. I’d estimate a pick in the 8-14 range. Only this year they won’t have the awful Washington Redskins gifting them a top-five choice to boot.

  22. Regan Sayer says:

    My fantasy guru, John Hanson, thinks Hill will be comparable to Bradford and not much of a downgrade. Calls him a savvy pro. I remember him putting up some decent games with the Lions. Has arm strength limitations. Their pass attack will be improved with a motivated Britt and a big jump from Quick. He’s had a breakout camp. Plus another year of experience for Austin and still have a dangerous weapon in TE Cook. Almost forgot about Bailey. We better hope they never get a good QB. They will lean on the run like they did last year with Stacy and Cunningham and with a good D will be hard to beat.