Thoughts on the Seahawks offense — future and present

October 31st, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

If only there was a way…

The Seahawks need to find some answers on offense. It’s not a situation likely to be solved by any big trade. That’s quite a lazy angle unless they’ve found a time machine and can go back and get 2010 Marshawn Lynch for a fourth rounder.

This is about making the most of the personnel they have. Getting Thomas Rawls back. Finding ways to feature C.J. Prosise (especially after he impressed in New Orleans). Making better use of their big-time red zone weapon (Jimmy Graham has one touchdown) and finding a way to get Russell Wilson back to his best as his health gradually improves.

For the long term (this is a draft blog after all) it’d be easy to assert this team needs another bell-cow at running back. A tone-setter. Even if Rawls gets healthy and stays healthy — it still feels like they need more from the position.

Rawls has been injured longer than he’s been healthy. He has the potential to be great. He’s a likeable player. Unlike Lynch, who rarely missed time, he hasn’t been available. After missing several weeks already they almost have to make an insurance move in the off-season. Someone of equal physicality with the ability to lead this running game if necessary.

That’s not a knock on Christine Michael either. It’s not his fault the team only ran the ball three times in the first half yesterday. It’s equally not his fault he hasn’t quite been able to be a tone-setter. That’s not what he is. He didn’t do that at Texas A&M either. He’s an explosive, athletic running back. He’s an ill-fit if you want him to slam it up the middle 20 times.

In the past Pete Carroll’s offense (and yes, it is his offense) has worked so well because of match-up nightmares. The trades for Percy Harvin and then Jimmy Graham seemingly part of an attempt to create a genuine three-headed monster:

— A physical, tone-setting running back
— A mobile, ‘point guard’ playmaker quarterback
— An X-factor receiver with a unique skill set.

Imagine being a defensive coordinator contending with this. Do you go all-out to stop Lynch knowing you’ll probably fail and leave yourself open to being beaten by Wilson? Do you try to contain Wilson and risk being stomped by Lynch? How do you cover Harvin or Graham when so much focus is required to stack the box vs the run or contain the QB?

So many questions and so many opportunities for the Seahawks to exploit weaknesses once they work out what poison you’ve chosen. So much ‘unique’ talent.

Right now all of this is shelved. The running game isn’t working so you don’t need to be overly concerned with that. Wilson is banged up and not mobile so there’s not much concern about his ability to break contain. You can focus a lot of your coverage on Graham.

This offense is easier to plan for, easier to extinguish and lacks the triple threat of previous years.

As noted earlier, they just have to work through this. They can still put together an explosive, balanced, productive offense. It just might not be as good as we’ve seen in the past.

That might not be such an issue. The Cardinals are even more banged up than Seattle. Today they lost their left tackle Jared Veldheer to injury. Tyrann Mathieu will miss the next 4-6 weeks. They just lost in pretty convincing fashion to the Panthers and they’re 3-4-1.

Winning the NFC West wasn’t the sole target for a lot of fans going into the season. Dreams of the #1 or #2 seed were not unrealistic. Right now the aim should be to win the west first and foremost and let the seeding situation work itself out.

If we’re looking ahead to the next draft and free agency — finding that tone-setter along with possible O-line improvements is arguably the biggest need as things stand.

Despite this looking like a good draft class for running backs — it’s hard to find the answer. Leonard Fournette is the ideal but he’s almost certainly a top-five pick and unattainable without an unlikely mega-trade.

Shame.

Nick Chubb clearly isn’t right. The way Georgia are using him and what he’s showing — it’s a real shame. I am not convinced he will perform at the combine like he did at the Nike Sparq combine. Not on the evidence we’re seeing right now.

Dalvin Cook is really good but he’s not a tone-setter. Royce Freeman isn’t a tone-setter. Christian McCaffrey isn’t a tone-setter. Samaje Perrine can’t stay healthy. Run through the list. There are very good backs. There are athletic backs. Fournette is the one true beast. And he’s going to be out of reach.

I can’t offer an obvious alternative at the moment unless Texas’ D’Onta Foreman is more athletic than he appears to be or Perrine can actually put a stretch of games together where he isn’t banged up.

On the O-line, there’s no sugar coating the situation. It’s a really bad class for offensive tackles. Seattle needs physicality and athleticism. It’s not out there at a round one level.

I watched Virginia Tech vs Pittsburgh before the weekend. Pitt left tackle Adam Bisnowaty isn’t a first round LT in terms of what he’s showing on tape. He is long, athletic, tough as nails and physically imposing. He’s a former wrestler and basketball player (Cable guy). You can work with him, possibly as a third rounder. And honestly — if you want some competition from the draft at LT next year, this might be your best bet. Sorry to paint this picture. It is what it is.

The Virginia Tech game was his best performance of the season. He moved people at the LOS and was really solid in pass pro. He’s a former four-star recruit and basketball player. He also kind of matches what they’ve looked for in terms of attitude, grit, the way he finishes plays and style. He looks like a Seahawks lineman — and sounds like one.

Admittedly he hasn’t jumped forward and put himself in the early round mix like he threatened to. However, there is just something about him. He might end up moving inside and he should be a pretty good guard — but the Virginia Tech tape reignited my interest in him as a LT.

Check out the block at 10:53, his red zone work at 14:12 (he is #69), the way they run to the left and he helps drive open the hole at 15:31 and he has a decent kick slide at 25:17:

He’s also had games this year and last year where he doesn’t look capable of playing LT. This was an encouraging display though.

Ideally they would find an early round solution to this problem if that tone-setting runner isn’t there — but you can only play the cards you’re dealt. Again, it isn’t a good class for OT’s.

Unfortunately the strength at the top of the draft isn’t going to be physical, pounding runners or offensive tackles. It’s looking like safety, cornerback and D-line.

101 Responses to “Thoughts on the Seahawks offense — future and present”

  1. cha says:

    I’ve always been a Chris Ivory fan as a Marshawn-ish type player. I wonder if his “private medical issue” is worked out and he can contribute again. Wouldn’t need him to be a bell cow but more of that 10 carry tone setter that could open up some breathing room for Michael to strike like lightning.

    With the Jags sinking like stones I wonder if he could be had for a cheap draft pick.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I too always liked Ivory — but for whatever reason every team that has had him has underused him and let him move on. Goes right back to college too. He hasn’t stuck anywhere.

      • cha says:

        Yes, agree. What you describe does sound like a PC type project though. A special quality of tough running that hasn’t been fully unlocked yet. Maybe partly attitude, partly a misfit toy. Buy low (like a 2018 6th rounder) and cut him loose if it doesn’t work out.

        If it does, the Hawks have a 3 headed monster at RB +Prosise come playoff time.

  2. Trevor says:

    Rob have you soured on Mixon because of the off field stuff? After you mentioned him I took a cloer look and he seems to be the full package. I have not looked into the back story stuff so maybe that takes him off the Hawks board but from a talent stand point where would you rate him in this draft?

    I had Fournette a clear #1 and Cook a clear #2. After that Mixon was my next favorite.

    RB Ranking

    1) Fournette
    2) Cook
    3) Mixon
    4) Freeman
    5)Mcafery
    6)Perrine
    7)Foreman

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think he is an exciting prospect but the character concerns make me hesitant to consider him seriously until nearer the draft.

      • Trevor says:

        If character checks out is he a Day #2 talent? Lead back or complimentary with Rawls?

        I think Cook is definitely a lead RB as well but you are right about him not being a tone setter. He is a Home Run threat every time he touches the ball however and would be a great compliment with Rawls / Prosise.

        Another idea is maybe go with a true 3 headed monster and take a Foreman / Perrine as a big banger to team with Rawls and Prosise.

        Your idea of taking Derrick Henry last year is looking like a much better idea every week Rob!

        • Rob Staton says:

          Character can’t check out in this case unfortunately. The damage is done.

          • peter says:

            I’ve thought about the character concerns and his poor response after and I’m starting to wonder if his coaches like him and his team mates does Seattle consider him? His off field conduct and the situation do not point me to any pattern, nor is it DV wherein there is a damage control issue to be dealt with.

            I’m not going to get into the “you never hit a woman,” statements. But frank Clark’s situation, to me, was waaay more dicey. Joe mixon if he clears with a teams thorough due diligence is a terrible though possible one time event by a young man who can hopefully move forward with his nose clean and head down going forward.

            • icb12 says:

              If anybody will consider Mixon it will be the Hawks.

              Clark, Boykin, Rawls… 3 off the top of my head with MORE serious allegations than Mixon.

              Boykin was facing Felony assault IIRC.
              Rawls faced felony charges for stealing from old ladies
              Clark has been well documented.

              • Rob Staton says:

                I would prefer to avoid comparing the serious nature of offenses. Punching a woman in the face is a very serious offense and NFL teams will do a lot of work on Mixon, I suspect so will the league, before we find out what a realistic range is for his stock and whether Seattle is likely to consider him.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I’d rather not speculate Pete to be honest because there are so many possibilities. He might be loved in the locker room but that equally might not tell us much about him as a person. I think we just have to see how the situation plays out, see how he deals with the attention coming his way when he does turn pro and see what is reported. We’ll no doubt return to the topic if he is part of the 2017 draft.

              • peter says:

                I appreciate your perspective Rob. And your right about comparing situations and how that’s impossible.

                I will add that I meant by vetting him, maybe not so much his locker but more is there a pattern of poor to bad behavior or…..

                But the draft reveals all which is why I love it so much

                • Adog says:

                  As for running backs…I was impressed with the tail back from Utah …Williams…I wonder if he’s on the radar?

                  • peter says:

                    He’s got that fire now but you have to give pause to a player who “retires.” Will his heart waver?

  3. STTBM says:

    Really nice article, Rob.

    I am actually excited to see what Fant can do–and our offense with him. Im hopeful he can set the edge in the run game, and help us out on outside zone runs, etc. Micheals does great with a tiny crease or hole up the middle, but he’s not getting much without it. But man, can he bounce it outside or cutback…

    If Fant can hold onto the LT job, I think our offense will improve. Of course, Lockett getting right and Wilson’s knee improving would be a huge relief too.

    With Kearse finally hitting his stride and the injuries to Lockett and Wilson hopefully fading, this offense has the potential to really take off. All it needs is a bit more physicality and consistency from the O-line, and some luck on the injury front.

    Richardson and McEvoy look to be earning some more trust, and therefore more opportunities as well. Things are looking up, except of course that we have Micheal Bennett out for a few weeks at a most inopportune time…

    And failing to run vs the Saints may be a blessing in disguise; it may force Carrol and company to take a hard look and use what is working going forward instead of pounding their head into a brick wall. Im looking forward to next week more than I can say!

    • LordSnow says:

      This was an excellent article.

      With Fant, I agree, let him play. See what you have. Let him get the wrinkles out now, and once that happens, he can start reacting rather than thinking. When that happens, then you can see what you have. If you stick Sowell back in there, you may never know what you have in Fant, and then you have to probably use draft capital next year when the solution may already be on the roster.

      Ray Roberts said give it 8 games. Then after that, he will no longer be thinking all the time, and you can see what you have.

  4. Trevor says:

    I really like Bitonaway as a Guard.

    I don’t see us trading for a veteran OT as much as I am for it. So I am kind of hoping we take Bistonaway in Rd #3 to compete with Reese O for the RG sport and then move Ifedi to RT and let Fant develop at LT. Hate to give up on Gilliam and I still have hope but it is not looking good he just does not seem to play with a strong enough base to be an RT for the Hawks and it really shows up in the run game.

    2016 OL

    LT Fant- LG Glowinski- CBritt- RG Bistonoway or Reese O- RT Ifdei

    • peter says:

      What about bisnowaty at RT and ifedi stays at guard? I know he could play either but there’s some thing to like if the interior now could gel with all that power up front.

      Ifedi out to RT could be awesome as well. I’d just like to see some continuity on the line and not reshuffle every for 4-8 weeks while kinks are ironed out.

  5. Darnell says:

    I still feel like this team can be very, very good this season. They’ve started slower record wise before, 4-2-1 isn’t too shabby.

    It being a down year for the NFCW is a blessing, as barring a major breakdown they should be playing at home to start the playoffs. And by then they could be really rolling.

    It is hopeful sure, but not entirely out of the realm of possibility that by the final quarter of the season Kam & Bennett are back, Russ and Lockett and Rawls are feeling good, and the interior oline keeps getting better. Not to be too cliche, but this could be ‘scariest team’ entering the playoffs sort of thing. NFC feels down as a whole.

    • David says:

      I look at 4-2-1 as 4-3 simply because you lose seeding priority to anyone with 5 wins. So unless you go 13-2-1, having the tie really doesn’t help you up the ranks much unless you happen to be fighting for the division lead with a team who is 4-3 but in this case that is unlikely since the Cards have a tie as well. 4-2-1 is basically 4-3 with the best possible tie breaker against anyone else at 4-3.

      • Rob Staton says:

        This isn’t strictly true. If Seattle gets 11 wins for example, they would have the tie breaker over every other team with 11 wins because they have a tie and only four losses.

        Essentially the tie breaker of the drawn game isn’t negative or positive definitively.

  6. vrtkolman says:

    Great article Rob! That is a very sobering article about the O line’s future. This team really needs a physical mauler at RT, can’t believe I’m saying this but Breno is missed. Perhaps Ifedi kicks out to RT next year and someone like Bisnowaty competes at his RG spot. There are good pieces in place, but it’s unlikely the line improves all that much this year.

  7. Jake says:

    Is the way to get our offense back this season to run the ball more? If so does that place the blame on the offensive brain trust in Carroll Cable and Bevel for not doing that all season? (I’m not calling for peoples heads I’m just curious if you think they made a mistake)

    • Rob Staton says:

      I just think they’ve struggled, not unsurprisingly, to handle all of the injuries. And with Wilson never being this hurt before, it was hard to anticipate. They’ll get there.

      • GJake says:

        So aside from getting healthy what should they do for this season to fix the offense?

        • Rob Staton says:

          As noted in the piece, work to highlight a handful of key players and lean on them. It’s not like they need a revolution.

          • daniel says:

            So outside of waiting for players to get healthy we need to do a better job of featuring Graham, Procise, and to a lesser extent, Baldwin?

            • LordSnow says:

              I had a friend at the game and he said that RW was throwing constantly while NO offense was on the field. It is clear his pec is hurt.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Not to a lesser extent. Baldwin is part of it too. There’s no rhythm for the offense at the moment. I think part of finding that rhythm will mean doing a better job of featuring and leaning on a handful of key players while we continue to wait for Wilson and Rawls to get healthier.

              • Radman says:

                One perspective is that teams now know the passing scheme- quick. Last year the seattle offense did a major shift to a quick passing game. The league was slow to adjust. The cat and mouse game of the NFL is now in phase 2 with regards to their shift. They know Seattle is no longer doing deep drop, long developing passing plays. Coaches adapted. Now it’s on Seattle to adjust. They can’t. Why? Well one reason is their entire offensive philosophy is hinged on a mobile QB. It’s what has allowed them to ‘not need’ great pass blocking tackles, and gave them a flexibility to go cheap, go young , and experiment on the O line. They’ve also had a great runner in lunch and or Rawls ( Michael less so- he seems like a very average back with some great speed). All well and good while Russ is healthy. It’s a gamble they knowingly took and it’s gone bad on them.

                Those luxuries are gone, so now that the defenses have adapted to their offensive passing game plan they have fewer fall back options.

                • Radman says:

                  Ha. Lynch, not Lunch. Though that sounds good now, too.

                • David says:

                  It’s somewhat ironic that they chose Boykin as their backup QB – in part at least, by Pete’s own admission – because if Wilson got hurt and Boykin had to play, they wouldn’t need to change their offense. They could run the same stuff because Boykin is athletic like Wilson. And then Wilson gets hurt and suddenly they need to change their offense to fit an un-mobile QB.

  8. Volume12 says:

    He’s a mid rounder, but Wyoming RB Brian Hill is a physical back. Seattle scouted Wyoming this summer. 6’0, 219 lbs. 1156 yds, 11 TDs.

    Hill always keeps his feet moving, finds his holes/lanes extremely well, isn’t running behind a great line, has decent one-cut vision. Tony Pauline said scouts are high on this kid and he’s rising up boards.

    Still love D’Onta Foreman. I agree he’s probably not a great athlete, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he does test well.

    Chubb has been too inconsistent.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Wish Freeman was putting out more tape.

      He’s more physical than he’s given credit for, but is he a tone setter? I don’t think so.

      He’s more of a trophy back. Kind of similar to Michael actually. Slightly less explosive slightly more physical. A whole lot bigger.

      Former 5 star. From Cali, so I’m sure Pete’s familiar with him.

      He had an offer to Bama.

      He adds that star power to our backfield in a way I don’t think any other back besides Fournette, could.

      Of it’s a matter of identity, Freeman fits the bill more than any other back. He’s sudden and powerful, really gets up field when he needs to. Has phone booth agility in a huge frame.

      • Volume12 says:

        They’ll have to sacrifice somewhere or something.

        As we all know, Lynch’s physicality isn’t easily duplicated. But, getting a back to lean on will still wear down a defense and set the tone.

        I have a feeling they wanted to go with a RBBC for a reason. PC saw the writing was on the wall in terms of how running backs are currently. They’re all becoming Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson types.

        • Volume12 says:

          I still think Rawls can jump start this offense too.

          Maybe they want 3 different types of backs? Prosise, Rawls, and C-Mike are all very different, but have a slashing style to them.

          Does the offense evolve into a little more of a spread style? Still wanting RW to be who he is and not throwing the ball 45 times a game of course.

    • peter says:

      I like hill and as trends go and David Johnson’s success maybe teams will be more likely to look at the Lower tier players.

      It’s hard watching CHubb is it Georgia? Is it scheme? Is it still recovering from injury? He’s just A guy this year so far but maybe a slide towards the third becomes a good thing for Seattle.

      • Volume12 says:

        I think it’s his injury. Will he ever be the same? And something with Georgia. Evenn RB Sony Michel, who is very talented in his own right hasn’t got going this year either.

  9. JT says:

    The Hawks could absolutely use a star RB “tone-setter” to provide the same offensive formula that they’ve had success with in past years. However I don’t think it’s crucial element for them to field a great offense. Michael has performed well considering the run blocking this year, and Rawls may have been the top performing RB in the NFL last year when he was our starter. Which brings me to what will be a controversial opinon…

    As amazing as Marshawn was for the Hawks, I think the key to the Hawks running game is the threat Wilson provides as a runner out of read-option and potential PA rollouts. No doubt Lynch was one of the top RB’s in the NFL during his Seattle tenure, and his physicality was tremendous in wearing teams down over the course of games (often behind a shaky-at-best- offensive line). However I think Rawls, a UDFA rookie, was able to achieve the same kind of success last season because of the X-factor Wilson is for the running game.

    Across his 3 healthy years with Wilson at QB, Lynch averaged 4.64 YPC. Over the rest of his career, his YPC was 3.97. He dealt with poor or average blocking his whole career with Seattle and Buffalo, and the Hawks seem worse than ever at executing their blocking assignments this season. My hope is that Wilson’s mobility returns in the second half of this season, and with it, the return of a productive rushing offense.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      The combo of Lynch and Wilson was the “crux” of the offense. Each could kill you with the rush.. and RW could also fling a pass over the top via rollouts.

      I’m in the minority, but I think this offense is very close to turning it on…. you see the flashes every game. The limiting factor is the OL… but even that sometimes looks dominant and is improving each week. The real problem for the last 2-3 weeks was the lack of ball control and getting smoked in ToP. The defense has not been able to get some 3 and outs, when they needed it.

      • Radman says:

        I agree with a lot of what you say but don’t think the offense really clicks until Russ gets more mobile. This o line limits the offense in what they’re able and willing to do. No running game will thrive when there are numerous holding and clipping calls. They will likely improve moderately as the season goes and Rawls may help, but as goes Wilson’s legs so goes this offense. And I absolutely agree that the while lynch was the motor of the offense, Russ was the battery. Without him being special in two dimensions they’re pretty much an ordinary offensive scheme with some good positional talent and a bad o line. We see those types of teams go kaput for long stretches all the time. Rodgers is just emerging from an extended slump, for example. Brady and Bree’s have had their stretches as well. When what you build your offense on falls apart it’s hard to have success.

  10. SeaHawkRun says:

    I also hope that Fant sticks. He looked quick, smart and reasonably strong. He was able to move people and lead outside zone play side. Still needs to develop back side skills for inside zone. He can push people with the flow, but didn’t look natural at cutting people just yet. I also like his quickness. A couple of times he lost first engagement and was able to quickly get back in position. His bonehead plays (clipping, false start, block in the back – not on Britt) are fixable with experience. I say get him the experience now as Sowell just doesn’t have the upside.

    Gilliam has to be the biggest disappointment. We can blame the front office at LT, but Gilliam seems to have regressed. There might be a nagging injury that is keeping him below full strength. I like Gilliam, but Ifedi might just slide right. Getting a top RG seems a lot more feasible that landing a top OT.

  11. DC says:

    Haven’t seen a lot of college ball but my favorite RB that I’ve had eyes on is BYU’s Jamaal
    Williams. He is a tone setter. Will it translate to the NFL? idk. I trust the Hawks to find what they need at the position and the nice thing is that RBs tend to pay immediate dividends.

  12. Volume12 says:

    PC said Tony McDaniel is good to go.

    ‘Prosise is just scratching the surface.’

    Said we can’t replace Bennett, but thought Clark played well. Bennett didn’t light the league on fire at first BTW either. Took him a few years and the flashes and production we’ve seen from Clark, lead me to beleive he’s on a similar trajectory.

    PC: This is not how we play football. There will be changes. Things will look different.’

    • C-Dog says:

      I’m getting the feeling like Prosise might become a really interesting player for this team moving forward this year. What he did yesterday opened my eyes. Tony Softi is really high on him, and thinks that they shouldn’t waste time featuring him on early downs.

  13. cha says:

    Packers cut Knile Davis. That was quick. 5 carries for 5 yards.

  14. Volume12 says:

    I think the good smart teams will clean up in this draft. NE deals LB Jamie Collins because they see this class for what it is. Premier talent 3 rounds deep.

    • cha says:

      Little blips here and there about Collins taking plays off, not being where he should be. That won’t fly in NE. And especially if you want Von Miller money.

    • Nathan says:

      I suspect the pat like this upcoming draft.

      They’ve added an extra 3rd, and an extra 4th so far.

  15. dumbquestions says:

    Question – if the generational trends show low quality among OL prospects and better talent on the defensive side, shouldn’t we see a corresponding league-wide trend toward lower scoring? I haven’t checked that, but I’m wondering…

    dq

    • daniel says:

      Good point. I think that because league wide scoring is a function of so many different things (philosophical and tactical trends, qb play, etc.) line play could go down and scoring could still increase. I’m not sure though.

  16. AlaskaHawk says:

    What happened to Collins? Seems like he was the running back drafted to pound the ball up the middle.

  17. Trevor says:

    If anyone wonders why the Browns are the worst franchise in pro football. Think about the trade they just made for Jamie Collins. Mind boggling really.

    An 0-8 team trades a 3rd round pick for a guy who will be a free agent in 7 weeks. If the Pats were going to re-sign him he would never be on the trade block. Even if they want to sign him just wait till end of of year and keep a valuable pick in this draft. All the gain from this trade is the right to use the franchise tag. The funny part is Browns fans are so desperate they are happy with the trade.

    • sdcoug says:

      Cleve has the $ to lock him up with an extension if he performs well. The problem with waiting for a player like that to hit free agency is…how many stud talents really want to sign with Cleveland unless it’s a massive overpay?

      • Trevor says:

        He is going to be a free agent and can walk if he does not want to sign with Cle. They can sign him either way if they have the $. Not sure your point. He is not going to sign an extension unless it is a massive overpay anyways since he is a free agent this off season. As I said all it gives them is some leverage with the franchise tag which would be $15 mil for one year.

        One thing for sure Collins is a great player and it helps us for our game against NE for him to be out of that lineup.

        • STTBM says:

          No, Cleveland can use the Franchise Tag on him. They can do that for two years in a row if they want, though its expensive.

          They have said they want to extend him already. They ID’d him as a guy they want to build around, and they went and got him.

          Personally, I think he wants too much money but Im far from a GM.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        Collins is a top 5 LB right now….. there was not a top 5 LB available in the draft in the 3rd or 4th round. CLE might be able to turn it around if they can resign him, if he slips away, they will get a future 3rd round comp for him. Win/Win if you ask me.

        • Trevor says:

          They would not get a comp pick for him if he signs elsewhere as he was traded during season.

          Collins is a great LB but they are paying a 3rd round pick for the exclusive right to massively overpay him and they could have done that in the off season without giving up a pick.

          Maybe they think they can convince him they are a great place for him over the balance of the year but how much fun can and 0-8 locker room be in Cleveland.

          • Radman says:

            There’s also a salary floor. I’m not sure where the Browns are relative to it – but if they HAVE to pay players to reach it why not do it on a franchise tag on a good young player? The salary floor has created some crazy deals in sports until we incorporate that internal logic. This might be one

  18. peter says:

    I’m getting pretty “pro,” a big move for fournette. When you look at the roster construction and the ability to successfully late rounders, dline misfits, etc., and that I dont believe draft slotting plays much into the FO’s decisions why not. Two firsts and a third? Unless Seattle gets bounced in the first round or worse doesn’t make it and they can draft an amazing defensive player standing pat what really will they lose?

    Sure you can look at the Harvin trade and say they could have drafted so and so but really with Bennett, Avril, graham and a few others their window is maybe two years counting this one (I’m speaking about the older vets, not the hawks window.)

    • Fairlawn says:

      Drafting so-and-so would have been one way to have a wider window.

      • peter says:

        Maybe, but I’m speaking to the window of the older vets. With Russell, a young oline, a tone setter on offense like fournette, a strong nucleus on d the window stays open. Aside from bitonio and a few defensive players highlighted in the last few years I wonder who realistically picked late in the rounds would have changed the outlook for this team. When they field a ton of late founders, udfas, and “washed up,” d line with this level of success to me I would look to trading draft picks to move up. Picking late in the rounds and not taking harvin nets what, three players?

  19. Nathan says:

    Is Vic Beasley now threatening to fulfil his potential?

    Getting regular sacks now. I know his numbers are inflated by 1 good game, but the same is also true of Von Miller.

  20. Donald says:

    Fournette is impressive, but look at the holes he has to run through! I bet Rawls, CM, and Prosise would be as productive with an OL like that. What do you think of drafting the OL of any team with a good RB, instead of the RB? Does LSU have any possible OL prospects?

    Thanks,

    • Rob Staton says:

      There were some nice holes for sure, but there aren’t many human beings who can run like that at 235lbs. And had any defender been in the way, I fear for them. Plus look at his second score. He ran away from the entire defense.

  21. Cameron says:

    “Unfortunately the strength at the top of the draft isn’t going to be physical, pounding runners or offensive tackles. It’s looking like safety, cornerback and D-line.”

    You’ve made the best case yet for trading for a veteran offensive tackle. There’s a dearth of talent now AND in the future.

    What’s the free agent market look like for Tackles? Could be a feeding frenzy. Might make sense to cut in line via trade

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not necessarily if you’re trading major stock only for a short term fix. Although admittedly the best way to solve this need would be a veteran trade if the players are available. However, nobody has traded for Thomas and Hue Jackson says no dice. Nobody has traded for Staley. So if CLE and SF are asking for too much, no trade is possible. And while we can talk about trades — there’s a reason nobody has dealt for Thomas in particular. He might not be as readily available as the media will have you believe. And it makes little sense for the Browns to trade for Jamie Collins and accumulate talent and then move Thomas.

      • Trevor says:

        I think you are exactly right Rob. I think the Browns and Jackson are trying to send a message that this is a different Cle Browns and trading Thomas would not help them with that. Plus they want to recruit FA and try to sign Jamie Collins who supposedly turned down $10 mil per from the Pats. The trade fro Collins made no sense either unless it is about trying to change a culture / image for the Browns.

        Plus they will likely have a new young QB next year and whop better than Thomas to help break in a rookie QB. I totally get why Cle would not trade him and I am sure the 2nd round rumor is not legit. If so someone would have made the move for him by now.

      • Radman says:

        Thomas has been a hall of fame player and seems to be playing really good still. But he will be 32 next month. Staley will be 33 next season. Every single study I’ve seen shows tackles on a steep decline curve at 31, and pretty much nose diving at 32, and basically crashing into the side of a mountain at 33/34. These are aggregate studies and individual results may vary, but I feel pretty confident this front office pays really close attention to that research. I’d hate to see the Seahawks put a first round pick and valuable cap space into an aged veteran on the down side of his career. And I’m one of the folks who think this o line is now and has cost this team a lot.

        • Trevor says:

          That is really interesting Radman and very key fact if they have not traded for a LT like Staley or Thomas.

          Can you tell me some of they guys you looked at who were perennial pro bowlers at OT who went into dramatic decline from 32-34? If it is the case and there is the inevitable drop off like the 1 yr old RB it is a key point.

  22. ROBERt Las vegas says:

    Could the browns just put the Franchise tag on Collins if they wanted to they have plenty space

    • JT says:

      That’s exactly what they’ll do if they can’t reach a long term agreement with Collins. I doubt this situation affects the Joe Thomas trade situation for them. Collins is likely viewed as a long term star asset, while Thomas is a short term, high priced veteran. Thomas may still be traded, because the demand for an LT could be huge Seattle, Minny & Arizona are just a few teams that have massive holes at LT.

  23. Volume12 says:

    Minnesota looked awful tonight. Bradford got tee’d off on. Alex Boone is how hurt, they have no run game, spent a 1st round pick on a receiver that can’t even get on the field.

    Bradford is who we thought he was. A nice backup. Huge loss for them tonight. Not only do we control the division as of now, but we’re still in the hunt for a 1st round bye.

    In other words, still a lot of season and games to be played gentleman.

    • vrtkolman says:

      They look like a mirror image of Seattle. Seattle has room for improvement on offense though, Minnesota not so much. They are stuck with Bradford and that trade looks as bad as it did when it happened.

      • JT says:

        They did look just like Seattle. The Hawks always manage to keep it close and give themselves a chance to win though, even when nothing goes their way. It’s what I love most about them.

        Bradford had no chance last night, just like an immobile Wilson had no chance against Arizona. It takes elite QB play to lead a functioning offense behind a really bad offensive line (examples include last year’s Hawks, Cards & Patriots).

    • cha says:

      It’s no shock that Bradford was going to turn back into a pumpkin at midnight.

      What was a surprise was how badly their defense was gashed by Howard. I know he’s a rising player but that was something to see. At one point in the 3rd quarter Cutler could have literally called out loud “run left” or “run right” and they still would have gained 5 yards.

      Elevates my appreciation for the Hawk defense. The Viking offense is loaded with holes from injury, so if they’re going to be successful the defense is going to have to carry the team, and they sure didn’t look up to it last night. Whereas the Hawk D has answered the bell multiple times this year.

  24. Trevor says:

    I was watching Cam Newton complaining about late hits and not being protected by the Refs.

    It made me think about something.

    The point is often made on this site that you don’t need quality OT’s to be successful and win in the NFL. Car and Sea are used as the examples. This is true in the short term you can scheme and overcome poor Tackle play. But we are seeing two of the most dynamic QB’s struggling (Russ and Cam) because they have been getting the crap kicked out of them the last 2 years. As a result they are breaking down physically and struggling. That is a direct result of awful OT play.

    I had such big hopes for this offense this off season but it is obvious you cannot have a truly great offense with any consistency without a functioning OL.

    We have talked about this for the last 3 years on this blog but IMO there is nothing more important than fixing the OL this off season. With talent and some $ if needed not reliance on Tom Cable.

    • LordSnow says:

      I can’t pinpoint the date, but if you listen to kiro710, try to find the Ray Roberts interview from about 5 weeks ago on brock and salk. One of the best most informative interviews about olines I’ve ever heard. One thing I remember, he basically said it takes a rookie 8 games just to get past the thinking aspect of his position: line calls, formations, etc. That is the general point where he can stop thinking and just play. You won’t see his athletic ability come out until that point. All seattle starters are basically like rookies. It takes even longer for the entire unit to completely gell (and this was when Sowell was the starting tackle), and you can’t really judge them until after about 8 games.

    • JT says:

      You hit the nail on the head Trevor. I think you could get by with poor OT’s if you had a strong interior line – Carolina had the best interior OL group in the league last season with Kalil, Turner and Norwell. But the Hawks interior OL’s, while better than the tackles, is still weak.

      Britt is the one solid OL they have (it’s still weird saying that…). Glow is inconsistent, and has been dominated against top DT’s this year. He has room to improve though. Ifedi is still very green and hasn’t really upgraded on the awful play of Webb from earlier this season.

      The future potential of this line really depends on Ifedi’s development. With OT looking very weak in this draft, they almost need him to transition back to RT next year and succeed. Finding a RG to team with Britt and Glow will be a lot easier and cheaper than an OT. I don’t see how they can feasibly upgrade on LT for next season, but they have the potential to field a somewhat competent line if Germain starts showing 1st round talent.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Hard to ignore that OL run blocking has been less than stellar so far this season. But I see that as much (or more) a result of RW’s injuries/lack of read option threat and no Lynch/Rawls than OL personnel.

      But with respect to pass block, this year’s OL is leaps and bounds ahead of last year’s. I know that’s not saying much considering how poor last year’s OL was, but currently SEA OL have given up 12 sacks, which ranks tied for 3rd in the League (there are 8 other teams either better than, or tied with SEA in this stat).

      Going forward, I’m very bullish on Fant at OT. I wonder if he or Sowell would swing to RT and replace a clearly struggling Gilliam. Any possibility they move Gilliam back to Y TE? With respect to the Draft, I see defense a much higher priority than OL – specifically SAM, DE/DT/LEO and safety.

      I still really (REALLY) like Samaje Perine. Aside from durability concerns, which I acknowledge aren’t negligible, he just fits SEA’s style. I also like the idea of Chubb, a lot, but am highly wary of his potential post-injury. FWIW, I was very high on Prosise for pretty much all of last year and was very excited SEA took him in the Draft. He has deceptive speed, great hands, strength and good vision. I think he features considerably from here on out.

    • I too have been commenting that the most important issue facing the Hawks today, by far, is upgrading the Oline, particularly on the blindside…LT. Only time will tell when and if RW returns to full form, whether the current batch of rookies will eventually progress from inexperienced ‘potential’ to trusted competency, or whether the Gilliam and Sowells, who we personally like and hope to see magically transformed into reliable, sturdy, starters. In the meantime, the 2 to 3 year SB ‘window’ the Hawks have been targeting looks to be slipping away. There is not much which can be done at this moment in time to address the issues identified above, however there IS something which can be done, at this late stage, in the next 2 hours, and that is to take advantage of the only opportunity to actually DO something to make this team instantly better: Trade for Thomas or Staley. That is clearly a positive and necessary step which will pump some life back into a team which is losing momentum, and re-ignite the competitive fire we all thrive on. Doing nothing at this critical point concedes a paralysis of will, and an ongoing Balkanization of of opinions as to who and what is responsible which will carry on into the distant next opportunity, FA and the Draft. It is recently pointed out that this forum is, after all, a DRAFT blog. And truly it is best of its kind. In my view, it has transcended being just a draft blog, and is in reality, an unequalled ROSTER blog. That includes giving serious consideration to improving and upgrading this team at all times, and at this time by accomplishing a trade which will make our weakest link, our strongest.

    • RealRhino2 says:

      Was thinking about this. Don’t think it’s true. First, Cam struggled plenty before getting the crud knocked out of him. He really did much better as a passer down the stretch last year, but for the first half of the year, IIRC, he was same ol’ Cam Newton, overthrowing guys all over the place. He could always run. So maybe he’s been a little off, but he’s possibly just reverted to being who he was.

      Russell’s injuries are more directly a result of him doing dumb things. I know Rob has gotten upset about me seemingly expecting perfection, but I’m just trying to be as plainspoken as possible. I see this as fact: Russ got hurt making dumb decisions. Now, the first injury was a fluke. Got stepped on. But didn’t Suh beat the interior for that pressure? Not a tackle? His subsequent injuries were on him. He knows he can’t run, game/score/time situation says throw it away, he tries to juke two quick defenders. Terrible. I can forgive all manner of poor performances, but don’t let the reason be that you were trying to do something you shouldn’t have been doing in the first place.

      Re Russ, I think what we are seeing is what he’s been all along without the athleticism to help us overlook his lack of ability in other areas (e.g., seeing the field, reading defenses, making the right throws, etc.)

  25. Fountaindale says:

    I’d love to have Bisnowaty… at right tackle. I believe George Fant is going to be great. Bisnowaty, Efidi, and Britt could be a grouping nobody wants to face. Running backs happen… look at David Johnson. Lynch wasn’t a top five pick. Michael’s problem for this offense is his lack of yards after contact. He just doesn’t exude the tough-guy persona we need at that position. Don’t panic, stick to the formula. Spend your capital on defense and QB. That formula will keep us competing for playoffs and Superbowls for a long time. I hope the next draft produces our next great pass rusher, a Deone Bucannon style linebacker, and Adam Bisnowaty.

    • C-Dog says:

      If they can get an athletic enough RT with more nasty than Gilliam, I think that probably helps the run game a lot. I’m leaning more and more towards seeing the future with Fant. The plus with Fant is that he is already showing up well with his run blocking, and he is doing things athletically that Sowell might not have it in him to do.

      I’m also pining my hopes on Prosise showing himself as a potential 3 down back. If Fant and Prosise continue to progress, then this draft sets up with for Seattle to dig into it’s strengths, DL, edge, LB, DB.

      • Volume12 says:

        Outside of OT and depending on how Rawls fairs coming back, I think he’ll be huge for us again, you could argue that all of Seattle’s needs this year can be filled later on.

        You can find your 4th or 5th CB on day 3 or UDFA. Your 3rd LB late on day 3. Your 4th or 5th EDGE guy on day 2 or 3.

  26. Fountaindale says:

    Rob, the Pats have jettisoned Chandler and now Jamie Collins yet they are 7-1. I think the Seahawks operate on a paradigm most similar to the Pats when compared to the rest of the league. Stick with the formula, don’t panic. If Wilson plays as long as Brady I don’t see why he can’t have a similar in terms of wins. As long as PC/JS are here we will enjoy success.

  27. skijake1 says:

    Rob, as much as it pains me to say it (BYU grad; Washington native & UW fan), but what about Utah’s Joe Williams?

    He looked good against the Huskies last Saturday–ran with speed and power and broke tackles. He was a lot of fun to watch and covered a lot of offensive weaknesses for the Utes.

    Of course I also like BYU’s Jamaal Williams, like DC above, but he may not have enough speed or quickness for the NFL.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think we’d need to study him a bit — he retired from football recently and then came back. How committed is he to this? Plus he’s a bit smaller than they’ve taken over the last few years. Can a 205lbs back be a tone setter?

      • D-OZ says:

        He looked a lot bigger than 205. One of the announcers was saying he was in the 230 range with 4.4 speed.

        • David says:

          That makes me laugh, just because I would be wary of any announcer talking about a player with 4.4 speed. It seems that anytime there is a player who might be deemed fast, the default is to refer to them with 4.4, even when that is not the case. I believe I’ve even heard them say that about Russell Wilson when clearly Wilson does not have 4.4 (even when healthy). Wilson is not faster than Lockett.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Sounds a bit of an exaggeration to be honest.

          • D-OZ says:

            Oh I’m sure it was. He is definitely bigger than 205 and runs in the 4.5 range and brings it. If it hadn’t been for Budda Baker’s courage he would have had a lot more than 150 APY. He is legit.

          • skijake1 says:

            It was Gus Johnson, after all. But still, he played with speed and toughness Pete and John seem to like. And if the UW defense is as good as we all think, he looks even better.

            All reports out of Utah are that Joe is committed to football as a way of providing for his family. He sure played like it.

  28. cha says:

    Percy Harvin unretires, signs with Buffalo. Just in time for Monday night game..?

    Also KC picks up Bishop Sankey.

  29. Volume12 says:

    Wyoming’s Brian Hill has NFL back written all over him. Top 10 back in this class hands down. He earns every yard he gets. He’s averaging 144 yds a game on 25 carries. He’s literally carrying this Wyoming team to a bowl game.

    Against Boise St he was dragging 3 defenders along consistently. He’s got size, speed, moves, big time production. Says he loves talking trash and getting inside the opponet’s head. IMO he’ll test very similar to Arizona’s David Johnson.

    This is a tone setter.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JBuck610/status/790071692693479424

    • Rob Staton says:

      Watched some videos and he’s a tough runner, breaks some tackles. Not totally sure he’s a tone-setter though and will be interesting to see how athletic he is.

      • Volume12 says:

        We’ll have to agree to disagree about him setting the tone for Wyoming. ?

        The only guy that I think compares to Fournette athletically and size wise is Arizona St’s Kallen Ballage. That kid is a freak! A rumored 4.47-4.50 runner at 230 lbs that can truck defenders and contribute in the passing game. Not saying he’s Derrick Henry, but he’s a unique back along the same lines.

        And Hill isn’t super flashy, but he is a tough, physical runner. The type that go late on day 2 or early on day 3.