Why I’m not worried about Seattle’s offensive line

February 13th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

Injuries to Russell Okung and co is the main problem, not a lack of talent

A lot of people see the offensive line as Seattle’s biggest draft need.

The game at St. Louis in week eight really was the tipping point. The Seahawks couldn’t block a thing. Russell Wilson was getting half a second to make a decision, and really they should’ve lost that night.

A terrific defensive stand saved the day, but they won in spite of the offense.

It wasn’t the only game where they struggled as a consequence of bad line play. The Houston win was torrid at times — with a lot of Wilson magic and a Richard Sherman pick-six being the antidote this time.

Across the board the stats weren’t good. The pundits looked at the stats and made their judgement.

Major changes are needed.”

Unfortunately there’s no column on the stat sheet for ‘devastating injuries‘.

Make no mistake — a lack of health was the big problem with Seattle’s offensive line in 2013.

Not a lack of talent.

Very few teams can survive losing a Pro Bowl left tackle and center. Even fewer teams can survive losing your left tackle, center, right tackle and then having to move your left guard to man the blindside.

They also had a 7th round rookie starting at right tackle for a large chunk of the season.

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but this is not a good thing.

That Seattle had only the second worst offensive line in the NFL should be a major surprise. One team actually had it worse than this?

What on earth were they doing in Miami?

(Well, actually, we know what they were doing in Miami. They were texting each other about hookers and drugs. And then falling out.)

You simply cannot field a starting offensive line of McQuistan, Carpenter, Jeanpierre, Sweezy and Bowie and expect results.

It aint happening.

Not against some of the best pass rushers in the league.

Throw in Pete Carroll’s desire to be the #1 scrambling team in the NFL and you’re going to see some sacks. Whether they’re fielding the greatest offensive line in the league or one of the worst, it’s unavoidable.

A case in point — against New Orleans in the playoffs Wilson was sacked three times. On two of those occasions, the ‘sack’ was a -1 yard rushing attempt by the quarterback.

Peyton Manning doesn’t get many of those.

Speaking of Manning, the reason he was barely hit all year had nothing to do with his offensive line. It’s the style of offense — which is designed to limit the pass rush with a quickfire short passing game.

If Wilson and Seattle used this approach, they too would see a major reduction in sacks.

It’ll never happen of course, because Manning and Wilson are polar opposite players in terms of skill set and size.

Sometimes you just have to accept this is the team the Seahawks are. They’re going to keep scrambling, they’re going to pick up sacks.

And they’re also going to make a ton of big plays with Wilson moving out of the pocket.

This isn’t just about the passing game either — the Seahawks had trouble establishing the run in certain games too.

In 2013 they averaged 4.3 yards a carry and 136.8 yards per game — down from 4.8 YPC and 161.2 YPG.

It’s also indicative of the number of teams who set out to stop Marshawn Lynch and the running game. Many dared Wilson to beat them with his arm.

To be fair, any drop off in the rushing attack is mostly picked up by the passing game. In 2012 they managed 189.4 YPG, and it increased to 202.2 a year later.

The cumulative loss is 12 YPG for the season. Hardly back breaking stuff.

As Wilson develops as a passer (and let’s remember, he’s only two seasons into a long career), I suspect he’ll be become even more productive if teams continue to challenge him by selling out against the run.

We had a taste of that against the Saints in week 13.

**********************************

Let’s take a closer look at Seattle’s schedule last year, because this also played a part in Seattle’s perceived struggles up front.

The Rams are fielding two of the best pass rushers in the league right now, including (for me) the absolute #1 in Robert Quinn. According to DVOA, Arizona had the #2 defense in the NFL behind Seattle. Everybody knows how good San Francisco’s front seven is, and the Seahawks were unfortunate to dodge Aldon Smith’s prolonged absence.

That’s six games against rock solid opponents right off the bat, three of which they faced without their preferred starting o-line — including their left tackle.

Here are some other pass rushers they met in 2013 — J.J. Watt, Jared Allen and Robert Mathis. They also tackled three of the better overall units according to DVOA — New York (#6), Tampa Bay (#8) and New Orleans (#10).

This was a tougher than usual schedule for the Seahawks’ o-line. Doing it with three of your starters missing a combined 18 games is a challenge some teams couldn’t overcome.

Even in Seattle’s poorest display of the season — the defeat against Arizona in week 16 — they were missing J.R. Sweezy.

Having missed the injury bug in 2012, it was back with a vengeance in 2013.

I’ll say it again — a lack of health hurt this group. Not a lack of talent.

Avoiding injuries can be a cause for concern itself, but I think the talent level is sufficient that you almost have to invest an element of faith.

I genuinely believe Seattle has a competent offensive line when everyone is good to go.

Russell Okung is one of the better tackles in the NFL — and was described as such after playing 17 games in 2012. He’s got an injury history but they can’t afford to give up on him at this stage in his career. He’s worth persevering with.

Max Unger had a difficult 2013 but never looked truly 100% either. A fresh start and a clean bill of health could get him back to his best.

Breno Giacomini is one of the more underrated players on the roster — and for me deserves to be re-signed on a 2-3 year deal if possible.

J.R. Sweezy gets a bad press at times, but 2013 was only his second year as an offensive lineman and his first as the unquestioned starter. He’s still learning and growing — and there’s no reason to question Tom Cable’s judgement on this one.

Then we have the revolving door at left guard — the area most people see as the problem. James Carpenter has been hit and miss and could even be a cap casualty this off-season. Yet he’s also had big games — most notably when combating Justin Smith.

I’m not sure I’ve seen a guard play as well against Smith over the last couple of seasons. That in itself has some value.

Michael Bowie played well in his only start at left guard, he deputised well for Sweezy on the right side in week 16 and could take on a more prominent role in year two.

Alvin Bailey had a terrific pre-season at left tackle but has the size and movement skills to grow into a top-class guard. It’ll be interesting to see if that’s where he ends up going forward.

This isn’t a bad group — and the 2013 depth of Paul McQuistan, Lemuel Jeanpierre and Caylin Hauptmann also did their job, with McQuistan seeing his fair share of time on the field at guard and tackle.

Despite what the stats say, I challenge anyone to tell me this is one of the worst lines in the NFL based on personnel.

**********************************

Really it comes down to this — competing in the NFC West aint easy.

There isn’t an offensive line in the league that can block the four NFC West defenses out of a game.

You’re going to give up some plays against this bunch. I think we can all agree on that.

A lot of people regard San Francisco’s offense line as one of the very best. And yet they couldn’t stop Seattle forcing two forced fumbles in the NFC Championship game, shutting down the run completely and forcing two interceptions.

This is how it’s going to be.

Even if you get Okung, Unger, Sweezy and Giacomini for 16 games next year — and spend a first round pick on a guard — I’m telling you, they aren’t going to shut down Robert Quinn, Calais Campbell, Aldon Smith and co.

The Rams could spend two high first round picks on their offensive line in May. Guess what? They’ll also struggle to stop the other three NFC West teams.

This is a division where elite defensive line play is rife.

Whoever you put out there, it’s not going to be pretty.

Some people will argue — not unfairly — that if you play in such a tough division, upgrading the offensive line where possible is a necessity.

I wouldn’t disagree with that. In fact if this was an excellent guard class, I think you would consider making an early pick if you felt you could really make an upgrade.

I’m not arguing the line is perfect. Far from it. And Seattle sets up its draft board to try and identify where they can make the biggest improvements.

The problem is, it’s a really poor guard class. Borderline horrible.

Players like Cyril Richardson and Gabe Jackson are wildly overrated and will struggle to crack day two of the draft. Richardson is a particularly bad fit for the zone blocking scheme.

David Yankey is this years ‘guard who everyone loves mid-season’. It happens every year. The internet finds a guard, dubs them the next Steve Hutchinson and then the reality check comes around in December/January.

Yankey isn’t terrible, but he is a technician. He looks extremely accomplished in Stanford’s scheme — frequently pulling right and putting his excellent coaching into action.

At the next level however, there’s so much more to it. Physically I’d be concerned he’s going to get seriously overmatched.

Out of all the guards in this class, Xavier Su’a-Filo is really the only one I’d consider in round one — and that’s mainly based on upside. He combines rare athleticism with a nice power base and he could develop into a very accomplished guard.

He also needs to improve his technique and while I think he could go in the first round, many others see him as no more than a late second rounder at best.

Looking at what’s on offer, you’d be reaching for a guard in round one. Maybe even in round two as well depending on who’s left.

I suspect they’ll look for depth and further competition. Let Cable go back to work in the later rounds. That plan has worked so far to an extent. It hasn’t provided a genuine star, but Sweezy, Bailey and Bowie are all young, talented players with the opportunity to keep developing.

They could do with a lineman to replace the (likely) departing McQuistan. I’d also consider signing a veteran left tackle to backup Okung, if the price is right.

And they may concentrate on two other areas early in the draft — continuing to add weapons to the offense (another way to alleviate pressure is to surround Wilson with as much talent as possible) and making sure Seattle’s defensive line is well stocked.

Is there more to be gained by putting a big receiver outside for Wilson to throw to (jump ball/red zone specialist) and having Bailey/Bowie/Carpenter at guard, than there is having a starting offensive line that includes Okung-rookie-Unger-Sweezy-Giacomini and a lesser quality big wide out?

Quite possibly.

**********************************

I haven’t covered a year on this blog without people highlighting the offensive line as a need.

I guess when you’ve enjoyed Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson in the past, it comes with the territory.

It’s also worth remembering how rare those two players were. Trying to recreate those days will be nearly impossible.

While that duo (and a trio of journeyman in the other three spots) carried the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl… the current group finished the job.

And they did it without conceding a single sack.

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94 Responses to “Why I’m not worried about Seattle’s offensive line”

  1. The Ancient Mariner says:

    Preach it, brother.

  2. EdC says:

    Assuming (even if we don’t) lose MB, GT and BG and cut Miller/Clemons/Rice our biggest needs for me are:

    DL/TE/WR

    I have seen some rankings that would really favor us in that our draft could look like:

    1. Donald
    2. ASJ
    3. Coleman

    Highly doubt it’s possible (ASJ probably early 2nd and Coleman middle 2nd), but stranger things happen and what a draft that would be.

    • LantermanC says:

      That draft would be more than ideal, but we don’t have a 3rd round pick (Harvin trade)

      • EdC says:

        That’s right. My bad. If we do get an Allen/Tuck/Houston/Smith in FA, my draft would really be:

        1. ASJ
        2. Coleman ( most ranking/mocks have him going in 4th, so it’s possible)

    • Kyle says:

      Haha that would be such an amazing draft. But that would require a massive fall by Donald and ASJ and a bad combine by Coleman (and acquiring a 3rd round pick). We can dream though!

    • Michael M. says:

      Am I the only one who thinks abbreviating so many player names makes EdC’s posts laborious to read? If so I will shut up.

      • O says:

        No you are not. It took me a couple minutes to figure out who he was talking about. But hey, I guess that saved him 2 seconds not typing the players names…

  3. Mylegacy says:

    Unger with his chest, Okung with his foot (toe?)…no question these two were not at 100% for more than a few fleeting seconds of 2013. BUT – are their problems temporary or chronic?

    Carp – at times has been very solid against the run. Sweezy might continue to grow – but – if he doesn’t?

    Bailey and Bowie both looked quite good at times and lost at other times. I like Breno, particularly the way he gets into pass protection mode at the snap – blindingly fast. I liked the use of Bailey (on occasion) as an extra tackle beside Okung late in the year and the play-offs.

    I’ll not be comfortable next season unless we bring in another couple of guys like the two B’s to challenge this group. But – I do agree with your central thesis that injury more than lack of ability was the main reason for the struggles of ’13.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I agree with you Mylegacy. Plus we are paying a lot of money for a part time left tackle. Hopefully Okung will get over the injury issues. I’m hoping Breno is back next year.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think it’s a nailed on certainty they add a couple of o-liners either in the draft or FA. But I’ll be surprised if it’s at #32 unless Breno walks.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Seems like PC looks more in the mid to late rounds for offensive line now. Last draft it was Bowie and Bailey in the 7th round or UDFA. The year before that it was 7th round Sweezy. They won’t spend a lot of draft capital unless Okung leaves.

  4. Brandon says:

    Agreed that o-line definitely falls behind big wide-out and DL as far as priorities. Last year you had five tackles and three guards taken in the first round. There will probably be even more tackles taken this year. Reach for a borderline 3rd round talent or catch a falling star at 32?

  5. Cameron says:

    Something tells me our offensive line is going to look really good next year, and Percy Harvin will have a lot to do with it.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Percy can take this offense to another level, improving every single section of the ‘O’ in the process. The most important off season news for Seattle outside of free agency will be making sure he is safe and healthy for the start of the season.

  6. Nolan says:

    I’m not into invest high round picks in the oline at this point, I think Bowie and baily will help improve the line with increased playing time and experience. I think they should look into a possible vet option if they can find a cheap back up typewriter sit behind Okung. I’d also like to see more late round/udfa players brought in to compete.

  7. MRB says:

    Looking at PFF pass-block-efficency the Seahawks were 15th in 2013 with 77% and 11th in 2012 with 80%. Taking such stats with a grain of salt, those numbers are in the mix with SF, better than Saint Lous and much better than Arizona; so that can be thought of an apples to apples comparison.

    It was painful to see Wilson get sacked so much, regressing as he did from 2012. If he got hit hard enough to hurt his left sholder for the last six games of the regular season, that is very much a warning shot across the bow. It was is likely half his fault for holding on too long (sack% is supposedly well under a QB’s control, and I think he had the highest time-to-throw average), and half having backups going up against those D-lines. While a WR can help with the time in pocket, I suspect a lot of it involved not seeing / recognizing guys who were open. Not sure what to do with that other than hope he improves there.

    But the running game is also pointing to OL weakness. Marshwan had to earn much of that 4.2y/a with after first contact effort. Unger had problems in the second half, and so lets hope he gets better with time to heal this off-season, because he was overmatched by the Denver NT. And despite being relatively healthy, both Carpenter and Sweezy seemed to have issues with run blocking too. Not sure what to do if the draft talent is “meh” but I still hope they address it as a fairly high priority. Next season won’t be any easier.

    • CD says:

      The getting hit/sacked isn’t just a RW thing, it was also a T Jack thing a few years ago. It all comes down to Pete and his desire to not turn the ball over.

      My suggestion would be to design more short passing routes, it seemed they tried to go too far down field and it took too long at times. Mix it up at times and the the DL can’t just pin their ears back.

    • Madmark says:

      We currently have 7th round pick Jared Smith who was a DT changed to C sign for camp this year. THE FAT RABBIT. Another favorite is B.J. Daniels QB will be in camp.

  8. chris b says:

    rob, do you see bowie at tackle or guard next year? also do you see alvin bailey backing up multiple positions or locking down a starting spot next year.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Good questions. I liked Bowie at left and right guard a lot more than right tackle to be honest, but that’s just my take. I thought he struggled at times at RT, but it was a big ask to put him out there as a rookie and expect much in return. The sky’s the limit with Bailey. He looked sensational at LT in pre season. He has the size and footwork to be an excellent guard. I think he could easily start at LG next year. Part of me wants him to win that job.

  9. Josh says:

    Good thoughts rob. What do you see the starting line as next year? Also, what if a top OT falls, say Lewan or Kuandijo?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think Lewan will be a top ten guy, Kouandjio won’t last much longer. It’ll be nearly impossible for either to last until #32.

      As for the starting line, it’s hard to say right now. I hope they re-sign Breno as a starting point.

  10. cade says:

    Seeing that running the football is the offensive identity of this team I think its crucial to upgrade the OLine.

    Not saying they should reach in early rounds.. just saying it needs to be a point of emphasis. If we grade as a middle of the pack run blocking group that is REALLY BAD. Our OLine needs to be good enough to allow Lynch enough room to make positive yards vs Stacked boxes.

    That is the design of this offense.. suck them in and then every once in a while gash them with the pass.

    In my opinion adding playmakers instead of investing in the pieces necessary to play ball the Seahawk way is a real bad idea. Im not saying they should go with any one position in early rounds. Just saying what I think is important emphasis wise.

    • cade says:

      Did I mention Im not saying they should go with any one position in early rounds :P

    • Rob Staton says:

      It could be argued that adding a jump ball specialist, big receiver is playing Seahawks football. Carroll has made no secret of his desire for a classic big WR.

      The Seahawks also love to take shots downfield, and they don’t have any true red zone threats.

      On the other hand, they’ve appointed Alex Gibbs and one of his disciples to coach the OL. Gibbs the man who once said he could turn a garbage man into a serviceable guard.

      • Michael M. says:

        I’ve always thought that the whole point of the ZBS was that you could field a serviceable unit without investing in top end talent. So long as we have Tom Cable, I am fine with 7th rounders, UDFA’s, and only the occasional day 2-3 pick.

  11. OakHarborHawk says:

    We’re going to have one of the bigger offensive line turnarounds in NFL history next year. 100% assured.

    But only if Percy Harvin stays healthy the whole season and we get a big target for Wilson who can win jump balls or a biggish target who can get open.

    The biggest cause of giving up “sacks” (excluding the Monday Night game against the Rams) is Wilson scrambling around waiting for someone to get open or looking for the big pass. Didn’t help that he seemingly didn’t have the green light to run in the second half perhaps due to a injury or not wanting him to get injured since we were a lock for the play-offs.

  12. dave crockett says:

    I genuinely agree Rob, but with a MAJOR quibble about Unger. I see short yardage/goal line as almost exclusively about the o-line. Well, Seattle’s stuff rate is objectively abysmal. Unger is a major reason why. I certainly think Seattle should devote some kind of attention to center.

    I recognize that Unger’s chest injury robbed him of functional strength. But that’s the point. We can’t assume that he regains 100% of it, and he was BARELY strong enough before he got hurt.

    Go back and look at the first quarter and a half of the SB. It was a carbon copy of much of the season. Unger’s man ROUTINELY pushed him back into Lynch’s lap, or simply blew past him. It wasn’t just “Pot Roast” either. Denver’s backup NT, Unrein, absolutely abused Unger.

    I’m not saying Seattle should cut him. But I also don’t understand why he seems to be coated in Teflon. People are KILLING Breno, Carp, and Sweezy. Those guys may miss some assignments but when they lock on their guy generally stays blocked. They don’t often get rag-dolled. Unger gets rag-dolled.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Not a fan of Unger, either.

      • Jon says:

        yeah no kidding, he was only an all pro last year when he was not hurt. let him walk!!!

        • CD says:

          Agree, he has been given a ”pass” for a few years and some how is still get s to the Pro Bowl,. A minor issue is that he is a team captian, but his play hasn’t been great. He is the most over rated player and I think his cap number next year is $5.2 mil. I think JP can do just as good of job and is far cheaper.

          • Jon says:

            sorry my comment was pretty sarcastic. I feel that Unger when healthy has done nothing but make this team better. I don’t know who we are comparing him to, but I don’t see many Centers in the league that are just dominant forces. I understand it is an important position but really don’t like the attitude toward the O-line that suggests an injured player, if rag doled can just be replaced when healthy.

            This being said I do think he has been injured quite regularly for someone at the Center position, and hope he can stay healthy. He has missed one season due to injury, but missed games last year and possibly another year while dealing with injury throughout.
            Also his contract is a fair point. I think he around 6 m for the next 3 years and I feel like that must be elite pay for a center in this league.

            • Jon says:

              And did I mention that when healthy, in 12 he was an all pro. He never had a pro bowl before that so where does he get a pass the last couple years. Maybe this year he does not earn the pro bowl, but last year he was the best at his position. Therefore when healthy should be paid that way.

              • AlaskaHawk says:

                I would just say that our current line should be given the respect that they deserve. But that has to be balanced by a cold blooded analysis of how they are playing, what amount of pay they are making, and what their future prospects with the Seahawks are.

                Last year we added a few low round draft picks for the offensive line. This year we will probably do the same with mid to low round draft picks. Considering the offensive lines overall issues with health and general demands for more pay, there is no reason why we shouldn’t have a real competition for spots. Even spots like Okungs and Ungers. I don’t consider either one irreplaceable, even if they did make the pro bowl last year.

                • Jon says:

                  I don’t consider them irreplaceable or think that there should be no competition, but I the way JSPC draft it seems that they will grade based on the likelihood of someone winning a job compared to the roster. We need a good Big WR we need a 3Tech if we loose McDaniel, We need a DL chess piece if we loose Bennett, we do not need a good LT (Okung is one even though often injured), We don’t need a Center (Unger), We need a better LG (unless Bowie or Bailey take it). Yes, we should draft a LT and a C possibly, but the reality is that spending a high pick on one in the name of competition is not as important as some of the pieces that we may actually need this year and next.

                  It is clear that spots can be upgraded on the Oline but spending another #1 on the line is not likely the most helpful place to draft for this teams needs or the depth of position in the draft. I will be happy to take a top Oline prospect if one falls but it is not the most deep position in the draft. We will likely take our late rounders and be just fine.
                  Remember that in 4 first round selections made by PCJS we have seen them take 2 Oline in the 1st and another in the 3rd. It is not as if they have ignored the position. It just happens that they are about 50/50 success thus far in late rounds, with Sweezey, Bailey and Bowie as successes in my opinion. And 1 of three success early with Okung being the grace for these picks though he has his share of injuries which is certainly disappointing.

                  On the opposite side of this, we have spent several 4th or later picks on the Big WR prospect and have no success yet, maybe we need to go earlier.

                  Also they wave really only drafted 1 Dline early in Hill if you consider the end of round 1 to be early. or two if you want to count Irvin and the LEO position.

                  The WR and Dline position groups are also the places where our roster is over realistic budget, which means that we need to give more stock toward those areas as the need to hit on one is higher than any other positions IMO

                  • AlaskaHawk says:

                    I agree that we should draft WR and DT/DE our first two picks. Then we get to 4th round or later. The Seahawks have done okay picking offensive linemen later in the draft. Sweezy is a 7th round starter. Bailey, Bowey are 7th round or UDFA. They play fine for guards and okay in other positions. I really like our heavy formation with them.

                    I think they will bring in a few more late round draft picks and cheap free agents to try out for the offensive line. Plus are starters should be healthy next year. I see that as a positive. Our offense can only get better – and that’s coming from a superbowl team.

    • cade says:

      How can you guys be of this opinion?

      We were a middling run blocking team. Running the football is our offensive identity. Its what is supposed to open everything up in the passing game.

      I don’t want to see us have to resort to either Wilson running for his life or Bronco-esk plays if our run game cant get going against 8 man fronts.

      The key isn’t to become a more high octane offense with the passing game by dedicating resources to receivers. Its to assert our physicality on the other team and force them to defend in ways that open up the explosive downfield plays. Is that not how this offense is built and supposed to work? Did you notice how much the offense struggled when they couldn’t run the ball vs stout defenses that play both the pass and run well?

      • Rob Staton says:

        Were we a middling run blocking team? Or did we see an ever growing increase in teams selling out to stop the run, and we were mostly unable to punish them in the passing game (with a few exceptions — eg New Orleans week 13).

        • cade says:

          https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2014/01/13/2013-offensive-line-rankings/

          blocking Rankings

          26. Seattle Seahawks (20th)
          pass blocking: 25th,
          run blocking: 17th,
          penalties: 30th

          17th in run blocking + near worst in penalties (which is often a symptom of poor blocking/getting beat) is horrible for a team which has its team offensive identity focused on running the ball.

          Put a different RB behind this line and it would be ugly. Only reason we don’t have more runs for a loss is because Lynch consistently will make a guy miss and drag two others to turn a blown up play into a 1 or 3 yard gain.

          Adding weapons (while appeals Petes philosophies around taking pressure off the QB) is not a Seahawky thing to do if we don’t have the pieces in the trenches to allow this offense to work how it is supposed to.

          Establish the run.. open up the passing game off it with PA pass. When teams have a stout enough front 7 to stop the run while not overplaying it, that’s when we are in trouble (ie: occasional offensive struggles vs Cards, Niners, Rams)

          Seahawks have been successful this year DESPITE their offensive line execution. Mostly due to some special playmakers in Wilson and Lynch.

          • cade says:

            My opinion on our inability to consistently punish teams when they stack the box:

            Wilsons strengths are not in the quick passing game. Whether it be height or lack of reps to establish that skillset (he did get better as the season went on).

            When teams stack the box they take away the run, bootleg, and tend to get after the QB faster. It gives Wilson less escape lanes for scrambling. Less passing lanes for visibility. Given our horrid pass blocking most of the season, Wilson just wasn’t able to get enough time to establish visibility and get the ball out. Its not like we didn’t have guys open in the short to intermediate passing game. Both Tate and Baldwin would get open. Its just not Wilsons skillset. An area to improve. One he already has.

          • Rob Staton says:

            With respect to PFF — I don’t pay any attention to their rankings or the system they use.

            It doesn’t consider situation or opponent and it provides too many ridiculous results (eg Earl Thomas 29th best safety in 2012).

            And it’s 17th in run blocking with McQuistan playing most of the year at left tackle, no Okung, no Unger for a few weeks, no Giacomini for several weeks. I’d say it’s highly impressive they aren’t ranked 32nd for run blocking.

            That’s how you have to look at this and it’s the point I’m making in the article. It’s OK pointing to rankings, but the there’s no statistic to represent a horrific injury situation.

        • Robert says:

          I totally agree! Injuries to the OL were another major factor. It was frustrating that we did not deploy the TE’s to chip and release. I thought we could have kept RW much cleaner, helped poor McQ at LT and opened up our Beast game all in one fell swoop by having our TE’s block and randomly release behind LB’s who were over committing to stuff our run game. Another constraint strategy rarely deployed is just send out 4 WR’s wide with Beast in the backfield. This forces D to play small with only 6 in the box. With 4 WR’s only having 1 man to beat, we could attack the field BEHIND the LB’s and force them to stop over committing to stuffing our Beast game. They would have to retreat into zone coverage responsibilities or be gouged for explosive plays all day long.

  13. CC says:

    I thought Bowie and Bailey played fairly well for rookies – huge upside. Think about this – last year Sweezy was at times a turnstile – but look at him this year, he played very well. He had the occasional lapse and hold, but he will be better next year too. Carp for me is a bust. He isn’t consistent and it seems like he doesn’t work hard or care like he should – he was left off the active list for the first playoff game! They did that to send a message! Who needs a message sent at that point. I really hope Unger and Okung heal up and play like they did in 2012 – add Bowie or Bailey at guard and I think we’ll be good.

    I wouldn’t draft a OL in the first or second since Cable can work his magic with anyone. Should be fun off season.

  14. Cysco says:

    Thanks for writing this Rob. I tried to make this exact point in the previous thread, but you made it far more eloquently than I.

    Ultimately, could we upgrade the offensive line a little? Perhaps. Would it make any difference at all? Probably not.

    Spending any early pick on offensive line is probably the least bang for the buck we could do to improve the team.

    Bring on the defensive linemen and wide receivers!

  15. Colin says:

    Unger and Okung healthy makes a big difference. They were hanging on for dear life by the end of the season and it was fairly apparent. I’d like to see some competition at that LG spot by guys not named Carpenter and McQuistan. The Seahawks need an upgrade there.

  16. Jon says:

    This is not calling out Bevell or Wilson, just so that we are clear on that. The play design was intentionally more often than non, catering toward the explosive plays and long developing routes. Also, if we went back and looked at the tape I would venture to guess that 1/3 to 1/2 of the sacks this year happened because of things completely outside of the O-lines control. Wilson was at times indecisive (+ or – 5 times), other times he felt phantom pressure and held/tucked the ball right into a sack (5 + times), then there were the sacks that he lost 1-3 yards after deciding to scramble (5 + times). 40 sacks on the season is not all that bad when around 15+ are caused because a play breaks down in some way unrelated to the O-line. This all said the O-line is certainly a place for improvement, which I think will happen with experience/health.

  17. kevin mullen says:

    As long as Tom Cable is here, I have no worries. Let him have the 7th round again, he’s earned it.

    There’s an article my Michael Silver, I believe, that he pegged the ‘Hawks as a team with the leadership and locker room that can draft Michael Sam and it not being a distraction. Regardless of the opinions of Michael Sam, I like that we were named an organization that can handle that “distraction”. It shows how stable of an organization we’re preceived to be by the rest of the media and NFL.

    Not sure if he’s a fit in our scheme, from the tape I saw, he was a benefactor to a lot of bounces his way in regards to fumbles. I didn’t necessarily see him disrupt in the backfield that he caused, moreso his teammates on opposite side and so the play would move to Sam’s side. His stats look nice on paper, but I think his teammates did more damage than Sam.

  18. Jeff M. says:

    Let’s detail exactly how the line looks for next year:

    Definitely on the team: Okung (LT), Unger (C), Sweezy (RG), Bailey (LG or RT or backup), Bowie (LG or RT or backup)

    Very likely on the team: Carpenter (LG or backup), Jeanpierre (backup)

    Maybe on the team: Giacomini (RT)

    Not likely on the team: McQuistan

    So we could have a variety of scenarios. If Breno is re-signed, one of Carp/Bailey/Bowie locks down the LG spot, and one of the others looks like a solid swing tackle, we have basically no needs (besides depth to compete with Hauptmann/Jared Smith-types). If Breno’s leaves, Carp is salary-dumped, and Bailey/Bowie don’t show much progress, we could need to fill two starting spots (RT/LG) in draft or FA.

    In between these outcomes we might be looking for, say, a reserve OT who can backup both and eventually replace Breno, but that’s again probably a mid-round need. The only way it’s worth a first-rounder on the O-line is if Breno is not retained, the staff is not confident in Bailey/Bowie’s development, and we don’t make a move in FA to shore up the holes.

  19. bigDhawk says:

    I guess my big question about our OL is their physicality. For a team whose identity in all three phases is all about about hitting the opponent harder, I would argue that our OL is the least physical, softest hitting unit on the team. We have the most physically punishing RB in the League, yet who among our OL can we really describe as a mauler? Talented, sure, but not maulers.

    Granted, Giac is an instigator, but how often do we see any of our lineman in the second level going all Billy Turner on some LB and knocking him five yards backward in the air? Much more often have we seen opposing defenders in the backfield blowing up plays at the snap, requiring a herculean effort from Beast just to get a two yard gain out of what should have been a four yard loss.

    Since we are a run-dominated team, the change I want to see is an OL that hits and punishes as hard as our Beast of a RB, and as hard as our defense. I understand that having a predominantly zone blocking scheme as opposed to a power blocking scheme has something to do with that, but I still think the overall physicality level of our OL could stand to go way up. Defenses are scared of Beast. I want them to be scared of our OL too. Right now that is not the case.

    • Jon says:

      to be fair, there are not any O-lines in the league that I would say strike fear into an opponent. There is no Hutch Jones combo in the NFL that just absolutely destroys an entire side of the d-line. Schemes are what make or break most O-lines as well as continuity and absence of injury. Very seldom is there an O-line that tilts the field on its own.

      • Kyle says:

        The closest would probably be the 9ers, but that requires Iupati to be healthy (once he went out, our DL started to put a lot more pressure on Kaep).

        • Jon says:

          yes but we pushed them around in most of our meetings the last couple years. The only time they actually dominated against us was the early meeting in SF in 2012. The bigger problem for teams against the 49ers is the threat of Kaepernick to run at any time. They do have a better Oline than us, but I still don’t think that many good defensive teams actually fear the Oline. Davis, Kaep, Gore Boldin, and Crabtree are the ones that teams spend there time thinking about the most.

      • bigDhawk says:

        I agree there are no mauling OLs in the NFL today like the Dallas OL of the early 90s. I tried to think of some while writing and couldn’t, except SF to a small extent like Jon mentioned.

        However, one of the things PC dealt with at some length in his end-of-season presser was the question of what areas the team could improve. He mentioned penalties, KO returns, and some other minor things. I kept waiting for him to say, ‘and the OL could stand to get a lot more better all around’. I’m sure he was thinking it, but I understood why he didn’t say it. After all, why throw under the bus a line on an offense that just scored 27 points in the SB?

        So if PC is willing to point out some generalized areas of improvement, I’ll go ahead and put in my specific request for the OL to get way more nasty and physical. Is it imperitive? As Rob has explained well, probably not. But, hey, ‘why not us’? It sure couldn’t hurt on a lot of levels, from competition to the overall product on the field. It might even extend BeastMode’s career a bit if he isn’t getting hit until five yards down field, instead of five yards deep.

  20. Jon says:

    So I am starting to really like how people respect T. Jack for playing through a torn pectoral, but when Unger plays through a torn bicep/pectoral and gets “rag doled” it is inexcusable and we should be prepared to move on. Come on. And giving JR anything but respect for what he has done with only two years of O-line coaching is ridiculous, he will only get better for the next two years. I am of the opinion that Bowie and Bailey should get more play time, as it seemed that they did nothing less than impressive for a 7th and UDFA rookie (Again they will only get better.

    • Kyle says:

      People respected T Jack, but don’t forget the biggest discussion back in those days was that he wasn’t the future at QB. Once we found Russell it makes it a lot easier to like T Jack and talk about how brave he was playing with a torn pec. Just as long as we are winning and he isn’t playing much.

      I think it’s great to talk about players fighting through injuries or having the deck stacked against them with a position change, but it all comes down to “is he playing well.” If the answer is no, then it might be time to start looking for a replacement (like they did for T Jack).

      • Jon says:

        yes so when a guy is an all pro one year, and injured the next, then we should just desire more and prepare for life without him? So if Sherman had that high ankle sprain during the first week of the season, and played low end starter quality because his ankle wasn’t right for about 3 or 4 weeks mid season, then broke his leg, would we then call him out and suggest that the team just move on because he did not perform. This is hypothetical, but that is the same conversation that we are having.

        • Jon says:

          also, the strain that Unger is putting on himself with torn muscles would not be easy to deal with, yet he has to deal with it and stop a monster from attacking.

        • Kyle says:

          If Sherman has a high ankle sprain and is playing like a low end starter, then he shouldn’t be playing. He should be sitting and getting healthy and then come back to become the best CB in the league again. Should Unger have done this? I don’t know, he might have been worried that if he continued to stay on the bench that he would eventually get replaced (this is a serious fear for NFL players, ask Alex Smith).

          I’m wasn’t calling for us to get rid of Unger. I merely wanted to say that “at the time” people weren’t really “giving T Jack respect”, but rather using it as an excuse for his poor play. I don’t remember much. Maybe his teammates were giving him respect, but I think that if you are injured and aren’t playing well then you need to get replaced by somebody else if they could play at a higher level.

          This next year is huge for Unger, healthy or not. He was not the best center in football in 2012 like his All-Pro would suggest, but he was much more effective than this past year. He needs to prove he can maintain that level of play regardless of whether he’s injured or not.

    • dave crockett says:

      To be clear, IMO though, Unger’s injury *exacerbated* a problem he already has. Unger is a fine center, but he couldn’t afford to lose functional strength. He did, and it is a MAJOR problem for Seattle’s run game. Meanwhile, he is paid like one of the best centers in the game. I don’t think he’s that, no disrespect.

      Almost certainly we are talking about a late round pick or UDFA, probably a college guard who has played some center. Some teams require their guards to take at least some practice snaps at center. I don’t see how that’s any insult to Unger.

      There are some decent center prospects probably available late, and a boatload of Gs that could probably make the switch. I’d be disappointed if Seattle finished the offseason with no comp at C.

  21. RB says:

    I would love to see the team make do with finding diamonds in the rough after the second round. A lot more exciting to see top shelf defenders or offensive skill players for sure.

    What I would love to ask Cable (if that was possible and if he would be candid), is what position(s) is Okung actually able to play? I know there would be cap issues and you don’t pay RT’s and guards what Okung is making. What I’m asking is if we put all the draft position and cap issues aside, is his best position really LT?

    Often I wonder if he’s a good LT but a fantastic RT in other words. Just something I also contemplate if we lose Breno (which I hope does not happen). Having Bowie and Bailey sure helps provide options.

    • Kyle says:

      I think Okung’s ideal position would be left tackle. Would he dominate at RT? Probably. But then again, almost all LT would dominate more at RT because it’s generally an easier position to play (aren’t going up against the other teams best pass rusher). It does take a different skill set, but I think most LT are great athletes and could transition well. But when you have that ability (which Okung certain has) to play well at LT, then that is your ideal position.

  22. David Mast says:

    Any chance rob, that you see the hawks drafting a WR say, Allen Robinson in the 1st round, if we resign mb, bg, and drop rice, Clemons. And don’t resign Tate.

    That would be a pretty complete receiving core with mr. 3rd down Baldwin(2mill tender), Kearse is really coming around as a go to, remember, this was basically his 1st year, he will only improve. Playmaker & do it all harvin. And a big target WR Draft (hopefully Robinson or Coleman). And lockette who I can see becoming a better part of the offense now that he can spend an offseason with the team. Hopefully RW and co. Will go back to Cali and practice plays and such like they did last year.

    I really don’t see us drafting a TE any higher than the 3rd( if we trade for a 3rd or something), McCoy really turned it on in 2012 before he got hurt, I see him resigning on a cheep vet min contract. Willson is a good no.2 evolving into a 1. They just signed Beckum to a futures contract, if he works out right, he will likely replace our 3rd TE Kellen Davis. I would be just fine with those 3 TE’s

    • Rob Staton says:

      I like Robinson but I’m not sure if he really fits the MO for this team. He’s a great YAC guy, he can make plays beyond that — but he’s not a burner. I don’t think he’ll run well at the combine. And he’s not the physically imposing pure #1 this team currently lacks.

  23. DavidInBellingham says:

    Great article Rob. I agree with your assessment of each individual player. I do think we need to keep drafting guys who can challenge the starters and provide depth, though I don’t think it is necessary to reach for someone in the first round.
    The Hawks are in a wonderful position to choose the Best Player Available, due to roster strength, and that makes sense given the fact that they just won the Super Bowl: a team that wins the Super Bowl probably doesn’t have a lot of holes to fill (until Free Agency starts).
    I still haven’t fully assimilated that the Seahawks won the Super Bowl. It’s almost too big to comprehend. It’s how I felt when the Berlin Wall fell.

  24. Robert says:

    I think our O line is in good shape going forward. Injuries were the major culprit this year. Carp has reached the fork in the road (not at the table). He will either fulfill his potential or waste it. I hope he works hard this off season. Bailey and Bowie look awesome and gained a lot of seasoning this season. They will be serious challengers in camp. In addition to a healthy OL, the Percy Harvin factor will also generate improved OL play. PH stretches the field horizontally like no other player. I like seeing Bailey out there as the 6th OL (TE). But I’m dribbling spittle at the thought of 4WR’s split wide and the Beast in the backfield. That forces D to play small with only 6 in the box and a single high Safety. All our WR’s have only 1 man to beat. PH sprints in motion. It might be a hand off so at least 1 LB cheats to help. No handoff to PH this time. Beast will probably get the ball. 5 OL with only 6 in the box! LB”s cheating up to clog the running lanes. But it’s a play action fake! And our 4 WR’s are everywhere – short, middle, long and PH streaking across behind the LB’s drawing the Safety. The Beast will be back over 1500 and our OL will be awesome. And our offense will be glorious!!!

    • Robert says:

      I don’t think we spend a lot of Draft capital on the OL unless a ridiculously good tackle falls. Kelvin Benjamin is my dream pick at #32. RW’s ball placement skills are off the charts. KB is a great high pointer/hands catcher. That is a lethal combination that would impact our offense massively, especially in red zone efficiency…just throw it at the cross bar and let KB go get it! But I doubt he will be available. Donald and Hageman will likely be gone, as well. But I would be elated with either player at #32!

      • Kyle says:

        The main knock on Benjamin (at least the obvious one) is about is drops which are usually caused by a lack of concentration. I think most teams would look at this weakness is something that they can definitely fix and after his scores at the combine are in, he’ll go top 20. I think our chances of getting Donald are higher.

        • Robert says:

          Agreed…but I wan-m, I wan-m, I wan-m! Donald would be a great score. I could see us drafting a tackle at #32 if the right guy dropped. PC hedged about Okung’s foot problems. Hopefully, he can get healthy this off-season. At this stage, I think PCJS have clearly completed the rebuild they began 4 years ago. Now I think it is draft the BPA within the context of needs relevant to CAP concerns…Win Forever, baby! We are spending too much CAP on WR’s, DL and secondary. I expect us to draft prospects and groom the cost-effective replacements.

  25. Attyla the Hawk says:

    I’m not sure the OG class is THAT horrible.

    Richardson has been a big disappointment for sure. I thought he looked great early, even dominant. I’ll say I missed on him badly. Better competition just lit him up hardcore.

    I do think Jackson will start day 1. I don’t think he’s a fit for our scheme as he’s more of a power/man blocking type guard.

    Yankey — meh. Not infatuated with him.

    Su’a-Filo looks like this years’ Kyle Long. I’d have to think he or Zach Martin would have been our plan A options. Martin has elevated himself into the late teens/20s consideration. Of course every year 2-3 guys projected in that range fall out of round 1. Martin could be one of those guys we scuttle a deal on the table for if he falls. And I wouldn’t strike Su’a-Filo off the possible candidates for us at 32. Although I do think he would translate to a ‘pocket of talent’ in the 40-50 range. One of 4 or 5 guys we’d have taken at 32 but trade down to cull that field later.

    I’d add 3 other names that I’d consider out there as good additions.

    Brandon Thomas – Clemson.

    He is more of a OT than Carpenter was, although I think he’s projected to OG in the NFL. He does have good height and arm length and has manned the LT position this year. I would say physically speaking he’s the most suitable talent for manning either the OT or OG spots. I hoped for him to be available at the end of round 4 and he still could be. Although he’s distinguished himself at the Senior Bowl he might go higher than that now. He’s one of those solid players like the good UW OL prospects who would go round 3 and 4 and have a 10 year career with a pro bowl or two. Doesn’t get the publicity on an OL that is otherwise empty of talent. I’d watch out for him.

    Chris Watt – ND

    Plays next to Martin. Became really interested in him while watching Martin footage. Isn’t a special player (hence the consideration as a day 3 guy). But he’s similar to Yankey a very solid technician with good mobility and power. He’s definitely a guy we could plug right into the OL treadmill and expect similar success to Bowie/Bailey. If we were considering Yankey, I’d say Watt is a preferable plan B.

    Zach Fulton – Tennessee

    He plays alongside Ja’Wuan James on the right side. He is nimble with good footwork and a solid anchor. He moves fluidly and creates a lot of push at the point of attack. He cut blocks effectively when asked. Very good day 3 prospect.

    Ultimately, if we’re looking at improving the starters — then that’s going to be Bowie and Bailey. I’m actually excited to see this competition play out. Because I think it’ll be a real battle. This will be their second year and should be the launching point of their competitive component to the roster. Whomever we bring in, is going to be less that fully functional due to the nature of the system.

    There is however several very good players not on the day 1/day 2 docket who will be very good prospects to add to the treadmill. I would say Thomas, due to his versatility, would be the alpha prospect of this group. Thomas could just as easily be our RT backup and swing OG.

    This is a decent draft to reload the treadmill. In that way, it’s not a horrible draft. If a team is looking for headliner talent on the interior — not a good draft.

  26. Kyle says:

    I think it is really important to look at overall draft strengths and weaknesses when looking at these projections. Even if a team need is at OL, you also need to have good prospects in the draft that you think are better (or better in the future) options than what you currently have. Rob was spot on when he said the draft for interior lineman this year was really weak. Obviously a lot of tackles are going to go in round one (because people fall in love with LTs like they do for QBs), but I think the draft looks a lot deeper on the DL and at WR.

    Obviously the Seahawks can win without a dominant tall #1 WR (this past Super Bowl proves it), so they don’t NEED to follow that general convention. However, because the WR class is so deep this year, I think it’s extremely likely that some really talented guys slip into the 2nd and 3rd round that we take just because there is a need there and it also provides lots talent for the pick value.

  27. Richard says:

    I have tried to wrap my mind around the whole Carpenter/Sweezy thing for quite some time now . Many a game I wanted Cable fired and the guard positions filled by anybody else. Countless blown assignments and penalties. I’m thinking now that we’ve come so far we have to see it through. If Carpenter can become that unbeatable mass on the left and Sweezy the smooth athletic second level hitman it will of been worth it.

    • Jon says:

      I think that perhaps that we won a SB with it, then we see that it has been worth it. This is such a great time to be a Seahawk fan can’t wait to be completely shocked at what they do in the draft, if nothing else I am glad that PCJS know there players better than any of us, and know what they want in a player when we do not. I am done questioning them in the draft. Yes they will have misses and failures, but you know that miss will be directly in succession with a ridiculous success such as Thomas, Chancellor, Maxwell, Sherman (I just listed the entire secondary ha!), Wagner, Wright, Baldwin, Wilson, Lynch (in trade), Harvin (SV made it worth every penny), changing Bryant to 5tech, getting Clem to play at an amazing level, making Sweeze a starting RG in one camp (I hold hope). Okung, Bennett (when nobody wanted to pay him his $). This is an elite front office and they can hit in early, late draft as well as FA on the cheap and trades.

    • Robert says:

      I predict Carp works his ass off this off season and shows up to camp in shape…stronger and quicker. Bailey and Bowie are well seasoned for rookies with good upside. I am curious to see if PCJS pay the Russian or let the kids slug it out. I bet Sweezy will work hard on his off-season goals, as well. I think our OL will be much improved next year. I am concerned with the health of Okung, though (foot).

  28. Madmark says:

    The only concern I have with the OL is LG spot. I’m not sold on James Carpenter as the best starter and with just 1 more year on his contract he could be gone after it. I think Paul McQuinstan is gone for cap reasons and I like to bring back Breno who I think shows the nasty physical side of this OL. I’m not sure the market would be so kind to him and he’s bounced around enough that I think a 3 year contract could be done. I like Bailey, Bowie, and Jean Pierre they will continue to push the competition and provide backup for another year if they don’t break in to the starting lineup.
    Basically picking at 32 we are last in 1st round or 1st in the second round depending on how you view it. If Zack Martin was to hopefully fall here. I think he’d fit right into LG or doing as Paul Mcquistan did, but he isn’t going to drop to us. Like all the arguments about Brandon Coleman just needing some coaching I could say the same about a Xavier Su’a- Filo from UCLA. He could step in and push Carpenter for that left guard spot and if not be ready to push him out the next year once his contract is up. Cable has done and a amazing job with what they have given him and I expect better results with at least 1 more talented guy.
    Was reading an article about Bennett and that we may not be able to sign him with how much he’s looking for. A named that poped up was Everson Griffin FA from good old Minnesota who is built much like Bennett. I am so curious at what players will be cap casualties and how the market played out last year to help us and what it will do this year. Trust me Brandon Coleman will be there at pick 64 I truly believe that.

    • Kyle says:

      I don’t think I’m ready to say that Brandon Coleman will be there at 64 until the combine is over. If he can run in the low 4.5′s (or even high 4.4′s) then teams will start to fall in love with him as a super high ceiling prospect. The only way he can slip is if he doesn’t really stand out in what is a great class for WRs. I think it’s possible he is there at 64, but I’m not willing to commit until after the combine (because so many teams put so much stock into that – looking at you Raiders).

      I think Zack Martin would be a great pick for us if he’s there. I tentatively agree with Rob that our offensive line will be fine if they stay healthy. Key word there. If. This line hasn’t proven it can stay healthy except for most of 2012 in which case it didn’t even play that great (ya, lots of that was the guard play). It would be great to have a guy who can play multiple spots on the line, but with a focus to develop him as a LG. Basically like a McQuiston, but better in every way (younger, cheaper, more talented).

      Not saying we need to target OL in the early rounds, but we really don’t NEED to target anything in the early rounds (although I definitely would prefer somebody on the DL because of the cap and age situation going on there and I’d like to collect as much young talent there as possible).

      • Madmark says:

        I have to say this. I thought Kris Durhamn a 4th round pick and crash for this team. I see it with Brandon Coleman all over again and the worst part is Kris had better stats. I wouldn’t take the chance on Coleman until the end of the 2nd round and if I had a 3rd round pick I wait till then but I don’t so end of round 2 and hope it doesn’t take him 2 years to breack out like Tate or crash like Durhamn.

  29. Kenny Sloth says:

    SDB my Valentine.

  30. Kenny Sloth says:

    That DT from New York could be an option to replace Mebane if we go that route. His name escapes me, but he has been very consistent throughout his career and is a monster of a man. Provides excellent run stuffing and decent pass rush from a 1 tech spot.

    He also could have benefited from playing with so many pass rushers that demand attention. A prove it deal could be in order.

  31. Hay stacker509 says:

    Excerpt from espn about the steelers going tall wr in first round. Funny thing is they mention Evans and Benjamin but not even a shimmer of Coleman… Decoy perhaps or is he just turned off by teams due to poor tape and qb throwing his way?

    The obvious missing piece on offense is a rangy wide receiver, and the Steelers may not get a better chance to provide Roethlisberger with one while he is still in his prime.

    The draft that Colbert said is as deep as any he has seen in 30 years is particularly flush with wide receivers. There are tall ones such as Texas A&M’s Mike Evans and Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin — each is listed as at least 6-foot-5 — and there also appears to be a handful in the 6-2, 6-3 range who could be early-round selections.

  32. Stuart says:

    In my opinion, the mind set of James Carpenter is what needs to be unraveled, and well before the draft. Big James is in the last year of his rookie contract. His number I think is around 2.4. Whether he gets cut or not, Carp is going to get paid next year, a lot of money, by our team or another team.

    Key issue; is James Carpenter motivated to stay in Seattle and play for the best organization in all of pro sports who just won the Super Bowl and a budding Dynasty or play in a different city? So far every camp Carpenter has reported out of shape, heavy (he looks fat to me-man boobs-when I watch the training camp at the VMAC) and lethargic. When I watch him, he looks semi-bored, just going through the motions. I know he is a laid back guy, just saying.

    There will be two points in James Carpenter career in the NFL where he should be motivated to come to camp in shape, and ready to roll. The first time will be next season reporting to training camp playing for a new contract and the 2nd time will be when he is at the end of his career trying for another season and one last contract.

    The fact is James Carpenter will make a lot of money somewhere. I would love to see James Carpenter report to training camp in shape, trimmed down and ready to roll. If I were the GM, if he doesn’t report just like that, he would be cut at some point in camp or the pre-season. It’s not a matter if but when. It would happen when it’s best for the organization regarding the time frame.

    Some people just are not motivated by money and never try very hard. James could be great if he had just 10% of Russell’s motivation. I have never seen Carpenter exhibit the desire to be great. He seems to have settled on being just good enough. Like a student who could get straight A’s but is satisfied with C-. Just good enough will still pay him $2 M a year somewhere.

    I suspect PC/JS already know the answer and are planing accordingly.

    • Robert says:

      If Carp shows up fat next year, I believe he will be immediately traded for whatever we can get. PCJS will send an important message. They let him slide the last 2 years because of injuries. This year, he has his off-season assignment and better do it…

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I have to disagree that Carpenter will make a lot of money on any team. His biggest payday is behind him. I was actually surprised to see him back and playing in the superbowl. I like him when he is healthy and motivated, but how often will that be? There are other players who want that spot.

  33. smitty1547 says:

    Does anyone think we might try to pick up Martin? Pete has to know him well being a Stanford guy.