Why the Seahawks had their best off-season in years

May 15th, 2022 | Written by Rob Staton

John Schneider & Pete Carroll set the team up for future success with a productive off-season

The draft is already a couple of weeks ago and we’re into the quiet part of the year where very little happens. From Friday, I’m taking a family vacation but before then, I wanted to review where I think the roster is at. I’m also working to arrange a very interesting interview to hopefully take place before I go away — and if not, certainly in the very near future. So stay tuned…

Quarterback position? No panic

I’ve seen people reflecting on Seattle’s situation as concerning but I simply don’t agree. It is what it is. The moment this team dealt Russell Wilson they embraced a rebuild, whether they wish to refer to it as that publicly or not.

This is the reality of where this team is. The core of the roster has departed. It’s not just Wilson (who let’s be honest, carried this team for a fair few years). Bobby Wagner and Duane Brown have also departed. Their best cornerback — D.J. Reed — has also moved on.

This is a seminal moment for the franchise. It’s not a shuffling of the deck. It’s a revamp and an attempt to create a new foundation.

In this off-season alone they were not going to repair the trenches, add talent to the secondary, replace key veteran starters and find a franchise quarterback. Especially not in this mediocre quarterback draft class.

The Seahawks did what they had to do. They created building blocks by drafting two young tackles who could form the future of the offensive line. They added two more pass rushers and a dynamic offensive weapon. They drafted talented cornerbacks to add to the competition and found value in the seventh round at receiver.

They’ve set the table for the future which will include, eventually, a new young signal caller. This way, there’s a chance when that player is added he won’t be thrown to the wolves playing with an inadequate supporting cast.

There was simply no justification to force things this year — either situationally or due to the talent available. The draft class called for a foundational build and they executed that in an ideal way.

They simply have to take their lumps in 2022 and give Drew Lock (or Geno Smith) an opportunity to show what they can do. Is it ideal? No. But short of either shocking the world to warrant longer term consideration, it’s what this team has to do.

What other choice did they have? People can argue all they want for drafting someone ‘just’ to have another option on deck. The NFL told you what it thought about this overrated, overhyped class. The media did what they often accuse NFL decision makers of doing — reaching at the most important position.

The Seahawks are perfectly placed. Expectation is low and thus there’s no real pressure to succeed this year. If they perform beyond expectations, it’ll simply be an enjoyable positive. Having two firsts and two second round picks in the 2023 draft also means even if they win more games than predicted, they’ll still be able to trade into range to draft a quarterback if they want to.

If they are bad and struggle to win games — then perfect. No need to trade up.

The 2023 quarterback class is incredibly intriguing. Although C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young get most of the attention — Will Levis and Tyler Van Dyke, for me, are the top two quarterback prospects as of today. Both players are incredibly exciting. Plus there’s always a chance more players will emerge as the new college season develops.

Patience will pay off for the fans if they’re prepared to be realistic about what this year is. It’s year-one of a rebuild.

Further to that — having a proper competition at quarterback speaks to Carroll re-establishing his core philosophy. If he wants to get back to basics in terms of his vision for this team, this is precisely what he needs. There are several positions where players will need to battle in camp to win a job — including under center.

Again — the Seahawks have played this one perfectly. They needed a long-term vision, not short-term fixes. They appear to be embracing that.

It’s also possible they add to the competition. If the 49ers and Browns cut Jimmy Garoppolo or Baker Mayfield — for the right price, either would likely be welcomed into the camp battle.

It’s not critical that they add though. This is a year to take stock, evaluate, develop and gain experience. It will not be a bad thing if the Seahawks have a rough win/loss record and position themselves to get a quality young quarterback (or Alabama’s brilliant young pass rusher Will Anderson) in the next draft.

The trenches

Defensively, the Seahawks still lack that killer ‘game-wrecker’ that the Niners and Rams possess. I suspect they’re mindful of that but you can’t just magic one into existence.

If nothing else, they’ve given themselves a couple of shots to find a solution. Darrell Taylor had a promising first year and has the physical tools to develop into a game-wrecker. We’ll see if he can take a further step in year two.

Now, they’ve added Boye Mafe — who is an incredible, elite-level athlete.

If nothing else — there’s at least a chance they can both compete to get 10-sacks each. Neither Michael Bennett or Cliff Avril were game-wreckers as individuals but they combined to produce the same kind of impact as one elite individual. Perhaps Taylor and Mafe can do the same?

With Uchenna Nwosu, Alton Robinson and Tyreke Smith rotating in — there’s a chance to produce Seattle’s best pass rush results for some time.

Meanwhile, the search for a fearsome star will go on. For now at least, it’s hard to quibble with the path they’ve taken. This is a major improvement compared to the 2019, 2020 and 2021 off-seasons where they made a point of prioritising fixing the pass rush and simply failed to deliver.

The interior D-line still feels like a deep group rather than a scary group. There weren’t a ton of options in the draft or free agency though and a young, dynamic interior pass rusher has virtually become an endangered species.

Shelby Harris will provide leadership and impact. I suspect he will produce better results than people expect and develop into a key contributor — if not a key difference maker in some games next year. Poona Ford is a solid, consistent starter and Al Woods was a revelation in 2021. Quinton Jefferson is very capable of providing rotational strength and we’ll see if Bryan Mone can develop further.

Overall this was a positive off-season for the defensive front.

The O-line needed a refresh and while there’s still plenty of work to do, this was equally a solid start.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Charles Cross as a top-10 pick as you will know — but I also appreciate the thought process. Plenty of others (Daniel Jeremiah, Lance Zierlein) viewed Cross similarly — so I wasn’t alone. I’m not going to complain about the team launching a rebuild by investing in a young left tackle though. He needs to get stronger and a pro-weight and dietary program will help.

I was, however, a huge fan of Abraham Lucas. I think he has every chance to develop into one of the best players from the 2022 draft and leave people wondering, ‘how the heck did he last to round three?’ in years to come.

The idea of having bookend tackles for the next 8-10 years is the stuff of fantasy usually. The Seahawks have a chance, now, to make it a reality.

Hopefully Damien Lewis will return to right guard after a year of being messed around. I’m unsure about his fit in this blocking scheme but he’s a very talented player and deserves a chance to become a long-term fixture.

Gabe Jackson played poorly last year and was being dumped by the Raiders for a reason. Frankly, I’d rather give Phil Haynes a shot at left guard or one of the other tackles (Stone Forsyth or Jack Curhan). The Jackson trade was indicative of Seattle’s former ways — band-aids, ill-advised trades and making short-term decisions to try and turn a so-so team into an unrealistic true contender. Jackson’s best days are in the past.

Center also remains a point of contention. It’s hard to look at the list of players they’ve passed on at the position over the last few years. Austin Blythe is an OK stop-gap given his understanding of the scheme. Yet it’s vital the Seahawks keep building up their line. Don’t stop at the two tackles. Be prepared to invest further draft stock at guard and center if the opportunity arises — or make a free agent splash next year.

Skill positions

The Seahawks are relatively strong in this area and can boast an assortment of weapons.

They have acquired a running back with star potential in Ken Walker. Rashaad Penny ended last season in terrific form. For the first time in years, there’s reason to believe Seattle could have a potent running attack in 2022.

At receiver, a contract extension for D.K. Metcalf feels inevitable at this stage. It’s worth remembering that as good as Metcalf has been — there’s still room for improvement and another level to be reached. Even so, he gives Seattle a player of immense talent that many teams in the league covet. He also seems completely committed to the Seahawks (unlike, for example, Deebo Samuel in San Francisco).

The fact Seattle can pair Metcalf with Tyler Lockett — a consistent, quality, established player and a consummate professional — is a strength many take for granted.

However — the modern day NFL often dictates that you’re only as good as your third receiver. The Seahawks do have a good group of young targets but they need someone to elevate into that role. Preferably it’ll be Dee Eskridge given the price they paid for him — but the two receivers they added late in the draft provided great value plus Freddie Swain gives the Seahawks a nice camp competition.

It’ll also be interesting to see if Noah Fant can provide ‘third target’ value. He has the physical tools and the top-20 pick upside to be a lot more than he has been so far in the NFL. This is a big year for him. If he takes a step forward, the Seahawks would have an excellent group of skill players.

Secondary

I’m still uncomfortable with the amount Seattle is spending at safety. Jamal Adams’ average salary is $17.6m and Quandre Diggs is at $13m. It’s simply too much.

I won’t go too far into the whole Adams debate again but by this point it’s clear the trade was a bust. They paid far too much to acquire him and doubling down on the salary has now lumbered the Seahawks with an expensive white elephant. Going into year three — they need to find a way for Adams to be consistently effective, max out what he actually does well and keep him healthy.

Even then, I doubt they’ll get anything close to ‘value’ given what they’ve paid and will continue to pay. If the situation doesn’t improve in 2022, I hope they’ll be prepared to chalk this one down to experience and move on. Adams became something of a figure of fun during the 2021 season. In the past the Seahawks have been prepared to accept situations and draw a line under them. For the sake of the player and the team — if 2022 is more of the same, a parting is best.

Still, it’s worth giving him a chance to turn a corner this year. The defensive tweaks, on paper, seem ideally suited to him. He’s at his best in a more aggressive 3-4 system where you can disguise pressure. Sean Desai loved to use three-safety sets in Chicago and having him essentially work as a ‘deathbacker’ — taking away the coverage issues and enhancing his attack-dog qualities — will be the best way to promote what he does well and mask the weaknesses.

They need him flying to the ball-carrier and getting into the backfield. They need to do it in a more creative way than they did in 2020 but they also can’t have him on the periphery of everything like they did in 2021.

Diggs, on the other hand, is clearly a very good football player who unlike Adams has found a level of consistent performance and a structured role and fit in Seattle. He’s expensive and coming off an injury but will likely continue to perform at a level that delivers production.

At cornerback — I think the Seahawks did the right thing. They weren’t in a position to draft one of the top two corners so they added upside and potential.

Artie Burns is familiar to Desai and has a first round physical profile. Both he and Coby Bryant will challenge to start in camp — along with Tre Brown (if healthy) and Sidney Jones. Bringing back Justin Coleman gives the team an upgrade at nickel, too.

Meanwhile, they can work on developing Tariq Woolen.

Sure — they lack an established, proven presence. Yet this is a collection of defenders from which a couple of decent starters can emerge. It’s been a while since the Seahawks had proper depth at cornerback and an intriguing competition. That used to be a staple of Carroll’s team. It’s back, finally. Training camp will be fascinating to watch as these players compete to start.

Linebacker

There’s not a great deal to say here given the new scheme and the likelihood of increased three-safety sets meaning there’s less emphasis on the position. They’ll be able to feature Jordyn Brooks prominently and then work in a second linebacker for early downs. Cody Barton played a lot better at the end of last season and will likely get that starting role. It’s still plausible they could bring in a Kwon Alexander type to compete. That would be an attractive proposition.

Final thoughts

The Seahawks achieved two very important things this off-season. They reconnected to the core identity of Carroll’s preference. You may personally disagree with it. Yet while ever he remains in charge of the team, it stands to reason that he’s best served leading it how he sees fit.

There’s only one thing worse than having a Head Coach with a vision you don’t personally approve of. That’s a coach without a vision, or with a muddled philosophy.

The Seahawks now appear to have renewed direction and focus.

Competition across the board is back on the menu. They have the pieces to create a terrific running game that connects to the defense. They can play the kind of complementary football they desire.

They also created the foundation for the next era of Seahawks football by focusing on the trenches in this draft, adding pieces at key positions and setting the table for the future.

Frankly, I couldn’t care less what the win/loss record is in 2022. The Seahawks are on the right path. By this time next year — with the resources they have available to them — they can put themselves in position to steadily climb.

Simply put, the Seahawks just had their best off-season in years.

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122 Responses to “Why the Seahawks had their best off-season in years”

  1. Easthawk says:

    Great read Rob! Definitely just gonna be an easier watch this season, regardless of outcome (Granted F the Rams), having lower expectation. For me, I’m more intrigued about how our D does use Jamaal, and how good Walker III is gonna be on his rookie year. Go Hawks 9-8 record!

  2. TomLPDX says:

    Nice summary of the current roster and situation. I plan to just enjoy the season with no preconceived notions about how they will do. I just want them to be competitive and continually improving as a team.

    I also hope Lock gets the QB1 position and we get to see if he can rise to the position. If not, we have some good choices next year.

    Looking forward to see who your surprise interview will be and if I don’t get a chance, have safe travels to Florida and enjoy your time with your family. We all really appreciate everything you’ve done with and for this community.

  3. Mick says:

    Nice read Rob, thank you! I tell myself that in a parallel universe Pete and John could have been so sold on Lucas that they would have taken him at 9. So for me it’s like we had Cross falling in the 40s, which is more than reasonable. I hope that the season will bring us less experiments and more playing the strengths of our guys, and while I doubt we will reach the playoffs, at least we will have fun. I would be very surprised though to see this team get a top 3 pick next year (without trading up for it), we’re still better than that. And I’d love to see one of the new receivers emerging and Dee also having a good season so we can throw all these receivers up front and nobody knows who they should cover first.

  4. Hawk Finn says:

    The draft haul redeemed what was actually a pretty dreadful offseason in my opinion. I’m so tired of the overpriced fringe players in free agency. Hopefully this reset goes more smoothly than 2017.

  5. Hawksorhiking says:

    I just want to see us beat the Niners for bragging rights. But, I also don’t care about the record and just want to watch some fun games and look to the future!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I want two more wins against the Niners this year

      Always fun 😂

      • Sea Mode says:

        Spoiling Russ’ Broncos debut would be fun too!

        • Hawksorhiking says:

          That would absolutely be fantastic. I was planning to go to the game, but my brother is out of town and honestly I make the drive from Portland to the game to hang out with him.

  6. James says:

    The two best QBs of our common memory are Tom Brady (duh) and Drew Brees. Neither had measurables that could even be measured. Both as un-athletic as a QB could be, and with average to below-average arm strength. Neither went R!. Yet they possessed elite accuracy, but most important, were (are) all-time decision-makers with the ability to read the defense and make a decision in the blink of an eye. If the Seahawks are to win another Super Bowl, John must find that guy who sees and decides and delivers and leads game-winning drives in the 4th quarter of the playoffs. He found that in Russell Wilson, and allegedly his two nighest-rated QBs of the past ten years were Mahomes and Allen. Which of these 2023 guys has the right stuff will be John’s essential decision. He absolutely MUST do it again.

  7. Blitzy the Clown says:

    Nothing against the looks ahead to 2023, but this is the stuff I love to read. I’m much more concerned with where we are now than where we might be able to go next year. I still love it all, but I’m psyched for OTAs. I’m psyched for TC. I’m psyched for preseason. Let’s fire it up!

    The Seahawks did what they had to do

    Indeed. Simply put, they ignored the temptation/pressure to replace Wilson NOW with a prospect from the worst QB class in a decade, and instead focused on adding talent at other positions of need. And for that, they’ve re-earned my trust going into this season.

    Sure — they lack an established, proven [DB] presence. Yet this is a collection of defenders from which a couple of decent starters can emerge.

    The CB situation reminds me of 2011!

    The Seahawks now appear to have renewed direction and focus.

    This is why I’m so optimistic for this season. Not in a traditional sense where success is measured by W/L or post season achievements, but rather in watching a new generation of future stars and starters, a new team core much broader and more robust than the team core it replaces, emerge and define itself.

    That’s where my expectations for this team are.

    Frankly, I couldn’t care less what the win/loss record is in 2022.

    Amen!

    Have a great holiday with your family Rob! Cheers!

  8. Paul says:

    Really nice summary!

    I’m definitely pleased with this clean slate and new direction for the team. No more of the good-but-not-great, drama-filled years we’ve had lately. It’ll be fun watching Lock and Smith complete and how the other position groups shake out in late summer and early fall. You just know there will be players that step up and become building blocks for the future.

    I’m also sort of oddly happy that Russell Wilson is no longer on the team. First in the sense that the current status quo of him and PCJS wasn’t sustainable, so one side had to move on. But also second just that he is just so full of cringe, clout-chasing moments and became impossible to relate to. Yeah, if he is a franchise QB you look over that. But it’s much more fun watching corny clips and memes of him pop up on social media when he’s *not* on your team versus having to grin and bear it. On the flip side, I played mini golf the other day in Bellevue at the same place/time as Drew Lock right in front of him and his fiancé and friend playing a round as well. Didn’t really try and talk to him (I was on a date myself), but caught onto his vibe a bit and he seemed like a good down-to-earth guy. Would be someone who you could imagine having small talk with and not feeling weird like you (potentially) would with Wilson. I wish him luck since he would provide more potential than Geno. Hopefully he can take a step forward.

    As a side note – Rob I noticed on twitter you had a bit of a moment there asking questions to that football manager. Good on you for asking the tough questions! Guy couldn’t handle the heat 🤷‍♂️

    • Rob Staton says:

      As a side note – Rob I noticed on twitter you had a bit of a moment there asking questions to that football manager. Good on you for asking the tough questions! Guy couldn’t handle the heat 🤷‍♂️

      Thank you, appreciate it.

      For those wondering what Paul is referring to, here’s the link: https://twitter.com/robstaton/status/1525035214816280578

      • Charles Hirsch says:

        Wow! Nice job standing your ground and asking the tough questions.

      • Scot04 says:

        Loved this; I wish we could have seen anything similar over the last 2years with Pete Carroll.
        Sometimes you get the answers just by the person avoiding the question.
        Tough questions should be asked, great to see someone trying to get the answers fans want to know.
        Awsome Job.

      • RugbyLock says:

        We need you in the interview room with Pete and not the softball pitchers they have in there now!

    • HawkfaninMT says:

      Agreed… I saw this on Twitter as well and wished there was someone pushing PC/JS like that

      • Crosljam says:

        Agree with the line of questioning and being right to ask the hard questions that fans want answered, but I noticed the the club then refused to offer an interview after the next game.

        Whether that’s a one off warning shot or they’ve drawn a line, but that’s the fear for too many journalists, push too hard and they’re on the outside, not part of the next story.

        Rob’s completely right to have pushed, but you can understand why others don’t.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Why, what happens if you don’t get an interview?

          Do they tow your car?

          Are you incapable of writing about a team without bland quotes?

          • Crosljam says:

            Not at all, to my knowledge you have no direct ties with the Seahawks and still provide a huge amount of detailed coverage regardless of direct access to the team.

            I assume (and from inside the industry you’ll know a lot better than I will) some are happy with the bland quotes from asking the easy questions because it keep the pay checks rolling in.

          • HawkfaninMT says:

            Brian Schmetzer (SOunders FC Coach) last night:

            Jada (Journalist): “Brian, I hope you accept this question…. (Potenetial criticism with question)… Thank you.”

            Coach Schmetzer: “I will always accept your questions Jada, no matter how challenging they are. That’s your job, and I have to accept that. I think you do a good job” (Proceeds to answer the question)

            Moral to coaches and GMs… Be more like Brian Schmetzer

        • Sea Mode says:

          I mean, if I understand correctly, he didn’t even have the guts to hold a post-match press conference after the previous match and THEN still had the nerve to refuse to answer critical questions about his team’s performance and direction on the season.

  9. Elmer says:

    Very good assessment, Rob. I too am looking forward to across-the-board competition. Blair and Amadi have a fight on their hands, don’t they?

  10. Ashish says:

    Enjoy your vacation with family!!! Well deserved break.

  11. Hoggs41 says:

    Another topic to debate is what they could be looking for in free agency next year. Seems like left guard or center could be a target. Of course Nelson would be nice but the Colts wont let him go. Seems like Elgton Jenkins could be a solid target for LG.

  12. Bankhawk says:

    Rob, that was one sweet piece of writing! At every turn in your analysis, you epitomized the very quality that seems so lacking in the popular sports press: a sense of balance and perspective!
    Kudos to you for that. Have a great time away with The Fam. We’ll hold the fort while you’re away, and look forward to some lively observations to come once the camp-battles start to crystallize.
    Cheers, mate! And thank you-always.

  13. Jordan says:

    Excellent read. A measured and nuanced evaluation of the situation. A 3-4 year process where not everything was going to be addressed in one offseason.

    -People whining about the opportunity cost of the Walker pick: whatever you wanted them to address instead with that pick can be addressed in the 2023 offseason, either with the ample cap space or high draft picks. No one would have had any issue with it if you reverse the order in which they selected Walker and Lucas. Whereas you don’t know when a RB like Walker will be staring you in the face again.

    – Pay DK. Not too many huge deals coming up for current Seahawks that you have to worry about. Maybe Taylor depending upon his trajectory, maybe Fant if he blows up, hopefully Cross in 3 years.

    – With 4 picks in the top 60 next season and ample cap space, you’re in a great spot. You could enter the 2023 season:

    QB: 1st round pick ’23
    RB: Walker
    WR: DK, Tyler, Dee
    TE: Fant
    LT: Cross
    LG: FA or ’23 1st or 2nd round
    C: FA or ’23 1st or 2nd round
    RG: Lewis
    RT: Lucas

    A great situation is being set up for the arrival of the QBotf.

    I’d like to see QB and line of scrimmage defensive game wrecker with the ’23 1sts .

    Interior oline and off ball lber with the 2nds

    • oodadoo says:

      Nice comment…Remember – Lots of Free Agent cash to spend next year too…plan on adding 2-3 Game Wrecking defensive studs via 2023 draft and 2023 FAs – Plus it is looking more like drafting a high-end receiver every two years makes sense. Cultivate them, keep every other one, and upgrade via trading off one occasionally for a big return too.

    • SpennyDunks says:

      We will have a lot of cap space. I like the idea of adding some veteran studs on the OL to the young talent already there, and using the draft to address QB and keep looking for game wreckers on D.

  14. oodadoo says:

    Looking at the Hawks’ schedule, I believe we are looking at 8 wins, so we get an early to mid-round drafting position – plus, looking at the Bronco schedule – 9 wins tops (new head coach, new coordinators make for unexplained losses) – we will get Denver’s mid-first and mid-second round pics. Plus the rest of our slate is there and all early to mid pics for their rounds as well – cool.

    Thus – If we feel we got a haul this year, what about next year!

    Oh, and there is a LOT to spend on ‘select’ free agents next year too. A LOT more than we had this year. If JSPC kicks butt again next off-season (really, it would take some major screwing up to not have a PEAK 2023 off-season) we are on our way to Contending…give the team all of 2023 to find their way and 2024 feels realistic for the Hawks to be a real threat for the Lombardi trophy.

    They gotta do it right. But if they showed us anything this off-season, they remember how to build.

  15. Palatypus says:

    I would like to thank Sean O’Hara for pounding the table on GMFB about the Giants criminal negligence on the offensive line supporting Saquon Barkley. I think that’s why they took Evan Neal at 7 instead of Charles Cross.

    So, how do you feel today about getting Tyreke Smith at 158 and not Trevor Penning at 9?

    And I really wanted Cole Strange there in at 40, but the Patriots ruined that. Instead I got Boye Mafe and I’m crying in my pillow .

    I’m thinking the next year of our rebuild might look a little like what the Patriots did this year. People might be thinking, “huh, what?” But then you break it down and you see that it all fits a long term plan.

    Saw this breakdown by Brett Kollmann called “Fine I’ll do a Cole Strange” breakdown and thought it was really cool.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o41tGtv4DrE&list=WL&index=6

    • Jordan says:

      The longer we go without Tom Brady being there, the more it’ll clarify whether or not there is/was some “Patriots Way” that other organizations should aspire to and that should be revered; or if the answer always has been and always will be Tom Brady. And in actuality they’re just like any other franchise.

      With the way they’ve drafted and what they’ve done in free agency recently I’m betting on that shine coming off of the operation.

      • Palatypus says:

        So, no confidence in Bailey Zappe?

        • Jordan says:

          Lol

          Heck, minimal confidence in Belichick and Mac Jones in a conference that will have peak Mahomes, Watson, Allen, Herbert, Burrow and Jackson for the forseeable future.

          • Palatypus says:

            But, you do agree that the video makes a fair point, right?

            Strange has rare ability to control a 3-tech tackle and the addition of Tyquan Thornton Go to the 8:15 point where they are talking about Alex Gibbs.

            Then go to the 11:00 mark where he’s talking about the rest of the draft. Tyquan Thornton? Not a good fit for a lot of teams. But for the Patriots? Yeah.

            That’s how I think we might proceed next year.

  16. samprassultanofswat says:

    Rob: Tons of excellent information.

    Couple of points. I absolutely LOVE the idea of going with Drew Lock(Praying Lock beats out Smith). To me it’s a win/win. Maybe JS/PC find Lock IS the franchise QB of the future. To me Lock is a Ryan Tannehill type QB. But let’s say Lock has a bad season and the Seahawks have a bad record. It’s still a win. With a bad record they could possibly find themselves in a position to draft one of the top QBs in the 2023.

    John Schneider also took a flyer on QB Kaleb Eleby(undrafted free agent). I like the Eleby signing.

    The Hawks did a lot of trench work. But their is still more to be done. With two 1s and two 2s they are in a position to go to work in the trenches in 2023. . JS/PC need a run stuffing DT. They also need some work down in the interior of the offensive line. Even though the Hawks don’t have an Aaron Donald or a Nick Bosa type. They do have plenty of YOUNG defensive talent that can get after the opposing QB. They will not have to rely on the old legs of Benson Mayowa and Kerry Hyder to get the job done.

    Rob you mentioned the fact that Sean Desai likes to use three safetys. I like that idea. I am starting to like the idea of playing Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos the first game of the season. Sean Desai and Karl Scott can give Russell Wilson a ton of looks that he might not scene. Russell Wilson likes quote. “The separation is in the preparation.” It’s pretty hard to prepare when you haven’t got a chance at this new look 2022 version of the Seahawks defense. Especially with different personnel and new secondary coaches.

    • 12th chuck says:

      Its good we play denver first. I hope whatever defense we play now; it is simple enough to be successful, early and often, and not start out as an historically bad defense

    • Dregur says:

      I don’t think Kaleb Eleby got signed.

      • Hawkdawg says:

        I think they like the QB they actually signed better–Levi Lewis. Interesting tape on that guy, although the odds they strike lightning twice with a Lilliputian are pretty low.

        • 10to80 says:

          lol…lilliputian.

          There’s a good interview on his Twitter (Layette Fox, I believe) that’s pretty fun. The kid’s serious, and believes he has a shot.

          (someone once joked it was good WIlson didn’t win the SB MVP because he was too short for the rides at DisneyWorld)

  17. J says:

    Two players at each of the premium positions sans QB.

    No first round LB/S/G BS. Hope that continues.

  18. Kyle says:

    Great read, as always, Rob.

    This is mostly just my impression as a fan for forty years, but it seems to me that teams tend to fail big, and beyond expectations, when the coach’s vision is lost or out of sync with the program. 2021 felt like that in a small way for the Seahawks, that once Wilson was hurt all the incompatible mixed signals and lack of consistent vision were exposed. That’s definitely what happened when Tim Ruskell got his fingerprints all over Holmgren’s machine after the 2005 season. I also think that was the source of the 49ers problems between Seifert and Harbaugh, and after Harbaugh was fired.

    Pete’s plan shines clearly with a lot of competition and depth on the squad, and a tough physical team that knows how to run the ball and hit hard. When Pete came to town I was skeptical that while his plan might beat Ohio State or Oklahoma it wouldn’t work in the pros, so I definitely had to re-learn what I knew. This just feels right, that the team is back to fitting the front office vision. Even if they don’t reach the same heights, it feels more authentic rebuilding this way.

  19. Ashish says:

    Hopefully new regime identify how to use Adams, if he performs well they can still trade / keep him in certain role. Else part away with Adams before new year (2023) starts to free up cap space for the future.

    • Palatypus says:

      I’m not sure Adams knows how to use Adams. That’s the problem.

      The former staff may have been completely dysfunctional. Or maybe Adams turned into Aaron Currey after he signed here.

      Nobody really knows.

      Give him a year in the new system and make a decision.

    • Kurt Z says:

      Rob

      Looking at this draft, it has all the hallmarks of a GM’s draft, as opposed to an old ball coach with all the power, being suckered into some deal by an old buddy, whether agent/GM. Clear organizational change here, probably came from Jody.

      JS ran this draft no question. The picks fit into PCs philosophy but I don’t think he had any say on the particulars. They are planning for a rebuild and doing it the right way….

      My only question is when are they gonna value the center position again?

  20. Big Mike says:

    Appreciate your as always excellent article Rob. I didn’t like free agency but man this draft has given me good feels and hope for the future. Probably gonna be a tough year but at least we have real hope for 2023 and beyond.
    Enjoy that vacation!

  21. 206 says:

    Thanks Rob. Enjoy your family vacation. Fixing to be a good year for the hawks! Regardless of wins and losses.

  22. SpennyDunks says:

    Great post, Rob.

    If nothing else, there is reason to be excited and tune in, even if we aren’t winning games. Lots of intriguing position battles and competition were some of the most exciting things to follow during the early years of Petes tenure. The last few years became stagnant and boring, even with wins, there was just a lot of predictability.

    For once, I’m really excited to follow this season and see how everything shakes out. In addition to all of the resources we’ll have available as the picture becomes clearer throughout the year, the division between the fan base over things like Adams, Russ and Petes vision can disappear and we can get back to productive discourse.

  23. schuemansky says:

    There is an interesting article on the Seahawks out on the Ringer:

    https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2022/5/12/23067700/seahawks-qb-battle-drew-lock-geno-smith-pete-carroll

    It gives me some hope for our OL and offensive play in general looking forward.

  24. Julian L says:

    Enjoyable post Rob, it has been a nice off season. There are perhaps a couple of moves they might make to help with the evolution between eras.

    It seems to me the defence is maxed out on personnel, it’s neither feasible (who’d come) or necessary to have the blockbuster trade on defence to help a non existent Win Now situation in Seattle. Currently they have steady vets or developing guys on rookie contracts in all positions across the defence.

    On the offense however, i think they could do with a vet Tackle to help in training camp and early season games, until one of the younger guys wins their place on merit. If available near a Vet minimum, Brandon Shell, Darly Williams or Mike Remmers are all players still available in Free Agency.

    With the Center position, perhaps JC Tretter might come to Seattle with Baker Mayfield? Not sure if it’d be the best scenario in the long term, but both players would make the Seahawks pretty competitive in 2022?

    • Rob Staton says:

      They signed Blythe specifically for his knowledge of the scheme and his profile. I see no prospect of them adding Tretter.

      Mayfield may come in but it’s a big old shrug from me. Being competitive in 2022 feels no more or less likely with Baker and even if he did achieve that, it’s not the priority this year to be one or two wins better off (yet still not a contender).

      • Julian L says:

        I agree, as someone who’s been blocking for Chubb and Hunt the past few years, I just prefer Tretter as a player. I think the OL would be a better unit with him in it. I’m very excited by the potential of this OL.

        I’m with you on Mayfield. Not bothered if he comes or not. Above our current QB options though, Pete might think he could be worth another 2 or 3 wins, giving the Seahawks a borderline playoff season, as the rest of the Offense is good, but that won’t necessarily be in the best interest of the team in the long run.

  25. Sea Mode says:

    “Return your 🛒…!” 😂

    TJ McCreight
    @NFLTJ25
    ·21m

    To all 2023 NFL prospects- everything you do is evaluated. Every play dissected. Great effort is noted and discussed. How you treat people that serve your food and clean your toilet is known.
    Every eye roll we find out about.
    Return your shopping carts. Teams dont want jerks.

  26. Sea Mode says:

    Another kind of strange-looking body type for the position:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JimNagy_SB/status/1525463221859123200

  27. pdway says:

    not placing blame – he did absolutely carry the team these past years – but seems pretty clear to me that moving on from Russ has given the team space to do what it’s needed to do for a couple years now.

    I’m also in a good place w the team – next year’s expectations are low, and for once I don’t have to stress about ‘wasting Wilson’s window’, etc. Having the bevy of picks next year also makes me feel good about the team’s ability to start trending upward. It’s gonna be a down year, but it was very much what had to happen.

    • Big Mike says:

      But the question can be asked without the Adams trade and the subsequent 17.5 million dollar per year expenditure on him would they have had the room to do what was necessary without getting rid of Wilson?
      Rhetorical, but worth considering.

      • pdway says:

        your point is valid – but when i said ‘space’ i wasn’t talking about cap space, i meant it more as regarding space for more independent decision-making – meaning that for as long as RW was around, we had at least some reason to try and paper over the warts and make a go of it one more time, etc, even after that was pretty clearly not the right path.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      It was like watching a married couple you like go through a nasty divorce. I think parting with Wilson was needed and is healthier for both parties.

      However we are dependent on Schneider and Carroll to rebuild this team. If they had shown more ability to draft and sign free agents during the last five years, Wilson wouldn’t have left. Can you imagine him behind a rebuilt offensive line with two good running backs, and the star receivers that were already on the team? It would have totally changed the situation.

      instead they spent their draft and money on a series of defensive players who never worked out. Retch. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few bright spots, but not enough to make this team great.

      • pdway says:

        Right – in the bigger picture – the failure to put a SB caliber team around a top-tier QB is a whiff, full-stop – though to be fair, we did at least get there twice, and it’s tough to keep that going. Not many regimes have.

  28. Roy Batty says:

    How much would Baker and Jimmy G demand?

    Jimmy would get decent money. Baker might remain a bit delusional and demand the same.

    One is oft-injured. The other is cancer.

    Hard, hard pass.

    • Big Mike says:

      I’d take Jimmy G if the niners cut him and had to pick up his salary. They won’t though so it’s irrelevant. As for Baker absolutely no way, I’m with you.

      • Roy Batty says:

        But Jimmy G isn’t playing for peanuts.

        He has a winning record and a certain level of draw. I just don’t want them spending any significant funds on a QB.

        As Rob said, let this year play out the way it currently is and sort out the QB room next season.

        And, no to Brees. One Warren Moon situation is enough for my lifetime.

        • Big Mike says:

          That’s why I said “if the 9ers cut him and had to pick up his salary”. Otherwise, 💯 with you.
          And agree, no to Brees. Love Drew from back in his San Diego days when I lived there, but that was then.

  29. Jason says:

    Agreed on everything other than a quibble on Cross: he’s only 21 and has lots of time to build on a frame that’s perfect for added muscle growth. He is going to be exceptional in a couple of years.

    Another minor quibble with Walker. Love the player, kind of wish we went RB next year and used 41 on something that requires more development time (COUGH Jergens COUGH).

    Otherwise, absolutely do not give a crap about this year’s record and just want to see the team build its identity back, and I think this offseason looks like a great step forward in most ways!

    • Osprey says:

      Should top 10 picks require years to develop? The deal is done, but have to wonder what a trade down would have yielded.

      RBs do develop quickly, but I can see the value of one with a years experience in the system to a rookie QB next year. Blitz pick up alone can contribute to avoiding David Carr syndrome.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Technically Jason if you think he needs that time to grow and develop you agree with me. That has been my point on him. That he needs that time and work. Many see him as a finished article and he isn’t. But I didn’t rate him as a fifth round bum. Just not a top 10 pick.

  30. 10to80 says:

    Great write, Rob.

    I’m glad you circled back around on Adams because it’s easy to stop at the bad trade/bad contract and say The End.

    It’s not, hopefully. Maybe the new staff finds his first round ability and schemes it for an advantage(?). Might also be the reason they’re not as worried about LB either in house or the draft.

    Rebuild? Fine. I don’t think anyone at the VMac is thinking that way. It does take time with rookies and turnover to play together. But one thing is possible, Pete’s returning to his philosophy–well written by you–and in so doing, leans into his new coaches, and re-finds his rhythm for motivating guys and getting should-chipped guys to run through the proverbial wall.

    • Jordan says:

      Oh yeah, there’s still a good player in there for sure – still just 26 with 3 Pro Bowls and 1 !st Team All Pro in 5 seasons. Too young for any regression to be physical at this point.

      Up to coaching to put players in a position to succeed. The Jets coaches seemed to had figured it out.

      • Osprey says:

        With multiple injuries to his shoulders, physical regression could indeed be an issue.

  31. Rob Staton says:

    I’m on the Cigar Thoughts podcast this week BTW so keep an eye out for that

  32. Great post, Rob!
    1) I guess it’s DR. Pete Carroll now.
    2) How about Brees for ’22?
    3) Is it possible that the Seahawks could get a serviceable center upgrade once camp cuts start? Perhaps final cuts?
    4) I’d love to see a 2023 centers class run down. How’s that for geeky?

  33. Ukhawk says:

    Even knowing we are in rebuild, it is articles like yours above that gets me excited all over again.

    Here is another one:
    https://sports.mynorthwest.com/1619292/seahawks-waldron-2nd-chance-1st-impression/

    Enjoy the well deserved time off Rob!

  34. Big Mike says:

    In Vegas right now and at the Circa sports book. Odds already up for the week 1 game. Broncos favored by 4.

    • HawkfaninMT says:

      That pool looks incredible in the pics I’ve seen… are you staying at the hotel? Considering gathering my FF league there for draft weekend

    • 10to80 says:

      Can you imagine giving up all that draft capital and only be favored by 4 against that team?

      And then they get to sign him for 55 or 60 million next year? No thanks. I like the new course.

      • Peter says:

        I don’t even get this comment.

        An away team with a new coach in their first game is favored by four and that’s some how a bad thing?

        • Big Mike says:

          Very likely all about the Russ hate. Plenty of it in the Seahawk “fan” base.

          • Peter says:

            Yep.

            Dude got us a ring. Then did NOT go on to do dozens of podcasts about how the other teammates were, how the coach wasn’t great, etc. Then drug this team to several more winning seasons while the defense and run game were on life support. Never played with an OC worth a damn while the rest of the league is doing cart wheels to get their young guns the best OC they can. Got to play with a who’s who of the most abysmal oline combinations i’ve maybe ever seen….

            And John was never going to pay him big money so they, the FO and Wilson, decided to part ways. It’s really not that hard to understand.

            I would 1000% get it if he vocally called out the coach…see the entire LOB….or sat out because he didn’t like the hires/his contract….see Watson…or instead of being a goofus online sent out crap tweets about being traded or had his agent send out manifestos about getting paid…see Murray.

            • Big Mike says:

              Bingo, 💯, spot on, etc.

              But the Wilson hate will continue, guaranteed.

              • Bmseattle says:

                I think a lot of fans believe (whether true or not) that Russ wanted out (not saying it wasnt justified) and that those other guys would have wanted to stay (whether true or not).

                Many fans that believe the narrative that their franchise QB forced his way off the team, will react with negativity.
                Its like your romantic partner leaving you for someone “better”.

                • Peter says:

                  In the end he did probably want out. Which sucks cause dans want their guy forever. I just think JS was never going to pay him and we’ll find out over the next few years if tgat was the right call.

                  • TomLPDX says:

                    I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was the right call. Russ will want north of $45M/yr and that is just too much for what Pete / John want to do.

    • Peter says:

      Hope the trip is great.

      • Big Mike says:

        Thanks man. Pretty good so far. Nice to be somewhere that has actual sunshine instead of yet another shit day of rain and 55 degrees. 100 here is a bit much but still a welcome change of pace. And better yet, my gambling (blackjack only) losses have been reactively small.

        • pdway says:

          get a bet down on Hawks to make the playoffs….. 🙂

        • WallaSean says:

          Really looking forward to visiting that sportsbook, looks amazing. A $5 craps table would also look amazing, that’s how I like to lose it slowly:/

        • Peter says:

          Of course cause it’s OR, it’s been awesome the last two days here in the willamette valley….but still gonna be pissing rain later this week.

          Enjoy it there!

          • TomLPDX says:

            Tomorrow actually! That’s alright, summer is coming!

            Enjoy your time in Vegas Big Mike!

  35. Buf says:

    Hawks signed Liam Ryan, former cougar. Kinda interesting they got another air raid guy and former teammate of Lucas.

    Granted, he probably wont make the 53, and i just watched the Oregon game where Thibideaux took his lunch money on nearly every rep. Not sure he has the lateral agility to handle speed rushes on the edge. He also kinda gives up on the play after his guy gets away from him. His hand fighting leaves a lot to be desired. Probably why he was a tryout player.

    • GoHawks5151 says:

      Also Elijah Jones CB from Oregon State. He had a weird time over there. Joined during the covid year from Kansas. Didn’t play much. Was at the top of the depth chart in spring and got a little nicked. Was healthy during fall camp but hardly played and only started a handful of games. Pure height, weight, speed projection I guess. Good on him

    • Mr drucker in hooterville says:

      As a Coug I can tell you Ryan should play guard or even center. He is not a tackle.

      • Buf says:

        Well, having a converted tackle to G/C is on brand and would make sense. He certainly looks more like an interior guy with his frame. If he can snap the ball, i think we could use someone of his size in the center.

    • UkAlex6674 says:

      Thibodeaux took so much lunch money last year I’ve heard he just bought bought yacht with it. Point is – Ryan wasn’t wasn’t only one.

  36. James says:

    Hey guys, does anyone know the status of Darrell Taylor’s contract? I think I heard a reporter say on the radio a year ago that, because he was never on the roster his entire first year, it did not count as a contract year? If so, that would mean he still has three years left on his rookie contract? Thx.

  37. Tomas says:

    Best off-season in years? I respectfully disagree. Seems to me that this is almost certain to play out as the absolute WORST off-season in franchise history – the year that odious Jody fell for Pete’s BS, knowing this would drive Wilson elsewhere. Granted, Carroll’s BS is world-class, but it won’t win games … at least not anymore. So long as the team isn’t moved to Oklahoma City we will survive, but winning football is gone until Pete’s contract runs out in 2025.

    • Big Mike says:

      We’ll see how it plays out Tomas and my guess is that you’re going to be proven correct in the long run. However, to see them FINALLY draft for value and/or properly rather than reach in most rounds gives me hope. And let’s face it, the bottom line is likely going to be what they do at the QB position.

    • Palatypus says:

      Perhaps you’re right Tomas.

      But when the season is over, let’s go back and review a few things.

      1) Who had more rushing yards, Kenneth Walker or Saquon Barkeley?
      2) Who gave up more sacks, Charles Cross or Evan Neal?
      3) How did Boye Mafe stack up with the rest of the class of pass rushers?
      4) Did Abraham Lucas and Coby Bryant earn starting jobs?

      • Peter says:

        Great points about what to root for overall. And hopefully see development from the bew additions.

  38. Rob Staton says:

    I am also on Jake & Stacy today so check out 710 Seattle Sports

  39. Scot04 says:

    Great offseason summary Rob. You definitely come out rejuvenated in your writing.
    I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by our offseason. Much like you I wasn’t Pro trade Russ. That being said something needed to be done; whether it was Russ or Pete & John.
    Happy it was done early & it felt like they had a plan. I’m excited & ready to embrace whatever comes. Thanks for bringing the constant focused attention to the team. Best content anywhere.

  40. Sea Mode says:

    Nothing we didn’t already know, but nice to see he’s high on our draft class too:

    Jim Nagy
    @JimNagy_SB
    ·4h

    This was John Schneider & Pete Carroll’s best draft in a decade. Here’s what Hawks fans can expect from ‘22 class:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JimNagy_SB/status/1526558821811900419

  41. Big Mike says:

    A Vegas odds update…..Hawks 65-1 to win the Super Bowl, 32-1 to win the NFC.

  42. UkAlex6674 says:

    Rob did you work at the Forest/United game tonight?!

    What.A.Game

  43. Palatypus says:

    So, we’re two weeks away from June 1st cuts. Anybody going? Any targets on other teams?

    A center or a guard might be nice.