An interview with 3-4 expert Coach Jim Leavitt

With the Seahawks set to adopt 3-4 ideology, if not embrace a full-scale switch to the scheme, I wanted to speak to someone about the types of players required at each position. If Seattle is making a significant change (and it appears they are) what areas will they try to prioritise in the draft?

Jim Leavitt was the linebackers coach for the San Francisco 49ers between 2011-14, when Vic Fangio was the defensive coordinator. When I contacted him, he sent me the following text: “Nobody knows the 3-4 better than me“. The perfect interview subject.

Listen to our conversation below and afterwards, I share some thoughts on what it might mean for the Seahawks in the 2022 draft.

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  1. Rob Staton

    One or two mentioned this in the previous article — but there’s sad news today that Damone Clark faces spinal fusion surgery and will likely miss his entire first season in the NFL.

    This is a man who is a father and was awarded the coveted #18 jersey at LSU — saved for people who embody great leadership. He was mature, accomplished and talented. He could’ve been a high second round pick and an option for the Seahawks.

    He might go undrafted now, or be taken late in the process. It’s a real shame. Best wishes to him as he recovers and hopefully gets to make a career in the NFL.

    • BobbyK

      Very sad. Ideal use of a 7th round pick. High upside and help the guy out being on an NFL roster (IR) as a rookie. Doing a good thing for the person, getting a gigantic high upside 7th round pick at a slot usually not available at that point in the draft. People with a long-term vision like this pick, those thinking they can draft a Pro Bowler in the 7th round at will probably won’t like it. Best to him if the Seahawks don’t get him.

      • Spencer Duncan

        EASY choice with our 7th. I’m sure many teams have the same idea though. Wish this man a speedy, healthy recovery.

        • Mr drucker in hooterville

          This seems like a Dallas type move. I can see them drafting him earlier to get a jump.

  2. FWBrodie

    Bravo. Great interview. Great reporting. Very informative. Thank you.

    • Rob Staton


    • Malc from PO

      Agreed. This was truly insightful and a great idea for a podcast. Different to what others are offering and a real insight into the complexities of team building. It needs to be so much more than going for the high profile players.

      • Rob Staton

        Different to what others are offering and a real insight into the complexities of team building.

        Thanks. That’s what I wanted to do — offer something nobody else is.

  3. MGibson

    Three safety personnel is the future of football.

    • Silly Billy

      I hope so considering how much we have put into safety with Blair, Diggs, Adams ((x2) 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, $30 million)…

      Will a 3-4 be more conducive to having all 3 on the field at the same time?

  4. TomLPDX

    Nice, timely interview Rob, well done. And you pronounced his last name correctly! 😉

  5. Blitzy the Clown

    Fantastic interview and analysis. Seriously informative. Truly excellent and your production value is as professional as it gets.

    Some initial thoughts based on Coach Leavitt’s remarks…

    Is this draft essentially coming down to a question of EDGE first and DB later (with LB sandwiched in the middle), or vice versa? Arguments can be made either way, although I’d say the talent pool at EDGE is a bit deeper than DB.

    Based on Coach’s description of the ideal 3-4 NT and DE, I think Travis Jones is the ideal DT prospect for Seattle. He’s strong enough and big enough at 325lbs to play inside, and he’s fast and agile enough at 6-4 and 34.25″ arms to play 5T.

    Jordan Davis may be an athletic marvel, but he’s not built for the outside. I wish he had tested the agility drills, but just watching his tape, he’s no 3-4 DE. So if you draft him, you’re drafting him to be a 2-down player (per Coach Leavitt).

    Devonte Wyatt has the speed and agility to play 5T, and the strength to play inside. But at 300lbs is he big enough to play nose? At 6-3 and sub 33″ arms, does he have the length to play end? Or is he a pure 3T? Leavitt said sometimes you need a 3T in a 3-4 scheme, but if that’s what Wyatt is limited to, then like Davis, you’re drafting him to be a (different kind of) 2-down player.

    In this class, only Jones gives you the combination of size, length, strength, speed and agility to play anywhere on the 3-4 front. I think I prefer him to either Davis or Wyatt, and he probably can be had after a big trade down (to the 20s), or a trade up from 40/41.

    Btw, Wyatt did agility drills at his pro day. He posted a 7.45 in the 3 cone and 4.63 in the short shuttle, both very good for a big man. But Travis Jones ran the 3 cone in 7.33 and the short shuttle in 4.58, while being an inch taller and 20lbs heavier. Jones is a low-key phenomenal athlete.

    I saw that Channing Tindall ran the 3 cone at his pro day – 7.25 – ok, but not great, especially for how agile he looks on tape (he did not run the short shuttle). In comparison, Leo Chenal ran the 3 cone in 6.98, despite outweighing Tindall by 20lbs. Based on Coach Leavitt’s description of the ideal 3-4 ILB, I would have said Tindall seems more like that player, especially since Leavitt says size isn’t that important. But Chenal tests so unbelievably well, regardless of his size, but especially with respect to his size, that, as much as I love Tindall, I think Chenal is the better LB prospect for what Seattle say they want to run. Also better suited to replace what we lost in Wagner.

    Anyway, thanks for the excellent content!

    • Rob Staton

      Another thing to remember though — Tindall flies sideline-to-sideline on tape and is like a missile covering ground. I really, really like Chenal — but he doesn’t do that

      • Blitzy the Clown

        Nobody covers sideline-to-sideline like Tindall. He might be the best I’ve seen at that.

        But if Brooks is one OLB and Taylor is the other, then Tindall or Chenal is inside where that’s less of a factor. And to the extent it still is, I’d say Chenal makes up some with the brutal physicality of his play.

        What’s your thought on DB first, EDGE second or vice versa?

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t think it’s less of a factor. I was specifically countering to the comparison over athletic profile. Tindall does things Chenal hasn’t shown capable of.

          They might go DB early, depending on how the board shapes out. Pass rusher more likely if still there

          • Blitzy the Clown

            Fair enough. Speed is speed, inside or outside. And Tindall is one of the fastest players I’ve ever seen. I probably should have couched the difference as more being less of a detriment to Chenal (not as fast) playing inside than a factor favoring Tindall. But regardless I can’t deny Tindall’s unique abilities.

            Speaking of LBs, and in light of the sad news about Damone Clark, (and as you probably already know) Quay Walker ran well in his pro day agility drills too – 6.89 in the 3 cone and 4.32 in the short shuttle. He has to be under consideration for Seattle as well.

            Coming away from this draft with any one of Tindall, Chenal or Quay Walker would be fantastic.

          • Pavlos

            Rob, how would you feel about them taking Jordan Davis in the first round if Jermaine Johnson is not available? He looks like a beast. I’d love for the Seahawks to have someone who can provide some interior pass rush.

            • Rob Staton

              I like Davis a lot but think there are bigger priorities

        • ElPasoHawk

          I don’t think Brooks is an OLB in the new scheme. Better next to Barton on the inside IMHO.

      • Derek

        Travis Jones would be an outstanding player in this scheme. Also, a player I keep mentioning that I love is Josh Paschal as DE who could rotate inside and would likely have “strong” and “feisty” on the back of his football card.

        I think we’ll learn a lot in the draft.. if they go CB early or often in the first few rounds, we’ll know how much Desai and Hurtt have influenced things. In my opinion, based on the general randomness and emotion that comes from GMs and owners during the draft that Jermaine Johnson and either Sauce Gardner or Derek Stingley may be there too (or at least one of them).

        Final note, Rob.. can’t wait to see your updated horizontal draft board. Keep up the great work my friend!

        • Blitzy the Clown

          Good call on Paschal. I’d add Logan Hall’s name too.

          • Derek

            Haven’t seen much tape of Hall, I’ll check him out!

      • cha

        Tindall flies sideline-to-sideline on tape and is like a missile covering ground

        That special teams play where he came clear across the field was really something.

        The defense could badly use some of that fire and snarl.

  6. Bmseattle

    Good interview!
    Though it did seem as if he mentioned *every* position as very important.
    One thing that stood out to me is how many time he mentioned being “smart” as an important attribute.

    Interesting to consider adding CB into a potential early pick.
    Maybe edge, LB and CB with out first three?
    Barton dows seem like he fits the description of ideal ILB.

    • Mark

      He did seem to mention each position was very important. If you were to build a 3-4 defense which of those positions do you prioritize? Would it be easier to find a NT in later rounds? But with everything being important by his coach speak. I’m still unsure of what the hawks should prioritize first.

      • Rob Staton

        He said cornerback was the key

        Didn’t say 5T/DE was key, just spoke about what is needed at the position

        Said NT wasn’t just a plug-and-play position

        Spoke directly about linebacker roles and the need for pass rush off the edge

        But he directly said it all comes down to the CB’s because if you put your seven in the box, they need to cover

        • Roy Batty

          He kept hammering at the importance of good CB’s.

          I loved it. Imagine the Hawks going all-in and grabbing Gardner AND Stingley?

          Probably a pipe dream, but man I would not complain.

          • TomLPDX

            And that those CBs need to be good at man coverage vs. zone.

        • Moses Lake Brian

          Given the importance of CBs, do you think Seattle has any level of interest in the Giants’ James Bradberry, who for cap reasons is supposedly available for trade?

          • Rob Staton

            I doubt it, very expensive

    • Bmseattle

      His focusbon smart players is very interesting to me.
      It seems like Pete’s philosophy has always been to make things as *simple* as possible in his defense.

      It sounds like, in an ideal 3-4 scheme, you need guys who can react and adjust quickly.on the fly.

      I really hope that Pete is able to be hands off if things stsrt out slowly with the new defense, and he doesnt reel things back in to his comfort zone if we give up some big plays while we are figuring things out.

  7. Brett in AZ

    Rob – one of the best interviews you’ve done this year (and there have been quite a few good ones!).

    The post-interview analysis is also excellent. It appears there the Seahawks might be making some pretty fundamental changes in approach this year. Your analysis on the back end of the interview helps explain why they might be doing some of the things we’ve seen so far. Can’t be sure yet, but seeing things through a different lens may help sort out some of the logic.

    As we approach the draft, it should become more clear how thoroughly they intend to follow through on this new defensive vector.

    Getting rid of Norton was a big deal, especially when the replacements have a consistent background of Fangio/3-4 to them. I like Ken Norton as a person and what he did for us back in the LOB days, but Carroll looks to be changing in ways we haven’t seen for awhile. This could be a refreshing if fully followed-through.

    It will be fascinating to see if players acquired in FA and selected in the next two drafts match what looks like a more creative, dynamic and flexible approach on defense.

    Am interested to see how your interview with Coach Leavitt further refines your assessment of draft talent and fit this year for the ‘Hawks.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Brett

      • Erik in MT

        Hey Rob,

        Considering the body types that were discussed in the interview, it seems that we have the following rostered players on the Dline:

        NT: Al Woods and Bryan Mone

        5 tech’s: Shelby Harris, Quinton Jefferson, LJ Collier,

        Poona Ford seems to be in no man’s land except on passing downs to me. Where do you see him fitting or might we be losing another fan favorite?

        • Rob Staton

          I think he’s a better fit than Collier

          • Erik in MT

            Yeah, probably true although I now assume Poona probably won’t be extended beyond this year.

            Also, I’m assuming the Hawks aren’t bringing Rasheem Green back due to scheme fit. Are you surprised by how cold his free agency market is?

  8. Roy Batty

    Well, Leavitt just described the reason they went and got Jefferson back. Ideal height, arm length and weight that Leavitt described necessary for a 3-4 Dlineman.

    Also, I loved hearing him talk about how the LB’s will feed off the NT, the first two downs. They will be freed up to roam the open gaps, gang tackle and just generally cause chaos. The NT is the pivot on which the defense moves.

    Great interview.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Roy

    • BobbyK

      Great noses are so critical. Casey Hampton of the Steelers is one of the best examples of a NT dominating the LOS even though he never dominated the stat sheet. To me, he is a HOFer for how he controlled the point of attack for those Steelers defenses. The LBs usually got the press, but it was Hampton that made that defense go.

      • BobbyK

        I don’t want Jordan Davis at 9 but if we get him I won’t complain. If you can get a large man to dominate the nose – that’s the foundation of a dominant 3-4. He’s not Casey Hampton in terms of body, but he may be in terms of interior domination that everyone else can feed off of. I don’t think signing someone from a senior citizen center for 2 years (34-year old Al Woods) makes a guy like Davis ‘not needed.’ I’m perfectly fine with all 4 picks in the first 3 rounds going to the defense. Really hope we can get a RB in the 4th though.

    • Roy Batty

      Also, I just watched Jefferson’s presser and absolutely loved hearing him say how he, his wife and his kids love it in the Seattle area. They still live in Seattle during the off season.

      Good to have him home.

      He was also very good in his answers about the new scheme fit for him. The guy knows what he is here to do and probably, along with being in his family’s preferred home, a good reason why he came back.

  9. Andy

    So the 2 NT’s they currently have are Woods and Mone correct? Poona is on the edge?

    • CaptainJack

      dear lord… a 5’11 300 pound edge rusher. Sounds like a terror.

  10. Nano

    Jordan Davis as a 5-tech/outside-in guy might be pretty cool.

    • Jordan

      I’ve seen Haloti Ngata, Vita Vea, Dexter Lawrence comparisons used with Davis.

      Prior to the combine there were questions regarding if he was as athletic as Vea; at least testing wise, he put those questions to rest at the combine.

  11. Ukhawk

    Is it a 3-4 or a 4-3 under, I’ve read a number of articles that indicated Fangio ran a 4-3 under where the DL had 3 positions particularly akin to Carroll’s cmschrne in a NT, 5T and 3T. Seemed the differences lay in the use of the LBs (2 rush/run/outside zone & 2 ILB/man cover) and 2 high safeties.

    • Rob Staton

      Well, I’m pretty sure Jim would’ve corrected me if, after all this time, Fangio had been using a 4-3 under.

      • drrew76

        Fangio (and Staley) often used 3-4 personnel and then aligned them in a 4-3 under look.

        I didn’t watch enough Bears football to know what Desai was doing in Chicago.

        • Rob Staton

          I’ll just say again

          If Fangio ran a 4-3 under I’m pretty sure his former LB coach would’ve told me before we… did an interview on the defense

          • Ukhawk

            Looking fwd to the podcast

            Not trying to cause debate, just what I read in a number of articles, here’s a few:



            It’s widely perceived that Fangio’s Niners ran a 3-4 scheme, but that’s not entirely accurate. Occasionally his defense lined up in a traditional 3-4 alignment on obvious run plays, but the majority of the time they ran a 4-3 under scheme. The 4-3 under has been gaining popularity based on the success of proponents like the Seahawks, Broncos, and of course Fangio’s 49ers.

            • Ukhawk

              Btw. Posted these in a previous

              Great interview, believe I’ve been thinking along similar lines …

              1) defense needed tweaking given it hadn’t moved with the times
              2) needs to be adjusted to cope with spread offenses, fangios scheme had some success
              3) what’s different about fangios scheme?
              4) what are the specific traits for each position and which positions are of most importance?
              5) what players fit these profiles within the draft?

            • Rob Staton

              But here’s the thing.

              I’ve literally interviewed the linebackers coach of the 49ers when Fangio was defensive coordinator, specifically talking about that defense that he used.

              Are we saying he’s wrong and a couple of blog articles are right?

              Is that seriously what we’re doing here?

              • Roy Batty

                This whole discussion is getting weird, Rob.

                I’ll just go with the actual guest interviewee’s take.

              • Paul

                Welcome to Social Media 2022.

            • FWBrodie

              Two coaches may call the same defensive alignment two different things. Pete Carroll seems to seriously dislike the 3-4 label for whatever reason. The lines are foggy. 4-3 under, 3-4, bear, you’ve got five players up on the LOS and two off ball linebackers. Move alignments a couple feet in any direction and call it something else. No doubt they’ll be using a variety of looks. Pete Carroll might be handing over some control, but he’s not throwing away 40 years of experience and lighting his playbook on fire. I wouldn’t worry too much about what they’re calling it. Pete has already said that it’s not going to look all that different from what they were doing last year up front, it appears they are making more of a commitment to getting the personnel right for ’22 more than anything.

              • Ukhawk

                Great post – yes, defo about getting the right personnel. Be interesting to see which direction they go and if they stick to their past preferences

  12. Tanner

    Rob, have you watched tape on Brandon Smith, the LB out of Penn State? He measured in at 6 foot 4 and weighed 241 pounds, plus he ran a 4.52 and has over 34 inch arms. I don’t see any agility numbers for him, but he is the epitome of run and hit. He became the guy at Penn State once Micah Parsons opted out of the season and Penn State does a good job of developing LBs for the pros.

    • Morgan

      I concur, Smith seems ideal for our defense. I’m unsure where he’s perceived to go by scouts but man he looks impressive.

  13. Nano

    Eyioma Uwazurike might be someone to look at later on. Can play up and down the line. Great length. strong back story. He jumped well for a huge dude.

    • Rob Staton

      Good player

  14. Marcus


    FYI… I’m subscribed to the new podcast and it’s a great listen, but the last couple of shows haven’t popped up on Apple.

    • Hughz

      Must be on your end. It popped up for me.

      • cha

        Me too

        • Marcus

          It’s showing now. Thanks.

  15. Lenny

    Hey Rob, In your opinion what would our front seven look like in 3 -4 with our current roster?

    • Silly Billy

      I’m not Rob but i’ll give it a go,
      Using Bill Cowhers nomenclature

      N: Al wood
      LE: Shelby Harris
      RE: Poona

      Sam: Uchenna Nwosu
      Will: Daryll Taylor
      Buck: Barton
      Mike: Brooks

      • Peter

        Looks right. But shows they need more firepower.

        • Silly Billy

          Agreed, you want more depth/competition..
          but it’s also a lineup with no glaring holes that need to be fixed with #9.

          Makes me think we are less likely to go DE there, and probably go Tackle
          Maybe corner?

          • Peter

            I’m coming around to the idea of tackle.

            No glaring holes but I just can’t quite see pete being okay with this lineup. Maybe he is or maybe there’s later round people they can target. My focus has been so much on building a great dline perhaps there’s a tackle oline rush early and they get more man cover corners later.

            It’s hard to predict corner esrly since they never have. Yet.

  16. GoHawks5151

    Great listen. Coach Leavitt is a crazy dude and knows his stuff. Man we need another edge guy. It is gonna be crucial to get this thing going on the right foot. Tindall would look so good in this system as well. The comment about the Oregon LBs looking more like safety’s makes me think there is a role for Marquise Blair.

  17. Lenny

    Based on the interview it seems we would need an upgrade at NT with Harris and Poona playing DE.

  18. Olyhawksfan

    National “experts” aren’t mocking a cb to the Hawks with their first pick, but have have been for years. It’ll be pretty funny if they take one.

    • Mac

      If all the great pass rushers are gone and Stingley is there, I’d run it to the podium. I know Sauce is athletic and has a good track record but Stingley played against some real divisional monsters. I think he may be special.
      For me it’s KT, Stingley or Wyatt. RW is gone and I think the chance should be taken on prospects that may have that X factor at the next level.

  19. Sea Mode

    DK: “It’s my time in Seattle now.”

    • Rob4q

      I really hope they sign him long term and he stays in Seattle for a while. He just comes across as real and genuine and he’s only getting better as a WR. I think he’s going to have a huge season coming up no matter if it’s Lock or another QB throwing to him…

    • Rob Staton

      Doesn’t sound like a guy who’s even considering asking for a trade

      • Sea Mode

        Watch this:

        • Brett in AZ

          After hearing Pete the other day and then watching these two videos, it would really take a monster haul to tear DK away from SEA. It could maybe happen, but sure doesn’t seem likely at this point.

          • Jerry

            I think that’s the approach the Hawks should take. He’s a good player with elite upside. He’s young, with what should be his peak years still ahead of him.

            If teams are looking to add a guy like him (which is very clearly the case right now), they can and should ask for the moon for him.

      • Roy Batty

        Think about it.

        After Russ and Bobby exited stage left, DK is now THE FACE of the franchise.

        He knows he will get paid, up to a certain amount, by any team. But, how many other teams can offer to make him the main star of the entire team, though? The main sports star in the entire city?

        Not a bad thing to be.

    • Sea Mode

      The other most surprising thing for me was his nutrition “plan”. He cannot be serious…

      • Group Captain Mandrake

        That has got to be a joke. There’s no way he’s built like that on a diet of coffee and candy. The look on KG’s face was pretty priceless though.

        • FWBrodie

          Reminds of when Chad Johnson revealed on Hard Knocks way back when that he eats McDonalds every single day.

      • Rob Staton

        That is absolutely staggering. I’m lost for words.

        Eating one meal a day and three bags of candy and having that physique is other wordly

        • cha

          Get ready for a Mike Salk segment tomorrow with a less-than-subtle insinuation that he’s on steroids.

          • Wimerek

            I am so done with Mike Salk.

        • GoHawksDani

          I eat one meal a day and eat a lot of candy/chocolate 😀 although I’m not bulit as DK 😀

        • Morgan

          There was this interview many years back with an Olympic decathlete with a similarly surprising intake of junk food and what he said always stuck with me. He said “If the furnace is hot enough, you can burn anything in it.”

      • MountainHawker

        The candy is surprising, but OMAD(one meal a day) is awesome. Been doing it over a year now. Much steadier energy levels. Feeling great

    • Jerry

      He seems like a really good person.

  20. Denver Hawker

    Seeing a lot of Eagles talk on taking a pass rusher (targeting Ojabo or Mafe in back of the first). They may be primed to jump the Seahawks if the pass rushers come off quickly and Ojabo no longer an option.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think so. I don’t think they’d trade up for one. They’re well placed to get one where they are.

  21. Old but Slow

    While Davis is an amazing athlete, I don’t see nose tackle as a greatest need. Woods, Poona, and Mone while not all stars, are not bad, although they need to add some interior pass rush. That is not what Davis brings, and what Travis Jones seems to.

    I would not complain much if we took Davis, but I would want to complement him with someone like Paschal, Logan Hall, or DeMarvin Leal.

    • D-OZ

      Brooks is not an OLB, he has yet to prove he can drop and cover efficiently to me. the first LB to come off the field on passing downs, which
      brings me to the topic of the LB’s in this draft..Devin LLoyd is the best LB in this class. I have been pouring over LB’rs for three days now.Lloyd has outstanding instincts,great hand use,is able to sift through traffic with the best of them. Instinctive coverage abilities. Is a 3 down player. He’ll go early. Don’t give a hoot about 6.8 40. He plays fast on the field. And he is capable of flipping the field @ any given moment.
      Listing to Rob’s interview Davis becomes more of an option @9. After all Woods is OLD BUT SLOW…And on a one year deal. Teach the pup’s… Buy the way, we need to looking @ 5 Tech’s in the 2nd round. There are some prospects who fit.

      • Seattle Person

        I don’t think Devin Lloyd has much of a chance to be drafted by the Seahawks. The fact is he isn’t as fast or explosive as some of the other LBs. Would he fit into most defenses? Yes. But he probably doesn’t fit into the mold of what the Seahawks look for in the first couple of rounds.

        Al Woods is old and slow. But he had a great year last season. He won’t play that big % of downs. I’m not convinced the Seahawks would blow a pick on a NT at #9 but I wouldn’t shock me with this F.O.

        Eyioma Uwazurike has been mentioned here before and he’s someone I will like to have on the 3-4 defense. His length would be a problem for OT and G. He can actually play 5T/4i/3T.

  22. GoHawksDani

    If JJ and KT off the board but Stingley and Gardner, Davis and Wyatt, Mafe, Ojabo, Travis Jones and Lucas and Penning still up for grabs and PHI calls you to trade #9 for #16 and #51, would you do it?
    I would for sure.
    With 16, 40, 41, 51, 72 we could take DE, LB, CB, OC, RB

    • Jordan

      Are TW and GK available in this scenario? Trying to gauge the 7 spot drop down.

      • Scot04

        I only make it if it’s pick #15 & 51. I’d have to have their top pick period. While Gardner would be difficult to pass on; you still know you’re going to get a good player at 15. I’ll be hoping for Thibodaux or Johnson though.

    • Roy Batty

      I’m actually wondering which team will make a desperate call to any team in the top 10, giving up a massive haul for a player the owner or GM just has to have.

      It happens every year. If it happens to Seattle, all the better.

      • Hawkster

        That’s my thinking. Heck, the PFN sim gives pretty amazing trade offers for teams to move up and grab Davis or Wilson etc. DDrop half a dozen and pick up a mid/high second etc. 4 picks above #50 is pretty attractive with one of them still in R1.

  23. samprassultanofswat

    It seems to me the 3-4 defense gives you more flexibility. Then the 4-3 defense.

    • Mac

      I’ve always loved the creativity that 3-4 allows. You get a lot of different angles to attack the offense which gives you more ways to bring the pressure. The 4-3 is great if you can beat 5 with your 4 man front and you can still blitz, you also get an extra hand in the dirt to assist with the running game. Both bases are just tools but a 3-4 in the hands of a creative defensive coordinator can be deadly and make up for some deficiencies in pass rush personnel.

  24. Sea Mode

    Anyone catch JS on 710?

    Brady Henderson

    On @SEASports710, John Schneider said there’s a “sense of shock” at the size of recent WR deals. That was in response to a question about extending DK Metcalf in the current market. Said they love him and emphasized how impactful he is. Declined to go in depth about an extension.

    • jed

      Listening to it now. Link is below. It starts about 1:40 into the link.

      • Zane

        Thanks for the link, always appreciated

    • Roy Batty

      Imagine John’s situation, where you know that your two most expensive players will be off the books in 2023, only to realize that the next big contract looming over your franchise just hit hyperinflation?

      He had to have seen Adams’s and Hill’s contracts and just died inside.

      On the flip side, maybe he woke up today and thought, “I could do a lot with 2 more first rounders.”

      • Jerry

        If a team is good at drafting, they’ll be in that position every year. Having too many elite players who will warrant huge money for an extension is a good problem to have.

    • Paul

      I don’t understand how an NFL lifer and GM for over 20 years can have a “sense of shock” about a sudden market shift.

      • bmseattle


        Yes… this.
        If JS was caught off guard by the WR market, then he hasn’t been paying attention.

        So, let’s assume he *wasn’t* actually shocked. Then why would he say he was?
        Perhaps to emphasis to the listening audience that the market is “shocking”, in order justify a potential upcoming trade?

        I could see this being another Pete vs JS, where Pete wants to keep DK and John is more than willing to trade him and move forward.
        It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

        • bmseattle


      • cha

        That’s a logical thought Paul but in the NFL things that are shocking happen all the time. Stefon Diggs tweeted the other day “What is going on???” at the flurry of deals.

        Not every team values every position and every player the same way. There are going to be some outlier moves other teams make that catch you off guard.

        Ask the other 30 GMs if they were shocked the Seahawks gave up a king’s ransom for a box safety and they’ll say yes.

    • Brett in AZ

      It’s surprising they get JS in any kind of interview at this time of year, what with trades, draft, FA, pro days. What caught my ear more than anything else was the part where he was talking about ‘3 buckets’ for finding quarterbacks, and his emphasis on the ‘trade bucket’.

      But of course he couldn’t talk about that.

    • z$

      Seemed pretty noncommittal on the DK situation, easy to imagine they are keeping their options open even though I got the opposite impression from Pete. Also went out of his way to justify some of their more questionable selections in the past players in the bottom of the first round, but it was a very hand-wavy, non-satisfactory explanation. Can’t say it put me at ease when he discussed moving around in the draft to take positions of need, although he backtracked a little to say need is a consideration in addition to best player available.

    • Rob Staton

      John was not happy with Bob Stelton, made a point of pulling him up on an accusation of being too cute in the draft that he’d heard on the radio.

      Bob should’ve doubled down. Pushed him on it. It’s a valid complaint.

      • D-OZ

        That’s for damn sure!!!
        Thanks for all of your hard work over the year’s Rob. Hard to believe it’s been 11+ yrs.

        • Rob Staton

          14 years now!

  25. Dong

    I feel like we are perhaps too focused on 4-3 vs. 3-4.

    The more I read up on Fangio’s defense and other schemes, I feel the difference that needs to be focused on is gap scheme. Traditionally a 3-4 relied on two gapping lineman and a 4-3 used a one-gap scheme. Bill Parcells ran a 2-gap 3-4. But Wade Phillips ran a 3-4 that is 1-gap. Different personnel. The reality is that most NFL defenses now use a combination 1 and 2-gap principles.

    I read an article stating that Fangio’s most common alignment recently is a 4-3 under front with 3-4 personnel. Doesn’t that sound a lot like Pete Carroll’s Kiffin inspired 4-3 under using 3-4 personnel? Aldon Smith in his prime would be LEO in Carrol’s scheme and was a pass rush focused OLB for Fangio in San Francisco. I reckon the same for Cliff Avril. Or Clowney, who was an OLB in Houston. They are all coming off the edge in the C gap. How are those really different?

    I had one main takeaway from the Fangio reading. He seems to demand more versatility of his outside linebackers and lineman. The OLB need to drop into short zones on occasion to disguise where the pressure is coming from. They play standing up vs a Carroll LEO with a hand in the dirt. Given recent experience, hard to say if that is a good thing or a bad thing. The DL need to be more 1/2-gap versatile across the front. I don’t know if that’s really a change, as Carroll has had his 1T/NT and 5T/4T do both in the past.

    What I would like to understand is how the classic Carroll personnel up front will change with Hurtt as the coordinator. Swapping out Dunlap for Nwosu on the edge hints at the OLB versatility thing. I’m still hazy on what they are looking for on the DL.

    • FWBrodie

      Great post. Obviously there is a focus on being more balanced on the outside, players that can drop and rush equally as opposed to the leo who is more of a pass rush specialist, goodbye Dunlap. I don’t think Rasheem Green was ever a fit, but Pete believed that with his “hybrid” mindset he could find places for any front 7 type of player and I think they thought his athleticism would develop more than it did. He is a sloppy run defender and not a strong enough pass rusher to make up for it. Appears Hurtt is not putting up with that and instead inserting players who fit a traditional 3-4 front capable of controlling space, guys you could feel confident deploying inside the tackles on first down. Will be interesting to find out how they distribute the gap responsibilities because like you eluded to you can do the 3-4 thing a lot of different ways.

  26. Kyle

    I’m more concerned after this interview. Most of Seattle’s current D roster has attributes not aligned with the 3-4 and has been up until now coached up with very different assignments from what the 3-4 requires. If the team does not add more hedges in free agency, hit the D side hard and repeatedly in the draft, and allow the new D coaches a lot of leeway to fully re-create the D, this could be a very frustrating year. If they do pull off some measure of success it will show a side of Pete I didn’t know existed. If not, I think Desai doesn’t stick around to keep working on it and the slide gets worse.

    • MychestisBeastmode

      Shelby Harris, Nwosu, Burns, that new LB from CHI with a name I can’t spell. These guys are all from 3-4 systems.

      The cap space they have left is maybe enough to bring Duane Brown and Brandon Shell back. While I can hope, I do not think more 3-4 reinforcements are coming.

      • Seattle Person

        Shelby Harris and Quinton Jefferson are your usual 3-4 DEs. Al Woods have played NT before. They have some horses up front but they are in their 20s or older. They can probably use some younger guys. Some here have express concern whether Wyatt can play 3-4 DE but if Aaron Donald can then so can Wyatt.

        If we are to be honest, Poona Ford sort of doesn’t fit this defense. He was a 0-tech and then converted to a 3-tech. He probably doesn’t have the size to play as NT in a 3-4. I guess they’ll try him as a DE and he might do well. We’ll see.

        • FWBrodie

          I sort of wondered about Poona’s fit, but thinking back to hearing Clint Hurtt talk about his relationship with Poona going all the way back to recruiting him out of high school and then being the guy that convinced him to sign with Seattle after he went undrafted, I find it hard to believe he’d let him go. Pete Carroll has always been a firm believer in heavy rotation of his defensive LOS personnel and I doubt that changes. One of the hot 3-4 alignments has been a NT flanked by two 3 techs or unbalanced with one 3 tech and one guy lined up over the tackle. Poona is a powerful, difficult to move guy with his low center of gravity and pairs that with some surprising explosiveness so I think he is relatively versatile, but there will most likely be plenty of play time for 3 tech types, which I think he has shown he can do well.

  27. Tim M

    Football fan here who doesn’t know a whole lot about the technical side and nuances of the 3 – 4 defense vs. the 4 – 3 defense but trying to learn.

    My question if anyone cares to answer is: Will switching to a 3-4 defense potentially unlock Jamal Adams talent and allow him to play at a higher level? These past two seasons he just seemed like a non-factor on our defense except for a few plays here and there. I’m just bewildered at how good he was with the Jets and ordinary he is with the Hawks. I’m hoping Jamal Adams can thrive with the defensive scheme change. Is this a realistic hope or just a pipedream?

    • D-OZ

      Good question Tim. Don’t hold your breath. The results may not go well. You could end up in Peacock Heaven..

    • Rob Staton

      It’s where he’s done his best work so far

    • Brik

      I believe you have reason for optimism that Jamal Adams can be at the top of his game in the 3-4. The whole idea of changing scheme probably stems from them trying to make this guy his best. It will be a lot easier to hide his blitzes and have people out there capable of covering when he does blitz. He himself probably understands the coverage assignments better in a 3-4. I say that because of what we’ve seen, but there’s also a possibility that he was getting used to a 4-3 and now needs to re-learn the 3-4.

      Will he ever be worth 2 1sts and a 3rd along with a monster contract? Probably not. I think he’ll look more like a pro bowler than we’re used to seeing. Haters gonna hate though.

      • GoHawks5151

        Barring injury a 34 gives him his best chance to be all pro again. He was never great covering deep and I think it provides him simpler reads. Even out of college everyone knew he needed to play coming forward. He is better covering flats and curls than deep. This defense also gives him some deception to when he rushes. Desai has some nice pressure packages. I bet he’s excited for Jamal.

    • Palatypus

      Jamal Adams held out for all of training camp last year, so…

      Did he even know our defense?

      • Denver Hawker

        Technically a “hold in”, but no.

        • Rob Staton

          I refuse to call it a hold in

          It’s simply a modern day hold out

          • Denver Hawker

            I was mocking it. Being in the room isn’t the same as being on the field, but I think it’s better than sitting at home as long as it isn’t a distraction (which I’m sure it was).

    • Silly Billy

      Tim, I’m on the same boat as you… but this video on Bill Cowher’s 3-4 D is helpful for visual learners.

      He describes and shows why he needs a kick-ass “Troy Palumalu”-like athlete @ SS. I could see JA thriving in a D like this.

  28. Denver Hawker

    Looks like Brandon Shell was left at the alter. Broncos signed Billy Turner instead.

    Could be a Shell/Brown reunion yet.

    • BobbyK

      Curhan is already a lot better than Shell. Not in pass pro, but as a run blocker. Supposedly Pete wants to run the ball, though he’s so senile I don’t think even he knows what he wants anymore.

      If they sign an old player not any better than a young guy on a cheap contract – that’s the final straw they should be fired.

      • Rob Staton

        Everyone knows my opinion on Carroll but I don’t think we should call for him to be fired for not wholly trusting Jake Curhan at right tackle. I would 100% sign a veteran.

  29. ShowMeYourHawk


    The more I see of Christian Watson, the more I covet him at #41, after Tindall, Chenal or Lucas at #40. Any chance you think PC & JS view Watson as a potential game-breaker enough to pull the trigger. Can’t have too many young studs at WR, especially as they become more expensive to extend….

    • Sea Mode

      I just think they have to bank on Eskridge a year after spending their highest pick on him. Plus, there are too many holes on defense to make a luxury WR pick.

      Unless, of course, DK is traded. Then they will have more stock and absolutely tap into the WR class. In that case, I really like Jahan Dotson.

    • Rob Staton

      He’s a quality player but unless they trade DK I can’t see a high pick at the position again

  30. Dubb

    Can anyone explain to me why JS & PC wait until the market resets before they sign their marquee players? When Frank Clark was due a new contract, I remember that Minnesota signed Danielle Hunter to about $15M a year. But, they waited and Dallas’ DeMarcus Lawrence reset the market to $20M.

    Same with Bobby Wagner; it would have been $3-4M less per year; but the waited and CJ Mosley reset the market.

    Now they could have extended DK Metcalf for about $20M/year last year or earlier in the off season; but the market has reset to over $25M with the Adams and Hill contracts.

    Why do they wait to let other teams dictate the contracts of players that the know they want to extend? Is this just a management decision to wait in these instances?

    • Hughz

      There’s two sides to a contract. Sometimes it’s the players holding off longer so they can get top dollar.

      • cha

        Absolutely correct.

        The fact that the Seahawks used franchise tag on Clark (something they very rarely do) was proof they couldn’t come to an agreement.

        I recall Clark’s agent being almost giddy that he got tagged. ‘we’re going to get top dollar on the tag his year, and then next year get a huge contract.’ Clark had taken out an insurance policy and was ready for the long haul.

        And guess what? It was winning strategy.

  31. Sarah Y


    The “main stream mock drafts” seem to have Devontae Wyatt lasting into the late teens sometimes. If he is there with the 19th, would you consider trading up? That would be the eagles THIRD first round pick, so they might be very motivated to move down. It would probably cost you 41 + Denver’s 2nd next year plus some minor stock. But would you do it? Would if we walked out of this draft with Jermaine Johnson AND Wyatt?

    • Rob Staton

      It’s a great thought but I think it’d be too expensive. You’d probably have to give up a 2023 first

  32. Denver Hawker

    Not sure how important age is in the draft, but this is a solid list of 21 year old players:

    Derek Stingley doesn’t turn 21 until June!

    • BobbyK

      I care about age, but the Seahawks don’t seem to give a crap.

      They loved old man Bruce Irvin over young pass rushers in 2012. They took Dwayne Eskridge last year, even though he’s older than DK. They drafted on older John Moffitt. They drafted an old and crappy LJ Collier.

      A young guy like Rasheem Green is more the outlier than the norm with these guys.

      • Denver Hawker

        I’m no physiology expert, but anecdotally speaking, I still had a lot of physical development in my early 20’s. I had trouble sustaining in my later 20’s and probably “peaked” at 26 before injuries and metabolism started to catch-up.

        If you’re going to take advantage of ascending talent- seems logical to invest younger.

  33. Palatypus

    Your coda around the 12:00 mark got me thinking about Darrian Beavers. He might be the kind of versatile, “position-less player” (as Greg Cosell calls them) that could fit Bill Belichick style UFO concepts.

    He won’t be targeted early, but he could be a useful piece.

    • Ukhawk

      Love him. His versatility is secon on my list to only his BAMFability

  34. samprassultanofswat

    After listening to Jim Leavitt. It is going to be really interesting to see what the Seahawks do at the cornerback position. In my opinion (no one else’s) the Hawks MUST take a cornerback in either the first round or the second round. The Seahawks will face Kyler Murray twice, Matt Stafford twice, Tom Brady, Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr, Russel Wilson. That is just for starters. I think it might be a good idea to go cornerback either 1st or 2nd round.

    • SeattleLifer

      Too bad they did’nt keep DJ, a young corner back proven to work on our team who got a pretty solid but not crazy deal in free agency.

      It truly surprises me how badly they have neglected the cb position for years, especially after knowing how good it is to have a true shutdown cb in Sherman. Cheaper on tackles/o-liners, de’s/d-liners, and cb’s. Spend huge on safetys, linebackers, backup tight ends and kickers. Pretty backwards to most nfl team salary structures but hey they rule their own kingdom so yeah.

      • Big Mike

        I would’ve allocated FA money differently in order to get DJ resigned.

        • Peter

          Thought about that everytime Leavitt in his interview said the words : corner back

        • Rob Staton

          I suppose it’s possible they already anticipated the pass rushers will be gone and that #9 could present great value at CB — thus it became paying Reed $11m a year vs paying Derek Stingley (for example ) $5.2m a year.

    • Peter

      There’s the two big names early: sauce and stingley. Not really seeing any in the second that provide better value then when you get into round four.

      Pretty hard to predict CB early with Carrol. It’s a good situation to have players on the dline and no holes unlike the oline (and runningback,) the current front seven of:

      Woods, mone, ford, jefferson, harris, taylor, nwosu, barton, and brooks is pretty uninspiring and though “solid,” doesn’t look like that’s going to fare much better than last year. Even if Desai/hurtt get more out of this group with better scheme they still need some firepower with this group.

  35. samprassultanofswat

    Comment and two questions. First. Rob your interview are fantastic.

    Most offenses are in three receiver sets. The 3-4 defense is great against the run. Do you stay in the 3-4 defense when the opponent has a three receiver set? What about a four receiver set?

    Second question is: Is Jamal Adams too small to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme?

    • Rob Staton

      I think as Jim said it’s a flexible formation so you can adjust to the offense

      I think Adams is too small to play anything other than strong safety or death backer

  36. SeattleLifer

    Really not impressed with Schneider saying he was shocked by the receiver market. As others have said earlier he’s been doing this a long time and has to know better and for me more importantly : how many times over the years has he waited and waited and waited until all the top players sign bigger and bigger deals before he pays his star homegrown talent the most of any of them last???!!! I just don’t get it – it’s almost like they are trying to be extra nice and show the team that they will pay more than every other nfl team if you’re a good player like maybe they will somehow earn good will with the team/players by doing so?

    Get ahead of the curve and re-sign some players earlier to a more team friendly deal before the market goes crazy for once please!

    • Rob Staton

      To be fair they could only extend Metcalf after he had done three full years due to the CBA. So there wasn’t much they could do here.

      Frank Clark though, that was an error

      • SeattleLifer

        Just seems like a common theme with them – whether first contracts or even second or third(Wagner comes to mind). They almost always seem to pay their top players after the market has completely run its course and jacked up the salaries.

    • Roy Batty

      As others have stated, this had nothing to do with JS waiting and more to do with players not wanting to negotiate until other players had set the market.

      • Rob Staton

        They could’ve got ahead of the game with Frank Clark, as Minnesota did with Danielle Hunter.

        But DK there can be no complaints. They couldn’t talk contract until the end of his third year anyway

        • Peter

          Pretty interested to see what they cook up for DK. I think a four year contract around 60 million guaranteed with an out after year three that might seem digestible relative to current increases.

          I’m less worried about him having a down year with Drew Lock at the helm. Mike evans did very well in Tampa prior to Brady. I think DK’s skillset/ talent will actually help Lock. Then the following year hopefully there’s a big time upgrade at QB. Rolling DK right into physical mental prime of the game.

          Strange comment from JS. WR contracts have been getting pretty ridiculous for a while. Thomas, cooper, and many others.

          • Dubb

            They also could have got ahead of the curve with Jamal Adams’ contract. At the time of the trade the safety market much lower. Buddha Baker reset the market at $14m. When you make that trade shouldn’t you have negotiated a contract extension already? It would have been much lower than $17m per year; and he would have the highest paid safety for a brief moment.

            • Peter


              Or better yet…..draft Buddha baker instead of mcdowell and have a very good safety for years instead of wandering the desert looking for and trading for safeties and still not have it right.

      • SeattleLifer

        If this were to be true (and we have no proof it is btw) then it begs the question of why is Schneider always willing to be last in line and pay through the teeth? Why does he get pushed around by players/agents so frequently?

  37. Sea Mode

    Interesting thought process here on the WR market and why it made sense for Miami to go in on Hill.

    Basically Carr + Adams = $50m/apy = Aaron Rodgers/top QBs. Teams are choosing one or the other model and the market will balance out.

    For Miami, they need answers on Tua so they can make a decision on him at the end of year 3. Giving him Armstead to protect and Hill + Waddle as weapons sets him up like when he was at his best at Bama and gives you that answer this year.

    • cha

      This makes no sense. Maybe I’m overthinking it but the Packers aren’t paying Rodgers $50million a season in actual cap, and reports are they gave Adams a better offer than Vegas did.

      And anyway, Vegas traded for Adams, gave the Packers two top picks and signed Adams to a three year $67m deal in Carr’s contract year. Adams alone has a $30m cap hit in 2023. Do they think Carr is going to play at a discount in 2023?

      The brilliant plan of combining QB/WR to equal a top QB salary doesn’t wash. And even if it did, it would only last one season and the Raiders gave up a first and second round pick for it.

  38. Sea Mode

    Powerful looking athlete…wow.

    Not really our size RB, but Nagy pointed out a couple of interesting data points about him:

    Jim Nagy
    · Mar 17

    For all the data folks, @Utah_Football RB TJ Pledger had fastest max acceleration (6.55) of any OFF prospect at Senior Bowl by wide margin (Memphis WR Calvin Austin 5.86) and burst>>speed at RB. Also, 👇 is a key metric projecting to a league where it’s rarely blocked clean. 💤

    PFF Draft
    · Mar 16

    Career rushing yards per carry on not-perfectly-blocked runs among 2022 Draft prospects:

    🥇TJ Pledger: 4.90
    🥈Rachaad White: 4.60
    🥉Pierre Strong Jr.: 4.57

    • God of Thunder

      Very interesting. Fascinating even. Thanks Sea Mode.

    • AL

      TJ Pledger is 5’9″ and weighs 196 lbs. 104 rushing attempts, 694 yds, 6.7 yd average. Played in all 14 games, started 5. It should be noted that Utah’s top four running backs all averaged over 5.4 yds per carry.

  39. AL

    Free Agency so far, with the thought that the Seahawks are in rebuild mode.

    I wasn’t excited about the Diggs (to much money spent at safety) and Dissly (who were we in a bidding war with?) signings. This money could have been better spent.

    Key additions to the offensive line, Austin Blythe (with a huge pay raise from what he made in KC last year) and Kyle Fuller (a draft hedge?, but still, why?) You have to ask the question, was not signing any quality offensive lineman part of a plan?

    Does it come as a surprise the Brown, Shell and Pocic are still available? Please don’t sign any of them. Would much rather see younger guys given a chance. Besides, the offense isn’t going to be good anyways, so why go with wasn’t great last year?

    Interesting that with the exception of Rashaad Penny, all their other signings were on defense. Nwosu LB, Jefferson DT, Woods DT, Burns CB, Jones CB, Coleman CB and Iyiegbuniwe LB. Mostly good with these signings. Personally I’m looking forward to the Seahawks switching to a 3-4 ideology.

    As for whats left to do, Pete and John are going to have to make a decision on DK Metcalf. Are they going to pay him market value? I like DK, but if you sign him to a large contract, are we going to get the value back on the football field? Considering he may be playing with Lock or a rookie qb for the for the next few years and given that we most likely won’t be in the playoffs. Its a questing that really needs to be answered.

    I’m no expert, but in my opinion, its really hard to give Pete and John any kind of a good grade at this point.

    • God of Thunder

      I’m reasonably happy. The new coaches have clearly had a say.

      Diggs way more important than Adams (who should, I bet we agree, be traded if there were takers). Diggs is also important in the dressing room. They’ve made decent decisions on who to resign, and Coleman was good here. Someone really liked Blythe (there are a couple good centers in this draft but they aren’t worth using the #9 pick on and they’ll likely be gone by #40).

      Dissly is an overpayment but Fant doesn’t block well so … Penny could be outstanding. But I’d like a good RB taken in rd. 4-5

      I’d give the FO at least a B grade so far.

      • AL

        I agree, it appears the coaches do have more say. I to like the Penny signing, but I think they could have gotten Blythe for a lot less.

        I like Diggs and what he brings, but not while your paying Adams. And could that money have been used on a OT?

        The glaring holes on the OL is what concerns me the most.

      • BobbyK

        Would you give the Chiefs a B if they traded Pat Mahomes or the Packers a B if they dumped Sir Aaron? Would the Rams get a B if they dumped Donald?

    • Peter

      With Lock than hopefully a rookie following a very good WR is a grwat security blanket for them going forward. Moving forward DK may be one of the only expensive pieces on this team. Which I am fine with. In two years time most of the middling signings can hopefully be off or be getting off the books with short contracts and within two drafts hopefully the roster is nearly turned over towards rookies.

    • SeattleLifer

      Nice insight on our o-liners from last year Brown,Shell,Pocic – all still left on the market. Kind of mirrors our d-line from last year, bunch of guys that we needed to move on from and will only be getting comparatively lower dollar deals this off-season(that is unless the Hawks re-sign any of them for above market deals…).

      Thankful we have the extra earlier draft picks this year and next cause we need some young promising talent in a bad way. Now if they’d just draft from the strengths of the draft with each pick instead of trying to be smarter than every other team in the nfl.

  40. cha

    According to multiple NFL sources, the Giants have signaled they are open to trading either the 5th or 7th overall pick in this years draft for a package that includes a first-rounder in 2023.

    As for the Giants, there are multiple reasons why they’re interested in trading down, according to sources, one being financial complications. They have nine picks in this year’s draft, which will cost them about $12.5 million in salary cap space, according to

    That’s a problem considering they are currently only about $3 million under the $208.2 million cap, according to NFL Players Association records. Even if they eventually trade cornerback James Bradberry, that would only clear another $12.1 million off the books – less if they have to pay some of his salary to make a deal.

    This isn’t smoke-blowing or trying to stir up the market. The Giants have no free cap and no means to open up cap without cutting or trading players.

    I know we rag on the Seahawks for their conservative cap handling, but how pitiful is it that the Giants need to consider trading down in the draft simply to save money, because they’re in cap trouble – all while paying a rookie QB salary.

  41. cha

    Even Will Dissly was shocked by the contract he got.

    What was the most head-scratching signing of free agency?

    Mike Clay, fantasy football writer: TE Will Dissly to the Seahawks. Seattle acquired 24-year-old, standout tight end Noah Fant in the Russell Wilson trade and then proceeded to sign backup Dissly to a three-year, $24 million contract. That makes him one of the position’s top-15 highest-paid players. It’s a big commitment to a player who missed most of his first two pro seasons due to injury (10 games played during 2018-19) and who doesn’t offer much as a pass-catcher (46 receptions for 483 yards and three touchdowns during the 2020-21 seasons).

    Jeremy Fowler, national NFL writer: TE Will Dissly to the Seahawks. This deal was truly shocking. Even the player was shocked. Dissly is a nice player and worked hard for this, but he has never caught more than 24 passes in any of his four seasons. He is a stout blocker against the run or the pass, and tight ends who do this effectively are considered rare in the modern game. All it took was for a few teams to come in hot and Seattle had to pay a big price to keep him. This one might have been more surprising than the Kirk deal, honestly.

    • Rob Staton

      Insert head in hands emoji here

      • Peter

        You had a thought out comment about paying a corner 11 million vs. 5.25. Although there’s great reasoning behind that this Dissly thing is baffling. Not sure why they couldn’t spend a fourth or a fifth rounder and pay a guy 1 million a year for blocking.

        • Rob Staton

          Yep. I think the ESPN article summed it up. They got spooked by outside interest in Dissly, were determined to keep him for leadership purposes and because they’ve always liked his personality and they overpaid.

    • AL

      Makes him “one of the position’s top-15 highest-paid players”. Wow, theres a classic case of production not matching the contract.

      • cha

        In 2020 they were 8th in cap spending on TEs/20th in overall production.

        I don’t have the heart to crunch the 2021 numbers but I’d imagine it is similar.

        • AL

          Theres no rational explanation as to why they spend so much on TE’s for the production they get and continue to do it year after year.

          • Bmseattle

            Its very discouraging.
            Its difficult to feel any level of confidence in their ability to rebuild effectively, with decisions like this one.😑

      • BobbyK

        Reminds me when crappy Deon Grant was made a top-3 paid safety in the NFL even though he wasn’t close to being a top 10 guy.

        And this is how John Schneider and Pete Carroll are channeling their inner Tim Ruskell. Screw QB – lets draft David Greene in the 3rd round. Lets sign crap free agents like Brian Russell.

        Not only are we getting 1990s football back, but we’re getting Tim Ruskell back too. What a pathetic combination.

    • Sea Mode

      I guess the shock can come from either side then… (referring to yesterday’s interview with JS)

      • Bmseattle

        Good point!
        Was JS “shocked” at Dissley’s contract?

        • Sea Mode

          He was probably “shocked” by how his market took off and by the kind of outside offers his agent likely brought to JS.

          Yes, it’s an overpay. But I can see how they perhaps simply didn’t want to create another need. I don’t see any plus blocking TE in this draft with pass-catching upside like Dissly. With him and Fant secured, they could just check off the position and move forward to focus on defense in the draft. Who knows, maybe Waldron insisted he was key to his plans for the running game to have at least one TE who can block.

          • AL

            All good points!

          • Henry Taylor

            Big Jelani Woods? He almost exclusively blocked for Oklahoma State.

    • SeattleLifer

      CBS sports had his deal as their 5th worst free agency deal and all the ones ahead of it were the big dollar (think Jacksonville receiver) types.

      Crazy how we’ll go all out to overpay for average talents yet won’t ever touch higher tier free agents even if we have a huge need in a specific position and there’s a great younger talent to be had.

  42. diehard82

    Rob, fantastic interview. Please keep them coming. I listened to it twice and took notes. I then spent the day (retired :)) and looked in detail at every defensive player on the roster to evaluate where they may fit based on coach Leavitt’s ideals. I gotta say, it was pretty depressing. And wouldn’t Carlos Dunlap have been ideal DE in 3-4 scheme?

  43. V

    Gardner, 21, has top-30 visits with the New York Jets, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, and Seattle Seahawks, according to league sources. He has already met privately with Texans coach Lovie Smith, per sources, at the Cincinnati Pro Day workout where he stood on his NFL Combine testing numbers. He also met with the Giants, Jets, and New Orleans Saints at his pro day. (Tony Pauline)

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