Colin Cowherd goes to bat for Russell Wilson again

Russell Wilson and Colin Cowherd are close

He is saving this franchise

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article noting how Colin Cowherd was more or less revealing how Russell Wilson feels about the current off-season.

Wilson and Cowherd are close. A lot of what Cowherd was saying went beyond the usual media insight you’d expect on the Seahawks. It felt a lot more intimate. A lot more real. He spoke to how Wilson felt. He speculated that he might be looking at a player like Patrick Mahomes with envy. Mahomes is the focal point of Kansas City’s offensive philosophy, he’s consulted on who they draft and the Chiefs have been as aggressive as anyone to build around their quarterback.

In Seattle? The difference couldn’t be more stark.

PFF this week ranked the Seahawks’ defensive line dead last in the entire league. It’s incredible really. They came into the off-season with the #1 priority of fixing their pass rush. To be here, on July 23rd, with potentially the worst D-line in the whole NFL is a damning indictment on Seattle was able to achieve.

It’s also exactly what the Seahawks deserve. Going into week one with a starting line of Rasheem Green, Jarran Reed, Poona Ford and Benson Mayowa — that simply isn’t good enough. That’s a failure. And while they might hope that L.J. Collier can make a giant leap forward (a mere ‘step forward’ won’t be enough) or that Bruce Irvin can find a niche to create some pressures and sacks — collectively it’s staggering that the Seahawks have so done so poorly in trying to solve their biggest off-season task.

They still haven’t even replaced Al Woods.

And after having the very public workout with Antonio Brown and it not amounting to anything, not to mention Jake Heaps (who works closely with Russell Wilson) speculating interest in Jamal Adams — we now have Cowherd returning with another damning analysis of the Seahawks:

“They don’t draft particularly well at the top of the draft. They can’t build offensive and defensive lines. A great owner passed away, the current ownership group doesn’t necessarily want it. Who’s got support and who doesn’t?”

You can see all of Cowherd’s take in the video below:

Hasn’t he got a point?

Defensively it might be a bit harsh. The trade for Chris Clemons was inspired — as was the following additions of Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Bruce Irvin and Frank Clark. Yet recently they’ve seen all depart and their attempts to build a new D-line have been, to put it bluntly, a bit of a mess.

The O-line issue is fair comment. They’ve pumped resources into the line over the years but have never been able to create the kind of unit you could realistically call a strength. Wilson has Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf but he clearly feels like he needs more — thus the Brown workout and the recent renewed talk about Josh Gordon.

The Seahawks are being propped up by their quarterback. They’ve had three resetting off-seasons and they aren’t making enough progress. That’s why I asked this week whether they’re treading water. They aren’t adding enough quality players and they’re not developing enough draft picks into contributors — let alone top starters.

I don’t think this noise is going to go away and I think it’s safe to say Wilson is going to be a big reason why. He is a highly ambitious individual and he will feel his chances of delivering on his talent are being jeopardised by a team that isn’t doing a good enough job surrounding him with complimentary pieces.

Cowherd is saying what he’s saying for a reason. Wilson’s not happy with this off-season. He asked for superstars. He wants to see the Seahawks make the moves to give him an opportunity to win more rings but instead they can’t even bring back Jadeveon Clowney — their one truly dynamic D-liner from 2019.

ESPN this week ranked the Seahawks as having the third worst off-season in the league.

The star player wants to see more urgency and he’s right to feel that way. We’ll see if he’s able to trigger some action.

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  1. Rob Staton

    I wanted to start off the comments in anticipation of what will come.

    I know with this article I’ll be accused of repetition or droning on about Seattle’s poor off-season, being negative or ‘acting like I know more than the team’.

    A little reminder that already during this off-season I’ve accelerated the 2021 scouting reports — including two yesterday on a pair of Pittsburgh defenders. I’ve done positional reviews on different areas of the team. We’ve looked at possible trade targets, dissected what the Seahawks can still do and discussed the signings they’ve made since the draft.

    I write about the negative topics too because they warrant being discussed. Not once and then forgotten — but until the issues are addressed. This has been a poor off-season. And while many don’t want to contemplate that (which is fair enough) it doesn’t mean I/we shouldn’t critique it.

    One counter I’ve seen is it be suggested how can anyone criticise when they annually make the playoffs. Here’s the thing though. If you have a quarterback like Russell Wilson — the consensus #2 in the entire NFL — you expect to make the playoffs at a minimum. The thing that turns you into a playoff contender rather than a playoff also-ran is the support you put around that quarterback. At the moment Wilson is propping up this team. That’s not to say they don’t have other good players. Of course they do. There are just too many holes that haven’t been addressed and should’ve been addressed. Too many areas on the team that will hold the Seahawks back when the games matter.

    And there’s a serious danger that in about five years time we’ll see these years as a massive missed opportunity.

    • Ashish

      I get your point and 100% agree with you. Here is another theory, not many would have thought when Hawks signed Bennett and Arvil that they will be super star. Even considering those two player I understand there were many other good players in all the positions. But all were not that well known commodity. I’m more driving to similar hypothetical situation, a positive view around the players team has gambled.
      You might come up with article like Blair, Green, Ugo, Penny, Diggs, Irvin, Hyde took hawks to next step which was not expected. May be just for fun or optimistic preview. Either way, i always respect your opinion.

      • Rob Staton

        Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett were two of the best defensive linemen in the NFL when they signed in Seattle.

        Everyone was staggered the Seahawks were able to get them.

        Everyone was really excited.

        Let’s not revise history there.

        • Ashish

          Okay, i was very new to NFL back than. Any way i like going into season with zero expectation so no disappointment.

        • Submanjoe

          I wonder if seattle FO thinks Dunbar is one of the best corners in the league. His situation is extremely disappointing.
          I think this is just the Pete Carroll way. USC shot to success immediately and then was good but not the same. His Seattle situation has been the same. I’ve wondered for years if he would be able to ‘reestablish’ greatness after that initial rise to the top. I still wonder. He seems like a great motivator and a very positive and tolerant person.

          I too am amazed by this offseason and the moves that have been made.
          I’d skip most of the restricted free agent moves and instead take Clowney. I’d skip most of the o line signings too. Dunbar at the time and still may be, looked like a great and very shrewd move. I don’t think they even need stars so much as under the radar stars, guys with a chip on the shoulder so to speak. I am not certain any of the additions this offseason have that.

          • Ashish

            Worst case, at least we can have new coach next year? Pete might retire

            • Rob Staton

              Doubt it

            • Submanjoe

              I am not saying i want Pete to quit or retire or to be fired…
              We are lucky to have him…

    • Roger Davis

      Rob, excellent article. All off season I’ve been 100% in agreement with your principle thesis.

      My 10 cents worth. Carroll has a philosophy of how to play the game (to vastly oversimplify): Pound the ball, keep possession, throw bombs. DangeRuss is excellent in that role.

      However, (IMHO) Russ would also be excellent in a more passing oriented attack that included short passes for possession and bombs. Modern stats seem to indicate the latter offence does produce more points per game. To me Russ throwing to Lockett, DK, Gordon, Dorsett, Olsen and Dissley could be a very effective ball control and bomb type offence which would utilize Russ even more productively. The QB is the most important chess piece on the field, I’d utilize whichever offence maximized the talent I possessed, rather that the talent I wished I had, to score the most points they could.

      Rob, keep up the good work. Keep up telling us the truth. It may be unpalatable, but it is always precious.

  2. cha

    The inability to draft and develop defensive lineman has plagued this front office.

    The only draft pick to get a second contract from the Seahawks in the PCJS era is Jarran Reed. (Granted, Frank Clark was franchised and traded – he should have gotten a second contract from the Hawks).

    They’ve had a lot of success with some trades and low cost free agent pickups, but that well just hasn’t been as productive.

  3. James Z

    I’ve been gainfully employed at a couple of businesses that have changed either ownership or upper management. Approaches and understandings of how to do business do change dramatically, at least in the long run and sometimes for the better, sometimes not… Cowherd’s comment about the change at the top when Paul Allen died rings true. This is not a dig on Jodie Allen, but she doesn’t seem to bring the passion or interest that Paul seemed to. Nor should she be expected to. There can be both quantitative and qualitative changes that reverberate throughout an organization. This. IMO, is one of causes of a couple of off seasons that seem to go in reverse of the comments of the needs that both PC and JS have voiced.

    • Mike

      This may be the case, but I’d hardly stack the drafting and FA decisions on the owner. Those are primarily the GM. A hands off approach from her only cements this situation as more rooted in PC/JS

  4. Strategicdust

    Thanks Rob for not just being a cheerleader for the team but to honestly evaluate the team and their front office. It has been a mystifyingly bad offseason for this team and, combined with other poor decisions in the past few years, it’s seemingly going to keep them in the good not great echelon of teams. As purge ESPN article says, you have to wonder if Russell Wilson has been covering up the poor performance of this front office.

  5. Trevor

    Agree 100% with everything you said in this blog and I think treading water sums the situation up perfectly.

    The sad part is i dont think anything changes till the team is sold to a new owner who is passionate and wants an SB ring. It is not a coincidence that Cowhed is talking about the ownership change.

    Think about all the signings this off season. Short term deals to journeyman with little guaranteed $. I think this is why Clowney was not signed. He was expecting a long term offer and the Hawks offered a 1-2 year deal because that is all JS was allowed to offer. Can’t build a SB winner like this.

    • Mike

      I agree on this. Since Kam, it seems like long term deals are so rare. It just seems that this commitment aversion accelerates the venting of good players. We also have been looking to underpay Players on prove it deals to the point that it must be a deterrent to players wanting to sign here. They figure its not gonna convert into a bigger contract. You can hate the diva type players, but that’s common in the league, especially for the really talented ones. They want to get paid. So why dont we pay those players for the marquee positions like the D line?

    • Simo

      No question the offseason has been disappointing and they definitely haven’t added “superstars”. Can’t blame Russ for expressing his feelings about the work PC/JS have done this year. Treading water definitely seems appropriate for this team, a perennial playoff team but not a serious contender.

      The thing I have a hard time believing is that the current ownership structure is holding them back. I just can’t see Jody Allen telling Pete and John how to run things or what their player acquisition strategy should be! I would agree Paul Allen was more passionate about his teams than his sister, but she doesn’t seem like an obstacle to making moves and building a great team. Pete and John still have tremendous control over the football operations, including personnel moves!

      I could be wrong, but sure haven’t seen or heard anything to indicate ownership is an issue. IMO this is all Pete and John! They have a plan for doing things and they don’t seem to deviate or adjust even when the plan gets turned upside down. If there’s blame to be laid for this offseason, blame them. Maybe PC/JS are worried about their longevity in the organization, but wouldn’t that make you even more aggressive in search of another title?

      • Rob Staton

        I don’t think Jody Allen tells Pete and John how to do anything.

        I do think, however, that they’ve gone from an extremely hands-on owner who was smart enough and trusted PCJS enough not to meddle (but still held them to account) to now having a somewhat reluctant ownership structure, not really sure whether to carry on or sell and not really knowing much about how to run a NFL franchise and relying on a series of advisors and people who were entrusted to keep things ticking along.

        Day-to-day operations might be fine. But a franchise needs a visionary leader with clear aims and ambitions who is ultimately ‘the boss’. I don’t think Seattle has that currently.

        I also think they’ve lost the benefits that come with having a self-made billionaire running the show.

        • GerryG

          Interesting take, definitely possible.

          I kinda thought PC/JS were strong enough leadership, and that would not matter, but this off season is pure garbage, and befuddling, so you could be on to something.

          • Hoggs41

            I was one who did criticize writing the same article over and over again but the more I think about it the more I also agree that we are treading water. Now most teams tread water in that 7-9, 8-8, 9-7 zone and cant get out of it but we are treading water in that 10-6, 11-5 zone which isnt terrible but at the same time we havent played in the NFC Championship game in 5 years. What do we have to do to get out of it? Im not really sure.

  6. Volume12


    The ‘Washington football team?’

    • Mike

      I know!! Haha

      Also, Hawks are THE Washington team. DoC cant claim that name

      • Volume12

        Absolute garbage franchise

        • Trevor

          Worst in the league IMO Allen and Synder are about as bad as it gets.

        • Dave Bara

          If it comes down to a choice between Russ or Pete and John, I’m going with Russ

    • McZ

      This is what you’re supposed to do if a guy from VA trademarks all possible names.
      Which is even worse than not finding a proper name.

  7. Shane

    I am not sure why anyone would want to read a blog that only publishes articles that are one sides. I enjoy the perspective of not only the positives and negatives but the research done looking ahead at the future. Keep it up.

  8. Largent80

    The re-set is simply Rinse and Repeat….They have a once in a lifetime QB, they have a SB win, and a ridiculous head scratching play keeping them from back to back SB wins.

    They have made so many deals, trades and draft picks to squander that momentum into what we now have. Which is a unit that practically nobody has any confidence of doing anything. They overachieved last year and are trying to roll into 2020 like they did from 2012 into 2013.

    It’s not even remotely close.

    Oh well. Who are we to want the best for our team?

  9. Kyle

    Appreciate your perspective Rob, always. During the season you got a lot of criticism from the Field Gulls crowd for being too pro-Carroll. So I think just shows a lot of fairness and honesty on your part—appreciate the system and what has been done in context but also hold the team to a high standard

    Cowherd is incendiary at times. Sometimes he advances a ridiculous argument for controversy. I guess that’s a typical national media personality take. In this case it’s hard to find fault although I do think he’s exaggerated the team’s failings. Really until this off season I think most of the strategy was pretty defensible.

    • Mike

      For a team built on coaching up players, they seem to rule out raw physical talent for guys that fit their personality now. Total flip flop from the earlier stance they took in years past. I think the Malik McDowell drama has stuck with them.

      To me, it seems like every year is an overreaction to the failings of the year before. I guess that’s why we now have 37.5 offensive linemen on the roster.

      Except, the d line we now are putting our hope in rookies. And figure we can go into the season with even less of them than usual.

      • Rob Staton

        I think they’ve persistently been very reactionary.

        You only have to look at the Jimmy Graham trade in 2015.

        I suppose you could also say they’ve merely attacked their key needs with a vigour, which would be a fair way of reflecting on their actions.

        That’s why I’m so surprised they haven’t done more to fix the pass rush and D-line.

  10. James C

    I find it hilarious how Cowherd mentions Rodgers has “stars Aaron Jones and Davante Adams” but conveniently forgets to mention Wilson has Carson, Lockett and Metcalf. He instead focuses on Rashaad Penny.
    Sorry but I would take Seattle’s skill positions over GB’s in a heartbeat.
    Cowherd was making a good point until he threw in that argument. Totally off base.

    • Rob Staton

      Fair point

    • GerryG

      Definitely, but that’s not too surprising really, Cowherd is insufferable. He is buddy-buddy with Wilson, and clearly has some insight on the situation, that’s the only reason I am even paying attention to what he is saying. Usually I have him on ignore.

    • Sea Mode

      I thought exactly the same.

    • 12th chuck

      got Harvin, Graham for some 1st round picks as well. I wouldnt call it a whiff, but not worth the price they paid in hindsight . lets hope they can sign Gordon.

  11. Stephen Pitell

    The jury is out. I am disappointed as much as anyone we haven’t YET signed a significant star at DE or DT, and fear that the OL may be worse rather than better, but I’m not sure this is over, number one, and two, Mayowa, Irvin, Green, and rookies may be enough to succeed on D so long as the DB’s also take a step forward. Dunbar’s addition seemed to indicate that was likely.

    The jury is still out on our OL as well. All that money may have been well spent.

    Play ball!

  12. AlaskaHawk

    I wish people would not confuse the JS and Pete Carroll that got them to the Superbowl, with their performance over the last 3-4 years. The drafting is worse. The free agents are okay but not spectacular.

    The defense seems to get a little worse each year.

    The offense could be better with an above average receiver group and a heathy running back, but will they play hard for a complete game?

    Play calling has been suspect for awhile.

    It’s just hard to see when things will turn back up for the Seahawks. I pretty much lay all this on JS and Pete’s lap – they pick the players and coach them.

  13. Mac

    I’d feel a lot better about our team if they would acknowledge that RW is the best player on the team. I’m not screaming ‘let Russ cook’, but we probably won’t have a choice with a Dline this mediocre. I just would of been far more satisfied if we used the 60 mil on keeping fluker, bring in Conklin, drafting more offensive lineman, resign Clowney and sign Jordan Phillips. Ideally, we would control the clock with our running game, stop the run, take deep shots and try to control the game. I just don’t think we’ll have the talent to get it done.

  14. Alex Higgins

    So what to do? There’s no money left to do anything now.
    Do we aim for a rebuilding season and hope to set up well for 2021?
    Do we bring in new leadership, i.e., PC/JS?
    I’m stumped.

    • Sea Mode

      Hope we can maneuver enough to still work something out with Clowney and sign Josh Gordon. Pray everyone stays healthy. Look for a few young players to break out or at least take a starting job.

      Start looking forward to FA in 2021.

    • Justaguy

      A Pete quote from
      “If you look at all the four guys that we’ve added that rush the passer (Mayowa, Irvin, Taylor and Robinson), I think that’s about eight or nine sacks apiece (in 2019). So, if you put them all together, that would be great. If those guys can come up and create something like 36-40 sacks combined, shoot, we’ll really have hit the mark.”
      I need a pair of Pete’s rise colored glasses.

      • Rob Staton

        Pete will always be an optimist but that is beyond realism now.

        8-9 sacks from two rookies, plus Mayowa is as likely to repeat his one sack seasons in 2015 or 2017, or his four sack season in 2018 as he is last years efforts.

        Bruce has only ever been a compliment.

        Nobody who can create consistent pressure. Nobody who can realistically win in a four man front game after game.

        It’s a mess.

        And quotes like that, if repeated in future press conferences, need to be challenged.

        • TomLPDX

          But that quote won’t be challenged by any of the beat writers for the Seahawks. They don’t normally ask the hard questions like that.

          I think a more realistic target would be 3-4 sacks by our rooks, which would be a good showing by them. If we can get 30 sacks out of these guys that would seem to be good for this group.

          • Rob Staton

            You’re right — 30 is probably a realistic target.

            And 30 sacks would be two more than last season and would secure a bottom five pass rush in the NFL for a second successive season.

            Which is why I write the articles I do. They have emphatically failed to address their biggest issue this off-season.

        • Justaguy

          If somehow those four guys manage to combine for two sacks a game that could be called a success based on the lack of talent. You are absolutely right to call out the pass rush as holding this team back and the way it has been addressed by this front office is horrendous.

          • Rob Staton

            And we should use language like ‘horrendous’ too.

            Because it is justified. The off-season mission is a failure.

      • cha

        The Seahawks franchise rookie record for sacks is Irvin’s 8 sacks in 2012.

        PC seriously expects TWO rookie players to equal or better that in 2020?

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t think he seriously expects that.

          It’s just something he’s said.

  15. Aaron

    Irregardless of the outcome of this season, I honestly feel like Pete and John need to step down after 2020 or in 2021 when their contracts expire. This offseason has really been one lackluster decision after another. One may question if they’re still hungry to win. Do they have the same fire they once had? Where is the passion and the win forever mentality? Russ is your best bet to win it all, why not surround him with the talent he needs? It’s clear that doing so is possible while still remaining under the cap. If anything, this offseason has exposed Pete and John as complacent, coasting off past victories, content with quantity over quality, and simply a day late and a dollar short.

  16. Zane

    Just to play devils advocate with a few positives:
    – O-line got younger and much deeper
    – Major upgrade to TE position
    – Maybe no stars, but deeper, more varied at DE
    – Brooks & Damien Lewis look like potential BAMFs
    – Blair & Collier should contribute in year 2

    • pdway

      I think all that is true.

      And to say that Seattle has done ‘nothing’ for RW is to overlook acquisitions like Percy Harvin and Jimmy Graham – – those are the ‘superstar’ types that we keep referring to – and neither really worked out.

      We’ve spent tons of draft capital on the O-line too – – truth be told, we just haven’t picked (and/or developed them) well.

      I think the criticism on this blog is totally fair, we’ve clearly dropped the ball in not having a plan B, when the expected Clowney re-signing went sideways – but, I’m not close to the PC/JS need to go, or they’ve lost their desire to win, camp. Seen too many bad years in Seattle, and too many other floundering franchises. Yes, Russell is great, but we’ve also creating a winning culture in Seattle (arising from a particularly dismal spell in the immediately preceding years), and that doesn’t come around that often either.

    • Rob Staton

      Is the O-line much deeper? Or are they just carrying a bunch of inevitable cuts?

  17. Gohawks5151

    I think this is all about PCJS trusting their skills. JS finds an overlooked dude. PC develops them. They looking to bear the fruit. Is it naive? Overconfident? Maybe. I coach at my local high school. When you see a kid everyday putting in work, growing, improving it easy to talk yourself into it. To fall in love with potential. You never know til you put the pads on though. Do they deserve to see this through their way? A way that produced a championship? Again, maybe. Russ is like a fan. He wants more guarantees on performance and talent. He is beyond hoping for progressive growth. At his age I get it. His point is valid too. I’m not qualified to say who’s right.

    What annoys me the most is the secrecy BS on both sides. Russ should just call them out. He is a SUPERSTAR. He is bulletproof. If you really want it, keep the pressure on. Force the hand

  18. Tom

    Bring back Scot McCloughan

    • 12th chuck

      I thought the same thing a few years ago, but he didnt do much while in washington. when Pete first got here, he had an inside knowledge of a lot of players from coaching and recruiting at usc. But it probably wouldnt hurt to have scot back

  19. charlietheunicorn

    Here is what I know….

    Release the Kraken: NHL Seattle announces team name is Seattle Kraken

    • Tree

      We got superstars last year in Clowney and Ziggy (granted the latter was coming off an injury but he was still in his prime age wise). I for one was pumped. I was also pumped when we traded for Percy, Jimmy, and Sheldon. JS/PS have been at their best with shrewd signings and trades: Clem, Bennett (he was a Shaq Barrett type free agent last year when we got him for a song for the first time around-no one was banging on his door), singing cheap/productive DTs year after year, etc. We have had a sustained level of success unmatched by any team outside of NE. Calls for PS/JS to step down after we were one inch from winning the NFC West and a stop (or an inexcusable drop) from the NFC championship game is laughable. This team plays their ass off under PC and are in nearly every game and simply fun to watch. I wouldn’t take too much stock in a shock jock or ESPN rankings. Or even lured by big name signings (how did the Browns turn out last year)? Vegas may be a better bet (they say we are better and so do I).

      • Jeff108

        What odds are you looking at? I see the Hawks at +2200 and 9th best in the NFL. 6th best odds in the NFC, 2nd in the NFC West. I’m buying those odds but the odds are not an improvement.

        • Tree

          I saw that Caesar’s had them at 5th best in the nfl, but I have seen them around 9 too. But even after we signed Clowney last year I think I saw 2300. Not treading water if u r moving a little. 🙂 I really think it was the injuries and lack of depth along with the lack of speed/quickness on the edges killed us last year. I think we have addressed that and hopefully we add a few more pieces.

  20. Rusty

    Can you clarify why you think Cowherd is speaking Wilson’s thoughts? To me this seems pretty baseless. For years he’s been saying similar things about lack of talent and poor coaching. Go back and listen to him in the 2018 offseason, or especially after the week 2 loss in 2018. He’s saying the same things as now. Was that from Wilson too? Or when he calls Lockett a “special teams gadget player” to boost Wilson’s MVP case … is that from Wilson? I just don’t exactly buy into this idea that Cowherd of all people is someone worth listening to.

    • Rob Staton

      Cowherd has not spoken this way before, not with this apparent insight. There’s too much detail here, it’s intimate knowledge of the situation given almost from the QB’s POV. Everything is through the lense of what Wilson will be thinking. And he and Wilson have become close in the last year or two.

      • Rusty

        Hmm Idk it doesn’t seem substantively different to me … and definitely not particularly insightful. He’s just ranting about PFF giving Seattle’s lines poor grades. To me it just sounds like most clips I’ve heard of Cowherd talking about this team in the last 2 or 3 years.

        • Rob Staton

          That’s your interpretation. I don’t see it that way all to be honest. He’s talked, not unfairly, about Seattle not being the team they used to be in prior off-seasons. He’s never gone into great detail about a lack of support for Wilson, issues that are real with the franchise (eg ownership) or compared Wilson’s situation to Mahomes, while specifically throwing it out there that there could be some envy.

          Everything he has said recently could easily have come from Wilson. That’s different than a year ago when he basically said the Seahawks shouldn’t be favourites in the NFC West.

  21. Ghost Mutt

    As far as I’m concerned, this is JS/PC’s year. There’s a lot of things that could happen that we don’t anticipate, that they have a clearer view of.

    Collier’s injury was bad, it’s unfair to judge a rookie playing on a hobbled ankle. The O-line could surprise us. Darrell Taylor could flash early and produce 8-10 sacks on a limited pitch count. Diggs could stay healthy and make the cover-3 more cohesive.

    I’m not saying any of these things will happen, or that they’re likely. But I’m hopeful that something will, because it’s just so out of character for the guys in charge to be this passive. If the season plays out how we fear, then it should cost them both their jobs, and the greatest gift they’ll leave the franchise with is a ton of cap flexibility for whoever takes over.

    As a fan, I’m holding out irrational hope that JS/PC have seen something we haven’t, and that there’s a few positive surprises in store. You’re right to keep questioning Rob, you wouldn’t be doing your job well if you weren’t. But I guess that’s where the friction with a few commenters comes from, it’s been such a horrible few months and people want to look forward to the year. It’s just a shame we don’t have more reasons to be optimistic.

  22. Big Mike

    You keep a franchise in the Super Bowl hunt by drafting well. That allows you to jettison over-priced, middle of the road players and afford guys like Frank Clark. Instead we see the signings of these types of players because few have been drafted that contribute. The drafting has been quite subpar the last 6 or so years and that is why the franchise finds itself in this position imo. I mean look at last year’s first 2 selections as examples……….Collier was a healthy scratch several times and Blair couldn’t grasp the defense.

    I wish RW could “trigger some action” as Rob put it but I don’t see it. This is Pete’s show. Always has been and I believe always will be. JS, Russ, are important but ultimately not the bottom line aspect of the team.

  23. Evan

    Really appreciate your perspective Rob. I think you make great points and the offseason was a missed opportunity that will be disguised by Russell’s skill.

    Any thoughts on how this offseason compares to the last few offseasons? It’s hard to tell if we are tending up or down and if the issues come from drafting or free agency. Thanks again!

    • Rob Staton

      I’d say trending down. The last couple of off-seasons they had little wiggle room due to cap issues and a lack of picks. They had no such issues this year.

  24. GoHawksDani

    The main reason why the team treading water is the same reason why they might win at every year: Russ.
    Because RW3 they’re just too good to re-build, where you build the franchise basically from the ground up. You won’t get blue chip talent between 20-32nd picks. The niners didn’t build their DL by being a contender. They sucked for years, but because of the draft system they’d be able to fill it with top10-15 pick players.
    Hawks could’ve mortgage the future and make splashy trade-ups or ton of picks for players, but that is not their MO. They could’ve pick really high risk players in R1 and hope they’re boom and not bust but they usually don’t do that. They don’t wanna overpay guys or hand out big money other than the QB (and LBs lol).

    So you have a “better to be safe than sorry” FO and a potential future HoFer QB who single handedly wins you like 6 games. What those add up to? Mediocrity for years unless you hit the jackpot with a steal-trade or with one of your safe draftpicks.

    Put Russ into a more aggressive gambling franchise, and they might win 12-14 games and a couple of SBs or just 4-6 games and be a pretty bad team.
    Let’s say for some reason Russ would’ve retired after the great cleanse (Bennett, Avril, Sherm, etc). I think that would’ve triggered a full re-build instead of “re-tooling”. Probably around 3-6 wins for a couple of years…and if they could’ve find a good QB Hawks could go to the SB around 2022-2023…if not they’d be awful for a long time.

    I want to have Russ, but I’d like PCJS to be more of a gambler. Trading players, getting players, trading draftpicks, trading up in the draft, etc.

    • GoHawksDani

      Just to be clear. Russ is NOT the only reason they are a 10-11 win and short playoff appearance team. With him this is almost the floor. But because of how the league works and this FO works they cannot get up from the floor because they’re too good to be able to become great. I don’t blame RW for it. 10-11 win teams can also improve, but hard to make jumps like the niners did without suck for a certain time and hoard high draftpicks

      • Mike

        I mean, I agree and disagree with that. You cant get cheap dominant linemen in the draft like bad teams. Unless its a historically deep draft year at the position.. like last year (Damien Williams), or the year before for DL, and you don’t trade down for more mid-round picks. Or if you select Will Hernandez rather than Rashad Penny. Technically, we could have gotten multiple o linemen this draft, including a Tackle.

        You need lots of talented veteran linemen to win football. So..

        Spend lots of money on the disgruntled linemen who want off other teams. Green bay with Aaron Rodgers did that. Its possible, even with an elite QB. We could have gotten Clowney. We could have signed the numerous FA DL options like JPP, Quinn, Fowler..

        You could just have an overall strategy that favors stacking your lines with BAMFs, and sorting out the secondary and skill positions later, on the cheap.

        We used to play thinking we could save cash by eliminating the O line. We now are trying to save cash be eliminating the d line.

        No other position group outside of QB looks to be dominant. None look to be in the Top 5 in the league, except maybe LB. i love our boys, but father time is catching up.

      • BruceN

        You’re right about the Niners sucking for 4 years to get their night draft picks. But giving them credit they did a phenomenal job drafting their current core. And not just in the first round but with their lower picks too (Kittle in the 5th, Warner in the 3rd, Deebo in the 2nd, etc.). Similar to what we did in the 2012-2014 period. So they’ll be a force to deal with for a few Years. Conversely, we’ve done a poor job of drafting recently and that’s why we have so many holes. As for RW, I think we would be an 8-8 or a 7-9 team, at best, without him. Being in the Niner country they think we would be a 4-12 team without him.

    • cha

      The main reason why the team treading water is the same reason why they might win at every year: Russ.

      He’s the beginning of building a successful franchise, not the beginning of a premise to tear the franchise down.

      You won’t get blue chip talent between 20-32nd picks.

      The Hawks got Okung and ET in the top of the first round. That’s it. RW, Baldwin, Kearse, Sherman, Kam, KJ, Wagner, Lockett, Clark were all drafted after that. Lynch, Bennett, Avril, Clemons, etc were acquired via trade or free agency.

      Your premise is flawed. There’s other ways to build your team than teardown and rebuild with top picks.

      The niners didn’t build their DL by being a contender. They sucked for years, but because of the draft system they’d be able to fill it with top10-15 pick players.

      They still had room to pay a QB big money because those guys were on rookie contracts and have an All Pro TE playing on a rookie contract (who BTW they drafted after 20-32). They’re steaming towards making some very tough decisions with 2nd contracts for these guys soon. And they looked hard at replacing their QB with Tom Brady this offseason.

      • Volume12

        Somethings that gets overlooked about that 9ers D? Their LBs. Most underrated positional group in the league IMO. Don’t be surprised when they pay those guys big $ too.

        • TomLPDX

          PFF ranked the 49ers LB corp #10, which seems about right. They are a solid group with room to improve and probably will given the opportunity.

        • mishima

          Big fan of Fred Warner (3rd round) and Dre Greenlaw (5th round). Add a healthy Kwon (brilliant restructure, btw) and iit’s a top 5 unit.

  25. BruceN

    I watched Cowherd’s clip and it was harsh. Can’t say it wasn’t true. ESPN’s offseason ranking of the Hawks (#30) doesn’t help. We’ve been saying the same all along. You mentioned they haven’t replaced Woods yet. What about Q Jeff? He is a bigger loss than Woods. Both are big losses along the DL. Why do you think they’re not signing reasonable vets like Snacks?

    • Rob Staton

      No idea.

      But Jefferson was an inside out type. The fact is they simply don’t have the depth at DT to get through a season currently. That’s why I say they haven’t replaced Woods.

      • cha

        Imagine if Reed comes down with COVID. Good Lord.

        • UkAlex6674

          What? Imagine if ANYONE came down with COVID. Good Lord.

      • BruceN

        Yes, Q Jeff’s versatility to play 3 and 5 technique will be missed the most. And I’m not sure why they didn’t extend Woods considering how well he played. Probably because of the games he missed. Regardless, we seriously need to shore up the D line. I know I’m preaching to the choir. I even thought they may give MB one final shot since he was still productive and had the versatility of playing inside and out. But I guess he burned too many bridges.

        • Rob Staton

          This isn’t the point though Bruce.

          It’s not about who Seattle might miss the most. I’m talking about a pure numbers game.

          They have players who can play inside/out. They’re one injury away from starting Bryan Mone at defensive tackle and as things stand they’re going to be relying on him to play a LOT.

          That’s why not replacing Al Woods matters.

          • BruceN

            “ I’m talking about a pure numbers game.”. I hear you and I agree. That’s why I have this wishful thinking/feeling that they’re not done. The way we’ve been hit with the injury bug the last few years you know we’re going to have some serious ones again this year. And the thought of starting Mone for a few games doesn’t exactly give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

  26. TomLPDX

    If you guys get a chance to read this about Marshawn’s return to the Seahawks, it is worth the time.

    • Sea Mode

      Great read. Thanks for sharing!

      Classic Marshawn…😂:

      The day Lynch signed, Schottenheimer found him in running backs coach Chad Morton’s office, introduced himself and stuck out his hand.

      Lynch didn’t reciprocate.

      “He looks me up and down and just says, ‘What’s up, dawg?’ ” Schottenheimer recalled. “That’s an intimidating-looking dude, now.”

    • Big Mike

      Excellent read. Appreciate the head’s up.

  27. cha

    With the first pick in the 2041 NFL draft, the Washington Football Team selects Win Wilson

  28. Sea Mode

    Also, wow: Ronald Jones bulked up to 225 over the last two off-seasons and reportedly still runs 4.4.

  29. RWIII

    I was listening to John Clayton. Basically Clayton said that Colin Cowherd is in never never land. In the 2020 season(According to the N.F.L. Network) Seattle has 6 players in the TOP 100. I wonder if Cowherd is aware of the fact that the Hawks do have 6 players in the top 100.

    Not sure who they are. But I am guessing 1)Wilson 2) Wagner 3) Lockette 4) Duane Brown. Fifth and sixth players Metcalf? Chris Carson? Other Candidates would be Griffin, Dunbar. long shot Jarran Reed, Greg Olsen.

    • Rob Staton

      John Clayton thinks Cowherd is in never never land?

      Did he offer any thoughts on Utah Gross-ma-toast’s rookie season?

      • Simo

        Is being old and senile the same as being in “never never land”?

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t know.

          But it’s a bit rich for Clayton to be dismissing anyone at this stage.

  30. Dan

    I understand the sense of urgency with Wilson’s career, but I don’t agree with the idea that the FO has done worse than any other franchise in the same position.
    GB: Perennial playoff team with a franchise QB that can’t get over the hump.
    NO: Perennial playoff team with a franchise QB that can’t get over the hump.
    PIT: Perennial playoff team with a franchise QB that can’t get over the hump.
    In my opinion, the team will be stuck in this loop until that “one year” that everything comes together and they make the super bowl. You can be angry about that, and blame it on the current individuals running the organization, or you can be optimistic that this is “the year”

  31. Whit21

    Im gonna have to go with Rob on this one.. He covers the bigger stories of sports and always says he talks about what his viewers want him to talk about. Theres usually so many stories and things going on that he has enough to talk about and doesn’t talk about something on his show unless he’s certain.

    Colin has a lot of insiders and gets predictions usually right. Although he does site the PFF rankings but it makes me believe that RW and him probably talked about whats going on in seattle and he gives his version of why RW isnt getting any support and a round about explanation of how the Seahawks haven’t done well the last few years despite making the playoffs.

    Iv tried to ignore the facts this offseason, but its clear there has been some major failures the last few years and especially this year.

    Having 17+ linement or whatever it is at this point is insane. I know they need to address it but they’ve nickel and dimed themselves from getting a few good quality players and have now made a big ridiculous competition that feels like they just want to throw a bunch of linemen at the problem and see what sticks.

    Dline is almost the same scenario. the one thing they didnt want to do is pay Frank Clark.. but when it came down the stretch in the superbowl… it was frank clark that caused a lot of pressure and helped their defense stop San Fran.. right now.. the Seahawks dont have that player on the defensive line.. so, long story short… colin cowerd is right.

  32. Adog

    Disclaimer: Russel Wilson is my favorite player ever. Even so I considered the idea and floated it here of not signing Wilson to that second contract. I don’t believe that a franchise qb contract fits into Carroll’s coaching/team philosophy. We used to spend a lot of money on our oline… before that 2nd contract. We used to have deepest pass rush in the NFL before that second contract. It can be argued that biggest mistake Carrol ever made was putting their trust into Wilson. Instead of sticking to their team beliefs…they went rogue and ended up with a franchise qb who is great but not super human to overcome the think roster. This is why every year we get into the playoffs…and injuries derail us. So Russel wants stars?

    • Rob Staton

      They just spent $60m

    • cha

      Last year the Packers spent $118m on Zadarius Smith and Preston Smith on the same day, while carrying Aaron Rodgers’ cap hit of $29m. The Packers now have one of the best DL’s in football.

      RW’s cap hit is not the issue.

  33. KD

    I’ve gone from:

    1.) WTF are you doing SEAHAWKS?! JUST PAY CLOWNEY!!!!! MEMES!!!!


    2.) *fart noise*

  34. Trevor

    This is going to be one weird football season. With the adjusted CBA, lots of COVID testing, a lot less practice, no pre-season, few if any fans and the likelihood of lots of players on IR because of COVID.

    Have to think a guy as always prepared as Russ will have an even bigger impact. Worried about that OL almost as much as the DL though.

    If things keep getting worse on the virus front one has to wonder if they will even get through a whole season. If any league will try though it will be the NFL. My fingers are crossed that the Hawks can still add Everton Griffin and Josh Gordon to and that Carson has fully recovered if that happens along with the OL gelling they could have a shot in this whacky season.

    • Rob Staton

      Everyone wondered how the Premier League would cope.

      It got done.

      Money + regular testing = season

      • Trevor

        Oh I agree it will get done but I just think it is going to be a very weird season. With a lot less practice, no fans and much more unpredictability with rosters. The only caveat would be the ever increasing COVID numbers in the US if that spirals further out of control all bets are off because the NFL and MLB unlike the NBA and NHL are not playing in a bubble.

        I will be so glad when this virus and all the hysteria /media obesession becomes a thing of the past. I look to sports and the NFL / NHL in particular as a escape from the day to day and it just doesn’t seem like that now with the drama of this virus and the increasing political / social aspect.

        • Rob Staton

          I think it’ll be weird but unlike in the Premier League, where tiredness was a major issue due to needing to extend the season and play 2-3 games a week, I suspect teams will eventually adjust and the product will be very similar to what we’d usually expect (just in a very surreal, unpleasant atmosphere with zero fans).

          • Big Mike

            I see even more injuries due to even less practice time than previously. Otherwise I think your assessment is correct Rob.
            Does not bode well for Seattle’s already thin d-line. Maybe they’ll be doing the ‘reverse Cable” and converting o-linemen to d-line?

  35. AlaskaHawk

    There is a story going around about ex Seahawk Fluker. Seems like he is the victim of domestic violence. The Ravens team is experiencing some interesting personnel problems with Earl Thomas being threatened for infidelity to his wife. And Fluker getting punched in the nose by his baby mama.

  36. Michael Hasslinger

    My guess is the Seahawks will be sold in the next two years. No big investment that may drag down striking a deal.

    The salad days may be at an end. I am so appreciative of the 20 year run of Holmgren and Carroll.

    • Rob Staton

      I doubt ‘investment’ in the team, when there’s already a set salary cap, will have any impact whatsoever on a potential deal. Not for one of the best franchises in the NFL.

      Put it this way. If you’re buying the Seahawks in 2021 or 2022 you are a multi-billionaire. You’re not going to be put off by a 3-4 year commitment to a pass rusher.

  37. Rashi

    Holy shit, Jamal Adams to the Seahawks!!!!

  38. Rashi

    Wow its confirmed. Two firsts and a 3rd.

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