Curtis Allen’s week one watch points (vs Colts)

Note:  This is a guest post by Curtis Allen and the first in a weekly series. In each piece we will take a look at the Seahawks and their opponents and discuss key factors.

The promise of a new season is exciting and intoxicating. Especially this year.

A new offensive coordinator.

A wide receiver in DK Metcalf who is poised to take his place with the best in the game.

A franchise quarterback that is one of the best in the NFL. 

A running back who can infuse the entire team with a tough mentality.

A Hall of Fame middle linebacker roving the field looking for targets to take down.

Those are the knowns. Then there are the unknowns.

The Seahawks have kept both their offensive and defensive concepts and personnel groupings almost completely under wraps in the preseason. What has Shane Waldron cooked up to exploit the explosive talents of his personnel?

Can Darrell Taylor be the pass rush terror the team desperately needed when they drafted him?

Can Jamal Adams turn a full offseason with the team and the security of a new contract into an explosive season that can tilt the field with regularity?

Ultimately – can the Seahawks turn a tumultuous offseason into a real run at the Super Bowl?

Add in the fact that fans are champing at the bit to get back into the stadium and see their team live and you have the makings of an incredible adventure.

Week One sees the Seahawks starting on the road in Indianapolis against the Colts. One of the AFC’s best last year, the Colts have had their own turbulent offseason with a major quarterback change and multiple injuries to key players.

But you know they are spoiling for a fight just like the Seahawks are.

How can the Seahawks start the season off 1-0 with a win on the road against a tough as nails team?  Let us look at it in this week’s Watch Points.

Here we go.

Find a way to contain the running backs

With TY Hilton out for this game and the OL and QB positions having some questions — it is obvious the game for the Colts will be won or lost on the back of their running game.

Digging a little deeper really shows why that is not a bad bet for them. 

This group is dynamic.

First up, Jonathan Taylor. The second-round pick took his place among the NFL’s top backs last season, finishing in the Top-10 in all of the traditional stats:  Attempts, Yards, Rushing First Downs and Touchdowns. 

He is very good right now and will only get better.

With his vision, speed and toughness, Taylor is a perfect fit for this Colts offensive system.

Nine of his ten longest runs last year were between the tackles. 

But make no mistake, he is not just a grinder. That 4.39 40 speed is actual football speed, not combine testing speed.

Taylor recorded the NFL’s fourth fastest speed on offense in game situations last year at 22.05 MPH. 

For reference, amateur track star DK Metcalf’s rundown of Budda Baker last year was clocked at 22.64 MPH. Taylor has some serious speed.

The Colts also utilized him in the passing game last year, with 36 balls caught for an 8.3 yards per catch average.

It is not a coincidence that when Taylor got 20 touches in the 2020 regular season, the Colts were 5-0.

The Seahawks cannot afford to let this monster shake loose.

The beauty of the Colts’ offense, however, is it does not entirely rest on Taylor. 

They have another back in Nyheim Hines that is better than your standard support back. He troubles defenses in his own right and caught 63 balls out of the backfield and added 4.3 yards per rush.

Between Taylor and Hines, they generated 129 first downs last year. 

The entire rest of the offense? 76 first down. Yes, 63% of their first downs came from those two players.

And for the third head of this beast, Indy also brought first-down machine Marlon Mack back into the fold for another season. So, we will be seeing a lot of action out of the backfield Sunday.

The Seahawks have invested heavily in speed and tackling ability at the linebacker and safety spots. They must get their money’s worth in this game in order to contain these threats.

Of course, there are the trenches between them…

Prevent the Colts’ offensive line from dictating the game

Indianapolis has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and they use it like a weapon. So many teams have their linemen focus on protecting and not allowing the defense to disrupt their plays. The Colts, in contrast, are aggressive with their lineman. They send them on missions to wipe out would-be tacklers. They are a coordinated, ferociously tough unit.

How good are they?

Last year, Jonathan Taylor’s 8.3 yards per catch I referenced above? He caught those passes an average of 1.9 yards of depth behind the line of scrimmage. So there is over 10 yards of room between him catching the ball and being tackled to the ground. That comes not just by Taylor’s ability but the lineman’s skill and effort in implementing the playbook to get out to the perimeter and block.

It gets even worse when you look at the running game.

Taylor led all starter-level running backs in the NFL with a sparkling 3.0 yards before contact per attempt. 

How good is that? Only seven other starting level running backs made the top-50 in that stat. Derrick Henry was a distant #2 at 2.6 yards before contact.

Think about that. Jonathan Taylor was clean 15% more yards before contact than the next best guy. 

On every single attempt.

Add that much room to roam untouched to the fact that he has game-breaking speed and you have a match made in heaven. 

Or hell if you are trying to defend that.

How do the Colts accomplish this? With an offense that is much more horizontal than vertical. They are experts at moving north to south, creating gaps for exploitable cutbacks by funnelling defenders out of running lanes and taking on linebackers in the flat.

Look at the passing grades Philip Rivers experienced for passing behind the line of scrimmage in 2020:

Those numbers passing to the perimeter of the defense behind the line of scrimmage are a far sight better than what he had ever done with the Chargers in previous seasons and it is indicative of the horizontal nature of their offense. 

With either Carson Wentz starting and coming off one of the shakiest quarterback seasons in recent NFL history, or Jacob Eason starting his first ever NFL game, there is a very high probability the Colts will give both several simpler plays of this nature to take away the burden. You can expect the offensive line to carry a bigger load than normal in this game.

The Seahawks must be ready. Defending the perimeter will be critical. Regularly setting the edge is mission critical. Whoever the Seahawks have at SAM and 5-tech must be able to hold their ground and not get pushed around. ‘Read and react’ will be an integral skill to display in this game.

Again, Jordyn Brooks, Jamal Adams and Bobby Wagner will be key players in this game.

One thing to note that could provide a spark to the Seahawk defense: say what you like about their cornerbacks but Tre Flowers and DJ Reed have no problem fighting off wide receiver blocks and getting involved in run defense. This was a real weakness for Shaquille Griffin and Quentin Dunbar. Not for these corners. With the nature of the Colts’ offense as it is, we can expect they will be tested in this area several times. A couple of key blocks or tackles by the corners to kill drives would be very impactful.

Another point in the Seahawks’ favor: The Colts’ offensive line might be banged up and a bit uncoordinated due to not getting much practice time in camp. Quentin Nelson and Ryan Kelly have missed time with injuries and the COVID list.

Eric Fisher has just come off the PUP list and might practice this week, so likely the LT start belongs to Julie’n Davenport. What do we know about him?

Well, the reason he is in the NFL is due to his size – he is 6’7” 325 with 36.5” arms.  Great measurables there.

The reason he is a journeyman player though is he doesn’t have the skill or speed to match that size. He is slow. Like Jamarco Jones slow. And neither is he a drive-blocker in the run game.

He played for Miami last year. Arguably his best game was in Week 4 against…you guessed it…your Seattle Seahawks and their early season pass rush misadventures. In 25 snaps he did not allow a pressure. But that was against Benson Mayowa, Shaquem Griffin and Damontre Moore and without any blitz support. Hardly a murderer’s row there.

If the Seahawks can carefully mix and match at the LEO/SAM position opposite Davenport, they could be very disruptive. Darrell Taylor’s speed and bend will be too much for Davenport – but with his NFL inexperience he could easily be prevented from setting the edge. All Davenport would have to do is lean that massive frame on Taylor and he is taken out of the play. A Carlos Dunlap or an Alton Robinson would fare better there in those more run-centric downs.

This is really a game where the Seahawks can employ the depth at the DL position they have collected over the summer. Effort and energy will be critical. The Colts were flagged for more holding penalties than all but four teams last year. Not many things kill drives with horizontal offenses more than pushing them back ten yards. Rotating fresh lineman at key times could provide just enough burst to draw some flags.

Another bit of good news is there is some familiarity there. The Colts’ offense is not unlike what San Francisco has run out in recent years. Move horizontally, open gaps, have the QB get the ball out quickly and let the playmakers take over.

Adjusting, maintaining positioning and gap integrity with your hands and flying to the ball are all concepts this defense is familiar with.

Can they excel at it though? They will have a tough task on Sunday.

At the very least, the defensive line needs to hold this powerful Colts line to a draw.

Get creative running the ball on offense

The Colts’ defensive front is one of the best in the NFL. DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart are a fantastic duo inside. With Darious Leonard creeping closer to a Bobby Wagner-level of play, it is no wonder that this defense was the second-best in the NFL against the run last season.

They will be lining up over a starting offensive line that has been shuffled around and has not gotten any preseason reps together other than a mock game. Expecting them to function like clockwork right out of the gate, and against a tough defensive front, is a very tall order.

Some creativity would go a long way in establishing some rhythm in offense by generating some easy yards on the ground. This defense is too good to just ground and pound all game and hope you break through eventually.

We have yet to see any real run concepts in preseason aside from the return of the fly sweep play with Dee Eskridge. 

Yet the Seahawks cannot just rely on Russell Wilson to carry the team. A few creative concepts to stretch the field, give them time to settle into a groove, keep the defense fresh and build a little confidence would be just what the doctor ordered.

Let Russ be Russ if it is needed

There is a lot of talk about this offense being quick tempo and utilizing the short passing game along with some newer run concepts. Actually using the tight ends to open up space and also getting the ball to Metcalf, Lockett and Eskridge in space and standing back and watching them make magic is a thrilling proposition. It is exciting to anticipate what we will get to see on the field.

A new offense with a quarterback sporting a 70% completion rate would be a sight to see.

The Seahawks will need balance though.

The Colts were the second-best team in the NFL in turnover differential last year. They likely will not give the Seahawks cheap points.

Their offensive and defensive lines will do their best to disrupt the entire game.

They run the ball well.

This team, though clearly not up to full strength, are going to present a real challenge.

This has all the makings of a close, but winnable game.

The game may come down to the talents of their best and highest paid player. Nothing hurts and frustrates a defense more than doing everything right, only to have Russell freaking Wilson break containment, extend the play with his legs and find a streaking Lockett or Metcalf for a backbreaking gain.

A new offense that has all kinds of new features and may tease some dazzling success is certainly the order of the day for this team in 2021. But at the end of the day, it may be the quarterback’s singular ability that takes this team where they want to go. If the game calls for that kind of moment, the team should be able to put Russ in a position to meet it.

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  1. Paul Cook

    Fantastic statistical backup to the themes you chose to highlight for this game. Great job. Even though I watched this team last year, I feel I know a lot more about them now, and what I might expect to see on Sunday.

    Though KJ made some amends for us in this department last year, we’ve been a poor defensive team on the perimeters in recent years. Painfully so. We seem to get killed on sweeps, screens, quick outs, and just plain short passes down field on the perimeter. In line with what you highlighted in your post, I sure hope we can get off the field without giving up an inordinate amount of first downs this game.

    Our whole offense has to cook this year. I’d like to see some real flashes of a new offensive philosophy and approach this game. I’m not expecting everything right off the bat, but enough to give us a chance to win the game and excite me for further success in that regard.

    Great write up. 🙂

  2. Mick

    Nive work cha. I don’t know of any other place where I could read materials at the level of quality that Rob and you provide. Many thanks.

  3. Big Mike

    Fantastic write up cha. Will be reviewing this before the game Sunday morning so I have ideas what to look for as things progress.
    Thank you for your effort!

  4. Sean

    Thanks for the article. I am pretty excited to see what this new offensive scheme looks like and really curious how effective our d-line can be. Time to turn off my skeptic and turn on the hope. And pray for our cornerbacks.

  5. cha

    Thanks for the positive feedback.

    Also, found this on a Colts website while doing some research:

    Also interesting is how often the Seahawks are in what looks like a base 4-3 or nickel formation while listing Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson as linebackers on their depth chart. The Seahawks consider these players their strong side linebackers which is interesting because neither are guys that have spent much time in coverage. Both are listed as edge defenders on most websites that mention both men, in fact lists them both as defensive ends on their individual player pages. Either the Seahawks will use their outside linebackers more like traditional 3-4 OLB’s or Pete Carroll has finally completely lost his mind and will try to teach all of his defensive ends to drop in coverage. Either is possible.

  6. Ashish

    Great write-up Cha. It was tough reading about Taylor who is second round guy which we could have selected. Penny be good or atleast this will be last year.

    • Big Mike

      Yeah real tough to read about Taylor. RW wanted him cuz he’s from Wisconsin and quite a few of us here wanted him for the Hawks as well.

      • TomLPDX

        If I recall, Taylor wanted to be a Seahawk as well. We blew that one…

        • Ashish

          From that last play things are going down hill. Worst part is slow death. I don’t wish, but want that 4-14 season and restart all over. Don’t like to be in somewhere middle team.

          • TJ

            Better wait until next season for 4-13. Don’t want to give the Jets a top 5 pick.

  7. Denver Hawker

    Thanks for the write up Cha- feeling hyped to start the season.

    I’m co-owner in a very expensive fantasy football league and have Taylor on my roster going against Russ and DK this week. The conflict of interest is eating me alive.

    • Big Mike

      This is exactly why I quit playing fantasy football quite a few years ago. When I found myself feeling OK that so and so on my fantasy team ran for 120 and 2 TDs against the Seahawks, I knew it was time to bag it.
      To each their own of course, but I simply cannot be a fan of the Hawks and play ff anymore.

      • Denver Hawker

        I took a few years off as well. Caring about who scored took some joy away from the game for me. I’d rather enjoy the chess match and overall team performance than that of individuals. Also, Fantasy has really skewed who the stars are- No points for a killer ST tackle or pancake block on the edge.

        That said, I’m good at it and like winning money with my hobbies, haha.

        • TomLPDX

          Same here. I stopped about 5 years ago and I was pretty darned good at it. One thing I did appreciate about FF was that I got to know a lot more about the players and I love the athleticism of these pros. Some amazing plays every weekend by some of the best!

          • Big Mike

            Yeah I did know the players around the league better back when I played. I did plenty of research to gain the knowledge.
            Like you guys, I did well….2 championships in 6 years and finished in the money (top 4) every year but one.

  8. Henry Taylor

    I liked Taylor as much as the next guy coming out, enough to spend a decent pick on my fantasy team last year. But what is being lost in the analysis of his rookie season is he was pretty dreadful prior to a stretch run of some woeful rushing defences at the end of his season.

    This isn’t to say the Seahawks should take it lightly, it’s clearly their biggest threat on offense. But I see it as an over rated rushing attack missing its most important player in Nelson.

    • cha

      I think Taylor is just getting warmed up. He had some games where he wasn’t the focal point of the offense but that doesn’t mean some low stats in a small stretch is a basis for discounting his ceiling.

      Has something new come up with Nelson?

      Reich said this morning Nelson was out for practice today and they’re just trying to be extra careful and ‘get ahead’ of a back issue he’s dealt with before. He refused to rule him out for Sunday.

      • Henry Taylor

        It wasn’t just that he wasn’t the focal point, he wasn’t seeing holes and going down very easily.

        My understanding was that Nelson wasn’t expecting to make it, if he does that increases the threat considerably.

  9. Paul Cook

    It hasn’t been remarked on somewhere in the last 5 minutes, but Michael Dickson is an insane punter. It’s hard to recall anyone off the top of my head who is such a freak at their position. He drops punts inside the 15, 10, even 5 yard line like nobody I’ve ever seen before. And he can cannon it with the best of them as well.

    Maybe Dickson and Myers and our special teams can be difference for us this game.

    • UkAlex6674

      Good call. As Cha said this one is going to be close, the kicking team could make the difference

    • Gary

      I really appreciate the recognition of Dickson, who remains an underrated player but is such a difference maker. I became a fan of his early on when many panned the use of a draft pick on a punter and he has been both consistent and amazing. Having Dickson means the Hawks automatically win the battle of starting field position (which of course doesn’t mean s__t if the defence can’t stop hemorrhaging first downs).

      • Rob Staton

        Did many “pan” the use of a pick on a punter??

        My recollection is the vast majority celebrated the pick and were really intrigued by Dickson.

        • cha

          The 710 crew onsite at the draft party did.

          I’ll never forget the look on Wyman’s face when they announced the pick.

      • Paul Cook

        OMG…how many times did Dickson pin the opposing team’s offense deep only to see them at midfield in fairly short order. I wish we could take better advantage of him and the great field position he provides our defense.

  10. Sea Mode

    Good stuff. Thanks, Cha.

    Hopefully it can be Waldron’s coming out party of sorts on offense.

    On defense, I expect heavy blitzing to force Wentz to move around and really test that foot he had a bone removed from on Aug. 2, taking advantage of Q. Nelson’s absence and Eric Fischer nursing an Achilles injury of his own.

  11. TomLPDX

    Thanks Cha!

    Can’t wait to read something from you that has that much enthusiasm for the Seahawks as you do writing about the potential of the Colts. 😉

    • cha

      Read the first 100 words or so again.

      I’m pumped for this season.

      • TomLPDX

        I totally got that as well as throughout the article…lots of cautious optimism. Hence the wink at the end. I have hope for our Hawks but they have a tall order this year to get it done, hope they can do it.

  12. Ashish

    Do you guys think Hawks coaches has surprise stored for rest of the league? With new offense and better defense? Cha has definitely pour some hope and suspense.

    • 12th chuck


      • Sean

        I think some new tricks on offense. For the defens, I think not, but I can hope.

        • Ashish

          I hope things work out for new OC else PC will start interfering.

  13. pdway

    what a great write-up – adding my thanks to those of the above.

    you make the Colts sound pretty formidable, and I guess I do forget how strong their record was last year. I just have lost all faith in Wentz as a top-line QB, plus hasn’t he missed most of camp w Covid absences?

    Hopefully we can force him into some mistakes.

    • TomLPDX

      He missed mainly because of his foot surgery and then the COVID stuff. I don’t think Wentz is ready for primetime but the rest of the team is.

  14. Denver Hawker

    I’d likely get skewered for saying this anywhere else, and I only feel moderately safe even here, but if Russell Wilson was ever to have a season ending injury, as many great QBs have had, this would be a good one. Please note: I DO NOT WISH HARM TO HIM.

    The team would fail without him and realize how vital he is to winning. The Hawks would commit long-term to keeping him happy and get an early pick to secure a top Tackle in the draft. He’d have a recovery period to reacquaint a passion for the game and enter a new evolution, hell bent on Super Bowls at any cost realizing his own mortality and what truly matters in this game while he gets to enjoy it. He’d take pay cuts to secure top talent around him.

    I’m probably just tuning into how stagnant this team feels and trying to find what it would take to shake it up. Feel free to knock better sense.

    • Brik

      Our top pick belongs to the Jets.

      *For people saying things like “if Russ gets hurt, we suck”*

      No duh, same goes for almost every other NFL team. If Mahomes gets hurt, Chiefs will start losing a lot. Tampa Bay sucked before Brady. I wish we picked Mond so there could be some hope for me.

      • Brik

        Not saying I don’t have any hope for this season. Just saying that I wish we had a young backup with star potential, like I think Mond is.

        • Mick

          Well Pete just brought Luton 🙂

          • RugbyLock

            We’re saved!!!!

      • Denver Hawker

        Oy- lest I forget this scenario helps the Jets. A reality I clearly sought to forget.

        Nonetheless, the Hawks have long-term challenges in keeping Russ content and he’s the best chance they have to reaching the Super Bowl any time soon with current roster construction.

      • Rob Staton

        The Chiefs did lose Mahomes to injury though at one point and they didn’t collapse

        I think Seattle would unfortunately

        Heck, the Chiefs lost Mahomes vs the Browns in the playoffs last season. Their backup converted a fourth down to seal the game.

    • McZ

      2020 and 2021 were the years to get a quality OT on the cheap.

  15. Forrest

    Incredibly well written, Curtis. Thanks for sharing!

    • cha

      My pleasure.

  16. Blitzy the Clown

    I worry about the stoutness of our interior DL against Taylor and the Colts offensive line. As you rightly point out, he’s a quality runner between the tackles. Ford isn’t bad, though he’s not a lane clogging space eater that can force an offense to move around him. Woods has at times been like that, but he’s a big question mark right now. When was the last time he took a regular season snap?

    And there isn’t any depth behind them. I mean, heaven help us if we have to rely on the likes of Collier or Green to fight inside vs Quenton Nelson* and Ryan Kelly if Indy gets into a rhythm and feeds Taylor/Hines.

    Rasheem Green…I’m, surprisingly (sadly?), still optimistic about him because he had a solid preseason. I don’t know, I guess it’s the triumph of hope over experience.

    *Nelson hasn’t been practicing recently (back).

  17. ElroyNumbers

    This is a topic I have seen Rob talk about for years as something Carroll would like to do if Hawks had right personnel.

    This is the year we see the big Nickel D as the base D.
    4 Lineman
    Wagner and Brooks at LB
    2 CB
    Blair and Diggs at Safety
    Jamal Adams as Thee Big Nickel playing a safety/lb hybrid

  18. Sea Mode

    Uh oh, Carson, Penny, and Collins all already on the very first injury report…

  19. cha

    Field Yates
    · 36m
    The Seahawks converted Quandre Diggs’ $100K in per game roster bonuses into salary and accelerated $5.05M of his salary into a signing bonus while adding a void year, per source.

    After holding in for much of camp, Diggs receives extra injury protection, Seattle gets cap space.

    There’s some more cap opened up by kicking it to 2022.

    • JJ

      Must be planning some move, but if they don’t use the 2021 cap space doesn’t it get moved to 2022?

      • cha

        Exactly. They have 3 options

        1-roll it into 2022 and wipe out the dead money they accrued from Brown & Diggs

        2-use it now to improve the team

        3-a combination of 1 and 2 and extending Brown and/or Diggs and incorporating that 2022 dead money in the deal to minimize the 2022 hit.

        • Scot04

          Oops, didn’t refresh before typing my response. Cha you’re just too fast

      • Scot04

        If not used, yes it moves over; However I believe it would basically just cover the 2022 dead cap hit created by the restructure.

      • Simo

        Yeah, I’m wondering if these moves to create cap space are just a byproduct of making their star players content, or if they actually plan to use the additional space this year.

        It seems they are set up to acquire a semi-costly player now if they chose to, at least as far a cap space goes. Clearly they don’t have a lot of draft capital to trade though!

        • Scot04

          I unfortunately don’t see them using any of the money; unless it’s maybe at the trade deadline. ( That’s if we’re still in the race )
          With everyone on one year deals and the way we’ve handled our offseason I’m a bit concerned on so many levels.
          It almost feels like they’re preparing ahead in case they have a season like last year.
          If we do have another one and out; I could easily see Wilson gone, along with Brown, Diggs and many others.
          I was predicting 10-7 & possibly missing the playoffs.
          I’m hoping I’m totally wrong on everything.
          We need alot of what if’s to become players overachieving in new positions and schemes.
          Regardless I’ll be watching and rooting them on starting with the Colts game.

          • cha

            Those two deals were definitely to mollify Brown & Diggs more than to open up cap room for sure. The 2021 room is just a side benefit.

            But they do have options now. If a juicy in-season trade comes across their radar they’re now in a position to pounce on it.

            They have taken baby steps towards being more cap-aggressive with their use of void years and the way they structured the Jamal Adams contract.

            Given that the clock is ticking on Pete Carroll’s age and the tenuous nature of his relationship with RW, I’m inclined to think they’ll use some of the money this year to improve the 2021 team.

      • Rob Staton

        I’m just not sure what move is out there for them.

        Obviously Geno Atkins but would’ve thought they already the money for that.

        • Paul Cook

          I already hate my hypocritical self for saying this, but why not sigh Atkins and local boy David DeCastro and put him at RG and Lewis at C just for this year? We’d at least have real talent along the OL, and certainly shore up our defensive interior.

          • Rob Staton

            DeCastro is basically retired

            • Paul Cook

              I was thinking maybe the local-born-and-raised-here-thing might be enticing enough for one more go round.

              • Rob Staton

                He’s had an ankle injury though and to be honest I think he’s cooked

        • pdway

          any other unhappy CB’s (other than Gilmore)?

        • cha

          Fletcher Cox is still on my wish list.

          He hits Philly’s cap for $23m this year and next.

          Philly has $9.8m of cap room in 2022 for only 35 contracted players. Cox may feel the clock ticking on his career and want a shot with a better team.

          A 5th or 6th should do the trick.

          Just need someone in the NFCE to race out to a division lead and make the Eagles want to cut bait early enough.

          Looking at you, WFT.

          • Simo

            He’s a solid player for sure, but it’s a sizable cap hit to take on. How much of that $23m would the Seahawks be on the hook for?

            • cha

              That’s the beauty of it.

              He’s due $15m this year with only $1m guaranteed. And that drops by 1/17th every week that goes by.

              They could cut him a check and split the money like they did with Diggs and Brown, restructure to give him some security in 2022 or create some room elsewhere if they need (a little RW contract money maybe).

              Then 2022 he has $16m salary with zero guaranteed. The Seahawks would have lots of maneuverability – they could extend him, flip him to another team for a pick or try the Dunlap ‘cut and resign for much cheaper’ trick.

              • Simo

                Call me convinced then! That’s pretty reasonable for a player of Cox’s caliber. Much prefer this over signing Geno Adkins, just think he has little left.

              • Paul Cook

                I’m down with the idea. The only thing is (and I know I’m repeating myself again here), but the first half of our schedule (I’m calling that through game #9 @GB with this new odd number schedule) looks the more difficult of the two halves. Gun to head, I’d probably have us at 5-4, while 4-5 seems almost an equal probability to 6-3.

                Point being, we need to make our moves sooner rather than later, it seems to me. We could already be vying for only a WC game by the halfway turn if we don’t make some noise early on in the season.

                • Paul Cook

                  PS> I meant to say…vying only for a WC game on the road by the halfway turn.

    • Paul Cook

      Good stuff to know, as always.

      Besides trading draft capital (like any picks 1 through 5), they’ve got to do everything possible to put the strongest team on the field ASAP. Remember, our first 9 games on the schedule is a minefield of sorts. It could knock us out early from the standpoint of a favorable playoff position.

      We’ve already let KJ go, and made ourselves thin there. We obviously need help at the DT position and the C position, though there doesn’t seem to be anyone available at C there who would seem to make a difference for us. We’re playing musical chairs with CB’s now, and I think everyone would feel better if we had something resembling a sure thing on the outside, but where is that to be had?

      If there’s one time to take some shots at solid older vets to shore up such positions, its now.

    • Sean

      Is there any potential to make a trade that would have the hawks take on an overpaid player to help another team’s cap situation in exchange for getting a draft pick next year (a.k.a. buying a draft pick)?

  20. L80

    EPIC write up Mr. Cha

    • cha

      Thanks for reading!

  21. Denver Hawker

    All this cap work is curious to me. If the prevailing assumption is that they need the money for Atkins, why couldn’t they do this for Reed? I’d love to believe they are in play for a top corner, but that would require draft capital also.

  22. L80

    Atkins was in for a workout WEEKS ago. If he impreesed them and they have all this cap room why isn’t he signed before the first game. Fact is, dude ‘s tank is running on fumes. And here we are with thfirst game 3 days away and our interior DL is as thin as 1 ply TP.

    • L80

      Taylor is going to kill us in this game. We have very limited reps with starters in the pre-season and this guy can run it inside or out.

      Damn, I wanted him so bad in tha draft. Suck it John Schneider. Rashad Penney???…OMG.

    • Denver Hawker

      The thought around the league is he’ll sign somewhere after Week 1 when his salary isn’t guaranteed.

      • TomLPDX

        I agree with this thinking and expect it to happen next week.

        • Paul Cook

          I’m probably in the minority here, but to me that’s quibbling. If we’re desperately trying to plug holes late into the regular season, we’re probably headed for an early playoff exit anyway, if that. I don’t want to be reliant again on some more desperate mid-season roster move to get us into the playoffs.

          Maybe it’s the reactive thing, reactive mentality that people have mentioned that bothers me. Just go out and get what you need with some conviction.

          • TomLPDX

            Let us not forget, Pete and John are the smartest people in the room. What they do is beyond reproach.
            /sarcasm off

      • L80

        The FACT is, he had ONE statistical tackle before being injured. The Hawks have 13 million in cap, money isn’t the issue.

        • Paul Cook

          He had the injury since training camp.

  23. SemperFi Hawk

    Longshot, but I have 2 tickets to the Seahawks/Colts game that I am unable to attend due to a recent positive COVID test. Face value is $182. Anyone interested? Section 103 Row 14N…I can transfer them on Ticketmaster.

  24. Space Chief

    This is probably off-topic, but, while this is probably unlikely, I’m holding out hope the Ravens trade for Penny.

    • Rob Staton

      Wouldn’t hold your breath

      • Space Chief

        Oh I know.

    • cha

      Gus Edwards just went down in practice with what the Ravens fear is a significant knee injury.

      So, maybe.

      • Rob Staton

        What you’ve got to remember though is the deal has to be worth it.

        A bag of football’s isn’t worth hammering your RB depth for.

        And a bag of football’s is probably what would get offered.

        The trade deal has to be worth Seattle’s while.

        • Rob Staton

          They’ve just signed Devonta Freeman.

          So looks like him and/or Le’Veon

          • Paul Cook

            It’s refreshing to see a team go down at a position and then almost immediately turn around and sign BPA available at the position.

            Oh wait, my bad. they should have waited till after the first game when his contract would not have been guaranteed.

  25. cha


    Ian Rapoport
    · 13m
    Sources: The #Steelers and star pass-rusher TJ Watt have a mega-deal. He’s going to sign a 4-year extension worth more than $112M — $28.003M average per year — with $80M fully guaranteed at signing. The highest paid defensive player in football.

    • Rob Staton

      One that got away. Just like Nick Chubb.

      What could’ve been eh?

      It’s as if Watt matched up physically to Khalil Mack and we spent a long time talking about that and Chubb was their prototype running back…

      But… they overthought it…

      • James Cr.

        Some of the other names we could have had too! Tredavious White, Ramczyk, Budda Baker. Painful.

        • Rob Staton

          Chubb & Watt kill me the most though just because we talked about them so much.

          But I was also a big fan of White’s and wrote about him a lot too.

          I wasn’t sure on Ramczyk because of the injuries and arm length, or Baker’s fit at the time.

        • McZ

          Lots of teams will bite themselves for passing on Owosu-Koramoah. And the Seahawks will be one of them.

  26. Happy Hawk

    The Ravens just lost Gus Edwards to an ACL that is their 3rd back lost before game 1. They are relying on Ty’Son Williams and Lev Bell?

  27. cha

    Colts report today

    Limited Participation – Nelson, Fisher, Pinter

    Full – Wentz, Campbell

    Did Not Participate – Rhodes, Turay, Doyle

  28. cha

    So there’s that

    Gregg Bell
    Jamal Adams says one of his two fingers surgically repaired this offseason is “still kind of broken.”

    But he says to him, he’s 100% healthy

    • Rob Staton


    • Ashish

      Translation – I’m not catching a fly…

  29. cha

    Shane Waldron was just asked what his favorite Seattle grunge band is.

    God help me, some days.

    • TomLPDX

      So….what did he say??? We’re all dying to know! Or does he even know what Grunge is?

      Best? Temple of the Dog! Chris Cornell forever (I miss that guy, wish it hadn’t turned out the way it did, but I digress)

      • SeattleLifer

        Amazing album. Amazing singer and true artist – may he rest peacefully.

      • Palatypus

        It has got to be Helltrout.

    • Rob Staton


      • TomLPDX

        What do you expect? The local media only knows how to lob softballs

    • Space Chief

      Seattle sports media once again feeling the pulse of Seahawks’ fans concerns.

    • BobbyK

      No fashion tips from Alan?

  30. BobbyK

    When I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I would like to publicly apologize to the Seahawks for criticizing the Malik McDowell pick. Had they drafted TJ Watt, they would have had to pay him that mega-contract. By drafting a bum, look at the salary cap money they saved. This allowed them to not have to allot for all that money which helped allow them to trade for Jamal Adams (only partly). The Seahawks were genius in picking a bad player over a good one. Us fans that wanted Watt are so stupid not to see this long-term vision of theirs. My bad.

  31. Ryan Purcell

    Great write up. It’s been a very long off season!

  32. Palatypus

    Nobody in my FF league has Rob Gronkowski. He has 22.70 points with a quarter left to play. How does that happen?

  33. Palatypus

    “This is really a game where the Seahawks can employ the depth at the DL position they have collected over the summer. Effort and energy will be critical. The Colts were flagged for more holding penalties than all but four teams last year. Not many things kill drives with horizontal offenses more than pushing them back ten yards. Rotating fresh lineman at key times could provide just enough burst to draw some flags.”

    According to Football Zebras, we will be getting Tony Corrente’s crew on Sunday. Lots of flags always get thrown early in the season. Okay, I don’t have numbers to back this up but if tonight’s game is any indication there will be a lot.

  34. Sea Mode

    Was an interesting game. I think the NFL ultimately got what it wanted: high scoring, close all the way to the end, and Brady winning. Courtesy of Greg the Leg missing an extra point and a short field goal early on, as well as a rather questionable push-off by Godwin on the game-winning drive that wasn’t called.

    Bobby Belt

    Buccaneers are the first team in NFL history to lose the turnover margin by at least 3, incur 100 penalty yards, allow 450 yards, and still win the game.

    • SeattleLifer

      What I saw was a really good pass protecting Bucs o-line, especially the tackles. Same as last year and always touches a nerve watching teams that can protect thier QB and let the offense get into a fairly consistent rhythm because the Hawks have rarely had that during Wilson’s time under center. And I’m sure others may want to bring up offensive stats or talk about us having the most expensive o-line at one point etc but strictly talking pass protection our o-lines have ranged from below average to just about worst in the league in my personal opinion(not to mention having an overall pedestrian receiving corps for many a season, but that’s another story).

      I will always wonder what Russ could have done with a top o-line particularly in pass pro.

  35. Palatypus

    “Bobby Belt

    Buccaneers are the first team in NFL history to lose the turnover margin by at least 3, incur 100 penalty yards, allow 450 yards, and still win the game.”

    I wonder if Ed Hocculi gave baby boy Sean little yellow flags to throw from his crib.

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