London notes: Seahawks want to keep Sweezy & Fluker

— The Seahawks are based in Watford on the outskirts of London. Several teams have stayed at ‘the Grove’ golf resort before. As noted yesterday, this is the first time they’re doing the press conferences in what was officially dubbed ‘the potting shed’ instead of the bigger room next door. It was amusing being told to ‘return to the potting shed‘ when the media access to practise ended. You half expected to see someone watering the plants during Pete Carroll’s conference.

— The music at practise today had a particularly British theme. The Rolling Stones, David Bowie & Freddie Mercury, Billy Idol. Gracefully, there was no Ed Sheeran.

— I asked Carroll whether he wanted to keep J.R. Sweezy and D.J. Fluker ‘long term’ with both players on one-year deals. Carroll’s response was an emphatic “absolutely” before adding both players were part of a developing core. This was interesting if not surprising. Both players are playing well enough to warrant longer contracts. Carroll’s reference to the core of the team, however, highlighted just how integral they’ve become. They’re not just players who happen to be doing a good job this year who you’d ideally keep. It seems they’re part of a group that is becoming the new foundation of the team.

— My question comes at the 3:42 mark (note Carroll’s amusement at hearing ‘Sweezy’ and ‘Fluker’ in a British accent):

— Russell Wilson walked into his press conference shouting, ‘apples and pears, apples and pears‘. If you’re unfamiliar with cockney rhyming slang, google it. He held back on doing a ‘cockney walk’ though which was disappointing. Wilson was very relaxed as you’d expect. I asked him how the running game has helped him in the last three games. You can watch his answer here (8:19 in):

— There was a lot of buzz in England when it was revealed the Baltimore Ravens were coming to London last year. They lost 44-7 to the Jaguars. After the game, John Harbaugh said the following:

“To be honest with you — and maybe I’ll get into trouble for saying this — don’t plan on going over there any time soon to play again. So, somebody else can have that job.”

Harbaugh also noted Jacksonville’s experience in travelling to London several times (they’ve won three straight Wembley games). It’s a big challenge for a team. The jet lag, having to travel to a different country. Even the weather (which isn’t too bad in London currently, but it’s very windy). The Seahawks aren’t guaranteed to win on Sunday but based on my brief experience at the two media days — I think they’ve at least given themselves the best possible opportunity. They arrived a day earlier than Oakland, they’re staying at a hotel with a practise facility on site. The Raiders are in a hotel across the road from the stadium (which is located in a busy industrial and commercial district). The players appear relaxed and comfortable. Hopefully this leads to a successful day at Wembley on Sunday.

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  1. Trevor

    Awesome job Rob. You and Pete are developing some chemistry πŸ™‚

    He seems relieved that a local media person is so well in tune with the Hawks.

    I was particularly pleased to hear he considered Sweezy and Fluker as part of the core. Both guys are still relatively young in OL years and they really have changed the whole tone of the OL taking them from being annual whipping boys to becoming the actual bullies again. Hope they can continue building on the recent success.

    • Rob Staton

      It was fun and surreal to ask a couple of questions this week. A real blast. Loved every minute.

      Agree totally on Sweezy and Fluker. Absolutely must-keeps if the line continues to play at the high level they’ve shown so far.

      • Nick

        What’s exciting about them is that they’re relatively young. Sweezy is 29. Fluker is 27. They could be the interior for next two-three years.

        • Rob Staton

          An exciting thought.

          And let’s not forget, Dallas won 13 games with a great OL and running game. Let’s hope Seattle creates a similar environment.

          • Shadow

            I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the running game took off as soon as Fluker came back for the Cowboys game. Definitely a must-keep along with Sweezy.

          • Pepper

            Cap implications tho….

      • 80SLargent

        I do like the way the line looks the past few weeks. I do think a lot of it is the 180 degree shift in game plan from the first two weeks, along with the return of Fluker at RG. It didn’t look that great with Sweezy at RG next to Ifedi the first two weeks. Sweezy, the veteran that he is, is ahead of Pocic right now, and they have their “best 5” this year. It’s pretty obvious those guys are a hell of a lot better moving forward/firing off the ball than they are moving sideways (ZBS) and moving backwards (pass blocking), so running the ball a lot makes a lot of sense.
        It would be nice to be able to keep both Fluker and Sweezy, but I believe, especially in terms of cap management, they need to prioritize Fluker. I think he’s the force multiplier, and he really brings the “we’re going to kick your ass” attitude to the line. It seems like Ifedi plays quite a bit better next to him. He’s the most familiar with Solari’s blocking schemes. He’s two years younger than Sweezy. He’s likely to still be a little “undervalued” because he’s not a great pass blocker. If Sweezy comes in a low price, then keep him, but if he doesn’t, then roll with year three Pocic at LG in 2019.

  2. Trevor

    A little off topic but I am baffled by all the talk bashing the Giants for taking Barkley not a QB. It baffles me.

    Sure the Giants and Eli suck and yes clearly they need a franchise QB. But Barkley is a true once ina generation talent.

    I love Sam Darnold but can you imagine a rookie playing behind that Giants OL with no run game like they had last year? He would have gotten destroyed and likely become the next David Carr.

    By taking Barkley they have set themselves up perfectly IMO.

    They will end up with a top 5 Picks perhaps top 3. Then this year they can draft either Herbert or Montez and fix the OL in free agency with veterans.

    So next year they have a new franchise QB coming in with Barkley at RB, Beckham at WR and Engrams at TE. Sounds like a lot better opportunity for a rookie to be successful.

    • Rob Staton

      They should’ve cut ties with Eli and gone after Sam Bradford. Not a flashy move, but Pat Shurmur is trying to get Eli to run the offense Bradford had success with in Minnesota. Might as well get the guy you’ve done it with before.

      • John_s

        They may get lucky and get Herbert, Locke or Montez whoever they like.

    • Volume12

      The Giants when Herbert doesn’t declare

      • DC

        Herbert can stay in school on the condition that he throws the Washington game each season.

        • Volumes12

          His brother is coming to Oregon next season and he’s said before that he wants to play with him. Let’s see if that 1st round $ changes his mind or not.

    • cha

      They really bungled the Eli situation last year. McAdoo seemed to understand that in a lost season you need to see what you have behind Eli but the fans, the teammates and even Eli were against it. I don’t know how the ownership group works but it sounds like they were too. They fired McAdoo right after he finally benched Eli. Not saying McAdoo was some visionary genius but at least he seemed to be aware there was a really bad smell coming from the QB position.

      Even then as Rob pointed out, they had another chance to rectify the situation in the offseason. Bradford, Tyrod Taylor, Keenum, etc all were available to bring in. And they didn’t.

      This is the soup they chose to be in.

  3. Volume12

    I had to get this out after watching last night’s football game.

    WWE is gonna be on FOX Friday nights. I can’t wait for the lead ins on Thursday night with Joe Buck reading the SmackDown script with disgust while Troy Aikman excitedly talks about how he met a couple old WWF dudes during the 80’s. This will be a weekly thing I assure you. Thank the lord.

    Troy Aikman – ‘Hey Joe. You ever see that issue of PlayGirl magazine with Shawn Michaels?’
    Joe Buck- ‘No Troy’
    Troy Aikman- ‘Yeah, me neither’

    • AlaskaHawk

      WWE on Friday nights and UFC on Saturday nights. Dana White is moving toward the WWE entertainment style with Conner McGregor, the only thing lacking in his last fight was hitting Habib over the head with a metal chair.

  4. Hawk4life

    Great work Rob,
    Cool you can do some interviews. Are you at all surprised watching Russell running 20 yards downfield blocking if he either has a hamstring issue or if OC wants to protect him. Looking forward to watching our new run game on Sunday. Cheers.

    • Rob Staton

      The hamstring is probably just a bit tight. Worth protecting but not overly significant I suspect.

  5. Coleslaw

    Saquon looks like he’s gonna be the goat… my goodness..

  6. Volume12

    Man, I wish I could find some actual game tape of his or knew how to use the internet better, but this is a Seahawk CB.

    JoeJuan Williams, Vandy, 6’3, 205 lbs.

  7. cha

    Any observations from practice?

    • Rob Staton

      You only get access to the warm-ups

  8. Nick Cassella

    Interesting tidbits from Football Outsiders DVOA:

    Seattle has had the fourth toughest schedule (DVOA-based) so far this year. Keep that in perspective as we look to go into the bye week at 3-3. Not an easy road we just traveled.

    Seattle has the 12th easiest future schedule (again, DVOA-based). Not bad.

    Seattle’s defense is #9 in DVOA. Very, very exciting times. Especially considering that this year is a “rebuild” year for the D. Pete Carroll and Ken Norton deserve a lot of respect.

  9. Matt

    Rob – assuming they extend Sweazy and Fluker…what do you think should be done with Pocic? Would you dangle him for a draft pick? Or do you just keep him and his cheap salary and just be content that he’s a backup?

    Really the reason I ask is that I am getting awfully concerned about our utilization of draft capital. I do not want draft position to determine playing time, but we are looking at Pocic as a backup (R2), Penny as a 3rd stringer (R1), Malik McDowell gone (R2), Rasheem Green inactive (R3), Naz Jones inactive a lot (R3), Darboh gone (R3), Delano Hill barely exists (R3), Odhiambo (R3), Vannett (R3), Prosise (R3)…

    I’m pleasantly surprised by this team this year…but at the same time, I can’t help but look at the last few draft classes and specifically higher picks and not have real concern about what we are doing in the draft room. Are you concerned at all with our little we’ve gotten out of the top 3 rounds, considering how many picks we’ve had?

    BTW, this isn’t meant to single out any individual pick – I’m just looking at the macro level and really expect to get more out of this group. And yes, I 100% want to make sure that Green and Penny have a huge asterisks by their name because this is their rookie season.

    Great work, per usual, and I hope you are really enjoying this unique week, Rob.

    • Rob Staton

      I think his draft value will be minimal. So you might as well keep him for useful depth. But it’s not unfair to critique that pick. He was a center at LSU. They drafted him and then paid Britt. It was a bit of an odd move. He can play guard but center, to me, was his ideal spot. But the draft is a crapshoot as people say. For all the problems in R2 in 2017, they got Carson & Moore in R7.

      • AlaskaHawk

        My recollection is that Sweezy was a 7th rounder.

        • DC

          With these O line guys development time is critical. Britt was T-errible at RT & LG before salvaging a career at C. Ifedi has taken 2 years and change to not stand out like a sore thumb. Pocic hopefully makes a big leap of growth in the next year or two.

          For the first season in many our least experienced OL starter is a 3rd year player. Quality vet experience (with talent) helps tremendously. Stay healthy and pound that rock!

      • C-Dog

        Carson and Moore in round 7 might end up being two of the best JS late round draft moves ever.

        • Pran

          With the recent draft history, trade 1-3 for proven starters and draft late rounds for development?

          • DC

            Or trade 1-3 for about 18 day 3 picks and sign proven starters via FA.

            • Comfect

              Yeah, you want the extra cheap players (and extra shots to hit on those picks), not the big contract players you’d get if you traded 1-3 for players.

        • Volume12

          Flowers in round 5.

          Guys like that are why I focus so much on day 3 prospects.

    • Comfect

      This is a fair critique, although I think Green is inactive because injured (not because he wouldn’t play). That doesn’t speak to your overall point, except that sometimes people don’t play because of unpredictable factors (like Dissly breaking out over Vannett, or McDougald playing so well that hopefully we never see what Delano Hill is about). Still a big-picture concern though.

    • McZ

      Pocic needs time to develop behind a seasoned veteran. This is the new Solari model, and it works. All we need to do now is drafting to position and wait until the replacement player is ready or better. And Pocic will ultimately be better.

      IMO, he would be better at T than at G. He has the technique and the feet.

      The Cable model of drafting high and rushing rookies to the starting OL has clearly failed. We have a working OL, and we have developmental depth.

  10. Sea Mode

    BWagz is kind of a funny guy as well, one of those guys where you’re not 100% sure when he’s joking or not. Saw him sort of crack one on you as you asked your question.

    Good to see him smile big though joking about the rookies and I thought it was cool that he came back to point you out though later on for having asked about the injuries to the LB group.

    Keep it up, Rob!

    • Rob Staton

      I phrased that question poorly πŸ˜‚

      Thanks to a quick recovery, we got there. Bobby was ace.

  11. Josh

    Dave Wyman mentioned Rob today on Danny Dave and Moore! Rad!!

  12. DC

    Will 2019 be the draft where the Green Bay Packers decide to draft and pair a top tier RB with A-A-ron to balance their offence a bit? They have two 1st round picks and Rodgers ain’t getting any younger.

    p.s. I no like da’ Packers…

  13. New Guy

    C’mon…..Dog’s bollocks? Really….


    • Rob Staton

      Dogs bollocks indeed!

  14. TJ

    Nice interview with Dave Wyman on 710 today Rob. It was a fun & entertaining listen.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks πŸ˜‚

  15. Huggie Hawks

    Great being here in London. I started a Sea-Hawks chant outside Westminster Abbey yesterday, much to the chagrin of onlooking Raiders fans. Thanks for the blog, cheers to the run game, and Go Hawks!

  16. Volume12

    WTF?!? The league leader in sacks, DeMarcus Lawrence, has been playing with a torn labrum for 2 years?

    • Trevor

      If that is true that is crazy for a pass rusher. He has a good bull rush too. Not sure how he does that with a torn labrum.

      • Volume12

        I mean he said it himself.

        My thoughts exactly.

        Said he might get surgery this off-season to finally correct it. Will be interesting to see how, it at all, his FA status will be affected. Assuming he makes it to the open market.

      • 80SLargent

        If I remember right, Michael Bennett had a torn rotator cuff when he first signed with the Seahawks, and played with it in 2013. That’s along with the foot injury he played with last season. It’s not unprecedented, but still pretty amazing how effective some of these guys are playing with injuries like that.

  17. UKAlex6674

    Arrived in London today, 12’s everywhere. Only seen one Raider fan so far! Go Hawks !

    • EranUngar

      That is my impression too. Very few raiders shirts and 12s everywhere.

      Also, i was at a JD sporting store on oxford st today and they announced thst Maurice Hurst will make an apearance at 3:30pm. If this is how the raiders prepare for this game it could turn into a blood bath.

      • Rob Staton

        Marshawn opened a pop up store in Selfridges at 4:30!

  18. Thy Hawk is Howling

    A Sweezy Fluker?

    Isn’t that an old English expression for the type of Sweet Lass you’d like to meet drunk late night in a Pub?

    You’re welcome, winkie emoji

    Seahawks Draft Blog for Life!

    • Rob Staton

      If it isnt… it should be πŸ˜‚

  19. Volume12

    Inject Georgia HB Elijah Holyfield into my veins!

    ‘The Champ is here!’ lol

  20. Kenny Sloth

    John Elway at UW-UO

    • Volume12

      And 3 of his scouts.

      Herbert is the real deal. Overcame adversity and his ball placement is incredible.

      • Kenny Sloth

        I have extreme critical bias as a ducks fan, but I have a lot of problems with his game. I think he can win you some games at the next level, but honestly my biggest concern is his deep ball. He’s excellent at the intermediate passing, but is he a threat to bomb it over the top? He’s got a decent A/YPA (Tua Tagavoilola’s is 18.4 😷) but I’ve never really seen him push the ball deep with any velocity. It’s just not a part of his game like it is for some other dudes. Not sure if that’s a mechanical problem that can be corrected, cuz he’s not a weak dude (he has had 3 head coaches at Oregon).

        Is the dude a bell-cow? Never played a full season for us. He’s played some strong defenses but I need to see some first round production. There are more than a few guys having better seasons around the country. I also think he has an EXCELLENT supporting cast on Offense.

        He’s a truly humble servant of the game. This year’s all-american golden boy, but he’s a Eugene native, so that’s my boy! Kid is an absolute bloody unit! Everything you want in a modern QB, physically.

        He can go top 10 in a bad QB class, Easy.

        • McZ

          You need the right weapons to throw deep, and they were completely eaten by Huskies secondary. TBH, this was a game the Huskies threw away through sloppy play. Ducks were able to completely take away the pass, and I think their DL was pretty awesome.

          The difference were the QBs, and Herbert – while having no perfect day – was clearly better than Browning.

          • Kenny Sloth

            Yeah Huskies suck, I won’t argue.

        • Duck07

          ” I also think he has an EXCELLENT supporting cast on Offense.”

          I don’t think Oregon has any other Offensive prospects for this draft or the next that aren’t Herbert or his OL. He has a terrible supporting cast on offense, how could you see or say otherwise? He looked terrible locking onto Dillon Mitchell early after a drop by Kano Dillon and trying to force throws on 3rd down because he doesn’t trust anyone else to actually catch the ball consistently.

          Jaylon Redd had that big TD but he’s also dropped about 4-5 passes this season too.

          If you’ve never seen him push the ball deep with any velocity than I question how many of his games you’ve actually seen. His 1st TD pass of the season was a frozen rope about 45 yards through the air in between 2 defenders in the back of the end zone.

  21. Volume12

    The D-line group overall this year is loaded, but IMO DT is where it’s at. The strength of it if you will. And I don’t mean pure run stuffers either.

    Houston’s Ed Oliver
    Michigan’s Rashaan Gary
    Ohio St’s Dre’Mont Jones
    ND’s Jerry Tillery
    ‘Bama’s RaeKwon Davis & Quinnen Williams (Williams might be the best of the bunch)
    Clemson duo of Dexter Lawrence & Christian Wilkins
    Miami’s Gerald Willis
    Cincy’s Cortez Broughton
    Temple’s Michael Dogbe
    Kansas’ Daniel Wise
    Auburn’s Derrick Brown
    LSU’s Rashad Lawrence
    Wyoming’s Youhanna Ghaifan (have yet to see him)

    BC’s Zach Allen and ‘Bama’s Isaiah Buggs are 2 guys who could be perfectly suited to line up at 3-tech for quite a few teams

    And some might disagree, but I actually think the corner class is gonna be strong too

  22. Caybind

    How the mighty fall..

  23. Kenny Sloth

    Salty Dawgs post below ⬇


    • DC

      Wisely chose to spend the day outdoors and enjoy autumn’s luster.

      Kudos to your M%*&#$ ^^*!@#* Ducks and your victory.

      Go Cougs, Go Utes!!!

      • Kenny Sloth

        It really was a nailbiter! We needed it to stay in the hunt for sure!

  24. Volume12

    Someone shoot Nebraska HC Scott Frost into the sun. 0-6. haha

    • DC

      It’ll be fun when he turns them around

  25. Kenny Sloth

    Draft Heaven with Rob Staton πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  26. Pepper

    Rob, just saw that Seahawks had scouts at Michigan Wisconsin game. Any players on either of those teams also on your radar?

    • Kenny Sloth

      Devin Bush Jr. would be ideal if he declares. Modern type LB

      For Wisconsin David Edwards is one of the best LTs in the country

      Their interior OL is absolutely stacked as well, Michael Deiter has started at LT, C, and RG.

      TH Edwards is another good LB at Wisconsin

    • Rob Staton

      The obvious names would be Rashan Gary and David Edwards but Gary wasn’t playing. Edwards will be the first tackle off the board but he’s strictly a RT. Wouldn’t be surprised if he goes top-15 though. Really like TJ Edwards the linebacker at Wisconsin too.

      But both Michigan and Wisconsin play a style similar to the Seahawks in terms of mentality and physicality. So you could probably comb through each roster and find multiple players they’re interested in.

    • Pepper

      Thanks guys! I’ll need to look into those names more

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