Drake Maye vs Spencer Rattler isn’t being analysed correctly

Spencer Rattler faced constant pressure behind a bad O-line

It was a pretty different Saturday night for me, since British viewers have been blacked out from watching college football. I drove from a vacation in Normandy in France back to Yorkshire, a 14-hour experience in total, and settled in to see what the scores were rather than being able to watch a couple of recorded games.

Twitter, or ‘X’, was turned on. What were people saying?

Initially it was a stream of Shedeur Sanders and Colorado talk. Then Michael Penix Jr and the Huskies. Eventually, Drake Maye’s name started to dominate.

UNC’s quarterback is almost universally considered a top-five lock within draft media circles. I do not agree. I studied his tape over the summer along with many other 2024 draft eligible QB’s. There are definitely things to like but there were also aspects of his game where he needed to improve to justify a lofty projection.

When I looked online at what people were saying about Maye, I found it confusing. Twitter/X is often a place were bad takes are made on football. Cast your mind back to the Senior Bowl for example, where players being shoved backwards in 1v1’s were being credited with ‘wins’.

We saw a quarterback version of this yesterday.

Maye was getting a lot of love for incredibly risky, ill-advised throws that, to his great fortune, didn’t lead to turnovers. Until they did, of course, later in the game. He finished with two interceptions.

He had a play at the start of the second quarter where he moved out of the pocket to extend the play, then he opted to throw dangerously across his body over the middle of the field. We’ve all seen this kind of throw. It’s the type no coach ever encourages, looks dreadful when it goes wrong and when it goes right you often breathe a sigh of relief.

To Maye’s credit, the pass was about as nicely thrown as it could be in the circumstances and it led to a completion. The reality is though it was an incredibly risky play. Twitter/X was gushing with praise, revelling in the excitement of a video lasting a few seconds that’ll no doubt generate a ton of views.

The problem is, he did the exact same thing later in the game and it led to a pick.

With 2:20 left in the third quarter and with North Carolina leading 31-14 and coasting to victory, Maye was leading a drive to add to their lead. He scrambled to his right and again threw across his body and chucked it straight into the grateful hands of a defensive back for an interception.

The camera panned to a UNC fan with his head in his hands. What a gift. A totally unnecessary, ill-advised brain fart.

Instead of being buried, South Carolina suddenly had life. This play didn’t receive any traction online of course. Yet the pattern of behaviour carries on from last season. There’s a reckless streak to Maye. He takes chances and gets lucky in college, sometimes. At the next level I’m not convinced he’ll be as fortunate.

He threw his second interception with 11:49 in the game. It’s now 31-17. He tries to launch it to the right sideline but overthrows the receiver and the pass is slightly high and wide. It’s difficult for the receiver to grab and he ends up tipping it into the air like a goalkeeper, collected by a defender for a turnover.

Maye was doing his best to get South Carolina back into the game.

Another play got a lot of traction on social media that irked me even more. With 6:30 left in the third quarter he scored a touchdown considered ‘magical’ by many but in reality, it’s a complete ‘no, no, no, no, no YES‘ play that again, he’s unlikely to get away with in the NFL.

Right off the snap Maye drifts to his left putting him in no position to throw with base or set his feet. He is pressured and panics, knowing he has to get the ball out quickly or he’ll be sacked. He pumps and then throws way off balance off his back foot. The pass floats into the end zone, aimlessly. To his great fortune, it’s sufficiently under-thrown that the DB gets himself into a poor position and the receiver, looking back to the QB, adjusts and makes the catch.

This is not a good play. It’s extremely ill-advised and lucky. It’s a fluke — but Twitter/X lapped it up.

There were a handful of plays like this with Maye last year. In his keenness to make something happen all of the time, he does take risks. I think people are so used to seeing Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and co. make the improbable happen that they see plays like this and imagine Maye doing the same. I’m not buying it. These are lucky moments and in the South Carolina game yesterday, we saw what happens when the luck runs out with that first interception.

This isn’t me saying Maye is a bad player, an awful prospect or that he won’t be drafted in round one. I’m just trying to bring perspective to the discussion that so far we simply aren’t seeing. Caleb Williams is a freak of nature and fully deserves to be the assumed #1 pick. Maye seems to be getting the same benefit of the doubt and is another assumed top selection. Not for me. He has a lot to do to justify that and it starts with knowing when to take a chance, how to avoid unnecessary risks and playing with a bit more control.

The positives in fairness are very good. On a 3rd and 12 Maye had all day to process, step into his throw and make a strong completion on a slant. It’s not a difficult play to make but when you see a QB just execute as well as he did on a key third down like that, it’s a big tick in the box. Although it also has to be said, he missed a wide-open receiver to the left sideline for a potential big chunk play two plays earlier.

With 4:10 in the second quarter, he had a pretty throw from the right hash-mark on his own 24-yard line to the left sideline 30 yards downfield. Maye flashed great touch, accuracy and placement to beat the coverage. His throwing base is strong when he doesn’t drift or wander off out of the pocket.

He had a 40-yard touchdown where the receiver was wide-open but it was still a nicely thrown ball over the top of the coverage. Maye also had a great 45-yard bomb off play-action to the one-yard line to set up a score. He stepped into the throw perfectly and again showed perfect placement on the pass.

The talent is clearly there but some of the ‘OMG’ highlights online should really be labelled ‘WTF’ or ‘WYD?’.

It sounds strange but this game might be the most impressed I’ve been with South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler, even in a comprehensive loss.

At Oklahoma he was reckless, had zero patience and just tried to rely on talent. He’d often throw into double or triple coverage and it’s no surprise he was hooked as quickly as he was with Williams, now at USC, waiting on the sideline.

It feels like Rattler’s been on quite a journey. He continued to struggle in his first year with the Gamecocks but later in the year the light switched on. He led South Carolina to superb wins against Tennessee and Clemson. He was starting to combine talent with execution, a professional approach and he looked like a legit QB prospect.

In this game he didn’t stand a chance. He was sacked nine times and had several other near-sacks. To put this into context, Bo Nix (four sacks), Michael Penix Jr (seven sacks) and C.J. Stroud (eight sacks) were sacked fewer times in the entire 2022 season than Rattler was in this one game. Can you believe that?

This was Kentucky 2022 level incompetence from the South Carolina offensive line. Kentucky gave up 42 sacks last season as Will Levis was battered and bruised and it seems Rattler faces the same fate. This isn’t talked about enough when we discuss QB’s for the draft. Situations and environments for these players matter. It’s OK watching these extreme spread, half-field read systems where the QB never gets touched and hailing the mass production. You also need to embrace what other players have to contend with and on this evidence, it could be a long year for Rattler.

Nevertheless I thought he looked smooth, made good decisions and he looks way beyond the QB we saw at Oklahoma. There was no panic in his play. He didn’t try to force anything. He was in control, at least as much as he could be. He was constantly under duress and rarely had time to set and throw. He frequently had to try and bail out of the pocket immediately. He continued to play with ice-veins though and make completions when he had opportunities and he never came close to turning the ball over. He was a playmaker who deserved more help than he received.

Rattler oozes natural talent. Based purely on tools I think he’s QB2 after Williams. His ability is unquestionable — it was always his dedication, consistency, maturity and approach that needed work. It seems he has reached the required level now and he looks like an exciting talent despite the chaos going on in front of him.

Both QB’s suffered with drops in this game. Rattler endured a back-breaking 4th and 4 drop at the very start of the second half after South Carolina pulled off a well-executed onside kick. Execute that and it could’ve been a different game.

With 14:49 left in the fourth quarter he threw under intense pressure a 40-yard pass to capitalise on a 1v1 to the left sideline. Look at what he had to contend with as he released the pass:

There was a great adjustment to the ball by the receiver but the throw showed off Rattler’s arm talent under pressure. That says more for his pro-prospects than being given a bunch of comfortable half-field calls from the sideline where the coaches read the defense for you.

On several occasions he threw with timing and anticipation despite pressure. He created on the move, showed off his big arm and he just needed help from the rest of his team.

So while Maye had the internet talking — I think this was actually a better showcase for Rattler’s blossoming pro-prospects, while the UNC QB has work to do to live up to the hype.

Rattler fascinates me. He has the arm and talent that John Schneider would typically love. The way he’s grown as a person also will likely appeal — although the Seahawks would do a ton of homework on Rattler to judge how long-term his new-found approach/attitude is. They like players who’ve battled adversity and grown but they also value character, maturity and determination more than ever.

Assuming they’ll be open to drafting a QB next year (Schneider was already referencing QB’s in his post-draft press conference this year) — and assuming they don’t end up with a top-five pick — the chances are the Seahawks will be looking for diamonds in the rough.

Penix Jr has an arm for the ages but his quirky release and offensive system can make for a challenging (but fun) evaluation. I do think the Seahawks will have interest in Penix Jr though, as he seems like their type of guy. Schneider name-dropped Quinn Ewers in May and he has incredible talent and a beautiful whip-like release but he has to show a lot more consistency this year and remove the mental errors that dogged him in 2022. He had a routine win against Rice yesterday but Texas go to Alabama next week.

I don’t think Rattler, Penix Jr or Ewers will necessarily end up being first round picks. At least at the moment they shouldn’t be in that conversation. I can mention a handful of other QB’s in a similar position too. That’s fine, though. I think the one thing we can say from this 2024 QB class is there will be day-two depth, there will be some intriguing ‘project’ types with arm talent and the Seahawks will have every chance to select someone they like without having to use a first round pick.

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  1. Happy Hawk

    I watched the game and came away thinking Rattler would be on the Hawks radar more than Maye.

    • Malanch

      How do you think the game would have come out if teams had swapped quarterbacks?

      Personally, I don’t get the sense that Drake Maye respects the ball, a classic characteristic of the big-armed thrower. This is a quality Pete Carroll will never accept.

      —Now, one of Maye’s two interceptions wasn’t his fault, and it would have been a bigtime chunk play had his receiver not bricked the thing up in the air for the DB to saunter away with; this should be acknowledged. The throw was behind and inside, perfect for his breaking receiver to establish inside leverage and snag a big gainer. Whether this precise ball placement was actually intentional, I’m somewhat skeptical, but it was nonetheless a ripping toss. And his receiver blew it.—

      Having accounted for this, I must join the SDB chorus in pointing out that there were definitely several other throws where Maye got away with poor decision-making and sloppy throw execution. The Law of Averages is coming for him yet. He does have good size, tremendous athleticism, and that live-ass arm makes stellar throws look easy, but he’s a long way off. The Hawks already have that guy on their two-deep, anyway.

      … And as with (pre-2023?) Drew Lock, Maye shows that he doesn’t fully appreciate the value of owning the football. From the camera angle situated behind the quarterback looking downfield, that one hideous pick—fully his fault (though a really smooth play by that long-striding DB, too)—was disturbing to behold. After hand-signaling to an out-breaking receiver to turn back up the sideline, Maye starts setting the throw only jerk his head suddenly to the left and let loose with a laser ball to some different guy—a receiver he hadn’t been signaling with and targeting. Preposterous disregard. He spontaneously threw it into a situation he clearly had not visually processed at all. This begs the question: How well does he see the field?

      I don’t know what his attitude is like off the field, but on the field he’s nonchalant, exuberantly throwing with a sort of house money entitlement about him. He only has 11 more games to rectify this damning component of his game, maybe 12, but most weeks he’ll continue to get away with most throws, inviting habit to stay a little longer.

  2. Vinny

    Do you think Tomari Fox would look good on the Seahawks D line?

  3. Blitzy the Clown

    while Maye had the internet talking — I think this was actually a better showcase for Rattler’s blossoming pro-prospects

    This quote exemplifies why Rob is peerless as a cfb scout/evaluator.

    I agree 100%

    NGL watching Rattler and the Gamecocks OL last night brought up the PTSD from watching Levis and UK last season. I feel for the kid. He’s got a long, hard season ahead.

    But if he makes, Schneider loves him those adversity kids.

  4. Blitzy the Clown

    Deon Sanders, aside from knowing the game of football, is about to demonstrate — has already started demonstrating — the power of mentorship and motivation.

    And I am here for it

    • Peter

      Early days but CO has a great schedule to kick off their rebuild with coach Sanders. Could well see them handling the next two. Throw in an upset or two and give that program some juice moving forward.

    • Big Mike

      And I think he’s already demonstrated the power of his ability to recruit.
      The Buffs were 1-11 last year. 1-11.

      • cha

        And figuring out how to work the transfer portal.

    • Gaux Hawks

      I went to school in Ft Collins, but I’ve got nothing but love for what he’s doing in Boulder… just love seeing it, and reminds me of a modern-day Pete.

    • Malanch

      Deion Sanders looks to be following the Jim Harbaugh arc. Like Harbaugh, he has a difficult-to-define “itness” to him. (And, again like Harbaugh, Stop #2 won’t last long. He’ll be kicking much ass till then, though.)

    • TheOtherJordan

      It was a great hire by Colorado. If for no other reason than people are talking about Colorado again. That program was on life support.

      But CU has no depth and it’s a long season. I’d bet the Buffs and Deion will be 3-0 headed into Eugene. The media hype train will be in overdrive. I’m sure Gameday will be a possibility and Heisman talk will happen. Game 5 versus USC will be built up too. But reality will likely set in and there’s a real possibility they’ll be 3-2 after 5 games after starting 3-0. But if they’re 4-1 or better coming out of those first 5 games……

      Even if they end up with a losing season, Deion will be a good hire for CU because people will still be talking about the Buffs. He’s definitely headed to Florida State if that job is ever offered to him. It doesn’t matter what college job he has, he’ll leave it for that in a second.

      • Peter

        I could see six wins in his first year. An upset against OR or similar would be a great first season. Hard to see what OR is yet. Pretty easy to beat a school not much bigger then about two of Seattle’s community colleges put together.

        • Malanch

          Judging by Autzen’s attendance last Saturday, I’d say fans are sick and tired of precious home games being squandered on community colleges looking for paychecks. This is some SEC bull****, now.

          … And what exactly are these rinky-dink programs doing with these paychecks, anyway?

          Portland State has been taking this black-and-blue money for decades, and—other than a win over Mountain West hopeful Wazzu—what do they have to show for it? How is this funding helping them advance the trajectory of their program?

          As for Oregon, I hear their defense is being led by a recruiting specialist who can’t call games. Supposedly, Dan Lanning has delegated play-calling authority to the guy. The hardcore fans I know remain quite skeptical. One busted assignment and these folks are making doom-and-gloom declarations about the defense. Nobody knows if Lanning himself is actually worth a damn. He’s proven nothing so far.

          • Peter

            I’m too dense to know what schools like Portland state are even doing with these black and blue games. Great phrasing btw.

            I don’t know tons of duck faithful but those I do, do not care for these games.

            I’m not trying to upset ducks fans here. Truly. There are good players. It’s a solid program because of uncle Phil. But for the doom and gloom which is dead on, I personally have never lived anywhere with such a fickle fan base.

            Oregon has felt since Mariota like a house of cards. The expectations start sky high but false steps kill enthusiasm. I’m not Mr. Beavers but I love going to those games. The fans are pretty aware of who they are and a winning season works for them. I still lived in Eugene years back ( in the post mariota/kelly run) and remember the ducks getting worked by wazzu, uw, Utah and autzen was crickets.

            Per doom and gloom….I don’t see how OR is better than CO which I think that game will be one of the upsets coach sanders gets. This is not because I don’t like Oregon. I just don’t see how oregon is better than them.

          • Brodie

            Oregon can’t get SEC teams to play them – at least not home and home games. Same holds true for all PAC teams.

            They played Georgia last year in the ‘neutral site’ of Atlanta and VS #12 BYU
            They played Ohio State in Columbus the year prior (no home game in return)
            They played Auburn in the ‘neutral site’ of Arlington Texas the year before that

            There is no benefit for blue blood programs to risk playing Oregon or the like unless they can tip the scales with a home game or neutral site game that is in their back yard. Oklahoma State, Baylor and Michigan State types are the best that they can schedule (next 3 OOC opponents).

            UW has the same problem – Their only non-conference games scheduled in the next 3 years are:

            Weber State
            Eastern Michigan
            Colorado State
            UC Davis
            Eastern Washington

            • Malanch

              But Brodie, I’m not asking that they play SEC teams. I’m merely asking that they not play community colleges. It’s a nation-wide problem, too—easily the lamest thing about college football by far.

              … Have you seen some of the scores out there from Weeks 0–1? Seriously! And it’s the same thing year after year, decade after decade.

              Hopefully the new Big Ten does go to ten conference games. College football should be legitimately competitive, always. UO vs. Portland State is an insult to everyone who cares about the integrity of the game …

              … same as Georgia vs UT Martin, Notre Dame vs. Tennessee State, K-State vs. SE Missouri State, Ole Miss vs. Mercer, Arkansas vs. W Carolina, Air Force vs. Robert Morris, Auburn vs. UMass, Maryland vs. Towson, Pittsburgh vs. Wofford, Mississippi State vs. SE Louisiana, Syracuse vs. Colgate, and on and on and on and on. It’s time for a change—and change is here. Let’s put that old college tradition of cupcake bludgeonry to rest.

              • Brodie

                That’s fine, and would be great for the game. You singled out Oregon though. In fact they have actually tried to schedule good non-conference games.

                I’d put them on par with UW as far as teams that other big schools just don’t want to play, unless it’s on their terms. I think it’s clear from UO playing Georgia, Ohio State and Auburn the last 3 years as away games, that they’re at least trying.

                The downside for these teams is it reduces their margin of error to almost nothing. When is the last time a PAC team ran the table in conference play? 2010 UO and before that 1998 UCLA. Twice in 25 years (not counting USC’s forfeited games).

                Following that up, who is the last 2 loss team to make the college football playoff? The answer is there hasn’t been one.

                Until they expand the playoff, there isn’t enough incentive for teams to risk it.

                Boise State ran into this for years under Chris Peterson. Literally no one wanted to play them. They were offering to go to anyone’s home stadium for a game w/o that team needing to come to Boise. They still couldn’t schedule anyone.

      • Malanch

        “CU has no depth.” –TheOtherJordan

        None? As in zero? Surely, they have some depth at some positions?

        I keep hearing proclamations about Colorado’s absence of depth, but I don’t know how anyone could feel certain about this. The Buffs’ two-deep is loaded with players going into their third years or higher, and these are almost entirely in-demand transfers with playing experience. As far as I can tell, their depth might be no worse than average—or could even be solid.

        Thing is, we’ve never seen this before, this madness going on in Boulder. We have to get well into the heart of conference play before we can determine anything conclusive about CU’s lack of depth—or lack thereof.

  5. Big Mike

    I thought my 10 hour drive from Reno to the other Vancouver this week was tough. You Rob are an animal to do 14 hours.

    • Peter

      In my mind Rob’s drive is rather scenic. That Reno to Vancouver can be pretty brutal depending on which roads you are on.

      Used to have to drive between Eugene and Ft. Collins, CO often….some of those Wyoming towns with a population less than 10…yikes.

      • Big Mike

        It’s actually not horrible. I go Reno to Susanville which sucks but then up to Klamath Falls on a pretty quiet and scenic road (139 in CA, 39 in Oregon). Then up 97 and over the mountains on 58 to Eugene. Then the endless nightmare that is I-5 home so the last 2 hours suuuuuucks.

        • Big Mike

          But yeah, I’ve done a lot of motorcycling in Wyoming. It’s a state you have to get through to go somewhere else. And another btw, I was in Ft. Collins last summer. My buddy and I rode 10 days all over Western Colorado…..Pikes Peak summit, Mt. Evans summit. Independence Pass, San Juan Skyway and so on and so forth. Amazing vacation and amazing scenery and that’s from someone who’s lived in the NW 3/4 of his life.

        • Peter

          Ha! The stretch eugene to home might be the worst. Okay folks let’s all figure out how to drive as one.

          That pikes peak trip sounds awesome! Living out there for a few years gave me a chance to see some of those vista’s on camping trips.

        • Malanch

          “… the endless nightmare that is I-5 home …”

          THIS! You guys know the secret to sidestepping the I-5 gut? Easy: Just stay the **** away from the Willamette Valley entirely. It’s worked for me. I-5 through the State of Jefferson isn’t so bad. But all these trips we’re talking about are a cinch compared to what Rob just endured, slogging across hundreds of stress-laden miles of pavement … while contending with the extra challenge of driving on the wrong side of the road. Props to you, Rob!

      • London Seahawk

        Most of Rob’s drive is through UK motorways – not that scenic! Just a little bit in France. Normandy is a well skimmed stone away from us.

        • Peter

          Hey let a man dream.

          I live in a place that is literally “the grass seed Capitol of the world.” If you want not scenic we’ve got in spades. Tons of flat nothingness with the added bonus that four months out of the year you get huge convoys of farm equipment riding about 15-20 miles per hour ( 35 ish kph?) In a 65 (100kph ?) Zone for miles and miles…..

    • Rob Staton

      To be fair that does include a 90 minute stop off at the channel tunnel

  6. Blitzy the Clown

    Jalen McMillan picked up right where he left off last season. I know Odunze gets a lot of attention, but for me, McMillan is the best wideout on a team full of good wideouts.

  7. Big Mike

    Question for you Rob: do you think these college QBs are trying to replicate Mahomes/Allen stuff for scouts (since you mentioned that), or are they just making poor decisions?

    • Rob Staton

      I think they’re definitely influenced and probably grow up practising crazy tricks and wanting to make the impossible happen. But if I were Mack Brown I’d grab Maye and tell him you’re good enough not to take all of these risks

    • BK26

      This is why I like Rattler. He seems like he’s gotten out of this mindset: knows what needs to be done and won’t work. He’s really impressed me in his last 3 games.

  8. Blitzy the Clown

    Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

    #Chiefs star DT Chris Jones, who is still holding out, isn’t present and won’t be at today’s practice — considered a Wednesday practice of game week — with the two sides not close on a deal, sources say.

    KC opens the season Thursday against the #Lions.

    Hope remains

    • Malanch

      … Hope for a John Schneider megasplash actually to pan out for once? Mmmmm, hard for me to picture a different outcome than the yoozhe here.

  9. Romeo A57

    I was definitely more impressed by Rattler than Maye last night. As I stated in a previous thread, Maye was content throwing 50-50 passes assuming his receiver was going to make the play.

    Up 17 points late in the 3rd with the NC Defense in full control of the game, is not the time to throw the ball up for grabs.

    Rattler, on the other hand, had no time due to pathetic o-line play. He tried to stay under control and didn’t make desperation throws even though he was under duress on almost every play.00

  10. BK26

    Rattler knows how to play in an offense and game plan. He’s grown out of the state that Maye is in. He’s a bit older, which I think Pete will like. He’s got that personality to lead and I think Pete will be intrigued by just how he is.

    The big thing for me: he didn’t turn it over. Didn’t make mistakes to put his team down farther. How many guys would be trying to do too much and making their own mistakes to hinder the team. He’s got the talent of anyone else and he’s gone through the adversity that Seattle will like. I’m going to say it: he’s who I want Seattle to go after.

  11. Henry

    This draft tells me one thing….if Geno does not surpass his performance from last year, especially with a much better supporting cast and making a big chunk of money, he will be asked to restructure or shown the door. I keep coming back to Brady Henderson’s report during the playoffs after the national guys reported the team’s interest in a Geno extension. I believe it said something like “The Seahawks believe they have a system that is friendly for the QB.” Maybe because of that, the leash on Geno is shorter than what fans think?

    • BK26

      I think it was always shorter than most fans thought. A good portion we’re already fine with sitting him and starting Lock….

  12. LouCityHawk

    Agree on this take, wasn’t impressed with Maye, at all. Rattler was hard to evaluate, because I was afraid he might die.

    I watched back the UCLA v Coastal Carolina game because I’ve been assured that Grayson McCall is a generational talent…not impressed. Latu looked great for UCLA.

    Looking forward to Jayden Daniels tonight, bummer we won’t get a look at Maason Smith

    Riley Leonard on Monday should look good, might need a different week to see him tested.

    • cha

      Dante Moore’s first college drive was impressive.

      He did off-script things like Maye did but made better choices. Sustainable choices.

      • LouCityHawk

        Agree on Moore, 18 years old and a true freshman.

        But Moore was up against a second tier defense, this time as our only chance to see McCall face a quality defense.

        Excited to see what Moore offers up in the next two years against Big 10 competition.

  13. cha

    Jim Nagy agrees on Rattler


    Jim Nagy
    South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler made some big-time throws under duress last night. Gets hit in mouth and layers strike into tight coverage here. Throws like this will get NFL evaluator’s attention:

    • Palatypus

      It’s like we are all on the same page or something.

    • Rob Staton

      Loved seeing Jim’s review

      Reassuring given what I wrote today

    • Malanch

      Rattler’s physique, movement style, and throwing motion(s) remind me of Patrick Mahomes. He doesn’t have Mahomes’ eyes-in-the-back-of-the-head sense of the game, but then again, he was under a LOT of duress against UNC.

      On a couple of those innumerable pressures, I did feel Rattler should (or at least could) have peripherally detected the backside rush and mounted a scramble attempt instead of passively accepting the sack, but this is obviously quite easy for me to say—and it’s really a nitpick, given his offensive line never did figure out how to deal with those incessant five- and six-man rushes. Playmaking opportunities from the pocket were few, and Rattler definitely showed some sizzle with his arm. He can flick that thing, now. Maybe not at Mahomes’ level, but that’s some good talent there. Some shades of Jeff Garcia, too, with those quick, nimble feet.

  14. Malanch

    So, Matt Barrie asks Paul Finebaum who the most disappointing team this weekend was, and why, and Finebaum immediately begins his answer with, “Uh, I want to get to South Carolina in a minute …”

    … Cue Critical Drinker’s BELIEVE THAT!

  15. geoff u

    I was about to bring up how impressive Shedeur Sanders looks, but I see you have a whole other write up on it. Killin it, Rob.

    Of course now there’s the dilemma of wanting him to do real well, but not too well he becomes a top pick lol. He might not enter the draft this year either.

    • Rob Staton

      Considering who the coach is, I think there’s a very real chance Shedeur doesn’t declare next year and sees it through in college

  16. Palatypus

    What did Rutgers have for breakfast today?

    • KennyBadger


  17. Rob Staton

    Should also mention — this is how shambolic South Carolina were vs UNC

    On one goal-line play they had 13 players on the field… and UNC still scored

    • Palatypus

      Three safeties playing nose tackle?

  18. 805Hawk

    Any thoughts on OSU’s DJ Uaigalelei? Big body and big arm. I’ve heard he was inconsistent at Clemson. Looks good today, given it’s against San Jose State.

    • Palatypus

      DJ Ugly?

    • Rob Staton

      Inconsistent is probably a very polite way of putting it. He was awful to be fair.

    • 805Hawk

      Fair enough. I know he has said he transferred due to being in an offense that didn’t fit him and wanted a pro-style offense. Looking forward to seeing if there is a marked improvement or he will go right back to how he looked at Clemson.

    • Big Mike

      Watching the Beavs today. DJ looks very good but has literally had as long as he wanted to throw on every dropback. Can’t tell anything about a QB when he can just sit back and find open guys at will.

  19. HOUSE

    So I saw a piece regarding our salary cap and after the guys on the IP, PUP and PS we have roughly $2M. I know it’s a dead horse, but how has Adams’ contract not been re-worked? As it stands, he’ll make $1M for watching the team play Week 1. Obviously, I’m kidding, but could we just trade Jamal Adams for Chris Jones straight up?

    • cha

      There’s an HG Wells story called Country of the Blind that is about a mountain climber in South America that discovers a village that is shut off from the outside world. Because of a sickness that has spread to everyone, they are all blind.

      The climber tries to help people understand what sight is, but they think he’s crazy and it’s all just his imagination. The ‘doctors’ even suggest his eyes are somehow effecting his brain and need to be removed.

      He sees that there is an imminent rock slide that will destroy the village, and tries to warn the village, but they all scoff at him for having a crazy imagination. He flees and survives while the village is wiped out.

      • Big Mike

        But cha, KJ said the Hawks are a Super Bowl team with a healthy Adams. Perhaps he’s one of the residents of the village?

      • Palatypus

        I am not a number! I am a free man!

        • Malanch

          Aha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …

          [cue Clive Burr drum intro]

  20. HOUSE

    Speaking of college QBs, did anyone watch the Tennessee game? I’ll need to see some consistency, but there is a lot of clamor about Joe Milton having a good year. He’s listed at 6’5”/235lbs, has a good arm and can scramble.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve watched his tape. Some good but hard to get the no-read throwing dangerously over the middle out of my head

      Plus adult Bobby Hill’s offense helps every QB

      • Malanch

        LOL! The similarity is uncanny, now that you mention it.

      • HOUSE

        I totally understand what you’re saying. He looks like a younger, bigger, more athletic Hendon Hooker. Like you said playing in a no read offense gets gunslingers positive attention. Time will tell

  21. BK26

    Also had lost his starting job at two different schools to guys who are less talented and he also plays in a very quarterback-friendly offense. He’s got a big bill to climb to prove himself. Might not even be able to do it till he’s in the pro’s with the way the offense makes it easy for him.

  22. Malanch

    Rob, you might be intrigued by that great big moose they’ve got down there in San Marcos, T.J. Finley. Holy cow, what a beast—and what an arm. He’s kind of in the JaMarcus Russell mold. He looks like a major project. Not sure he’s an NFL prospect, but he’s interesting. A rarer type. Nice change of pace. The ball really comes off that hand with some spice.

  23. LouCityHawk


    Story of the first half is Fabien Lovett and Mekhi Wingo, big boys getting it done.

    At least so far

    • Jordan

      Man. Jordan Travis is a frustrating watch. A lot of talent, but as with Will Levis, I just wish that these guys 5-6 years into college closing in on their mid-20s would look more advanced and like a “man amongst boys “ given the physical and intellectual advantages that they should have.

      • Rob Staton

        Levis was expected to do this behind the worst line in college football was he?

    • Palatypus

      A woman I ran into at the dog beach sold her tickets to this game thinking they would cancel it due to the hurricane.

      The SEC doesn’t cancel games over a little thing like a hurricane.

  24. Palatypus

    #84 Kyle Morlock, the tight end for Florida State had a “tell” on that backward pass. He looked a little nervous in his stance. On the play before, he had his right foot slightly off-sides, but they didn’t call it. It was a fake route, as he bailed and did a seal block.

    Otherwise, I wouldn’t have noticed it.

  25. Palatypus

    Trey Benson’s 4.4 yards after contact leads the SEC. He sounds very Seahawky.

    • LouCityHawk

      Just a pile mover

  26. LouCityHawk

    Not a good night for Jayden Daniels.

    Verse might be better than advertised.

    • Palatypus

      He was good for a half.


      This is going to be an interesting write up tomorrow.

  27. Palatypus

    The PAC-4 (conference of champions) is 4-0.

    I can’t wait for that title game between the Cougs and the Beavs!

    • Elmer

      I thought we were down to the PAC-2 after Cal and Stanford went to the ACC (Duke, North Carolina, etc). And I think that WSU and OSU have been invited into the Mountain West, although I don’t know what is going to happen.

      • Palatypus

        Yes! The PAC-2: Conference of Champions.

      • Peter

        That’s a lot of travel to get worked over by those schools.

        • Palatypus

          So if you predict Stanford women to win the ACC championship in basketball, is it East Coast bias?

          • Peter

            Jokes aside I’ve heard it’s unclear if it’s all athletics entering these new conferences. Sure going to be hard to travel for sports like baseball all over the country during the school year.

  28. Trevor

    Rob if you have a chance to check out Riley Leonard the Duke QB tonight I would love to hear your thoughts.

    • Rob Staton

      It’ll depend on whether anyone uploads the tape to YouTube

  29. Mark

    I love the content here so much that I’m always wanting more. The Seattle Times can’t fill the void, I’m sick of arguing with the FG knuckleheads, and then there’s a big void. Help!

    • Rob Staton

      Don’t worry I’ll crank the material out. I’m at a conference in Manchester today and tomorrow but got a few things lined up for this week and a stream on Wednesday

      • Group Captain Mandrake

        Hope you had a chance to rub it in to a few Mancunians about Man U’s performance this weekend.

  30. Mark

    You’re a machine, Rob. And my post wasn’t meant to whine or beg. It’s just that I’m so frustrated arguing about cap as it relates to safeties and interior DL and seeing content that makes it seem like I’ve lost my mind and don’t know what I’m talking about. I only want to consume Hawks content, but I’m over the nonsense I’m getting elsewhere.

    • Peter

      Whine away. I’m over Rob and his desire to take his family on memorable trips. France. Dubai….let’s get to the freakish prognostication, Robstradamus, about players none of us know about but Lance zerlien will call an all world talent six months after Rob.

      I’m already getting pumped on the post game round tables coming back.

      • Palatypus

        Let’s not forget that harrowing trip to Disneyworld. You have to be crazy to go to Florida these days.

        • Peter


  31. Trevor

    Article on why teams would not draft Carter. A lot of what Rob said already.


  32. cha

    Not a shock Dareke goes on IR.

    Aaron Wilson
    #Seahawks placed Dareke Young on injured reserve, promoted Ben Brown to active roster from practice squad,signed Holton Ahlers and Brady Breeze to practice squad cut Bryant Toback from practice squad

    Where does Brown fit on the 53 though?

    • cha

      They have

      LG-Lewis, Curhan
      C-Brown, Olu
      RG-Haynes, Bradford

      They’re covered. If one of those 6 is injured, we will find out Wednesday on the report.

      Failing that, it’s likely a ‘free’ game day active spot since Adams, Witherspoon, Morris, etc are unlikely to be active and you get an extra spot if you have 8 OL active.

    • STTBM

      Could be his old team or another wanted to poach Brown number 2, so Seattle is putting him on the 53 to squat on him, like with that LB and the corner Kyu Blu Whatever. So three guys on the 53 who won’t play, except maybe on Teams….great….

  33. cha

    Devon Witherspoon practicing today.

    • Peter

      W/o starting a whole thing again, one week of practice seems optimistic for Sunday. I really would rather him get 2-3 weeks of full speed practice.

      • geoff u

        I doubt he plays Sunday, and that’s fine. I’d rather he be fully healthy than toughing though it and reinjuring

  34. Volume12

    Seahawk scouts checking out them 3 DTs for Clemson? And while Jeremiah Trotter gets most of the attention, Barter Carter might end up the better LB.

    * Ruke Orhorhoro (6’4, 295)
    Tyler Davis (6’2, 300)
    Payton Page (6’4, 315)

    * best 1 of the bunch imo

    • LouCityHawk

      Ruke and Davis are very close in my opinion.

      Tyler has that bigger body that Hawks fans seem to be craving.

    • Jabroni-DC

      Checking out ‘them’ and your boy Leonard.

  35. Palatypus

    According to OurLads, L.J. Collier has won the starting RDE job in Arizona.

    • Palatypus

      And Cody Barton has won the starting MLB job in Washington.

      • Romeo A57

        Maybe LJ and Cody are more productive with better defensive coaching?

        I suspect that neither will start for long before being replaced.

        • Palatypus

          You know, how hard can it be for Cody Barton at MIKE when the front four are Montez Sweat, Daron Payne, Johnathan Allen, and Chase Young?

    • bmseattle

      …thus squelching the rumors that they are trying to tank this year. 😉

      • Big Mike

        I literally LOL’d man

  36. cha

    Mike Morris and Darrell Taylor back at practice.

  37. LouCityVibes

    Anyone else get Daniel Jones vibes watching Leonard?

  38. Palatypus

    Based on what I’m seeing so far with Clemson @ Duke, I think Stanford and Cal can compete in this conference.

  39. Starhawk29

    I need to see more, but Riley Leonard for Duke is interesting. Moves well, seems to have an arm, can make decisions under fire.

    • Palatypus

      Well, that wasn’t bad.

  40. Palatypus

    I keep seeing this new Dr. Pepper “Fansville” commercial where Sherrif Bosworth says, “The transfer portal is out of control”, and can’t help but think that the PAC-12 is responsible for that Sharknado.

  41. Jabroni-DC


    The remaining teams in the PAC-2 conference have reached out to join the German ‘Bundesliga’. WSU’s athletic director, Chips O’Toole, made reference to the Bundesliga being Germany’s top football league as a reason for the pursuit. “We were jealous of the airline miles that Stanford & Cal were going to get & decided to blow them out of the water.”

    • Palatypus

      Bundesliga: Konferenz der Champions

      • Group Captain Mandrake

        It’s really more “Konferenz der Champion” considering Bayern has won it I think 12 years in a row.

        • Malanch

          Bayern immediately established itself as the class of the conference, but quickly became disgruntled over revenue-sharing with welfare case laggards like Wazzu and Oregon State, leading to their sudden departure for greener pastures in the ever-shuffling ACC …

  42. Mike

    Neither one of the ACC QBs is any good yet. Klubnik being crowned the next big thing by ESPN is laughable and the Duke QB has got amazing wheels, but doesn’t seem to have the arm. Can’t wait to hear Rob’s thoughts.

    • Palatypus

      50% completion rate, no touchdown passes, no interceptions, good running ability, from Duke…


      • Volume12

        His receivers arent great but he put that team on his back and carried them to a win.

        Want to see more from Leonard in terms of his arm strength. The rest of his game is very intriguing. He’s decisive, can make those off platform/different arm angle throws we’re starting to see, pretty accurate, doesnt force things, etc.

  43. cha

    John Schneider spoke today

    Curtis Allen
    How feel about ability to stop the run on D? JS: “Well our coaches excited about our group. Trying to get a feel for landscape, going over waiver wire, trades, constantly working on it. In league, don’t have enough OL or DL. Numbers down. DL constantly looking won’t stop.”

    • Donovan

      First step to fixing a problem is acknowledging it. His answer at least seemed to acknowledge the problem.

      • Big Mike

        Also sounds like there’s no solution and he knows it.

        We good at Safety though. They’ll be awesome making tackles 8 yards beyond the LOS.

        • STTBM

          Did you mean whiffing on tackles 8 yards past the line of scrimmage?!

          • Big Mike

            Yeah I mistyped

          • Palatypus

            Don’t you have to at least be able to smell a tackle before “whiffing” on it?

        • bmseattle

          “Also sounds like there’s no solution and he knows it.”

          Cross your fingers that Pete doesn’t tell him to just make a trade at whatever cost.
          We’ve got a 1st and 2nd rounder next year just sitting there!

    • LouCityHawk

      This is an interesting take, in other words JS doesn’t think the players available on the waiver wire are upgrades over what is in house, and also that the trade market is too much a sellers market, due to the scarcity of talented DLine?

      If I read that correctly, sure sounds like an admission that they underestimated the value of DLine in this last draft and were hoping to add an extra body with the 3rd Round pick (Benton, Young (Bama), Pickens, Dexter..)

      Will be interested to see if that translates into spending earlier draft capital on DLine if the right players are there. 2024 looks to be deep on DLine, Edge, OLine, and features some premium receivers.

      Also saw that Pratt of Tulane got the Senior Bowl player of the week, intriguing QB, and next week will be the best time to get a look at him playing Ole Miss.

    • Peter

      Why do Pete and John always sound like they are doing their madlibs?

      “Trying to get a feel for our landscape?” The heck does that even mean.

      • STTBM

        Because they are both excellent at talking alot without saying much of anything. And they aren’t going to admit their mistakes until long after the fact, if ever.

      • Blitzy the Clown

        Oh sure, I can translate that:

        “Hoping we’re not totally fooked with the personnel we have”

        • Peter

          This is it.

          • Sea Mode


      • Gross MaToast

        I think he’s saying that, at this moment in time, they’ll net it out on a go-forward basis.

        • Peter

          We’re gonna put a pin in it and circle back after exploring possible synergies amongst our deliverables.

          • Palatypus

            So our run defense is having a service variation.

            • Peter

              As long as it’s not:

              ERROR 404 try again later

              • Palatypus

                Which draft pick was that again?

      • Big Mike

        You guys make me laugh. It’s gallows laughter but hey it’s still laughing.

    • Malanch

      Hilarious thread!

      … So, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that the Seahawk D is in for another one of those years, huh? Oh dear.

      The state of the D-line does look like bad planning on the part of the organization, because I’ve been hearing for years about the labor supply being down at the LOS positions, yet plenty of other teams manage to field competent D-lines.

      Rob, I shall pity your server should the Rams pull off the upset come Sunday.

  44. Blitzy the Clown

    I dunno, maybe it’s the decades of chronic disdain talking…

    But the whiners #2?


    • Ukhawk

      Painful to admit it but 49ers are loaded. If not 2, where – 3 or 4?

      • Blitzy the Clown

        I have at least the Eagles and the Bengals ahead of them. Their roster is loaded but thin at crucial positions. And they always get bit by the injury bug.

  45. cha

    Ringer’s QB rankings – Geno #13, RW #17.

    Seems fair.

    But I can’t fathom how Herbert is ahead of Joe Burrow. No. Freaking. Way.


    I also would not take Dak over Jalen Hurts.

    • Rob Staton

      You mentioning Herbert is ahead of Burrow saved me time clicking the link. Thanks!

    • Tatupu51

      Steven Ruiz gives them very similar grades, but downgrades Burrow’s arm in comparison with Hebert. That’s fair, but IMO Burrow’s accuracy, timing and decision making should be miles ahead of Herbert.

    • Brodie

      Rankings aside, I’m really looking forward to see how Herbert/Chargers look this year with Kellen Moore as the OC.

      Some combination of injured WR’s, Herbert’s own injury and the old OC led their offense to look – offensive. They threw a metric ton, but the vast majority of the throws were within 5 yards of the LOS.

      Hoping they open it up with Moore.

    • Malanch

      If I were a Charger fan, I’d be very concerned about the way Justin Herbert performed in that playoff game at Jacksonville. One doesn’t want to jump to too many conclusions based off one game, but sometimes a single performance can be revealing.

      Joe Lombardi took the heat for that epic collapse, but Herbert had opportunity after opportunity to take advantage of a +5 first half turnover differential and a +27 halftime lead to put that game away early in the second half—and he never really came close to managing that.

      The outcome had me considering the distinct possibility that the guy just doesn’t have “it”. We’ll see what the new OC might do to enliven his gameness, but Herbert was the major reason the Chargers flamed out in that game. He’s a great physical talent who sees the field well and delivers the ball accurately … when the stakes aren’t so high.

    • Palatypus

      Herbert is ahead of Burrow because his hair looks more like Trevor Lawrence’s.

      • UkAlex6674

        But then wouldn’t Lawerence be above Herbert?

  46. Volume12

    I’m excited to watch Bama QB Jalen Milroe progress as the season goes on. He has some kind of arm 🚀

  47. Blitzy the Clown

    Tre Brown to start at LCB vs Rams

    Also Brooks healthy enough to start over Bush.

    • Palatypus

      Jimmy Buffett is healthy enough to start over Bush.

      • Big Mike

        More truly gallows humor. I did LOL.

        Good for Brooks. Hell of an effort to get back to this point.

        • bmseattle

          It’s difficult to believe that he is 100% recovered, considering when he was injured.
          I really hope that this is the right decision…both for himself and the team.

    • cha

      Is this based on the ‘depth chart’ that was released?

      I have my doubts about its viability.

  48. cha


    “Is this the year you make your move and do something like Chris Jones?” Wyche posed, referring to the four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle who is currently holding out from the Kansas City Chiefs. “… It would make a lot of sense. It would make a lot of sense.”

    When it comes to Jones, Wyche said “this might be something where they wait a month, they wait four weeks to see if he’s still available and say, ‘Yep, we’re looking like this is the year to do it (where) we make the move.’”

    As for how Jones would figure into the Seahawks’ defense, Wyche can envision a good fit.

    “Seattle, just kind of looking at it how they could use him, Jones has played primarily on the edge the past couple of years,” Wyche said. “Seattle could use him kind of at the hybrid 5-technique, hybrid 6- and 7-technique of what they do defensively.”

    • Gaux Hawks

      Chiefs might need a TE… sprinkle in Taylor, Eskridge and Fant along with our 1R24!!

    • HOUSE

      With Kelce’s hyperextended knee, let’s send Noah Fant and Jamal Adams to KC for Chris Jones. I’m all for it

    • Rob Staton

      “Seattle, to me, is a team that no one’s talking about,” Wyche said Tuesday to Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk

      Who are we kidding here, loads of people are talking up the Seahawks. They are a trendy pick in the media.

  49. samprassultanofswat

    “With Kelce’s hyperextended knee, let’s send Noah Fant and Jamal Adams to KC for Chris Jones. I’m all for it.”
    Typical Seahawk trade. Trade players we don’t want for a SUPERSTAR.

    Yes I am all in https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-poker-player-going-all-pushing-his-chips-forward-sitting-table-trying-to-hide-expressions-image65532141 on trading Noah Fant and Jamal Adams to KC for Chris Jones. But I don’t think the Chiefs are interested in Jamal Adams & Noah Fant.

    • Rob Staton

      Or maybe Chris Jones for a nice ham sandwich

      Both deals seem about as likely

    • BK26

      I don’t think that you are getting that the trade was supposed to be unrealistic.

    • HOUSE

      I was the one that posted the Jones for Fant/Adams trade and it was COMPLETELY satire. It is funny seeing some of the silly trade comments and I was completely joking. 🤣🤣🤣

  50. samprassultanofswat

    Chris Jones wants 29-30mil. per year

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