Final Seahawks stats review — defense is a big problem

Seattle has a big problem on its hands.

A problem that has to be solved this off-season.

The defense struggled mightily. It couldn’t rush the passer, stop the run and the numbers are quite startling. The Seahawks allowed 6106 yards and allowed 6.0 yards per play. Both marks are second worst in franchise history behind Mike Holmgren’s 2000 team (6-10).

However, history tells us that the Seahawks will aggressively work to fix this issue after the playoffs.

After the 2017 season they knew they had to fix the completely broken running game. They changed the offensive coordinator, offensive line coach and decided to go with a more experienced front five. They spent a first round pick on a running back and drafted a tight end well known for his blocking ability.

The plan worked. A year ago the running game was among the most productive in the NFL and that continued in 2019. Per DVOA, the Seahawks had the #5 ranked offense overall in 2019 and the #9 ranked offense in 2018.

According to Sharp Football Stats, the Seahawks had 62 explosive running plays in 2019 (fourth most in the league). Their average explosive run percentage was 13% — also fourth best. The three teams in front were Baltimore (Lamar Jackson), Arizona (Kyler Murray) and Tennessee (Derrick Henry).

They also had 55 explosive passing plays, 11th most in the NFL. Combined they had the fifth most explosive offense behind only Baltimore, Tennessee and San Francisco.

Overall these are good results. They’re not unexpected when you have a star quarterback and talent at the skill positions. Yet the Seahawks offense has taken a big step forward in 2018 and 2019 after a troublesome 2017 season.

The Seahawks saw a glaring problem and aggressively fixed it.

In 2020 they’ll need to take on a similar task to repair the pass rush, defensive line and their tackling.

There is absolutely no doubt that the unit is holding the Seahawks back. They can’t create consistent pressure, they don’t get enough sacks and the run defense is poor. It’s a minor miracle that they ended up near the top of the takeaway charts.

The Seahawks finished the 2019 season with 28 sacks, second fewest in the league behind only Miami (23). Their sack percentage was 4.5% — third worst overall.

They had only 126 pressures, sixth fewest in the league behind Detroit (125), Oakland (117), Houston (117), Atlanta (115) and Miami (96). Seattle’s pressure percentage was the fourth worst in the league (19.3%) behind Detroit (18.9%), Houston (18.1%) and Miami (16.7%).

Seattle hit the quarterback 68 times — fourth fewest. They had 52 TFL’s — again, fourth fewest.

They gave up 55 explosive running plays on defense, seventh most in the NFL. Yet their explosive run play percentage (14%) was the third worst overall behind only Carolina (16%) and Cleveland (15%).

In the passing game they conceded 54 explosive plays — the 14th most.

I haven’t got access to the 2013 stats to check on the peak LOB years. The earliest I can go back to is 2016. That year they conceded only 39 explosive running plays — the fewest in the NFL. They gave up 58 explosive passing plays. The big difference this season is the run game, highlighting this isn’t only a pass rush issue.

They also gave up 4.9 YPC — fourth most overall.

The other startling statistic is the sheer number of missed tackles. They had 131 during the regular season — the fourth most.

It’s not a completely negative picture. They had 16 interceptions — fifth most in the NFL. They had the 10th most pass deflections (74) and the quarterback rating against Seattle’s defense was 85.6 (ninth lowest).

They had the third best turnover differential (+12) with 16 fumbles to go with the 16 interceptions.

The Seahawks have looked poor in multiple games and there were several head scratching ones where you wondered how they’d won. Sunday night was nearly another one of those. Their ability to turn the ball over and play well on offense was clearly a massive equaliser, diluting the wretched defensive statistics listed above. The counterbalance created an 11-5 team, capable of earning the #5 seed.

In order to take the next step and be a division winner, a conference winner and a Super Bowl winner they will need to dramatically improve the pass rush, the defensive line performance overall and reduce the missed tackles.

As mentioned, the reassuring thing for fans is when there’s a clear, glaring problem with the roster — this front office and staff act very aggressively to fix it. This will be addressed, probably emphatically.

It’ll also likely be addressed long before the draft. Whether it’s moving to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney and/or Jarran Reed, adding other outside free agents or making a significant trade — this will get sorted.

Individual stats

A few weeks ago Bradley McDougald was ranked among the leaders for passer rating against. Unfortunately he has dropped to 16th since, with a 58.8 rating. It’s still a decent mark but perhaps highlights how much the defense has struggled in December. At the start of the month his rating was 29.4.

It could also be indicative of Quandre Diggs’ importance and absence. As Jim Moore notes:

In Quandre Diggs’ five games with the Seahawks this year, Seattle’s defense has produced 16 take-aways, including three INTs by Diggs, and a 4-1 record. Without him in the last two games, 0 take-aways and an 0-2 record.

Tre Flowers ended with a passer rating against of 70.9 (70th best). In comparison, Marcus Peters’ rating was 71.4. He wasn’t too far behind Marlon Humphrey either (67.9). Flowers has shown genuine development in 2019 and that is encouraging.

It’s not such good news for Shaquill Griffin. The general consensus is that he’s had a terrific year three. However, his passer rating against was 96.7 (#155 overall). He’s in the same ballpark as Pierre Desir (96.4) and Desmond Trufant (97.3). He also finished the season without an interception.

Stats like this aren’t the be-all and end-all of course. It’s worth noting, however, that the top-ranked safety in passer rating is Earl Thomas and the top-ranked cornerback is Stephon Gilmore. Harrison Smith is the #2 safety and Tre’Davious White is the #2 cornerback. Richard Sherman is the #4 corner. The top players are ranked where you’d expect.

This is something to consider when contemplating whether Griffin is worth a big contract extension, now that he’s eligible to sign his second deal.

Predictably Jadeveon Clowney led the team in pressures (31). Despite missing games this is still a strong performance. In comparison, DeMarcus Lawrence had 29 pressures, Matt Judon had 32 pressures and Clowney was just behind Calais Campbell (33), Danielle Hunter (35) and Von Miller (37).

Clowney (10) also had one more QB knockdown than Aaron Donald and Von Miller and two fewer than Nick Bosa and J.J. Watt. He also had 17 hurries, putting him at #11 in the NFL.

Considering how poor Seattle was at creating pressure — and the likelihood that Clowney often faced double teams — this is an impressive season. They have to build around and support Clowney, not face the prospect of having to replace him.

If you want to compare Clowney’s performance to the rest of the line, Quinton Jefferson was second on the team with 16 pressures (#92 overall). Rasheem Green had 15. Jarran Reed, despite missing several games, recorded 13 pressures.

Ziggy Ansah finished with 10. He also had only three hurries and five QB knockdowns to go with 2.5 sacks. The Seahawks were desperate after trading Frank Clark and took a chance on Ansah. Expect them to target healthier players when the new league year begins.

Mychal Kendricks missed a number of tackles early in the season and finished with a missed tackle percentage of 21.1%. In fairness, he led the league with 25% early on and showed consistent improvement (eventually ranking with the 15th highest percentage). Quinton Jefferson missed 16.1% of his tackles, second most on the team and #57 overall. Al Woods was third with 15.8% and Jarran Reed fourth with 15.6%. You can make out a picture on why the run defense struggled.

Tre Flowers missed 15.5% of his tackles, Bradley McDougald 14.6%, Marquise Blair 13.8%, Poona Ford 13.5% and Shaquill Griffin 13.3%.

All of this is simply too high. Names of Seahawks pop up on the list far too frequently. At the other end of the scale, Bobby Wagner only missed 5.9% of his tackles (despite leading the entire NFL for tackles made) and K.J. Wright missed only 7.7% of his. Seattle’s two experienced linebackers were the only two players to come out of this well.

Kendricks led the team in TFL’s with eight. Clowney and Wagner were tied second with seven.

Possible targets in free agency

Who might they target to fix this problem? What do the stats tell us about potential targets?

It’s always hard to know what is possible. In 2013 it would’ve felt like a pipe dream to sign both Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril to cheap the deals. The ever expanding salary cap and the propensity for teams to dish out huge contracts has changed the dynamic since. You can still get bargains (Clowney for a third rounder, even as a one-year rental, is a good example). Yet the reality is even decent players are likely to be retained at all costs or they’ll be paid significantly on the open market.

The Seahawks are projected to have about $73m in available cap for 2020 — currently the seventh most in the league. That number could increase depending on what they decide to do with players like Justin Britt. Ed Dickson is a certain cut, that will save a further $3m. They can be spenders in free agency — although the available money will come down quickly if they retain Clowney and Reed.

Dante Fowler is a tough one to project. He was a free agent a year ago, didn’t get a great market and ended up signing a one-year deal worth $12m. He’s only 25 and he has the type of quickness Seattle badly needs (1.59 10-yard split).

His production in 2019 could warrant a big contract. He ranked fifth in the NFL with 16 TFL’s — the same number as Nick Bosa and Cam Jordan. He also ranked highly with 11.5 sacks and 36 pressures.

The Rams are tight against the cap and need to pay Jalen Ramsey. Fowler will likely reach the market. At a good age and with proven production and a recent track record of availability, he would seem to be a possible free agency target.

Shaq Lawson has quietly had a decent season for the Bills. He ranked among the NFL leaders for TFL’s (13), had 6.5 sacks and 28 pressures. He’s also 25 and a former top-20 pick from 2016. He ran a 1.63 10-yard split at 269lbs although he lacks great length (6-2, 32 3/4 inch arms). The size might be off-putting but Lawson could be the type of player you bring in on a short-term deal with an incentive based contract. Remember, the Seahawks need several additions not just one big signing.

Yannick Ngakoue has spent the last few days making it clear on social media he wants to leave Jacksonville. Unfortunately for him, the Jaguars have the power to use the franchise tag. They’re unlikely to let a 24-year-old pass rusher slip through the cracks having already dealt Jalen Ramsey, although the drafting of Josh Allen a year ago gives them some flexibility. They’re also tight against the cap but can make some moves to rectify that (cutting Marcell Dareus alone saves $20m).

Ngakoue had 13 TFL’s in 2019, eight sacks and 27 pressures. Like Lawson he lacks length (6-2, 32.5 inch arms) and he only ran a 1.64 10-yard split and a 4.75 forty despite weighing a light 252lbs. Even so, he has 37.5 career sacks in four years. Even if he’s tagged, he could be a trade option much in the way Frank Clark was a year ago. I’m just not sure he has the length and twitch they look for to warrant a major trade-and-pay deal.

Kansas City only has $21m in available cap space and needs money to pay Patrick Mahomes in the future. Can they commit a massive salary to Chris Jones a year after paying Frank Clark mega money? They might be inclined to do a tag-and-trade or let him test the market. Jones had a fairly modest 2019 season given his reputation with only eight TFL’s, nine sacks and 27 pressures.

If they wanted to take on a reclamation project — and they often have in the past — Vic Beasley has the athleticism, quickness and length they like. His career in Atlanta stalled badly after a fast start. However, he still recorded eight sacks in 2019, eight TFL’s and 19 pressures. Beasley won’t be the answer on his own but he could be part of a multi-faceted solution.

If they want to go with experience, Everson Griffen is a likely cap casualty in Minnesota. They might re-structure his deal to keep him, or cut and re-sign him. If he reaches the market though the Seahawks would likely show some interest. He had 11 TFL’s, eight sacks and 34 pressures in 2019.

Robert Quinn has had a nomadic existence over the last few years. He had 13 TFL’s, 11.5 sacks and 35 pressures this season and is, surprisingly, still only 29.

Denver recently announced they’re going to be picking up the option on Von Miller’s contract. They have money to spare and can tolerate the $25.6m cap hit. However, at that price they might also see what kind of trade offers are on the table. It’s hard to imagine the Seahawks inheriting a deal like that, although they could lessen the hit by extending his contract. He turns 31 in March. He had 10 TFL’s in 2019, eight sacks and 37 pressures.

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  1. Aaron

    Will Ken Norton be let go?

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think so. I think they will view this as a personnel problem. But there may be some coaching changes.

      • line_hawk

        When there a a few players missing tackles, its a personnel problem. When your entire defense (but two players) is missing tackles left and right, it seems like a coaching issue. Nobody saw Kris Richard being let go two years ago, hoping they get a new DC.

        • McZ

          I’m not in the ‘fire the lot’ team, but I happen to a degree with this assessment.
          Ken Norton is a LB coach, so his LBs are tackling well. He will need to be supplanted by an assistant coach teaching the same things to the secondary.

          • Rob Staton

            People can piss and moan about Norton all they want. This is Pete’s defense.

            • Kelly


          • TomLPDX

            Wasn’t Rocky Seto the coach who focused the players on tackling? It seems when he left that the team digressed in tackling overall. I wonder if they just haven’t been able to find a replacement for him or they lowered the importance of the role. The Seahawks have always been known for their sound tackling techniques.

  2. James Z

    Knowing what we know about Hunt-smart, tough, but undersized, and Pocic with injury and other question marks as a regular center on an NFL team, and with Britt a possible cap casualty, what options do the SH’s have at center either through the draft, trades, or FA signings. Center seems like such an important, yet unheralded position.

    • Rob Staton

      Alex Mack is likely to be released by Atlanta to save cap space and could be an option.

      Cesar Ruiz is the best draft eligible center IMO. But there’s also Tyler Biadasz, Nick Harris and Matt Hennessy to name four possible draft options.

      • Kenny Sloth

        Oregon’s CJake Hansen and Calvin Throckmorton has played Center

        • McZ

          Throckmorton is a true swiss army knife player, that Pocic never was. I’m not sure they will invest a second rounder to get him. Same goes for Ruiz, and I’m not even sure, Ruiz will declare.

          If we search for a swing tackle, Cole van Lanen of Wisconsin could be a 4th rounder to target. Add Hansen as a 5th rounder, and Charlie Heck or Jared Hilbers as a 7th round / UDFA flier, and you have a lot of depth at OL for basically zero cost.

          On Britt, I think it’s important to not loose him without compensation. Miami needs a veteran to stabilize their emerging all-rookie OL. Maybe, we could make a trade here, a third rounder would make do. Then, we could invest that money to hire a really capable badassed LG. Thuney from NE or Glasgow from Detroit.

    • Aaron

      I’d say they either go with Britt for one more year or trade for a veteran. No real good Center options in UFA. Solari seems to prefer vets starting, but if they do draft a Center I like the guys from Wisconsin, UW, and Michigan.

      • Greg Haugsven

        My gut tells me that they bring back Britt for this year and just absorb his cap hit. If Ifedi does leave and maybe Lupati as well you dont want to much turnover. Britt got hurt earlier enough in the year where he should be fine for next season.

        • TomLPDX

          I would think that extending Britt for a few more years and restructuring his salary may be a good option as well. He’s not that old (28) and is a solid center for us now and he and Russ work well together. The chemistry and leadership is already in place. If you cut him you start over. Joey stays as the backup center as well. just my $.02

          • Rob Staton

            I don’t think you can extend a guy with an ACL injury. Cut and resign? Maybe.

  3. Coleslaw

    IMO Kendricks wont be back. Barton will play a lot next year. Hopefully we split Barton and Amadi for base/nickel.

    I think we should be thinking about LB in the draft. KJ isnt getting any younger. Anybody have their guys? Maybe a mid-late rounder with high upside? I haven’t looked at the LBs at all yet lol.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Pleeeaaase don’t draft a LB before round 5 PCJS holy crap

      • John_s

        Why not before rd 5?

        • Greg Haugsven

          I agree with Coleslaw. I could see Barton doing a time share at strong side splitting time in nickel with whomever that is. Then in 2021 maybe taking over full time for KJ at weak side.

      • drewdawg11

        Why in the world would we want to wait until day 3 again? To stock the special teams? We are short on lie backer speed/talent outside of Bobby and it needs to addressed ASAP.

        • Kenny Sloth

          Lol we have so many LBs wtf. If Cody Barton has 2 TFLs and bats up a pass that gets picked at Eagles we’ll suddenly have the best young LB prospect in the league.

          We like our depth, we bet on ourselves to coach players up. We had to cut some really talented LBs this year. Let’s not draft a bench option early that’s just gonna push someone very talented off the roster.

          We have a lot of time with these players. Let’s fix the actual issues around them like DE, DT, WR, TE, CB, and RB.

          • drewdawg11

            Drafting late-round bodies is not the same thing as having dudes. Our current starters aren’t cutting it, and they’re definitely better than Barton. Even if the kid vastly improves over the offseason to become serviceable, KJ moves in space about as well as a defensive end who is dropping during a zone blitz. Kendricks is a shouldn’t resign guy at this point anyway. If you aren’t interested in improving the speed and talent at linebacker, then how are you going to improve the overall defense?

      • McZ

        Josh Uche in R3?
        This way, we could test the waters about his pass rushing abilities, and would get a violent tackling instinct LB at worst.

        • Rob Staton

          I’ll probably have to say this a lot between now and April but Uche just doesn’t fit Seattle.

    • Sea Mode

      Minnesota LB Kamal Martin

      Ohio St. LB Baron Browning

  4. Coleslaw

    DK finished with exactly 900 yards and 7 TDs on 58 catches. Not bad for a rookie receiver! If this guy can learn how to actually be good at catching footballs he could be a legit elite threat.

    • Kingdome1976

      Being good at catching footballs is learned at a young age with the whole hand-eye coordination thing. It’s like learning a musical instrument as an adult vs learning as a child. It has to sink in at young age. Maybe he should do more body catches. I don’t know.

  5. king.

    The situation is even more dire than painted here.

    Even assuming that the DL can be fixed before the draft, which I would assume would eat up much of the available cap space in the form of Clowney, Reed, and reinforcements, the linebackers are aging and the secondary, as noted above, is far from a reliable end product. Third linebacker/nickel is not resolved. Diggs may or may not be an injury risk. There is no depth at any defensive position and the starting unit needs a lot of work.

    Three positions on a weak OL (19th in adjusted line yards; 24th in adjusted sack rate–even accounting for Wilson culpability in sacks, still not a great pass blocking line, which is no surprise–Seattle builds its OL with an eye to rushing) are question marks. The running back room needs attention again and none of the extant backs, except possibly the fourth stringer can be counted on for a full season. The tight end room is Hollister and an unreliable Dissly. And the WR unit needs another dynamic option, which Rob has consistently linked Seattle using its highest draft capital on a WR, which I 100% agree with.

    This roster is full of holes and it is likely that the heroic efforts of Wilson, Carson, and Lockett have made the offensive stats look great, but have papered over a general lack of talent.

    I suspect that Seattle will still be a year away when October rolls around in 2020.

    • Aaron

      While the defense needs a top to bottom talent infusion, I agree there’s other holes. The OL next year could potentially have 3-5 new faces. Brown could retire at any moment, Iupati isn’t likely to be retained, Britt could be a cap casualty, Fluker might stay, and Ifedi is likely gone too.

      • Rob Staton

        PLEASE can we stop talking about Duane Brown like he’s 96 years old.

        He equally could at any minute… carry on playing on the big extension he just signed.

        Plus they might equally retain those players or just sign new veterans in the way they’ve found relative production from Sweezy, Iupati and Fluker.

    • Rob Staton

      The secondary also produced 16 picks and has found two absolute diamonds in Diggs/McDougald while Tre Flowers is really coming along and everyone loves Shaquill.

      So I’d slow the roll on ‘the roster is full of holes’. It has one been hole that needs revolving. Anything else can be taken care of fairly comfortably.

      • Greg Haugsven

        I would disagree with the back end not looking good for the future. Didds and McDougald at safety next year with Blair waiting in the wings. Griffin and Flowers are above average starters who are still growing. Its tough on pass defenders when you are asked to cover guys for 5+ seconds every play. If we get some pass rush next year these guys stats will go up as well. Even guys like Sherman, Ramsey, Gilmore and co cant cover guys forever.

      • king.

        Less dramatic rhetoric: I think there are more question marks on this roster than one offseason can address comfortably.

        I suspect we are still talking about next year next year.

      • BobbyK

        I think the secondary is a strength moving into 2020. We have two young starting CBs that I like. We also have two solid safeties. I don’t fully trust the health of both but it’s clear Blair has talent. His biggest problem seems to be the mental aspect of playing safety. Remember when Kam redshirted an entire season sitting behind Lawyer Milloy? I think Blair has the skills to make an impact in some capacity next year. Basically, I can see them using a 3rd, 4th, or 5th round pick on a CB and, overall, being satisfied with the secondary until late in the draft (every once in awhile they find an UDFA, too). Griffin (3rd) and WTIII (4th) are the only early round CBs but I could see them going with a CB around 3-5 if Griffin hasn’t been extended. Either way, the secondary looks solid to me without needing a Day 1-2 pick used on it.

        We’ve got the best MLB in football, in my opinion. Sure, it may be KJs last year. And Barton has talent, but I question his awareness and some of the whiffs he’s had so OLB is definitely a question mark.

        The DL and OLBs are the questions, not the entire defense.

        • Ukhawk

          Agreed!! In one of the latest PC interviews he praised Blair but made clear he had missed a ton of time. He indicated he was ver excited about Blair tough

      • king.

        More to the point, I think chasing a well rounded roster might be a mistake.

        16 of the last 30 champions (not counting flukes who weren’t particularly good on either side of the ball in the regular season) were significantly better on one side of the ball than the other.

        Being great at one side of the ball might be more valuable than trying to be good at everything.

        When a team has a clear competitive advantage, say at quarterback, I think it prudent to spend heavily, both in FA and the draft, to enhance that advantage and rely on cheap, young options on the other side of the ball.

        Seattle has been reactionary in the offseason, looking to fix clear deficiencies instead of looking to optimize the competitive advantage in what it is best at.

        • line_hawk

          “Seattle has been reactionary in the offseason, looking to fix clear deficiencies instead of looking to optimize the competitive advantage in what it is best at.”

          Good point. I believe the issue is young players not taking a step. They relied on Tedric/Hill/etc in secondary but they have been flops. They relied on Green/Collier/etc but they haven’t contributed much. Similarly, it took Griffen two years to play above average. Last year, they relied on young OL and RB but none contributed. They have been forced to scramble since the younger players relied on have failed to take the next step.

      • line_hawk

        Turnovers are an inconsistent stat year to year. In 2013, Hawks had 28 picks (1st in league). In 2014, Hawks had 13 picks (19th in league). In 2015, Hawks had 14 picks (16th in league). They had the same personnel all these years. I think Diggs is good but a lot of turnovers that the team produced in his 4-5 games is pure luck and will regress to the mean over time.

        I still feel Diggs/Mcdougald is a bit shaky, especially since the latter will be 30 next year.. and we need good depth behind them. At this point, Flowers is worse than Byron Maxwell. Not a knock on him, he is still young and will develop. But, I wouldn’t say that position is a strength.

        • line_hawk

          Byron Maxwell -> 2013 Byron Maxwell

        • Rob Staton

          You can go through any collection of turnovers and dismiss it as ‘luck’.

      • Kelly

        I wouldn’t classify McDougald as a diamond. He never pops off the screen to me and lacks speed. He is very assignment correct I think but I also don’t really see him doing anything amazing vs the run or the pass.

        • Rob Staton

          He’s been superb all season, ranking among the best safeties in the league for passer rating and yards per target. He’s forced turnovers. He’s a leader in the secondary.

          • Kelly

            1 FF and 2 INTs isn’t really all that special to me. I would much rather see a combo of Blair/Diggs next year. Bradley I think is a solid player but I just don’t really see much athletic ability or plays that make me go wow when I watch a game. Blair on the other hand does. Maybe I’m still spoiled from getting to watch Kam get down in the box and make a difference in the run game and punish people in the passing game. This defense needs an infusion of freaky athletes and guys who want to take people’s heads off like Diggs. I just don’t see a killer instinct from McDougald.

            I think a pass rushing DT, a three down explosive edge, and maybe someone like Willie Gay to replace K.J are what this team needs on defense to really start turning the corner and being physical again. But right now this defense looks soft and slow.

            • Rob Staton

              He has 5 picks in two years as a starter, 15 pass deflections and up until December this season was ranked similarly to Earl Thomas in passer rating when targeted.

      • Chris

        I’m more optimistic than others apparently. I think with Diggs/McDougald/Shaquille/Tre we’re good in the secondary. I’d rather spend on DL and maybe even (gasp) move up in the draft to grab a stud DL/OL and use some of that draft capital there then worry about the secondary

        • Rob Staton

          I think it’s a decent secondary. Not amazing. But decent. Needs a good D-line to take a step forward though.

    • McZ

      At TE, I would either go day two with Colby Parkinson of Stanford, or take a chance on Adam Trautman from Dayton late day 3.

  6. Kenny Sloth

    C’mon Oregon dont duck this up

    • Kenny Sloth

      Pac12 is so lucky to have Oregon 💚💛

      Ur welcome 🌹

  7. Aaron

    Massive win for the Pac-12! I despise the Ducks with all the sports hate I can muster, but this is the biggest win for the conference in three years.

    • Kenny Sloth

      🌹 🌹 🌹 🌹 🌹

      Rose Bowl comin home to the city of roses

      • mishima

        Eugene? LOL

      • Kingdome1976

        I believe Portland is call “The City of Roses”….right? Anyway California grows much more roses and I believe Washington state does as well. I grew up as a kid in Seattle but my entire family grew up in Eugene so believe it or not I am a fan of both the Huskies and Ducks.

        However, whenever they play each other…Go Dawgs.

  8. charlietheunicorn

    I’m with Rob, since he is a football sage, that the Seahawks defense is actually much closer to being elite than a complete bust. The FS/SS starting duo is already really good and they barely got to play together.. perhaps 4-5 games. Imagine a whole offseason and how the secondary can gel with a good mix of youth and veteran players.

    DL has some obvious problems, but if you can somehow retain both Reed and Clowney, then you only need to find veteran DT (or rookie) and perhaps a rookie pass rusher (or veteran for a modest price) to fill it out a starting 4 guys. Then everything else will flow off of starters.

    The hardest thing for me to “get a bead on” is the LB group. Wagner is an obvious starter, but will they retain KJ? Kendricks is a nice player, but the injury and potential legal issue make him murky to retain (and at what price?)…. I like Barton and BBK, but are they rookie/2nd year players which have had some fantastic play and have had some “poor” play at times. LB Griffin is also a wildcard, he has a small role on defense and mostly makes his hay on ST. Can they retain him mostly for his occasional pass rush and mostly ST play?

    I’m trying to keep my eye out for a FS/SS and LB with pass rush/coverage abilities via the draft. Always look at value picks in the later rounds…..

    • Kenny Sloth

      I think we need 3 DL at least. Draft a DT early. Sign a FA pass rusher and draft an edge later on. Maybe Collier plays inside more next season.

      • Trevor

        Collier is not twitchy enough to play as an edge rusher and we have Green + likely Clowney to play the 5 tech. I would love to see Collier bulk up and try to play 3 tech next year.

  9. Matthew Johnson

    Amazing that somebody will draft Justin Herbert in R1. Him and Eason…I don’t get it at all.

    • Kingdome1976


  10. Greg Haugsven

    I still think that Robert Quinn could be an addition. Like I mentioned in a past post a comp of Justin Houston’s 2 years $23 million might work. Shaq Lawson is another good name as you kind of forget about him. Markus Golden could be another option if he leaves NY. I believe he had 10 sacks this year. I wonder if they will try and be a day 1 free agent player or sit back and wait until day 2 or 3 this year?

    • Robert Las Vegas

      Rob great article I was wondering what your thoughts on this thought I have been thinking about Jacksonville situation and salary cap situation for next year isn’t good so my question would you work out a deal for C Campbell he has one year left on his contract and he is 33 year’s old. thanks again if the price is right would you consider it.

    • Trevor

      WOuld love to see Quinn in a Hawks uniform. He reminds me a lot of Avril when he is healthy. If his medicals check out I think he would be a awesome signing.

    • Kelly

      I wanted Golden this past offseason but the team thought otherwise. I like having Clowney at DE but I really want to see what this defense can do with someone who can really get after the QB from the DT spot. Hoping the Jags cut Campbell and we can sign him.

      • Kelly

        If he gets cut that is. He should with the Jags probably going into another rebuild phase.

  11. Sea Mode

    Ooh, not good. Scratch him off the list, I guess…

    Dane Brugler

    Career fumble No. 18 for #Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor and his sixth fumble this season.

    As talented as he is, ball security remains a strong concern.

  12. BobbyK

    I remember being really mad about 4 years ago that Kyler Fackrell and Javon Hargrave were taken just before the Seahawks picked in the 3rd round (they had 3 picks in the late 3rd round). Instead of getting Fackrell and/or Hargrave, both of whom would have helped, they ended up selecting Prosise, Vannett, and Odhiambo. The point isn’t revisionist history – rater suggesting that Fackrell and Hargrave could be potential targets for the pass rush. Sure, neither is a big splash, but both would be complimentary pieces to improve this group overall and won’t kill the cap.

    Although it isn’t saying much, but I’d rather have Fackrell rushing opposite Clowney and Hargrave rushing inside over anyone we have outside Reed. I’m not suggesting these guys necessarily start, but a DL is so much different than an OL. With the OL – you hope all 5 guys play every snap. On defense, you need more than 4 DL who will play significant snaps and you’re only as strong as your weakest link sometimes.

    • charlietheunicorn

      I think it is always good to keep in mind guys who might appeal to the Seahawks, that they “missed” on in prior drafts. Fackerall got a lot of ink, if I recall…

      As for Prosise, no one could have predicted him being a glass cannon.
      Vannett never seemed to fit the offense, for whatever reason, and they literally cut bait with him about 3 weeks too early.. due to the position being decimated by injury later this season.
      As for Odhiambo, he was a Cable guy.. and when the OL coach got the boot, so did he.. more or less.

  13. Trevor

    Kenny as the blogs Oregon expert what are your thoughts on LB Dye? He looks long and seems to be good in coverage. Could he be a WIL in our scheme to replace KJ?

    • Kenny Sloth

      Almost 400 career tackles. Former Safety and he’s comfortable going backwards. He’s 6’4 226, but I don’t think he’s twitchy enough for Seattle. I like his length and he played through UW after breaking his thumb in the first series.

      Team first guy. He’s a scheme fit, I suppose, but I think he’ll go earlier than Seattle would like because 3-4 teams are going to really covet him as he can probably play 3 out of 4 LB spots depending on situation for most schemes. Like you say, he’d be a KJ type for us and KJ didn’t have the most explosive numbers when he came out.

      Be curious to see his actual testing numbers, because something tells me he’s slower than he plays

      • Trevor

        Thanks Kenny!

  14. line_hawk

    Big FA splashes are never their style. Even two years ago, the players they got were Ed Dickson, Sweezy, Fluker, Jaron Brown.. they passed on splash plays like Andrew Norwell and Nate Solder.

    For that reason, I don’t see them going after Fowler or Ngkoune (who are going to get paid). I think they sign Clowney and a couple of mid tier guys like Everson Griffen, Beasley, Robert Quinn or Jarran Reed (if they can get him in 12-14M).

    The bigger question to me is why do their drafted players on defense look like crap? Because, how many ever FA signings they make, this defense is not going to improve until their young players take the next step.

    • Rob Staton

      They made big FA splashes for Zach Miller and Sidney Rice.

      They made big FA splashes via trade for Percy Harvin and Jimmy Graham.

      The only reason they haven’t been able to make big splashes recently is because they’re tight for cap space having paid all their own stars.

      • line_hawk

        Even though Rice and Miller were sought after FA, they only cost $8M and $7M per per when the total cap was 120M. So, their signings was 1/8 of the 2012 cap. Even Graham was only 10M per year. Plus, those were the days the Hawks were paying peanuts for the QB position.

        If Clowney & Fowler come, they will eat up around 40M per year.. or 1/5 of the cap. That’s would be dumb and not how this front office operates.

        • Rob Staton

          Rice and Miller were massive FA signings at the time. FACT.

          You’re not getting away with re-writing history on that one.

          • line_hawk

            I am looking at the percentage of cap space. Top end TE (and WR to some extent) are inherently less expensive than a top end DE in absolute dollar terms. You can sign two top end TE for one DE (at least until last year, Kittle might shatter all numbers but that’s an exception).

            All I am saying is that you can have Clowney, Fowler, Wilson & Wagner take up 90M (45%) of your cap space the next couple years. They are going to create new holes.

            This does not compare to Rice/Miller because the top 4 contracts in 2012 were Okung, Rice, Miller & Lynch for a total of 29M (25% of cap space). Reference –

            • line_hawk

              In terms of other holes, if they do blow their cap on two DE, they will limit their ability in second and third wave of FA, where they can address LBs, O-line, TE, RB/safety depth, etc.

              • Rob Staton

                1. It won’t be ‘blowing their cap’ to sign some good defensive linemen.

                2. They won’t ‘blow their entire cap’ on two players.

                Come on people be sensible.

                • line_hawk

                  We might disagree but spending 45% of your cap on 4 players is the definition of blowing their cap. Are they then going to pay Lockett, Reed and Shaquill 10-15M each? They would be creating a top heavy team with limited depth/role players.

                  • Rob Staton

                    But how do you know what the cap’s going to be after the CBA? Or how the contracts are going to be structured?

                    Quite aside from the talk of significant cap rises in the new bargaining agreement, it’s also perfectly plausible to have lot’s of good players signed up. What do people think happened in 2014/15 when they ended up paying Sherman, Earl, Wilson, Wagner, Bennett, Avril, Kam, Baldwin, Wright? If it was possible to sign so many quality players five years ago it’s possible now.

                  • line_hawk

                    What do people think happened in 2014/15 when they ended up paying Sherman, Earl, Wilson, Wagner, Bennett, Avril, Kam, Baldwin, Wright?

                    Wilson/Wagner were on rookie contracts until 2015. Wright & Kam were playing on below-market rate deals. The whole point is that they could pay so many in 2014 because Wilson was on playing on peanuts.

                    • Rob Staton

                      So in 2015, 2016, 2017 — when Wilson and Wagner were paid — they weren’t paying Sherman, Earl, Kam, Cliff, Graham, Bennett, Baldwin?

                      Come on Line Hawk. You’ve got to eat this one. They’ve paid a large collection of stars big money and can do again.

            • Rob Staton

              No, you said they don’t spend money on outside free agents. Which is incorrect. You’ve added the stuff about percentage of cap in attempt to try and shift away from that.

              • line_hawk

                Fair enough. Didn’t mean to say they don’t sign FA. The “not how this front office operates” referred to responsible cap management and not to FA signings.

  15. Sea Mode

    Wow. First LB I am really impressed with what he can do. Similar size to Bobby. If we want speed on defense, take a look at this guy:

    Texas Tech LB Jordyn Brooks Highlight Reel – 2019 Season

    • Volume12

      You checked out App St’s Akeem Davis-Gaither?

  16. Volume12

    If Oregon gets Wake transfer Jamie Newman at QB and a little more from their receivers, they’ll be in the playoff picture.

  17. AlaskaHawk

    Regarding offensive production in 2019. Based on points scored the Seahawks ranked:
    1st quarter 14th
    2nd quarter 14th
    3rd quarter 16th
    4th quarter 5th

    To the casual observer – the Seahawks usually have a slow start that leaves them behind at the half. Of course it also can lead to exciting statistics about 4th quarter come backs.

  18. charlietheunicorn

    What do you guys think of Alabama RB Najee Harris?

    He likely is too tall for the Seahawks (6’2″ 230), but some of his runs in the game today reminded people of the Beastmode of yore. From various draft prediction sites, they have him going everywhere from early 2nd to early 5th round with knocks on his game, etc. But he has low miles on the tires and seems to be pretty productive when given a chance. This season, he has shown an ability to make plays in the passing attack as well. If he could play a RB/FB/TE flex type of roll on the Seahawks offense, I would be down for him to join the team.

    • Trevor

      Like him a lot!

      • Kingdome1976

        He is literally my favorite RB in this draft…..I know…I know, but still I really like his style and think he would be an awesome Seahawk. Just hope we could get him in the 3rd.

    • Doug

      Was watching the game yesterday and thinking exactly the same thing. My wife in fact said “the Seahawks need to get THAT guy.” Runs through/over people.

  19. Pran

    Hawks drafted multiple for Bennett replacement…with Clowney, Jefferson, Green etc we are missing speed of the edge to be Avril’s replacement. Once that is taken care hopefully DL will be okay along with Colliers development. Can Naz Zones still contribute?

  20. millhouse-serbia

    Before this year we were 70-30 % nickel team. This year it is completely opposite. Imo, the only reason for that is personnel…Pete likes his LB (Kendricks) much more than his NCB. It will change next year imo, especially after Michael big injury ( he probably won’t be back for start of the next year)…so I think one of the positions they will address during off-season is NCB…it will be veteran because it’s really hard for rookies to play in their first season…maybe Chris Harris?


    You said maybe they will move LJ to 3 tech because we have Clowney and Green as 5t. Maybe butaybe not…but what you said there is huge point of discussion when we are speaking of re signing Clowney…we have zero LEO’s…we have to young 5techs who were 1st and 3rd round picks in last two drafts. Maybe it is smarter to spend huuuge money on someone like Flowers than on Clowney…

    What you think, how much Beasley will get and how good fit would he be as a LEO? He has speed but no lenght…

    • Trevor

      I agree with you Millhouse and have said many times i am not a fan of giving Clowney a $20 mil + deal for the reason you mention and others. I just think that the Hawks will sign him .

      I would prefer they use that $20 mil / yr contract they would play Clowney on Chris Jones then go sign Dante Fowler as a LEO. Then they could have Green and Collier at 5 Tech.

      I think Beasley will likely sign a 1 yr prove it deal with lots of incentives and would be a for the Hawks taking a flier on him at the right price. I would prefer a guy like Robert Quinn though if they want to sign a pure pass rusher even if they have to pay him a little more.

      If the Hawks signed Jones ($20 mil./yr), Fowler ($16 mil/yr) and Quinn ($8 mil /yr) They would still have tons of cap space to round out the roster. Then draft a run stuffing DT in the draft to help keep Bobby clean. A guy like Leki Fotu from Utah in Rd #3 would be ideal IMO.

      2020 DT: Jones, Ford, Mone, Fotu + veteran like Al Woods
      2020 DE: Fowler, Green, Collier, Quinn, Jefferson

      I think that would be a huge upgrade over this year and a really good group with a combination of speed off the edge and pressure up the middle.

      • millhouse-serbia

        That would be great…but after all I really love Reed and I hope he will sign long term contract .. maybe him instead of Quinn and Qjeff(if they are ready to spent more than 60mil ond D line which I am not sure and think they will not do that)…

  21. Brazilian Hawk

    About the following stat Rob, do you have the number of targets and penalties?

    “Tre Flowers ended with a passer rating against of 70.9 (70th best). In comparison, Marcus Peters’ rating was 71.4. He wasn’t too far behind Marlon Humphrey either (67.9). Flowers has shown genuine development in 2019 and that is encouraging.

    It’s not such good news for Shaquill Griffin. The general consensus is that he’s had a terrific year three. However, his passer rating against was 96.7 (#155 overall). He’s in the same ballpark as Pierre Desir (96.4) and Desmond Trufant (97.3). He also finished the season without an interception.”

    • Rob Staton

      Tre Flowers — 101 targets, 61 completions, 6.6 yards per target

      Shaquill Griffin — 77 targets, 44 completions, 7.1 yards per target

      I don’t have penalty numbers.

      • Martin

        Says Flowers 7 for 86 and Griffin 1 for 5,

        • Rob Staton

          Thanks 👍🏻

          • Brazilian Hawk

            So, in reality:

            Tre Flowers:
            101 targets
            60.4% completion
            752 receiving + penalty yards
            7.45 receiving + penalty yards per target
            + Turnovers

            Shaquill Griffin
            77 targets
            57.1% completion
            551 receiving yards + penalty yards
            7.16 receiving + penalty yards per target
            Plus Griffin having games like this:

            A significant difference to me, especially because most penalties by Flowers (holding and pass interference), are automatic first downs.

            I am comfortable, though. It’s fantastic to have someone like Flowers as a #2 CB on a rookie deal.

  22. Spencer

    Although we clearly need more pass rushers, I don’t think they need to come from the DE position. If we retain Clowney, we need another clear starter that can cause 30+ pressures per year to take some of the double teams off of Clowney. Q-Jeff and Rasheem Green are fine as #3 and #4 guys, and Collier will still be that #5 guy as we see if he can develop into anything. Reed had an alright season, but showed that his one year was an anomaly and I dont think we’ll have to shell out big cash to bring him back. Another DT to work with Reed and Poona, that can command 20+ pressures, in addition to another starting quality speed-rushing DE like Fowler, would go a long way towards solidifying our line. Almost all of our cap would be tied up in Clowney, Reed and those two new guys, but I think the numbers dont tell the whole story with Griffin and having a more fearsome pass rush would only help our secondary. The secondary was completely different after Diggs arrived, and we can still continue to work in Blair and Amadi in nickel packages. Let Kendricks go, let Barton take the spot, and draft some secondary depth and linebacking depth to compete and replace ineffective players (T2, Lano).

    • Rob Staton

      They definitely need someone who can provide some interior rush. They’ve never really had that in the Carroll era. Even if it’s a sub-package player who can rush, they need more. Ideally they get someone who can control the interior as a nose tackle. They need a Calais Campbell type. Unfortunately they’re few and far between.

      But they do also need more at DE. They desperately, desperately need some speed rush.

      • McZ

        A player I think will grow as the draft process moves on is Ross Blacklock of TCU. He could be a very good interior rusher and has a lot of room to grow (both in-game quickness and weight).

        • Trevor

          I really like Blacklock too I was shocked watching him that he has not gotten more buzz. I think he has some injury history and maybe that is it.

      • cha

        They definitely need someone who can provide some interior rush. They’ve never really had that in the Carroll era.

        It’s too bad that Sheldon Richardson didn’t solve that need. It sure seemed his primary function in Seattle was to occupy blockers, moreso than providing as much rush as we generally expected. The silver lining was Wagner had a great year behind him.

        They need a Calais Campbell type

        Agreed. Jax would save $15m on their cap if they traded or cut him. I wouldn’t be anxious to get rid of him if I were them, but even when they cut Dareus that just allows them room to pay their 2 first round picks, the other rookies and have some injury protection money, with some loose change left to spend.

      • Dale Roberts

        Wait… Reed with 10 sacks wasn’t creating interior pressure? Bennett often lined up inside passing on downs and he certainly created interior pressure. I apparently don’t understand what you mean by interior pressure. Could you elaborate on the difference between what we’ve had and what you seek.

        • Rob Staton

          They have never had consistent interior pass rushing, no. Reed had one really productive sack season. Was he creating a ton of interior pressure and collapsing pockets? Not really. But that’s not who he is.

          And lose the attitude.

  23. Trevor

    The DL was a bit of an issue last year but they still had decent sack and pressure numbers. This year has even a disaster. The only real change is Clark replaced by Clowney and Jacob Martin replaced by 1st round pick LJ Collier.

    Did Clark make that much of a difference or do the Hawks need to look at the DL coaching and scheme?

    • millhouse-serbia

      Right in the center…and that D line was as cheap as it could be…and now people are expecting they will spent more than 70mil on D line…I just don’t see it…

    • Rob Staton

      Clark definitely made a difference because he was extremely quick, troubled tackles with his speed and teams had to gameplan against it. He wasn’t great against the run but you simply cannot beat an explosive speed rush and a player who can convert speed-to-power. There’s a reason KC paid him what they did, even if Seattle opted not to.

      I think they thought it was a viable gamble because they needed picks, money to pay Wilson/Wagner and they knew they could get Ansah. But now they need to replace Frank.

  24. Trevor

    Rob if Raegor, Aiyuk and Smith are all off the board by the time the Hawks pick do you think there is any chance the Hawks would consider Wade from Ohio St? I know they never go DB early but he just seems like the ideal final piece to make the secondary an elite unit again.

    Mcdouglad is solid and I think a year from now when is contract is up that Blair will be more than ready to fill in for that spot.

    Diggs looks like an absolute steal and an ideal FS in our scheme

    Griffin is a solid if not great corner who seems to be improving

    Flowers took a huge jump this year only his second as a CB and should only get better.

    Amani is a nice special teamer and solid slot backup but if you put a guy like Wade in the slot I think it would make an enormous difference as he seems to be able to turn the ball over and is really physical in run defense.

    What are your thoughts about him as an option in Rd #1? Or is it just silly to talk about given the Hawks history in drafting CBs

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think they will draft a CB in round one.

      But I also think Wade will go earlier than people are projecting.

  25. Trevor

    Rob you mentioned the Hawks issues with missed tackles.

    Petes Hawks defenses have always been know as a pretty basic scheme that allowed guys to play fast and then he stressed sure tackling. This was the hallmark for those LOB years.

    What has happened? It seems like ever since the Hawks got fined a couple of years ago for too much contact in practices that the quality of tackling has gone downhill and this year it has become a real issue. Hopefully a renewed focus on this area in the off season will bring about change but is there something more to it?

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure what’s happened but they need to find a solution.

    • cha

      Great point, Trevor. It seems like once a drive, a Seahawks defender has a guy pinned for no or minimal gain, gets a hand on him and he slips him and runs for 5 or 6. KJ has been guilty of this more this year than any other year I’ve seen.

  26. millhouse-serbia

    And one thing about run defense … I think base run defense was good but jet sweep and movement make that stats look so bad….we were so bas against that and its not problem from this year only.

  27. Largent80

    I’m curious as to which coach is responsible for tackling techniques. This used to be a strength.

  28. millhouse-serbia

    We don’t have 70mil in cap space…we have 55-60mil if we don’t count rol over cap and teams almost never use that…and I think there is no way JS will use that because we have a lot of big contracts for 2021(Russ, BWag, Clowney or new LEO, Reed or Jones, right tackle, Lockett, etc…)

    As it stands now, we have allready around 140mil in contracts(and we need to add rookies on that) and salary cap will be 200mil…

    • Georgia Hawk

      I think the difference might be in the projected cuts, Dickson, Britt, etc.

    • Rob Staton

      But a cap hit can be spread and manipulated over many years. I wouldn’t focus on the exact numbers, rather that the Seahawks are in the top-10 for cap space.

      • Greg Haugsven

        Why would we not count rollover as its a part of it? If you base the cap off of $200 million right now our top 51(right now only have about 40 guys under contract) is about $138 million leaving you about $62 million. You add roughly $10 million for rollover (its at $13 now but some will go to bonuses) you have roughly $72 million. You know Ed Dickson is gonzo and that gets you $3 mill more to be roughly at $75. Of course we arent going to spend it all but its just a number to base things off of.

        • Greg Haugsven

          Also not sure what you are talking about in 2021? We just extended Russ and we wont revisit that until early 2023, Wagner wont get a 4th contract, Clowney and Reed will either be signed this year or gone. Unless Im missing something?

          • millhouse-serbia

            Theoretically if you sign players for 215mil, and all of them have same salaries for 2021, you can’t have all of them for 2021 and it would be a problem…yes you can use all 215mil but only if lot of that money doesn’t transfer to 2021…and with all of contracts that we allready have for 2021 the only way to use all 215mil this season is that most of this upcoming contract are 1year contracts…

            • cha

              The Hawks have $107m committed to 27 contracted players for 2021. Give them 20 more players or so from the 2020 and 2021 rookie classes, let’s call that $20m, that takes them to about $127m cap for 47 contracted players. So they’ll have about $80m to spend on Clowney, Reed, a pass rusher, and a RT.

              And keep in mind 2021 there will be a new CBA. With gambling revenues figured in, the cap will probably have a healthy jump.

              Long story short, the Hawks are in terrific shape.

            • Greg Haugsven

              I understand that but you also arent taking into consideration the players that have contracts expiring after the 2020 season.

  29. McZ

    I had this insane idea of a Chris Jones+Shaq Lawson double dip hiring instead of resigning Clowney out of the hand.

    This was a dumb idea. In fact, I hope the take the 45-50m hit and hire all three. Then Gross-Matos or Okwara in R1 or 2, and we should have lot of action going on.

  30. millhouse-serbia

    Rob, you said “But now they need to replace Frank.”

    So , you think Clowney isn’t replacement for Frank.

    And that would mean he is playing the same role as ours 1st and 3rd round picks in last two draft, two young players on cheap contract that need playing time to develop into starters and impact players.

    I know he is the best player on this D line that is bad enough even with him, but I just can’t stop thinking it would be better if we spend big money on pure LEO and let these two young players to develope.

    We need sacks, and Colwney isnt sack guy. And that fact isn’t base on one season. And we need to take into consideration his injury problem.t

    • Rob Staton

      No, Clowney is a five-technique with spectacular physical skills. Frank is an EDGE. Yes, he is more comparable to Green and Collier. But Green played a lot inside too at USC and you need a rotation. The Seahawks can’t just have a bunch of big guys they need some speed. But there’s also NO WAY they can say, ‘well we won’t pay the only good DL we have because, well, Green and Collier’. They need to add to Clowney not replace him.

  31. HawkfaninMT

    So what does a 2020 defense look like that improves on this?

    DE: Clowney, Collier, Green, Fowler, Ansah (extend on cheap contract), Rookie (Edge)
    DT: Reed, Ford, Jefferson, Woods, Rookie (3T)
    LB: Wagner, Wright, Barton, BBK, Griffen, Rookie (coverage, Sam)
    Safety: McDougal, Diggs, Blair, Rookie (BAMF!)
    CB: Griffen, Flowers, Amadi, King, Rookie

    Is that enough?

    • Rob Staton

      Did I just read the words ‘extend Ansah’?


      • Trevor

        I would be shocked if Ansah plays next year. He looks done.

        • Rob Staton

          We talked about it weeks ago. He’s a busted flush. Won’t be in the league next year.

          • Greg Haugsven

            I agree as Ansah is done like dinner. I dont see Jefferson coming back either as Collier is a similar body type and could replace him. Would rather the money go to a Fowler/Quinn type personally.

      • Largent80

        Ansah aint the ansah.

  32. Trevor

    Rob the draft ratings for Raekwon Davis seem to be all over the place. I have always really liked him and think he has the frame and athleticism to be a Calias Campbell type player. What are your thoughts on him and where he might go? Do you see him as a potential Hawks target?

    • Rob Staton

      I still think he will be a top-20 pick. There just aren’t many players with his size and athletic ability who can tie up the run game, work down the line and provide some interior burst. I do think he has Campbell potential even if Campbell is so rare it’s always difficult to make any comp like that.

      • Trevor


  33. Gohawks5151

    Not sure if this was posted before but…

    Amid what can be constant negativity about the Seahawks in some circles, the success is undeniable.

    To quote Marshawn: ” I’m thankful”

    • Sea Mode

      Finally, someone recognizing the merits of fighting through a tough NFCW for almost the entire decade (first Cards, then SF, then Rams, now SF again…)

      Regular-season record: 100-59-1 (.628)
      Postseason record: 9-6 (.600)
      Division titles: 4
      Super Bowl losses: 1
      Super Bowl wins: 1
      SesslerPowerScore: 182

      Seattle earned a slightly lower SesslerPowerScore than Green Bay, but I see a squad forced to tangle with Jim Harbaugh’s Niners for a large chunk of the decade inside a rough-and-tumble NFC West. Since drafting Russell Wilson, the Seahawks have yet to sink below second place in the division. Pete Carroll’s high-energy cadre of maulers dropped a dirty bomb on the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII and came one crushing Malcolm Butler pick away from topping New England in Super Bowl XLIX. General manager John Schneider earns extra points for finding waves of new talent in a post-“Legion of Boom” world. Carroll has his critics, but the Seahawks emit unquestioned identity under his watch: They can never be counted out.

  34. Kingdome1976

    I’m really liking this Zuniga kid from Florida. Any thoughts on him?

    • Rob Staton

      Spoke about him often. Mocked him to Seattle a year ago before he opted to return to Florida. But he’s been hurt this year.

  35. no frickin clue

    Rob, when the discussion here in the past got around to “we need to draft better offensive linemen”, you pointed out that top-shelf O-linemen require high draft picks and the Hawks simply haven’t been in position to take the best O-line candidates.

    My question is, does it work the same way on defense?

    If someone were to say “we need to draft defensive linemen who can pressure a quarterback”, are we still talking mostly about high draft picks like Von Miller and Aaron Donald in the top half of the first round – and so the issue is, again, lack of sufficient draft capital? Or do we find that there are a fair number of low 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd round picks that are showing themselves very capable of getting to the QB?

    If it’s the latter, it might suggest the front office is missing something (Clark aside) in defensive line player evaluation. Or perhaps an emphasis on shutting down the run? Or is that overly critical and an issue that every team in the league is trying to solve? I see something like the Hawks ranking 129th out of 130 and think we’re just doing something incorrectly.

    Thanks for everything you contribute on this blog and happy new year. Go Hawks.

    • Volume12

      Not Rob, but this notion that you can’t find good players outside of round 1 is…baffling.

      Since we’re talking about D-lineman. The top 5 in sacks this year? Not 1 guy was taken in the 1st half of round 1.

    • Rob Staton

      It doesn’t work the same on defense because the issue with O-liners is, for about 5-10 years now, the top college athletes are opting to play defense. That’s where the money was, that’s where the glory was. It’s well established (several GM’s have discussed this) that the 5-star prospects were all wanting to play defense and college teams were happy to oblige to get the best athletes. The end product is a system overloading the league with great athletes on the DL and hardly any great OL’s.

  36. Greg Haugsven

    Ryan Kerrigan could be a short term option as well if the Redskins release him.

    • Rob Staton


    • Trevor

      Love his motor.

  37. Volume12

    Add a pass rusher in FA from the 1st or 2nd wave, if Reed isn’t kept then get a DT from the 2nd or more likely the 3rd wave. And draft hedges for both.

  38. Pran

    Eric Ebron, anyone?

    • Greg Haugsven

      I dont know, he just doesnt get me that excited.

  39. Blackjack203

    Thank you for writing about this topic, Rob. Always on point and I appreciate having some place to work over the problem.

    While I do wish we could add a LB, a quality slot and quality depth at the single high safety (assuming that guy is not already on the roster), I can see those problems being addressed relatively easily. The DL on the other hand, it’s got to be free agency. And it is both the pass rush and run defense that deficient.. Everyone on D will look a lot better with a better dline. We need a young Brandon Mebane and pass rusher.

    Michael Brockers, DT, Robert Quinn, DE, Chris Jones, DL and resigning what we want from our own would be quite a haul but I have to wonder if Chris Jones will really be available. I’d pay the man the max if he is. I’m not sure how it would be possible to bring in those three and Keep Clowney and Keep Reed. This is all assuming that Brockers stuffs the run well. Maybe just Brockers, Quinn, and keep our own?

    I also have to wonder who might become cap casualties to add to the pool but one things for certain, I don’t see most rookies coming into the league and making enough impact to fix the DL problems next year. At least not where the Hawks draft. Though I must admit the Raiders picking up Max Crosby in the 4th is really irritating.

  40. Volume12

    Alex Leatherwood returning to school

    • Sea Mode

      Seems like 1 by 1, Saban is convincing them. If Tua follows on the 6th, then I can only imagine the WRs will stick around with him. (except Jeudy)

    • Trevor

      I have no idea why any of those guys are going back particularity Moses. He was going to be drafted in Rd #1 even with the injury. If he goes back and gets hurt again then he becomes a huge medical red flag. I don’t get it.

      • Rob Staton

        Keep saying this every year.

        Stop viewing a players aims/ambitions simply through the prism of NFL earning potential. Many of these players love college, love their teams and have aims/ambitions for college just as much as they do the pro’s. When you turn pro, you can’t reverse that decision.

  41. Denver Hawker

    I’m feeling conflicted on Clowney.

    There’s been good arguments here to use his money to pay several strong FAs or traded players.

    However he seems to just lock down one side of the line and suck up double teams. In theory that should free up the other risking lineman to get home. A player like that is incredibly valuable as it also takes away part of the field- the way Sherman used to.

    Either way, I’m not seeing a good pass rush situation that doesn’t require at least $45MM allocated room the DL.

    • Edgar

      I’m right with you in this confliction. If they sink 22 mil a year into one guy who is a coin flip to be a force more than 8 games of the regular season(not hindered physically)…is that the best use of that chunk of cap? I’d rather have 3 players signed with that money with the thought that atleast 2 of them contribute along with being able to get out from the contracts sooner.

      I love Clowney when he’s physically right, but he doesn’t appear to be a guy who can handle being doubled every game and stay healthy enough to dominate over the course of a full season. It’s almost like saying if Will Dissly were a free agent this off season, should they give him 10 million a year or let him walk. It’s too much of a risk.

      • Rob Staton

        If people are judging Clowney can’t be trusted because he missed what, three games? They might as well release 3/4 of the team.

        • Edgar

          We have to keep in mind the guy is in a contract year and knows a ton of money rides on him trying to stay on the field. Is a 70% Clowney worth 22? Would he even be on the field if in the first year of a 90 million 4 year deal right now?

          • Rob Staton

            What, so we should presume he’s a mercenary and not a player who will simply continue to play at a high level?

            Seems overly cynical to me. In that case let’s never pay anyone.

  42. Jeff

    Kind of amazing you can write an entire article about the Seahawks defensive issues without using the word “nickel.”

    Letting Justin Coleman go with no replacement plan was one of the dumbest personnel decisions of the PCJS era. And this has been a regime marked by a series of dubious personnel decisions.

    • Rob Staton

      Kind of amazing that you forgot they talked, often, for their plan at nickel moving forward —- and have talked a lot since that they saw Kendricks, as a 4.4 runner, as their answer. Not as a nickel but as a cover LB.

      And the whole base thing is so overstated. That ain’t why they missed tons of tackles and couldn’t rush the passer.

      • Gohawks5151

        Fwiw, I like Amadi and Pete has brought him up several times during the season. He is small but seems game as a tackler. He also just had a knack for being around the ball (almost had a fumble return TD). He’s in the same boat as Blair for me. Could see him more next year.

      • Jeff

        Insofar as Kendricks was the plan (and I don’t buy that he was; I think that’s just a post-hoc justification for the Coleman SNAFU) it’s a failed plan. The Seahawks didn’t run base defense out of a sudden love of linebackers; they ran it out of necessity, and it was an unmitigated disaster. The Hawks didn’t suddenly fall in love with base defense, they ran it because that’s all they had.

        And of course it’s not responsible for their lack of pass rush and missing tackles; those are huge issues. It’s more that it’s one more significant position of need.

        • Rob Staton

          How do you know any of this? You don’t get to assert your own view as fact.

          What I know is —- nobody called allowing a Coleman to sign a great deal in Detroit a ‘SNAFU’ immediately after it happened. And do you honestly think this team thought, “sheesh… what are we going to do now?” Without ANY thought or plan?

          Carroll spoken openly and frequently about their plans and why they’ve done what they’ve done. Everyone rags on the base defense thing but nobody actually provides any reasoning on what problems it caused exactly. Kendrick’s’ coverage stats are pretty good. The problem is CLEAR. The pass rush is abysmal and the run defense is abysmal and the tackling regressed badly. That’s it. Not base defense.

  43. Sea Mode

    From the Tony Pauline Mailbag. Rob is not alone in pumping the brakes on the Chase Young hype.

    Is Ohio State’s Chase Young a “generational talent” that the Redskins really can’t pass on (rather than selecting a player like Georgia OT Andrew Thomas)?

    I feel a franchise left tackle like Thomas is more valuable to the Redskins right now than Young would be to the Redskins.

    I believe Chase Young is a great pass rusher and an athletic talent who is effective making plays in space but really needs to develop a complete game. He needs to get stronger and improve his play against the run. I do not feel Young is a “generational talent” – and being someone who really values the left tackle position, I absolutely feel that a case can be made in favor of the Redskins selecting Andrew Thomas over Young with the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

    Also says it is “less than 50/50 right now that Devonta Smith enters the draft”.

    • Greg Haugsven

      To me it would all depend on what Trent Williams does. If he can be happy with the new regime that is coming in then it could be Chase Young. If he is leaving no matter what then that changes things.

  44. line_hawk

    Why is the run defense bad? Poona passes the eye test, Clowney is always in the backfield, Reed’s strength is supposed to be run defense. Green is supposed to be base DE. Are these players not good enough? The first three players will likely return next year.

    I am not sure if such a stat exists but it would be great to see the run D rankings by down and distance.

    • Greg Haugsven

      Its a question Ive thought about many times. I think it has more to do with the outside runs and jet sweeps more than it does running up the middle. It could be from missed tackles or someone not setting the edge would be my best guess.

  45. Greg Haugsven

    When it comes to signing players on the DLine, do we think they sign 3 guys for $10+ million a year or 4?

    For Example if they resign both Clowney and Reed do we think they sign two other guys or just one?

    • millhouse-serbia

      If they give 20-23 mil to Clowney and 10-13mil to Reed there is zero chance they will sign two more for 10+… and for me the only possibility they will sign one more for 10+ is if that is one year contract..

      Guys we have 60mil without rol over…it will be around 70 after cutting Dickson and Britt…
      If they give 35 to Reed and Clowney, 10-15 for OL, and 5-10 for rookie class we don’t have cap space for one more 10+ multiyear contrac..

      That wouits not good to spent 70mil only on one unit- DL…

      • Trevor

        There is zero chance the Hawks are paying Reed and Clowney $35 mil / yr

        • millhouse-serbia

          What do you think, for how much they can re sign both of them?

      • Rob Staton

        I repeat… stop viewing the cap as a specific amount. You can pay someone 10m APY but it doesn’t have to be 10m in 2020.

        • millhouse-serbia

          Rob I now what you are talking about…and that is completely true ..but I am talking about something else…not only for 2020 but for years to come…if you give Reed, Clowney plus one more player multiyear contract of summary apy value of 50mil, that would mean that for unit that have 8-9 players you will need to give 60-70mil…and I don’t think it is good …

          • Rob Staton

            Why does it need to be a 50m contract though? What if it’s 1-2 years? Or three? What if they know other players will be off the books down the line and they backload it?

            There’s all sorts they can do. They are not hindered.

            • Greg Haugsven

              I understand what you are saying Millhouse. You just wouldnt want a large chunk of the cap allocated to the defensive line and I get it. Personally for me the foundation of a football team is both lines, if you have a good offensive and defensive line and a good QB you can succeed. I think that some of this stuff is cyclical as sometimes you have a large chunk here and a large chuck over there the next few years. We had a large chuck of our cap in the secondary for a while and sometimes it happens like that. I think what some of us are suggesting is that right now we have some cap space and need to use it to feed the inadequate DLine that we currently have. Maybe Reed and Clowneys deal will be 4 years if they are extended and the third person is two years to give them some future financial flexibility. I agree it may not be a good idea to give out a bunch of four year deals with a ton of guaranteed money. What I do know is that Matt Thomas (who runs our cap) is as good as it gets and he wont let anything happen to hinder our futre.

    • Edgar

      Good question. What I’m wondering is…..what happened to the 3-8 million range in finding decent vets? The market is either desperate for a chance or 10 million plus for D linemen who can start.

  46. Barry

    I was very impressed with how Travis Homer played on downs that mattered. I’d like to see him given a chance at number 2 on the depth chart. If used right could be a great asset with his intangibles.

    I hope we find on the cheap a large physical D-lineman that can just rough up O-lineman. We haven’t had that sort of player since Big Red left and can’t help but link it to the great D we have lost. It was a mental advantage that can’t be measured when one whole side of a offense can’t run and gets worn down over a game.

    • Rob Staton

      Tony McDaniel was another.

      Definitely need a player like that.

  47. Sea Mode

    Vol, have not checked out App St’s Akeem Davis-Gaither yet. Will do.

    • Volume12

      Can flat out fly. Physical. Will be an excellent coverage ‘backer that can run with TE’s.

      I suspect he’s gonna turn heads at the combine.

  48. Greg Haugsven

    Liverpool is a machine. Not sure if they lose a PL game this season? Maybe @ Man City on April 4th?

  49. LouieLouie

    There has been some fairly harsh criticism of the defensive secondary, but I disagree. There have been times when the opposing QB has had enough time to mix up a martini (shaken, not stirred) before the pressure came. I don’t see the need to make any major changes there. The youngsters at corner have both come along well this year.

    On the D-line, I do think the youngsters will progress to make a better rotation next season (plus they’ll have playoff experience). If Schneider can bring in a couple of solid vets to add depth to the rotation it may be all that is needed. Reed was suspended for 6 games and that has a negative effect on his psyche. I think he’ll be back around in 2020, perhaps even this month.

    The neophytes from this years draft show a lot of promise for the future. With the number of draft picks the Hawks have in 2020 I like what I’m seeing with this team. A tweak here and there is all that is needed.

    • Brazilian Hawk

      If there’s a criticism of the secondary, it’s unfair. We were ELITE when Diggs was out there as a center fielder and McDougald as a SS. Things don’t work out so well when McDougald is at FS, or we have to play two-deep safeties.

  50. EranUngar

    It is clear that the DL needs an extra key player to replace Ansah was supposed to bring. Other than that, if they retain Reed and Clowney and with upgraded play from the young talent (Ford, Green, Collier) they should have the base covered. Add the customary 3M run stuffing DT and we should be fine. (My favorite is Quin but all others are fine)

    A key change/upgrade IMO would be a proper Nickle CB. I see Kendrics gone and I believe they will play far less base defense next year. If they see Blair or Hugo as the player to step up when going to Nickle, fine, if not – this is a key position to man.

    Playing nickle allows Clowney to flex wider and should help open things up for the pass rush as a whole.

    And add a special tackling coach to the stuff, it was truly embarrassing for a PC team to tackle so poorly.

    I agree that the above is very doable in FA allowing an offensive top of the draft with WR,TE and OL (C/G) picks on the first 2 days.

    • Rob Staton

      I think it will take more than one addition to replace Ansah and a cheap run stuffer. They can’t rely and hope on Ford, Green and Collier. They need a couple of quality pass rushing additions, one way or another.

      Pete Carroll has already talked about bringing Kendricks back.

  51. Andrew

    Rob, what do you think of Emmanuel Ogbah as a complimentary player to Clowney? He’s dealt with some injuries, but he’s still pretty young, fits the speed-length profile, and probably wouldn’t break the bank.

    • Rob Staton

      I think they may well add a rough diamond or reclamation project in addition to some bigger moves.

  52. Zhawksmash

    Any thoughts on the left tackle for Mississipi St? Watch a few games and he stood out. Huge man with great feet and balance. I’d like him as a later option to throw into competition at right tackle.
    Tyre Phillips #78 6’5″ 345lbs

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