Friday notes: Debating is fun, plus more draft/Seahawks

Robust debate is always best

It was brought to my attention this week that I was called an arse hole by Nathan Ernst during an episode of ‘Real Hawk Talk‘. The two people co-hosting appeared to agree.

My crime, at least in this instance, was to post a YouTube video revealing what I thought was a lack of effort from Jamal Adams and Bobby Wagner on a handful of plays, while highlighting their combined average salaries are $35.5m a year.

Not being one to let a barb like that lie, I felt obliged to write a response.

Firstly, I’ve disagreed plenty of times with the Hawkblogger crew. I’ve said as much on some streams or comments — or I’ve tweeted them directly (especially Brian). I like to think it’s always presented as argument vs argument — even if some of those challenges are robust. I always think you’re better off just cutting to the chase — although I’ll happily admit that striking the right tone in 220 characters is not a strong point for me and I’m a better ‘debater’ as a talker.

Ernst used a slightly different debating tactic here, opting for the two-word (rather than one-fingered) salute. He justified it by suggesting it was outrageous to question effort (seemingly ever) because these players play a particularly physical sport professionally. He ended by telling me to ‘shut the hell up’.

So in the case of Wagner — if a player has an excellent career, good enough to earn a deal worth $17-20m on the cap — you’re never allowed to question their effort on certain plays simply because of the sport they are playing? Even if what you see on tape points you in that direction?

It’s basically putting a shield around the players.

The thing is — let’s say I’d simply used the word ‘performance’ instead of ‘effort’ in the video. If I’d said — ‘is this performance good enough?’ and then shown the clips, does it really make any difference? The evidence implies a lack of effort. That would be the conclusion you’d come to watching the plays.

I don’t think this is a taboo subject. You can both admire the warrior-like achievements of players and then question whether their effort matches their salary down the line.

I don’t watch all-22 tape very often. I did go back and watch Wagner in particular for multiple games and I noticed a trend that he was hesitant on plays. He seemed to be avoiding contact a lot more than I expected to see.

He was not playing with urgency. There’s one play against Jacksonville for example, which isn’t in the video, where he’s reading a bootleg, sees it’s a carry to the opposite side (no PA). He’s peaking at the ball carrier. There’s a lineman who peels to the second level to make a block. Wagner can still see a clear route to the ball-carrier yet he just stands there. You watch it and think, what’s the thought process here?

Here’s one from the last game. Is it wrong to expect a bit more from a player earning $17,150,000?

I don’t think Wagner is a bad player. I do think his play has regressed, I think there are increasing instances on tape where he avoids contact (for whatever reason) and I don’t think you can justify — in any way, shape or form — his 2022 cap hit of $20m.

I also know there are people who understand football a lot more than I do who feel the same way.

No name-calling from me in response. I’ve have had two members of that show on my streams. We’ve not always agreed on everything but we’ve been able to have mature, detailed discussions which, in my opinion, were as good as any Seahawks content available on the internet.

Robust debate may just get us all through the difficult next few months (or it’ll make us all hate each other, one or the other).

Thoughts on two 2022 pass rushers

In the continued search to find out more about the upcoming draft class, I spent time today studying South Carolina’s Kingsley Enagbare and San Diego State’s Cameron Thomas.

Enagbare reminds me of a bigger Yannick Ngakoue. He runs the same move — engaging with his hands, hopping to the side then thrashing out a chop/swim to disengage.

There is a size difference. Enagbare is listed at 265lbs and Ngakoue was 252lbs at his combine. Their body types are different and it’s not a physical comparison. It’s more how they play.

Enagbare doesn’t have top-end speed off the edge but neither did Ngakoue (4.75 forty, 4.50 short shuttle). What he does have is great hand use. He can dip and rip to win at the edge. He uses the push/pull effectively. He times inside moves nicely and he knows how to create pressure and keep himself clean by using his hands.

That alone should earn him a chance to succeed in the NFL. It’s just whether he has enough speed to really challenge NFL blockers.

His speed/power move lacks polish and he often gets tied up in the block. His production is modest — 4.5 sacks in 12 games and seven TFL’s. It’ll be interesting to see how he tests.

I didn’t see a player worthy of some of the top grades people are offering online but that’s starting to feel like the norm with this class. Enagbare is another player who appears destined to be the type of player you’d love to take a chance on during day two but without great testing, it’ll be difficult to bang the table for him any earlier. Lots of potential — but someone you perhaps will ‘like’ not ‘love’.

Cameron Thomas does have the big production this year (20 TFL’s, 10.5 sacks). He’s 6-5 and 270lbs and he does a terrific job when he lines up inside or delivers a stunt. He has a great swim move and shows good hand usage.

He’s incredibly powerful and seems to understand leverage. He has a knack of having bursts of splash plays. In one game I watched, he basically ended the first two drives single-handed by bossing his way into the backfield by combining technical quality with his hands and using speed to finish when the opening emerged.

The one question I have is whether he has a speed rush off the edge. It doesn’t look like he has the club in the bag. That’s the thing that stops you falling for him. His power inside and technical skill are great points — but he’s too small to make a permanent switch to tackle, I’m not sold on him being a 5-tech and he’s going to line up as a power end who reduces inside sometimes.

To pitch him in round one you’d need to see that burst — that raw speed. And it never really comes. There’s a lot to like with Thomas and his production is really impressive in 2021. The difference between him being a day two pick and a first will be testing.

A quick note on the Blazers firing their GM

I wouldn’t read too much into Vulcan Sports making a big call in Portland. There may be similarities between the Blazers and Seahawks but there are also big differences.

I will say this though. Increasingly it feels, to me at least, like there’s some clarity on what is developing here…

1. I think this will be Pete Carroll’s last year. I don’t see him launching what could be a long rebuild, especially given the 2017 reports that he was considering retirement even before the previous reset. I think this will be his final season and despite everything going on now, he will depart a hero.

2. I think if John Schneider stays, he will be of the mind to trade Russell Wilson for picks. I think the aim will be to acquire a young ‘stop-gap’ quarterback in return, as a new search is launched for a long term answer. Yet I also think the Seahawks will ‘be in on any conversation’ for the other veteran quarterbacks available — namely Aaron Rodgers (who, according to Jason La Canfora, has a connection to Schneider due to the Green Bay links). Schneider only signed a new deal last off-season so unless he prefers a change of scenery, ownership might prefer to defer to him as they embark on a post-Carroll era.

3. It’ll be up to Jody Allen and co to decide whether they want to fall in behind Wilson and move on from both Carroll and Schneider (Wilson may prefer a fresh start anyway, making this a moot point). I think the Saints are going to find it difficult to jump into the veteran QB market this off-season and that might nudge Sean Payton to another club — as has been rumoured in the recent past on more than one occasion. A bold move like that could satisfy Wilson and the fan base — and it’s the kind of move you could imagine Paul Allen making — but admittedly it seems overly ambitious today.

4. If Wilson does depart — the Giants and Eagles seem like obvious destinations given their haul of picks in 2022 and the ability to throw in a young quarterback. The only problem is — neither are in range to offer a top-two pick to get one of the elite DE’s and it could mean you’re picking twice among a pool of players similar to the top-end of the 2013 draft (if not worse). You could always trade both picks to move up for Kayvon Thibodeaux or Aidan Hutchinson — but that would be a big move.

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  1. cha

    Nathan’s not going to like this week’s Watch Points post very much.

    • All I see is 12s

      If I may, Brian and Jeff are the only two on that podcast Who’s opinions are worth giving any credence to at all. Just my opinion but I sincerely hope that no one on this blog feels it necessary to punch down on someone whose unwise and or relevant opinions matter for nothing. I would encourage everyone to simply block those types on Twitter and not give him the attention he’s so desperately craves. As a great Seahawk once said, “A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of sheep.”

      • MychestisBeastmode

        Tywin Lannister?

        • All I see is 12s

          Sherm baby

      • Palatypus

        Pretty sure there are no lions left in Europe and I’m not sure where there are any sheep in Africa.

        New Zealand has more sheep than people.

  2. hobro

    I don’t understand why people think name-calling adds any value or convinces anyone they’re right.

    Regarding Mr Wagner: I’d be more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt and attribute the falloff in his performance to physical decline rather than lack of effort. Regardless of the cause, I agree that it’s going to be very hard to justify paying him $20 million next year. It will be very hard to trade him because almost all of his compensation is in base salary and per-game roster bonuses, so either he will have to agree to a substantially lower salary or the Seahawks will have to face up to cutting him.

    It’s a vicious game off the field and on.

    • Rob Staton

      Agreed it’s a vicious game (obviously I agree). Definitely think you could be right about physical decline (but he doesn’t miss any time, although that in itself could be a cause).

      I think it’s worth highlighting though — and debating. Even if people disagree.

      • GerryG

        Bobby hasn’t missed a snap all year according to Jacson B. That’s insane and not smart coaching and another reflection of just shallow the depth is on the roster. No wonder he’s not showing maximum effort at times. I also have zero problem mentioning that he isn’t showing max effort either. You make top dollar, much is expected from you.

  3. Peter


    With respect to the effort you put in year after year for me two picks in the first round would be great.

    1. My first desire is retain Wilson.

    2. As it seems increasingly likely that he is traded and certainly so if the other two remain, pc/js have cooked up such of thin watery garbage soup that though you feel and probably rightfully so the talent isn’t there…..the talent is already non existent on this roster. Therefore those two goofs can hopefully pick someone, anyone who could improve the roster.

  4. Dave

    Rob – you’re not an A*& at all. Mr. Ernst is welcome to his opinion. I think it’s vital to point out that Wagner and Adams are paid tens of millions of dollars a year, to give their entire effort. In the midst of a pandemic where many have lost jobs and livelihoods – they get paid more in a span of hours, than some will make in their entire lifetimes. Mr. Ernst would be well suited to stop providing multimillionaires a pass at lackluster effort.

    • Rob Staton

      I think we’re all arse holes at some point.

      I don’t think that video made me one though.

      And I think the general point on Wagner & Adams is an important one. An unpopular one, especially with Wagner, because he’s what I’d call an ‘untouchable’ in Seattle. But I do think this needs to be discussed and debated more than it is and if some flack comes back in return, well last year I copped a fair bit of grief for discussing what I thought was on the cards and here we are.

      • All I see is 12s

        I have no problem with an honest critique of Wagner. He’s just not what he used to be. Currently he is a very expensive wrong side of the line of scrimmage RB tackler. One who was recently trucked by GB’s backup RB. He no longer who no longer makes dynamic and explosive plays. Time to move on.

  5. Big Mike

    Name calling over sports opinions is just so freaking juvenile.

    Wondering if and when you might take a deeper dive into o-line prospects Rob. The 3 tackles you highlighted was a good read, especially since one is a Coug who because of that fact I’d love to see as a Hawk. Any plans for interior o-line reviews and perhaps a couple more tackles?

    • Rob Staton

      I’ll jot a few notes down here for you:

      Evan Neal (G) — looks extremely powerful and he’s extremely difficult to shake off. But I think he has a guard body and is better suited inside. I think he will be a better guard than tackle and would struggle vs the speed rush and that limits his stock IMO. But he appears destined to go early and will likely be tried at tackle first. I wouldn’t be against drafting him to play G.

      Tyler Linderbaum (C) — I think he’s a bit overrated and people have got carried away. I think the Garrett Bradbury comp is plausible, they have similar strengths and flaws. I love Linerbaum’s wrestling background and it was cool watching him beat Tristan Wirfs in a match in High School. Athletic, mobile and has explosive potential but more 20-40 for me than top-10.

      Alex Forsyth (C) — not flashy but just gets the job done. Will be interested to see how he tests.

      Rasheed Walker (T) — has all the tools but just can’t stay consistent.

      Darian Kinnard (T) — Massive but seem to recall he was on the ground a fair bit. Didn’t demolish blockers like I’d hoped to see but he’s so big he’s difficult to get by.

      Sean Rhyan (G) — Plays left tackle for UCLA but has a thick lower frame and looks tailor-made for guard. Kick-slide isn’t bad but saw him get pushed around a bit vs smaller pass rushers.

      Charles Cross (T) — Looks the part but just came away a bit underwhelmed. Didn’t see any ‘wow’ moments — but for once a tackle, not a guard.

      Matt Bedford (T) — A lot of people think he kicks inside but I actually like him at right tackle where he’s been playing. Decent, value pick in the middle rounds. Consistent. Handled the edge rush and decent in the run game.

      Kenyon Green (G) — Look, he’s decent. But he’s a guard not a tackle and I didn’t watch him and crave having him. Some people have him in the top-10 as a T or G and I don’t get that at all. A player who could be a good guard. It’s not a glowing review.

      The players who got me excited were the three you touched on — Trevor Penning, Bernhard Raimann and Abraham Lucas. I very much look forward to seeing how their draft season goes, especially how they test. Penning, to me, might be one you can root for early. Abraham’s testing potential could see his stock sky-rocket.

      • Big Mike

        Thank you so much. I’ll try to keep an eye on these guys and look forward to your assessments after the Senior Bowl and combine. I brought oline up because I’m very hopeful of a new regime that puts some focus in that area.

  6. Kyle

    I respect Brian Nemhauser very much. The guys he has on his podcasts I respect very little. Now that Brian’s written posts consist mostly of one “morning after” column each week, I feel like I can check in on his website Monday afternoon and not worry about the rest of the time. Apart from Brian those guys have nothing to recommend them: they aren’t smart, eloquent, analytical, or interesting. They generally all jump on brain dead talking points and follow each other’s opinions like lemmings. It is incredibly reserved and mature of Rob to take the stance he did here. After how the pseudo science analytics crowd has acted the last three years I’m inclined to tap dance on their faces.

    • GerryG

      Jeff is cool, and the pods he has done with Rob are fantastic.

  7. jeff

    Nathan is my favorite of the bunch by a long shot, but he was out of line with that. There is something deeper going on.

    On the same episode where he gets bent out of shape about questioning a player’s effort, they have a discussion about how players on teams suffering lost seasons tend to check out and make business decisions.

    Nothing about his tirade adds up.

    What did you do to him, Rob? What did you do to my tio?

    • Rob Staton

      It’s probably because I found ‘running backs don’t matter’ an annoying thing a few years ago

      • Peter

        Ahhh yes the word of the year: “fungible.”

        How’s that take ageing? I mean seattle is, pun intended, running a brave new scheme where they almost literally don’t run the ball.

        All those with that take are on the trade Wilson because sometimes you can win the superbowl with a rookie qb contract take.

        • Tyler Jorgensen

          Be careful with blanket statements, such as “all those with that take are on the trade wilson/rookie contract take.”

          First, those are three different thoughts. I’m all for runningbacks being fungible, but not for trading Russ or, as was argued to me the other day, drafting QB every other year so you can always use a rookie contract QB and let guys go once they finish that contract.

          I don’t believe RB’s are fungible for Pete though, because of his dependence on one style of back to deliver to his offensive predilections.

          • Peter

            Tyler first. I always like seeing your posts. You have the same name as one of my friends from back when in Seattle. And you’re right not everyone of course shares te same view point idea to idea.

            Second. You totally nailed the argument, sir. Depending on the team you probably aren’t going to be better with myriad first round runningbacks who even good to great aren’t getting team “x,” to the superbowl. Alternately there are many runningbacks in different rounds to produce. But….

            For PC to have been this lost in his own process and whether a runningback is important to him is as you commented proves, for him, they are not fungible.

            A new qb every draft for a rookie contract…..yikes.

      • bmseattle

        The irony is that Ernst fancies himself as a “logical” and “analytical” Seahawk fan.
        No emotional takes… just reasonable evaluation.

        Yet he’s the one who reacts emotionally… even to resort to name calling.

        I’d love him to actually do what you did, Rob… study the tape of the last several games and see how he evaluates Wagner’s play/effort level.

  8. David Stacey

    Jeff is great, very intelligent.
    Brian was also good when talking with Rob. Really informed, interesting conversation between the two of them. I do think Brian is knowledgeable and interesting but he seems to take on kinda a weird roll on that show – I don’t get it. And the rest of their crew you can’t pay much attention too at all.
    Would be good to get a Rob, Robbie, Jeff And Brian live stream some time, I think that would be a fascinating watch.

    I actually took some personal offense to Ernst’s comment, the work you put in Rob is very much appreciated and for him to talk like that and the other two to nod along was out of order imo.

    Keep up the good work tho Rob, well ahead of the curve.
    Would be great if you could give Jody Allen a call and set up a Sean Payton meeting!!!!

  9. Salemhawk

    It was nice seeing an honest breakdown of Wagner. It confirms what I thought I was seeing in my limited time watching the game. At one point I was thinking “what is going on here?” in terms of so many tackles being made well beyond the LOS. About a play later I watched Bobby flow into a block that he should have avoided. Had he pushed forward he would have stopped the runner cold in the gap. So he’s not getting off blocks, apparently avoiding blocks he shouldn’t be avoiding, and running to blocks he should avoid. That about sums it up. Will always have mad respect for him but father time catches everyone eventually. I think he was underpaid for years so the amount of money doesn’t bother me. Performance does though.

    Aside from that I also wonder if a 3-4 extends careers of players at this stage (or makes it worse?). I also wonder if we have a lot players who could play a 3-4. Seems easier to find 3-4 guys than 4-3 guys but maybe that’s a false bias on my part. I think that Rob has touched on that topic before. Your positive or critical feedback is always welcome, Rob.

    • BobbyK

      Bobby Wagner is a stud. He’s still one of the best MLB’s in the game. That said, pretty much every linebacker in NFL history is worse at age 31 than they were at age 27-28.

      For people to say Wagner has not declined (even a little) is ignoring the production of every linebacker in league history. It’s human nature for a MLB to be a split second slower in their early-30s than their late-20s.

      The best MLB I have ever seen is Ray Lewis. He was so great he was still productive well into his 30s. But he was not nearly the player in his mid-30s than he was in his late-20s.

      Is Bobby Wagner still a stud? I think so.

      Is Bobby Wagner worth a $20 million cap his in ’22? No. Not even close.

      But is he worth north of $10 million? Yes. He’s still that good.

      What’s going to happen? I don’t know.

      All I know is that he’s not as good as he used to be but he’s still pretty awesome. He’s just not deserving of the salary he’s scheduled to be getting and the Seahawks have a decision to make. It’s not an easy one either.

  10. BobbyK


    Sorry you were called that. That’s total BS. It says more about the person saying it than anything.

    I know you took some flack last year (for being right about many things) and morons even said things about your kids. Again, that says more about how they were raised than anything. I actually feel bad for them and their lives to make them say/write that to you (though it doesn’t excuse what they did/wrote).

    Thank you for not turning the site into personally attacking him back. That says something positively about you. As followers of your blog, we notice it favorably.

    I’ll call Carroll stupid for passing on TJ Watt because we had stated the case so well here for so many times. I’ll call Schneider stupid (final call is Carroll’s) for trading Javonte Williams (who I would have taken with the Seahawks pick) and the Seahawks #1 pick in the 2022 draft for Jamal Adams. But if I had my own blog – I would not stoop to those names, as you are masterfully demonstrating. As the leader of this blog, you set the tone. I get to be a guy who hopes he’s a good person and lives his life and tries to escape reality through sport, but gets to just say stuff on a website that doesn’t ever get too out of hand. I think many of us appreciate that about your community here.

  11. Palatypus

    Would anyone be interested in me writing up an article on the Senior Bowl? This will be my third time at the game.

    I think I would call it “Why the hell am I in Alabama?”

    Also, I have an extra ticket on the Eastern side in the front row on the 45-yard line if any of you would like to go. Free of charge.

    • Peter

      That’s awesome you are going. Looking forward to some observations about some of the names Rob has been dropping.

  12. GoHawks5151

    Once the name calling starts you know they are out of points. You are smart and thoughtful. It’s all good dude.

    I don’t know if he is a next year guy but I like Cam Rising. Competitor, quick trigger, escape ability. Maybe he takes a leap up next year. Seems like he could be an option whether Pete stays or goes

  13. icb12

    I still think Wagner is the best linebacker in the league, and there’s plenty of justification for that opinion when you dig into the advanced defensive stats/metrics. But I would readily agree that he isn’t the most “valuable” linebacker in the league due to the size of his contract. And I would certainly agree that he isn’t the player he used to be (ie he has regressed). Mostly I feel like people are severely underrated bobby this year and truly wonder where the Seahawks would be without him. I think it would be really really ugly without him. If the dline and db groups were constructed properly/better than I could see Bobby being replaceable.. but the way it is now.. without Bobby this flaming dumpster would be a straight up trashcan explosion. I personally can Justify his contract THIS year due to the state of the roster around him. But yeah, I think it’s pretty obvious this is it for him in Seattle.

    All of which is naturally only my opinion and I certainly wouldn’t call anyone an asshole for disagreeing with me, at least not on the interwebz. People disagree, that’s life. And social media in general is the goddamn devil.

    I might however call someone an asshole in person over a whiskey or 3 (current level) when their opinion is clearly wrong.

    • Palatypus

      Remember when we won the Super Bowl? I have watched that over a hundred times. The stat that really sticks out at me is this:


      There was ONE missed tackle in that game. Bruce Irvin was about to tackle the ball carrier when Malcolm Smith, later the Super Bowl MVP, knocked him out of bounds and tackled the ball carrier.

      Bobby Wagner has missed about three tackles in five years until this year…but…

      Now you see it and why we drafted his replacement.

    • Ok

      In response to wondering where we’d be without Bobby this year…2-9? Worse? Does it matter?
      I feel the same way about JA, no real effect on the W-L’s, but Mr Wagner is not the braggart Jamal is, Wagner is a positive force. Nonetheless, how much worse off could we be?
      This team is not competing, and is in now way ascending. There are very few players that MUST be retained. Even a player such as Diggs, who has played well, why keep him? He’s old, we aren’t close.
      Maybe I’m being too morose. Just feels like if Wilson wants out, and he’s not seeming like he’d want to stay…well then it’s everyone must go, imo. Young and cheap. Hopefully different coaches.

      • Peter

        You’re not being morose. I feel that if you are a fan this current team aside from the horrible record looking forward regardless of what camp you fall into, who are the players of the future?

        Tyler Lockett is the season’s most valuable player and maybe the only player who isn’t playing at replacement level.

  14. MattyB

    Language- i tell my kids is the most important tool you have and is everything in debate. ‘performance’ (didn’t play well enough) ‘Effort’ is pointing a finger directly – its like calling someone a ‘wally’ or ‘son of a bitch’ big difference. when debating you must always take ownership of your words as you know what your trying to say.

    after ten years odd of success at The Seahawks have we lost our way recently and need a few key changes or are we SHIT – is the performance by the guys in charge low and confused or is there no effort

  15. Rob Staton

    Mario Cristobal is overrated

    • Roy Batty

      I was just having a conversation with my brother, the WAZZU alum, on how Riley at USC and DeBoer at UW would affect Cristobal’s decision to head back to Miami? Riley will get the top tier prospects throughout the state, while DeBoer has a great connection to the Central Valley. Recruiting is a year round activity that is now going to be infinitely harder for the top programs in the PAC12.

      Oregon’s football program has unlimited cash flow thanks to Phil Knight, but it will never have the East Coast media coverage that Miami gets. He will have so much more money flowing in from Miami’s local sports scene via his own shows on local TV and radio, and endorsement deals. Eugene is a nice town, but it’s in the middle of nowhere and plays football at either EST dinner time or bed time. To me it is a no-brainer, when Miami makes their offer.

      For Cristobal, though, any weakness in his coaching is going to be exposed and pounced on like nothing he has experienced as of yet. Expectations at The U are very, very high and they have plenty of boosters willing to hand over the funds necessary to pay out any coaches contract should he be deemed a flop. Most major programs do (Hello Jimmy Lake).

    • Peter

      Alternately Kyle Wittingham is underrated. He lives and breathes Utah and will just retire there. But i’ve often wondered what he would do with a bigger program. Rarely fields a bad team. Often fields a very good team without any of the pomp of the other programs in the pac-12.

    • Big Mike

      Grossly overrated. That was a soft team he out out on the field, both physically and mentally.
      And Peter is 100% correct, Whittingham is underrated.

  16. Mick

    I feel it speaks a lot about the level of a person that has to resort to name calling. I could accept that only as an inside joke between friends. Rob has been getting too much of undeserved bashing for his opinions and comments.

  17. Roy Batty

    Rob, I have always been curious about the sports media in the UK.

    Are members more direct, to the point, without taking that tact from others as a personal slight, or is it hit or miss?

    I’m just so tired of the American sports media and it’s extremes of fake emotion. Whether it be the Fox NFL crew looking like the worst actors in the world when laughing at each other’s jokes, to guys like Salk not allowing proper discussion, whatsoever.

    There are a few people who invite rational discussion, like Eisen. The role of a sports journalist has morphed into a parody of reality television over here. The biggest hot take wins. The loudest mouth drowns out the one with actual facts. It makes watching sports, for me, much less fun.

    • Rob Staton

      We have a couple of national radio stations that rely on shock jock tactics but by and large — it’s very, very different.

      In the job I do (I am a broadcaster, commentator and radio presenter) we see it as a duty to hold people to account. So even when times are relatively good, we believe if there’s a question to be asked we should ask it.

      On my phone in we encourage debate and we try to counter all debates so there’s two sides (at least) every time. I would never dream of telling everyone how it is and then disagreeing with anyone who we got on if they said something different.

      The other big difference here is the hosts such as myself are also the beat reporters. Although I cover six clubs not one and in a previous job covered 13 clubs… so we have a far bigger job keeping across so many fan bases, players, coaches, chairman etc.

      I can tell you now that the fans over here scream blue murder if you don’t ask challenging questions.

  18. swedenhawk

    just watched a bit of last week’s Eagles vs. Giants game. i’d recommend whoever thinks Russ sucks and should be traded for one of Hurts or Jones and picks to check it out. it was an absolute clinic in poor QB play. the prospect of another season of Pete ball but with either of those two under center is pretty frightening…

    • Rob Staton


    • GerryG

      I don’t disagree, but would throw out that the prospect of another season of Pete ball with anyone under center is frightening.

      • Roy Batty

        I would also throw out that the prospect of another season of Pete ball with anyone under the CURRENT centers is absolutely terrifying.

        • GerryG

          lol, yes!

  19. Cysco

    It’s surprising to me that we haven’t started seeing any anonymous finger pointing and “ass covering” from “sources” coming out of the VMAC.

    Given the state of this team, I would expect some self preservation to start setting in with people in the building.

    This is why I’m in the same camp as Rob. If there was any fear that ownership could fire anyone at the end of the season, I think we’d be hearing this type of thing through the media. The silence and lack of drama gives credence to the “Pete is going to retire and John will stay” theory.

  20. Peter

    For fans of interesting football there is a pretty good slate of games today.

    Now watch Michigan slip today and Alabama lose and still get in….

    • Big Mike

      PLEASE God no. This is not a good Bama team. Ok St. already getting their asses kicked which bodes well for Bama. Sigh.
      If a 2 loss NON champ gets in I may well boycott the ESPN playoffs.

    • Big Mike

      That is awesome!

    • Rob Staton


  21. Kevin Mullen

    Need the “The Great Reset”

    Just wipe everything clean, I’d try to keep DK, DLewis, JBrooks, DTaylor, & PFord.

    Everyone else can go. I’d also like for JS to get a shot at getting his own coach and pick his roster.

    • Big Mike

      I would trade DK. I would keep Tre Brown and maybe DJ Reed. I’d give Brooks one more year. Agree with Lewis and Taylor and Poona. I’d keep Lockett too because I don’t think we could get a whole lot for him.

      • Peter

        Same on DK. He’s going to cost a ton. I love him when he’s on but he’s not always on. And if you’re getting rid of everyone probably trade DK before he is playing with a new qb.

    • Pugs1

      I said that a few weeks ago. Overall JS has done a good job up until recently of building the team in Pete’s vision. I’d be ok with letting him build it with a coach of his choosing.

  22. Blitzy the Clown

    I’m impressed with Baylor’s coaching staff, particularly OC Jeff Grimes. Great scheming thus far by the Bears vs a top OSU defense today.

  23. John
    So it looks like Jody Allen may be fairly involved with the organization.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      He also said Wilson’s problems with the team that let to him floating the idea of a trade this last offseason “were not specific to Pete Carroll” 🙄

      No Mike, they were specific to Carroll’s core coaching philosophy, not to Carroll himself. Better?

      It’s hard to take pundits seriously when they say crap like this.

    • cha

      “She’s very involved, and she’s not happy. She’s not looking at this like it’s a one year thing…I’d imagine there’s gonna be some changes in some form or fashion but we’ll see what happens once we get to the offseason.”

      • Paul Cook

        I doubt she’s very involved. She’s virtually invisible to the fans, players, and media. I’m sure, however, after extending Carroll and Schneider she feels some real responsibility for the team’s play now. Her name’s on it now.

    • Rob Staton

      I didn’t think that report said what I was expecting, based on what the reaction was on Twitter.

      There’s not a lot of detail there. I’m pretty sure the only people who know what Pete Carroll is planning to do are Pete Carroll and probably Pete Carroll’s wife.

      Further to that not a lot was said other than Jody Allen wasn’t very happy with the season. To be fair, what other reaction is there? And changes were hinted at — but we all know that anyway. One way or another, the ‘big three’ aren’t all coming back in 2022.

      Sadly we’re just left waiting this out now until the end of the season — then we get to find out what’s next.

  24. Paul Cook

    Baylor’s Aranda is a good coach, especially on the defensive side of the ball. As someone who follows Oklahoma football, their defensive schemes and coverage really stymied Oklahoma in that minor upset.

  25. Sea Mode

    Did Breer really hint that the Vikings should trade for Pete Carroll??

    Now that would really be something!

    • Rob Staton



      (Two firsts, a third and Bradley McDougald sounds fair BTW)

      • Sea Mode

        Lol, it was an insinuation in his MMQB column:

        Would Seattle and Pete Carroll consider a move for Carroll to coach a win-now team (he is a former Vikings assistant), while the Seahawks move Russell Wilson and start a rebuild?

        • cha

          The article made the same point that Rob did. You have to get the ball rolling on a change/hire of this magnitude.

          And here’s where we’ll reiterate the point that these sorts of transactions are enormously difficult to pull off. In fact, if you were planning to try to pull one off in January, you’d probably want to get going on that now.

          “You have to, in my mind, if I’m doing it, get the groundwork laid 60 to 90 days before it actually occurs,” said one prominent coaching agent who’s been involved in such talks. “Say it’s Payton or Tomlin; it can’t be, the season ends, and then you do it. That’s when it actually happens, of course, but normally, the way I’d think about it, you’d almost have to be 90 days into it by then.”

    • BobbyK

      I remember Pete being here in the ’80s when I was a kid. He was well liked and respected. I actually think he’d do well with these Vikings. He just needs a change and the Seahawks need a change. For us to get a draft pick for him would be absolutely awesome! Maybe the Vikings just ship that pick to the Saints and we’d get Sean Payton?

      I don’t think Pete Carroll is a bad coach. In fact, I think he’s a top 10 coach (horrible GM though). I think he’s probably better than Sean Payton. That’s my opinion and I’m entitled to it (Payton had a franchise QB for 15 years and went to only 1 Super Bowl). But I do know Sean Payton would be a better coach for the ’22 Seahawks. Sometimes change is needed.

      I’ve watched more football than normal this year. There are plenty of crappy coaches and plenty of teams who do dumb things (like Pete does). My biggest problem with Pete is his reckless use of #1 picks, and though I have plenty of criticism with some of his coaching decisions (Lewis to LG, lack of quality in-game adjustments, bad decisions with most challenges, etc.), I don’t think he’s one of the worst coaches like many are starting to think.

  26. Peter

    Well i guess the cfb playoff is set. But i guess it could be worse. If michigan or cincinatti lose i could see the playoff committee “treating,” us to notre dame.

    I wish they would expand this thing already. All big five champions and an at large bid. To see baylor and Utah in the playoffs with the top two teams regardless of conference getting a bye would be a damn sight more interesting than Georgia and Alabama in regardless of how their game goes today.

  27. Big Mike

    If Bama gets drilled I expect Notre Dame to be awarded the 4th spot and the chance to get blasted by Georgia. Fun. Nice job Okie St.

    • Big Mike

      And that’s assuming a Michigan win which I believe will happen.

      • Big Mike

        If Cincy loses we’re gonna get Bama and Notre Dame. Oh joy. In that case, leave them both at home and just let Georgia and Michigan play for the championship.
        Utah would beat Notre Dame by around 10 points.

        • Big Mike

          Oh and btw, ESPN won’t care that Cincy beat them head to head. Notre Dame means ratings which = cash.

          • Peter

            💯. Utah would handle notre dame. And the committee would love to see notre dame in.

      • Peter

        You think the committee will consider a loss from georgia a “loss?” You could be right.

        After okst losing i’m low key worried that michigan or cincinatti will trip and notre dame gets in. And now i am unexpectedly rooting for harbaugh…which is strange.

        • Big Mike

          I think Notre Dame’s in anyway as long as Georgia handles Bama as I expect they will. Georgia, Michigan, Cincy and Notre Dame as long as Cincy wins. If they lose ND will get in even tho they and Cincy each have one loss and Cincy BEAT THEM head to head.

          • TomLPDX

            Bama came to play Big Mike.

    • TomLPDX

      Hold on! Kudos to Baylor and Aranda for beating Okie State. Stop sweating about ND. It is what it will be.

      • Paul Cook

        Oklahoma State had every chance to win near the end. Seven plays from about the two yard line or in and they couldn’t come up with a TD. If I was a fan of them, I would have been pulling my hair out.

      • Peter

        No sweat from me. Just a legacy team living on fumes that gets hammered every time they get to the playoffs. Plus their record is garbage. Ok st losing in in an extra game in a conference championship could easily argue their record is still better than notre dame….and now so could baylor.

        Cincinnati perhaps losing again in one more game than notre dame could say they have a better record….but might get dumped.

  28. Forrest

    So much for “tell the truth” Monday. This has long been a complaint of mine too, Rob! I agree that Wagner has lost a step and is not worth $20M. Unless you can get something for him, cut him and move on. As for Russ, my fear is his trade stock is losing value. Even the broadcasters highlighted his awful numbers on 3rd down and how he didn’t target DK, then forced it to DK in double coverage when Lockett was “as open as you’re going to get in the NFL”. It’s becoming a disaster.

    Wilson looks very much like a shot fighter. Something seems wrong there and I don’t believe it’s all attributable to his finger. I believe Carroll isn’t calling him out like he should because they know it will hurt his trade stock and they want to preserve the option to keep him, if they want.

    My biggest fear is Russ demanding a trade to teams without enough trade capital. He could veto Phili and NYG and opt for NO, for example. If they only offer a 1 this year and next, what do you do? Even worse, what if we keep putting him out there and he looks horrible or gets hurt and it affects his ability to start the season on time next year. He might never be the same.

    This team is still awful at defending the screen pass and never looks comfortable playing zone. We’re soft over the short middle and don’t get enough pressure. We need to get the personnel to play our way. That means big, tall press corners (who can defend the run) and a fast, ball hawking safety, with run stuffing DTs and edges that can win one on one matchups. We used to generate INTs, but haven’t for years now. We also lack discipline and it shows up with dumb penalties that extend WAY too many drives.

    On offense, we used to use smaller linemen, who zone blocked. Then we switched to the DJ Fluker type, asking if they could maul for a 3rd and 1, but sacrificing elsewhere. Now we have a hybrid that looks out of place, especially at center. At RB, we used to run hard with a big back in Lynch. Then we moved to running hard with a hungry late round pick (Carson). Now we try to get by with replacement level veterans and poor draft choices that didn’t fit our mold. I believe Seattle needs to bring in hungry late round RBs, tell them to hit the hole hard with aggression and then swap them out after three years when they look to get paid (and their production begins to fall off after they get paid and don’t hut the hole as hard. At WR, we were lucky to get DK, but he’s not going to stick around with our style of play. No #1 type free agent WR is going to want to come here with the way we play. We’re going to need to focus on polished route runners like Baldwin and Lockett. …and our QB? We need a true dual threat who is tall enough to see over the middle on 3rd Down, step up in the pocket and then keep defenses honest with his legs. Wilson used to offer misdirection and 11 vs. 11. Now defenses just go with two high safeties to lock down the deep throws and clog up the run on 1st down. It’s….predictable.

    We need to regain an identity this offseason! Decide who we are, how we play, and free up the salaries of Russ, Wagner and Adams to get some picks for the relaunch. Look at this draft and determine if the players we need are there (and where they’re going to go). Then get them. If it means trading a high pick for future high picks, so be it. In free agency, we meed to be tactical. Who fits your mould and comes at the right price. Build up front on both sides with young, hungry defenders and established linemen and savvy receivers. Also build your identity in the locker room with Robbie Tobeck and James Harrison types. When you have a Creed Humphrey, Watt or a Chase Winovich available to you, get them! Watch for players like this who “play with their hair on fire”.

    Select your coach and GM and build your team and your identity. It will take some time, but you’ll get there.

    • Rob Staton

      As for Russ, my fear is his trade stock is losing value.

      I wouldn’t worry about that

      On offense, we used to use smaller linemen, who zone blocked. Then we switched to the DJ Fluker type, asking if they could maul for a 3rd and 1, but sacrificing elsewhere. Now we have a hybrid that looks out of place, especially at center. At RB, we used to run hard with a big back in Lynch. Then we moved to running hard with a hungry late round pick (Carson). Now we try to get by with replacement level veterans and poor draft choices that didn’t fit our mold.

      This is a key point here.

      They used to have a legendary running back (who also happened to be a heart and soul type who could set the attitude of the team). They used to add angry, big, physical linemen. People forget but James Carpenter was a blog favourite during the 2010 season because he was sensational at left tackle for Alabama. He was big, physical and was a big reason why Mark Ingram succeeded. Breno Giacomini. J.R. Sweezy. Max Unger — all incredibly physical. Okung was no slouch either and had the top-10 pedigree.

      They’ve lost all sense of that now. Their running game is all over the place. The line feels cobbled together.

      The pass rush meanwhile has gone from ‘needing more’ in 2018 to ‘being totally dependant on one player’ in 2019 to ‘life support’ in 2020 and now it’s worse than it’s ever been.

      You can’t play this brand of football if you’re this crap in the trenches and have nobody you can trust at RB.

      • Peter

        I know that early oline was a penalty machine but who cares. They used to kick the crap out of defenses.

  29. Colin

    I guess I will throw my two cents in here: if you watch hawk blogger for anything other than simple Seahawks discussion, well then that’s on you. You will find the collective intellectual fire power of that group equivalent to a cup of pudding.

    At this point there is really no acceptable alternative to a wholesale change this winter. You can bring back Pete, John, and Russ you’ll be stuck with what you’ve had the last five years. You’ll win between eight and 11 games, maybe a wildcard, and then you’ll be sent home decisively. And that’s being generous.

    Also, I don’t wanna hear about “we need to be grateful for even having a team, we remember the bad years, blah blah blah“. it’s perfectly reasonable to criticize that this group has massively underachieved since Super Bowl 49. If you want to hang banners for being kind of fun and mediocre, go watch the Mariners.

    Something has to give. Whether it’s trading Russ, or completely overhauling the coaching staff and John. my hope is that Pete just decides to walk away this winter, which I think is entirely possible especially if the final six games completely bottom out.

    PS, Nathan Ernst is a smug prick with an incredibly punchable face.

    • McZ

      When I watched their content, it is Nathan Ernst @Hawkblogger, who pleades for change. Brian is still talking up this D, who couldn’t get their adversaries off the field. Dana and Jeff are talking up the O, who couldn’t stay on the field.

      Also, his comment re Rob came in a very specific context. Rob singled out Bwagz and the peacock, questioning their effort. The Bwagz thing didn’t go down well with him (“…picked on Bobby Wagner, of all players…”). He used a word he shouldn’t have. So be it.

      I think, all of our supposed on field leaders are currently in some type of slump.

      Bwagz is showing effort, but he is somehow losing his football IQ. Far from being the general, he is making rookie errors. He had to be assigned to duties by Qandre Diggs, a lot. Watch the GB game, it was atrocious.

      I also think, Jamal Adams didn’t have four good games. A good game is a 80s PFF rating. He had exactly one of those, against the Jags. He plays better, but not 17m elite. His weakness in coverage means, that we have to constantly play nickel. (What second OLB would we play, anyway?)

      Duane Brown is done in this league.

      RW has problems far beyond his finger. And there is no trustable QB coach to right the wrongs of his play. This is just hypocrisy. Personally I have no trust in the situation turning around.

      Finally, Ernst is whining about having no first rounder in the draft. Yeah, that’s what you get selling the house in desperation moves.

      • Rob Staton

        It is nothing to do with football IQ

        It is literally a player showing on tape an apparent choice to avoid contact on a number of plays. It is a player showing things on tape I did not expect to see. A player who is not living up to his cap hit in any way.

        That’s it.

        It’s not ‘picking on’ a player to highlight what is on tape. It’s just discussing the team, performance and value.

  30. TomLPDX

    Bama playing like they want to win! Good game!

    • Peter

      Saban drives me crazy. But much respect for seeing something in georgia’s pass defense to exploit.

      • Peter

        And bill o’brien as well.

    • Space Chief

      “YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!” Herm Edwards.

      Your comment reminded me of that press conference gem, Tom

  31. Paul Cook

    Well it looks to me like the final four will be Alabama, Georgia, Cincinnati, and Michigan if they beat Iowa.

    • TomLPDX

      Alabama did what they needed to do! Can’t believe I’m saying it but…Go Michigan!

      • TomLPDX

        Si did Cinci. Buh bye, ND!

        • Paul Cook

          Michigan will probably have to turn the ball over a bunch for Iowa to have a chance of beating them. Iowa has a good defense but a pretty weak and unimaginative offense.

          • Peter

            Think if michigan wins alabama jumps them with their win today?

            • Paul Cook

              Yeah, the seeding is about the only mystery left.

  32. Kelly Smith

    Hey everyone. Just wondering what the consensus I
    Is on Eric Barriere? He’s got some pretty amazing stats and has prototypical size.

  33. Seattle Murphy

    Sure appreciate your approach to dialogue and debate. Keep keeping above the muck, Rob.

    Your analysis remains top notch.

  34. Jazzy McHawk

    I have been on your site for a long time Rob and I can say that you always have great articles. The fact is that I do think Wagner has fallen off a bit, and that isn’t a crime to bring it up. It doesn’t erase his past, it just makes him in his 10th season of 100+ tackles per season, someone who has taken a toll on his body. Sports though, like in life, people find it hard to hear tough things. But there’s no need to get so offended by an opinion. It’s a talking point.
    I hope they can keep Wagner, but not at $20 million per season, he’s worth 13-14 range.

    I hope that Wilson stays and they can trade for Payton, that would be an awesome turn of events for Seahawks fans!! With the divisions 3 other teams building and doing well, we need a quick turn around to get back in the competition of the NFC West.

    Thank you for all you do Rob

    • Rob Staton

      I wasn’t offended

  35. Derek

    I’ll just say…as someone who used to dabble in the Seahawks blogging space (albeit not to the level of Rob), and got to know several of the more prominent bloggers, none of this is surprising. There’s (oddly) a lot of ego that surfaces in the form of defensiveness when certain viewpoints are expressed, or when opinions are challenged. As if there’s some objective “Seahawks Gospel” that one dare not challenge for no other reason than “So and So” is the one who said it…and therefore it must be true because “So and So” is THE blogsphere representative “authority” on all things Seahawks.

    Rob has always been extremely data and “visual evidence”-driven, and seemingly emotionless in his analysis. This is NOT the norm. 🙂

    The take on Wagner was spot on, and is undeniable, regardless of one’s feelings about Bobby Wagner and his contributions to the organization up to this point.

    The beautiful thing about objective facts, is that they don’t become false on the basis of feelings.

    Rob is as good as they come. Always been a fan.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Derek, I really appreciate you saying that

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