Friday notes: Keep Carlos, TE thoughts & time to snarl

The winning moment — Carlos Dunlap sacks Kyler Murray

Carlos Dunlap must be retained in 2021

It’s not an exaggeration to say he’s been a revelation so far. His 3.5 sacks in three games barely tells the full story. The Seahawks’ pass rush was inept until his arrival. They needed someone, anyone, to provide some pressure off the edge. Dunlap is delivering that and it’s validating the A+ grade many people awarded the trade when it was completed.

There’s always some caution in celebrating a victory too soon. Quandre Diggs looked like an inspired addition a year ago but his play in 2020 hasn’t followed up a strong start. The same could happen for Dunlap, especially as he turns 32 in February.

However, the Seahawks have seen Frank Clark and Jadeveon Clowney walk out the door in back-to-back seasons. Eventually — they need to keep somebody and build around them, rather than constantly be looking for the next replacement.

Dunlap’s cap hit of $14.25m is steep in 2021 but none of it is guaranteed. A short-term extension that includes new guarantees to lower the hit would be wise — securing the Seahawks with a capable edge rusher to lead their pass rush.

The Greg Olsen injury has a plus side

Will Dissly is in year three of his rookie deal and Jacob Hollister is playing on his second-round RFA tender.

The Seahawks have smartly preserved Dissly after two serious injuries in back-to-back years. However, now is the time to test whether he can stay on the field. His talent and consistency make him a candidate to be Seattle’s long term answer at tight end. Olsen’s injury gives them a reason to see if he can make it so.

It’s also important to see more of Hollister. Do you want to re-sign him in the off-season? If nothing else, he has the incentive of playing in a contract year. He’s also been somewhat underused so far as a receiving tight end who could offer a lot more in the passing game.

There’s also Colby Parkinson. It’s often forgotten but going into the 2019 season, Parkinson had some tentative first and second round grades attached to his name. His stock dropped dramatically after a difficult season for Stanford, mainly due to the horrible play of quarterback KJ Costello.

We’ve since seen Costello go and struggle for Mississippi State after transferring and Parkinson’s raw talent and potential was largely hidden within a stuttering offense.

It’s worth introducing him into the offense — even if it’s only for the sake of experience. He has a lot of potential and could develop into a useful player for the Seahawks. He has great size and like most of the top TE’s in the NFL, he performed well in the agility testing at the combine (three-cone, short shuttle).

Harnessing his talent and expanding the roles of Dissly and Hollister could add a lot to the offense — especially given Olsen’s underwhelming performances so far.

They have to bring the intensity

By week 11 in 2014, the Seahawks were facing a crossroads.

They’d endured a tough season so far — highlighted by the Percy Harvin fallout and persistent rumours that they’d had enough of Marshawn Lynch.

A 24-20 loss in Kansas City looked closer than it was. The Seahawks were poor and fell to 6-4. It looked like they were going to struggle to make the playoffs a year after winning the Super Bowl.

The key veterans circled the wagon and hosted Arizona the following week. The Cardinals were leading the division at 9-1. It was a must-win game to stand any chance of catching them.

The Seahawks were snarling, angry and brutal. They played a typically physical game. It wasn’t pretty but they won 19-3.

It launched a six game winning streak. They beat San Francisco by the same scoreline on Thanksgiving and then ran the table. They finished 12-4, won the NFC West and returned to the Super Bowl.

The current Seahawks have far more issues than the 2014 group. They also don’t have Lynch, the LOB, Bennett and Avril and many others.

That said, a similar opportunity is emerging.

As with 2014, there’s nothing particularly scary about Seattle’s remaining schedule. They had a get-right win at home to the Cardinals, who were again leading the NFC West, and now face a challenge of building on that.

Six years ago the key was to really embrace the building momentum and thrive in the opportunity to smack opponents around, show them who’s boss and get the season back on track.

This year there’s a lot more to it. They have to try and play with sound fundamentals on defense consistently. As highlighted alarmingly by Brett Kollmann and Chris Simms this week — they’ve been making some hideous mistakes.

They also need to stick to the formula that helped get things right yesterday (essentially not depend exclusively on the quarterback), play with intensity and attitude and try to launch another strong finishing run.

In recent years they haven’t ‘finished’ very well. They’re only 14-10 in the final six games over the last four seasons. That includes three years where they finished 3-3.

Philadelphia (A), New York Giants (H), New York Jets (H) and Washington (A) is a four-game run they need to attack — setting up decisive NFC West rematches with LA and San Francisco.

They need to prove they can stay on track, win the games they’re supposed to win and continue to show massive improvement on defense in order to reinvigorate faith that this won’t be another wasted season. Yesterday was a good start — but it’s only a start until they prove otherwise. Contrary to what some people might think — the issues raised in the aftermath of the Buffalo and LA losses aren’t simply brushed away after one win.

Even so, the NFC is still wide open and that’s unlikely to change between now and Christmas.

Arizona aren’t actually that good

I thought the Seahawks would win last night mainly because I don’t think the Cardinals are that good.

Kyler Murray is clearly superb — although I was a little surprised that Fox dedicated their entire pre-game show to him, rather than an even split in what looked like a fascinating contest between two exciting quarterbacks.

Here’s the reality with the Cardinals though. They are missing their best pass rusher and their top three defensive tackles. They also have a few niggles elsewhere, including the quarterback and running back.

If it wasn’t for a hail mary last Sunday, they’d be 5-5 for the season right now. Had the Seahawks not thrown away the game in Arizona, they’d be 4-5. They’ve lost to the Lions, Panthers and Dolphins.

They have some terrific individual stars and will probably win nine or ten games. Yet realistically they’re probably nearer 8-8 than 13-3.

I still think if the Seahawks are going to win the NFC West it’s the team in LA they need to be most wary of.

Mock draft on the way

I’ve written my first 2021 mock draft and it’s ready to roll. I was saving it for this mini-bye week and will post it over the weekend.

Finally, if you missed last nights instant reaction podcast, check it out here:

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  1. Volume12

    Hell yeah! Looking forward to this mock draft.

    • dcd2

      Have you tried Tony’s draft simulator yet this year? Pretty cool, in that the system proposes trades to you. I ran one with the NYJ, just to get an overall feel of where guys were projected this year, along with where the teams slotted in. With the first pick, I got 6 offers and with our old pick (angry face) at #22, got a couple more. Drafting as the Hawks also got some offers generated for our 2nd rounder.

      Very depressing to only have a 2,4,5 at this point. Feels like Christmas for the kid who has a bday on 12/23.

      Here’s the link:

      • Volume12

        I have not tried it yet. Or any draft simulator. Thanks for the link. Will probably mess around w/ it tonight.

        • Scot04

          I believe PFN simulator has us with a 2nd,4th,5th & 6th.
          Obviously wrong. At best we keep our conditional 7th round pick and have 4 total. The Adams trade just continues to look bad…

  2. 12thManthony

    My hope was all but dwindled coming into the game ladt night and instead of eagerly awaiting the Seahawks game I was feeling a sense of anxiety.
    The defense looked inspired and the oline held up just enough to make it work.
    I think Dunlap is elevating the guys around him and it seemed like the team played with a different attitude last night.
    Im hoping it continues going forward.

  3. Seattle Person

    Hey Rob.

    Thanks for the write up every week. You synthesize and put into words what I think in my head. For so long I just couldn’t explain what was wrong with the team. The reality is there are just so many questions and holes on the current roster and even more in the future. Thank you for being honest and to the point. Frustrating that other media outlets continue to hide things and not talk about what’s hard. I think this adds to the confusion and blindness from the fan base. The Hawks control their faith in the division. Let us hope for the best.

  4. DM594

    I have not really looked much into Parkinson. in his early days at Stanford, who would he be comparable to? Kelce, graham, olsen, ertz?

    If he could turn into one of “those” players for wilson, that would be huge. Watching Mahomes thrive with Stud WRs and a Stud TE is an awesome scenario to imagine wilson with those same weapons (which for the most part we are there). But a true “weapon” TE is a game changer for an offense and a QB. Brees/Graham. Rivers/Gates, Mahomes/Kelce, you get the picture.

    I think Schotty could implement well into game plan.

    • Ky Swift

      After watching the game last night, Dan Arnold for AZ could be a good comp for Colby Parkinson. Similar size and receiving ability.

  5. Mark Dickinson

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but I sure hope Tom Brady beats the L.A. Rams.

    • Chase

      That’s the worst part about him being in the NFC.

    • Pran

      which makes it difficult for Seattle to gain #1 seed

    • Simo

      I know, hard to pull for Brady and the Bucs, but I’m all in for anyone to beat the Rams!

      • Hoggs41

        Thats an easy root. Have to win the division first.

  6. Miami Hawk

    Rewatched the game today and I must say, I have come back to what initially thougj about this defense; it could be really good of they get the injuries and growing pains worked out.

    They built the team from the back to the front and changed the approach around. They really have chosen to go in a different direction from Petes never blitz 4-3 under cover 3 with everyone having predictable assignments approach.

    The weakness of course has been the secondary and without Irvin until they got Dunlap, impact off the edge.

    The secondary,’s disorganization seems more like its due to a lack of continuity due to injuries at various times to everybody any good. Pete has had to play Ryan and Reed, 2 guys they picked up off the street and Flowers, who they would like to.send back to the street. The projected starting 5 Dbs of Griffin, Dunbar, Blair, Diggs, and Adams have all missed significant time and its obvious.

    Noticeably the D is settling down as the season wears on as Pete adapts the roles based on the talent available on any given week. Eventually, the explosive plays that have happened from botched assignments should become less and less frequent.

  7. JJ

    Takk is back on waivers. 2nd physical favor. 3rd times the charm?

    • BobbyK

      Personally, if his groin is still an issue… who cares… if he could be ready to go in 2-4 weeks, why not claim him? It’s not like he’s making big bucks and could provide some pressure and give Dunlap an occasional breather.

      I know I’ve said this a couple times, but Dunlap is the 2020 version of Chris Clemons in 2012. That is a good thing!

      My son is 9 and I let him stay up until almost 11:00 p.m. last night (he had school today) and he’s loving the Seahawks, too. He asked if I would get him a Dunlap jersey for Christmas! Cute Dad moment!

      • Big Mike

        Raising that boy to be a Hawks fan = raising him right Bobby

  8. Troy D.

    I dont know what is up with Takk McKinley with failed physical(s)… is it worth to bring in ourselves and kick the tires? I know that Taylor is almost back but he is more like Parkinson where its more about getting some experience instead of expecting anything.

    • Pran

      Forcing his way to

    • Rob Staton

      Looks like he’s just not healthy.

      I’d quite like to see Vic Beasley get a shot if he still wants to play.

      • DougM


  9. USC90

    Defense finally coming around, they got lots of easy games ahead, December football & Plays offs depending on the year can favor Running teams & strong run defense teams.

  10. James Cr.

    I can’t believe we are going to get to see D. Taylor this year. I really thought he wouldn’t play at all. Even if he can contribute on 3rd downs a little that would be great.

    • Rob Staton

      Let’s wait and hope for the best. He’s only returning to practise, supposedly, next week.

      • Big Mike

        Yep. I’ll believe it when he’s on the game day roster. Have a pint bet with my buddy that we won’t see him til week 16. He says sooner.

  11. Adog

    Just watched the game…I mean the commercials with some football sprinkled about them. I don’t think Russ is healthy…his body language reminds me of when he got stepped on by Suh years back. So of course he needs to work the front of the house and just worry about cooking dessert. Not sure on all the flowers criticism…to me it’s Dunbar who was corrupting this secondary with his listless play.

    • Volume12

      Russ probably isn’t healthy. He’s taken some huge shots. This mini bye might’ve come at just the right time.

    • Big Mike

      “Just watched the game…I mean the commercials with some football sprinkled about them.”

      Good stuff my man. Got a literal LOL out of me. Sadly true but keeps the NFL mostly on broadcast TV so worth it I’m afraid.

      • jed

        The mute button is my best friend when watching the NFL.

    • James Cr.

      Have you ever watched the game on PVR? Oh my goodness you will be done in an Hour and 15 minutes. Absolutely glorious.

      • Adog

        Yeah I work nights…so just about every Monday or Thursday night game for the last eight years are recorded. For one season I ignored keeping up with games so I could have that unique live viewing feeling, but I have found that the shift goes smoother checking the scores at break and then playing game out in my head… where the Seahawks are undefeated for seven years running.

  12. Volume12

    I kinda dig these ND DE’s. Especially Ade Ogundeji (6’4, 270 lbs.). A long, raw, power rusher. Think he goes late day 2. And Daelin Hayes (6’3, 258 lbs.) I like as a day 3 guy. Not sure about his athleticism though.

  13. Chase

    Rob and others, I have a feeling that even if we see Taylor back this year he won’t make much of an impact if any.. Is he more of a physical freak that lost his stock doe to injuries or is he an LJ collier type that is just kind of average? I can’t remember what the consensus was during the draft.

    • Chase


    • Rob Staton

      He never tested, so the info on his physical potential is unknown.

      • Gohawks5151

        Did his tape remind you of anyone? I remember seeing interesting names. Demarcus Lawrence, Alex Okafor, Frank Clark, Anthony Spencer.

      • Chase

        Oh even better. Was just trying to prepare my expected level of disappointment. Hoping he at least looked more physically athletic. Also I’ve seen people here suggesting collier has looked better at 3T, what are your thoughts on that? I felt like he wasn’t big enough but if he can make the plays I’m okay with it.

        • BobbyK

          Taylor has potential to be a good/great pick long-term, though he’s clearly been a bust up to this point. Had teams known the extent of his injury, the Seahawks could have stayed put in the 2nd round and taken him with their own pick (and not blown a 3rd round pick to move up to get him).

          If he could provide 20 2nd and long or 3rd and long snaps per game starting in a month, they could really be in for something special. IF he’s the real deal.

    • Darnell

      This was a good read on Taylor. Includes some clips/thoughts of him prior to the 2019 season (which he played, I believe, with a bone fracture of some sort for most of the season – which is a testament to his football character and toughness).

      I don’t think we’re looking at a limited athlete like Collier here; who to his credit has been showing some disruptive juice on the interior.

      • pdway

        that article sure gives you hope . . .maybe he’ll really be something, once healthy .. .

      • Duceyq

        Darrell Taylor is a Von Miller comp. I’m not sure he can be in peak shape to contribute much this season but his future in Seattle is bright.

    • CaptainJack

      He could look more explosive on tape than Collier and he had a more traditional EDGE physical profile.

    • Sea Mode

      Not a big inside/out type like Collier at all. If anyone, I’d say you’d try to mold him into Cliff Avril.

    • Ghost Mutt

      I’m not expecting anything other than speed of the edge on obvious passing downs.

      I doubt taylor plays much when he’s back, but we’ve had a crippling problem getting off the field on third and long all year. A nascar package of Dunlap, Collier, Reed, and Taylor may help remedy it.

  14. BobbyK

    It’s amazing how one man’s trash (Cincinnati) can be another’s treasure (Seattle) re: Dunlap.

    It’s like a Chris Clemons ripoff trade all over again – he’s just older (but on a team with a franchise QB as opposed to Clem being younger and on a team with a TJack joke of a QB situation).

    10 games into the season, I’ll say this:

    Rob and his critique of the defense was 100% spot on. This defense was a joke. I call it past tense because I’m being hopeful moving forward, even if it proves to be unrealistic. Whenever you’re on pace to shatter 101 years of NFL defensive incompetency through half a season – you know you suck. Anyone thinking otherwise has to be delusional. The only reason the Seahawks had the record they did was because of having a franchise QB – and yet unrealistic fools would claim Rob was stupid for saying they had a bad defense because the season record was X-X. Those folks reminded me of my Grandma who had cancer and didn’t seem to care because she didn’t feel sick (yet). It was easy to ignore (or easy to have your head up your ass).

    Make no mistake, Pete Carroll is the MASTER of team building and culture. While he’s not perfect (who is?), there is nobody I’d rather have lead me into a foxhole and get to convince me it’ll be okay. While some of his personnel decisions have been questionable (bad free agency, trades, draft – overall in recent history… Dunlap trade NOT included), this guy can get people to stay the course and believe things maybe a normal coach could not get others to believe in.

    At this point, I’ll take 7-3. Being a spoiled fan, that’s not good enough anymore (but I sure would have taken those years in the 1990s). We’ve seen one Super Bowl win. I loved it. But when they won, I felt more relieved that they finally did it. I want to have another experience where I’ve seen one and this is about joy! I don’t claim to speak for any other 12, but that’s how I felt – and when you have a QB like Russell Wilson, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for at least 1 more.

    Lets get healthy. Lets hope this ends well. I think it has a chance…

    • Matt

      RIP Tjack

      • BobbyK

        I guess I should feel that way but I’m biased against people who regularly beat their wives.

      • CaptainJack

        Damn, will always be a part of this franchises first championship. RIP

    • James Z

      Nice post, except I’m not sure I’d want Carroll in my foxhole. Unbridled optimism is not a plus there and I’ve been in a few. I would prefer a man with a strong dose of Sherman and Wagner…

      • BobbyK

        Good point. I’m sorry and bad (unintentional) analogy. But you get the overall point of Carroll/good though. Thank you.

  15. Malc from PO

    I absolutely loved our kickoffs last night: dropped in a high, slow arc right in front of the goal line, forcing a return with plenty of time for the coverage team to get there. Stops at the 10 and inside the 20 on kickoffs are great to see. I loathe that a team that might have just given up a TD gets a special chance to score right back, so anything that can be done to thwart kickoff returns is good in my book. Great job by the special teams to work so carefully on those.
    Totally in agreement too with Robbie about the helmet hits on Russ. It felt like the refs ignored this one specifically to give Murray a chance to play hero ball again, and justice was done in the end. But the lack of calls for hits to Wilson’s head is ridiculous, especially when they set the standard with the call against Diggs (a correct call in my opinion).

    • Sea Mode

      Idk. I was thinking about this too. And is having the opposing team start (usually) 5-10 yds behind the 25 worth the risk of giving up a big return that could swing the game? Allowing returns worked great this game, but I’m not sure it’s the best idea moving forward. Maybe PC is hoping for more turnover opportunities? I’m open to being convinced either way.

      • Brik

        Well we were giving up TDs up to this game pretty easy anyway, might as well risk it for the chance to make them have to go a longer field. Plus gives a momentum boost to the defense, like when they stopped him at the 10. I’m guessing the #s are in the favor of risking it, and it worked. Maybe against better returners you don’t though.

  16. charlietheunicorn

    Seahawks next four opponents (Eagles, Giants, Jets, Washington) are a combined 8-21-1.

    • BobbyK

      Which will they lose to? I think they’ll go 3-1. Maybe 4-0. I don’t think they’ll go 2-2 (or worse).

      • TheOtherJordan

        With the way this team plays down to their opponents, I would say the Eagles are the most likely followed by the Giants. Hope I’m wrong but I expect them to lose at least one game they absolutely shouldn’t. I just hope they get out of Washington and that crap turf, healthy. Specifically, Wilson, Carson, and Dunlap.

      • charlietheunicorn

        I want to see the defense continue to improve and more importantly, get the offense going in both the rushing attack and the passing attack (mid range). No more messing around, put your boot on their throats and dominate lessor opponents. If RW looks like he looked Thursday, offense will be fine. The defense has put portions of 3 games in a row together where they looked boarder-line dominant, with Thursday being the overall best example for 4 quarters. Play assignment/ disciplined defense…. and they will go along way this season.

      • Duceyq

        Washington is the team I’m most worried about. Great pass rush and Alex Smith is the type of dink a dunk specialist that gives this team fits. I’m hopeful for 4-0 but I could see 3-1 too.

  17. Kenny Badger

    Dunlap has been a lift fo sho, but if this team is going to have a shot at the super bowl they need help that’s currently not on the active roster and find ways to maximize adams talent. I know this is cart way before horse but mr Brady and the Goff fair poorly when moved from their spots.

  18. Isaac

    I’m excited for the mock draft! I want to know what you guys want to go for… I’d go maybe a top DT or a quality corner?At least, that is what I see as our biggest needs. Get a stud in our rotation in for ford and J. Reed, or get a nice CB that can play alongside S. Griffen (I think we resign him) and we are really good to go, if the D line proves the past few games aren’t a mirage.

    Go Hawks!

    • Hoggs41

      I agree on those two positions. Not sure where a guy like Jaylen Twyman will land in the draft but he would be a nice fit.

  19. Ky Swift

    Rondale Moore would be such an exciting add to our receiving core! Although with only have a 2nd round pick, we have other pressing needs…defense.

    • Sea Mode

      I’ll fall off my chair if he lasts anywhere past the top of R2.

  20. charlietheunicorn

    Pressing needs….

    I think the top of the list for the 2021 Seahawks will be RB…… the position is completely unsettled and with multiple guys with multiple injuries…. I honestly have no idea who will tote the rovk in 2021 or for that fact, be on thr roster in 2021. The last game brought to the fore the reason you need a good RB, so you can maintain balance and completely dominate the time of possession.

    It was really tough to see Bo get injured. I’ve always loved him and thought he had some really nice hard hitting runs in the game… flashing what we loved about him in the past.

    Do we have an consensus on RBs that could realistically be on Seattle’s draft radar next year?

    • Elmer

      Totally agree on Bo. He can help us and I hope they can keep him in Seattle. I don’t know if Penny’s running style will work here long term, being on the lookout for a downhill RB in the draft is something I expect they will do. I also expect them to look at DL, CB, OL.

  21. cha

    Friday Press Conf w PC

    [jackie] Most complete performance this year? “Just what we needed and not a moment too soon…[about Chris Carson] Holy cow I wish you could see Chris right now, unbelievable, right in front of me. Geez! [back to Q] Big step forward last two weeks on D, all the way back to Niner game too. This game put us in a position where we can really move forward defensively.”

    [corbin] Tre Flowers limits Hopkins? “There wasn’t many plays out there, guys did stuff right the whole night, fit together with what we’re doing up front. Really nice game for Tre.”
    [corbin] Sacks on 3 or 4 man rushes? “That’s what we need to see. Best rush night we’ve had.”

    [gregg] Accountability meeting detail? “Kenny org’d it so guys had a chance to speak up, and show what they knew about playing their spot in base. Remarkable. Players talking about assignments and not coaches. Step forward, powerful. Tried to build on that. What it means is guys have arrived. I can’t keep telling you guys it’s coming. We’ve made that point now.”
    [gregg] Since Rams game? “Yes. Jamal’s been playing w one arm. Gonna be much better next game. A lot of critical stuff he does for the defense. Gonna be great in the next couple games.”
    [gregg] Why meeting now? “Weren’t ready. Couldn’t get together. Lack of continuity, guys being out there. Kenny had a great thought to have them speak out. Never seen a better meeting for guys holding themselves accountable and illustrating command of what we’re doing.”

    [michael shawn] How much of that mtg tied to how disciplined guys played? “They’ve taken the next step. Doesn’t mean anything until we come back out and play again. Big statement about everybody knows exactly what they need to do.”
    [michael] One player stand out? “No. 30 guys.”

    PC walked off the podium to talk to Chris Carson

    “Sorry that was too important.”

    [joe fann] Carson, griffin, Pocic against eagles? “Yes.”
    [joe fann] Damien Lewis ever seen anything like that before? “Tuesday watching him, comfortable on practice field. In one days time, couldn’t believe it. Last week first go round and then this week he has to start. Of course he’s going to make mistakes. But all in all great FB game under circumstance. Great mind as a FB player. Flexibility going down the road. Physically capable, good spot for him.”
    [joe fann] Why Lewis over Jamarco? “The way he handled it. He exceeded our expectations.”

    [maz veda] Lockett performance? Carson presence? “Lockett remarkable return, never doubted. Knee really blown up coming out of game. Never wavered. Carson – looked at what we looked like w Hyde. Hitting guys, toughness, is what Chris brings. If we had both running, imagine what that would be like in terms of style. Almost took both for granted when we were throwing so much. The style of our team. FB better when we’re balanced. Fits D, fits ST, the way we play. Knew we could run early, knew we didn’t have to. Defenses are catching up, have to balance out.”

    [tim booth] Dunlap stands out? “Really good FB player, strong, consistent. Smarts shows up, very comfortable with what we’re doing. Wide side of field brings it off the edge. Causes problems. Got a couple rushes in him a game. Favorite play quick screen threw away from him, flying across the LOS to make the tackle.”
    [tim booth] Olsen injury? “4 to 6 weeks deal, that’s what they threw around if he has a ruptured foot. We’ll see.”

    [curtis crab] Lockett health after game? “No updates, I think he’s fine. I thought he was in trouble there. Flexibility and athleticism to escape injury, dangerous position.”
    [curtis crab] D assignments? “Scheme worked out great. Held edges on Kyler. Jamal came on blitz and he still got outside on Jamal. Corraled him for the most part.”

    [jen] DJ Reed returner now? “yeah, love him there. Big part of the returns.”

    [bob condotta] Bobby and KJ keeping everyone together? “Poise and communication to other guys helped everybody. Adjusting during the night, on our base stuff. Convey to the guys around them, see what’s happening, call for adj’s and communicate. Those two in the middle of that. Jamal and Diggs on back end too. But KJ and Bobby took the game over.”
    [bob] Dunbar IR? “Could be one of the guys to come back off 3 week IR. Forces him to have another week to recover. One more week Philly, then we’ll see.”

    [art] Who came up with Lewis at C? “I don’t know, part of conversation, Solari and Chief, those guys work with OL. Physically he could do it, mentally how? Give it to the OL coaches.”

    [brady] Pass rush when not blitzing? “Dunlap factor to be the problem. Carlos doing that for us. Didn’t have that first 7 games. coverage is better. Dunlap first sack big loop in pass rush, took a while, coverage worked.”

    [ben] Penny and Taylor timeline? “Taylor coming back, not sure Penny this week or next. Taylor ahead. Very hopeful for that.”

    [joe fann] Taylor this week? “Practice this week. That’s what I’m counting on. Tuesday first day of practice, we’re shooting for that.”
    [joe] Reed impact? Clutch pickup? “John showed great foresight to make that move. Gets washed by, guy gets IRd. Mid year he’d be here if needed. Worked exactly like they hoped.”

    [gregg] Message thanksgiving week to players? “Crucial time”

    • Sea Mode

      As always, thanks for doing this.

      I’m surprised someone mentioned Flowers as having “limited” Hopkins. I mean, on the stat sheet it looks so, but that 10yd out route was there all night if they wanted it.

      I’m even more surprised PC said Flowers’ play fit with what we’re doing up front!

      I guess Flowers is simply being told to only worry about not getting beat over the top. I guess that’s understandable in normal coverage, but I get super frustrated when we send the house on a blitz and Flowers bails 10 yds deep on the coverage, giving the easy out from the pressure. Gotta coordinate those calls and press when others are blitzing. There won’t be time or space to get beaten deep if the blitz does its job.

      • Rob Staton

        People seem to have latched on to Hopkins’ stats as a cause to praise Flowers.

        I guess the mistakes are quickly forgotten about — such as the terrible angle he took on the checkdown where he forced the receiver outside on 2nd and 16 (?), so that he had a clear run to the sticks for a first down. Had he simply contained or forced the WR back inside, there were enough bodies to make the stop. Or there was the missed tackle over the middle when he was right there that led to another huge down and distance conversion.

        These are basic errors that lead to explosive plays. The fact Arizona never really exploited the comeback route like other teams in our soft coverage is no review of the CB play.

        Arizona rely on Kyler Murray to make magic happen. I don’t think there’s anything that sophisticated about their offense. The teams that are more precise and game plan better will take what’s there (such as LA and Buffalo did). Nobody should be celebrating the rebirth of the defense based on this game. Let’s wait until they’ve played a handful of good games in a row.

        I really hope when Griffin gets back, that DJ Reed stays at outside corner instead of Flowers.

        • cha

          That and PC’s praise for Flowers are giving people a lot of reason to think that the coverage issue is “fixed”.

          I’d posit that PC knows Flowers is fragile (he’s said as much several times this season) and in the face of so, so many CB injuries has chosen a tack of propping Flowers up publicly in an attempt to further bolster his play. And that’s not an indefensible position – sometimes positive reinforcement is the best way to go, even when it’s not warranted. But it doesn’t mean they won’t consider a change when the other CBs are finally healthy.

        • BruceN

          Flowers’ numbers were a mirage. Hopkins could’ve had many more yards if Kyler looked his way more often. I was also thinking about the big play to Hopkins where he missed a tackle that turned a small gain to a big one. I agree with you about a Griffin/Reed combo when Griffin comes back. I realize this D still a liability but we’re starting to see glimmers of hope. Now it’s been 6 quarters of decent play. My biggest concern about the scheme is being addressed. I saw much more scheme in this game than any other game. Well timed stunts, hidden or delayed blitzes (Instead of lining up and telegraphing that blitzes are conning and from where) or showing full pressure and backing off into coverage. Basically what other teams have been doing to Russell to confuse him. And Thursday night we confused Kyler. Why it has taken 11 weeks to get here is a mystery. And let’s see if we continue. I have little confidence in KNJ. But I think Dunlap’s presence has been a shot in the arm for the entire defense.

    • cha

      Editorial note: Michael Shawn Dugar got busted for asking his questions while lying on his couch.

  22. Kelly Smith

    I know this is off topic but since we got 10 days has anybody looked or reviewed how the LBs stated at the end of round stack up together? Queen, Murray, Brooks, Chaisson. I’d love to read someone’s view who’s a lot better at reviewing players than I.

    • Rob Staton

      K’Lavon Chaisson — 46.4
      Patrick Queen — 28.9
      Kenneth Murray — 48.9
      Jordyn Brooks — 40.8

      So everyone has struggled so far based on those grades.


      Clyde Edwards-Helaire — 72.4
      Brandon Aiyuk — 79.0
      Chase Claypool — 74.6
      Willie Gay Jr — 69.5
      Raekwon Davis — 64.8
      Antoine Winfield Jr — 64.6

      But what do we know…?

      • CaptainJack

        Seeing that Raekwon Davis is playing really well stings…

      • DougM

        Brooks dropped from a 50 to a 40 grade in one week.

      • Matt

        That Brooks pick…man that one is going to hurt for a long time. I’m sure he will eventually become an average LB, but that’s not what you want out of an older, 1st Round LBer.

        It is pretty amazing how embarrassing Schneider has been at the top of the draft over the years.

  23. AndrewP

    I agree with every word printed in this article and cannot wait for mock draft…

    Rob is literally the best in the industry at CFB to NFL analysis and pairing.

  24. Ukhawk

    Carson, Pocic and Griffen back is huge.

    A healthy Carson will be the single best thing for the defense!

  25. Duceyq

    Washington is the team I’m most worried about. Great pass rush and Alex Smith is the type of dink a dunk specialist that gives this team fits. I’m hopeful for 4-0 but I could see 3-1 too.

    • Elmer

      And Smith has a good WR in McLaurin.

  26. Bankhawk

    Just taking a poll here: a friend was looking to rank Seahawks RB’s and dubbed S.A. The G.O A. T.
    NOW I allowed that the stats were Waaay against me, and that this was probably mostly a matter of personal stylistic preference, but also pointed out that to compare the lines they ran behind as Hawks is pretty much a fools errand. Anybody care to weigh in, either for, or against?
    Also, Rob-I’ve been pretty silent this year, but I’m foursquare in support of your logic in critiquing the approach applied by the front office and coaching staff to the roster reset this year. That’s not me being sycophantic, as I’m sure if I tried I could dredge up side issues or minor points on which we differ.
    But ‘you da man!’ and I’m in your corner 24-7 when the trolls start nipping at your heels. Whatever the outcome for the team, you have done a superhuman job of making the season memorable and keeping it real.
    Also, as ever, my undying gratitude to Cha for his indefatigable work in cranking out the synopses of Pete’s pressers! Those are the absolute gold standard!

    • Rob Staton

      Marshawn Lynch is the best RB this team has ever had. It’s not even a debate for me.

      He’s one of the all-time Seahawks greats regardless of position.

      • Big Mike

        Shaun Alexander doesn’t like your opinion, but I do.
        For what he brought as far as intangibles are concerned as well as skillset, I don’t put him very far below Walt and Largent and Russ who are my top 3.

    • James Kupihea

      S.A. also faced a lot of criticism because he was so often brought down on initial contact, and of course perpetually banged up (some weeks he looked like a mummy…). To fans he seemed soft. I didn’t hate him, I just remember how he could often fail to deliver. That MVP season was fun though. Marshawn Lynch was the exact opposite. Grit. Tough.

    • Denver Hawker

      Also recall S.A. running left and having the line move 5 yards for him behind Walter Jones, Steve Hutchinson, Tobeck and Mack Strong. He had All-Pro blocking.

    • BruceN

      Rob beat me to it. SA was a good running back. But Beastmode was the best RB Seahawks have ever had. And it’s not even close.

      • Bankhawk

        I also recall talk of S.A. Ducking hits and running out of bounds over taking on contact. Talk that ramped up notably after he got his big pay-day.
        Now, my circumstances didn’t really allow for me to see much football or closely follow the games during the Holmgren years, but Lynch will always be #1 for me, and it may be that I’d put Warner at #2.

        • BruceN

          Agree with you on your observation about SA. He didn’t look for contact (nice way of saying he avoided it). And wasn’t as productive after his last big contract.

  27. Rob Staton

    One thing that hasn’t really been mentioned.

    In back-to-back weeks the Seahawks have preferred to use guys pulled off the street (Collins, Scarborough) to run inside over Deejay Dallas.

    So while Dallas’ personality and energy might be infectious and clearly the Seahawks like him for that — if he can’t even be trusted to run the ball inside ahead of guys they’re just finding from anywhere, he doesn’t really warrant a roster spot.

    When Penny returns, Dallas probably needs to head to the PS.

    • Submanjoe

      Was Dallas on the pre draft radar for the Seahawks? I don’t recall hearing much about him. He seems to be another example of a guy they liked and drafted but don’t know how to make the best use of or draw up plays to maximize his best traits.

      • Rob Staton

        Yes he was. He fit their preferred physical profile.

        Jonathan Taylor — 5-10, 226lbs, 36 inch vert, 10-3 broad
        Cam Akers — 5-10, 217lbs, 35.5 inch vert, 10-2 broad
        Deejay Dallas — 5-10, 217lbs, 33.5 inch vert, 9-11 broad
        AJ Dillon — 6-0, 247lbs, 41 inch vert, 10-11 broad
        Zack Moss — 5-9, 223lbs, 33 inch vert, DNP broad
        James Robinson — 5-9, 219lbs, 40 inch vert, 10-5 broad
        Patrick Taylor — 6-0, 217lbs, 34 inch vert, 10-3 broad

        • Henry Taylor

          Seeing James Robinson on that list really speaks to how predictive those combine traits are for running backs. I swear every year there’s a productive late round/udfa RB they were on that list of explosive backs.

          Chris Carson (7th round) Aaron Jones (5th round out of UTEP) Jordon Howard (5th round). And probably lots more I’m forgetting.

    • Kurt ZUMDIECK


      That’s my take on Dallas too, that his eyes are dropping or he is not being decisive about his cuts, something is wrong cuz there were a couple runs that should of been ten, fifteen yard gains because of the blocking and the defensive numbers.

      As they say, DD runs to darkness. They see it on film and maybe it can be cured but it doesn’t augur well for his future if walk-ons are the ones getting the reps.

    • cha

      Dallas got a tryout in the SF game. Despite 2 TDs he didn’t provide much spark. Basically kept the home fires burning at RB and gave the offense just enough balance to not have the defense completely key on RW.

      That’s not a great review of a 4th round pick. Hindsight says Tyler Biadasz might have been a more beneficial pick in the 4th round.

      • Rob Staton

        I think they muddled that process. They needed to draft a RB because at that point they didn’t even have Carlos Hyde. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny were both injured. So their depth chart was basically Travis Homer and nothing else.

        But the talent at RB was available early in the draft and then there was a clear and obvious drop off. By waiting until day three — sure you avoid the criticism of going RB early by some fans/media but ultimately it’s pretty clear Deejay Dallas just hasn’t got the stuff to start. If you get a Clyde Edwards-Helaire instead you can feel a lot more confident moving on from Carson if the price isn’t right. Now I’m starting to feel that they will end up believing they have to retain Carson as a priority which will be a gamble.

        For the sake of having Jordyn Brooks — a linebacker for the future — I’m not sure it was really worth it. And we can already see CEH is as good as he looked at LSU. If I could have CEH or Brooks right now, I’m having CEH.

        It’s interesting that in the range they took Dallas there was actually some good looking options. Not just Biadasz but also Shane Lemieux, Joe Reed, Colt McKivitz, Jason Strowbridge, Trevis Gipson, Bryce Hall, Nick Harris, Tyler Johnson — some appealing value.

        • Lewis

          I like Dallas and would like to see more of him, but no denying this. Having CEH here would have been amazing. It’s asking a lot, but hopefully Penny can hit the ground running, so to speak.

        • cha

          That, plus the way they pursued FA this offseason isn’t wholly reassuring for 2021.

    • Brik

      Maybe they want to make sure they have at least one back in the playoffs who isn’t injured, that they they also like. I wouldn’t count on it though.

    • Elmer

      Or Homer needs to go to PS or IR. You’re right, they are going to value strong inside runners. Depending on future injuries we may not see much more of Homer and Dallas – although Dallas seems to be used as a 3rd down receiver.

  28. Big Mike

    So why the hell did no one ask about Shell in that presser? Anyone have any up to date news on him? I mean an “ankle sprain” could be a few days thing or if it’s the dreaded high variety, a number of weeks.

  29. SeaTown

    TOP BILLIN with an interesting break down of the Seahawks D on Thursday.:

    Still work to be done but definitely a step in right direction.

    • Kurt ZUMDIECK


      Right now, Qandre Diggs is left in no man’s land, cuz he doesn’t know what that Jets freelancer is gonna do since he probably told the team he has a permanent GREENDOG greenlight to blitz, wherever he is at.

      Look at that last Arizona TD pass…. he decides to blitz two seconds into the play only to run into the wash of a…. DOWNFIELD TIGHT END. His man is wide open in the end zone. Assignment? WTH?

  30. Rick Lynch

    I love your analysis There is one irritating feture of your writing, however, and that is you say “try and” ans in “the Seahawks will try and play . . .” What you mean is ‘try to play.”

    • Rob Staton

      Well, I’m sorry that has irritated you.

    • Lewis

      If you are going to be critical of someone else’s grammar or writing, try not to make multiple mistakes of your own in the process.

    • Matt

      Do you find people intentionally distancing themselves from you at parties or other social settings? I think I may know why…

    • Sea Mode


      Can’t believe we’ve come to this, but ok:

      Try and is standard and fully established, albeit used more in British English (especially speech) than American English. As well as being fine in informal contexts, it’s also prevalent in edited prose that’s not aiming to be very formal or fussy.

    • Elmer

      Really? I

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