Home truths and harsh realities for the 5-1 Seahawks

It’s time Pete Carroll was asked some difficult questions about the pass rush

John Schneider should be challenged too but unlike other GM’s he never talks during the regular season apart from a weekly confab with team employee Steve Raible before each game.

Both said at the start of the off-season that fixing the pass rush was a priority and it’s time for someone to step up to the plate and push Carroll on how they went about it.

The Seahawks have nine sacks meaning they’re on pace for 24 for the season — four fewer than a year ago.

Kyler Murray was pressured on just one of 48 dropbacks yesterday for an astonishing 2.1% pressure rate.

This isn’t a question that needs to be saved until the season is over.

Even if Carroll dances around the topic — sometimes you’ve simply got to be seen to be asking the question. The fans deserve an explanation.

It was painfully predictable that the work on the defensive line wasn’t good enough this year. If Carroll and Schneider are going to have so much power due to ownership being in a holding pattern, they need to be held accountable in other ways.

So how has spending $50m in free agency, three first round picks, a second round pick and three third round picks meant their self-confessed priority has actually got worse?

And what do they intend to do about it? Do they need to be aggressive again before the deadline?

The questions must be asked.

Enough already with the sloppy play

Carroll often tells fans to ‘suck it up’ after the latest narrow victory. He says he enjoys the near constant nail-biters and believes it builds confidence and mental strength for key games later in the year.

Where’s the evidence for that though?

Here’s another way of looking at it. The Seahawks too often play sloppy, mistake-riddled football that undermines the talent they possess and keeps inferior teams alive in games.

Rather than build any kind of ‘experience’ for key matchups down the line, the sloppy play simply re-emerges in fatal fashion in the post-season:

Carolina in 2015 — 31-0 down at half time

Atlanta in 2016 — 26-13 down after three quarters

Dallas in 2018 — unable to get the job done

Green Bay in 2019 — 21-3 down at half-time

When they get to the big moments, they often get punished. It should be seen as unacceptable how often they put themselves in a massive hole in key playoff games and the connection should be made to their preceding regular season performances.

That’s not to say teams can’t be streaky. Look at the Chiefs in the playoffs last year. Yet the Seahawks seem to barely ever comfortably win games against weaker opponents. Why is that? Rather than it be referred to as a cute aspect of the Carroll era — isn’t it right to think the Seahawks should tidy things up?

Especially when the margin for error these days is so much smaller?

Take the Benson Mayowa penalty yesterday. Why didn’t the coaches or even the team leaders on the field make it abundantly clear that nobody should be rushing on that late field goal — let alone trying to jump over the protection?

This wasn’t just a careless error — it speaks to the preparedness of a team. It’s a review of how well your players understand situational moments.

Mayowa went all out for that kick like it was the deciding moment. In reality, Arizona kicking the field goal was a minor issue. Making sure the defense was protecting a seven-point lead and not a three-point lead in the final minute was the key.

All it needed was one person to give the order. ‘Don’t rush’. ‘Don’t give away a stupid penalty’. ‘Let them have these three points’.

It sums up the messy nature of Seattle’s play.

Of course they show plenty of grit, character and cajones. Nobody can question the spirit of any of Carroll’s teams.

Yet is it too much to ask for them not to shoot themselves in the foot so often? To play an occasional clean game of football? To actually protect or enhance a handsome lead rather than throw it away?

I struggle to see the valuable lesson from failing to win football games conventionally. Too often the Seahawks are a team that can’t play consistent, four-quarters football and it’s time that was addressed and fixed.

Maybe rather than the fans it’s the coach who needs to suck things up and establish a cleaner brand of football?

The Seahawks are stuck in philosophical awkwardness

Let Russ Cook? I don’t think this is the shift that many believe. I think it’s a case of needs must.

Seattle knows they need scoreboard pressure to bail out a terrible defense. They know the only shot is to elevate Wilson to a MVP level and give him the chance to win games.

Yet at the heart of the Carroll project is a desire for balanced, connected football. A closed circle.

You see it bursting through in games like yesterday. At the end he relied on four runs by backup running back Carlos Hyde to try and win rather than put the ball in the hands of the star quarterback and risk stopping the clock.

Ultimately he was content to try and let the defense close things out.

The old style. The old philosophy.

But the new Seahawks cannot execute it.

Make no mistake Carroll wants to play Carroll ball. He just can’t. Not with this team.

But when exactly are they going to be able to play it any time in the future?

They have no high picks in 2021 or 2022. Like everyone they’ll have little money to spend. They’ve invested in the players they’ve invested in and might add a bloated Jamal Adams contract to the bloated Bobby Wagner one.

The question I have is — after some mixed form from Wilson in the last three games — is everyone entirely comfortable here? Or is this a marriage of pure convenience?

It’s not wrong to expect or want more

The Seahawks possess one of the all-time great quarterbacks. As we’ve seen with Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers — this doesn’t always guarantee endless titles and success.

However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aspire to win the Super Bowl every year.

Seattle came into this season needing to show improvement and progression. For the investment in terms of money and picks — they had to look like one of the true big beasts in the NFL.

Instead, the defense is worse than it’s ever been and they’ve never been more reliant on the quarterback.

Is it any coincidence that Russell Wilson has already thrown more interceptions this year than in the whole of 2019? He’s on pace to throw the most of his career by far. Perhaps that comes with the territory of throwing more, which Wilson clearly is. Yet the errors against Arizona and Minnesota were so strikingly bizarre, it’s hard not to wonder if this utter dependence is weighing on his shoulders.

You could easily argue it’s unfair to criticise the team. After all, they’re 5-1 and just suffered their first loss of the season. Yet it’s the manner of what we’ve seen so far. The toiling against bad New England and Dallas teams. The overall arse-kicking from 1-5 Minnesota. Now a blown and botched game against Arizona.

None of this exudes confidence in a team being able to take the next step.

They’ve only won the NFC West once in the last five years. In that timeframe, two division rivals have reached the Super Bowl and the other made the NFC Championship game.

That’s not good enough. They need to go further. This needed to be the year where they jumped forward and got back into serious Super Bowl contention.

Can anyone seriously say, based on what they’ve seen so far, that you’d back this team to win 2-3 playoff games to reach the Super Bowl?

And now they’re already 0-1 in the NFC West with Arizona at 2-0 and with the same five overall wins.

Are they destined to tread the same path? Getting to the post-season but more or less making up the numbers? That’s what I thought before the start of the season and unfortunately I still feel that way today.

I don’t think there’s anything they can do to fix the defense

Carlos Dunlap? Ryan Kerrigan?

Sure, why not. But let’s get real. Ageing defensive linemen who are being phased out are not coming to the rescue.

As Chris Collinsworth noted during the broadcast yesterday — the Seahawks badly lack a premier edge rusher. They have nobody who can create 1v1 pressure off the edge.

Bringing in an older player to try and elevate this team isn’t going to cut it.

Let’s also be realistic about returning players and recent additions. Snacks Harrison has been in a holding pattern for three weeks because he isn’t in shape. How realistic is it that he suddenly comes flying in to make an impact?

And while Jamal Adams’ return will be welcome — that’s not going to solve the biggest problem in terms of the lack of sacks and pressures. The Seahawks tried to use him as a designated rusher, blitzing more than anyone else in the league before his injury. The end result? They gave up more explosive plays than any other team in the league.

The Seahawks made their bed with this defense in March. Their 2020 free agency session can be filed alongside what looked to be an unfathomable approach to the 2019 draft, the way they’ve handled trying to replace Frank Clark and the desperate move, in my opinion, they made to get Jamal Adams when it became clear they’d not added anyone of significance to the defense, had all but lost Clowney and then paid a kings ransom right before the season started to acquire the one big name who was available.

The reality probably is this is the unit you’re going to be watching for the next 10 games. I don’t think anyone is coming in before the deadline.

Let’s end on a positive

A loss can linger but it can also motivate. Look at the Green Bay Packers this week. Humiliated by Tampa Bay but then comfortable winners against Houston.

The Seahawks don’t get a gift like the flailing Texans. They have to play suddenly red-hot San Francisco.

However — if the Arizona game re-focuses minds and delivers a much improved performance, people will quickly move on and there will be momentum behind the season again.

The problem is — lose next week and you’re 0-2 in the division before you’ve even played the team you struggle with the most in the NFC West. The Niners game is a huge one and dare I say, a must-win.

If you missed yesterday’s instant reaction podcast, check it out below:

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  1. cha

    PC seemed very down after the game and this morning.

    I’d really like to hear someone ask about his crowing the first few weeks about how ‘everyone thinks I’m crazy, but I fricking love close games’ after last night’s game.

    I know it’s probably my frustration and spitefulness taking over a bit there, but when you talk like that and are all pumped, and then Bobby Wagner gets up all sullen and frustrated because the defense got thrashed, it sends a very strange mixed message.

  2. BobbyK

    Had Moore not got the holding penalty in overtime the Seahawks would be 6-0 and a bunch of fans would be whining because we’re being too hard on the defense.

    • Rob Staton


      I can’t tell you how many messages I’ve received demanding I admit I was wrong because the team started 5-0. Yet the whole point of the issues I/we raised was the defense isn’t good enough, they did a bad job in free agency, it could easily cost them in the NFC West and playoff games and they run the risk of wasting another season of prime Wilson as a consequence.

      None of that has been proven wrong so far. Not one bit of it.

      I think people have confused legitimate criticism with thinking the Seahawks will have a losing season. Or that you’re a ‘hater’ or are being negative for the sake of it. When really it’s just having an opinion and in the case of this place — a platform to voice those concerns.

      • Elmer

        You have been right, the defense would be good on a Pop Warner team, but on the NFL it’s obviously not good. In a departure from positivity Bobby Wagner said as much. They have talent, is it because the coordinator is not good or because the bad parts of the D are really bad.

        • Rob Staton

          The defensive line is terrible.

          They haven’t been able to draft and develop for a long time now with any degree of success.

          Too many players are playing within themselves.

          Too many errors.

          Too many bad or average players are playing in roles they shouldn’t be anywhere near.

          There may be an issue with the coordinator but I always think that’s a lazy cop-out, especially when the Head Coach is the main man on defense. But it’ll be hard for Norton to survive this. It’s almost certainly his final year as DC.

          • BobbyK

            “Too many bad or average players are playing in roles they shouldn’t be anywhere near.”

            I wouldn’t be happy with Mayowa and Collier as the back-ups in a normal year. That’s how bad the EDGE situation is. Let alone they start!

            • Rob Staton

              Agree completely.

              Collier is just a below average player unfortunately with no upside. He’s a third string DE or a backup at a push. Mayowa is what he’s always been — a third or fourth DE on a roster and nothing more.

              • Gary

                And that my friend, is a microcosm of all that ails this franchise. Those responsible for the Seahawks’ talent acquisition traded Frank Clark to acquire the draft pick with which they selected L.J. Collier 29th overall in the first round.

          • Elmer

            Outside cornerbacks don’t look very good to me either. Maybe because they are giving up short completions so they don’t get beaten deep.

            • Rob Staton

              Cornerbacks look rubbish.

              Safeties look rubbish.

              Linebackers have moments but they’re costing $25m this year.

              D-line is a disaster zone.

  3. Elmer

    Likely without Carson. Carlos Hyde ain’t it. With Carson they win in regulation.

  4. Rob Staton

    Everson Griffen is available for trade:


    • Nick

      I am very sad about last night. Genuinely feel frustrated that we put so much on Russ, frustrated with his decision making, frustrated with our defense. Bobby Wagner looks old. Tre Flowers is genuinely one of the worst CBs of the last decade in Seattle. Shaquem Griffin almost always runs into a brick wall. I know there are positives. Carson is a beast. Russ is MVP. The O-line is solid. But there’s no way this team wins a Super Bowl this year unless something changes on D. You cannot let your opponents score 30+ points every single game. Even if you have the MVP.

    • BobbyK

      This would make too much sense. He won’t cost much in terms of draft pick compensation and he’d fit under the cap.

      Why would the Cowboys want to keep him and waste that money when he doesn’t fit what they do defensively especially when they could get a draft pick in return?

      You can’t waste a season after you’ve traded a 1/1/3 for a strong safety and then hagle over a mid or late round pick when your black hole and largest need goes ignored.

    • Simo

      Sure, why not?, depending on the cost. But does he really move the needle on this DL? How has he been playing this year? As an aging veteran, is it really worth it at this stage? We have very little draft capital now, so even the late round pick they have to give in trade might be worth a few games of Griffen.

      • Rob Staton

        I don’t think any of these old pass rushers will move the needle to be honest.

        But I also kind of think… what the hell. I’ll try anything. Can’t be any worse.

        Not sure I can watch this defense as it is for another 10 games.

        • Rob Staton

          Florio on the Everson Griffen talk:

          “Griffen, an accomplished edge rusher and great leader, could help a contender like, say, the Seahawks, who would benefit from someone/anyone who can get to the quarterback.”


          It’s quite something when members of the national media are taking the piss out of your pass rush.

          • TomLPDX

            I hate to say this but I’ve just lost all confidence in our FO to do anything, ANYTHING! to help this defense. They’ll pass or get outbid because they are too cheap.

            • Rob Staton

              I’ve lost all faith in their ability to construct a roster.

              They will have hits. Metcalf is a good example.

              But in terms of being to build a Championship roster again? I need to see it to believe it.

          • pdway

            oh, let’s make it happen for crying out loud . . . .i am willing to pass the hat on SDB to contribute . . .

  5. Darnell

    Further to Rob ending on a positive – I think Arizona is pretty decent, and divisional games, especially when you’re in 1st , are always tough.

    And Seattle pretty much had to piss on themselves in order to lose by 3 in overtime on the road (their first special teams penalties of the season, 3 uncharacteristic interceptions from Russ, Deejay not being ready for the Travis role). Rob’s point on sloppiness hit the nail on the head.

    • BobbyK

      I don’t really consider a game with hardly any fans a “home” or “away” contest. Seems pretty neutral.

      • Darnell

        Sure. But let’s not confuse your opinion (as stated above) with facts.

  6. Big Mike

    I’d like to address the psychology of Pete Carroll at the present. When he says things like he loves close games, and in one breath talks about Darrell Taylor coming in to give a boost to a struggling pass rush and the next breath saying Taylor can’t even move laterally and saying we just need to “find ourselves” and so on and so forth to me reeks of a self delusional man or a man that’s trying really hard to delude the world around him. Oh sure, some of it is coach speak but especially the grasping at straws with Taylor makes me truly believe he is at least in part deluding himself into thinking they can just “coach ’em up” and along with Taylor playing, all will be better.

    As Rob and others have pointed out, since the unfortunate death of Paul Allen, it would seem Pete answers to no one. I think this is contributing tremendously to said self-delusion. Many people who have achieved a large deal of success get to the point where they feel smarter than the room so to speak and start going off the rails a bit in their decision making thinking they are nearly infallible. The drafts we have seen imo are very reflective of that. The self-convincing that Clowney would come back because of “the culture” is another example. Without Paul to answer to, Pete has made mistakes and then compounded them particularly in the case of the Adams trade and goes merrily along his way because no one is there to question him. He’s the king. People don’t question the king if the king surrounds himself with yes men (his present DC for example). The only person to push back on him has been Russell Wilson and we saw how Pete hung him out to dry on the AB thing. It felt like a situation of “How dare you question my authority? I’ll show you”. And btw, John ain’t pushing back. He’s a subordinate to Pete.

    It has been suggested for a number of years that Russell Wilson will never win another Super Bowl with Pete Carroll as his HC. Sadly, that looks more and more like a reality.

    • Submanjoe

      I pray reality hits Pete in the face because I don’t know what else will. Maybe Russell. This defense is absurdly bad and Pete should be embarrassed.

    • TomLPDX

      Good one, Big Mike.

    • Noah Parker

      Big mike! Gotta seriously disagree with you here. Pete Carroll is not like that, yes the guy is overly optimistic often but not what you are describing. The dude has been a class act for the hawks and city of Seattle. I’m not another yes man either as I would question decisions – but not his character.

      • Big Mike

        It’s not a question of character. I did not once question Pete Carroll’s character. There would be no reason to do so. I merely offered a psychological theory as to why the obviously questionable decisions are bweing made. It possibly is not even a conscious thing on his part.

  7. cha

    Monday Press Conf w PC

    “No less disappointed than what happened in that game after looking at the film. Many opps to win the FB game. Been in situation where we counted on things and we missed it. They got a good win. Guys banged up in this game, don’t have definitive stuff right now. Mean some guys have to step up. Niners feel that too. Battling and scrapping. Great matchup.”

    [jen mueller] Carson & Homer injury? “Mid-foot sprain. Week to week, we don’t know, won’t until end of week. Homer bruised knee, not a knee injury. Has a chance to recover from.”

    [corbin] Brooks’ performance Sunday? “Seen from him. Really good ball player. Fast and aggressive, plays downhill. Just getting started. Expect him to play well, effective. When he gets comfortable will be a big factor for us.”

    [Curtis crab] Defense overall after last night? “Gave up a lot of stuff. Lot of rushing yards in 4th qtr. They spread us out, we didn’t play as aggressive as we wanted. They got done what they needed, just barely. Things we’ll do differently next time we play them.”

    [michael shawn] 3rd down trouble? “Generating pressure on QB. Not just pass rushers, all of it. Still have to make it more difficult on the QB. Whole key is that guy throwing it and decisions he make. Make it harder.”

    [tim booth] Bring in RB this week for depth? “Difficult to get guys in time, practice and have a chance to be familiar. Have some things we can do if we have to. Couple creative thoughts but we’ll keep in house.”
    [tim] Last possession taking ball out of RW’s hands? “Options in calls we made. Could’ve thrown. Didn’t forget about him.”

    [bob condotta] Griffin injury? “Concussion and hammy thing. Gotta see how he does. By Thursday know what’s going on.”
    [bob] Running game after Chris? “Carlos different style, ran the ball really well for us. Nice job tosses on perimeter. RW helped us, taking what they gave. Felt pretty good about it. Carlos available, keep going if Chris can’t make it.”

    [john boyle] Assess RW’s game lots yards/INTs? “Spectacular game in a number of ways. But all gets clouded in INTs. I don’t think they’ll keep coming. Last one RW tried to push something wasn’t available, tough decision there. Life of a QB.”

    [art thiel] RW mistakes, trying too hard, Defense vulnerability, become a problem? “No. I think that’s a problem anybody can get into, not unique to russ in that regard. I don’t think that has anything to do with what’s happening on the other side of the ball.”

    [Jackie] Learning exp, loss galvanizes team? “Yeah I do, a few things happen, couple critical penalties changed the game (special teams), had our chance to finish with DK in the end zone, penalties brought back. Hammer home how important it is to do things right longer than the other guys. Couldn’t be more clear when we watched the film today.”

    [brady] Overall assessment of Ken Norton job? “I’m part of that too. Have to keep working to put our players in the best position to be more effective. Didn’t help them much. When we needed to adjust we didn’t get it done. Really like to feel continuity of everyone there, and not quite there yet. We’re gonna make a turn for the better, gonna make a difference.”
    [brady] Jamal? “Don’t know yet. Workouts going great. Gonna have to show it. So close to being back, carry us until late in the week.”

    [joe fann] Defensive resp you and Ken in playcalling? “Work close with whole staff, calls in situations. Kenny calls the game, I’ll add stuff. Stay out of playcallers mind I believe. Work to complement, I’m right here with it, get it cleaned up.”
    [joe fann] Improvement? Trying things and see if it clicks? “Dancing around specifics, not all DL to do pressuring, variety of ways to help him. Different spots in secondary. Last night, made it straight for them, thought we’d outlast them, they were crisper. Combination of things to get things done, utilizing people to take care of issues.”

    [Gregg bell] Alton Robinson role? “Outside edge rusher. liked thought of keeping Benson out there, and Griff out there for this game. They run so much.”
    [Gregg] Spy role handcuff him? “Assigned to QB.”
    [Gregg] Option for diff role? “Yes, Kyler murray different player.”
    [Gregg] COVID bringing new guys in 2-3 weeks? “Yeah it is. Whole different dynamic to handling roster.”

    [maz veda] Def continuity injuries? “Jamal back out there, Taylor back. Nice to see where that leads us. Brooks back out there, big deal to us, first game back. Really see he’s got a big factor as we develop him and get him comfortable, need him.”
    [maz] Brooks keep from doing too much? “Coaching. Learn to read him and understand and communicate with him. Keep him on track. Issue is as big as anything I’m dealing with on the whole team. Listen to them, respond to good and bad. Get a guy’s mind competitive and sharp.”

    [AJ] Griffen available in trade? Tabs on players available? “Facts, in on everything we can know of. Legitimately has been convo John knows it. Listening to whatever options are. A lot of factors in all this. Cap, all kinds of deals. Point being, interested? Yeah. Focused on stuff like that.”
    [AJ] Shopping on both side of the ball? “Yes.”

    [ben Arthur] Green and Dorsett? “Green ready to practice this week, opp to play next week. No update on Phillip, at 90% clip right now. Important week.”

    [bob] Carlos hurt? “Hammy tight. Watching.”
    [bob] Penny? “Working out today, looked good. On the docs, no timeline. Running hard on the grass today. close.”

    [Curtis crab] DJ Reed? “Real instinctive player. Nice FB on film, versatile, flashy. Great feet, burst, like to see in the spot he plays. Anxious to see what he does this week. Eligible to get back out this week.”

    [joe fann] Sullivan DE long term next year or chance this year? “He could play for us on either side of the ball right now. Whether we can make that move, we have to call it pretty quick. Haven’t crossed the threshold of calling it yet, gotta get him out there and see. Played in HS. Made good progress.”

    • Big Mike

      “RW mistakes, trying too hard, Defense vulnerability, become a problem? “No. I think that’s a problem anybody can get into, not unique to russ in that regard. I don’t think that has anything to do with what’s happening on the other side of the ball.”
      Bullshit Pete

    • Big Mike

      “We’re gonna make a turn for the better, gonna make a difference.”
      When Pete. Why would we believe it’s going to change when we’ve seen the same thing for 6 straight games now?

      • Rob Staton

        Empty, pointless words.

      • Simo

        Might actually be better if Pete just said, “Hey guys, this is the team and guys we have this year, so we’re just gonna keep trying to improve! Maybe we will, and maybe we won’t. We thought our DL guys would show big improvements from last year, and ya know what, we were wrong!!”

    • Rob Staton

      Still no question about the way they handled the pass rush this off-season.

      No questions on missing out on Antonio Brown.

      Question about Everson Griffen — fair enough, good topic — but would’ve liked a question along the lines of whether he feels they need to be to do something given the way this defense has played? Do they need to add? Is that the key here?

      I thought a poor quality press conference again. After a game like that some pushing and probing is necessary and I think Pete gets it. He wouldn’t bite anyone’s head off. Nobody challenged. The second question was a softball about Jordyn Brooks flying around the field.

      • cha

        I’m still trying to grasp the answer on the pass rush. ‘It’s not all on the down lineman.’ Really? Do you honestly think coverage will be a consistent provider of sacks? Has your scheme changed, or are you just trying to take some heat off your awful pass rushers?

        • Rob Staton

          I think he’s just saying words at this point.

          Anything to get in and out of the press conference.

          • Jordan E

            I think it minds Jamal Adams is gonna be sent on like every other play again lol

          • Noah Parker

            One thing I took away from PCs presser today was when he addressed the three runs in a row to give the ball away towards the end of the game / why not put it in Russ’ hands there. He said that throwing the ball was an option there, I took to mean we had audibles ready or whatever. Essentially it sounded like Russ could have thrown it if he saw an opening. Something to consider when I’m coaching / play calling from my couch. We don’t see it all.

            Also, “continuity” of having Darell Taylor and Adams back was a little scary to hear from him…made me think they are waiting on these guys and not going to attack the open market. Personally, I would love Everson Griffin.

    • Big Mike

      [brady] Jamal? “Don’t know yet. Workouts going great. Gonna have to show it. So close to being back, carry us until late in the week.”
      That’s Pete speak for “another week”. If I’m wrong, I’ll chow the crow happily.

  8. Big Mike

    Again he mentions Taylor getting (back?). Fantasy Island Pete

    • Big Mike

      Literally grasping at straws.

      • Big Mike

        Same thing with the HS DE Sullivan LOL

        • Big Mike

          “He was good there in High School”. God does he know how desperate that sounds? How self-delusional that sounds?

          • Simo

            Wouldn’t it be hysterical though if Sullivan starts seeing time at LEO, and immediately becomes our best pass rusher!! Hey, I mean which of us wouldn’t take that scenario, although it’s extremely unlikely Sullivan produces anything at Edge!

            • dj 1/2 way

              Yes. That would be fun and distracting, and the kind of “manna from Heaven” that Seahawks fans have come to expect. That was the biggest Surprise Sunday….with multiple opportunities to pull a rabbit out of a hat, we got a rat instead.

              While we are at it (forgive me Rob) what other offensive players could contribute on defense? Will Dissely used to play d line. Penny at leo? How about DK at Nickle? Freddie at CB?

              Seriously, when Adams comes back could he play Nickle with two deep safeties? Or, could we do what Arizona did to the Seahawks? The Billy chick almost nine man front with who knows blitzing? That felt unbeatable Sunday night at the end of the game. Bench some d lineman and stack line backers and safeties across the field. That has to be better then bend don’t break.

  9. L80

    A bunch of lame excuses from PC. The fact is they blew the offseason so bad and luckily got an easy early schedule it seems ok.

    Ummmmm LAST in the nfl at defense is NOT ok, and I don’t see much light at the end of this tunnel.

    Pathetic defense by almost every player. I did see Brooks active, the rest are in a giant MEH machine, all of them including the underperforming Wagner.

    Dunbar?….Blech…..Flowers doesn’t even need a blech, he IS blech. Diggs?…ain’t diggin it bro.

    What a sad sack of underperforming (?) pile(s) of worthless HANK.

    49 dropbacks and ZERO hits or pressures. This is the worst defense I’ve seen from Seattle since day one of 1976. This team is going absolutely nowhere, and get ready for a bunch of losses.

    At what point do coaches start taking blame?…yeah its Pete’s defense but then why have a DC that can’t do jack shit?….disgusted.

  10. Rgsd858

    Another great article and thanks for telling it how it is.

  11. Tony C

    Your site is one of my main Seahawks content sites that I visit on a regular basis. To be honest it’s been difficult since everything written seems to focus on the negative. I understand that the Seahawks off season decisions have been dumbfounding and the lack of pash rush has been as predicted but reading all the articles this season most everything is doom and gloom. Agreed they’re winning with a lot of smoke and mirrors but at least they’re winning. Is there any hope for them this season or is it a lost cause and should just pack it up for next year?

    • Rob Staton

      1. I write about the issues that matter Tony. The defensive issues and how they came about matter. In a big way.

      2. I also write about the topics I’m passionate about. If you want to read fluff — there are other sites that provide that. I’m not here to provide balance, tick boxes and appease everyone. It’s a free blog and I write about what I want to write about. I have to if I’m going to keep working on this like a second full-time job. If people don’t like what I write about — don’t read it would be my advice.

      3. Nobody’s saying they should ‘pack up’. It’s perfectly legitimate to talk about issues within the team, especially the ones that are going to potentially prevent this team from winning the Super Bowl, while also watching and hoping and rooting for the team to win.

      • Tony C

        I appreciate your content and understand that it comes from a place of passion. Yes if I wanted all positive then I could go onto the Seahawks website and get all the rosy portraits they provide. My point was that coming to this site has become a bit of a downer regardless of whether or not they win or lose. I fully agree that their defense may have terminal flaws. It’s just all I’ve been reading here is how bad things are and how there’s nothing out there that can make it better. It’s fine to focus on this but after 6 weeks (plus the entire offseason) it becomes old news and I’m not really getting anything out of it anymore. There are worse teams to be fans of and honestly there are lots of other problems in the world so sometimes it is ok to let bad games pass and enjoy unexpected wins. Thanks for your time.

        • Rob Staton

          “My point was that coming to this site has become a bit of a downer regardless of whether or not they win or lose.”

          So what do you want me to do Tony? Finish my day job, come home, have something to eat and then start writing for a couple of hours in my free time as usual — but not write the articles I want to write because you get a bit down reading them?

          I don’t mean to be rude but I’m absolutely sick to death of people telling me what they think of this place. I literally provide this blog for free. Do you realise how much time I spend on this? Writing, moderating, podcasting? It’s almost as much as my full-time job.

          For years this place cost me money every month — until people started chipping in on Patreon. It’s been a labour of love from day one.

          I write what I want to write about on my free blog. My blog. Not yours. Not anyone else’s. I’ve not been employed to replace someone else who wrote different things. I started this 12 years ago and for 12 years I’ve written about what I want to write about. Most of it has been blissfully positive. This year I’ve criticised the team and I believe it’s justified.

          You have a choice. Read it or don’t. It’s no skin off my nose. If you tell me you’re not coming on here again, I will not lose any sleep tonight.

          So either stop pissing and moaning or go and read one of the sites that will make you feel better.

          • DJ 1/2 Way (Sea/PDX)

            Well put, and gracefully done. Most of us may dip into some of these thoughts, and Rob brings us back as only he can. We are together in the joy and challenges with this game and with the Seahawks. Thanks Rob.

            As the name of the blog confirms, it is frequently all about the draft. I always look forward the the hindsight look at the last draft and Robs honest assessment of how the blog “did” on the draft. Maybe at the halfway point of the Season? Claypool looks good. How about a deep dive on the last few draft and the longer term implications? I think I have read every word here for five years and consider it time well spent.

          • Hughz

            I’ll admit I’ve had some of the same views about the blog this year but I get it. Don’t knock you one bit for writing what you want. Appreciate the subjective views you provide. I’ve really come around lately on the criticism of the pass rush. It’s horrendous and no upside insight…well except Sullivan.

          • Tony C

            I appreciate the website and the work you put into it but I don’t think my observations equates to “pissing and moaning”. Nor was I telling you what you can and can’t write. All I said was that it’s pretty negative around here when the Seahawks win and literally blow this team up armageddon when they lose. As you say your place so your rules. Thanks for the dialogue.

            • Noah Parker

              Tony I would recommend watching the podcast if you haven’t already. I think the pen and paper don’t always give the context, tone, perspective that the podcast does. Personally, I enjoy both but the podcasts provide a little more levity.

            • Rob Staton

              You were complaining about the free blog’s content not being positive enough.

              I stand by my comments.

              • Belfasthawk

                I would like to stand up a little for Tony C here. He can make comments on the tenor of the blog without it equating to pissing and moaning. And if you really think that was pissing and moaning that is fine but it didn’t seem that way to me at all. Similarly Rob can also write what he wants.

                I think too often any kind of dissent is viewed as inherent criticism of Rob or his views and it is immediately jumped on as somehow being less valid because it doesn’t come from Rob himself. This is his blog and his rodeo but I used to love how differing perspectives could be discussed in the comment section and it seems to me that it isn’t so much like that anymore.

                Criticism of what Rob thinks isn’t the same thing as a criticism of his efforts or commitment.

                If everyone says the same thing this is just an echo chamber, which is fine, but if it is not ok in the comment section to express a different opinion or to be criticised for pissing and moaning I wonder what the point of having one is?

                I posted this below by mistake. Apologies

                • Rob Staton

                  I have absolutely zero issue with people arguing against the points I raise. I spend as much time debating in the comments section as I do writing the articles.

                  I have a massive issue with people complaining about me writing what I want to write about.

                  This is my personal blog. If anyone thinks it’s too negative, just go and read something else. I’ve written 12 years of near constant positivity about this team and people are now unhappy because I’m raising legitimate points? Come on.

                  To me it is pissing and moaning. Imagine putting in all the effort I do for this blog for free only to have people whingeing that I’m not being positive enough for their tastes.

                  This is why increasingly I feel like this might be the final year. The minute people start thinking they can tell you what to write about, as if you owe them articles to suit their tastes — it just makes you want to say f-it I can’t be bothered any more.

                  • Belfasthawk

                    Understood and appreciated. I wonder if people are lazy in how they put things (I appreciate we aren’t privy to the personal messages you get)?

                    I don’t think anyone would want to tell you what to write – or at least I hope they wouldn’t. It would be a shame if you stopped. Long time listener, second time caller etc.

                  • Tony C

                    Admittedly I’ve only been visiting the site for about a year so I lack the perspective if the tenor of the articles this year are more or less positive than previous years. My previous messages telling you what to write are obviously out of bounds. I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful to the time and effort you put into the site. My larger point is that the Seahawks are 5-1. Even if they would have pulled off all the best offseason moves there would have been no guarantee we’d be where we’re at today. Folks can say I’m delusional and that it’s only a matter of time before they crash and burn but I’m choosing to think there is cause for optimism. Thanks.

                    • Rob Staton

                      There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic. All power to you for that.

                      But there are also clearly issues with this team. The off-season was poorly handled and we’re seeing the result of that with the defense now. I want to talk about that because to me it’s very likely to prevent them from winning a Super Bowl. And as much as I liked 5-1, they were 5-2 last year and never looked likely to get to the SB and I fear we’re heading in the same direction.

      • Jordan E

        Hey in defense of Rob, Rob was defending Pete Carroll and JS after the end of last season when people wanted them gone. The negativity is warranted… They messed up these offseason by not addressing the pass rush and now its just costing us.

        • 12thManthony

          Ya Jordan E, it sure is costing us 5-1 and an MVP caliber QB, darn!!
          BTW, Robs a man, he went off on Tony so i dont think he needs you brown nosing and defending him. BTW, ICYMI, Rob and a lot of the commentators were predicting a lot worst season then this.
          Again the Hawks are 5-1, the “DLINE COST US”, they had several chances to be 6-0 on SNF. They year before Pete got here we won like 2 games… perspective and gratitude are beneficial traits.

          • Rob Staton

            I didn’t predict a ‘lot worse’ season.

            I suggested more of the same compared to last year. They were 8-2 last year at one point. It’s hardly unlikely they will be 8-2 again, if not worse.

            And I’m sorry, perspective from 2009 isn’t a counter to the legitimate concerns raised.

    • Trevor

      Tony I am not sure how you could watch this team play all year and have a positive feeling about their chances to win a Super Bowl. Every game has been an absolute mess on defense them bailed out by Russ. The only difference was yesterday Russ didn’t bail them out so they lost.

      I can’t speak for Rob but I think he just realizes like many of us that this team has no shot to win a Super Bowl as the defense and DL in particular are constructed and that it did not have to be this way.

      • Henry Taylor

        I’ll push back on that a little, I think with the way the offense has performed they absolutely can compete for a superbowl. They’re massively flawed team but I still think they’re one of the top 5 teams in the NFL.

        For me, the reason this is so frustrating is exactly because I think they have a real shot this year and the defensive issues are threatening to waste it. If I thought they had no shot I’d be far less stressed about it all.

  12. BobbyK

    With an offense like ours, I really don’t want to hear any “we don’t have enough draft picks after the Adams trade.” You can’t make a trade like that when you have a horse manure DL and think you’re going to win it all without being willing to make a couple trade deadline deals when you’re 5-1.

    If they’re hell bent on keeping their second round pick. But that pick can turn into other picks. Look at our 64 pick from the Chiefs this past season… we turned it into an early third and early fifth from Carolina on draft day. Look at what we gave up for Lockett a number of years ago. Every single year draft picks are thrown around on draft days. They can take their second rounder and turn it into a third and multiple mid/late picks with a trade down or two. Happens every year. That’s why I’m not worried about trading a mid/late round pick for a pair of EDGE guys.

    Like a few mentioned earlier – getting Griffen won’t necessarily “move the needle” but getting two DEs who don’t suck could make the pass rush potentially (almost) average. And if it takes a couple mid round picks to make it happen… who cares if there’s currently not many draft pick. Those picks can be gotten back trading from the second into the third (and whatever) in April. If this team was 3-3 or 3-4 I would probably stay the course, but you don’t do that when it’s midseason and you’re still in a prime position for that all-important number one seed. I’m of the mindset that you go out and get two pass rushers who don’t suck and then you take that second rounder and move down a couple times if need be.

    • BobbyK

      Living in fantasy land, I could hope for a singular trade for a Griffen (realistic) and then hope/pray Taylor can work his way in into some type of rotation by mid-December. If he could take 15-20 pass rushing snaps per game – that could keep Mayowa a little more fresh, too. It’s a fantasy – but that’s all we have right now.

    • pdway

      couldn’t agree more. griffen, more snaps for robinson, hell I’ll even let Sullivan play a series . . .we just need to throw more competent bodies at this problem. doing nothing just can’t be an option.

      • Rob Staton

        It’s embarrassing that we’re even talking about Sullivan getting a go at this.

        • Simo

          But he was good on defense…in high school!!

          • Rob Staton

            Good point.

            Plus I scored some amazing goals in my teens.

            I now await my England call up for the European Championships next summer.

            • Simo

              Are they having some trouble scoring? If so, you should probably keep the phone close by!!

            • Big Mike

              Yeah I could do amazing 180 dunks behind my head in my teens and 20s………….Sadly not in my 20s anymore. 🙁

  13. Dan Riggs

    For what it’s worth, Pete said that Russell had the option to pass on those running plays you mentioned so that’s a sign that they haven’t entirely reverted back to the conservative approach.

    I think you’re being a little too pessimistic about the value of adding a veteran pass rusher like Dunlap and a run stuffer like Snacks. Good players lift the play of those around them. A few tweaks to the roster can change the chemistry for the better. I’m not giving up just yet. If they do nothing before the trade deadline, then I’ll be pissed.

    • Rob Staton

      Well — I think it’s more a case of he could’ve checked to a pass and didn’t. Those weren’t exactly RPO’s were they? A couple of stretch runs and one up the middle.

      The Seahawks need dynamism and speed off the edge. Collinsworth mentioned it. They need a premier rusher. There aren’t any available.

  14. dcd2

    No one is coming to rescue this defense.

    MAYBE if they can get an EG type or Kerrigan for a day 3 conditional pick, they’ll pull the trigger. I have zero confidence in them doing anything to help the DL though. I’m not sure why, but I can tell you that it sure as hell hasn’t been a ‘priority’. Even if they did get EG, would that elevate this defense to anything better than, say – 27th best or so?

    What would not surprise me, is some addition(s) to other position groups. A safety, CB, RB, WR, TE… none of that would surprise me in the least. We’d all be sitting here wondering why, when the DL is such a glaring chasm of futility, but it would be par for the course.

    • TomLPDX

      I look at getting EG as a way to add rotation to a tired DL. Mayowa is not a 90% snaps guy, he needs to be in the 50% range, like the rest of our guys so they can at least be effective.

      • dcd2

        I agree that it would be better than doing nothing, but really that’s all they’ve done to address the DL… nothing.

    • Big Mike

      I think some of Pete throwing out the possibility of Taylor coming in and actually you know, playing football and grasping at Sullivan as a DE is because they have no intention of bringing anyone in, or at least feel the chances are very slim. This way at the end of season presser (sometime in mid-January) he can say that they gave their best effort at fixing the pass rush by signing Irvin and Mayowa and the inability of Collier 2.0…..er, Taylor to get healthy “really hurt”, and we even tired Sullivan at DE leaving no stone unturned, etc., etc., etc…………

  15. GoHawksDani

    “it’s hard not to wonder if this utter dependence is weighing on his shoulders”
    But it’s what RW wants. He wants to be a hero, saviour, the best ever played the game.
    If he wants the spotlight and the fame he should deliver even if it’s mostly on his shoulders

    • Rob Staton


      Being the best doesn’t mean having to do everything on your own. You can simply be the best without a liability of a defense.

  16. Gohawks5151

    I kind of get what Pete means about waiting (more like hoping) for the defense to make a turn. It’s a worn out stat but the expected starting DBs have 70 snaps together. People talk about about continuity on the offensive and defensive line but it is important in the secondary too. In the recent past they have done some interesting coverage things like against KC and the Vikings. Need time together to pull it off though. A guy like Neal is a nice story but he is no Adams. And we’ll… the less said about Tre the better. Brooks looked good when he was on the field. The speed and knifing ability in traffic are apparent. I wonder about Ray Ray Armstrong getting brought up for game day yesterday too. These are the LB/S bodies that you talked about when facing the Rams. Kendricks to maybe. There is some talent that hasn’t all been on the field at the same time. Like adding one pass rusher it isn’t a cure but we are seeing how important it is to even force one more 3 and out. It was also sad to type that last sentence.

  17. GoHawksDani

    Wow…watched the Steelers-Titans game and learned something new today.
    Did you guys know that when the opponents’ offense is on the field it’s legal for your team to play defense? Maybe I just watched too much Hawks’ games lately but this concept felt totally fresh

    • TomLPDX

      That was a good game. Rooting for the Titans…but it was still a great game.

    • BruceN

      Pittsburg is flying under the radar. They are a complete team. Their defense doesn’t have any super stars but it flies all over the field making plays.

  18. Hoggs41

    We need a new defensive scheme. You see it change all the time. If its Pete letting go of the reigns or just bringing in someone new all together at the DC spot. Pete made it clear that wont happen this year but it has to happen next year.

    • Rob Staton

      Let’s be real here — there are a handful of defensive schemes. And there isn’t one single scheme out there that is producing results at a greater pace than any other.

      It’s all about personnel.

      You need quality.

      • Hoggs41

        Maybe but we have enough quality players right now to not be 32nd ranked on defense.

        • Rob Staton

          Maybe, but they have a bad enough DL to be #32 too.

      • BrucwN

        I agree with you Rob. It’s always about the personnel. But scheme matters too. Hiding your scheme and trying to confuse the opposing QB matters. I remember on our last offensive play in OT with the score tied 34-34 on 3rd and 11 VJ showed an all out blitz looking like he was sending everyone after Russell. Right after the snap 4 rushers dropped back into a zone coverage, took away his hot reads and then they blitzed a safety from the corner who sacked Russell. Game over. There is a reason why KNJ’s defenses have always been poorly ranked. Little creativity.

      • Duceyq

        It’s disappointing to see Salas do more with less in SF than Seattle can do with more…and they run the same scheme.

  19. Chris

    I think we’re finally seeing the cumulative effects of yearly mismanagement of the salary cap and draft capital. Giving away 1st rounders freely for the likes of Harvin, Graham, and Adams are evidence that the front office simply doesn’t understand the value of draft capital, or that any models they are using are fundamentally flawed. The willingness to give away large shares of the salary cap to lower value positions such as safety or middle linebacker as well as essentially backup players shows they don’t understand the importance of maximizing the marginal product of a player contribution relative to their salary (and a big contract to Carson would also show a true lack of this understanding, if it happens). I think the team still drafts relatively well … when it drafts, but it isn’t enough to make up for these other inefficiencies in their decision making process.

    It’s odd to say things like this at a 5-1 record, but I hope no one really believes they are actually a 5-1 quality team. P.Carrol and R.Wilson have been masking the structural flaws of this team for years, but in some ways it’s simply becoming too much to cover for now. After the initial draft brilliance of Schneider and Pete’s early years its been a slow, slow decline as inefficient uses of draft capital and salary cap have built up over time, ultimately resulting in this absolute train wreck of a defense.

    • Rob Staton

      I think they are a 5-1 team… ultimately you are what your record says.

      But I’m not convinced they’ll win the NFC West and I’m not convinced they’ll go further than round two in the playoffs again.

      Which to me isn’t acceptable. They can’t keep drifting along like that while making glaring off-season errors.

  20. Submanjoe

    Wyman just talking about Bobby and KJ and how they love Norton, and Norton is a players coach. Hard to listen to. The entire defense needs a check, a slap in the face, some pushback. Clearly, there is too much love in the air for these players and coaches from the local media and the players and coaches for each other. I think everything should be on the table insofar as changes and opportunities to get better. I think Pete needs to ask himself what he is willing to do to win one or two or three Superbowls for Russell while he has Russell. And he needs to answer that with some action.

  21. SeahawkeyezSubj80

    Classic price is right failure sound bite. Pass rush absolutely could have made a difference. RW had worse game of career second half. Still lost on a last minute field goal. Still praying front office does something to address the pass rush. Just a feeler…what prevents you Rob…from being apart of Seahawks press coverage…being a part of press on the other side of the pond.

    • Rob Staton

      Well I am a BBC journalist and they would figure out quite quickly that I wasn’t gathering for the BBC and that it was for my own personal blog.

      When they came over here in 2018 I attended all press conferences and asked questions at each. I remember being excited about the direction that team was taking.

  22. Big Mike

    I know one thing, on Friday morning, November 20th we’re gonna know a whole helluva lot about this team after playing in order, 9ers, Bills, Rams, Cardinals (again).

    • CaptainJack

      Murderer’s row

      • jopa726

        Our historically poor defense makes a 5-5 a real possibility.

        • Big Mike

          Entirely possible. Probable to me is 6-4. Still not good even if that’s what it ends up being.

  23. All I see is 12s

    Tell me what you guys think. Is this realistic?
    The Hawks trade a fourth for Griffin and a fifth or sixth for McKinley (I think we still have those pics- too lazy to google it.) Simultaneously, we recoup some capital by sending Hollister to the patriots for a sixth, and Finney to Pittsburgh for a fourth or fifth.
    Anyone think that’s practical?

    • Rob Staton

      I doubt Griffen would cost a 4th.

      I’d be thinking a sixth for both max.

      • All I see is 12s

        Even better. But I inflated his value a bit because I suspect there will be other teams with the same problem as the Seahawks such as…Oh say the 49ers…Who might drive up the price a bit. But I like the idea of bringing these two players because it seems practical, and it gives us a combination of speed and power. And the cost could be recouped by moving on from some useful but not necessary players.

        • All I see is 12s

          And let’s be real, if Hollister went to the patriots, he would be newtons number two target overnight. He would be an immense help to them and I suspect many fantasy football teams as well.

    • BobbyK

      Nobody would give up a 7th round pick in 2023 for Finney. Colossal failure.

      • All I see is 12s

        Pittsburgh might. He’s perfect for their system. They know him well. And they are beat up on the line. It could be one of those trades that works out for both sides

        • BobbyK

          I’d agree if he wasn’t overpaid, but they’re not going to want to overpay financially like that, imo.

        • Jordan E

          Yeah maybe a 7th. Don’t know how much else you can get from him. Maybe even conditional 7 lol. Think trading him just to clear salary would be good.

  24. Rob Staton

    The Seahawks are 0-4 in their last four NFC West games.

    • CaptainJack

      Seahawks 1-2 against Kyler Murray so far. That’s a problem.

      • BobbyK

        Kyler Murray got hurt in that Seahawks/Cardinals game last year. It was Brett Hundley who led the Cards to a win – not Murray. Seahawks basically 1-1 against Murray.

    • Malc from PO

      Ouch. The matchups don’t look favourable this year either. Cards are flaky like we are so it makes sense that those are coin flip games but the Niners and Rams are more disciplined, methodical, and physical. Unless we can tempt them into a wild game, those could be really rough games for us. Once the Cardinals got in our faces in the second half, we didn’t look good on offense or defense.

    • Big Mike

      THAT does not bode well………

  25. CaptainJack

    I’d trade a fifth for Griffin. Nothing higher.

    Or trade Adams to Dallas for Griffin and draft picks. Try to soften the blow of the complete disaster the Adams trade has been.

    • Simo

      Cap, you really think they would consider trading Adams? I understand you’re not a fan of the trade with the Jets, but I just can’t see them punting on Adams already.

      Just for fun though, what would that trade with Dallas look like?

      Sea trades Adams and Collier

      Dal trades Griffen, 2021 R2, 2022 R1

    • Supra22ssv

      That would be the absolute best case scenario for this team right now too bad it will never happen

  26. BobbyK

    I’m too lazy to look this up, but does anyone know what the Seahawks have for picks on day three of the draft (rounds 4-7)? Thanks.

    • Scot04

      2021 picks
      7th and a 2nd possible conditional 7th

      • BobbyK

        Thank you!

        • Big Mike

          Will end up being two 3rds, a 4th, a 5th, a 6th, and two(?) 7ths after trade downs. Considering their recent draft “performance”, I expect one or zero of those picks to contribute in any meaningful way. But hey we got one of the THEORETICALLY top 10 defensive players in football in Jamal Adams so there is that.

          • Ralphy

            That’s why I’m hoping that they trade a 2nd for Griffin, Kerrigan or Dunlap and get a 3rd or 4th in return. Most likely not a 3rd I know but a player that can fix this to move down is my dream situation.

  27. Gohawks5151

    I don’t think

    • Gohawks5151

      Oops. I don’t think they can stomach losing any more picks. Ideally I think they would want to trade Finney or a WR for a 6th or 7th. Then hope Dunlaps actions get him released and the sign him for cheap. And last they pick up Takk or Everson for a 7th. Pie in the sky though

  28. Simo

    Watching the Rams take apart the Bears vaunted defense tonight, I feel like they’re the team to beat in the NFC West. Oh btw, they have a pretty stout defense as well!!

  29. KennyBadger

    Does the Carson situation mean Marshawn is getting a call?

    If so, I would like to see him in at DE for a play. Taking BMs place. Yes, BM.

    • Jordan E

      Haha thats a good one! Real talk though, Beast Mode may be a great add for the PS this year. Good to have him even just in the locker room for the motivational support and guidance. Not sure if he’d sign off on it but he could be like a McCown on the PS.

  30. CaptainJack

    LA Rams are dominated the 5-1 bears.

    • CaptainJack


      • BobbyK

        With the Seahawks defensive shortcomings, I didn’t think of them as a 5-0 team in terms of being the best in the NFC moving forward and being Super Bowl favorites. Although they were 5-0, I didn’t and don’t have that confidence in them because of their pass rush shortcomings.

        Along the same lines, I don’t view this Bears team as a legit 5-1 coming into tonight. Teams like the Packers and Chiefs who have similar records are legit moving forward in ways the Bears can’t really fathom. I think a team like the 3-3 Dolphins are about better than the Bears.

        I don’t see us even winning the division if they can’t upgrade EDGE. If they somehow got Kerrigan and Griffen (won’t happen), I’d say we’re favorites. But I think Schneider would rather have a 4th round pick than have a good chance at going to the Super Bowl.

        • Scot04

          “But I think Schneider would rather have a 4th round pick than have a good chance at going to the Super Bowl.”

          He gave up two 1sts and a 3rd for Adams. Who knows what they will or won’t do anymore. The only common trend this year, is nothing they are doing to fix the defense has made any sense.

          • All I see is 12s

            This is my hangup. In 2012, when the LOB was in all of its glory and we had a really good set of linebackers, beyond Chris Clemons and a rookie Bruce Irvin, we did not have much of any pass rush. In fact,Go back and watch the Atlanta playoff game from 2012. It was so incredibly similar to the style of play that were accustomed to seeing now. A wild game with both teams making plays. The team that had the ball in the end was destined to win.
            And here we are, what we thought was going to be an excellent secondary with a really good linebackers with a questionable pass rush. Same results. Now go back and watch the NFC championship game from 2013. Watch how our pass rushers consistently get after Kaepernick. The difference could not be more remarkable. It is been so incredibly frustrating that we used so many valuable resources without truly addressing the pass rush for this season. For crying out loud, Clowney and Griffin were available in August. I mean, I was happy to have Jamal Adams, I admired him in New York. But we had two legendary safeties in Seattle in 2012, and it wasn’t enough to get us over the hump without a pass rush.
            I agree with Rob, I remember being stuck in my house at the beginning of Covid but excited for the beginning of free agency. Shoot, it felt like Christmas. I can’t remember the last time we’ve had that many resources going into an off-season. 50 million to spend and a loaded complement of draft picks. Everyone knew exactly what we needed, and the front office simply failed to do it. I don’t know if they thought they were smarter than everyone else in the room, but it seems like they outsmarted themselves and here we are maybe even worse off than we were last year.

            • Chase

              You put how I feel into words. Our weakness was glaringly obvious and we had all the resources to fix it, and it just didn’t get done. If we really want to solve this issue we aren’t going to have any draft capital. As scot said, would you rather have a 4th round pick or a SB?

          • Big Mike

            Schneider didn’t give up two 1sts and a 3rd for Adams. Pete Carroll did. ALL decisions are ultimately Pete Carroll’s. That was made abundantly clear at his introductory press conference 10 years ago.

            • All I see is 12s

              Indeed, we can speculate on who does what the front office we want. In my post I said “front office” and I did not specify a specific person.

              • Big Mike

                My response was meant for Scot04.
                I have and will always stand by my assertion that Pete makes the ultimate decision on all personnel moves. I do think John has a LOT of input on the draft tho.

  31. Darnell

    Even though he has zero sacks and an injured knee playing for a bad defense, it certainly looks like getting Clowney back for one year would have been the best of all available options (though of course you can’t force someone to sigh with you).

    As this free agent pass rush class looks like it has ended up being dud, and the Hawks avoided some potential landmines

    As bad as the Hawks pass rush is right now, I’m glad they didn’t sign up for 5 years of Robert Quinn – 30m guaranteed (1 sack), 3 years of Dante Fowler – 23 guaranteed (1 sack), 3 years of Shaq Lawson – 20m guaranteed (1 sack),Beasley (0 sacks).

    Ogbah looks like the steal of the class.

    Fackrell and Floyd have been finds too (though I’m not sure what role there is, other than situational, in this scheme for guys in their 240lbs who run slower than a 4.5). Those two are nice, but too slow to play Lber in Seattle and certainly are not playing edge in base.

    • BobbyK

      Fackrell’s split was very good and he’s be a perfect situational pass rusher. He’d immediately be, by far, our best edge rusher on money downs.

  32. Malc from PO

    The thing is we’ve become a basket-case team. Every game this season has been crazy. We can pull off improbable wins and capitulate to embarrassing losses plucked from the very jaws of victory; the one thing the current Seahawks can’t do is put together a solid, consistently well-executed game of football. Dumb plays and mistakes seem baked into the team’s DNA. Basket-case teams don’t win Super Bowls, no matter how exciting they are or high their ceiling might be.

    • Gary

      “Dumb plays and mistakes seem baked into the team’s DNA.”

      This is a direct reflection of the head coach, should not come as any surprise from a head coach who “frickin’ loves all these close games”, and will not change until we have a coach who’s not a basket case.

      • Big Mike

        Agree 100% Gary

  33. Jordan E

    We should trade for Julian Edelman if Patriots decide to rebuild. Or even… Stephon Gilmore if somehow possible.

    That combined with a Everson Griffin would be real nice for this team. Hawks gotta make a move soon!

    On the only positive takeaway from last night- so many things went wrong and Russell played bad and the defense was terrible again- but we somehow almost won that game. Not saying we don’t have any holes or major problems (which we do) but hey- we almost somehow won that game. Perhaps our championship window is still open for this year (though the window may not be as open as Chiefs or TB).

  34. Noah Parker

    All teams have weaknesses. Ours is just so overwhelmingly obvious, predictable, and consistently terrible that if we don’t address it before the deadline, I could honestly write the season off. Maybe 3 more wins if this continues.

  35. cha

    SF Game Watch Points

    Well the 2nd leg of the NFC West gauntlet is upon us. Seahawks, you got a bloody nose last week vs Arizona. You gonna pick yourself up off the canvas and come back strong in Round 2? Or are you just going to feast on cream puffs and fatten yourselves up for a playoff slaughter? Here comes a tough opponent to try you out.

    RW & the offense – we need a clean game.
    Not perfect. Just clean. This offense can throw the ball on a string from 40 yards into a 6square inch bucket but can’t get 3 yards when the game is on the line. Let’s see a well-thought-out, paced offensive effort that pressures the SF offense to keep up, but also can keep them off the field. The SF defense is banged up badly. You’re a juggernaut of an offense. You should be able to dictate to this defense. You will have most all of your options and plays available to you. The only thing limiting you is yourselves. Ditch the MVP talk, the flashy highlights, and just take it to the Niners and get back on track by leading this team to a win.

    Defense: This will be a chess match, and you’re playing against a master. Know yourself and adjust.
    Watching the SF offense is like listening to a symphony. It’s so well orchestrated. What makes the passing game tick? Misdirection. Quick, short passes to YAC monsters. They employ a lot of sets and motions that are meant to get the LBs and Safeties to vacate the middle of the field so they can make easy throws. The average air yards for a Jimmy G completion from QB to receiver so far this year? 3.9 yards. Shortest distance of any offense in the NFL. The team’s average YAC? 8.3 yards per completion – easily the highest in the NFL. Nobody else is even close. So the Hawks’ play-back-to-prevent-the-deep-play defense does not match up well with Kyle Shanahan’s offensive wizardry at all. How can the defense adjust to keep the SF offense from being so effective?

    DBs, get up on your man.
    Nobody gets a free release. Nobody. (So help me, if I see Trey Flowers lining up 10 yards off the WR…) You can short out that fast microchip with just a single grain of sand. Get physical with this group. Disrupt their timing. If Jimmy’s first read isn’t wide open and right where he’s supposed to be after a second or two, your chances of a successful defensive play just increased by a magnitude. It’s understood you don’t want to get burned deep, but Jimmy only throws it past the sticks 3 or 4 times per game. You can adjust as you go. But on the whole, play the odds and stay close.

    Call a corner blitz on a random play. Send Bobby on another. Send Adams on another. Keep Jimmy’s head on a swivel, looking for that man.

    And then don’t blitz.
    Defensive lineman, I say this with all the affection I can muster: You’re worthless in the pass rush. Find another way to make yourself useful. Get your big paws up in the air and bat those quick passes down. Don’t get fooled by their attempts at misdirection. Maintain your gaps. And perhaps most importantly, HIT GEORGE KITTLE. Shanahan lines him up all over the formation, and motions him frequently. Kittle will get wide open because the entire offense is going one way and the defense logically follows, and he leaks out and is all by himself on the opposite side. If you see him leaking behind the LOS, give him a shove! Shanahan also loves to line him up in the slot next to an inline TE, and he’ll loop back and sneak in between the TE and the RT for a free release. Don’t let him have it! Peel off your blocker and give him a wallop. Face facts, you’re not going to get to Jimmy in time. But you can alter the play with a timely jam to Kittle’s chest. Every defensive lineman should know where #85 is before getting into stance. Top priority. The more Jimmy has to hold the ball, the more you put the game in his hands rather than the receivers’. That’s a winning proposition if I ever heard one.

    Offense, apply scoreboard pressure.
    The Niners’ passer rating plummets when they’re behind (102 when leading, 70 when they’re behind). Pressure to score forces them out of their comfort zone. This is an obvious and attainable game tactic.

    Contain Kittle.
    Deebo Samuel has been ruled out for Sunday. That will narrow the focus to Kittle. Shanahan will scheme the entire offense just to get him open. DL, do your part by not allowing him a free release. But how can the rest of the defense prevent the damage from this fantastic player?

    Kittle is too fast to allow him 1on1 with KJ Wright and too big to allow 1on1 with Ugo or Diggs. Shanahan will find a way to get Kittle matched up with these guys at times. They will need support. Figure it out. Otherwise you get situations like when the Rams iso’d 5’9″ Darious Williams on Kittle on a key play.
    (Warning: The following video contains a gruesome depiction of a murder)

    Run support.
    He is an animal of a blocker. If he lines up inline or motions to a side, the CB, LB and safeties have to know they’re not getting run support from the DE, as Kittle is so terribly good at setting the edge. They need speed to counter his effectiveness in the run game. Jordyn Brooks, Jamal Adams, Bobby Wagner, that’s you.

    Sniff out the Kittle screen.
    They love to misdirect and get him the ball on the screen. KJ Wright, blow that joint up like you do.

    Return on Investment.
    The Seahawks have made some pricey pickups this year and gotten precious little in return. Time to demonstrate your value, fellas.

    Jamal Adams – provide at least one game-changing play.
    Adams’ skill and fire is missed on this defense. The Seahawks made a massive investment in him in the offseason, and are prepping to make another massive investment with a contract extension. 10 or 11 tackles without a big play just isn’t enough. The defense needs Adams to provide something that flips the script. A sack, or turnover, a big hit to get everyone pumped up. It is needed more than ever. Adams’ standing job order is to single-handedly get the defense off the field once or twice per game. You want the big contract? Do that.

    Quinton Dunbar – make a play.
    We saw some good play vs New England but not much vs Arizona. The defense desperately needs him. Trey Flowers is extremely vulnerable. Would love an INT but will take solid CB play at this point.

    Greg Olsen & Jacob Hollister – the Seahawks aren’t getting the bang for the buck.
    $10million spent on those two. The return through 6 games? 22 catches and 2TDs. The defense could sure use a pass rusher or two for that $10m right about now. I’m getting tired of writing this – the Hawks aren’t using their TEs enough. The offense has struggled on 3rd downs. Olsen has made a career out of being one of the best 3rd down weapons in the NFL. Hollister earned a very nice contract by being a useful player to RW, keeping drives alive down the stretch last year. They’re not secret weapons. Defenses know about these guys. The Seahawks are wasting money, time, and both offensive and defensive efficiency by using them so sparingly.

    • Big Mike

      “DBs, get up on your man”
      Could not agree more for the reasons you stated.

    • Big Mike

      “Jamal Adams – provide at least one game-changing play.”
      Only if he does play and I believe that to be unlikely. Pete speak and our familiarity with it tells me another week. Pray I’m wrong.

      “The greatest ability is availability” – Tony Dungy

      • TomLPDX

        Took the words right out of my mouth Big Mike.

  36. McZ

    So, this is PCs team, built to PCs dogma using PCs metrics, and it cannot play Pete ball. This is just ridiculous. Someone’s gonna wake me up, it has to be a nightmare.

    That said, Rob, you’re spot on, an elder pass rusher won’t cut it. But what can?

    This franchise again missed out on Ngakoue, bad. Plus there is no elite young rusher on the market, and we cannot draft one. Even if we could, we missed out on Montez Sweat and TJ Watt, which would be an elite makeup, so word is out, they are not able to identify elite players anyway.

    It has to be FA or trade. FA has been even worse to us. And the Seahawks have no resources to make a trade stint. With the trades being made all being ill advised panic moves, I cannot say I’m inclined to trust the process enough to finally sink the franchise.

    And then, who wants to play dogmatic Pete ball? This is not a scheme were players can flourish and get to the next stage. If you are a young player a year or two away from getting paid top dollar, Seattle is the last place to consider.

    It will be a retirement age vet, coming to the career cemetery. Let’s for a second assume, JJ Watt or Dunlap become available… what can we possibly trade? I have to say, short of offering DK Metcalf, I cannot see a way.

    So, bottom line, this team will add a player from the open market. And they will play as far as the feet are carrying. It’s called win forever. Rinse, repeat, 2021, 2022, forever.

    To me, this model has become subject to change. It is illusionary to expect things to change with the personnel at hand. IMO, searching for a new HC should start now.

    • Big Mike

      There will be no changes at the HC/President of Football Ops position until after the team is sold. Only way there’s a change at GM is if John decides to leave. Teams aren’t knocking down his door because they know Pete’s the guy making the decisions.

      • Rob Staton

        “There will be no changes at the HC/President of Football Ops position until after the team is sold.”

        100% fact.

  37. Nate

    Bingo. Well said. Love the blog and the differing viewpoints in the comments.

  38. Jordan E


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