Instant reaction: Cruel defeat ends season, Seahawks pick 25th

Russell Wilson almost pulled off a miracle

Well, that’s a cruel way for a season to end.

The Seahawks had no business making this a close game after an error-strewn first half. Marshawn Lynch’s fumble, odd play calling in the red zone and bad time management all combined to give Atlanta a 20-0 lead at half time. Somehow this team came back. They fought their way back into the game. And with 30 seconds to go, they led. 28-27.

Surely not?

Unfortunately, 30 seconds was enough for Matt Ryan. He completed two big passes and Matt Bryant kicked a field goal. Game almost over. The Falcons decided to give the Seahawks one more chance with a bizarre on-side kick attempt, but the game had gone.

One stop… one stop away from one of the greatest playoff comebacks in the history of the NFL. A pass rush, a brilliant play in coverage, a mistake from Ryan. That’s all it would’ve taken for a victory. In reality it was always going to be a tough ask. Atlanta’s two timeouts were crucial. They could send receivers deep to drive open the field in a prevent formation, and the ability to stop the clock kept the middle as an option. The last big play went to Tony Gonzalez – probably the last player you want to try and cover in this situation.

There won’t be any trip to San Francisco next week. Instead, the 49ers travel to Atlanta for the NFC Championship game. San Francisco has to feel good about its chances. The Seahawks never truly exploited Atlanta’s weakness against the zone read, something Colin Kaepernick won’t have much trouble doing. They’ve just seen how badly mistakes cost the Seahawks so expect a tight game. The 49ers can’t ask for a better match-up to try and make a Super Bowl. This is no New York Giants outfit playing inspired football.

Looking back it’s hard to know what to think about the first half mistakes. Without such a miserable initial two quarters, there’s no heroic second half comeback. The end result could’ve been the same even if it wasn’t 20-0 at the break. Even so, we saw how fragile the Falcons are under pressure. When the Seahawks asked the question, they struggled. They couldn’t stop Russell Wilson. Suddenly in the fourth quarter, they struggled on offense. It would’ve been interesting to see how this game would’ve played out had the Falcons conceded early points.

Still, it didn’t happen. And there’s little point dwelling on uncharacteristic mistakes. The result won’t change.

It’s better to savour the great face-saving effort of the second half. At one point it looked like the Seahawks were being exposed. It looked like it was going to be a long off-season, with people second-guessing just how good this team really is. A beat-down on the big stage isn’t a good look. Instead, respect was earned. Wilson’s star quality is extended. It was very nearly a victory for the ages.

The defeat means the Seahawks will pick 25th overall in the 2013 draft. They had the same pick last time they made the divisional round of the playoffs in 2011. James Carpenter was the choice on that occasion. Baltimore’s victory against Denver on Saturday ensured the Seahawks jumped up a spot. Green Bay will pick 26th overall.

This season will be defined as the year Wilson appeared on the scene. It’s been one of the most enjoyable years in franchise history, mostly because of the teams rookie quarterback. The greatest question mark for any franchise is finding a quarterback. The Seahawks don’t just have a good one, they have a great one. The Seahawks won’t win the Super Bowl this season, but they found a long-term franchise quarterback. That’ll do for now.

It’s a young roster already punching above its weight. The secondary looks set for a generation, the offensive line has shown great promise and there are playmakers on both sides of the ball.

There also improvements to be made. The pass rush simply isn’t good enough. Ryan wasn’t sacked today and the defensive line has had issues all season trying to create pressure — even against the bad teams. If the defense ever wants to be known as truly elite, you have to be able to press the leagues best quarterbacks more than the Seahawks are doing. The Falcons pass rush wasn’t much better, and it might prove to be their downfall next week.

The injury to Chris Clemons is a big concern, because Bruce Irvin didn’t look ready to be a full-time LEO today. It might be time to appreciate Irvin for what he is — a specialist pass rusher for obvious passing downs. He will get 8-12 sacks a year in this role, which is still a good enough return to warrant a first round pick in my view. If Clemons misses considerable time with an ACL injury, they have to look at alternatives. Osi Umenyiora might not cost the earth aged 32 and seems like a reasonable free agent addition if the terms are fair. Alex Okafor is a more orthodox pass rusher who can play the run and should also be an option in this years draft. An Estonian pass rushing discuss thrower? No other explanation is needed to tout Margus Hunt as a possible Seahawks pick.

It also extends beyond the possible need to replace Clemons if he faces a long recovery period. The interior pass rush is the biggest need on the roster. They have to find a more orthodox three-technique to rush inside. It’s surely the number one priority, because it’s the only position on the defensive line other than the LEO with consistent pass rushing responsibility. If we’re going to play the 4-3 under, let’s at least do it justice by using a proper three-technique. The Seahawks have to do what it takes to get the pass rush going next season.

On offense, it’s all about adding weapons for Wilson. Providing the quarterback with the best environment to progress will be the key to consistent winning season. Another strong target wouldn’t go amiss. The ambition for this team next season has to be to regain the NFC West, secure the #1 seed and home field advantage. The best way for this team to get back to the Super Bowl is to play home games and keep Wilson rocking.

There’s enough talent to be optimistic about the future, but there’s also the key needs to keep the long off-season interesting. We’ll cover it all on

Updated 2013 draft order

1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
3. Oakland Raiders
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. Detroit Lions
6. Cleveland Browns
7. Arizona Cardinals
8. Buffalo Bills
9. New York Jets
10. Tennessee Titans
11. San Diego Chargers
12. Miami Dolphins
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
14. Carolina Panthers
15. New Orleans Saints
16. St. Louis Rams
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
18. Dallas Cowboys
19. New York Giants
20. Chicago Bears
21. Cincinnati Bengals
22. St. Louis Rams
23. Minnesota Vikings
24. Indianapolis Colts
25. Seattle Seahawks
26. Green Bay Packers
27. Houston Texans
28. Denver Broncos


  1. goepes

    The good – Wilson. “Unbelieveable” doesn’t begin to describe that guy. We’ve got our leader for years to come.

    The bad – Carroll. Poor clock management at the end of the half and earlier, not taking the FG when we needed points, obviously had a huge impact. The timeout at the end of the game, giving the ATL kicker a mulligan …another poor decision.

    The ugly – maybe i’m old school and way off, but allowing your co-ordinators to interview the day before a big game. Inexcusable. If Philly really wants Bradley and the Bears really want Bevell, then they’d wait till after the playoffs to conduct interviews. The team looked underprepared in the first half which I think ultimately is the coaches responsibility.

    • PatrickH

      By league rules, assistant coaches of playoff teams must be allowed to interview for HC jobs this week. Nothing that Pete Carroll or any other head coaches can do to stop it. They can only deny permission if the interveiw is for another assistant-coach job.

      • Rugby Lock

        HC jobs come once in a lifetime and denying that opporutnity is not something you do as it will lead to hard feelings between the coordinator and the team. Not too mention that it will be hard to recruit good talented coordinators if you have the reputation of screwing over the coordinators you have.

        • Rugby Lock

          I must add though that I am extremely tired of this “elite” D choking away wins…

          • Rugby Lock

            Though I think that the 4th down run when we should have gone for a field goal was beyond stupid… get points when they are on offer or lose by say… 2 points…
            Guess old Pete went hormonal again…

            • goepes

              Don’t get me wrong, great season. Lots to look forward to. Youngest team in the league, superstar qb and a front office that are phenonmenal talent evaluators and drafters. Missed Clem big time today. Onward and upward. This team is just gettin started. Go Hawks!

              • Rugby Lock

                As the pain of the loss fades one does realize how far this team has come and how bright the future is. We have a legit franchise QB.. Now we just need a pass rush…

                • mitchell crane

                  Don’t put any blame on PC. He’s the heartbeat of this team. Without him, this team wouldn’t be where it is. His constant optimism, and energy has brought this team together. Nobody else could pull that off. This team is great than the sum of it’s parts. Thats because of leadership. The coach believes, and they believe. They are a team. We have an exciting future ahead, and I can’t wait for PC to get a super bowl or 5.

                  • mitchell crane

                    and Russell Wilson’s leadership too. That can not be stated enough.

    • Rob Staton

      I think the coaches thing is a red herring. The game plan was all laid out by Saturday. Nothing happens the night before a game. No coaching takes place. They had the interviews and good for them. We shouldn’t be searching for excuses and scapegoats here.

      • Coug1990

        I agree. The interview had absolutely nothing to do with how the Seahawks started the game. Would it make anyone feel better if the Seahawks were terrible and nobody wanted to interview the assistants? I will take this any day. It means the team is successful.

        I think Atlanta coming out possessed, the two cross country trips and the 10 am start had more to do with how they started.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        The alternative is that your assistants aren’t good or getting results. I don’t care for that alternative.

        It’s also part and parcel to Pete’s environment for success. He has consistently been one of the all time greats at collecting and cultivating talent. In his coaching ranks or recruiting. And it’s because he believes in his guys and genuinely gives them everything they need to succeed. It’s why he churns out new/unknown talent year after year. It’s how he replaces irreplaceable components with the next big thing. Pete isn’t about keeping guys down to ensure his own success. He’s about giving people opportunity to ensure THEIR success. It’s a model that is fundamental to who Pete is and the success he’s been able to achieve.

        Coaches want to work with him. Players want to play for him. It’s because he never holds them back. He is a pez dispenser of opportunity. Trust is a two way street in his organization. That’s how he maintains talent. Not by locking them up and retarding their career development.

    • madmark

      If you have 2 scores i dont mind prevent defense but if its just 1 point i just let the defense play bump in run coverage. that lets the corner turn his hips and run with the receiver rather than receiver running up to the cb making him decide to turn to run with them or jump forward and hope the ball comes in on comeback route.

      • Rob Staton

        Got to agree here. I was very concerned about prevent there, knowing they had Gonzalez and Douglas to run underneath. And low and behold, they’re the two guys who make the two plays.

        • Michael

          Chicago and Miami all over again. Everyone I was watching the game with was celebrating the touchdown run, and all I could do is look at that 31 seconds left… Can’t believe they let this happen again. Please PC/JS get some more pass rushers, and remove the “prevent” defense from Gus Bradley’s playbook.

          • Rugby Lock

            Bang On!! I have to agree here. “Prevent” defense just prevents the win…

            • Barry

              Considering the last few previous drives ATL had went 3 n out it was ridiculous for the Hawks to play the D the did. Big let down by the coaching staff. Should have been aggressive, if not overly

  2. PatrickH

    Improving pass rush is definitely the top need in the offseason. In the last series, the Hawks were sending 5 rushers every play, but with gambles like that some Falcons’ receivers could get open. Unfortunately they did get open to get into FG range.

    I wonder what happened to the run defense in the 1st three quarters? Watching it on TV, I couldn’t tell if the Falcons was running in Bruce irvin’s direction when they made the big gains. The week off seemed to have helped Michael Turner.

    • bjammin

      I think they were running at Irvin a lot. Also remember how potent the Falcon’s passing offense is. Having to respect and focus on that means that the Falcons would have better opportunities to gouge them running and they did. Later in game once Hawks knew they were trying to run to stop clock and didn’t worry about pass, they stopped them like we’re accustomed to. Combination of potent pass attack and Clemons being out seems like a logical reason for first half running defensive struggles. That’s one difficult offense to stop. Sure missed Clemons in that game.

      • A. Simmons

        Bad tackling mostly. Did you see all the miss tackles on some of the long runs? Our guys were trying to make big, punishing hits rather than wrap and tackle.

      • Sea meat

        Irvin could not set the edge, Clemons was a huge miss. The tackling was atrocious too. I knew the Detroit “issue” of play calling would bite them.

    • rrsquid

      I’m not knowledgeable enough to pinpoint why they were so successful, but the Falcons ran a lot outside. From what I remember Irvin held his point well, but could not shed the block and make a play.

      • Turp

        ^^ exactly. Irvin could not shed blocks worth a damn.

        • Michael

          same thing that Alfred Morris was doing to us in the 1st Q

          • Barry

            It wasnt just Irvin’s side though when they had strong side to his and motioned browner away from that side I was disappointed to see neither the middle or the strong side LB read that and shot the hole.

  3. travis

    Proud of the way Russell and the rest of the offense fought back, they did a great job and we have a great QB of the future in Wilson. The defensive play calling was beyond bad, don’t care how it happens but I hope Gus Bradley is not with the seahawks next year.

    • Rob Staton

      I think you’ll change your mind on that Gus Bradley comment tomorrow. That’s very knee jerk and OTT.

      • Michael

        I’m pretty sure the ‘Hawks D still gave up fewer points than any defense in the league this season… Please keep the whole band together for a Superbowl run next season!

      • Coug1990

        Complainers are going to complain. Bradley is good, very good. There were two teams on the field and Atlanta has a very good offense. To say it was on Bradley when they could have used both Jones and especially Clemons, disrespects the Falcons.

      • bjammin

        Hundred percent agree Rob. There’s a reason so many teams are looking strongly at him for HC jobs. He might be pretty tough to replace. Missing Clemons and against that offense, it’s a wonder they were finally able to stop them. On the road, in the playoffs after a tiring emotional win while they rest? Tough challenge. Also, consider how little the offense helped the d stay off the field in the first half. There were some tired jet lagged big boys huffing and puffing out there. The defense was flat tired and that showed. Easy to generally criticize but there are reasons for things and the evidence for the season disagrees with the thin-skinned overreactions. There is room for improvement, particularly what Rob has harped on (3tech passrusher) which would make this defense downright scary, make that scarier.

        • A. Simmons

          Let’s see. Do I think Bradley the DC that didn’t do anything his first two years here and didn’t do much in Tampa Bay turned this defense into the force it is now or the Carroll the defensive guru that has coordinated top defenses in the NFL and college for the past three decades?

          If Bradley goes, you won’t see much of a change in the defensive performance other than what is standard for changes in personnel and injury. This is Pete Carroll’s defense. It will be a high quality defense while Pete Carroll is here regardless of who is defensive coordinator. Never forget that Carroll made Nick Holt look like a quality DC when he was at USC.

  4. Cysco

    There’s nothing wrong with our coordinators or coaches. They got us all there in the first place. We are probably one Lynch fumble, or one 1-yard run, or one remaining time out away from playing for a trip to the Superbowl. Think about that. Second youngest team in the league. Rookie QB. One “break” away from a game to go the Superbowl.

    I was as bummed as everyone right after the game. Heck, with 30-seconds left I just kinda knew it was going to end that way. But it doesn’t take away from what this team achieved this year. The team is ahead of schedule. The offseason needs are obvious, and luckily, not impossible to fill.

    Think how far this team has come in just a couple short years. It’s truly remarkable. We are one solid offseason away from being considered one of the leagues elite teams.

    Patriots, Broncos, Packers, 49rs, Seahawks. are going to be a lot of people’s top five next season. There is a very good chance that we’ll all be online one year from today talking about a game that gives us the chance to go to the Superbowl again.

    I’m disappointed, but so excited about the future of this team.

    • Michael

      Also consider the slightly more distant future of this team. Brady and Manning aren’t going to play forever, and despite the game against the Packers I think RW will be better than Kaepernick long term. This team is so young that they have a chance to be in the top 2-3 teams for a long time.

      • bjammin

        And love what you wrote too Michael. After a day or two nobody should be saying that Gus Bradley sucks as a coach. Just knee jerk reaction which is understandable. But one play away from playing for a superbowl does not mean something is wrong, rather something has been pretty right all year.

    • bjammin

      Thanks Cysco, love what you wrote here.

  5. blazerbill

    Team priority needs

    #1) 3 tech DL
    #2) Impact WR
    #3) TE Ertz ?
    #4) LB

    Who do they pick at #25?

    Do the seahawks pick the best available DL in the 1st rd because of need (but lower grade), or do they pick the higher grade WR who isn’t as much of a need, but is one of the best at that position?

    I would like to see Richardson (who won’t be available), or Hampton/ Wheaton, or Ertz. But you can only get one.

    • Michael

      Sign Melton to address the 3-Tech need for the next 5 years, then draft Coleman if available (finger crossed) or simply the BPA. A couple decent late rounders and this team has a first round bye next year.

    • Coug1990

      Rob has written in the past that if you are going to draft an impact 3-tech, you need to be drafting in the top ten. Anyone drafted lower will need time to develop. Going after a free agent that can step in right away is more likely able to pay dividends next season.

      I would like the Seahawks to go after a TE. The Seahawks have been trying to get two top ones for years. First with John Carlson and Miller and before the season with Winslow and Miller. Unfortunately, Carlson was injured and Winslow didn’t work out.

      • A. Simmons

        This coaching staff seems capable of developing impact players quickly if they have any talent to begin with.

        • Attyla the Hawk

          Generally though, if you have to develop, that will mean limited returns in 2013.

          If you want developed talent to help next year, that means Scruggs and Howard need to step up and become 2013’s Richard Sherman prospects.

          I’d just as soon we get a Hopkins over some development guy at the 3. Irvin is likely going to be a lightning rod of criticism. Mostly because taking him incurred a pretty high cost. We had Fletcher Cox there for the taking and the best 3 tech last year fell to our laps. We traded down because we wanted Irvin more. It stings because we’re going into 2013, now desperately needing a 3 upgrade, and we’re still talking about taking a DE.

          It’s like a draft version of Groundhog Day. A situational pass rusher can still be worthy of a first round pick. But that doesn’t account for the talent we could/should have been landed with. And if you go into the very next draft with the same needs as the one you just spent a first on — it’s hard for me to characterize that as success.

  6. Dave

    Rob, thanks again for doing so much work. This site is a godsend for me during the offseason and I’m sure many others feel the same way. And where’s Kip? He deserves a ton of credit for being all over RW from the start

  7. bjammin

    Agreed Dave. And cheers to Kip on his Russell Wilson crush from (and before) the beginning. We’ve watched the proof all year.

    Thanks Rob, keep it up. Is that crazy to think they could pick up the 6’8 Estonian discuss thrower? He does just sound as the perfect crazy Carrol/Schneider dude with unique attributes/skillsets who is only getting better. It seems like pass rush, in some form or another, will be an every year target with how important it is for an elite defense.

    Also, I read somewhere that Gus Bradley is interviewing for multiple hc jobs, that he hasn’t revealed yet. With Notre Dame coach returning to ND, sounds like he’s a favorite in Philly. Sounds like he’s gone, and to a lesser extent possibly Bevell too. Any thoughts on replacements? I know they’re sort of covered by Pete and Tom Cable (who it’s shocking he’s not on the coaching lists), but whaddya think?

  8. Phil

    Thanks to PC, JS, WonderRuss, and the rest of the Seahawks for a great year!

    Our draft priority has got to be to improve the pressure we can put on opponents’ QBs. No more letting the Matt Ryan’s of the NFL sit back in comfort, with time to throw 25-yd. passes with the game on the line. I don’t care if the pressure comes from a change in scheme, from the LEO, from the 3-technique, or from safety/CB/LB blizes — we just have to get it done when the game is on the line.

    Also, no more zone coverage — we’ve got the best defensive backs in football so let them go in man coverage with the game on the line.

  9. GH

    No pass rush. No running game. Didn’t stuff the run (alarming trend, imho). Didn’t own the clock. Hard to win this game without those things. But yet, RW3 almost did.

    • GH

      167 yards rushing for Atlanta. 6.4 yards per run

      That’s the shocker to me. I expected limited pass rush, but hawks can’t give time to pass and room to run and expect to win.

      • Rob Staton

        Very disappointing, especially given Atlanta’s issues running the ball this year. Irvin had a bad day playing the run, but there were also a handful of key missed tackles and we couldn’t handle a lot of their stretch plays. On the plus side, we managed the screen brilliantly and took away an integral part of their game plan there.

        • GH

          yeah, the definitely did a few things well. but allowing them to run like that can’t happen if, especially if you’re basically going to sacrifice a pass rush from one DE in a scheme to shut down the run. Tackling was very poor, for sure. ET went for the big hit instead of wrapping of Rodgers and it cost them big time. He’s the safety, and I felt like he had learned that this season- and talked about it at different points. That was tough.
          Irvin looks very 1 dimensional, still. I guess no surprise there. But….dang. I’m not terribly enthused about a defensive scheme that gives fixed weaknesses like this one does. I know every scheme has a weakness, but when you can point to it like this, it’s hard sometimes.
          Was also surprised at how effective Atlanta was at stuffing the running lanes.

          I think the early start hurt us, I think, wrt the slow start. Gotta get home field.

          • SJKG

            After today – I really don’t think we need home field. Sure, it gives us an advantage, but I don’t believe the outcome of the game was determined by our perceived inability to play as well on the road. The team is perfectly capable of beating anyone, anywhere, anytime.

            • GH

              interesting stat today- 1989 was the last time a West Coast team went to East Coast two weeks in a row and won. Some of that is skewed data- better teams have home field.

              But flying 7,000 miles in 1 week, with several time zones in between? Making a hard road even harder.

              The slow starts aren’t all about the other team.

              • GH

                (two weeks in a row in playoffs). you lose practice time. you lose physical therapy time. clock is messed up. it matters.

                • SJKG

                  Definitely, I just don’t think it was the deciding factor in the outcome of the game.

                  • GH

                    hard to pinpoint 1 singular factor in a game like this, but frame it this way- if they’d played at home do you think they lose this game?

                  • SJKG

                    That’s not the framework we’re discussing in though. Those are two different games. Yes I think the Hawks beat the Falcons if they played at home, but I would not attribute the loss to the lack of home field advantage. I think if anything it shows how powerful CenturyLink is for our time, not how we lost the game in Atlanta.

        • A. Simmons

          The tackling was noticeably bad. Killed us in the run game.

          • Attyla the Hawk

            Michael Turner has a way of doing that. I’d put it on RB talent more than simply our failure.

  10. Cysco

    Going into the draft this year, my biggest hope is that we are able to draft someone who can make an instant contribution and can play every down on whatever side of the ball they play. Irvin may yet pan out into an every down player, but at the moment he doesn’t seem like a real value pick. (especially given the Wagner and Wilson picks)

    In the rage we will be picking it seems like there are a couple guys you could pencil in from day one. Ertz at TE, Brown and Te’o at LB and probably Okafor at DE.

    Unless we want to show more two TE sets, I don’t think Ertz should be the pick. I’m assuming that Miller is going to re-do his contract and will stick around a few more years.

    That leaves LB and DE prospects. I trust the FO’s evaluation of LB tallent and I wouldn’t doubt it if they think they can find another diamond in the second round.

    That leaves Okafor. Given the state of the line and Okafor’s flexibility, I can totally see him being the pick.

    I don’t think spending the pick on a WR would be the best move. I don’t see anyone there being a true difference maker and there are several real options out there in free agency if a WR is desired.

    Okafor is my early frontrunner.

  11. dave crockett

    On Irvin.

    It’s fair to say he may not be ready for full-time LEO without a full off-season to prep. But, I think it’s too early to give up on him. It’s important to remember that Irvin (unlike Clemons) was playing without either Jason Jones or Bruce Irvin.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s very important not to give up on Irvin and he deserves time in the league. Having said that, I also think there’s a very good chance he’s always going to be best suited to the role he played this year. Letting him go all-out on the pass rush, concentrating purely on sacks for key downs might be the way to go. Use his speed, his relentless approach to get to the QB. Don’t worry him with other responsibilities. It wouldn’t be a bad pick if he gets 8-12 sacks every year as a specialist rusher.

      • GH

        exactly. I view him as like a closer in baseball. Limited use, but in high leverage situations. of course, a lot of smart baseball folks say you never draft a closer in the first round. I don’t know if it’s AS true in football, but it kind of rings true to me here, as well. I felt like it was a reach then and still kinda feel that way. Oh well. Like you said, not giving up on him by any stretch. Maybe he can bulk up more and get more stout. But it’s not a 23 year old we’re talking about, either.

      • Turp

        I think Irvin can do better than 8-12 sacks as a specialist if we continue to have a Clemons or better DE, plus a good pass rushing 3 tech.

    • Cade

      Remember how mediocre Aldon Smith looked against us without Justin Smith?

      If we get a good 3 tech DT and get Clem back we could have an excellent pass rush.

      I dont think Caroll came into this season expecting a super bowl run. They were drafting with the long view in mind.

      Irvin is an extremely RAW player. He mentions he had minimal pass rush coaching in college. Hes a bit undersized and could beef up. He was drafted to develop into the LEO after Clem.

      I dont think he will just be a closer. He did lead the league for rookies in sacks. DE are notorious for taking some time to develop. Lets hold our judgement back on this one till next year.

      Look to see Irvin bulk up this off season and be very motivated to improve as Im sure he will take his lack of production in this game very personally. Man is from the projects and has a chip on his shoulder.

  12. John_s

    These are my overreaction Sunday thoughts.

    1) Pass Rush has to be adressed. They have to find a 3 tech and another edge rusher
    1A) they have to examine their scheme and find a way to get to the QB with more than 4. Their blitzes for the most part do not get to the QB

    2) 2012 Red Bryant was subpar and we need 2011 Red Bryant. Mike Salk tweeted that the Falcons ran at Red

    3) Kam Chancellor – I thought it was crazy when there was talk of Seattle drafting Mark Barron and moving Kam to LB but in the playoffs Kam was brutal in coverage giving up 3 TD’s. Maybe the Hawks may have to re-examine this

    4) Guard – they have to figure out if its Sweezy or Moffit that is going to man one of the guard spots. Starting Sweezy, seeing him get beat then inserting Moffit does not help the offense

    5) WR and TE – I like the Rice/Tate/Baldwin combo but they need to find a receiver who can take it to the house from any place on the field. One of the staples in the WCO is the slant and it seems like the Hawks have a hard time consistently hitting on that route. Would a bigger guy who can shield off the CB help in that regard? Maybe. TE we have to find a second TE who can consistently catch. I like McCoy as a blocker but I don’t think he will ever be a consistent pass catcher.

    6) Russell Wilson – I love everything about him and another year in the system and with the receivers should do him well but he needs to go to Rice consistently. He can make plays even if he’s covered and Wilson needs to trust that he will make those plays.

    Great Season. Proud of where they started and where they ended.


    • Rob Staton

      1A – this will always be an issue. Blitzing is exactly what QB’s like Matt Ryan want you to do. We had to do it today to find some pressure, otherwise he was going to dissect the defense anyway. It was worth the gamble. But most weeks, you’re going to need to bring it with four. And the Seahawks cannot do that right now, which is why improving the pass rush on base is so vital.

      2 – I didn’t see many runs right at Red but I might be mistaken. The big runs seemed to come up the middle or on stretch plays. The tackling on some of those big runs today was painfully bad.

      3 – Chancellor has quietly had a subpar year. Although he’s still a rangy, feared strong safety with youth on his side. We just cannot trust him to cover great TE’s unless he has the chance to run them over ala Vernon David

      4 – I agree here. Not sure what we gained from having Sweezy learning the ropes the last 2-3 weeks. If he ends up being all-pro next year as a consequence, fair enough. But having musical chairs at RG can’t be helping.

      5 – I think more than anything they need a big target who can run. Someone who can find the mismatch and be consistently open for Russell. That could be another athletic pass-catching TE, or it could be a big bodied receiver. Then again, I also like DeAndre Hopkins simply because he gets open.

      • GH

        #3 really troubles me. and #4- Sweezy is competitive with Moffitt says all you need to know about Moffitt. And they’d do the same with Breno if they had anyone to even think about it. RW3 and Beast Mode breaking tackles behind the line of scrimmage hide the weakness of the right side of the O line. Maybe it’s a wash, but it’d be nice if it was a strength.

    • Sea meat

      I agree with this. Kam had a subpar year for sure and it concerns me. Wagner is playing so well though! Improve pass rush, get a big time receiver, and linebacker.

      • adog

        Most of the missed tackles that i noticed were from Wagner. He takes piss poor tackling angles on those designed stretch\cut back runs. I think the speed of the nfl fools here him on such plays. The angles he took in college, will not work in the nfl. He’s gonna be a good linebacker, but i guess it’s part of the rookie curve…adjusting to the speed of the game. It was a problem against Detroit, and Atlanta carbon copied those running plays.

    • Cade

      1.) I dont see a reason to change the scheme of the best overal defense in the league. Our biggest draft needs are on defense which is awesome because it just means we can get that much better. Clem should make it back, Irvin will continue to get better(as is typical of DE), and a good 3 Tech will make both Clem and Irvin look better (per lack of production by Aldon Smith when Justin Smith is gone).

      3.) Where Kam lacks in coverage he makes up in physicality. His style of play is part of this teams identity. I thought he did well against Gonzales and Gonzales just did his thing. He did get beat deep along with Sherman. Im not sure if or why ET wasnt back there. (havent looked at the tape, too painful). Ya the plays at the goalline vs Redskins sucked, Something to improve on and was more mental than physical.

      4.) I think Sweezy is a bit of a specialist. His athleticism makes him fantastic at getting to the linebackers and doing cut blocks etc. Not quite so good in passing. He will improve drastically over the offseason (I hope). I think hes rotated in and out so they could utilize his strengths(something this coaching staff emphasizes… not focusing on weaknesses but strenghts instead)

      5.) Yeah now that we know what we have offensively Im hoping PC/JS can get guys that specifically fit what we want to do. This is epic. Im in with someone who can stretch the field at any time. We also need to consider that we are a run heavy team. That means when we throw its often a drive killer when a guy drops it. Good hands are a must.

      6.) Watch wilsons final conference from today. Dude is going to just get better over the off season. Im so excited to see the product on the field 8 mo from now.

  13. Colin

    A few thoughts on the game:

    The pass protection was outstanding. The Falcons knew Seattle had to throw the ball and the got little to no pressure on Wilson. Give the line their due, especially you Breno haters out there (plenty of you).

    Lynch was not feeling right. He just wasn’t the same guy he was last week. Maybe not asking the 3rd or 4th down try from him wasn’t a bad idea.

    Why was Seattle so soft at the end of the game? Why were they so afraid of getting beat? Giving up 25 yards on one play alone should have told them to tighten up. They didn’t, and Tony Gonzalez made them pay.

    I’m sick of hearing about the bad timeout on the FG. Hindsight is 20/20 and had he made the first try, everyone would be saying “good timeout Pete”.

    This team has a bright future, and should be an 11-14 win team next year, barring bad injuries or subpar play.

    • GH

      their top pass rusher was out, and their pass rush isn’t very good to being with. It’s not hating to point out players aren’t very good. Especially if there are stats to back it up. Moffitt, Sweezy and Breno should all be concerned about their job security because they’re all about barely league average at best, and likely quite below. that’s not good enough for Carroll and Schneider and it shouldn’t be good enough for ‘hawk fans.
      The right side got tea-kettled an a few key short distance downs today, and marshawn and RW survived on their legs more than one should this year.

      I realize it’s not a first round need but…how many times should we ask RW to spin and run from pressure in his face or Marshawn to break tackles and juke right after handoffs before we recognize, yeah, that right side is an area that needs improvement? Apparently, lots.

      • Rock

        A QB is not supposed to run for their life on nearly every play. RW got sacked twice today and ran away from pressure all day. Just because he is able to do it is not a tribute to his O Line. He should be able to sit in the pocket and deliver the ball as Ryan does. This scrambling will eventually get him hurt like RG3.

        It is not just Giacomini. Omiyale is a free agent and Person does not play. Carpenter is hurt and Moffitt cannot beat out Sweezy who was blown up frequently. We have to have depth and it needs to come at RT because we could improve the line by moving Breno inside.

        • Norm M

          Rock, the line did a great job today. There were times RW had all day to stand in the pocket. When he did run it was do to coverage. And this was with Atlanta knowing he had to throw the ball. The issue was pass rush. Zero sacks, very few hits, and even fewer pressures. Not good but fixable with free agency and the draft. We have a string young core. Super bummed about today but excited about following the draft and off season moves to fix the problems.

          • Rock

            Did you happen to see how many yards Lynch had today? 46 on 16 carries. There was no hole to run through. This came against a defense that was regarded as poor. And there were 2 sacks today, one each by Babineaux and Walker. They came right up the middle. We have only two or three guys on this line that could play for any other team in the league. If you put Flynn behind this line he would get killed. There are 10 O linemen on the active roster. Half of them could be replaced.

            • GH

              Just looking at today is a bit of a narrow view. The pass blocking TODAY was ok. But season long there have been problems on right side. I’m sure some resources are going to be spent in the off season trying to address it. Sweezy is not some wunderkind that is playing the position for the first time in the NFL and doing so at a high level. He is not and he got schooled a number of times this season, and today. And Moffitt is losing playing time to him. What does that say? The same thing some advanced stats show- they’re not very good. Breno has shown some improvement but it’s a stretch, imho, to say it’s a solidified position.

              Not DT, LB, level need, but there’s no way I can see the coaches are feeling the O line is “set”.

              • Rob Staton

                We need to move on people. The line is fine. They love Sweezy. They love Breno. They’ve done a good job this season. You don’t need five pro bowlers on the offensive line. There are bigger issues at stake here.

                • GH

                  I can definitely move on but there are many smart sources of football analysis that disagree that Breno, Moffitt and Sweezy are fine. Not an argument for 5 pro bowlers and I feel that’s an unfair representation of the discussion. Many people have provided advanced stats showing that some of the O line players are not even average. That’s not an argument for needing 5 pro bowlers.

                  • Rob Staton

                    I am yet to see any of these ‘advanced stats’. I saw one reference to PFF about six weeks ago regarding Breno Giacomini… and as far as I’m aware those rankings were largely negative because he had so many roughing penalties at the start of the year. He cut them out before even mid-season. Funnily enough, nobody has come back and re-posted any updated rankings recently.

            • Rob Staton

              Atlanta sold out to stop the run. They basically dared Russell Wilson to beat them, and he nearly did. Completely sold out against the run. And Lynch was hurt. We need to be talking about the non-existent pass rush, not this.

              • Sea meat

                Exactly. The goal was to stop lynch and they succeeded. O’line is fine. The defensive line and pass rush is priority number 1. Playmakers on offense second, and depth on defense third (linebackers, DB’s)

                • GH

                  ” We need to be talking about the non-existent pass rush, not this.”

                  didn’t realize it’s an either or proposition. Maybe I’ll move on to a blog that can talk about more than highest need.

                  • Rob Staton

                    We talk about multiple needs on this blog, not just the defense. But on the day the head coach even announces in two separate press conferences that the #1 priority is the pass rush… that’s what we’re going to focus on. The offensive line is not even the third biggest need for this team right now. We have to talk about the key issues here.

        • Rob Staton

          Breno is too tall and lean to play inside. Please tell me we’re not going to have another week of offensive line talk? They did their job this weekend. Wilson made plays. We have some depth there and the two most important positions are covered by Pro Bowl/All Pro talents. Improving the pass rush is the issue we need to be talking about this off-season.

          • GH

            I’ve stated several times I agree with you that pass rush is the primary issue. But I don’t see why we can’t discuss tertiary needs. I grant the O line did ok this game- but yet again Sweezy got exposed- which happens a lot, yet he is taking time from Moffitt. It’s an area the team needs to improve to get to the next level. I’m not saying it’s a first round need, but I’m pretty sure the staff is looking at that direction later on. Moffitt, Sweezy and Breno are anything but safe in their jobs, I’d say.

            • Barry

              The things I saw wrong with Sweezy are correctable and were very frustrating to see, like leaving his man before the center had slid over and vice versa. That will improve with familiarity among linemen. Sweezy is amazingly agile and moves great for a guy that size. I think that’s why Cable wanted him.

              Something we cant over look on Breno is his attitude. His mean tough even nasty at time rubbed off on the rest the line especially Okung and even though he’s not the top athlete or technical blocker he has a lot of value that’s easy to over look. Right now a stud like Warwick falling is moot point because its not happening. Next thing you would want to look at is another raw but athletic player whos new to the position or from a small school like what Cable found a few times at Oaktown who can develop.

  14. Brandon O.

    It’s been apparent this year that if we want get to the next level, we need to improve the DL. We need to be better against the run, and better at getting pressure up the middle. But I don’t think that guy will be there at #25. Address it in FA and with a day 2 or 3 pick.

    DeAndre Hopkins should be our first pick. Russell has earned himself a prize for his incredible play this year and I don’t think there is as polished and talented a WR as Hopkins in this draft. I think he would fit right in with our clubhouse and produce immediately.

    Having said that, I trust PCJS so much on draft day, I’ll be happy with whoever they choose. It could be a fullback, I don’t care, I believe in them that much!

  15. James

    The great rivalry between Carroll and Harbaugh continues next week. The Seahawks and 49’ers are pretty much equal in talent, SF a little more on the lines and Seattle a little more in the backfields. If Harbaugh can come up with a scheme to stop the Falcons underneath stuff, their crossing routes, etc, he will have outcoached Pete this season if SF makes the Super Bowl. But Pete is better at finding talent, and if he and John locate a 3-tech, a WR, a nickle corner, and another Leo, the Hawks can pass the 9’ers next year. Maybe we will learn something if the SF scheme is more successful in stopping the Falcons offense. ps – Russell Wilson was absolutely unbelievable in the 2d half upon another viewing…we can win a Super Bowl with this guy.

    • Sea meat

      Niners are getting older too.

  16. Belgaron

    Looking forward to:

    1. Wilson getting first team snaps all off-season.
    2. Healthy rested back for Lynch, feet for Big Red, etc.
    2. Carpenter getting full health and pwning LG, Sweezy getting his PhD in pass blocking and pwning RG, and Giacomini maturing to leave the penalties behind to create one of the best O-lines in NFL.
    3. Clemons, Thurmond, and Jones coming back healthy. Thurmond and Jones contributing in big way.

    Wish list:

    1. #1 Seed in playoffs next year with home field throughout.
    2. 1500 yards Lynch, 1000 yards Turbin
    3. Either bringing in a new DC or some fresh consulting blood to tighten the interior pass defense tech.
    4. Better clock management
    5. 5-6 new high ceiling contributors from the 2013 draft
    6. A DT that crushes the pocket.
    7. A speed merchant WR with skills like Sidney, Golden, and Baldwin
    8. Another high end weapon at TE
    9. More depth at pass rush and QB
    10. A 50 yard money FG kicker
    11. Less penalties, period. Lead the league.
    12. Better preparation on special teams for fake P/FGs and other trick plays.

    • Nolan

      Oh is that all?

      • MJ


      • Belgaron

        Yep, the Midas’ Touch the last 3 years has me feeling greedy!!! Let’s just fix everything this off season, it’s not like free agents won’t be telling their agents to put the Seahawks on the top of their list of teams they want to consider. They may actually get some discounts.

  17. Colin

    The pass protection was not an issue today. Period. Russ has to spin away from pressure, because, let’s face it. When things get REALLY tight he cannot see.

    Russ spinning away for another throwing lane should not be seen as poor protection.

    • Norm M

      Well said. Fix the d line and we’re in.

      • GH

        “Russ spinning away for another throwing lane should not be seen as poor protection.”
        Nor should Russ outrunning a DE yet again, or Marshawn busting a move 2 yards behind the LOS be confused with good blocking. yeah, pass blocking was ok today. Granted. For today.

        The stats that show the the right side of the line as “good”, (football outsiders) acknowledges they don’t separate RB ability and QB mobility. The ones that isolate (PFF) show Unger and Okung as very good and Breno, Sweezy, and Moffitt as problems look at each individual play 20 plus times and grade player individually. Those stats show Sweezy as bad, Moffitt as bad, and Breno as maginal. 49ers don’t live with that and neither should we.

        Not saying the D line, LB, and WR aren’t priorities. I fully expect this FO to draft players to light a fire under some of those guys and would not be a bit surprised if at least 1 of them faces significant loss in playing time next year.

        • Senepol

          PFF has ET as something like the #39 safety. Maybe they’re better at judging o-line play, but they certainly shouldn’t be taken as gospel.

  18. Snoop Dogg

    With their first 4 picks of the 2013 NFL draft, the Seahawks take:

    1) Margus Hunt (DL)
    2) Travis Kelce (TE)
    3) Marcus Davis (WR)
    4) Reid Fragel (OT)

    Rob, What do you think?

    • Rob Staton

      I wouldn’t be stunned if they took Hunt that early. I need to see more of Kelce and I have a game saved.

    • Michael

      1) My biggest question about Hunt (aside from his age) is where he would play in our scheme. Not quick enough for the Leo, Not gonna displace Red on early downs. Maybe he fits the Jason Jones roll as an inside rusher on passing downs, but do you really want to spend another 1st rounder on a specialist? The goal has to be improving the pass rush of the base defense and I’m just not sure Hunt is gonna do that for us.

      2) Travis Kelce looks really good, and very fast for his size (the anti-Zach Miller). Wouldn’t mind seeing the ‘Hawks grab him or the Aaron Hernandez clone, Jordan Reed at the bottom of the 2nd round so we can run a lot more 2 TE sets.

      • Rob Staton

        It’ll be interesting to see just how fast he is. If he runs a 4.4/4.5 with a fast ten yard split at 6-8 then he needs to be a top ten pick. But that probably won’t happen. He plays fast though and I think he could play the edge for this team – it’s just whether he even gets considered because he doesn’t look like a LEO. I would say his fit in Seattle’s defense would be in the Jason Jones role.

        • Barry

          You also always here Pete talk about being long, so much so that the commentators are catching on when that happens you know length is something he(Pete) emphasizes.

        • bjammin

          Doesn’t his kick block ability add another dimension that ups his value for the Hawks? Haven’t seen enough to know, but wouldn’t tipped passes be a plus too? Season’s just over and Hunt’s got me as curious as Upshaw last year. Don’t know why. Dude seems like a tremendously unique baller.

    • Barry

      I like that also Snoop. I see it going down different but have np with that going down. Hunt I love at times after watching him, and sometimes just dont know what to think about him. Could he be a player who is going to help us win yesterday? Or could a WR have kept a drive alive in the first half?

      Rob, if you have tape of Kelce could you put it up for us?

      Also Rob, thanks again for this site. Your work is top self and gives us broken heart Hawk fans a place to go after a game like Sundays.

  19. Michael

    Is there anyone that was worried we weren’t gonna score the go ahead TD?

    Is there anyone that wasn’t worried about leaving too much time?

    • Norm M

      Not here. Same thoughts. I was almosy hoping they would have not called Lynch in on the run so we could have run another 10 seconds off the clock….

  20. andymuhs

    Trade up into the top 10 to get Sheldon Richardson. He would do so much for this team

    • Connor Jackson

      Well that’s what I’m wondering and I’m glad you brought it up. I feel that Richardson might warrant trading up for. It certainly seems that we all agree that if the Hawks get a stud 3 tech then that takes this D to another level so why not? I understand that the 2014 draft will probably be loaded and you don’t want to give up next years 1st rd. pick but is there a way to make a deal with a team for Flynn and other picks to make this happen or something else? I think you have a great point here….
      Would love to get everyone’s take on this one

      • Phil

        Rob has pointed out that success at drafting a 3-tech is really tough — it’s almost as successful getting a 3-tech in the later rounds. So, moving up to draft Richardson is a real gamble.

        • Connor Jackson

          But From what I’ve seen from Richardson wows me. He lives in the backfield, has a high motor, and is built great for a 3-tech. I take the gamble if that’s a gamble

          • Rob Staton

            It depends how big the gamble is really. I’m more loathe to concede picks these days consider JS/PC have been so successful in the later rounds. But for the right player, you consider the move. Moving up 10-12 spots for a third rounder I think you can tolerate, but that’s the breaking point.

            • Connor Jackson

              If it’s a 3rd Rd. pick that we’d have to give up to jump up and snag Richardson I do that in a heart beat. I salivate watching Richardson and think about putting him in the middle of our D-Line

              • Barry

                I think we are all reacting right now. We need to take a step back and watch some tape.

                It would seem to go against the system Pete runs to give up the farm for one player. I think he and JS realize that theres always someone else to fill that spot or someone better. I believe we have something like 10 picks and would be surprised if it didnt go something like this:

                1st – WR, or too good of a player falls
                2nd- te/hybrid or ” ”
                3rd- speed speed speed guy a returner small scat back/ small WR guy who plays fast and shows it at the combine.
                4th- D-lineman
                5th- ” ‘
                5th( we have raiders 5 or 4th based on Curry’s pt) another player with speed, rb/wr returner type or small school front seven with speed.
                6th lineman either side of the ball

                *if there is a stud kicker I would be surprised to see him go early to us.
                Just my thoughts

                • andymuhs

                  Appreciate your thoughts Barry but I’ve been watching and re watching every game this year and it is painfully obvious that if we had a Darnell Dockett/Justin Smith type that constanty drew double and maybe even triple teams it would open up so much more. Clemons with 15-20 sack, Irvin with 12, throw in 6 or 7 for Richardson…. It puts so much more pressure on the opposing offense and creates way more turnovers. You don’t have to trade the farm as you say.

                  • Barry

                    For a D that allowed the least amount of point this season that didn’t even have a whole offense working for half of it to take pressure off the D they did fair enough. If you look at how PC and JS have operated in the draft my thoughts are fairly accurate. Also the fact that the D had more trouble stopping the run on Sunday. It all leads from one into another.

           this chart is older, but still gives you an idea how much it cost to move from pick 25 into the top ten.

                    Smith wasn’t even the same kind of player he is now with the team that drafted him (the Bengals) when he came into the league and Dockett slide to Rnd 3. And if you watched him at FSU you loved and hated him.

                    You might also want to check out the bust rate for DT taken in the top ten, it hasn’t been pretty in the last 10-12 years. There’s a philosophical reason for that also it being like the O-line a blue-collar mentality position.
                    I never said I didn’t want a stud up front that can create pressure up the middle, on the contrary I’d love one. I just think its not practical to start applying our wishes on to a draft philosophy PC and JS haven’t shown.

                    Hypothetically projecting sack numbers doesn’t really mean much

  21. Swamp_fox

    More grist for the off-season mill, setting aside the obvious pass rush needs…

    * I had no question in my mind – NONE – that Wilson was marching us down the field for 7 after the Thomas pick and again after the subsequent defensive hold. Amazing how far our Offense as a whole progressed over the course of the season, guys. Super exciting for the future of this team.

    * Leon was close to breaking a couple punt returns… man that would have sent all of us over a cliff.

    * Turbin showed more moves today on a couple runs than I remembered him having. Looking forward to seeing more of him next year, especially on swing passes.

    * Tackling has been discussed. Coverage of TE’s as well (noted that Gonzalez is a future HOF’er). We need another contributor to this emerging LB corps.

    * Jon Ryan had a surprisingly mediocre day indoors.

    * I like to think Pete will have learned his lesson re: taking the 3 points early vs. going for it on 4th-and-1, icing the kicker, etc. but his strategic game management isn’t as strong as the rest of his coaching talents. IMO he needs a clock-and-situation czar or an OC with a stronger political hand in dealing with his hormonal tendencies when the heat is dialed waayyyy up. Love Pete and the Hawks, which is why I make the observation.

    * Can’t wait for free agency and the draft.. completely trust this FO will attack the problems we see.

    • CFR

      Imagine that exact same situation with Tarvaris Jackson at QB? We would have gotten killed by at least 30 points. People talk about Wilson putting up points in the second half, which is obvious. What they don’t talk about is his leadership and sense of calmness that allowed the whole team (including the defense) to play a much better second half. The defense fed off of the offense at the beginning of the second half and provided the offense with the opportunities to mount the comeback. If I was a defense and I just got a turnover or 3 and out for my QB and then he subsequently went 3 and out, I’d be deflated. Russell Wilson gives this defense the confidence that their great plays will not go to waste. That is the least discussed (but potentially the most important) change that has come with Russell as QB. Brighter times await, keep your heads up and don’t lose faith in this team because of that one tough loss. The season on the whole was an outstanding win.

    • Barry

      Good points in your post Swamp_fox.

      I think it was the lack of pass rush that was more a difference then our LB corp. The LBs are young and deep.

  22. Morgan

    I usually love going for it one 4th-and-1. In this case maybe we needed some points psychologically, and I certainly didn’t like not having Lynch in, despite his subpar game. I understand that the staff loves Sweezy but he got rocked yesterday, repeatedly. Hopefully Carp can stay healthy and Sloth can do the yeoman’s work at RG if Sweezy, Moffitt, or even Rishaw Johnson don’t develop.

  23. Zach

    Since it’s time to start the rosterbation, I have a thought. I have no idea if it’s even possible to trade for him, and I kinda doubt that he’d be available (since he’s really really good), but is there a way the Seahawks could try and trade for Ndamukong Suh? Talent-wise, he’s one of the best interior D-linemen in the league, so any and all questions around him involve his “personality,” and also his contract.

    Again, I doubt that Detroit would look to trade him, but he is signed to a massive contract which (along with the Megatron and Stafford deals) helps to cripple the Lions, he’s obviously had a number of “controversial” moments, and even with him their defense was bad this year, though most of that has to do with their back seven. I’m not sure if the financial side of it can even be made to work, and it would be a fairly unprecedented deal, but the day after the season ends a man can dream, can’t he?

    • Rob Staton

      The issue of trading for Suh is contract. He’s due something like $17m in 2013 and another $17m in 2014. It’s an incredible sum and he’d be tough to re-sign on those numbers. Plus there’s the trade value which would be very high. He has little motivation to negotiate an extension either, knowing he’ll probably be a free agent when his massive deal ends.

      • Zach

        That is all true, and he’s a great player, but I wonder if that contract won’t mean that his trade cost is actually not all that high. Detroit is at a point now where they are spending a ton of money on three players, and they’re a bad football team. That doesn’t seem like a situation that will last for much longer.

  24. glor

    Carroll going for it on 4th down, I have no problem with it whatsoever, what I have an issue with is the play that was called. (on both 3rd and 4th down) Read option anyone??

    I hate prevent defense.

    Why all the talk about getting a TE? Miller was an absolute beast, but more importantly, we actually seemed to feature a TE .. I only hope this translates into the regular season.

    No PR was a killer, and Irvin showed he is still a specialist. And personally, I don’t feel he has lived up to a 1st round pick, just like I don’t think Carp has either.. that is two years in a row now with … not getting a lot of value with those 1sts. I think if you look at the sacks that Irvin got this year, at least 4 of them could have been gotten by anyone at that position and situation.

    I also just don’t get this Moffit/Sweezy deal going on… I mean moffit was a 2nd round pick.. are we shelving him?

    LB’s – I have to say, we have to do something to shore up the middle of the field.. with Kam, I mean what is he doing trying to cover a receiver deep? (the play where sherm fell and the TD occurred.) Why wasn’t Earl covering deep? I would love to see Kam take over Hill’s spot, if he could make that transition and if we could get another stud to be back there with Earl.

    I’m so glad that QB isn’t on my list of grumbles!

    • SunPathPaul

      Zach Miller was a beast, so why not have TWO beast TE!!! Draft Zach Ertz!
      The Zach & Zach TE Attack!! We need to give RW all the weapons we can!!

    • Connor Jackson

      I think going into the offseason it would definitely be intriguing to consider Bam Bam transitioning to LB and taking over for Hill. I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibilities either because obviously Schneider was considering taking Barron in the draft last year.

  25. Zach

    On the topic of WRs: if he’s cut, any thoughts about Darius Heyward-Bey? He’s turned into a pretty good player in Oakland, he’s still got great speed, and he blocks really well for a “speed” guy. Seems like someone PC/JS would take a look at.

    • Barry

      If he comes cheap I would see why PC wouldn’t bring him in, unless he has info we don’t…

  26. deetee

    The Hawks need to stay ahead of the curve; RG3, RW, Kapernick, etc are the beginnings of a trend certain to permeate the NFL. Yes, they need a 3-tech and better pass rush options, but they will need to find a hybrid SS/LB that can cover TEs and play the QB read with athleticism. A true 4.4 guy that is a playmaker (a dude that makes more plays than Malcom Smith and Mike Morgan). Maybe they move Chancellor into that role and draft another Earl Thomas/Eric Berry type safety (not that those guys are growing on trees). Another need is a valuable nickle corner–maybe thats Lane? If Lane and Maxwell continue to progress (as well as the oft-injured WTIII), maybe Browner slides inside to the nickel (on nickel downs)…heck, he is an amazing run force defender as shown on screens and tosses and he has the size and physicality to deal with TEs. What do you think, Rob?

    • Rob Staton

      I haven’t been that impressed watching Chancellor vs the pass-catching tight end. I agree though, they have to stay ahead of the curve. Speed at linebacker is going to be vital for every team going forward. But more than anything I still think they need to be able to pressure the orthodox QBs like Matt Ryan without blitzing – and until the pass rush problem is solved, anything else is of secondary importance.

      • Barry

        I agree Kam had a bad playoffs. Watching him play against Vernon Davis and other athletic TEs earlier he seemed more sure of himself and sharp. maybe its the playoff maybe he was exposed, either way I’ve seen better from him and he didnt show it in the last two games.

        • Snoop Dogg

          I thought Zachary Brown from last years draft would have fit that role perfectly! That being said, I feel as if Leroy hill was simply getting time because of veteran leadership. I think Malcolm smith is the future for that role. He is everything we need and more!

          • GH

            “and until the pass rush problem is solved, anything else is of secondary importance.”

            This I agree with wholeheartedly.

          • Rob Staton

            Brown would’ve been the perfect WILL and I believe they had a lot of interest in him. Clearly liked Wagner more, which was understandable.

            • Jeff

              The guy they really wanted was obviously Kendricks,but Philly traded up and grabbed him after JS had traded down. Too clever by half there.

              • Senepol

                I think they’re pretty happy with Wagner – I’m guessing they preferred Kendricks, but were fine with Wagner or they wouldn’t have traded back. I’d have to assume JS had a plan with every contingency mapped out.

  27. Barry

    The D line as a whole was not great through the playoff. Both vs the pass and run. Against the run they got pushed around and vs the pass could not penetrate. Irvin’s lake of playing time and lack of coaching on how to disengage really showed up late in the year.

    Tate had another solid game. Rice has to be upgraded he’s just not playoff starting material. The D line needs a guy who is a legit stud. Not someone drafted to play 25% of the downs and when it matters the most cant get it done. Right now that would seem like at DT since PC and JS are more unlikely to draft another DE, but who knows. But we need interior guys who you either cant move or who can get into the backfield.

    • SunPathPaul

      I agree that Rice doesn’t cut it. He makes great plays and catches, but it is just so rare!
      I want him on the team, but we need a fast, fast, speedy WR that can be open a lot…consistently!

      I hope we fix our D line / pass rushing problems through FA. I really do. That way we use the value of our first 2 round picks to arm Russell Wilson with other talented and focused young weapons. They can grow together, and will all be under the new rookie pay scale, so they will be affordable for 4-5 years as a set! TE and WR is what I hope we get early, then JS can work his magic again late… I keep mentioning also the idea that if RW likes Nick Toon, they played his senior year together at Wisconsin w success, then maybe trade for him from New Orleans. He was a 4th rounder, 6-3, 4.49, 215. As long as he is healthy and RW feels he has chemistry with him.

      I also think a dynamic player like Tavon Austin would be flammable and powerful if mixed with RW! He does it all… he would be a gamble being so small, 5-9 / 179 / 4.38!!!, but hey- it worked with RW!!!!

  28. Connor Jackson

    Brandon Kaufman WR from Eastern Washington declared for the draft instead of going back for his Senior year. He’s a guy that I’ve had my eye on for about a year now. Pete Carroll has tried several times to go out and get that big WR like Vincent Jackson & Brandon Marshall. I’ll bet they may have some interest in Kaufman who set all kinds of School records. The only thing he doesn’t have going for him is quality of competition

    • SunPathPaul

      Looks like a great possibility! 6-4, 214, 4.58… MAybe we can grab him in the second round or later…

      Hey Rob, do you think THIS Brandon could be a big weapon for us?

      • Rob Staton

        I’ve honestly never seen him play. I don’t have access to Eastern Washington tape.

  29. CFR

    Much talk has been made about upgrading the receiving corps, but they’ve all involved either signing a WR or drafting a WR/TE. My question: what about signing a TE? Specifically, there is one name that may be available that screams upside: Jared Cook.

    He’s 6″5, 248 pounds, and only 25 years old. I’m not sure how his blocking is, but even if it’s bad, he’s still a great red zone option and a guy who could really add another dimension to the team. However, I remember reading this year that his blocking has improved (although to what extent it had improved is unknown).

    I think that signing Cook to a relatively short term contract (2-3 years) and drafting a WR somewhere in the top 3 rounds could suddenly give Russell a whole new box of toys to play with (even more so if you include the emergence of Zach Miller in this week’s game).


    • Rob Staton

      Cook or even Fred Davis both stand to be free agent options.

  30. MJ

    Couple of thoughts:

    Marshawn Lynch was clearly hobbled. He lacked the burst he usually exhibits. Now, this isn’t an overreaction, but due to the importance of the run game, I think it’s important that we target another young, tone setter RB in the Lynch mold. I really like Turbin, but he’s not a powerback. He’s a change of pace guy in a power RBs body. Something tells me I won’t be shocked if Eddie Lacy is an option in R2 (if available). Do I expect this to happen? No. But, I am definitely keeping my eye on it. I love Lynch, but his style is prone to an abrupt decline. When that happens, I don’t know.

    Red Bryant: I really wish this staff would not be so stubborn and recognize this experiment is not only not working, it’s failing. He was close to worthless for most of the year. Can’t happen at a premium position. Now, this experiment won’t end, which means 3 Technique is a must. Melton or Starks?

    WR: Despite a big passing day, far too often, again, RW buys 8 seconds and guys can’t separate. I really like Tate, Rice, and Baldwin, but they are not guys that strike any fear in opposing defenses. Not saying we need an R1 WR, but we need a guy with a rocket up his behind and can’t get defenses to take notice.

    Russell Wilson: One of the most brilliant performances I’ve ever seen from a QB, let alone a rookie. There are so many cliche terms used in sports, but he truly exemplifies those. His comeback, is the type of thing that only the Tom Brady’s accomplish and he did it on the road in his first playoff run. Unbelievable. And finally, people are taking notice that despite him being small, the kid has an absolute cannon for an arm. RW having a whole off-season as “the guy” should make every team in the NFL worry. Crazy. Now, let’s not just settle, and get him more weapons to build around in the draft.

    *Notice the first thing Matt Ryan said post game was about Russell…after his first playoff win. RW is the type of guy who defines a franchise. Baller.

    FA: The money in FA needs to go to the DL. I think we need to spend money on Melton/Starks and Michael Johnson (DE Cincy). We can’t count on Clemons playing in 2013 and he’s getting up in age anyways. Use the draft to address WIL, CB, and S, whilst targeting some toys for our franchise QB.

    Exciting times ahead! We have a studly young team and a QB that is a straight cold blooded assassin.

    • SunPathPaul

      “*Notice the first thing Matt Ryan said post game was about Russell…after his first playoff win.”

      Do you have a link for this video? All I can find has their coach and Ryan in one video, edited. Thus the RW comment was taken out…

    • Bishop

      One guy who I have been watching a lot of tape on is Dennis Johnson from Arkansas. He’s built like Michael Turner, vicious of a runner like Lynch, and has great burst/break away speed. I was thinking that going for a RB would upset fans and make them think they are trying to replace Lynch….which they would not. They need a solid #3, or even an upgrade at #2, at the position and Dennis Johnson will be around in the later rounds.

      Just imagine them banging with Lynch and then sending Johnson in there to give Lynch a breather, only to have the same style and the ability to keep his legs moving.

  31. bjammin

    You have to wonder how Clemon’s injury will affect him. He’s such a fast, explosive guy, you hope he comes back strong and fast as ever but there could be a drop off. Really hope not but he’s not that young. I’ll be rooting for him to recover quickly and be back in top form but that could add even more of a priority to Carroll saying they needed a couple guys to add to the pass rush.

  32. James

    We learned the hard way last year not to ignore it when Pete tells us his draft plans. Last year, he specifically said that he planned to draft for speed in a pass rusher, so he went out and drafted the fastest pass rusher in the draft. Yet none of us projected it. Today, he clearly indicated that his priority is again the pass rush. This time he did not indicate speed as the key attribute, leaving the door open for a 3-tech DT.

    • Rob Staton

      You nailed it.

    • Bishop

      sounds like Johnathan Hankins

  33. James

    I have three distinct memories of this seaso:

    1) Watching Russell Wilson become a franchise QB
    2) Watching Beast Mode run over and through the best the NFL has to offer
    3) Watching our pass defense get shredded over and over again in like fashion, by Kevin Kolb, Jay Cutler, Matt Stafford, Sam Bradford, Ryan Tannehill and now Matt Ryan, to name just a few who drove their teams to wins in the 4th quarter by consistently going underneath our soft zones while facing no pass rush at all. I for one would not be sad if we lose our D Coordinator to the Eagles. We need a completely different approach in our schemes.

  34. Barry

    In fairness Ryan didn’t have a great game against us, 2 picks and something around 225 yards inst wonderful. Detroit was going to throw it, and Dolphins ran on us. Those two hurt.

    I’m willing to bet everyone here would consider GB to have a far superior pass rush to us. They just got destroyed by Kaepernick, a few weeks ago we destroyed that same team. Smith played but was still not 100%.

    The reason we lost this game wasn’t because of a lack of pass rush. It was inconsistent play calling and ability to execute in the first halt. Getting ran over the whole game by a old back and a quick back (both of who had a ave yrd per carry of 4.0 or less in a weak NFC south for the season) and a call that still doesn’t make sense other then Pete had no faith in his team to go for it when his team is only down 13-0, the getting no points and giving momentum back to a Atlanta team who took it and went right after us.

    If our O does anything the first half ATL feels more pressure and maybe passes more resulting in our D getting to pin their ears back and get after it more and who knows maybe we end up with 3 or 4 INTs for the game. One thing you should know if you have watched Matt Ryan through his career is he loses a lot of accuracy the father down the field he throws. He just doesn’t have that strong of a arm. This year he has improved it, but that has also come with the emergence of big old JJ.

    I want a stud in the middle of our D line as much as anyone here. But the issue is right now there isn’t a Sue in this draft class. But there might be a Atkins, in ability and draft positions.

  35. deetee

    off topic, sort of…i wonder if chris ault is on the hawks radar as consultant role to beef up the new run game. sounds like pete & co. would have liked to have had more answers for atlanta’s read option defense in the 1st half. i know the hawks always want to be able to run first–no matter how good the qb is or how many cats the defense floods the box with. ault could help them diversify a growing read option game by infusing the pistol concepts. his p,ay-action concepts also mesh well with seattle’s pass game design.

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