Instant reaction: Seahawks pummel Bills

Russell Wilson had four touchdowns against the Bills

The Seahawks hit 50 for the second week in a row and sent a message to the rest of the NFC. This team means business.

This was a crucial win. Pete Carroll needed his players to prove there wouldn’t be any hangover from a blowout win against Arizona. Some of the hand-wringing over the road-record is put to bed now that Seattle finishes 3-5. More importantly, it sets up two huge home games to close out the regular season.

Today was all about making sure next week’s game against San Francisco had real meaning. The national spotlight will be on the NFC West in week 16. People around the country will be waiting to see San Francisco @ Seattle. And the Seahawks needed to make sure they had everything to play for going into that game.

Job done.

Back to today’s game…

Russell Wilson continues to be a big-time playmaker, scoring four touchdowns today. He could’ve had more, missing on a couple of end-zone throws (particularly the one to Michael Robinson). The flea-flicker play to Golden Tate also had scoring potential, but was a little under-thrown forcing Tate to stop and wait for the ball. But hey, we’re nitpicking here. The guy is playing at a phenomenal level.

Chris Clemons had 2.5 sacks to reach double figures for the third straight year. People seem to have been planning for life after Clemons ever since he arrived in Seattle. The guy earned his new contract and remains one of the best pass rushers in the league. Put a legit pass-rushing three-technique next to this guy and he’ll be even more productive. He clearly has a few more years left in the tank.

How many times did you hear Mario Williams’ name called today? There were a couple of 1vs1 moments where Breno Giacomini held his own against one of the truly elite pass rushers in the league. He’s not flawless. He’s had penalties this year. Yet Breno has done a good job this year on the whole. On the other side, Russell Okung has developed into one of the best left tackle’s in the NFL. Certainly offensive tackle is not a priority for this team in the off-season.

The two young cornerbacks – Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell – both had good games. Whether they can keep it up against a better passing offense, I guess we’ll find out next week. It’s a shame that Walter Thurmond can’t get away from the injury bug. If he’s suffered a hamstring injury as some have speculated, don’t expect to see Thurmond in the final two weeks of the season.

There was a concerning issue that reared its ugly head again and it’s a pretty big one. The Seahawks’ defensive scheme can show some pretty soft coverage looks. The team focuses a lot on the four-man rush, allowing the linebackers to sit and make plays. Pete Carroll wants turnovers. The best way to create turnovers is to bring it with four. However, we saw again today that this defensive line just isn’t good enough to get the job done on early downs.

The end result is often an opposing quarterback working from a clean pocket, finding guys underneath and on crossing routes. At 31-7 the game was essentially over, yet the Bills were able to exploit the soft zone and a lack of pressure to score a quick 10 points. At half time, suddenly things were competitive again. Second half adjustments were made to show more eight-man fronts in an attempt to confuse Ryan Fitzpatrick. I noticed K.J. Wright blitzing on one call, something he’s not asked to do much. The changes worked, but the switch to different looks and blitzes takes away from what appears to be the long-term vision for the defense.

At the moment there’s just too much reliance on Clemons in the base defense. He’s the only guy who threatens, making it easy to key-in to him on early downs. Alan Branch doesn’t create penetration. Brandon Mebane isn’t fairing much better. And Red Bryant’s role doesn’t ask him to do much pass-rushing (before any questions that role, remember how integral it is to the 4-3 under to have a five-tech with size).

I keep coming back to the argument that says upgrading the three-technique position is the teams greatest need. The scheme puts the three and the LEO in 1vs1 match-ups. That’s the benefit of Bryant – his size ensures you don’t get gashed on the left side of the line for run calls. It’s why K.J. Wright’s role is so important at the SAM to help set the edge. Everything is set up for pressure on the right side.

And it isn’t happening.

Put a three-technique on the line who can collapse the pocket and suddenly this defense clicks in a base look. The left tackle becomes wary of inside pressure and won’t be able to set so easily against Clemons. It’ll help Brandon Mebane become more of a force because the center might have to help out the guard against a dangerous three-tech. This isn’t so much a need in Seattle, as integral for this defense to max-out its potential.

There are prospects in the 2013 draft class who can fill the role but they have a good shot to go in the top-15/20 picks (Sheldon Richardson, Star Lotulelei, Sylvester Williams). I’ve made this suggestion before, but 29-year-old Randy Starks is a free-agent in Miami. I’m not sure how easy it’ll be for the Dolphins to keep him next season and the franchise tag seems unlikely. If he hits the market, he would be ideal for the Seahawks. He’d maintain the quality of run-support Branch provides, but he’s also a much greater penetrative threat. For what it’s worth I’d look into keeping Branch too if the finances allow it. He’s never been a three-technique. He’s 335lbs. It’s not his fault he plays like a nose tackle at the three. Yet even if he’s replaced by a guy like Starks, he’d be a good rotational piece and would provide a key back-up for Bryant at the five.

If the Seahawks can address this need going into the draft next April, they can concentrate on other areas in the first and second round (such as much needed depth at receiver). Nevertheless, this is a debate to be continued at a later date. For now, bring on the 49ers. And if this team finished 11-5, nobody is going to want to meet the Seahawks in the playoffs.


  1. Colin

    They are a Super Bowl contender. I do not care that the Bears have injury issues, that the Cardinals are inept and that Buffalo is underpeforming- the Seahawks have dominated these last 3 weeks with eye popping numbers.

    200+ rush yards in each game.

    400+ yards total each game.

    34 points allowed.

    131 points scored.

    • Rob Staton

      No better way to prove those credentials than to win next week…

      • Colin

        Took the words out of my mouth. Everything is built up to next week.

        • Michael

          This thing the NFL came up with to be able to “flex” the TV schedules is one thing they have gotten right. Can’t wait to watch the ‘Hawks on SNF. Now let’s go PATS!!

      • SeaMeat

        Exactly. This is the game that makes me nervous especially after the niners beat New England in their house. I like the Hawks adjusted a bit on defense in the second half, but why not give those 8 man front looks earlier on? Why wait until the opposing team starts to gash you?

  2. John

    Wilson has the best recorded single game QBR ever at 99.3.

    • Snoop Dogg

      Have you noticed how many records he is setting? It seems like announcers are constantly bringing new stats up that Wilson has dominated.

    • Bobby Cink

      That is for this season.

      Wilson has the 4th best all time QBR for a single game behind Palmer (CIN) vs Chicago in 2009, Vick (PHI) vs Washington in 2010, and Romo (DAL) vs Buffalo in 2011.

  3. Stuart

    If the Pats win tonight, this sets up the most exciting week of the season, Go Pats, beat the 49’ers!

  4. Rock

    In watching the Niners game there are two things they do better than the Hawks. They can squeeze the QB in the pocket and take the top off the defense with their speed at WR. This years draft should be the one where we close the gap. It is amazing how similar the Hawks and Niners are. They even ran a fake punt. I think you pretty much nailed it, Rob. Take a 3-Tech in free agency and WR’s in the draft. We may find the WR’s we want after Round 1 which could still leave us with the BPA in the first round.

    • Rob Staton

      Both teams also don’t want to blitz. San Fran blitz even less than we do I think… of course they just get Justin Smith to hold and let Aldon attack on a lot of plays. But both teams are eerily similar.

      • Rock

        The other thing is San Francisco has some players that are freaks of nature. Randy Moss at 35 years old can still run a 4.3 forty. Vernon Davis, no 250 pound man should be able to run a 4.38 forty. That is scary stuff. Our cornerbacks are both freaks as are Earl Thomas, Wilson and Lynch. If we get a chance in the draft to select someone that is a freak at their position we have to go BPA even if it isn’t our targeted position of need.

        • Tyler Jorgensen

          Not to completely disagree with your point, but Randy Moss is no longer running a 4.3 forty.

    • Phil

      After watching the Niners game, I wish we could go no-huddle for the entire game the way the Pats did — the Niner defense looked gassed in the 4th Qtr. I think our success in running the read-option will be what decides the game. Run it to Aldon Smith’s side of the field and change it up once in awhile by faking the run option and then throwing over the top.

      • SeaMeat

        Good thought. I am not sure my mental health can withstand next weeks game…

  5. Aussie Rich

    Hey Rob, any chance the Seahawks pursue a trade with the Cardinals for Darnell Dockett? Trade say…. Flynn and a second.

    • Michael

      I know you asked Rob and not me, but I would bet my next paycheck that trade never happens…

      • Aussie Rich

        Yeah, I know same division trades are avoided.

        • SeaMeat

          I have a hard time seeing Flynn traded at this point. He is not going to want a decrease in pay either, so I see Flynn getting cut. They can use that $. Plus Dockett is in a what, 5 or 6 year contract? I would guess coaching changes before he is traded away.

    • Rob Staton

      Unfortunately not. Inter-division trades rarely happen and the Cardinals trading one of the best five DT’s in the league for a career backup QB isn’t going to happen, even if we throw in a second round pick. Expect Arizona to draft a QB next April.

      • mister bunny

        Grammar jerk here … “intra-division” trades rarely happen.

  6. Michael

    Is it just me or does Justin Smith have an Anheuser-Busch tatoo on his arm? If so that is probably the most white trash thing I have ever seen.

  7. Colin

    Looks like we’re gonna need to keep the roadgame mojo going. No CLink playoff games for us unless we get to the NFCCG. And 1-4 all lose.

    • Rob Staton

      The defeats to Miami… Detroit… St. Louis and Arizona are even more frustrating tonight.

      • pqlqi

        those losses are the cost of a team learning and developing. Better to lose on the road in Miami, Detroit and Arizona than to lose in the post season.

        go hawks

      • Phil

        I agree – but the next hurdle for this team is to realize that they can beat the Niners. Next year, we’ve got to win the division.

  8. GH

    Yet Breno has done a good job this year on the whole.

    come on…he’s been nearly benched, twice.

    • Rob Staton

      You’ve just made that up. At no point has he ‘nearly been benched’. A few penalties at the start of the year led to a bit of frustration, but at no point did a permanent change appear likely. People need to get off Giacomini’s back. It’s silly really. If he was a first round pick, people would be praising his season.

      • dave crockett

        Yeah, I don’t get this. The guy had some silly penalties early, but it’s time to let him out of jail folks. He’s playing some REALLY good ball right now. His last bad game was Miami, and the entire offensive line sucked during that game.

      • Rugby Lock

        I agree Rob. We got this guy for a bag of socks… Him being quality depth would’ve been nice but a good stating RT for a bag of socks?? Score!

      • YDB

        I’m withholding judgement on Giacomini until after the next game. If it wasn’t so heart-breaking to watch, his play at the end of the SF game earlier in the year would have been comically horrible. His pass protection issues when facing Smith almost single-handedly closed out the game for the 9ers.

        • Rob Staton

          There aren’t many right tackles who can cope with the Smith’s in San Fran. They cause weekly problems for the best left tackles in the game, let alone the guys on the right.

          • Rock

            True, but if we get a chance to select the next Walter Jones at Giacomini’s position I am all in.

            • GH

              I’m not making it up, in fact, I was being kind. He was in fact benched in favor of Omiyale. You can look it up. It’s a matter of record.

              I don’t know how a player’s season can be considered “pretty good” when he is benched for a scrap heap player. The guy piled up personal fouls and accounted for 80 some yards of penalties all by himself in one game. He’s also consistently ranked horribly in advanced stats for pass blocking relative to other Right Tackles.

              I don’t see how that can be considered a “pretty good” year. Barely acceptable seems more like it.

              • GH

                also I would add that just looking at sacks to evaluate Breno’s performance in the game is a bit narrow. A big reason why Zach Miller’s reception totals have evaporated since he came to Seattle is he’s had to act as a sixth offensive lineman.

                I’d like to see some analysis of how often Miller has to help Breno rather than go into a pass route. The fact that they’ve had to use Miller more as a blocker than a receiver is relatively widely accepted. Why is that? Where is he being used? I suspect he’s having to hold Breno’s hand.

              • Rob Staton

                He was benched for a series against the Rams after one too many penalties. And then he returned in the same game for the next drive. It was a statement. He took the message on board and stayed in the first team. He’s since addressed his penalty issues in a big way. There was never any intention to bench him, he certainly wasn’t on the verge of being benched twice as you suggested.

                Your whole argument is based around this phantom ‘benching’. Neither is he ‘ranked horribly’ by advanced stats. Giacomini has enjoyed a good season. Go and watch him vs Mario Williams yesterday and come back and say he deserves to be replaced. Seahawks fans need to get out of this concept that other teams have elite tackles playing RT. They aren’t. They’re using guys like Giacomini and there’s a reason for that. Eventually we’ll realise there’s more to football than the right tackle position.

                • GH

                  So the various news stories on google that say he was benched are just making it up? He was benched. Period.
                  I’m afraid I don’t understand your argument. Where have I said there’s nothing more to football than the Right Tackle position? Where have I said other teams have elite right tackles? Who is making stuff up?
                  Profootball focus had Breno ranked near the bottom of right tackles. That’s been cited here a number of times.
                  Regarding your comment that if he was a first round draft pick we’d be happy with his play, sure, if he was a rookie I might be encouraged. But dude has been in the league for 5 years and he’s still a marginal player. You can’t just dismiss his penalties as if they’re outside his realm of play. They count.

                  He’s not had a good year. He’s been barely mediocre.

                  The Seahawks O line has some concerns, they need to solidify their guard positions and right tackle positions and I suspect they’ll look at both in this year’s off season.

                  That’s not me saying there’s no more to football than the right tackle position, fyi.

                  • Rob Staton

                    Yes they are wrong. He missed a single series. They took him off the field for one series as a punishment for a penalty-too-many. He then returned on the very next series against the Rams. So you can keep banging the drum for this phantom benching if you want, but it’s nonsense.

                    Regarding these statistics on pro-football focus, I don’t have access to their premium stats feature. A few weeks ago I saw something that ranked Giacomini in the late 20’s for RT production based on whatever formula they use. If memory serves me correctly, those statistics came out after a lousy game for the entire line against Miami. In the subsequent games against Chicaco (elite line), Arizona and Buffalo (Mario Williams) – Giacomini has been superb. I imagine the PFF stats are impacted heavily by penalties conceded by lineman. Nobody would argue he didn’t have issues with penalties at the start of the year and that has probably severely hammered his ranking. But clearly he has got away from that now and has improved a lot. Now that he’s cut out the penalties, he’s playing as well as any right tackle in the league. And I don’t need a premium account at PFF to notice that – I watch the games. I watch Breno stone-walling Mario Williams. I see Russell Wilson in a clean pocket and Marshawn Lynch running the ball well. That’s all that matters.

                    According to Football Outsiders (a free, more trustworthy source IMO)… the Seahawks were ranked #3 in the league for run blocking before the Buffalo game. That stands to rise after another monster display against the Bills. They are #16 for pass protection, bang middle in the league. Again, that will probably rise again after another 50-point performance against the Bills. So those numbers suggest elite run blocking, plus reasonable pass protection. Only six teams had less sacks than Seattle ahead of week 15. So I’m pretty content with the offensive line this season and those numbers suggest my eye test is correct with Breno. He’s contributing.

                    You suggest the team needs to solidify at guard and right tackle. Why exactly? James Carpenter has shown some quality at guard pre-injury and Paul McQuistan has done an admirable job when he’s played. Likewise John Moffitt is getting involved and they like JR Sweezy’s potential. At right tackle they have Breno playing well and Omiyale as a backup. As a unit this offensive line is one of the most underrated in the league. Gone are the days of QB’s getting hammered in the backfield. Gone are the days of an impotent rush attack.

                    This simply isn’t an issue.

            • Alex

              If there is one, you pick one up, but there isn’t one even in the NFL right now. The golden age of the Left Tackles, from the late 90s to the mid 00s such as Jonathon Ogden, Walter Jones, Orlando Pace, Tony Boselli, has been gone for a good 5 years. The RTs of the time including Lincoln Kennedy and Willie Roaf were also dominant on their side. Even a second tier tackle of that period- Tarik Glenn- would probably be a 1st team All Pro today and among the top 2 LTs.

              All I’m saying is that if there is a Walter Jones, yes, you pick him up, but I highly doubt he would even escape the top 5 picks since there aren’t any LT in today’s game with the same skill and talent as those elite tackles from the previous generation.

              If you were to evaluate the tackles of today’s NFL, the only tackle that is dominant on both run blocking and pass blocking is probably Texans Left Tackle Duane Brown, but he is more very, very good on both sides than elite on both sides. The others who are elite on one side is usually average or below average on the other side. Joe Thomas a first time All Pro is probably the best pass blocker, but he is average at best in run blocking. Eagles’ Jason Peters and 49er’s Joe Staley are elite in run blocking, but average at best in pass blocking.

            • Rob Staton

              Sure, but we both know that isn’t going to happen. The next Walter Jones isn’t a late first round pick.

              • GH

                “They took him off the field for one series” in other words, he was benched.
                Carpenter is great when he’s healthy. But he hasn’t been healthy very often. You have to be concerned about his ability to be on the field at this point. The line as a whole is doing well, but largely because Okung and Unger pull more than their fair share. The individual stats say a different story, which is what I contended in the first place. The O line is a case of the haves and the have nots. Wilson’s legs have a lot to do with their sack totals, as does Miller blocking more than running pass routes.

                I’m not saying they need to go O ling in the first round. But I’d be surprised if a RT and G don’t appear in the draft list this year.

                • Alex

                  I don’t think anyone is denying that. It’s fine to continue to pick up guards and tackles in the middle rounds because you can generally find good value for those positions in those rounds; however, it’s highly unlikely that this FO will specifically isolate the right tackle position in the upcoming draft for a early pick simply because this line has shown some promise and there has been a fair amount of draft capital invested into the position.

                  The exception is if a tackle or guard is BPA by a far, far margin or that they’re a generational type of player such as a Walter Jones or Bruce Matthews, but A) those type of players are unlikely to fall to where the Hawks are picking (Warmack, Cooper, Luke are all projected in the top 15) B) there are no tackles of the Jones caliber in this draft or even in the current NFL. Luke has maybe the upside of the Joe Thomas- a great pass blocker, but average run blocker. There may be a generational type at the Guard spot in Chance Warmack, but again, he’s currently projected to be picked about 5-15 spots ahead of us.

                • Colin

                  I disagree. Benched is you are sitting because you aren’t playing at a level expected of you. Breno is solid- if not always consistent- and that’s good enough right now.

                  As for Carp, it’s easy to forget that he has yet to participate in an NFL training camp. After listening to Pete, it sounded like Carp could’ve finished the season without going on IR, but they decided it was best for him to start fresh.

                  I’m not too concerned, and I don’t think two more offensive linemen in the draft are necessary.

                  • GH

                    “Benched is you are sitting because you aren’t playing at a level expected of you.”

                    That’s exactly what happened. Not sure why this is being argued any other way.

                    • Rob Staton

                      Enough… this is getting silly now. He was taken out for ONE series as a lesson from the coaches. Nobody in their right mind labels that a benching. When you play 95% of the offensive snaps in a game, you are not benched. You might as well say Marshawn Lynch was ‘benched’ in the same game when Robert Turbin gave him a breather.

                • Rob Staton

                  Good grief GH, let it go. He was not benched. He was taken out for a series as a lesson learning exercise. And if that’s the basis for your argument, it’s incredibly paper thin. You started this discussion stating he was close to being benched on two occasions, and now you’re clinging to one missed series against St. Louis – the only time in an entire season he wasn’t on the field. He’s played every minute since as far as I’m aware. Let it go.

                  • SD37

                    For the record, Breno is rated 61st of all Tackles (Left and Right) who have played in at least 8 games (I believe) on Pro Football Focus’ premium stats. Gets a huge knock in pass protection and penalties, is a minor positive in run blocking.

                    • Rob Staton

                      How up to date is that number, what determines that ranking and how much of an influence are the countless penalties in the first handful of games?

                  • GH

                    I just don’t see getting benched (I said nearly twice to be kind, but on two different occasions Carroll mentioned benching him at different points in the season in interviews) as being a “good season’. It doesn’t seem like that contentious of an issue that he was benched. There’s about a hundred articles on google about it, but I guess it is. I don’t see why saying he is mediocre and barely acceptable is such a problem- you say yourself that Right Tackle is a mediocre position league wide. I cite some stats that show he’s below average even for that.

                    The dude had some costly penalties at the beginning of the season, and he was benched for it. Some stats show he’s terrible. He’s been better since that. First half pretty bad, second half, better.

                    So, to my mind, that means “On the whole” he’s been ok, not “good”.

                    Definitely a position that could be improved should the opportunity arise. I think that opportunity will arise sooner rather than later.

  9. Steven in Spain

    This FO has devoted 3 of its 4 first-round picks to linesmen, waiting to acquire play-makers in days two and three. The way this draft is shaping up, in the very early goings, I can see that trend continuing.

    My gut tells me they’d like to go young in replacing Branch, rather than paying FA prices for a replacement. On the other hand, this might be a buyer’s friendly market for veteran DTs, as most teams will be eying the draft for their futures at that position. Still, I think it would have to a very attractive deal to change the basic game plan.

    The draft dovetails nicely with the Seahawks’ needs, with lots of premier talent at the DT position and plenty of interesting play-making options in rounds 2-6. Plug that hole in the D-line in round one, then see who of Hopkins, WIlliams, Patterson, Hunter, Ertz or Woods slips a bit in round two. In later rounds Escobar or Marquess Wilson, if you want to take a flier.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t see it quite like that. I think they’ve done what they had to do really – initially improving the offensive line and then drafting a much needed pass rusher. I’d also argue there weren’t many playmaking alternatives in 2011 and 2012 that carried much value.

      I suspect they’ll take each year as it comes. The thing with the DT’s is – the best three-technique types might be off the board early in R1. So then you might be reaching a bit to still go down that route. I also think two of the best three-techniques… if not THE best three-techniques… were found in the middle rounds (Geno Atkins & Darnell Dockett). They took Jaye Howard in practically the same range as the Bengals took Howard. It’s also a position that historically has had a lot of first round busts recently. So they might keep working down that road… looking for a skill set and trying to find value in the middle rounds.

      And the depth at WR is a major issue. I think they’d very much be open to a touchdown maker in the first. However, that player would have to be pretty special in terms of athleticism, potential and production. But I do see players like that being available in the late first round.

      • dave crockett

        I think the first round value is VERY likely to be at linebacker. There could be a gaggle of K.J. Wright-quality dudes (e.g., Ogletree, Brown) who could walk in and contribute at a high level right away. At the same time, that looks like a reasonably deep position too. A pretty good player, like Zavier Gooden will probably be available in the 2nd or 3rd round.

      • David Robinson

        I have a feeling our BRAIN trust is going to pick up a TE… most of the best TE’s in the country typically last until the bottom of the first round, as the poorer teams will be selecting QB, DE, DT, OL, CB, etc… I feel like we could pick up a real threat at that position late in the first round. My other thought is, our front office loves to move down in the draft… I wouldn’t be surprised to see them do that either, and then pick some genius move that no-body else is even looking at lol

        • Rob Staton

          I suspect they’ll really like Zach Ertz.

          • SeaMeat

            I would LOVE to see Ertz as the Hawks first round pick. Combine him with Miller and McCoy. Would be sweet to see more 3 TE sets.

            Speaking of Playmakers how is the drop off for WR’s after the first 1-2 rounds?

            • SeaMeat

              OR, Would some of the Free agent WR/TE’s be an option to fill a need. Amendola (Rams will probably make sure they sign him), Wallace, Bowe, and Heath Miller at TE are free agents after the season. I have a feeling Wallace and Bowe will be the two going to a new team.

              • GH

                I think they are high on Ertz as well. I don’t know if they have the cap space for Wallace, but he seems like a nice fit for this team. One problem I see in drafting a WR is it usually takes a season or two for them to hit their stride in the NFL, but this team is in a window of opportunity right now (not that they won’t be in years to come, but they are in a window now). A veteran FA WR makes a lot of sense. Then they can go TE/DL?OL in the draft if they have a deep threat like Wallace that roster looks very complete.

                • Rob Staton

                  A veteran WR will cost too much money. Look at the deals signed by FA receivers last off-season.

              • Rob Staton

                I’d probably say no… simply because the $$$$ involved to sign Bowe, Wallace or Amendola will be much greater than the $$$$ required to sign a 29-year-old Randy Starks.

                • GH

                  I’m not familiar with their cap situation, but given they’ve already got a lot of money to Rice, I’d probably agree it’s unlikely they’d sign Wallace, but he sure would be a nice fit. My concern about drafting a WR with a high pick is there are sooo many busts, and the learning curve seems so steep. This seems compounded by the fact that the truly elite talents in this draft are also a bit raw from the polish standpoint.

                  The defensive needs you identify make a lot of sense.

                  Mebane seemed to be getting into the backfield more early in the season. Any schematic reason that’s changed or is it just random?

                  How about the likelihood of the Hawks getting Jenkins or Hankins-if he’s there (more run stuffers) at DT, and moving Mebane over to the 3 tech? They seem to be giving up runs more and more up the middle…thoughts on them shoring up the Run D even more and trying to find a 3 tech elsewhere?

                  • Senepol

                    I believe Mebane played the 3 for a season (2010?) and it just didn’t work out – I think he’s much more effective at the 1 and likely to stay there. Similar to how Red’s much more effective at the 5 than moving into the 3.

                • SeaMeat

                  Agreed. Starks would be a higher priority probably, but I would love to see Wallace or Amendola… Dreams.

  10. A. Simmons

    I don’t know why, but I want to start the playoffs on the road. If we can’t learn how to play well in the playoffs on the road, I don’t think we’ll ever win multiple Super Bowls. If we learn to beat playoff teams on the road, we’ll win multiple Super Bowls in the coming years with this team. I want more than one. I’m still disappointed we never learned to win on the road in the playoffs during the entire decade Holmgren was here. I’d like to start that learning process this year.

  11. YDB

    Unfortunately, we may get a chance to evaluate how this defense plays without Branch this coming week. If his ankle is in bad shape vs the 9ers, that will be a real test for our Dline and staff. SF has proven to be very dominant on their interior OL, and being down a front line player may create some major mismatches against us. I’m curious to see how the situation is handled.

    • Rob Staton

      I’d guess McDonald will see more snaps in that instance.

      • YDB

        I really don’t like the sound of McDonald against the 49ers inside trap game.

        I guess this will push home the idea that 3tech is one of the most upgradeable positions on this ball club.

  12. Phil

    Rob – I know this is off-topic for a draft blog, but I’d be interested in your thoughts of how you would game plan to beat the 49ers. IMHO, it’s likely be that both teams run more read-option than is “normal”, so the Seahawks on defense are going to be faced with stopping both Gore and Kap, while on the other side of the ball, the Niners will have to stop both Lynch and Wilson. Also, we’ve seen both Tate and Rice throw and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Michael Robinson use his arm. We’ve got to win the special teams competition — no more letting Ginn beat us and we can’t give up a big return to James like the Pats did last night.

  13. John_s

    Rob – how do you think Jaye Howard would play into the Seahawks decision making? He’s been injured all year but based on measurables he would fit as a 3 tech.

    Do you see Kyle Van Noy as a strong or weak LB?

    • Rob Staton

      I’m a bit disappointed we haven’t been able to get a look at Howard. By theory he fits very well at the three. I liked him at Florida as a value pick in R4. But when a player is inactive every week it’s hard to project if he has any kind of future. I have tape of Van Noy to watch so I’ll reserve comment for now.

  14. Chesterfield Seahawk

    What do people make of Pete Carroll apologising for the fake punt and accusations of “running up the score”? I don’t personally understand what the problem is, it’s 1 v 1 and the opposition can play whatever plays they want so they should be ready for all possibilities. It’s a man’s game and as a Brit who watches Soccer (please forgive me for using that heinous word) I would be furious if my team wasn’t doing everything to win, keep in a winning position and better the scoreline if possible.

    It’s all well and good “playing fair” but what if the Bills had comeback in the way that the Pats did? IMHO you give 100% and if the opposition aren’t good enough to stop you that’s their problem.

    • Rob Staton

      I think the best counter for those complaining about running up the score…. last night’s game in New England. San Francisco up 31-3… and yet scraping to a victory. The Seahawks are right to keep playing. It’s not like the Bills or Cardinals were running on every play or taking knees. It’s bizarre to think once you get a big lead you’re supposed to almost let the other team ‘have a chance’ by turning in the car keys, while they’re still on the track.

      • MJ

        Not to mention, this is the NFL. Guys are making millions of dollars. Should be on them to play full effort for 60 minutes. If not, don’t deposit your paycheck on Thursday.

        Honestly, I like being a hated team. Seahawks used to be as intimidating as a bunny wrapped in a pink blanket. Let the league hate us.

  15. LouieLouie

    That was an interesting discussion about Breno Giacomini and the RT situation. One thing about Giacomini is that he plays a lot. By that I mean he is very durable and doesn’t miss a lot of playing time. The injuries on the o-line have set the team back over the past few years. He also is the “dirt bag” leader of the team. We can all remember what happened without that type of leadership. I’d rather have a few penalties than have Darnell Docket elbowing our qb’s throat with impunity.

    The 49ers have one of the best o-lines in pro football. That isn’t because they are more talented than the Seahawks’ o-line, it is because they have been more durable. The Hawks have never played a season with all of their o-line draft picks in place. The Niners have. In the last game we played with them, their o-line wore out our d-line. Our o-line couldn’t do that in that game. Hopefully it will be less of a factor next week.

    • GH

      being durable is a ‘talent’ so to speak. It’s hard to be good when you’re not on the field much. Avoiding penalties is also a ‘talent’. At various points the Hawks O line has been lacking in those areas. I think it’s an issue they are concerned about, but I’ve been told to drop it LOL

      • Alex

        I’m not sure about that. Talent as Michael Irvin described it is the physical prowess of a player which usually refers to the size, speed, explosiveness and reflexes. Talent is the “natural” aspects of a player. These are the uncontrollable variables of a player. They’re the traits born with.

        Talent usually does not encompass football intelligence (e.g. Dez Bryant=talented, but subpar in game intelligence. Javale McGee=talented in basketball, but subpar in game intelligence).

        Talent does not include durability. Steve Etman’s career was cut short because of injury, but the injury in itself has no casual relation with his talent. Factors usually include bad luck, field turf (Steve Etman), opposing players (Joe Thiesman), etc.

        Talent also does not include penalty. That is usually the discipline side of things. It’s correctable and hence not related to talent. Yes, lack of discipline can become a habit and then develop into a chronic issue, but it in itself is not related to anything naturally inherent about a player.

        • GH

          I understand what you’re saying, but in terms of evaluation, it is often times helpful to view “talent” as encompassing durability and the ability to play the game at a high level but also within the scope of the rules. Sometimes durability is a physical attribute…genetics…and sometimes it’s a mental attribute…toughness. ..and sometimes the nature of a player is to play beyond the rules, without presence, and without a ‘cool head’. Or, they overcome physical shortcomings by pushing the envelope of the rules.

          In terms of evaluation, or what a player can achieve, durability and not getting penalties absolutely must factor in to how you view the value of a player. No amount of scouting can predict injuries in all cases, but injury history, and a player’s inability to stay on the field must factor in to evaluating team needs, depth, and prospect value, etc.

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