Monday thoughts

Pete Carroll has never had to worry about someone else's quarterback

Comparing Seattle’s rebuild to St. Louis’ current woes

When Pete Carroll and John Schneider arrived in Seattle, they had an extremely focused vision for rebuilding the team.

And let’s be right, a titanic rebuild was required.

The Seahawks had nobody to build around. No stars left over, ready to be the cornerstone. Just ageing veterans picking up pay checks and injuries.

It needed strong leadership. Seattle needed an identity.

The funny thing is, having so little to build around definitely helped the Seahawks. Having a blank sheet of paper was actually a good thing.

They never had to consider what was already on the roster. They never had to build around somebody else’s idea.

This, for me, is an infrequently discussed reason why Seattle became an 11-2 franchise.

When you can do whatever you want, you truly can install a vision. It was all Carroll. The ‘Win Forever’ philosophy within the locker room, the style of football they were going to play on the field, and what they were going to do in each draft to improve an area of the team piece by piece.

This was a completely focused rebuild starting from scratch. At no point did they have to say, “well we have this guy, who wasn’t our pick, but he’s going to impact our plan.”

Now look at the Rams.

Jeff Fisher inherited a much more talented roster in St. Louis compared to Seattle in 2010. They had two excellent edge rushers. A dynamic inside linebacker. A physical, pounding running back. And a quarterback.

Or so they believed.

I think the Sam Bradford pick has seriously hurt the Rams. Essentially, Fisher had some of his vision crafted for him by the former regime. And at first I suspect he believed it wouldn’t be an issue. But it became one.

Even if they decided to make major changes, it was nearly impossible to trade Bradford and his $78m contract. He had to put is faith in somebody else’s guy. And he had to tailor an offense to suit what he already had.

Whether he liked it or not, that was the hand he was dealt.

Carroll had no such restrictions. He could basically do what he wanted. Imagine how different things would be in Seattle had Bradford declared after the 2008 season and landed with the Seahawks in the 2009 draft. It’s not that unrealistic, given they had the #4 choice (although there’s every chance he could’ve gone to St. Louis or Kansas City at #2 or #3 — both needed QB’s at the time).

Let’s run with that thought for a second. When Carroll left USC, he would’ve been forced to work with a quarterback he hadn’t selected. And that relationship — coach and QB — has to be water tight. There has to be ultimate confidence there. The kind of trust and confidence we see between Carroll and Russell Wilson.

I just have a hard time picturing Bradford and Carroll as a working partnership. It doesn’t quite fit.

And it would’ve been a potentially frustrating marriage given Bradford really hasn’t taken the next step. He looks average.

Fisher could be forgiven for feeling a little agitated.

His quarterback is set to earn $17.6m next year. In 2015 the cap hit is $16.6m.

They’d be better served finding a way out of that deal and starting again. Sportrac has the dead money on his deal at around $7m next year– which isn’t too bad. I think they need a get out, and fast.

For too long that pick has shaped what the Rams have tried to do. Fisher needs a release to truly turn that team into a contender.

He needs his guy.

They had to try and build around Bradford and hope he was up to it. They made the big trade with Washington in 2012, but clearly didn’t like what they saw with the inherited #6 pick. Some reports said they wanted Justin Blackmon, who went at #5 after a move up by Jacksonville.

Were the Rams targeting Blackmon for Bradford? Maybe.

When the Jaguars stepped in, St. Louis moved down again — dropping all the way to #14, almost in disgust, and taking Michael Brockers. It all seemed a bit reactionary at the time.

I think they wanted to force it. To get a weapon for Bradford.

And I think part of the reason they traded up for Tavon Austin this year was a response to that.

But they’re still building around a player who barely warrants such faith.

It just seems like, despite spending three first round picks, the presence of an average and now injured quarterback had too much influence.

Less could’ve been more.

Start with the blank sheet. Draft Robert Griffin III. Build around him instead.

Would the Rams be better off? I genuinely think so — despite all the picks they got from Washington. There’s no way Fisher and that organisation would’ve brought on the Dan Snyder -nspired chaos we’re seeing with RGIII and the Redskins.

Was it ever a realistic option? Of course not. Bradford was forced on Fisher. An arranged marriage worth nearly $80m.

It’s hurting them. Look how quickly Bruce Arians has turned Arizona into a winner. They were a shambles a year ago. Jim Harbaugh immediately picked up the 49ers and got them to a Super Bowl after years of underachieving. And Carroll made Seattle competitive with a lightning quick rebuild.

Rams fans would be well within their rights to question why things are taking so much longer in St. Louis.

To an outsider it looks like they’re regressing again. They’ll play tough some weeks because they have a good coach and some elite defensive players. They do have talent. But it’s all a bit of a jumbled mess without the one guy who glues everything together.

I suspect in 2014 we’ll see the Rams again forced to build around Bradford, unless there really is a logical way out of that contract. I have this vision of them going tackle (Matthews, Robinson, Kounadjio) and then receiver (Watkins, Evans, Lee) — without getting any better in the process.

Perhaps going for a Texas A&M hat trick would be the best way forward? Jake Matthews and Mike Evans in round one. Trade back into the first to go after Johnny Manziel.

Hey, it’d get people talking. And all three guys can play. It’d be an easy sell on season tickets — Manziel, Evans and Austin on the same offense? Who wouldn’t be intrigued by that?

It might also be a disaster — Manziel’s certainly volatile territory. He could change the NFL. He could be a massive disappointment. But it might be a more pro-active plan than continuing to build around an average quarterback and being the spare wheel in a rock solid NFC West.

It’s a big twelve months for the Rams. I’m not sure they can justify floundering in 2014 having spent five first round picks in the process. Better quarterback play will likely determine whether they become another nightmare match-up for the Seahawks and the rest of the division.

For me that means ridding themselves of the one thing Seattle never had to worry about at the start of the Carroll era.

Somebody’s else’s well-paid quarterback.

Luke Willson’s role developing

For most of the year Luke Willson has been a project. He had nine catches in his final year at Rice. And when he was drafted in the 5th round, even the keenest college football fan barely knew anything about him.

This is essentially what we knew — 6-5, around 250lbs and runs a 4.54.

That’s it.

Yet that is what the league is looking for. It’s what a heck of a lot of regional scouts will be asked to find. Go and get the next athletic move-tight end who is big and fast.

It’s been steady progress for Willson so far. He got rave reviews in training camp. Yet in games he’s mostly been limited to one big play on each opening drive. The scripted part he can practise during the week.

Maybe things have started to click? Maybe he’s growing in confidence, starting to understand the concepts and how he can be effective?

Against the Niners he was a bigger part of the game plan and scored his first pro-touchdown — leaving Patrick Willis for dead in coverage and sprinting home on a nice score.

While he’s no Jimmy Graham or Jordan Cameron, he is a difficult match-up for linebackers. And it’ll be interesting to see if his production increases in the final three games.

Look out for the Arizona game in week 16. They’ve struggled against tight ends all year, including against Zach Miller when the teams met earlier in the season. That could be a big break out day for Willson, much in the way Anthony McCoy torched the Cardinals last year.

If he continues to progress and makes the most of the off-season, who knows what he can achieve going forward?

The Seahawks needed a weapon like this. Every team does these days. And with only Eric Ebron an obvious solution in the 2014 draft, seeing Willson improve will be a major plus point for this developing offense.

Byron Maxwell played well… he just needs to back himself

In pre-season Maxwell looked like a starting NFL cornerback. That was one of the big storylines of the summer — just how good the depth at corner is. Antoine Winfield not making the roster was a bigger deal than we probably realised at the time.

Walter Thurmond and Byron Maxwell essentially made him redundant. Jeremy Lane did enough as a spot-starter last year to warrant some faith.

All three have shown up in a big way.

Maxwell is the biggest positive for me. He’s physical. He fits the character of the defense and in particular the secondary. And it looks like he’s spent enough time around Richard Sherman to understand the benefit of preparation.

If there’s one thing he just needs to do to completely take that step forward to legit starter — it’s trust himself more.

At times yesterday he was grabbing, holding and in some cases — mugging — the 49ers receivers. He got called, he also got away with some stuff. And I just kind of felt it was all unnecessary.

He’s a very good cover corner and he can be physical. He has the ball skills as we saw on the interception. And despite getting targeted (understandably) he never backed down.

I’d love to see him show a little more confidence to play ‘clean’ — to trust his skills in coverage, his athleticism and not risk the wrath of a referee’s flag.

If he can do that, I think he has a very bright future in the league.

Kearse’s role going forward

Speaking of guys breaking out — Jermaine Kearse just continues to impress.

He always flirted with quality at Washington. He dared you to believe in him — and some did. I remember a time when he received grades in the second and third round range by the big media pundits.

Kearse went undrafted largely due to the freakish inconsistency he showed. He was probably the most frustrating player in college football for two years. And I’m not a Husky fan (I’m not a fan of any college team).

Whether it’s the laser eye surgery or something else, this year he’s looked like a genuine NFL receiver. The circus catch against the 49ers was truly incredible — a major underrated play in the game on third down. To contort his body in such a way to make that catch — that was special. Really special.

So what can he be going forward?

I think this current role suits him. He’s not a big overly physical guy, but he makes plays. He’ll never dominate a defense or take over a game. Seattle really lacks that tall, explosive big man and that’s never going to be Kearse.

But at a time when other guys are creeping closer to free agency (Tate, Baldwin) they’re going to need others to step up to the plate and if nothing else — remain consistent.

And despite what he showed in college, Kearse is quickly turning into Mr. Consistent for the Seahawks.

Tre Mason one to monitor

My choice for the Heisman? Auburn’s Tre Mason.

All year he’s produced. He’s the true heart beat of his team.

They don’t pass much and rely on brilliant run blocking and the opportunistic tendencies of their backs. Mason is essentially the focal point of a team nobody expected to be in the National Championship.

Yes — Jameis Winston has had a great year. He’s also surrounded by 5-star talent and I must confess to having a great deal of sympathy with this article.

You could also argue the Seminoles have barely broken sweat in the ACC this year, unlike Auburn who have needed Mason to get through another rock-hard SEC campaign.

But it’s his pro prospects that interest me the most, not his ability to win an award. And I think he has a big future.

For starters he’s explosive enough — he can make the big play. He’s got a very squat frame with a strong lower body. I think he can act as a receiver out of the backfield and be something of a Darren Sproles. Yet he’s capable of pounding the rock too.

Against Alabama he was hitting the hole well and making yards after contact. He consistently picked up 4-5 yards.

In other games he’s been able to make big explosive plays. He had 304 yards against Missouri. Without that effort, his team don’t get to the big game.

Right now I’d grade him right up there with Bishop Sankey. Teams will be put off taking running backs early. When a sure thing like Trent Richardson looks positively powder puff in the NFL, that has to be a concern.

We’ll see less and less running backs going early as a consequence.

Wherever Sankey and Mason end up going in the draft, I still expect both to have an impact at the next level.


  1. kevin mullen

    St. Louis situation is a bit of a mess, much like the 49ers were during the Nolan/Singletary eras, ton of early 1st/2nd day draft picks but nothing to show. A lot of potential talent is still on hand with St. Louis, but you’re right Rob, I was never a believer in Bradford. Hell, he even had his coaches in Oklahoma pick his plays for him, he had no clue how to read a defense?! Bradford would look over at the sideline, 3 different coaches would give MLB style play calls (with one only having the true play) and all three look like they were the aliens on Space Invaders. Effing ridiculous.

    Jeff Fisher is an above average coach, IMO, and he deserves better. I think cutting ties with Bradford would benefit Fisher and St. Louis immediately, hell, maybe they throw some draft pics to WSH and see if they’re interested in trading RG3?

    • Rob Staton

      I think Dan Snyder’s relationship with RGIII will ultimately make that a connection that lasts a career. It’s unhealthy, too. An owner and the QB shouldn’t have that kind of relationship IMO. RGIII is almost too powerful in that organisation. And it’ll become a shambles if they just go after Art Briles — with zero NFL coaching experience — because that’s Griffin’s guy.

      • JW

        Agree 100%

        Really nice write up on the present state of affairs for some important but not central parts of the plan going forward. Willson is looking to be a great find, yet again, for this FO. He just looks like a up and coming player, and the wilson-willson connection is one I suspect we’ll keep hearing about for years to come.

        I was strongly in the camp of the rams drafting RG3 and trading Bradford, damn the dead money and cap hit. Bradford doesn’t have “it”, and despite his rough year this year, RG3 does. And there’s really no price too high for that difference when you’re rebuilding. The money and cap hit would be long history while your new QB is the center of your rebuild. As you state in your piece, failure to accept sunk costs is one of the biggest hindrances to a rebuild. The cost in trading Bradford last year will likely turn out to be less than the cost of trying to ‘save’ a sunk situation.

        Carroll could have rather easily justified keeping Hasselbeck around, with plenty of support from the fans and probably the FO. But he pulled the trigger.

        100% commitment and accepting reality of the situation is usually the first step in changing it.

  2. SunPathPaul

    Rob, u said, “While he’s no Jimmy Graham or Jordan Cameron, he is a difficult match-up for linebackers.”

    Why not? I think the big difference is only LACK of opportunity? Is that not so?

    Seattle’s offense just doesn’t allow really for a ‘take over the game player’ due to its’ philosophy.
    That’s why they tell/told Percy Harvin that he would just be “added” to the guys we have…

    While I love PC, I wonder if flexibility and allowing the gems we have to shine more in our ‘system’, might be what we need to get all the way there! (SB win that is!)

    Does anyone think as I do that if we had a healthy Percy Harvin in this last SF game that he would have put us over the top for a win??? We were SO close, only our own penalties stopping us from winning…

    • Rob Staton

      I think the difference between Willson and Graham and to some extent Cameron is that they’re just both freak of nature types. Particularly Graham. Huge, strong, almost unstoppable at times. Willson is big and fast, but he is a monster? I’d say no. But he can still be an effective weapon for this team.

      • Turp

        Cameron and Graham can win 1v1, 1v2 matchups, especially jump balls. Willson’s best asset is running away from coverage. Very different types of joker TE’s.

  3. Colin

    The Rams really didn’t do themselves any favors drafting Tavon Austin so highly, either. He’s a big play guy but I doubt he’ll ever become a real focal point receiver. That wasn’t his game at WV. He’ll have some games like the one he had against Indi but then he’ll have games where he’s nowhere to be found. I think they missed out by not getting Blackmon- that was a tragedy for them in hindsight and I think it’s a no brainer who you take if you were offered Blackmon or Austin. Big, physical and more consistent. While Austin can go the distance anywhere, there’s something to be said for having a go to guy.

    And then there’s the little issue of Bradford. They adore Bradford over at Turf Show Times, and apparently the current regime was ready and willing to give him a big extension before he got hurt-

    -but my question is- Why? Even this year, he was remarkably average. The Ram offense consistently looked bad until garbage time, in which Bradford would toss a worthless TD pass or two and had pretty decent stats at the time he was injured. The running game and line play deserve some blame, but even when Russell Wilson didn’t have a great running game or was getting hammered on every play, he still flashed greatness. Bradford has never looked like a #1 overall pick. He looks like a guy who benefited from the Bob Stoops spread offense and cashed in.

    The Rams are a couple pieces from being a legit contender, but Bradford probably isn’t one of them, and they still need another WR.

  4. Attyla the Hawk

    Amazing, because I mentioned that very thing about Maxwell.

    In fact, I compared him to Browner when he first got the starting gig. Brandon had some maddening contact/PI penalties and was eventually benched for a time. I seemed to be alone in thinking that he could put it together at the time. My opinion was, that he committed stupid penalties because he didn’t trust how his length could demand pinpoint precision without committing bail out contact at the last minute.

    Maxwell to me looks like the same kind of player at the same level. Not necessarily the length, but he has better fluidity and good size/length. He simply needs to trust his skill, allow the play to develop and make the passes hard to complete while being in a position to make a play on a bad ball. He is so often in decent position to defend the pass. He just looks like he needs to understand how to not make that 11th hour contact that the refs are looking for.

    Oddly, it appears that Sherman in the last couple games has often forgotten this as well. Delivering some bail out 3rd down conversions on contact that wasn’t genuinely needed to make the plays tough to complete.

    I was of the mind that Seattle would be interested in a day 1 WR prospect. However, I do believe that Kearse and in particular Baldwin have shown that they can be productive outside receivers. They aren’t physically the ideal fit. But I would rate their prospects at producing in 2014 in place of Rice and/or Tate at better than Bowie/Bailey at this point at their positions.

    This draft is pretty stocked with taller WRs. We can look for one on day 2 with the knowledge that if our guys don’t reach us, we are not facing a potential hole in the roster.

    • CC

      Maxwell is long as well which is why he could make that pick – and an underthrown ball. I think he’ll get better each week. It doesn’t hurt that Petey was praising him after the game. He got turned around a few times, but played very solid.

      I really like what Willson has done so far. His blocking has really improved and I agree with you Rob, if he gets some confidence watch out! I also think RW is getting comfortable with him as well.

      I also hope Lockette can get things together too – if he can keep catching the ball he has a chance. Hope that we can get things going again over in NY.

  5. Michael M.

    Great work as always Rob! I hadn’t watched Auburn all year until the SEC championship, and Mason jumped off the screen (as anyone who runs for 300+ yards would). What I found interesting about it however was not the physical ability demonstrated, or the monster stats he racked up. I thought he showed incredible patience and vision, really maximizing each and every block. Now, I assume this is the best game he and his line have ever played in their lives, so it’d be best not to form an opinion based on this one game (or any single game for that matter) but I came away very impressed by Mason.

    • dave crockett

      As the resident Missouri fan, let me say that Auburn beat the pants off a damned fine defense. What is so infuriating and mystifying about Gus Malzahn’s run game is that it manages to simply take all of the aggressiveness out of a defense.

      I’d suggest the Alabama tape is probably better for scouting purposes. Missouri has NFL talent in the front four and a very good secondary. The second level LB talent just isn’t good enough in space to slow Auburn down. Mason was plenty impressive in that game too, though Nick Marshall kept the ball more.

      If I have a concern about Mason in the context of that scheme it is that over the past 4-6 weeks, since Auburn has really gotten it cranking, so many of Mason’s gashing runs have come against defenders who are simply bewildered. They can’t find the ball. They’re not sure WHETHER to hit him, quite aside from getting a good shot on him. If you go back to Malzahn’s championship season with Cam Newton, they ran basically similar stuff. You’ll note that none of those backs really translated to the NFL.

      I’m not knocking Mason. His production is not debatable. He no doubt has above average tools. He looks the part. He should shine at the combine. I just think NFL people will have a challenge valuing him. He’s clearly a prospect, but how valuable? In a more traditional offense last season, he wasn’t noticeable. Can he pass block? There are questions.

  6. Chris

    Another thing that has benefited the Seahawks greatly is they were able to cut their payroll to nothing, and add players judiciously to fantastic drafts. Unfortunately, I think cap management is this front office’s weakness and now that the roster is becoming full of people ready to get paid I don’t have a lot of confidence in their ability to use their money intelligently while working within a cap. There’s been too many unnecessarily large contracts for the return (Red Bryant, Sidney Rice, Zach Miller, Harvin to this point especially with also giving away a 1st, maybe Kam, maybe Unger, etc).

    The “game” for the front office has started to change. It is no longer adding 1st year starter draft picks with tons of extra money to overpay free agents. Now they are adding draft picks for depth only and must look far closer at marginal product per $ than they have in the past.

    • Rob Staton

      I would disagree slightly on the cap situation. I think ultimately they paid Rice and Miller what they did to get a kick start. Really, there was no reason for either to pick a struggling Seahawks team in free agency. And with so much cap room, they were able to overspend. Miller’s cap hit is much lower next year, by design, while Rice’s time is likely over. Chancellor got a fair deal for me. Bryant at the time of signing was in demand with teams like New England loitering in the background. And Harvin is an elite talent when healthy and paid as such.

      We’ll find out how good they are at cap management over the next few years, especially when they have to pay Wilson. But this is a great test.

    • Colin

      Well we could just not have those players and not be 11-2. Is that what you want?

      I don’t think there’s anything really to suggest they don’t know how to manage the cap. They are still below the cap limit this season and there will be several players with deals who have no dead money owed next year. The Seahawks are going to have to release some guys (spoiler alert: Every good team goes through this).

      I don’t understand your basis for why you have little faith to use “their money intelligently”. They paid guys to get this re-build kickstarted, and they paid guys who have been very good players.

      • Chris

        “Well we could just not have those players and not be 11-2. Is that what you want?”

        No, in general I would prefer the money to have been spent better and therefore to have as good or a better record over time. My issues revolve around the opportunity cost paid for the players they’ve acquired.

        As Rob posted above, I agree it’s a bit early too pass judgement necessarily, but in terms of the strengths/weaknesses of the front office it seems that drafting is certainly a major strength while responsible cap management has to this point been more questionable. It hasn’t been an issue up to this point due to the massive cap space they’ve had to play around with, which is now basically over.

        • Dannn

          To your point though Chris…
          What was your alternate scenario/solution that still has this team this talented at this point in 2013? I don’t think they have done anything to really make you question them, check out Bennett and Avril, premier talent at a good price. Rice is gone and Miller will likely be on the team, but if we draft somebody watch out. The front office loves replacing talent w/ cheap draft players. I don’t really understand the lack of faith…

          • AlaskaHawk

            When we pay Harvin 22 million guaranteed plus a first and third round draft pick, knowing he has a history of injuries, and he hasn’t played a whole game – that makes you question their cap management. Next year we will have a bunch of players looking at Harvins contract and saying “where is my 10 million a year?” It is a strange move considering we are a run first team.

            Also where is our first pick Christian Micheals? If they won’t use him as a running back can we get a few punt returns from him?

            We will see how it all plays out.

            • Bryan C

              Christine Michael was drafted with an eye towards the future, when Marshawn Lynch begins to break down and we can spell him in a thunder and lightening attack. Lynch is the thunderous beast and Michael is the lightning, able to break off a killer 40 yard TD with any carry due to his speed and elusiveness. I think Michael needs to learn pass protection and may be used some in the next 3 games once home field is assured. Really, Michael’s situation is no different than Lattimore at SF, a draft pick for the long term due to an absence of need in the short term.

              Harvin doesn’t really have an injury history, he only missed 5 games prior to last year when we broke his ankle. This year, the hip surgery appears to be sort of a fluke. He is only 25 and is an elite talent. While the 2013 team is great, having a healthy Harvin on the team in 2014 will be huge. I also think that Harvin is far healthier than the team is letting on, to ensure that they don’t show what he can do with the team prior to the playoffs.

              • AlaskaHawk

                I like the abilities of both players. However neither has seen the field for a significant amount of time. We need help in both receiving and in punt returns. Both players would be a significant upgrade in those areas.

                Getting back to the cap, drafting and money issues – at this point in our season it comes down to this: If a player only played in three playoff games, and they gave us the extra ability we need to win the superbowl, what is that worth in dollars or draft picks? As a fan I would say it is worth any amount, lets get the best and pay the best. As a financier I would wonder how I was going to pay 22 starters.

                The loss of KJ Wright contributed to the loss against SF. He might have stopped both the Gore run and Kapernicks run for first down. Highly speculative but I think probable considering the way he was playing. In that scenario, KJ Wright is worth more than two players who have hardly seen the field. How much are we willing to pay him when he gets off the rookie pay scale?

  7. dave crockett

    I agree with the points about SEA’s re-build overall, but SF is a counter factual that provides some needed nuance. Rebuiding an “empty” roster is best (if you have patient, reasonable ownership). But you can also win with someone else’s roster IF you inherit bona fide talent. I think the point is worth making explicitly.

    Pete started from scratch and built his own fortune, and God bless him. But, marrying a rich widow is also a perfectly honorable way to make an honest buck. You just gotta pick the right one. Jim Harbaugh married into the Wal-Mart fortune. Jeff Fisher married into the Sears & Roebuck/K-Mart mess.

    • Bryan C

      The irony here is the absolute meltdown that is Washington that will lead the Rams to get another top 3 pick, which the Rams could trade down for even more future picks. In time, the RGIII trade might make the Hershel Walker trade of yore look like a bargain. The Rams, if they are wise, may become known as Trade Forever, getting consistent value from the fleecing of the Redskins.

  8. Zach

    So I’ve been saying for a couple of years that as bad a bust as Aaron Curry was, the Seahawks were still way better taking him than taking Mark Sanchez. The problem with drafting a QB highly (ESPECIALLY under the old CBA) is that you are tied to them for a half-decade at least, almost no matter how badly the perform. Even Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder will probably receive another look, and they’ve both been utterly terrible. At least with Curry, the Seahawks were able to cut their losses (well, trade it to the Raiders, even better) relatively quickly.

    • dave crockett

      That whole 2009 class was just ghastly at the top. In fairness, maybe everybody drafting in that top 10 deserves a mulligan. There just weren’t enough good players to go around.

  9. Clayton

    I saw some comments about a WR1 and someone who is a Missouri fan, and I have to comment that I’ve been watching L’Damien Washington all season and have been very impressed. He has to be Seahawk. He’s got the speed (4.3), size (6’4″), hands plus his background and his story of what he went through is extraordinary. He’s even good on special teams.

    • Rob Staton

      He’s a good player, we’ll see if it translates. He’s very slight, very skinny. Can he get off press man? Is he going to get pushed around? Is he really a 4.3 guy? I have some doubts there. But he’s looked sharp whenever I’ve watched Mizzou this year.

  10. Ely

    It looks like Alshon Jeffery is turning into that player you really liked coming out of college Rob. He went in the mid second Rd I believe.

  11. Andy

    Rob – great article! Just commenting to say nice catch on ” Yet in games he’s mostly been limited to one big play on each opening drive. The scripted part he can practise during the week.” I had noticed that he seemed to have his catches early in the game but I had not put two and two together to say the reason could be that this is the scripted part of the game and that makes it easier on him. Reading a metric ton of Seahawks content every day and listening to hours of Seahawks podcasts, it’s very rare that I see insight in just one place, and you noting that the Willson is excelling in the scripted part of the game is just that, an insight that I found in only one place! Nice work! Your blog is a daily read all year long!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Andy really appreciate the positive feedback on the blog. It really means a lot.

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