Monday thoughts: London interviews & Frank Clark

Note — after publishing this piece, the news broke that Paul Allen had sadly passed away. Paul leaves an incredible legacy. A great man. He will be missed by many.

Before getting into some post-London thoughts on the future, culture, the running game and Frank Clark — here’s two interviews I conducted with D.J. Fluker and Justin Britt after the game:

My biggest takeaway from London

I went to London this week with an aim. I wanted a better understanding of two factors:

1. How important it is to establish a vision and commit to it

2. How the run helps create Seattle’s culture

There isn’t just one way of winning in the NFL. The key to success is talent, a clear plan and execution. At the moment, the Seahawks are delivering. They know what they want to do. And they’re doing it.

Having had the opportunity to ask a few questions of Pete Carroll and speak to some of the players, something is clearer to me. The preference for running the ball isn’t just about some dogged determination to have a certain approach on offense. It’s about culture. The Seahawks want to be more physical than the opponent. In every facet. They want to connect the defense and special teams to the offense. And Carroll believes the way to complete that circle is to run the ball with toughness and consistency.

On Thursday, I asked Carroll how the recent commitment to the run was helping his team and impacting the opponent (3:57 in the video here):

“…because the running game does fit with the defense and does fit with special teams — it all does fit together — and when you can close the circle with a really aggressive tough running game, then you can really make your style known. It’s a great formula, it’s always been a winning formula for us. We were just a little bit out of it the first couple of weeks of the season, then we got going, got back on track. And we can feel the connection of the whole team in how we’re trying to win our football games. It does affect them (the opponent), it’s a good observation, it does affect the entire style of the way we play.”

Everything connects. The sack or the big hit on defense combines with the tough running and controlling field position. Every unit can support the other. It creates a bond, a connection — and defines who you are.

I asked Carroll after the game yesterday if their success limiting Ezekiel Elliott, David Johnson, Todd Gurley and Marshawn Lynch was as important as their recent establishing of the run. His answer revealed a lot about their whole approach:

“It’s always been the hallmark of what we’ve done in the past. Stopping that running game is so important… the good backs that you talked about, we’ve faced some really good guys, and our guys have taken that challenge and that’s how it fits together. It’s stopping the run on defense, no big plays — that we were able to do today — and then you circle it in with running the football like that and that attitude that prevails. That makes us the Seahawks. And that’s what we’ve been after forever. It’s been a while, really the last couple of years it’s been hard to find it. We’ve had so many issues with our running back situation and what’s going on up front but that’s not our issue any more. We’re in great shape and Duane Brown and Fluke and Britt and all those guys are doing a fantastic job up front. Sweezy’s been a great addition for us and of course Ifedi’s doing well too. So, fired up about it.”

(To watch the question and answer, click here and fast forward to 5:50):

It’s not old-fashioned, out-dated or stubborn. It’s culture. And it’s one way to build a successful football team.

There isn’t a single sport where every team wins and competes in the same way. It’s practically impossible. Not every team has an identical collection of talent or types of players. I cover soccer for a living. The Spanish national team is very different to the German or French. These three countries have won the last three World Cups. They’ve all done it differently.

There’s never going to be only one way of doing things. It’d be a duller sport if that were the case. Not everyone will be the Rams or Chiefs — in the same way not everyone could be the 2013 Seahawks. Having sat down and talked to D.J. Fluker and Justin Britt, asked Carroll different questions about running the ball and stopping the run — it’s clear to me. They have a conviction to play this way and their preference is to play this way. It suits them. The players and staff.

Everything is connected again. They believe in this approach, they’re enjoying it. And they’re moving in the right direction.

The Seahawks will invest in their new core

I previously thought the Seahawks would be big spenders in the off-season. I thought they might invest in a free agent pass rusher (Jadeveon Clowney arguably being the most appealing target). I’ve changed my mind since the weekend.

Frank Clark’s price tag rises every week. Yes, he was playing a bad Oakland O-line starting two rookie tackles (and missing two key starters). However, Clark is taking the next step. He is flourishing as the star pass rusher on the team. He’s always had the physical talent to dominate and now he’s playing consistently well.

One way or another, Clark is going to be in Seattle next season. They won’t let him walk. He’ll either sign a big extension or he’ll be franchised. Ideally they spend the next week during the bye sorting out his long term future. If not, it’ll happen down the line. They can’t afford to let him walk — even if it costs a hefty sum.

Clark will likely be their splurge. He’s the one they’ll spend the big money on. And with D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy also priority re-signs, the chances of a big free agent splash seem increasingly slim. They have money to spend but they’ll also need to plan ahead for Jarran Reed’s second contract, a Russell Wilson extension and anything else they need to do.

It doesn’t prevent them from being active in free agency. They probably just take a calculated approach. It’s worth noting how significant this most recent off-season has been. While many over-analyse the decision to spend a first round pick on Rashaad Penny, let’s look at who they acquired in 2018:

D.J. Fluker
J.R. Sweezy
Tre Flowers
Will Dissly
Michael Dickson
Barkevious Mingo

All six players appear destined to be part of a new developing core. There’s plenty of time for Penny, Rasheem Green, Shaquem Griffin, Jacob Martin and Poona Ford to warrant similar consideration. And this follows a 2017 season where Duane Brown, Chris Carson, David Moore, Shaquill Griffin, Mike Davis, Tedric Thompson and Justin Coleman were added.

For all the negativity about Seattle’s recent drafts, this is a significant step towards a decent re-set. It’s far from complete but nobody expected it to be finalised this year. They’re on their way. And even with only a few picks to use in 2019 — they’ve shown some of the old personnel magic is returning.

What would be the top draft priority as things stand?

It’s still the pass rush. The Seahawks do need help there going forward — whether it’s the interior rush or another EDGE. The front seven could use a speed rusher to compliment what they already have. They could go for another base-end to match-up with Clark or an inside/out type (unless Rasheem Green takes on that role). They could look for a defensive tackle to partner with Jarran Reed.

The 2019 class will have multiple options. Here’s a reminder of some of the names to keep on your radar:

Nick Bosa (DE, Ohio State)
Clelin Ferrell (DE, Clemson)
Devin White (LB, LSU)
Christian Wilkins (DT, Clemson)
Dexter Lawrence (DT, Clemson)
Jachai Polite (DE, Florida)
D’Andre Walker (DE/LB, Georgia)
Brian Burns (DE, Florida State)
Zach Allen (DE, Boston College)
Joe Jackson (DE, Miami)
Ed Oliver (DT, Houston)
Raekwon Davis (DT, Alabama)
Derrick Brown (DT, Auburn)
Isaiah Buggs (DE, Alabama)
Josh Allen (DE/LB, Kentucky)
Austin Bryant (DE, Clemson)

These are all pass rush or front seven defenders. This will be a draft to go defensive front seven. It’s set up perfectly for the Seahawks.

Three of the names above — Polite, Burns and Jackson — all wear the same number (#99) and feature in this highlight reel:

Finally for now, here’s a video I took of the players leaving the Wembley field yesterday:

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197 Comments

  1. Jordan

    Rob, Love the blog.

    I was a critic of the Mingo signing after weeks 1 & 2, now he looks like a very adept Leo and may have found a home in the PC system.

    Schotty’s play-calling especially in situational ball has been tremendous for this team. For all the flack us fans gave Bevell i thought he was a good play designer but he didn’t have a feel for the game. Schotty, to me, looks like he is a natural in game caller that has a great knack for when to use play-action. I only see this offense growing more.

    That being said, the nerd fan in me would love to see some more mis-direction plays in the run game, we have seen a little but it still feels like there are times that the Defense keys off of our personnel groupings IMO.

    last but not least, the 2 plays that stood out yesterday were the 2nd and forever plays that we almost picked up running the ball if it were not for a penalty. Draw-zone-power-trap we saw it all yesterday. Love it.

    • LouieLouie

      Jordan: Wilson looks to be settling in as well. Other than the one interception in the Raider’s end-zone, he played a very solid game against the Raiders. Looked like the “return of Wilson.”

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Jordan — and I agree with all of your post too.

  2. H

    Feeling super excited about the direction if the team right now, this OLine is so much fun to watch. As a fan base we deserve it. I really hope we can keep Sweezy and Fluker, and contrary to a popular sentiment having Pocic as a cost controlled back up is a fantastic priviledge.

    Your coverage of the game has been spectacular Rob. Ive been super bitter about missing out on tickets for the game, your comprehensive coverage was the next best thing. I appreciate what you do man.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Henry, it means a lot to read that. It was a pleasure and a privilege to be there.

  3. Aaron

    Thank you for another great article Rob. You’re spot on with your conclusion that a physical running game, a physical defense, along with elite special teams is the culture PC wants. It’s never been about some old school way of playing the game, some outdated formula. It’s always been about a physical culture, hasn’t it?

    To your thoughts on FA this offseason, I agree that the Hawks need to retain their own. Reward Clark, Coleman, Sweezy, and Fluker. Consider Reed also and possibly KJ if he comes back and solidifies the LB core more. Leave room for Russell’s next $35+ mil/year deal. Bring in 2-4 guys on prove it deals, maybe one on a multi year deal. That’s their approach the past few years, why deviate from it since you’ve got a clear vision of who you want to be and are executing it finally. Use FA to complement your team then use the draft to build your team. So excited for the second half. Go Hawks!

    • Rob Staton

      Agree completely. My thoughts have shifted recently. Keep this new core and build. I think that has to be the plan. And the draft is set up to go and get that pass rusher early.

  4. GerryG

    Nice write up.

    It certainly feels 180 degrees different than the start of the year when Pete was confused about how fatigued Chris Carson was or wasn’t.

    I’d also add, in relation to the connected part: the fans. Last two games I attended at the Link didnt feel as intimidating/loud and the fans felt a little complacent to me. From reports last week, it seems like the fans felt that connection too. We got to know and love the “beat you up” Seahawks, and missed that.

    On a separate note regarding the front 7, I really hope Rasheem Greene can get back on the field soon. He wasnt doing much to help the pass rush before the ankle, but the experience and evaluation by the coaches is going to be so crucial for next year in terms of deciding where in the front 7 to allocate our limited draft capital.

    • Shady Hawkster

      That whole thing with Carson was weird, but my theory is their thinking was revealed when Carroll recently mentioned he wanted Penny to feel frustrated about not getting touches. I think Carroll’s in a ‘deep teaching’ mode with this young core, and this includes being sure to remind young players that might think a job belongs to them what hunger looks like.

      • EranUngar

        The Carson benching and Pete’s “gassed from ST” comment afterwards were indeed bewildering. Assuming that Pete is still honest and lucid, I believe that it was probably the following:

        I think that Carson asked to be off a ST assiment stating he was a bit out of breath due to his running snaps. pete made it into a lesson for the young player by keeping him on the bench. In this team nobody should shy away from ST duty.

        Seems to have worked just fine….

        • Kemoarps

          This was exactly my translation of the whole ‘gassed’ thing as well…

    • LouieLouie

      Don’t confuse Carroll being confused with being “rather safe than sorry.” After the demolition of the running back corps in ’17, I’m OK with “rather safe than sorry.” If the RB’s drop like flies this year, we could see a return to last season’s late swan dive.

  5. H

    Now I just gotta convince my girlfriend to come with me to Seattle for the Clink.

    • Rob Staton

      Just tell her Seattle is a great city 😉

  6. Trevor

    Awesome write up Rob one of your best IMO.

    I agree completely that this is exactly the culture Pete has always strived to create with the Hawks and you could sense his frustration and disappointment last year when they completely lost that identity.

    One thing I would like to point out is with all this talk about the run game, OL and defense one thing not mentioned often is how efficient and effective Russ is running this type of offense. He thrives in it and that is a credit to him and his lack of ego. How many star QBs in the NFL would be comfortable with their teams focussing on being a power run team first. Props to him in that regard. It may not boost his contract value in a year or two but a solid run game and OL will extend his shelf life and career earnings potential for sure.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Trevor — and agree completely on the QB

  7. Volume12

    Agree on Clark. A little surprised they haven’t gotten something done with him already. Wouldn’t make much sense to let him go.

    Clark, Reed, and another pass rusher from this class is legit.

  8. Nick

    Who is the toughest SOB of that group? Who will put the team first? Who will like smacking Todd Gurley ten times a game? I really think SEA goes with the most talented, most brutal, and most team-focused dude on their board. Smart, Tough, Reliable.

  9. Kip Earlywine

    It really is about the culture. Fluker’s attitude (even after the whistle) is contagious. And it is getting defenses to quit. The Seahawks at their peak were dominant for this exact reason, they got opponents to check out.

    The fist fight mentality, or lack thereof, also seems to impact Russell’s ability to win close games.

    Where I think some people miss the point, is they look at points, yards, stats. But Seattle’s recent tear isn’t happening because they are scoring more, or Russell is throwing better, or even because they are running for more yards. It is happening because of HOW they are executing those goals. By establishing dominance. By being the bully.

    Seeing Fluker fight dudes after the whistle, it may seem silly and unnecessary to some. But it is actually very important. Just like how guys like Breno coming out of nowhere to be a dirtbag helped Lynch find his groove in 2011. Even really good teams don’t like facing a bully. And maybe, just maybe, if this keeps up, Seattle might be one of the good teams themselves by the time the year is over.

    • Rob Staton

      100% agreed

    • brett

      Reminds back of the run from 12-14 when teams records the week after playing us was abysmal. I don’t remember the exact numbers but they weren’t pretty because they just got beat up. I love that we are on the path in getting back to that as it’s the style of football i enjoy most.

      Be interesting to watch the rest of the year and see if we can keep it up but we are definitely on the path right now and this “rebuilding/retooling year” seems to be on track.

      Remember we have played 4 of our first 6 on the road so we have a big chunk of games at the Clink in the back half of the year … and it could be when we are really peaking.

      RIP Paul Allen

    • Cory

      We finally have a group of dirtbags on the o-line. Jim Mora would be fired up just like we are!

      • hawkdawg

        I thought of Mora, too, but I’m loathe to associate that guy with what we have going now.
        He was not a good coach, of either the DBs or the team.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      Agreed on this point as well.

      It has really felt like the last 18 months, Seattle had lost their way. And I had pinned much of that on perhaps a failure of a commitment or will to be physical. I mean they had talked plenty about it. But once games started, they’d just come out passing. Not wanting to lay the foundation to play the way they talked about it in the offseason. Or even in the weeks leading up to the games.

      But I’m thinking that there is a distinct disconnect from me being an outsider — deciphering the public communications of coaches and players. Versus the talent and traits of the players that coaches see every day. Even to start this year, it felt like we just weren’t willing to win the way we kept preaching. But it’s sort of an inescapable reality to me that you need the kinds of players that can thrive in that kind of environment. Players who come to the team able to add to that kind of attitude. Adding Sweezy (who we already knew was that kind of player) and Fluker seemed at the time like really low key, maybe even worse than adding Luke Joeckel kind of moves, added substantially to that kind of attitude and mindset.

      I’m expecting the results to flux and wane (maybe more wane) as we get into the tougher part of our schedule. But results aside, I feel like this team is in a healthy place at this point. We’re playing the way we want to play. And we have the talent to not surrender that will to play in that fashion.

      On maybe an unrelated note — it seems that this shift in attitude is also benefiting the performance of Germain Ifedi. A player well maligned in his two years here. He was always an edgy kind of player. Now it seems we are playing a brand of football that he perhaps was always more suited for. Certainly the absolute lack of attention or even mention of him this year should be seen as a real positive. I’m not exactly sure if he’s just now started to blossom. But he sure isn’t withering on the vine either right now.

      It really feels like we’ve turned the corner from the flashy new shiny talents not known for grittiness (Harvin/Graham etc.) and are finding talent and value in players that other teams don’t. That served us well adding the likes of Chris Clemons, Michael Bennett and Marshawn Lynch. Seems we’re focusing on hungrier blue collar talent than glitzy star wars stat monsters.

      • McZ

        To Ifedi’ s defense, many of his penalties last season were driven by the fact, that his G couldn’t hold on to his position. Of course having the massive Fluker prowling at G improves his game. It doesn’t improve his technique, and he still shows his hands and feet are not (yet?) top notch T material, but it certainly helps his confidence.

  10. Kip Earlywine

    Excellent writeup, btw.

    • Rob Staton

      100% agreed — and thanks

  11. cha

    Paul Allen passed away.

    Thanks for everything you did for Seattle.

    • Trevor

      Wow what sudden and sad news. He was a blessing for Hawks fans and I for one am a grateful Hawks fan who will forever hold Paul Allen in the highest regard. Sad day for the Seahawks community.

    • H

      Terrible news, so sad

  12. cha

    “because the running game does fit with the defense and does fit with special teams — it all does fit together — and when you can close the circle with a really aggressive tough running game, then you can really make your style known”

    You can quickly deduce why they traded up for Dickson. If he can get the Seahawks 7-10 yards per punt and/or reduce the number of quality returns, that’s making the offense work a whole other set of downs to get to the end zone. And with this defense that is bend don’t break, it will make it just that much more of a grind to get yards and points.

  13. Pepper

    Great article Rob! If there’s one sport that is played the same regardless of the team, it would have to be Baseball. The whole way it’s setup, how can you have a culture/style I don’t know. Baseball doesn’t run plays, or have strategy, and it’s a marathon to see who can last the longest. JMO

    Kind of interesting that hawks decided to extend Lockette first. He’s having a great season btw with nearly a TD in every game! Think it’s telling they don’t see many good options in FA or draft at WR. They will need to find a big target to replace Marshall/Graham eventually. They clearly value having a big body for RW to throw to.

  14. Aaron

    Seahawks owner Paul Allen has passed away. May God bless his family and friends at this heartbreaking time. Devastating.

  15. Largent80

    RIP Paul Allen……weeping

  16. DC

    Cheers to Paul Allen, you were the best man. RIP brother. Sad, sad news.

  17. FresnoHawk

    Paul Allen RIP I’m stunned!

  18. Pepper

    Holly S%!t!!! Paul Allen died……………….. What does this mean for our team?? Very sad to hear

  19. Pepper

    Jeff Bezos probably the most likely person to purchase seahawks after this very sad news… Alexa, how much is the Seahawks team worth?

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think there will be a sale. Vulcan will continue to run the team I suspect.

      • Group Captain Mandrake

        According to Sports Business Radio’s tweet (https://twitter.com/SBRadio/status/1051959712772632576?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw), his sister doesn’t want to own either team, so look for them to be sold by his estate.

        • C-Dog

          A beat reporter for the Trail Blazers spoke to a source close to Vulcan, and that source suggested that Jody Allen (Paul’s sister) is a big Seahawks fan and plans to be active with the team. She apparently has no interest in keeping the Blazers, though.

          https://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/john_canzano/index.ssf/2018/10/canzano_paul_allen_is_dead.html

        • SoCal12

          There’s other reports out there that says Jody wants to sell the Trailblazers but is interested in keeping the Seahawks cause she’s very Seattle focused like Paul. I wouldn’t take anything at face value yet until we get more official info though.

          Tough shoes to fill for whoever takes over though, since Paul was one of the best owners you could ever ask for. I hope we give whoever is in charge a fair shake and not compare them immediately with Paul. I feel like that’s the way Paul would’ve wanted it.

          • Rob Staton

            Paul will have planned meticulously for this situation. And I think his plan will be exemplary.

            • LouieLouie

              Hey Rob:
              After watching the Sonics move to Oklahoma, the Hawks to LA (briefly), and seeing what an indifferent Japanese owner meant to the Mariners, there is a lot of angst in the 12th Nation. It would be respectful, and wise, for Allen’s estate to keep the 12 in the loop. It would also be respectful and wise for those in the media and the blogisphere to encourage that.

              I, for one, would hate to see the team revert back to the dark ages of Ken Behring, or be pillaged by some owner who really wants to move the team to Timbuktu.

              • Rob Staton

                I think we can guarantee that Paul Allen will have planned well in advance for this situation — and his plan will not involve in any way what so ever the sale of the team to some schmuck.

                In fact it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’d already sounded out one or two potential owners and the process is now underway.

                • LouieLouie

                  Hey Rob;
                  I certainly hope you’re wright. I would have thought the same thing about the Nordstroms when they sold the team to Ken Behring. Once he was in control of the team, none of the assertions he gave mattered.

                  The same happened with the Sonics. The buyer gave assurance to the people of Seattle that he wouldn’t move the team, then he preceded to do just that. Now I’m not comparing Oklahoma to Timbuktu, but it might as well be the same place from the perspective of Sonics’ fans.

                  I am hopeful that the Allen estate will not allow the people of Seattle to get screwed.

                  • Pepper

                    Don’t think there’s any danger of the team moving. What market would they move to that’s more lucrative than Seattle? LA already has two teams and California with four total.

                    The thing I fear the most is a Jerry Jones situation. Where the team is this guys play thing and meddles too much. Jones has been horrible for the cowboys from what I’ve heard from fans.

  20. Corey

    Rob, What are your thoughts on Syracuse’s defensive line? The trio of Chris Slayton (DL), Alton Robinson (DE) and Kendall Coleman (DE) have been a highlight of the Orange’s climb back to relevance.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve seen Syracuse play once — against Clemson — so can’t offer much here. But I will re-watch that game because it’s saved on my system.

  21. Nathan W.

    RIP Paul Allen

  22. DC

    If Grady Jarrett makes it through the first wave of free agency without getting what he wants I could still see him signing a more modest deal with the Hawks. Considering what’s coming up in the draft, that is a real possibility that he slides through. We’re not a team that typically doles out big bucks to new comers. Get on board with a 1 or 2 year deal (Fluker/Mingo), show you belong and then you get the $$$. That pickup would allow Seattle to focus on the EDGE guys, Polite, Burns, Z. Allen types early in the draft.

  23. Dylan Leptich

    Wow, Im sure people are seeing the news on Paul Allen. Sad, sad day for the Seattle area.

  24. Greg Haugsven

    I believe if they do spend on an outside free agent it could be DT. There really isnt a position group you really need to spend on offense, the defensive backs dont really need help as of now and the LB position doesnt really have anyone. Thats leaves DLine. The big name pass rushers will either get over paid or may not even leave there team. That then leaves DT unless they maybe go after a guy like Fowler.

    I believe Suh would still be a great target. The Rams will let him go and the Hawks and Suh obviously have interest in each other. They will also have a few more cap dollars this year than last so I still see him as the best target in 2019.

    • Darnell

      Suh has a well earned reputation as a pro bowl caliber player. That said, I came away from that Rams game thoroughly unimpressed with his effort against the run- there was a lot of quit in his game.

    • Rob Staton

      Having taken stock on the teams mentality and approach this season, I just don’t see mega millionaire Suh as a fit.

    • cha

      Depending on their draft position and how much they like the DL class, they could be in a great position to wait out the market and let it come to them, like they did with Bennett & Avril. Get them at short, below-market contracts and then build around them and extend them when they are up.

      Of course that may have been a once in a blue moon situation.

  25. Greg Haugsven

    checking if this works

  26. Greg haugsven

    test

  27. Luis H.

    Rob, very interesting blog. Just a question about CB position. Which is the approach Seahawks are going to take next offseason, to go to FA or build depth through draft? I guess that FS and SS holes will be covered by McDougall, TT, Delano Hill and maybe Thomas if he decides to stay. Maybe drafting a FS would be desirable.

    But it seems pretty obvious that first rounds next year will be invested on trenches. Does Seattle intend to maintain Ifedi as RT starter or will they look for some competition there beyond Fant?

    • Rob Staton

      I think they’ll keep adding their guys via the draft and UDFA. They know what they want. There’s always a chance they’ll add some FA depth but we’re getting a view of the long term future — Flowers & Griffin.

      • Del tre

        Do you think they try and keep Coleman? I can’t imagine anyone in our secondary is going to reset the market. I mean i could be wrong but they seem more solid than possibly the best of all time like we had before.

        • Rob Staton

          I think they will definitely try. However, look how regularly they find DB’s. So for that reason it might be a lesser priority.

        • LLLOGOSSS

          Let’s not keep comparing these guys erroneously to the LOB. They are doing well, let’s not get crazy, though.

  28. Uncle Bob

    Going forward this team and we fans owe “the man” a lot. Ball for Paul.

  29. DavidinBellingham

    Rest In Peace Paul Allen. Thanks for all you did northwest sports, for humanity in general.

  30. chris b

    I’m loving that the seahawks are pounding the rock! The improvement in this area that I like the most is that unlike the last 2 yrs is we rarely have negative plays when we run which keeps us on schedule.

  31. Thy Hawk is Howling

    May your Body and mind be at Peace Paul Allen, and may your Spirit and Soul journey through the Cosmo’s for Eternity.

    You’ll always be the Man who saved the Seahawks from the Evil villian Ken Behring who was packed up and ready to move Our team to Los Angeles.

    You’ll always be Seattle’s Seahawk Super Hero!

    Thank You so very much Paul!

  32. BobbyK

    Rob, Awesome write-up and insight. I’m so glad you got a chance to see, meet and talk to some of these guys that we write about. This is going to be a blessing as your already topnotch blog may even get better because of it.

    And to echo what everyone has been saying about Paul Allen – he was the best owner the Seahawks (and most sports organizations) ever had. Reminds me of this piece I wrote about him about five years ago and why I thought he was the best then:

    http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2013/03/25/seattle-seahawks-is-paul-allen-the-best-owner-in-the-nfl/

  33. Seahawcrates

    I’ve never understood the argument people make about how Pete needs to throw more because of efficiency. Pete wrote a book about all this and this idea of completing the circle is not an idle notion, it is the core of what he believes, of who he is. When he wrote Win Forever, he was in the wilderness. He dug deep and did the hard hard work of existential examination. And he came out the other end and he has been winning forever since He isn’t going to change. Nor should he.
    Rather than have a mid level passing attack, even one that is more efficient, Pete wants to be the very best running team in the NFL. That desire makes even more sense in a passing league. Rather than following the crowd, be the best, and take advantage of defenses designed and built ever more to focus on pass defense.
    Pete isn’t going to change. But not because he is stubborn or because the game has passed him by. He won’t change because running is part of his core and it still makes sense as long as you do it well.
    How much the past few years must have eaten at Pete to have been so bad at what he knew he must do well – run the football.
    Just like Pete promised to never leave his team desolate again with no pass rush when they lost their only edge rusher in Clemons in 2012, I’m sure Pete never again was going to be forced to put scrap heap running backs out on the field. That’s why he spent a first on Penney.

  34. Bankhawk

    Rob, I can’t express how pleased I am for you that you have been able to experience this past week in the way you have and also my own level of gratitude to you for sharing it with us all.

    In addition, I want to echo Bobby Ks sentiments regarding Paul Allens having passed. I don’t know how feasible it would be, but personally I would ebdorse having his likeness, or perhaps some other visible memorial permanently placed at the entrance to the Clink. ( maybe an image of a Hawk soaring free, as I now envision PAs spirit?)

    • DC

      I hope the stadium eventually gets named after him (forever). It would be a great honor for all he’s done Seahawks.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks man, appreciate that!

      I think a statue of Paul Allen is highly appropriate. Either outside the stadium or next to the 12th man flag.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Great idea Rob. The man was a genius,

  35. Michael

    Rob, you were there so you’re the person to ask.

    Watching Pete’s expressions while answering the question how onerous the trip was, right around the part about how all the preparation worked out perfectly in terms of body response and focus (rough paraphrase) I thought, Oh my god, he thinks he has a competitive advantage here. Are they going to request the game in London every year now?

    Did that cross anyone’s mind in the room or is that me reading WAAAAAAY to much into nothing?

    • CestrianHawk

      I’m not Rob, but ….
      I think Seattle were apprehensive about the trip but prepared for it much better than the Raider’s organisation.The Raiders arrived Friday and stayed at a hotel next to the stadium and I’m not sure if they managed any training sessions before the game. Seattle arrived Thursday, stayed at an excellent sports complex, and managed 2-3 training sessions. Their superior preparation made a huge difference I believe. Don’t think they’ll want regular trips over here, but they won’t fear having to come over again.

      • Rob Staton

        They may have been apprehensive when it was announced but I didn’t sense any of that in London. Everyone bought in and treated the trip with complete professionalism. And, dare I say, they seemed to all enjoy it.

    • Rob Staton

      Haha, I wouldn’t expect another London game any time soon. I think he was very happy with the prep and attitude of the team and he stated he’d be very happy to go back. But I can’t see it being a regular thing.

  36. C-Dog

    Great article, Rob

    Shocking news about Paul Allen’s passing. I hope Jody Allen is a Pete Carroll believer because I think the Silver Fox is on a mission coaching up this No Name defense with a power run game to match. If this season trends the way it feels like it might, I’d be looking to lock him into another three years this offseason.

    Extend RW, Frank, Jarran Reed, Fluker, and Sweezy. Draft a blue chip front seven player. Everything else will work itself out.

  37. millhouse-serbia

    Rob, I am reading that lot of scouts have Quinen Williams from Alabama as a high first round pick. Some of them think that he is better than Ed Oliver.

    Whats your thoughts about him (you don’t have him on your list)?

    And Mingo played 56 of 60 snaps vs Oakland. Was he WILL at that game or SAM/Leo?

    • McZ

      There is no debate, with Nick Bosa injured, Williams is the best defensive player in the league. By a fair margin, and actually I think he even would be, if Bosa was healthy. He is also a sophomore, so don’t expect him in next year’s draft.

    • Rob Staton

      I like Williams a lot. Doubt he declares though. Alabama doesn’t have many redshirt sophomore’s turn pro. It’s a loaded DL class. I think he’ll be part of the 2020 draft all being well.

      Not sure on Mingo, didn’t pay much attention to where he lined up.

      • LLLOGOSSS

        There’s a good article on fieldgulls about Mingo’s performance vs. Oakland. He lined up all over the place and was featured at WILL; availed himself extremely well. Also did 73% of ST snaps.

    • Tecmo Bowl

      The last 2 games Mingo has been playing Sam in base defense and switching to Will in nickel, which I believe is a new position for him. Happy we signed him for 2 years. He’s been the best Sam we’ve had since Irvin left, and solid at Will. Led the team with 7 tackles vs Oakland. His athleticism shows up every game.

      Expect KJ to be back after the bye week. It’ll be interesting to see how the snaps get split up at nickel LB as the season goes on. Feel like KJ clearly lost a step last year. His lingering knee injury can’t help with that.

  38. Hughz

    Although I agree that the Hawks are trending in the right direction, I don’t think we need to go giving out contract extensions yet. Fluker and Sweezy need to prove they can stay healthy and Clark needs to show up in big games against good competition. He’s getting his sacks but I don’t feel Clark makes nearly the every down impact that von Miller or Mack have.

    • UKAlex6674

      It’s not just his sack output Hughz, he is bringing regular pressure but for me the biggest leap is his leadership role that he has taken on.

    • Rob Staton

      I think Clark is having as good an impact as anyone not named Mack or Donald. And for that reason, yes he warrants serious consideration for an immediate extension.

    • cha

      “He’s getting his sacks but I don’t feel Clark makes nearly the every down impact that von Miller or Mack have”

      So he doesn’t need extending because he’s not the elite-est of the elite? Ugh. So let’s not extend RW because he’s no Aaron Rodgers. Let’s not extend Reed because he’s no Warren Sapp. Let’s not extend Tyler Lockett because he’s no Antonio Brown.

      It should also be noted that Clark is doing what he’s doing this year without Bennett, Avril, or Sheldon to take any attention away from him. Even then, a lot of OC’s realized it’s Clark they have to stop out of that group.

      • UKAlex6674

        Agree with Cha. And the best thing is OC’s are planning to stop him. …But the can’t. Pay the man!

        • Greg Haugsven

          I think Clark, Reed, and a second year Green with an addition of Suh could be a powerful foursome up front.

          • Rob Staton

            Suh just seems like an ill-fit for this team

  39. UKAlex6674

    I got Jacob Greens autograph at the tailgate on Sunday. I asked him about Clark, and he said the FO must keep him at all costs! Wonder what a prime JC would be worth in todays market. Him and Clark at opposite ends…………..yes please.

  40. Chris

    I can’t believe that from the highs of Sunday night for us UK Fans, we hear this desperately sad news. It’s only when you read the back story on Paul Allen’s tenure that you fully appreciate what he brought to Seattle. From crowds of 36,000 and very nearly a move to LA to perenial NFC West champs and 3 super bowl appearances under his stewardship, it’s an incredible legacy and one that should never be forgotten. PA may not have been the face of the Seahawks but he was definitely the heart and from all the 12’s we thank him for what he did.

    • Rob Staton

      Well said Chris

    • Simo

      Well said Chris!! He was definitely a quiet, but very influential team owner. NO doubt he was very well respected by the other owners, even the brash and loud Jerah Jones!

      A great testament to him as an owner and man was to read all of the tweets and other comments from Seahawk players (current and former), who all deeply revered him.

      You will be missed! Rest easy!!

    • Volume12

      Ayyy. Great post.

      Forget saving the Seahawks for a minute. Or the fact there wouldn’t be personal computers w/o him. How many lives did this man save through his philanthropic work? Just a selfless man in a ‘me first’ world.

      He was the definition of a rockstar.

      God speed Paul Allen and may you forever fly your 12th man flag in orbit.

    • AlaskaHawk

      The success of the team is also a great testament to an unsung hero — the taxpayers living around Seattle and visitors renting hotels and cars. Those who paid for the stadiums.

  41. EP

    Nick Bosa leaving school to prepare for the draft. Talk about skipping a bowl game. I get why he’s doing it though. Think this will hurt him in the draft? Can’t imagine him sliding too much if at all. It’s not the same as missing school through serious character concerns.

    • SoCal12

      I think it’s a smart move to do after he was already hurt a bit once this season. He’s already got Top 5 tape so it’s not like he needs more plays on film. If he spends the whole time training for the combine and interviews he could lock himself as first pick by doing well in the pre-draft process. He’s only risking getting injured by continuing to play with very little to gain outside a shiny college trophy.

      I don’t know if this will become a trend like some people are saying though. The only players that can reasonably do this are guys like Bosa who already have great tape and don’t have anything else much to gain. If you’re outside of the like top 10 projected guys then most guys will still probably try and move up.

    • Rob Staton

      He has nothing to prove and everything to risk having had mid-season surgery. It’s smart for his long term career, although disappointing from a college football fan perspective. But it’s his life, his body and his decision.

    • Volume12

      It shouldn’t. He’s changing jobs. Accomplished his goal.

    • Matt

      It’s already been said, but the point of college is to prepare you for your career. He’s prepared. No need to take the risk.

      Is it a bummer? Heck yes it is. Could it start a bad trend moving forward? Of course.

      That said, I’ll never fault a kid or his family to do what is best for them. Let’s not forget Jaylon Smith. He was a top 5 guy. Yes, he has still made money but nothing compared to what he would have gotten.

      • Tecmo Bowl

        The NFL needs to update their requirement of a player being 3 years removed from HS. This rule was set in place when the vast majority of freshmen weren’t ready for college FB. That’s not the case any more. Bosa wouldve been a top 10 pick last year. Clowney, Marshon Lattimore, Adrian Peterson and a select number of others were NFL ready after their Freshman year. I think if a player gets a first round evaluation they should be able to enter the draft, regardless of age or class.

        Agreed Bosa sitting out could be a trend. Another trend is players reclassifying and graduating a year early. Its more common in basketball, but we are starting to see it in FB too.

        • Kenny Sloth

          Or they could play soccer and sign pro contracts at 15?

      • McZ

        A career, that can be over in a heartbeat. Wonder what all those guys leaving college early without a degree and being cut, never becoming a pro, getting injured, etc do…

        If anything, it shows a lack of consistency and maturity. I would never draft such a guy.

        And for the NFL changing their recruitment rules… This would utterly and completely destroy college football, and for no good reason.

        • Matt

          I’m not 100% about the NFL, but in MLB – the contracts for guys who are drafted out of high school or leave early guarantees their college (or finishing college) is paid for.

          I’d imagine the NFL has a similar type policy. Or there is an agreement in place with the school that the kid can come back and finish his degree on an academic scholarship.

          You see this happen a lot with kids who medically retire in the middle of college. They convert to an academic scholarship.

        • Darnell

          Do you not think that an adult, which is what these 18-22 year olds are, should be free to earn whatever income the market would allow them to? If they are old enough to go to war for this country they should be free to earn a living playing football or basketball.

          If you are an adult you should be free to monetize whatever skill people are willing to pay you for (sports, music, art, tehcnology etc). The socioeconomic reasons why that freedom is not extended to football and basketball players is very obvious.

          This is America, we are supposed to love the free market and detest exploitative cartels like the NCAA.

        • Tecmo Bowl

          “A career, that can be over in a heartbeat. Wonder what all those guys leaving college early without a degree and being cut, never becoming a pro, getting injured, etc do…” McZ

          The fact that football careers can be over in a heartbeat is a huge reason why players should be allowed to turn pro earlier. Its not like players who leave after 3 years, really just 2.5 years of school, are getting their degrees anyway. Many are only there to play football. A person’s timeline of opportunity to play in the NFL is far shorter than the opportunity to go to college.

          I miswrote earlier Marshon Lattimore- it should be SC RB Marcus Lattimore. Marcus’ truncated career is the poster child of allowing players to turn pro early. Spurrier rode Lattimore hard during his NCAA Freshman of the Year award winning season. 2 seasons and 2 major knee injuries later, he was still a 4th round pick, but never played a down in the NFL. This is the NFL telling us that a player, especially RB’s, can be NFL ready after their Freshman year. Clearly Lattimore’s draft stock went down with the knee injuries, yet he was still drafted with the small chance he could regain his previous form as an 18 year old. Marcus is on South Carolina’s FB staff now btw.

  42. Gohawks5151

    Not sure about the ins and outs of the cap situation but, assuming Clark’s number is decent value wouldn’t you want to stay in the hunt for Clowney? You can never have too many pass rushers. Though the saying goes that you have to run the ball to win in the playoffs, rushing the QB has been just as crucial in winning the Superbowl the past 10 years. New York, Seattle, Denver, Philly. Potentially Clark, Clowney, Reed and Greene with Poona, Naz, Jefferson, Stephen, Martin and a 1st round DE/DL? Strengthening a strength at that point.

    • Rob Staton

      Just don’t think it’s viable. Clark is playing himself into a Clowney type contract. You can’t be paying two players the best part of $40m and then your QB a contract of $30m. That’s $70m on three players.

    • Volume12

      Bring back Bruce Irvin instead.

    • EP

      I don’t think there is as much a need for Clowney if the current players continue to contribute and improve. If Jefferson/Jackson/Martin can chip in for 10 or so sacks between them it could be massive. Add in Jarran Reeds enlightenment, Clark becoming a bona fide edge rusher and a 1st round rookie as well as Green and I think we’re in a good place.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Every year when the free agent market opens up – a few players get huge expensive contracts. After the first few in any position are taken, the next tier get reasonable contracts, and the rest are stuck with whatever they can get.

      Clowney will get a big expensive contract, just like Suh and others. The Superbowl run was built on cheaper free agents, defensive ends in the 6-8 million range. PC can evaluate these players and find some good mid-tier players who will contribute.

      Let the team reset its contracts using the players they already have. Then see who is left over after the initital bidding frenzy and the draft. That is the time to find a few hidden gems.

  43. Volume12

    Do not sleep on S. Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw (6’6, 305 lbs.) This dude is a freak!

    Watched the Tennessee game earlier and all this guy did was jump off the screen. Raw power and the get-off and burst he displays at his size is pretty special. Overall he’s quite green, but my goodness is his potential limitless.

    Watch him here against Vandy:
    https://mobile.twitter.com/GamecockSplash/status/1043668596835147777/video/1

  44. Kenny Sloth

    PA memorial shields on everything Seahawks, please

    • icb12

      I 2nd this.

      Memorial Shields in the Shape of a Fender-Strat.

      I hope Paul Allen gets to Jam with jimi in the next life.

      • Rob Staton

        Got to say… never seen a man enjoy a guitar like Paul Allen.

  45. cha

    Has there been any talk anywhere about how Brett Hundley is meshing with the team and picking up the offense?

    He’s in the last year of his deal, and the Hawks liked him enough to spend draft capital on him so depending on how he’s fitting in, they’ll need to think about extending him.

    • Rob Staton

      I think they can bide their time here. Not sure there will be a big demand for Hundley as a FA. So if they like him and he feels at home here — they can probably get him back on a cheap deal. They might have to let him reach the market first though.

  46. LouieLouie

    Hey All.
    We talk a lot about the pass rush, and a lot about how well the Hawks are defending the run, but we don’t talk much about how defending the run may compromise the pass rush, especially on 1st and 2nd down. Even with Bennett et all on the D-Line, there were games when the pass rush wasn’t great, but they stopped the run very well. They always had to LOB to back them up. Looks like the Neo-LOB might not be too bad either.

    I agree with Rob that the best off-season free agent moves might be signing our own free agents.

    • Rob Staton

      A core group is emerging.

      It’s vital they retain it — and build. The last thing they want is needing to replace 4-5 increasingly important players. This, to me, looks like a winning crew that is merely lacking some depth in certain areas. Namely the pass rush. They need another 1-2 pieces there. Apart from that this is a roster that is moving in the right direction.

      • DC

        As a Seahawks fan it’s been a challenge to ride out the slow decline since the championship victory. What I was really hoping for this season was a bottoming out followed by a clear trend reversal. It looks like that has taken place. After years of softer play and holding on too tight in a sense, this team is showing the toughness & energy that make football fun to watch.

        • Rob Staton

          Agree 100%

  47. Elmer

    Rob-

    First of all, thank you for all that you do with the Seahawks blog. Your writeups have created an extraordinary source of information and in turn a valuable community of participants has been created-done with taste and politeness and hopefully without excess negativity.

    Your October 15th article reminds me of a book on business leadership called Good to Great. The book observes that one of the things that distinguishes a great leader is the ability to crate a clear vision and to communicate it effectively through the organization. As you have said, that appears to be happening with the Seahawks.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks man — and you are absolutely right on Carroll and his leadership.

  48. James

    Whatever happened to Naz Jones? He was off to a great start last year before getting injured, consistently getting penetration and making plays, and I expected he would really emerge this season. Instead, I haven’t seen him doing much of anything. Q Jefferson seems to have taken his minutes? Any word on what has happened to Naz?

    • cha

      Once or twice PC has been asked about why Naz has been a healthy scratch. He hasn’t elaborated much that I’ve seen, but he has said it comes down to competition. Sounds like Jefferson, Stephen, Jackson, Green and Poona have been showing better in practice.

  49. Pickering

    Re Frank Clark, after the London game Pete was raving about his practice habits, getting my hopes up the FO was working on a deal to keep him in place.

    If he re-signs, Rasheem Green develops, the ‘Hawks draft one or two front 7 players, and maybe pick up one more during free agency to play with Jarran Reed and the others the D line can be THE strength of the team.

    • Sea Mode

      Can you imagine if we had managed to put any pressure whatsoever on Goff a couple weeks ago? Game over.

  50. Sea Mode

    Love these videos that give you a little whiff of the sideline.

    Seahawks All Access – Week 6 at Raiders
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbuKSuUlOgI

    Notice what Mike Davis’ run at 2:20 had the defense doing. It really is all connected like PC responded to Rob’s question.

  51. Aaron

    National NFL writers beginning to notice the improvement in Hawks o line…

    https://touchdownwire.usatoday.com/2018/10/17/seahawks-offensive-line-turnaround-proves-the-value-of-actual-coaching/

  52. All I see is 12s

    Hello everyone, first of all I realize that none of this could likely happen because the Cardinals are in our same division, but it’s Thursday on a bye week so let’s have some fun.
    12s, would you trade a third round pick to the Cardinals for Reddick? We would essentially get him for 3 1/2 years on the relative cheap. If you would make this trade, who would you release off the active roster to make this happen?

    • Rob Staton

      I would consider it. Would want the intel on why it truly hasn’t worked in Arizona. But all being well, would consider it. One of my favourite players to watch in college over the last few years.

    • Volume12

      Where do you play him? Too small to put his hand in the dirt, why take snaps away from Mingo who’s been lights out for us. I guess you could rotate him, but I’d rather see Bruce Irvin come back home.

      • Rob Staton

        I like Bruce and enjoyed his time in Seattle. But I’d take Reddick every day of the week over a 31-year-old Bruce.

        • Volume12

          I wouldn’t give a 3rd for Bruce, but Gruden is gonna blow that team up and Bruce doesn’t seem happy there anyways as of late. Would rather they hold onto that 3rd.

          Trading him to a division rival seems doubtful as well.

          • Rob Staton

            I don’t think it’s a likely trade.

            But getting a player I would’ve happily spent a top-15 pick on a year ago for a third — while filling a need for a speedy EDGE — for me that would set you up perfectly. Another option this year and eliminates the need to spend on the front seven in free agency.

          • cha

            Not sure $9m on Irvin’s 2019 deal (age 32 season) works into what they’re trying to do. Unless they think KJ’s demands will be excessive and they want Mingo to take WILL.

            • Rob Staton

              I think Bruce’s days in Seattle are done. It’s a new era now. New core.

    • icb12

      Rob and I have had our go-around on Reddick before, but there’s no denying his talent level and potential.
      He’s learning what his 3rd new position? and AZ playing a lot of 4-2-5 now a days.

      If his head is screwed on straight and there are no locker room issues- I’d definitely trade a third rounder for him.

      The seahawks seem to make a living at taking cast off or mis-used top draft talent and giving them a go.
      Chances of getting someone with his talent level in the 3rd round aren’t that great. And talent is what puts you over the top. Pretty simple math to me.

      • Volume12

        Yes. That cast-off is Mingo. Much more versatile than Reddick.

        • Rob Staton

          Different players, different roles IMO

    • cha

      If they did, it might be an insight into where the Hawks think they are. They’d be reducing even more of their 2019 capital, but it could impact this year’s competitiveness and presumably Reddick would have a bigger impact in 2019 than the rookie they would draft in the 3rd round.

  53. H

    We’ve talked about resigning our own guys, Clark Sweezy and Fluker, absolutely. But the other name being floated is Justin Coleman.

    Im not sure Seattle will do this nor am I not sure Seattle should do it. Slot corners get paid quite generously these days and Pete has proved beyond all doubt he can build a secondary from scraps.

    I really like Coleman, I think he’s the best slot guy we’ve had, but might it be best to spend in other areas? Knowing that PC/JS are more than capable of finding a decent replacement.

    Just something i was thinking about today.

    • Volume12

      Good questuon or hypothetical. I could see that as much as I wouldn’t like it. Even with J-Cole they need to keep adding at corner. They’ve got zero depth there. They could always move Shaq into the slot as we watch another day 3 of UDFA pickup insert themselves into the starting lineup or vice versa. Gotta have 3 starting corners though.

      • Kenny Sloth

        You said J-Cole?

        V good.

    • Darnell

      The slot corner market actually seems like a bit of a bargain relative to the importance of the position. IMO.

  54. cha

    What a dumpster fire the Cardinals are. They look headed for the #1 pick.

    • Kemoarps

      That’s actually kind of scary… Nick Bosa and Chandler Jones coming at you from either end for the foreseeable future? The rest of the team may be a disaster, but that doesn’t sound like fun at all.

    • cha

      They fired McCoy as OC. That was predictable.

    • Volume12

      Rosen might have the worst receiving core in the league. Just trash.

      • Rob Staton

        Fitzgerald?

        • Sea Mode

          Kirk?

        • Kenny Sloth

          The ghost of*

          • Volume12

            Yup.

            Kirk who? He’s been invisible this far.

  55. Kenny Sloth

    Friendly PSA: Marshawn Lynch has his own cell service provider that caters to the homeless communities in Seattle and Oakland. The base plan is only 4$ a month.

    Oh yeah, it’s called Beast Mobile lmaaa

    • Volume12

      lol. That’s dope.

      Since we’re on the subject, cool little stat since you were the only other one on here who liked him, but runners in the top 10 for yards after contact, elusive rating, and yards created per carry-

      1. Saquon Barkley
      2. Lynch
      3. Chris Carson
      4. Royce Freeman (that would be the ‘him’)

      • Kenny Sloth

        He had the best mind of any running back in the draft.

        He was a pro coming out of HS

  56. Misfit74

    DT Quinnan Williams and Edge Montez Sweat are guys I’d add to the list. The DL class is so stacked it’s ridiculous. If I had to guess today, an EDGE or 3tech next to Reed is the early favorite for our first 2019 pick.

    It’s also a very deep and talented group at WR and TE. I think a guy like Bryan Edwards would be a great addition to the offense. Marshall will be gone and Baldwin is aging. Noah Fant would be a Jimmy Graham/Evan Engram type add. Harry, Metcalf, Harmon…so many stud WRs this class needs to be tapped into.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Speed speed speed for the front seven please!

      • Hawk Eye

        don’t forget more speed

        • Kenny Sloth

          Thanks for reminding me! 😂

    • Pickering

      Hopefully Will Dissly can come back next year, but with Vannett’s bad back and Ed Dickson’s age it could be TE becomes more of a draft priority. A quick glance at 2019 free agent TEs doesn’t show great help there.

    • Rob Staton

      I think Williams is a fine player just not sure he will declare. Very few red shirt soph’s leave Alabama. Montez Sweat just leaves me always wanting a bit more. Good athlete but gives off a very laid back vibe. The star on the Miss Stats DL is Simmons but he has a major red flag and that should hammer his stock.

      Don’t necessarily agree on the WR’s and TE’s. I think it’s the worst looking year for WR’s in a while. Just haven’t seen a single one so far that makes me think… sure fire R1. And the only R1 potential TE I’ve seen is the one at Stanford and he might be more top-45.

      Front seven defense all the way for this team in R1.

  57. DC

    I’m already getting excited for the 2020 draft for no other reason than we have all 7 native picks at the moment.

  58. millhouse-serbia

    Rob, did you watch Kayler Murray?

  59. icb12

    Bonehead move by the browns..

    Why deal Hyde? I get it, they have faith in chubb, I do too, but why deal your RB depth away for a 5th???

    Hyde/Chubb/duke is a good trio. Now you are relying on a rookie RB to stay healthy and keep up his production.

    What am I missing here? Haven’t teams learned anything from the Seahawks running back injury woes from the last two years?

    • cha

      Signing Hyde was a hedge against the draft. They were able to select Chubb and obviously now feel he’s worth of a greater role in tandem with Duke.

      Trading Hyde now saves them $6m cap hit in 2019 and $6m in 2020, for a player who either was going to see his role diminished due to Chubb, or were going to cut and eat some cap. Now they’ve got a gaggle of 2019 draft picks in addition to like $89-90m of cap room in 2019.

      They’ll probably use Dontrell Hilliard more or get someone off the waiver wire to fill a roster spot.

      I don’t think the Browns are as run-centric as the Hawks are. Nor do the Hawks have nearly the $ tied up in their RB group. Of course it would be sub-optimal if both Duke and Chubb got injured but the Browns opened up even more flexibility for 2019 with this trade, in exchange for the risk of needing to rely on a replacement-level downgrade from Hyde at RB for 10 games.

  60. cha

    Rapaport says Jacksonville trades a 5th round pick to Cleveland for Carlos Hyde.

    Nick Chubb’s role in Cleveland’s offense just expanded.

    • Volume12

      Fournette injury must be worse than they thought.

  61. Brandon

    Great article Rob. Appreciate you sticking to your guns defending Seahawks commitment to the run game. The issue with the analytics folks (who, by the way, come here, take screenshots, and shit on what people are saying here on Twitter), is they all seem to be staticians first and football fans second. They don’t see things through a football analyst lens, rather that of a statistician. They can’t quantify psychology or culture and thus dismiss it. Ben Baldwin’s bio on The Athletic says “Economist by trade” which should tell you everything you need to know.

    • Sea Mode

      Ben who…?

    • Kenny Sloth

      Exactly why I don’t subscribe. For every brilliant writer being paid by the Athletic, theres a hack taking up space.

      Oh shit thats the dude who hates Germain Ifedi. Spent the last 2 years talm bou we need a whole new line. He makes a good gif thread, but his analysis is just so off-the-mark. Like… Sometimes it’s hard to talk sports because we have such different philosophys on what works and people make conclusions that you just can’t even respond to, theyre so absurd. (Kenneth Arthur)

      Just wish these moneyball guys would stick with baseball or something.

      As for the twitter thing. Sounds like a bunch of tools that know they don’t have anything of value to contribute to this thread, so they scurry back to the security of their echo chambers to be called right for calling someone wrong.

    • Kenny Sloth

      The loudest voice is often a small minority of any system in my experience.

    • Rob Staton

      Go Hawks.

  62. Millhouse-serbia

    https://imgur.com/a/bTeIADP

    I have made a table with PFF grades for seahawks ofensive line players after every game this year. I will update this table every week and post here.

    Just for notes, these grades are not for every game, these are grades after every game.

    • Pickering

      Thanks!

    • Hawktalker#1

      It would be cool to get averages per game as well. Possibly on a google sheet so it could be more readable?

      Thanks

  63. Volume12

    Iowa is the Seattle Seahawks of CFB. Everyone else wants the flash and sizzle and those 2 are just gonna grind ya down. Speaking of…

    Iowa DE Anthony Nelson (6’7, 270 lbs.) Not a bendy guy, but great feet, fantastic bull rush, uses his length well. Not sure what kind of athlete he is, but dudes a tough SOB.

  64. Volume12

    Can’t believe I’m gonna say this, but the NFL has cooked CFB this year. There’s 1 good team in CFB (Bama) and other than a couple weeks CFB just hasn’t been as entertaining as it normally is.

    Can I just say that Todd McShay ain’t it it cheif.

    Ryan Finley as his #1 ranked QB? lmao
    Christian Wilkins at #6 overall? In what world?

    • Kenny Sloth

      Agree, but in canned media draft-speak

  65. Alaskahawk

    Washington U Ben Burr-Kirven has 15 tackles and an interception. He’s an undersized line backer that is a good tackler. Should be able to draft him cheap.

    • Tecmo Bowl

      Big fan of Burr-Kirven too. He will stick on a 53 man roster next year. Quick instincts. Textbook tackler for this day and age.

  66. Volume12

    BC’s Zach Allen. This dude is huge! He’s gonna play a long, long time at the next level. Becoming one of my favorite prospects in this class.

    Dominant stuff right here. The get-off he has at his size you’ll notice right away and he might have the best rip move outta this entire class, but watch some of the little things he does. Long arm, hands in passing lanes, works back across the QBs face, shoves his man into the QBs lap w/ bull rushes, sets an edge/doesn’t lose containment, stutter-swim move is 🔥🔥.

    Has gotten better year after year and is nowhere close to his ceiling.

    Zach Allen vs Temple (2018):
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yHIvQR45Xb4

    • Volume12

      ‘Bama’s Isaiah Buggs is another one who’s becoming a favorite of mine. Still ‘ship Brian Burns and Jachaii Polite, but man are there any guards who can hang with Buggs?

      Not sure where you play him at the next level, but that might not even matter.

    • Rob Staton

      I keep reading from the well known draft analyst types that Allen’s get-off isn’t good enough but I think the opposite. It’s terrific. I’ve paused videos to check his get-off and he’s always… always… a split second quicker than the rest of the DL or the OL. Terrific get-off, great size and a surprising ability to get skinny working the B-gap and there’s at least some evidence of an effective speed/power move. I want to see him test. But he’s very, very intriguing. He’s stepped up his game this year.

  67. Isaac

    Why doesn’t Ben bur kervin get any hype? Is he just to small? The analysts keep bringing up his speed. Sounds a lot like Bobby Wagner.

  68. Pickering

    Heath Farwell-esque ceiling?

  69. Kenny Sloth

    Better not be no Cougars fans on here!!! 😂😂

    🔰🔰🔰🔰

    It’s a long game baby we can still get in it.

    Good thing Justin Herbert deserves to go in the first round though. Sure would be nice if he won something.

    • Volume12

      Those unscripted, throws on the move he makes are modern NFL stuff bruh. Ball placement is *chef kiss*

      He’s putting this team on his back single-handedly. Love how he responds to adversity.

      • Kenny Sloth

        Who are some of your favorite QBs to watch, historically, Vol? You ever dig up older games?

        I really liked Staubach and Len Dawson. Some incredible abilities that honestly drop my jaw.

        Of course you know I love me some Matt Stafford. Did he facilitate or limit Calvin Johnson’s career lol?

        Remember his fake spike dive over the goal line? One of my favorite plays EVER

    • Kenny Sloth

      Mannn hard to return from a first half shutout, but I’m down baby

    • teejmo

      Yeah, a few weeks ago I questioned why Herbert was getting so much pub – his completion percentage was less than impressive. But from the Stanford game onward, the kid’s been dominant.

  70. DC

    THANK YOU COUGS!!!

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