Some thoughts on Nevada QB Carson Strong

Carson Strong has had a very consistent three-year career at Nevada

Earlier this week I compiled notes on all of the ‘big name’ quarterbacks eligible for the 2022 draft. It was an exercise to highlight the dearth of alternatives as a means of push back to the growing number of fans entertaining the idea of trading Russell Wilson.

In many cases these fans are attracted to the idea of a cheap quarterback on a rookie contract. Often, however, they haven’t spent any time looking at who or what is available in college football.

If you trade Wilson for three first round picks — those picks have to become good players to justify the move. The pressure is increased by the fact Seattle doesn’t even possess its own 2022 first rounder (which could be a top-10 selection).

Using one of the Wilson picks on a quarterback who isn’t good enough would be the ultimate ‘insult to injury’ scenario. Especially when the aim of drafting a quarterback is to acquire someone of Wilson’s talent, avoiding the treadmill that so many teams end up on — constantly looking for someone remotely qualified to lead a team.

I went back over the last 48 hours to further study Nevada’s Carson Strong. People I have a lot of time for, such as Tony Pauline and Lance Zierlein, rate him highly. I’ve been sceptical.

Of all the 2022 QB’s he was the one I wanted to extend my study on.

I’ve now watched seven games, instead of three, to fill out my thoughts on Strong.

I was right about some things, wrong on some others.

Let’s start with the pro’s.

Strong is a superb anticipation thrower to the sideline. His speed-outs are nearly always thrown with timing and velocity.

Throws from the left hash to the right sideline are like extended handoffs. It’s that automatic.

On any short-range route to the outside, he’ll often throw before the receiver turns to the ball. There’s no wasted time or movement with his technique. If the play-call requires a quick-out, he will snap, turn and throw on the money. His arm strength and ball placement are excellent and it’s a way to get easy yards.

This shouldn’t be underestimated. These throws are not as easy as they look. Wilson himself hasn’t been great at these over his career and a lot of younger quarterbacks take too long to get the ball out, they hesitate to tip-off defensive backs or they don’t have the arm power to just let it rip to the sideline.

This will be a useful tool at the next level to try and contain pressure and push back the blitz. That’s significant for Strong, as we’ll come onto later.

Watching him closely — and seeing one game with all-22 looks — has shown his ability to go through progressions and fit passes into tight windows at an elite college level.

I was stunned, frankly, in some instances to see what he was able to do. There were a couple of games where he went to his first, second, then third read and just uncorked a pass right in the heart of three defenders to a receiver. Yet the strange thing is — despite the impossibly small window — the receiver was the only person capable of completing the catch.

If this makes sense — it was pretty much the safest collection of insanely risky, accurate, driven passes I’ve seen from a college quarterback.

I underestimated his arm strength and these first two positives highlighted that. Furthermore, he isn’t just a reckless ‘big arm for hire’. He is accurate enough to be very intriguing on some of these pinpoint throws.

Technique is important. Being able to square your shoulders to the target, having the right footwork. Your feet and shoulders need to work together and you need that quick, direct release. One of the reasons players like Justin Fields have so many turnovers is purely down to his technical issues. He’s often the best athlete on the field but until he puts the technical aspects together, the sack/fumbles and interceptions will continue.

Strong’s shoulder is often aligned to the target. Once he makes his decision to throw there’s no wasted movement. He has a superb, compact delivery. His whip-like release generates velocity. The ball pops out of his hand and he has a very smooth throwing motion.

He actually does a three step drop well. So many young QB’s in shotgun take 5-7 steps and waste time and get too deep. Strong gets on with the play, knows where he wants to go and his technical qualities (footwork and release) are the best in this class.

Further to this, he can side-step in the pocket to buy a bit of time. It’s subtle but vital. There are instances on tape where he just shuffles to the left or right to buy that extra second — then bang. He makes a completion.

Strong plants his feet and drives on his throws. He doesn’t lift his leg in the air and throw off one foot javelin-style like Malik Willis.

When you give him time in the pocket he makes the prettiest 30-50 yard throws in college football. He had one against Wyoming which was a frozen rope into the tiniest window in good coverage for a 40 yard gain along the left sideline. He shifted to the left of the pocket, set his feet and uncorked. Beautiful throw.

When teams eventually come to evaluate his potential, I think they’ll go to that play a lot as an example of what he’s capable of.

I also like Strong’s interviews and think teams will enjoy meeting with him and will believe in his personality and leadership traits.

Now, let’s get into the con’s.

His mobility and athleticism is a serious issue.

There is zero improv potential and no ability whatsoever to escape pressure to extend plays. He is the definition of a classic, statue-like pocket passer.

Nevada is giving up 2.8 sacks per game in 2021. They’ve given up 28 in 10 games. They’re ranked 100th in college football, level with lowly Arizona and UConn.

(EDIT — he was sacked seven times on Friday night against Air Force, making it 35 sacks in 11 games)

He was also sacked 20 times in nine games in 2020.

This is an incredibly high amount given how well he often gets the ball out quickly — indicating that if you can freeze him in the pocket he will have issues.

As soon as he faces pressure it’s almost always a sack. Any time he’s moved out of the pocket the best case scenario is a throwaway. He cannot throw on the run.

I’m concerned about his ability to even execute boot-legs well. His footwork on the move is plodding and he warrants an F grade for mobility.

Strong’s longest run of the 2021 season is for five yards. Five yards. In the modern NFL you need some modicum of being able to scramble, extend plays and be creative. You don’t have to be Kyler Murray but even Joe Burrow has an ability to extend or break off a few yards for a first down.

Even Matt Ryan looks like a more capable athlete than Strong.

My fear is that as the game quickens up at the next level, will he be able to process quickly in order to operate solely from the pocket?

I think he will need to work with an offensive coordinator who is adept at scheming up targets and he just needs to execute as told. Kyle Shanahan, Josh McDaniels. Those types of schemes. He needs to live in a world where he’s told what his keys are and he just needs to read and throw quickly. He needs to play in a scheme that values pass-catching running backs who can be used as a safety valve. He will need to work a strong screen-game to take the heat out of some of the blitzing.

This is where I want to come back to the speed-outs. If he’s working in a creative system that can put together a lot of quick tempo-passes to keep a defense sitting in coverage, that’s great. You don’t want him clutching the ball. Even his deep shots may need to be decisive, calculated and well schemed with max-protect.

I fear if you try to insert him into any kind of long-developing passing game or allow opponents to play up at the line, you’ll be encouraging trouble. I think teams will blitz the crap out of him and you’re not going to be able to run your way out of this unless you have a dominating O-line from side-to-side.

He’ll need to be paired with a good offensive schemer. As mentioned, I think Shanahan and McDaniels are the types of play-caller that could mask his lack of athleticism.

I can well imagine teams just coming for him with the blitz at the next level and if he doesn’t learn to exploit it quickly, he’ll be a sitting duck. At Nevada — as soon as anyone breaks into the backfield, it’s goodnight Vienna.

Again — his ability to extend plays and get out of the pocket on the move is non-existent.

So while we can (and should) admire his technical ability and arm strength, the thing that will keep him back on many boards is the type of offense you’re going to have to run with him. It’ll need to be one designed for a totally static pocket-passer — at a time when everyone’s looking for mobile quarterbacks who deal with pressure and can get the ball out from all sorts of angles on the move.

Often he had a clean pocket on his best throws for Nevada. There’s little evidence of what he would be like under immense pressure other than the sacks he takes in college. Given his willingness to trust his arm, I would be fearful of what he would try early in his career if he was blitzed a lot. He might develop quickly and get to his hots but so often with young quarterbacks they panic.

Elsewhere, Strong tends to reject open throws to go through his reads — then opts to trust his arm to make a harder throw.

I’ve seen him turn down his first two targets despite both being what you would describe as ‘wide open’ at the NFL level — only to then force things on his third read. To be fair, he completes a lot of those passes. I did get the sense though that he can be put off too easily when the defense is giving you reasonable offers and he only goes for the pass when he knows he’s running out of time.

I’d like to see him be more decisive on his first read. If it’s there, take it. Don’t wait for something to be wide, wide open. I enjoy watching those down-the-seam lasers threaded into the tiniest window but I’d also quite like to see him take what’s there too.

His QBR of 63.6 is only 56th best in CFB this year and he’s thrown seven picks — the most in his three year starting career.

One I thing I noticed is Nevada benefits a lot from unusually poor busted coverages. So while his stats are good — he benefits from things he won’t enjoy as much in the NFL.

The final thing to mention is Strong suffered a serious knee injury in High School and he still wears a chunky brace. I think this is why he generated little in the way of recruiting buzz and was a non-rated prospect. It’s something teams will need to look at during medical checks.

I came away wondering whether Strong was the best quarterback eligible for the 2022 draft after all. Kenny Pickett has far fewer ‘wow’ throws, lacks Strong’s arm strength and hasn’t had the three-year consistency in terms of production. Yet Pickett is much more athletic and capable of being creative.

There are things to like about both players but also big issues that will have teams debating a lot about their pro-potential.

The quarterbacks destined for greatness often standout clearly in college. Anyone who has followed this blog for a while will know how much I/we loved Kyler Murray — long before anyone considered him a pro-prospect. He just had special qualities. It was very easy to highlight example plays that translated and you couldn’t pick holes in his game.

That type of projection is easy to make. With the likes of Pickett and Strong, it’s far more challenging. I think there’s a lot more ‘Drew Lock’ than ‘Kyler Murray’. Lock had a live arm and good mobility and you could make a case for his pro-prospects. Many did — with plenty of mocks placing him in the first fame (as we’re seeing with Pickett and Strong now).

There were also issues with Lock that we’ve seen repeated in Denver. And I sense when the evaluations come in for these two quarterbacks — teams will be suitably mixed that the majority will think day two rather than day one.

It only takes one team to change that and fall in love with a player. But right now I feel comfortable saying Pickett and Strong are the two to watch in this class yet both probably don’t warrant a grade higher than day two.

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  1. Kieran

    Great article as always, Rob! I thoroughly enjoy reading everything you put together.

    Due to the number of teams in college football I was always apprehensive about getting sucked in and finding it all too much on top of everything Seahawks/NFL related. Your insight and player reviews have made the process so enjoyable and I genuinely look forward to the ramp up in draft season much more now than I ever did in the past.

    Thanks for the great content and for the time you dedicate to the blog.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Kieran

  2. Paul Cook

    Nice analysis. I almost got whiplash, however, when you switched from pros to cons. He would really be dependent upon scheme, kind of like Dan Marino. I will take a look at him with your analysis in mind. Good stuff.

  3. Ben

    Good article Rob – very well written. Admittedly I don’t know much about Nevada (don’t watch any of their games) but doesn’t their coach run an air raid offensive system?

    • Rob Staton


      • Ben

        Thought as much so I watched the Nevada/AFA game last night. As you mentioned Rob, lack of awareness in the pocket is something that needs work. Strong seems to be able to make all the throws, but with the aforementioned awareness and coming from an air raid system, he shouldn’t go higher than the 4th round. Of course he’s a QB, so he’ll be drafted in the mid 2nd to 3rd.

  4. Belfasthawk

    Very much enjoyed this. Detailed and informative. Appreciated too.

  5. ShowMeYourHawk

    Nevada is my alma mater, so I watch all the games. This is a pretty spot-on recap of Strong’s performance. One thing to add is that he’s a bit of a hothead. He’s positively Philip Rivers-esque in his ability to berate his teammates (missing a block, dropping a pass, etc.) and isn’t afraid to go full Tom Brady and give his coaches an earful, either. Some fans like this in a QB, as it’s a quality that can show leadership. Others may be turned off by the brasher element, fearing you’ve got an attitude problem like Jeff George or Ryan Leaf had.

    • Rob Staton

      Count me in the group who likes this in a QB

      Love a Rivers type personality

      • Blitzy the Clown

        Haven’t had the opportunity to watch Strong myself, but from your very detailed assessment, it sounds like Rivers is a decent (if optimistic) pro comp for him.

        Thoroughly enjoyable read.

  6. Scot04

    Great write up Rob, love the QB breakdowns.
    I’m definitely on the keep RW camp & Build around him. So hoping we don’t have a QB need.

    Was wondering your thoughts on BYU’s “Tyler Allgeier”, he’s one of my favorite lesser talked about RBs for this year if he comes out. Speed and Power with a great motor.
    One of my favorite hustle plays was a tackle and stip of the ball, vrs Arizona State.
    He gets his team the ball back after a QB turnover, Likely the LB in him.
    Just a very good football player, who could fill that void at RB.

  7. Trevor

    Absolutely love when you do these kind of breakdowns and analysis on a prospect Rob. I honestly can’t think of anyone who does it better even at the major networks. Great stuff!

    Could Strong me a Mack Jones type with a little stronger arm in the right system? As you say the team and OC look like they will be critical for him.

  8. JimQ

    An interesting QB with some good/great numbers. Anyone looked much at him? This QB seems to be very much a gunslinger with a lot of pass attempts per game, but pretty darn good results too. His 42-TD passes leads FBS by 5-TD’s over the next best QB with 37. Zappe leads FBS in yards passing per game (4170-yds.) and is second in attempts per game (48.3-ypa).

    QB–Baily Zappe, Western Kentucky. 6-1/220 (a taller RW in size with slightly less running abilities?)
    2021- 10-games so far: 483/342/70.6%/4170-Yds/8.6-YPA, 42-TD’s/7-INT/169.14-QBR/417-YPG passing.

    A film breakdown of Michigan State game: — I watched this video & was fairly impressed, so now I/m looking for more tapes to review. ** Could he be a candidate? He would seem to fit in the 2-nd or 3-rd rd. range I think(?)

    Also, A RB that I think may be available for the Seahawks to draft (?).This guy played LB last year and was a B/U RB before that. Either a late bloomer or a guy that found a position. Seems to have a power runner type size that the Seahawks would like. I see him as a late day 2, early day 3 type pick. Further study is required.
    Sr. RB-Abram Smith, Baylor, 5-11/221, 2021 stats: 164/1203/7.34-ypa/11-TD’s, 16.4 rushes per game, 120.2-yds per game. Not used very much in the passing game = perhaps he’s under developed in that area?

    • Peter

      I’ll check out a bit more of him. I think thst he’s a later roud pick. Being a one year starter for the hilltoppers I think would have teams projecting in the 6th round.

      But an knteresting find and msybe with a good bowl game plus post season draft events could move himself up.

      • JimQ

        Another (sleeper?) QB, probably an early day 3 pick?, I think he’s a little bit overlooked in this class, his 216.1 QBR is indicative of his efficiency & if he maintains that for the full season, has a decent post season, he will likely raise up in rankings some if not a lot.

        QB-Grayson McCall, Costal Carolina, 6-3/210.- likely drops some due to being from a smaller school. He’s #1 in NCAA this year so far in Yards per attempt with 13.1 and he’s #1 in Air yards per attempt with 14.6.

        His 2021 stat line (so far in 8 games) 116/158/73.4%/2063-yds/17-TD’s/2-INT/216.1-QBR. Known as an efficient & accurate *short* to *intermediate* area passer with some decent movement skills & career rushing #’s of 167/715-yds/4.3-ypr/10-TD’s. May be one to keep an eye on as well – as a potential later round Seahawks pick?

        • Peter

          Thanks!! Another one to look at.

          After i commented above i then saw Zappe already accepted rhe senior bowl invite. Which i love to see and read how players stand out.

    • Palatypus

      Watching Bailey Zappe right now. I’m going to the Senior Bowl (already have tickets) where he will be playing.

  9. cha

    Chris Carson to have season-ending neck surgery per PC.

    So that’s that.

    • cha

      “He’s an avid, avid weightlifter and he puts a ton of weight on his shoulders, so who knows.”

    • Big Mike

      As I said a week and a half or so ago when there was talk of him returning “I’ll believe it when he takes a handoff in a real game”. I’m guessing we’ve seen his last handoff as a Seahawk.
      All that said, I truly hope he has no lasting damage.

      Such a shame the Hawks didn’t draft Jonathon Taylor when he was begging Seattle to do so.

      • cha

        For the record Carson has a $6.425m cap hit in 2022, and has a $1.5m dead cap void contract hit in 2023.

        If the Seahawks cut or trade him before June 1, they would save $3.425m and have a $3m dead cap hit and the books are clear in 2023.

  10. Rob Staton

    Chris Carson out for the year

    What a surprise

    Here’s an idea…

    No social media driven workouts this summer

    Can the Seahawks manage that???

      • Rob Staton

        • Rob Staton

          Made the mistake of tweeting about Carson’s workouts.

          Now having people leaping to defend Joel Seedman’s training methods.

          Watch the videos, read the thoughts of established, quality trainers

          • Rob Staton


            Just watch that video. That’s the definitive video.

            • Andrew M

              “The chaos/anti-chaos method.” Wtf?

              • Rob Staton


                • Andrew M

                  Well, the Seahawks identity right now could be called Chaos/Anti-chaos so maybe the BS trickles down.

                • Peter

                  Ya gotta get that sick tricep pump if you wanna play football.

                  All work out styles can be social media styles nowadyas but I’d prefer if you want to keep it “spicy,”: strongman heavy bag work, yoke walks, farmers carries for distance, and heavy ass sleds to mimic anything on the field if you just can not see yourself doing the convential “big three,” lifts.

    • Peter

      Multi time shot put champ and state of georgia powerlifting champ, Chubb, just shaking his head at the neck chains/bosu ball combo…

      • Matthew

        Of all the miscalculations and mistakes in the draft, taking Penny over Chubb, and and passing Taylor feels like the worst of them all because it felt like such a no brainer.

        • Peter

          Re: taylor. He literally wanted to be a seahawk. It doesn’t get much more ridiculous than drafting him.

          • Rob Staton

            For those who missed it:


            • Peter

              Nice. A mashup of all the times he wanted to be here. Probably seattle was “in on it til the end.”

          • Peter

            *edit*: not drafting him

        • Scot04

          Well technically we did take Taylor in the 2nd round of that draft…. Just a different one

    • pdway

      has it been reported anywhere specifically what the injury is?

      Just curious…neck surgery… does not sound good for an NFL running back. I wonder if this is it for him?

      • Rob Staton

        They’ve just said neck. It’s all been very vague. Although Carroll insisted today he’s having this surgery to get back for next season.

        They cannot — cannot — start next season relying on Carson at running back.

        • pdway

          nope…and disappointingly the ship has fully sailed on Penny too at this point. I like Collins fine, but he can’t be our go-to, which means we’ll now have to spend some of our scant draft capital on the position.

          it’s really too bad, always appreciated the way Carson played.

  11. GoHawksDani

    Really nice, objective analysis. I think Sean Payton could use him well (especially with Kamara)

  12. BobbyK

    Chris Carson hurt EVERY year he was in college. That’s 4 years of straight injuries.

    Chris Carson hurt EVERY year of his rookie contract with the Seahawks. That’s 4 years of straight injuries.

    With that injury history, what do Pete Carroll and John Schneider do? They sign him to a contract and DEPEND on him to be the lead back.

    He’s hurt. Again. For the 9th straight year!

    But we knew this would happen. What I want to know is how the f&^# we know what is going to happen (say it beforehand) and yet Carroll/Schneider have no clue?

    Carroll wants to run the ball. Fine. I do too. But he expects Carson to be a lead back and backs him up with a 1st round bust that has already had 3 years in the NFL to prove that he sucks. And that’s their RB situation.

    I don’t think Collins sucks, but there’s a reason no other team in the NFL really wanted him. There’s a reason they thought Penny was better than him (not sure why/how).

    So, you’re telling me you want to run the ball and be the bully and you have no decent center, acquire a left guard who was hated by his former teams’ fans, and have a “stable” of RBs led by one of the most injury prone RBs in the history of the NFL.

    I simply don’t get it.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s amazing that a team that smashed it out of the park so much with the Marshawn trade has done such a poor job producing an effective running game and replacement lead back in the years since he departed

      It’s perhaps a warning for those hoping this regime will get a chance to replace another player they showed great skill in acquiring…

    • cha

      The sad part to me is, the backs they’ve passed over, particularly Nick Chubb and Jonathan Taylor, unfortunately would not be the Nick Chubb and Jonathan Taylor we know today if either was drafted by the Seahawks.

      They’d be stuck running behind a makeshift offensive line, and getting 10-15 reps per game and being told to run straight at Aaron Donald and Joey Bosa and then go sit on the bench while they punt again.

      • BobbyK

        You’re definitely right that those guys wouldn’t be the exact same backs behind bums like Fuller or Pocic. But a guy like Taylor was proven to be durable. You could feed him the rock over and over again in college and the guy was a stud. Carson was, is, and always will be an injury prone machine. At least Taylor is available. And cheaper. I know you know that, but it’s so frustrating that he wanted to be a Seahawk and our clown patrol group of decision makers believed Carson/Penny was the wave of the (crappy) future.

  13. JJ

    My mind is just blown away by how bad this reset has gone. To take a team with a top 5 qb and just waste years is incredible. Just seems to be no plan and the idea of ever being the bully again is long gone.

    • BobbyK

      When they took over, they had a long-term vision

      Today they use band-aids and duct tape for things that need reconstructive surgery.

      And, seriously, I thought teams were so much analytical now days. How do you take numbers that state a player has been hurt significantly for 8 years in a row and think he’s worthy of signing for millions of dollars? Isn’t the 8 year in a row of injuries thing evidence to predict future trends? Why? Why? Why!

  14. Cysco

    LOL, this whole Carson situation just reinforces what a clown shoes organization the Seahawks have turned into. The level of incompetence and overall stupidity from top to bottom is mind blowing. The offseason can’t get here soon enough. If there isn’t a complete cleansing of this team in the offseason, it’s going to be really tough to get invested into it next season.

  15. Paul Cook

    I’m with Big Mike on Carson. Gun to head, I’d have bet we wouldn’t see him the rest of the year. It was like the Darrell Taylor injury, clouded in secrecy and innuendo. I can usually tell when PC is feeding us a plate of BS when it comes to the severity of a player’s injury. I’ve gotten good at it. He’s given me a lot of practice.

    • Robbie

      I was never for resigning him even at what was deemed a “discounted” rate. It’s so frustrating throwing away money on injured players all the time. I’ve lost faith in the organization for evaluating talent and doing the right thing.

  16. God of Thunder

    So, what does the 2023 (!) draft look like for QBs?

    I’m only partly joking. Given that 2022 is so poor for QBs, IF Russ is traded, we’ll need a thorough rebuild and that means accepting some losing and stockpiling draft picks … and hoping there’s a QB for us out there.

    (I’d rather PC retire, and build around RW.)

    • uptop

      All jokes aside, not looking good either in 2023, there just isn’t much amazing qb play around the country this year

      • BobbyK

        Could always change though (’23). Still time. Nobody had a guy like Joe Burrow on their radar a little over a year before he became the #1 overall pick and now he has all the looks/makings of a franchise QB.

        • uptop

          A burrow type rise is the exception, not the norm. There is not a lot of impressive play from the sophomore qb stable cut and dry.

          • BobbyK

            The Oakland A’s wouldn’t have used a first round pick on Kyler Murray if they thought there was any chance he’d become a great QB and play in the NFL instead. That happened fast. Mac Jones basically came out of nowhere. Nobody had him on their radar as a first round pick going into last year. People thought the Alabama QB situation sucked after Tua. Trey Lance basically only played 1 season of college ball. I think a guy like Burrow coming out of nowhere is more normal that you think.

            • Palatypus

              Kurt Warner was a stock boy at a Piggly Wiggly.

              • BobbyK

                Now that’s a legit needle in a haystack!

  17. cha

    Strong is putting on a show tonight. Good call Rob.

    Air Force has beat the tar out of him in the pocket and he just keeps making throws and getting up off the ground.

    • Rob Staton

      Seven more sacks though

      Which speaks to the issues I noted in the piece. No elusiveness and teams can get after him

  18. Ok

    Cha mentioned it above: Taylor and Chubb wouldn’t be who the players they are now, if they played for the Seahawks.
    I do not want to be a Penny apologist, the amount of mistakes that went into that evaluation are pretty damning, particularly that Pumphrey, at like #175, was a record setting back that Penny couldn’t get in front of…
    That being said, I could see Penny running all over the yard with the 9ers or the Rams, due to their superior coaching and schemes.
    I could be very wrong.

    The Joel Seedman takedown video that Rob posted is so damning, and clear. Seeing things like that, continues to make me think the Seahawks were formerly extremely fortunate, and much of their processes are quite flawed.

  19. House

    Great write up Rob! I’m curious to see if Strong is just not willing to move in the pocket (no pressure) because he trusts technique or if he just physically isn’t athletic enough. The kid definitely has an arm.

    What is your view of this year’s OL class? Could a huge injection be made there to help out? Brown is literally on his last leg, Shell will be a FA and the Center position this year has been horrible.

    I know the example would be trading Russell to probably the Eagles (team with three first round picks). Do you think Gardner Minshew coming our way as well could help as a stopgap?

    • Rob Staton

      He’s a poor athlete unfortunately

      A statue

      I don’t think it’s a good OL class but let’s see the Senior Bowl and combine

      • cha

        He’s as lumbering a guy as I’ve seen, that’s for sure. He had a play where he rolled out and threw a TD pass and a brisk walk would have caught up with him.

        As my dad would say ‘you’ve got to drive a stake into the ground as a reference point when timing him.’

        • Blitzy the Clown

          Or as my HS track coach would say when it was time for practice: “I’ll grab my calendar and meet you on the track”

  20. Paul Cook

    More college football fun today. The CFP standings as of this week…

    1) Georgia 10-0
    2) Alabama 9-1
    3) Oregon 9-1
    4) Ohio State 9-1

    5) Cincinnati 10-0
    6) Michigan 9-1
    7) Michigan State 9-1
    8) Notre Dame 9-1
    9) Oklahoma State 9-1
    10) Wake Forest 9-1
    11) Baylor 8-2
    12) Mississippi 8-2
    13) Oklahoma 9-1
    14) BYU 8-2

    Some good games with Conference and CFP significance…

    Arkansas @ Alabama
    Oregon @ Utah
    Michigan State @ Ohio State
    Wake Forest @ Clemson
    Baylor @ Kansas State
    Iowa State @ Oklahoma
    Washington @ Colorado

    College football is still a mess. The conferences have become too powerful to the detriment of the overall structure of the game. Now with Texas and Oklahoma set to join the SEC following Missouri and Texas A&M, you wonder if the Big 12 will even warrant the designation of being a power 5 conference. Already the Pac 12 and ACC seem like second fiddle conferences to the Big 10 and SEC.

    College football would do well to make better sense of their conferences and playoff structure. They need to find a way to inject a little more parity into the system. It’s never going to be a “fair” system, but it can be a little better than it is now.

    • Big Mike

      Your Husky homerism is showing. Sorry but their game against Colorado has no playoff or conference significance Paul. None the less, Go Dawgs (til they play the Cougs next week).

      • Paul Cook

        Yes, it is showing. 🙂 But a Husky game is ALWAYS significant.

        I wonder who the new HC will be? The Husky community is going crazy with everything up in the air. Word now is that they want either Matt Campbell of Iowa State or Dave Aranda of Baylor. I Like them both. The more familiar and closer to home choices are Justin Wilcox of Cal or Jonathan Smith of Oregon State. But who knows…

        • Peter

          Jordan smith is the “mayor,” of corvallis. Born and raised seattleite here…but the huskies problem is they think they are something they aren’t.

          Not sure moving to seattle would be a step up. Plus OSU’s athletics are starting ever so slowly to change their whole culture/philosophy.

          • Paul Cook

            Yeah, I don’t think Smith ends up at UW. I could see the Aranda, Campbell, and Wilcox arguments for doing so, however.

            • Peter Jakubisin

              Any of the three could be interesting for UW.

              I love how lazy writers get. Just read a coaching carousel piece about how “vaunted,” programs like USC….if they call you go. Why would anyone but the hawks coach go to USC? Money? You can get that from any great program. Recruiting? How alabama just goes wherever they want for players…

  21. Paul Cook

    Caleb Williams after his first poor game takes it to the house on a 74 yard run on Oklahoma’s first possession. I think Oklahoma probably got knocked out of the CFP picture with last week’s loss to Baylor. Oklahoma State is probably the only Big 12 team with a shot at the CFP. If Oregon loses today, that would take the Pac 12 out of the CFP picture. The ACC is already out of the CFP picture.

    • Peter

      Oregon vs. Utah feels like a classic playoff chances killer that the pac 12 self deals all the time.

      Plus I like Utah. Plus i’m never rooting for the ducks after living in eugene and having hawks games when they were the baddest team on the planet preempted for the pitiful titans just to watch favorite son mariota be yet another in a line long of white hot college guys to amount to next to nothing in the pros.

  22. Paul Cook

    Wow. Ohio State leads Michigan State 35-0 with about ten minutes to go in the 2nd quarter. Michigan State is going to drop like a stone in the rankings.

  23. cha

    Interesting post-mortem note

    Jeremy Fowler
    Some background on Odell Beckham free agency last week: Seattle actually made the strongest offer over the first few days. Rams stepped in w/ heavy incentives because they wanted the player, but they also had to ensure no other NFC West team got him. Arizona also inquired.

    • Rob Staton


    • Troy

      Close but no cigar seems to be the theme with the hawks front office. “We are always in every deal”… well until you aren’t. I have so little faith in this Front Office to get the job done

    • Big Mike

      “We were in it til the end.”


      • Paul Cook

        They could have waiver claimed him if they wanted to. I knew they weren’t going to get him after they let that option pass.

        • BobbyK

          They’re too dumb to know that though.

          • Ashish

            Or Arrogant or over confidence or still having success of hangover and thinks that player will sign with hawks over other teams. Paul Cook is right they should have put waiver if they are really looking to sign him.

    • 12th chuck

      just goes to show that the “atmosphere” that pc created isn’t as good as he thinks, as another free agent chooses to go elsewhere after we make a “competitive” offer

  24. Palatypus

    Bailey Zappe got benched…after throwing 6 TD.

    • Peter

      Will be interesting to see him at the Senior bowl and whatever bowl game w. Ky. draws.

      Tough to gauge. One year, not his fault obviously, against some very suspect teams. Good numbers against michigan state. But the next hardest team was UTSA.

      • Palatypus

        FWIW this was Western Ketucky coach’s first victory against FAI.

        • Palatypus


  25. Paul Cook

    So far today two teams go down ending whatever CFP playoff chances they might have had, #7 Michigan State losing to Ohio State 56-7 and #10 Wake Forest going down to Clemson 48-13. Now we’ll see how Oregon, Michigan, Cincinnati, Alabama, and Baylor do.

  26. McZ

    UVA @ Pitts was by far the most entertaining game today. With two QBs topping my list battling it out.

    Brennan Armstrong playing with knackered ribs, 487 yd, 3 TD, 1 INT, 73.5% completion.
    Kenny Pickett 340 yd, 4 TD, 2 INT.

  27. GoHawks5151

    I’ve seen him a few times now and I really like Cam Rising from Utah. Maybe he is the 2023 QB who takes a step next year if we make the bad decision to part with Russ

  28. Rob Staton

    Another bad day for Malik Willis today

    Maintain he’s just a project at this point. Day three for me.

  29. Big Mike

    Oregon down 7-0 beginning of 2nd quarter. They have zero chance of winning. As usual, a more physical team is owning them at the LOS.
    So sick and tired of pinning my Pac 12 playoff hopes on this soft assed program.

    • Paul Cook

      Yeah, never count on the Ducks. I’m afraid you’re going to have to wait for UW’s resurgence under their new head coach for you to pin your hopes on a Pac 12 team.

      • Peter

        “Uw’s resurgence.”

        Like the hope.

        How about a pete carrol led USC?

        • Big Mike

          Would definitely prefer the Huskies cuz I’ve never been much of a USC guy but at this point I’ll gladly root for them if they ever get back to actually being good because Oregon is nothing but Downey soft.

          • Peter

            My preference: wazzu, utah, then huskies. But i hate watching this division do tjis to itself year after year. And the conference being such garbage only one team at a time has a chance and there’s zero strength of schefule advantage

            • Big Mike

              Yeah agree.
              And btw, I’m a Cougs guy first too, grew up in Spokane (go Zags!) but realistically they’re not likely to ever be a consistent power.

              • Paul Cook

                Pac-12 has been in steady decline for a number of years now. We had a HORRIBLE commissioner who made mistake after mistake after mistake. He put the Pac-12 title game in San Fran. Stupid. Had the Pac-12 offices in San Fran, like the most expensive real estate in America. He did done nothing to upgrade one of the worst officiated conferences in college football by any measure. He negotiated the worst TV contracts imaginable that pretty much destroyed our conferences national exposure as well as degrading the fan experience in so many ways that are well known to every fan out here.

                Thank heaven these things are starting to be corrected, but it’s going to be time before this conference gets back to where it should be. Pac-12 is at its best with a strong USC, UW, and University of Phil Knight, a healthy Utah and Stanford, and the occasional cinderella season from teams like Wazzu, Arizona State, or UCLA.

                • Justaguy

                  Apple Cup is the only time this year I want to see UW win a game

  30. Paul Cook

    Wow. Utah just steamrolling Oregon’s defense after that last missed FG.

    • Big Mike

      Who’s softer, the Ducks or the Seahawks?

      • Paul Cook

        Flip a coin.

        Things are starting to set up for a possible Notre Dame entry into the final four. I can easily envision a scenario of Georgia, Ohio State, Cincinnati, and Notre Dame now. Oklahoma State and Oklahoma maybe an outside shot.

        • Palatypus

          Just like ESPN wanted.

        • Rob Staton

          If Notre Dame get in again, I’m not watching the playoffs

          • Big Mike

            at least their semi-final thrashing

  31. GoHawks5151

    I encourage the O Line thirsty to watch the Oregon St O lineman and run game. You’re welcome.

    • Peter

      Pretty interested to see BJ baylor at the combine. Dud a cursory look of his high school recruiting numbers. I wonder how explosive he might be with extra years of training.

    • Big Mike

      Oregon’s offensive line isn’t even half as physical and tough as the Beavers is. If Oregon state had a quarterback on the level of say the guy in Cincinnati they’d win the pac 12 North this year

  32. swedenhawk

    Rob, have you (or anyone else in the community) had a chance to watch Chris Rodriguez, the RB from Kentucky? I haven’t watched him much, but he seems intriguing.

    • Rob Staton

      I haven’t

  33. Sea Mode


    Ian Rapoport

    It was supposed to be a down year for QBs in the NFL Draft. But… after talking with 10 GMs or top executives, don’t be surprised if at least three, maybe four, go in the first round. A look at what’s next at the most important position:

    • Rob Staton

      Let me re-word that tweet:

      “It was supposed to be a down year for QBs in the NFL Draft. But… after talking with 10 GMs or top executives, don’t be surprised if a bunch of dumbass decisions are made”

      • Paul Cook

        Seems so. I suppose it’s easier to talk yourself into thinking that you see NFL potential in a QB prospect than other positions. If you want to improve at the position…boy does it seem like real slim pickings at present,. I have to assume that RW will command some real interest this off season. Outside of RW, Watson, and possibly Mayfield, I’m kind of at loss who a team in need of a QB might target outside of the draft?

        Whew. It just is what it is. If we end up trading RW for a king’s ransom, it’s hard not to think that we’re setting ourselves up for a swoon, and one that could be extended given the importance of the QB position.

  34. Rob Staton

    Seattle per DVOA:

    Offense: 9th

    Defense: 21st

  35. Paul Cook

    Just read that the Seahawks are dead last in time-of-possession this year. And of the top 14 teams in TOP this year, all teams have at least a .500 record.

    I can’t say it enough. This team has to scheme to get first downs like they are touchdowns. Yes, running the ball better would help. Yes, staying out of third-and-long would help. But a more ball control, shorter, get the ball out quicker passing attack would go a long way towards this goal. We just might have to set up the run with the pass the rest of the year in most situations. We’re not good enough to virtually telegraph how we’re going to run the ball and expect productive results from it.

  36. UkAlex6674

    I never comment about what could have/should have been when it comes to Seattles recent drafts. But for one time and one time only – if he cited Seattle as the team he wanted to play for AND he fit the Seahawk RB mould, why the f#$k wasn’t Jonathon Taylor drafted?

    • Rob Staton

      Well, they also decided not to take the ideal RB for their system in Chubb and it’s been revealed they massively regret it

      So why not double down and repeat the act…

      It’s not like the value of a good RB hasn’t been shown over and over and over again in Pete’s philosophy

      • Hawks4life

        Been thinking this all morning, it’s the most baffling thing to me.

        • Paul Cook

          It really boils down to do PC/JS deserve another chance at remaking this roster with or without RW? I know where I stand on the matter, but the powers that be certainly aren’t listening to me.

          The only drama left this season is does this team make an improbable run for one of the last two playoff spots in the NFC? Beyond that, the real drama lurks ahead in the off season, and all we can do is sit and wait to see what happens.

  37. Sea Mode

    Uh oh…

    Bob Condotta

    Schneider says RB snaps will be “by committee” and says to expect a lot of Rashaad Penny today.

    • Big Mike

      And lots of people blaming Russell Wilson when the offense inevitably sputters because there’s no run game

    • Gross MaToast

      Predicting Penny’s season-ending injury:

      7:41 2nd qtr.

      pulled hamstring

      Thank god Pete passed on that showboat J. Taylor.

  38. Blitzy the Clown

    Anyone else feel like they’re getting punk’d just a little bit whenever they watch the Jaguars? Like they’re the inverse football version of the Harlem Globetrotters where they constantly outdo themselves on how poorly they play.

    And to think there are decent players on that roster, notwithstanding the constant keystone cops cavalcade of crappiness.

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