1. It’s clear for all to see the defense needs a talent injection. It’s critical that improvements are made in the next draft and some difficult decisions need to be made on underperforming, expensive veterans already on the roster. They need to be ruthless in the off-season.
2. It’s also vital that the Seahawks are investing talent in the right scheme. Nothing about what we’re seeing this season suggests the changes for 2022 are worth persevering with. Fair play to them for trying something different but doubling down on a mistake would be a critical error. They should seriously consider going back to the classic Carroll defense, while ever he remains Head Coach, and drafting for that system. If that means further coaching changes, so be it.
3. If you’re running a Vic Fangio-style defense without Fangio on your staff — it probably isn’t going to work. See the Seahawks, Vikings and Chargers. Meanwhile Dan Quinn, Robert Salah and DeMeco Ryans are running schemes with a lot of Carroll DNA attached. To me it’s obvious if you’re adding talent, especially in the top-five of the next draft, you should put that talent in a system that is working within the league. Carroll isn’t hiring Fangio — so the Seahawks shouldn’t run a scheme influenced by him. It’s showing to be very difficult to re-create the success Fangio typically produces. If Fangio is a Rolex Watch, the Seahawks, Vikings and others seemingly bought a cheap knock-off on a street corner and are trying to pass it off as the real thing. Clearly, nobody’s having it.
4. Speaking of coaches — there was a Sunday Splash report suggesting San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans is a hot name for a Head Coaching role next season. It would be the third consecutive season a Niners coordinator was given a promotion. One thing we don’t talk enough about is how limp Seattle has been in this area. They have not added quality coaches with the talent and upside to progress through the ranks for many a year. There has been, however, some nepotism and cronyism. Admittedly they’ve also gone outside of the Carroll comfort zone to get Shane Waldron and Shaun Desai and credit to them for being prepared to do that. They need to keep looking though because the Niners are churning out candidates, the Rams have churned out candidates and the Seahawks have been badly lacking for some time. It appears they need more talent on their staff.
5. For all the talk of needing more talent on defense, here’s a quick reminder. Jordyn Brooks and LJ Collier were first round picks. Darrell Taylor and Boye Mafe were second round picks. Cody Barton is a third round pick. They paid to retain Poona Ford and Bryan Mone and Ford has the biggest cap-hit on the team this year. Uchenna Nwosu is the most expensive outside free agent they’ve ever signed. They re-signed Al Woods and brought back Quinton Jefferson. Next year, Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs are set to account for $36m of Seattle’s cap space. Nwosu and Shelby Harris combine for $25m. This is a defense that has been built and frankly, resources have been squandered. That should be remembered as we discuss whether this is just a situation that can be fixed by these decision makers simply adding more players. They need to do a much better job than they have been doing.
6. I feel like, as a fanbase, we’re on the brink of entering a really crap debate. I’m seeing it on Twitter today. It’s becoming ‘team draft a QB’ vs ‘team draft defense’. Here’s a suggestion — keep your options open. If they see a quarterback they love in this class, of course they should consider it — even if their intention is to re-sign Geno Smith. There’s nothing wrong with investing in that position and keeping Smith. If they love one of these QB’s, nobody should criticise them for taking that player. Equally if they aren’t enamoured with the early first round QB options and love a defensive talent — that’s fine too. Avoid a braincell-killing debate and just keep an open mind. There’s no right or wrong pick — QB or defense. Both are fine.
7. With the way the Seahawks are playing it’s hard to imagine them beating the Niners or Chiefs. Any given Sunday (or Thursday) and all that but if they lose both, they’ll be 7-8. Both the Jets and Rams games are winnable but the Jets are competing for the playoffs and the Rams seem determined to finish on a high despite their injuries. My prediction is they lose the next two and I think they win at least one of the Jets or Rams games to finish the season on a small high. The Lions have a reasonably favourable final four games (Jets, Panthers, Bears, Packers) and I think they’ll make the playoffs — meaning it’ll be one spot for the Seahawks, Giants and Commanders. Really, none of that trio belong in the playoffs — making a mockery of the nonsensical ‘seventh seed’ back-door qualifier which should be scrapped ASAP (but won’t be).
8. I don’t study every team of course — but is there another team with such a clearly defined preference on what they want their identity to be — but so consistently dip in and out of actually owning such an identity?
9. When you have a problem as serious as failing to stop the run — plus an inability to run the ball effectively yourselves — and these aspects are critical to your identity — when do some serious questions need to be asked about the total inability to scheme around such weaknesses to even limit the damage (or improve your situation) on even a minor level? Especially when you’re struggling against some of the weaker teams in the league?