The Pete Carroll debate, from my perspective

The debate over Pete Carroll’s future has become increasingly partisan and frustrating

As is usually the case with Seahawks Twitter — a big topic relating to the team has ended up becoming a fractious talking point.

With the season finally set to end on Sunday, things have ramped up recently. An exercise in ‘extreme confirming of priors’ is underway.

All sides are guilty of this. Yet I think those inclined to back the retention of Pete Carroll as Head Coach, while holding an indifferent opinion on Russell Wilson’s future, have started taking things to a new level.

Here’s a tweet from Mike Salk, posted after the Lions game:

The premise that Wilson’s dissatisfaction is limited to a supposed unwillingness to play a brand of football seen against Detroit feels like a take that can be deconstructed.

You don’t need intimate knowledge of the situation to come to the conclusion that Wilson’s issues with the Seahawks aren’t based around Pete Carroll’s desire to feature the running game.

The problems are much more likely to be about the fact they haven’t been able to do it consistently for years, despite setting out to make it a key aspect of the team.

How often, over the years, have the Seahawks actually played a game like they did on Sunday? With supreme balance, the ability to run with great success and get after an opponent on offense?

Now compare this to the occasions, particularly in the playoffs, where the Seahawks have tried to run the ball on offense — failed — conceded easy points on defense and then required the quarterback to dig them out of a huge hole.

This idea that Wilson isn’t interested in an offensive performance structured like the Lions game is plucked out of thin air and presented as a reasonable take. Salk’s tweet has nearly 900 likes, a healthy number.

Yet in truth, it doesn’t come close to properly analysing the situation.

Think how many times over the years the running game has collapsed as soon as Chris Carson got hurt and how much pressure it’s put on Wilson to be the be-all and end-all.

Think how often the offensive line has been pushed around up front, preventing the Seahawks from running effectively to provide balance — despite being set up to be a run-blocking unit first and foremost.

This isn’t about Wilson wanting to throw 50 times a game and not running the ball. It’s about several aspects, all working together to create a wider dissatisfaction:

— The lack of consistency on offense and too often the utter dependency on Wilson to bail the team out (which cannot be denied has happened many times over the years, even if it’s easy to forget these days)

— General poor team building — especially since the 2018 reset — with a particular focus on the fact that since 2012 the Seahawks have never delivered a top-tier offensive line for the quarterback (and barely really tried to)

— Playoff failure — one win in five seasons now — with many playoff exits following a familiar script of game-plan not working, big deficit at half-time and Wilson magic required to make it a game in the second half

— Seeing another quarterback change teams, have significant input in personnel and scheming, before immediately winning a Super Bowl

To limit Wilson’s complaints to ‘he doesn’t want to win with a running back running for 170 yards while he only throws 29 times’ is absurd. Especially when, a year ago, Aaron Rodgers won the MVP award with the Packers running the ball 32 more times than Seattle and having a higher yards-per-game average ranking in the running game than they did in the passing game.

Tom Brady also clearly benefitted from the running game and defense in Tampa Bay.

Not only that — Wilson has made it clear that what we saw in week one against Indianapolis and in week 17 against Detroit is the offense as it was intended to look. Yet so often this year, it hasn’t looked anything like that. Even prior to Wilson’s injury it felt like we were watching the late-2020 offense again against Tennessee, Minnesota, San Francisco and LA.

Some of the blame should be pointed at Wilson’s personal performances which have been well below par, to say the least. Yet it’s Seattle’s inability to recreate what was seen on Sunday consistently that is the broader issue — not that the performance happened and featured the running game as much as it did.

This is where we’re at though. Opinions shared on twitter, without a great deal of thought put into them.

Crafting an article takes time. Often you start writing about one thing and pivot to something else, because you go on a bit of a journey. You research, you think, you evolve your position.

On twitter a thought pops into your head and bang — it’s posted to thousands of people for approval. Once the opinion is uttered, it’s very hard to row back because the fear of losing face often outweighs the perception of being seen to be wrong.

Views spread like wildfire — and rarely there’s any counter arguments to read or hear.

The other problem that is happening, though, is valid arguments are being ignored or conveniently dismissed as this debate roars on.

I’m afraid it feels like the biggest culprits are again those minded to publicly back Carroll remaining in Seattle, with indifference on Wilson’s future.

Recently I saw Brian Nemhauser (Hawk Blogger) post a long twitter thread discussing the situation. He put a lot of weight into a quote from Matt Hasselbeck, who said on 710 ESPN, “They (the Seahawks) will not be successful if they move on from Pete.”

To me that felt like a comment that is easily challengeable. Are we saying that literally no other coach could be successful in Seattle if Carroll departs? That’s quite a claim to make and to me, needs to be explained in greater detail than Hasselbeck provided.

The comments received a lot of attention. Brian’s tweet received +220 likes. Yet similar comments from Brandon Marshall — who like Hasselbeck, spent a season with Carroll in Seattle — didn’t receive the same acknowledgement.

Marshall claimed recently that Carroll’s schemes have become predictable and that his experience was that opponents knew what was coming:

“Everyone knows their book. So now I’m going into the game knowing how to beat their defense. Defensively, it’s not what it used to be. It used to be hard, hard, hard back in the day to beat the Seattle Seahawks and get anything on them. It starts there with philosophy. He has to change his ways.”

Brian then went on to reference that broadcaster Gee Scott had interpreted Kam Chancellor’s recent tweet about wishing to speak to Jody Allen as supportive of Carroll. Yet there’s no acknowledgement that Chancellor liked the following reply in response to his tweet:

Of course, this equally isn’t a clear sign that Chancellor would march into Allen’s office and tell her to fire Pete Carroll. I just think it’s difficult to read anything into Chancellor’s tweet and it shouldn’t be assumed as pro or anti Carroll/Wilson.

In response to the thread, Paul Gallant (formerly of 710 ESPN) questioned why Tyler Lockett doesn’t attend Russell Wilson’s off-season workouts while stating, “All signs point to Russ being about himself.”

That’s quite the 2+2=5 on Lockett, who could have a myriad of reasons for not attending Wilson’s workouts. It’s also quite an accusation to place at Wilson’s door, given he hosts those workouts with teammates in the first place, is the reigning Walter Payton ‘Man of the Year’ and on Sunday, along with wife Ciara, presented a cheque for the $2.7m the ‘Why Not You Foundation’ raised in 2021 for the Immuno Heroes, Seattle Children’s hospital’s⁩ program to fight childhood cancer worldwide.

I’m not for a second saying Gallant is suggesting that Wilson is self-centered off the field because clearly the evidence suggests otherwise. Many people hold the opinion that Wilson has tunnel-vision for his own personal career, so it’s not a particularly ‘out-there’ claim.

I just don’t think it’s a take that chimes at all with Wilson the individual. At times it feels like the extreme ambition of Wilson, both personally and for the team, is viewed negatively. Are lofty goals really indicative of a self-centered person?

Brian finally noted that John Clayton had talked about “how he absolutely believes it’s harder to find a great head coach than a franchise QB”. Today another long-standing reporter, Peter King, said, “It’s a lot harder to find a top quarterback than it is to get a coach you can win with.”

Also on Sunday, Davis Hsu posted a lengthy twitter thread to amplify an opinion that Wilson should be dealt.

Among those takes was a tweet claiming: “OBJ (Odell Beckham Jr) knew to stay clear (of Wilson)”. I felt obliged to reply to the tweet, pointing out that this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m not an insider — far from it. I’d never claim to be. I do know for a fact, however, that OBJ’s reasoning for not signing in Seattle had nothing to do with a lack of desire to play with Wilson.

There’s a pro-Carroll narrative developing that I think needs to be fleshed out more than we’re currently seeing. As more and more people take to Twitter, the radio and elsewhere to back Carroll and lean towards trading Wilson, quite a few flimsy points are being made while a lot of valid points are being ignored.

Here are a few…

Who replaces Wilson if he departs?

The quarterback situation in college football is decidedly poor and the free agent market is abysmal.

This issue is never really acknowledged.

I’ve seen and heard references to ‘drafting a quarterback every year until you find the answer’.

Sure — I suppose that’s an idea. It’s basically buying a lottery ticket every week until you win. Yet the odds are stacked against you ever succeeding — whether it’s the lottery or a quarterback.

The reality is 30 quarterbacks were drafted in rounds 1-2 between 2013-2020. Of that group, you can argue eight truly justified the picks used on them.

That’s a 26% success rate. Or in other words, history says you’ve got a 74% chance of making a bad investment at quarterback in the first two rounds.

Any plan that involves moving on from Wilson should include a clear path to the next signal caller. One is never given.

You never hear a case being made for Carson Strong, Kenny Pickett or any other rookie quarterback eligible in the draft.

Occasionally someone will mention a name like Trent Dilfer. ‘You don’t need a top passer to win a Championship’.

Yet there are thousands of other quarterbacks who were not top-level and didn’t win a playoff game, let alone a Super Bowl. The rare few who do are nearly always exceptionally backed by a generational defense or a complete roster — something that is almost as difficult to achieve as striking gold on a top quarterback.

How are you rebuilding this team if you get picks for Wilson?

This is the weakest draft at the top end in a long time.

The response to this is often, ‘I have read a mock draft or two and they say there’s a few linemen available so that works for me’.

There’s no acknowledgement that a lot of these linemen are being projected well above their talent-range due to the fact there’s a distinct lack of legit first round prospects in this draft.

I’ve reviewed this class in depth. Even the players I really like — such as Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning — I’d suggest wouldn’t be top-10 picks most other years.

It’s going be a major challenge to launch the Seahawks into a new, exciting era with high picks in April.

People should look at this class and explain why trading your best asset for picks in this draft would be a better move than working to make things better with the quarterback you have.

Why are Pete Carroll and John Schneider the right men to oversee another rebuild?

They were the architects of the 2018-21 reset. They’ve squandered high picks on Rashaad Penny, LJ Collier and Marquise Blair. The 2017 draft was a disaster. They’ve not delivered later round gems to compensate and their record, as such, warrants a high degree of scrutiny. Particularly because they passed on so many talented players at positions of need (TJ Watt, Nick Chubb, Ryan Ramczyk, Jonathan Taylor, Trevon Diggs etc).

Carroll and Schneider spent $58.25m on the following list of players during the 2020 off-season:

Jarran Reed $9.35m
Greg Olsen $6.9m
Bruce Irvin $5.9m
Carlos Hyde $4m
B.J. Finney $3.5m
Brandon Shell $3.475m
Quinton Dunbar $3.421m
Jacob Hollister $3.259m
Benson Mayowa $3.018m
Mike Iupati $2.5m
Cedric Obuehi $2.237m
Joey Hunt $2.1m
Branden Jackson $2.1m
David Moore $2.1m
Geno Smith $887,500
Neiko Thorpe $887,500
Luke Willson $887,500
Phillip Dorsett $887,500
Chance Warmack $887,500

An opportunity to elevate the roster to the next level, blown.

Carroll once said you judge a trapper by his furs. Yet in free agency, has Carroll claimed a fur since Bennett and Avril? That was nine years ago.

The Seahawks have had numerous years where they’ve entered a training camp (or even a regular season) with gaping holes on the roster, then tried to fix the problem on the run. This was evident at cornerback and center this year and pass rush last year.

Then there’s the Jamal Adams trade. Do we really need to go into that again?

What possible justification is there for this pair getting another opportunity to rebuild this team, given their record?

No suitable answer, so far, has been provided.

Instead we hear a lot about the importance of ‘culture’, how difficult it is to replace a good Head Coach and any other convenient pointers that can be tweeted without any detail to form an online argument.

I’m not even sure the ‘culture’ argument is that strong, given it’s difficult to define how you’d describe ‘culture’ within a football team.

I think Carroll has tremendous strengths as a leader of men. I think his willingness to be open-minded and let individuals grow and develop is admirable. He’s taken risks during his Seahawks career that few other coaches would’ve done — and been rewarded emphatically for his boldness.

Yet we’ve also seen one play destroy a potential dynasty, amid a flurry of ridiculous locker-room conspiracy theories surrounding Carroll’s preference on who wins a Super Bowl MVP award. Players rushed to journalists to call the team ‘the Titanic’. Who could forget Richard Sherman ranting and raving at team mates and coaches on the sideline during an actual game — wildly out of control. We hear stories of team mates punching each other before the biggest game in franchise history. The relationship between key members of the defense and the franchise quarterback seemed to be all over the place, based on petty ‘you’re treating him differently’ arguments.

Do I need to go on?

It’s been a circus on multiple occasions.

Therefore, I think the ‘culture’ has been a mixed bag. There have been pro’s and con’s. The environment that tolerates Marshawn Lynch so he can become a living legend is also the environment that saw so much nonsense engulf the team and prevent it from maxing out one of the greatest roster’s in NFL history.

As for the difficulty in replacing a Head Coach — nobody should ever assume this will be easy. Yet the Seahawks have benefitted from being ambitious with two of their last three appointments (Holmgren, Carroll) and they’ve seen first hand the problem with settling (Mora). There’s no reason why this franchise can’t make a great pitch to an exciting candidate for a third time to provide the platform for continued, future success.

After all — I’m sure plenty of people made the same argument for the post-Holmgren era in 2007/08. Yet by 2010, the best coach in franchise history was on board.

Let’s also remind ourselves what the Seahawks were with Carroll pre-Wilson. They were a 7-9 team. Minus Wilson for four games in 2021 — and with the lingering effects of a finger injury stretching over numerous other games — the Seahawks are now a 6-10 team.

With the Jets, Carroll went 6-10 before being fired. In New England, his overall record was 27-21.

This is why he stated a few weeks ago that without Wilson, he wouldn’t have lasted as long as he has in Seattle. So when people talk about replacing a Head Coach as a harder act than replacing a quarterback — I’m not entirely sure Carroll would agree.

Readers of this blog know my preference for the future (and I wrote about my Plan A, B and C here). I think Carroll and Schneider deserve the utmost respect and credit for what they’ve achieved in Seattle. I also think fresh leadership is required and a new era is necessary.

I would like to see an ambitious appointment made at Head Coach and I think the Seahawks should call New Orleans next week and ask them to name a price for Sean Payton. If that deal isn’t possible, call Doug Pederson.

At GM, I’d like to see a Seattle return for Ed Dodds, currently with the Colts.

Yet I recognise none of this is flawless or without risk. I also accept the possibility of a Wilson trade and that’s why we’ve discussed it so much.

I’m also willing to accept two key points that go against my preference:

1. A case can probably be made for retaining Carroll, I just don’t think anyone has made any kind of sufficient effort to establish what it is.

2. I personally have views on how Carroll can turn this around and be a thriving success in Seattle — with Russell Wilson.

On point #2 — I think it’s actually pretty straight forward.

If Carroll was willing to commit to creating a top class staff, I think he can still be a tremendous Head Coach for the Seattle Seahawks.

As mentioned, he is a strong leader and motivator. He could be a great figurehead.

If he was willing to embrace what I call ‘the Nick Saban approach’ — I still think he could enjoy years of success.

This isn’t a new thought either. Here’s what I wrote on October 6th, 2020:

Pete Carroll put together the bulk of his current staff in 2018. It was the start of the re-set with a number of high-profile players and coaches departing.

The Seahawks had completely lost their identity and in an attempt to regain control, Carroll appointed familiar faces and people who would run his system.

It was the right thing to do at the time. Seattle recaptured its identity, avoided a huge downturn in results despite the siphoning-off of talent and quickly got back on track.

Now that they’re three years in it might be time for a rejig. Arguably, they could do with some outsiders to come in and offer new ideas.

Carroll once remarked, “It’s never too late to reinvent yourself”.

I wish he would take his own advice.

Imagine a situation where the Seahawks went out and landed the best coordinators and positional staff money could buy? Carroll — rather than insisting on control of every aspect of the team, doing things the way he aggressively believes in — cedes some control and takes a position of master-motivator and leader.

The X’s and O’s are left up to other people, along with the fine-details of the game-planning and in-game adjustments.

That, to me, is an exciting prospect.

Saban has done it with Alabama. He’s adapted and evolved. He’s committed to bringing in first-rate coaches to make up his staff. Dare I say, along with a relentless recruiting drive, it’s one of the keys to Alabama’s seemingly never-ending run.

They are doing a better job of ‘winning forever’.

Instead of doing this, Carroll has persisted with his guys. Ken Norton as defensive coordinator. He employs one of his sons. Carl ‘Tater’ Smith is not only back in Seattle but Carroll referenced Smith, along with his son Nate, as the people he turns to for a dose of reality.

It was hard to take that seriously.

Carroll is so clear in his mind that he has to do things his way and the only person keeping him in check is ‘Tater’. That’s where we’re at.

Granted there have been times when he’s relented slightly. The first half of last season is a good example, with the ‘Let Russ Cook’ movement. Or, to an extent, the appointment of Shane Waldron (although he wasn’t ‘Wilson’s hand-picked guy’ as many try to suggest).

Yet when Carroll does deviate slightly, it always feels like it happens with a degree of awkwardness. When a tough stretch was experienced after an electric start in 2020, the solution wasn’t to try and become more creative and work a way out of it. It was to reign things in.

When Carroll was asked about the stalling and predictable offense a year ago, having wrestled back control, he refused to acknowledge it — pushing back on Joe Fann (who asked the question) while claiming it was a media creation.

A fortnight later, the same issues were hopelessly exposed in a playoff hammering at the hands of the Rams.

The truth is it doesn’t take much to knock Carroll away from a fresh idea or plan and revert to type.

He’s a control freak — which doesn’t have to be a bad thing. For a lot of his time in Seattle, it’s been to the benefit of the Seahawks that he’s so clear in his vision.

Right now, it feels like what would be best is to employ the best people available and trust them. It feels like Carroll still has a lot to offer, yet his stubbornness to do it his way feels restrictive. It hasn’t allowed the Seahawks to put together the best possible staff or create the best possible formula for success on the field and the results (one playoff win in five years) speak for themselves.

When an argument like this is made, often the pushback is what Salk was arguing at the start of the article. That ‘Carroll’s style’ is defined as ‘running the ball’ and those against it are accused of wanting the quarterback to throw 40-50 times a game.

Carroll’s philosophy goes beyond that. It’s the in-game decision making. Punting, for example, on the opponents 40-yard-line to try and play a field position game, when the modern NFL has clearly shown the benefits of being across situational football.

It’s about being open minded and prepared to trust the people around you and not feeling like you have to take control at the first sign of trouble. Or feeling that reverting to type is the right thing to do when there might be a way to persist with a plan, just by doing things slightly differently.

It’s about a team once considered exciting league-wide trendsetters now appearing stale and stuck in their ways.

I suspect this is another part of Wilson’s issue with the team — which is why it was revealed in an Athletic article last year that he’s often been ignored during game-planning meetings. He wants to have a say, which isn’t unreasonable (especially if you’ve chosen to pay the guy $35m a year). I don’t think he’s been listened to as much as he wants, if at all. I accept though, I can’t say that with any certainty.

It’s also about actually delivering your vision. We all know the kind of football Carroll wants to play. So why has so little been done to pump resources into the trenches and deliver a tremendous running game? Why has the D-line and O-line often been band-aided together, with a running game seemingly dependant on a player who has shown no ability to avoid injuries in a five-year career?

I don’t think Wilson’s concerns are unreasonable or indicative of a player so hopelessly self-centered that he’s lost a grip of reality. I simply think he sees a lot of the same concerns many of us see.

He doesn’t want to waste the second half of his career and live with regrets for the rest of his life. Is that so hard to understand?

Frankly, I think he’s got a point. The trajectory of the Seahawks isn’t trending upwards and what’s happened this year felt predictable.

I want to end with this thought. Carroll has made it clear he has no interest in a rebuild, or at least that he doesn’t think one is necessary. I think this is in part because Carroll, in his 71st year, doesn’t want to spend the last few years of his career trying to win the quarterback lottery again.

Whether you’re pro or anti-Carroll, or pro or anti-Wilson, does anyone benefit from a scenario where Carroll remains, minimal changes occur and they ultimately refuse any trade request from the quarterback?

Do you really want to see a repeat of a year ago? Endless media speculation, an unhappy quarterback and a team not really knowing whether it’s coming or going?

Without serious changes to Carroll’s approach, that’s what the future holds if the status quo remains.

That alone, for me, is why change of some kind is absolutely necessary.

Another off-season like the last one is neither a recipe for 2022 success or the start of an overhaul that many feel is needed.

Yet perhaps, ultimately, we’re all focusing on the wrong thing.

In this article about the Portland Trailblazers, it’s claimed ‘It was never his (Paul Allen’s) intention to gift the franchise to his sister and chairman Bert Kolde’.

Author John Canzano from the Oregonian adds:

Jody Allen sits in her brother’s old seat location, baseline near the basket, at games. She is often referred to as the “owner,” but former Blazers’ president Chris McGowan corrected me in a recent conversation and said, “Jody is the trustee. The team is owned by Paul’s estate.”

Time to sell.

The franchise needs an owner or ownership group that will love it, nurture it, and help it get back on its feet.

Paul Allen placed the NBA team in his estate amid his other assets and instructed that it be liquidated. The aim was to use the proceeds to fuel his life-long passion projects (brain research, space exploration, music, philanthropy). In no way should the Blazers’ remain adrift, future uncertain.

It’s time to honor Paul Allen’s wishes and sell the Blazers to someone who will love them again.

If this is an accurate reading of the situation in Portland, it should be extremely concerning for Seahawks fans too.

Especially when there’s potential for the franchise to similarly drift.

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  1. Ashish

    Russ and Hawks fans are familiar with Pete Carroll football. Hawks won 1 super bowl and almost second with same Pete formula. Now that formula is not working and reason is not Russ I hope everyone agrees to it.

    If anyone who got distracted with the plan, that is Pete himself may be he himself is not aware of it. If Pete wants to run the ball, he would have invested in OL line. If Pete want’s to punt on 60 yards, he should have invested in DL line and not Safety. And the list goes on and on.

    Pete has done a great job with Seattle but he is running out of ideas and he got enough chances which he kind of earn it. But now it’s time say big Thank you to Pete for his service.

  2. Matthew

    Who is Seahawks twitter? Hawkblogger, Hsu…who else? I’m trying to follow all sides of this, and only Hawkblogger, Hsu, and Jacson Bevens are people I’m familiar with…Rob, thanks for this.

    • DT

      I thought I answered this last night with 2 reasonable/informed folks but apparently has been deleted. Must’ve been a violation of TOS even thought I did not post links, just names.

  3. Scott Bailey

    You write very well. I agree, keep RW and hire a new coaching staff and use the money to get the very best staff and front office people available.

  4. Mike

    Nailed it again, Rob. It’s time for change.

    • Cabelly


  5. Big Mike

    Brian Billick on Cowherd today said (paraphrasing): there is no player, no other QB that plays on a team more dependent him performing well than Seattle with Russell Wilson. Starts at 5:15:

    Cowherd today was also touting trading Russ to New Orleans for Lattimore, 3 firsts and a second. He floated the idea to an NFL guest (Louis Riddick?) and the first thing the NFL guy said was “you don’t trade a franchise QB. You see those teams out there wandering the desert still looking for one of those guys. The Dolphins are still trying to replace Dan Marino.”

    • Matthew

      Just a hot take. No other team? Is this based on any hard data? I mean, as bad as Geno was, they somehow managed to stay in those games, even Russ’s bad games they were in…I just don’t see the point in getting wrapped up in these sort of POV confirming takes. Feels good, sure, but what else does it do? Of course a team depends on their best player playing well…

      • Big Mike

        It’s based on the observations and opinion of a Super Bowl winning coach, and that’s well beyond “just a hot take”. Seems to me like a guy who might know a thing or 3 about NFL football. And you’re right, a team does depend on it’s best player playing well. His point was Seattle depends on that more than any other team.

        • DancingBuddha

          Pete Carroll is a Sb winning head coach so thats 2 of them then.

    • LB

      That assessment is spot on.

      Some people won’t learn the fire is hot until they’re in the hospital with third degree burns. The ‘Phins are still trying to replace Marino, the Broncos are still trying to replace Manning, as are the Giants. The Jags have been trying to replace Mark Brunnell almost as long (Leftwitch doesn’t count), while Chicago’s been trying to replace Sid Luckman since the inception of the universe. I could go on and on but if that isn’t enough to hammer home the point you’re probably destined for an ICU visit.

      Paul Allen was the common denominator in this outlier era of Seahawks success. He delivered to championship caliber coaches, two superstar quarterbacks and two superstar running backs. Without him Carroll and Schnieder have turned into pumpkins.

      • Peter

        Heck the broncos….they lucked into it and fell right out of it. You can argue they’ve been trying to find a “franchise,” qb since Elway retired. They found a great one for a second. And he wanted to go there. But if he had gone somewhere else they would have had missed on a QB for all that time.

      • Paul

        Heck, the Bears are still trying to replace Sid Luckman. This is how bad it can get:

  6. Pepoandart

    Great piece Rob. Monday will be a very interesting day for the team. As for the bit from the Oregonian I don’t buy it for a second. PGA passed away in 2018, if he wanted the team(s) to be sold upon his death it would have happened already. Now Jody Allen may decide to sell both teams now or in the future, but I think this piece is questionable at best.

    • Rob Staton

      Well, there was never any talk of Jody taking over when Paul fell ill.

      And a lot of the chatter when he passed was about his desire for a sale, how it would go down — as highlighted in that piece.

      I can’t remember everything I thought in 2018 but I remember being surprised Jody Allen became the figurehead rather than a sale being planned out.

      And the talk of a sale being in the pipeline for the next five years has died down completely.

      I’m concerned, to be honest. I fear they could end up a rudderless ship. That’s why this off-season is key. It’s a big moment for Jody Allen, to show what kind of owner she’s going to be (if her aim is to run it long term).

      • Gross MaToast

        I read that Paul Allen’s will was still in probate, his holdings were predictably vast, and that process had to be completed before Jody Allen could begin the sell-off of parts of the trust. I can’t recall where I saw it, but I think her plan was to fund all of his pet projects with the cash generated by selling the Seahawks and Trailblazers. I believe a projected time frame was somewhere between an additional 2-4 years before finalization. It all aligned pretty well with the contract extensions Pete and JS got last year. She doesn’t appear to have a grand vision or plan beyond selling eventually and Pete is tasked with holding it all together until new ownership arrives.

        • Matthew

          If a trust was set-up, Jody Allen isn’t in charge of selling anything, the trust is.

        • Matt Johnson

          Probate can be an incredibly long process. Had an uncle pass in 2016 and his probate just finished last year and he had a fraction of the wealth of Paul Allen.

        • Peter

          Why the length of extensions though? When i retire if i think i can sell my business I am sure as hell not going to accruing or in this case signing long term contracts prior to sale that may hinder what the potential buyer thinks.

          In this instance say the hawks go right on tanking, sure a billionaire would buy it and sure they would be able to pay off pc/js but why add such onerous time frames?

        • Rob Staton

          Fair enough.

          I don’t see any reason, then, why she can’t make that clear to fans.

          I for one would be a lot more content with the situation if she simply intends to sell asap and Pete is going to see the team into that new era, because she doesn’t want to make changes that might need to be reneged in 2-3 years.

          • TheOtherJordan

            The whole point of a trust is it avoids probate. The trustee follows what the trust outlines. If the team is in probate then it’s part of Allen’s estate. It would be subjected to his will and a trustee wouldn’t have anything to do with it. It’s up to his executor.

            The bottom line IMO is this is exactly the problem. No clear ownership. No clear path. No clear direction. No accountability. And Carroll will be able to continue to do what he wants. Jody Allen either needs to take clear control or sell the team. Until that happens, I have a feeling the Seahawks Org. Will continue to tread water.

    • Gomhawk

      No one I know in Oregon takes Canzano seriously, especially when it comes to Blazer ownership. He always hated PA, even compared him to Darth Vader and openly desired for him to sell the team.. He also irrationally hated Chip Kelly and seems to get into a lot of personal beefs with ppl in the Oregon sports world and it heavily influences his writing.

      That still leaves us with a very opaque ownership situation though.

  7. James Z

    Interesting ‘correction’ that McGowan made when he told Canzano that Jody Allen was a trustee and not the owner. While I’m pretty sure he respects Ms. Allen as a person it doesn’t sound like he’s on board with her acuity as business-person. Does the president of the ‘Hawks feel the same way and if so it seems the team is without a leader whose respected as such? Hard times in ‘Hawk Land’, drifting along till the team is sold…

    • Peter

      If Jody doesn’t own the team than the president with consent of the board would have made the decisions to extend the contracts to their lengths.

      • James Z

        Not quite sure what your point is. I’m speaking beyond the legalities of ownership to a mindset about who’s in charge.

        • Peter

          Apologies. I guess i don’t understand your position. Who is the owner vs who is in charge?

          • James Z

            My position is speculative based on McGowan correcting Canzano in the above quote. That’s it. To answer your question: How the heck would I know? If speculating is a issue with you, then my apologies…

            • Fudwamper

              The quote is more of a word powerplay.

              Jody still has all responsibilities that the estate is taken care of in the best way forward. If she wants to remodel the team prior to selling because she thinks that is in the best interest of the estate she can. Jody could for all purposes fire the president and replace with whoever she wants. She has total control unless dictated in some other decree.

  8. jed

    Another well thought out article. It would be nice to see Salk or Brian or whoever has a different view write an equally well thought out and written counter-argument, but I won’t hold my breath.

    I wish we could replace 2021 Pete with 2011 Pete. That championship team is my favorite team I’ve ever rooted for and I’d like to see them recreate it. But, that’s as likely as this bald 40-something growing back his luxurious 90’s long hair.

    With today’s news, John Harbaugh is another interesting name to add to the mix as potential replacements. His 49er teams were really good and fun to watch, he’d be knowledgeable with the college talent, and it would be great to beat the 49ers with their old coach.

    • jed

      By john, I meant Jim. But John would be good too.

    • Jordan

      The McLoughan / Harbaugh regime would be one hell of a twist.

    • Peter

      Jim would be the very first name in my list. Big time winning record in a variety of situations from lowly division two to ncaa powerhouse. And I remember his niners teams be pretty formidable.

  9. Tomas

    Cogent, compelling piece. The referenced Oregonian article has (sadly) fortified my hunch that Jody won’t act. No wonder Pete sounds confident. My great fear is he will choose to coach for a few more seasons, then leave the Wilson-less franchise in ruins, as he did USC (which I relished, to be sure.) Everything seems to hinge on whether Pete will want to stay without Wilson. Rob has stated he won’t stay if Wilson flees, not wanting to rebuild with an inferior QB, and risk harming his reputation and ego. But that same ego may lead him to delude himself into thinking he can win with Trubinsky, Darnold, Minshew, or the like. I’d wager a beer that Pete stays regardless … because I think that he, admittedly an extraordinary, gifted man … is delusional to the point of being a little crazy. Cheers.

    • TatupuTime

      Sadly I’m right there with you on a lot of this. If Jody Allen is going to pull the trigger (as she should), she should be knee deep already in replacing JS/PC and trying to convince Russ to stay. It feels like the opposite is playing out. Pete Carroll doesn’t sound like a man that’s been sat down for a serious conversation and getting ready to gracefully bow out. While Russ doesn’t sound like a guy that expects to be here next year.

      The writing was on the wall that Russ and PC/JS likely weren’t going to be together after this year during this past off season. Despite that PC/JS left cap money unspent and didn’t chase any mid-season acquisitions. That seems to me like the actions of guys that aren’t in desperation mode in their final year.

      I don’t think Pete wants a rebuild, I think that he thinks that he can win with Darnold or another retread that will game manage along with a strong run game and good defence. He’s talked extensively about doing things “his way this time” at the start of the Seahawks tenure (in reference to not doing it entirely his way with the Jets/NE). I think he has the hubris to want to show he can do it without Russ, a al Belichick without Brady.

      I hope I’m wrong and that Rob’s Plan A or Plan B come to fruition.

      • Sea Mode

        Yup, exactly this.

        Pete Carroll doesn’t sound like a man that’s been sat down for a serious conversation and getting ready to gracefully bow out. While Russ doesn’t sound like a guy that expects to be here next year.

    • Big Mike

      Sadly I agree Tomas. Got a continuing sinking feeling the 20s are going to be a rough decade for us Seahawks fans (and Blazer fans too).

  10. Justaguy

    You are 100% right Rob The fate of the next decade of the Seahawks lies in the decisions made in the next two weeks by whomever represents ownership. Seahawks fans will either we get a new head coach or the franchise quarterback walks. I still think fans full the stadium no matter the outcome and if that isn’t true maybe the team is sold soon.

  11. BobbyK

    If I win the $610M Powerball, I’m still going to need a lot of Seahawks investors to buy the Seahawks from the trust. Maybe we can do something with the Packers with my winning lottery ticket as the initial down payment?

    • BobbyK

      “like” the Packers, not “with” them

      Great article, Rob. Too many people spew crap in a few short sentences and then aren’t willing to intelligently debate with another. They only care about calling them stupid because they’re unwilling to listen to the fact it’s possible we’re not always right 100% of the time. It’s nice to read an opinion based on more than a few characters.

  12. God of Thunder

    Great post by our host.

    Quick comment on the replaceability of RW: I was reading about the Broncos.

    They’ve moved heaven and earth, since Manning, trying to find a decent QB. Because they’ve been bad as opposed to utterly hopeless, it has been a longish exercise in futility. Elway’s passed the baton of futility… and the search will go on. I won’t get into the Giants or Jets. And Washington. And Chicago. And soon Carolina and Pittsburgh will be looking. We don’t want to go there.

  13. Pavlos

    Great article as usual. Insightful. Persuasive.

    Pete and John should lose their jobs. They have squandered numerous draft picks and don’t have any idea how to build an effective offensive line to implement their offensive strategy. No more chances. They need to be fired.

    Since we don’t have a first rounder, I don’t want to give up a 2nd for Sean Payton (although I’d love for him to be our new Head Coach.) Better to keep our 2nd and hire Doug Pederson.

    I see a lot of people expecting big news to break soon after the last game. I fear that is not going to happen (as much as I want it to). I think there is a good chance Pete, Russ, and John are all back next year – especially if they beat the Cardinals on Sunday.

    It’s madness…but I think it’s likely to happen. Prepare yourselves, people.

    • Gary

      If Pete’s back, I’m not.

      • Jordan

        And therein lies a rather large issue that will be tough for Ms. Allen to ignore.

        The empty seats are becoming very evident on television. Pete with a downgrade at QB does nothing to alleviate that issue or bring any excitement to the building come September.

        Russ with a new regime would provide some buzz and excitement.

  14. BobbyK

    I’m starting to get this feeling Pete is going to be coming back. I’d rather have a fresh face like Doug Pederson. He’s won a more recent Super Bowl and with a back-up QB. That’s the kind of “fresh” this organization needs.

    Nobody loves Matt Hasselbeck as much as me but there’s no way in hell you can’t tell me that Doug Pederson couldn’t win in Seattle with Russ and a good free agency/draft.

  15. STTBM

    You’re an excellent writer Rob. A well-written, deeply considered and passionate opinion piece with clear logic to your conclusions–and the humility to consider other arguments. Bravo!

  16. Denver Hawker

    Despite overwhelming fan support of a firing, rumblings today out of Denver sound as though Fangio will likely be retained. Reason being the near-term ownership change. I don’t really get it, but same logic could apply to Carroll staying I suppose.

  17. Nicholas

    Go get Kellen Moore as HC
    Grab Dan Quinn as DC

    Let the dice fall……

    • Nicholas

      Maybe Leftwitch at OC

      • Jordan

        Why would Quinn and Leftwich make lateral moves to an inferior team?

        • Roy Batty

          Plus, if they are still under contract, they can’t.

  18. Olyhawksfan

    Spot on. Well written. Russ wants to win. All great teams have a good run game, have balance on offense. Russ knows this and would be all in with a Johnathan Taylor Creed Humphrey combo. Instead he’s got Rashad Penny and Ethin Pocic.

    Russ will leave because PCJS have done a terrible job with the reset, period. And they laughed him out of the room when he tried to contribute. If you were really good at your job, and your boss laughed you out of the room for trying to make the company better, you’d want to find a new job.

  19. cha

    Thanks for the effort in this writeup Rob. Fantastic stuff, and it is very hard to refute anything you said. Not just with the overall state of the Seahawks, the framing of the Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll discussion, but the methods in which is being had right now.

    I had a few thoughts about it.

    1. I wrote this last year in a piece about looking at all the angles about a potential RW trade, and I feel it’s even more true today:

    This is far, far too big a story to just be dismissed with 10 word answers, no matter how emphatically they are said. Simple answers can blind you to the reality of the situation and only muddy perspectives at a time when truth and objectivity needs every single word it can get its hands on. Every fissure of this story needs to be explored. Nuance is critical.

    Confining such a deep story to Twitter or 5 minute radio segments where the points are being raised and not countered is not a productive use of time in the least.

    2a.The way Salk has approached this whole thing leaves me cold. Yesterday for instance, he twice jokingly said on air “everyone thinks Pete Carroll has me in his back pocket…” and then shrugged it off like it was funny. Mike, ask yourself, why do you think everyone thinks that? Why did you feel the need to make a joke about it? And why is there rarely if ever a discussion of a future without Pete Carroll as head coach when you are speaking? Why do you feel the need to talk tough about the Seahawks from 8am-915am on Monday mornings after horrible losses and then refuse to engage the Head Coach of the team when you have him all to yourself for 15-20 minutes at 930am?

    Do you not understand that the entire national media is talking about the future of Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson and this franchise and you are confining the focus of the discussion so narrowly you are pushing people away?

    2b. Regardless of Mike’s personal feelings or how he’s spoken about Russell Wilson in the past, he clearly is sending some very, very strange messages about RW out there. He implied that Russ was taking steroids because he covered so quickly from his finger issue. Using the ‘I’m not accusing him of anything, BUT…’ line of thinking. It was distasteful and he should have apologized for deliberately attempting to lead the audience to a conclusion by leaving those breadcrumbs.

    2c. Every year some media idiot makes a stink about Lockett not attending Camp Russ. And every year we see Russ and Lockett with a near-psychic connection on the field. You can really tell these two just hate each other and can’t wait for the day they never work together again. I’m certain somebody put a gun to Lockett’s head and made him commit to the Seahawks for four more seasons earlier this year.


    Carroll and Schneider spent $58.25m on the following list of players during the 2020 off-season:

    They have $55m to spend this offseason. God help us.

    4.It’s truly disheartening that Brian N no longer seems interested in longform writing. He’s a good writer and would be far more effective getting his ideas across in that medium than using Twitter and the podcast. For instance just today he posted on Twitter that cutting Phil Haynes means the Seahawks have $150,000 in dead money and rightly said “yuck.” Hours later he had to post another message that he’s been misunderstood and people were focusing too much on the quantity of dead money. That in a nutshell is what Twitter does, muddies the message.

    5.Longform writing is not easy but it’s far more rewarding. It makes you activate areas of your brain that are disconnected from the immediate-reaction impulse center that Twitter provides. New thoughts arise. New perspectives come forth. Occasionally a new insight or a new way to frame the debate bubbles up to the surface. All that takes time, thought and care. I appreciate it more now that I’ve tried it a few times!

    • Big Mike

      And now weeks later his sideways accusations look even worse because Russ clearly wasn’t healed when he came back. He’s close now but still not 100%. Guess the ‘roids didn’t work all that well eh Salk? What pos.

      May I ask why anyone listens to this tool? Listening means ratings. Ratings mean he stays. Isn’t there someone on KJR that’s not Pete’s lackey?

      Great breakdown Rob. Great response post cha. You guys are the best.

    • cha

      Talk about Salk sending some odd messages about Russ…I listened in to Salk this morning to see if there was anything of note, and he did a segment where they did a Russell Wilson Dating Game. ‘He’s 33, likes to cook, likes to blog…’ and had set up gag voicemails from Matt Nagy, Mark Davis, Sean Payton, etc.

      The crew thought it was uproarious. So I guess Salk is now full-on trying to drive Russ out of town.

      He ended the segment with ‘if there’s one way to kill comedy it’s to have Brock on. He’ll be on with me next.’

      No idea how correct he is.

      • Rob Staton

        Are you serious?

        They did that???

        • cha

          100% not joking.

          They intro’d it with “Since Mark Rodgers is trying so hard to get Russell Wilson out of town, he’s talking to Schefter, he’s talking to La Canfora, he’s talking to anyone that will listen! So let’s see who we can fix him up with…”

          Again, not joking.

          • Rob Staton


        • GerryG

          710 is hurting, they laid people off, ratings are down, lots of people dont drive to work anymore, and dont listen. He’s desperate and trying anything.

          • Rob Staton

            How about a segment on the one topic everyone’s talking about?

            That might work

            • Peter

              Just cuz every single national show is covering it is it really happening? What does “the professor,” say about it?

  20. Ryan Purcell

    I appreciate the long form post and a reasoned argument! Nice work Rob.

  21. UkAlex6674

    Best post yet.

  22. bv eburg

    Quality journalism that is sadly infrequent in todays society.

  23. Roy Batty

    I fear a general malaise will begin to creep in and become the norm with this fan base, if nothing major happens.

    Unfortunately, from my perspective, that is exactly what appears to be happening with this ownership group.

    I guess the next couple of weeks will bring some form of clarity, good or bad.

    • Simo

      I think the malaise has already crept and set in, if the number of empty seats at Lumen Field is any indication. Seahawks fans are like most fans, in that it’s hard to stay pumped up and excited when you have a floundering team!

      It’s unfortunate that the fan base is splitting into those in support of Pete and those in support of Russ, but it feels like that is definitely happening as well. Ownership is such a wild card right now, I just don’t think anyone has a clear picture of how the next few weeks are going to play out, let alone the next few years!

      I prefer to see Pete step down gracefully so the team can move on properly, but also agree that it doesn’t seem to be trending that way. I also think John needs to move on. He’s a good GM and he can still be successful for another team.

      If Pete remains, ownership should absolutely strip his control over personnel decisions and bring in a new, forward thinking GM. This team clearly has to be better at drafting, trading, and acquiring free agents! Ownership should also insist on multiple changes within the coaching staff, including DC and position coaches! If Pete is unwilling to make these concessions, then he should be shown the door!

      I can’t wait to see what actually happens, although it probably won’t play out nearly as fast as all of us here at SDB would like!

  24. Denver Hawker

    I can’t recall the last time I enjoyed reading an article as much as this one.

    I haven’t settled on agreement, but the quality of writing and thoughtfulness is appreciated.

    On a related note, what other sports news sites do y’all follow for quality news and journalism. I don’t mind paying. I just saw an article on ESPN about port-o-potties and I think it’s the final straw for me.

    • Rob4q

      I enjoy reading The Athletic – I think MSD does a good job with Seahawks stuff and being a SF Giants fan, I really enjoy the articles by Grant Bisbee & Andrew Baggarly.

      • TomLPDX

        I enjoy the Athletic too for the Seahawks of course but also the NFL and college football coverage. Also there are lots of good writers that cover golf, NFL and broadcasting business and we have a good writer covering Texas college football (regardless of conference).

        My Go to for anything NFL is Florio’s ProFootballTalk in the Rumor Mill.

        • Denver Hawker

          I’ve heard good things about the Athletic- also saw today it’s being acquired by The NY Times.

  25. Shane Snyder

    As much as I enjoy hearing you on Jake and Stacy, I would love to hear you have a debate with Salk. His opinions are so stale and don’t have any substance whereas yours are so thought out and detailed. Would love to hear how that would turn out and I am not talking about a 5-minute segment. We need a whole hour for that one

    • Big Mike

      A guy like Salk (from what I’ve read here as I don’t live in the Seattle market) wouldn’t ever have the balls to have a guy like Rob on who can match his level of belief in his opinion but also backs that belief up with facts rather than having a Russ dating game.

  26. Peter

    Finally read the canzano piece. Then I went because John couldn’t be bothered since he was writing a meandering piece about real estate, boats, and the trailblazers and not the seahawks to look through the list of NFL owners.

    It strikes me that what Canzano and I want are in line and frankly a bit of a unicorn. A native son who is very wealthy, cares deeply about the sport(s), and the community.

    If you look through the list of NFL owners a good deal of them are inheritors of their team. I can’t speak to the degree that each values their team and wanting to produce a winner for their city or to what end they are holding it as a business investment. I can’t speak to the Glazers and the Khans and how much they care about Tampa, Jacksonville, Manchester, and Fullham or how much it is about them wanting to make money and/ or say they could do it.

    Paul Allen in many ways was the best owner a team could have. The blazers were worth “nothing,” when he bought them but he loved them. For young fans of the seahawks and people not in Seattle during the 90’s seattle was basically a nothing town, fraught with losing, and an owner who actively wanted the team to move. Paul Allen was a super rich, passionate sports buff, who loved Seattle investing all over the city in things to make the place interesting for him and the community.

    I guess I’m getting at that it’s easy to say just sell it Jody….but to whom? You need someone with a lot of cash who likes or loves, ideally, sports and also sees it as a worthwhile investment. Which on the other hand after the tv rights deals come up again may not be not be a great investment. Oft unmentioned is viewership is not rising like it did in the early ’10’s. Superbowl viewership looks to be trending down. And it’s not just Covid but live attendance in a lot of cities is stalling.

    • cha

      Which on the other hand after the tv rights deals come up again may not be not be a great investment. Oft unmentioned is viewership is not rising like it did in the early ’10’s. Superbowl viewership looks to be trending down. And it’s not just Covid but live attendance in a lot of cities is stalling.

      If the recent TV rights deals signed are any indication, revenues are not an issue.

      I’d also add that the gambling revenue that is coming online in the next 2-4 years will only add to the pie.

      In any case, revenue is only one piece of ownership. The real investment is in the equity increase in franchise value.

      Shultz bought the Sonics in 2001 for $200m.

      He sold the Sonics 5 years later for $350m. That’s a 75% return on investment in 5 years.

      The Thunder are currently estimated to be worth $1.5 billion. In 15 years Clay has quadrupled his investment.

      You can drown in red ink for all it matters with that kind of growth.

      • Peter

        The deals through 2033. However as fast as the tv landscape is changing and viewership for all things is slowing whst do those deals look like then.

        A note on what something is worth. If i had to venture much like everything I would guess in the bear future many sports teams will be owned by some sort of holding company as an investment portfolio piece and the days of the Jones, Krafts, et, will be replaced with Black rock style investment companies.

        Add gambling to the mix and it will further distort teams valuation into a ultra rich collectors item not dissimilar to modern art valuations or for those that follow crypto….a disconnected tool for generating income where the value is quite literally in the eye of the holder.

        Perhaps I’m wrong. But bigger picture you are already seeing parts of this in as much as múltiples of teams across multiple leagues beung held by a “group.” Gone or going are the days of the owner as figure head/ spititual leader type. I mean just look for example at the Texans. If gambling and tv rights remain extremely valuable what interest does their ownership group have one way or the other to field a winner? Why? Because the fans want to win? Why would they care if they are getting paid handsomely to field whatever it is they have been putting on the field for decades.

        Or look at us and the Canzano piece. Why should Jody Allen care if Seattle goes 7-10 forever if the team just keeps being worth more year over year?

  27. Hawk Finn

    Interesting piece here suggesting no changes expected in Seattle:

  28. Tomas

    Just minutes ago heard the 590 AM host reference reading several stories this morning which claimed Pete has recently talked to the Bears (!) about assuming H/C responsibilities! Just about spilled my coffee – this surely is too good to be true. Didn’t hear where he read this, so I’m off hunting. Extremely skeptical, but at least I have hope, if even only for a few minutes. 590 is hugely better than 710 – especially the wretched Salk. Further reports will follow.

    • Ralphy

      Wow that’s interesting. It also sounds like something that would not be allowed but what do I know?

    • cha

      It’s not a story. It’s from Florio discussing it as a possibility on his own show last week, and then being asked about why he thinks it might be a fit this morning.

  29. Tomas

    Apparently Florio mentioned on his radio show this morning that IF Pete is fired by the Hawks, Chicago would be a logical landing spot for him.. Pure speculation, as I suspected. Darn.

    • GoHawksDani

      Trade Russ to the Bears…then fire PC and he goes to CHI too, trololololo 😀

  30. Ralphy

    Off topic and I apologize if this has been covered in the comments before.

    Rob, what do you think of Tyler Huntley? He has impressed me a few times when I’ve seen him. I’m wondering what kind of draft capital it would take to acquire him from the Ravens? I’m also thinking they are in need of a #1 WR so maybe that could be part of it if the Hawks end up going the trade RW route.

    • Peter

      Huntley was a very accurate uninspiring qb in college. Very limited pass attempts and multiple takes were akin to “if Utah had a better qb how good could they be.”

      For the Ravens it’s pretty meh. About 230 yards a game in four starts. 3 tds/ 2 ints.

      Does he have trade value? Udfa who is so-so? Maybe a fifth? But i think the ravens need him because Jackson may end up an oft injured qb.

      • Ralphy

        Well in fairness, Lamar Jackson is averaging 240 yards passing per game and has 16 TDs and 13 INTs through 12 games. Huntley is also averaging more yards rushing per game than Lamar Jackson is.

  31. Jordan E

    I think there is some merit to Russ wanting to go down as the best / GOAT. ADB’s take on the situation seemed to be a dig at Russ. Russ wants to “cook” and have the offense revolve around him because he believes (and legitimately so) that he is the best player on offense.

    Pete Carroll Football is the opposite. Its very steady and relies on a strong running game, play action – game manager QB, and tough defense. If Pete were to have his way, I’d expect our team to be build more like the Browns or the Titans. I’d be interested in seeing Rob’s take on how the team should be build IF pete carroll stays and Russ is traded. Though its not ideal, it is worth considering the possibilities. Also that is a big IF. Like Rob said PC/JS have not devoted the resources necessary for playing PC football. In any case, we need a real Center and a consistent RB.

    • Peter

      Not Rob.

      But I think that I share Rob’s frustration in that tt’s not the QB and coach not working together but rather Pete could have had both HOF Russell Wilson…and…have a lot of the browns roster and he simply made weird choice after weird choice for five years not getting better anywhere outside of an electric WR and a good punter.

      • Jordan E

        I agree. The only excuse I can say for PC/JS would be perhaps they lost to much of their staff so that now these other teams (Browns) know what guys the Seahawks take and take them; and/or PC/JS staff is less capable and effective now because of the loss of these guys.

        The drafting has been absolutely atrocious for the Seahawks past few years. Whoever is primarily in charge of that should be replaced and/or changes are needed to fix that.

    • BA

      It will be built the exact same (weak o-line and inconsistent running game) but also with worse QB play. Russ isn’t keeping PCJS from building the team they want, their own incompetence is. So what we’ll see is Penny/Carson/other oft-injured veteran rushing 15 times for 50 yards, but this time with Sam Darnold or equivalent trying to bail us out in the 4th quarter, which they will of course fail to do just as Geno Smith failed.

      • Sean

        Yes. Russ has not prevented the team from creating a good running game. He’s asked for a better o-line….which is the first thing you’d invest in to create a running game. And Russ didn’t choose Penny over Chubb.

        The idea that Russell is anti-run seems very short-sighted. I’d assume that Russ would like to have more of these Detroit running games where he still throws 4 TDs. In recent years, given the personnel management, scheme, and play-calling by Pete/John, the choice has been an ineffective running game with Russ doing a lot and maybe winning, OR an ineffective running game with Russ not doing much and generally losing. I guess the third choice is playing Detroit or Texas.

        • Jordan E

          I’d say relying on the Detroit game as evidence Russ would like to have a running game is very short sighted… We have seen the past two years (especially this year) how the Seahawks have tried to adapt and throw the ball more, and let Russ Cook.

          I am a big Russ fan, but I do think there is some merit with people like ADB criticizing Russ. As well as Lockett winning Walter Payton nominee over Russ; and DK expressing displeasure with Russ. It could be argued that Hawks let Russ play too early- because not letting him would be a slight and would definitely result in him leaving the Hawks.

          To think that Russ has no say in whether the team throws or runs the ball at all seems silly, and would be shocking tbh. He definitely is pro-pass; again- see his comments to why he thought the Hawks lost last year? (They gave up on letting him Cook).

          And I agree the drafting/FA has terrible the past few years. I wonder how much of that falls on JS too. He comes from GB- where traditionally they are known not for making big splashes in FA. That trend only changed recently.

  32. JC3

    What can a coach or a GM do if ownership is too cheap to spend?
    Hardly can tell they are chasing a championship with following signing:
    Jarran Reed $9.35m
    Greg Olsen $6.9m
    Bruce Irvin $5.9m
    Carlos Hyde $4m
    B.J. Finney $3.5m
    Brandon Shell $3.475m
    Quinton Dunbar $3.421m
    Jacob Hollister $3.259m
    Benson Mayowa $3.018m
    Mike Iupati $2.5m
    Cedric Obuehi $2.237m
    Joey Hunt $2.1m
    Branden Jackson $2.1m
    David Moore $2.1m
    Geno Smith $887,500
    Neiko Thorpe $887,500
    Luke Willson $887,500
    Phillip Dorsett $887,500
    Chance Warmack $887,500
    Just sell the team and save the misery.

    • Hawk Finn

      I guess I fail to see how this is an indictment of ownership. It is not that they didn’t have the funds to spend, but rather how they spent it.

      • Roy Batty

        Yeah, that stinks of poor management, not ownership.

        100% PC and JS. Bargain shopping for multiple positions has been their MO.

    • Sean

      The coach/GM spent the money, and ownership paid the bills. The problem is how the coach/GM spent the money.

    • Group Captain Mandrake

      That list is a pretty damning statement for John and Pete. It is failure writ large.

  33. Rob Staton

    Matt Hasselbeck clarified his Pete Carroll quote today, on the team not being successful if they move on from PC.

    Wait for it…

    It’s because he does tell the truth Monday.

    And if Carroll stops doing tell the truth Monday, he might not be the right guy after all.

    Well that’s me convinced…

    • Blitzy the Clown

      I know it’s already absurd, but does Pete really tell the truth on Mondays? Certainly not anymore.

      Your article is a brilliant example of logic based exposition. You’ve eloquently encapsulated all of my opinions regarding the Seahawks and the arguments I would raise in support of them.

      Bravo to you, sir. And congratulations to those of us who relish a good, honest debate. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers (and sisters).

      Sorry I must have the Bard on my mind these days. Could be because I feel like I’m watching a Shakespeare tragedy unfold in real time in the Seahawks.

    • hawkfanforetenity

      It’s a striking indictment of all other NFL teams that no other coach allows honest discussion to occur. Thank goodness that we have culture. And Tater.

      • JJ

        I think Rob could write a novel on how “Tell the Truth Monday” has not been an accurate description of the Hawks for the last few years.

        • jed

          “Tell the Truth Monday” has probably gone the way of “Always Compete” … still a slogan but not real.

          • Denver Hawker

            It’s become “Blow Smoke Up Your Ass Monday”

            • BobbyK


              Or lie Monday.

              Or I’m better than you fools so you better never question me or I’ll make fun of you Monday.

    • Ashish

      Pete had good fundamentals like tell the truth the Monday. But if you lie on Monday.. you go 5-12

    • Sea Mode

      Oh, well that sure clarifies it…

  34. Sean

    I struggle with the idea that Carroll is a great coach, or was even when the Hawks were the best in the league. What information is most useful to evaluate an NFL coach? Even when the Hawks were riding high, it isn’t clear what role coaching played in their success.

    The following all seemed to be coaching weak points, even when the Hawks were a very good team, and I think are highly influenced by coaching:
    -Starting games slow, and needing to come back from deficits. Even when the whole game showed the Seahawks were the better team, they often did not start strong.
    -In-game management including clock management and getting plays called on time
    -Simplistic scheme on both sides of the ball (this is fine when you have overwhelming talent, but not when you have equal or lesser talent)

    Some positives from the first half of Pete’s tenure, that have become negatives more recently:
    -Improving over the course of the season (strongest in Nov-Jan)
    -Turning cheap DBs into quality starters
    -good drafting (2 years)
    -FA acquisitions

    The first list of longstanding negatives are highly related to coaching. On the second list of positives that have turned to negatives in the last 5 years, three of the four are related to personnel acquisition, where it is hard to parse out the role of John and Pete.

    None of the above makes the case that Pete is a great coach. At all. Even among his diehard supporters, the argument comes down to ‘leadership’ and ‘culture’. Those are very hard for anyone on the outside of the organization to adequately evaluate. We simply have very little information. As Rob pointed out, the ‘culture’ thing is equivocal.

    Put it all together, and there is a straightforward case that the clearest indicators of coaching point to an overall negative. On the subjective culture and leadership stuff, who knows? Put that together and what remains of the argument that Pete is a great coach? The team’s record? That’s a combination of players and coach and personnel, so again not a great indicator.

    If only we got to play Detroit every week.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      No offense Sean but this reads like a load of revisionist rubbish.

      For all my criticisms of Pete Carroll of late, I still think he’s one of the best football coaches of all time, at any level.

      In support of my argument:

      Carroll is 1 of only 3 coaches to win a college National Championship and a Super Bowl
      He’s the only coach to win multiple college National Championships and a Super Bowl
      He won 3 consecutive college National Championships (2003-2005)
      His college win percentage is 84%
      33 consecutive weeks as the AP CFB No. 1 ranked team
      54 NFL draft selections, 14 first round selections, 25 1st team All-Americans and 3 Heisman winners
      His NFL winning percentage is 62%
      From 2012-2020, his win percentage is 69%, he went to 2 consecutive Super Bowls, won one and came within a single play and a single yard of winning 2

      Time is cruel to all of us, and Carroll is no exception. His glory days may be over (or maybe not; I can easliy envision him being resurgent with another NFL team), but let’s not rewrite the past to make us feel better about how we feel today.

      • Sean

        Well, I may be wrong, but not revisionist. When the Hawks were in the Superbowls, I could not see evidence that Pete was great, and I still cannot.

      • BobbyK

        I’d say Pete is a good coach. I would not call him great. At USC he was more of a great recruiter than he was a great coach. When we went to those Super Bowls, it was basically because he had more talent than anyone else (and they easily could have lost both NFC Championship Games).

        Pete does not take average teams and elevate them to a level higher than the talent on the team would dictate. Granted, not many coaches do. But those coaches who can/do are the great ones.

        Pete is great when he has superior talent, but he’s not when he doesn’t. That pretty much sums most coaches so Pete and great are not mutually exclusive.

        • Jordan

          I’d argue that getting that 2010 team to be one of the final 6 teams standing was elevating them to a level higher than their talent.

          • BobbyK

            They did not have a winning record that season. They finished 9-9. That’s hardly top 6 (or top 8). They were “elevated” by the fact they played in one of the worst divisions in the history of the NFL that season. That’s a lot like Pete sometimes – better be lucky than good.

            But it was easier for Pete to “elevate” the team in part because of the Marshawn Lynch trade mid-season. I still don’t know how they got a HOF talent by giving up basically nothing, but that did improve/elevate them from the moment of that trade on.

      • Sean

        Just pointing to winning teams is not as compelling to me as to other people I guess. Every win or loss, is a result of a whole team, not just the coach.

        We should look at what each individual contributed to the degree that we can do so. That’s why we look at completion percentage, or drops, or broken tackles, or PFF grades, etc. for players, instead of simply judging them by if their team won or lost. For coaches, we can look at scheme, playcalling, clock management, 4th down decisions, etc. For coaches involved in personnel acquisition, we can look at how the trades turned out, cost/benefit on FA, etc.

        • Starhawk29

          All of what you said above is a vital part of coaching. Decision making, scheme, and other details are, and always will be a huge part of success. But, I think you’re overlooking the other side of coaching, that is leadership.

          Setting a tone with which things are handled within the building, building up and learning from the young men tasked with playing for you matters. Carroll set a tone when he arrived, took a garbage fest and made it competitive. He defined a philosophy that has taken the NFL by storm. His vision of enormous dbs with tentacles for arms was countercultural in the NFL at that point in time. He brought that with him.

          Pete Carroll needs to go, his team hasn’t been good enough of late. But do not underate the power of the philosophy he brought to the NFL. He is a great coach, and will/should go in the HoF.

          • Sean

            You are right on the DB vision.

            I agree that leadership is important. It is also the hardest for outsiders like us to evaluate.

      • Jordan E

        I agree. PC has not been great the past few years, but he has elevated the Seahawks to a different standard that we have not experienced before. Consider the fact that the expectation now is the Seahawks make the playoffs every year now- and that we have SB aspirations. It was not always that way.

        Its important that Fans also recognize how the Seahawks scheme has spread across the league, and how several of the staff have been poached by other teams. Though the past few years have been bad, PC will undoubtedly go as the greatest Seahawks coach in history. PC is no Bill Belichick, but no other coach really is…

        And fyi- PC winning percentage with the Seahawks is very close to Sean Payton

  35. CWagner

    Well, like always, you’ve made and justified quite a few good points and had some really great quotes, Rob. “Once the opinion is uttered, it’s very hard to row back because the fear of losing face often outweighs the perception of being seen to be wrong.” Certainly anyone using social media should be able relate to this sentiment. It reminds me though of when the Bleacher Report gave the Seahawks 2012 draft an F ranking lol. They still have it posted.

    I also really enjoyed “Carroll once said you judge a trapper by his furs. Yet in free agency, has Carroll claimed a fur since Bennett and Avril? That was nine years ago.” It really puts into perspective just how long it’s been since actually addressing the defensive line. Anyway, I think you’re spot on for future needs and appreciate you hashing that all out as well as you have.

  36. Henry

    Well, looks like Jody and the upper management are content with maintaining the status quo. They’ll use the excuse of this year being a fluke because of Russell’s injury and “We were a handful of plays away from winning 12 games and we’re just going for it”.

    For those that think a good draft will be all it takes to turn things around, think about this. Aside from DK and (to a lesser extent Damien Lewis), what rookie has come in right away and played a role? It seems like the coaches are obsessed with playing veterans over rookies. Young players make mistakes and that’s how they grow, but they have so much more upside compared to players like Kyle Fuller, Benson Mayowa, and Freddie Swain. What happened to Always Compete?

    • BA

      If Russ knows what’s good for him, he’ll refuse to play another down for PCJS and they (and the equally delusional fans who continue to buy into Pete’s pandering) will get their rightly deserved 4-13 record for the next few years. Frankly there’s a lot of arrogance that has gone unpunished (because apparently even a 6-10 season and clear decline can be chalked up to “injuries” and “bad luck”) and such an outcome would be well deserved.

      • Big Mike


  37. Seaweed

    I have been reading the blogs for a long time now and appreciate your observations and insight, especially when draft time comes around. I essentially agree with your take on matters in regard to failed 2018 rebuild, coaching staff hires, misappropriation of resources and questionable draft and trade moves. I also acknowledge that hindsight is 20/20 and we can’t all rebuild as successfully (and with a good dose of luck) as Green Bay did. I am curious about your take on the following as they do not seem to be addressed in any recent post I have seen-( And if I am wrong, forgive me, skip the brow beating and just give me your rehash of what I must have missed)

    1-What expectation for performance would be anticipated in a first year OC hire with new system implementation and the presumed “influence” of a micromanaging head coach? Is it possible many of those at the top, including our quarterback, have been anticipating a rough season with a longer horizon for improvement in performance? ie: was this a two year plan knowing we would be unloading large contracts, having a large pot of $ to spend next year, seeing a lame 2022 draft class, expecting improvement in some of our unknowns (Hayes, Barton, Eskridge, Curhan, etc.) and not expecting the level of injury or deterioration in our current starters (The prez, D Brown, Carson, Dunlap, Reed, Collins etc.)

    2-What system do you seen the 10 year veteran quarterback most likely to success in? He no longer poses a big risk with the scramble, he seems forever challenged with quick pass game, screen play, and middle depth targets in favor of the big play. I agree he needs a dominant line to provide a strong run game and to permit time for long developing plays without constant sacks. I feel like he does need a Sean Payton type, running a Drew Breeze offence, but I’m uncertain to what degree Russell is hardwired and not adaptable to a different approach. I also think this can be accomplished WITH Pete, and the hands off approach you mention, to let a new and innovative coordinator run things and be allowed to struggle a little.


    • Rob Staton

      1. I’m not sure how to answer this. I didn’t have many expectations for the offense this year and they still under delivered. I just hoped for the best with Waldron. I don’t think people on the team expected a rough performance but who knows? For me it’s simple. Not good enough up front. Until they rectify that it’s all moot. But as noted in the piece I think any time Carroll deviates it’s with a degree of awkwardness and it doesn’t take much to revert to type. I’m still baffled how they could do what they did in Indy week one with all their motion pre snap and then basically look like last years offense (second half of the season) for the next three games.

      2. I think there are different systems he could succeed in. I think you’ve fallen into the trap a little bit of focusing a lot on problems when the truth is we’re 14 months removed from Wilson looking like the best player in the NFL. I want to see him get a chance to work with a great offensive mind who will coach him hard.

  38. cha

    Art Thiel just asked Pete how good Bobby Wagner is at non-football stuff.

    • BobbyK

      I’m embarrassed for him.

    • TomLPDX

      Usually Art has asked decent questions. Maybe he is doing a piece on Bobby for later publication.

    • cha

      Maybe the one of the worst press conferences I’ve seen in a while.

      No questions about the future. No questions about Russ. No questions about ownership or the direction of the franchise.

      Two questions about Shane Waldron. Apparently he’s done a tremendous job this year.

      • Ashish

        I used to watch all interviews not anymore from last 2years. Who would like to hear Ken?

    • Ashish

      We need to talk to this media guys, hey Bobby is going to retire soon. What are they going to ask coach? How is Bobby doing after retirement?

      • STTBM

        Hahaha! I’m crying!

    • McZ

      If you are a media person nowadays, there is pressure not to extract information, but to float the echo chamber. In the Seahawks case, it’s basically validating PC as a top coach and nurturing the idea that this roster is close to compete and still SB capable.

      You cannot fault them, and possibly, those Bwagz questions are the only ones where you won’t get the ever-same stream of nonsense.

      • Rob Staton

        Pressure from where?

  39. BobbyK

    • BobbyK

      Just a few minor word changes for the Motley Crue song:

      I heard some Seahawks fans telling me
      How they’ve lost all the faith, in the way
      They’ve been talking ’bout Super Bowls, please
      But too many losses in stadiums

      The lines on their faces so deep, yeah
      A revolution, or reach out
      And touch the day
      We’re overdue, 12s

      Change, now it’s time for change
      Nothing stays the same
      Now it’s time for change

      I feel the future
      In the hands of our 12s
      No more lies
      Old, tired fools tell our future
      With bad free agents, drafts, and lie of time

      The lines on their faces so deep, yeah
      A revolution, or reach out
      And touch the day
      We’re overdue, 12s


      Not tomorrow, but today


      • Mark

        I forgot the Crue tried to go the social revolution route…. Like when Spinal Tap went Flower People.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Very Clever!

  40. cha

    Florio talks the situation

    He’s not buying for a second when PC says he and Russ are connected and the rumors are false.

    • DT

      What Pete meant was the rumored teams are false, and Pete knows the “real” teams RW wants to be traded too.

      • UkAlex6674

        That’s what I thought. To a degree I thought that when Rodgers leaked the 4 teams last year to. It was more of an early warning shot, and Carroll and Schneider called their bluff re Chicago (even though it was never going to happen).

        • Rob Staton

          If it was up to John it would’ve happened

          • Tomas

            And as I see it, for that reason alone JS should be fired, though other reasons exist.

  41. cha

    Peter King guesses Pete stays RW gets traded, but would prefer the opposite scenario.

    Rich Eisen agrees.

    • BobbyK

      Pete can go to hell if that’s what happens.

    • Big Mike

      Saw this one today. Good to see the national media isn’t bamboozled by Carroll.

      • TomLPDX

        No they aren’t. These guys are pretty astute. We all know the truth in front of us. Pete is in a pickle.

        • Matthew

          Is he really though? There’s no REAL ownership group, he’s just signed an extension, and the team
          is seemingly ending on an “upward” trajectory after losing RW for part of the season. Add to that RW is under contract for 2 more seasons, plus franchise tag seasons after. I don’t really want to see Pete harm what legacy he has, but he’s in the drivers seat, and probably doesn’t think negatively about the what ifs. If Wilson holds out, he basically gets a free season to do what he wants, and all the blame is cast on a petulant Wilson refusing to play.

          • Peter

            I don’t know if Seattle is going to franchise tag Wilson to the tune of 42 million, 50 million, 62 million just to prove a point.

            I doubt Wilson would ever hold. Not sure either are in any drivers seat at the moment. Even if pete csn keep the band together another bad season and the seahawks can easily buy him out and call it a day.

      • jed

        It’s a really bizarre situation where the national media types have a better grasp on what’s going on with the Seahawks than the local media. It’s usually the other way around because how could one person know more about 32 teams than one person about one team?

        It’s not 100% because there are some beat reporters, like Michael-Shawn Dugar at the Athletic, that don’t just take Pete at his word and call it good.

  42. no frickin clue

    There are two key questions to address at the end of this season, and in my opinion, everything stems from them.

    Q1: does Jody Allen care enough about the team to make structural changes?
    Inertia alone means more of the same. Pete, John and Russ are all currently under contract next season. It doesn’t seem to me like Pete is ready to call it a day, so Jody would have to step in and do it for him.

    Q2: will Russ be direct and unequivocal about his need to be traded?
    Will he continue to operate through proxies like Cowherd, or drop subtle hints and quickly walk them back? Or, will he walk into Pete’s and John’s offices in a week, tell them it’s been a hell of a run but also say in no uncertain terms that he needs a change of scenery? Maybe even threaten a holdout unless he gets what he wants?

    • Rob Staton

      I get the sense Wilson means business this off-season. He’s not wasting another year of his career.

      • TomLPDX

        Definitely agree with this. Russ has to take care of Russ first.

      • BobbyK

        Only way I can see Russ coming back is if Pete shows him that he means business this off-season, such as a couple of early free agent splashes or something Russ wants. Maybe Wilson will want the OL solidified and looking damn good on paper by a couple of days into FA? Maybe he’ll want input on a RB they will add in the draft. I don’t know. All I know is that Wilson isn’t going to want another year of BS off-season Pete where they waste FA dollars and draft picks. He’s going to want to know early on that they’re going to give him what he thinks will help allow them all to win the Super Bowl next year.

        • Rob Staton

          I think it will take a coaching change

    • TomLPDX

      I’m beginning to wonder if Jody Allen’s hands are tied here. We don’t know what the terms of the trust that Paul Allen set up and how she is to proceed. Paul’s will didn’t address it and we only know that Jody is the executor of his will and one of the trusties of his estate. All proceeds from the sale of the teams Paul owned go to the Paul Allen trust.

    • Peter

      I strongly agree with the second point. No floating stories and leaks. He has kids and is in his early thirties but maybe the hardest part of finally being a grown up is doing uncomfortable things in a straight forward manner. I love Wilson for what he has done as a hawk. And there is so much vitriol about Wilson and whether he is great I will literally root for his success anywhere just for my own kicks. But if he thinks he needs to go, get in front of pc/js and just say so and be done with it.

      • Big Mike

        The only way I wouldn’t root for Russ to have success elsewhere was if it was for the stealers. My hatred for that franchise runs extremely deep and it isn’t just XL*. Without going in to long detail, suffice to say the NFL has done many, many things over the years to clear paths for them to be successful.

        • Peter

          Maybe that I’ll accept. That game was so full of flaming turds it was unreal. But if he goes anywhere and i mean anywhere including nfc teams I’m going to root for him.

      • no frickin clue

        Fully agree. I would love it for him to stay here, but I will also root for this guy anywhere. He brought my team its first championship.

        When my wife was still my girlfriend, she would occasionally drop hints about things she’d like me to change. Eventually she realized that I am not a perceptive guy and I sometimes need the equivalent of a frying pan over the head to realize that she’s upset about something. Pete is similar. The combination of his unbridled optimism about his players and his system, coupled with his need for total control, render him absolutely 100% convinced that the team is on the right track and, gosh darn it, we just need to work a little harder and tweak a few things here and there and pretty soon we’ll be right back in the thick of things.

        The ONLY way that Russ is going to get out of there – if Pete won’t retire, which gives Russ only one option – is a closed-door ultimatum to Pete that clears away all this fog in front of his eyes. It will not be a comfortable conversation, but it’s way overdue.

  43. Leo

    Anybody who has been paying attention to the Seahawks understands very well that the reason the Seahawks have had winning seasons the past five years is because of Russell Wilson. But Russell Wilson does not make personnel decisions and it is an inarguable point that the personnel decisions have largely been horrendous over that span of time. Sure, they have hit on a few players like Lockett and Metcalf, but their poor decisions greatly outnumber the good ones (e.g., Malik McDowell, Rashaad Penny, LJ Collier, Jamaal Adams, etc.). Pete Carroll and John Schneider presided over the most successful period in Seahawks history, so I do think it’s fair to give them a chance to explain why they deserve another chance and what they plan to do to make Seattle a Superbowl caliber team, but their plan needs to make sense, and, IMPORTANTLY, Wilson would need to be onboard with the plan. If their plan didn’t make sense to me OR Wilson wasn’t onboard with the plan, I’d move on as gracefully as possible from Carroll and Schneider. They can be replaced, but look around the NFL and show me the teams that are doing well without a franchise quarterback. Also, look at how many teams struggle year after year trying to find that guy. You don’t give away a guy like Wilson unless he gives you no choice

    • Hawks4life

      I think it’s past the point of explanations and having one more chance, they’ve had 5 years to fix this ship and have only added more holes. A few weeks ago i was almost sure Pete would depart, fast forward to now and i think he’s doubled down. It’s going to a painful stretch if Russ leaves, but I’m ready for answers so we as fans have something to look ahead too.

  44. Sea Mode

    Pete really believes he can “everything’s great” and “nothing to see here” his way through this again, doesn’t he?

    • TomLPDX

      Unfortunately, yes. The Narcissist’s way.

    • ScottD

      And he will because a great number of fans are afraid of change.

  45. Sea Mode

    No because Russ won’t be here…

    • Peter

      Ha! Pretty funny Sea mode….

      That and he’s not actually good anymore.

  46. Greg

    Whatever ends up happening I think KNJ needs to go and after the past few seasons with no real improvement to the defense I think thank Pete (if he’s still here) will move on from him. The defense has certainly had a few bright spots and there is definitely talent there but Norton just can’t seem to do anything with it. Also, they either need to stop dropping DL into coverage or get players that will make it work; dropping DL into coverage isn’t inherently bad but you need the right personnel to do it effectively and we don’t have those players.

  47. GoHawks5151

    KU WR Wan’ dale Robinson declaring for draft. Maybe Levi’s bails too jow

    • Seahawkwalt

      UK.. He is very good as is Levis

  48. Graeme Hanson

    Incredible article. Thank you for bringing reason back into this landscape and for taking the time to go beyond 140 characters.

  49. GoHawksDani

    If both PCJS and RW stays, I can’t stay with the team
    If PCJS stays and RW goes, I can stay for the offseason to see how they handle the situation, and we’ll see after that
    If PCJS goes and Russ stays I’ll keep rooting for the Hawks and be somewhat excited for the next season, but won’t have much expectations
    If complete rebuild, everyone goes, I’ll definitely stay and be excited to see what the offseason brings.

    At least I have a plan for next year even if this team doesn’t have much of a plan.

  50. L80

    So Salk writes an article supposedly addressing the very topic. His conclusion was to fix the defense.

    3 out of the strating 5 O-Linemen are FA and he says fix the defense. This is how clueless he is, and this comes after Russ said LAST YEAR that he wishes he didn’t get hit/sacked so much, and what do P & J do???…They pick Eskridge rather than a very needed center in a center rich draft.

    That is a snapshot of the overall problem with the regime in it’s current form. They had their chance in 2018 and here we are 4 years later.

    • McZ

      You only get a decent OL with a decent OL culture. We don’t have one, Philly and Green Bay have. We used to have an identity on pass rush and secondary, we nowadays don’t have.

      Who is responsible for that loss of culture?

      And most importantly, if it has to change, how can it be done? How do you do improve those units, if the last place a Top FA goes is Seattle, and high draft picks get traded?

      It all falls back to PC, and if Salk talks about “finally improving” said units, he has to accept logic and admit, that this coaching staff cannot do it. Not in 2015, not in 2018, and especially not today.

  51. Spenny Dunks

    If we are stuck with Pete, then lets bring back the always comPETE version. Stop wasting millions on JAGs like Hyder, Shell, Ogbuehi and Collier when their contributions are easily replaced from churn and competition from vets, draft picks and UDFAs. Pete and John have shown they are still somewhat able to do this with guys like Ryan Neal, Sidney Jones, John Reid/Michael Jackson (small sample size)and Ryan Curhan.

    Make some tough choices and cut or restructure guys like Wagner, Hyder, Collier, Carson and Gabe Jackson. I’m not sure how feasible some of them are as the dead hit is tough to swallow but they’re just taking up space and it will free up a little money to allocate elsewhere.

    Work hard on re-signing Diggs, Everett and Reed as they were all productive this year. Bring back Rashaad Penny, Rasheem Green, Sidney Jones and Ethan Pocic as they have shown that they can be more than JAGs and should be reasonably affordable.

    Prioritize impact signings such as a pass rushing DE that can free up space for the others (Haason Reddick?), grab a pass rushing DT (Larry Ogunjobu?), grab a RB who has shown he can produce to compete with Penny (D’ernest Johnson?), shore up the offensive Line (Robinson and Sherff), and move Lewis back to RG.

    * guys in brackets are potential FAs that I like but there seems to be, initially at least, a lot of guys available at positions of need.

    Acquire more draft picks if possible and fill in our depth at RB, WR, C, LB, CB, amongst others, and continue to churn some cheap vets and UDFAs to compete for the depth spots.

    The Seahawks have a lot of money this off-season and have the ability to create more, time to finally address the same inadequacies that have plagued the Seahawks year after year and get back to Pete’s old ways.

  52. Sea Mode

    Lol, they told AB–literally AB– to “not spin this”… 😂

    Either way, I would imagine his attorney could produce the written evidence alluded to, and surely at least one sideline cam must have caught Arians slit throat gesture. That, together with the postgame comments, could probably build a half-decent case.

    • Poli

      I want to believe, then sign him as the WR3 if Wilson chooses to stay.

      Free AB!

      • Norman

        Still a terrible human being.

        No thanks.

  53. Forrest

    Answer this question – Who’s the LEO on this team? It’s been a critical piece that’s been noticeably absent.

  54. Poli

    Between Payton, Jim Harbaugh, and Doug Pederson, who would be your #1 choice to pair with Wilson?

    • Hawks4life

      Payton, Harbaugh, Peterson would be my order.

    • Ashish

      Just letting Pete go will be big upgrade for Russ

    • McZ

      Pederson, hands down.

      He has built a true winning culture in Philly built on toughness and being the bully. The OL and DL are still pretty much his work, and Jalen Hurts is getting better and better behind those guys. He is my #2.

      Payton has seen the most adversity of all coaches this season. Basically, he played half the season on backups at QB, RB, WR and parts of the OL. His D has just shut down the Bucs. He is my clear #3.

      Jim Harbaugh I cannot grasp. Michigan puts out decent NFL talent over the years and possibly the #1 pick this season. To work with that grade of talent, the results are not good enough.

      That said, I want to go the Josh McDaniels way. He kinda entertains some of the features of Pederson, while being able to make the same product out of late picks. Mac Jones and his integration is a masterpiece, I would want him to repeat in Seattle.

      • Rob Staton

        McDaniels also has had success only with a certain type of QB, working in his specific scheme.

        A type of QB very different to Wilson.

        • McZ

          McDaniels also stands for an raze-it-to-the-ground rebuild, which I prefer. Everything else won’t work, IMO.

          We can talk all day about Wilson. My expectation is, that there is a 50% chance he will go away. And a 90% chance, that his glory days are a matter of the past.

  55. cha

    Heaps vs Salk is a mismatch.

    Heaps is kicking Salk all over the schoolyard.

    • JJ

      Heaps will be out of a job within the week.

      • cha

        FYI this interaction came up a couple days ago…

        Jan 2
        Salk gunna fire Russell Wilson’s qb coach
        Mike Salk, 710 ESPN

        Replying to
        Salk isn’t in management anymore so…
        6:44 PM · Jan 2, 2022·Twitter for iPhone

    • Rob Staton

      Go Jake

  56. Joshua Smith

    Should we be rooting for San Fran to make the playoffs over try Saints?

    On the way outside off chance that Jody Allen goes after Sean Payton I feel that the price would go up if Payton takes that crap team to the playoffs…

    • Rob Staton

      Yes, we should

  57. cha

    Ken Norton said yesterday they didn’t have any chance to celebrate all their defensive accomplishments because they lost so many games.

    I know there is a certain logic to that, but my goodness gracious does my head hurt.

    • Big Mike

      This staff is a joke. Good job Pete.

    • Rob Staton

      “all their defensive accomplishments”


    • Gross MaToast

      Like when Zanzibar didn’t get a chance to celebrate their military accomplishments in the Anglo/Zanzibar conflict because they lost the war in 45 minutes. All of the accomplishments just went unnoticed.

      If Zanzibar had only had Bobby Wagner…

  58. cha

    Ahkello Witherspoon is sporting a 79.2 PFF grade and has 3 interceptions in 5 full games.

    • Bmseattle

      Our big off season free agent signing for this upcoming year?🤔

      • Peter

        I don’t like witherspoon but I’m sure he’s not coming back to Seattle after the DB whisperer cut him this year because the CB position , i guess, was so locked down we didn’t need him.

  59. Cortez Kennedy

    I for one am glad we gave Flowers an extra look. Three seasons wasn’t enough.

  60. Henry

    Jake Heaps ran circles around Salk in their debate this morning like how Aaron Donald schools the Seahawks’ offensive line. Instead of trying to prod around some of Jake’s points, he just talks over him and repeats the same lines he has been saying for months.

    • Big Mike

      According to Rob that’s the same thing he does to Brock on their pod so not a huge surprise.

      • cha

        Jake handled it great. Calm, logical and more than once said “I could not disagree with you more, and here is why..”

        So refreshing.

        • Henry

          At the very end he said “Just look at the 2020 offseason where this team had cap space and look who they spent it on.” Of course they ran out of time right when Jake said that

          • Peter

            Sgows like this and the one with Brock rarely work. You’ve got guys who understand football and salk who is a generic radio guy who could be doing politics, a whacky morning show, or getting the led out on any classic rock station in anywhere usa.

    • jed

      Heaps was also on Jacson Beven’s Cigar Thoughts podcast this week. The last 10 or so minutes they went into the Russ/Pete issue. Pretty interesting, but it seems like the issue is what Rob has been talking about for a few years. Jake is Russ’ off-season QB coach, so I’m sure he could have been more direct, but he did a good job of explaining things without betraying their personal relationship.

      A quick recap in my words:

      Russ wants to win and is different than most people and so obsessed with winning to the point his son is named “Win”. It’s not personality conflicts with Pete/John or play style. It the investment in the team to win Super Bowls, not just make it to the playoffs and hope you luck your way into it. Invest in quality in the OL, not quantity. Use the $70M in cap space to get the best OL you can, not just a bunch of average to below average dudes. Run the offense like they did against Detroit and Indianapolis. And Russ doesn’t seem to trust Pete/John to do it.

  61. Ryan

    “My plan is to win Super Bowls and my plan is to win them here. It’s that simple” – Russell Wilson

    Okay, but what if he doesn’t think staying here leads to the Super Bowl? Then what.

  62. Paul

    *Over a 30-year business career, I’ve gone from scoffing at the idea of culture to accepting as a root cause of the success or failure of an organization. Here’s something I’m pretty sure of: When a single bad call can ruin a potential dynasty, the culture wasn’t that strong to begin with. The Boston Red Sox and San Antonio Spurs suffered equally devastating defeats in 2003 and 2013; both won their sport’s championships the following year.

    *Whether or not one supports Carroll as coach, there shouldn’t be any doubt that the roster-building strategy is broken. Unless that is addressed, it doesn’t matter how many draft choices they might get in a Wilson trade. Above all, SEA needs a new, strong GM with final say over the roster. Let whoever that is figure out what to do about the QB and head coach

    *I don’t know either why some people are in such a hurry to move on from Wilson when he had plainly been playing hurt. The “he needs a strong defense and a good running game” argument applies to literally every other QB. (Not even Tom Brady can win without weapons.) Who seriously thinks that SEA gets to—much less wins—an SB with Matt Flynn at QB? It’s amazing how in one year we’ve gone from “Let Russ cook” to the assumption that he is interchangeable

    • Rob Staton


      Great post

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