The problem with NFL purgatory

Change is needed in Seattle & Pittsburgh

There are only two worthwhile descriptions for a NFL franchise.

Super Bowl contender, or on a journey to become a Super Bowl contender.

If you don’t fit either category, it’s a waste of time.

A lot is made of Mike Tomlin’s record of never having a losing season. It sounds great. The reality is the Steelers haven’t won a playoff game since 2016. They do a great job avoiding being awful (until now, at least). That’s it. Hang the banner.

Tomlin’s teams have muddled along, being good enough to be vaguely relevant for a period without anyone actually thinking they’re going to win a Super Bowl.

This year they’re 7-7 with at least a chance to once again avoid a losing season. Yet during a three-game losing streak against the Cardinals, Patriots and Colts — nobody can say with a straight face that the Steelers are ‘contenders’.

For me, this is a dangerous place for a team to be. It prevents you from taking the actions needed to become contenders again. It’s why I worry about the Seahawks — because it feels like they’re in a very similar place.

For Seattle it’s one playoff win in six years, against a very average Eagles team featuring 40-year-old Josh McCown at quarterback. In the last seven seasons (including this one), they’ve won the NFC West just once. It’s their worst run since re-joining the division in 2002.

The Seahawks have been far from a bad team but they’ve also consistently felt like they’re a ways off being a serious challenger. On top of this, persistent issues have blighted the team — such as poor defensive output and an identity that comes and goes. It’s been nearly a decade since the Seahawks have felt like a legit contender.

Whenever this is brought up, there’s a rapid-fire response from some fans accusing others of being ‘spoilt’. How can you possibly complain about being in the playoff mix? Other teams would love to be in that position.

I would challenge that. Fans of the Browns, for example, do not dream of being the Seahawks. They dream of being the Chiefs, competing in three Super Bowls in recent years. They dream of being the 49ers, a consistent contender for multiple years. They’ll think about copying the Buccs and Rams, recent winners of the Super Bowl. Or can they find a way to emulate the Eagles, Super Bowl winners and runners-up within a few years?

They don’t want to be a team that is ‘good enough to maybe qualify for the playoffs’. It’s utterly pointless. As I said at the start, you need to either be a contender or be on a path to becoming one. Crappy teams don’t aspire to be average teams. The end result is the same. And fans of average teams shouldn’t settle into the comfort of merely not being ‘bad’.

I would argue the Steelers and Seahawks are stuck in a large NFL middle-ground — or purgatory as some people call it. They do just enough every year to stay in this zone and it just leads to avoiding making difficult decisions to enact needed change.

I can’t watch Pittsburgh’s last three games and think they’re a good off-season away. Their offense needs a total rebuild from scratch. This likely isn’t possible within 24 months, when a lot of the core, impressive defensive talent will be nearing the end of their careers.

The Seahawks are different, their issues flip-flop between offense and defense a lot more. They don’t have a defense like Pittsburgh’s but they have a better quarterback and weapons. Schematically they feel uncultured on both sides of the ball and they haven’t had a ‘big’ eye-catching win for several years (beating the Lions doesn’t count, I’m afraid).

The Steelers are 7-7 and the Seahawks are 6-7.

Both teams would lap the Panthers or Patriots in a race. Both would be battered by the 49ers and well-beaten by other legit contenders.

The problem is, neither team regresses enough to have a serious conversation about any of this. The topic is consistently dodged and those wishing to discuss it are derided as ungrateful lunatics.

Maybe Pittsburgh’s reaching that point now, given just how bad they’ve been recently? It started to happen in Seattle this week, with serious reporters speculating on Carroll’s future.

Yet if either or both teams sneak into the playoffs as a lousy seventh seed, making up the numbers so the greedy NFL can make even more money with it’s dumb ‘Super Wildcard Weekend’ nonsense, I suspect the same narrative will begin all over again.

How can you criticise Tomlin/Carroll, they’re in the playoffs!

Rinse and repeat. See you in 12 months where the same thing happens again. Meanwhile we all get a bit older, the Steelers still suck on offense and Carroll is still talking about trying to fix the same old problems and Jamal Adams is still earning a fortune to deliver a crappy PFF grade while celebrating the other team ‘only’ gaining seven yards on first down.

Neither team is on the path to contention. I suspect neither will get there without bold, serious change.

Firstly, the coaches. Both are Super Bowl winners yet neither seems likely to reach that point again. Particularly in the case of 72-year-old Carroll, with only two years remaining on his contract and possibly his career. Does anyone think two more years of doing the same thing in Seattle will lead to a title? If not, what’s the reason for continuing? Convenience ahead of a franchise sale we speculate a lot about but know little about in reality? Existing purely for Carroll to work to his preferred timescale, rather than what is most optimal for team success?

Meanwhile with Tomlin — Pittsburgh’s offense is so utterly dreadful, they look like a team that needs to pivot to a younger, more creative offensive mind — paired with a more aggressive approach to fixing the quarterback position.

They’ve been in charge since 2007 in Tomlin’s case and 2010 in Carroll’s. That’s a long time. Eventually, you need a different vision. Things can’t just go on forever. The Patriots are experiencing that currently. Bill Belichick’s legacy is being slightly impacted by seeing just how bad New England are without Tom Brady. Nobody will take away Belichick’s rightful place as one of the all-time greats. Yet it’s pretty clear now that Brady’s brilliance, paired with his ability to put up with Belichick’s grumpy, borderline toxic ways, is what led to so much success. Without Brady, the Patriots are bloody awful and fairly shambolic.

Without peak-Ben Roethlisberger, Tomlin likewise hasn’t been able to create a winner. Without the LOB, Marshawn Lynch and peak-Russell Wilson, Carroll’s in the same boat. Neither coach, as an individual, seems to be elevating their teams schematically. This is a stark contrast to the work of Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay and even coaches like Zac Taylor, winning with a backup quarterback.

Tomlin and Carroll would be best served avoiding Belichick’s fate and going out with fond memories still attached, rather than letting things get even sourer.

Yet I can’t shake the feeling that the Seahawks will beat the collapsing, injury-hit Eagles on Monday and we’ll have a week of fans and media crowing that any suggestion of a future beyond Carroll is the stuff of entitlement and stupidity.

I said a few weeks ago I think Carroll can still be a Super Bowl Head Coach. In order to do it, though, he’d need to be prepared to change. My favourite Carroll quote is, “it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.” I wish he would’ve taken that advice a while ago, acknowledged his flaws (schematics, details) and gone out to employ the best coordinators money can buy and let them run the offense and defense, becoming an experienced overseer and motivator.

He’ll never do that. Control is too important for Carroll. He needs to do things his way. It’s the only reason he ever returned to the NFL, because the Seahawks were offering total control.

That’s not to say he hasn’t tried to delegate. Clearly we saw that with ‘Let Russ Cook’ in 2020. Yet at the first sign of trouble, he wrestled back control and they went back to Carroll-ball. It was indicative of how uncomfortable he is ceding responsibility and there’s no chance, sadly, of him ever being a Nick Saban type of Head Coach who gives the keys to his coordinators.

I can’t root against the Seahawks. I’m a Seahawks fan. I never miss a game, despite many beginning in the early hours of the morning. I’ve committed 15 years of my life to writing a blog about the team, eating my free time at a rate comparable to a dog let loose in a butcher’s.

I also can’t say I’ll be that pumped watching the Eagles game on Monday, or feeling very celebratory if they win. I fear the Seahawks will finish by beating some bad teams, potentially squeeze into the playoffs (they only need to usurp the Rams and Packers, who are both wildly inconsistent) and we’ll have more false dawn rhetoric, ‘run-it-back’ platitudes and we’ll get to witness 2024 looking exactly like 2023.

There are two, maybe three teams in the NFC who are actually good. The rest are mediocre or awful. Being seventh best in a bad conference, during a poor-quality NFL season, qualifying for the playoffs and then making very little noise in the post-season, is not attractive if all it does is delay the kind of front-line change required to get this team back to the top.

I don’t want to endure another year of excuses for having another very expensive bottom-10 defensive unit. I can’t listen to chatter about identity when they can’t run the ball. I don’t want to hear over-hyped praise for Seattle’s culture while people like Jamal Adams act like a jerk on social media with zero public accountability from Carroll or the team. Most importantly, I can’t watch Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay continue to dance rings around a coach who has no counter-punch for either of them.

New ideas, a new vision, a new quarterback, fresh attention to detail, expensive and underperforming players cut, re-emphasis on the trenches and the potential to be back on the path to contention, rather than deluding ourselves (as the Seahawks did with the Leonard Williams trade) that we’re already there.

That is what’s required in Seattle.

If you enjoy the blog and want to support the site via Patreon — (click here)


  1. Dubb

    I think a change is imminent. Just don’t know if Pete will be fired, retire or be kicked up to a front office job in order to keep his salary. If he retires, does he forfeit the last 2 years of his contract?

    • Joe

      There isn’t much incentive for ownership to shake things up prior to a sale. NFL team ownership is a gravy train even if your team blows so I think it all comes down to what Pete decides. That said, Pete’s acting like a guy whose had about enough.

      • AlaskaHawk

        It’s the worst that the Seahawks have performed in a long time. Oddly they seem better in the first half than the second half. I guess because there are no late game quarterback heroics.

        I don’t have a problem rooting against the Seahawks when their season is already shot. They have done it to themselves with the gleeful help of their competitors. I don’t want a single win from here on out. Because the overall goal is served by them losing everything. Goals like replacing the coach, getting rid of the high cap non-performing players, and gaining a better draft position for a new quarterback.

        As fans we have every reason to root for defeat, while advocating a goal of team improvement next year!

        • Parallax

          That’s where I’m at. Watching the Rams game, rooting for those devils. Let’s not back into the playoffs. Tomorrow night, I’ll be an Eagles fan.

          • Simon McInnes

            43.75% of the league makes the play-offs. It is a rather modest achievement, but the media will always hype it up, because it sustains interest in teams involved, who will be suitably grateful for the fawning coverage. And then there is the occasional first round shock result to genuinely get excited over

            • Parallax

              True, and I don’t want the media to have anything to coo over.

            • Malc from PO

              So true, it’s cynical and devalues the product. I’m just not sure that teams that simply need to be put out of their misery playing terrible “relevant” games late into the season does anyone any favours.

  2. BoiseSeahawk

    How many points do we need to lose by for Pete to get the Brandon Staley treatment? 40?

    • Whit21

      Im sure if they get blown out by the awful steelers offense that pete still wouldnt get fired before the season is over..

      • Parallax

        I was born and raised in New York. When I return, I’m amazed at the variety of horn honks, an entire vocabulary of inter-automotive communication. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the car horn is seen as something only to be used in cases of dire emergency.

        People are way more pleasant here. But it means nothing. Get a flat tire here, people will express empathy and drive on. In New York, invariably, someone will stop and tell you off good about failing to properly maintain your car, meanwhile grabbing the jack out of the trunck and helping change the tire.

        We’re way too nice to be unpleasant to Pete. Maybe he’ll get fired at some point but it will be shrouded as a promotion. Heck, when Jimmy Lake was fired for misconduct, the UW still paid the $10,000,000 due on his contract. We don’t do anything some might see as unpleasant. Back in New York, he’d have been lucky to get out of town alive. If he wanted his money, he’d damn well have had to sue for it.

        • IHeartTacoma

          Must suck to be a football fan in NY lately. At least Seattle only has one garbage team.

          • dave M

            In each major sports category lol

  3. Gary

    Amen and amen!

  4. Big Mike

    100% correct and to the point Rob. I kept wanting to quote parts of this ton respond to, but the whole thing is so right to the factual point that I’ll just say “couldn’t have offered this up better myself”.
    I don’t think the Hawks will beat Philly but either way, who cares? NOTHING will change until we have a new vision we all know is needed and as you laid out in your last paragraph.
    Carroll must go and the sooner the better.

  5. no frickin clue

    Purgatory. Good word for it.

    You know what I find tiresome? In all the losses, Pete talks about how if this had happened or that had happened, they would have had a chance to win it. What he never talks about or alludes to is domination. Shouldn’t that be a goal? Beat the other team so badly, put your foot on their necks and press, that the outcome was almost never in doubt? This team is so far from that level, it’s like the expectations have dropped and the best they can strive for is maybe – at the end – finding the key play to win. Champioship teams have higher expectations. The Seahawks used to be like that. They haven’t for a long time.

  6. Palatypus

    Rob said.

    Without Brady, the Patriots are bloody awful and fairly shambolic.

    I’m a bit confused by this. How does this scale go? I thought it went like this.

    Fairly Awful
    Bloody Awful
    Fairly Shambolic
    Bloody Shambolic

    How are “fairly awful” and “bloody shambolic” equivalent? I feel like I’m reading an injury report. “Probable with a sprained neck.”

    Is the exchange rate between awful and shambolic different in the UK?

    • Palatypus

      HTML FAIL!

    • DriveByPoster

      They are two different scales. The Awfulness rating relates to the quality of the players, skillwise, & the Shambolicity rating realtes to the organisational quality of the team. So a team can be both fairly awful & bloody shambolic. It could also be decent but a bit shambolic. This being the UK, the actual descriptors used can vary from region to region but I would say that at the top of the scale a team would be Absolute Quality & Impeccable & at the bottom of the scale they would be, had anyone over here ever heard of him, Jamal & Adams.

      • Palatypus

        Thanks for clearing it up.

  7. ShowMeYourHawk

    Hurts has been quite sick and may not play. Unearned win forthcoming? “The ship is right, once again!”

    • Rob Staton


    • AlaskaHawk

      Or if they lose to a beaten down Eagles team with their second string quarterback – then the fans will really start bitching.

      • ShowMeYourHawk

        If we lose badly to a Mariota-led Eagles, who are also without Jurgens and Slay, Pete should be physically carried by 12s out to the Sound, secured to a raft made of driftwood and given a proper Viking maritime funeral.

        • cha

          No it’ll be fine.

          I thought we played great. Just a couple things didn’t go our way, but this team didn’t give up. Our guys kept playing, they realized this was a championship opportunity, so they played hard all the way to the end.

          We practiced the entire Eagles’ playbook all week and have them down cold. They just didn’t execute on Monday. And that one play we hadn’t seen before? We had it perfectly covered except that one key guy bit on the play and got burned like toast. The other 10 guys were absolutely perfect in coverage.

          The refs just got in their way and showed them they have a few things to clean up. They’re easy fixes on defense.

          The QB got sacked 5x because he didn’t get the ball out quick enough. Most of his throws were great, he just had two bad ones. I thought he really was up for the challenge and battled. He had a great game.

          Key defensive player blew his assignment on a big play. He knows it and I’m proud of him for admitting it and that he kept battling. Did you see the pass defensed he had late in the game when they were down by 20 on a third and 18? It’s a testament to his character.

          I can’t answer that. Let me look at the tape first.

          Our focus is on Tennesee. We’ll have another championship opportunity next week.

          • Big Mike

            This is a recording *beep*

          • Gary

            This is absolutely perfect and so freaking hilarious!

    • Malc from PO

      My prediction is winning 3 of the next 4, all games decided by less than a TD, heck less than a FG, backing into the 7th seed.

  8. 12th chuck

    Love every piece in this article. It will be a very seahawky thing to do, win against the eagles, to have folks with the rose-colored glasses claim how good this team is, and feed PC dillusion/maddness how we are “right there” to making a deep run.

  9. Blitzy the Clown

    I can’t root against the Seahawks. I’m a Seahawks fan.

    Counterpoint: doesn’t rooting for one’s team include supporting them over a season, or seasons, as well as in any given game?

    I said in a previous post we ‘Hawk fans are about to go through some things. For me, part of that is a sort of schizophrenia (my sincerest apologies to anyone actually suffering from that) where I want them to lose tomorrow night, and lose convincingly (not Chargers level, but good beat down), because as you coherently and rationally lay out in your article, the other way is oft referred to as insanity — trying the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

    And yet, I’ll still watch every snap. Cheer every good play. Curse every dumb mistake. And I’m sure I’ll be smiling if they win.

    Until Tuesday morning when we wake up to the torrent of nothing-to-see-here’s.

    I read somewhere, maybe twitter, maybe in the comments to one of your previous articles about this situation, that a famous coach whose name I don’t recall changed teams after 10 years regardless of the then level of success because in that coach’s estimation, everyone gets stale in a coaching job after a while. I’d agree with that thanks to the recent examples of Carroll, Tomlin and Belichick.

    • Big Mike

      It was Bill Walsh that said it Blitzy

      I root the same as you. I want an L tomorrow night tho with Hurts looking like he might not play, any shot at that happening in a convincing manner seems unlikely. Don’t fret tho, Tenn is gonna beat Seattle next week.

      • Peter

        Not so fast….

        One thing we haven’t seen this year is the annual tradition of making a back up look like a star yet….

        Is it Mariota’s time to channel his inner McCoy?

        • Big Mike

          Matt Schaub called and said “Hey, remember me?”.

  10. BobbyK

    Purgatory hell. That’s where we’re at. And we know it.

    I’ve felt this way for years and it’s why Russ wanted out. Things are not changing “but at least we don’t suck.”

    Worse is Jamal Adams, his attitude and behavior, and being symbolic of the Seattle Seahawks. If it’s embarrassing for me, it sure has hell should be embarrassing for the organization (unless they no longer care?).

    In 1986 there were good/great teams who missed the playoffs because so few could make it. In today’s NFL a 7th seeded Seahawks potentially making the playoffs is embarrassing and the epitome of “everyone gets a trophy” no matter how worthless and mediocre you are.

    But “at least we don’t suck” as bad as some others… who will actually pick in the top 3-4 and have a chance to trade a revolutionary player who will potentially rescue their franchise.

    Jody – I’m sick of this crap! Please try to set yourself up to realistically go for it in ’25 or ’26!

    If you run the same crap coach/GM out there – please don’t allow your cap guru to allow to Fing over the future and don’t let said idiot GM trade away a future draft pick. In fact, if you don’t want to fire them to save money… perhaps require said GM to trade for a future pick, too.

    For me Carroll is already worse off than Belichick because at least Bill won a Super Bowl with Brady in 2019. That wasn’t too long ago. Pete and John haven’t had a serious contender in almost a HALF FRICKIN’ DECADE!

  11. BobbyK

    “…chance to DRAFT a revolutionary player…”

  12. RomeoA57

    I am interseted to see how the crowd reaction is on Monday, which is most likely the Seahawks final 2024 Prime TIme Game. Seahawks Fans are expected to be passionate and loud. If the fans are more apathetic and quiet due to a poor performance, or unhappy with the general direction of the team, it would send a clear message about drastic changes needing to be made.

    • cha

      It wasn’t pretty at their last home game (Niners @ thanksgiving).

      People in our section were all over Adams, Diggs, Geno and Bobby. And that was before the Adams disaster and they still had a winning record.

      • RomeoA57

        It will interesting to see if the broadcast would point out fan dissatisfaction in the stands.

        On a side note- Will Levis sure seems to be improving after his small amount of starts and looks extremely promising. I am trying to remember which blog that follows the Seahawks was high on him as a prospect? I also remember that person getting a lot of crap online for that opinion.

        • Big Mike

          I can’t stand Pete Prisco, but he was in the same boat.

          • Peter

            Yeah but….if Rob never played football and this in the UK what’s he really know?🙃

            • Peter


        • FloridaHawk

          There was quite a contingent of Seahawk fans online who wanted nothing to do with Levis simply because he has a Bible verse tattooed on his arm. I am rooting for Levis to become a superstar. He’s a good dude.

          • BK26

            There were a bunch of “fans” that were out on him for his cockiness and the fact that he drank his coffee differently….

            • Rob Staton

              I’ll say this for Will, he needs to take up Yoga and do a bit more running this off-season. He needs to up the agility because he’s a better, more elusive athlete than he’s showing because he’s bulked up.

              • BK26

                Agreed. Especially as you get older, you want to move better than be bigger. Coming from someone who wakes up too stiff and was honestly thinking of picking up yoga this morning.

  13. Mick

    I wish Pete proves everyone wrong and wins a Super Bowl with this team.

    That being said, I’m old enough to realize there’s no chance of this. Rob is right, all we can expect is sneaking somehow to the playoffs and lose there to the first decent opponent. Some may choose to be happy with this. Those who don’t, ask for change. I’m looking forward to see what the next off-season will bring.

    • king

      I don’t want Pete to buck the odds and prove everyone wrong by winning a Super Bowl. He has been condescending, arrogant, and deluded for years. He doesn’t deserve another one. I want to win multiple Super Bowls with a coach who wants to pursue dominance. Pete catching a run of hurt or awful opponents and smash and grabbing a Super Bowl would mean another banner to hang, but it would pyrrhic, and would likely mean years more of the mediocre or worse fair we have been subjected to for nearly a decade because a lucky run in an off NFL year justified an inferior approach to team building and coaching.

      • Rob Staton

        I think you’re stretching your argument to absurdity when you say, “I don’t want to win a SB under this coach” because you want to ‘win multiple SB’s’. You don’t get to pick and choose who wins them or how often.

        The peak of my desire is to be in the running again. Seriously in the running too, as in competing in the NFC Championship game and being able to watch the Seahawks and think it’s realistic to make a Super Bowl.

        I don’t care who the coach is when that happens. I just want it to happen and don’t believe the current setup is going to deliver.

        But when people type stuff like you have there, I fear it weakens everyone else’s arguments calling for change. This is the kind of over the top stuff we all get accused of, when many of us are making pertinent arguments about moving on from Carroll.

        • king

          Agree to disagree. I want a good process, not a fluke championship. I don’t think that is absurd.

          • Rob Staton

            What you said is clearly absurd and the kind of thing that does the rest of us hoping to move on from Carroll harm.

            ‘I don’t want to win a Super Bowl under Carroll, I want to win multiple SB’s with someone else’ is a ludicrous comment.

            The minute we start picking and choosing which coach wins us a Super Bowl, or saying things like wanting to win ‘multiple’ titles, the shark has been jumped.

            • king

              I didn’t mean for that to be taken that literally. I should have said that I would prefer to move on from a coach who has given us a mediocre process for many years and search for a coach who will have us truly competing over the long haul rather than win a championship on a lucky run and consequently prolonging a suboptimal process. I do not like Pete. I find him patronizing. I let that color the way I termed what I consider to be a rational argument.

  14. CL

    [Glazer] “A little @Eagles scoopage today: Philly very quietly made a change at defensive coordinator this week moving out Sean Desai to another position and replacing him with Matt Patricia. Desai remains with the team in different capacity but Patricia now runs and calls the defense @NFLonFOX”

    • Big Mike

      That is indeed very interesting. Desai has that Seahawk stain on him from last year doesn’t he?

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      For all the bustle about his being a bright, young defensive mind, Desai sure jumped from a burning building (SEA) into an open manure truck (PHI).

      • Peter

        Ots almost like Desai might not be good at being a coach.

      • cha

        Gotta be happy he didn’t stick around for a burning manure truck.

        • ShowMeYourHawk

          “ALWAYS COMPETE, 2024!!!!”

  15. 805Hawk

    The argument that good fans would never root for a loss is flawed, IMHO. I’m rooting for a loss, sacrificing my short term pleasure, for the long term success of the team and long term pleasure as a fan. I do have the sinking feeling that the Hawks will win this and two more games and sneak in as the 7th seed. Everyone will scream at the top of their lungs that Pete’s demise was highly exaggerated and on we will trudge in mediocrity.

  16. Gross MaToast

    Tater and Nate had one job and they failed miserably. Those failures really let down the franchise, the fans, Seattle, and, most of all, they really let down Pete. Holding Pete accountable was, as Pete admitted, their primary task and it’s difficult to see where Pete has been held accountable since roughly 2018, maybe longer. It’s difficult to watch this team after what Tater and Nate have done to it.

    Because of the failures that Tater and Nate have enacted upon the franchise, it’s impossible for Pete to get coordinators worth having. No up-and-coming young savant is going to hitch his wagon to Pete knowing that Tater and Nate are such failures at holding Pete’s feet to the fire. They will all be some variation of Shane Norton Hurtt, Jr. – each ranging somewhere between incompetent and unprepared, certainly not game changers…at least not in the preferred way.

    Because Tater and Nate failed, Pete was incapable of addressing the soiling of everything Seahawk by a hapless box safety. That stench won’t go away on its own, but how is Pete to know that? He’s out there trying to get it figured out and, dang it, where are Tater and Nate?

    $48.1 million dollars are scheduled payment next season for hapless box safety and his compatriot, Madden Rating – two gentlemen currently rated somewhere around 80th in the league if one were to rank the play of all safeties league-wide. Tater and Nate did nothing to avoid this embarrassment. Imagine how poor Pete will feel when he finds out. It’s beyond failure, really, more into absolute incompetent negligence. Tater and Nate should be publicly shamed for their failures in holding Pete accountable for contracts and roster building.

    It’s amazing that during practice Pete continues to tell his guys what plays opposing teams will run in games, but Tater and Nate fail to hold him accountable in holding his guys accountable for being prepared. It’s not Pete’s fault that Pete’s not being held accountable.

    Despite the failures of Tater and Nate, however, Pete has kept the ZombieHawks in playoff contention for years – surely just one more trade or one final change in coordinators from another Super Bowl. All the ne’er do wells calling for Pete’s head should take a step back and think about the real problems with this franchise – Tater and Nate and their utter failures.

    • Big Mike

      I’m trying to type through the tears of both laughter and sadness.

      And really how sad is it when Nate is his own kid and he’s not doing the job? Flesh and blood failure. Sad

    • cha

      //chef’s kiss

    • 805Hawk


      • Rob Staton

        I can’t believe that infamous answer to a question on accountability.

        That was all we needed to know

    • Whit21

      One important thing to remeber, as you said that pete hasnt been held accountable since 2018 and tater/nate have had to keep him accountable..

      Paul allen was not around for a good while with cancer and passed away October 15th, 2018..

      I chose to spell out the date so we dont start an issue with how put months and days in the correct order..

    • Peter

      Toast this is great!

      I will say we may be selling Nate short….check the resume of a guy with no meaningful football experience:

      2010-11…scout in an era of great drafting
      2011-12….defensive assistant…the LOB is born
      2013….offensive assistant, top 10 offense
      2014-2017….assistant WR coach….Baldwin lights it up
      2018-2021…..wr coach. Lockett comes alive. Metcalf lights it up as a rookie
      2022-present…Geno, pro bowl, comeback player, mvp?

      Honestly. Why are we not considering Nate as HC. Complete the circle. Keep the culture.

      Sure just because his dad is the coach and that’s literally the only reason why he got here maybe we’re missing the obvious. The offensive genius version of pete…..

  17. Sten

    As a fan starting in the Holmgren era I used to believe that making it to the playoffs was always a good result for the season since “anything can happen” but over the years the thing I’ve learned is that if you don’t have home field advantage in the playoffs, chances are you’re not going to a super bowl. The gap between the 1st and 6th seed was massive enough but with a 7th seed it’s virtually impossible to go to the conference championship game let alone win a super bowl.

    People will use Pete’s first season as a point to why going to the playoffs is important, they say without it we wouldn’t have had the beastquake. It’s time people admit to themselves that that game was the exception to the rule after 7 years of playoff losses.

    • Joseph

      They’ll also use the sb win and the winning seasons as reasons to keep him. It’s pathetic how they think Pete is the Seahawks. They think we’ll be worse without him. But we’re worse with him lol. And when we lose, they blame the refs, players, Waldron, or Hurtt.

      Let’s be real. Seattle has had a mediocre history for a long time until Mike Holmgren. Since Carroll got us our only SB win, he is considered a god. Someone needs to remind these Petehawk fans that the other sb winning coaches are no longer with the teams they won a sb with.

      Sean Payton
      Mike McCarthy
      Doug Pederson

      • Peter

        Part of me misses the time when Seattle was more mediocre but only 10 teams made the playoffs with 28 teams in the league vs….now where every one gets a playoff spot.

        • Joseph

          I hear ya. Not to sound old but I liked football before social media lol

  18. God of Thunder

    Here’s a thought: what about trading for a QB from a team likely to use their (high) first round pick on a QB?

    Bailey Zappe (Patriots) and Justin Fields (Chicago): any interest?

    • BK26

      That’s why we are in this mess: getting the cast offs from other teams. They need to get their own guy, not guys that we already know can’t play.

      I’d rather be stubbing my toe over and over.

    • cha


      Re-sign Drew Lock and draft a QB.

      • 509 Chris

        Ya Zappe just isnt good and MAYBE Fields is but he’ll cost a pick and trade and you have to pay him that 1st round pick salary which is probably more than Lock would cost.

    • nfendall

      Bailey Zappe? What have you seen from him that would make him worthy of being added to the practice squad let alone trade for?

      • God of Thunder

        I think “yes ALSO draft a QB” … and I think Zappe is better — and cheaper — than Geno as a bridge QB.

        Justin Fields is a matter of taking a chance on a high draft pick possibly about to be discarded by the Bears because they will have a top two pick.

        • nfendall

          I have been one of Geno’s biggest critics this year, but calling Zappe better than him is a wild take to me.

        • Whit21

          1.) Other teams are probably gonna be in a bidding war for Justin Fields, which would beg the question.. if other teams want him, do you really want him more?

          2.) Do you think bailey zappe is better than drew lock or any top 5 Qbs in this years draft? Theres probably 6 QBs better in this years draft than Zappe..

          Thats like trading for charlie whitehurst and dumping matt hasselbeck

          • God of Thunder

            I tend to agree, but unless they trade up, the Seahawks will be picking the consensus 3rd or 4th or 5th *best* QB.

            Now Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson prove that the top ranked / drafted QBs aren’t necessarily better, but these 3 are exceptions.

            • Whit21

              Theres plenty more Qbs to make examples of.. how about drew brees, aaron rodger, and …. ahem… tom brady mr #199.. matt hasselbeck was 3rd rounder.. tony romo undrafted..

              Derek carr even.. andy dalton.. david garrard, matt shaub, maybe ryan fitzmagic.. (he had his moments)

              Brett farve, mark brunell, brad johnson, rich gannon, joe montana was a 3rd rounder

              At the very least .. it shows that some of best all time QBs are not top 15 draft picks or even first round picks..

              • BK26

                Half of those guys I would pass on still. A few were still first rounders. A few more still were drafted with “the guy” already there.

                The odds of finding someone out of the first that pans out are pretty bad. I’d rather the team do their due diligence and get who they want, not let the rest of the teams dictate the draft and play the lottery. That is why we have the situation that we do now.

                • Whit21

                  Nobody i named was a first rounder.

                  • BK26

                    Rodgers was.

            • BK26

              Then trade up. Find your guy and get him.

  19. LouCityHawk

    Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life.

  20. ShowMeYourHawk

    Not to dig up the previous coaching post but the more I think on it, I think Bieniemy might be the most realistic option for HC if Pete walks away (can’t see him being fired, outright). He’s been looking at HC job for so long now, he’d probably take the Seattle gig without any hesitation or consideration of the future ownership change to come. There may be a reason(s) he hasn’t gotten the opportunity yet (is he a “difficult” person?) but he’s been good with Howell. If we do end taking a QB early, I’d take his work with Howell and Mahomes as a net gain.

    Callahan or Johnson may balk at the potential job insecurity with the franchise in flux. Slowik has a 2/3 of a single season of results to judge and may be an “it girl” hire that flames out. If you can bring in Bieniemy, sign Brissett (and his cheap contract) to mentor your young QB, your offensive future may in capable hands. Who knows who’d he bring in to fix the defense, but that caveat exists for any OC given the HC job here.

    • BK26

      To add on, the Chiefs and their fans really, really miss him. Chiefs offense looks toothless and everyone is pointing fingers all over the place and turning into a bunch of whiners (their fans agree with this). Bienemy was the one that made the players accountable. Mahomes even said something about that element missing this season.

      He’s had some personal issues in the past, but he is probably the surest option to turning the team around, getting the most out of DK, and getting a rookie qb on track.

    • 509 Chris

      I’d guess a big selling point to the hire in Seattle would be that they get to draft a qb they like, and hopefully the franchise feels comfortable enough to trade up and get the one they like. I would love to have 30 minutes in a bar with Schneider to see what he thinks of coach options and this qb class. He’s the key to bringing in the right option for both.

      • JimQ

        Complacent fans can apparently watch 7-8 years of mediocracy and not get bored by the on-field product, they make up a large portion of the current fan base. Mediocracy is essentially boring to all the rest of us. Almost every game, I feel like I’ve watched this many times before…… Time for changes at the top!!!!

  21. 509 Chris

    My wife is from Green Bay and my inlaws die hard packer fans. That franchise lives on the, “just don’t suck and we keep our jobs philosophy.” I’ve talked to Packer fans that were a little bit ready for the fanbase to get a dose of reality in what it feels like to not have a future hall of fame qb, but I relate to those fans that were critical of the organization only bringing home 2 championships in those 30 years of stellar qb play. Their organization is different though because it’s so vital to the local economy. The Packers are really a part of their culture over there in a way I’ve not seen any American community embrace a sports franchise. I’m kind of rambling but I guess my point is that there’s a lot of parallels between the 2 teams and how the fans and media view the team. All that being said I’m hoping they get the 7th seed, and we can get the reality check.

    • BK26

      Sadly, I think we are going to fall into the playoffs again. Too many other NFC teams are just so horrible. We’ll go on a little run, Pete will sell it as everything falling into place, fans will fall for the used car salesman pitch again….

  22. Whit21

    Even without hurts.. who knows as of today.. i still dont think thjs seahawks team if they have a 4th quarter lead that this defense can stop a lare surge.. i think the eagles can still pull this off..

    As for the steelers/hawks comparison.. theyre pretty close.. just as you pointed out.. i think the steelers have probably been better/more proactive than carroll and the hawks.. they traded foer a safety and got a better deal/player..

    They did atleast try to draft a qb.. seahawks didn’t.. even though they had the draft capital to try..

    Not sure about overall team talent.. tj watt is probably better than any player overall than the hawks have on either side of the ball and alot of teams passed on him, including the seahawks.

    Comes down to both struggle on offense with steelers being horrendous and the hawks not playing defense to the standard of a “defensive coach”..

    There’s gonna be a run on coaches like most years.. but this year might be worse than years past.. its gonna get dicey..

  23. Rob Staton

    I think it’s increasingly obvious that the other teams are just so bad, they are going to gift the Seahawks a playoff spot

    Prolonging the sense that everything is OK

    • Whit21

      Bucs and saints winning is good for the hawks.. get a game up right now for a draft pick and they are both in the playoff hunt.. just need the rams to beat the commanders..

    • BK26

      It’s sad how bad the overall product is in the league, let alone the NFC. NFC is just, horrible. Bad enough that it will be Pete’s scapegoat. Just like last year and the year before.

      • Rob Staton

        The league should be looking into why the product has regressed.

        I’d start with the dumb 17 games, ridiculous use of the pass interference penalty, nonsensical seventh playoff seed and too much focus on international games.

        • BK26

          Exactly. It’s a bad product. Week in and week out. No consistency with any team. And it’s gotten worse year after year.

          • Peter

            Time of typing the 3-10 cardinals are still in the hunt as are the 4-9 commanders….yuck.

          • Whit21

            Well i think for one, alex smiths comments about qb play being at an all time high were a mistake..

            Its flat out not.. even if there wasnt as many starting QBs getting hurt this year.. the amount of backups is staggering..

            I think we’re starting to see what all the old timers have been harping on..
            QBs coming out of college are not quite as good..
            O line is not as good coming out..
            defenses are stacked with athletes..
            The new CBA limits offseason programs and the non contact practices..

            And then Tom bradys comments about the same thing essentially and calling teams nowadays less than or undisciplined players in his day..

            Which i think can be true.. youre probably seeing more players training in sports complexes and not working on team cohesiveness because they cant practice like they did before the 2011 CBA..

            • BK26

              Yeah Alex Smith was flat out wrong. I almost laughed when I heard that segment.

            • AlaskaHawk

              Larger team rosters. Larger practice squads. Longer practice periods with harder practices including full contact. It’s not the commissioners business if people get hurt in practice – give the olayers guaranteed money even when injured. The current product is a joke with starting quarterbacks held out until the last preseason game.

  24. Big Mike

    Yeah Packers are totally gagging away what should have been an easy playoff berth based on their schedule.
    Gotta keep losing

    • Rob Staton

      Rams are very, very capable of blowing a couple of winnable games too

      • Peter

        Really (🙃) excited that week 18 has a bunch of fairly lame games that might decide the fate of a bunch of barely trying teams and their tickets to the dance.


        A very lame game of musical chairs….instead of you know…just being good to get in.

        • Rob Staton


    • Whit21

      Probably better if the packers beat the bucs with bucs/saints both 7and 7 leading the division..

      But i highly doubt if the packers finish ahead of the hawks in draft order that theyll pick a QB..

  25. Blitzy the Clown

    Texans are for real

    Packers are not

  26. Parallax

    I come here because I resonate with Rob’s perspective. Back in 2016, I would have said people were spoiled who didn’t appreciate what the Seahawks had accomplished since 2012. Back then, I thought the voices asking for a new head coach naive and immature. Looking back, maybe I was wrong. But there’s an argument that what I felt then was accurate given where we were and how hard it is to start over.

    Now, however, I can’t understand why anyone would say, “We’re fine”. This team is too mediocre. We have some nice pieces. I’d like to see what a far more creative and flexible coach, far more focused on details, could do.

  27. BK26

    I don’t know if we could poach him away from the Bills, but Joe Brady us turned that offense around. Did it by using motions to read the defense and….running the ball more.

    Looking more and more like his previous issues were the Panthers leadership and nothing that he did.

    • Rob Staton

      Did a great job at LSU

    • cha

      A run-heavy gameplan against the Cowboys?

      if only someone had suggested that for the Seahawks…

      • BK26

        Take your bow. They have beaten the Cowboys into submission.

    • Henry Taylor

      Having worked with Orgeron in LSU as well, could work in his favour if Pete has any input on his successor.

      • BK26

        Oooh good catch. Might need to be a hire and wink at taking over in a year or two, but I am really intrigued by him now.

        I was just really impressed by the Bills’ game plan. And really what all they have done since he took over.

  28. AlaskaHawk

    Arizona looking more competitive with the return of Murray. They are giving the 49ers a battle.

  29. Big Mike

    Rams holding up there end…up 20-0 early 3rd.

    • Big Mike


      • Peter

        They want it more

        • Peter

          Real talk I think they can win out.

          I wonder if niners get one seed by that week if they don’t play backups. The niners that is.

          • Big Mike

            Possible for sure

    • KennyBadger

      Get McVays ass in Seattle. Offer him a bajillion dollars. What he’s doing with the rams is the exact opposite of what Peter is doing with the Seahawks.

      • Big Mike

        If only…..

  30. JimQ

    Haven’t seen this before, bad news if true. Ewers staying at Texas? I don’t do X, anything on there.?

    • Rob Staton

      He hasn’t confirmed that, so no idea why that article is saying that.

      If he wins the National Championship, he’d be daft not to declare. So I doubt we’ll hear anything until after the playoffs.

  31. Hunter

    Absolutely agree, the worst spot to constantly be isn’t a top 10 draft pick team but the team that just makes the playoffs only to lose the first round. I think nfl coaches have a shelf life around 10 years than you need fresh blood in.

    Hopefully Carroll calls it good on his own terms this year

  32. Olyhawksfan

    “fans of average teams shouldn’t settle into the comfort of merely not being ‘bad’.”


    Hey I got a D, at least it’s not an F.

  33. Peter

    For fans keeping tabs on the qb watch…

    Howell getting benched, not costing them any money, and a new coaching staff soon to be….not great

    • Big Mike

      Yep gonna have to get in front of several teams to get one of the top guys at QB

    • cha

      Something something Bienemy accountability…

  34. SEAhemoth82

    Man, Dave Canales is doing a great job with Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay offense.

    • Rob Staton

      They were only 21st on offense per DVOA though coming into today

      And they do have great receivers, a good RB and a very good tackle on the roster.

  35. king

    Chris Simms with a gem on late season form: No Super Bowl winner has ever had a double digit loss in December. That is stunning if true.

  36. samprassultanofswat

    “Chris Simms with a gem on late season form: No Super Bowl winner has ever had a double digit loss in December. That is stunning if true.”

    Don’t worry it ain’t happening.


    With Jamal Adams. We have been over this time and time and time again. Everyone on this forum knows it was a horrible trade. Now this year the Hawks trade next years 2nd round pick for Leonard Williams. Correct me if I am wrong but the Hawks have one win and four loses since making this trade. I like Leonard Williams. Good player. Good guy. Good team player. But he is going to be 30 years old next June. I think this was another one of Pete Carrol’s desperate moves. This trade is going to blow up in the Seahawks face.

    What are the options for Leonard Williams. a) Let him leave and waste a 2nd round draft pick next. . b) overpay to keep a 30 year old DT. Nothing against Leonard Williams. But those are the facts ma’am.

  37. Blitzy the Clown

    Blog favorite Madubuike has become a BAMF.

    • Rob Staton

      Indeed he has

  38. Lord Snow

    I remember way back was it 2014? Rob you wrote an article that Seattle wasn’t the New England Patriots that they were going to be the Pittsburgh Steelers. Well you were way ahead of your time

    • Big Mike

      Wasn’t his last (and likely not his first)
      *cough Wilson trade*

      PS: you spelled stealers wrong

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you 👍🏻

  39. Ashish

    I want the Hawks to lose the remaining games because that’s the only hope of a change. We are not winning playoff game let alone Super Bowl so we better end this mediocrity this year. This will pressure Management and Carrol to answer 6-12 season. Don’t want the Super Bowl winning coach to be fired.

  40. Tomas

    Another fine breakdown of a franchise breaking down.
    I recall that Josh McCowan was not only 40 but was also reported as dealing with a troublesome hamstring.

    Matt Stafford’s throwing hand was hugely hampered by injury at the time of the Seahawks playoff victory.

    The Vikings blew a certain playoff win by missing an easy kick.

    The Cowboys fired the legendary Tom Landry, who had achieved much more than Pete, and soon returned to greatness. But I feel Jody is oblivious to all this talk, and will honor Pete’s contract.

    Perseverance is, I think, the most important thing for Seahawk fans. We must steel ourselves to endure two more full seasons of disappointment and decline, before hope is possible.

    • Big Mike

      But I feel Jody is oblivious to all this talk, and will honor Pete’s contract.

      Don’t feel like she’s oblivious, but like you, I think she’ll refuse to pay him to not coach. My only hope is that he steps down. Others disagree with us and think she would terminate him. I want them to be correct and us to be wrong. Time will tell. If we’re not wrong, 2 more years of mediocrity and apathy await. Oh boy. 🙁

  41. SimonGER

    Never thought I was going to say this, but I want this team to loose out badly. That’s the only way this organisation will (or even might) see the necessity for a change at every coaching position. But as things stand, the whole NFC besides the 49ers and probably the Eagles are just a disaster. The Packers are just about to blow their piss-pour schedule and their playoff hopes completely, the Falcons are not capable of scoring 10 points against a poor Panthers Team, and between Tampa, the Saints and the Rams the only “hope” I have are the Rams.
    In the end this will be a “barely made the playoffs” scenario, with a first-round exit and one scapegoat-firing of one coach (probably Waldron, because he’s not from the Caroll coaching tree) and the “let’s run it again boys, at least we made the playoffs” mentality.
    Oh, and loosing out would obviously help with getting a lot closer to the Top 10 in the draft…

    • Troy

      Tonight’s game is the key to the immediate future of this franchise.

      5 straight losses (and 6 out of 7) would be very telling of where this team stands. 3 wins against shitty teams to end the year would not and cannot over-shadow this.

      However, beat the Eagles and all of a sudden, they can stake claim to beating one of the NFC’s best. And that ‘could’ propel a 4-game winning streak and playoff entry (despite how flawed this team is).

      • Big Mike

        I don’t believe for 1 second they will win the last 3 games
        But I can see your scenario playing out as you have outlined, sadly

        • BobbyK

          Sadly, I can see them winning 3 of 4 to end the year. Then the same sh!t about how we were so close… bla, bla, bla…

  42. L80

    I hope (after the Hawks beat this now crappy, injured Philly team) that the anemic Seattle media brings that news to the forefront that the win is absolute garbage.

    Itr’s a shame that it has come to this, but here we are. Mediocre with a supposed talented team. If that doesn’t require job evaluation then what does. I will not spend a single penny on this team going forward if drastic needed change doesn’t occur.

  43. Hawkcrazy

    Ideally I want the Seahawks to win out, win a playoff game and Carroll to retire on a high note. Being a realist this will not happen and although the realist in me hopes they will lose out I will still be cheering after every big play and screaming in my seats if Seattle beats Philly. I feel even if we lose out Carroll may not retire or be forced out if we are very competitive in our remaining games and I just can’t fathom hoping we get dominated in every game and have repeated big losses. Hoping this season has been too frustrating for Carroll and even if we backdoor into the playoffs he realizes it time to start enjoying his retirement.

    • AlaskaHawk

      There is a half page long news article about the Seahawks woes in the Seattle news on Sunday. Headline: Troubling Questions Lurk for losing Seattle Seahawks.

      One gem: Pete called out Adam’s and Woolen among others on defense for not playing like they were coached against players on the 49ers. Pete is also looking forward to whenever Geno Smith recovers from a pulled groin.

  44. LouCityHawk

    I’m not much of a person for autopsies, when it is time to move on, move on…

    The era of Coaching Fredo has parallels to Tomlin and Belichick – an interesting one (to me) is that none of the three have a coaching tree worth any mention.

    Carroll has not attracted and stocked his team with the smartest guys in the room. Look at his predecessor (Holmgren) a coaching tree as rich as his mentor (Walsh).

    It begs the question of why three legendary coaches have had so little impact. Shanahan and McVay have shed so many coaches. Mark this as a question I’d love to hear Holmgren answer, why does he have so many assistants who have gone on to greatness, while Carroll has had none?

    • BK26

      I remember Cowherd talking about it (more or less comparing Andy Reid to Belichick). His point was that Belichick was a genius. By that thought, he was almost so smart, that he couldn’t relate things to his subordinates. That guy that you know that just knows everything, can walk into a class and get an “A.”

      Against Andy Reid, who is a teacher. Wants his guys to learn and succeed on their own. He can relate very well. Makes sense since he fell from Holmgren’s tree.

      Tomlin might just seem too…strict? Carroll wants too many “yes men.”

      • Peter

        Mike Holmgren was also a teacher.

        Tomlin…I honestly have no idea what they are? Dynamic WR’s? Sometimes great defense? Who knows.

        Pete’s Achilles is he can’t adapt. And that causes him to attract people that are not innovators. Much has been made of Pete’s mentorship….but crickets on his teaching. In 14 years how many players have become better by playing for him? A strange case could be made that Wilson did though is that reps? Tyler put up great numbers but again is that just reps? Being the technician he is?

        DK is basically the same.

        Olinemen rarely get better.

        Dlinemen…..maybe Reed.

        Wagner was great the day he got on the field.

        If I’m missing anyone let ne know.

        On coordinators he rarely finds guys that are the best at what they do. And they rarely if ever get better.

  45. LouCityHawk

    Part of the problem: too many Seahawks fans are taking all the wrong lessons from Brock BradTana Purdy, Browning, etc…. (Hint: it’s the coaching that makes the difference).

    Did someone seriously suggest the Bengals would move Joe Burrow? Talk about a run, not walk conversation. For people worried about being stuck in mediocrity….

    It’s as if we learned nothing from PCJS getting cute with the drafts from 2014-2019. Make the smart moves, trust in your scouting and process…don’t think you’re going to outthink 31 other franchises.

    • RomeoA57

      Wait until around draft time, and many Seahawks fan will expect the Seahawks to use their first round pick on Penix or Odunze. Browning has been in the NFL for 4 years and has stated a total of 4 games, not nearly a big enough sample size to determine that he is suddenly a franchise QB.

  46. cha

    Jayden Daniels declares.

    Who is left besides Ewers?

    • BK26


      Will be biting my nails waiting for that one….

    • Joseph

      Spencer Rattler, we can’t sleep on him.

      • BK26

        I think Curtis was wondering who was left that we were waiting on news of them declaring.

  47. cha

    Seahawks use practice squad elevations on QB Sean Mannion and S Ty Okada.

    Geno and Jamal questionable so maybe they are both inactive tonight.

    FWIW the official Seahawks PR report quotes PC talking about both of those guys and their injury status.

© 2024 Seahawks Draft Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑