The Seahawks just need to keep adding defenders

Upgrading the defense is the priority going forward

The Seahawks have things to work on with the offense. They’re too inconsistent on third down. They’re 1-5 in one-score games despite chances to win all six in the fourth quarter. They’ve had big turnovers at key moments — the pick-sixes against the Bears and Chargers, plus the fumble yesterday against the Rams.

Really though, these all correctable issues. We’ve seen a Russell Wilson-led Seahawks offense avoid key turnovers, he’s won more games in the fourth quarter than every quarterback other than Matt Stafford and he’s been efficient on third downs.

They can improve. Easily.

We often overlook the positives. Here’s three big ones so far…

1. The Seahawks lead the NFL for rushing yards per game (152.2)
This is a major achievement considering where the running game has been for the last couple of years. Their stated priority of fixing the run has been accomplished.

2. Russell Wilson is on course to throw 37 touchdowns and he has a 110.2 passer rating
Both would be career highs. His current 66% completion percentage would be the second best mark in his career — after his tremendous 2015 season.

3. The offensive line is now a team strength after years of toil and struggle
It’s shaping the identity of the team. The attitude of the five guys up front is setting the tone. They’re thriving in this offense, they love running the ball. They’re producing and they’re punishing opponents.

Imagine how you would’ve reacted in the summer if you knew those three things were going to happen?

These are all big steps forward. As we’ve already acknowledged, there are things to work on. But this is an offense heading in the right direction. However much we want to quibble about 2-minute drills, empty sets and avoidable sacks — Seattle’s offense is producing results.

When they last made the Super Bowl in 2014, they were averaging 24.6 points per game on offense. They’re currently at 24.3.

Here’s the big difference between the two years statistically. Seattle’s defense gave up a league leading 15.9 PPG in 2014. This year they’re giving up 21.3.

It’s worth noting the offensive explosion that we’re witnessing in the NFL currently. The Saints, Rams, Chiefs and Steelers all average over 30 points a game. Most defenses are conceding more points.

However, it’s still a not insignificant jump.

Seattle’s defense has played valiantly this season. Let’s not forget, they’ve gone through major changes. There’s no more Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Cliff Avril, Sheldon Richardson or Michael Bennett. All five players were on the roster last year but are now long gone. They also lost Earl Thomas to injury and K.J. Wright has been missing most of the season (and clearly still isn’t 100%). Dion Jordan has missed time, Mychal Kendricks has been suspended. Even Bradley McDougald’s hurt.

This is a tsunami of change. Most teams couldn’t handle it.

What Pete Carroll has garnered from his new-look group is highly impressive. They’re not a team of stars any more. Some of the current starters would’ve struggled to make the cut in 2013 and 2014. Players are raising their game, giving absolutely everything. It’s impressive and encouraging.

But they’re still giving up points. They’re still struggling to sustain consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. They’re making mistakes in the secondary.

It’s all to be expected.

As frustrating as some of the offensive errors have been recently, the path to a better Seahawks clearly runs through a bolstered defense. They just need more bodies and talent.

They don’t have Bennett, Avril and Frank Clark as a trio any more. Can they find a couple of new guys to compliment Clark, either via the draft or free agency? Can they get some more depth and talent (and competition) for the secondary? Are they going to be able to re-sign Mychael Kendricks, get K.J. Wright back on a team-friendly deal or find a new WILL to provide the kind of speed needed to combat this exciting and prolific Rams offense?

They’ll struggle to match the LOB years and we shouldn’t expect to see a defense consistently leading the league year after year in PPG. However, it’s not unreasonable to think they can match Baltimore’s current rate of 17.8 PPG or Dallas’ 19.0 PPG.

Yes — the offense has had some frustrating moments. Yet imagine this running game, this quarterback and the level of production we’re seeing from the unit partnered with a defense that has a bit more talent and better depth. That would be a formula for a much more competitive 2019 season.

Something to remember about quarterbacks

We often see discussions about the future of Russell Wilson on Seahawks twitter. I tend to think all the flirting John Schneider does with quarterbacks in the draft (plus the leak about interest in Patrick Mahomes) is a combination of two things:

1. The Seahawks doing due diligence and simply liking some players

2. The Seahawks trying to gain leverage when they next talk contract with Wilson

After all, they never had a hope of landing Mahomes. He was the #10 pick in 2017. Seattle picked at #26. Them liking him is actually encouraging because Mahomes is an exceptional talent. There was never any realistic prospect of them actually being able to draft him though. It’s easy to say you might’ve drafted a player… ‘if only he hadn’t gone 16 picks too early’.

So while Seahawks twitter contemplates the possibility of Carroll and Schneider making the unprecedented move of getting rid of a franchise quarterback to save a few bucks, here’s something else to consider:

1. So you want a cheap quarterback? Who exactly?

2019 will be a shocking class for quarterbacks. It’s not a patch on the last 2-3 years. There simply isn’t an attractive early round option. So unless you’re willing to gamble on a mid-round quarterback being more Wilson than Nathan Peterman, what exactly is the plan here? Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence isn’t eligible until 2021. Tua Tagovailoa can’t turn pro until 2020. Both could be the #1 pick and therefore practically unattainable. What exactly is the proposal here?

2. What about a different veteran?

There’s no such thing as a cheap veteran quarterback. If the Seahawks wanted to find a game manager type, how much will it cost? 34-year-old Alex Smith just signed a contract worth $23.5m a year. Sam Bradford signed a two-year deal worth $20m a year. Are you willing to pay that much for a Bradford type just to avoid paying Russell Wilson $30m a year? I like Alex Smith a lot but he’s not on the market anymore. Who else is there? Teddy Bridgewater? Are you willing to give him $20-25m a year?

The Seahawks are always looking for a competitive edge. They wouldn’t be doing that if they weren’t at least contemplating the alternatives at a very expensive position.

But the reality of them actually pulling the trigger, especially in the current environment, appears to be practically zero. A bad quarterback draft, average quarterbacks getting paid millions.

I’m pretty sure they’re not ready for the Mike Glennon era just yet.

Where are the Seahawks currently slated to pick?

According to the brilliantly named ‘Tankathon’ website, they currently own the #14 overall pick. That would be their highest pick since 2012, when they owned the #12 pick after a 7-9 season before trading down to #15 and selecting Bruce Irvin.

There are going to be a lot of quality pass rushers available in the teens in 2019.

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  1. EP

    A perfect assessment, both sane and realistic. Cheers Rob

    • BNEBE77

      Yes, I regularly come here to cut through all the drama and just get a realistic assessment of what’s going on. There are so many lazy pundits and commenters who are always trying to figure out which direction to point their finger. Let’s not forget, football is hard. The run of success we had was so fun BECAUSE it was so special. Thanks for always keeping your head Rob, you do a great job.

  2. Chris

    I’m in the market for Raekwon Davis. I’ve seen mocks where he’s everywhere.

  3. Edgar

    One thing I’m not sure people realize, if we happen to replace Wilson with say..Dak Prescott and threw it the same amount of time….teams wouldn’t respect Dak and the run game would be all they cared about stopping.

  4. DC

    The one addition to the Offense that I could really get behind is a tall, physical, jump ball winning WR (who runs great routes and has perfect hands too, lol!). Russ throws such an excellent deep ball. To pair the speed of Lockett (too fast for RW sometimes?) with that ‘big’ element would be a great addition to the play action offense. Kind of complete/balance the whole enchilada. I don’t know who that would be or whether he would come via FA or the draft, or where in the draft. Any favs out there?

    Yes the defense needs more talent. How fun would it be to add a Derrick Brown to the mix (one of the few I’ve actually witnessed this year) or one of the many other top defensive talents!?! I fully expect Seattle to do what they do best and work the second & later waves of FA looking for relative bargains or reclamation projects at DL, LB & S.

    Clark is an absolute must sign & I’m mentally prepared for $18+M/yr.

    Russell Wilson is the most critical player Seattle has EVER had. He has his limitations and head slapper moments and maybe people don’t connect to his 24/7 professional personality but make no mistake, this dude is a MF’in WINNER and in the NFL nothing is more important (to fans). Pay him the market rate and the tide will come around again. TBH, it already is…

    • Rob Staton

      If there was ever an opportunity to get a Julio Jones or Mike Evans, I’d be very much up for that.

      I think, however, that the need for a big target has shown to be less vital for Wilson to succeed. He’s had a lot of success with Tate, Baldwin, Kearse, Lockett, Richardson. When they’ve had bigger targets, they’ve never really used them properly or had success (apart from one year of quality RZ production from Jimmy Graham). I think this is because Wilson is naturally conservative and so is the offense. So those quicker, dynamic receivers who are able to separate and still compete for the ball in the air — those are the types he’s had success with. Not the ones who don’t or can’t separate but might win a contested catch if Wilson takes a gamble.

      I don’t think receiver is a need. Baldwin, Lockett and Moore are a decent trio. They have some depth. I’d shift that position if there was a 21-year-old DeSean Jackson available though. Or even if Jackson was cut by Tampa Bay. For me, that is the type of receiver I’d like to acquire for Wilson right now. Not because he compliments what they already have — simply because that’s what I think works best with Wilson.

      • DC

        Not a need in 2019 as long as Baldwin is healthy but a definite want. Looking a little further down the road I’m specifically hoping for someone like Clemson’s Tee Higgins in 2020. I’ve only seen the A&M game and I came away very impressed. 6’4″, ran all the routes, great body control, great hands, good speed & he went and got that ball. No doubt as to who’s ball it was. 2020 is where I could see the Hawks looking seriously at DB’s health & production vs cost & consider adding a weapon at WR. Generally I’m repulsed by the idea of going after a WR early in the draft. I’m almost always a ‘trenches’ guy. Win that LOS. Maybe they’re happy with both lines going into that draft and making the offense a little more dynamic will be viewed as the missing piece for a trip to SB LV.

        I always wonder how Sidney Rice and Russ would have produced together had his career been longer & healthier. Aside from him, being that he was attained in his prime age wise, I agree that none of the big guys were a great fit and most felt like projects or dumpster dives. If Seattle goes with a taller guy I think Russ will have greater success with outside guys rather than a JG type. I believe Pete is looking for that guy & that he wants to take more shots down the field. It was always a critical part of his SC offenses. He hasn’t found that piece so we have yet to really see it on the field for Seattle. The desire remains imo. We do take shots, I just believe that adding that guy to the offense will complete Pete’s vision for it. A tall Lockett.

        • Rob Staton

          I can live without any more high price targets. It’s just a stick to beat the team with when they don’t get 5 catches a game. They made a SB with Doug and Kearse… I can roll with what we have.

      • Wallylope

        Isn’t moore a bigger receiver? I posted this without checking he seams to becoming a favorite target for RW. I like where the offense is heading if our D can get more consistently we may have a little something something. GoHawks beat the Pack!

        • Rob Staton

          He is. Quite big, anyway.

  5. Bob Johnston

    I don’t care what anyone says… I’m still positively giddy over where the Hawks are right now.

  6. Trevor

    Rob have you had a chance to take a look at potential WIL linebacker Options in Rd #3 or 4? I hope KJ can get healthy and return to form or they can bring back Kendrick’s but both seem like a bit of a long shot right now.

    Would love to hear your thoughts if you have studied Christian Miller (Alabama), Khalil Hodges (Buffalo), Cam Smith (USC) and Chase Hansen(Utah)?

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve studied Miller. To me he’s a specialist EDGE. A spot rusher. Maybe over time he could be developed into more. He’s very athletic. Might fit for them.

      We’ve been able to identify the type of linebacker they and the league seems to like these days. The combine should shed light on possible mid round options. But for me, speed matters now. Speed and agility. I’d be looking for that.

    • Volume12

      You seen W. Virginia LB David Long? One of the more unique ‘backers in this class.

      I like Hodge quite a bit.

      Wisconsin’s TJ Edwards
      Duke’s Joe Giles-Harris
      Colorado’s Drew Lewis
      Oregon’s Justin Hollins & Troy Dye
      Nevada’s Malik Reed

      • John_s

        I am all over Drew Lewis. He is a “Seahawky” type of athlete for LB

      • Trevor

        Thanks for the list Vol! Definitely some guys to check out!

    • FresnoHawk

      God Bless you says #49!

  7. Trevor

    How about an all Alabama draft

    Rd#1 Raekwon Davis (dl)
    Rd #3 Irv Smith (TE)
    RD#4 Christian Miller (lb)

    • Rob Staton

      Don’t think Miller lasts that long

  8. Volume12

    Is Jay Cutler still available?

    Really though there’s only one answer. ‘Perfectly average’ Joe Flacco would solve all the issues.

  9. Volume12

    It’s setting up to be a defensive draft for a few reasons IMO.

    1. Peter Carroll
    2. The strength of the class, unless a bunch of the JR’s declare at TE, is all on that side of the ball.
    3. As stated in the piece, it’s where the biggest needs are at.

  10. astro.domine

    If they just had a few more picks in this draft I’d feel exceptionally better about their situation. The decision to not trade Earl Thomas was even more puzzling than the 1-year rental of Sheldon Richardson.

    Are there any reasonable ways we could recoup some picks before the draft?

    • FresnoHawks

      Snap counts are a determining factor that determine comp picks.

  11. astro.domine

    One QB option you’re forgetting: Alex McGough!

    Call me crazy, but I loved what I saw from him in the preseason and he fits the template as a potential RW replacement, but it will likely take another year of development before we know if he’ll make that leap.

    • Rob Staton

      It’ll take more than a year

  12. STTBM

    Pretty good assessment, Rob!

    I don’t get the Dump Russ thing. Asinine! And I’m as hard on him as anyone.

    And those saying he throws a great deep ball?! Wow! I have no idea what you’re watching. His throws are always late, often off target, and expect the WR to wait on the ball…

    I don’t think it’s that Wilson is naturally conservative–he forced the ball into tight windows in college–but rather that he has been coached his whole Pro career by Carrol and Carl Smith, who ARE too conservative on offense much of the time. And it pisses me off–I think Wilson could be much better at fitting balls into tight windows and throwing deep passes–IF he had different coaching.

    Coaching hasn’t been mentioned as a problem, but Schotty got the best 4th quarter comeback qb in the NFL and made him the worst. You can’t tell me he’s not to blame for much of the failures to score at the end of close games. And Norton has picked up where he left off in LA–looking lost and clueless as DC. I saw Seattle running the same zone defense play time after time vs the Rams, with the Rams beating it time after time with the same plays–crossing patterns and the like. It was driving me batty!

    Am I the only one that sees this?! I do realize we were without Wright and had a hobbled McD, but still…Norton looks overmatched to me.

    • Darnell

      Russ has one of the best deep balls in the league. The numbers speak to that year in year out.

    • C-Dog

      In honor of the passing of Stan Lee, I will say that my Spidey sense is that quarterbacking for Pete Carroll is likely a tough task. He is likely constantly in your ear about not turning the ball over. Hasselbeck once stated how challenging that was.

      Folks can complain until they are Seahawk blue in the face about RW hanging onto the ball too long, not zipping it into tight windows, but his touchdown to interception ratio per season is always pretty good, and his completion percentages are always decent. That’s probably what Carroll cares about.

      • Hawk Eye

        You raise a valid point. it would be interesting to try and compare holding onto the ball too long and taking a sack vs raising the int rate.
        One thing with Russ this year is he does seem to be stepping more into the pocket instead of going backwards as much.
        Might take a full year with new OC before we can judge. Ryan did not play as well last year with new OC, has improved this year (still not a huge fan, he is good but not elite)

        Interesting year for QB’s. Brady seems to be falling off a bit, Brees, Rothlisberger and Rivers playing better than ever, Rodgers playing well, but GB is not winning. Mahomes and Goff playing great, but I think if you pressure Goff he becomes average.

        also curious to see what happens next year when everyone finds the flaws in Rams and Chiefs system. Copy cat league, you only stay on top for a long time when you get the play the Jets, Bills and Fins 6 times a year.

        and for gods’ sake, please no Rams SB!!!

  13. East Side Stevie

    Has anyone watched much tape of Notre Dame’s Jerry Tillery?

  14. 12th chuck

    I am extremely impressed how well this team is rebuilding. Next year we wont be hindered by the cap, and the players J.S. P.C. have brought in are playing above expectation. If you look at how our division had to rebuild, it took longer than 1 season.

  15. East Side Stevie

    Has anyone watched much tape, and or live games of Notre Dame’s Jerry Tillery?

    Curious about his range on day 1 or 2 of the draft.

    • Rob Staton

      I think he’s top-50.

      • East Side Stevie

        Thanks for the response Rob!

  16. Tony

    Yes. To everything you said. I dropped my phone, stood and clapped.
    Vet qb to save 10mill or pay 30 for russ….its an easy answer.

    Keep stocking the defense. Elite pass rusher (God I wanted Mack) will help immensely. Reed and Clark are amazing this year. Green, Naz hopefully follow next year. Then just get that one last piece. Add some depth in secondary, use that Carroll magic in rd 5 and this could be a special unit.

    And this power run game, please dont ever lose it. You could see the rams defense getting pissed during the game. The seahawks ran the ball down their throats. 8 man box, 9 man box. Dont care. No trickery, just overpowering. And missing our best rb. Amazing. Anti run crowd, sit down and shut up. This is Pete.

  17. GerryG

    As one friend texted me “at least this team is fun to watch again”

    That wasn’t he case last year or the first month of this season.

    • charlietheunicorn

      And the team is fun to root for….. and they are literally in every game until the end.

      (You could be a fan of the Bengals or Raiders…. and have no hope.)

  18. millhouse-serbia

    After I read seahawkks twitter, I am always like – I choose Pete over Russ…and then I came here and realize that no need to choose between them…we will win another SB with Pete and Russ!

    I know that 99% think pass rusher (EDGE or DT) is priority no 1 for Seahawks in off season (draft especially)…well I am not sure anymore that DE is bigger need than LB…

    At DE we have Clark, QJeff, Jordan and Green…And at Will we have who? KJ and Kendricks? And as it stands now there is a reall possibility , because of KJ health and Michael problems, that we wont have them for 2019…

    So for me priority :
    1. 3T DT (pass rusher)
    2. LB (speedy will)
    3. DE-EDGE

    Rob, your thoughts on Devin Bush?

    • Trevor

      Agree completely on your needs! I would add #4 depth in secondary.

      • Zxvo3

        Do you think Devin Bush would be a good LB on the Seahawks? Also what are your guys thoughts on Khaleke Hudson from Michigan? I feel like Hudson could be a good SS for the future.

  19. C-Dog

    Can you imagine the narratives that people would have come up with about Elway and Farve if Twitter was a thing in the 1980’s and 1990’s along with all the online film break downs?

    It’s a really weird online obsession, and IMO, it kinda takes the fun out of the sport.

    Something I’ve noticed about the Wilson critics on the Twitter when I’ve peaked a bit; they love to tweet about the bad plays, but you don’t see them tweet too much about the great plays he makes. They stay pretty silent about those ones.

    Look, 6-5 golden boy Carson Wentz didn’t see a wide open WR at a critical juncture in the fourth quarter against the Cowboys Sunday night, and the Eagles lost. It happens.

    Wilson is not the problem in Seattle. He isn’t.

    I get the appeal of having a rookie at the position on a cheap deal, but the draft is always a crap shoot. For every Wentz, and Goff, there’s a Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Brady Quinn. If Seattle deals Wilson and draft Justin Herbert and Herbert busts, that is likely going to massively set the franchise back. Massively.

    Sure, maybe they can pick up Tyrod Taylor, Teddy Bridgewater, maybe Jameis Winston, but how many playoff games have any of those guys won, how many Super Bowls? You’re going to have to spend big on players who aren’t as good.

    The only way I see Seattle dealing Wilson is if he informs the team that he doesn’t want to sign another deal here, or that he will only sign here for an amount of money that is beyond ridiculous, and I am still not sure that they deal him. They may just force him to play under the franchise tag for a few more years until they can find a replacement.

    The only true scenario that I can even remotely envision, and it’s full on nutty, is that Jon Gruden’s infatuation with Russ has remained so steady over the years, that he offers Derek Carr and a first round pick for him. Maybe that gets Seattle to bite, but then Seattle gets a shell shocked, not as talented Carr who would then have to be coached by a HC who is constantly going to be into his ears about not throwing INTs.

    Keep the QB, and draft defense, say I.

    • GerryG

      If you move on from an expensive QB it is because you already have the cheap replacement on the roster. No smart team would get rid of a good to great QB and roll the dice on an unknown rookie. Now if you had a guy like Mahomes on your roster, sure make the move. Even that had some risk to it though.

      • C-Dog

        Good point. I think that’s the thing. To Rob’s point, there is no Mahomes in 2019 or 2020.

        Also, lends to something Rob astutely pointed to a while ago that if Seattle was intent on drafting that cheap heir to RW, they should have done it over the last couple drafts. In a sense, they should have taken Lamar Jackson over Rashaad Penny. Again, I think this is probably a bit of an indication that they aren’t looking to move on for RW just to open up cap. They are probably looking to build and win with him. If greatness falls into their lap at that position, however, then they have to consider it.

        • JimQ

          I haven’t looked up the actual numbers, but it seems to me that a valid point could be made about the annual increases of the salary cap being in the (IIRC) 8-10+ million range. if RW is resigned, his potential 8-10+ million increase in pay should be mostly if not completely covered by the salary cap increases next year as well as in the future. The only downside I can see to that is other players that the Seahawks want to sign or retain from the roster will be somewhat more difficult to sign with less overall money to work with, but I’m not sure that should make any significant difference to the Seahawks roster going forward. Additionally, there are a number of measures the team could use to improve their cap numbers for next year through renegotiations or cutting current underperforming players and such.

          This is my opinion on the great RW debate, –the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere–, IMO – keep a guy that has been at the forefront of the most successful team in the teams history until – he decides to part ways or retires. A few million of cap space isn’t worth going back to the dark days of the franchise without a franchise QB and the slim chances at actually winning games. Signing RW to whatever it takes & adjusting the remaining roster accordingly may be the best approach.

          • C-Dog

            As always, great points, JimQ.

  20. UKAlex6674

    ‘I think this is because Wilson is naturally conservative’

    Rob I think you hit a nail on the head there and it is somethingh that is nearly always over looked. That would feed into holding the ball for too long also.

    But I would have a conservative RW hitting north of 70% of passes than one who slings it all over the place. Any day of the week, and it is so complimentary of the run game we have back.

    Speaking of that, how much credit can we give to Solari for turning the line around? The fact that Simmons was plugged in on Sunday – and I have seen many posts where people didnt even realise he was playing which in my mind is an excellent report as his name was never called by the refs or the commentators – speaks volumes in itself doesn’t it? The big question i want the answer for is…………how long do we have Solari?!!

  21. GoHawksDani

    Agreed. Just some plus positives:

    1, We aren’t only able to run when the opponent is not expecting. The biggest positive is that we can run, and run well even when they’re expecting it and putting resources to try to stop the run

    2, Remove the errors (which are huge) and bad games, and Russ seems like the best QB ever. Yeah, thinking like this is a bit cheating, but I don’t think his great games come only because they’re against worse opponents. Sometimes he’s really sharp and focused. And even in his less than great games, he can make amazing throws (like the ones to Lockett and Vannett in this Rams games). If they can shape the offense to help him to get into the flow and be more focused and decisive, he can be absolutely great (I think this is not really achievable, and he’ll always have big issues…he’s simply not a Bress-type of QB…but that’s another topic)

    3, This OL is pretty good. Especially in run blocking. Add in #74 as a TE/additional blocker, and they’re scary. BUT, I’d still try to get an LT and at least one OG via FA or the draft. Neither Sweezy or Fluker are really young and they have/had some injury concerns. Simmons played OK/good, I think but didn’t read/watch anything about him. Not sure what’s up with Pocic. We need a guy like Fluker in order for this team to be successful. Younger guys need time to learn the blocking schemes in the NFL. So I’d definitely bring in 1-2 OG to start 2-3 years from now. And the LT position is even more hard to learn and master. Not sure how many years Brown will have, but if we’d try to fill him with some young guy, he’d need at least 2 years to get the hang of it. Not saying we should put too much money/draft capital into these positions right now, but I’d like them to get a high upside OG in the 4th/5th round next draft. And bring in some better FA OG in 2020 and draft an LT in the second round or something like that in 2020.

    As for QBs, I think we have a couple of options:

    Russ has a contract until the end of 2019. We can franchise tag him, so without any long-term extension, we can have him for 2020, and if we want we can tag him again for 2020. Yeah, it won’t be cheap, but it might be better than a 30m APY 5 year contract. And we can draft QBs in 2019 late round and 2020 early-mid. We don’t need a great QB if this team wants to run 60-70% of the time.
    Remove the first two games from the calculation, and remove at least some of the last quarter when we trailed by more than 7 points. Schotty and PC want to run crazy amount.
    This can work, if we don’t fall far behind, control the clock and the opponents don’t really score more than 17-21 points.
    With this philosophy, this team needs a game manager, who takes care of the ball, able to throw the easier throws, screens, short passes and some deeper throws… But I think the passing attack is trying to help RW more (he isn’t good at short-medium throws, much better at deeper passes).
    Wilson is worth the 30m contract. But not for this team. Not with this pass only when we need philosophy.

    Or we could trade him before next year (for the right price, like 2 first and 2 second round picks). Yeah, the team and offense would suck for 2-3 years, but the current youngsters and the ones we would get in the next 1-2 years’ draft would come to life right after that. And with a potential new QB in 2020 or 2021 this team could be 2012 or 2013 again. This is the much riskier approach, but with the right drafting strategy and some luck, this has the earliest and highest reward.

    I would love to keep Russ, and I’m all for it for the right price (around 25m APY), but I think that giving him a mega-record breaking contract would ruin this team

    • SeaHusky

      “Wilson is worth the 30m contract. But not for this team. Not with this pass only when we need philosophy.”

      To me, this is one of the bigger (if not the biggest) identity issues that this team will have to deal with moving forward. And it’s complicated with the uncertainty surrounding how long Pete wants to keep coaching, and what his plans are moving forward.

      I absolutely think Wilson, with the right coaching, can be on the same level as Brees as a passer. Physically, he can make all of the throws. His problem is not consistently trusting his protection when it’s there and holds on to the ball too long, likely because he is a more conservative passer due to a head coach who despises turnovers. I’d love to see what Wilson could do with a head coach like Payton or Reid. Both of these HCs have their own issues, of course, but it would be so much fun to watch Russ be the QB in their respective offensive schemes.

      I’m neither as high or as low on Schotty as some fans, but I think one thing that is undeniable is that his passing schemes are below average. It’s frustrating to watch the receivers on teams like the Rams be schemed open again and again, while our receivers are relying on their natural talent. Are guys like Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks really that much talented than Baldwin and Lockett? The difference to me is clear; it’s scheme, not talent. Superstar offensive coaches don’t just grow on trees, but just once, I’d like to see Russ be freed from a conservative scheme and throw behind adequate protection (which we have now!).

      • Rob Staton

        And yet Russell Wilson is on track for his best ever season in passing touchdowns and his second best season in passer rating.

        If the passing schemes and offense aren’t good enough — how is Wilson performing as well as he ever has?

        • SeaHusky

          It’s not that Wilson is not playing well, it’s that I don’t think that our particular scheme maximizes his strengths and minimizes his weaknesses as much as it should. A dynamic QB talent like Wilson shouldn’t be limited to sub-20 passing attempts a game; it makes it difficult for him to build a rhythm, especially for someone who runs as hot and cold as he does.

          When you watch our offense, do you think that Schotty is scheming his players open on the level of the top coordinators? How many times do receivers run wide open or hit wide open portions of zones when you watch the Rams, Chiefs, and Saints play? There’s no denying he is damn good at designing a running game, and our offense is fine if the game is relatively close. But when we hit 10+ point deficits, our offense is simply ill-equipped to make up that difference.

          A $30 million QB should not be struggling to throw for a mere 200 yards in the modern NFL game. That simply isn’t sustainable long-term, no matter how well your rushing attack is doing. It isn’t an “either or” thing; you can have a dominating ground attack while pairing it with a devastating air assault. The Rams seem to have no problem getting Gurley 100+ yards while Goff throws for 300+ every week, Brees and Kamara/Ingram do it consistently, Mahomes and Hunt, etc. Why can’t we do that? I think it’s undeniable that their offenses are significantly more potent and consistent than ours is.

          • Rob Staton

            Well there’s a few things to make clear here.

            You said: “A $30 million QB should not be struggling to throw for a mere 200 yards in the modern NFL game.”

            Do you realise that Drew Brees, the current clubhouse leader for NFL MVP, has had the following games this year:

            vs Minnesota — W 30-20 — 18/23 passing for 122 yards — 1 TD, 1 INT
            vs Baltimore — W 24-23 — 22/30 passing for 217 yards — 2 TD, 0 INT
            vs NYG — W 33-18 — 18/32 passing for 217 yards — 0 TD, 1 INT

            So there we go. Drew Brees himself has had games during a potential NFL MVP campaign where he’s scraped over 200 yards or in one case, just about crawled over 100 yards. So let’s not get too caught up in this ‘a modern NFL QB’ stuff. It’s a massive red herring. Earlier someone was arguing you can’t have a dominating defense in the league anymore. It’s all rubbish. In Wilson’s instance, on Sunday he didn’t make 200 yards on a day when the Seahawks ran for 273 yards. That’s the main reason why Wilson didn’t get to 200 yards. The sheer fact they rammed the ball down LA’s throat in the running game.

            You say Wilson shouldn’t be limited to sub-20 passing attempts a game. Why? If you’re running for nearly 300 yards it doesn’t matter. But let’s get our facts right. Wilson had 26 passing attempts on Sunday. That doesn’t include the sacks he took (those were also pass plays that don’t result in a completion or incompletion in the stat column). That takes us to 30 attempts. Now let’s include the scrambles that ended up in runs (he ran 9 times) plus some of the plays where Wilson checked at the LOS to a run play.

            It’s another massive red herring that Wilson isn’t throwing enough. When you take all of the above into account, that’s a 30-40 pass attempt game at the weekend on a day where they ran for nearly 300 yards. Drew Brees is again a good example. He has three games this season with sub-30 attempts.

            You’re using the Chiefs, Saints and Rams and saying, ‘why can’t we do that?’. What about the other 28 teams? I mean come on. You’ve picked the three best offenses in the league. And are now saying, ‘Why can’t we just do that?’. What’s next? Why can’t we all just be as good as Tiger Woods at golf? If only it was that simple.

            Your last sentence is ‘their offenses are more potent than ours’. So what? Is that where we are at as a fan base? Demanding the most explosive, prolific offense in the league otherwise the coordinator isn’t doing a good enough job and the scheme doesn’t suit the QB?

            Here’s the reality for anyone who wants to go down this route.

            — The Seahawks are running for 152 yards per game, #1 in the NFL. They have the leagues best running game.
            — Russell Wilson is on track to score the most passing touchdowns in a single season in his career
            — Russell Wilson’s passer rating is marginally below his prolific 2015 mark and is currently the second best of his career

            Everything else is white noise. The offense isn’t perfect. There are things they can improve (namely third down consistency game to game). But this notion that Schotty isn’t doing a good job, that Wilson isn’t worth $30m in this scheme or that Wilson is being wasted is, as we’d say in England, ‘bollocks’.

            • GoHawksDani

              Yeah, and I’m not hating on Russ, but Brees sometimes win games and currently, Russ sometimes loses games. Can’t remember a game this year when Russ won for us. He and rest of the offense massacred some teams, but when it came to “we need to score quick and pass a lot” it was almost always a disaster.
              I’m not a coach, neither a coordinator, but it seems like there are 3 things here:
              1, Russell sometimes having issues making reads
              2, Russ/PC really afraid to turn the ball over therefore holding it a bit more than he needs (but strange, because sometimes he delivers crazy throws between 2-3 defenders or against a close coverage)
              3, Russ/PC wants the big play every time. He could dump of a couple of times when he was sacked, but his eyes monitored downfield. Russ wants 15-25-30 yards for every deeper dropback when it is not a designed screen or quick pass.

              These things cause more pressure on him. More pressure causes bad decisions. Bad decisions cause turnovers.

              Russ can be the absolute sharpest and best QB in the league sometimes. But he can be all over the place too.

              I like him but seems like it is really hard to win an SB with a big-contract-QB. It is even harder to win with a bad QB, so it’s a bit of a catch 22

              I don’t think that giving up ~17,5% of the total CAP to a single player (when you need to pay 22 starters. OK, not everyone is the same, but every good-elite player will cost 7-10% of the cap, so a difference between a 22m QB and a 33m QB is almost a star player) is a good thing anywhere, but there are some teams when the QB needs to hold together the whole offense (high passing O#s). Currently, Russ needs to make 2-4 really good throws per game if everything goes well. If not, then that number is ~7-8. I think he makes 50-60% of these. Rest of the passes are mostly high completion percentage stuff (not saying any QB will make these successful 100 % of the time, but most decent QBs will convert these like 70-75%+ times).

              I’m not really sold on the ROI and the cost/value of a 33-35m contract not because of Russ, but because of the whole scheme. I’d be OK with a 25-28m contract (especially with a 23-25m one), but I doubt Russ will take anything less than the highest paid QB contract.

              As for Schotty:
              He does a lot of things well. But on a 3rd and 7, you just don’t throw a 4-yard pass. On a 2 minute drill, you shouldn’t run 3-4 times. You shouldn’t throw a 6-7 yard pass in the middle. I have no idea what happened, but this was a good 2-minute team. Hell no, this was probably one of the best quick scoring team. Currently, every 1-2 minute drill is abysmal. I’m OK with everything else (maybe not OK, but I’d be willing to forget and accept the things I’m not the biggest fan of too). But this awful 2-4 minute offense needs to be fixed ASAP. There’ll be close games and those games are often hangs on these drives.

              • Rob Staton

                I implore all people reading this comment — stop asserting how difficult it is to win a Super Bowl with a highly paid quarterback! It’s a narrative that has absolutely zero evidence. It’s something people cooked up on twitter and it’s spread like wild fire.

                You do NOT need a cheap QB to win. There are benefits, clearly, if you land on a fantastic young QB and have 2-3 years of cheap control. That goes without saying. But then you have to PAY. I mean what’s the plan? Draft a new QB every 3-4 years? Sounds simple right? Only it’s really really really really hard to find good QB play, let alone find it over and over again.

                You also do NOT automatically have an opportunity to load up your roster with studs if you have a cheap QB. Some teams have done this. The Rams, currently, can splurge. But guess what? They have a tiny window before they have to make some BIG decisions. This is year three for Goff. The fun ends in a year, when the contract talks start. Ditto for Wentz in Philly.

                When Seattle had Russell on a cheap deal, their best moves were the VALUE moves. Bennett and Avril for peanuts. Not the big expensive moves like Harvin. You can pay a QB and still succeed. Like in any situation, it’s your ability to coach up talent and make wise personnel moves. If you are smart you can win.

                It’s not a case of…. ‘ah shucks better trade the QB now I guess’.

                Drew Brees’ cap hits for the next couple of years are $24m and $33m. The Saints are doing just fine with a nice balanced roster. You can easily win with a good QB even if they’re expensive. It’s how you win. Good QB play, complimented by a strong pass rush and running game.

                Furthermore, the cap rises every year and that isn’t stopping any time soon.

                Is Russell Wilson perfect? No. Is he fantastic? Yes. Is it going to be insanely difficult to replace him? 100%. Is it worth quibbling over the $4-5m difference in his future salary compared to Alex Smith, Sam Bradford and Joe Flacco? No.

                Increasingly people seem to be critiquing Wilson for only being better than every QB in the league apart from 5-6 others (some of which are close to retirement). Come on guys. Realise how hard it is to find a player like Wilson. Embrace that he isn’t perfect but understand he is also tremendous.

                And on Schottenheimer, I’ll just keep repeating myself. The Seahawks currently have by far the most productive running attack in the league. Wilson is on course for his second best season in passer rating and his best season for passing TD’s. The O-line is finally fixed. This is the FIRST year of a new offensive coach. We are arguing about them not being perfect. Come on. Focus on what they have changed and how big an achievement some of these changes are.

                Seahawks fans — STOP LISTENING TO THE TWITTER BS. The anti-run, the trade Wilson/can’t win with an expensive QB, the anti-Penny, Pete’s philosophy is old garbage.

                The Seahawks are heading in the right direction. There are things to improve. We discuss them on here. But they’re getting there. And this is/was a reset year all along.

                • H

                  You’ve said a lot of things I agree with Rob, this one takes the cake. Absolutely marvellous.

                  FWIW in the last 10 years, 2 QBs have started a superbowl whilst still on a rookie deal (Wilson and Kaepernick). I have no idea how that narrative has got so much traction.

                • GerryG

                  Great post Rob, thank you!

                  Social Media arguing is the worst. Use Twitter for updates and film .gifs and lolz. Never use it to debate. When you a see worthless take without film, just scroll past it. It’s just like the comments section of most online articles, a cesspool of lookatme!! downward spiral arguing.

                  This is the only place left on the internet I will discuss sports.

                • GoHawksDani

                  I don’t really use twitter, nor read many blogs (used to read hawkblogger, and sometimes fieldgulls, but now only Cigar Thoughts by Bevens, because it’s funny :D).

                  I get that you can win with an expensive QB, but this is not a football question at all. Simple economics/game theory question.
                  You have limited resources (CAP), you have a lot of needs (good players on the roster), the needs has better quality if they’re command more resources. Some type of needs/goods is more resource heavy, some less (differences between positions).
                  I’m not against paying Russ good money. But only pay him what you absolutely need. He shouldn’t get the biggest contract by far (like 35-38 mil), because there are at least 4-5 QB that can provide more (either by age, either by experience, or talent, or physical attributes). Pay him like a good QB who can compliment the run game (like 25 mil). But I doubt Russ would take that.
                  And the question is:

                  How much would you pay to a QB who has a really high ceiling, but seems to maybe have some limitations too? You have no idea if he can improve or will decline soon (both can happen. He shows some of his best throws, decisions this year, but also some of his worst). We don’t know if he’ll be capable to be a pocket passer mostly. What is the biggest contract that you’d give Wilson?

                  I say we SHOULD keep Russ. But I also say that we probably DON’T NEED to absolutely keep him.

                  I’d be happy to give Russ a 24m apy 70% gtd contract for 4 years. Pretty big GTD, but I’d be willing to gamble on him not getting seriously hurt and won’t decline really bad instead of giving up much CAP space. I’d be also fine with a 28m apy 50% gtd 3-year deal too. Or if he wants years then 26m apy 40% gtd 5-year deal.
                  30m in the first year is OK, but 30m APY is just too much. And anything over 34-35m in a year is just too much for me.

                  If we check the 2020 situation:
                  CAP usually gets higher by ~7%. That makes 2020 CAP ~202m

                  OTC shows 91m CAP liabilities for 2020. But I guess a couple of guys will get cut/traded until then. Let’s say we’ll have 75m against the CAP.
                  Just an educated guess, but with extensions and some new contracts (without Wilson, but with BWagz, Reed, Ifedi, Coleman, Sweezy, Fluker, Clark, etc extended), I’d count an additional ~100m against the CAP (~80-85m for guys currently on the roster and 15-20m for newcomers and rookies, second-year players).
                  We could push Russ under the CAP (~27m remaining), but that’d mean that no big FA signing in 2019 and 2020 (big name FA = anything more than 6-7m).

                  Doable, but not super easy. And I didn’t even re-sign KJ or Earl. Not sure what’s up with Chancellor’s contract (14m counted towards 2020). This math is only OKish if we can cut him before that and save 12m (~2m dead money will count towards 2020 anyways).

                  I’m fine giving Russ every cent/penny he deserves. But if he wants to be the highest paid QB then he should play like that. Not saying to make every throw, but remove the stupid mistakes and show improvement.
                  And JS should think about the return of investment.
                  There are two QB who throw TD on every 10th throw and completes 100% of throws and every throw goes for 10 yards.

                  Both get a 50m APY contract 100% GTD.

                  The first plays on a team that throws 50 times a game. That QB brings 500 yards and 5 TDs/game.

                  The second plays on a run-heavy team who runs really well and runs for 200 yards/game and bring 2 rushing TD every time. But only throws the ball 20 times. The QB brings 2 TD and 200 yards/game.

                  Both QBs are amazing, but because of the scheme, they’ll produce differently. And I doubt both should be paid the same. Especially if the second produces those numbers at least partly because of the amazing run game.

                  Because if the second team only plays 30m to their QB and get a CB for 20m who usually make 2 pick6 per games, they’ll have more TDs at the end of the day. And that was possible because they paid their QB based on his role, not his talent/perceived talent.

                  Not saying #TradeRuss, or not pay him just 18m. But JS should be careful, because there is a huge gap between 27 and 35 million. With that 8m they can get another:
                  – Duane Brown
                  – Justin Britt
                  – KJ Wright
                  – Lockett AND McDougald
                  – Coleman, Mingo and Ifedi
                  – Stephen + Sweezy + Fluker + Ed Dickson

                  Yeah, not a Wagner type of gap, but even with 5-8m you can get a valuable starter, or if you’re lucky even a star.

                  I got used to Penny, and he showed some really nice skills, so I’m happy with him. And love the great run game, I missed it.

                  • Rob Staton

                    Apologies, because I’ve skimmed through a lot of this.

                    But the whole ‘cap limitations’ thing is so completely overplayed. New Orleans has a cracking roster. Very balanced. They’re also paying Brees a big contract. Other teams do it too. It’s not a problem at all to pay Wilson. It’s something people pontificate about all the time but in reality, all QB’s are expensive. If you’re paying Sam Bradford $20m a year of Wilson $30m, it’s still a large chunk of cash. Give me the guy who can actually win you games.

                    The idea of hedging on $8m, to me, is absolutely insane.

            • LouieLouie

              Plus we have three running backs who have had 100 yard games, so one or two of them should be healthy down the final playoff stretch. We may not make the playoffs this year, but we’ll be in the race.

  22. clbradley17

    I always check out Tony Pauline’s site after this one, and this time of year, mainly his risers and sliders page:

    A couple mid-round DBs he showcased this week are CB Amani Oruwariye of Penn State and FS/CB Mike Bell of Fresno State – PSU player is 6’1″ 200 and Fresno player is 6’3″ 205, both fast ballhawks.

    “Amani Oruwariye/CB/Penn State: The senior was graded as a potential late-round selection entering the season, but he’s played better than expected and is now graded as a mid-round prospect. In 10 games this season, he has three interceptions and 11 pass breakups and has totaled 45 tackles. Against Wisconsin this weekend, Oruwariye intercepted a pass late in the second quarter as the Badgers were driving for a score. A late bloomer of sorts, Oruwariye combines outstanding size with next-level athleticism, and if properly coached, he could develop into a next-level starter.”

    “Mike Bell Jr./DB/Fresno State: Bell was a player I initially mentioned during the Journey to the Draft podcast with Fran Duffy back on October 30, and the junior continues to impress. Even during the Bulldogs’ loss to Boise State on Friday, Bell played well with eight tackles and one pass breakup. As I mentioned two weeks ago, he’s an athletic defensive back who can line up at safety or corner and displays range in center field as well as next-level ball skills in man coverage. I continue to hear that there’s a definite possibility Bell enters next April’s draft, and I expect he’ll make a late move up draft boards as more people become acquainted with his game.”

    Besides general Fresno State Highlights, this is the only youtube video I could find with a couple highlights of Bell, mainly the one where he comes up on the screen from Browning to a UW running back and immediately de-cleats him for a loss (at 1:10 of the video),

    Have been looking for some other big DBs besides Baity from KY that we may draft in the middle rounds, and these 2 look like good prospects.

  23. clbradley17

    Rob, if we stay in the same draft order as now, and according to your draft picks from last week, who would you prefer us to pick at #14 from that mock draft of Gary, Allen or Lawrence – or stick with Walker?

    JS needs to get very creative next year to acquire more picks, even if it’s just trading a 2020 6th for a lower or comp. 2019 6th and 1-2 7ths. Last year the Bengals, Packers and Patriots all had 3 7s, the Rams had 4 6th rounders. Or something higher but similar (2020 5th for lower/comp. 5th, 6th and a high 7, or what works out in trade value.

  24. BV Eburg

    Bunch of good thoughts regarding Wilson on here on what would Seahawks do without him.
    Rob you mentioned you listen to Brock and Salk. Last week they did a couple segments and poll grading Wilson for the first half the season. Brock gave him a B and Salk a C+. He was downgraded for some minor things but the big factor was not closing out these 1 score games (1-4 at time now 1-5).
    B- was probably the average and that’s probably fair (though he could improve through remainder of season). So the next question Brock and Salk should ask/answer is….If Russell wants A grade contract do you pay a B- quarterback at that level?
    So my 3 questions for anyone;
    1st- What grade would you assign Wilson through the first 9 games?
    2nd- Based on your grade do you sign him to A contract money?
    3rd- If he won’t sign a B grade contract what do you do?

    I really have enjoyed watching Russell over the years but can see both sides of the argument.

    As an aside I have enjoyed watching this team more than the last couple years. Enjoy the personalities again and the direction they are going.

    • GerryG

      I’m no scout, but I am giving Wilson a pass on the entire first half of the season. He is learning a new offense, and to me is obviously being coached to try and change some of the crazy freelance run around 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage schoolyard play.

      Give him a full season of the new offense, and trying to learn to step up into a pocket in a controlled manner. Not to mention this is the first time in his career he has average to above average protection; that’s going to take some time to adjust to as well. He doesnt have to duck and cover/run for his life instantly on every snap anymore. As that comfort level increases and he adjusts, I’m hoping we see a little more game changing moments.

      • clbradley17

        Speaking of an average to above average line, what’s happened to Pocic? I know he fell behind Fluker when he came back from injury earlier in the year, but he was inactive against the Chargers in favor of Joey Hunt, and Jordan Simmons started instead of him against the Rams when Fluker was hurt again. Simmons played very well against a great Rams D-line, only giving up 1 pressure and no sacks, unlike Sweezy, who gave up 2 sacks. With Fluker coming back against the Packers, why not put the best and biggest OL out there with 2 huge 6’4-5″ 340 lb. road-graders in Fluker at RG and Simmons at LG? More on Pocic:

        • GerryG

          Pocic was not bad in his first few games this year, I just think that (((gasp!!!))) we actually have depth and options on the OL. Simmons certainly caught be off guard, but I think they wanted someone Fluker’s size to bully Suh/Donald in the run game.

          It is crazy to think we actually have 2 decent backups at Guard, Hunt played really well at C his lone start, and Fant as a backup T.

    • Matt

      I give him a B+.

      Schotty doesn’t do the passing game a whole lot of favors. We simply don’t have easy completions like many passing teams do. Lower volume also makes it harder to get in rhythm.

      The problem with QB contracts is that a “B grade” contract is really given to the Sam Bradford’s of the world, who won’t win you a damn thing. If you are a top 10 QB…you are getting paid serious money. It’s just the nature of the position. And “B grade” contracts are still crazy.

      So, while you don’t want to pay $100K for a BMW…you certainly don’t want to pay $80K for a Toyota Camry. Stupid analogy, but I think it’s apropos in regards to QBs. Pay $100K for the BMW and build around it.

    • Rob Staton

      I’d give Wilson a B- simply for a lack of consistency. But there’s still time to get that up to an A.

      I would sign him to an A contract for this reason — the only two other alternatives are the tag or letting him walk. Quarterbacks, when they sign their new deals, often end up being the highest paid by default. Carr, Luck, Ryan etc. Then others like Rodgers, Brees etc get paid more. Wilson’s A contract if he signs it in 2019 will be a lot smaller than the eventual deals signed by Goff, Mahomes, Wentz etc. So for me, you pay the going rate and crack on, knowing other teams will have to make the same move. QB’s cost money and without a viable cheap alternative, you don’t move a guy you know can get the job done.

    • Trevor

      I would give him a B for his overall play given the fact he has a new OC that is pretty good. The big knocks for me are holding the ball too long taking unnecessary sack and 4 Q turnovers in the losses.

      Still he is on pace for a record TD season and I think he will only get better the balance of the season as the Hawks find the right run pass mix.

  25. Look Who's Hawkin?

    For all the babble from Seahawks twitter about how replaceable the RB position is, you would think you would hear more about how irreplaceable the QB position is.

  26. Ashish

    Rob, very good point on QB. I don’t think Russel is A Rodgers who can win games consistently or lead the team with less surrounding talent. I would have liked to see better Russel after 7-8 years of exp and he had showed lot of promise in his early years. You rightly pointed 2 interception against Bears & Chargers and fumble against Rams where we lost the game. Don’t forget we were not able to convert the third down in first game against Rams which would have been good for a win. That’s 4 win right there. I agree, will take Russel against anyone currently available in market so don’t mind paying him 30 mil/year but will add performance incentives in contract instead of more guarantee money.
    More speed & talent on defense plus current player getting more play time will be crucial come next year. Hawks getting ready for 2019 season. Excited !!!!

    • Volume12

      They never took the chains off of him his 1st couple years. Hence the reason for him still making mistakes a 1st or 2nd year player would.

      • GerryG

        He’s also been running for his life his entire career. How do you teach him to hang in the pocket when there is no pocket? And I realize that sometimes he fled when there was an ok pocket, but honestly I cant really blame him considering how many times he was under siege instantly.

        Plus, let’s face it, it worked, his crazy freelancing won games.

        • Ashish

          Not saying our O’line is/was elite, but lot’s of sacks are on Wilson. He holds the ball for ever and waits for receiver to get wide open which will not happen that often in NFL. There was period of last 6-8 games 2016 (may be wrong year) when he used to throw quick, it was flawless. Doug was his fav receiver.

          Russel also has a kind of ego that he can make play every time by buying more time which has not worked this year at all. He is not that quick may be injury and age is slowing him down. Someone has to tell him to throw out and live for another down instead of negative play. He has improved a lot in recent games or may be we running a lot.

          • GerryG

            Oh he definitely caused a lot his sacks, but for every one of those there was at least one other where he had an unblocked defender in his face instantly that wound up being a gain.

            The point here imo isn’t his propensity to scramble and prolong plays, but just that for 6 straight years he learned NFL football being pressured at one of the highest rates in the league, and it has not done his development any favors. His athletic ability and success getting away from that pressure has hurt his growth too.

            I think by the end of this season, he will relax more, the system will be more comfortable and he will start to reap the benefits of having a good OL more consistently

            • Ashish

              Will love to see relax, well protected Russ shredding defense with his accurate throws. With new found running game hawks will be more balance and can game plan as per opponent.
              Next year will be better for sure

  27. drewdawg11

    If we don’t find a big, 315 lb interior rusher this defense will not take the next step. It still blows my mind that JS was conned into giving up that second rounder to Houston. This year of all years might be a great time to trade up to get an impact defender. Also, I want to throw a name out there for perhaps a later round, probably no later than round 3, depending on testing: Utah LB Chase Hanson. He is outstanding, He;s a former safety and he can cover ground, but he’s also pretty fundamentally sound and is physical. Good tackler. I can see him taking over for KJ, or even moving inside at times. I want to also be on record as saying that Derrick Brown of Auburn would be the guy that I try to move up for. He’s just the total package, physically.

    • H

      We were always set to lose the 2nd rounder, it was last years third instead of a 5th and Lane that was changed.

    • Trevor

      I like Hanson a lot as well. Anxious to see how he tests and his length. Seems like he would be a good fit at WIL.

      Would love to see Christian WIlkins in Rd #1, Chase Hanson Rd #3 , extend Clark and Reed add one more pass rusher in free agency maybe a low risk 1 yr prove it deal for a troubled but high upside guy like David Irving.

      The real key will be the development of Green and Martin. If either of these guys develops into a legit pass rush presence then this defense could get really good quick next year.

      2019/20 DL

      Clark, Jordan, Green , Martin, Jefferson, David Irving (FA)
      Reed, Wilkins, Stephan, Ford, Jones

    • clbradley17

      Derrick Brown would be great, but if we could trade up for one D player, it would be Quinnen Williams of Alabama. After week 10, PFF had him rated as “The best defensive player in the nation this season, Williams is on pace for the best season by an interior defensive lineman in our five years of grading. He has the number one grade in the nation as a pass-rusher (91.9) and the top mark against the run (96.6). Williams ranks second in the nation with 32 pressures (six sacks, 12 hits, 14 hurries) and also he’s first with 33 defensive stops.”

      And he continued to play great against Miss. St. in week 11, where according to Tony Pauline “his performance against one of the best centers in the nation was nothing short of dominant. Williams finished with six tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack against Mississippi State, but his dominance went further than stats. His ability to penetrate the line of scrimmage caused a great deal of discomfort for quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and forced MSU running backs to alter the angles of their runs. His ability to anchor against double-team blocks allowed teammates to make plays on the ball.”

    • GerryG

      I for one am really really happy we have a competent and even very good OL.

      We weren’t getting a LT anywhere else, and next year’s draft has none either.

  28. AlaskaHawk

    I think there will always be a large percentage of Seahawks fans that want defense draft picks to be given priority. It is easy to see a need for three draft picks including a defensive linemen that can pass rush, a linebacker, and a cornerback/safety. In fact it is easy to see this need every year, until the team is rebuilt.

    Offensively, it is great to see the running game emerge as a strength. It is interesting to the extent that there is no player on the offense line or running back squad that would be considered elite. We don’t have a Todd Gurley and possibly never will this go round. Our linemen have become good run blockers and okay pass blockers. They will remain no names in the football world. Or will they? Perhaps given a couple 200 yard rushing games, the line will be given more credit.

    Should be an interesting team moving forward. But just so unfortunate that in a rebuilding mode they only have 4 draft picks. I’m not a big fan of trading down as they need the best pass rusher they can get.

  29. Trevor

    Sherm and Bennett are both having good seasons personally but their teams both stink. That is probably why despite getting basically nothing for them most Hawks fans are glad they are gone.

    Still can’t believe those guys basically bailed on Pete and the Hawks culture. I was a fan of both guys till the fiasco last year and thought they were all time greats who could have been leaders bringing in a new era. Now it looks like they will just fade into obscurity on teams where they are just rental vets brought into try and get a couple of more miles out them.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I thought Bennett was traded to save salary cap? Didn’t he just sign a three year 29.5 million dollar deal with Seahawks? I hated his frequent offsides plays, but he did have a good motor. He’s playing pretty well for the Eagles. Overall – that is a trade that the Seahawks might want back!

      • Rob Staton

        Bennett was not traded to save salary space in 2018. There was a tiny saving. He was traded because the Seahawks wanted to move on from certain individuals and it was time to do it (and they wanted to accelerate that process rather than keep pushing the eventual cap saving further down the line).

    • cha

      Sherman is playing great this year when he’s healthy. But he sure is experiencing a lack of on-field support from his teammates. They took a 10pt lead into the 4th quarter and made Eli look like he was playing in the Super Bowl against the Patriots.

      I didn’t watch every play intensely but I didn’t see a lot of pass rush pressure from a team that has spent gobs of draft capital on the DL.

      At one point they had Cassius Marsh covering Saquon Barkley.

      And whoever they’ve tried at CB opposite Sherman has been pure trash. Consistently and thoroughly burned like toast.

      Spoiling a decent game from their Cinderella Man at QB.

      • Logan Lynch

        Sherm is still good, but as you mentioned the CB on the other side (Ahkello Witherspoon mostly) has gotten burned repeatedly. So, there’s really no reason to even test Sherm honestly if you can just carve up the rest of the D.

        I’m very interested to see what we do when we face them. Sherm knows Doug and Lockett very well obviously, but they are the type of receivers that always seemed to give him problems. Smaller, shifty, quick twitch guys. I remember TY Hilton absolutely giving Sherm fits. I doubt we’ll target him specifically, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them test him a bit.

  30. Naks8

    Not that I don’t agree with what you said above, but there really aren’t anymore dominating defenses out there. The jags were supposed to be elite, but the hawks are ranked ahead of them to date. The Seahawks have almost the same amount of sacks and take aways as all the defenses ranked above them except for the bears and skins. And give up almost the same amount of yards per game as everyone in the top 10. We are probably a top 5-10 defense overall which isn’t bad, but it’s the offense that was supposed to carry us and hasn’t won us close games. Granted a strong run game doesn’t allow for as much offensive possessions but our defense has been way better than expected. They give up young mistakes but seem to improve throughout the game. I agree we need to continue to add pieces, but the same is true for the offense

    • Rob Staton

      There’s an important distinction to be made here though. I’m not suggesting, and did not suggest in the piece, Seattle’s aim should be to create a ‘dominating’ defense. In fact I said it’s extremely unlikely they could recreate a LOB era defense. I explicitly only said they could try to create an environment where they’re conceding a similar number of points per game to Dallas and Baltimore. Tennessee leads the league in PPG conceded. None of these defenses are elite and, IMO, can be mimicked if not bettered.

      They don’t have to be elite, just better than they currently are.

      The offense, meanwhile, is practically complete if not fully complete. There are things to work on. They’re not perfect or the finished article in terms of performance. But we can’t seriously say there’s a comparable level of pieces to be added to both units. The defense needs serious care and attention here. It has holes. The offense? Franchise QB, large group of runners, tremendous O-line with genuine depth, talent at receiver and productive tight ends for Seattle’s scheme. It’s not a perfect offense but it has all the pieces needed to win consistently. The defense is severely lacking in the pass rush and lacks depth across the board at every position. They’ve siphoned off talent over the last 12 months. Some of these holes will hopefully be filled by developing existing players. But the defense needs major work. Look at the two Rams games. Ran for about 500 yards, scored 62 total points, zero interceptions and six passing TD’s. No wins. That aint on the offense.

      One final point. I do actually think it’s possible to create a dominating defense. The Jags have flopped for various reasons. None are ‘they weren’t able to dominate in the modern NFL’. They are a shambolic franchise behind the scenes currently. The Seahawks built a dominating defense five years ago not fifty years ago. It can happen again — and will happen again.

      • Dingbatman

        + 1 for putting the word “shambolic” into my life.

      • Donovan

        Along those lines, Brock Husrd said an old football adage is, “Go for veterans on offense and go young on defense.” The theory being that you want peak athletes on defense and savvy on offense.

        Don’t know the merits of approach, but it implies you have a lot of 1st contract and young guys guys on defense, freeing you up to spend on vets.

        • Rob Staton

          I think it’s a great point by Brock. Especially given the massive problem the NFL has with young offensive linemen coming into the league. I’d always vouch for a veteran OL, preferably a QB good enough to warrant a second or third contract. You can have youth at WR and RB in my opinion. I’d like at least one experienced TE on the roster.

          But on defense, give me speed and explosive qualities across the board. Youth for the most part, with perhaps one or two older heads.

  31. Darnell

    I am very encouraged by this team right now. Especially regarding the Hawks and Rams almost inverse results in games decided by one score or less, as that variance tends to flip year to year.

  32. icb12

    Rob (or anyone),
    Are you somewhat surprised that the seahawks haven’t found more ways to get Shaquem on the field this year?

    Coverage isn’t his strong suit, but with the prevalence of jet sweeps and all the motion behind the lines in the nfl now it seems like a role could be carved out where it’s just run/chase/hit/attack without a lot of thinking. Kid can run, he can hit, and he’s got the motor. He’s a rookie, I get that, but I’m a tad surprised we haven’t seen a wrinkle or 2 that gets him on the field in a way that maximizes his traits.

    • Rob Staton

      To be honest, I’m not surprised.

      In all the work I did on Shaquem last year, I truly felt he was always destined to be a star special teamer and a nickel rusher. I never envisaged a role where he would end up being a big contributor at linebacker. Not without major work on the way he drops in zone or defends the run. Both weaknesses were exposed in the Denver game and it was a reality check type of situation.

      The problem is, even if he was good at defending a jet sweep — unless the Rams are going to give us the heads up on when they intend to call it, you’re putting him on the field in a situation where there’s every chance they will look to exploit him like Denver did. They’ll run right at him or isolate him in the passing game.

      The one area I’m maybe a little surprised he hasn’t been more active is as a blitzer in obvious passing downs. They may develop that — and again they might think the risk of him being exposed is worse than the potential benefit of trying him on a blitz.

      I’m quite comfortable with him being a good special teamer though. Always felt that would be his calling.

      • Kenny Sloth

        I was disappointed he wasn’t listed as our ST on the pro bowl ballot

      • icb12

        That’s totally fair. I certainly don’t disagree.

        I had thought at the beginning of the season that they would find other ways to get him on the field and utilize what he brings to the game. But as you said, risk v reward at this point.

    • Matt

      Shaquem is an extraordinary person.

      However, when he was playing in a non-special teams role – has some of the worst tape of this season.

      He has a unique skillset. He is about as explosive of a straight line player that you will see but his lateral movement skills are not great. So this actually meshes perfectly well with Rob’s previous comment.

      Shaquem is built for special teams and a nickel rush role. Allow him to explode forward without having to diagnose and adjust on the fly. He is literally the exact opposite player of like a KJ Wright – a guy whose straight line ability is well below average but he makes up for it with extraordinary ability to read/react and work laterally.

  33. line_hawk

    For $35M per year that Wilson wants, can you just sign Flacco + developmental QB (someone line Brisset) + Clowney?

    Is the dropoff from Wilson to Flacco that much for a run-first team like the one Carroll wants?

    Interesting how Redskins are winning with Smith and a good O-line and a loaded D-line.

    • Rob Staton

      I see you’ve bumped Wilson up another $5m.

      And Alex Smith is on $23.5m a year. What kind of salary do you think Clowney is going to get!?!?

      I can’t believe some of the things Hawks fans talk about these days.

      • millhouse-serbia

        As you know, there is a lot of talk about that on seahawks twitter (especially after lost). And when you read, 1,2…10…50 tweet like : “we don’t need Wilson if we will be run havy team” at the end you think “well maybe they are right…maybe we need to choose Pete or Russ”…

        And that is why is always good to come here and read another(different) opinion…

      • line_hawk

        Why can’t Wilson get $35M? Rodgers just signed for 4 yrs/134M that could go up to $180M with incentives. I’m sure Wilson will want to be the highest paid QB.

        I’m thinking 20M QB + 15M Clowney. That’s just ballpark with a couple here & there.

        • Rob Staton

          1. Clowney will cost more than $15m a year

          2. It’s not worth having to settle for a crap quarterback just to make a saving, but still end up paying that crap QB more than anyone else on the roster

          3. Joe Flacco is not good. He turns 34 in January. Just no.

          4. It would likely cost a high pick to acquire Brissett.

          5. Please, please, please — let’s just dump all this nonsense about moving Wilson

          • Elmer

            Speaking of Clowney, I suspect that one of the reasons that Gruden is trading and cutting Oakland players is to help grow cap room so he can pursue high-profile free agents. (Is Marshawn Lynch next)?

            Gruden may be misguided and may be ultimately unsuccessful, but he isn’t stupid. I’m convinced that he is counting on high draft choices and bringing in free agents. You can tell that he is not stupid,he negotiated a $100 million contract.

    • cha

      “Is the dropoff from Wilson to Flacco that much for a run-first team like the one Carroll wants?Is the dropoff from Wilson to Flacco that much for a run-first team like the one Carroll wants?”

      Yes it is. Let’s keep our feet on the ground, ok?

  34. EP

    I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Wilson perhaps accepting a lower contract. The guy is already filthy rich with his sponsorships, earnings and his wife is surely worth a few bob as well. I think Russ is determined to be the best, not the richest. Tom Brady has always had a team friendly contract and that has surely benefited him and the Patriots massively. Just a suggestion.

    • Rob Staton

      I see where you’re coming from, but I suspect Wilson sees a Jeter type ownership situation in his future. And I think he’s most definitely in it to be as rich as he can be. He and his agent were surprisingly aggressive last time.

      • EP

        Yeah I suppose it’s a bit naive to assume that he might be motivated by something more than his payday but after all money talks.

  35. Sea Mode

    Finally, some mainstream media attention where it deserves to be: feature article on Bobby Wagner!

    (Don’t miss the last embedded video “The best plays from Bobby Wagner’s career so far”.)

  36. Sea Mode

    Cool, I didn’t know former Seahawks Southeast scout Jim Nagy is now executive director of the Senior Bowl.

    BTW, he’s a great twitter follow as well highlighting guys and posting scouting notes:

    • Rob Staton

      And he answers questions too, which is cool.

  37. neil

    We all know, Wilson has a short NFL shelf life. As you can see now, each year his speed and quickness are diminishing. I think 3 more years will about do it for him, then at what point do you start looking for the next guy? Don’t get me wrong, I think Wilson has done a terrific job for the Hawks, but unfortunately in life there is this thing called reality.

    • H

      Do we all know this? Many QBs dont hit their prime as pocket passers till their 30s. Steve Young and Randall Cunningham both played for a long time, Wilson can too.

    • Logan Lynch

      I don’t know this at all. In fact, I think Wilson could play into his 40’s if he wants to (health permitting). The thing is, he can operate in the pocket. He’s proven that. Why are people so quick to send the best QB in franchise history packing?

      SEA can look for the next guy, sure. That’s the prudent thing to do. But that doesn’t mean you get rid of Wilson just for the sake of getting cheaper at the QB position and hope/pray for the best. If a guy falls into your lap (like Rodgers did for GB), then by all means go ahead and do it.

    • Rob Staton

      And in this comments section there’s a thing called me saying this is the end of the Wilson out talk. The next comment will be deleted. Seahawks twitter is happy to accommodate these topics.

      • Tecmo Bowl

        👏 👏 👏

  38. LouieLouie

    The idea of trading, or moving on from Wilson is preposterous. I keep asking this question: How many Superbowls would the Hawks have gone to with Matt Flynn at QB? The answer to my own question is: ZERO.

  39. AlaskaHawk

    Just read Kenny Arthur’s latest Seahawks vs Green Bay Q&A. He had an interesting take on the team history. Basically saying that the team’s offense was always good enough to make the playoffs. But the real change occurred because of new players – not new coaches. Since both sets of coaches were hired to create Pete Carroll’s run first philosophy. And he traces improvements and a turn around on offense to picking up Brown at LT.

    His gripe was more along the lines that the defense was going to suffer without Sherman and Thomas, which is true. But those guys do age and get injured, so you have to replace them eventually. Anyway – he thinks the Seahawks could use a better free safety.

  40. Logan Lynch

    Onto the game tomorrow night. Playing GB is always a best/worst case scenario for me. I’ve mentioned it before, but I live in WI and I wear my Seahawks pride on my sleeve…literally. So, a win against them is twice as satisfying, while a loss can really be hell for a while.

    GB still has Rodgers which will always be scary. SEA will get GB into 3rd downs often and Rodgers will magically/frustratingly convert a lot of them. I’m already getting a tension headache just thinking about it. Really though, GB isn’t very good this year. Their defense is suspect as usual and they’ve performed poorly on the road. GB has a hard time stopping the run and they’ve given up explosive passes. Hey, that’s what SEA likes to do!

    it will be a close game, mainly due to Rodgers. Aaron Jones has been very good recently, but it all comes down to their QB. This is probably just hope, but I think Tedric will pick off Rodgers this week. As good as he is, there’s usually one throw a game that he puts in harms way (maybe to Jimmy G this time). GB games have always been goofy, so I expect nothing less this week.

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’ll be a fascinating game. I fear Rodgers against our defense. But I’m optimistic we’ll be able to run.

      • Logan Lynch

        Rodgers will make his plays, we’ll just have to accept that. This game will be won if SEA can play well on offense and I’m also optimistic that they can run the ball. I expect a heavy, heavy dose of the run led by Carson. They’ll want to try and ram it down their throats and soften up the DBs for some play action deep shots.

    • GerryG

      I dont remember which GB game it was, but I watched and texted friend “Sea is going to run all over these guys, their front 7 looks like it is on roller skates”.

      This is another game to run it down the opponents throat and keep the ball away from the great opposing QB. Home game, short week, Packers have not won on the road I think. I love Seattle to get back to .500 here.

      • Logan Lynch

        Absolutely. I think it was probably the SF game you’re thinking of. I couldn’t believe how well they moved the ball against GB especially considering it was their 3rd string QB’s first game. GB has had a few losses/ties where they could have won (LAR and MIN), but they arguably should’ve also lost the CHI and SF games. If SEA punches them in the mouth from the start, I think it will set the tone for the game. A big stop or turnover early on D would be ideal.

  41. Tecmo Bowl

    A couple of stats that help prove the headline of this article:

    In wins-offense 24.75 ppg. 352 ypg
    Defense 11.75 ppg. 270.5 ypg

    In loses- offense 24 ppg 345 ypg
    Defense 29 ppg 408 ypg

    Rob was spot on throughout last off-season, with the focus being improving the run game and clearing up the cap/getting rid of headaches. The running game is fixed, with a stable of RB’s and eye opening OL play. The offense looks to be pretty well set going forward. Its clear that the defense needs an influx of talent going into 2019. I’m confident in JS/PC to find said talent.

    • Rob Staton

      That stat is the perfect example of the situation. Thanks for highlighting it, Tecmo Bowl.

      • Tecmo Bowl

        Sure thing. Cant agree more that the defense needs a boost next year. Luckily for the Hawks their needs line up with the strength of the draft. Coincidence? I think not.

    • Logan Lynch

      Agreed. We knew it would probably take a few offseasons to address all the problems they had. As you said and Rob have both said, this year seems to have cleaned up the running game/OL issues. Next offseason will be about fixing the defense. It would be great if Rasheem, Naz, or Jacob Martin could step up at the end of the season and give some hope for a young DL talent already on the roster too.

      • Tecmo Bowl

        Martin has been flashing-bullish on his potential.
        Rasheem is going to take a year or 2. For some reason Norton gave Green a few early down DT snaps against LAC. Thats not a good plan, at this point in time, he lacks power and sand in the pants. Maybe thats where the staff wants him to be in the future. It will be interesting to see Green develop- has the frame to add 20 lbs.
        Naz is MIA which is disappointing. PC, the constant optimist, rarely mentions Naz in pressers. He seems to be in the dog house for whatever reason. Had hopes that Naz was going to get 30% of the snaps this year-not the case.
        Poona Ford has played pretty well. Not a high ceiling player, but looks to be a solid rotational piece.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Lets factor in the roughly 7 points per game that the Offense gave away through pick sixes and fumbles near our own goal line. That should be accounted for somewhere.

      • cha

        That stuff tends to wash over the course of the season. If you want to factor those in, you’ll need to factor all the other things too. Short fields created by the defense, missed FGs, 30 yard PI penalties that put the ball first & goal at the 1, etc.

    • GerryG

      Wow, that is telling. Nice work.

  42. AlaskaHawk

    This is a side note about one of my favorite teams to hate: the Patriots. You think we bitch a lot on this board, here are a few choice comments about Belichik from a yahoo board:

    The Patriots lost that Superbowl due to Butler being benched. Butler might have been having a subpar season, but he was much, much better than the gawdawful Jordan Richards and the terrible, inconsistent play of Eric Rowe. Who is responsible of benching Butler? Belichick. Who is responsible for wasting a second round pick on a bust like Richards? Belichick. Who traded for Eric Rowe, who wasn’t panning out for Philly? That’s right, Belichick.

    Take a closer look at Belichick’s draft choices and free agent signings, in the most recent years. It’s more akin to a major drought than a dry spell, as almost all of his draft choices from rounds one through three have been busts. The single exception was Jimmy Garoppolo, but then he was traded away for a rather meager return. The trades have been awful, Danny Shelton has been a bust, joining a list of other disasters like Kony Ealy. I realize that the salary cap makes life difficult for all GMs, but Belichick allowed Chandler Jones to walk, while failing to draft or even sign an adequate pass-rushing edge. Ditto with Jaime Collins, who wasn’t worth a massive contract, but the fact remains that Belichick has dredged the bottom of the NFL trash can for a replacement, and to the surprise of no one, has failed.

    The comments warm my heart. I feast on Belichick’s tears!

    • Hawk Eye

      a fellow believer in schaudefraude, I like!
      I used to celebrate a 49’rs loss, when they were good, now they just have my pity. I want them to win enough not to get a good draft pick.
      then the Patriots after SB 49. Been waiting for a while for Brady to act his age, might be happening now.
      now just hoping the hated Rams don’t win the SB. After they played 2 good games a year during the Fisher years, I hate seeing them win. But 14 wins and an early playoff exit will suffice.
      hopefully, next year, will just be cheering on the Hawks to the SB

  43. H

    Have people seen this article btw? Great to see some national media love for the greatest LB in the game.

  44. millhouse-serbia

    So, no KJ Wright vs GB.

  45. Pran

    Bell skipped the remaining games (loosing $6+m additionally) seeing what happened to Dez. Its unfair to criticize players for sitting out especially when not under contract. Franchise tag need to go away. Steelers ruined Bell’s earning for a year.

    • Rob Staton

      No they didn’t.

      The Steelers were willing to pay him an astronomical amount of money this season. Bell decided to earn $0 instead. That’s his choice. He can do whatever he thinks is best for him. But the Steelers are not remotely in the wrong here.

      As for the franchise tag, ask Kirk Cousins whether it should go away. Or Lamarcus Joyner. It’s an extremely useful and productive system that other players will use to their advantage in the future.

      • charlietheunicorn

        I agree.

        The franchise tag has jacked up QB salaries … but in the overall scheme of things, RB is not that high of priority. And L Bell would have made 14.5 M GUARANTEED money. That is a healthy chunk of coin. He thinks he will make the money back over his career, he got bad advise. He will be lucky to make 8M / year on a new contract next year…. and the only teams that can afford that are terrible or not in the market for a RB. He might only get 1 year deals or prove it deals next year, for far less. It is not like he is getting younger or has unlimited time as a RB.

        Side note: John Clayton has railed against this deal from the get-go. He brings it up almost everyday on his daily show on 710ESPN. He has repeatedly said it was/is one of the STUPIDIST holdouts of the modern era.

      • Pran

        Well..I disagree. Cousins is a QB. It worked out for Joyner…good for him. In a sport where injury rate is so high easy to lose a career in one snap for positions like RB. Placing a franchise tag for 2nd time while offering just 10 guaranteed and threatening transition tag is anti-player, close to (un)bonded slavery. You either. It sucks to lose 14m but it’s what you pay for playing for orgs like Steelers. I am happy to root for Seahawks where business, players and ethics are equally important.

        • cha

          If slavery is $26 million for 2 years’ work, sign me up.

          You do realize the Seahawks did not cow-tow to Kam or Earl when they were upset with their contracts, right?

          • Pran

            Those cases are entirely different.. under contract but want more that’s ransom. Here Steelers trying to fleece Bell taking advantage of rules. Bell played one year under franchise, now he chose not to sign the 2nd tender. If he is injured without a contract all he gets is the tender amount… that’s it. Imagine him getting hurt like Kam or Avril with out a contract.
            He lost $14 but will get $40 guaranteed for injury soon.

            • Rob Staton

              And that’s his choice.

              If he’d not got injured he simply would have another $14m.

              He made his call. He can do what he wants. The Steelers are not in the wrong at all.

            • cha

              “Here Steelers trying to fleece Bell taking advantage of rules.”

              You mean the rules agreed to by the players’ union in the CBA? The franchise tag is some horrible measure designed to restrict players’ salaries? Then take it off the table when it comes time to negotiate a new CBA.

              “If he is injured without a contract all he gets is the tender amount… that’s it”

              You do realize these guys are insured up to their eyeballs right? If LB has a career-ending injury playing on the tag he’s going to retire a VERY wealthy man. The “losing money” angle is a press tactic agents use. Nobody is taking food out of his mouth.

              “He lost $14 but will get $40 guaranteed for injury soon.”

              $40 seems high, but OK. That’s a net of $26. Which is less than the $33 the Steelers offered, after paying him $12 in 2017. That’s $45 in guaranteed dollars for his prime years. So tell me how the Steelers screwed him?

        • Rob Staton

          The Steeelers are blameless. The only accusation we can levy at them is their willingness to pay Bell a fortune despite them already clearly having a ready made cheap replacement.

    • cha

      The Steelers handled it brilliantly IMO. Tag him to pay him big $ for 2 prime seasons, and offer him a big fat contract with some production dropoff protection:

      Ian Rapoport
      ‏Verified account
      Mentioned yesterday the #Steelers final offer to RB Le’Veon Bell was 5 years, $70M. More context today: The fully guaranteed part was his signing bonus of just over $10M. He would’ve made $33M over the 1st two years — in a rolling guaranteed structure. $45M over the 1st 3 years.
      1:55 PM – 17 Jul 2018

      So, he gets big paydays and incentive to stay healthy and produce, and the Steelers get protection from the dreaded 28-30 year old production dropoff for RBs.

      But Bell chose not to take it. That’s his prerogative but the Steelers can’t be faulted for wanting to reward a player who far outpaced his rookie deal and protect their cap and long-term competitiveness.

      So now, Bell will be forever chasing that $14m payday he walked away from. Bell will get a huge deal from some bottom-feeder with a lot of cap room (Jets?) and have a productive year or two, and an okay year or two, and the last year or two will be an albatross.

    • 80SLargent

      Add Trumaine Johnson. Frank Clark has also said he has no issues with being franchised next season.

      Also, Bell not only turned down the franchise tender, he turned down a 5 year $70M contract with $33M guaranteed. It’s not like the Steelers offered Bell nothing.

      • Pran

        I do not expect Seahawks to franchise Flark. If it does happen 99% a contract would be inked.

  46. Kenny Sloth

    Jarran Reed’s quietly dominant 2018 season

    • Rob Staton

      Contract extension forthcoming

      • Kenny Sloth

        Ahhh just trade him and draft some rookies/bring back Tony McDaniel

        Save us a million bucks to put towards our Kicker /s

  47. clbradley17

    Just reading the’s pre-game article on the Thursday night game between the Packers and Seahawks. Besides going over the familiar foes angle, and how good Penny and GB running back Aaron Jones looked last game, the big take is that the commitment to the run Pete talked about earlier this year is an unmitigated success.

    “We spent a point highlighting Penny’s contributions, but the Seahawks are a team that wins thanks to its strength in numbers. Seattle is the only team in the NFL to have three different players rush for at least 100 yards in a game this season (Penny, Carson and Mike Davis), with each occupying different roles. Davis leads the team in rushing touchdowns with five, while Carson leads the team in rushing yards (497) and Penny is just now emerging as a contributor. Who will lead the way Thursday — or will it be all three?

    They’ll need a good ground effort, which includes Russell Wilson as part of a team that leads the NFL in read-option percentage with 104 such attempts (26 more than the next closest: Carolina with 78). Luckily, they’ve realized this is a key to success, catapulting from the lower third of the league in run play percentage, carries per game and rushing yards to tops in the NFL in all three categories. It has especially jumped in the last seven games, producing six rushing touchdowns in the process.”

    What a turnaround! From one of the worst rushing teams the last 2 years to the tops in the league in 3 categories, and that’s with us rarely rushing the first 2 games!

    Also mentions what a machine Bobby is at LB: “the league’s most effective tackler, Bobby Wagner, who has attempted 69 tackles and hasn’t missed a single one (best in the NFL among defenders with 50-plus attempted tackles, per Pro Football Focus).” And I seem to recall prior to the 2017 draft Rob highlighting that Aaron Jones of Texas-El Paso was one of 4 RBs along with Chris Carson and 2 others that met all the criteria that Pete and John look for in size and explosiveness of running backs they prefer to draft.

  48. ShadreySands

    This is my first time posting here, but I’ve been lurking around for years and absolutely love the site and the community. This is where I come for the smart content to talk me off the ledge and get me to think rationally after my “burn down the team/fire old school Carroll/trade Wilson/etc” side comes out after a loss.

    My main question for this site is, why does it seem like we are killing this team for losing close games? I know we have been used to pulling close games out during the Carroll era, but wasn’t this year for rebuilding and letting the young guys play? How many of us truly had legit playoff+ expectations for this team? I am thrilled that this team has a) found a run game b) vastly improved the Oline and c) is able to keep these games close in the first post LOB year. We are now at a place where all of our games are close, and we are somehow still in the hunt for a top 15 pick AND the playoffs…isn’t that a pretty ok place to be? Plus the team is watchable again!!!

    Anyways, this was another fantastic write up/rational approach to the season and I absolutely agree with the focus on the D this offseason. My last question is that everyone seems to agree that this draft isn’t great for Oline, QB, RB, WR, TE, or anything other than Dline, which is obviously going to be our biggest need. No matter where we pick, do you think there will still be a worthwhile Dline player for us in the first round or is there going to be value in trading down because we miss out on the top Dline talent?

    Finally, thanks for showing the love for Montez and Shenault! I’m a CU grad, and have actually met Montez on a couple of occasions and he seems like a great kid.

    • Sea Mode

      Glad to see you posting!

      I think there are many of us (I am also one) who are quite happy with how competitive the Hawks have been so soon after moving on from so many big-name players. How can we not be proud of these young guys playing their hearts out? Maybe we all just need to be more vocal about it on social media so as to offset the negativity at least a little bit…

      As for pass rushers, with the long list of DL talent Rob has been pointing out, I could easily see a trade back, as there will likely be good players available at least through the end of R1. It just depends, however, on where they end up as far as draft position and if they have a blue chip prospect still on the board when they pick. In that case, or maybe as well if there is a special inside/outside guy, then they might just stay put and sink their teeth into the pick.

  49. red

    Some interesting stats from Pff pressure DL ratings. Maybe trading back and still getting the player you covet is possible.

    ND Tillery 90.7 pass rush grade 32 pressures 7 sacks.

    UA DL Williams 91.5 pass rush grade 7 sacks 34 pressures

    UA DL Buggs 9.5 sacks 32 pressures

    Clemson DL Wilkins 90.3 grade 2.5 sacks 21 pressures

  50. Logan Lynch

    I decided to do a very rudimentary statistical project with the Seahawks and wanted to share what I found. This started from listening to 710 (I believe it was the DDM show) where they were talking about sack differential after the first few games and how much that affects the probability of winning the game. My brain then connected Pete’s turnover differential focus and added it together. Basically, I assigned a value per sack given up (30%) and turnover given away (70%) and divided that by the total number of offensive plays to find a “Game Changing Plays” percentage (GCP%). The value per sack and turnover are kind of arbitrary. I just decided that a turnover is around twice as important as a sack and these numbers approximated that. I could be way off on that, but hey it’s my project right?

    I did this for both SEA and their opponent with the thought that the team with the lower percentage of offensive plays ending up as either a sack or turnover should win. Then, I compared that with the actual results to see if they matched up. I’ve charted 2011-2018 so far and here’s what I found:

    2011: 14/16 accurately predicted – 87.50%
    2012: 14/18 accurately predicted – 77.78%
    2013: 14/19 accurately predicted – 73.68%
    2014: 13/19 accurately predicted – 68.42%
    2015: 11/18 accurately predicted – 61.11%
    2016: 14/17 accurately predicted – 82.35% *Tie game was disregarded
    2017: 14/16 accurately predicted – 87.50%
    2018: 8/9 accurately predicted so far – 88.89%

    So, what does this really tell us? Maybe nothing. Really, an inaccurate prediction means a game they should have lost, but won or vice versa. Think of the 2014 NFC Championship game for example. 2014 and 2015 had a lot more games like that than the other years. Last year and this season so far have actually been pretty predictive that the team with lower sacks and/or turnovers usually wins. Just as a side note, the one game that wasn’t predicted accurately by this model? The home game in week 5 vs the Rams.

  51. RWIII

    I would like to see the Hawks sign Michael Kendricks to a long term deal. I would probably franchise tag Clark.

  52. RWIII

    Agree with Rob. About extending Jarran Reed’s contract.

  53. clbradley17

    We’ve got 2 players on the PFF top players in 60 categories page, RW and BW, both with 2 each:

    “Best red zone quarterback

    Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

    Wilson leads the league with nine big-time throws in the red zone, three more than the next quarterback. His 15 touchdowns inside the opponent’s 20-yard line are good for fifth best, and he’s avoiding taking sacks in scoring range, having gone down just once on his 36 red zone dropbacks.

    Best quarterback against the blitz

    Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

    When the defense sends extra rushers, Wilson leads the NFL with his 8-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He has a 129.4 passer rating and has uncorked 10 big-time throws against the blitz to lead the league.

    Surest tackler

    Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks

    Displaying a nose for the football, Wagner finds himself around the ball more often than not. On 69 tackle attempts this season, he has yet to miss one.

    Best off-the-ball run defender

    Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks

    Wagner makes a tackle in run defense just 2.96 yards past the line of scrimmage on average, and he has made six tackles for no gain or a loss against the run this season.”

  54. Kenny Sloth

    Let’s go! Playoff atmosphere!!

  55. cha

    Hawks wearing blue on blue tonight. No nuclear green uni’s.

  56. Kenny Sloth

    Yikes. Hope yall Brits didn’t watch that USA-England game – I promise that doesnt represent us!!

    • sdcoug

      Sure it does. USMNT almost always turns into a kickball squad against better competition. Good to see Pulisic back out there at least.

    • Rob Staton

      I just hope England get a similar result on Sunday against Croatia, as I’m going to the game.

  57. Zxvo3

    A perfect draft for me would be D’Andre Walker, Devin Bush, and Darnell Savage

  58. FresnoHawk

    Quentin Jefferson is quietly having a nice season tied with Clark 11 QB Hits! Saw him playing DT last week. Plenty of time left for Jefferson to secure a DL spot on this roster looks like the 4th round pick we traded for his 5th round spot was worth it.

  59. Rob Staton

    Go Hawks

  60. cha

    Inactives: Prosise, Thorpe, Delano Hill, KJ, Pocic, D Jordan, Poona.

  61. H

    Thursday night games are the worst for us UK fans, make it worth my while Seattle!

    • Rob Staton

      Especially when they start like that!

  62. Pran

    Hawks secondary hit the ceiling..back to earth. Offense is still inconsistent and sucks. 7-9 here we come.

  63. Trevor

    What an awful 1Q on both sides of the ball. Penny had one great run but got hurt.

  64. Trevor

    Not sure what is up with Russ when he plays GB it almost seems mental.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m confused by Wilson so far. Not seen him play this poorly without a turnover before.

  65. Pran

    Hope Russ takes the next step. Seeing Rodgers and Russ night and day.

    • Rob Staton

      Rodgers is night and day to virtually every other QB that has ever played the game.

      We don’t need to compare the two, ever.

      But Wilson does need to up his game tonight. They’re already in a hole.

      • Pran

        Wilson is not right.. very sluggish in his decisions. He looks concussed last few games.

  66. All I see is 12s

    So cool to see Luani and Griffin joking around. Two SDB favorites

  67. Rob Staton

    That was a poor first half.

    This team has made big strides forward in some areas. Sadly, it is extremely weak in others. And new issues are being exposed. Mostly on defense. Although Wilson is in a clear slump.

    • Eburgz

      First half was concerning on defense. Second half only 3 points! Pretty good performance overall considering we spotted them 7 in the first minute.

  68. Trevor

    Packers basically have one elite reciever in Adams I hope they adjust at half time to take him out of the game. If the other guys beat you so be it but I would take my chances.

  69. Trevor

    Have to admit. I was not a fan of Fackrell coming out and he was just ok in years #1 and 2 but wow he looks amazing tonight.

  70. Pran

    Moore will be in dog house with this kind of performance. Too inconsistent and drops.

  71. Trevor

    I am a huge Russ fan but he has been absolutely dreadful tonight. The sacks have be on him not the OL. Not sure what is up with him when he plays the Packers. The positive is the Hawks are within 1 pt in the 4Q and Russ is playing about as bad as he possibly could.

    Carson is a beast!

  72. DC

    God I love beating the Packers and Captain crybaby!!!

    Running the ball in from the 1 yard line standing up and running the ball to end the game and kill the clock I absolutely LOVE!

    Quality win tonight!!

  73. millhouse-serbia

    Huuuuge win…
    For us from euorope it is time to go to work…
    Go HAWKS!

  74. Pran

    Sweet revenge finally. Great clock control run game helped us stay in game and finish it. Props to Carson, Davis and Penny.

  75. DC

    We get to play the 2 teams that currently sit in the wild card spots. Panthers vs Seahawks is always a physical game. I love beating Rodgers more than anyone but I sure don’t care for Newton. Another body language ‘whiner’.

    Vikings at home.

    • AlaskaHawk

      The Steelers beat the Panthers with a strong pass rush. Cam looked confused and defeated by end of game. That plays right into our defensive strength.

  76. millhouse-serbia

    And what a diference between 1st and 2nd half defense…Pete is a magician…

    Two of our rookies had sacks today…

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