Thoughts on Seattle’s defensive staff search

Ed Donatell appears destined for Minnesota

The Seahawks fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr and ‘defensive passing game coordinator’ Andre Curtis on January 18th.

The search to find replacements is still ongoing. Which, I suppose, isn’t a big issue given the NFL coaching cycle has been a lot slower this year.

What we do know is that Clint Hurtt is going to be defensive coordinator, as revealed by the Seattle Times. On the same day, ESPN reported initially that Ed Donatell would be joining the staff in a ‘senior defensive role’.

The Times added that talks were ongoing with Sean Desai, the former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator, to also join in some capacity (presumably Curtis’ old role).

It was a very reasonable approach. Hurtt, Donatell and Desai have a background with Vic Fangio. It made sense for the Seahawks to tap into that coaching tree, given Fangio is arguably the best defensive leader in the business. They were never going to bring him to Seattle to run Pete Carroll’s defense so this was a fair alternative.

Hurtt is well respected in Seattle and would be retained. Donatell could act as a mentor of sorts, while adding his own input. He also has a long-lasting relationship with Carroll. Desai is seen as an up-and-comer who was praised for his work in Chicago (and he’s taken multiple defensive coordinator interviews over the last fortnight).

Now, it appears the plan is falling apart.

Donatell has reportedly emerged as the favourite to be Minnesota’s defensive coordinator. You can’t blame him. He’d get to run a defense for Kevin O’Connell. He’d get to mentor a young Head Coach instead of a young defensive coordinator.

Yet the advantage of having him in Seattle mostly justified the appointment of Hurtt. It was an experienced voice, with a strong history of working with Fangio, coming in to offer input.

If you lose that, what are you left with? Carroll and Hurtt, who were both on the staff last year, merely replacing Ken Norton Jr?

It’s been reported that Karl Scott is set to join Seattle instead as ‘defensive passing game coordinator’. To me, this would be a marked difference between the original combo.

Scott has only one year of experience working in the NFL, coaching defensive backs for Minnesota. That’s it.

His previous experience was all in college. And fair enough, he spent three years coaching DB’s in Alabama. It’s a good gig. Yet we all know Nick Saban has a lot of control over the secondary and it has to be said, the recruiting is so good there — how easy is it to judge a coach for developing Patrick Surtain? The fifth overall player, regardless of position, in the nation when he committed to Alabama?

Ditto Trevon Diggs — who, let’s not forget — went from top-10 pick to round two in the final season of his Alabama career due to a perceived lack of development and some other issues.

Regardless, I can’t say I know anything about Scott. He might be a hotshot coach destined for the top. But the original plan blended youth and experience, a deep connection with the Fangio system and it was easy to understand.

Now, it could be Hurtt, Carroll and Scott. Hurtt had a season with Fangio in Chicago. There’s no ideas coming over from that system, really.

It’s still plausible I suppose that Desai could come to Seattle. It’d be kind of hard to understand why, though. In what role, if defensive coordinator and defensive passing game coordinator are both off the table? And given he’s speaking to multiple teams about being a DC, is it not plausible he could get a better job elsewhere? Perhaps even with Donatell in Minnesota?

It just feels very familiar and consistent with this team.

Carroll has not built a strong staff in years. I do, actually, think his initial flush was good. I think Tom Cable and Darrell Bevell, as disliked as they became, were good for the Seahawks. Bringing back Dan Quinn worked. The support staff was good, with people like Kris Richard and Ken Norton Jr earning promotions either in Seattle or elsewhere.

What have we had since though? The reset coincided with major changes that underwhelmed and under-delivered. Both coordinators appointed in 2018 have since been fired. We’ve seen the return of Carl ‘Tater’ Smith. One of Carroll’s sons remains on the staff. There’s a ‘jobs for the boys’ feel around Seattle.

The jury’s out on Shane Waldron — who was not ‘hand picked’ by Russell Wilson as some like to make out. Rather, he was the one on the list of candidates selected by Carroll that Wilson was most interested in. It wasn’t a strong list.

Now, we have this ongoing situation.

It feels like Carroll’s control is a problem. To be a coordinator on either side of the ball, you have to do what Carroll wants. And with respect, I’m not sure recent history makes that an appealing option.

They can’t offer an up-and-coming offensive mind a chance to run an offense and then grab a Head Coaching gig. Any defensive-minded coach has to run the Carroll defense.

It’s restrictive — and it hasn’t been a pathway to promotion since the Super Bowl years which are nearly a decade ago now.

Look at other teams. The Giants just brought in Brian Daboll to revolutionise their offense. He’s quite content to get a proven, quality DC to run his defense in Wink Martindale. That arrangement would never happen on Carroll’s watch.

It could be that the same people who cooked up the ‘Bear front’ plan, had defensive ends dropping in coverage and didn’t have the first clue on how to maximise the haul spent on Jamal Adams are now going to be putting together the next plan.

That is not inspiring and speaks to a franchise that continues to muddle along, acting — as I’ve said before — as a vanity project for Carroll.

The Seahawks currently feel like they are mostly here for Carroll’s benefit — to end his career doing things his way, rather than plotting a proper pathway towards success. The place has a stale feel, like it isn’t really going anywhere — with no real accountability from the top and a fan-base offering very little pressure externally.

It might actually be best for Seattle to see what they can get for Russell Wilson from a team like Washington and embrace a bigger rebuild. I don’t agree but some would make that case. It’ll never be considered though because Carroll, aged 70, needs to win now. So he’s going to do what’s best for him.

They need to make some bold moves in free agency and therefore take some difficult decisions on who to keep (Bobby Wagner?) or retain. Carroll insists they’re close and that most of their cap space will be taken up ‘keeping the band together’. Yet this roster does not feel remotely close to contending, despite Carroll’s claims that they are.

You could make a big case that Seattle would be best served going all-in to get the best coordinators and staff money can buy with Carroll becoming more of a figure-head leader. No chance though. Because Carroll has to be in control of everything.

It would probably be better for Seattle, having invested so much in Wilson, to actually create an environment where he’s involved in personnel and philosophy. Joe Burrow was only talking last week about the way he’s afforded a lot of input. We all know Mahomes gets the same treatment. Wilson, seemingly, does not — because Carroll’s in charge and he doesn’t want that.

This franchise might as well be called the ‘Seattle Carroll’s’.

As we saw this off-season, it took two wins against a Detroit Lions team (fielding their backup quarterback) and a slumping Arizona (which finished the season on a 1-5 run, including a humbling and emphatic loss to the aforementioned Lions) to move on from any talk of big changes being needed. That week-16 loss to Chicago (with their third string QB starting) and a losing record are a distant memory.

The outcome of the end-of-season meeting, which many have rushed to say was run-of-the-mill, was the Norton firing.

A scapegoat, perhaps? K.J. Wright certainly thought so.

And now the attempt to replace him is like a Wilson scramble on third down. This way, that way, errrr — hope for the best.

There’s still time for this team to put things right. They could even do what they should’ve done all along and just ask Fangio to sign a blank cheque and come in to run his system. Or they could just make Donatell the DC after all and work out a compromise with Hurtt.

I’ve been critical in this article but I’ll be the first to hold my hands up if they pull off a great plan after all.

Yet the early signs of this defensive staff search are a continuing trend of a franchise that is all at sea. A bit of a mess. That’s not a good sign ahead of a crucial free agency period where expectations are this team will do things differently (and better) than in the past, while also managing further potential drama surrounding the future of the quarterback.

If you missed my 5000-word review of the Russell Wilson situation yesterday, check it out here.

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  1. Gross MaToast

    The way this should be done is with Pete as a figurehead – nothing more. Spend big on coordinators and let JS perform as his job description suggests he should. That might have a chance. Instead, nothing is done well with the Seahawks. That we’re a month past the season and still have zero clarity on what the plan for the defense is going forward is, at best, confusing. Seems like it was not well-thought.

    Listening to Cowherd in the car this morning as he again roasted the panic trade for the Coffee Cup and comparing the picks spent by Seattle to those spent by the Rams. His views were spot on. The Rams trade their firsts for guys at premium positions that they can’t draft – QB, LT, DE, CB. Pete blew two drafts on a box safety who under-performs. Again, just not well-thought – not an action, but a reaction.

    For a team with the nucleus of a Super Bowl champion, the Seahawks seem to be having an inordinate amount of trouble doing basic, primary things. It doesn’t inspire confidence going forward.

    • Rob Staton

      The Adams trade will always be massively frustrating/irritating

      • Big Mike

        And it gets worse as time goes on.

        • BobbyK

          Easily the worst trade in franchise history since I became a fan in ’83.

      • Ashish

        I just don’t want hear his name they can cut him or trade for peanuts and cut the losses.

        • Gross MaToast

          No right-thinking franchise is going to offer perfectly good peanuts for the Coffee Cup.

  2. Eduardo Ballori

    Hey Rob,

    Appreciate this perspective as it seems, after having spent 15 years reading the cut-throat NYC sports news cycle, that the local sports market continues to be too deferent and polite to Carroll and Co. It is in Carroll’s own interest and our own to challenge, prod and question. Only through that is were actual growth and improvement comes from.

    Don’t wan’t to discount Karl Scott, but he could be a god-send like he could be a product of the great high school feeder system that is Alabama. Where things are, the stakes are too high to roll the dice on that.

    At this point, as much as I like Hurt, you’d be setting him for failure with the restrictions placed by Carroll on his DCs. This is were an owner(or just Schnieder) needs to make their opinion heard and allow for new blood to step in.

    Aim fo Desai and Fangio and see where that ends up, as opposed to Hurt. I can live with a shitty defense that aimed for great things, as opposed to a shitty one that just served the status quo.

    Greetings from 🇵🇷,


    • Rob Staton

      Don’t wan’t to discount Karl Scott, but he could be a god-send like he could be a product of the great high school feeder system that is Alabama. Where things are, the stakes are too high to roll the dice on that.

      As noted in the piece, he could be a hotshot. But we simply don’t know, do we? He has one year of coaching experience in the NFL. Being on Bama’s staff isn’t much of an indication of anything really. If he came in, we’d have to judge him on what he does in Seattle. But he is a complete unknown.

  3. Gaux Hawks

    I hope Russell Wilson doesn’t read this blog… assuming he still has some sliver of confidence in this organization.

    • Rob Staton

      I think you’re safe 😂

      • Gaux Hawks

        Although, I think we all agree that he should be.

        …and pairing his favorite blog with his increased responsibility as JS sounding board on draft day just might actually bode well for us and the franchise.

        ; )

      • Sea Mode

        Oh, I totally picture him printing out Rob’s full article and carrying it tucked under his arm into PC/JS’s office. Don’t take this away from me!

        • Gaux Hawks

          Laminated and bound by Ciara herself, with attached comments section and appendix… and packed lunch.

  4. Tomas

    I agree with your every word, Rob. It seems the Hawks are heading in the direction of the Portland Trailblazers – extreme dysfunction. Thank you very much, Jody/Vulcan. As a fan, I feel resigned to waiting out not only Pete’s retirement, but the sale of the team as well, which could be what? Two years, three, five? Lord help us.

    • Rob Staton

      As a fan, I feel resigned to waiting out not only Pete’s retirement, but the sale of the team as well, which could be what? Two years, three, five? Lord help us.

      Sooner the better.

      And hopefully to the right person.

      • Peter

        The search for an owner is going to be rough. Someone with about 2 billion in liquidity who loves sports, loves the area, and the money is just fun money for them.

        People talk about team valuation but I just read a good piece on denver and the owners would have made a little more if they just invested their money in the 80’s in a basic money market account following the s&p 500.

        Not saying it’s impossible. Just tricky.

        • MychestisBeastmode

          Fun fact: 84% of stock is owned by the top 10% of income earners in the U.S. Of that, about 50% is owned by the top 1%. And most brokers make nearly all of their company income through fees rather than stock gains. That means little guys like me (and I assume most others on this blog) have next to no say in the performance or dips in stock and should we hit big, that’s just a small happy byproduct of the system at large. .

          If economics is interesting to you or you want to find someone who happens to be charismatic, funny, and quite good at speaking plainly (like the Luddite that I am), then I would highly recommend listening to Mark Blyth, Professor of International Economics at Brown University. He’s Scottish-American and worked as a comedian in his younger years, so his style and accent always adds levity to the subject matter.

          • Peter

            Blyth is literally one of my favorite thinkers on most things economics.

            Great shout!

          • Roy Batty

            The way things are trending in the world, might I suggest major investment in canned goods and shotgun shells😉

        • JimQ

          I don’t know for sure, but I think that NFL teams, for income tax purposes, MAY get to use “player depreciation” over their players career lifetimes, much like is quite often done with “componentized asset depreciation” in Real Estate investments, thus providing nice tax deductions against income (which provides a nice tax shelter for the NFL owners). This along with the normally significant annual increases in franchise values, probably makes for a pretty darn good (but not necessarily great) investment for NFL owners. Perhaps any bookkeepers on this site will know if this may be true or not? Most rich people really love tax write offs.

  5. Joe

    I am at a complete loss as to why Wilson wouldn’t want to be on the first ship out. If I was him the Burrow news would be my last straw. A second year QB seemingly having more influence on the direction of a franchise than a super-bowl winner with a decade of experience. I am not saying Wilson is perfect or without flaws but being ignored while a second year QB is involved in a way that seems to be all Russ has asked for would be a tough pill to swallow. This isn’t Tom Brady calling the shots, and the result is Cincy in the super bowl. What a mess.

    • Big Mike

      Really good point about Burrow and him having input in Cincy

    • IHeartTacoma

      I was thinking about Joe Burrow and Cincy today. Someone mentioned the ludicrous number of sacks they’ve given up, yet here they are. What is the difference between crappy O-line Cincy in the Super Bowl and crappy O-line Seattle at 7-10? Probably not Joe Burrow having input on personnel.
      Is it defense? Coaching? Shitty division? QB? Ja’marr Chase? Joe Mixon? I’m genuinely curious.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I think it’s Joe Burrow and his receivers, and the passing schemes. Mahomes is the same way when he is on, but he wasn’t consistent enough this year.

  6. Eduardo Ballori

    Just an additional thought,

    Brian Flores is out there. I know he has a stigma right know with all that is being alleged/discussed, but he should also be part of the conversation if in fact Donatell is now out of the running and Sean might be looking elsewhere.

    Great track record in MIA. Always said Miami is the hardest place to be a head coach in professional sports. I mean, you give 20-somethings millions of dollars and put them to live near South Beach?? My 20-something self would’ve partied himself out of the league by 23(conservatively speaking).

    If Brain Flores can succeed there, he can coach our D!



    • TomLPDX

      He may have succeeded in MIA but under Pete’s thumb he would fail miserably…it’s Pete’s way or the highway and Flores would NOT be allowed to flourish of his own accord.

      • TomLPDX

        All Hail The Mighty Pete!

      • Roy Batty

        And isn’t Flores the opposite of Pete in his coaching style?

        He’s all business, not so much live DJ’s at practice.

  7. cha

    I’d posit that these coaching moves are as important as any free agent acquisition, player release or renegotiation or draft pick at this point.

    Why? The coaches have made an absolute hash of the roster they’ve been given.

    Set aside the crazy Jamal Adams price. Forget how much Bobby Wagner is getting paid or that free agent tight ends have been very well compensated in the last two seasons.

    The utilization has been insanely poor, bordering on criminally negligent.

    Alton Robinson flashes for a strip sack against Tennessee and the Seahawks offense takes it for a short/quick TD. Banked!

    He’s never seen again on the field for the rest of the game. The Seahawks desperately need pass rush Weeks 5 and 6 against LA and Pittsburgh. Robinson gets 6 snaps against LA and 1 snap against Pittsburgh.

    Is Robinson the second coming of Lawrence Taylor? No. Does he have upside that Benson Mayowa and Kerry Hyder do not have? Absolutely.

    Pete Carroll shrugs the snap counts off to ‘substitution issues’. If that’s the case, why isn’t that worked out in the spring? Not even in training camp?

    As you mentioned Rob, no idea what to do with Jamal Adams. It’s like buying a McLaren and filling it with regular octane gas and driving it to the grocery store.

    The cornerback fiasco:

    Tre Flowers pushing Reed to the other side. Just a reminder, they didn’t come to their senses and cut Flowers. He asked to be released.

    The inability to get Ahkello Witherspoon on board. He posted a 75.9 PFF with Pittsburgh by the way.

    They could not or would not get Carlos Dunlap on the field for stretches.

    The light never coming on that covering running backs, tight ends and slot wide receivers with defensive lineman is not a good idea. Not after getting burned again, and again, and again.

    Does it honestly matter what moves the front office makes this offseason if the coaching staff refuses to put their players in the best position to succeed?

    And what does it say about this team that their coaching search has taken place the way it has?

    (that’s a rhetorical question. You all know what that says)

    • Big Mike

      Why do you think it’s this way cha? Is it just that Pete hires yes men who therefore are shit assistants or is it Carroll having his thumb so squarely on everything that they’re afraid to make any move on their own?

      • cha

        In a big-picture way, I think somehow Pete has gotten rocked by the post-SB49 structure. Whether that is simply Michael Bennett reading books in meetings, Richard Sherman being outspoken, Earl Thomas flipping him off, or any other number of behind-the-scenes scrapes, I don’t fully know. We’ll probably never fully know. It could be one moment or just the accumulation of difficulties.

        But Pete has drawn back and narrowed his circle considerably. Pulling the strings tight to the point of choking off productivity in response to extremely difficult circumstances is a common theme in many leadership areas, and rarely works. “The best way to unity is everyone doing what I say without question” is a common reasoning point and a reaction (an overreaction if we’re being honest) when faced with your value system being challenged. It’s a far easier path to take than taking an honest, dispassionate inventory of your values, qualities and methods.

        It’s amazing what was once touted as Pete’s greatest strength – he doesn’t focus on what players can’t do, but finds players who CAN do what they need in his system, and lets them do that. Force-feeding young talented players snaps and living with the occasional blown assignment in the name of progress. Allowing big, talented personality types to be big, talented players and he is the straw that makes it all work.

        Those values have diminished to the point where you do not even recognize that this is the same coach from those great teams.

        Honest feedback is likely now seen as dissent and a rallying cry to break the ‘team unity’ he has carefully cultivated. Loyalty and non-wave-makers are valued above good football players and coaching minds. Questioning poor process and poor results is seen as a negative viewpoint and is not tolerated. Pete feels free to say whatever he needs to say to get through difficult press questions.

        Unfortunately the death of Paul Allen (and to a lesser extent, COVID and the whole recent racial/political landscape) has created this perfect storm. A storm where Pete is free to focus on whatever he deems necessary, and not what actually leads to sustainable success on the field.

        • Big Mike

          In other words, he’s got a building full of middle management suck ups.
          If you ever saw Almost Live! you get the reference. Great show.

          “….you do not even recognize that this is the same coach from those great teams.” So incredibly sad.

          • cha

            I believe that’s the Ineffectual Middle Management Suckups.

            • TomLPDX

              All Hail The Mighty Pete!

            • Big Mike

              That’s right! There was an “ineffectual” in front of MM suckups. Nice

              • cha

                It’s either that or the High Fiven White Guys.

                • TomLPDX

                  OMG, I never knew! This show is hilarious!

                  Watching the reunion,

                  • Big Mike

                    Brilliant show

                  • Big Mike

                    Check out some of the ineffectual middle management suck up skits and the high fiven white guys skits

                  • Roy Batty

                    Anyone who grew up in Seattle will appreciate the “Ballard Driving Academy” skit.

                    PURE GOLD!

          • no frickin clue

            I loved Almost Live. Completely underrated.

        • swedenhawk

          thanks for this thread cha, Big Mike. it really helps to pinpoint why the present iteration of the Seahawks no longer resembles the teams from the LOB-and-Marshawn era. I’ve often heard this team’s lack of identity attributed to PC/JS accommodating Wilson, who is viewed as some kind of diva who can’t take criticism. But I think we all know who that really is.

        • BA

          If I wasn’t so personally invested in this team, Pete would be a fascinating study in managerial psychology, in that his tenure has covered the full spectrum of highs and lows.

    • Peter

      Great stuff.

      This post is 100% why these guys don’t deserve multiple picks for trading Wilson.

      As another poster mentions (roy batty?) It would be one thing entirely for a new regime to say let’s start over. It’s another thing altogether for this crew to honestly say:

      No, this time we’re really serious about getting it right.

  8. Big Mike

    “The Seattle Carrolls”
    “A vanity project for Pete Carroll”
    “Sleepwalking to nowhere”

    Fantastic Rob. I’m using those with my Hawk friends. I will give credit where it’s due.

  9. Pran

    It need to be said, good coaches and good FAs do not prefer Seattle. The sooner Pete realises the best.

  10. no frickin clue

    I completely agree with this take on things. Pete is sort of acting like a politician who has been in office for years, presided over a downturn in the economy, and wants to get reelected nonetheless. So the talking point of “we are so close to contending” HAS to be there, even if it’s nonsense, because if you admit that thing are a mess…then why are you running for re-election?

    And then it also becomes important to find aides who aren’t a threat to you. Who will do what they’re told.

    I hate to say this, but Pete is starting to remind me of Isaiah Thomas when he presided over the New York Knicks ages ago. He would make a trade, then another, then another, always with a grin on his face, always selling the we’re-right-there narrative. Until he ran out of trade chips, and the team’s record turned from mediocre to abysmal, and then he no longer had anything to grin about. And then he was fired when it became patently obvious that things were not good and the narrative had collapsed. Things aren’t quite this bad, but if you are so clearly focused on winning right now at the expense of the future (look at the Rams! See?) then you can talk yourself into just about anything.

  11. Blitzy the Clown

    Feeling pretty glum about m’hawks ☹️

    • TomLPDX

      Yep, me too.

    • Rob Staton


      Miss the buzz and excitement this team used to generate

      • Peter

        We’re trending to jim mora keeping tj housmanzadeh’s watch levels of buzz.

  12. BobbyK

    I’m just as mad as anyone that Damien Lewis was moved from RG to LG this past season for Gabe Jackson (so. dumb.).

    That being said, I don’t see the team dumping Jackson. In an effort to get the best players on the field, I wonder if they would consider this interior OL for the upcoming season:

    LG Jackson
    C Lewis
    RG Haynes

    I personally hate the idea of Lewis anywhere but RG, but with Haynes playing well at the end of the season – I wonder if this will be contemplated.

    The only reason I bring this up is because there was an emergency Center situation in ’20 and Lewis played there for an entire game as a rookie (and did well). He’d certainly be more of a physical presence at the position over anyone we’ve had for a long time. If you want to run the ball, you should have all 3 of your interior OL guys be able to push the pile back.

    Just wondering other thoughts. Again, Lewis anywhere other than RG in my world is stupid – but, unfortunately Carroll doesn’t live in that world.

    • Rob Staton

      If the Seahawks try and shoe-horn Lewis at centre, it’ll be the 7th jump the shark moment of the last four years.

      He was great at RG. Play him at bloody RG.

      • BobbyK

        I agree. But they won’t for some reason. Maybe Tater can talk some sense into Carroll? lol

        • bmseattle

          Wasn’t there some chatter about Haynes playing center a couple years back?
          I’d rather keep Lewis at guard (preferably back at RG), and try Haynes at center.

      • Peter

        Seems like they should trust OG legend hutchinson over anyone in the carrol family on where a guard should play. Getting Gabe Jackson is a net downgrade. He’s not better than lewis and lewis wasn’t that good at LG.

    • TomLPDX

      Jackson would stay at RG. After all, they moved Lewis to LG to accommodate the man. I would be open to having Lewis as our C and get rid of Pocic!

    • cha

      They’ve already ruined Marquise Blair by trying him at 3 different spots.

      Might as well ruin Lewis by going for a third.

      • TomLPDX

        Heck yeah, that’s the spirit! (sorry, in an Almost Live! mind warp right now…)

      • BobbyK

        Or it could be Blair wasn’t worthy of a second round pick and how crappy he was forced the Adams trade.

        • BobbyK

          Helped force it. The disaster of an offseason prior to that and not resigning Clowney was what made it such a desperation move.

        • Peter

          More likely the did the sehawks 23 skidoo and played him at nickel and free safety. Then said he wasn’t good enough when they got the best in the nation.

          How do we know he isn’t a good safety? I mean they have far too much time for the tre flowers experiment and pocic. Even waiting a season for taylor but haven’t even really let blair play before having him in a back up role.

          Maybe he sucks but we wouldn’t know it. And neither would the coaches.

  13. Tomas

    I see the Raiders have, or are, hiring Desai as DC. (MSN news.)

  14. Tomas

    Article by Bill Williamson, SB Nation, just posted. Desai hired.

  15. Tomas

    Wait a minute, this doesn’t make sense, as Raiders already offered job to the NYG DC, right? Sorry – wish I knew how to link article, sure looked legit. What the hell?

    • Rob Staton

      Apparently this was an article published by mistake

  16. Ashish

    Same old same old never do justice to hire right guy because he want to do what he likes and no one ask the questions. What a shame people will hate more by the time he retire or fired.

  17. Timothy Burch

    Doesn’t matter who is hired. PC still making all the decisions. Pete’s defense, Pete’s offense. Petes decison making from free agency to drafts, at this point John S is just another yes man for Pete. Its gonna be more of the same get in playoffs (baring any major injuries) lose in playoffs. Im in the camp you cant trade away a franchise QB. But, I’m half a mind to hope that RW does demand a trade just to shake the old mans feathers. We have now traveled into another dimension the Pete senile/insanity loop dimension.

  18. GerryG

    Honestly I was kinda scratching my head when they were gonna bring Donatel on who just a DC, and was now going to not be a DC, same with the thoughts on Desai, who was just a DC and enough of an up and comer he’s been on staff in Chicago since 13. They were trying to get him here in some other role than DC so they could promote (checks notes) the internal guy who worked on the defense that was bad enough to get the DC fired. This is dumpster fire material.

  19. Seattle Person

    I listened to the latest Brock and Salk podcast. I was actually listening who some possible MLB news of the lockout. Any who. One interesting bit of information that Brock mentioned was a “poison pill” in a contract between Paul Allen and the City of Seattle years ago. The contract involved the team, some of the real estate property around SODO, and the city. Basically Paul was trying to finalize a deal that involved big-time money. The city, protecting itself, put a “poison pill” clause that didn’t allow Allen to sell the team until 2024 or 2025.

    Obviously, when Paul passed, this didn’t go away but transferred to whoever was left in his place. That person is Jody Allen. I don’t know if this is new news to anyone but it is to me. Another twist in the Seahawks ownership story.

    • Gross MaToast

      I listened and, first, I think either Brock and/or Salk have started reading SDB – lots of new ‘hot’ takes from them that appeared here a couple of years ago.

      As for the poison pill, it really means absolutely nothing if the trust wants to sell the team. You may be talking about a couple or three hundred million dollars at that point, which may be a lot for some people, but when the price for the franchise is north of $3-4 Billion, that poison pill just is a minor technicality. The new owner would likely be more than happy to pay it just to get the team and it’s likely they could negotiate way down to keep them from moving the team to San Diego or St. Louis. (If my GoFundMe successfully raises the necessary $7.5B, I’ll happily pay the poison pill.)

      However, I did read that the trust is still in probate and it will likely take another 2-4 years to settle, so everything works out for that 2024/25 season for new ownership. Pete is signed through that timeframe, so no worries.

      • Seattle Person

        Thanks for the context. It clears things up a bit. We also don’t know what other things are in those types of contracts. What type of ties it has to the city. Of course, like you said it can be a moot point to billionaires that might owe millions. Who knows at this point.

      • Big Mike

        7.5 B Gross?
        Are you at $7.50 yet?

        • Gross MaToast

          Last week I was at $11.87, but the total now sits at $5.74. Someone apparently ordered a latte and a donut and half of the Seahawk purchase funds go *poof*. It was an honest mistake and will be addressed internally.

          Remember, the next 24 hours are the most important, so donate now and be a part of something special.

  20. Gary

    “That’s not a good sign ahead of a crucial free agency period where expectations are this team will do things differently (and better) than in the past …”

    If the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, what hope should any of us have that this team will do things differently than in the past with the same delusional puppet master making all the decisions. I’ve been saying it for years – there is no hope for this team’s future until Pete is gone. He is holding this fan base hostage to his ego.

  21. Sea Mode


    Where would you expect Russell Wilson to play in 2022?

    David, my sense is all of that remains in flux, and Wilson is open to exploring his options.

    As I see it, Seahawks owner Jody Allen is the X-factor. I’ve heard she’s for keeping Wilson—which wouldn’t exactly be a wild train of thought for an owner. The question has been how badly, and what it’ll mean if Wilson, eventually, becomes more forceful about seeking a new home. Meanwhile, from a team-building standpoint, it’s fair to surmise that this might actually be an ideal time to move Wilson, while he’s still relatively young (at 33) and has two years left on his contract (that’s what Matthew Stafford had left when he was traded).

    If I had to guess, I’d say he’ll eventually get moved. And I’d have said the destination was going to be the Saints a month ago. Now that Sean Payton’s gone, let’s put him in the NFC East … to the Eagles. In a way, it’d be a sort of redemptive move for Howie Roseman, who was part of a front office that planned to take Wilson in the third round in 2012, only to have Seattle scoop him up earlier in the round.

    (The Eagles did wind up with Nick Foles with that third-rounder, so it wasn’t all bad.)

    • Rob Staton


      The Eagles’ three first round picks are a difference maker potentially. I just can’t see them giving up 2 or all 3 this year, which would probably been needed to outbid a team such as Washington, if it ever gets that far.

      • Sea Mode

        Would we really even want/demand all three this year? They could give us say 16 + 17 + 51 this year and R1 + R3 next year. That would leave them with 19 to potentially trade down and recoup a pick this year. They’d still have basically a full draft this year. Oh, and Russ…

        Not sure it’s enough for us, really, to end up with a couple mid R1’s this year and next. But it might be the best we can get if Russ forces the issue. I just pray we don’t end up having to watch Hurts on Sundays…

        And as for Washington, 11 is a bit higher, but the blue chippers might be gone due to lack of QBs pushing them down in this class. (Gives us at least a shot at Abe Lucas, perhaps) Chase Young is certainly an enticing piece they could dangle, even though we would have to pay him bigtime. Do we like Young + 11 + 42, and next year R1 + R3 over Philly’s above offer?

        And, as always, who is our QB…?

        • Mick

          I must have said it but I say it again: I don’t need 3 firsts and a bunch of players, we should keep Wilson and involve him in decision making, sit him down at the table where you discuss free agency and draft and renewing contracts. This is the least he’s earned for what he’s done for the Seahawks, we’ve seen this year when he was injured where we would have been without him. Extend Duane Brown if he insists, extend or not Everett if he chooses, sign him another free agent WR and draft the RB he chooses. Wilson insists he would like to stay, do all you can to make him happy. We didn’t start too great with our staff search for the D.

  22. Sea Mode

    Which NFL teams draft the most Senior Bowl players, and what’s the benefit?

  23. Sean

    The approach to hiring new defensive staff seems parallel to the Seahawks approach to free agency… they are apparently talking to coaches who much of the league see as DC-caliber candidates, but the Seahawks want them to take lesser roles in Seattle. Essentially, they want coaches to accept offers at below their market value to join the Hawks.

    From a recruiting perspective, if you are offering fewer benefits (title, money, responsibility), you need some additional intangible benefits to make an appealing offer an acquire the best talent. Those intangibles can be things like the opportunity to win a Superbowl, potential to get noticed and get a better job in future years, a chance to learn skills from the master (aka mentoring). The Hawks cannot offer any of this.

    It is a recipe for not being competitive in acquiring talent. It just seems so pathetic.

    • Sea Mode

      Well said.

  24. no frickin clue

    Does anyone recall how much time was left on Pete’s prior contract before he negotiated an extension? I do recall it was mid-season, and the Hawks’ record at the time was good. I wonder if Pete felt like he needed to strike while the iron was hot and pushed for it, because perhaps under all the bluster and positivity, he could see where this team was heading.

    • Sea Mode

      Somehow I get the feeling he actually believes half of what he is selling, or at least that he’s a good enough salesman to will half of it into happening.

  25. rick earp

    yup tis is turning into a total joke of the seahawks fo coaching staff etc.someone needs to do something to fix this team because its going down like a viking funeral pyre into the seattle sound waters.sorry i cant do this anymore to watch a old man try to carry on with no real vision going forward except pc,s.i would rater watch the raiders play in vegas so long disfunctional seahawks.

  26. Shazzy

    Jody Allen (assuming she is involved in okaying moves) is showing a willingness to restructure a franchise with the trailblazers, in the hopes of building back better around the franchise superstar. This is interesting to me because if you look at the Trailblazers and the Seahawks, you can see a lot of similarity. A franchise that while seeing success in making the playoff is not a true contender, and is wasting the prime of a superstar player. The blazers had a coach that was liked and they found success under yet he lost his job despite making the playoffs regularly. So the question is why not have the same approach here. Obviously the NBA is different and team building is not the same but the basic premise is. If she can go all in to build around Damian Lllard, why cant the same happen with Wilson. If they have a different vision than maybe that’s ok, but I think that they know that they live by Wilson and die by Wilson, so why are they only willing commit halfway. Get Wilson a line and a run game and have defenders in key positions, that’s what Kansas City has done and they won their superbowl. Yes the method may cause problems down the line, but I think most people would agree if you win the superbowl you’re willing to figure out the rest as it comes.

    • Rob Staton

      Is she doing that? I’ve seen others basically accuse her of stripping the team of expensive assets

      • Shazzy

        I guess we won’t know until the offseason but I’ve seen talks about them clearing space and getting assets to make a big swing when Lillard is healthy again. It could be a full scale rebuild as well though.

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t know much about the NBA but from what little I know I’m not convinced Lillard will be down with this

          And I’ve read some very scathing reviews of what they’re doing with that team

          • pdway

            who knows how much she’s involved in day-to-day….but the Blazers are full-on blowing it up, and it’s probably high time they did, as they’ve been stuck in a just-better-than-average slot for years now, with no real prospect for contending. doesn’t necessarily mean any of it will translate to the Hawks, but at least the Blazers are finally shaking up the status quo.

        • Shazzy

          Either way what she’s doing with them might be indicative of how she handles a team and how she might deal with the Seahawks in the future. Especially as they have an interim gm so she might be putting in more input than usual.

          • Shazzy

            Lillard might not be, he’s very much had a I want to win here mentality, but as we’re potentially seeing with wilson constant mediocrity can sour that

          • Big Mike

            PDX area resident here………….I question if that’s indeed her approach with the Blazers but even if it is, why not start the same process with the Seahawks by firing Carroll and Schneider and hiring someone to build around Russ rather than keep the guy that treats the franchise as his personal “vanity project” (Rob’s brilliant term for Carroll’s approach)?

            I believe she has put her trust in Cronin to direct the franchise and has done the same with Carroll. She seems to me to be very hands off and believes that letting the people she hires do their jobs without interference. OTOH, she could be tearing down completely to cut costs and make it in her mind more attractive to potential buyers though if that were the case I’d expect they’d have traded Lillard.

            • Peter

              I rarely buy the cut cost argument with sports franchises. In this world there are way easier ways to make money. Sports generally are fairly unconnected to real world business economics. Tv rights that pay out regardless of outcome. Gambling money. Odd, quasi union contracts. Strange purchasing rules (30% liquidity, no more than 24 investors in a group, but not for Green bay?)

              Whether the Hawks or the trailblazers is someone buying a franchise because it’s a cheap(er) product that has no fans?

              I think the reality is more like many people, that the trust and Jody might not actually know what they are doing. Every single restaurant I ran the kitchen in Seattle that had a new owner with no passion and just thought it was easy money failed. Every construction company where the do nothing kid took over failed. I give Jody latitude with starting Vulcan with her brother. But the trailblazers are trending to afterthought. And I fear Seattle may soon get there.

              Look at this recent difference. Mike Silver, friend of Rivera, writer for the WFT, calls a 7-10 season a “trudge,” and a “dissapointing year.”

              Meanwhile in hawkville the same record is apparently a superbowl caliber team. That other teams supposedly wouldn’t want to face. Except the 10 teams that were more than happy to get a win off the hawks.

              • Big Mike

                And by putting her trust in Carroll, she strengthens your argument that she and the rest of Vulcan don’t know what they’re doing. As for Cronin, too early to tell.

  27. Sea Mode

    Proof that as long as they believe you can bring success, you can get away with being as cringe as you want with attempts at humor, etc.

    • Roy Batty

      “Dudes annoying already.”

      Best Twitter post I have seen in ages.

  28. Happy Hawk

    Just want to make sure- the Hawks organization has not made an formal announcement on their new DC yet – correct? What ever plan they have is falling apart. I can get behind the Flores selection for DC at least it is an aggressive move with a strong leader.

  29. Rip sonics

    The issues on defense seem far more correlated to personnel than scheme overall. Bringing in a completely different defensive scheme would likely require a large shift in personnel. We already have limited resources this offseason. Not sure the hawks would come out on the better end of it. Pete has proven to be able to create a top 10 defense with even subpar personnel. Defense is one area that i dont want him having less control over. Personnel and offense yes but you can bet if pete were fired this past offseason he would have been the first coach hired by one of these teams in search for a coach in large part because of his defense.Get a pass rush, go back to the over front, get ryan neal on the field more and things look much different.

    • Rob Staton

      When has Pete created a top 10 defense with subpar personnel???

      That hasn’t happened

      • RIP Sonics

        Debatable what defines subpar and what standard to measure defensive rank but Carroll over 20 years coaching as DC or HC in the NFL has only been outside the top half of defenses 4 times, averages 9.5 ranked in the NFL in terms of Opposing Points against for his coaching career. He has led 7 top 5 defenses, 11 top 10 defenses, and 16 top 15.
        That’s pretty darn good.
        We can watch these defenses recently and be disgusted by how it looks but the reality is even in recent years the defense has had stretches of dominance muddled by early stretches of incompetence.
        We know the names here that washed out other places even on the 1 ranked defenses of the LOB. Good defenses require good to great personnel at every position because it’s much easier to exploit a weakness on defense than highlight dominant player.
        His scheme needs to be adjusted but to say he hasn’t coached top 10 defenses with subpar personnel is either to say personnel has been in the top half of the league the majority of his career or to say that opposing points per game is not an accurate measure of defensive efficiency. I could be swayed by an argument for either. But it seems conflicting to criticize personnel (which I agree with you on) and also say he hasn’t coached a top 10 defense with subpar pieces.

        • Rob Staton

          Carroll has not had a top 10 defense with subpar personnel.

          That is a fact.

          You know it. I know it.

  30. Blitzy the Clown

    During these doldrums, I found this discussion on the whats and hows of NFL NextGen stats pretty interesting:

    • Blitzy the Clown

      Around 12:45 he talks about Senior Bowl and Montez Sweat.

  31. cha

    Ben Goessling
    · 16m
    The #Vikings are hiring Ed Donatell as their next defensive coordinator, according to a league source.

  32. Gross MaToast

    If Pete Were Fired

    Would there really be a demand to hire Pete Carroll had the Seahawks fired him this offseason? Let’s debate that through this quickly put together and poorly researched reply.

    Teams with head coach openings, the guy they hired vs. Pete:

    Hired: Matt Eberflus.
    Would they want Pete? Maybe?
    Would Pete want them? Maybe?
    The Bears went with a not exactly a spring chicken of a defensive coordinator, so who know what the hell they’re thinking. There are no Pete links to the franchise.

    Hired: Doug Pedersen
    Would they want Pete? Maybe?
    Would Pete want them? No.
    Why spend the last few years of your career getting a weekly ass-kicking?

    Hired: Lovie Smith (no, really, they hired Lovie Smith. No shit, you can look it up.)
    Would they want Pete? Who knows.
    Would Pete want them? No.
    The Houstons put the funk in dysfunction and no one should want to be a part of that. Although he could likely have demanded and received total control of the franchise. So there’s that.

    New Orleans.
    Hired: Dennis Allen
    Would they want Pete? Not likely. They went with someone they were comfortable with.
    Would he want them? Not with their QB situation.
    A better coach decided to hell with this and bolted, so Pete jumping in seems unlikely.

    Hired: Kevin O’Connell (allegedly)
    Would they want Pete? No.
    Would Pete want them? Yes.
    Pete has ancient ties to Minnesota and would step into a situation similar to the Seahawks with some talent on both sides of the ball. The Vikings, however, went with the young offensive guy. Good call, Vikings.

    Hired: Mike McDaniel
    Would they want Pete? No.
    Would Pete want them? Maybe.
    Miami went with the young offensive mind. Good call and I’m interested to see how it plays out.

    Hired: Nathaniel Hackett
    Would they want Pete? Probably not.
    Would Pete want them? Probably, although the QB issue would have to be addressed.
    The Broncos took my next head coach of the Seahawks – a young, offensive mind – and will destroy him with their inability to identify a QB.

    Hired: Josh McDaniels
    Would they want Pete? Maybe? They were, after all, looking for a ‘rock star.’ Is Pete that?
    Would Pete want them? Oh, hell yes.
    Pete on the strip, baby! Unfortunately for him, they went with the still-youngish offensive minded guy.

    Hired: Brian Daboll
    Would they want Pete? No
    Would Pete want them? Probably.
    The Giants want to emulate the Bills and went with a GM and offensive minded guy from the Bills. Pete would’ve had no shot.

    So, in conclusion, no franchise, save perhaps the Texans, would benefit by hiring a 71 year-old head coach. I think that, once let go by the Seahawks, Pete would have returned to Malibu without receiving an offer from an NFL team. There was no pent-up demand for Pete.

    • Bmseattle

      That was an interesting exercise.
      Now let’s do Bobby Wagner!
      Or Jamal Adams!

    • Rob Staton

      Thus, the links to USC and UCLA

      Just in case…

  33. Scot04

    Looks like no DC for Texans

  34. JJ

    I heard Pauline was on with Softy yesterday. Worth a listen? Anything of note?

  35. Henry Taylor

    I was watching some Breece Hall (Iowa St RB) and I’m surprised at his lower ranking on your big board. I appreciate he’s in the same tier as most the top guys. But for me I’d put him in that 2nd round group with Pierce.

    6’1, 220lbs. Looks very explosive and elusive in his breaks, decent top end speed, decent power, great hands and a very functional pass protector and an absolute TD machine.

    • Rob Staton

      I wasn’t excited watching him

      • Henry Taylor

        Fair enough, I felt he had some very exciting runs beating multiple guys in the hole.

  36. Rob Staton

    Jim Nagy making a very valid criticism of Carroll today:

    And perhaps speaks to the three main players in Seattle not being on the same wave length

    • Sea Mode


  37. Sea Mode


    If we’re gonna commit and extend Russ, it had better come quick. (hint: it won’t…)

    NFL Rumors
    · 7h

    The Arizona Cardinals Kyler Murray is asking for an extension between $50-55 million.

    • Peter

      Good luck AZ. If Russ is slowing down than Murray has been found out. A very accurate player that literally has to run around to be effective. Very accurate. Injury prone.

      He and Lamar are going to be interesting to watch going forward.

  38. GoHawksDani

    I’m grateful to Pete Carroll, he just saved me like ~150$ because the way he handled the situation so far there is no way I’m subscribing to Gamepass next year to watch this “team” live.

    Btw I saw some players’ top20 lists, like 4-5 lists. None of those had Russ in the top20. It’s weird…he might not be a top2-3 QB or top 6-8 between any position, but QB is the centerpiece and he wasn’t even in the top20 (while other QBs like 3-4 made these lists). Maybe other players don’t like him very much as a person?

    • Peter

      For the last four years he’s been ranked as low as 25 and as high as 2 in the nfl top 100.

      Players are as susceptible as anyone else in following narratives. Now it’s burrows time to shine. Where does Lamar Jackson rank? Two years ago he was the number one ranked player.

      Things change. This week Ryan Clark says Wilson just isn’t special. Good not great. In 2014 Clark was quoted saying: Washington (in the playoffs) got beat by the best player in the game…Wilson.

  39. HOUSE

    Donatell officially hired as MIN DC… Congrats to us on the SNAFU! smh

  40. Sea Mode

    Just came across this quote reading about the crazy stuff happening at today’s NBA trade deadline.

    No further comment needed.

    One of Billy Beane’s five rules for trading, as recorded by Michael Lewis in the book “Moneyball”:

    “The day you say, ‘I have to do something,’ you’re in trouble. Because you are going to make a bad deal. You can always recover from the player you didn’t sign. You may never recover from the player you signed at the wrong price.”

    • Rob Staton


  41. Gaux Hawks

    Did anyone notice that RW3 signed a kids hat at the pro bowl?

    Watch closely and let the universe guide you… 3 X 1R22 + 1 2R23 + Hurts

    • Rob Staton

      I like Jalen Hurts as a person

      It’s going to really annoy me having to say ‘no no no no’ to all these tweets about him over the next few weeks.

      If the Eagles are spending FOUR firsts to replace him, he aint your guy.

      • Forrest

        I think it depends on your offense. Wilson has struggled with two high safeties. Hurts brings one of those down into the box by offering a dual threat.

  42. swedenhawk

    Mike Salk actually making some good points here. As Gross Ma Toast already suggested, it looks like he’s started reading SDB.

  43. 805Hawk

    Desai hired and Solari fired. Good and…surprising. I never thought Solari was the real problem. It was more the construction of the OL. Maybe a disagreement with Pete that led to his release.

    • cha

      Tom Pelissero
      The #Seahawks fired offensive line coach Mike Solari, per sources.
      8:12 AM · Feb 11, 2022 f

      Cautious optimism…moving in the right direction…

  44. swedenhawk

    associate head coach, wow

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