Thoughts on the National Championship game

There’s a broader draft media point I want to make in a moment but I wanted to offer some brief, instant reaction thoughts on Michigan’s win against Washington in the National Championship game.

The ref’s had a very poor night, missing holds committed by Michigan players (I have less of an issue with the ones they called on Washington, you just want consistency). That said, look at what happened in the game overall. Michigan dominated the trenches with or without some favourable calls. They ended with 303 rushing yards and once again, all J.J. McCarthy had to do was manage the game.

You have to doff your cap to Jim Harbaugh. He inherited a team that was miles away. He’s been in the news for various reasons this year but he’s taken his school to the summit in an era where that has been especially hard to do with Georgia and Alabama a constant threat. They play typically tough, physical, beat-you-up football. They did all this without their best offensive lineman, Zak Zinter.

The Washington offensive line, which has been so strong all year, struggled. With an injured star running back, they never found much consistency or fluidity.

It’s another example of how often games are won in the trenches. You can have the big explosive passing offense but it doesn’t hold a candle to beating your opponent up inside. Note to Seahawks — that’s where you haven’t been good enough for years and that’s why you can’t create the identity you want.

My main focus, though, was the quarterbacks. And this is where the broader point on draft media comes in.

There were so many people overreacting to the Texas game, vaunting Michael Penix Jr into the top-five discussion and getting carried away. This influences people — and we see it time and time again. It’s no different when someone has a good pro-day. The overreaction that occurs is widespread and frustrating.

When you watch a full season-load of games for these players and even interview some of them, or speak to well placed sources, and then one pundit delivers a hot take after one game — you can’t do anything to push back against it. In that moment, you’re facing a tidal wave of opposition. Even something as minor as a decent pro-day for Malik Willis is enough to have people projecting him for the top-five, bemoaning their team passing on him and calling out decision makers online. Yet he never had any justifiable reason to go earlier than round three and that’s exactly where he landed.

What we saw today was the context I’ve tried to bring on Penix Jr. Undoubtedly, he has a great arm. We’ve seen that all season. He also showed last week he can have games where he moves around and makes plays, can deliver downfield passes with extreme accuracy and he’s a playmaker who has elevated his team.

In my article last week I also noted that he had an eight game stretch this season where his completion percentage plummeted from 74.9% in the first five games to 60.1%. His PFF grade also dipped from 89.9 to 71.6. This all coincided with an increase in pressures from 6.6 per game to 10.7 per game. Once the ‘easy pitch-and-catch’ games were gone, the production and performance dropped.

People mentioned injuries, illness and the weather — but his ‘big time throw’ percentage remained consistent throughout the season at 2.6 per game. I watched all of these games and saw a player who was just ‘off’ for a stretch, had some misses and also resorted to trying too many deep-balls thrown to areas rather than delivered with precision.

He now has 11 interceptions for the season. In comparison, C.J. Stroud only had 12 picks in his entire time at Ohio State.

Today we saw one of the other concerns I’ve voiced. There’s no doubting that Penix can throw the deep-ball brilliantly and make big plays. However, at the next level he’s going to face pressure like this quite often. There’s very little evidence on tape he can play a patient intermediate game, taking what’s on offer and playing with a more methodical style.

Today his head just looked scrambled as soon as the pressure started hitting home. He missed easy, wide-open opportunities where a bit of poise and clarity of mind would’ve put points on the board. By the end he was left throwing all over the place again with his technique out the window — finishing with only 52.9% completed passes.

Last week people were comparing the Texas performance to Stroud vs Georgia, which wasn’t right. Stroud felt the same kind of pressure we saw today, against one of the best college defense’s ever, and made impossible plays happen with his legs and arm. Penix felt frantic, compromised and constantly seeking any kind of rhythm.

He wasn’t helped by drops and some fierce Michigan play. Yet overall I think this validates what I’ve been trying to argue for most of the season. He has incredible, unquestioned arm talent and that has a lot of value. If you can protect him and give him time, he can hurt opponents. I think his ceiling is a bigger-armed Tua and there’s real value in that.

I’m not sure he’s going to have the smoothest transition into a NFL offense and his arm strength and big-play ability will need to be weighed up against whether he can manage from the pocket and play the percentages on an intermediate level. That couches his stock — so while two-thirds of Seahawks twitter was calling for the team to trade up for him seven days ago, I think we’re back to reality now. I’m saying this as someone who has seen all of Penix Jr’s 2023 games and watched him live. I like him — but we need to be realistic.

This is, of course, without even mentioning the injury history or the fact some teams just won’t want a lefty QB.

Caleb Williams will be the #1 pick. Given the way the draft order fell, I would expect Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye to complete the top three, followed by Marvin Harrison Jr going to the Cardinals at #4.

After that, there might be a wait. Draft media, just as much as it overreacts to single games, also overrates quarterbacks. Nothing about J.J. McCarthy says ‘first round pick’. I still believe there are teams who might consider other QB’s in the first frame but it’s less likely to be Penix Jr and Bo Nix. I think they’ll both be day two picks.

There’s always a chance one team forces things but you shouldn’t adjust your evaluation based on that. People scoffed at the thought of Penix Jr in round three a few days ago but I’m telling you — there will be teams putting him in that range, even if he still goes in the top-50.

The Seahawks will have an opportunity to draft a quarterback. The key at #16 for them will be whether they like one enough to take one there, whether they trade down, wait until later (without a second round pick) or if they just ignore the position.

It’s a loaded early-round class for the offensive line. I have Tyler Guyton, Taliese Fuagu, Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Amarius Mims and JC Latham all graded as first round tackles with Troy Fautanu a first round guard. It’s early but at least one of these players will be there at #16. A lot of people have Joe Alt in round one but I think he’s more of a round two tackle who goes in round one.

I have 12 more O-liners with second round grades. You can build a line for the future in this draft, without question. There could be great value too if Michigan’s Zinter falls due to his injury — he’s the best guard in the draft and could be a sure-fire long-term NFL starter who would’ve gone top-50 but now could last.

It’s less exciting on the D-line. Dallas Turner is overrated and, in my opinion, will not upgrade anything. Jared Verse has his admirers and has had some great games for FSU, plus some very quiet, uneventful games. Laiatu Latu is the best pure edge without necessarily having a ‘wow’ factor. Bralen Trice is a better pro-prospect than many of the nationals recognise (and can run a 4.2 short shuttle at his bigger size). Jer’Zhan Newton was an interior game-wrecker in college but measureables will be key for him. It’s hard to find impact interior rushers who translate their college production to the pro’s. There is depth at defensive tackle and some interesting options should last into rounds 3/4.

I still believe Spencer Rattler is criminally underrated and he faced the kind of pressure Penix Jr faced today on a weekly basis thanks to South Carolina’s appalling O-line. He showed he can handle it, he was creative, productive and excelled. He is the hidden diamond within the class, someone well worth drafting and giving a chance to. The Gamecocks’ offense carries some pro-concepts and he faced a pro-environment with all the pressure and hits. Rattler’s arm talent is excellent, he has completely developed into a player who can play within structure, he’s a big-play threat and he has matured greatly from the Oklahoma days.

If the Seahawks could find a way to come out of the draft with him plus Zak Zinter and a first round O-liner — that would be a very intriguing boost for the long-term success of the offense. They might be better off with a more experienced, proven O-line though — paired with a younger, faster defense.

Health permitting, linebacker Payton Wilson is also a player who would look great to add speed, intensity and playmaking quality at linebacker. There are loads of other players I could mention too. It’s an intriguing draft — and it’s why it’ll be a crying shame if they don’t re-sign Leonard Williams and end up having blown a valuable second round pick. Especially if they try and pull a stunt like trying to ‘run it back’ in 2024.


  1. Mick

    Rob – I’ve seen a couple of articles where you call for Leonard Williams to be signed to make the trade worthwhile. Do we really want the sunk cost fallacy to determine decisions moving forward? The pick is gone either way, so the only real consideration should be whether Williams the player is worthy of a contract moving forward (and whether he wants to play in Seattle or elsewhere). It seemed like he played reasonably well this season, but he wasn’t exactly a game wrecker, so if he’s open to a reasonable deal here then by all means bring him back. But we shouldn’t sign him at any price, just to make the trade more palatable.

    • Rob Staton

      Re-signing your best defensive lineman isn’t sunk cost fallacy

      • Peter

        What’s the fair price?

        He played very well. For the counting stats though adjusting his games here for 17 games and looking at their counting stats over the last four years he and J. Reed are the same.

        I actually think Reed should be getting paid more btw.

        Reeds cap next year is around 3 million. I don’t think that keeps Williams but I don’t think more than say seven million should be extended to him.

        Could be wrong but double digit millions is too much and literally what holmgren said not to do.

        • Sheldon Klootwyk

          Leonard Williams will be getting paid double that, and he should. I’d say he’s a $14M+ AAV type player. Reed is 3 years older than Williams and had some awful years before the Seahawks took a shot on him and he had a bit of a resurgence this year. Reed’s cap hit is still $5.97M in 2024. I thought Williams was very clearly a significant class above Reed when seeing them side by side this year. Guys that do what Williams does get paid and they tend to still hold up well age 29-32 (which he should be). He’s not going from $21M a year to $7M.

          It’s tough because the Seahawks have wrecked their cap with 3 safeties schedule to hit $50M on their cap in 2024 so it’s hard to fit him in. But they can definitely do it.

          I think the point being made on this blog is to invest in the trenches and quit getting bullied up and down the field. Can we all just agree that there is no less enjoyable experience than watching your D utterly incapable of getting off the field and bullied at will be mediocre offenses?

          • Peter

            Pushing back here a little bit….

            Reed and Williams are 18 months a part in age.

            Williams was a bigger name has ‘had’ a bigger career. I’m looking at the last four years which is what I’m basing a contract on.

            This team is built on a lot of what ifs about players. Wagner, Adams, etc. I respect Williams effort and that at times he’s been a bright spot on a miserable defense. Reed had 4 sacks from the inside before Williams so it’s not like adding Williams magically unlocked the defense.

            Just because New York paid him so much when he most likely deserved it at the time is not a good reason to pay a player a ton moving forward.

            14 mil from 21 mil just because….I don’t know. Doesn’t make sense to me. Does he get it from Seattle? Sure. Is it the right dollar amount for a player with almost exactly the same output as a much cheaper player? I don’t know.

            • bmseattle

              I agree with all of that, Peter. those are all legitimate questions/concerns.
              Once again, The Seahawks are in a position to “make the best” out of a crappy situation that they have gotten themselves into.

              Ironically, we may have had a *better* chance to sign Williams if we *hadn’t* traded for him first.

              Now, he has seen that our defense sucks, even with him… he has experienced the “culture” that guys like Diggs and Adams and Taylor, set forth.
              And he can probably read between the lines and deduce (like we can), that the path to improving this team substantially, will likely extend beyond the next couple of years.
              Why, exactly, would Williams want to play on this team going forward?
              The same team that all of us fans grew tired and frustrated with, to the extent that we, basically, couldn’t wait for the season to end?

              The Williams trade, for me, was the final straw in this current regime’s series of errors and mis-reads of where our team as at.
              Not having a 2nd round pick in this upcoming draft just really puts us behind the eight ball.
              Now we most certainly will have to sacrifice one of, either, a potential high pick at QB… or a potential high pick on the offensive line.

              Should we sign Williams, to salvage *something* from yet another asinine trade?
              Sure… why not… if we can move bad money from safety, to better money to the trenches, then that is certainly an improvement.
              It *will* be an overpay, though… and it likely wont be “worth it”, in the long run.
              But… we really have no other option to realistically obtain a solid starter in our interior DL.
              As you pointed out, though, Reed can justifiably ask for a contract close to what Williams will get… so, if you want to keep both, you are suddenly paying a whole lotta money to retain the 2 starters you currently have… on a league worst defense.

              • Peter

                Pretty much. In the end as long as we’re moving money to the right spots I think I’m fine.

                I hope Reed is a changed man. Because this team’s already had a contract dispute either him and he played pretty well.

                It is weird to be an all time bad defense under Carrol and to be in this position with Williams.

                • Peter

                  A contract dispute with him….I mean

                  • bmseattle

                    Yeah, Reed probably wont be inclined to give us any sort of a discount.
                    We are way past the days where guys were willing to compromise to keep playing for us.

    • Mick

      (Other Mick) I would sign him as soon as possible. No need to give the Rams a shot at him. I’m sure we can agree a fair deal, we don’t have to go Jamal Adams. Plus, as Rob said, we don’t have enough picks and good enough players to replace him via the draft, plus he brings the kind of experience you don’t get from a rookie.

      • Peter

        Should have extended him by now.

        My prediction for months is Rams. And I stand by that.

    • Elmer

      You are tight that the decision to re-sign Williams should not be driven by a desire to make the trade look good. The trade is in the past, a sunk cost. The decision should be driven by making the team better in the future. If Williams is the best player on the D line there is a strong argument for te/signing him as long as financial constraints don’t force the team to jettison more talent than Williams can provide.

      • Parallax

        The guys going to be too expensive. Let someone else sign him and take the compensatory pick to get back some of our lost draft capital.

  2. whit21

    I still think from the last thread.. After reading this article… His throwing motion is suspect and pressure can affect it.. Penix missed wide open receivers without taking huge sacks.

    I said that I agree that Rattler can handle pressure better and throw under pressure.
    you said “It’s not about doubters or backers. Or it shouldn’t be.
    It’s about evaluating
    Michigan dominated up front and when you do that you will impact the QB”

    Yeah.. that was the point of what I said.. You WILL affect the QB with pressure.. just like you said in the article he will get more of in the NFL.. but how did CFB pressure affect his throws?

    Badly.. Geno saw more pressure in the NFL than Penix did tonight. College QBs will get better and improve as pros if they have the ability to.. I just dont like Penix’s throwing and durability.. I dont have the time on here to say I told you so 3 years down the road. Nobody will notice if anyone is right on here.. Just like how I posted about Pete Carroll being his last season and he might appoint Dan Quinn.. Then that buzz started almost 2 months after I said it on here…

    It probably won’t happen… but the buzz started nonetheless..

    • Peter

      I’m not a Penix guy. For two years.

      I feel bad for the husky fans tonight.

      But for Seattle what’s the benefit? He’s cheaper? That’s it. He seems all the world as the same qb they already have. Different strengths but same weaknesses.

    • Graeme Kay

      Great article Rob and look forward to much more of these between now and the draft…….my number one go to draft news site.

      Intrigued as to why Rattler is played won so much by the worlds media when you clearly rate him highly.
      What do you see that they don’t?

      • Rob Staton

        Not sure, but it’s happened before

        I’m very happy with my evaluations of the last two QB classes. Stroud QB1, Richardson top five, didn’t think any of the 2022 class were more than R3. Media had Bryce Young on an island as the clear QB1 and kept putting out mocks with Willis, Ridder and Cassel in R1 or grading them top-50

        • WLO333

          I thought you did quite well on QB evaluations too (“don’t get cocky, kid!”). I still think Bryce Young could still be a very good NFL QB, though, despite his struggles. To me, he had the highest football IQ of the bunch, and was the most creative out of structure. But, being such a wee little lad, and it was hard to guess how much to downgrade him for that.

          He’s certainly been beat up so far, but then again, so has Anthony Richardson. Richardson did look fairly good for a time before the injury, though….Bryce, not so much.

          It will be interesting to see how Young, Stroud, Richardson, and Levis compare going forward. They’re all starters going forward for the foreseeable future, unlike the overrated (as you repeatedly said) draft class from the year before.

  3. MarkinSeattle

    I agree on the OL points and Rattler. Without our 2nd round pick we may need to go for Rattler in the first round. Zinter would be a steal if we could snag him in the 4th round. I have been a big fan of Payton Wilson all season as well and if he lasts to the third he would be a steal.

    Another name I really really like is ND CB Cam Hart. He doesn’t create a lot of INT’s but he has good length, decent speed and was the best CB on a defense that was #1 in pass efficiency. He also gave up fewer receiving yards than any of the other highly regarded CB’s despite facing off against Harrison, Egbuka, USC’s WR’s and Caleb Williams, etc. For a guy that many are projecting to land in Day 3, I think he would be a steal in rounds 5-7.

  4. Alfred

    Any chance Jody Allen sent Pete to retirement and make Jim Harbaugh the next head coach for Seahawks? Feel like something that Paul Allen would do, based on how he fire Jim Mora after one year to get Pete and also let Holmgren walk at the end of his contract. Holmgren was only 60 at the time. Definitely miss all the bold moves from Paul.

    • Rob Staton

      0% Harbaugh replaces Pete

  5. geoff u

    What are the realistic expectations if where Rattler will land? I supposed we have to wait till pro days.

    100% in on picking him at 16 or trading up if he’s rising on board. I don’t think getting cute and trading back is a good idea. Would be nice if Ewers declares to throw another in the mix.

    Just hope the current or new FO gets their shit together at the QB position and does what it takes.

  6. JC3

    Pete will not draft a QB in first round, the dude is 73 and long-term success has nothing to do with his legacy. Agree, they need better OL protection if they are sticking with Geno, he is not a moves around and proficient type of QB.

    • Rob Staton

      We don’t even know what the week has in store yet

      Let’s chill on saying what won’t happen in the draft

      • Elmer

        I have a spreadsheet in mind. The rows would be players that might be released or not brought back( Adams, Diggs, Smith, Lockett, etc). The first column would be expected 2024 salary, the second column would be cap hit if released, and the third column would be net savings. Something like this would provide a good visual reference for discussing personnel moves that might happen in order to fit under the cap and sign new talent. It might help indicate how the team could avoid being trapped in mediocrity.

    • geoff u

      If their plan 3 years post Wilson is still Geno Smith, everyone needs to be fired.

      • EmperorMA

        Best comment of the thread. ^^^

  7. Koko

    Without a 2nd round pick we need to reach for QB Round 1. Whoever has upside and traits.

  8. L80

    I almost felt like I was watching the Seahawks last night with the extremely poor run defense and tons of bad angles at tackling and just very poor tackling by the Huskies.

    On the other side Michigan made SURE tackles severely limiting YAC by the Huskies.

    The Huskies looked like the Hawks, and Michigan looked like the Hawks want to look.

    • Peter

      There’s talk that Michigan is going to set the record for players drafted in one class.

    • Elmer

      In the first quarter Michigan had something like 153 yards BEFORE contact.

    • RattlerPlease

      There was one beautiful defensive play where a Michigan defender on the edge went under what looked like a good block by the right tackle and stopped what would’ve been a big gain by the RB. We need to start seeing stuff like that in Seattle.

  9. DC

    Rob, how do you compare Levi’s and Rattler in your evaluations?

    • Rob Staton

      Very different players

      • DC

        Should have clarified, in relation to the teams they played on, dealing with pressure, projection/grading. I find their circumstances to be quite similar. On bad teams, underrated, etc.

        • BK26

          Rattler did a much, MUCH better job of handling it than Levis. Levis forced it more, tried to do too much. Rattler never dropped to that level. Honestly, it is one of the more impressive college qb jobs that I’ve seen. That team was so bad and he didn’t play that way. I’ve mentioned him reminding me of Burrow in the pocket. He just doesn’t get worked up for frazzled. Stays in and takes the hit, can move around, can also scramble. Played like a mature veteran (never mind the crazy natural talent he has).

          Both qb’s are guys that fans have just written off and have made preconceived notions. Hopefully the NFL does the same for Rattler and Schneider finally decides to pull the trigger and not waste the chance. Rattler could be very special.

  10. sonic reducer

    Hey Rob, infrequent poster here, but I check in every day.

    Thoughts on former Ravens and Giants DC Wink Martindale? Any chance he could land in Seattle assuming Hurtt is let go.


    • Rob Staton

      I would be 100% down for it if Carroll isn’t leaving

      But have no faith he would make a move like that

      • Peter


        Did you get a chance to watch cowherd/middlekauf talk about the championship game?

        After they talked about it, they waxed on about where Harbaugh goes next.

        Don’t care about that. But made me ‘tear’ up when they talked about the brothers are elite at finding coaches and progressive in not just sticking with their respective trees.

        • Rob Staton

          I did see that video. Was good to hear John say he overreacted to the Penix game vs Texas

          Also 100% on what they said about the Harbaugh brothers. Such a ‘sigh’ moment when I heard that, as I thought about Tater, Nate Carroll, Clint Hurtt etc.

          • BK26

            I’ve already seen a handful of mocks where Penix is suddenly not in the first round….

            Same sources/websites/etc. that had him noticeably high the previous week.

            • Rob Staton

              Of course

              Because it’s all nonsense

              98% of the draft talk online is absolutely worthless

              • BK26

                It’s like your videos or articles. Why comment if you haven’t read or watched them.

                Why do first round mocks after only watching one game/highlights?

            • Group Captain Mandrake

              And there was a draft on Yahoo! Sports this morning mocking JJ McCarthy to the Raiders in the mid-first. He must be good because he won a natty. It’s just worthless nonsense.

  11. Mr drucker in hooterville

    UW complaining about reffing is rich. They’ve been boosted by ref calls all year. ASU, Apple Cup. Holding is their M.O. Michigan was the better team.

    • Denver Hawker

      It’s perfectly fair to call out unbalanced calls AND recognize Michigan as the better team.

      • Mr Drucker in hooterville

        yep. But the unbalance calls in UW’s favor all year got them to the Natty…and I’ve seen UW fans say UW is actually the better team.

        • WLO333

          UW held on by a thread for the first half, and it was surprising they were only down by a TD.

          But, to what I think was to the coaches’ credit, they tamped down on the running game and forced McCarthy to throw (he looked pretty poor). The offense began to finally move the ball by throwing underneath, or behind the pass rush and LBs. It only lasted so long, unfortunately. It was clear they couldn’t hold back Michigan forever.

          I do agree, and am glad someone pointed out that the calls weren’t evenly called for both sides. I saw many stretched Husky jerseys on passing routes and pass rushers that would have been called 9 times out of 10 in the NFL. I also saw multiple blocks in the back. It turned an otherwise competitive game into an uninteresting blow out by the end if it. The Huskies had the spirit, but maybe not the horses to win it. We’ll never know now. I thought the refs took that away from the fans, at least to some degree.

  12. GF

    Great article Rob, as always. I have so little confidence in this organization that I think if we had chosen C J Stroud we would not have developed him well, that’s my confidence in this franchise, I don’t see anyone capable of developing someone even as good as C J…

    • Rob Staton

      Fair concerns

  13. TJ

    Which Michigan defenders do you see as good fits or draft possibilities for Seattle? I loved their effort and physicality last night. They swarmed to the ball, hit like a hammer, and put constant pressure on Penix, often with a 4-man rush. They played defense the way we all wish Seattle would with good players on every level. I’m not sure how any of them project to the NFL though.

    • Mr drucker in hooterville

      Good question. My takeaway from last night is that McCarthy isn’t a passer. Didn’t see open guys. No thanks.

      • BK26

        My takeaway was: is he even an NFL quarterback? I’ve never seen a player get lifted up so much when the team is actively hiding him. They won a national championship with an “athlete” as their qb.

        • Peter

          Good luck to whatever GM drafts him.

          Would the outcome but they different if they chose to throw it Zero times?

          When you have a stat line of 7/8, and your average for the year is 20 or less attempts per game the coach doesn’t trust you.

          Harbaugh’s a qb. I feel very confident that if he takes say the Washington job he will saunter to the podium and take any name after Williams that is not Mccarthy.

  14. chavac

    I didn’t even really feel like Penix had that much pressure. It felt like every replay showed several open receivers and he either just wasn’t looking at them or missing. I think the 3rd round grade is spot on.

    With the top 3 QBs potentially going 1-2-3 and so many QB-needy teams drafting early I find it really hard to see a move for a QB happening. If I squint I can see the upside of a Rattler or Ewers, but not moreso than Levis last year and they basically passed on him three times. To me, at this point, there’s no obvious path forward that doesn’t involve Geno returning.

    • Peter

      Robs mentioned it for two years and I’m finally seeing other draft sites mention it but Penix appears to make decisions on where to throw prior to the play. It’s a problem.

      I actually think our own qb does that as well.

      I know he played sharper down the stretch ( sort of) but early in the season Geno was completely blind to open recievers.

      • cha

        Jared Goff says hi.

        • Peter

          1. I hope Ben Johnson says hi…to the hawks fans.

          2. I still think Penix is going to be good and hopefully better than Goff. If I seem down on him it’s because I frame most players in how they fit here.

          3. Cha…I do feel for you ( and fellow huskies ) just an awesome season and it’s so hard to not trip up one time in a college season.

          • Joseph

            Sadly Pete is a delusional ego maniac who has yet to realize he’s not the same coach that he was 10 years ago. So unfortunately no to Ben Johnson.

            • Peter

              I mean more in the….

              Thanks for what feels like 30 years of service Pete here’s a gold watch and an all expenses cruise in paul Allen’s yacht to cabo wabo

              And Johnson is our new HC.

              • Joseph

                Hey I would like to see Ben Johnson in Seattle. I’m on your side lol. It’s Jody Allen doesn’t care to the point she just like Pete apologists and Seattle media will keep drinking the look-aid. Must be one addictive kool-aid lol

          • cha

            I thought they fought admirably. The defense adjusted and had a great game after that initial craziness.

            • Orcas Viking

              Yes they did once they righted the ship on defense. I thought the turning point in the game was the holding call that nullified the 32 yard reception. If the Huskies score on that drive it’s a 20-20 ballgame. But, Huskies made too many mistakes on offense (passing and dropped balls). Ok, those are about the kindest words I can say given I am a Coug (84’).

    • Peter

      So good!!

    • Group Captain Mandrake

      It would be funny if it weren’t so true. Nah, it’s still funny, but it stings.

  15. Mick

    John this is how you do it:

  16. cha

    Titans just fired Mike Vrabel

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      That’s just batty. I get that he and the front office were at odds but Vrabel gets chicken salad out of the chicken sh*t that he’s given. He’s going to land elsewhere (New England?) very quickly.

      • Peter


        • Big Mike

          I’ll say New England as well

          • Peter


        • ShowMeYourHawk

          I think Harbaugh is choices A, B and C for the Chargers. I’d love to see if the Hawks could pry a 2nd out of them for Pete, though.

          • Peter

            Cowherd and middlekauf made great comments about Washington and Harbaugh.

            Florio thinks it’s going to be Bill. For me, I’d go Harbaugh with those picks and the cash they have.

          • Rob Staton

            I can’t see Harbaugh in LA

            Raiders, Commanders or Falcons IMO

  17. Orcas Viking

    One can only hope for a similar headline out of Seattle within the week. Hoping for a Ben Johnson hiring. He is going to be a hot commodity but the Hawks gotta be an attractive destination for him. Every new HC wants to succeed, Ben has succeeded in Detroit, and the Hawks offensive personnel are almost a carbon copy of Detroits (sans the interior OL, which can be shored up via draft or free agency).

    • Big Mike


  18. DJ 1/2 way

    That was generous (to the Husky fans) of Rob to start the article mentioning the frequent holding by the Michigan line. I would add there was a lot of holding and pass interference by the Michigan pass defense as well. While those two thing made a big difference in the outcome, the impression I was left with was that Michigan was great at tackling. Did the Huskies get any yards after contact? It was impressive how well they made individual tackles with no forward movement.

    The other thing I was left with was that one team was just happy to be there and the other was desperate to win. That is what happens when a team is in the semi finals 3 out of 4 years.

  19. Peter

    Since this is a draft blog a draft comment.

    Am I the only one completely tired of this forever desire to trade down for draft stock talk?

    All drafts are different. And draft value charts are a bit hit and miss. Just checking Seattle can trade back to around 28 for a late second rounder. On the one hand you get a second. On the other your first and second are deep in each round.

    I don’t know. I guess trading out of all decade Fletcher cox for three guys who didn’t amount to much for the team has put me pretty off “trader John,” and his purported draft trade razzle dazzle.

    • BK26

      You are definitely not alone. For a lot of Seahawks fans, it’s almost like a rule. You win by having the most picks.

      Don’t even mention trading up…it’s like you said a bad word….

    • cha

      Seahawks fans tend to get stuck in loops.

      “We don’t have a 2nd round pick? Eh, we’ll just trade back and get one.”

      “A 9-8 record isn’t bad. Remember when they went 7-9, went to the playoffs and Beast Quaked the defending Super Bowl champs? Anything can happen in the playoffs, so quit complaining that they’re not good enough.”

  20. Blitzy the Clown

    Penix Jr and Bo Nix. I think they’ll both be day two picks.

    This may be an unpopular take, but I think I’d rather take a shot on Nix in R3 than Penix.

    Vastly prefer Rattler, even at 16. Even for the cost of a modest move up to leapfrog the Raiders and Saints, who might be similarly interested in QB4.

    • Whit21

      I think Penix showed what his throwing motions flaws.. iv never liked that 3/4 low elbow release.. just cuz mahomes and josh allen can do it.. Penix’s throws even lower..

    • Mr Drucker in hooterville

      I’m biased against Left handed QBs as a rule.

  21. Pran

    With one interview, Pete all but killed media and fan speculation about his retirement.
    With all the silence and (false) hope Pete will go back to Jody in a week or two on the back of a successful season.

    Pete’s plan for discussion with Jody:
    – fire Waldron. Replace with another incompetent (this wont be part of the meeting)
    – give another year for Clint as they were on the cusp of turning it around and could not due to Jamal Adams being unhealthy
    – bring more (aging) vets on defense to guide the misguided youth
    – let Williams test free agency to find his worth and make a matching offer
    – sign Derrick Henry in FA and trade KW III
    – extend Geno to bring down his cap hit in 2024
    – bring some (aging) vets for IOL
    – draft a QB in 3rd rd or later
    – draft a TE in 1st to replace Noah

    Jody’s plan:
    – Extend Pete thru 2028

    • Whit21

      I think if carroll comes back.. someone has to be on the chopping block.. and thats clint hurtt..

      You can’t be a dline coach and have much more invested dline struggle.. Rob has pointed out that the dline has struggled from the time he was the dline coach..

      Also a defensive coordinator that calls play from the booth just shows hes not doing much coaching.. it looks like they have a breakdown in GameDay coaching because then whos coaching the defense and each position group during the game? It clearly didn’t work and major changes need to happen to bring this struggling defense up to par..

      One thing mike holmgren says ok kjr, his regret when he started was to not bring in vets on defense, to draft and get young guys on D and vets on offense.. thats what lost him his GM title and thats why they had a younger defense when ruskell took over and they went to the SB with a younger defense..

      They had Tubbs that was a firce before getting injured.. drafted Trufant, lewis, and tatupu.. ken hamlin got hurt but they had michael boulware. Let anthony simmons go.. they were not a stout defense but a top 15 Def and the #1 offense..

      If pete comes back they need to hire some better coaches.. better Def coord. Get younger on Def.. bring back leonard williams..

      Depending on whos at QB next year.. a top 15 defense has a better chance that any seahawk team since 2019..

  22. Whit21

    Mike Vrabel getting fired is starting to make the head coaching searches looking scary..

    Im starting to wonder if seahawks leadership let pete stay one more year to send him off with a farewell tour and try to find a coach next year..

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure I understand your point.

      What is scary, exactly?

      Why will next year be any better?

      • Whit21

        Just saying that with other teams yet to move on from coaches, there could be more coaching vacancies and more competition to get the best options..

        Dont know if Eberflus will stay, if any playoff team fires their coach like sirrianni/tomlin.. bill belechick. how many vacancies will there be next year? Maybe fewer than this year..

        So far its

        I would assume titans want a offensive coach to go with will levis..

        How many hot seats would there be next season with so many first year coaches?

        Probably Daboll. Maybe Saleh, todd bowles, dennis allen..

  23. UKHAWK

    Rob. I love the idea of Rattler, Zinter and another OL and chucking in Payton Wilson.

    Believe drafting at 16th means Rattler is our best shot at QB.

    Wouldn’t mind going DT instead of another OL like Sweat or McKinley to pair with signing Williams.

    Feels like some stability upfront would pay dividends over the longer term.

    • UKHAWK


  24. WEG

    “That said, look at what happened in the game overall. Michigan dominated the trenches with or without some favourable calls. They ended with 303 rushing yards and once again, all J.J. McCarthy had to do was manage the game.”

    That’s not the game I saw. They ran 13 plays and gained 229 in the first quarter, then from a 1st-and-10 at the UW 20 from that point on they went FG, P, D, P, FG (short field after Int), P, P, P. On those 8 drives (again, starting at the beginning of Q2) they had 5 first downs, 3 of them on passes or McCarthy runs.

    The Michigan offense produced zero (zero) points from the 15:00 mark of Q2 until the 9:15 mark of Q4, when they completed passes for 41 and 12 and then scored again.

    How do you even assess that? Absurdly dominant in Q1 and not dominant at all the rest of the way.

    Great coaching by UW D coaches? Given their D struggles at times this year, I think the way UW D played against Oregon, Texas and Michigan was, overall, outstanding. (I’m not too unhappy that UW lost – I’m astounded/happy the team I saw against ASU and OSU and WSU beat Oregon and Oregon again and Texas).

    I would say, sure, in hindsight “all J.J. McCarthy had to do was manage the game,” but I would not count the UW managing to stay very much in the game despite its offense doing nothing in the second half as a J.J. McCarthy game management success story. Michigan really needed more from him, he was just luckier than Bo Nix or Quinn Ewers in the “which UW offense will my defense be facing today” department.

    Kudos to Rob Staton – everything he’s said about McCarthy and Penix seemed to be on full display last night. Whatever the Vegas over/under is right now on their draft positions, I’d like to bet the over. (Not that I won’t be rooting for Penix to develop into a better QB as a pro).

    • Rob Staton

      Dominating the trenches isn’t just on offense. They pressured Penix a ton. And running for 303 yards, however it happens, is still highly impressive.

  25. Mr Drucker in hooterville

    “Michigan’s defense played tougher than the Seahawks D..”.- Brock Huard

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