Wednesday notes: O-line woes & Duke, Myles update

Justin Britt has struggled since switching to left guard

Seattle’s offensive line has been a hot-topic for several years. I suspect many critics will realise that, actually, the line wasn’t all that bad in 2013 (and to a lesser extent in 2014).

The NFL in general is struggling to find competent linemen. When Seattle started Okung, Carpenter, Unger, Sweezy and Giacomini — there were often calls for change. With hindsight we can see it was a functioning, grinding line that did enough in pass protection (not flawless, but good enough) and helped the Seahawks develop a productive run game.

To think Carpenter was probably the weak link speaks to the actual effectiveness of the group compared to the 2015 unit. His replacement, Justin Britt, is having a nightmare.

It’s hard to see how he survives in the line-up for much longer. Nathan Ernst (@NathanE11) posted three Vines from the Detroit game to emphasise how much he’s struggling:

I’m not sure what he’s trying to do in the final clip (take a knee?). If the Seahawks hoped the game would get easier for Britt moving inside, it simply isn’t happening. He was considered a late round pick in the 2014 draft and the Seahawks took him in the second round because they felt they had to. Without a third round pick (Percy Harvin trade) and diminishing options, they reached to get a guy they liked and could work with.

After 20 regular season starts, Britt isn’t developing as hoped.

It’s very easy to criticise a draft class and the decisions made by a team. We’re all experts without the pressure of being judged. Yet it’s fair to say the Seahawks got it wrong with their first two picks in 2014. If a tackle/guard was such a high priority to the extent they had to reach on Britt in round two — why didn’t they take one at #32? Or after a small trade down?

Joel Bitonio has excelled to such an extent it’s hard not to wonder how much better the line would be with Bitonio manning the left guard or right tackle spot. Clearly the Seahawks were enamoured with Paul Richardson and he was unfortunate to pick up a serious knee injury towards the end of last season. Even so — in a deep class for receivers would it not have made more sense to wait out the WR position and assess the options at the end of round two? Seattle took that approach for the offensive line and essentially put their faith in a player who clearly didn’t warrant a second round selection.

It is slightly galling to think Seattle could’ve taken Bitonio at #32 and would’ve only needed to jump from #64 to #62 to select Jarvis Landry. Again, you can create these ‘what if’ scenarios for every team. How many fans have second-guessed why their team didn’t select Russell Wilson instead of Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden or Brock Osweiler? Still, this is what the Seahawks could’ve had.

(Of course Landry isn’t a SPARQ demon — but he’s currently the entire Miami offense and makes a ton of plays. It goes to show that while difference making athleticism is well and good — the tape doesn’t lie. Landry looked great at LSU.)

It’s not just Britt who is struggling. Drew Nowak has bundles of upside but plays erratic. They might be able to live with the growing pains if the upshot is an accomplished center by mid-season. How long do you wait though? Lemuel Jeanpierre and Patrick Lewis lack Nowak’s athletic profile but both were barely noticeable playing in relief of Unger last season. Isn’t that what Seattle needs right now? A center that simply gets the job done?

Garry Gilliam is also having a rough ride at right tackle. Like Nowak he might end up developing into a top player. He has everything you want in a left tackle — let alone a right side blocker. He should, theoretically, be able to match up to the best speed rushers in the NFL. At least in terms of athleticism. Like Nowak, however, his play is too up-and-down. Unlike Nowak the Seahawks don’t really have an alternative here.

It’s not just a pass-protection problem either. The Seahawks would probably live with some pass-pro issues considering they have the most elusive quarterback in pro-football. But they’re not running the ball well either. And that’ll be a major headache.

We mentioned it after the Detroit game — but what would the Seahawks give today to have sealed the signature of Evan Mathis before he joined the Broncos?

That might be the way they have to go in the off-season — seasoned veterans. People are going to call for a heavy draft focus on the offensive line — but look at the way rookies are struggling to adapt to the pro-game. If the Seahawks lose Okung and/or Sweezy in free agency — do you really want to be adding even more inexperience?

It could be unavoidable at left tackle. If you want to adequately replace Okung you’ll probably have to spend an early pick. There aren’t many affordable veteran blind-side blockers hitting the market. At guard and center you might have a few more options.

It’d be a real shift in approach, going away from using Tom Cable to develop upside and simply bringing in grizzled veterans. The target would be an average, rental O-line with limited potential but one that might see you through a couple of seasons in the middle of Seattle’s Championship window.

And that’s the issue really, isn’t it? The Seahawks have shown they can win a Super Bowl without an elite offensive line. They really need to identify another Giacomini or two. Some will shudder at the thought — but average will be OK for this team. At the moment it’d be generous to call the line play ‘below average’. It could be costly in 2015 without major improvements. The Seahawks can’t afford any wasted years in this window.

For that reason they might return to Jeanpierre or Patrick Lewis at center and consider another chance for Alvin Bailey at left guard (or Mark Glowinski). It’s surprising Britt hasn’t already been benched ahead of a meeting with Geno Atkins and co. When the off-season comes repairing the O-line will surely be Seattle’s #1 priority. But that won’t necessarily mean spending the first three picks on linemen. More likely, it’ll be one early pick and the addition of a choice veteran free agent or two.

Possible draft targets? Don’t hold out hope for a Taylor Decker, Jack Conklin or Germain Ifedi unless the Seahawks pick in the top half of round one. Auburn’s Shon Coleman has the attitude, physical upside and second-level blocking to warrant serious consideration. Even if they re-sign Okung, Coleman would slot very nicely at guard. Washington State’s Joe Dahl is another possibility providing Seattle are picking late in each round.

Myles Jack turning pro, Jim Mora responds in a Jim Mora way

This isn’t a surprise and the most interesting part of the story involves Jim Mora.

Every year until he eventually leaves UCLA, Mora is going to be linked with a return to the NFL. He’s had relative success with the Bruins and with a limited pool of talented D/O-coordinators, NFL teams are increasingly looking to the college game for options.

If Mora ever does return to the pro’s, his press conference demeanour could be his downfall. Again.

Some coaches are adept at shielding their true feelings. Others are more outspoken but do it in a way that comes across charming, protective or charismatic. Mora is a foot-in-mouth specialist. He talks about Washington being his dream job on air, says Pete Carroll cheats, calls out Olindo Mare for missing kicks and tells everybody he wants dirtbags on the roster.

His rant against Mare in 2009 was a classic case of a coach unable to control his emotions in a public setting. We saw another example this week when Myles Jack made the decision to turn pro.

“I’ve been in 25 Draft rooms. I’ve never seen a guy taken off (two games of junior tape).”

“He’s taking his chips and he’s shoving them into the middle. We hope that he draws a good hand. At least I do.”

“I think it’s very risky to do this.”

To offer some background here, Jack recently injured knee ligaments and is out for the season. It makes sense for him to declare for the draft because in 2014 he took out an insurance policy worth $5m. If he isn’t selected in the first round, it’ll be paid out.

Financially it’s a win-win situation for Jack. Either he’s going in the first round — or he gets the cash.

Mora’s comments smack of a man only concerned with his own interests. He wants the best players available for UCLA and that’s fine — it’s Mora’s job to win games for the Bruins. Yet if he’s only going to consider his own personal interests in a situation like this — how can he criticise Myles Jack for doing exactly the same thing?

And let’s not forget — Mora’s already made his millions. When he was fired in Seattle he had around $12m outstanding on the three remaining years of his contract. The five wins he produced in 2009 came at a significant price for Paul Allen.

Myles Jack is in a position where he’s trying to earn his money — having seriously injured his knee playing for free in the NCAA. Who can really blame him for making this decision when the worst case scenario is he pockets the insurance money?

Mora isn’t the only one of course who conducted quite a bitter press conference after a player opted to turn pro. Pete Carroll didn’t cover himself in glory when Mark Sanchez made a similar decision. The difference is — I suspect Carroll knows with hindsight he spoke somewhat out of turn. Also, Sanchez wasn’t injured and didn’t have the security of an insurance pay out.

If Mora does ever return to the NFL — he’ll need to learn to bite his tongue.

Duke Williams dismissed by Auburn

A top draft prospect coming into the season, this is a real shame. Yet everyone at Auburn seems to be in agreement it had to happen.

Guz Malzahn (Head Coach) — “You give people chances, you give opportunities for people to prove themselves and the bottom line it didn’t (work out)… It’s not easy and it shouldn’t be easy for a coach, but you’ve got to do what’s best for your team.”

Jonathan Wallace (Senior WR) — “Personally, I love him to death… I’m sad to see this had to take place but it needed to be done so we can move forward and get better as a team.” reports the dismissal followed an “off-the-field incident at a local nightclub”. It seems he was already on strike three — and he went out swinging.

What does it mean for his draft stock? Marcus Peters showed a year ago it doesn’t have to be the end of the road. Peters fought back, re-gained respect at Washington and convinced teams he should be taken in round one. Williams has a tough road back to get anywhere near that range.

Sadly, it’s more likely he’ll follow the path of other previously highly rated wide-outs who flame out in college and end up trying to earn a shot in camp. He’s clearly talented with good size, speed and hands. He was clearly Auburn’s best receiver in 2014. His inability to focus solely on the football, however, will likely end up costing him a lot of money. He could easily go undrafted.


  1. KingRajesh

    I’d take a shot at Duke Williams in Rounds 5 or later (maybe the 5th round comp pick). Pete, Russell, and Baldwin can help him get his head on straight.

  2. cha

    I participated in the TNT chat yesterday and Gregg Bell’s answer to my Q on the OL protection calls was really interesting:


    Comment From cha
    Is there a way to know how much of the OL troubles are due to RW making the correct protection calls?

    Gregg Bell
    Here’s what I found out last week before the Chicago game from center Drew Nowak that was interesting: They are making changes at the line based on the defense’s look. They were so fouled up at STL in the opener they had four guys doing one thing and one blocker doing another. So to get everyone on the same page, even if it’s the wrong page, they make one protection call and stick with it no matter what the defense does

    Gregg Bell
    It’s 100 level play calling. Detroit was “stemming” its D-linemen, shifting into gaps just before the snap. If they were doing what they did vs Green Bay and Chicago, which I suspect they did to avoid miscommunication, the linemen saw the shift but made no counter calls and just went with the original protections — whether they were the right ones or, as seemed often, not

    • Rob Staton

      Interesting thanks for passing on.

      • Volume12

        Interesting indeed. Nowak isn’t helping matters. He’s not calling out adjustments and his snaps are awful. Too low, which affects the mesh point on zone read looks.

        I’m with Rob. At this point the an O-lineman almost has to be the pick. Add an interior guy somewhere in the mid rounds and a Giacomini kind of FA.

        Good read Rob. I like the idea of a weekly ‘news and notes’ type post. Not that you’ve said your doing that.

    • Steele

      Thanks, Cha. Bell’s comments explain what we are witnessing. It is not pretty.

    • arias

      Wow cha, that is CRAZY! It sounds like an unmitigated train wreck, it’s a wonder that Cable and the OL can even keep their composure to the press given the disaster going on between them pre-snap.

  3. JeffC

    Don’t let Cable make the pick. Done with his “projects”

    • Volume12

      I think there’s been plenty of good prospects that Cable identified, but they went before our selection. Rob pointed out the fact that 2 years ago in a deep WR class they should’ve went with an O-lineman first. Maybe Cable needs to be the one to put his foot down and say ‘enough of waiting around to select guys at the bottom of my list.’

      • JeffC

        Admittedly I’m blaming Cable when we really don’t know if he’s actually in the back room throwing darts at a John Schneider picture because he may be getting overruled. My true feeling is: whatever process they are doing to bring in/retain oline talent needs to be reevaluated. And sometimes, the obvious pick is the best pick. I think Bitonio falls into that category, and Britt is the opposite.

    • Alex

      The issue with OL (the good prospects) is that they are typically selected really early in the 1st round. With the exception of the Okung draft in which they did select a offensive linemen, the good ones (except Bitino) were off the board.

      If the good OL prospect are gone, you may as well take high upside DL prospects because the current OL prospects are so sub-par. The state of the current OL prospects because of the spread offense has been cross verified by various former players (e.g. Steve Hutchinson, Bruce Matthews).

      Back in Texas a few years back, one of the reasons why Jake Matthews (nephew of Bruce Matthews) went to TAMU over Texas was because of the horrible OL teaching at Texas in their spread offense. Compared to Texas, the OL coach at TAMU- Jim Turner- was a former NFL OL coach and taught the proper techniques.

      • JeffC

        I think the biggest frustration is the higher draft picks. Britt, Carp, Moffitt all failed or in carps case a near fail. Let’s call Britt a failure unless something turns around. If those picks are reasonable picks, do the diamond in the rough guys Cable gets credit for: Bailey, Sweezy, Bowie even get a chance to play? Doubtful. Not to the extent that they did.

        Looking at the higher picks, what is remarkable about those players? Anything? I don’t see it. Does Britt have any measurables that excite anyone? What does Cable exactly look for as “one of his guys?” Can you imagine how bad this team would be if we didn’t have a scrambling chaos centric qb? I think without RW, Cable would have been fired a while ago, assuming that this is his grand design.

        When I listen to Kiro, the talking heads like Danny, Salk, Brock, Wyman, etc assume Britt will end up okay just because of Cable’s genius. I don’t see this guy lasting long in the NFL. He’s downright horrific. He was horrific last year and is horrific this year. I don’t want to see them wait too much longer and risk their 21 million a year investment. RW may create a lot of his own pressure, but that shouldn’t be used to excuse how poor this oline is.

        • Volume12

          If they didn’t have RW, the O-lineman drafted would be completely different.

          • JeffC

            Carpenter and Moffitt were drafted before RW came here. Since RW came here, the only high pick has been Justin Britt.

            • arias

              What’s baffling to me is that it looked like Britt had made some progress towards the end of last season. He didn’t give up any pressure in the season finale against the Rams and played well in the SB. It’s especially disappointing as it looks like he’s literally a rookie again with the move to left guard. It makes me wonder whether they’d be better off seeing if he could continue to build upon his progress at RT last year just to salvage him as a player because right now he looks utterly lost.

              What should have been a lateral move to make it easier on him has turned out quite the opposite. It’s baffling.

  4. Volume12

    Damn. W. Virginia S Karl Joseph out for the season. Truly one of my favorite prospects in this class, which isn’t very good.

    • Trevor

      Liked him too. Is a senior or Jr?

  5. Bob Johnston

    Before the season started I said I wasn’t very concerned about the Seahawk OL. I thought Unger and Carp moving on was okay because Lewis and Lem had filled in inedequately for Unger already and we just needed to replace Carp at left guard and had Bailey waiting in the wings to take over. I really thought we just needed to fill in at left guard, end of story.

    Boy, was I wrong. I know Britt wasn’t great last season but I was expecting some growth over the offseason… instead he’s regressed and is really playing poorly at left guard. Lewis and Lem haven’t played at center and Nowak, while not being terrible doesn’t appear to have the experience to call out protection schemes (for that matter Russell doesn’t appear to have the knack either). Gilliam is now playing Britt’s old spot at right tackle so there’s a learning curve there. For whatever reason Bailey and Lewis don’t play and defensive tackles are licking their chops to rush Britt. It’s as if everyone got worse and the chemistry went to hell.

    The bright side is that it isn’t going to get worse (fingers crossed). I believe these guys have the physical tools, they need experience and despite getting their asses kicked the Hawks seemed determined to let them get that experience. I believe the coaches are seeing improvement otherwise we’d have seen changes already.

    One silver lining is that this group isn’t making the penalties that we’ve seen in years past. They may not be adding value but they’re not taking it away (so far) with bad penalties.

  6. AlaskaHawk

    Now that we are using Rawls as our primary running back, here is an interesting Wiki link to Rawls:

    Among his many attributes,
    He was nicknamed “The Train” in high school, and broke high school rushing records set by Mark Ingram
    He played for two years at Michigan
    He played one year for Central Michigan where he also faced three felony charges.

    PC is quoted as saying “I knew Rawls would make it in the NFL when I found out about his felony charges in college.”

    • CharlietheUnicorn

      He was also called Beastmode in HS or College

  7. Volume12

    PC says ‘Bane should go on Sunday. Simon out, Dobbs doubtful, KPL is TBD, Bennett is fine, Lynch is day to day, Burley had surgery and is indefinite, and Freddy Jack might play as well. Not as banged up as it originally appeared on Sunday. I thought we were getting squezzed (sp?) tight.

    • Rob Staton

      I just watched the Bengals/Chiefs game (and two Paxton Lynch games, more on him tomorrow). Clear to me Seahawks can have some success vs Cincy’s slow linebackers. Running against them might be tough but they have a clear speed edge on the back seven. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of quick sideline hitters and screens. I know people hate those but it’s SEA’s best chance IMO. Also think Graham and Willson can win the seam if the line gives Wilson even 3-4 seconds.

      It sounds weird but it’s going to be really hard to stop Andy Dalton. He’s playing at a level I haven’t seen from him yet. If they don’t pressure him he’ll find Green & Eifert. Cincy being very creative with their RB’s in the passing game. Green playing like a man possessed so far. They have to pressure Dalton and make him look like the AD we’ve come to know. Run game doesn’t concern me too much as long as they do a better job setting the edge than they did vs STL. Hill found the edge too easily and they opened up some big lanes vs KC I doubt we see vs SEA.

      • Trevor

        Rob I agree Dalton looks incredibly confident and efficient. I think a major reason is that his OL is playing incredibly well. In the games I have watched he hs had lots of time and is making great decisions.

        I have a bad feeling about this weekend. The Bengals have a solid OL and should give Dalton time. He has a good TE in Eifert and his backs are both good receivers. I see Jones and Green going deep to spread the field with Dalton working the underneath stuff taking the odd deep shot. Much like Rodgers did to us.

        On the other side of the ball the Bengals Dline is far superior to Detroit and they will have to deal with crowd noise as well. I truly fear for Wilsons safety.

        The really should just start Lewis and Bailey who at least have some experience and have shown they can be replacement level players. Britt and Nowak are not right now and don’t seem to be improving. I think their confidence is shot.

        I actually think we had a better shot at against GB than we do on the east coast for an early game in Cincy. Hope I am wrong but I see about a 27-17 score.

        • Rob Staton

          I will say that watching the Bengals game I thought their front four were OK. Wasn’t scary to watch. They used the linebackers well especially against the inside run.

          • Trevor

            I was surprised how well Maluga played but I think we can take advantage of him in the passing game. I hope Graham and Willson are a focus of the offense this week and Balwin / Locket in the slot.

            • Volume12

              Nice assesment there Rob. Paxton Lynch is the tall a** QB from Memphis, correct?

              Yeah Andy Dalton looks better than ever. I have to wonder if he’ll keep it up. The thing I like and respect about Cincy is the way they’ve gone about building that roster. 90% through the draft, and very low key, only bargain bin guys in FA.

              Listening to PC talk, I kinda think they’re looking forward to this challenge. And it seems as though the season truly started for Seattle against Chicago.

              • Volume12

                Whether people want to admit it or not, PC and JS have a ton of Al Davis in them. And not the Al Davis from the last 10-12 years of his life. I’m talking the 70s and 80s Al Davis.

                • Volume12

                  Dammit. I meant to post that below.

              • Alex

                That’s partially because CINC has a really cheap owner.

          • smitty1547

            wait until u see them against are front 5, the Steel curtail #2

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        PFF doesn’t think that much of Dalton’s start to 2015. Or at least they’re not convinced he’s among the top 10 QBs in the League so far.

        Also, the first 4 games of 2015 aren’t his best 4-game streak. His best was from week 14 thru week 17 heading into a wildcard vs SD – a loss and bad day for Dalton.

        SEA doesn’t have to sack Dalton to move him out of his comfort zone. They just need to move him – off his reads, out of the pocket, etc. And that’s a good thing because so far they’re pretty good at the latter but lousy at the former. This could be a good day for the LOB to get their first INT(s) of the season.

        • Rob Staton

          PFF say a lot of things…

      • Jeff M.

        If they could get those quick-release timing throws going right away it could actually help open up the slower-developing stuff. The defense has to spread out to cover slants and flats instead of bring extra pressure, and the DL start trying to get their hands up in throwing lanes instead of coming after the QB directly (since the ball is going to be out before they get there). Then Russell can pump-fake the slant and go to Graham up the seam or Baldwin on a wheel route, etc. But it takes actually calling those plays to start with and Russell actually getting the ball out immediately. If he pulls it down and tries to scramble instead on those initial playcalls, it just gives the defense incentive to come after him harder instead of forcing them to back off and cover.

  8. mrpeapants

    its almost like they get too cute with the draft. I know its not the hawks way, but there are reasons why some guys are consensus first round picks or 7th round picks(or 5 round picks). weve had many chances to draft QUALITY o lineman and just keep passing. its seems that since they hit on some no name late round picks that now they can do that with anyone. almost like they value the shock value of the player rather then the talent. im not saying that’s all that goes into their decision, maybe its even a very tiny tiny portion of it, but the pattern is troubling, and shouldn’t even be a factor. carpenter, Irvin, CM, Britt, Clark, Richardson. All of them were drafted higher then they should have been. clark looks like the real deal so far, but the rest? has the ego gotten too big? is cable not the guru hes supposed to be? I don’t know. I do know that there is no excuse for this oline! none!! go hawks

    • Volume12

      They know what they want and they get ‘their’ guys. It’s very hard to find great players, when a team like Seattle has as many requirements as they do for O-lineman, DTs, DEs, LBs, CBs, WRs, RBs, and even QBs.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Last draft we thought they just needed a few pieces. Little did we know that next draft we would be discussing replacing the entire offensive line. I still think they will get better over time, and I don’t favor switching anyone out yet with the possible exception of Britt.

      • mrpeapants

        the only requirement for the oline is that they suck, and that needs to change. lets go with talented guys instead of their guys

  9. Trevor

    Also if I was a recruit those Jim Mora comments would not be sitting well with me.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Some Bruin boosters are very unhappy with his statements.

    • CharlietheUnicorn

      Let’s not penalize him for speaking frankly. I would rather people said what was on their mind (see M. Bennett after the Lions game) than to be all PC about everything. I think if he genuinely feels this way about the topic, showing his passion about the UCLA football program…. he will attract more of the recruits, than he will lose.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        I hear you Charlie but Mora’s comments reek of sour grapes. Myles Jack was pretty much a R1 lock before his injury. Express regret for his departure, wish him the best as he moves forward, and that’s it. Why go all mock draftnik?

        • JeffC

          Jack had to leave to kick in that 5 million insurance policy, so Mora is thinking only of himself.

          • Trevor

            Absolutely correct it was a selfish statement by a coach who has made many self serving and questionable decisions himself. It was the only move Jack had that made an ounce of sense.

  10. Trevor

    The Hawks really should have cut Mebane and used the $ 5mil in cap space to sign Wisnewski and Mathis. Our OL would be a much improved unit and I don’t think we would have seen any drop off in our defense with Mebane out.

    • Alex

      Mebane is our best nose tackle. Before Rubin came aboard, he was the only true 1 tech. Even compared to Rubin, Mebane offers more pass rush at the position. Our depth at DT is thin enough as it is. It doesn’t need to get thinner. Sooner or later the run defense will suffer.

      • CharlietheUnicorn

        Sadly, this will be his last season. While we have him, let’s let him do what he does best. Disrupt the run game and cause occasional pressures on the QB from the DT position.

        • Alex

          I understand that it’ll be his last season with the Hawks, but the point is that he’s not remotely as replaceable as people believe he is. I wouldn’t feel very good about our run defense with we decide to swap Mebane for either Mathis or Wisnewski.

          • Trevor

            Alex there was no drop off this year or last year when Mebane was out. So how is he not replaceable?

          • Trevor

            They could have had both guys for Mebanes salary. You would not trade a starting Center and LG for our horrible OL for an injured 30 + DT? I guess PC/JS saw it your way as well and IMO it was a bad decision.

          • david m

            Im not sure what your seeing from Hill but he looks pretty good to my eye?

            • Trevor

              I really like Hill. He holds up against the run and makes splash plays. I think a DT rotation of Hill, Rubin and Clark would be more than adequate.

              I still think we need to go hard on both the DL and OL in this draft.

              • Volume12

                I think they’ll resign Rubin aka ‘big tuba.’ Pete seems pretty high on him. They seem to like having 3 DTs and a Dobbs body type on the interior. Another DT will be needed after this year. They’ll more than likely take one earlier on. Afterr all, the strength of this class (value wise) is the O-line and D-line.

  11. Nathan

    Be interesting to do a ‘in a perfect world’ redraft.

    2013 to now would look something like this.

    1st round – Deandre Hopkins
    2nd round – Travis Kelce
    3rd round – Jordan Hill

    1st round – Joel Bitonio
    2nd round – Paul Richardson(he would have still been on the board, wouldn’t he?)
    3 round – Jerrick Mckinnon

    1st round – Malcolm Brown
    2nd round – Frank Clark
    3rd round – Tyler Lockett

  12. CharlietheUnicorn

    The word on the 710 street is that D. Nowak will be sitting on the bench and Seattle will start P. Lewis at Center this Sunday. I’m not for or against it, but it might be time to see what another center can bring. The problems with snaps was disconcerting.. adding difficulty to routine pass plays the last few weeks.

    The TE, RB, FB, QB and OL need to work together to pass block or RB, so far this season, they are 1 step out of sync. Blitz recognition, off RWs backside has been poor. The CB/SS blitzes specifically in game #4.
    This will be a very tough test for Seattle on the road, but they seem to rise to the occasion.

    The defense appears to be getting closer and closer to what “we” expect year in and year out. Time to create a few turnovers and get a few more sacks. They are very close to exploding.

    • David M2


      Do you think there may be a consideration of sliding Nowalk to LG? Seems to be more servicable than Britt. Is that a position he’s potentially cut out for if Lewis can hang in there at C?

      • Rob Staton

        Maybe — but then I thought Britt would find it easier at guard.

    • Rob Staton

      Who reported that? Carroll said same starting five on Sunday.

      • cha

        Bob Condotta


        Seahawks OL coach Tom Cable says no changes planned to the line this week.

        4:28 PM – 7 Oct 2015

    • david m

      lol 710 guys are full of it. just BS coming out of there mouth except for clayton and brock.

      I cant stand danny

      • JeffC

        But you have to love Moore. Moore and Wyman together are hilarious.

  13. CharlietheUnicorn

    I also had a quick topic to throw out to the group. The Michigan Wolverines are running an NFL scheme with their OL. Perhaps, when looking for future recruits/draft picks for Seattle…. take a look at the OL prospects and grade them a bit higher. They are getting the fundamental work in during college, reducing the learning curve coming into the NFL. Thanks Coach Harbaugh! Put that in your pipe and smoke it. 😛

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      The more I watch UM TE Jake Butt, the more I like.

    • Alex

      Tim Drevno is one of the best if not the best OL coaches in all of CFB. He was the coach who coached up the 2 and 3 star prospects at Stanford into 1st and 2nd round picks. He went with Harbaugh to the 49ers as an assistant OL coach behind Mike Solari (one of the best in the NFL). He left during Harbaugh’s last year and went to USC under Sark for a year. When Harbaugh went to the Wolverines, Drevno followed. I don’t think it’s surprising that the USC OL has regressed this year despite having the same players while the Wolverines OL has taken a quantum leap.

    • Rob Staton

      Perhaps, but none of Habraugh’s Stanford O-line guys have set the world on fire.

      • David M2

        This is correct, so far they have only set the Miami Dolphins on fire…

  14. HD

    I’m ready for Lewis at center and Bailey at LG

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      @Bailey_67: Thinkin about 31 other cities I’d rather be in then Seattle right now…

      Looks like Bailey’s fed up too.

      • Rob Staton

        What a silly thing to Tweet.

        • Trevor

          Unfortunately that attitude is probably why he is not starting and lost what should have been his job in camp.

          • Volume12

            Nailed it Trev.

            • CHawk Talker Eric

              Maybe. But maybe his attitude was great in OTAs/TC. He showed up slimmer and in better shape. He practiced hard and made a case for starting. But the coaches went with their R2 pick Britt.

              I know PC preaches competition at every position. But maybe, just maybe in this case they gave the nod to Britt because they spent more to get him – both in terms of wanting to maximize their draft investment and thinking that Britt is a better athlete with greater potential.

              Not that any of it excuses his childish tweet.

              • Trevor

                I have thought Britt was an awful pick since day #1 and have said he is not an NFL lineman. I have never once swayed from this. I have always thought Bailey was a better option. But that kind of tweet just does not help his cause and I think Cabel would have been pissed. He should have just continued working and if Britt continues to struggle I know they are going to make a move after Cincy. You can tell Petes patience is gone.

                • JeffC

                  Agree with you 100% on Britt.

                  With Bailey, it was probably a statement he probably regrets making. I’m sure he’s frustrated watching the position he got in shape for being handled by Britt. Perhaps his performance in camp was bad, or perhaps it is favoritism to Britt. And I’m sure most people on this blog would think favoritism is impossible with the always compete mantra but it can’t be ruled out. This kind of stuff happens in almost every workplace. Except in football every disgruntled employees’ statement makes the headlines somewhere.

                  I have to wonder with the always compete mantra that is Bailey really THAT bad? I mean, if he can’t beat out Britt despite what we’re seeing out there…

                  Salk did say this morning that although PC said nothing would change, he’s put the oline on notice.

  15. Ed


    Trade Okung to Miami for a 2nd. Start using running formations with a fullback and playaction off of same formations. Use shotgun and zone read as a wrinkle, not as your offense.

  16. RealRhino2

    For Rob and others who have experience scouting prospects: What do you think of Gilliam as a LT prospect? His lack of power seems to have him miscast as a RT. Since — as has been noted — the elite LT prospects go off the board very early, perhaps we could slide Gilliam to LT and draft a RT or great OG prospect, if our draft position is at the back end of R1.

    • Volume12

      It’d be tough taking anything but a LT in the first. Even if you don’t play your rookie LT at that spot, LTs are typically the most athletic and best offensive lineman, as you know.

      Personally, I don’t see Gilliam as anything more than a swing tackle. He may end up entrenching himself as the starter, but he does not mirror well. Dude gets worked all game long. Very, very few RTs have become quality LTs in this league, if any.

      • Volume12

        You know what Rhino? I take that back. Don’t be shocked if we pull the trigger on the top ranked C.

        • AlaskaHawk

          The advantage being we could get the top ranked center or guard late in the first round. I watched Robs clips. Besides Britt, it also shows bad blockings by Sweezy and Okung.

    • Rob Staton

      He has the tools it’s whether he can put it together.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        I wish we could’ve seen more Gilliam at TE while Britt was still at RT – particularly in pass pro. Use Gilliam to help Britt set the edge block, then release to the flat as a safety outlet.

  17. Volume12

    Rob, what do you think of Max Tuerk? Is C his position? Seems very long and angular. I know he’s played almost every position on the O-line, but he looks like a LT. I’m curious, because I was just watching him on draft breakdown.

    • Rob Staton

      First few viewing I was pretty ‘meh’ about him.

      • Volume12

        Alrighty. Can Joe Dahl be a LT? I think he could play the other 4 spots. IMO he’d make an amazing C. He calls out the ine protections and adjustments as is.

        I just found this out yesterday. I live in Spokane, Dahl’s hometown, and my mom worked with his mom. Says he’s obsessed with the game and eats, drinks, and breathes the game of football. For what that’s worth, I was pretty excited to find that out.

        I’m liking this cat more and more. We could see a Deone Bucannon like rise from him.

        Interesting how many C’s Seattle has scouted this year and summer.

        • Rob Staton

          I’d personally like him more inside.

          • Volume12

            As would I. Just trying to get a gauge from a few different people on what the perception of Dahl is. TBH, I’d really like this dude if he was our first overall selection as a C.

            Don’t know if he’ll rise THAT high, but I have a feeling he’ll make his way into the mid-early 2nd. And as we know, Seattle always seems to select guys a bit earlier than where their projected.

            • RealRhino2

              I’m not a scout by any stretch, but doesn’t it look like he has trouble anchoring ? Don’t get me wrong, he does his job, but I saw a lot of plays where he’s getting pushed back several feet by college DEs. What’s that say about him handling NFL DTs inside?

              So far the guy whose tape looked really good to me was Ifedi from A&M. Thoughts on him as a tackle prospect?

  18. david m

    why did we not take a shot at le’eal Collins (however you spell his name) he ended up signing with the cowboys, but he is 1st round talent that dropped because of off the field concerns ( big time concerns) but a talent like that, why pass it up in the later rounds? he probably could have anchored this line down.

    We took a chance with frank clark, why not collins? just another “what if” question

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Not an insider, but from what I read, DAL (JJ) had Collins locked up before anyone else had a chance.

      • Rob Staton

        Wonder what the reaction would’ve been had they used a 7th rounder, a day after spending the second rounder on Frank Clark?

        Might’ve been too hot. Might’ve also provided them with a stud left guard.

        • cha

          I seem to recall (correct me if I’m wrong) Collins and/or his agent lobbying pretty hard to NOT be drafted after he missed day 1. Might be a tough thing to draft a guy who open stated he didn’t want to be.

          Has anyone checked in on Garrett Scott? Has his heart condition ended his career? I thought I read that with treatment etc he could someday play again.

          • JeffC

            I heard it as well, that his agent sent all teams a memo not to draft his client with a late rounder or they’d sit a year and take their chances by reentering the draft. They wanted free agency to choose their spot with better terms than a 7th rounder.

            • cha

              Yeah that extra year of free agency could be huge for a good to great player.

            • arias

              Except the agent admitted afterwards they were bluffing. They would have never sat him for a year.

              • JeffC

                That’s good to know, thanks.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Maybe, but Collins’ situation was different. Never really a suspect, even before being officially cleared.

        • Trevor

          They were going to take heat locally and nationally in the media for the Clark pick anyways so I think they definitely should have taken a flier on Collins. I really thought they were going to. PC/JS are one of the few front offices with the goodwill built up with the fan base and ownership who could have. The Patriots are the only other front office that could have but after Hernandez they really couldn’t I guess.

          I think it would have been better for Collins as well as he would have be a day #1 starter on a run based offense with SB potential. Give Dallas credit for doing their research and recruiting well.

          We need to get the guy who scouts OL for Dallas. I know they have used high picks but they really have not missed on one. Incredible really.

  19. david m

    IS it just me or does Seattle play bad against bad teams, and good against good teams? yes the O line is horrid right now, but in general as a team? they seemed to be that way last year as well. 2013 season too. look at the TB game 13′

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      SEA is a “wet blanket” team. They play to the level of their opponent, and smother them with slightly better play.

  20. M

    To me, passing on Bitonio was always a huge gamble–the Seahawks were trying to have their cake and eat it too.

    Compounding that decision are the other gambles they’ve taken:

    1) Banking on sheer athleticism, potential and Cable to form a workable o-line
    2) Trading Unger and a 1st for Graham (significantly downgrading your o-line but significantly upgrading your receiving corps). On paper, this should be a winning trade except they haven’t consistently been able to make Graham work thus far (at least not enough to offset the price).

    Bottom line, the Seahawks have rolled the dice on a risky o-line strategy and thus far, it’s been mostly snake eyes.

    That being said, I think it’s still too early to declare this strategy a bust. The o-line has shown flashes and stretches of good play and up until last week had been making progress. When/if they will come together is a fair question but perspective sometimes changes pretty quickly in the NFL.

    My sense is that they’ve bottomed out here but let’s see…Cincinnati is a huge test and if they fail again there will definitely be changes.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I have a hard time believing that their will be a big improvement in the offensive line when they have to play Cincinnati at home. I would give them through the first half of the season to improve. Of course if they do some quick passes and get the ball out of RW’s hands sooner, that will make the offensive line look better. Rawls is doing okay as a running back, so there is some run blocking happening.

    • cha

      It’s easy to MMQB these things but the way things have gone, you have to ask if the swap of Britt to LG and promotion of Gilliam to RT was too hasty a move. Maybe if they had left the original OL as is and let them take their lumps in the preseason they would be more solidified and confident in the protection schemes by this point in the season.

      • arias

        That’s precisely what I’ve been wondering too. Having 3 guys trying to feel out new positions is turning out to be too radical a move is my hunch.

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