Why I think this should be a make or break year for Carroll

Carroll & Wilson’s relationship will continue to be a talking point

I think the Seahawks are facing a crucial season.

Personally, I’ve felt they needed change at the top for a while.

I think they need fresh ideas with a new approach.

I think they need an offensive-minded Head Coach with a vision that meshes with the franchise quarterback — who they made the focal point of the organisation when they gave him a $35m a year cotnract.

I’m concerned that the Seahawks are entering a period of ‘win or bust’ — where the bust equates to significant, franchise-changing consequences.

If this season ends up being more of the same, meaning playoff failure, it should be time to have a serious conversation about changing the Head Coach.

I know it’s a form of blasphemy in Seattle to suggest Pete Carroll’s no longer the right man for the job. Such a take is often ridiculed and laughed off.

One of the many push-back arguments is Seattle’s regular season record. They have been consistent winners since drafting Russell Wilson. For fans who grew up with putrid Seahawks teams in the 80’s and 90’s, there’s very much a ‘don’t look a gift-horse in the mouth’ vibe going on.

To me though, looking to the past to justify the future is a backwards way of viewing things. Thanks to Paul Allen, this isn’t your dad’s Seahawks any more. They’ve set new standards, reached new heights.

They’re no longer mixing with the bottom feeders of the NFL.

More importantly, however, they have something that will prevent any major regression — regardless of who is in charge at the top.

A legit franchise quarterback.

It can easily be argued that the main reason the Seahawks have had their run of winning seasons over the last few years is down to Wilson. Without him, not even Carroll would’ve been able to muster anything close to the same kind of success.

After all, it was only after adding Wilson in 2012 that the Seahawks dragged themselves out of the 7-9 mire.

Even last year, Wilson’s influence rang true. People linger on his difficult second half to the season. Yet the only reason they ever reached 12-4 was down to the quarterback.

Once his form tailed off, they finished 7-5 (including the Rams playoff loss). So basically they ended the year a smidgen above .500 — despite facing a relatively easy schedule.

They got to 12 wins purely down to their 5-0 start — where Wilson put up record numbers to prop up a defense that was on a pace to be one of the worst in NFL history.

So I’m not buying the idea that if Carroll were to depart that suddenly things would collapse. While ever Wilson is in Seattle, they have a great chance to succeed.

Furthermore, you can’t call regular season wins a marker for true success. Not for the Seahawks in their current form, anyway. And certainly not for Wilson. He isn’t going to look back on his career and bask in the glow of several winning seasons if it doesn’t come with any fresh, serious challenge for the ultimate prize.

Fans determined to be positive (which is fine) can cling to regular season wins and be proud of it. This franchise, in its current guise, needs to be judged on playoff success.

They’ve only won the NFC West twice in the last six years. In their last six playoff games, they’re 2-4 — with the victories coming against a middling Detroit team at home and against an awful Philadelphia, without their starting quarterback.

Since 2015, here’s the list of teams who haven’t played in the NFC Championship game:

New York Giants

Everyone else has been there.

To not even reach a Championship game — or really even come close — in the last six years, should be seen as a failure. Regardless of any regular season record.

Therefore I think this should be a make or break year for Pete Carroll.

If it’s more of the same in 2021, I think he should consider stepping down.

Think about what might happen if he doesn’t. Will Wilson go one step further than he did this year and actively pursue a trade?

It’s at least a possibility. He turns 33 in November. Time is of the essence for Wilson and if he doesn’t see this team making progress — and if he feels their vision and blueprint is wrong — there’s every chance he’ll seek to go somewhere else in an attempt to fulfill his lofty ambitions.

Both parties came together this year, potentially because they were forced to. Yet it feels like old wounds could reopen. The lack of any changes to Wilson’s contract are indicative of a situation that is being left open. A simple restructure to create cap space is easy to do. The Seahawks didn’t do it.

It would be a franchise-defining moment if they were forced to pick between the only elite quarterback Seattle has ever seen and a coach who will turn 70 later this month.

And I don’t bring up Carroll’s age to dismiss him. Let’s just be realistic here. If Wilson intends to play for at least another 8-12 years he will likely outlast Carroll’s coaching career. It’s a pure numbers game.

Therefore, I think it’s up to Carroll to prove that as the man at the top, he can take this team back to the NFC Championship game. That has to be the marker. Anything else should be deemed a failure and change should be considered.

Otherwise are we just going to see the same season, over and over, until we wake up one day and feel the Wilson era was a missed opportunity?

I appreciate the likelihood of change is slim, regardless of what happens this year. The Seahawks appear to be in an ownership holding pattern and it’s convenient for the incumbents to hand the football keys to Carroll and John Schneider. Going through a significant coaching change now, if they intend to sell within the next five years (as has been speculated), is undesirable.

But Carroll can also make that decision for them. I’m not sure he would. Perhaps he should, though, if it becomes clear that a ‘him or me’ situation emerges with Wilson angling for serious change.

Some fans would clearly back Carroll in this situation. However, I’ve studied the quarterbacks in college football and it’s not pretty. Replacing Wilson will be the hardest thing this franchise ever has to do.

If it comes to pass that the quarterback goes a step further than he did this year, someone is going to have to make a call. Forget about convenience or what is ideal. A decision needs to be made for the good of the franchise.

This will be Wilson’s 10th season playing for Carroll. It’s seven years since they made a run to the Super Bowl.

I am intrigued by the possibility of seeing what Wilson could achieve playing for a brilliant offensive-minded Head Coach.

Look at the recent examples where having a terrific offensive leader has helped teams get to the Super Bowl.

Kyle Shanahan guided the 49ers and Falcons to the Super Bowl. Sean McVay has been there. Andy Reid’s Chiefs have been twice. Doug Pederson won a Super Bowl with the Eagles. Bruce Arians won a Super Bowl with the Buccs.

There has been a shift in the NFL in recent times. Offensive leaders seem to be king with one glaring, Belichick-shaped exception. Rather than sit wondering forever what Wilson could achieve playing with an offensive-minded Head Coach, I’d like to see what it looks like before it’s too late.

I suspect Wilson feels that way too. That’s why his list of four trade destinations earlier this year included New Orleans (Sean Payton), Chicago (Matt Nagy), Las Vegas (Jon Gruden) and Dallas (Mike McCarthy).

That’s not exactly a subtle hint, is it? Four offensive coaches.

And let’s be right here. The Seahawks are paying Wilson $35m a year. If they intend to retain him long term, that figure is going to rise dramatically. The Seahawks would be best served structuring their football operations around their investment, making Wilson and an offensive coach the true identity and focal point.

I appreciate it’s all well and good me talking this way. I need to provide some names for alternative coaches.

Brian Daboll has transformed Josh Allen in Buffalo, turned Stefon Diggs into an even better weapon and is creative with his game-planning. He’s been around different coaches and has a lot of experience.

Joe Brady is from the Sean Payton school of coaching and has been mightily impressive in stints with LSU and the Carolina Panthers.

Eventually someone is going to seriously pursue Matt Campbell at Iowa State and Lincoln Riley will eventually, you’d imagine, want to scratch the NFL itch.

Those are the four that immediately spring to mind. It’s not a flawless list by any stretch but I do think it shows that options exist. Pairing an offensive Head Coach with an experienced defensive coordinator, who is given the keys to run things his way, feels like a good plan.

It’s not just about a need to make the most of the Wilson era or keep him on board. I think Seattle’s roster construction and use of resources has been poor for a number of years. Their scheming, game-planning, game-management, player development and winning when it matters is also up for criticism.

The stated aim in terms of playing style has increasingly failed to chime with the way they’ve built their team. They’ve struggled, in my opinion, to weigh-up the kind of balanced football Carroll prefers while paying a franchise quarterback so much — knowing he increasingly has his own aims and ambitions and preferences.

At times the way the team has been put together since the 2018 reset has appeared haphazard and confused. It’s been reactive more than planned — with too many band-aids and too many glaring weaknesses being unaddressed when seasons began.

There’s been complacency. Joe Fann challenged Carroll after the Washington game a year ago following another stalled offensive display where Seattle nearly blew a 17-point fourth quarter lead to Dwayne Haskins. It was brushed off as barely a concern. Three weeks later the season was over and those same problems that were dismissed were a big reason why.

They’ve been uncompetitive and seemingly unprepared at the start of key playoff games —- relying on Wilson to deliver heroic second half comebacks that have always been in vain.

I think you can question coaching appointments too. Not Shane Waldron, who is an unknown. But certainly prior appointments.

The buck stops with Carroll.

That’s not to ignore the clear positives he provides — including his unmatched culture, motivating skills, experience and competitive spirit.

Let’s also appreciate that Carroll will always be a Seahawks legend. A true visionary who delivered so much to Seattle and the NFL in general.

I just happen to think that the issues, right now, outweigh the positives. I think things have become stale and I think the Wilson-inspired regular season records are merely a convenient way to avoid a conversation we need to have.

I expect the Seahawks to have another winning record in the 2021 regular season. I think they’ll make the playoffs. I think they’ll probably be eliminated in the first two rounds again.

And to me, if that happens, it should be time for a change.

I can also say, with 100% confidence, that I’d like nothing more than to eat those words in a few months time.

I’ll own this article if I’m wrong. I hope I am and they at least make the NFC Championship game.

If I’m right — and it is more of the same this year — I think more people should be willing to embrace this uncomfortable discussion.

We discussed this topic among many others on our latest live stream, which you can watch below…

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  1. Submanjoe

    It’s sad that Pete most likely wouldn’t step down. It’s sad that he gets such a free pass from much of the local media.

    This team hasn’t dominated any game in years. They’ve had great wins and wins when they’re supposed to. But they haven’t destroyed teams. And don’t give me the Jets last year who missed 4 field goals.

    The defense has been on a seven year steady decline. Russ is the difference. The win guess this year is somewhere between 8-13 wins depending on injuries. And then losing in first two rounds of the playoffs.

    Maybe Darrell Taylor becomes a badass. Maybe Alton Robinson does. Maybe Chris Carson plays the entire season and has his best possible season ever, same as Will Dissly, same as Penny. Maybe DJ Reed becomes the next Aqib Talib. That’s too many maybes for comfort though.

  2. Blitzy the Clown

    Even if you’re wrong about the outcome of this season, you aren’t wrong in the premise of your article.

    Kudos to you for this clear-eyed assessment. Harking back to a previous discussion, this isn’t plain old negativity. It is legit criticism based on empirical observation.

    For what it’s worth, I think Carroll (and Schneider) had early success both finding later-round draft gems and practicing football “alchemy” by transmuting players into new positions.

    That kind of stuff is basically luck, and in the immortal words of Left Gomez, “I’d rather be lucky than good.” But you can’t control luck like you can how good you are.

  3. Denver Hawker

    I don’t believe Seattle sports fans/media demand the kind of excellence you’re rightly wanting to see, nor what Wilson desires. It’s a strange small market mentality that accepts almost great as good enough.

    Dallas on that list is an interesting comparison. Jerry moved on from Garett to bring a fresh approach despite Garrett’s regular season success.

    • Rob Staton

      Jerry messed up the replacement appointment though, IMO

      Although that said, Dak missed most of the year

      • Denver Hawker

        McCarthy gets a pass for last year, but he’s another interesting comparison to Carroll. Consistent regular season success (at a storied franchise no less) behind a franchise QB with disappointing playoff exits.

        It’s just a curious pairing of a defensive minded coach with Wilson- they have opposing interests.

    • Jacob

      I think we are at that level….. also jerry replaced garret with on of the worst prospects available.

  4. L80

    The headscratching way they run the offense is just maddenning since they keep doing it no matter who is the O.C.

    Taking every last second to get a play in, taking delays and very important time outs is hair pulling for us as fans who put so much time in talking, thinking and getting involved with almost every player.

    I agree with all of what you wrote, 11 years and one win in the SB with the players we had, and RW is not excusable.

  5. Ukhawk

    I bought into Carroll’s philosophy and for a good stretch he was able to create a dominant, sustainable team however, as you point out, it hasn’t happened for the past 6 years.

    PC seems to be working off short-termism now in terms of both managing team capital in the draft and free agency as well as developing both the players and coaches. The results speak for themselves – we have very few all-pro players, poor talent development and very little quality depth. Other teams like the Steelers, Ravens, KC to name a few seem to know their system and be able to consistently build and re-build championship teams.

    In my opinion, give PC a prove it ultimatum. Put a transition plan in place with John Schneider succeeding Pete. Giving JS the reins to build a winner on his terms; someone who can not only hire and work with an offensive minded coach but also put in place and long term manage talent, budget and organizational structure.

  6. cha


    From the end of season press conference:

    Micahael-Shawn Dugar: In terms of accountability within the building, are there people who can get in your ear and tell you the truth about stuff, and if so, who are those people?

    Pete Carroll: That’s a good question. I have always gauged loyalty based – I mean, my guys are totally loyal in the way you understand the word, they support and are positive and all that – but the true loyalty is the people that will tell you what you need to hear when you might not want to hear it. I’m gonna really miss Brennan not being part of our club. Because he and Nate have been really big factors. They’ll tell me stuff that other guys won’t tell me. So they’ve always been really instrumental. Moving forward I’m gonna miss something there.

    But Johnny (Schneider) and I we go nose to nose on all our stuff. He gets recommendations from the personnel side and we just keep banging away at it. But I would say I always need more help. I need to be coached up just like everybody else. Over the years, I’ve lost a couple guys… Carl Smith was a guy, Tater would tell me anything. He was awesome. I demanded it of him, because he knew the truth and needed speak to me, and I have lost guys like that. It’s something I’m looking at.

    MSD: Given how long they’ve played, do some players like Bobby and Russell fall in that category?

    PC: Sure. We have a relationship based on years together. I call on them, I call on my guys. I want to hear from Duane, and KJ and Bobby and Russ. The guys that have been around here. Because we’ve been through so much together. It’s not an authority deal, it’s a comrade deal. We’re in this together. I need their help, and they need my help. We’re trying to compete together. It goes back to me as a competitive issue. If you don’t want to hear the truth, if you don’t want to hear the hard stuff, you aint competing. I’ll go wherever I gotta go to get it.

    Three observations:

    1-It’s frustrating that asked to name the truth-tellers in the building, Pete did not initially mention his assistant head coach (Clint Hurtt), his defensive coordinator (Ken Norton Jr), his offensive coordinator (Brian Schottenheimer (please don’t tell me Schott got fired the next day, Pete clearly took the offense over in-season)), his wise old owl OL coach (Mike Solari) or his team captains as people he counts on to tell him when he’s off course.

    In fact, it is near insulting that he insinuated that these people won’t tell him things he needs to hear.

    2-It does appear for the moment he has recognized that need and made decisions to restore that balance. Hiring Carl Smith back. He’s mentioned several times that he spends more time with Tater than with any other coach. He said after practice he and Tater lock themselves in a room and evaluate the day’s tape. No coordinators mentioned in that film session.

    (Although, it still appears that he doesn’t consider Hurtt or Norton in his inner circle. If he doesn’t trust his top lieutenants as truth-tellers, what are they doing here?)

    Hiring Waldron and letting him install his offense in what appears to be a hands-off approach also seems to be another indicator that he is seeing this need.

    As is Pete’s confessions that he and Russ have had several heart to heart sessions SINCE the whole media blowup. He says they’re closer than ever, and apparently Russ stomping his feet is what it took.

    And even though he insists that it was all the media’s doing, it obviously was Russell venting some frustrations and taking things public because Russ’s truth-telling was getting anywhere behind closed doors.

    3-That’s all fine and good. But now we’re facing the start of the season and the rubber is about to meet the road. And Pete might face his biggest challenge yet – to yield to the staff he has put in place and consider that they may occasionally have better ideas than he does.


    The whole philosophy of “Win Forever” is to be the best version of yourself. It’s not so much about others.

    At 69 years old, does Pete have it in himself to listen to counsel and make adjustments so he can be the best version of himself?

    Because if Carl Smith is doing his job, he and Pete have had a whole lot of things to talk about this offseason. It appears obvious to everyone but Pete that we haven’t gotten his best in several seasons.

    You can talk all you like about roster moves, trades and draft picks.

    How Pete Carroll reacts to all these system changes and truths presented to him may be the single biggest determining factor of the Seahawks’ success in 2021.

  7. BobbyK

    I don’t see many scenarios where the Seahawks OL and DL can dominate its way through a Wild Card or Divisional Round game. I see where this can be done during some regular season games to get to a winning record, but not when it counts (if the bar is the Super Bowl, not merely winning the division or gaining a Wild Card).

    They’re just not good enough. There’s some good pieces on each unit that are exciting, but I question these guys can dominate a playoff game vs. a quality opponent (or keep it to a stalemate to Wilson, Carson, DK, etc. can win it).

    LT – Very good. But what’s going on? What should be the cornerstone of the unit is a question mark.
    RT – Was actually passable last season until the high ankle sprain. When he came back, he was terrible as he’d been with the Jets.
    Guards are the best on paper, but is Jackson a “has been” like many Raider fans think? We need that answer to be an emphatic ‘No!’ if the Hawks are going to go where we want them to go.
    C – For those of you that don’t know, it’s bad to have a black hole at center. Where’s Drew Nowak? Partying with Kristjan Sokoli?

    In a perfect world, this is a top 10-15 OL thanks to LT and guard play. In a reason for worry world, they’re more ‘top’ 25.

    Jarran Reed and Poona Ford were quality players at DT. To me, the DT starters last year was very good, while the depth was horrific. Now the DT situation is WORSE and this is a unit that was already dominated by the Rams in the Wild Card loss. It’s not simply being dominated by a until that had Aaron Donald. Nobody else has an Aaron Donald and can dominate our DTs, too (like the Rams D in the second half of that game). While I love Poona, he’s only one person. While there seem to be sexy new reasons to believe our outside rush will be much improved (development from Robinson, Taylor actually getting on the field, etc.), I am horrified by how soft our DT situation is at playing smash mouth football at DT after Poor Poona. They needed Reed and to ADD to DT, not get ride of him and not even replace adequately.

    I could more easily handle a flawed roster if I knew we had a boatload of future draft picks to help eventually steady the ship. Not a flawed roster AND knowing we don’t have picks like most everyone else either. That’s pretty demoralizing.

    The Hawks can win the Super Bowl if they have an unusual amount of good fortune this season, kind of like about 15-20 other teams. But if I were betting on them, there’s too many I’d put my money on first. Long gone are the LOB days. Now we are left to wonder how Alan (or whatever the name is) is going to dress Jamal.

    • BobbyK

      Messed up the Aaron Donald part (wrong paragraph), but you get the idea.

    • olsonc

      I’ve seen countless plays where Poona gets flattened by a double team. People need to quit talking like he’s Mebane, Tony Mcdaniel, or any great interior dt we’ve had. He’s cheap and average.

    • btownhawk

      It seems we wanted Jarran Reed to stay but he seems to have wanted out. He is making less money now.

  8. Mick

    I’m well aware this is just a simulation and these articles are written to fill in the preseason when you don’t have news. But looking at https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/32133086/simulating-2021-nfl-season-projecting-285-games-biggest-storylines-super-bowl-winner, I got concerned by the argumentation <>

    I realize it is unlikely to finish 5-12, as the article claims, with Russ, DK, Tyler and a healthy Carson we’ll have a solid offense. But it has vulnerabilities, and the first that could be exposed is Duane Brown sitting out a couple of games. In theory, a middle way is possible where Pete would stay head coach and hand the offense to a coordinator (Shane Waldron or another guy) who runs the team in a modern fashion. As a whole though, this roster won’t get us close to a Super Bowl.

    The question is, who has the final say and who takes the blame for failures? Should we lose again in the first playoffs game, I’m quite convinced Russ will want out. Probably the only way to keep him is to get rid of Pete. Can John Schneider organize such a move? Will Pete keep his place and let Russ go, and rework the roster? In today’s NFL, his next choice of QB becomes crucial. Or even, will Pete stay and point fingers at John for roster construction and have him leave (yes I know he extended) together with Russ?

    • Mick

      Lol I don’t know how to quote:

      Coach Pete Carroll and new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron tried it all. They tried to “let Russ cook.” They tried to run the ball. They tried everything in between. It didn’t matter. The Seattle Seahawks couldn’t recapture the magic of their early 2020 offense, while a questionable pass rush and a lacking secondary betrayed them on defense.

  9. Big Mike

    I’m going to drag this over from the last thread because I think the contrast between the 2 men is substantial and do keep in mind they are the same age, Saban turns 70 on Halloween and Carroll in 9 days.

    Just got done listening to Cowherd correctly wax philosophical about Nick Saban and how he has changed his way of doing things over the years going from a mostly defensive oriented approach with a conservative offense to a guy that embraced the fast paced offenses of the last decade. This despite the fact that he didn’t like it when it started be coming en vogue thanks to Chip Kelley and the coaches on the Air Raid coaching tree. Saban has adapted to the changes in the game, recruited high end QBs and speed at WR, brought in Sark, etc. and flourished as a result. I contrast that with Pete Carroll who at the first sign of trouble last year reigned Russ in and went to his typical conservative approach and “coached up” a team that was utterly dominated at home by a team with a QB that had broken thumb on his throwing hand.

    • Submanjoe

      The hope then is that the offense does let loose and scores fast and often and then the defensive line is able to rotate in & out and tee off on teams as they’re trying to pass their way back into the game. But what evidence is there to believe Pete would let the offense do this? And do we believe the defensive line is good enough to do this?
      As Kam told Pete, “we did it our way”, therefore, why would Pete change? Imagine how great Pete will be if he’s able to do it ‘his way’ again nearly a decade later. After all, some would say to change is to admit defeat.

      • Big Mike

        “After all, some would say to change is to admit defeat”
        Nick Saban and his 7 titles while changing a great deal would say “some” are wrong.

        • Submanjoe

          Clearly. Sustainable success in business, in the nfl, most anywhere, is most helped by relentless adjusting, adapting, learning, etc. I’m saying in my post above that because Pete won ‘his way’ and that this was voiced aloud and publicly that it must mean a lot to Pete to win ‘his way’. And for what it’s worth, success on one’s own terms is very vindicating. In the nfl, a copycat league, Pete would be better served adjusting and adapting relentlessly, as Saban does, as Belichick does. I’m skeptical Pete will. The end of my post was intended to reflect my cynicism to the belief Pete will let the offense loose.

          • Big Mike

            Agree 100% with you

    • J.P.

      I mean it’s always fine to have the conversation, I just don’t see anything happening so I don’t worry about it.

      Simply put, if the offense does well this year and they get eliminated in the divisional round, we’re likely just gonna run it back with Wilson and Carroll like always because I think what truly bites at Wilson is how he finished the season, not the team, but how HE, personally, finished.

      Yeah there’s problems, I think drafting and offensive play calling have often been the biggest things that set them back. Waldron was the right step as far as play calling. Even if just fixes a few Wilson’s shortcomings, it’s enough to make us much more competitive just because the offense has talent, they just need to be more consistent and play on schedule instead of devolving into this heroball stuff that doesn’t work in the post-season as well as it does in the regular season.

      Personally I don’t see a developmental problem on this team. I’d feel this way if guys were going elsewhere and suddenly discovering they were good, but it’s often the case, they’re just not very good to begin with which is alarming in that, they’re not drafting enough great players to begin with, particularly on the defensive side of the ball which explains why they’re just sort of the middle of the road usually instead of being great. It remains to be seen with Taylor, Blair and Brooks, but nothing about Collier tells me this guy is amazing or he’d be a star somewhere else. Even Penny has flashed and Penny is a injury bit bust. I hardly blame the coaching staff for those two. Like what are you supposed to do with them at this point?

      • J.P.

        Oops didn’t mean to post that up here.

  10. Jim

    Great to have you back writing, Rob! I share your concerns.

  11. cha

    Maybe Parkinson going to IR to make room for Bless…

    Corbin K. Smith
    #Seahawks elevated Tyler Mabry to active roster. That would mean Bless Austin report hasn’t happened yet and another spot would need to be opened up for him.

    • Elmer

      Parkinson and Tre Brown to IR.

      I’m not excited about this team. I don’t think that Pete is either. They’re looking at the probability of a 6-11 record, 4th in the NFC West, no playoffs.

      • Rob Staton

        I doubt it will be that bad

  12. Paul Cook

    I’m in agreement with most everything you wrote. If you could inject truth serum into RW, or put him on a faultless lie detector machine, I feel fairly confident these truths would come out…

    –At least a trip to the NFC championship game is imperative this year
    –No retreating to some stone age offensive scheme
    –Winning at least one MVP award is a must
    –Winning at least 3 SB’s is a must

    …or something like that. RW is VERY concerned about his legacy now. Do not for a moment think otherwise. This guy is the ultimate company guy, from the time he uttered his first “Go Hawks”. He knows that for his legacy it’s probably best he plays the majority of his career with the same team, as most of the greats have. But he also knows that at some point if that team isn’t allowing him to achieve his personal and team goals, then it’s time to move on.

    For RW to comprise a list of teams he wouldn’t mind to be traded to was so far out of his character as a team/company guy that I can only conclude that this team and FO is on a very short leash now when it comes to his legacy concerns and achieving his personal and team goals. I’m also in the make-or-break camp this year for the PC/RW/franchise relationship. I don’t buy that this all smiles armistice is anything more than a temporary contrivance unless things markedly improve for RW.

    As far as the Seahawks season goes…it’s anything from barely missing the playoffs to getting to the SB. If their secondary surprises and becomes solid, if they bring in a solid DT, if they make a couple more savvy personnel moves, if they get lucky on the injury front, if some teams ranked near or ahead of them at present stumble a bit, if our offense truly become dynamic, efficient, and unpredictable…and a few other things…sure…we could get to the SB. The NFC is not nearly as top heavy as the AFC now. I wouldn’t bet on it, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

    Odds are though, they will get into the playoffs and bow out before the NFC championship game. That’s kind of where the “money” is at now.

  13. Bigsteviej


    In addition to you being right on with your arguments, your command of the English language is wonderful. You write extraordinarily well. Thank you.

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you — it means a lot to read that. Thanks for taking the time to say so

  14. Forrest

    There is something that just seems “fake” about the Seahawks. Every time someone in the media calls it out, they’re bashed for it. But, Sherman and Michael Bennett were on to something. They noticed the “always compete”, “tell the truth” taglines, etc. But, we all knew there wasn’t real competition for the starting QB role, etc. it worked in the beginning because it was new, with young players who hadn’t heard it before. Now everyone’s caught on to the cliches and they’re sort of rolling their eyes. There’s just not the same buy in anymore and it feels like the emperor has no clothes. So, yes. A change is probably needed.

    • Rob Staton

      As difficult it was to hear/read in those exposé articles a few years ago — certainly it appears that the ‘unnamed sources’ were right. They have lost their way a bit.

    • Big Mike

      The message gets stale over time. That’s not just a situation with Pete and the Seahawks. I do wonder about Belichick. Suppose that’s why they get rid of players “a year before they should rather than a year later”.

      • pdway

        I think that’s a good point. It’s SO hard for it not to get stale over time. College is different – players move through the program, and you make a fair point about the Pats, they turn over players like crazy (other than Brady, who was the most important one, and who always bought in, b/c they won).

        It’s a good and provocative article here. If you talk to your friends who are fans of other teams (I’ve done it, probably we all have) – they think your nuts to suggest getting rid of such a successful coach. If you’re not following closely, Carroll still oozes some of that winning charisma that’s been his stock and trade – and the records are still good – we are entrenched these days among the top 10 NFL teams.

        But, all that said, I kind of agree w Rob’s thesis. It does feel like we’ve lost some of that spark/mojo that we had in their early days. Not sure what I’d do about it, if it were all up to me, there’s definitely a fear of the unknown, b/c plenty of coaches are just not good, and teams, even ones w good QB’s, can flounder around (the Texans come to mind).- but I also have to really strain to believe a reality where this regime gets us all the way back to the promised land.

  15. DriveByPoster

    I agree with a lot of what you have said Rob, although I think poor recruitment & retention has been at least as much to blame as outdated coaching.

    When Pete & John Schneider were given their contract extensions, the fact that they were staggered in length smacked to me of succession planning. Pete is going to be Head Coach until the franchise is sold. At which point, JS becomes the fully empowered GM that he clearly wants to be.

    So I don’t think either of them are going anywhere in the meantime. Although you & I & other community members may complain about it, the 60,000+ people who paid for tickets to a meaningless pre-season game featuring second & third-string players, suggest to me that they will not be under any pressure from the ownership to change things, as long as the cash keeps coming into the business.

    • Rob Staton

      There definitely won’t be any pressure from the fans. Or the media.

      I appreciate that me writing this is more my own personal opinion on what should be the situation.

      But I do think Russell Wilson will have a few cards to play in the off-season if they don’t have a deeper playoff run. And that could change things in a big way.

      • Sea Mode

        Remember the whole Cowherd “put heat on Pete” thing? RW is literally the only one who can do that.

        • Call Me AL

          +1. I totally agree that Russ is the only one willing to put heat on Pete, but RW is all about his image and brand so it’s questionable just how far he will push things. Last year he was obviously very unhappy, but he didn’t come close to drawing a line in the sand.

          I do believe though, that Pete doesn’t continue as coach without Russ. He’s smart enough to know what this team would be without Russ and he’s to old to start over from scratch. But, is Russ willing to push it to that level?

  16. Roger Davis


    With apologies to Ecclesiastes 3, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose… A time to be born, and a time to die… a time to laugh and a time to mourn…”

    In my 75+ years I’ve seem so many dynasties come and go in much more than just sports. Entropy takes its toll. In my youth, my then team the Hamilton Tiger Cats, won like the Gods had ordained them. For eleven years they were not just at the top of the hill they were the hill!

    Pete had a philosophy about Dbacks, a philosophy about running, to own the ball, and about ball security, to use up each precious minute of every game giving your opponent no option but to die as they were relentlessly crushed. Play after play.

    Alas, facts and stats – wot don’t lie – clearly showed each down with a pass increased your chance to win over each down with a run.

    Now, in 2021 as the globe begins its inexorable decline into pandemic, weather chaos and America slips ever deeper into racism, sexism and fascism, Pete Carroll will once again try to inject a dose of contemporary offense into his staid philosophy and even – perhaps – learn to leave a life long design for cornerbacks on the cutting room floor as he tries to avoid “…the time to mourn…” for one more year.

    Russell, make it so!

    • Sea Mode

      Elegantly put. 👏

  17. Robbie

    Duane Brown back at practice makes me very very happy!!!!

    • Big Mike

      That is VERY good news and not surprising. Wonder if as Rob suggested yesterday, they quietly bumped up his contract. Guessing so.

    • cha

      Oh my yes!

    • pdway

      kind of forget how big he is until you seem walking around in shoulder pads. what a mountain of a man.

    • cha

      Ian Rapoport
      The #Seahawks are in talks with Duane Brown’s agent on a contract adjustment…
      Quote Tweet

  18. cha

    Mike Garafolo
    · 56m
    New #Raiders LB K.J. Wright’s one-year deal:

    —$3 million base salary (fully guaranteed)
    —$255k in per-game roster bonuses ($15k per game active)
    —$1.75 million in playing time incentives ($50k for 25%, $500k for 45%, $375k for 65%, $375k for 75%)

    So $5 million max.

    • BobbyK

      I would have given him that at the start of camp ($5M guaranteed) but not with missing all of camp (not what he got). I’m sure he declined that or something similar at the start of camp and that’s why he’s in Vegas.

    • Poli

      Would’ve loved to see them extend Brown, then sign this #67 top 100 player.

  19. Gross MaToast

    I agree with just about every statement in this article. My biggest fear on any coaching change after the season, however, is that the next head coach is currently on staff. Ownership doesn’t seem particularly visionary and taking an up-and-coming coach may be beyond their abilities. Pete may “recommend” his successor and that would be an unmitigated disaster. This franchise needs a regime change from the top down.

  20. Kevin Mullen

    Rob, completely agree. I just wonder though had we entertained that offer from Chicago of three 1st, plus a defensive player (Mack) would we have a little more optimism for the next couple years as we would have drafted a QB (Fields or MJones)?

    It could have bought JS/PC another chapter without question(s).

    • Sea Mode

      It seems they never even considered putting Mack on the table.

  21. cha

    Tre Brown likely to IR

    Bob Condotta
    Ryan Neal back to practice today. Tre Brown and Colby Parkinson remain out and Carroll said Brown will be out a few weeks. Says the hope is resting Parkinson now means he won’t be out long.

    • cha

      Actually PC said “a couple weeks” on Brown. But the body language etc probably means he will take more than 2 weeks.

      • Paul Cook

        As soon as PC started talking about Brown and his injury, I immediately thought 4-6 weeks minimum.

      • Hawkdawg

        Pete’s language on Tre Brown has gotten progressively less optimistic over the past 10 days or so…

  22. AlaskaHawk

    I don’t think you will get that much flack for suggesting a new coach is needed. In my opinion it’s five years overdue.

    In Pete’s or Wilson’s favor, last year was the first time in many years that I could watch the first half offense and not want to puke. It was nice to see a change to the offensive performance, just unfortunate that they couldn’t sustain it.

    As far as bad drafting and free agents goes, it’s still occurring. The loss of Reed on defense line. A clear issue in some of the cornerback positions. The loss of two first round picks for Adams. And they are still hanging on to injury prone Penny, I guess he’s cheap.

    Anyway, good summary of a bad situation.

    • Simo

      No flak here! Agree that a regime change is a few years overdue, just seems Pete’s way has become stale. Not sure if JS should also move on or not? He might flourish if he can get out from under Pete’s thumb!

      I agree with Rob, 2021 feels like a really important year for the Hawks. They need a much better showing in the playoffs no question! If not, Russ is likely to push much harder for a team change!

      I’ll be pulling for them every week, will be very interesting to see how it plays out!

  23. Steve Allen

    Everyone that has written on this thread agrees with you. Either you’re a football genius (not having even one dissenting opinion?), or the culture on this site has devolved into a confirmation bias frenzy.

    • Paul Cook

      Yeah, it’s one or the other. Can’t possibly be something in between.

    • James Z

      Jeepers, I don’t know about ‘genius’, Steve, maybe he’s just makes sense…

    • Brik

      This is pretty much the one thing I do online each day. For the most part I like to get out into the world and do stuff. I have noticed that there seems to be a chorus of the same sentiment, and it’s usually negative when it comes to the Seahawks. I get the feeling that the type of people who live online only want to follow. No leaders to have thoughts of their own. I’ve been wondering why I still come here. No hard feelings, just getting harder to see the point of it all.

      • Mick

        Leaders or not, I’m just not happy with losing in the first round of playoffs again. And neither is Wilson.

        • Rob Staton

          And that’s the point really.

          If they lose in the first or second round again and your franchise QB asks for a trade, that’s your pathway to a return to mediocrity. Not moving on from Carroll.

    • Sea Mode

      So, are you going to offer any actual arguments or opinions against Rob’s views or just stop at a sad attempt to attack him personally because you don’t have any reasonable counters to the points he makes…?

      We’re waiting…

      • UkAlex6674

        That’s not a personal attack against Rob there SeaMode, far from it.

        Brik is merely pointing out that the comments can be perceived as predominantly negative on here. I admit 100% I used to think that, and to a certain degree there is still a large element of that. Some posts/comments to events/topics can be somewhat dramatic – are things that bad currently that people who have been lifelong fans aren’t excited about this season or are willing to turn their back on the club etc. – but everyone has their own views on things, which makes it interesting.

        However, there are also large elements of rational thinking and good argument/points which make you think. Which is great and what a good forum does. There is a lot of good analytical and lateral thinking going on; good breakdowns (the cap/contracts situation especially!) and the drafting reports are second to none.

        Bottom line is, everyone on here wants the Seahawks to win another Superbowl regardless of who says what, and there are many thoughts on how they should achieve that.

        Re the original post – it reminds me of when Southampton FC had just got into the Premiership under a manager called Nigel Adkins. They were a solid club but that appeared to be the limit of where they could go under him – midtable at best, avoid relegation. Thry were comfortable. The Chairman though sacked him and bought in Mauricio Pottechino, and said we won’t settle for being mediocre. What followed was what is arguably the clubs best period of success since the 1980s.

        • Sea Mode

          Oh, I wasn’t replying to Brik’s comment at all, but rather Steve Allen’s, which I perceive implies a couple swipes at Rob and his work on this site.

          The bottom line IMO is, you can still be a Seahawks fan and critical of the current franchise leadership. Some fans just live a different style of fandom and choose not to want to hear anything negative about their team. They want their sports team to be a purely positive escape and introducing even a well-founded criticism into that apparently ruins it for them.

          That’s fine for them, but then don’t come on here and tag the other type of fans who are bringing up valid points about the direction of the franchise as pure negativity.

          As Paul Cook said above, why do some people only think there can be two extremes and nothing in between?

          If someone wants to come on here and comment about how the pass rush will be great this year and the CB, LB, and Center positions adequate, or that PC will finally be able to adjust and relinquish some control after years of proving the contrary, they are more than welcome to do that. But they had better come prepared with some actual arguments to back up those views and not just hope.

        • Rob Staton

          Brik is merely pointing out that the comments can be perceived as predominantly negative on here. I admit 100% I used to think that, and to a certain degree there is still a large element of that. Some posts/comments to events/topics can be somewhat dramatic – are things that bad currently that people who have been lifelong fans aren’t excited about this season or are willing to turn their back on the club etc. – but everyone has their own views on things, which makes it interesting.

          Isn’t this in itself slightly over-dramatic though? I am not particularly excited about this season but it’s not because things are ‘so bad’. There are several reasons why I’m lacking major excitement for the season. A personal level of excitement doesn’t really mean anything. I wasn’t that excited about England vs Andorra on Sunday but I’m still desperate to see them succeed and win the World Cup next year.

          Limiting things to ‘people are thinking this is ‘so’ bad that they’re not excited but that’s overly dramatic’ is an unfair characterisation of how people feel, IMO.

          I also think it’s a bit silly to suggest people are ‘turning their back on the club’. As far as I can tell nobody is doing that. Many of the commenters on here will attend games. Heck, if I’m allowed, I’ll travel 5000 miles to watch them this season. How exactly is that ‘turning your back on the club’?

          Expressing concerns, indulging in some gallows humour, criticising certain decisions, pointing out flaws. This is all just part of following a team. You don’t have to turn a blind eye to these things otherwise face the accusation of ‘turning your back on your club’.

          And this language, to me, creates more of a divide than someone simply saying the cornerback position sucks or that things have gone stale under Carroll.

    • Rob Staton

      God forbid people agree with me

      • Brigadier Crispbead

        “God forbid people agree with me”!!!! That really made me chuckle…. perhaps to dicsourage the people who come on here and complain you are being negative, you can take a leaf out of Fernando Pesso, the great portugese writer of the Book of Disquiet – He would write and publish a book, or some poems, then under a pseudonym, he would write to the publisher, lambasting the original work for all its claring faults. He woudl then follow that up under a third pseudonym offering a further counter-rebuttal, elluciading all the finer points of the first book. He had about 5 alter-egos on the go, no one knew they were all him until after his death. He took all the sting out of any passing criticism, by writing his own.

        • Rob Staton

          Sounds like a lot of effort

    • Sean

      Or maybe, just maybe, there is agreement among the comments because it is pretty obvious at this point that Pete is not doing a very good job.

      He made some good personnel decisions, or got lucky, about 8-10 years ago. One of those decisions, drafting Russel Wilson, is still paying massive dividends and keeping the team afloat. That is not a good enough reason to keep Pete on as he makes one poor decision after another.

  24. Big Mike

    Ravens lost another RB for the season today. Please do not trade Collins to them Pete.

    • Big Mike

      They’re desperate enough that they worked out Le’Veon Bell.

    • 12th chuck

      I think they cut collins last year because he got into trouble

  25. STTBM

    Rob, can’t blame , I’ve been where you’re at the last few years. I’ve watched the Seahawks since 1983, and I am ready for a new coach. Carrol is just done. He’s not innovating, he’s parodying himself.

    I can’t hardly bear to watch Wilson’s prime years get wasted. Just like you, Ill be stoked to eat my words. But even if by some miracle we compete for a championship this year, I still think Carrol is past his prime. Too many good young coaches lost, too much nepotism and good old boy (Norton), too little adjustments on Defense, and poor free agency, drafting, and trades…

    • Simo

      So, is this full on negativity, or just plain old reality?? Hard to argue with any of your points, and they are clearly being proven out on the field over the past several years. This team, under this leadership, just can’t seem to get over the hump anymore. The optimism that was so prevalent back in 2012 is no longer present, sorry to say.

    • Todd Z

      This article needed to be written after the 2018 WC loss at Dallas. I was furious and created this you tube that describes PC lack of creativity and stubborness. I pretty much forecasted this on FG’s “prior” to game. Not hear to promote, but to say, this PC has been obvious for years now. Love the Hawks but the game has passed PC by.


      Please watch and comment on my you tube, Rob. I respect your opinion. i know you’re busy but this corroborates your post from 2018 WC loss. Thanks

  26. Andy J

    I felt such optimism last offseason. It felt like things were turning a corner, they were finally free of the post-LOB cap hell, and the chance for championships were for the taking. But then they squandered that offseason. They started the season on fire, but ended with a whimper. I do feel that injuries decimated the team last year. But that is no excuse, this is an injury riddled sport. Depth was nowhere to be found. It’s hard for me to not see RW3’s serious weaknesses leading to dismal results. Every QB had bad spells. I just feel there’s time when Wilson can’t even do the small stuff. Take what the defense gives you. Take small gains. One first down at a time. Find a way. Somehow he found a way those first few seasons, even when still mastering the position. He plays like a top-3 QB at times… but at others not even in the top-10. I guess it’s a hard comparison when we’ve see superstars like Brady, Manning, Rodgers, & Brees in this era. I guess I still want to see him elevate his game.

    Despite all this I think you might be right. Stale is the perfect word. Do the players even still believe???

    I also have a special feeling about this year. I also expect a winning season. And the playoffs. Any given Sunday, maybe they can end up in the Conference game or playing for it all.

    But, then again, despite the bad taste in our mouth from last year… we were one shitty fucking game against the Giants from securing a bye.

    I hope Carroll this is a make-or-break year for Carroll. No more limping to the finish line. Go out swinging.

    • Sea Mode

      Do the players even still believe???

      Really, really hard to think so. I think they believe in Russ though and recognize he’s the one carrying the franchise on his back and always gives the team at least a shot.

      • CD

        Heck no they don’t, haven’t for years. Sherm saying they didn’t believe in Pete’s rhah, rhah, Micheal Bennett reading books during team meetings, Marshawn never having to practice. These guys don’t play for their coach, they play for their teammates. Been doing that for a long time.

  27. Jeff

    I think you’re right, and honestly I think John Schneider needs to go as well.

    He’s not been a good GM for a while now. While he’s pulled off some great trades (Dunlap last year, Diggs three years ago), he’s mostly been a liability over the past five years. Drafting has been a big issue. The Jamal Adams saga was a real mess from start to finish and it’s one we’ll continue paying for for years to come. For three years running he’s failed to address the team’s largest positional needs in the offseason. It’s honestly hard to understand what the team building process is; from the outside the process just seems to be broken.

    • AlaskaHawk

      The problem is that we don’t know how much of this is due to John Schneider and how much is Pete Carroll telling him he wants player X. I think at the end of the day, it is Pete Carroll who makes ALL the big decisions. John makes recommendations and follows orders. In other words, Clowney or Reed could have been retained, but Pete didn’t want to pay the asking price. The Adams trade didn’t have final approval from JS, it was Pete Carroll making the call.

  28. Hawkdawg

    I think there are two distinct questions raised by this post: 1) In the event of a disappointing season, should Pete leave?, and 2) In such an event, would he leave voluntarily?

    I agree that a decent case could be made for an affirmative answer to #1, depending in part on the details of the season.

    As to #2, I think the chances of Pete voluntarily leaving in any reasonably foreseeable scenario are close to infinitesimal. Not the way he could stand going out. Nature of the beast.

  29. ElroyNumbers

    Rob –

    I agree with your post. Although I am a bit softer on Carroll. If we finish in top 8 – I believe that’s the Divisional, I would consider that successful season. IMO hard to can a coach if he finishes in top 25%. I have been Seahawk Fan since 1992. Carroll is best coach we have ever had along with Holmgren. Hard to say if we cut bait what is next will be as good. I think it comes down to differing expectations. To me just making the playoffs is big deal.

    • Rob Staton

      That would be taking this season in isolation though.

      Another divisional round finish should be deemed a failure when you consider Seattle’s playoff record since 2015

    • AlaskaHawk

      Rob – sometimes you set the bar too high. It’s okay to strive for the superbowl, but the season is NOT a failure because they didn’t win in the playoffs. It’s disappointing but not a failure. But I would still fire PC.

      • Rob Staton

        Again you’ve missed the point though.

        Another failure in the playoffs, for this franchise, and given Wilson’s position these days, is a failure. Because the consequences are franchise changing.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      Just my opinion, but I don’t think the team’s actual finish rank is as important as how the team finishes.

      Example: some think a wild card (or even a divisional round) exit from the playoffs won’t be good enough for Russell to want to stay around. That’s possible. He’s a consummate competitor who is only satisfied when he wins it all.

      But he’s a competitor, and I think if they finish strong, if they play their hearts out, and are simply beaten by a better team, that could go a long way to keeping him in Seattle.

      Last season’s wild card loss to the Rams, with a backup QB starting and an injured Goff finishing us off, was the kind of end of season whimper that sticks in Wilson’s craw.

      So anyway I think how they finish is at least as important as where they finish.

  30. Rob Staton

    A few points that need to be stated:

    1. If you disagree with my opinion then just detail your argument and let’s have a debate. One of the weirdest accusations is that I/we are not prepared to embrace differing opinions. I spend a lot of time arguing/debating with people who disagree with me.

    2. Coming on here, not presenting an argument and thinking that undermining the site is a substitute for a coherent counter is not how we do things. And too often people come on here, try to label SDB as one thing or another, or accuse me of being one thing or another, then they get sniffy when people push back. This place is and always will be about proper debate and discussion. Attempting to undermine me, the website or the community to cover up for the fact you don’t have a proper counter argument will be called out or your message removed.

    3. I’m not sure why people are surprised that the comments are filled with people agreeing with my opinion. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that most of the people in this community either align with my views, sympathise with them or are at least interested in them? This isn’t a news site. It’s a personal blog. It’s always going to be the case that a sizeable portion of the community agree with me otherwise they wouldn’t be here. Those who don’t generally won’t visit or comment as often. That doesn’t mean contrasting views aren’t welcome or encouraged. It would help, however, if people actually explained why they disagree rather than coming on to point out the obvious that a lot of the community agree with me. Where, exactly, does that take us other than a pointless back and forth?

    4. For years I was accused of being ‘too positive’. And now my opinion has shifted I’m ‘too negative’. I don’t set out to be either. I just say what I think and back up my opinions. It doesn’t mean I’m always right or there’s no counter argument. People with proper, detailed counters are encouraged to post. People who come on and lazily just start having a go at the website or the community as a substitute for a counter argument are not welcome.

    5. Nothing I write is ever published on a whim. This article contains 1990 words and took three days to put together and edit. When I say something, it’s always explained how and why I’ve come to a certain conclusion. Again — it doesn’t mean I’m right or that there isn’t another side to the argument. But ultimately this is a personal blog and I just write what I think. There’s no agenda or purpose for anything I write. I don’t set out to please the masses or write something that the majority can nod along to. I never play to the gallery, as many do these days either with their writing or on social media. I simply say what I think. And frankly, if you don’t like it, there are plenty of other places churning out stuff that will better suit your tastes. Nobody forces you to come here and read what I have to say. But I do think this is one of the best places for proper, thought-provoking Seahawks discussion. I think even some of the bigger critics of SDB appreciate that. So my message is park your fan card and your feelings and let’s get into it. Regular visitors know I’m always happy to say when I’m wrong. I hope I am with this article.

  31. redhawks

    I am a huge fan of the Seahawks and the Arsenal Football Club, among others. Right now I see an interesting parallel (its a stretch tbf) with the last years of Arsene Wenger. He had earned the right “to pick his own time” and was a club legend but things were festering and year by year the fans were increasingly disgruntled.

    Not only did the results start to wobble (finishing outside top 4), but the football also started to degrade – the transfer policy started to seem panicked and reactionary, and it just seemed like the magic man Arsene (who I adore and will forever) had lost his touch.

    But you can kind of sympathize with ownership (relatively new also with Kroenke) having a very hard time pulling the trigger… when do you tell the best manager for your club ever, “your time is done here”. Its hard. And there is always the fear of “we should have stuck with him, it was just a normal statistical bad patch” instead of “we need to act decisively and start planning for the new future.”

    Reality is though, results sometimes don’t go your way – even maybe for a couple of years. You can have injuries, maybe a couple of teams around you just vault up (like this year with the West), you can have a really good player have a down year… but ultimately you get enough signals and it is pretty damn clear you need to move on… I can’t say whether it has already happened for Seattle or it will if we only scratch into playoffs and bow out – or if we actually have to miss the playoffs..

    but your piece has got me thinking about it and I will certainly set my own marker before the season starts. It is worrying that just like with Arsenal, part of the decline was this odd shift from seemingly guru-like player selections for cheap (AFC: Cesc, RvP, etc.; Seattle: Sherm, Wagner), to a case where we feel scared to make moves and when we end up making moves, they seem a bit all over the place.

    My prediction atm is 10-7 or 11-6, but if I’m honest an over under of 11 I pick under. I know that is pretty low… i worry about 3 things: 1) strength of the division will put a LOT of pressure on the team and Wilson; 2) DL and pass rush combined with corners – not sure about strength or depth and that is exceedingly worrying; and 3) Wilson is amazing and resilient, but I think we see another period where he struggles mightily because things start to go wrong and the coaching can’t seem to catch up. With his mental state shifted a tad from “always a Hawk” to now a bit “maybe I finish somewhere else” I think it will be a lot easier for him to get that back in his head.

  32. Call Me AL

    Rob I thought your article was very well written. Your thoughts and opinions were very well supported, if not overly so. To often I feel your trying to write to the entire fan base. Overstating the oblivious, rehashing past ideas and providing a lot of facts to support that end. But this isn’t a site for the casual fan who are happy with a winning record and only want to read positive things about their Seahawks. You have created a fan site for the hard core fan, whos interested in what players to draft, what free agents to sign, cap space and how to best utilize it, coaching, game planning and all aspects of how this franchise is run. That is who your real audience is Rob, and that’s who I feel you should be writing to. I think you should stop being overly concerned with casual fans who feel your being to negative or who feel you have created a negative Seahawks website. All your regular readers know better. Do what you do best Rob and keep providing us with critical spot on analysis of the Seahawks. That’s what makes this one of the best fan sites I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying.

    • Simo

      Nicely said Al!!

      I view this site as a deep dive into all things Seahawks, mixed with both positive and negative takes on the direction of the franchise.

      I don’t think any of the regular readers agree with everything Rob writes, all of the time. I read lots of respectful banter and different opinions here, and that is largely what makes this site so interesting and enjoyable.

      Although I’m not a frequent commenter, I do enjoy the opportunity to speak up now and again! Rob and I have even had a mild, respectful disagreement or two, with both of us making valid points and moving on. And really, how cool is it that the host actually reads all of our comments, and even responds? Where else does this happen?
      And I’m a grown man who doesn’t need everyone to agree with me and my opinions, but it’s still fun to have the debate from time to time. I always learn something, from many of the commenters, which makes it so fun!

      I also give Rob credit for continuing to speak to the casual fan. I’m sure it’s very frustrating to read lots of critical comments about nearly 2000 word articles that take considerable time and expertise to craft.

    • Rob Staton

      1. I do write about all of the things you listed, a lot. Only on Saturday I wrote a long piece on draft prospects competing in college football over the weekend.

      2. I don’t feel like I should avoid writing about topics I want to write about through fear of being accused of writing ‘to the casual fans’.

  33. Russ

    Agree with you completely Rob.

    I think someone needs to suggest to Pete that he watches Ted Lasso.

    He needs to be Lasso and needs his OC and DC to be his Coach Beard(s).

    • Bigsteviej

      And Ciara can be Keeley.

  34. Aaron

    This season is one last chance to save a strained marriage between Pete and Russ, and Shane Waldron is the marriage counselor. If Pete keeps his hands out of the offensive cookie jar he should stay as HC. If he butts in and puts a governor on Waldron at the first sign of trouble, he should step down as HC or retire. As for Russ, I think after an offseason of trying to make his voice heard with regards to his role and the direction of the team, he deserves having Waldron calling plays without obstruction from a HC.

    • Paul Cook

      “This season is one last chance to save a strained marriage between Pete and Russ, and Shane Waldron is the marriage counselor.”

      That’s a good way of putting it. I think if Paul Allen were alive it would have been more of a Judge Judy situation. In other words, I think very clear dictums would have been put into place once it started getting out of hand. That could have been as early as during the regular season last year. It was pretty clear that RW was mentally and emotionally adrift/out of sorts most of the second half of the season. Very unlike him. Warning bells going off.

      I have no idea where RW and PC/JS are truly at going into this season. We know by now that you have to pretty much ignore what PC says publicly. For all we know they could have some kind of agreement about the future. Or perhaps there is still a lot of denial about where each stands with the other and it could easily blow up again under the right set of circumstances. It’s guess work.

      I think RW has to be convinced that the legacy that he wants to create for himself is still possible here, and think he’s impatient about finding that out. That’s what the tea leaves say to me. The question is, if I’m right about this, does PC truly see it that way? And if so, then why haven’t signed Geno Atkins yet? LOL

      This is going to be in the background all season long, methinks, especially come playoff time.

    • Sean

      Yes – Pete needs to leave the offense alone. But that would is not good enough to keep him on. Simply not screwing up the offense is too low of a bar. The standard should be that he adds significantly to the team’s chances of winning – in one way or another.

      Pete does not seem to be adding a lot of value on defense. Even his vaunted defense of the LOB era relied on having many superior athletes that could win with a simple scheme. In my opinion, if you need better than average players to get a better than average result, then you are not adding much as a coach. “Give me all the best players, and I will coach them to victory” does not make a compelling case for being a good coach.

      His in-game management (timeouts, challenges, etc) are clearly well below average.

      Seattle’s drafting and recruitment of free agents is not a strong point. Neither are the blockbuster trades. I would say the team has done well on lower stakes trades (Diggs, Brown, Dunlap), but not enogh to cover up the serious drafting problems and bad big trades (Adams, Graham).

      So what, exactly, do we think Pete is contributing to make the Seahawks a better team? Supposedly there is some magical culture-building thing happening, but that is pretty hard to see…and the disgruntlement of Russel, Diggs, and Duane Brown, (not to mention the defensive stars of 5 years ago) do not really support the idea of an amazing culture that somehow outweighs all the problems that Pete brings in other areas.

      If I look for evidence of Pete adding something significantly this year, I am looking for the CB unit to perform at a league average level despite low investment, and looking for the front 7 to perform at a top 5 to 10 level. if we don’t see that, then I don’t think I see evidence of Pete elping the team.

      • J.P.

        When your expectations are completely ridiculous, of course you’re gonna be unhappy.

        The talent on that defense is mostly unknowns and their veterans are not of the mold of like Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack, those stud pass rushers most top defenses possess. Even the beat up 49ers still had Armstead and Hyder, whereas Seattle was stuck with Alton Robinson and Benson Mayowa last season.

        It’s more reasonable to ask of Carroll to have them playing average to above average football. Being in that elite or borderline elite group is utterly ridiculous. Scheme only takes you so far. Most of the great front 7s are a result of GMs taking guys like TJ Watt, Montez Sweat, not LJ Collier like Schneider did. Schneider did fine trading Frank Clark, but he never really drafted his replacement to this point. Maybe Taylor is that guy, but he’s basically a rookie at this point.

        • Sean

          Yeah – That’s kind of my point. Pete made the choice to put almost no resources into CB and very moderate resources into DL. The Seahawks were not “stuck with Alton Robinson and Benson Mayowa” due to bad luck – they made deliberate choices that resulted in that situation. So a sign that Pete is doing something right is to get those guys to perform above expectations. If they perform as expected (average for DL and poor for CB), then I’d argue Pete is not adding much value.

          Other than those units playing better than the talent they have, I can’t see what evidence one would point to that would show Pete is a good coach. Because, again, he clearly is a detriment in the game management arena, appears to be an impediment to the offense at least the last couple years, and is not strong at roster-building. So where is he adding value?

          • J.P.

            Yes, they made the choices, but ultimately it’s Schneider’s job to do better than leaving the coaching staff stuck with Benson Mayowa and Alton Robinson. If anyone has to take the blame for that, it’s certainly him. He had a terrible off-season after 2019 and his poor drafts in years prior didn’t help to soften the blow.

            You might feel the D-Line is average, but PFF had them ranked near the bottom of the league going into this year if I recall. That’s how some outsiders would view it and I don’t think it’s an unfair assessment. Their cornerback situation seems like it’s just gonna be whoever wants it the most during the season. To put it lightly, it’s a pretty sketchy group on paper, and yet PFF predicts they’ll be mid-tier as a whole. As in Carroll will have them playing above the sum of their individual parts. I would tend to agree with that, but I’ve predicted as such since free agency ended.

            Had you said something along those lines, sure I get ya, but you want to turn dirt into gold. Even McVay can’t make Goff into a great QB anymore. You want a group of ragtag youngsters and guys that would be backups on good defenses to form a borderline elite front 7? It’s ridiculous. If that happens, please just extend Carroll immediately.

            And you know the funny thing? I’d say Carroll’s greatest sin was hiring Schottenheimer (which he finally has righted), but no one is gonna mention that. Instead folks think he ruined Let Russ Cook with his intervention when the whole thing was extremely flawed from conception. They basically caught defenses off guard at the start of a pandemic season. Basically imploded at Arizona and Wilson turned into Jameis Winston. Wilson’s brand of football has never been sustainable for 16 games, that’s why he is never considered the best, he doesn’t receive serious MVP consideration. We’ve seen him get hot multiple seasons and it always ends the same way, in tragedy.

            The best thing for him and the team is for him to dedicate himself to playing within the structure of Waldron’s offense like an elite pocket passer. That’s Mahomes takeaway from the last Super Bowl. That he needs to be better from the pocket, not better at the all the scrambly stuff. Get the ball out quick, don’t drop your eyes and bail out at the first sign of trouble. Deliver the football on time.

            • Sean

              I actually agree with you on how much talent the defense has…very little at CB and a bunch of ho-hum or unproven players on the D-line. Perhaps where we differ is that I attribute that situation to Pete. I really cannot tell what John Schneider would or would not do if Pete wasn’t around. But for now, Pete seems to call the shots on the roster. The roster building has seemed terribly inefficient for a long time, and I think that is a Pete problem.

              And I do agree that it is a very very high bar to want the CBs to perform as average and the front 7 to finish at top-10 (which is worse than 1/3 of the teams, so I do not consider it borderline elite).

              The reason I think the bar should be so high on defense is that I am convinced that Pete really weakens the the team in other areas (offense, in-game management, roster-building). So for me, I’d need to see him do something really extraordinary with the defense in order to offset all of his negatives.

      • Tomas

        The Lions were rolling in 2016 at 9-4 until Stafford sprained the tip of his middle-finger throwing hand. He was never the same that year as Detroit lost their last last three regular season games, then the playoff game to the Seahawks. Stafford wore a brace, his middle finger entirely encased, and was in obvious pain throughout. In short, the Hawks beat beat a severely crippled team. Regarding the Eagles game, Wentz was knocked out early on a questionable hit. Both those playoff wins were tainted. I’d submit Carroll’s teams have been dancing on the edge of the grave for a long time. Wilson’s consecutive game streak, an ongoing miracle, has been Pete’s salvation. The Patriots lost Brady for practically an entire season yet went 11-5. What happens to Seattle if Wilson – God forbid – goes down? 4-13? 5-12, maybe? Rob’s blunt assessment of PC is more than fair.

  35. cha

    I really hope this is housekeeping and not some buildup to a run at Geno Atkins.

    Field Yates
    The Cowboys converted $6.25M of QB Dak Precott’s base salary into a signing bonus, creating $5M in cap space.

    The Titans converted $14M of WR Julio Jones’ salary into a signing bonus, creating $11.2M in cap space (adding two void years as well).

  36. cha


    Jeremy Fowler
    #Seahawks and LT Duane Brown have agreed to a reworked final year of his deal that pays a $7M signing bonus and $4 million in salary, per sources. No new money, but Brown gets more up front. With the adjustment made, Brown is back with the team after holding in.

    • cha

      Will be interesting to see how much 2021 cap room they pick up.

      Jeremy Fowler
      Brown also has play-time and Pro Bowl incentives that can push this up. Seahawks adding a voidable year.

      • cha

        I’m guessing the voidable year splits the $7m bonus so it looks like the Hawks pick up $3.5m in cap space.

        So they currently have about $11m of free space.

        • Big Mike

          That should easily cover Geno I’d think.

    • Henry Taylor

      Quality and extremely important development. I still would prefer that they just extended him now rather than risk losing him. But he’s on the field for now and that makes us much better.

  37. Denver Hawker

    Duane Brown contract reworked- gets per game roster bonuses guaranteed and injury protection for 2022. Max cap of $12mm.

  38. Pran

    Does Colby Parkinson ever play… Draft has become a crapshoot for Seahawks, either hurt always or cannot earn play time. By off chance if someone is ready to contribute Pete does not get him on field..

  39. cha

    Just an FYI and not meant to start a debate:

    Seahawks just announced you will need proof of vaccination to attend a game at Lumen.

    • James Cr.

      Yep just got the email. Wonder if that will have any effect on attendance?

      • cha

        Going to the Pittsburgh SNF game next month, will be interesting to see what the guidelines are for that one.

        • Bigsteviej

          Recently went to two Dead & Company shows at different venues. Both accepted a digital copy of my vax card. First venue (Citi Field in NY) matched the vax card against my ID. Second venue (in MA) just briefly looked at my vax card (on my phone). It could’ve been my grandmother’s.

          • Big Mike

            The Eagles requiring proof of vax for both concerts in Seattle in early November (as well as the other stops on their tour). Moda Center in Portland doing the same (Blazers). Becoming pretty commonplace.

    • Paul Cook

      I’m assuming there’s no refund for anti/hesitant vaxer ticket holders. I guess they can just sell their tickets on some online ticket exchange. No biggie.

      I don’t care. After empty stadiums last year, even 75% or so attendance would be welcome.

      • Paul Cook

        PS> On a side note, my partner and I and kids got our proof of vax in the mail some time ago. It looks like a diploma. LOL

  40. cha

    Brady Henderson
    The Seahawks are promoting CB John Reid from their practice squad to their 53-man roster, according to his agency.

  41. Paul Cook

    Are the Hawks going to sign ANY potential difference maker before the start of the season? It’s oftentimes confounding when they choose to get aggressive, or not.

    • Simo

      Probably not Paul, but what real difference makers are actually available at this time? And I’m not thinking about trades since there’s no good way of knowing who’s available or not off other teams rosters.

      Lots of talk about him, but are we convinced Geno Adkins is a true difference maker at this stage of his career? It might still be worth kicking the tires on him, but there’s a reasonable chance he’s a JAG anymore and not a top player.

      Not really sure Sherm is available, or should be considering his personal issues.

      There’s several fairly big name free agent offensive linemen available (Okung, Reiter, DeCastro, Schwartz), but why are they all still available as the season is about to begin? There must be some real warts if nobody is signing them.

      I think the “difference maker” ship has sailed for this season unfortunately, unless a beneficial trade surfaces in the coming weeks!

      • Paul Cook


        I definitely deviated from the standard meaning of the phrase “difference maker”. My bad. I really meant someone who could potentially make a difference for us this year. KJ Wright and Adkins fell into that category for me.

        Yeah, I saw some of those names you mentioned. DeCastro jumped out at me, but he’s probably injury impaired and plays G so not much immediate use for us. Sherm was certainly interesting not long ago, but that ship has sailed for this season, or at least till later in the season.

        I just wanted us to put the best possible players on the field that we were able to without trading away any significant draft capital. I feel like we’re falling short in that regard. That’s all.

        • Simo

          What, you’re not sold on Rasheem Green, Cody Barton, Kyle Fuller, and Tre Flowers as difference makers? Man, I wish we could replace all those names with legitimate starters as well.

          • Paul Cook

            I’m really trying to get on board for this year. LOL Give me just a little more help.

            • Big Mike

              Well Simo didn’t mention LJ Collier so maybe if I do that’ll get you fired up Paul?

              • RugbyLock

                Ooooooh… Now I’m excited about the season! Thanks, BM!

                • Rob Staton

                  Whenever my enthusiasm tank is low I think about LJ Collier aggressively celebrating one of his three mop up sacks this year and suddenly I start skipping along like a spring lamb

      • Lewis

        Those guys will all find homes after week 1, probably.

  42. Happy Hawk

    Penny Hart, Bless Austin, and Reid placed on the opening day 53 person roster. Parkinson, Tre Brown, and Niguel Warrior placed on the 3 week IR.

    Agree with Rob’s article completely. But it is do or die every season for most NFL coaches these days. Maybe just maybe Pete sees the need to change after meeting with RW and making the change at OC to a more offensive style of football ala N Saban.

    I think PC has been great for the city of Seattle and for NW football fans but all good things come to an end and the torch gets passed. Agree this is an important year for the franchise.

    Thanks Rob – getting excited for Sunday!

  43. Sea Mode

    Just turned 31. Was making $3.6m/apy.

    Adam Schefter

    Saints are releasing RB Latavius Murray, per source. They asked for a pay reduction yesterday and he refused. Murray is coming off his best season, averaging 4.5 yards per carry and 7.7 yards per catch.

    • Ashish

      I would prefer Murray over Homer

  44. Blitzy the Clown

    Based on their one game, Ole Miss looks to be a fun team to watch this year. Multiple defensive players stood out last night, especially the back 7 – in particular, senior DB Otis Reese 6’3″ 215lbs, senior LB Chance Campbell 6’2″ 240lbs, and senior LB Mark Robinson 5’11” 235lbs – and as whole, that unit looks fast, aggressive and hungry.

    Offensively, junior QB Matt Corral 6’2″ 205lbs, looks pretty interesting, going 22 of 32 for 381 yards and 1 TD and rushing 12 times for 55 yards and 4.6 yds/carry. Senior WR Dontario Drummond 6’1″ 220lbs, caught 9 passes for 177 yds and a TD.

    • Pugs1

      The D was a pleasant surprise after finishing 117th in the country last year. Corral is one of the best QB’s in the country! All he needs to do is cutdown on the turnovers. Ole Miss is quickly becoming WRU.

  45. Happy Hawk

    Seahawks sign Tanner Muse to PS. Good be an awesome addition to our special teams. Give up on a 3rd round pick only one year ago?

    • Rob Staton

      Could be but I think I’m right in saying every team passed him on waivers. Which is probably more relevant today than the fact he was a third rounder previously.

  46. Ashish

    Even after shuffling roster so many times, it is so weird. 3 qb, too many RB/FB. Short on LB and WR. Genius or Stupidity. I think latter.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s certainly lopsided at some positions and very thin at others

  47. Brik

    Here’s my take on the state of the Seahawks:


    The players on offense weren’t the problem last year. The problem was they became predictable. A new OC should hopefully be the remedy to stale play calling. There should be improvements in most of the weakest spots. 3rd WR, TE, and guard. Other positions are solid, besides Center and maybe RT. They filled most of the holes from last year.


    Did DJ Reed start last year? If not, then we have 4 or 5 of the same guys who started the 1st game of last year. Wagner, Adams, Diggs, and I think Poona. Not sure if there is anyone else. That means we will have 7 new guys starting the opener on defense. Definitely makes it an unknown and I can see why people are worried. I think that shows a guy who’s trying to make the right moves. Sees that something is broken and looking for the answers. I for one am excited to see if they can be in the top half of the league. Last year they were on a historically bad pace. We kept (most of) the best, and changed everywhere else. I want to see a hunger for greatness.


    This team will win 11-12 games. If the defense is better than expected, that goes to 13. There is too much in the air for me to say whether or not PC needs to go. If this team doesn’t make the playoffs, then he should be gone. If he gets to the playoffs and gets dominated, then he needs to go. If it’s Russell who chokes away another big game, then PC isn’t the problem. Too many ifs for me to come to a decision. I can see a scenario where a new era needs to begin. I can also see a scenario, like with the Patriots, where it took some time to get that SB magic back. I can see a scenario where RW is holding the team back by taking too many game changing sack and INTs. Once I see a few games this year, I’ll know what the problem is.

    • pdway

      Given how bad things were looking early in this off-season, w the Russell drama, the pending Jamal drama, tricky contract situations w Dunlap, Carson, and Brown, among others — all in all – w two exceptions (the hole at CB2 and the Jarran Reed situation), I think this off-season has played out pretty well for us.

      They kept they guys I was hoping they would (I’m bummed about KJ, but I get it) – and the free agent pick-ups (Everett, Jackson, Hyder) seem like upgrades.

      We’ve got issues, but so do most other teams….ready for the games to begin.

  48. Cortez Kennedy

    Not the article all Hawks fans want, but the one they need. They have been rebuilding the defense since 2018 and it has gotten worse. Meanwhile, defensive minded Carroll keeps meddling with the damn offense. He also hires bad coaches.

    Daboll jumps out at me. The Buffalo offense was fresh and innovative and to quote the great John Madden when describing the incomparable Brett Favre “were just having fun out there!”. Barring a complete 180 he’ll have a head job when the season ends.

  49. Paul Cook

    Our schedule is more difficult this year. When you look at the first 9 games, it’s not at all hard to imagine them going 4-5. We’ve really got to excel on offense. It’s that simple. I wish we had done a little more on the OL than we did, but this is what we’ve got now.

    We’ll find out pretty fast if our (*cough* *cough*) new offense is going to be the real deal or not. We’ll just know it by things like…

    –Better tempo
    –RW not holding onto the ball
    –A much improved short/intermediate passing game
    –An offense that truly keeps opposing defenses off balance
    –The elimination of many penalties and sacks which always put us in the hole

    It will be pretty clear whether we’re watching something new or not by about a third of the way through the season.

  50. Chase

    I’m down for daboll. Honestly anything but the stagnancy we have had.

  51. MattyB

    i agree with several points in this article
    – stop comparing the unsuccessful periods with happy to just reach the play-offs
    – is just reaching the play-offs good enough when you are not competitive once reaching the play-offs
    – coaching in favor of R Wilson

    But – “Replacing Wilson will be the hardest thing this franchise ever has to do.” – i would argue P Carrol could be the hardest ever to replace to date. plenty of teams reach the SB with a decent QB but do any reach with just a decent coach?

    • Rob Staton

      Well do you consider Dan Quinn, Doug Pederson and Bruce Arians to be fantastic coaches?

      • GerryG

        Maybe Arians. He did well in AZ, one year it looked like he could make the SB, then Palmer got hurt right? He consistently beat Seattle once a year when they had a legendary roster.

        Last year was pretty impressive. If he can get that team back to the SB this year, I might consider him fantastic.

        • Rob Staton

          Ok. But do you see the point?

          Are Pederson or Quinn fantastic?

          • GerryG

            Oh I totally see your point, and was not arguing against it, merely pointing out, begrudgingly, that Arians is pretty good.

  52. UkAlex6674

    Rob did you have any scouting notes on Tanner Muse?

    • Rob Staton

      He worked out at safety at the combine, did better than anyone expected. Wasn’t expected to go as early as he did. I suspect he only went in round three because of his testing and Mayock reaching on Clemson/Alabama players.

      I think if anyone is hoping they found a steal here you’re going to be disappointed. A marginal talent who is a great athlete.

      • DC

        From what I remember, he missed a good bit of tackles and was out of position enough times that I remember.

  53. SeattleLifer

    Hard not to see all your points in this article Rob, especially the most important one about the likelihood of change (regarding Pete) being slim. I myself would have been even a bit harsher/more direct towards Pete as I firmly believe his time is already past due but I appreciate you covering so many of the areas of question (shall we say) with Pete.

    Side note to everyone pushing for a Geno Atkins acquisition – he had a stat line of one tackle in eight games of play last year. No other stats in any area. And that was all before his season ending injury…..

  54. Silly Billy

    What will be good test for the “regular season warrior” Hawks this year is the schedule.

    Last year, we were spotted 5 early wins against eventual bad teams (who we made look good at the time). Then were given 3 more open layups against injured SF, and NYJ. Credit where credit is due, good teams don’t miss lay ups. But great teams don’t go 4-4 against NYG, LA, AZ, Buf.

    Other than Houston, does anyone see any real easy wins this year? Maybe Detroit/WAS/Jags, but who knows given all their QB situations.

    If the 2020 4-4 Seahawks show up this season, we could very easily be a 8-9 win team this year.

    • cha


      For all the people that shrug off the points in Rob’s article about not having playoff success by reasoning ‘just get the playoffs and anything could happen’ are ignoring the fact that 2020 practically handed the Seahawks a golden ticket to a deep playoff run.

      -2 games against the banged up Niners
      -A game against the imploding Eagles team shredded by injuries and Carson Wentz-ing
      -Playing backup QBs against NYG and WFT
      -Playing against a hampered Kyler Murray in week 11
      -The Rams inexplicably losing to the Jets to seal the division win

      -Drawing a Rams team in the playoffs playing their backup QB, and then losing Aaron Donald for most of the second half of the game

      2020 was your shot where the outside factors aligned. And the Seahawks couldn’t take advantage. And in fact, looked very poor in that playoff game.

      And you’ve got Pete Carroll at the podium throwing his hands up and saying he had no room in his head to imagine a first round loss.

      • Denver Hawker

        I can agree the schedule is harder this year on paper and I believe Vegas backs that up with most books placing O/U at 9.5 wins.

        I also tend to not get too concerned about SOS going in the season- too many unknowns to play out as the season goes on. Which frankly is why the NFL is enjoyable to watch.

        • cha


          Probably my most unpopular opinion – I like a hard schedule.

          “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses?”

          • Lewis

            Agree completely. This team needs to be tested. They need to grow from adversity if they are going to get anywhere.

          • Silly Billy

            It also makes the games more fun to watch.

            I’m not really a fan of watching games where we are so heavily favored. It’s like being a Top-5 CFB team.
            Every regular season win feels like a “meh” (think PHI/WAS/NYJ last year) and every loss (or even too-close-for-comfort wins) feels like a total catastrophe.

      • GerryG

        When speaking of the Rams playoff game, we always mention the backup QB, Goff with one hand, and losing Aaron Donald. Another item that highlights their awful showing in that game: Greg Gaines looked like an unblockable all-pro force after Donald went out. He’s a nice player, but we made him look like a HoF’r.

      • McZ

        According to NFL.com, they had the third easiest schedule in the league. This should really put the 12-4 regular season record into context.

        This season will be a lot tougher.

        And we will see what RW can do vs teams playing two deep safeties, which could become the norm for teams playing the Hawks. He will need to reinvent his game. He needs to fix his play action shambles, he needs to be able to target intermediate slot targets. And I’m not sure he knows it.

    • Cortez Kennedy

      Lets not forget how fortunate the Hawks were playing Miami at the beginning of the year. I don’t think we would have beaten them in the second half, definitely not after Carroll went back to predictable Carrollball

  55. Ashish


    1st QB hawks will be facing is Wentz – thank god. We don’t do well against 3rd stringer.

  56. Palatypus

    Slept through my fantasy draft today.

    Still did better than the Seahawks.

    • Big Mike

      Well it does help when you have more than 3 picks 😀

      • BobbyK


    • Cortez Kennedy

      I didn’t even hesitate on drafting Nick Chubb in the first round!

  57. Denver Hawker

    Brian O’Neil now 2nd highest paid RT. Brandon Shell is a few years older, but if he grades at least as good as last year, can’t see the Hawks affording him.

    Tackle will be a big issue next year.

    • Ashish

      don’t you worry, we have stone forysythe

      • Lewis

        No, we have Jake Curhan. Not kidding.

      • Denver Hawker

        Which is fine and great if they pan out- but can’t see Russ being excited about them being starters next year.

  58. Hahbey

    I’d agree that a change is needed. I’d trade Russ for sure. I can understand the desire to roll with an “elite” QB, I just don’t think history agrees that one is necessary in order to compete for and win championships. In fact, I think the math would say it isn’t.

    In the last 10 Super Bowls, there have been exactly 2 QBs who have started the Super Bowl in a year when they produced one of the top 5 QB cap hits that season (Peyton in 2013 [RIP], and Matt Ryan in 2016). That’s 90% of your Super Bowl teams with a starting QB who was some combination of cheap and/or just good enough. Cheap could be on a rookie deal (Russ, Mahomes, Goff) or in the first year of a long-term deal, not worthy of a huge contract (Flacco, Wentz, Garoppolo), or perennially underpaid compared to market (Brady). That’s 50 possible tries for a QB to be a top cap hit and make the Super Bowl, and only 2 successes.

    I’ve long thought having a top of market QB only makes it harder to put together a well-rounded team, and the math confirms it. You just have to be uber-efficient with your remaining dollars to pull that off, and acquiring (the right) talent is incredibly hard. And sure, some teams have a great coach or system or catch lightening in a bottle.

    Look at the guys who’ve been at the top of the list consistently: Rodgers, Stafford, Cousins, Russ (the last 3 years). All haved QB’ed teams that basically topped out at “pretty good but not championship level.” I think a QB who’s paid like a top guy (even if he deserves it, as Russ does) will keep you competitive, and probably in the playoffs, but overall it probably hurts your chances to build a team that’s strong enough across the board to bring home the big trophy.

    I think it’s a separate discussion entirely about whether Pete and/or John should be part of the next version of the Seahawks. I’d be ok with replacing Pete. I’d like to see either a new HC or Pete being more innovative on both offense and defense. I’m not sure if some of the goofy moves over the past few years have been driven by Pete or John. I’d like to see what John could do without Pete as his boss clamoring for certain players.

    So, TL, DR: Trade Russ regardless, probably move on from Pete regardless, let John cook. Or replace John with someone without any emotional ties to the current roster.

    • Scot04

      I could be wrong, but I believe Brady’s cap hit was only 2M less than Wilson’s last year.
      I don’t think you have to have an elite QB, but it sure makes it easier.
      The Seahawks had the cap space to make a Contending type roster and just blew last offseason in FA spending and with the Adams trade.
      Blaming Wilson’s cap hit just doesn’t fit what has actually happened.
      Seahawks have been wasting his prime years because of how they use their money and picks.
      Out playoff failures have little to do will Wilson’s cap hit.
      You definitely don’t trade Russ, unless he gives you no alternative.
      PC won’t produce a Contending team without him.
      This should be PC’s last season if we continue to see the same PC.
      I do think he has an opportunity to prove to many he’s able to adapt and we do contend though. However it’s very unlikely.
      I unfortunately am not optimistic and feel 10-7 is likely; possibly missing the playoffs as well. Hope I’m wrong in this case..

      • Hahbey

        Russ’ hit was $31M and he was #2. Brady was $25M and #6. Per: https://overthecap.com/position/quarterback/2020/

        And I don’t disagree that FA signings and draft picks could’ve been different and better. Most teams could say they’ve missed on picks and such. But a cheaper QB gives you more room for your inevitable errors and wasted resources, because your dollars go farther.

        I have Russ’ jersey and I’m a big fan. But there’s just not much data that backs up the idea that a top QB at top of market prices is a good way to build a team. If we could save the cap space and get a bunch of picks, I’d do it in a heartbeat. There are a lot of poor ways to use resources, and God knows the Seahawks have been guilty of many. Paying a QB at the top of the market is one of them.

    • Palatypus

      This is why you draft Jordan Love.

      • Rob Staton

        Not sure about that.

        Love was a middling prospect for me. Certainly not worth pissing off Aaron Rodgers to the extent you’re on the pathway to an inevitable divorce now. And having qualified for the NFC Championship game the last two years I can’t help but think that pick could’ve been used better.

        That’s not to say I’m not in favour of planning ahead. Your overall point is valid. I just think that was generally a poor decision by Green Bay.

        • Palatypus

          You are right. I’m just using it as an example.

  59. Hoggs41

    Being Man City fan and watching England it drives me crazy that Sterling has to try and cut it back every time. Just cross the damn ball.

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