Why Pete Carroll should be coaching for his job & QB notes

Todd McShay shares our QB sentiments

ESPN’s draft analyst tweeted the following earlier today…

This is very similar to what we’ve been saying on SDB over the last month. A ‘top three’ has very much emerged in terms of this quarterback class.

If the Seahawks are going to take a QB early in round one — it’ll almost certainly come from the Levis/Stroud/Young trio.

Tyler Van Dyke is more likely to transfer than declare at this point. My recommendation to him would be to go to Kentucky in 2023, replace Will Levis and play within a pro-style offense in the SEC.

Anthony Richardson doesn’t appear ready to be considered for the pro’s (which isn’t a surprise given his limited number of starts). He has all of the tools but needs time to develop and learn his craft.

It’s also interesting that McShay name-checks Jaren Hall among his ‘risers’.

Hall has been extremely impressive for BYU — far more impressive than I thought he would be based on a study of his 2021 tape. He’s an older player (he would be a 25-year-old rookie) but he has a good arm, useful mobility, a creative flair, I like his throwing base and general technique, he appears to be a strong leader and he’s playing well even in challenging games (eg Oregon).

I still think his age and size (6-1, 205lbs) likely keeps him in day two but there’s an awful lot to like. I’ll also keep saying — it’s not just the #3 on his jersey that is reminiscent of Russell Wilson. He lofts touch passes in an almost identical way to Wilson at Wisconsin. He avoids pressure with similar moves (twisting away from pass rushers, throwing well on the run). He gets good height on his deep ball.

If the Seahawks win too many games to get close to Levis/Stroud/Young — the player I’d have my eye on is Hall.

I’m less enamoured with McShay’s two other suggestions of Hendon Hooker and Jake Haener. I think Haener is a fairly limited player, best suited to a system which relies on scheme over physical traits. He lacks the big-time physical traits but he’s also small (6-1, 200lbs).

Hooker meanwhile is playing well for Tennessee but there are issues you only notice if you study the games in depth.

For example — Florida’s defense was horrendous on Saturday. They gave up an enormous downfield pass by simply forgetting to cover a receiver on one play — then gave up a touchdown when the linebacker neglected to cover the running back in the flat. He had some very easy throws — gifts — from his opponent.

He also plays a lot of one-read concepts and rarely has to go through more than his initial read. You see a lot of half-field reads and at most he’ll offer a head-fake to hold a safety before going to the intended target.

His accuracy is inconsistent — he’ll throw high and wide and he took unnecessary sacks against Florida, including on a 4th & 8 play that led to a fumble.

Hooker does have good athleticism and he’s elevating the Vols to a level they haven’t been in a long time. I do think he’ll find the step up challenging though, based on what the tape shows. I suspect his stock will be limited to the middle rounds at best. There are also impressive throws on tape which make you think he could make it work at the next level — but there’s a degree of projection involved based on his tape/scheme and he might need a fair bit of time.

It’s validating to see what McShay is saying though — in particular the emergence of Will Levis as a legit, high first round pick (a train we’ve been on for almost a year).

If you missed my interview with Levis from a couple of months ago — you can check it out here.

Further evidence a Seahawks sale is imminent?

This was an interesting one earlier today…

By now most people are aware of the situation. Jody Allen is permitted to sell Paul Allen’s key assets to fund his philanthropy. She and the current Seahawks ownership group are nothing more than a holding pattern. It’s the same for the Trailblazers.

However, per the terms of the agreement with the City of Seattle, a sale before 2024 would cost the team hundreds of millions. So the timeframe is set in stone. Presumably negotiations would take some time, possibly dragging into 2025.

This is why Pete Carroll received a five-year contract in 2020. It was convenient for the holding ownership group to hand off the football operations to a vastly experienced Head Coach and VP of football operations. Especially one who, when he received that new deal, was leading a winning football team.

The problem is a lot has changed since 2020. Russell Wilson is gone. The team has started to lose games. The defense looks absolutely hopeless again — as it has done at the start of every season for however many years now. The ultimate power that Carroll wields suddenly feels like it could be a hindrance rather than a convenience.

The franchise badly needs strong leadership and fresh ideas. It’s gradually been going stale for some time. It also needs to move on from the never-ending Russell Wilson talk. As I was watching Richard Sherman and K.J. Wright talk about Sherman’s favourite topic on a podcast last week, it dawned on me that we’ll never be able to move on until everything is different in Seattle — including the Head Coach.

We need a new era of Seahawks football where the drama of yesteryear is consigned to the history books.

It’s too easy to dismiss a coaching change by assuming it won’t happen, due to the imminent future sale. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be discussed. That doesn’t mean an intrepid reporter or two couldn’t or shouldn’t dig a little bit to find out whether it’s plausible financially. Does Jody Allen have the means to do it? Because if she does, she has a responsibility — as the custodian of this franchise — to consider it.

Sitting on your hands, even if you have to sell in the future, and letting the franchise drift should not be acceptable. Not for the fans of this team who will be here long beyond 2024/25.

Losing games isn’t a problem. This year was always going to be a slog as the team develops and rebuilds. It’s the manner of the losses that counts.

If the defense is this shambolic — as it has been for too long — why should fans be expected to invest any faith? Especially when the same problems pop up year after year?

There should be pressure on Carroll to deliver improvement and fast. We need to see more from the defense and from the running game. We need to see that this is a blossoming team, not one that can’t tackle, cover or put points on the board in the second half when the game of adjustments is typically lost.

There is such a thing, during a rebuild, as losing ‘the right way’. I would suggest the last two games are examples of losing ‘the wrong way’. What, exactly, is the plan on defense? Instead of leaning into the Vic Fangio background of the new staff, it just looks like a Frankenstein’s monster of Carroll’s back-catalogue. An idea taken from here, an idea taken from there. The results are not good.

When you’re a defensive-minded Head Coach, this is supposed to be your calling card. Seattle’s defense, to put it bluntly, has been bloody awful for too long. We’re seeing players like Darrell Taylor, Poona Ford and Jordyn Brooks — supposedly the future — actually taking significant steps backwards.

If this goes beyond a temporary struggle and turns into a consistent problem — it’s high time more people started to question whether the person in charge is the right man for the job. At the moment, it still seems like a fringe topic. Perhaps even a taboo subject.

Twelve years is a long time to be with a team. Few coaches last that long without things declining to the point of a fresh start being badly required. We’re arguably seeing the same issue in Pittsburgh currently.

With coaches like Mike McDaniel and Nick Sirianni showing what is capable with a fresh outlook and some new ideas — it’s becoming harder and harder to stick by a formula which hasn’t produced serious results for a long time.

Improvement must be witnessed in the next few weeks. Not for the sake of the 2022 season — but for the sake of faith being restored in the head honcho.

It shouldn’t be that Carroll gets to dictate the length of his tenure in Seattle. The team doesn’t exist to indulge his wants and needs to the point where he decides when he’s had enough.

Carroll has to prove he still has some of the old magic left. He should have to prove he’s the right man for the job for another three years.

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  1. cha


    The Seahawks exist more for Pete Carroll to run around practice and throw the ball with the guys and smart off with the press corps, than to win games.

    I’d contend Sunday’s game was the pretty good encapsulation of the last 3-4 years of Seahawks play:

    -Solid offense but red zone penalties backing them up

    -Offensive confusion at a critical time resulting in a blown timeout and a conservative call

    -Defense that cannot get off the field / zero creativity

    -Opportunity for late-game heroics provided by the opposition

    That last one, the difference in QB is obvious.

    Unfortunately it is also the difference between Pete at the podium saying ‘how frickin pumped he is’, how ‘he loves close wins because it builds character’, dismissing questions about the awful defense and questionable game calls and him saying in the most muted tones about how he thinks they’re getting better and how as a coach he’s not doing very well helping defenders in the run game and how ‘we had an opportunity, we just didn’t get it done’ and ‘that’s how life in the NFL is.’

    • Big Mike

      Yep, you’ve summed up he last 3-4 years succinctly cha. It’s like watching summer reruns back in the day. You already know the plot and the outcome.

    • Rob Staton

      I think Pete’s motivation for carrying on, 100%, is to prove that his philosophy is right.

      I’m not sure he’d still be doing this if that was unchallengeable.

      I sense he wants to influence future generations, he wants people to be inspired by his methods, I think he wants to leave a lasting legacy not simply as a coach who had success — but as someone who was a football guru. A Bill Walsh type figure.

      I think his stint at USC — and then the subsequent early success in Seattle — made him feel somewhat invincible, in a coaching sense. I imagine in his mind, in that moment, he believed he was going to go down in the annals of history as a legend of coaching. And he would’ve been justified in thinking that. But it’s gone wrong — because life isn’t perfect.

      Carroll loves to reference great old coaches from yesteryear who inspired him. I think he wants that to be his legacy.

      And it’s in serious jeopardy now.

      Retiring won’t change that. Walking away quietly will just leave things in-flux. People will question what went wrong, they’ll talk about ‘that’ Super Bowl or the parting with Russell Wilson more than the LOB, the win against Denver or the USC years.

      So he stays, like an ageing band hoping they’ve got one last great album in them.

      Which is fine for him as he tries to get what he wants. But I’m not sure the Seahawks should exist for Pete Carroll to try and cement his legacy.

      • cha

        I think the Super Bowl and the Russ divorce will be the headlines.

        The real story though will be the absolute refusal to build his team around his most core philosophies post SB-49:

        -The run game sets up everything

        -Stacking the trenches on both sides with depth

        -Getting regular pass rush without blitzing

        -Competition – retooling as a means to keep players hungry and competitive

        It will be a stunning look at history to see how absolutely different the 2018-2022+ years were from the 2010-2015 years.

        • cha

          -Toughness over finesse as well

          • Kyle R

            That step away from toughness over finesse started when we traded for Jimmy Graham and went cheap on the offensive line. I have no problem with Graham as a player he’s great but not for the type of offense Pete wants. Same with a weak, cheap, finesse offensive line we got. Either stick to your vision or completely adapt and accept change don’t do these half measures bullshit.

            • Peter

              Rob nailed it on the reaction podcast.

              In a different world the tackles, the high priced WR’s, tge TE’s, and the high draft pick RB’s would have you believe this team is a pure finesse shooter. Capable of scoring at will.

              So you mess up with the McDowell pick. Tons of regimes make picks that don’t work. But there’s no philosophy on defense and years of busted patches, two firsts, one second, and two thirds for Adams, Sheldon richardson, again Adams and Clowney that’s a ton of picks for nothing.

              Forget Creed Humphries. How would it be to have Lewis rolling at his real spot next to Lucas? Just little stupid death by a thousand cuts. I thought uncle Will was supposed to be a run blocking machine why are we not draining the clock all game long capitalizing on Geno’s new found accuracy? Trade Wilson great who cares when you get three players who for different reasons have done nothing yet back in return…and I love Harris and hope he becomes a spark.

              • Rob Staton

                Someone should be asking Carroll about the fact the three players acquired in the trade aren’t doing anything

      • jed

        Oh no, Pete’s going to put out a double album with an orchestra! Nobody will expect that level of genius.

      • Gary

        “I sense he wants to influence future generations, he wants people to be inspired by his methods, I think he wants to leave a lasting legacy not simply as a coach who had success — but as someone who was a football guru. A Bill Walsh type figure.”

        The very definition of hubris.

      • Dave

        Exactly. It’s hard to believe anything Carroll says anymore because the defense looks WORSE than it did last year. It’s time for a coaching change. Would rather see what Sean Desai could do with free rein over the defense.

        Hope the next head coach is an offensive guru though.

        • Hawkdawg

          So much for Hurtt, then? I hope that’s not true. But that defense is suffering from something–scheme, talent and/or coaching…

  2. Big Mike

    I desperately want to be wrong Rob, but I will maintain that she will not fire Carroll because she is death on paying one of her employees to NOT work. If she were inclined to do so, I believe she would’ve gotten rid of Neil Olshey GM of the Blazers long before she did rather than wait until she had cause so paying him was not necessary.

    As for “it’s high time more people started to question whether the person in charge is the right man for the job”, who in Seattle is gonna do that outside of fans at the game booing the product on the field? Certainly not guys like Mike Salk who’s far too busy being fitted for new kneepads so he’s ready for the next “interview” with Carroll while chortling about how the Seahawks won the Wilson trade.

    Last comment: you couldn’t be more spot on when you say “it dawned on me that we’ll never be able to move on until everything is different in Seattle — including the Head Coach”. As you said, the drama will will then finally be put in the past. Until then, we’re gonna see this continue from the likes of Sherman, Salk, etc. as well as any number of posters on this blog and other sites.

    • Rob Staton

      We need to get to know ‘the next guy’

      We need to learn what his philosophy is

      We need to create new heroes

      Not live in the past

  3. Tomas

    We’re screwed.

    • Paul

      I’m not anti-Russell Wilson. By all accounts he’s a good guy. But man, these videos he’s been putting out are just something else. Totally transfixing in a cringy, hilarious, meme-y way. His “talent” for this particular niche is unparalleled. I wonder if that’s what his PR team is going for.

      The latest, with added effects:


      • Paul

        ^reply fail. intended as standalone comment

      • Dave

        hahaha! Love it.

      • GoHawksDani

        The heck did I just watch? I guess the background is changed, but is this for real? Not a deepfake? I feel it won’t be long until we see Russ in some weird Korean or Japanese commercials

      • Rob Staton

        It’s cringe AF — but let’s be right here

        I’ve seen this posted 100 times on Twitter already

        Which is kind of the point — he’s marketing a sandwich

        And everyone has spent 24 hours sharing a video of him discussing and eating that sandwich

        So in terms of pure marketing, this is actually gold

        I give him credit for leaning into the cringe to make this viral

  4. ShowMeYourHawk

    “Tyler Van Dyke is more likely to transfer than declare at this point. My recommendation to him would be to go to Kentucky in 2023, replace Will Levis and play within a pro-style offense in the SEC.”

    The issue, of course, is that if Van Dyke does so, he could be murdered behind that turnstile of an OL.

  5. Romeo A57

    Great insight Rob. My fear is that Pete Carroll will feel he has nothing to lose and will start trading the 2023 draft stock soon to try to improve this defense from “Poor” to “Mediocre”. A desperate repeat of the Jamal Adams trade. If the Seahawks were to squeak out 7 wins again, he could claim that they are close to being a playoff team. That would be a lot harder if they only win 4-5 games. The media might turn on him if they have several more games of horrific defensive performance.

    • Rob Staton

      Carroll won’t do that

      He knows this isn’t about 2022

      But it should be in terms of his suitability to lead

  6. StevenD

    Fair criticism of Pete,

    Agree also with his motivation (dude is in his 70’s) and that we’ll be unable to move on in lieu of a change (save another SB win).

    And what about Schneider?

    Geno’s good plays exposes the other reality beyond consistently bad coaching. Our roster suffers from a decade of failed drafts and horrific trades attempting to fix those failed drafts.

    After our first “A” draft in 10 years and hopefully another where we don’t swim counter current – we will end up with 10 good to great players in exchange for Russ. And it won’t be enough to fix our mediocre, thin roster.

    Schneider deserves at least as much criticism as Pete.

    • Big Mike

      “Our roster suffers from a decade of failed drafts and horrific trades attempting to fix those failed drafts.”

      Head of nail, meet hammer

  7. Stuart

    Well said!

  8. Palatypus

    “This is Rob Staton of the BBC bringing you to live coverage of the sale of the Seattle Seahawks to London.”

    • Saxon

      At the rate the pound is dropping Seattle might buy London.

  9. 509 Chris

    Rob mentions Pittsburgh is seeing a bit of the same. QB is gone and the regime seems stale. I’ve always been very impressed with Tomlin though. He finds ways to be competitive through injury and all other types of diversity experienced within a season. I think Sean Payton is a pipe dream, but what about trying to entice Tomlin over to Seattle for a fresh start? He’s defensive minded but I think he’d be much more likely than Carrol to take SDB’s advice and appoint strong, young coordinators to handle the xs and os.

    • ukalex6674

      A fresh start maybe but I don’t think he would leave for this current shit show.

  10. MattyB

    Petes philosophy has now run dry and my biggest concern is having Pete’s influence in next years draft when he wont be their coach 12 months later. Hopefully PS and JA are working on a replacement at the end of this season or even speed up that process and make a change with several games remaining before the Draft.
    –i say cheers Pete for all you have achieved, goodbye and all the best…

  11. GoHawksDani

    I doubt Pete will be fired before the sale, and I doubt he’ll retire. New owners will likely want to appoint a new guy, new philosophy, new direction. Not written in stone – a new owner would love a strong team with a great QB a mastermind HC, OC, DC and a well oiled team -, but usually it’s hard for a new coach to work with a rookie QB and build an SB contender team almost from the ground up in 1-2 years. So to me, it’d look like if PC would be canned, anyone gets his job is set up to failure (new QB needs couple of years to become great in the NFL usually, the roster sucks, so it’d need 2-3 offseasons to get in shape, new ways, philosophy need to be transmitted to the roster and org, which might take time).

    My preference would be to fire Pete right now (OK, maybe after the season), and most of the FO, put in some interim guys (if the firing happens mid-season), and do a massive overhaul in the offseason. Do a complete strip-down from bad old habits, and do a real rebuild.

    But that won’t happen…like 99%

    The best smart thing Jody could do imo is to tell Pete, that the franchise will be sold, his time is up, so build a roster that has the future core set in stone. Work with the young guys so they have good fundamentals. Build a legacy, so if we look to the new Hawks, with the now coaches and owners, we should be able to say: “Yeah, the new FO polished them, but those 3-5-7 core players came from PCJS and they were initially trained by them”.
    Give Pete an option, to drop the bs talk frankly about the state of the roster, what they wanna do, etc. If he can acknowledge that it is a work in progress and in the early phase, that their goal is to bring in young ballers, leaders; work on their fundamentals, get them to a place where they can be the next BWagz, Sherm, Kam, Russ, etc but it will take a couple of years. And after the ownership change and the sell gets out, he could tell he’ll also retire…the fanbase could look at him like a hero, who revitalized this group not just once that led to an SB, but maybe even twice. This could be his legacy.

    But my guess, that won’t happen. Carroll will cement himself as a villain in the next couple of years, and he’ll be fired by new management, or at least his contract won’t be renewed. Jody will handle the sell badly. PCJS will either mess up the roster build or they select good players, just break them, and this franchise will need 7-8 years until they can get back on their feet again – sorry for the doom’n’gloom, but has very little expectations for this FO and ownership

    • Big Mike

      Doom n’ gloom or educated prediction based on recent history?

  12. L80

    3 more years of this shit and my NFL fandom divorce will be complete.

    No point in even watching this year, let alone 3 more of it.

  13. Big Mike

    So if quite a few of us were to get our wish and Carroll is shown the door, who is going to come in and coach this team for what is likely to be a 2 year stint until she sells the team? If I’m Sean Payton I want no part of that
    Perhaps a young, up-and-coming go would take it and think he can prove that the next ownership group should keep him on but I have some doubts about that. It seems to me we as fans are kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. That however, is not to say I think he should stay. I do not. Something fresh is badly needed.

    • Rob Staton

      Plenty of talented young coaches would take on the challenge

      Heck — look at the shambles in Miami behind the scenes right now. They’re doing OK.

      They won’t be able to tempt a ‘big beast’ like Sean Payton but it won’t be an unattractive job. Especially with two firsts and two seconds to play with.

      • Big Mike

        Good point about the draft choices. Now if you can just get Jody on board………..

  14. Simo

    Another great piece Rob, well done!

    Totally agree that this regime has gone stale. The entire coaching staff and the GM need to be replaced or the Seahawks will continue in this downward spiral

    Jody Allen should be perceptive enough to see what’s going on with this team, and she does have a responsibility to be proactive and to try to win.

    I also hate seeing the same old problems week after week, year after year, it’s embarrassing Nobody should have much confidence Pete will be able to fix these problems, as he’s had several years already with little success.

    Here’s to more competitive losing by the Hawks and Broncos!

  15. Kevin Mullen

    One has to wonder whether Carroll is tinkering too much with Desai/Hurt during the games, whether they truly have the autonomy to call their defenses as they see fit.

  16. DJ 1/2 way

    On the less significant topic in this, as usual, excellent post.

    “If the Seahawks win too many games to get close to Levis/Stroud/Young — the player I’d have my eye on is Hall.”

    Agreed. Any of those four would be great. What I would like to add is maybe the high pick is the one from Denver. I know, less than likely, but I just have a feeling that Denver will fall apart and have a worse record than the Seahawks. It might take an injury or two, but however it unfolds, I think the Seahawks end up with two high picks with the one from Denver slightly higher.

    • Rob Staton

      I can’t see any way whatsoever that Denver has a worse record than Seattle

      Let’s remember, Wilson has had cold starts before

      And the Chargers/Raiders don’t look as good as people like thought, plus the Chiefs just lost to a hopeless looking Indy.

      AFC West isn’t as strong as expected

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