Why the Seahawks face a problematic off-season

Pete Carroll’s Seahawks have one playoff win in the last four seasons

As depressing as yesterday’s domination at the hands of the LA Rams was, the truth is the Seahawks are facing an off-season filled with questions.

1. Is Pete Carroll still the right man to lead this team?

Short of a completely unexpected retirement, Carroll won’t be going anywhere. He’s just signed a new long term contract. Yet it’s still a perfectly justified question to ask.

At what point is three playoff victories since 2015 — courtesy of a Blair Walsh missed field goal for the Vikings, a home win against the Lions and a win against the Eagles fielding a 40-year-old backup quarterback — simply not a good enough return?

How many more years need to be squandered without delivering any serious threat in the post-season before questions are asked?

The Seahawks appear to be perennially consumed by identity. They’re constantly either trying to re-establish what they are, get back to what they want to be or we’re debating if they’re treading the right path.

Whether it’s ‘Let Russ Cook’, ‘Pete-ball’, ‘run-first’ — I can’t think of another team that invests so much energy trying to figure their identity out.

A thought dawned on me while watching the Indianapolis Colts defeat to Buffalo. Here were the Colts, with 39-year-old Philip Rivers at quarterback, moving the ball and competing.

They were playing the NFL’s in-form team and they were making a game of it.

I don’t know what Frank Reich’s preferred methodology is. Perhaps if I followed the Colts as closely as I do the Seahawks, he too would have a long list of firm, stubborn ideals.

My impression, however, is that he simply adjusts and plans accordingly based on the players he has.

They put their key players on offense in a position to succeed. They don’t seem to force an identity or structure. It’s a movable feast.

Week-to-week the Colts featured different skill players. Trey Burton, Nyheim Hines, Jonathan Taylor, T.Y. Hilton, Mo-Alie Cox and others.

And sure — the Colts lost to the Bills, didn’t win their division and finished 11-5. But watching them manage and scheme on Saturday — and almost force an upset — triggered a thought relating to the Seahawks.

With Seattle there seems to be much more of a focus on establishing a preferred identity that never really changes, regardless of opponent.

They are what they are and it’ll either work or it won’t.

Are they better off doing what Carroll thinks is best, or are they better off game-planning for the specific players on the roster and weekly opponents?

A lot of people are going to call for Brian Schottenheimer to be fired. Perhaps with some justification too.

But here’s the bigger problem. The Seahawks have a defensive minded Head Coach with complete control over everything. At no point in the last 10 years has he turned over the offense to a hot-shot coordinator and trusted them to scheme and produce an offense.

The one time it seemed they came close to doing that was early in this season — and Carroll wrestled control back immediately at the first sign of trouble.

Most coaches appreciate and accept their weaknesses. Thus, Sean McVay made a concerted effort to appoint a vastly experienced defensive coordinator in Wade Phillips when he started as a Head Coach in LA. Then he pivoted to a different coach in Brandon Staley. He hasn’t appeared to dictate to either.

Aren’t the Seahawks long overdue their Head Coach doing something similar?

Firing Schottenheimer will likely just mean the next version is appointed in his place, facing the same shackles.

The criticism of Carroll needs to go steps further too.

The game planning and adjustments have been poor all season. This latest example is an extreme one but really cuts to the heart of the problem. McVay delivered a plan that needed to overcome having to start then replace his backup quarterback — with a player throwing the ball with pins in his thumb, two weeks removed from surgery.

His team found ways to dominate the line of scrimmage, run the ball effectively and deliver just enough through the air to win a big game.

The Seahawks on the other hand started badly, never established anything that worked, didn’t make any noticeable adjustment (or at least any that succeeded) and couldn’t provide a plan for their quarterback or personnel to succeed.

Everything was a chore.

They don’t seem to have a single play they can turn to when they just need to convert a 3rd and 4 to get an easy first down — even with players like D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and five tight ends on the roster.

It felt like they ran out of plays one quarter into the game.

Too often the Seahawks are found wanting when it comes to preparation and adjustment. The coup de grâce being Carroll’s admission after the Buffalo game that he didn’t expect them to throw on every down — despite Seattle’s (at the time) dreadful passing defense and the passing offense being Buffalo’s main strength.

Worse than this, however, has been the complacency.

Carroll was repeatedly asked about his struggling offense during press conferences, after things started to toil in the second half of the season. He was dismissive of questions, almost seeming irritated by having to address them.

“I ain’t concerned at all” and “you (the media) can talk about this” was his response to failing to score a point in the final 28 minutes against Washington, in a game where they nearly blew a 17-point fourth quarter lead.

He more or less shrugged off how bad they were on third downs in another press conference — an issue that reared its head in fatal fashion against the Rams, as Seattle struggled to 2/13 conversions.

Problems with the team were often addressed with confusion (“I don’t recognise this performance”) or put down to being ‘uncharacteristic’.

It feels like the Seahawks have been sleepwalking towards a loss like this, yet internally the man at the top didn’t notice.

After the game yesterday Carroll confessed he wished they’d adapted better to the way teams had played their offense in the second half of the season.

Haven’t they had weeks to come up with a solution? Isn’t it his job to adapt when they needed to?

In what way is it acceptable for the coach to make that admission once the season has ended in such a predictable manner?

And how on earth did they go into the Rams game with whatever game plan they ended up with?

I can only imagine what other coaches and players thought, watching it unfold.

There’s no denying that Carroll is a hero in Seattle. A man who deserves the greatest level of respect for what he’s achieved. It’d also be remiss to suggest he doesn’t bring anything to the table any more. Clearly he does. I’m certain that other teams remain envious of the culture he cultivates, for instance.

It’s also easy to think, sometimes, the grass is always greener.

It just feels, for the first time, like a legitimate case can be made for a fresh approach.

Is ‘Pete-ball’ going to get the best out of the players you have? Is Carroll truly willing to cede control and give up aspects of his preferred identity, in order to find a consistently functioning system? One that doesn’t just get the best out of your players for a few weeks before imploding — but enables Russell Wilson to play his best football for 16 weeks and further.

Is he willing to bring in coaches from outside of his bubble who can deliver attention to detail and make the necessary in-game adjustments? Is he willing to cede control to allow that to happen?

Is he willing to do what it takes to end this run of every single season ending the same way? Will he act to make 2021 different?

And to lead onto point number two, is Carroll now directly opposed to his quarterback in terms of their respective visions?

2. What now for Russell Wilson?

I recently wrote an article highlighting why these playoffs were so important for the future of the Seahawks.

Wilson reportedly issued an ultimatum to the team prior to the start of the off-season. He wanted to cook. The Seahawks let him cook and it worked for a few weeks. Wilson was the red-hot favourite for the MVP. He threw 28 touchdowns in the first half of the season and was on pace to set passing and scoring records.

Then he started to turn the ball over. You could argue it was because he was under immense pressure to carry a struggling defense that was well on its way to set historic records itself. It’s easy to forget how dependant the Seahawks were on Wilson in the first few weeks of the season.

Whatever the reason (and yes, Wilson deserves blame too), Carroll’s reaction was forceful. Suddenly, the Seahawks were focussed, it seemed, on avoiding turnovers as a priority. The defense had improved therefore closed-circle football was back.

Wilson threw 12 touchdowns in the second half of the season and was throwing about 210 yards per game — a far cry from his early season prolificacy.

Winning is the most important thing. If the Seahawks could win playing this way, nothing else would matter. Wilson isn’t going to complain about style points while lifting a Lombardi Trophy.

Yet the point raised in the previous article was this — what if the Seahawks don’t win? What if they get dumped out of the playoffs playing uninspired offensive football? What if we saw a repeat of every playoff exit since 2015?

What then?

Now we get to properly analyse that question. Because I suspect if Pete Carroll’s aim next year is to carry on with this preferred offensive vision, with his quarterback having stats more akin to Baker Mayfield than Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers, he might well have an issue with that.

Just think about this for a second. How many of the leading quarterbacks in the NFL are having the offensive style dictated to them by a 69-year-old defensive Head Coach? Zero. That’s the answer.

Wilson undoubtedly will cast an envious eye at the production, design, input and style of the schemes in Kansas City, Green Bay, Buffalo, New Orleans and others.

He’ll look at the power Tom Brady has, with the Buccs acting on his advice to get Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown — even when the coach Bruce Arians is on the record saying he wouldn’t touch Brown with a barge pole.

Wilson is very conscious of his legacy. He constantly talks about being remembered as one of the best — if not the best to do it.

I’m pretty sure he’d be willing to acknowledge he hasn’t played well enough since the bye week. Everything I wrote about Carroll above, you could possibly flip and talk about Wilson instead. For the first time since 2012, it doesn’t feel unfair to ask whether he is still good enough to lead this team back to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately the way he played in the second half of the season wasn’t a million miles away from the form Carson Wentz showed in Philadelphia before he was benched.

How did Wilson go from the MVP favourite to the worst stretch of his career over the course of the season? Why did he look so broken by the final game? These are questions that must be addressed.

I also think, if you really got the truth, the thought of playing Pete-ball for the next five years is not appealing. I suspect it’s not going to be how Wilson rekindles his best form.

The trade talk (that people want to dismiss) has been consistent for three years. Read the piece I wrote at the turn of the year for the evidence.

I’m not saying anything is going to happen this year. I also wouldn’t rule anything out either. Not in an off-season where people are talking about the Eagles, Falcons and Texans trading their quarterbacks and absorbing massive dead-cap hits.

Regardless of the timing, I can’t help but feel like you’ve got a Head Coach with a long-term contract and a vision for his team (including the offense) and a legacy-conscious quarterback who turns 33 in November and will be starting to worry about the quickly evaporating ‘peak’ years of his career.

I don’t think it’s beyond the realms of possibility that he might think he needs a change of scenery. I also don’t think it’s beyond the realms of possibility the Seahawks will feel the same way.

When Carroll won his Super Bowl, Wilson was a third round pick on a few hundred thousand dollars a year. He had no expectations on how the offense would play. He simply went out there and did the job asked of him and it was never an issue.

That isn’t the case any more. Now they have a quarterback earning $35m with his own set of expectations and ideas.

If Carroll wants to play this way, perhaps he’s better off with a quarterback with no expectation other than to have an opportunity to start? One capable of doing what the offense needs, keeping it on schedule. Even if that means lesser talent and a smaller reputation (and price).

If that’s not the case and he desperately wants Wilson as his man then he needs to seriously consider doing what we talked about in section one — ceding control, inviting a top coach to run the offense and getting well out of their way.

Otherwise we might be seeing the early stages of an inevitable divorce.

3. Limited resources

Usually when a season finishes like this, the crumb of comfort is the off-season. Free agency, the draft. Ways to cultivate your roster and go-again.

This year I’m afraid it’s going to be very difficult to offer any brightness.

The Seahawks are even more decimated in terms of resources than they were at the start of the reset in 2018. Back then, at least they had a top-20 pick among their four draft selections.

The acceptance of a reset also provided some curiosity as to what shape or form it would take.

Now the Seahawks have used all their resource — so much so that they’ve also tapped into the 2022 credit card too.

They only have 34 contracted players at the moment for 2021.

According to Over The Cap, the Seahawks have just $6.3m in effective space if the salary cap reduces to $176m for the 2021 season.

There has been talk that the cap could be $20m higher than the original $176m estimate. Even so, having $26m available will only scratch the surface of the work that needs to be done.

There are 36 players reaching free agency or restricted free agency. They will all need to be signed or replaced.

Shaquill Griffin, Chris Carson and Ethan Pocic are out of contract starters. Presumably they will want to bring back K.J. Wright but who knows if that’s possible? Jacob Hollister, Benson Mayowa, Carlos Hyde and Mike Iupati — among others — are all free agents.

The stark reality is, regardless of your opinion of the names above, they might not have the money to retain most of this group. In fact, they might have to try and dig around to find cheap replacements. That could work in their favour. It could also, quite easily, deliver a weaker team than we saw in 2020.

The other problem is the draft. By investing so much in Jamal Adams (more on him later) they only have three or four draft picks this year.

There’s a lack of clarity over whether they possess a conditional seventh rounder that was originally traded to the Jets for Parry Nickerson. Seattle cut him before the 2019 season started and it’s never been fully cleared up if they got the pick back.

Nevertheless, it’s a seventh rounder. At most they’ll have four picks. They have minimal draft stock to fill holes or trade down for extra stock and add cheap talent.

How do the Seahawks take a step forward in 2021? A lot of their money is going to need to be saved filling depth holes in the roster, rather than delivering impact.

In many ways it feels like they went ‘all-in’ for 2020, only to discover they weren’t close. Like 2018, they’re now left to pick up the pieces of a highly aggressive tilt only to come up emphatically short.

So what are they going to do? Muddle through? Do what they can? Hope a few minor changes produce a different result next season?

Or do they have to be aggressive to create cap room and bring in draft picks?

4. Jamal Adams’ future

Many will disagree but I simply do not think this was a good trade by the Seahawks.

From the get-go I thought it was a deal born out of desperation. Seattle hadn’t made any significant upgrades on defense and they were approaching training camp. Quinton Dunbar’s future was uncertain at the time, meaning the only key changes were adding Bruce Irvin, drafting Jordyn Brooks and swapping Jadeveon Clowney for Benson Mayowa.

Adams was available. He was established. He was considered an elite player.

They made an aggressive move to add him, to provide an injection of quality.

I said at the time, and still believe this, that the timing of the deal and the price-tag were indicative of a desperation move.

If the Seahawks had targeted Adams as an off-season priority, I doubt the Jets would’ve turned down that offer before the draft. The price — two firsts, a third and a veteran starter for Adams and a 2022 fourth rounder — was extreme. It had all the hallmarks of a deal conjured in a sellers market.

I also thought the Seahawks backed themselves into a corner by not having a contract extension ready to go (another sign that this wasn’t entirely a long thought out plan). Yes — they might’ve preferred the flexibility to see the lay of the land in a Covid economy. Yet the reality is, the minute you pay two firsts and more for a player, you are committing to paying them a record salary — regardless of the economic factors. It actually would’ve been cheaper to pay him immediately than to wait this out. Global pandemic or not, the minute you execute that trade you commit to a huge new contract. Waiting only makes the deal more expensive, because other players (such as Budda Baker) can reset the market in the meantime.

Laremy Tunsil and Jalen Ramsey exploited similar situations to reset the market at their positions. So too will Jamal Adams. He will probably ask for $20m a year. The subsequent bargaining will not drop below Baker’s $15m a year as the highest paid safety in the NFL.

This is going to be a big challenge for the Seahawks. Assuming he signs a new deal, you might be paying Adams and Bobby Wagner $36m a year. Combined with Wilson’s $35m a year, that’s three players earning an average per year of $71m, leaving perhaps as little as $100-120m for the entire remaining roster.

Can you justify that?

And if not, what were they expecting when they made the trade?

It also might not be simple getting a deal done unless they write a blank cheque. Adams’ dissatisfaction in New York was largely influenced by the Jets’ unwillingness to get a new deal done a year ago.

Some will try and argue he was unhappy because the Jets were bad. Perhaps so — but I remember watching Adams live at the combine, co-hosting the defensive back workouts a year ago. He spent most of the broadcast waxing lyrical about his desire to stay in New York because he loved it there and they’d made significant noises about a new contract. He said any issues were in the past and they were moving forward together.

What changed? What made things sour? New York refusing to pony up.

For anyone who thinks they can wait this out — do you think Adams will be comfortable with that? And what does it say for the trade if you decide to wait and see for another year before committing?

It seems quite simple to me. Either you’re convinced he’s a major part of your future, you accept the massive cost that you knew was coming when you made the trade and you extend him as soon as possible, or you move him and try to recoup whatever you can.

A lot of people like to point to the fact Seattle basically gave up a deal similar to what it would’ve taken to move into the top-ten. Technically yes, in terms of picks. Yet the future salary is a game-changer.

Be honest — is Adams really worth $18-20m a year? Is any safety worth that?

His PFF grade (64.2) ranked 45th among qualifying safety’s. We’ve all seen he has some limitations in coverage — and his coverage grade was a concerning 53.1.

He was blitzed at a higher rate than any other player in the league to deliver 9.5 sacks. It was a fine return — with the team and player making much of it being a record for a defensive back. Yet when Adams isn’t blitzing, are you really getting $18-20m worth of value?

Maybe the best way to look at it is this. If they’d only spent a day three pick on a rental of Adams, and were unable to franchise him this year (basically the Clowney scenario) — do you think they’d pay him $18-20m a year? Or do you think they’d let him test the market and possibly walk?

Because they can’t make a decision for the next five years simply on the fact they committed so much draft stock to him a few months ago. Either a huge new contract is right for this team or it isn’t.

I’m not for a second saying Adams is a bad player. He’s a very good player. But the financial impact on the horizon, to me, doesn’t necessarily mirror the impact on the field. I’m not sure any safety justifies $20m a year, however much you blitz them.

Hugh Millen, courtesy of 950 KJR, provided some interesting thoughts on Adams last night:

5. What’s going on with John Schneider?

Whether the interest from the Detroit Lions is legit or not, or even if it’s simply not possible this year due to Schneider being under contract, doesn’t this need to be resolved?

If the Seahawks want Schneider to stay, why haven’t they committed to him in the form of a big new contract?

Have they tried to?

Is it about money? Is it about control?

Does Schneider genuinely crave the kind of overall power that he would get somewhere else?

The Seahawks can nip this in the bud pretty quickly. They can make him an offer he can’t refuse, just as they seemingly did with Carroll.

If that doesn’t happen — and assuming Schneider doesn’t depart this off-season due to his contract — it’s just going to create 12 months of speculation, mystery and insecurity.

We’re going to be talking about it all the time. Is this his last year? What happens next?

It’s not good to have those kind of question marks hanging over a franchise.

And what will it say for the state of the Seahawks if Schneider does see his future elsewhere? What does it say for the Carroll project, or the ownership structure?

These are not healthy topics to be discussing. If the intention is for John Schneider to be here for years to come, they need get a new contract done now.

6. How do they galvanise the fans again?

It feels a little bit like we’re watching the end of an era unfold in Seattle. Six years, only three playoff wins, very little progress.

A reset that hasn’t delivered post-season success. Insufficient attention to detail. Some of the worst performances of the Carroll era (Bills, Rams x2, Giants).

The same cast of characters. The same messages. The same results.

To many of us it all seemed so predictable. We talked throughout the off-season about this conclusion being a strong possibility because the work they did in free agency and the draft simply wasn’t good enough. The issues on offense and in particular with third downs were talked about for weeks in the regular season, only for nothing to be done about it.

Fans are often accused of being spoilt for not appreciating the annual 10-12 win season. Yet this team constantly fails in the post-season, when it matters. Nobody is going to turn around in 10 years and bask in the glow of what we’ve just seen in the regular season. This team has earned the right to be judged in the playoffs — and that is the standard they’ve created.

The result is one playoff victory in the last four seasons. Not good enough.

We don’t have to compare this franchise to the Jags or Jets and be grateful. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more. Especially when the playoff exits are so brutal. Carolina, Atlanta, Dallas, Green Bay, LA. The one constant is the terrible performance.

Why will anything be different next year?

Perhaps the greatest challenge will to turn that feeling around. I can’t be the only one feeling that way.

The Seahawks have long been a good team. I think, currently, many will struggle to believe in this group being great again.

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  1. Robbie

    Dude did you even sleep? Haha!

    • Rob Staton


      For about four hours.

  2. millhouse-serbia

    Rob, i see you and most think that Pete let Schotty and Russ to do what they want on offense first half of season but then take controll back.

    But as i saw numbers and % run vs pass are almost same in first and 2nd half of the season. Only deference is quality of defenses they played and regression of execution and quality of play of our offense.

    So question would be what is the reason you think Pete took controll back and ask them to play his style of football? Less shots downfield? I mean Petes football is run, run and throw big…

    • Rob Staton

      It’s not about run vs pass.

      It’s about featuring the entire offense around avoiding turnovers. They played tentative. They didn’t attack teams like they were doing. The tempo disappeared.

      • Ashish

        I believe there should one owner for offence. We should able to say it’s PC or offensive coordinator offence. Right now there is no clear owner I’m sure PC poke a lot which RW/Scotty deserves after series of interceptions.
        Many hawks fan has seen this picture in past where offence stalls. Donald is key player who is night mare. is that something new? where is the plan? 🙁

      • Duceyq

        Totally agree with you here Rob. They let the other teams defense dictate how they will play. They played half pregnant on offense with no offensive identity after they buried “LRC”. Noncommittal to the run or pass.

        They have the weapons and I believe they should’ve stuck with or returned to LRC, especially once the defense turned around. The uptempo attack put defenses on there heals. We’ve seen it succeed so I think it can return.

      • Dani

        Russ earns $35 million. He has more control on that offense than you all think. If he’s tentative, it’s bcos of him and not Pete. To put the blame of poor execution on the HC and not the QB who wants to be the best is just lazy and honestly biased argument- folks who have studied the Hawks offense tape show the missed opportunities that Russ just doesn’t take. Maybe high time to question whether Wilson can lead you to a SB w/o a great D. He’s been average in the playoffs w/ exception of last year

  3. Vin

    Man that was a tough read, but only because it’s true and I agree 110%. If PC wants to Win Forever, or at least for the next 5 years, he’d better take a long and hard look at what he’s doing. I’m of the opinion that he needs to either LRC and live with those consequences or trade RW and do a hard reset to get back to 2012-2014 hawks. And regarding Hugh Millen going off on JA…..I agree that the trade was wrong, but even a healthy JA probably doesn’t change the outcome of that game. Would’ve liked to have seen if Millen showed the same ‘passion’ towards PC and RW. Hehe. Thanks Rob

  4. millhouse-serbia

    Look like scouting combine could (will) be canceled.

      • Rob Staton


        That defeat yesterday and now no combine to look forward to.


        • Rlmer

          Couple of questions:

          Do we know if the Senior Bowl is cancelled?

          There must be some way to gather performance metrics for draft prospects. What could a virtual combine look like, assuming that teams would be willing to work together?

          • Rob Staton

            The Senior Bowl is still going ahead although the latest report is they are finding it hard to find teams willing to coach it. Reportedly 15-20 have turned it down already.

            I suspect if the combine is cancelled it’ll be left up to pro-days to get the testing numbers but it’s never a fair fight in that regard and you never get official numbers.

            It will make the process this year a lot harder to discuss and project from an outsiders point of view if the combine isn’t replaced with some kind of official testing.

  5. David B.

    “It isn’t how you start it is how you finish”

    Pete’s time is done. The interception in the Super bowl was the indicator that no matter what he preaches and no matter how much players have bought in and sacrificed to get to this point, that Pete doesn’t even exercise the gospel he has been preaching. He doesn’t seem to understand the importance of consistent messaging through action over doing something “pretty cool” which, when it doesn’t work out makes Pete looks hypocritical and he risks loses the faith of the team.
    We have been middle to top (2017) of the league in penalties committed, we seem to like to get “cute” with our draft picks as well, fousing on risky reclamation players that are drafted a round too soon, Pete has never seen a bad character or injury history project he doesn’t like.
    The team looks sloppy and unfocused and I wonder how much faith they truly have laft in the Bill Walton of NFL.
    I want to go on but maybe another time, but I am not happy with the direction of this team.
    First time post, been reading for years. I appreciate your work.

  6. Gonzdlg

    Rob, one of the most frustrating things about yesterdays game, offense aside, was letting the Rams run all over us. With their qb situation, it was disapointing time after time their running game was so effective, like right before half second and very long, boom another big run. I think we have some good talent to work with on D, but considering the oponent and their situation, that performance was underwelming yesterday.

  7. Chris

    I can’t help but think Russ will force a trade. Put yourself in his shoes; would you want to stay in this organization, in this situation? He’s getting the crap kicked out of him, he’s not winning, and Father Time sleeps for no one.

    I expect some to criticize me for saying “not winning” when we just won 12 games. But did we beat a quality opponent, even once? A team at full health/strength? Seems like most of our wins were nail biters against 2nd string QBs, injury riddled teams, and the AFC East/NFC East which isn’t exactly a bastion of strength. Arguably one of the easiest schedules any team faced this year.

    And forget about the defensive performance. Look at what Russ has on offense to work with. On the OL he has a good LT who is one injury away from retiring. A left guard who can’t stay in the game. A center who is continually overpowered in 1v1. A stud right guard, and a retread RT who also has a history of injuries.

    In terms of skill players, he has a stable of running backs who are always nicked up, who don’t perform consistently. He has a dynamic WR in Lockett (arguably the best WR on the team), a hotshot WR who needs to learn how to play like a pro consistently, and the a bunch of replacement level players behind these two. All orchestrated by an OC who can’t or won’t make the best use of these skill players; who can’t make adjustments; who has plays described by opposing defenses as “vanilla.”

    So if I’m 30 years old, I’m making business decisions. Russ already squawked this off season about wanting better tools around him. He got a washed up TE who couldn’t stay healthy. I would be pissed if I was him. I’d want to go anywhere that had an offensive minded coach.

    • Gary

      Amazing post and agree with every word. Thank you!

    • Michael Wood

      Your post make one VERY LARGE assumption….Russell Wilson is a great QB not a QB in a system. Pete Carroll had A LOT of Heismen level college QB over the years and most tanked in the NFL. Prior to his one year in Wisconsin, Russ was a nobody QB for an average college program. Maybe Russ understands that if he goes somewhere else, he legacy is done because he’s an average NFL QB in a system.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Two more years times 35 million a year says Russell Wilson will play out his contact. Follow the money.

      • Rob Staton

        Wilson gets that wherever he plays.

        He might get even more if he goes somewhere else.

  8. Big Mike

    Outstanding summary of the present state of the Seattle Seahawks Rob. It’s a very discouraging one at that. I will remind folks of an old “proverb” as it concerns Pete Carroll who no longer has Paul Allen to answer to:
    “absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

  9. Bigsteviej

    Rob, you really hit the nail on the head with your point in the first section regarding adjusting the offensive game plan for the players you have and the opponent you’re facing.

    The Niners beat the Rams twice this year, putting up 345 and 390 yards of total offense against that #1 defense. They did it while missing different key offensive players in each of those games, and featuring different offensive players and plays in those two games. In the first game Kittle had > 100 yds receiving and Mostert was the leading rusher. In the second game Deebo Samuel had 133 yds receiving (with 136 YAC and minus 3 yds before the catch!) and Mostert was ineffective. Garoppolo in the first game, Mullens in the second game. The point is that Shanahan used different schemes with different players, both specific to how he thought he could beat the Rams’ defense.

    The Seahawks need to find a smart innovative offensive coordinator and tell Pete to keep his hands off the offense.

    Finally, your coaching piece ignored some egregious poor game management. That challenge? The inability to get a play off in time on a 4th down after an injury timeout? That stuff is inexcusable.

    • Troy

      Exactly. Watch next weekend what the Packers do to that ‘invincible’ Rams defense. Our offense is stale, predictable and boring. I hate the narrative that Rams are all that.

  10. Ghost Mutt

    Outstanding article Rob. I honestly don’t know how you find the energy to put something like this together so soon after such a miserable, deflating loss.

    I know it’s impossible to predict – but I’m curious what you think the potential returns are on our tradeable assets if we did decide to reset?

    I’d argue Russ, Wagner, and Adams’ value has all depreciated over the course of the year, through a combination of poor health and bad tape. I remember you quoting a first for Adams recently. Is Wagner still worth a 2nd at this point in his career? I’d think so, but I thought the same about Earl when we tried shifting him.

    And on Russ – surely three firsts has to be the starting point, especially given the bad optics of trading him for less after giving up the house for Adams. Do you think there’d be suitors at that price?

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think you could get a second for Wagner.

      You might be able to recoup a first for Adams this year and possibly another pick in 2022 — a third maybe.

      For Wilson I don’t think you will get three firsts. I think you might be able to get a similar deal to the Adams trade with higher R1 picks. However, I also think that game yesterday will make teams well placed to get rookie QB’s feel like maybe they should just take a shot on Zach Wilson or Justin Fields instead.

      • Ghost Mutt

        Thanks for getting back to me, and you’re probably right.

        Compensation may end up being the only wedge in trading him at this point. I think you’re right that both Pete and Russ would be up for it in the right circumstances.

        But Russ won’t want to go just anywhere, he’ll want control over where he winds up. And we can’t give him away to a competitive team for a couple of mid-round firsts. Any team willing to give up more is likely to focus heavily on Deshaun too.

        Here’s hoping Pete sees the need to turn the offence over and give Russ a fresh start internally.

        • Henry Taylor

          One idea that could make sense, and for the record I dont think he’ll be going anywhere, is to Miami. They are a team with a young, talented and well coached defense who could easily be a QB away from being a SB contender. They also have multiple first round picks.

          So my suggestion that would make sense for both teams is, Wilson for Tua, #18 in 2021 plus a 2021 and 2022 2nd rounder. Tua can come here and be the game manager, the Seahawks can use one of those picks to get a big bruising back (like Najee Harris) and try and build a defence suited to playing Pete’s preferred philosophy. Miami keeps their 1st pick to draft Sewell or a Reciever for Wilson to go win a superbowl.

          • Ralphy

            Henry I often times roll my eyes when I read trade ideas on here, but the Miami idea is actually interesting. Factor in RW’s wife’s input on any trade and I’m sure South Beach and the media capital that it is would be a lure for her and her career.

            My first thought yesterday was wondering if we can swap RW for Deshaun Watson but I’m not sure that either QB would sign off on that one.

            The trade for Adams was desperate and most of us knew it the moment it happened. I love his fire and respect his play, but he is a poor fit on this team and if you can recoup a first round pick then they should do it.

            • God of Thunder

              Do either of them have a No Trade clause?

          • Big Mike

            New Orleans makes the most sense in my opinion. You have Drew Brees retiring and a head coach that is used to having a shorter quarterback and a team that has been designed to succeed with a shorter quarterback. If I’m New Orleans I am on the phone with Seattle as soon as the season comes to a conclusion.

            • GoHawksDani

              NOLA would be a great place for Russ. But not sure how much Ciara would like it. And it won’t happen, Saints doesn’t have ANY money

          • Ok

            I think Miami has the most potential for a mutually agreeable trade. My first take is pick #18 plus Tua and some future 2nds isn’t enough, but….as Rob mentioned above, it makes sense to take a swing at Fields or Zach Wilson instead of Russ. The dolphins are ascending, the Seahawks not so much.
            Bobby would maybe get a 3rd (I’m guessing). I don’t think Pete would trade him.
            Trading Jamal for a late first would be an excellent result, to a bad situation. I don’t think Pete would trade him.
            Love Pete’s attitude, positivity. The team isn’t ascending. The team seems really far away from making the next step. Bummer.

            Rob, thanks. Can’t say it enough. The YouTube videos are really excellent. I don’t prefer to watch things like that on YouTube, usually moving around listening to sports content from the phone, but it’s worth it. You have spoiled me to Seattle sports media. Brock and Salk are cool, after that it’s bad. Thanks for all of your writing, seeing and staying the course.

      • Silly Billy

        Even if it isn’t for a 2nd (probably a 3rd plus some change), I’d seriously consider trading Bobby this offseason. We need picks, and we save ~10mil next year doing it. I HATE writing this too (I loved Bobby so much, I changed my number to 54 in high school).
        But in the last two year we invested a 1st, 3rd, 5th @LB. Hopefully resign Wright and Irvin on the cheap and roll with that. It wont be an improvement, but the best way to recover our sunk cost @LB.

        Speaking of sunk cost – Adams will/should remain a Seahawk, especially if Wagner goes. Need a D leader, and furthers the idea the Hawks want to play more nickel and less base.

        As for Russ – I think trade talk is silly until we know we have a replacement already on the roster. Russ is a top 3 QB @ 40mil/year, when I think PC could win with a top 15 QB who’s mobile @ 20Mill/year (or even better on a rookie contract). Until we have that QB on the roster, we have to stick with Russ.

        • Rob Staton

          I think the D does need leaders.

          I’m not convinced they have to be $18m a year safety’s who need to blitz all the time.

      • Dan Riggs

        “Yet when Adams isn’t blitzing, are you really getting $18-20m worth of value?”

        I don’t think it makes any sense to evaluate Jamal this way, Rob. The fact is he *is* blitzing and getting more sacks than our pass rushers. He’s a game changer.

        That’s what you’re paying for.

        • Rob Staton

          You do realise there is a consequence of blitzing don’t you?

          You do realise that you are not being a ‘game changer’ when you literally manufacture a situation where your safety can have an open run at the QB as an extra rusher, vacating your spot in the secondary?

          Watch the Hugh Millen clip.

          He blitzed more than any other player in the league and by some distance.

          You don’t need to pay someone $18m a year to blitz ten times a game.

          • RugbyLock


            Do you have a link to the whole segment with Hugh? Interesting clip that one. Thanks for sharing!

          • Dan Riggs

            Yes, there is a consequence to blitzing. Many times that consequence is POSITIVE. This is why Jamal is a game changer. He’s very good at what he does. Even Kyle Shanahan calls him “one of the best players in the NFL”. You have to pay to get one of those, right?

            Kyle also said:

            “I don’t think there’s many players in this league that can affect what you have to do schematically, what the other 10 guys around him are doing like Jamal.”

            He’s a big deal and you seem to act like he’s just another safety. He saved at least one game this season that I can think of. Worth the picks. He should be paid.

            • Rob Staton

              Do you realise that he got home on about 8% of his blitzes? So what happened the other 92% of the time? When you literally take your safety out of the second or third level, exposing a gap in coverage?

              Do you realise how they actually created most of those 9.5 sacks? By setting up blocking schemes with A gap pressure to create free rushing lanes and a direct path to the QB. If they blitzed Bradley McDougald like this 10 times a game he would also break sack records.

              And big wow that Kyle Shanahan praised a big name opposing player when asked about him before playing him. What was he going to say? They create manufactured pressure and he’s not great in coverage? Come on.

              • Dan Riggs

                He’s been called one of the best safeties in the NFL and you act as if Bradley McDougald could accomplish the same things if only he had the same opportunities? I don’t think this is a fair assessment of Jamal Adams (who is praised by many in the NFL – but strangely, McDougald isn’t. Hmm.)

                I think you are right about many things – particularly Pete Carroll. But you’re wrong on this one. They need Jamal – he makes a difference and he’s worth the money.

                I will remind you that you said *NOTHING* could be done to save the Seahawks defense this year, much less their pass rush. Even bringing in a vet like Dunlap. You were wrong about that, Rob. Their defense greatly improved in the second half of the season.

                In any event, I appreciate your blog and your videos even if I sometimes strongly disagree! Your work enhances the enjoyment of the football season. Thank you.

                • Rob Staton

                  He’s been called one of the best safeties in the NFL and you act as if Bradley McDougald could accomplish the same things if only he had the same opportunities? I don’t think this is a fair assessment of Jamal Adams (who is praised by many in the NFL – but strangely, McDougald isn’t. Hmm.)

                  Blitz McDougald 10 times a game with a schemed linebacker filling the A-gap to create openings and he will produce massive sack numbers.

                  They need Jamal – he makes a difference and he’s worth the money.

                  Provide me with evidence then. Because what I saw was a player who makes the occasional nice play but was PFF’s 45th ranked safety, he was extremely poor in coverage and they needed to blitz him 10 times a game to manufacture him production. That, for me, is not worth two firsts, a third and a veteran player and a soon-to-be $18m a year contract.

                  I will remind you that you said *NOTHING* could be done to save the Seahawks defense this year, much less their pass rush.

                  No, I didn’t say that. I said I doubted one mediocre experienced pass rusher would enough difference. When they traded for Dunlap I literally called it an A+ trade.

                  You were wrong about that, Rob. Their defense greatly improved in the second half of the season.

                  I wasn’t wrong though. The defense was even worse than I anticipated at the start of the season. I was proven right not only in the way I judged the pass rush and the defense — but also on my fears for how the season would finish. It’s OK to acknowledge that.

  11. Justaguy

    Rob, I wanted to thank you for the proper analysis which you have provided. Pete Carroll’s legacy in Seattle was solidified when he coached a Super Bowl Championship season. The lose in the subsequent SB and the years of failure since will be forgotten when he finally retires. My feeling is Pete continues to believe he can right the tailspin he has put this team in, and we as fans will not have much reason to hope for even a sniff of a conference championship game for the next few years.

    • God of Thunder

      I’m a “Pete should consider retiring” kind guy atm, but even I would balk at describing Pete’s post Super Bowl years as “years of failure”.

  12. Submanjoe

    I don’t know what you to say. I know if the same thing isn’t working, then smart people make changes. Pete is smart, Russ is smart, John is smart, etc. I also believe in my core that Pete is stubborn. Something has got to give.

    At the end of the super bowl win, Kam goes to Pete, congratulates him and says “we did it our way”, to me, that is the defining moment of this era of Seahawks football. And I would argue, the end, this end, the way this team has been for six or seven years now, was established right then with that Super Bowl win. That winning was affirmation that Pete ball was an acceptable way to play and win forever, rather than that team winning simply because of who they were and who was on the team and the contracts involved etc at that time.

  13. Gary

    Rob, yesterday you said you have never felt less like writing, yet a day later you produce this epic masterpiece. I read every word you write and tell myself every time that this is the best work Rob has produced, but this post-mortem and off-season primer absolutely nails it. I felt like a light went on when I read your observations about the Colts game, juxtaposed against Pete and the struggle for his preferred identity. That is the very heart of the issue, and it harkens back to the days when we had the league’s best defence and Pete would talk ad nauseam about how we are just going to roll out our team, do what we do, dictate the game, and force you to be the one to make the adjustments. Which we don’t hear any more, but the issue is the same – our geriatric coach is incapable of innovation or adapting or making adjustments. He’s just gonna roll out what he knows year after year, and we are trapped in an endless loop of 10-11 win seasons, low draft picks, and first round playoff exits. There is no scenario in which that changes until Always Com-Pete is gone and I fear that brighter days are a long way off as we continue to pay the price for the one Super Bowl win for a decade or long as Pete continues to survive on past glory. I no longer have an attachment to any part of this team and would welcome blowing it up and moving on from any piece or player that brings us draft picks, cap room, and hope. Rob, thank you for the clarity and the amazing work you continue to do for the faithful.

    • Ralphy

      I completely agree. I was also thinking about the Colts roster and how many players they have drafted that Rob loved going in to the draft.

    • SeahawkeyezSubj80

      Exactly my feeling Gary. Rob continues to amaze with his instant reactions. Totally had his finger on the pulse of this team since the offseason in the face of undeserved criticism. I hope he continues to write, certainly understand if he didn’t. I am in the same boat as far as blow this whole thing up. Get Pete the necessary talent to run his scheme. Trade Russell and Ciara to New York Jets so they can work on their off the field legacy and Seattle get its picks back plus a first round in 2022. Win Win for both sides. Undoubtedly would be a bad year next year but give us a much needed restart. This Pete/Russell not working anymore as far as getting to Super bowl. I’m not even convinced of the idea that the game has passed by Pete Carroll. Such a defeating loss that this organization keeps repeating.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Gary, really appreciate that

  14. Peter

    Excellent write up Rob!

    Overly long post, apologies:

    I think you have to trade Russell. I love Russell but “pete ball,” needs a point guard and a lot of other stuff to make it work and since he signed a 5 year deal and thus he’s not going anywhere it makes too much sense to move the one piece they can to start a rebuild. Not a reset.

    The thing for me that is maybe more frustrating about this construct of identity is that PC doesn’t seem to know how to create his own identity. Early on with the knowledge of college players plus the tool of “the churn,” during the offseason the team was able to find hungry players willing to battle for their spots. Then JS did a fairly clever trick it seemed which was to work free agency to attempt to solve deficits on the team allowing them greater draft flexibility.

    Now all teams get into these situations where the parity of salary cap and signing stars keeps the league balanced but Seattle has clearly lost a step with finding stars or even above good players. Who are the best players on the team? Wright, Wagner, Wilson, Lockett, Metcalf, and maybe Shell. I know others will make a case for different players but to me that’s it.

    I personally have hated all the fancy trades going back to Harvin. And to mortgage the farm for Adams? Pointless.

    If he wants to run and play defense then do that. I promise this is the last time I ever, ever bring this up…but stop with the Procise/Penny’s guys who never burned for Football but who could, I guess catch out of the back field and instead pick the Chubb’s of the world. Stop spending a zillion picks on Adams when at one time you were the DB whisperer and do what you always did with late(r) round picks.

    For me I’d trade wilson, trade adams (sunk cost), cut Wagner (one of my favorite’s ever), retain Wright, and since the team is completely lacking dynamism of any sort draft BPA. Because there are holes all over and upgrades from middle of the road at nearly every position other than QB of which his cost and style doesn’t really fit.

    Finally. I spent some time looking at Sportrac for free agents……kind of a bummer as that with the tiniest exceptions there are very few players big names or small, regardless of Seattle’s cap situation, that look like they would be upgrades. Let’s not be Green bay, The saints, The steelers and wander around the wilderness forever hoping to get back to the Big Game with a just good enough team.

    • Peter

      *edit* Trade Wagner even if its a fourth and a condition 5th for the following year.

      • Jordan E

        I totally disagree with this. We are not in a good position for next two years. Trading away our best players will just entail that we suck the next 3 years until we are able to get more franchise type players.

        On that note- we dont have a 1st this year and next year when we will suck.

        Look at how good GB is. Tbh I think they will go very far this year in playoffs. We should really build around and maximize the players we have instead of building around a very old coaching scheme that even predates Pete. This is 2020 football not the 1970s.

        There is a legitimate argument that the players got Pete to the SB and won it for him before. Not the other way around where Pete is solely responsible for the teams success.

        • Peter

          Couple things:

          Green bay with Rodgers has been good to great for a decade. But they have one ring in that time.

          You mention maximizing and building around players instead of an old coaching scheme except the only reason why I’m on the trade Wilson train is that PC signed a 5 year extension. So that old system that predates him is here to stay. If he had not been signed I’d literally go the other direction and say he goes and let Russ cook as it were with a new offensive minded coach.

          I’m not trying to seem hyperbolic but to coin an old PC phrase who on this team “tilts the field?” Metcalf. Wilson. Moving into next year is there anyone on defense that does that? Any other offensive player?

          I just feel like I’m having a conversation from way back under Holmgren/ Hasselbeck era where we feel that we are just one piece away but I’m worried that AZ, SF will be better next year, the rams have our number and we might just “suck,” either way. And I’d rather get a jump on restarting a team since PC is going nowhere than drag it out.

          • Jordan E

            Hmmm. Yeah the pete extension man… really complicates things. The only hope is seems is for Pete to change. Maybe he will since it would fall under his always compete mantra. Based on his past behavior though it is highly unlikely :/

            Maybe its just me but im not ready yet to scrap things in with this team. I think we have 1-2 more years where we are really competitive. What would need to change is the offensive philosophy.

            If we do not do well after 2 years or so- Bobby can retire as the best Hawk of all time. Russ will likely go in seattle ring of honor (and/or at least a PNW legend) and pete will be close to retiring. Brooks & Metcalf should hopefully at that point be ballers.

            On a side note- I really lack the faith that Pete can rebuild this team successfully in next 5 years. We are strapped on draft capital and enormous contracts for Bobby and Russ. I really think our best shot is next 1-2 yeaes (and yes that shot isn’t great).

      • Troy

        Bobby Wagner is a first ballot hall of famer. He isn’t getting traded.

        • Peter

          maybe. I love Wagner. But i doubt he’s first ballot. He doesn’t have near the fame and recognition as that last two: Lewis and Urlacher. And though he has almost better stats than Urlacher, Wagner has never been defensive player of the year.

          Again. I love Wagner.

    • Chris

      To your last paragraph, as Rob has pointed out, we have no money for good free agents. We’re going to end up with a lot of crappy players filling out the roster.

      • God of Thunder

        I’m not so sure. I think the unusualness of this pandemic world re: for example the cap means there will be many bargains.

  15. Jordan E

    I really think we should side with the players should anyone major be getting fired or traded. Pete must address his failure for not fixing the offense sooner. Yes the defense got better but it should not be mutually exclusive to have an explosive offense.

    Do not trade Russ. If we did I could see him going to NE or some crap and then become like MVP of the league under a very competent coach. Bill B loves Wilson and would gladly make the trade if available.

    The offensive scheme was a disaster and Schotty needs to be fired. Pete needs to drastically change the offense (loved the comparison with what McVay did with the defense). The defense was decent yesterday but that offense was horrendous. Wilson has been great for multiple years. Theres no way his true ability is worse than Baker Mayfield.

    If we burn the ship than the coaches have to go first. Franchise QBs are not easy to replace and any major change should be built around the actual players instead of the coaches. Pete can’t just live off his past success and not change anything.

    • Ryan

      To me this is the issue: the offense. I’m not a fan of the Adams deal, but it brought us a good player that I think can help the defense if he’s healthy. Trade him, keep him; I’m indifferent. No use crying over spilt milk moving forward.

      What it ultimately comes down to is we’re stuck, IMO. Nothing will or can change, really. Well, it can, but it won’t unless Pete changes. So it won’t. I trust Pete to build a defense. If we can add a good DT and a promising edge rusher in this offseason, one more good CB, I think we’re fine on that side. But…

      My offensive train of thought: our problem is a 3-headed monster. Pete, Shotty, Russ. And if you start with the premise that Pete isn’t going anywhere, you end with the conclusion that we’re stuck and have to just hope for things to happen that won’t. I still think this could work if Russ could get back to his 2013 form. And I’m not using form in the UK sense, but the literal sense. His body, his arm. If he dedicated himself to losing weight so he could escape the pocket better and extend plays, this offense would work. If he was still a real run threat it would work. Go watch highlights from 2012-2014. He *darts* around DEs like they’re standing still. He runs for 1st down after 1st down. Now he can’t escape DTs. Either he or Pete got the idea that he needed to gain weight to stay healthy, and it’s killing our offense. Because….

      Pete believes in running the ball and getting chunk plays on offense. Getting chunk plays on offense with a QB that doesn’t see the field well in the short/intermediate area (or believes he needs big plays to please Pete or get glory) means extending plays to get receivers downfield, with requires either a great OL (ours is good, not great) or a QB that can extend plays. We have neither at an elite level. We could do what I think we tried to do early in the year or in late 2015, with quicker, timing-based pass game, but we have an OC that either lacks the creativity (or belief) to do it OR is being told by Pete that instead we need a physical running game and chunk plays. Because when things break down or turnovers happen, Pete will revert back to his preferred offensive style because he’s won a lot of games with it and believes in it.

      So we’re stuck. Can’t trade Russ because of the cap hit (right, Rob?). Can replace Shotty but it won’t matter if Pete just gets the offense he wants. And Pete’s management style has ALWAYS been to raise up coaches from within who adopt his philosophy. The only time he’s deviated from that really was when he had Norm Chow to run Norm’s offense at USC and they had the greatest success they’ve had since the 1970s. But Norm ran the BYU offense (that is essentially what we want lol) and got credit, so Pete replaced him with his guys, Lane Kiffen and Steve Sarkisian. And USC turned into what we are now: a good but not great team that bafflingly looked terrible once in a while. And Pete’s not going anywhere.

      Sorry this is so long. The TL; DR version. We either need Pete to change who he is (a control freak) and give up his entire team philosophy, or we need Russ to accept that he needs to get back to the young Russ who was athletic enough to work *outside* of Pete’s offensive design to make it work. Don’t believe either will happen.

      • Jordan E

        Appreciate the response Ryan. I agree with your points. Its sad really. The future is not looking good with this team :/

        I wish we hadn’t have extended Pete for 5 more years. Hopefully this is a wake up call that forces Pete to change. He may (and probably is) too stuck in his ways though so its pretty sad. I feel bad for Russ. He will not go down as one of the GOATs with the current team philosophy.

        Personally, I’d take the extra weight to ensure Russ durability. Hes not getting any younger. Pete is the one that needs to change. I’ve always thought it was the coaches duty to put their players in the best position to succeed. Not just force a particular play style especially when it is not working and the personnel does not fit it well.

      • God of Thunder

        Agree with a lot of this … except for the choice of options going forward.

        It’s not Pete C changes or Russ goes back to what he was. (The first is unlike and the second is physically impossible.)

        I see it as: get Russ, finally, a top OL, or get him a better OL with a young innovator at OC, so at the very least Russ isn’t holding on to the ball so long.

  16. TJ

    I agree with everything you wrote in this article. Although you made reference to the team’s ownership situation, I personally believe that it is worthy of inclusion on this list and should be listed at or near the top. The Seahawks organization feels like a rudderless ship right now; lacking the leader to set expectations, create accountability, and challenge the assumptions and beliefs of the football people.

  17. TheOtherJordan

    Excellent article Rob, as usual. Thoughtful, reasoned analysis. This is the most consequential offseason for Pete and John since the beginnning of their tenure. And they are entering it with limited cap and draft resources.

    After yesterday, if the Raiders offered you the 17th and 81st pick this year and their 1st rounder next year for Russell Wilson, you’d have to consider it. I don’t think it’s ultimately enough compensation to get it done but Seattle has to worry about Wilson letting it be known he wants out of Seattle which dramatically reduces their leverage.

  18. cha

    Starting to wonder if Pete’s handling of COVID has had a hand in breaking the team this year.

    Pete seemed so focused on the protocols and ‘the message’ of personal responsibility about not spreading it, the overriding thought comes that they prioritized that over sound, well-coached football and good in-game decision making. If there was any thought that this approach would gain them some kind of competitive edge this season, that was a massive miscalculation.

    But it obviously was important to Pete. When asked about it (constantly) by the press, he frequently went on several long jaunts about team chemistry and protocol expectations. Questions about actual football decisions however, were met with clipped and at times snotty answers.

    People talk about what they like. Clearly Pete preferred to highlight the good things he was doing with their protocols and did not like talking about massive problems that were staring him in the face. Granted, no one enjoys publicly talking about their mistakes and areas of concern. But lack of engagement on those issues when (rarely) pressed by the media really does reveal a mindset I believe.

    Even when asked by the press last night about his thoughts, he referenced their clean (for the most part) COVID sheet as a positive accomplishment on the season, and when asked about the future, he alluded to COVID as much as he did football.

    It appears that Pete tried to create some kind of enclosed environment with this team this year, and almost had a pathological resistance to outside criticism. I listened to just about every word he said to the press this year and his words about poor play seemed increasingly defensive, as if any of the concerns about the team’s play or roster decisions would penetrate that environment and disrupt the culture he’d worked so hard to preserve.

    The only conclusion I can come to, is Pete has a core belief that the positive environment and team culture is more important to winning than the actual X’s and O’s.

    And that is a problem.

    • Rob Staton

      There will probably be more questions asking Pete how proud he is of his handling of protocols than probing questions about the team in his final press conference.

      • cha

        Oh for sure.

        That’s the other part of the equation. The press this season performed atrociously.

  19. no frickin clue


    I think you summed it up very well here. I will only add a speculative theory that plays off Russ’ alleged ultimatum to cook.

    What if, in the words of Bill Parcells, Russ also demanded input – before the season began – into buying the groceries?

    As you pointed out, Russ is very aware of leaving his legacy on the game. What if he hamstrung Pete and John on their ability to jump-start the defense by demanding too much capital to be assigned to the offense? After all, you can’t leave a legacy on the game without being super-productive at QB. Perhaps he wants to leave absolutely no doubt that he’s far more than a so-called ‘Game Manager’.

    To that end, perhaps he insisted on more chess pieces on offense (Olsen, Ogbuehi, Hyde), which made the front office leery of using up too much capital on a high-end edge pass rusher. Maybe he also asked for Antonio Brown and then had those plans sabotaged with front office-fueled leaks. The cue the desperation in the early part of the season to get Adams and here we are.

    Obviously I’m speculating, and I don’t enjoy thinking about it this way, because it implies somewhat of an adversarial relationship between Russ and the front office. But if I’m right, then I think one of three people could be gone before the 2021 season: Russ (if Pete and John make a high-stakes bet on a real reset), Adams (if they try to placate Russ with a ton of new draft capital), or John Schneider (if Pete is unwilling to cede either of them).

  20. Ashish

    When you have bad/under performing coach its easy to move on. But with 12 / 4 season what you would you do? New coach are not easy to find and there’s no guarantee. Tough situation for hawks

  21. pdway

    I think that’s a really fair article. I think all of the critical analysis is well-reasoned.

    And finally, after a very long time in his corner – I agree w this statement re PC as well: “It just feels, for the first time, like a legitimate case can be made for a fresh approach.”

    Because, like all of you, I’m a freak, I literally woke up in bed this morning thinking about the Seahawks. And one thing I think we need to do, is let the dust settle a little bit on the emotion of a really bad stretch of play, and pump the brakes on the ‘trade Russell now’ sentiment. I think it’s recency bias to start – if RW was on a steady downhill trend of play for years now, then it would make sense – but that’s just not the case. He does look broken, tentative, uncertain – all the things we’ve noted – but it’s just too soon to give up on him given the track record and his age.

    Here are Aaron Rodgers’ numbers the past three years: ’18: 63% completion rate, 25 tds/2 ints, 97.6 QB rating; ’19: 62%/26/4/95.4; and then ’20: 70.7%./48/5/121.5.

    25 and 26 TD’s in a 16-game season is very pedestrian for an elite QB, and then an explosion to 48 this year. What changed? The coaching staff. I think, at minimum, we need to give Russell a chance to play w a more advanced system.

    At the risk of this post getting too long, my other thoughts:

    – whereas all the off-season focus (and most of the draft) was rightfully on the defense, this year it needs to shift to the offense. I think a glaring need for our offense is an outlet/safety pass-catcher, someone RW can default to to get that 3rd and 4, when the pass rush is teeing off. It should either be a quick RB in the Kamara/Ekeler/James White mode, or a WR3 like Beasley, or a TE who has some athleticism. Even though we have lots of needs, I’d make a case that our 2nd rounder should go to this.
    – obviously Iupati is done; need to figure out the answer at LG.

    – On defense, we’ll get Blair back, and hopefully Taylor too. They looked much improved in the 2nd half, and it didn’t appear flukey to me; would be great to add one more edge rusher in free agency, but that will depend on a ton of factors – in terms of re-structures, who comes back, etc. Fully agree that Adams is a tough decision, but also assume that we will extend him. His play has holes, no doubt, but the energy he brings to the unit is something that stats have a hard time measuring – and I do think has value.

    Aree that it should be a soul-searching off-season for this team – and I hope we have the guts to make real changes on the coaching staff, or there’s little reason to believe things will be any different in ’21.

    Thanks for the content as always.

  22. AlaskaHawk

    Rob – You’ve really provided a lot of great articles this year. Sadly we are in the despair phase of things now.

    A couple of years ago I stopped watching the first half of the Seahawks games because it was an awkward snooze fest. Lots of three and outs, and hardly any scoring. It was just to awful to watch. This year the offense looked different, and indeed they scored a lot of points early in the season. The offense looked so much better. But even in that time of victories there were issues. Two games that could have been iced by getting a short yardage first down. Two medium throws that missed the receiver or were dropped. Russ already showing that he had command of the long ball, but not the short or intermediate distance. Tough going, but we were all more concerned about the defense than the offense.

    I think we have all spent time analyzing shortcomings of the defense. For me it was a lack of quality corners and defensive edge rushers that was the problem.

    But what about the offense? They have a decent quarterback, probably ranked around 10-12 in the league. They have two great receivers, maybe they should be ranked around 4th or 5th in the league.
    They have an average offensive line that gets injured alot, lets say they rank 12-16 in the league.
    And they have a bunch of running backs, one or two of whom might be average to slightly better than average, so I’ll say 12-16.

    My understanding of Pete Ball is to have an elite defense, a great special teams, and an offence that controls the ball and time of possession. The best way to control time of possession is with a running game. The best way to have a running game, and pass protection that can hold up during long passes, is to improve the offensive line and the running backs.

    So having said all that, when will the Seahawks go after that great running back? There hasn’t even been an attempt since Penny was drafted (the guy that just hurt his other knee). Free agent picks are fine, but these guys are not elite running backs. I find it puzzling that our running backs aren’t playing more consistently when you look at Pete ball. That is I’m puzzled till I look at the offensive line, the line that changes every year and again at mid season due to injuries.

    Basically where I’m heading with all this is = The Seahawks offensive will never get better until they get a better offensive line and an elite running back. Carson is okay and has at times played really well – but he is not enough. Perhaps he would be enough if the line was better at blocking, but in the current state he isn’t enough. And more importantly, Pete Ball demands an offense that can make first downs with a running game, so that they can control the clock.

    So what has been obvious to me for the last five years, is that this offense will never be better than what they are, until they get a better offensive line and better running backs. After all, every team in our division has become expert at rushing the quarterback. You might say they specialize in it, and poor Russell is the one getting tackled and smacked to the ground game after game.

    • CHaquesFan

      Exactly. Carroll is most likely here to stay, so instead of trying to make a Ferrari out of parts for a Honda, just tailor the team to Peteball. The WR’s in this offense are primarily deep threats, not intermediate. Get a solid LG, C, and LT (brown is probably gone soon) and keep Lewis and Shell. Also get a star RB to go with the O-Line.

  23. Leonardo

    The Pete Carroll/Arsene Wenger comparison only seems to get stronger and stronger as the years progress:

    — New coach comes in and revolutionizes the game, turns the team into the new, exciting kid on the block, brashly taking on the big boys
    — Success culminates with an all-time great team solidifying the coach’s rep as a legend (2013 Hawks and the Invincibles)
    — Team continues to contend for the next few years, but can’t quite get back to the very top
    — Standards begin to slip, and the team goes from championship contender to playoff (top 4) contender
    — Some fans say the coach is stale and outdated, but other fans say he’s the best coach in our history and we should be grateful to him

    It really does feel like we’re in the latter-day Arsene Wenger days right now, with a team that still thinks it is supposed to be great but hasn’t been at that level in a long time.

    I will always love Pete for what he did for us, but I don’t think he’s capable of adapting his approach anymore. If Pete hadn’t signed an extension during the season, does anyone think the fanbase would be clamoring to extend him today? And do we think there would be any other suitors?

    It would have been interesting to see what the team would have looked like with John Schneider at the helm with a coach that he picked. Maybe nothing would have changed; maybe we would have descended to modern-day Arsenal levels. But at least it would be different from the treadmill we’re currently set to be on.

  24. SeahawkeyezSubj80


    Excellent job as always, sorry to hear your frustrations this season. Now, no combine to look at. Take a long extended vacation see if the hunger comes back. Only post something pre-draft, post draft or if anything changes with Seahawks. Just throwing out ideas is all. I have truly enjoyed partaking in your hobby and am thankful for you allowing me to. Take care and here is to 2021 being a better year.

  25. kza

    If all of the following people are involved with Seahawks when the 2021 season kicks off in September, I am afraid (and I take no pleasure in saying that) that season would already be lost.


    One of the reasons I feel that is the point mentioned above in the post about 3 people taking what, 40%, of the total salary cap. That would imply a poor roster overall and without any draft picks, there is not hardly much you can do about that.

    There are likely combinations above that might work. Say, Wilson is not in that list. Or Jamal isn’t. Or PC isn’t. Etc. I could definitely see a competitive roster in some combinations.

    My major concern is that PC will NOT change. Once PC came to my employer Microsoft to give a keynote about something to a small group. He repeatedly mentioned “know your values”, “start by knowing who you are”, “believe in what you stand for”. There was another video with Satya where Satya asked him how he (PC) manages such high intensity practices and morale. Again, PC said something like “you start with knowing yourself and believing in what you know”. He is not going to change. This is his way. He is not going to change his offensive philosophy. If he does, credit to him, I love the guy. If he won’t, I would rather he moved on and we name a street after him and make a statue.

    Sorry for the rant and long post. It was kind of therapeutic.

    Love the content, Rob. This was a great piece.

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you

  26. cha

    We don’t have to compare this franchise to the Jags or Jets and be grateful.

    Let’s do the comparison anyway.

    Playoff wins the last 5 seasons:

    Jacksonville: 2
    Seattle: 2

  27. John

    Any idea when Seattle will have their end of season press conference? Im assuming it will occur on monday.

    • millhouse-serbia

      Today is when players empty locker room. Petes presser will probably be tomorow.

  28. ElPasoHawk

    You have to be true to who you are. Carroll will never be comfortable with a high flying offense. That’s OK and it has been successful in the past but the organization needs to stop trying to be something that is not a part of Carroll’s DNA. They have repeatedly spent massive resources on Percy Harvin, Jimmy Graham, and now a safety who doesn’t fit his vision for the Defense. Be who you are and stay strong to your convictions or get out of the way. If the league gives teams some temporary relief from the cap and they can swing a good deal for Russ then pull the trigger. Same goes for Jamal Adams. I’m all in for a short term step back for another REAL run before Carroll’s contract is up.

  29. pdway

    “I still think this could work if Russ could get back to his 2013 form. And I’m not using form in the UK sense, but the literal sense. His body, his arm. If he dedicated himself to losing weight so he could escape the pocket better and extend plays, this offense would work. If he was still a real run threat it would work. Go watch highlights from 2012-2014. He *darts* around DEs like they’re standing still. He runs for 1st down after 1st down. Now he can’t escape DTs. Either he or Pete got the idea that he needed to gain weight to stay healthy, and it’s killing our offense. Because….”

    I kind of think this is true too – – was watching the Heinecke highlights from yesterday (yes, Heinecke) – and being mobile can make even a journeyman QB dangerous.

    I’ve sort of assumed that Russell got bulkier intentionally – to add heft that would help him weather the hits. And maybe so. But, I kind of want to see him go on one of those Chris Paul plant-based nutrition/fitness kicks, and slim down a little. He’s older, but he’s not so old that he should have lost as much quickness as seems to be the case. Anyway, maybe grasping at straws a bit, but he does look significantly bulkier than he used to, and seems logical that’s contributed to his decline in this area.

  30. Cysco

    I think the biggest issue the team is going to suffer from in the offseason is the lack of an owner. The problems facing the team are huge and are the types of problems that need the leadership at the very top to be proactive.

    Right now PC is basically acting as the owner. He has been given complete unchecked control of the franchise. So what do you do when the person in charge of the franchise is a big part of the problem? Well, you basically become the Cowboys. Things will be the way that Jerry err Pete wants things, for better or worse.

    PC is not going to remove or reduce the role of the head coach. He’s not going to relinquish control of personnel decisions. He’s going to make bad decisions and overpay for players he shouldn’t. He’s going to stick to his game plan because he’s convinced it works even though it hasn’t in 6-years.


  31. Forrest

    Watching yesterday was painful. Watching Pete’s press conference was even more painful. I completely agree that Pete needs to turn over the offense. Half way through the season defenses stopped the ‘Let Russ Cook’ offense by dropping 8 into coverage. Rather than switch to “taking what the defense gives you” and countering with a smash-mouth running game, short passes and especially the read option that Seattle and Russ used to run so well, before countering with deep shots when the defenses changed up to stop these adaptations, we kept trying to take deep shots with long developing pass routes. These led to an increase in sacks and unprecedented interceptions for Russ. So, Pete pulled back the reigns, still failed to adjust and, as Rob points out, lost all identity. For an offense that wanted to “be the bully” when we reset, every 4th a 1 seemed to feature a weird play call, penalty or wasting a time out. Pete has said multiple times that he has interjected at these moments and changed the play. Pete – this hasn’t worked! Stop getting in the way. Why can’t they be ready with a play (or God forbid “plays”) that they’ve practiced and are ready to go with at that moment. And where is the “bully” on these plays. It was one thing when all the RBs were hurt. It’s another when Carson is in there. When Green Bay makes a long completion or has a 4th and 1, they run up to the line and execute a play to catch the defense sleeping (and force a penalty or time out). That’s good coaching! When Seattle does, they seem lost (probably because Pete is interfering) and burn a time out, get a crucial red zone penalty or call a weird play. Do we lack the personnel to run it up the middle on a quick count? If so, why, for a team that wanted to @be the bully”?

  32. Mike

    That high Mullen rant was spectacular, he made it really simple why Jamal is overrated. Jamal is nowhere near worth the picks and the contract. The thing I appreciate about Jamal is that he is someone who wants to win and plays with some swagger, there really isn’t much of that on the team.

    Also I think it’s pretty clear that carson, Shaq, pocic shouldn’t be given big contracts.

    And can we get a tight end on the team that doesn’t run like they are 50 years old?! Those guys were so unathletic this year.

  33. Forest

    Is Russell Wilson the best fit for Seattle?
    Seattle needs to figure this out! I would never have asked this question before, but if Seattle can’t adapt to Russ, they might just have to change things up. Russ is not a tall pocket passer and he is not a duel threat. If they really considered trading him for the #1 pick to get Josh Allen, would they consider trading him to get Deshaun Watson. They sure seem to trade a lot with the Texans and Watson is upset in Houston. Might this be the best time to move on and get a dual threat QB with deep pass capabilities to “take shots”? Watson would seem to be a good fit for Pete and he’s upset, so you might be able to pull off a trade that gets you what you want (And some draft capital).

  34. Big Mike

    A quick post on Jamal Adams and how his situation is utterly reflective of what I believe Pete Carroll has become in Seattle;

    Jamal missed 4 games this year due to injury, His effectiveness was limited in at least 2 others due to injury. Those numbers clearly point to him being an injury risk. This is not surprising considering he’s a man in the body of a safety playing a rush LB role.
    Jamal Adams is also clearly a liability in coverage. That is reflected in his PFF grade this year that had him as Robe mentioned in yesterday’s podcast, the 45th ranked Safety in the NFL this year. 45th!! There are 32 teams with 2 starting safeties each meaning there are 64 starting safeties so Adams was not even “middle of the pack” according to PFF.

    Considering these absolute FACTS, Adams should be traded this offseason to try to recoup whatever can be had for him in an attempt to fill the roster with inexpensive talent rather than pay him and him alone the 18 million that could otherwise be spent on a number pf players. This is especially true considering the cap issues facing this team as Rob has outlined. Are there any guarantees that Seattle could draft quality players to spend that 18 million on? Of course not, but we’ve seen what Adams offers and it isn’t 18 million dollars worth of health or quality play.

    With all that said, I strongly doubt that there is a single chance Pete Carroll trades Adams. He is far more likely to plunge forward bull headedly because to trade Jamal would be admitting he was wrong in his approach to last offseason and wrong in making the trade for him at such a cost. As I’ve mentioned before, I believe Pete Carroll, due to having absolutely no one to answer to and due to being given a new contract recently, has become the absolute power in Seattle and is utterly convinced his way is THE right way, the ONLY way and thus the trade for Adams was RIGHT.

    There are other examples of this from obvious ones like putting the full brakes on the offense after a few struggles to several people watching Jonathan Taylor yesterday and fantasizing what he might’ve looked like in a Seahawks uniform (especially considering this is supposedly a “run first” team). My response to that is this: does anyone paying attention to who Pete Carroll is really think there was a single chance the Hawks would even give passing consideration to drafting Taylor last year which would be tantamount to admitting the Rashad Penny draft choice was in all likelihood an error?

    Prove my feeling about who you are wrong Pete. Trade Jamal. Draft a workhorse RB like Taylor who played in a major conference against major college competition. Hire an offensive mind that can get Russell Wilson back on track and leave the man alone to do his job.

    • Big Mike

      Do I think any of the above will happen? Without a question, I do not. As others have said in the last 20 hours, this VERY strongly feels like the beginning of the end.

    • Robert

      Well, Pete didn’t hesitate to dump Percy Harvin. He had no trouble starting a rookie over high-priced qb Mike Flynn. He had no trouble moving on from Carey Williams. I think he’s shown a real capacity to move on, and quickly, from players who he feels didn’t work out.
      I don’t think Pete would have any problem moving on from Adams, if he decides that’s the right thing to do. I’m just not sure he’ll reach that conclusion.

  35. bmseattle


    This outcome was *exactly* the outcome that you’ve been warning us about all season.
    You didn’t say “I told you so”, but you would be justified if you did.

    This version of the Seahawks should absolutely be judged on their playoff results/performances, and we have firmly settled into “good enough to get in, not good enough to go far” territory.

    That’s why the past two end of season “This feels like 2012” statements have been so laughable and pathetic.
    At no point over the past 5 years has there ever been that sense of optimism and feeling that the team was ready to explode into greatness.

    The Seahawks are at a pivotal moment.
    It may be too late to turn this ship around, but if they are going to, there needs to be a real, true “reset” this off season.

    That would mean major coaching changes, and very significant roster churning.
    They “went for it” and failed.
    Nothing about the way this season ended should lead anyone to believe that this team is ascending.

    If this team isn’t ascending, then sadly, another “reset” must be in the cards.
    What a waste.

  36. Trevor

    The Titans offense is what Pete wants and need. A beast bell cow RB, physical OL, deep threat at WR and a QB who does not turn the ball over. We don’t need a $35 mil QB for that.

    • Matt

      The problem is that doesn’t win a Super Bowl in this era of football. PC will never recreate the LOB – and that’s what it will take for his brand of football to win the big game. The most masterful coaching job of the last decade was Nick Saban handing over control of the offense to the OC. PC would be wise to relent on that front – he won’t.

      • Trevor

        You can win a Super Bowl one of two ways. Have a great D and power offense or have an elite QB and offense, it is easier to build the first option than find another Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers,

        • Matt

          Disagree. You can’t have a great defense in your model – it has to be elite. The game favors offense and inevitably that “great defense” has to defend a Mahomes or Rodgers, usually more than once in the playoffs.

          I do agree that finding Mahomes and Rodgers is obviously extremely tough. I just likewise think building an elite defense is just as hard.

          • OP_Chillin

            Agreed. The Niners tried this last year and almost pulled it off, but Mahomes eventually overcame them.

    • Volume12

      I think Russ needs to evolve as QB. Hasnt done that. So at the same time, he needs to step up and pull a Brady/Rodgers. ‘This is how I play, what I do.’ I’m taking a risk here.’ Enough of the mr. nice guy, being polite to staff. Want the game in your hands? Take it.

      • John_s

        Who is Russ though? Early in his career he was Mr “Separation is in the preparation, Football field is 120×53 1/3, no time to sleep, Write notes on a notecard for the skill players, etc…”. Now he’s Mr Unliiiimited, Mr Podcast; Mr East to West; Mr Good Man Brand; Mr dumb videos”.

        He needs to find who he wants to be. Does he want to be the best QB or does he want to be a mogul?

        • Volume12

          Ehhhhh. That comes w/ the territory of being a star player.

          Accentuate the positives and hide the negatives. Always been a firm believer in that. Never once did they try to revert back to what worked early. They played Marty ball in the year 2021. Ridiculous.

        • lil’stink

          Russ talks the talk. I’m just not sure he’s good enough to walk the walk. Good, yes. No question. But Brady/Brees/Rodgers had all cemented their elite status by their 9th season in the league. Of course Wilson is allowed to have bad games. But these stretches where he looks confused and hesitant are telling.

          Rob pointed out how he is concerned about his legacy, about wanting to be the best of all time. I think in a way it shifts a lot of attention when he plays poorly on to the coaches. “He says he wants to be the best. Look at all those Instagram posts of him practicing in the off-season! It must be the coaches fault” I can’t believe we’re still seeing that narrative in Wilson’s 9th season. He simply isn’t an elite QB, yet he’s paid like one. That makes it tough to win when he lays an egg.

          “He needs to find who he wants to be. Does he want to be the best QB or does he want to be a mogul?” – This is a sentiment that’s been around for a couple of years. Before this season I never gave it much credence. There are a select few who can be both. But now I’m more inclined to agree with it, as Wilson doesn’t seem to be one of those select few.

          Wilson aspires to have the MJ/Kobe/Brady level of success both on and off the field. To have a brand that is bigger than the game. Yet for all his talk he doesn’t have the rings. And getting rings is the key to having the level of success he wants. He has all the time in the world after football to focus on his brand, but he only has a few years to win championships. I think it’s fair to question what he wants more at this point. With MJ/Kobe/Brady it was never a question. They wanted to rip your heart out and show it to you while it’s still beating. Part of me can’t help but think that Russ is more concerned with if you like his new fragrance line.

          • pdway

            nobody in sports does more off the court stuff than Lebron, he’s still pretty good.

            of course everybody handles things differently. something has been off this year, no question there – but how was it all so good for 6 weeks?

            • Chris

              We need to be realistic; Lebron is one of the best to ever play the game. Russ, as much as I love him isn’t. He’s probably in the top 25-50 QBs (closer to 25 than 50th), but he simply isn’t in the same class as Rodgers, Mahomes, Brady, Brees, much less the QBs that came before him.

  37. Volume12

    Russ was bad yeaterday, no excuses there. This O-line is disgusting. Russ was pressured 50% of the time yesterday. 50 %! That’s every other dropback. They get no push in the run game, how many penalties that killed a drive? Keep Lewis & Duane. I like Shell, but if an upgrade is there he’s not a must keep IMO.

    Offense was red hot early on, defense was trash. Defense was red hot 2nd half of the season, offense was trash. STs was great all year. Damn shame they could never put it all together.

    • Volume12

      And Carson. Love the guy, but he runs like he needs 12 instead of 2. Never makes a guy miss. His running style leaves a lot of yards on the field. There’s hidden yards in a lot of Pete’s system (always has been. Even back at USC) but it’s on the back to get em.

      • Chris

        Carson – I’ve never seen a player take himself out of the game so much. He runs hard as hell, but doesn’t seem to have the stamina?

    • Volume12

      $35 million dollar QB pressured on half his attempts and rushing 4 the majority of the time. Lmaoooo.

      • Big Mike

        This is an excellent point imo. My best buddy mentioned yesterday that Russ isn’t as “slippery” as he used to be which is understandable considering he’s over 30 now. It might well be time to invest in stud o-linemen instead of the 45th ranked safety. The game is skewed to quarterback play, perhaps the Seahawks ought to accept that and the fact that Wilson can no longer make up for mediocre to poor offensive line play with his legs and build the team accordingly.

        I’d love to see the pressure rate numbers for the first 5 games when Russ was “cooking”. If my memory serves, I do believe the pass pro was quite good early in the season.

      • lil’stink

        $35 million QB who gave the team an ultimatum to make him the highest paid player by a certain date or he would never negotiate with them again. Then has stretched where he still plays like a hesitant rookie. That’s the overriding problem. But how to fix it is the question.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Yes – I actually expected the Rams to be trouble because they have a great defense. I didn’t imagine that a quarterback with a bad thumb would out play Russell.

      No surprise that our 12th ranked offense doesn’t do that great against a top defense. The problem I have is with the weaker teams that the offense also had troubles with. Russell played well enough to cover for the teams weaknesses for a long time, now we know what happens when he isn’t playing so well.

      • Volume12

        Out played? I agree & disagree. Russ was really bad. Dont get me wrong. I think McVay deserves a Lions share of the credit though. He took away the deep ball, knew if they forced enough short drives it would lead to a defense being on the field too much, and now he can run the ball essentially at will w/ a really talented runner.

        • CHaquesFan

          Every team has taken away the deep ball after Minny. It is not just McVay. Teams know how to take away the deep ball, and the Rams pass rush only amplified that problem

  38. Billy


    Love your articles! So what would you do? Just curious on the overall picture what u would do?

    • Rob Staton

      I’d be open to anything

  39. Frank

    Certain types of QBs have had late career success and RW doesn’t resemble them at all. His game, the jitters, the personality, the general panic he plays with, his inability to run a timing offense have seems like for years the wheel where going to fall all the way off at any time, and any perceived greatness was the illusion of being highly protected bye scheme. I’d rather not feel the vindication of seeing what I knew was coming, but the train wreck that was RW for the second half the season makes it hard to deny he’s cooked. The trade for Addams was a last ditch effort, to capitalize before the RW crash but left us with no way to address the position for a couple years now. The Hawks and Eagles are in the same position with there QBs and it’s going to be a very interesting offseason seeing how they cope with two very good teams being squandered bye poor QB play and insane contracts. RW will never win a championship again, unless he’s carried to it ala Peyton Manning 2015. An OC can only do so much with his skill set, and Shotty isn’t some genius in the range of Ried, Turner, Shannahan but handcuffed bye PC oversight, and RW inability to complete passes on schedule, Metcalf demanding targets when he can’t get open on anything but go routes and scramble drills, this isn’t a job any good OC would want. I’d straight trade the farm for Watson, but doubt I could get enough from Wilson to even scratch the surface. Addams and Wilson for Watson all day every day, maybe even a Wagner thrown in.

  40. Pepoandart

    Excellent analysis Rob. Pete and John have to ask themselves if this group can win the super bowl. If the answer is no then all options should be considered. That includes trading Adams and/or Wilson. If a team offered 2 2nd rounds picks for Adams would you take it?

    • Rob Staton

      If one was an early R2, sure, I would consider it.

  41. Hawks_Gui

    Hey Rob,

    First of all, thanks for all the content you wrote over the Year, haven’t missed one single article, or Podcast.

    About Seattle, for me, there will be a lot of doubts and Though decisions ahead of us, and if we want to win another SB or go deep in the playoffs next year, the most IMPORTANT thing it needs to happen is to PC to evolve and realize his weakness.

    He needs to talk to Nick Saban and realize that the game has changed, evolved, YOU HAVE TO HAVE a great, creative, explosive offense, you just have to.

    This year, a lot of teams broke records of points and yards and the offenses flat out dominated a lot of games. You will only win with a defense, if its ELITE and i mean FU**** ELITE, and thats so hard to come by.

    All in all, PC needs realise the game changed, he needs to hire a new OC thats creative, hungry, explosive and he needs to have control of his staff and gameplay, Look at what Lafleur did with rodgers, how josh allen did with their OC, even baker with stefanski. He needs to do this

    Unfortunately, we all know that won’t happen, he is gonna double down on “peteball”, and maybe even overeact in this offseason to establish his philosophy, and we will go to the playoffs, but nothing new is gonna happen, we will not get past the divisional round, and we will have the same discussion until he retires

    • Rob Staton

      I tend to agree.

      And thanks for reading and listening to everything. It’s much appreciated.

  42. Volume12

    I mentioned Russ never evolving? Look at Lamar Jackson man. Doin it right in front of us on a big stage.

    • Volume12

      AFC: Ravens/Bills

      NFC: N.O./Pack

      SB: Bills/Pack

      • OP_Chillin

        Man, people really sleeping on the 14 win Chiefs huh. It wouldn’t surprise me if they got knocked off as they’ve struggled on offense (relative to their standards), but I’d be hesitant to count out Playoff Mahomes.

    • Volume12

      Good for John Harbaugh. 1st playoff win in 6 years.

    • IHeartTacoma

      Fun to watch a great QB win the game. Lamar Jackson, 23 years old, 32nd pick in the 2018 draft.

      Was Ozzie Newsome still the GM at that point? I think he was, at any rate he was a GM who knew what he was doing. Deserves more fame.

      Looks like the current Ravens GM, Eric DeCosta, worked his way up under Newsome. Baltimore seems like a steady, well-run organization. On paper Seattle is too, but as a fan it is starting to seem a little shaky.

  43. Chris J

    Although we’ve all spoken about and accepted the ‘reset years’ it feels now that we’re heading fully into these times. Uncertainty around a number of positions on and off the field, limited opportunities to improve the on field talent, will the cap increase/decrease and on top of that having won the West arguably a harder schedule than our roster will be able to handle. Perennially a +.500 team, can anyone say for sure that we could do the same again in 2021? Is this where we truly see the changes, backward steps to move forward again like when PC took over from Jim Mora when we lived in a diabolical NFC West? Carroll should be and is rightly be revered in Seattle but if everything is on the table, should a new HC be one? We’ve just signed up to another 5 years, will that be enough to rebuild this franchise only to then handover the keys to someone else to start the process again? Or is this next 5 years about seeing out time until the ownership is sorted? I’ll always support the team, and wear the colours proudly around my home city, thousands of miles from Seattle, but i sense that without some risks being taken we’re going to tread water (at best) rather than moving forward.

  44. Robert Las Vegas

    Rob I have a few takes for you does anyone besides myself wish that Russ would tuck the ball and run more often . sometime I think that Russ please instead of that sack throw the ball 30 feet over somebody head take the second and ten instead of second and seventeen. Not all was Russ fault the offense line got beat up by guys I have never heard of.You can say yesterday that Seahawks got bully cam akers ran the ball 30 times down your throat.we definitely need more depth at DL position. And to add to your article the Rams figure out the Seahawks so have the 49ers and Cardinals we need change things up a little. on the plus side the kicking gamewas once again exceptional

  45. Mike

    Russell Wilson for Khalil Mack and a first round pick. Plus throw in German ifedi for shits and giggles 😂

  46. Rob Staton

    What could’ve been…


    • BobbyK

      Things like that could/would have been so easy, too. The Ravens got him from Jax for Minnesota’s 5th rounder last year. The Seahawks got worthless Dunbar with their 5th rounder. Had the Hawks gotten Campbell, it probably would have taken a 5th and 7th round pick last year since the Minnesota 5th was just a little bit higher than where the Seahawks picked. Just think what the defense would have looked like this past year with Campbell and then especially after the Dunlap deal.

      • Big Mike


  47. Simo

    Excellent analysis as always Rob! Over the past several weeks you have rightfully pointed out many of the things that showed up during yesterday’s game.

    I still can’t believe the way things changed for this team during the course of the year!! Don’t think I have ever seen a team be so poor defensively while absolutely lighting it up offensively, only to have things completely change in the second half of the season. It seems dysfunctional actually, and can only be the result of poor coaching IMO. Everyone wanted Ken Norton’s head early on, and now many are calling for Shotty to be replaced, yet the one constant is really Pete Carroll. Maybe it really is time for a completely new coaching staff!! I also support keeping John Schneider as GM and giving him full control over personnel.

    I hate to be a negative nelly but it sure feels like my favorite team is trending in the wrong direction, and there’s lots of dark days ahead. Hope I’m wrong!!

  48. BobbyK

    Limited cap space.

    Only 1 pick in about the top 120 selections in the draft. No 1st round pick in 2021.

    Holes all over the roster.

    An overrated head coach and quarterback.

    An owner who probably doesn’t want to be an owner. The thought of being sold to an ass like Jeff Bezos.

    If the team sucks in 2021 – the thought of not even owning their high first round pick in 2022.

    This is a nightmare scenario. I haven’t felt this terrible about the state of the franchise in about a decade.

    The only saving grace is that we have a franchise QB. But with the second half of the season – is he really?

    • pdway

      I still believe in Russell – – there’s just no precedent to me of a guy completely falling off a cliff and losing all his abilities in the middle of what had been incredibly high-performance season. let’s get a new OC, and a reliable 3rd target for him.

      • BobbyK

        I think Russ should absolutely be involved in the hiring of the new offensive coordinator.

        • Big Mike

          Pressured on 50% of his dropbacks yesterday. 50%!!! Is it any wonder he sees “ghosts”?
          But hey I know, instead of trading Adams and getting draft capital back as well as saving 18 per to try to sign a nice FA for the o-line, let’s pay him and spend another several years hoping our QB can outrun Aaron Donald. (pssst hey Pete: he can’t anymore)

      • Troy

        I think it’s cute how everyone thinks this is all about coaching. Under Bevell, Russ always started slow, looked confused and took frustrating sacks after holding the ball- just like this seasonl. Russ is very much a big part of the problem.

    • Rohan Raman

      It is amazing how 8 games have suddenly caused to people to question whether he’s a franchise QB. I get the recency bias and I get the poor play. But let’s not act like Russ is the only franchise QB whose had a bad slump. Brady had a slump in 2013. Manning had one in 2012. Rodgers had two in 2015 and 2016.

      Once again, not trying to excuse Russ’s poor play. He needs to own that. But it’s quite ridiculous to question his status as a franchise QB. Time and time again, he has made the difference in this franchise’s success. Even earlier this season, he made the difference. This team would be 10-6 or 11-5 without Russ pulling magic out of his ass in the Vikes game, second Niners game and Cowboys game.

      The question isn’t whether Russ is a franchise QB. It’s a question of whether or not he can rebound from a bad slump.

      • BobbyK

        If the question is whether or not he can rebound from a bad slump, are you saying he’s still a franchise QB if he can’t rebound from from his half season of sucking? And continues to suck?

      • 12th chuck

        I dont think its so much the last 8 games as much as it is for late season and lack of production in the playoffs. Time to at least consider letting him go for a good price

        • Rohan Raman

          The only games where Russ actually played like shit in the postseason was the Fail Mary game and this one. Maybe ATL game too, but let’s be honest – defense folded like a lawn chair in that one. Not sure what you’re referring to by lack of production in the playoffs.

      • Malc from PO

        Russ is a legitimate franchise QB, but it’s fair to consider if he is the right QB for THIS franchise. If the team is committed for the next 5 years to playing Pete’s style of offense, then paying a QB $35m a year or more is irresponsible. It leaves you short of the money needed to invest in offensive line and defensive players that you need to make the system work. I’m hesitant to risk the tank next year because that only really helps the Jets. But if we are going to continue to play an offensive game that doesn’t focus on the QB, we should be open to trading Wilson this year or next to recoup our draft capital and reduce salary burden. Tbh I’d rather see Russ tear it up for Belichick in NE than endure any more of the boring excuse for an entertainment product that has been the second half of this season.

  49. McZ

    A complete, robust and utterly honest review of the tasks at hand. Thank you, Sir.

    That said, I think the most striking parallel to our current team are the late Rivers Chargers. Always having some sort of ownership limbo. An aging QB behind his prime, still good enough to get you into win territory, until snapping like a carrot. A great GM. And a variety of coaches, having serious game management deficiencies.

    It’s time to move on. And it has to start from top to bottom.

    Jody Allen will not assert the leadership required. So we have to find a person asserting leadership. Is it possible to make PC into some sort of president of football ops or something? It would be a nimble way out of the face saving dilemma re PC.

    If done, we need a new head coach. I guess, we learned from PC, how valuable a culture is. So, what coach is out there building a culture with his team, improving every single season? Matt Campbell did just that at Iowa State. He is capable building a team to modern standards.

    He would need 2021 to get a firm grip. So, we could retain RW for that season, but I would argue this being a waste of time. 2021 is one hell of a QB draft. Let Campbell bring in Brock Purdy. I also like Peyton Ramsey, and I think, Northwestern is the other program not getting enough credit. David Mills will be out of reach, but who knows, barring a Combine? Add a journeyman QB to learn from, and we are okay. If it works, we have enough cap. If doesn’t, we pick high.

    What strikes me most about the Rams is the fact, how they build a premium D unit with depth around two premium players, by late rounders, UDFAs and low hanging FA fruits. OL? Same story. We have to identify those players. Is Adams that guy? Not sure. But if it’s not him, who else?

    These are uncomfortable thoughts, and far from complete. But I cannot bear another lost season.

  50. Tom Anderson

    While I do not live in the Pacific Northwest, I attended the first ever Seahawks pre-season game vs. the 49r’s on 9/1/1976. I have been with them, through thick and thin since then! I agree with your assessment, Rob, and agree that in their time, the hiring of Schneider, Carroll and the drafting of Russell Wilson were great moves. But the Seahawks have never approached “dynasty” status since 2010 as many “12’s” like me hope for. The challenges of the next few years appear to be daunting. Wilson is probably at the point where a trade must be done in the next year to get the best value. I agree with your assessment of Carroll and his total control approach. No doubt, the players love the culture he has established, but the league and top coaches are always able to find ways of gaming their opponents! Pete seems to have become set in his ways. I love the guy but maybe it is time to take the hit and part ways.

  51. BobbyK

    The Dolphins have a bunch of draft picks thanks to Bill O’Brien being a moron.

    But how sad is this – would the Dolphins even give us their 18th overall pick straight up for Jamal Adams? I don’t think they would. I wouldn’t if I were the Dolphins. And yet here we are.

    • Rob Staton

      I think they might.

      He’s a good scheme fit for them. A position of need. Lot of other picks to fill other needs.

      I could see it from a value point of view.

      • Zxvo3

        This is if he stays, but the real question would be if John Schneider is willing to let go of his pride and do what is best for this team. I’m not sure he would admit that the trade was ultimately a mistake.

        • Rob Staton

          I really hope he would be willing to admit that

          • BobbyK

            They did with Harvin so it’s possible. No reason Blair can’t play SS next year. After all, that’s what they should have drafted him for.

            • OP_Chillin

              I agree, one thing they deserve credit for is cutting their losses. I just don’t think there’s any way they view Jamal as a “loss”

            • Rob Staton

              Blair… or Keanu Neal (who I think is a better scheme fit)

              • pdway

                believe we all think Blair has shown enough talent/athleticism that he needs to be on the field.

                If we’re maximizing resources – think there’s any world where Blair moves to his natural position of SS, and Adams moves into a LB or quasi-LB role?

                I know the schemes are different – but in terms of body type/ability there is some precedent w Deon Jones, Deone Bucannon, being pretty effective there.

                • Rob Staton

                  No, I don’t. I think he’s a very different player to Jones. As for Bucannon — that’s a role that is very specific to a certain scheme.

        • Simo

          Not saying I supported the Adams trade, and if I was in charge I might also try to trade him this offseason. I also think Adams is a dynamic talent, a BAMF who brings energy and attitude to the Hawks defense.

          But I’m not sure how you can say the trade was a mistake after only a single year. This trade may very well end up being a complete failure, but it takes more than a single year to properly analyze such things.

          • Rohan Raman

            I think this is the year when his trade value would be highest. But I tend to agree – I’m not sure if you can evaluate him off of a 12 game season where he came back at maybe 70%.

            • Malc from PO

              Coming off double shoulder surgeries gives trading partners leverage, very unfortunate.

              • Jordan E

                Plus any big trade would need to be accompanied by a gigantic contract for Adams. We would definitely get low balled if any competent GM offered us a deal for Adams

          • TomLPDX

            I don’t think anyone is arguing that Adams isn’t a BAMF, I think the question is was the cost too high. I think it was too high but also think Adams as a player is damn good.

            • Big Mike

              45th ranked safety per PFF Tom. Rob mentioned it yesterday in the podcast.

              • Rob Staton

                And ranked beyond #100 in coverage

                • Big Mike

                  I’d say that qualifies as a “liability”.

                  • Big Mike

                    Is that all DBs Rob or just safeties?

                  • TomLPDX

                    Yeah, no arguments from me. I do love his passion and energy, but that only gets you so far. As I said, I think he cost too much.

          • Zxvo3

            I guess you’re right about it only being a single season, but I am just looking at the future of this team. Adams is a dynamic talent, but imo the strong safety position is not the most important position on the defense. Especially Seattle’s scheme. There were many moments in this game that gave Adams opportunities to shine. I know he was injured, but there were also those same opportunities during the season that he also missed out on. In my honest opinion, he was not worth the draft haul we gave the Jets. However, a player like Jalen Ramsey is worth that haul. Ramsey can literally shut down part of the field, much like Richard Sherman in the past. I’m not saying this is all Jamal Adams’ fault, but now since we are limited in cap and draft picks, we have no opportunities to get better as a team and have another run at a Super Bowl.

        • Big Mike

          John? Seriously? It’s Pete. Always has been, always will be. NO move by this team as large as the trade for Adams happens without Pete Carroll’s involvement and ultimate approval.

          • Zxvo3

            Well in that case, Pete better swallow his pride too. It was Schneider who ultimately did the trade, but like you said it was most likely Pete who was behind the trade. Here’s the main thing; Jamal Adams does not fit on this defense. Our scheme is to rush four up front, and for the secondary and linebackers to do their job in coverage. If we rebuild our dline (hopefully), are we still going to blitz Jamal Adams? It literally does not make sense. Some may say Pete is adapting to a new defensive scheme, but yet you can ask why he cannot adapt to a new offensive scheme.

        • bmseattle

          Plus, # 18 is substantially higher in the round than our pick.
          It’s a valuable enough commodity that it wouldn’t seem like some terrible deal for us.

    • Utah Gross MaToast

      “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” The Hawks feel like an organization that is busy dying, although they apparently cannot see it.

      I’d offer Russell, Adams and the Seattle draft for Tua and the Miami draft. But I’m an idiot.

      Thanks for a good read, Rob.

      • Scot04

        Don’t think Miami would do it. Maybe 18 for Adams, but swapping the rest your proposing for Wilson i think they say no.

  52. TomLPDX

    Spot on observations, Rob. Truth hurts but it’s still the truth.

    As far as John S is concerned. I wonder if he is tired of being under Pete’s thumb. For instance, was he forced into getting Jamal or was it his idea to begin with? Also wonder if he sees the writing on the wall in that Pete won’t change and he is stuck in this mode of getting players Pete wants, not the ones he thinks can contribute. That ultimately reflects on him and his choices and transactions he makes.

    • Rob Staton

      Those are definitely questions I’m thinking about

  53. Rohan Raman

    Maybe this is just me, but I noticed something interesting about the Seahawks D. They tend to struggle against backup QBs.

    Lost to Colt McCoy. Almost lost to Dwayne Haskins. Had trouble with Nick Muellens and CJ Beathard. Lost to Brett Hundley last year. Lost to Bridgewater last year.

    Why is this a big deal? Well, apart from being kind of embarassing, it speaks to a greater inabilty to adjust in-game to the differences between the starter’s film and the backup’s current play. And these are all examples from the last two years – hardly ancient history.

    These problems are something I’d hope are noted when deciding whether KNJ should be a part of the 2021 Seahawks coaching staff.

    • Daniel

      I don’t think it is a backup quarterback issue. We just suck. Especially on third down. We fail to move quarterbacks off of their spot and make life stressful on them. In addition, the upper-tier quarterbacks are really good at getting rid of the ball quickly on hot routes and finding check-downs. Russell doesn’t. Part of that is because he is getting moved off his spot by opposing defenses. The other part of it is because he’s 4′ 10 1/2″ and can’t see the hot receivers.

      • Rohan Raman

        This has not been an issue in years past.

      • Rohan Raman

        To clarify: 2020 is the only year Russ missing recievers has been a problem.

        • Chris

          Are you kidding? It’s been a problem since Day 1.

          • Rohan Raman

            IMO, it’s a problem if it’s the reason why we are losing games. And my point is that while it has existed to some degree (not exactly uncommon across league starters), it has never caused us to lose games one after another like it has this year.

            • Daniel

              Something to consider is that Russell has been passing more, which gives more opportunity for him to come under pressure. Consider that we’ve played a lot of Pete ball over the years. Even in those times where we weren’t passing as much, Wilson was amongst the league leaders in being sacked. Given more opportunities, he is getting pressured and/or sacked more. Between that and his propensity to hold on to the ball as long as possible looking to make the big play, a lot of the problems seem pretty clear in my view.

    • Chris

      We run vanilla schemes on both sides of the ball. I don’t think we make huge adjustments for any team, though we may emphasize things a bit more than normal depending on the opponent.

      I think it’s mental. Just like when Griffen said that he was looking past the Giants. I think this team just doesn’t have the mental focus to play up to their level. Not sure if this is a player issue or a coaching issue, but it’s an issue.

  54. Paul Cook

    Count me among those who was *willing* to reserve judgment and give the Jamal Adams trade a chance to succeed, and by succeed I mean give us a decent chance to duke it out in the NFC championship game and possibly squeak into the SB this year. I mean, it would be hard to argue with such success.

    Basically speaking, I was hoping our D could become healthy and competent enough to give us such a chance. Somewhat miraculously, it did with the addition of Dunlap, the surprise of DJ Reed, the fountain of youth KJ discovered, the quickly improved play of Brooks, the somewhat return to form of Reed and Diggs, the solid play of Ford, etc…

    Add to that our ST’s play which was mostly near the top of the league.

    What I didn’t foresee was the epic collapse of the offense, which pretty much continued on throughout the 2nd half of the season and into the playoffs.

    Now the Adams trade has clearly put us in a hole without the benefit of something resembling a last hurrah for the PC era.

    I’m open to anything and everything in terms or resetting the course of the franchise now. But as most around here have concluded, the power/decision making structure of the franchise is not in a good place at all now. As far as I can tell, it’s all on PC now, and that concerns me, to say the least.

  55. Paul Cook

    By the way Rob, very insightful prose of late about the state of our Hawks. I’m a total homer as a fan, and probably invest too much emotional energy the few local teams that I still follow closely. It’s nice to be able to read and emotionally process my discouragement of recent events and more with the Hawks. Helps me to get myself right faster and move on.

    Thanks for that. 🙂

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Paul

    • 12th chuck

      well said Paul, well said

  56. Alexander Higgins

    I agree with Rob’s great article and the other sentiments expressed in the Comments. The Pete Era peaked awhile ago. It’s time to move on. Although I’d like to move on from Russ as well, his contract doesn’t make that possible.
    I fear that the Hawks will do what the Mariners did in 2003-05: market the nostalgia of the good old days and the relationships with have with PC, RW and Wagner. Frankly, I will find other things to do next year on Sundays if we roll out the same basic coaching staff and personnel. I’ve seen this movie before. There is no suspense. I know how it ends.

    • Matt

      I’m very afraid that you are correct with that Mariners analogy. One of my best friends works in an MLB front office…I asked him about the big trade that just went down with Lindor/Mets – his comment was, “these people run these teams like they are hedge funds.”

      Until fans truly backfire on Pete – he’s not going anywhere until it’s him that wants to hang it up. The Seahawks have a good product for the average fan – and the reality is that this is a business.

      • dand393

        Matt you absolutely nailed it on the head couldn’t agree more

  57. Gary

    The Pete Carroll contract extension will be the thing that dooms us to five more years of not contending, more so than any other single factor. I am on the Blue Pride waiting list for season tickets but will not be exercising my option if Always Com-Pete is still the head coach when my number comes up. The entertainment value is zero and it always ends the same way.

    • Matt

      This is why I think RW is the one to move. 5 years is plenty of time for PC to do another reset; this time going all out with a young QB that will allow him to spend elsewhere. If he had 3 years – I think he would make it work with RW.

      The nice thing is that I really do think there will be a parting of ways. I keep coming back to RW turning 33 next year – he doesn’t have many peak years left. I think that’s why the issue gets forced this offseason.

  58. Hoggs41

    In my eyes either Pete needs to go or he needs to hand over the keys to the offense to a new OC. Im just not sure we can win another SB with him. Look at the success GB has had since moving on from McCarthy. As far as Russ goes we dont talk much about Russ before Ciara and Russ after. I know how much family can take away from you but he needs to find balance if he isnt.

    • Matt

      PC has 4-5 years as a last hurrah – he’s going to go down swinging in what he believes in. Right or wrong – he’s not handing the keys to an OC. He should, but he won’t.

      Trade RW to the Jets for Darnold, #2 and our 1st rounder back. Trade Jamal to Miami for #18 and all of a sudden you can infuse this team very quickly.

      #2 – QB or Sewell
      #18 – Trey Lance/QB/Pass Rusher
      #22 – Fast Defender
      R2 – RB Javonte Williams

      All of a sudden – you have a team that meshes with Pete a lot better and a whole bunch of money for 2022z

      • Hoggs41

        To me we can talk all day about trading Russ and it might be a good option but I just dont see it happening. The ownership will move on from Pete before they will there franchise QB.

        • Jordan E

          Makes 0% sense to trade Russ. We’d clearly be trading him at a low point of his career and would get a bad return back- plus his gigantic contract would still put us several years behind. We dont have a 1st round next year as well. Jamal, Carlos & Diggs and Bobby have said they do not want to play for a rebuild.

          The best chance is to maximize the next 2-3 years or so. Yes its not ideal but that is the best shot this franchise has. Pete is old. I highly doubt he wants to go back to the rookie QB carousel especially when key players of this team are aging and we lack draft picks.

          • Matt

            Of course it doesn’t make sense – I offered this up because I genuinely think RW is going to force his hand out of Seattle.

            Furthermore, do you think Pete, with his last hurrah as a coach, is not going to double down on “Pete Ball?” I see no chance that he ends his coaching career completely changing his philosophy.

            • Jordan E

              Interesting. Hopefully it doesn’t reach that situation. I’d gladly stand by Russ over Pete as this point just due to the potential Wilson has and gigantic contract- again lol. Yes, we just gave Pete an extension but we should stick to the actual face of the franchise player over the coach. Pete hasn’t shown enough to warrant selecting him over Russ.

              • Matt

                100% agree. I would always choose the QB barring some crazy circumstance (ie Nick Saban). With the ownership in flux, I just don’t see any way that PC is let go.

                It’s just a crappy situation, in all honesty.

                • Alex H

                  While I agree the QB is more important, but I believe it’s only for generational QBs like Peyton, Brady, Mahomes, Rodgers, Brees, maybe Watson in the future. Wilson is good, but I’m not sure I would rate him so high as to default to him over an All Decade Coach. He’s made one All Pro team in his career and had every chance to cook this year before he started throwing INTs. You can dislike Pete Ball, but the culture is something most hot shot coordinators can’t get right. Only CFB, only Saban and Meyer (Carroll previously at USC) got it down. These are usually more experienced folks.

                  • Matt

                    I would contend that Pete’s culture hasn’t made a difference in 6 years. Don’t forget the utter dysfunction of this team at the end of the LOB. I think culture is a byproduct of winning at that level. It’s cute when personalities are loud on a winning team. It’s annoying when it’s on a stumbling one.

                    Lastly, I think the game has passed Pete by. I think he is “technically” a below average coach now due to his stubbornness. He’s is a defensive specialist…and what has the defense done over the last 4 years?

                    7 years ago, I would have agreed with you about Pete. But not anymore. He’s below Urban and Saban because those guys chose to adapt when the time called for it. Pete hasn’t. At some point, conviction simply becomes shortsighted stupidity. He got away with his “4th quarter” nonsense because he had a historically dominant defense, full of hall of famers and a clutch QB who wasn’t even making $1M/year. That nonsense has caught up with him which is why this team predictably fails – the average commenter on this board called the end of this season.

                    Anyways – not my intention to be rude here; I’m simply not exhausted with Pete. His and RWs talking points remind me of when I’m sitting in a staff meeting and we get some “win the day” video from HR. It’s just a big fart sounding bromide.

                    • Rob Staton

                      I think you are right Matt

  59. Rob Staton

    On a more positive note… I’ve just done my second NFL draft prospect interview for the new series.

    Alim McNeill from NC State… to be published in the week.

    • Hoggs41

      Excited for that one.

    • Zxvo3

      These interviews are probably the only bright side for us when looking at the off-season.

    • SteveLargent80

      I’m so excited! Love McNeill as a prospect, I’ve only seen a couple games so far but he just pops off the screen. Takes on double teams, impacts the quarterback regularly, high motor, he’s got it all

  60. cha

    Nick Chubb.

    • Big Mike


    • cha

      Nick Chubb

      • Big Mike

        Again, SIGH
        But hey, Penny!

        God I’m loving this. Watching the stealers get destroyed is a beautiful thing.

    • Rob Staton


      It’s one of the dumbest things this front office has done… seriously. Passing on basically the poster child for EVERYTHING they look for in a runner to take Rashaad Penny instead.

      • Big Mike

        That’s not a short list either.

      • All I see is 12s

        What makes it all the more mystifying, is that three years earlier supposedly Todd Gurley where is number one on their board. A running back from Georgia who had recovered from a serious knee injury. What changed? Chubb seemed remarkably similar to Gurley, yeah we get the impression that it was the medicals that made the difference.

        • Big Mike

          Or were the supposed medicals just an excuse in hindsight for making the wrong pick?

    • IHeartTacoma

      I still love it when Pittsburgh loses.

      • Rob Staton

        If the Browns finish the job here… if I’m a Browns fan, I’m drinking all the alcohol tonight. Party time. Screw work!

        • TomLPDX

          Been a long time coming…and beating the Steelers is the cherry on top!

        • Alex H

          After the 17 year drought? For sure.

    • Alex H

      Chubb is physical, but the OL is even more impressive. THE Best Offensive Line in 2020 (coached by the legend).

      • Rob Staton

        And Kudos to them for investing in it. Jack Conklin was a bargain for the price. Spent a high pick on Jedrick Wills. Joel Bitonio is an old blog favourite. JC Tretter was a good signing. It’s an explosive, athletic line in terms of the way they all tested.

        They have built their offense the way the Seahawks supposedly want to build theirs but never seem to.

        • Alex H

          They also developed Wyatt into a top 4 Guard. They legit have the best RT, 2 of the top 4 Guards, and a top 5 center. Their LT is young, but talented (1st round pick in 2020).

          We’ve placed the right draft capital into OL, we just never had the right coach selecting or coaching them in the past(Cable). Pocic, Lewis, Carpenter, Ifedi, Britt, Okung, Moffitt, Odhiambo. That’s 8 OL picks in the top 3 rounds from 2010-2020. Of those, Lewis is the first one that Solari was able to get his hands on and has been pretty impressive thus far.

          • John_s

            And Steve Hutchinson is giving input on the OL prospects in the draft, hence the Lewis pick

          • Rob Staton

            At least we got Greg Olsen and Jacob Hollister instead of Conklin

            • Big Mike

              Good God 🙁

            • Ryan

              Olsen: $6.9M cap hit
              Hollister: $3.3M
              Conklin: $8.0M

              Ugh.What is this FO doing?

              • Elmer

                That’s the question we don’t really know the answer to. Is JS being constantly overruled by PC or does JS have his head where the sun don’t shine? We can’t know FO details but I wish that PC had been asked bluntly about the future of JS.

        • Gary

          Also, the Browns somehow managed to gameplan to beat sack-happy Blitzburgh by getting the ball out of Baker’s hands in about two seconds flat. No looooong-developing plays and ZERO Pittsburgh pressures in the first half. Baker and Russ are the same height (give or take) so if that’s not a condemnation of the coaching, I don’t know what is.

          • Rob Staton

            Unfortunately a lot of fair criticisms of Carroll and co are going to be shut down this week by fans and media who will use the ‘but look at the success’ line of the last few years. Anyone criticising Carroll will be lumped in with those shouting at the moon — portrayed as crazed, ungrateful loons with no perspective or intellect.

            The reality is this team hasn’t been good enough in terms of in-game adjustment or nuanced opponent-specific game planning for far too long. They are a team so focused on ‘being what they are’ and in a game where the opponent gains the upper hand, their only prayer seems to be hoping that Wilson can make magic happen.

            I can’t imagine the Seahawks going on the road in a playoff game and doing what the Browns did last night. Look at their playoff defeats over the years — Carolina, Atlanta, Dallas, Green Bay, LA. They’ve been outclassed each time.

            This warrants a serious analysis and some questions to be asked. And just because Carroll has enjoyed success doesn’t mean he eternally gets the benefit of the doubt. The aim is to win a Super Bowl. I personally cannot see this team and this coach delivering that in the next five years.

            • Michael Hasslinger

              Side note. Go on YouTube and watch super bowl 4 with Steam miced up. He laughs at Minnesota’s unwillingness to adjust. Pete is from this coaching tree.

              I think you are touching on the primary challenge with Pete. He coaches players, not scheme. His adjustments are matchup based, not scheme based.

              Win forever is a philosophy that maximizes an individuals performance. Pete wants to win match ups. Do simple thing in a winning way. Andy Reid changes scheme to create small Windows for his great players to make game changing plays. Who win between Pete and Andy is who best puts their best players to make plays.

              Pete is dependent on belief and DNA. Andy is dependent on execution and well placed high level talent. Pete’s way has one path to success. Andy’s way has infinite paths. Both work, but one is more sustainable than the other. Both require elite QB play

  61. Big Mike

    Thatta you!

  62. Big Mike

    And you know many will do just that.

    • Big Mike

      3 ints for rapistberger…..:D

  63. Hoggs41

    Personally I think we have the players to get us to the SB next year. For me keeping Wright is more important than Griifin. He will be cheaper and we still have Flowers and Reed and could probably resign Dunbar on the cheap. On offense I think we for sure retain Pocic but the big question will be on Carson.

  64. BobbyK

    Biggest Needs… assuming every FA isn’t part of the team (Poona Ford is RFA so he’s still part of the team)… and assuming Dunlap comes back, as he’s under contract (though he’ll probably come back on a different contract).

    Tier 1 – RB, C, CB

    Tier 2 – LG, SLB

    Tier 3 – DT depth, WR depth

    *With Darrell Taylor practicing the last week of the year, I left EDGE off the needs – though they certainly need help there. I’m just pretending it’s fantasy land where everything will be all fine and dandy. lol

    What’d I miss?

    Personal preference is I hope RB or DT is BPA when they pick in the 2nd round. Perhaps CB in the 4th (Walter Thurmond III area).

    This list will only change 491 times before March 17.

    • Hoggs41

      I would assume Pocic comes back. For sure agree RB and CB. I would probably add DT (3 tech)

  65. Gohawks5151

    Pittsburgh is the Seattle of the AFC. Thanks for making us look less a fool nationaly.

    • Jordan E

      Very fair comparison. They started off hot as well. Coach has won a SB before but not for a while.

      • Simo

        And they were a #3 seed that got completely outplayed in the first round and dumped in the scrap heap — just like the Seahawks!

  66. 12th chuck

    how envious it is to see teams playing their best football in the playoffs. cant remember the last time the hawks have done that

    • Big Mike


  67. 438

    Rob I’ve been reading you for years…I appreciate your commitment to honesty as much as your eye for talent. The definition of journalism.

    Interested in who you think will move on in these playoffs…..

  68. Denver Hawker

    What has been the biggest/most shocking personnel move of the PC/JS era?

    Replacing coordinators? Letting Sherm/ET/Bennet all go? Jamal Adams trade?

    Trading Russ, Schneider leaving, or Pete resigning would all top whatever the answer. This team may like to stir the pot, but they rarely shake it. I’m not ruling any of these out, but based on precedent, I think all three are standing there 12 months from now.

    I can’t say the same for the coordinators and I think they’ll make a move there. If they don’t, it’ll be because they don’t believe they can do any better.

    Free Agency is going to be really interesting this year. I expect there will still be top of market deals, but fewer mid-level deals. If the Hawks are looking to extend rostered players to help the cap, hard to determine the right price. Could see a lot of 1 or 2 years deals again. Guys just happy to kick the can and hope for better market next year.

    Draft will be tough. Jamal is the only realistic trade chip in my opinion. He’d need to pass a physical before the draft and sounds like he’s going to have surgery. I can’t see a trade happening, but if they can, I’d be content to get R1 back and lick our wounds.

    Based on how they played and how the season ended, I can’t envision a reality where Bobby/KJ aren’t playing together next season. Reed and Dunlap are big tickets, but also effective, extending both wouldn’t be the worst outcome.

    Carson, Griffin, and Pocic should all test the market. They are all “keep on our terms” in my opinion. Carson would be the most painful to lose though. I’m sure they’ll tender Poona.

    Draft priorities (in no particular order): Left Guard/Center, DT, CB, RB- should be nice options at pick 56.

  69. Andy J

    It used to be Win Forever. Everyone mocked the repetition of the “Win in the 4th Quarter” motto, but it was meant to signify a “Rise Above and Get the Job Done Attitude.” The 2012 Falcons Wild Card game. The 2014 Packers NFC Conference game. This team was going to go out swinging.

    I don’t necessarily know if I have the answers to the problems. Your thoughts are similar to mine.

    But the one thing that I see that is missing… a Killer Attitude. They don’t seem determined to win forever or to rise above anymore. I can take a loss. It’s hard to take them laying down though.

    Someone needs to scream at someone.

    Additional thoughts:
    – more BAMFs
    – turn DK’s outbursts into angry, demanding leadership and determination; we miss Angry Doug Baldwin (he would never have allowed such offensive unaccountability).
    – how can you freaking evaluate Schotty’s performance and ability to run the scheme we need?
    – i am less concerned about coaching subtractions and more interested in coaching additions. an injection of strategists would be great. i’ve always fantasized about Lawyer Milloy returning as a coach. maybe that is fantastical… but i think former player coaches bring a certain Killer Attitude to the team. maybe Norton was never the strategist Richards was (also a former player), but he definitely helped establish the culture. Carroll has a network, has league-wide sway, and I wish he would use it.
    – i honestly don’t think you can make a decision about Adams until next offseason. Sure maybe unadvisable trade… but you gotta put him in a position to succeed/perform next year. Make him earn his contract, or set a high trade value.

    • Rob Staton

      How is blitzing him 10 times a game not putting him in a position to succeed?

      They basically catered purely for him at the expense of the scheme

      • Andy J

        I don’t disagree Rob!!

        For example…. I believe you are right that the Adams trade was desperate and hasty. When he showed up to training camp, they were scheming on the fly (one opinion). I think the coaching staff has the ability to evaluate his play, how they used him, and hopefully make adjustments before next year’s training camp. I see it more as a development-in-progress.

        Does this say something about the trade and the coaching staff? Yes.
        Do I think they give him a monster contract this off-season? Doubtful (could be wrong though).
        Do I expect him to be traded this off-season? Probably not, but if I was good enough terms I would do it.
        Do I hope that Adams is an All-Pro next year and the defense a top-10 unit? Sure, also Vermin Supreme said something about a pony.

        Sending you well wishes.

  70. SeaTown

    Did the Hawks really take Penny over Chubb? Jesus what a terrible choice.

  71. Rohan Raman

    Curious to hear people’s thoughts on trading Jarran Reed. While PFF certainly has not been kind to him, 6.5 sacks as a DT (6th best from the interior) and 2 in the post season is not too shabby from a production standpoint.

    • Rohan Raman

      To clarify: curious to hear what people think his trade value would be.

    • millhouse-serbia

      3rd round for sure, maybe late 2nd… But they arent trading him nor anyone else on that D…

      • Rob Staton

        There’s no chance of getting a late second or third for Reed.

        He’s 29 this year. He’s not a dynamic pass rusher. He has one year left on his contract.

        • millhouse-serbia

          Richardson was 1-2 years younger when we gave 2nd round pick for him. With one year contract and with 1 sack season year before and 5 sack 2 years before. Reed had 8.5 sacks in 17 game this season. I think most of the teams that are in win now mode would give 3rd round pick without hesitation.
          Pats gave 2nd round for Sanu when thay thought it will increase their chances for title.

          • Rob Staton

            If I had the time, I’d run through all of the defensive tackles traded for far less than a second rounder over the years.

            Sheldon Richardson, regardless of his sack numbers in 2016, was a former top-15 pick with a massive pedigree at the time. He was 26 when they traded for him, on his first contract. That was with a view to a possible long term arrangement and it didn’t work out.

            The Seahawks are not going to get a R2 for Jarran Reed. They just aren’t.

            • Rohan Raman

              So you don’t think it’s possible that a team looking to shore up its interior pass rush in order to make a deep playoff run trades for Reed? Take the Titans. They have a good run stopper in DaQuan Jones, but he offers little in terms of pass rush. Reed is at his best when he has good outside rushers next to him (Jeffery Simmons and Harold Landry, plus Clowney maybe). Why not get a proven source of interior pass rush in Reed with your late R2 and keep your R3 so that you can still get a good rookie DT to develop next to Jones and Reed?

              • Rob Staton

                I do not

  72. jopa726

    In 2020 the Hawks played 3 teams that made the playoffs, The Rams, The Bill’s and The Football Team. They had a losing record of 1-2 in those games. They only were able to muster a close win against a offensively challenged Washington team. Their 2020 schedule had to be considered when evaluating their 12-4 record. Their 2021 schedule looks to be much tougher on paper.

    Seahawks 2021 Opponents:


    Arizona Cardinals
    Los Angeles Rams
    San Francisco 49ers
    Chicago Bears
    Detroit Lions
    Jacksonville Jaguars
    Tennessee Titans
    New Orleans Saints


    Arizona Cardinals
    Los Angeles Rams
    San Francisco 49ers
    Green Bay Packers
    Minnesota Vikings
    Houston Texans
    Indianapolis Colts
    Washington Football Team
    Pittsburgh Steelers*

    *17 game not yet official

    • cha

      They were 2-2 in the regular season against those 3 clubs.

      2-3 of you include the playoffs.

      • jopa726

        Thanks cha, I forgot to count the victory at home against the Rams.

    • Big Mike

      9-8 or 8-9

  73. Mike

    Would you guys be interested in the Seahawks signing golden tate to a cheap contract if he’s cut? A reviewer in his mold could complement dk and Tyler well

    • Rob Staton

      I doubt it’ll be Tate…

    • Big Mike

      Russell Wilson thinks your idea is niot good.

  74. All I see is 12s

    A couple of painful thoughts. But I think it necessary.
    I’ve been getting over Russ for a while now. After the 2017 season, I was in favor of trading him, Perhaps to Miami and then drafting Lamar. If we couldn’t build a proper system around him, then we should MoveOn. Then the reboot happened in 2018 and gave us so much hope. This season however was rough.
    Russ seems to want to compare himself to Rogers or Mahomes, but do those quarterbacks numbers don’t fall off a cliff when defenses start making adjustments to them? Russell is dangerous, but not like them. He is dangerous and special because he brings the chaos, and thrives in the chaos. That can be good sometimes, and disastrous in others.

    I think Rob is right. Russ and Pete Carroll seem to want to move different directions. There’s nothing wrong with that. So here is my fantasy trade. Trade Russ to the New York Jets for the number 2 pick and the pics that we sent over for Jamal Adams. We get our pics back plus the pic to take out next quarterback and cap space. We spent 2021 building up our defense and the trenches while I out rookie quarterback gets his feet wet. Russell gets his big market and potentially a coach that will let him play the way he wants. Everyone wins. Perhaps a similar trade could be done with Miami.

    By the way, we have all heard how Russell fancies himself such a wonderful businessman. This has always rubbed me a little bit wrong. Russ, you’re not a businessman your a quarterback. make your money from playing football and endorsements. Good businessmen do not invest in “eat the ball”crappy juice bars, concussion water, and ridiculously overpriced and ugly clothes call the good man Brand. …. if you made it through all of that, I appreciate you reading.

    By the way, Rob, I appreciate everything that you do and I’m such a fan of the blog and podcasts. it is a such a wonderful pleasure to be able to follow you and read your work.

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you

  75. Bankhawk

    Just putting hypothetical out there for consideration/comment:
    -We need some way to enhance draft capital, even if only modestly
    -An Adams trade is more likely than a Wilson trade
    -hoping that we see good value at either RB or OL at rnd 2
    -If Pocic tests the market (am I thinking straight here?) it has been noted that Lewis could be moved to center
    – With Flowers and DJ Reed in the wings, if Griffin finds interest when he tests the market, anybody else willing to get on the ‘bring Sherm home’ train? Assuming an okay price, I mean?
    -Assuming Schneider stays put, I’m hoping he’s “getting ready to paint his masterpiece (along with Pete’s very best recruiting efforts) from the UDFA crop

    • GoHawksDani

      1, Agreed
      2, Agreed (but I have my doubts if they will even trade Adams :()
      3, Lets hope, but for OL it can only be LG or maybe C
      4, Pocic might test the market as he played pretty decent most of the season. I wouldn’t move Lewis to C, as far as I remember Fuller started against the Rams and he did pretty well, so I’d roll with Fuller and draft/sign another C (Lewis could be a backup/emergency C)
      5, I’d bring back Sherm, but I think he’d like to go where Saleh goes, but I’d also try to draft 1-2 CB. Flowers is baaaaad, Reed I like, but he’s not a shutdown CB and while he can manage outside duties he’s more suited to a nickel CB role
      6, JS is actually a lot better drafting/signing in the 5-7th rounds and UDFAs than drafting in R1 or trading a ton for a big name player, so while we cannot build a 49ers/Rams DL in R5-R7, but they can pad the roster pretty well in late rounds (if they trade back a couple of times) and with UDFAs

  76. GoHawksDani

    Who could be an ideal OC for the Hawks? And a DC? Internal or external prospect? Throw me some names, I don’t know much other team’s assistants 🙂

    Potential trade target ideas for Russ (ones that have the potential (CAP + picks) to make the trade, where Russ would be open to play (no-trade clause)? And return for us?

    For Adams?

    TBH I don’t think anything will change. They will make some roster magic, try to keep this group together, maybe some minor trades and maybe some coordinator changes (but just on the surface, Pete won’t hand over the wheel). We’re in this sh.tshow together until the team is sold or Pete retires.

    • Mac

      Whoever the offensive assistant that took over for the browns lol

    • Henry Taylor

      It’s tough because I dont know much about other teams assistants, a QB coach or offensive assistant from a team that runs a Shanahanien scheme would be the best bet.

      But if you wanna go the ex-heach coach route, a name that might get me shouted out of the building, but bare with me, is Bill O’Brien. Much maligned, but the guy put consistent winning teams together with some crap QBs and when they drafted Watson he rebuilt his offense around his strengths to immediate success. His failings as a GM rightly cost him his job, and he buried that franchise no doubt about it, but as an OC with no personnel control I think he could bring value. Not sure what terms he left it with Duane Brown, which could be a hiccup because that guys a leader he’ll need to win over.

  77. millhouse-serbia

    So for 34 players currently cap hit is 160mil. With IR, PS and Draft its at least 10mil more. So as Rob said if SC is 176mil it will be damn hard to bring back any of current FAs. It will be hard even with 196mil SC…

    There is no way i would let Dunlap go. Maybe give him 3 year extension with 10mil cap hit for 2021 (thats 4 mil saving).

    I really dont see where else they can save more money… Maybe with restructuring some of Duane, Tyler, Jarran or even Bobby’s contract…

    They wont cut Diggs and he wont have cap hit lower than 5mil…

    I really dont see they are trading Adams and his cap hit wont be lower than current 10mil even with extension (i guess he will get 16-18mil apy so hard (not impossible) to have less than 10mil in first year)…

    KJ, Carson, Shaquill could all be gone…

    Think Poona will be back on 2nd round tender (around 3mil)…

    Mayowa? Holister? David Moore?

    Tough, tough off season but not only for Seahawks…

    If someone is interested they could save 19mil with post june 1st designation for Wilson 😁

    • Rob Staton

      Only if they cut Wilson. You can’t post-June 1st trade him.

      • Henry Taylor

        Can you not? It says you can on otc? Maybe that’s just actually post June first, rather than a designation?

        • Henry Taylor

          I just looked it up that is the case:

          The same rules applying to players who are released apply to players who are traded — if a team trades a player after June 1, his remaining bonus money can be spread out over two seasons. However, a club can’t designate anyone traded prior to June as a post-June 1 player.

        • Rob Staton

          Exactly. On OTC you can show what happens if you actually trade a player post-June 1st. What you can’t do is trade a player in March and then designate it as a ‘post-June 1st’ trade. You only designate in that way if you cut a player outright.

  78. swedenhawk

    Rob, what do you make of the fact that Carroll seems more willing to tailor the defense to Jamal Adams’ strengths (despite middling results) than to a install a complimentary system around Russell Wilson (who is, arguably, much more talented)?

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t see it as tailoring the defense to Adams per se — rather they just blitzed him loads in order to justify the deal.

      • Big Mike

        “in order to justify then deal”

        No, no, no Rob. Dontcha know John worked hard “for months” on that trade and was able to take advantage of a championship opportunity. That was our actual plan all offseason. When everyone else was concerned about why we weren’t addressing the pass rush via the d-line, we were working on trading for a Safety that’s lone skill is blitzing and is an injury risk as well as a liability in coverage.

  79. Big Mike

    I’m gonna predict it right now: Packers pout at least 30 on the Rams Saturday.
    Prediction irrelevant if Donald isn’t 100% tho.

  80. Robert

    What is the chance of the Seahawks trading up back into the first round?

    • Rohan Raman

      I mean, I’d love to see it happen but I don’t know how we’d do it.

      • Big Mike

        Simple, trade Adams

        • Simo

          Maybe not so simple!

          He’s got two bum shoulders and facing surgery, he missed multiple games in his lone Seattle season, he’s poor in coverage and not rated overly well in total, he’s entering his final contracted season and is likely to require a top of the market deal for a safety, he’s already forced his way off one team, and so on.

          Jamal has some outstanding qualities as well, but all of these points are all negatives that are likely to limit his value to other teams, not to mention the fact that Pete/John would have to swallow a lot of pride if they trade him for a fraction of what they paid only one year later.

          • Matt

            You are totally correct about Jamal’s health, but he’s a guy who has had this aura/mystique since his Freshman year at LSU. Football people love him. These people firmly believe he changes the temperature of a locker room.

            I think Jacksonville is a real sleeper for him. They have a late first rounder and I don’t think there’s a better way to change the “temperature” of a locker room in one offseason via Trevor Lawrence and Jamal Adams. You are talking cornerstone leadership on both sides of the ball and they have enough intriguing pieces on that team that they could turn things around in a hurry.

            Seattle has Bobby and KJ – there won’t be a huge void on that front if Jamal goes.

  81. Silly Billy

    Can someone please explain to me why need to “fire Schotty”?

    Personally, I think, more often than not, calling for an OC’s firing is a fanbase’s lazy way of saying “I’m upset about getting beat, but don’t actually know who to pin the blame on”.

    Was play calling the really the issue?
    Or did we just get humiliated in the trenches by the best DL in the league (hard to scheme around that), and our $40million dollar man failed to show up?

    • Rohan Raman

      It’s a combination of things. The Rams have the best DL in the league. Russ failed to show up. And Schotty’s playcalling is bland and extremely predictable without much real innovation. He also repeatedly gets outclassed in terms of in-game adjustements by the DC.

    • DC

      I don’t think Schotty is the issue. It appears he had open reign before the bye week and RW was the MVP front runner, as pace to set the TD passing record. Even after dialing it back from what appears to be PC handcuffing the offense, they still scored more points in franchise history.

      Personally I’d like to see Schotty have full control of the offense without Pete butting in.

    • Matt

      The playcallig and scheme are absolutely an issue. There are no easy completions, anywhere. I watch a ton of football and virtually every team with a remotely functional QB has plenty of “easy completions.” An easy completion means that a player is the first or second read and is clearly open. They do this via formation and route combinations.

      Watching the Saints, they utilize their TE to basically open up underneath routes for Kamara. Can’t say how many times I saw Kamara being the primary on a passing play and he’s simply running right behind the TE and breaks off on his route for an easy 5 yard pitch and catch. If he gets tackled on the spot – it’s a 4-5 yard gain. If he breaks a tackle, it can be much bigger.

      The theme I keep coming back to is that PC doesn’t believe in Margin of Error. Something is either perfectly executed or you lose. That concept carries over to the passing game. Everything is difficult and razor’s edge.

      Now, this could be a RW problem, but I continually never see those easy completions even being an option; so I’m reluctant to put all the blame on him.

      It’s pretty common knowledge at this point that everybody views the Seattle offensive scheme as horribly simple and easy to defend. There’s a clip going around where a defensive player is kind of laughing at the scheme (I think it’s NFL Top 100). I don’t think RW processes the game very well, but I also don’t think he’s stupid. There’s very little effort to create 6-10 yard passing plays because I think PC is caught up with pound it or throw it deep.

      • Paul Cook

        This drove me so out of my mind this year I would oftentimes spend half the game pissed off and yelling at clouds. LOL

      • pdway

        agree with all that. it’s either the personnel or the scheme – the personnel looks pretty good right now (at least at the skill positions) – and it’s not like Schottenhemer has a massive track record of successful offenses in today’s NFL.

        Plus, the eye test . . which is everything Matt notes.

      • Malc from PO

        Got to back you up here, Matt. The Seahawks offensive playcalling and scheme/approach is laughable. The plan is “do not turn the ball over”. No more, no less. Points are not the goal – don’t turn the ball over, and hopefully the other team make enough mistakes or blown plays that you manage to win. There is no crafting of plays/drives with the intention of beating or tricking the opposition. Play by play, don’t turn the ball over. My personal bugbear this year has been how they run the play clock down to zero on every play. Never try to get the defence off balance or stuck with the wrong personnel, never make the pass rushers guess when the snap is coming (hint, it’s always on zero). The one advantage the offense has on the snap is they know when it’s coming, and we are so intent on running down the clock that we are willing to sacrifice that.
        And… we still turn the ball over, of course. With such a simplistic scheme, defenders learn when they can jump routes, and fumbles just sometimes happen on big hits. So what do you do then? Your entire offensive scheme is don’t turn the ball over. Well, you turned it over, what now? It’s for this reason more than any that I think they have to be open for offers to trade Wilson. We’re not going to win a Super Bowl playing like this and it seems poor business sense to have 35m+ salary tied up in a QB you don’t need to perform at a high level in the scheme. You need stud linemen and game-changing running backs. There is no shame in tailoring your team to the way you want to play. There is shame in forking out 35m+ of your salary cap on one player and not using him. As noted elsewhere, I also miss seeing Russ play well and I’d rather watch him go somewhere and tear up the AFC than what we are going to have him do in Seattle. I wish we wouldn’t play like this, but it’s the plan for the foreseeable future so I’d at least like us to give ourseleves the best chance to win with it.

  82. Trevor

    This was my least enjoyable year watching the NFL in the 40 years I have been watching it and yesterday was the first time in that time frame I made a conscious decision not to watch football on Sunday. The game looks almost unrecognizable anymore. Not sure if it the lack of fans or too many penalties or just the fact that the Hawks had such a disappointing season but I hope the Hawks do something dramatic and drastic this off season to help me get that spark back.

    • Paul Cook

      I agree. I didn’t much enjoy watching the Hawks this year, which is strange considering that Covid 19 had me and so many others cooped up and looking for any kind of enjoyment we could find.

      –The first half of the season the defense was so horrendous it was almost unbearable to watch

      –Then the mid-season disaster where RW suddenly unraveled culminating in the Buffalo game

      –Then when the defense starts showing some signs of life, the offense remains mostly stagnant, and we head into the easiest part of the schedule for a series of games we’re SUPPOSED to win, and then not even showing up for the key game against the Giants, losing, and giving up most hope of a top playoff seeding

      –Then they kind of wobble their way to close out the season not giving me much hope that the three units (offense, defense, ST’s) can ever all play well enough together to avert another too-early exit from the playoffs

      It was a fingers-in-the-dike year. And what was even more frustrating was that many of the leaks that were spring up were self inflicted.

      There just wasn’t much joy at all this season for me as a fan.

  83. Trevor

    Rob I just want to tell you that no one covering the Hawks anywhere on any media came even close to you this year with regards to the accuracy you had on how this season would play out. Since the free agency period and draft you were adamant the Hawks did not address their biggest needs and that the result would be an winning season with an early playoff exit. You never wavered no matter how much crap was thrown at you and you were dead on correct. Props to you for your coverage, conviction and incredible work this season.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Trevor

  84. Matt

    Thanks again for all the great work Rob. I wanted to come up with a dramatic offseason scenario where Pete doubles down on “Pete-ball” and gives it one last hurrah before his career comes to an end. I think the idea that he’s magically going to change to finish his career is foolish – he’s going to double down on what he believes to send it off. So here goes the story…

    Dramatic Offseason Story: RW and PC agree to a mutual parting of ways. PC/JS come to their senses that while they love Adams, he’s not a fit on this team schematically and subsequently trade him. Shaquill Griffin walks in FA and is grossly overpaid resulting in a 2022 3rd round conditional pick. Jarran Reed is traded for a 5th round pick and Bryan Mone slides in his place as the presumed starter. KJ Wright is retained. In a bold move, the Marquise Blair Nickel saga turns into Blair being moved to outside CB. If he can play Nickel, he can play outside CB.

    RW traded to Miami for Tua, #3, and #18. Why would Miami make the trade? Simple – they finished strong while overcoming average QB play. Flores is headed into Year 3 and makes a splash knowing that he needs to get over the hump.
    Jamal traded to Jacksonville for #25 – Jax making a splash to have new leadership on defense to pair with T-Law.

    Seahawks 2021 Draft:

    #3: OT Penei Sewell – Not a QB. Pete sees a generational Tackle prospect who can run block.
    #18: DE Gregory Rousseau – Twitched up DE.
    #25: S/CB Elijah Molden – PC/JS stop being cute with trade downs and get their Chess Piece in the secondary who excels at coverage while being a solid tackler.
    #55: RB Javonte Williams – Completing the circle of physicality. Williams provides the closest thing since Marshawn.

    Purpose of the draft? Re-establish physicality on offense and playmaking on the defensive side of the ball. PC gets two players he would never dream of getting (Sewell and Roussaeu) while getting his heir apparent Captain of the future in Elijah Molden. Molden is basically a disciplined version of Tyrann Mathieu and a tremendous team leader. Molden can’t pressure like Jamal, but he will be a significant upgrade in the passing game while being a very physical presence as a tackler. Javonte Williams is your bell cow.

    Where’s the QB? Tua. Do I love Tua? No I do not – but I do like him. So why is PC rolling with him in this scenario? Simple – Tua is VERY safe. He’s not a world beater but he’s a point guard. Again…I’m putting myself in Pete’s shoes. While he likes Fields, Wilson, and even Trey Lance – he can’t fight the opportunity to nab Sewell instead.

    What this means for 2021? I think you’d be looking at an 8-10 Win team. Leaning towards 8 because I think Pete is truly going to double down on Pete Ball and force the issue with his newly built offense. I think the defense finishes in the 10-12 range but has the seeds of a top 5 unit. Pete basically does a hard reset knowing 2022 is the “go for it” year where he expects everything to come together.

    THIS IS NOT A PREDICTION. PC is not going anywhere. He’s the one constant in this equation. I think this type of off-season would be apropos of what Pete wants to do on the football field. He wants a punishing offense and a fast, playmaking defense. The top 4 picks in my scenario would absolutely jump start Pete Ball.

    A point of emphasis – PC is at he end of his run. He’s not going to change. He has enough time to do one last hard reset, but it has to be hard; hence the dramatic moves with RW and Jamal. As we have all discussed, I think a mutual parting is inevitable with RW and PC. It doesn’t mean there is drama, but the philosophical differences are insurmountable at this point. I do think PC loves Jamal, but the defensive leadership on this team is very strong with Bobby and KJ. Jamal doesn’t leave a void on that front.

    Apologies for the novella, but I do think Pete has one last “f*ck it, let’s go for it” in him. And again, he has enough time to do one last reset. He’s not going anywhere – he’s going to determine his exit with this franchise.

  85. Matt

    Pete’s first quote on the morning show, “we just needed to keep it close.”

    Boy…is that not telling and an obvious hole in his philosophy.

    Yes, the Rams are a tough matchup, but if the mentality is “to keep it close,” they are never winning a Super Bowl under him. That mentality sucks. I’m sorry…that almost makes me mad hearing that.

    • Pran

      Pete’s philosophy would never change, especially this close to retirement.
      all he can do is hire good talent outside his bubble, have some dynamic coordinators with more control, review scouting and drafting with more of out of box thoughts and inject fresh talent evaluators in to front office.

    • dcd2

      Gross. I mean, if we could have only found a way to hang around VS the former QB of the Arizona Hotshots, maybe we could have gotten lucky in the 4th.

      • Matt

        Yep…people keep losing sight of the fact we faced a Financial Advisor and a handicapped Jared Goff.

  86. Denver Hawker

    Pete on 710 throwing the OL under the bus.

    • Matt

      This interview is making me lose all hope. He’s not going to adapt…in any way.

      • Denver Hawker

        According to Barnwell, Russ had a QBR of 4…when NOT pressured…

  87. MyChestIsBeastMode

    Rob, truly great analysis.

    I want to address a few different points on the off-season.

    Off-season predictions/speculation, with respect to many other commenters, call me sheepish on trades and new coach acquisitions. Unless Schotty leaves for a HC job, we will have both OC and DC back next year. We will not trade Russ or Adams. With Adams we’re in for a penny, in for a pound — he’s going to get an extension.

    As for RW, he clearly has all the intangibles to be great. I cannot envision Pete moving on from a QB of his caliber during his twilight years as a head coach. Furthermore, with PC’s philosophy of compete, I don’t think he’d ever get over the potential stain on his tenure of a falling out and trading a QB of Russel’s caliber, whom he has worked with for the majority of his NFL head coaching career. I believe Pete’s big challenge this off season will be finding a compromise to allow Russ to flourish in a way that synergizes with PCs no turnover mantra. Additionally, he needs to get to the heart of our inability to adjust in game to other teams defensive game plans.

    Finances and free agency are a whole other issue. On that front, who knows what the hell can happen when we are cash strapped and have several starters and contributors out of contract. I’m not optimistic for any big splashes, not sure how we can retain any of our talent, and think it may be more likely that are roster looks weaker next year because of our poor finances. Still, we are certainly not the only team dealing with this problem and I hold some hope that we can keep most of our core together (and maybe find a solid CB on the cheap).

    • Matt

      Oh I think many of us throwing out wild scenarios are fully aware that nothing will change with this team. Pete is doubling down already in his morning interview. It’s fun to give scenarios on what we think will put this team over the hump.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I don’t agree that Wilson has the intangibles to be great. He has a limited repertoire of passes that has not increased over the years. For all of his abilities to lay a deep ball into a receivers arms, he really hasn’t improved in any other passing area.

      Physically he started as a slippery, scrambling quarterback, and has turned into a less mobile pocket passer.

      Mentally, while he may want to be regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks, he has been so well paid at 35 million/year, plus he has all his endorsements to work on, plus he is a celebrity.

      I just don’t see the mental drive to overcome the obstacles he has to overcome to get into the superbowl. He is good, but without improvement in passing he has peaked.

      • BC_Hawk

        I don’t know if he does or if he doesn’t, but what we continually see is him not being allowed to OR not having the ability to take the easy passes and let some of ridiculous athletes on offense do the rest.

        In watching the Browns-Steelers game last night, I marveled at how the Browns were able to scheme to constantly avoid a great secondary and Top 3 DL. The diet; have Baker get the ball out quick, and exploit the openings in the middle level of the field…Brilliant! I saw Russ not make a single play like this on saturday, unless he was under duress after holding onto the ball for WAY longer than he should have.

        So, going back to the fundamentals of the issue, and one that is support here; we NEED new blood and scheme at the coaching levels. That doesn’t mean Pete is gone, just that he focus on his strength (team, culture and leadership), and leave the play calling to the coordinators and their staff. In such, I almost see KNJ in the same light; casting him out on his ass will do nothing for the team chemistry, but he needs to concede play calling/scheming to his assistants. He is SO respected for who he is and what he has done, but he is not the mastermind we require to take the D to the next level.

        As for the OC, is Shotty allowed to be Shotty OR is this far left and right; Pete Ball vs Let Russ Cook. Somewhere in between is where we should be. Two questions; is Shotty the middle ground guy? Can Russ function in that Role? I hope both are Yes

  88. AlaskaHawk

    I’m seeing some parallels between the Steelers and the Seahawks season. Winning early and struggling late in the season. Also the questions about quarterback play, and whether the running game should have been used more. Of course Wilson is 7 years younger, but the issues are relevant to him as well.

    This yahoo article lays out the Steelers issues – and made me feel slightly better about the Seahawks:

  89. Hawks_Gui

    Man, listening PC on 710, if he doesn’t double down or triple down on Peteball, the world is gonna end, pure and simple

    • Matt

      LOL…I’m sitting here just shaking my head, listening to him.

      • James Cr.

        At least we can know now In January that nothing will change for next year. Apathy is definitely setting in for this fan.

        • Matt

          Yep…and as a UW fan – I’m seeing the same seeds of PC in Jimmy Lake, in regards to offense.

  90. Ok

    Lots of good thoughts/dreams bandied about, thanks to Rob, and all ya’ll.
    I hope to keep reading more ideas on possible solutions. I expect that Pete will run it back. Not much will change. The offense has looked like this for years, so it’s not Skybox Shotty (don’t think he helped too much tho). So it’s Pete, then Russ at fault. Pete is here. Russ probably isn’t leaving. More of the same.

  91. pdway

    Note from PC’s press conference:

    “Carroll says a primary focus of the offseason will be improving third downs on offense: “That will be the primary focus” saying if they are “45-48 percent next year. If we do that we will be a dynamite football team.””

    interesting, b/c it was noted in Cha’s write-up as well.

  92. Volume12

    The more I think about it, this is what I think happened:

    Early in the year? Russ was red hot. Defense? Atrocious. Seemed like Schotty had more say. Pete couldnt leave his D out there like that, wrestled full control back from his team. We know what he wants to do offensively. Defense goes from worst to the #1 ranked D over the 2nd half. Russ just needed to b above average and he wasn’t. Feel like Pete & Schotty never got what they both wanted. Met in the middle so to speak

    • Matt

      I think you are spot on with this. I do want to add a strong caveat though and one that I think will derail us next year:

      The defense greatly improved, but they are by no means a great defense. They were a strong beneficiary of facing horrendous offenses which greatly aided the turnaround. I think it’s a good defense, but my concern is that Pete thinks he has the LOB 2.0 coming about and I don’t think that could be further from the truth.

      Take Saturday’s loss – I think the defense did fine. They weren’t bad, neither were they good/great. I think that’s who they are…a fine defense. My concern is that Pete thinks he has more by completely disregarding the opponents he faced that lead to such a swift turnaround in performance.

      • Volume12

        Oh I agree. I don’t think they’re great either. Top 12 or so IMO that can be better. I thought they gave the offense ample opportunities. How many times did the Rams punt in the 3rd? 4 or 5? They only gave up 16 points (taking those 2 TO’s off the board). Should be more than enough for the offense.

        I don’t think Pete thinks that. He knows how special that group was. I do agree that Pete probably thinks he has more than what they do.

        • Matt

          I think the defense played fine enough to win, but again, they were facing a Financial Advisor at QB first then a guy who had surgery 12 days earlier, on his throwing hand no less. So, I’m holding them to a higher standard because all we heard was how dominant they have been…had they been, they would have held that offense to a lot less. They didn’t.

          Again, this game was not the defense’s fault, but if that unit showed up against Green Bay – Rodgers would’ve put up 35, easily.

          I just feel like this entire thing is a mirage. Combine that with Pete’s stubbornness and I just don’t have much hope for the future.

          • John_s

            When 12 out of 14 drives for the offense is 5 plays or less including 6 that were 3 plays or less the defense is going to wear down.

            • Matt

              “I think the defense played fine enough to win…”

              I’m not blaming the defense, but they had a very easy task. The offense was *clearly* at fault in that game – I’m just going against the narrative that the defense played really well. They didn’t, IMO.

    • Volume12

      Also why I hate divisional playoff games. Doesn’t excuse the gameplan Seattle came in w/, but not a whole lot of things you can do differently seeing the same team 3 times in 1 season. See Cleveland/Pittsburgh too.

      • Pran

        that’s not an excuse for such a pitiful performance. Both teams had the same opportunity if not better for Hawks.

        • Volume12

          That’s what I said.

  93. Rohan Raman

    Pete’s goal for 2021 is to RUN THE FOOTBALL MORE EFFECTIVELY?

    I’m done.

    • Volume12

      But if Russ is washed like everyone seems to think he is, why would you not want to run the ball then?

      • Rohan Raman

        It’s dumb because he’s basically saying that they’re gonna recommit to the same offense they’ve been running for the last four years and do it better.

        If it hasn’t resulted in postseason success for the last four years, what makes you think things are gonna change now?

        • Volume12

          They didnt run the ball enough though. Never got the run game going IMO. At least to the standard we know Pete wants it at. Helps the O-line, helps Russ. I get it. It’s frustrating.

          • Matt

            This is where I wish Pete was able to provide more nuance to these discussions because admittedly, I truly hate the “establish the run” mentality. I love running the football…but I don’t love running the football for the sake of just running it, and that’s what I’m afraid of with Pete.

            “Hey, sure we had 20 carries for 38 yards, but if we didn’t do that, we wouldn’t be able to run more effectively.” That’s the mentality with Pete that I worry about.

            I would love to see us prioritize balance in the sense of taking advantage of what the defense is giving us. If the defense continues to run nickel packages…then RUN. Run until they stop it or change the look.

            This is where Rob has been SPOT ON with “identity” debacle. How about having a flexible offense that attacks the defenses weaknesses? They don’t do that and it’s infuriating. I am not saying you said this, but I hate the mentality of “we need to do X until it works.” I 100% get having that mentality on defense – I do not understand it on Offense.

            It’s a finite game – they have to adjust with more urgency. Sure, don’t abandon the run or pass because it didn’t work for 2 plays; BUT, at some point – we know about how many plays they are going to get in a game – it’s paramount that they have more value in those early downs/possessions. Pete wastes far too much of the game these days. Again, I circle back to the margin of error argument.

            Margin of Error can mean a lot of things; scheme flexibility, having multiple ways to win, taking advantage of all possessions/opportunities. Pete gets stuck on one thing and will waste as many possessions as possible to prove he is right. He got away with it during the LOB years and facing inferior opponents – but it doesn’t work in the playoffs where you have to be prepared for your preferred method not working and needing to adjust to win the game, in any way you can.

            • Volume12

              Yeah, I see what your saying. All good, fair points.

          • Paul Cook

            I don’t think our running game was going much anywhere against the Rams even if we ran more than we did. At least not without an effective short/intermediate/quick strike passing game to go along with it. Carson has his limitations as a runner. He’s in the third tier behind the elites and the consistently solid backs.

    • Rohan Raman

      I wouldn’t be so mad if he hadn’t also said “more often”. Dawg, you running the football with the frequency you do and not trusting Russ for 4 quarters is the reason why we start slow constantly. If you look at the teams that start quick, they tend to be passing teams (outside of the Titans and Ravens ig).

      We do not have Derrick Henry and Schottenheimer is no Greg Roman working with Lamar, Dobbins and Edwards/Ingram.

    • John_s

      Curtis Crabtree –

      “ @mukinno They called pass plays at a 63 percent rate the second half of the year. 63-37 pass-run ratio. And they became a bad passing team. Maybe throwing it more isn’t the fix?”

      “ @mukinno They elite QB became bad because his best ability is throwing downfield, which is hurt by teams playing Cover 2, Cover 4 against them. He’s still a short QB that isn’t as effective underneath/over the middle. They need to dictate the defenses by running. Not the other way around.”

      • Volume12

        This. TY

      • Matt

        People are complaining about the scheme/creativity – not the pass/run splits. I’d like to see more balance as a result of going with what the defense gives you.

        The entire problem with the offense has nothing to do with % of passes or % of runs – it’s that it’s easy to defend. Players on other teams have even joked about it. Former Seahawks have been outspoken about it.

        I don’t want us to be an air raid – but I want us to stress defenses a lot more than we have.

  94. Volume12

    17 games next year?! Ughhhh. Why? No one asked for this.

    • Jason

      Advertisers did, unfortunately. As did the networks.

  95. SeahawkeyezSubj80

    Pete Carroll show take away. They did an awesome job remaining covid free and that meant protecting everyone and their families. I know fans dont want to hear that but he doesn’t care. 2 doesn’t seem like their will be any changes coaching wise, Pete basically we lost to the best defensive in the league. Ho hum. We are a still a good team.Bring everybody backLet’s move forward. Imo Nothing will change. Pete gonna continue to shine sunshine up our asses and he doesn’t care what we think. For all the praise I’ve had for Pete for giving us a superbowl but he is just as guilty as costing us a superbowl and costing us future superbowls. Frustrating. Looking forward to getting to playoffs and losing or missing the playoffs by a game for next 5 years. Need a new interest that doesn’t let me down.

    • Pran

      Covid Bowl Champ!!!

  96. Pran

    Is there an all-22 evaluation of what went wrong with offense. Some thing is really really off with Russ.. i have not seen the energy or fire in him through out the game.

  97. cha

    Pete Carroll 2020 End of Season Press Conference 1-11-21

    [john boyle] Day after, takeaway for 2021? “Gosh, there’s a lot. A lot we dealt with and continue to deal with to stay healthy. Major concern right now, going home, leaving area, lessons learned, discipline acquired to be really, really careful. Not lost emphasis during the course of the year. Start of the message to them, grown in conscience. We had an excellent FB season, lost this last game. Defensively struggled fixed it, offensively rolling early, didn’t do well. Wasn’t a clean year. I’m not letting this last game dictate the season. Learned a lot, tremendous future. Guys here, youth, leadership, gives us chance to have bright future. Deal with issues in game, I didn’t do that yesterday. We’ll do that today. Work our way through evaluations. Grown a lot as a team.”

    [ian furness] Anticipate staff changes? Evaluate staff? “Never anticipate changes and share that with you. Got work to do. Ton of evaluations. Just beginning. Have to get better in a lot of ways, every offseason challenge.”
    [ian f] COVID exhaust the players? Mental wear? “I’d like to say that’s absolutely a facts, it’s gonna wear on them, but we can’t go there. I don’t have much patience for giving into this thing. It is hard. It’s a challenge. For everybody too. Facing up, not backing off, stayed strong. Worried guys won’t have support system to keep them strong. WE figure out how to deal with it. Plain diligence every day.”

    [Jackie] Evaluate rookie class? “Really liked group. Just found a way to be a factor. Spirit good, led well by teammates. Attitude consistent. No freshman dip. 17 games hung throughout. Future to the group from this point – haven’t seen Taylor yet. Practiced for first time. Bright spot. Sullivan bright spot. Parkinson very impressive as a catcher and a blocker. Alton did great. Jordyn brooks best season of all the guys, should be where we picked him. Dallas contributed. Of course, Damien Lewis steadiest of all guys, biggest contribution. Championship kid, smart, tough, great career. Bigger factor next year.”

    [bob Condotta] Assess RW’s season all 17? “Smoking early with all the, just on fire, couldn’t slow us down. So consistently good. Got hard down stretch, tightened down some, kept games in control, style of teams we played, great defenses. They all played similar style of play. Our style minimized some. Share this with you – we have to run the ball better and more. WE have to dictate more. Fans wont’ be happy to hear that – Russ knows it too. Need to take advantage.”

    [Michael shawn] Accountability in the building for you? “Good Q. Always gauged loyalty in people tell you what you need to hear when you might not want to hear. Really miss Brennan. He and Nate big factors, will tell me things other guys won’t. Gonna miss him. John and I go nose to nose on all our stuff. He gets rec’s from the personnel side and keeps banging away at it. I need more help, I need to be coached up like other guys do too. Over the years I’ve lost guys, Carl smith would tell me anything. I’ve lost a few guys like that. It’s something I’m looking at.”
    [Michael] Bobby and RW too? “sure. Relationship of years being together, I call on them. Want to hear from Duane, KJ, Bobby and Russ. So much together. Not an authority deal, comrade deal. I need their help and they need mine. Competing together. Competitive issue. If you don’t want to hear the truth you’re not competing.”

    [ben Arthur] Next step Metcalf? Adams impact? “DK continue to grow. Just tapping. Come from consistency in blocking – monster factor. Grow in finesse, running routes, spacing, all of that. Excel at everything. Pallette he can draw from so many different. Great thing about him, grateful such a hard worker. No injuries, helps him have great offseason.”

    “Jamal incredible role this season. Juice, competitiveness, toughness. Played hurt, really hurt this game. Question able to be effective enough hurt to play? Will so strong wouldn’t be denied. Struggled through some plays in the game if you watch. Warrior mentality. Lives up to. Great player. Gotta keep shoulders healthier. Labrum surgery, fingers fixed. A lot of stuff to account before he gets back. Great addition to team.”

    [joe fann] Coordinators back next year? “Joe I don’t talk about that stuff. It’s disrespectful to address that now. I love my guys. Love dedication. I’m counting on everyone coming back. Our coaches are getting calls all over the place.”
    [joe fann] Emphasis on run more – RW regressed or just run the ball more? “Football thing. Run the ball more effectively to focus the play of opponents. Doesn’t’ mean we’ll run 50x a game. Direction, focus, style allows us to dictate the game. Frankly I’d like to not play against 2 deep looks all season next year. Not just run. Style of passes too. Get after it. As it unfolded last 4 or 5 games it became obvious. I don’t mind winning 20-9. I want to control the game. Control the FB. INT for TD, don’t give them ball on 40, slugging it out right to the end. Couldn’t control all the variables.”

    [brady] Offensive adjustments? “Tried to go downtown on these guys 3-4x tried to see if we could get them. Know you’re going against it when they’re laying back. RW found a way on DK post route just got slightly hit. Around those opps you have to be efficient with FB. Complete 70% passes, run for 140 yards to control. 3rd downs got us. That’s not good enough. Primary areas that allow us to run more. Convert to get more chanced. Got to be better. Right in middle of NFL. Russ good enough to be better, scheme enough, Tyler, DK, when we convert we’re dangerous. Running and third down play, that’s what Pete thinks we need to get better on.”
    [brady] Jamal surgery on other shoulder? “No”

    [Gregg] Why didn’t be adaptable? Who responsible? “I take responsibility for that. Shift gears more abruptly. Just kept thinking we wanted to get back to it. Lingered in that glow of the first half, didn’t adjust fast enough. Won our last four games. Know how it happened. This game, didn’t block them well enough to make the plays. Adapt, make sure we didn’t get stuck. Running to much, throwing too much. Balance important. Weighted ourselves out of balance early in the year. 75% throwing, scoring tons of points, fun, lured into it. Running backs went down. Never got as balanced as we want. Can’t tell you more than that. Keep asking so I can make it clear to you.”
    [Gregg] Run more, Carson back? “No, not necessarily. Love Carson, want him back. Let me be clear, not saying run 50 times a game. Dictate and do better.”

    [art thiel] Why not possible to make adjustments to avoid regression? “Played differently, to win games. Four weeks, Giants game hard game for us. Didn’t adapt well in that game. That’s where the style of play went in that direction. Two deep looks. Didn’t chase them out of them. Frustrating to me. Trying to score a few points. Not 20, 40. Just didn’t get it done. I need to help our coaches do a better job, and force the issue more so. More contributing factor than I was.”
    [art] Why week to week couldn’t correct? “I’m trying to tell you, we weren’t trying to change the game dramatically. Take care of the FB, stay out of it. Adapting to opponents. Yesterday felt back against it. It worked out pretty good – that’s why we got a banner on the fricking wall, we won the division. Last game, we played a defense that was awesome, it was factor. Couldn’t counter with what we did. Block them better. Don’t want them to be strong at what their good at. WE didn’t’ do that. Wasn’t enough.”

    [neko] Defense uplift at end disguised by poor offenses? “((laughs)) Offenses weren’t dynamic, hurting all about injuries. Tried to take adv of that and I thought we did a good job. Our scheme improved immensely during course of season. More accountable, stopped explosive players. You guys NEVER thought we’d rush the passer like we did! NEVER! WE had a bunch of sacks, on fire with it. WE got better. That wasn’t luck. Guys got together, played together, Kenny called it right. Coverage guys marvelous. DJ Reed came together. You could see offenses struggle with us. You know what we were doing, and they couldn’t. I will say you’re right, the big high flying offenses, it’s hard to keep those offenses down.”
    [neko] Hyde future? “Really like Carlos and Chris. Epitome of hard ball running style. Connection to physical game. WE didn’t get to see Penny this year, but he made it back. Still work to do to get full go. Those 3 running for us it’s dynamic. Carlos is right in there for us.”

    [tim] Blair and Irvin recovery? “Bruce additional surgery needed. Come out really well. He’s behind because of that. Blair flying. Extraordinary. Should be a big factor. Great FB player. Positioned the right way. Hopefully we get back, should be back by camp.”
    [tim] KJ’s season, role moving forward? “Love the way he played. He’s a really good FB player. Factor all year long. Running, passing. Maybe his best season. Hoping he’s coming back and playing for us, clear cut role for him. Doesn’t matter how old he is, playing really good.”

    [maz veda] Bad first downs lead to bad thirds? “Does. Problems on third on marred by third and longs. Had a stat, more third and 11 than anyone in NFL. Sacked, penalty, hurt us. Yeah, big factor in consistency. Trying too hard. Sometimes trying so hard to make big plays we take losses, then third downs get hit in the butt. Too many third and longs, you’re right, due to ineffective first down.”
    [maz] ? “Good question of how much is too much. Coaches enamored with next great idea, can the players execute it. If they don’t play it right, nothing matters. Big issue for us. How much can we do, what can we do effectively. This game, errors we don’t make often. Run routes right, miscues on protection. It hurt us. Disappointed, we’re better than that.”

    [corbin] Lattimore 6 tackles, see from him? Future on DL? “Really well all year in practice the whole season. Always talked about him being up. Bullard, question w COVID, opp for Lattimore. False positive. Missed game due to that. Lattimore got knocked around and looked like a newbie at times. Plays hard, active, right in the mix for future.”

    [matt] Fighting play call on 4th and 1? “Wanted the play we wound up with. Took longer, forced issue, jumped offsides. Wasn’t wrong idea to kick it. Had some time, injury, could’ve done better with timing. Didn’t snap ball. I know you want to make a big deal. Not the factor, didn’t execute the snap count. Blew it.”
    [matt] Play calling? “Just wanted more chances to force the ball and get out quicker. Rhythms and routes we didn’t convert for one reason or other was difference in game. Needed to get the ball out quicker. No rocket science there.”

    [Curtis crab] Dorsett and Dunbar? “Tried to get them back. Dorsett would’ve been back if 3 more weeks. Throw this season out and start over with high hopes. Bright, great speed, talented. Old foot injury bothered him for years never manifested. Get him fixed and now he’s fixed. Should be back. Dunbar surgery knee cleaned up, got in there not major stuff, just lingering old stuff. Talked to him like him to come back.”
    [Curtis] What questions still need to find out about this team? “Personnel wish, put this pass rush. Benson come back, Dunlap back with us, Alton good on left side, more rushes. Main focus pass rush back intact and grow from there. Reed great finish to season. Feeding off rush on guys outside. Complement. Jordyn develop, fine FB player. Blair back, big big factor for us. Exciting group there. Work to do on corner spots, love to keep Shaquille, DJ and Dunbar too. Other side of ball, a lot of firepower. WR’s great this year. Swain big impact this year. Contributed early, Dorsett back in action. Running back position loaded, see if we can develop a third down spot to help us. Parkinson great worker. Hollister too, talk to Greg and see what he’s doing. That’s a good spot. OL is a good spot for us, hoping Duane have a great offseason, see if he needs surgery. Inside 3 guys grow and get better. Pocic will get better. LG spot need to improve there. Personnel wise really excited. Kickers phenomenal. DJ Reed as a returner. So many freaking positives. Want to get better, really efficient in throwing game. Russ almost had 70% in throwing game. I want that next year, he’s capable of it. Tighten things down, flexibility in our game. I’m outta here!”

    • GoHawksDani

      I’m afraid that Pete might be totally delusional. Or he’s just feeding bs to the media…

  98. Hawks_Gui

    Don’t know that, but will JS do any press conference about the end pf this season?

    • Rob Staton

      Don’t usually hear from him until the combine

  99. millhouse-serbia

    Since 2016 i have listened every Petes interview and presser. Some of them for multiple times, because i tried to read when he is telling truth and when is he saying something just to say. Because he will always say we will try to bring him back, we would love to bring him back, he is great player etc…

    And i will just say that he LOVES Blair and Taylor. He has huuuge expectation from both of them.

    Think Shaquill is done with us unless he accept to play on really cheap contract.

    • Rob Staton

      I disagree.

      To me he sounds like he’s trying too hard to big up two injured players they spent high picks on to cover his arse.

  100. Jason

    After reading this and listening to you guys in the video, I’m really worried about the Pete/Russ dynamic going forward. I agree that Russell doesn’t really want to play the way Pete wants his quarterback to play, and if there’s a chance to bring in someone who fits better and save some money as well as pick up some draft picks or something, this FO will jump on it. It’s almost incredible to think about dealing away a Hall of Fame quarterback, but this team has been practical and ambitious from day one.

    And the fact that John knows enough to have visited amazing talents like Mahomes and Kyle Allen makes me almost OK with this scenario. I love Russ so much but it’s sometimes so frickin’ painful to see him frustrated and beaten down playing in Pete’s offenses. Pete’s not going anywhere and he has all the control so… ugh, now I’m kind of nauseous.

    • Chris Wood

      I have similar thoughts on John picking Mahomes and Allen out. If he sees a QB this year with those same traits and talent ceiling it could be really hard for him to pass that up. He knows what he would’ve gotten with them, I can see him be really tempted by going after it a third time.

  101. Denver Hawker

    Doug Peterson out. I’m actually shocked. He had zero QB play this year.

    • Volume12

      Won’t happen, but come back home to Bellingham!

      • Pran

        probably OC now and take over from Pete later…good candidate.

    • cha

      It was a mess there, though. The OL was a mess all season with injuries. He allowed a really high pass % as Wentz was playing awfully. Attempting to ‘throw his way’ out of a slump. Meanwhile he had a very efficient running game.

      Reports were Wentz had controlled or been allow to control too much of the offense.

    • OP_Chillin

      I’d take Doug as OC in a f****** heartbeat.

      I’d strongly consider him for HC as well as he’s a proven offensive guy and I know that will not remotely be a popular opinion.

  102. SeahawkeyezSubj80

    I atleast have respect for Joe Fann attempting to ask the hard questions. Pete turn from Sunshine to Thunder and Lightning when Joe starts talking.

    • TomLPDX

      That’s because Joe asked Pete a question he had already been asked previously and said he wouldn’t talk about staff changes, so Joe should have adjusted his scheme and asked something else pertinent.

  103. Paul Cook

    After reading cha’s recap (thanks for that), I’m starting to tune PC out too. I get irked when he says things like “I know you want to make a big deal…” out of that delay of game/false start penalty on 4th and one. That WAS maddeningly, inexcusably stupid. We were behind and went from having a good chance of extending the drive to punting the ball on 4th down after something like a 3-4 minute injury delay. Talking about being asleep at the wheel.

    He’s not changing.

    • Rob Staton

      I haven’t enjoyed a single one of his press conferences this year.

      Used to listen intently to every word and actually look forward to them.

      Not any more.

      • Paul Cook

        There’s this fine line where someone like PC can cross over into arrogance. I’m starting to see that crossover a bit too much now.

  104. Pran

    As good as Carson is, this game would have been different if we had an elite runner like Chubb, Taylor. Passing game is not working yet could not establish run despite the score being close in first half. Carson is great but he has his limitations. Hyde signing did not contribute as much we liked, Penney is a bust, Dallas is a poor 4th round choice, Homer is special teams and some depth nothing much to offer.

  105. Denver Hawker

    So many blog favorite running backs that fit the Hawks are playing in the playoffs. Then Pete gets on to say he wants to run the football more/better.

  106. no frickin clue

    For those of you who subscribe to The Athletic, this is a really good X’s and O’s piece about the defensive philosophy of Brandon Staley of the Rams. I fervently hope that he becomes the head coach someplace outside the NFC West.


  107. SoCalHawkFan

    I don’t think it’s as bad as everyone makes it seem. Wagner I.agree is a first ballot HOF if he plays another 2-3 years without huge drop off. He just made All Pro again.

    KJ Wright just made PFF All Pro again so he won’t take a huge discount.

    I believe the problem with this team lies in the OC’s belief that the Offensive Line is adequate. I was suprised to not see more screen passes to the RB’s in order to slow the rush. I wasnsuprosed to not see Wilson look to the backs or TE and take the check downs. Did this team not have a check down route in the game plan?

    I think they’ll be okay next year if they take the money from Greg Olson, Iupati, Procic, Irvin, and Mayowa to invest in a legitimate Center and Left Guard. I seen a few plays where they just wiffed completely in pass production against Fox. That will leave us with the 2 young DE’s to step up with Dunlap but we blitz Adams alot.also. In the draft I think we trade down once again and try to find a bigger back since Carson will be too expensive for us to keep. Look for an interior run stuffer to fill the NT position. I’d really like to see us get another big WR and move Lockett to the slot. I believe we need to work the middle of the field more and get back under Center for play action. Russell is one of the best passes on the run I’ve seen and we don’t roll him out enough in my opion or run misdirection well enough to tire out opponents DL. Just a few thoughts and looking forward to 2021. Go Hawks!!!!

  108. BobbyK

    I wonder who is going to play LG next season? Pete seems to think that and CB are the biggest weaknesses on the team. Too early indications are RB in R2 and CB in R4.

    Aside from last year when either he lied or the plan simply failed – Pete generally says what the biggest weaknesses are and then actually goes out and improves it. That means LG and CB will be getting some serious attention this off-season.

    • BobbyK

      Sorry. I meant they’ll probably go LG in R2 (not RB – though RB is what I want).

      I’d be perfectly happy trading Dallas and their 2nd rounder to Baltimore for Dobbins if they would be willing to do that (I doubt they would).

    • Rob Staton


  109. BobbyK

    Pete’s plan as I see it:

    Carson, Hyde, Penny

    Resign Pocic and draft a LG in the 2nd round.

    Personally, I’d rather draft a RB in R2 and sign a veteran to play LG. I think it’s dangerous to go into a season with a rookie LG, second year starter at C, and second year player/starter at RG. That interior OL seems too young and inexperienced. That worries me.

    • Denver Hawker

      I think there will be good LG talent available with the R2 pick, but a proven vet is the right approach. Duane will want someone who can easily know their role and a vet will also be support for Pocic.

      • BobbyK

        I agree. I’d rather go RB and sign a vet LG but I don’t think they will do that. I wish they would.

    • Rob Staton

      I’d rather trade down from #18 after trading Jamal Adams to Miami, then get Aaron Banks and Javonte Williams.

      Use the spare money to sign Alex Mack and Keanu Neal.

      • BobbyK

        Sounds good to me. Just don’t think Pete will do it.

  110. cha

    Just something to be aware of. Russell Wilson had a 68.8 completion percentage this season, and PC talked about 70% being the magic number and ‘he knows Russell can do it’.

    Yes, he can. Because he did in 2020.

    He was 384 of 558 for 68.8. He only needed 6 of those incompletions to be completions to make the magical threshold of 70%.

    He had an “on target” percentage of 79.5% of his passes.

    The Seahawks had 27 total dropped passes this year. DK and Lockett each had 8.

    They had 17 last year. 18 the year before that.

    That particular goal, that particular shortcoming, is not on Russell.

  111. SeahawkeyezSubj80

    Pete doubling down on his philosophy. Great defense and run the ball. NO turnovers. Google it “Marty Ball” Therefore, Schotty not going anywhere. Based on Pete’s reaction to Joe Fann questions about Coordinator jobs in question and Robs past statements about Seattle putting feelers on defensive coordinators, possible firing or demotion of Norton.

    My hopes is that Pete gonna build on the offensive line to protect Wilson and therefore have a better answer to some off the best defensive lines in the NFC west. Carson gone welcome to the Carlos Hyde Rashaad Penny era. I am hoping the Seahawks spend dollars in free agency on offensive line. I put my hat in on Packers center Linsley.

    Which means John Schneider going to have to renegotiate some contracts. RW (For offensive line help) BWags(to retain KJ and Dunlap).Renegotiate Carlos Dunlap and Bruce Irvin (retain Mayowa or sign a free agent DE/DT) Unfortunately, Diggs and Griffin gone. The other offseason signing besides offensive line will be Jamal Adams excluding a trade. Draft DL/OL/CB/RB not in any particular order.

    • James Z

      What really galls me about PC’s ‘plan’, such as it is, is that it hasn’t worked since forever and he doesn’t have the horses to accomplish it even if it did and it doesn’t in the NFL of the ’20’s. He came out and basically blamed the loss on Aaron Donald’s continued superstar play, and as a head coach why no scheme to at least neutralize his play some of the time. He’s going to try and put lipstick on a pig again next year…

  112. OP_Chillin

    I just don’t see how this offense gets back to being elite unless Russ just finds a way to play a LOT better. The Cleveland Browns 2020 or Dallas Cowboys 2016 type model requires a stud back or two who stay healthy and All-Pro quality OL at at least 3/5 positions who stay healthy… That just ain’t happening for the Seahawks. We got one of them at LT who is getting up there in years and the rest aren’t even close!

    • BobbyK

      I agree about Brown being a stud, even though he’s old, but disagree about Damien Lewis not being close. He had a solid rookie season and he’s going to be a really good RG moving forward.

      With all these comments from Pete today – it’s clear they’re going to commit to running the ball better next year and that means their singular quality draft pick will be a Left Guard. I see it no other way.

      • OP_Chillin

        I’m not down on Lewis at all, didn’t want to give that impression. But compared to Zack Martin or Wyatt Teller who are all-pro level guards, he ain’t close and I think that’s okay for him. More a comment on the strategy.

  113. BobbyK

    I’d be okay with what Pete wants to do if he could add a 27-year old Steve Hutchinson, Kevin Mawae and Marshawn Lynch this off-season.

  114. Jordan E

    Just watched this beastmode interview where he talks about how the team blew up after SB loss.


    Apparently the team had a problem with Pete because they felt he never took accountability for calling the pass at the goal line. Feels similar to now where Pete wont take accountability for this wild card elimination.

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