Roster check as Hawks prepare for 49ers

As if the Seahawks didn’t have enough chaos, being 1-2 and needing to straighten out their defense and get their offense to sustain its play over a full game, they are doing a ton of roster juggling as well.

The big news Wednesday was that Gerald Everett became the first Seahawk to test positive for the coronavirus in the NFL’s two pandemic seasons. He seemed confident he would return “soon,” but the Hawks have to be prepared in case he doesn’t pass the test. Pete Carroll said Friday that he was vaccinated and feeling fine but had not tested negative on consecutive days yet.

Colby Parkinson, on IR with a foot injury, returned to practice this week and is expected to be activated. The Hawks also signed Jace Sternberger, a former third-round pick of the Packers, to their practice squad. Otherwise, Will Dissly and Tyler Mabry are the only eligible tight ends on the 53.

Let’s take a look at all the news and analysis of each position (UPDATED FRIDAY) as the Hawks get ready for the 49ers and a tough three-game run that finishes with the Rams and Steelers.
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What are the problems & how do they fix them?

After a great start to the season in Indianapolis, the Seahawks have been a mess the past two games. And, if they don’t fix it ASAP, they will quickly find themselves in a hole too deep to climb out of.

A week after the offense played deep ball too much and kept the defense on the field all game in an overtime loss to Tennessee, the defense returned the favor by not stopping Kirk Cousins and the Vikings in a demoralizing 30-17 defeat.

It has been a full team failure the past two weeks, and Seattle has to figure out how to fix the NFL’s worst defense while also getting the offense to do something in the second half. There is no break in the schedule, so Pete Carroll and his staff have to figure it out on the fly as they head to San Francisco this week, then host the Rams next Thursday and travel to Pittsburgh in Week 6.

So, what are the problems?

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After Week 2 failure, Waldron faces big test

In the wake of a horrific upset loss to Tennessee and with a tough four-game stretch looming, Shane Waldron’s first test has arrived quite quickly.

If the Seahawks are going to stay in the race for home field, Waldron is going to have to rebound from a poor second game by scheming more like he did in the opener, and he is going to need to get Russell Wilson to follow his lead.

It all starts in Minnesota on Sunday.

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‘We screwed that up’

“We screwed that up.” – Pete Carroll on 710 ESPN

The Seahawks’ first two games have taken the fans on an emotional rollercoaster. They had everyone’s hopes up after a great Week 1 win in Indianapolis, only to follow that up with one of the worst home losses of Russell Wilson’s career.

The pathetic 33-30 overtime loss to Tennessee was right down there with Washington in 2017 and the Giants in 2020 for Wilson’s worst home setbacks.

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Waldron, D-line put on a show in opener

The two missing elements to the Seahawks getting to the Super Bowl were a more sophisticated offensive approach and a more consistent pass rush.

If their 28-16 win in Indianapolis is any indication, the Hawks have taken care of those issues and may have their best shot yet at returning to the title game.

Sure, it’s only one game. But Shane Waldron came out with a great plan against one of the NFL’s top defenses (seventh by DVOA in 2020), and the defensive line did indeed come in waves against Carson Wentz.

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Hawks placate Diggs, Brown until 2022 becomes clearer

The Seahawks didn’t want to extend Duane Brown or Quandre Diggs before this season, but they did what they could by guaranteeing their 2021 salaries with signing bonuses. Now the team waits.

The Hawks also gave the players voidable years in 2022, which allow both to get injury protection for next year while also slicing the 2021 cap hits. Diggs already had reportedly taken out an insurance policy.

Brown, due $11 million in compensation, got a $7 million signing bonus and $4 million salary, which will be guaranteed after Week 1. Diggs, due $6 million, will get $5 million of it now.  

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State of the roster as season begins

“It’s a critical time.” – Russell Wilson after another early playoff exit in January

A dramatic offseason and largely uneventful preseason are behind us, and we are finally about to see whether the Seahawks are any better than they were in 2020, when their offense and defense went in opposite directions over the course of the season and they once again failed to move past the first playoff game.

After a 3-5 record in the postseason over the past six years and two one-and-dones in the past three, the pressure is on to go deep into the playoffs and make a strong Super Bowl run in 2021.

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K.J. Wright: An unsung hero who was all class

Along with Cliff Avril, K.J. Wright was the classiest player of the Pete Carroll era — and also one of the most underrated players in the Seahawks’ 45-year history.

Only 13 players have played more games for Seattle (Russell Wilson is tied with Wright’s 144 games, so he will make it 14 players Sunday). Some of those guys were highly decorated, and then there were players such as Joe Nash, Mack Strong, Chris Gray, Keith Butler and Wright — longtime stalwarts who were the unsung heroes of their playoff teams.

With Wright’s official departure, Bobby Wagner is the only remaining member of the historic Legion of Boom defense. Wright and Avril were the ultimate team players, the best combination of player and teammate that crew produced. Kam Chancellor’s ill-conceived 2015 holdout put a black mark on his career, and the emotional Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and Earl Thomas all created too much controversy and simply did not have the class of Wright and Avril.

After signing with the Raiders, Wright talked about how he was “pissed off” all offseason that no team wanted him. He had every right to be, especially coming off one of the best seasons of his 10-year career.

But he was typically classy in talking about the Seahawks, and the franchise gave him a proper sendoff Monday …

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