Would Jody Allen really run it back with the same trio at the top in 2022? If so, why?
A couple of recent reports indicate that is a possibility. Sources are telling NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo that the team plans to keep Russell Wilson, and Albert Breer’s sources indicate John Schneider appears safe and Allen actually might choose the status quo for another year. Both reports indicated Pete Carroll is not considering retirement (nor has it seemed that way).
In his pregame radio appearance before the Seahawks finished their dismal season at Arizona, Schneider seemed to indicate the status quo, at least for himself and Carroll.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t see this coming this year. It’s been a hard one,” he said of Seattle’s 7-10 season. “We’re not used to this. Pete and I were just talking in the locker room: We’re playing a game and we’re going home instead of watching the scoreboard and wondering where we’re going to be playing (in the playoffs) or who we’re going to be hosting or whatever.”
Schneider pointed out how consistently strong the Seahawks have been in the NFC West, which has become the best division in the NFL because “the other three teams have picked in the top 10 and been able to load up” after “some rough years.”
“So now we’re in that boat,” Schneider said, leaving out the fact that he traded his 2022 first-rounder for Jamal Adams (injured again) and thus will not get the “reward” of drafting in the top 10 after this horrible season.
He made it seem like nothing will change for him and Carroll anyway: “We need to plan, have our vision and stick to it and keep moving, get this thing turned around.”
After the game, Carroll said he had no doubt he would return: “I’m in great shape.”
The big question is whether Wilson will be back. We expect them to trade him, despite what Garafolo is being told.
This trio has not managed to get back to the NFC title game since Wilson’s third season. Schneider and Carroll have failed to replicate the dominate defense that keyed their Super Bowl seasons, Wilson has not been able (or willing) to overcome his shortcomings, and the Hawks have won just three playoff games since 2015.
Why would Allen think this trio is going to do any better than it has for the last seven years? Why would she think Schneider is going to draft any better than he has? Why would she think Carroll would be faster to adapt in season and in games? Why would she think Wilson would change his playing style to be more consistent and effective?
She might look at Schneider’s last two drafts — four starters and some good backups — and think he can keep this roster competitive.
She might look at how Carroll flipped his defense after a horrendous start for a second straight year – and how he kept his team focused and energized even after the season was lost (and amid many Covid disruptions).
She might look at the uncharacteristic 3-5 record in one-score games and think a healthy Wilson would have beaten Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Washington. (As a reminder: In 2019, the Hawks became the second team in NFL history to win 10 games by one score.)
Allen might listen to Wilson say he wants to win more Super Bowls in Seattle – and she might want to give him that chance.
But the past seven years have told us who these guys are and how far they can go. They are just 3-5 in the playoffs (after going 6-2 in Wilson’s first three years). At their best, they are merely a playoff team – not a true contender. At their worst, they are what we saw this season.
Sure, Wilson’s finger injury was a major disruptor. Without that, they might have won two or three of those one-score games. But a healthy Wilson also lost to Chicago at home – another horrible defeat in a season that had too many. And, even if the Seahawks had flipped their record and made the playoffs, they certainly would have made an early exit again.
This trio needs to be broken up. If Allen does not want to part with Schneider and Carroll, she needs to OK a trade of Wilson. Use the trade chips to add more standouts on defense and build the running game back into a dominant force — and add a more consistent QB who does not live and die by the deep ball.
If Allen stays the course for another year, the best we can hope for is another too-brief playoff appearance.