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More thoughts on the offensive conundrum

There’s still a lot of analysis going on about what went wrong with Seattle’s offense, which bottomed out against the Rams’ stellar defense in the playoffs.

The bottom line is Russell Wilson’s effectiveness faded in the second half of the season, and Brian Schottenheimer was not creative enough as they faced a number of good defenses. Some don’t think Schotty should have been fired, but he could not right the ship in the second half and his unit ended up costing Seattle a playoff win in the first round for the second time in three years.

One of the big keys to an OC is feeling his QB’s performance and adjusting to help him when things are off kilter. Schotty was not very good at making adjustments during games, had too many predictable play-calling patterns (e.g., running on every second-and-10) and simply did not use his personnel to best effect. So, yeah, Pete Carroll was justified in firing him.

Continue reading More thoughts on the offensive conundrum

Wilson: ‘It’s a critical time’

Russell Wilson did not agree with Pete Carroll’s decision to fire Brian Schottenheimer and he wants input into the hiring of the next offensive coordinator because “it’s imperative to my career.”

In his season wrap from Mexico, Wilson told reporters, “Going into the 10th year in my career, it’s a critical time. The next 10 years are super critical for everybody involved, the whole organization, including myself as a player and the legacy that I want to leave. It’s vital, it’s critical, it’s super significant that I’m a part of that process. Coach and I have definitely been talking about it.”

Continue reading Wilson: ‘It’s a critical time’

Just like 2017, Carroll needed to replace his offensive coordinator

It was not a huge surprise that Pete Carroll fired Brian Schottenheimer on Tuesday. If you had parsed the coach’s words Monday, you heard him say he was going to meet with Schotty and evaluate what went wrong with Seattle’s dead-on-playoff-arrival offense. It sure sounded like there was a chance Carroll might decide to make a switch.

The Seahawks cited “philosophical differences,” which basically means Carroll didn’t think Schotty could fix an offense that melted down the stretch and hit its nadir with a pathetic effort in the 30-20 playoff loss to the beat-up Rams.

This was the best move for Carroll after Schotty helped cost the team two quick playoff outs in three years and the offense deteriorated in 2020 like it did in 2017, when Carroll fired Darrell Bevell and Tom Cable after missing the playoffs.  

Continue reading Just like 2017, Carroll needed to replace his offensive coordinator

The show goes on, but Schneider and Carroll must improve

John Schneider apparently did not want to leave Seattle, as scuttlebutt had intimated, and it is no surprise that Jody Allen gave him a five-year extension (probably with a big pay hike).

So the Schneider-Pete Carroll show continues uninterrupted, 11 years and counting. But they both need to improve their job performance if the Seahawks are ever going to be true contenders again.

Continue reading The show goes on, but Schneider and Carroll must improve

Offseason prios: Changes at the top before new deals?

It came earlier than expected, thanks to an inexcusably bad offense, but the Seahawks’ offseason is here. And it could – perhaps should – be a transformative one, with significant change at the top possibly trumping any personnel moves they make.

The frustration we’ve had with the Seahawks the past couple of years has been over John Schneider’s inability to solve defensive personnel issues (mainly pass rush, which he finally fixed with the trades for Jamal Adams and Carlos Dunlap). As they enter this offseason earlier than expected, the concern has switched to Pete Carroll’s side after coaching cost them yet another playoff game.

Continue reading Offseason prios: Changes at the top before new deals?

After offense ‘flatlined,’ Carroll has a decision to make

“We kind of flatlined” — Russell Wilson

The Seahawks have all the talent they need on offense, which is why it is so confounding that they went into the tank for the final two months of the season and then put down one of their worst playoff performances in the Pete Carroll era, in a dismal 30-20 loss to the Rams.

It was the nadir of an inexplicable nine-game skid by Brian Schottenheimer, Russell Wilson and company. And the question Carroll absolutely has to ask is whether Schottenheimer deserves another chance or whether Carroll needs to move on to the third OC of Wilson’s career.

Continue reading After offense ‘flatlined,’ Carroll has a decision to make

Are Hawks finally good enough to get back to NFC title game?

The Seahawks have not reached the NFC title game since 2014, when the Legion of Boom was in its prime and Pete Carroll’s team seem poised to create the NFL’s first dynasty since the 2000s Patriots.

After Carroll’s coaching gaffe gave the Patriots the win in Super Bowl XLIX and set New England off on another dynastic run, the Hawks slid back to the playoff pack. They lost in the divisional round the next two years, missed the playoffs in 2017, lost in the wild-card round in 2018 and again were dismissed in the divisional playoffs last season. That’s a 3-4 record in the playoffs since the XLIX loss.

As the Hawks prepare to host the Rams on Saturday, the big question: Are they any better than they have been the past five years? Can they finally get back to the NFC title game, at least?

Continue reading Are Hawks finally good enough to get back to NFC title game?

Hawks hit 12 wins, records & will face Rams in playoffs

The offense struggled to help the defense, but the Seahawks managed to rally to beat the 49ers 26-23 and finish with 12 wins (or more) for the fifth time in franchise history and third in Pete Carroll’s 11 seasons.

The Hawks (12-4) will host the Rams, who beat Arizona, in the playoffs next weekend. The big questions: Will the offense play more like it did in the fourth quarter against the 49ers? And will they have Jamal Adams, who suffered another shoulder injury?

Continue reading Hawks hit 12 wins, records & will face Rams in playoffs

Hawks should be open to Schneider trade

In 1999, the Seahawks paid a second-round pick to Green Bay for Mike Holmgren, who took over as coach and general manager. These Hawks should consider trading John Schneider for similar compensation after this season.

Scuttlebutt says Schneider may become a free agent in 2022, if the Seahawks do not increase his pay toward the top end of the league’s GM payroll. And Detroit reportedly is interested in trying to pry him from Seattle this year.

The Hawks should be willing to make a trade, if Detroit is willing to give up a first-rounder or perhaps a second and something else.

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Defense is ready for playoffs; will offense be good enough?

Now that we know the Seahawks’ defense is for real, the big question is whether the offense is going to be able to do enough against any of the top defenses it might encounter in the playoffs.

The 20-9 win over the Rams on Sunday was Seattle’s best win of the season – not just because it clinched the Hawks’ first division title since 2016, but because it proved the defense’s 2020 turnaround was legit.

There certainly are still concerns about Seattle’s offense being able to score against top defenses, but the Hawk defense appears to have found its mojo – now that it has all of its best pieces in place.

Continue reading Defense is ready for playoffs; will offense be good enough?