Category Archives: State of the team

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.”

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Midseason roster report: Can the defense improve?

Midway through the season, the Seahawks are a game better than we expected — despite a horrendous pass defense that might be the thing that keeps them out of the Super Bowl.

The Seahawks are off to one of their best starts under Pete Carroll, 6-2 (or better) for the third time. With the easiest finishing slate in the NFL, they look destined for at least 11 wins. The question, as it has been all season, is whether their defense will improve enough to help them get to the Super Bowl.

They have been 6-2 or better just two other times under Carroll. In 2013, they started 7-1 and finished 13-3 on the way to a Super Bowl title. Last season, they started 6-2 and finished 11-5 (knocked out of the playoffs by Green Bay).

They look good for 11-5 this season, too. The second-half schedule is the easiest in the league. The tough part will be the division games: They play the Rams twice, starting this week, and Arizona in Week 11. But they also face three NFC Least clubs, plus the Jets and the decimated 49ers. The very worst they should do in the final eight is 5-3, which would net 11 wins.

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Roster is still less than two-thirds strength

logo-playoffsThe Humpty Dumpty Seahawks will find a way to put themselves together by Sunday, but you have to wonder how many more times they can do it before they finally have a great fall.

They were the most injured team in the league across the season, according to Man Games Lost. That includes losing their top tight end and center early in the season and their top three running backs in the final month, using six offensive line combinations, playing sick and injured at receiver in several games, never having a fully healthy defensive line and using a rotating cast at safety all season.

It all adds up to a team that has never come close to being 100 percent yet has won 12 games and is headed to Green Bay for a shot at the fourth NFC title game in franchise history. Give Pete Carroll some credit for yoking together this cracked egg of a club.

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Catching up ahead of huge Monday night game

Logo -- At San FranciscoBack from South Africa and Paris, a rare two-week vacation during football season, let’s catch up with some thoughts after the Seahawks improved to 7-2 while we were gone …

While we were watching lions (not the Detroit guys) devour baby buffalo (not the Bills) in the South Africa bush, the Seahawks held off Atlanta and beat Tampa Bay in overtime (we followed that one on Twitter from Nelspruit, S.A., which was fun).

Seattle also put Tedric Thompson and Justin Britt on IR, reportedly dangled Rashaad Penny, once again considered signing Antonio Brown and claimed Josh Gordon. And Quandre Diggs still has not played for them.

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Time for Hawks to show they are better than this

Logo -- New Orleans“You have to learn in this game, if you’re going to be really consistently good, to get out of your own way … and we haven’t gotten there yet.” — Pete Carroll

The Seahawks probably would love to be playing this Thursday, rather than next, so they could quickly expunge the bad taste of that loss to New Orleans.

But it’s probably a good thing they go to Arizona first, before a huge Thursday home game against the Rams as they face division foes twice in the next 10 days.

The Cardinals are really the ideal elixir for a good Seattle team that needs to show it is better at tackling, rushing the passer, holding the ball and coaching than it showed against New Orleans.

“There’s so much for us to do,” Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN. “There’s so much.”

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And Ansah makes three: Hawks will have all pass rushers finally

Logo -- New OrleansJadeveon Clowney and L.J. Collier have each made their debuts over the last two weeks. Now it’s Ziggy Ansah’s turn.

If it goes well, the Hawks might have the trio that, for this year anyway, is supposed to approximate the 2013 pass rush of Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Chris Clemons.

“We wanted to make sure everything was right,” Pete Carroll said of the long wait for Ansah. “He’s had three good weeks of work and he’s in really good shape. … He’ll play a considerable amount. He’s practiced hard enough to do that.

“That’s really going to be fun to see him out there, to see how we’re going to use him in the game plan. I’m really excited about that.”

Continue reading And Ansah makes three: Hawks will have all pass rushers finally

How (in)complete are the Hawks right now?

Logo -- At PittsburghJust how far from their best are the Seahawks?

Judging by the Week 2 league injury report, the Seahawks appear to be one of the more banged-up teams. They have six guys on the official game report (only the Chargers and Redskins have more), and they had 16 guys listed with injuries on the practice report Friday.

Almost every offensive lineman has some kind of ailment, and the Hawks are going to swap out two injured defensive starters this week, too.

Their most stable positions have been quarterback, running back (if you can believe it) and linebacker. Otherwise, they are in a state of flux everywhere else.

We previously said they are better almost everywhere, but right now we estimate they are only about two-thirds of what they eventually will be. And it might take a couple of months to find that final third — barring any major injuries.

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Hawks have improved almost everywhere

Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson plan to be clapping about their offense a lot this season (Getty Images)A year ago, few people thought the Seahawks could play even .500 ball — due to a completely revamped defense and an offense that didn’t seem capable of winning many shootouts.

Well, as we predicted, the Hawks won 10 games and made the playoffs for the seventh time in Pete Carroll’s nine seasons (and, as we all know, should have beaten Dallas in the wild-card round).

This year, it seems plenty of people have not learned their lesson — still forecasting the Seahawks as an 8-8 or 9-7 team. The main concerns are pass rush and a youthful secondary, plus the permanent loss of Doug Baldwin in the receiving corps.

Carroll knows his pass rush is weaker than it was — “We gotta make something special out of it” — but he also knows his team is otherwise very stout. (UPDATE: The Hawks acquired pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney the day after this was first posted.)

After the Hawks beat the Raiders in the preseason finale, Carroll said, “We’re going to be a really good team. … We’re going to be hard to beat.”

He’s right. When the schedule came out, we predicted 11 or 12 wins. It’s still easy to see that because they look better at six seven of nine position groups.

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Super Bowl clubs are Hawks’ targets, and it starts at home

pats-ramsThis Super Bowl matchup is near and dear to the Seahawks’ aching hearts: The division rival the Hawks cannot beat right now vs. the one-time Super Bowl nemesis the Hawks will always regret not beating.

The Rams and Patriots are the teams the Hawks have to figure out how to defeat if they are going to win another Super Bowl under Pete Carroll.

So how do they do that?

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