Category Archives: X’s & O’s

Hawks still looking, but Waldron breaks down Lock’s positives

Pete Carroll recently told KJR that the Seahawks did not draft a QB because they considered Drew Lock, a 2019 second-round pick, to be better than every rookie passer.

Carroll also said the Hawks will not trade for a veteran QB at this point, but he and John Schneider also said they will “keep looking” for possible upgrades at QB.

Meanwhile, as Lock and Geno Smith begin their QB competition during Seattle’s OTAs, Shane Waldron broke down some film on Lock from his Denver days.

Continue reading Hawks still looking, but Waldron breaks down Lock’s positives

Hurtt’s talk of 3-4 foreshadowed recent moves in front seven

Clint Hurtt was not kidding when he said the Seahawks’ defense would be different in 2022.

After he was promoted to coordinator, he said, “The 3-4 system is something that I’ve really embraced and obviously Vic Fangio is a big influence. … There’s going to be some element of that. I will say we’re going to be multiple. …

“You have to adjust along the way,” he said, “and sometimes that means you have to adjust your scheme. That’s where we’re going into a transition right now.”

That transition has been very clear in the personnel moves the Seahawks have made in the first week of free agency. Gone are Carlos Dunlap, Kerry Hyder and Benson Mayowa – replaced by Uchenna Nwosu and former Seahawk Quinton Jefferson.

Continue reading Hurtt’s talk of 3-4 foreshadowed recent moves in front seven

Hurtt has plans to improve defense

Pete Carroll apparently has given recently promoted DC Clint Hurtt carte blanche to remake Seattle’s defense in Vic Fangio’s image – and it certainly sounds like Hurtt knows what he needs to do.

Among his revelations in his first appearance as DC, Hurtt said the Seahawks are at least partly changing their scheme from Carroll’s long-favored Cover 3, they will be more aggressive in both the pass rush and coverage, and Jamal Adams will be used closer to the line of scrimmage (as we all know he should be). Hurtt also expects new/old sidekick Sean “Doc” Desai to help with quick in-game adjustments.

The result should be fewer D-linemen dropping, fewer open zones, more man, more blitzing, more turnovers — and better defense.

A look at what is changing and what Hurtt said about the changes:

Continue reading Hurtt has plans to improve defense

With Wilson as QB, Hawks need to run the ball if they want to get back to Super Bowl

Pete Carroll said he thinks Russell Wilson is going to return in 2022.

We’ll know the real answer to that in two months. If Wilson is back, though, he needs to be OK with the Carroll Way, because it is the best way for this team as long as Wilson is the quarterback.

It is well known by now that Wilson wants the reins of the offense, to put the team on his back and carry it to a Super Bowl. Well, for seven years, he has proven he cannot do that. He needs a strong running game and stingy defense. It’s what the Hawks had during the Super Bowl seasons, and it is what they will need again, especially if Wilson is to remain their QB.

Continue reading With Wilson as QB, Hawks need to run the ball if they want to get back to Super Bowl

Pass rush: How did Hawks turn strength into weakness?

Next to the offense’s total faceplant, the lackluster pass rush has been the biggest surprise of the Seahawks’ season.

Although the defense has improved markedly in key areas since Week 4, it has been somewhat stunning that Carlos Dunlap, Kerry Hyder and the rest have not been able to get to quarterbacks. This unit was easily the strength of the defense entering the season – yet has underperformed expectations.

But it is not simply a matter of those guys suddenly stinking. A lot of the blame lies with Pete Carroll and Ken Norton Jr. They have eschewed the pass rush at times and simply have not created any chemistry because they keep mixing and matching rotations.

Continue reading Pass rush: How did Hawks turn strength into weakness?

It’s adjust or bust

A year ago at this time, the Seahawks were in the midst of an offensive meltdown that had started in Week 9 and dragged on for most of the rest of the season because Brian Schottenheimer and Russell Wilson stubbornly refused to play ball the right way.

The only time they altered philosophy was in a Week 15 game at Washington, where they used a quick, short passing game to pull off a 20-15 win.

Now, nearly a year later, the offensive funk has protracted across a new offensive coordinator as they head to Washington again. Will Shane Waldron and Wilson make the adjustments like Seattle made last year – and then sustain them?

Continue reading It’s adjust or bust

Lockett & Wilson see failure differently, which explains a lot

In the wake of a familiar pathetic offensive performance in a 23-13 loss to Arizona, Tyler Lockett and Russell Wilson’s words illustrated exactly why the Seahawks are struggling.

Lockett spoke the truth: The Seahawks rely on big plays and are not good when those fail because they are bad at making in-game adjustments.

Lockett also told FOX 13 Seattle that defenses are playing the Seahawks differently than they play everyone else, based on the film the Hawks watch in preparing for each game. “They’re not giving us the same looks that they’re consistently giving every other team.” Lockett said the Hawks then do not adapt quickly enough.

Wilson, on the contrary, said he didn’t see the Cardinals do anything different, that it was all stuff he had seen before and adjustments were not the problem. “We just didn’t play clean,” he said.

The difference in viewpoints explains a lot about why the Seahawks are failing on offense.

Continue reading Lockett & Wilson see failure differently, which explains a lot

Last chance for Wilson to prove he has not hit his ceiling

In the wake of Seattle’s embarrassing shutout loss in Green Bay, the topic of Russell Wilson’s future with the Seahawks came back to light – with numerous national media revisiting the prospect of a split after this season.

While plenty of fans and media still cling to the myth that Wilson has been failed by the franchise and is a victim of mismanagement and poor coaching and personnel, that’s the bass-ackwards way of looking at it. Wilson is a double-edged sword who always has been half the problem, and he needs to adjust his play if the Seahawks are going to flip things around over the final eight games.

We do agree with all of those people on one thing though: This should be the final test of whether Wilson should stay Seattle’s quarterback going forward.

If he can’t adjust – if he and Shane Waldron cannot agree on how to proceed, if he remains a one-dimensional passer, if it becomes clear he has hit his ceiling — it may indeed be time to trade him.

Continue reading Last chance for Wilson to prove he has not hit his ceiling

Time for pass rush to catch up

The Seahawks’ pass rush has been largely neutered over the first six games by quick-draw quarterbacks, but Seattle’s rushers might finally have a chance to make more impact the next two games – and hopefully beyond.

It’s not like the Seahawks have been terrible in the pass rush. Yes, they are tied for 22nd with just 11 sacks and are 19th in pressure percentage (23.9). But they are 10th in pass rush win rate, beating blocks within 2.5 seconds 45% of the time, per ESPN’s tracking.

So, the Hawks have been around the QB around half the time; they just have not been able to get sacks or as much pressure as they need to because the ball has been getting out even faster than they can get there.

Continue reading Time for pass rush to catch up

Irked Carroll should make more changes

Pete Carroll has a history of fixing his defense on the fly, and he is going to have to do it again — NOW.

In his day-after assessment of his defense’s total meltdown against the Rams, Carroll bemoaned his defense repeating the same mistakes. Carroll is ticked off, which means more changes should be coming to Seattle’s defense during this mini-bye.

“We have to clean stuff up across the board so the same issues don’t show up,” Carroll said on 710 ESPN. “When we’re really not doing well is when you see the same problem continue to show, and that’s something that pisses me off.”

Continue reading Irked Carroll should make more changes