Jamal Adams’ sack record is getting a lot of attention this week.
Some say it is over-inflated – like a blind squirrel finding a nut in a park full of them. Some say Pete Carroll’s use of a safety as his main sack guy has completely changed his defense. And some say Carroll is again revolutionizing secondary play for the entire NFL.
We say Carroll is doing what he always tries to do (and often succeeds at doing): Use the skills of his players to best effect. So yeah, LOB now means Legion of Blitz. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
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.
The Seahawks are going to continue to put the heat on quarterbacks via the blitz, Pete Carroll says.
Led by Bobby Wagner’s two sacks and four QB hits, the Seahawks blitzed on 23 of the 49ers’ 45 dropbacks (51%) — their highest rate since 2010, per ESPN Stats & Info. The Hawks had been blitzing about 24% of the time before that this season.
“I thought that the pressure we threw at them helped everybody,” Carroll said. “We just decided to take a little turn. Obviously, we’re trying to figure some things out to get better, and we just put it on the fellas. … With Jamal (Adams) coming back next, it’s going to happen some more.”
The Seahawks still control the NFC West – and, for now, they lead the race for the NFC bye, too.
Russell Wilson threw four TD passes, DK Metcalf followed up Tyler Lockett’s career day with his own and Blitzing Bobby Wagner led Seattle’s defense to its best performance of the season (it was a low bar) as the Hawks beat the 49ers 37-27 to improve to 6-1 for the second time ever (the last time was in the Super Bowl title year of 2013).
With Green Bay losing to Minnesota, the Seahawks now control the NFC again. It was a nice bounce-back after the very avoidable overtime loss in Arizona last week.
The Seahawks’ utterly avoidable 37-34 overtime loss in Arizona was a reminder that this team plays on thin margins and cannot afford three interceptions from its quarterback if it has designs of going very far in the playoffs.
Russell Wilson’s three turnovers, plus a big gaffe by Benson Mayowa, ruined Tyler Lockett’s best NFL game and made moot an unbelievable touchdown-saving tackle by DK Metcalf as Arizona made the winning 48-yard field goal with 20 seconds left in overtime. That knocked Seattle from its undefeated perch and also handed the Hawks their first loss in Arizona since Wilson’s rookie year (they had been 6-0-1).
As the Seahawks come off their bye, they are making some expected additions. But there is one they AB-solutely should not make.
Pete Carroll said they are checking into soon-to-be-unsuspended Antonio Brown – a fABulously stupid idea. This is at least the third time the Seahawks have been linked to the headcase receiver. We can only hope it is the last and they aren’t serious.
Carroll explained it thus: “We have endeavored to be in on everything that’s going on and John (Schneider) has done a marvelous job of always being tuned in to what’s happening. And this is no exception. So we’ll see what happens as we go forward. But we’re tuned in to what’s happening there.
“Let’s wait and see what happens and all that. We do all of the homework we can think of doing. We will never think that we can leave a stone unturned. That’s how we approach everything. So we’ll continue to do that here.”
The Hawks would be major chuckleheads if they signed Brown – and they would get blasted by many fans, rightfully.
For some reason, some fans and analysts (and even fanalysts) are befuddled about the way the Seahawks have approached this offseason.
After Carlos Hyde was signed to a deal reportedly worth up to $4 million, the complaining really kicked in: Why have they squandered their cap space and not added any stars?
Seattle has spent $52 million on 14 veterans this offseason. None of them are standouts. None of them are the marquee pass rusher they really need. And none of them are signed for more than two years.
But, it’s no surprise. If you have watched the Seahawks for the past five years, you know this is how John Schneider does business now. He is very conservative and gets aggressive (via trades) only out of desperation.
This spring, the NFL allows two hours of classroom work virtually for veteran players four days per week. The Seahawks as a team meet from 10 a.m. to noon PT four days a week, usually starting with a short team meeting and breaking down into smaller groups—the offense for some play installations, then maybe just the quarterback, tight ends and receivers, and then the tight ends, via video conference. The two-hour session is tightly controlled by director of team operations Matt Capurro, who flashes “time remaining” alerts on the screen as the last half-hour of the session winds down.
The scene: Seattle’s tight-end room, with two coaches and five veterans, stretches over three time zones and five states, connected by Zoom videoconference.
The Seahawks did it again: Drafted a Day 2 guy on Day 1. What else is new?
We figured they would take a linebacker, but thought they would trade down first and go for Wisconsin’s Zack Baun in Round 2.
They did indeed try to move down, John Schneider said, but Green Bay backed out of a deal. And Schneider had no one else on the line, so he stayed put for the first time since 2011 — and drafted a different linebacker, Jordyn Brooks of Texas Tech.
John Schneider had around $35 million in 2020 salary cap space to spend on free agents when the league year began, and everyone expected a chunk of that to go toward a pass rusher on a long-term deal.
That has not happened, and it would be a surprise now if it did — because Schneider has spent about $34 million on 13 veterans (including four RFAs). And he has followed his SOP of not giving out long-term deals to outside players — just three of his signings (Jarran Reed, B.J. Finney, Brandon Shell) have been for two years. Even his reported offers to Jadeveon Clowney have been for just one or two years.
Other than guys on rookie deals, the Seahawks have just three players signed for the next three seasons: Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner and shaky kicker Jason Myers.
Basically, this team is built — you might say patched together — through only 2021. And that includes Schneider and Pete Carroll, whose contracts expire after that season as well.
Why are they being so shortsighted? Because they generally give long-term deals only to players who have proven themselves in Carroll’s system — and few of their recent draft picks have earned the right to be considered part of the core.