Tag Archives: Bruce Irvin

Miscast front seven fails again — and there is no fix this season

It has become obvious over the last month: The Seahawks simply do not have the horses up front to make the playoffs. If they get in, it will be because Washington or New York stumbled worse in the final month.

The Seahawks’ defensive front seven continues to be a major problem. Their big men are not good enough to beat five-on-three blocking in the running game, and their linebackers are not savvy enough to position themselves properly or big enough to shed blocks against the run.

Carolina ran for 223 yards, and Seattle now has given up 209.5 rushing yards per game over the past four – losing three of them and falling back out of the playoff race with this loss.  

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Which drafts mattered more?

The draft is always an important roster tool, simply because it ideally brings cheap talent and helps create a core. But some drafts are more important than others. Here we rank John Schneider’s drafts, from most to least significant (based on draft capital and needs, not results):

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Previewing the season

As this oddest of NFL seasons begins, the Seahawks look strong enough to contend for the Super Bowl again – assuming (1) they aren’t hit by a bunch of COVID afflictions, (2) their lines hold up and (3) they learn how to play offense in the playoffs.

After adding Jamal Adams, Quinton Dunbar, Greg Olsen, Carlos Hyde, Phillip Dorsett and Jordyn Brooks, the Hawks look very solid at DB, TE, RB, WR and LB – and of course QB. But their pass rush is still a major question mark, they look really thin at defensive tackle and center is a big unknown.

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Seahawks preparing for a redshirt draft amid pandemic offseason?

NFL draftMost fans have been underwhelmed by Seattle’s offseason, which has been highlighted by the signing of an aging tight end, a bunch of middling offensive linemen and a couple of familiar second-tier pass rushers.

But there might be a method to the mediocrity of John Schneider and Pete Carroll. They seem to be trying to plan around the pandemic, realizing this is a year to have a veteran club and preparing for a draft class that might redshirt.

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Season success will be determined in prime time

2019 scheduleSeattle’s 2019 season will be defined in prime time in November and December.

The Seahawks got a very balanced schedule, highlighted by alternating home and road games through the first 14 weeks and four straight night games in the second half of the season.

The Hawks will play five prime-time games overall, including two against the division rival Rams.

Seattle also has four 10 a.m. games, but Pete Carroll doesn’t care (ask him). His teams are 13-11 in 10 a.m. starts (playoffs included) since Russell Wilson arrived, and they have won seven of the last nine (all three in 2018).

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Tough road early, home night games late

2018 skedThe good news: The Seahawks don’t have to play in Denver and Chicago during the winter. The bad news: They have to open with consecutive road games.

The opener in Denver and the Monday night game in Chicago in Week 2 mark the third time since 2011 the Hawks have started with two straight road games. They opened 0-2 in both 2011 and 2015.

Seattle’s 2018 schedule is weighted toward road games early and home games late: The Seahawks play five of the first seven on the road and four of the final five at home (three in prime time).

They have five prime-time games — four in Seattle, where the Hawks are 17-2 in night games (including playoffs) under Pete Carroll. They are 26-5-1 in prime time overall under Carroll.

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Which gamble will the Hawks take this year?

NFL draftThe Seahawks have made a ton of gambles in the first two rounds over the last four years, so it will be no surprise if one of their top two picks this week looks like a major wager as well.

Counting trades, the Seahawks have gambled with five of eight picks in the first two rounds since 2012.

In 2012, they picked Bruce Irvin, who had overcome a lot of trouble as a youth and sure didn’t seem like he was worth the 15th pick in the draft.

In 2013, they doubled up on character gambles — making an ill-advised trade for Percy Harvin and then using a luxury pick for Christine Michael in the second round.

In 2014, they reached for Justin Britt at the bottom of the second round.

In 2015, they took the most heat by drafting Frank Clark 63rd overall even though he had been involved in a domestic dispute months earlier.

In 2016, various mock drafts have projected troubled defenders Robert Nkemdiche and Noah Spence to the Seahawks. Even if they trade down, as we expect, would the Seahawks gamble on either of those guys?

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Schneider, Carroll answer personnel questions

In addition to stating that Kam Chancellor will return to the Seahawks this year, John Schneider on Tuesday confirmed the Seahawks’ offensive line situation is indeed as shaky as we all think it is. He also discussed the plan for replacing Bruce Irvin and waved off any silly concerns that Marshawn Lynch is not really retiring.

With Russell Okung and J.R. Sweezy gone, the Seahawks’ line projects (from left to right) as Garry Gilliam, Justin Britt, Patrick Lewis, Mark Glowinski and J’Marcus Webb. If the Seahawks entered the season with that group, they would be in worse shape than they were with the 2015 line.

At the league meetings in Florida, Schneider confirmed that is where they are right now. And he hinted that the team might not add anyone before the draft.

As the line is constituted, Gilliam would battle career backup Bradley Sowell at left tackle while Webb would step in at right tackle, where Gilliam started in 2015. Schneider admitted they are grasping at straws, calling Sowell and Webb “prove-it signings.”

“That’s kind of the stage we are at right now,” the GM told The Seattle Times.

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2012 picks get paid; Mebane’s tenure ends

Salary cap logoThe Seahawks had a busy first day of free agency, saying goodbye to three Super Bowl stalwarts, watching their 2012 draft class continue to get paid, retaining another starting defender and celebrating their first Super Bowl quarterback as he retired.

It was no surprise that Bruce Irvin, J.R. Sweezy and Brandon Mebane signed elsewhere (even though we expected Mebane to be back). In fact, the Seahawks already were busy trying to replace Irvin and Mebane as former Hawk Chris Clemons reportedly was coming for a visit and Seattle reportedly showed interest in the Eagles’ Cedric Thornton and the Steelers’ Cam Thomas.

A return by the 34-year-old Clemons would be poetic, since he mentored Irvin through his first two NFL seasons. Clemons played with Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril in 2013, when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl.

The Seahawks didn’t try very hard to keep Irvin or Mebane, knowing Irvin would be too expensive and declining to pay Mebane as much as they gave Ahtyba Rubin ($4 million a year) the other day. Irvin ended up getting $9 million a year from Oakland, while Mebane also headed to the AFC West, getting $4.5 million a year from San Diego. Sweezy received a $6.5 million average from Tampa Bay.

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Big-spending Raiders, Jags make it tougher on Hawks, Bennett

Bennett vs 49ersA month ago, the NFLPA called out the Raiders and Jaguars for falling behind the CBA’s minimum-spend requirement; so, with a combined $140 million in cap space, it was obvious those teams were going to come out spending this week.

While that is good news for Bruce Irvin, who reportedly will sign a big deal with the Raiders, it might not be a great development for the relationship between Michael Bennett and the Seahawks.

Bennett obviously will take notice of Malik Jackson’s $90 million deal with Jacksonville and feel even more underpaid than he already does. At $15 million a year, Jackson is blowing away the market for defensive ends. And you have to wonder if that will scuttle any chance of Seattle working something out with Bennett.

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