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.
“It’s a critical time.” – Russell Wilson after another early playoff exit in January
A dramatic offseason and largely uneventful preseason are behind us, and we are finally about to see whether the Seahawks are any better than they were in 2020, when their offense and defense went in opposite directions over the course of the season and they once again failed to move past the first playoff game.
After a 3-5 record in the postseason over the past six years and two one-and-dones in the past three, the pressure is on to go deep into the playoffs and make a strong Super Bowl run in 2021.
The Seahawks’ offseason might not seem impressive to some, especially with such a limited draft, but John Schneider and the Hawks quietly have done yeoman’s work to refill and improve their roster, and Pete Carroll is justified in expecting his team to be “very, very competitive.”
The Seahawks had few pressing needs in the draft last weekend because they had made sure to get starters at every spot beforehand. The needs they had were for a corner and center to push the incumbents, a reliable third receiver and a left tackle of the future. They hit on three of those (all but the center), closing the second chapter of a solid offseason.
“I thought this offseason was really successful at situating the roster where we felt good going into the draft,” Carroll said after the Hawks had made their third and final pick (the fewest in team history).
“We have an amazing number of draft choices: Three.” – John Schneider
“Our No. 1 pick is Jamal Adams, and that’s a heck of a pick.” – Pete Carroll
“We’re not going into the draft with great needs. … We’re in a really good place.” — Carroll
Those three quotes say everything you need to know about this draft for the Seahawks, who made a purposeful choice to bail on 2021 by using their picks on veteran players Jamal Adams, Carlos Dunlap and Gabe Jackson.
Trent Kirchner has admitted what we already knew: The Seahawks basically bailed on this draft due to the pandemic.
They’re not totally out of it, obviously, and his scouts actually have been working on this draft since last May. But Kirchner and Matt Berry, John Schneider’s top personnel lieutenants, confirmed to Seahawks.com that the Jamal Adams trade was made with this unpredictable draft in mind, and they said it has been hard to get the information they need and that next year’s draft will be much deeper.
We will finally hear from John Schneider and Pete Carroll, at noon Wednesday, and you can bet they will be at their snarkiest – considering they (hopefully) are going to be asked about a lot of things they don’t really want to talk about.
A lot has happened since we last heard from Carroll in early January. And, because there was no Combine or in-person owners meetings, we haven’t heard from Schneider yet this offseason.
We put together 20 questions we would ask them about this offseason, starting with a couple of easy ones before hammering them with the tough stuff about Russell Wilson, Aldon Smith, Jarran Reed, etc.
But, as Schneider surely will remind everyone when he speaks later this month, he already has used five of his picks to draft four guys – and three of them are expected to be major contributing starters for at least the next couple of years.
For the past two months, people have been waiting for Pete Carroll or Russell Wilson to say something to end all of the trade innuendo. We’ll hear from Carroll later this month, but Carlos Dunlap says Wilson told him he is not going anywhere.
Before agreeing to return to Seattle, Dunlap said he talked to Wilson to make sure he would remain the Seahawks’ quarterback, and Wilson told Dunlap he’s “here to stay.” Wilson has been consistent in saying he wants to remain in Seattle, but the caveat this offseason has been “on the right terms.” And his agent’s backhanded trade request almost led to Wilson becoming a Chicago Bear.
But, it sounds like he has changed his mind about being open to a trade this year. Remember, Wilson has a no-trade clause, so if he says he is staying, that is what is happening.
That has been the question ever since Pete Carroll and John Schneider dismantled the battered Legion of Boom in 2018. The unsatisfying answer for the last three years, especially at pass rusher, has been: Make it up as we go.
Some think the excellent extensions of Tyler Lockett and Gabe Jackson mean the Seahawks have found their way again, creating a new long-term window of contention. But the fact is nothing has changed: Carroll and Schneider are still going just one or two years at a time.
They can’t help it now, because Russell Wilson’s future in Seattle is in question. Until that situation is resolved, they will remain year to year – even if they manage to get long-term deals with Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Brandon Shell and Michael Dickson.
That “Whewwwwww” you heard Thursday was a collective sigh of relief from Seahawks fans as John Schneider finally secured an ace pass rusher who was more than a desperation rental.
The return of Carlos Dunlap was everything Seattle needed this offseason – easily the best move Schneider has made in the past two years, let alone the past two weeks.
Schneider has been patching his pass rush ever since trading Frank Clark in April 2019. He tried with Ziggy Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney that year, then moved on to Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa last year, before finally landing Dunlap in a lucky desperation trade.
It took releasing Dunlap, letting him see the market and then letting Jarran Reed go to bring him back. But at least Schneider finally locked in an ace pass rusher for a couple of years.