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.
(UPDATED 3/26) The Seahawks had a busy first couple of weeks of free agency. They lost five guys, kept eight and added four — resetting both lines and replacing Shaquill Griffin while bringing back Chris Carson and Carlos Dunlap.
It sure seemed like a successful stretch of personnel moves, but did they get any better?
That answer won’t be fully known until the fall, of course, but they seem to have upgraded their offense with the additions of Gabe Jackson and Gerald Everett. Carson also surprisingly returned, so the backfield is full. The team still needs to find a third receiver, but new OC Shane Waldron’s unit seems improved over the 2020 crew.
The defense still has some questions at cornerback, but Dunlap’s return was the exclamation point on a whirlwind couple of days in which the Hawks also brought back Benson Mayowa, added Kerry Hyder and let Jarran Reed go. Even with Reed leaving (unfortunately for nothing), the pass rush certainly got better through those moves.
Here’s a look at the latest news and possible next moves at each position:
Based on recent reports, the NFL salary cap is expected to be between $180 million and $185 million in 2021. The actual number is not expected to be set until just before the league year begins March 17, but the ceiling apparently will be at least $5 million more than the floor the NFL and NFLPA had set last year.
Assuming the number is Schefter’s reported $180 million, the Seahawks still would need to create room just to tender Poona Ford (about $3.4 million on the second-round offer) and a few ERFAs, let alone sign needed starters at center, running back, linebacker and cornerback.
It came earlier than expected, thanks to an inexcusably bad offense, but the Seahawks’ offseason is here. And it could – perhaps should – be a transformative one, with significant change at the top possibly trumping any personnel moves they make.
The frustration we’ve had with the Seahawks the past couple of years has been over John Schneider’s inability to solve defensive personnel issues (mainly pass rush, which he finally fixed with the trades for Jamal Adams and Carlos Dunlap). As they enter this offseason earlier than expected, the concern has switched to Pete Carroll’s side after coaching cost them yet another playoff game.
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.
If the Seahawks don’t fix their offense this week, they are in deep trouble the rest of the way. As in, they could go 1-4 in December and January, finish 9-7 and miss the playoffs.
Washington’s upset win over erstwhile undefeated Pittsburgh on Monday showed the team formerly known as Redskins will be maybe the toughest of the NFC Least clubs the Hawks face. WFT has perhaps the best defensive line in the league, and comeback QB Alex Smith has gone 3-1 as the starter.
The Hawks will go to DC after hosting the winless Jets this week. Then come the tough division games against the Rams in Seattle and the 49ers in a place to be determined (the 49ers are playing this month in Arizona). Those last three games will be challenges for a Seattle team that has been struggling on defense all season and has lost its offensive power over the past month.
The Seahawks’ offense continued its horrific slump and Seattle suffered its worst home upset since 2017 and probably lost any shot at the No. 1 seed, as the Giants managed to squeak out a 17-12 win.
The Seahawks’ offensive funk has now stretched over a month as they have put up terrible games against L.A., Philly and now New York. After averaging 34 points in the first eight games, they have scored a mere 19.8 over the past four games, going 2-2 during that stretch.
After a 5-0 start that featured premature MVP talk about Russell Wilson, the Hawks have now gone 3-4. With the Saints moving to 10-2, the Hawks are two games behind in the chase for the NFC bye. It does not seem likely. The Rams (8-4) also beat Arizona to take the NFC West lead back.
If the playoffs started this week, the Seahawks would be playing the Giants again, in New York.
“We’re in pretty good shape. We’re hoping to keep on this edge on staying healthy. It will really make a difference for us.” – Pete Carroll
December is here, and there is one thing the Seahawks need to do above all else: Get and stay healthy.
December has been a bad month for the Seahawks since 2016. They just have not been able to stay healthy, and it has cost them playoff position and wins. In 2017, when the Legion of Boom blew up, they missed the playoffs entirely.
We said it before this season started: Health will be a key factor in whether they win in December and advance far in the playoffs. Carroll knows that’s the key, as he told 710 ESPN on Friday.
Brian Schottenheimer and the offense made it much harder than it needed to be, but the Seahawks managed to kick off their NFC Least tour with an ugly 23-17 win against the Eagles in Philadelphia. That allowed Seattle (8-3) to keep control of the NFC West, which the team had gained when the 49ers beat the Rams (7-4) on Sunday.
Against a stout Philly front seven, DK Metcalf bailed out the Seattle offense with a career-high 177 yards and Chris Carson tallied 59 yards and a TD in his return from a four-game absence. The defense started very strong against the Eagles and allowed a season low in points while sacking Carson Wentz six times.
The Seahawks are suddenly back in control of the NFC West and, with an improving defense and rebalanced offense, have a fair shot at overtaking New Orleans and Green Bay for the top seed.
The Rams and Cardinals both lost on last-play field goals (against the 49ers and Patriots) on Sunday, so the Seahawks (7-3) can take a one-game lead on the Rams (7-4) and a two-game edge on the Cards (6-5) if Seattle wins in Philadelphia on Monday night.
Russell Wilson’s Hawks are 5-0 against the Eagles, including two wins in Philly last season, and this is lining up as win No. 6 – a great chance for the defense to look good against one of the league’s worst offenses while Chris Carson returns to help Carlos Hyde take pressure off Wilson.