“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.
Continue reading It’s December: time to get healthy
It took almost two years, but it looks like John Schneider finally found Seattle’s next star pass rusher. And he had better plan to keep him beyond 2021.
In three short games, veteran star Carlos Dunlap has proven to be everything we expected — a grand steal of a deal from the Bengals – and he clearly should be in Seattle’s plans next year and beyond.
Continue reading ‘This is just the start’: Dunlap is a keeper, extensions expected
Most observers are giving John Schneider major kudos for once again filling a big roster hole by taking advantage of another team’s dysfunction.
The trade for Carlos Dunlap – Schneider’s third October deal in four years — certainly was needed, and Schneider did well to get it done for a mere seventh-round pick and overpriced backup center B.J. Finney, as Cincinnati clearly was eager to get rid of Dunlap. (The GM would do better to add another pass rusher, too.)
But let’s not forget this is the continuation of an ongoing theme: The Seahawks were in this mess because Schneider created it – and then failed to fix it until now, maybe only for now.
Continue reading Schneider finally addresses biggest offseason whiff
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.
Continue reading Waiting for new core to emerge, Schneider won’t invest beyond two years
The Seahawks just got upset by a bad division rival at home and now face a big finale against a playoff-bound division foe. Sound familiar?
The same thing happened in 2015. In Week 16, they lost to the 6-8 Rams (Seattle’s offensive line played poorly in that one, too) and then (missing a bunch of key players) blew out 13-win Arizona 36-6 in the finale.
On Sunday night, the Hawks (11-4) will face the 49ers (12-3) for the NFC West title — and they will do so without Chris Carson and Duane Brown (and previously injured Rashaad Penny, Justin Britt and Will Dissly) and also still might be without defenders Jadeveon Clowney, Quandre Diggs and Shaquill Griffin (though Pete Carroll sounded optimistic about Clowney on Monday).
Marshawn Lynch is returning to replace Carson for a game or two (or however long the Hawks are in the playoffs) — and Lynch certainly could provide a big emotional lift to a downtrodden 11-4 team, even if Travis Homer carries most of the running load.
Continue reading Hawks have made Week 17 rebound before
We all should be used to this Seahawks fact by now: Pete Carroll plays a conservative (i.e., ugly) brand of football that almost always leads to slow starts.
So why does Seattle always look so bad on offense early in the season? Why does the offensive line start so poorly? Why is the play-calling such a mess?
It really boils down to this: Carroll plays simple football, relying heavily on players to execute relatively basic concepts, while some other coaches use more complex schemes to help their players succeed.
Continue reading Outcoached again, Carroll needs to get his team up to speed fast
Bobby Wagner’s signing pretty much ends Seattle’s big-money deals for the foreseeable future. Now the Seahawks find themselves in wait-and-see mode, just like John Schneider and Pete Carroll’s early years in Seattle.
The Seahawks acquired and developed a lot of talent from 2010 to 2013 and were able to pay all of the top guys: Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, K.J. Wright, Russell Wilson, Wagner, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Doug Baldwin.
The Seahawks are still counting on Wilson, Wagner and Wright — all of whom got third contracts this year. But the team now needs to see which players, if any, become the next generation of stars in Carroll’s program.
Continue reading No more big deals on Hawks’ horizon
In one swell foop Thursday, the Seahawks reset their offensive line for 2019 — bringing back D.J. Fluker and swapping in Mike Iupati for J.R. Sweezy (basically a trade with Arizona).
The Hawks now have four former first-round picks and one second-rounder as their line starters. You can hardly get better draft pedigree than that.
They also will return four starters to the line that led the league’s top rushing attack in 2018. They just have to hope Fluker and Iupati can stay healthy for Mike Solari — or at least combine with Jordan Simmons to put together 32 man-games at the guard spots in 2019.
Then John Schneider needs to work up a plan for beyond next season.
Continue reading 2019 line set, but what about the future?
Tom Cable won’t recognize the offensive line on the other side of the field in London — because it is playing better than any unit he coached in Seattle since 2012.
Mike Solari replaced Cable (who ended up back in Oakland) this year and has tailored his hybrid scheme to fit the talents and aggressive nature of a line that now includes former first-round picks Duane Brown, D.J. Fluker and Germain Ifedi; second-rounder Justin Britt, and Cable’s one-time conversion project, J.R. Sweezy.
Since Fluker and Sweezy took over at the guard spots in Week 3, the Seahawks have led the NFL in rushing (474 yards on 105 runs) and are now in the top 10 overall — like they used to be when Marshawn Lynch was Beast Moding to bail out Cable’s poorly schemed and oft-injured lines.
If they keep going like this, the Hawks should try to keep this group together for a couple more years.
Continue reading This O-line group looks worth keeping
It sounds like Duane Brown will be the Seahawks’ only preseason contract extension this year, with Frank Clark and K.J. Wright having to wait until after the season to see where their futures lie.
A day after we talked about Duane Brown’s possible extension with the Seahawks, they finished it off, adding $36.5 million and three years to this year’s $9.75 million.
As Earl Thomas holds out, some wonder: Why will the Seahawks extend a 33-year-old Pro Bowl left tackle but not a 29-year-old Pro Bowl safety?
We’ve made it clear we’re in favor of paying Thomas, but the Hawks obviously think he is not worth top dollar because speed-based players can fall off the cliff quickly and Thomas has had injury issues in recent seasons.
Good linemen, meanwhile, can play into their mid-30s at a high level, and the Hawks clearly are banking on that with Brown. They figured he’s a good bet at $11 million APY over the next four years, while $14 million APY is too much for Thomas (even if they forgo the injury guarantees and can move on in a couple of years with little cap trouble).
So, if not Thomas, who’s next? Probably no one for now.
Continue reading Hawks keep Brown, but Clark & Wright wait