A year ago, few people thought the Seahawks could play even .500 ball — due to a completely revamped defense and an offense that didn’t seem capable of winning many shootouts.
Well, as we predicted, the Hawks won 10 games and made the playoffs for the seventh time in Pete Carroll’s nine seasons (and, as we all know, should have beaten Dallas in the wild-card round).
This year, it seems plenty of people have not learned their lesson — still forecasting the Seahawks as an 8-8 or 9-7 team. The main concerns are pass rush and a youthful secondary, plus the permanent loss of Doug Baldwin in the receiving corps.
Carroll knows his pass rush is weaker than it was — “We gotta make something special out of it” — but he also knows his team is otherwise very stout. (UPDATE: The Hawks acquired pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney the day after this was first posted.)
After the Hawks beat the Raiders in the preseason finale, Carroll said, “We’re going to be a really good team. … We’re going to be hard to beat.”
He’s right. When the schedule came out, we predicted 11 or 12 wins. It’s still easy to see that because they look better at
six seven of nine position groups.
Continue reading Hawks have improved almost everywhere
So much for the Seahawks surging into the playoffs.
With a playoff spot on the line, they put up one of their worst collective efforts of the season, letting the 10-loss 49ers beat them 26-23 in overtime and end Seattle’s 10-game winning streak in the series.
The Hawks ruined themselves by committing a season-high 14 penalties for a franchise-record 148 yards, missing an early PAT that figured huge in the end, giving up a kick return for a TD, surrendering chunks of yards in the first half and failing to finish enough offensive drives to win.
The loss means the Hawks still likely have to win one of their last two — next Sunday night vs. Kansas City or against Arizona in the finale — to reach the playoffs.
Continue reading Kicking team, penalties, injuries ruin playoff clincher
Some — maybe even many — people thought the Seahawks screwed up by not drafting an offensive lineman before the late fifth round last weekend.
Sure, they could have selected Austin Corbett or Will Hernandez instead of Rashaad Penny with their first pick (after trading down, of course). But the Seahawks have put a lot of resources into the line over the past couple of years, and Pete Carroll obviously is betting Mike Solari will do a much better job with that talent than Tom Cable did.
Carroll is expecting Solari to boost the Hawks out of a two-year funk that has seen them rank second only to Detroit in fewest rushing yards by non-quarterbacks. (Russell Wilson’s 845 yards raise Seattle to 11th worst.)
Continue reading Hawks should have what they need for the O-line
As the Seahawks undergo the biggest roster reshuffle since Pete Carroll and John Schneider arrived in 2010, some are making the mistake of calling this the most important draft in the Schneider/Carroll era.
The simple fact is the last two drafts were more significant.
Every draft is important, but the Seahawks (with no picks on Day 2) are not set up for success in this one like they were in 2016 and 2017, when they had 11 picks in the first two days. Those players should be a big part of the team’s core in 2018-19. They need to come through this year — something Schneider has said more than once.
Continue reading Last two drafts were bigger than this one
As Luke Joeckel returns to Jacksonville to face the team that made him the No. 2 pick in the 2013 draft, the Seahawks finally have put together a quintet of blockers that could carry them the rest of this season — and perhaps for the next few.
The crew of (from left) Duane Brown, Joeckel, Justin Britt, Ethan Pocic and Germain Ifedi looks like the best Seattle has had in two seasons. It should be, based on draft pedigree — Brown, Joeckel and Ifedi were first-round picks and Britt and Pocic second-rounders.
Continue reading Hawks finally found their five O-linemen
The Seahawks’ $8 million gamble failed.
Luke Joeckel made it five games before hitting the shelf again. He’s out at least a month, and it could be a lot longer. He’s just the latest big-money addition that hasn’t turned out for Seattle.
In eight offseasons in charge of the Seahawks, John Schneider has paid 11 outside veterans at least $4.8 million a year. For a variety of reasons, just two of them — Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril — have turned out to be worth it.
Unless Joeckel returns for the final five or six games and helps steady the offense through the playoffs, he will end up joining the likes of Sidney Rice, Zach Miller, Robert Gallery, Matt Flynn, Percy Harvin, Cary Williams and Jimmy Graham as big-money busts.
Continue reading Another lost vet bet, and we’re on O-line No. 3
Pete Carroll isn’t ready to move Luke Joeckel to left tackle yet — he is holding out hope that Rees Odhiambo will play with confidence and consistency, letting his physical talent take over.
In the wake of George Fant’s season-ending ACL injury, Carroll indicated Monday that Odhiambo will get first crack at replacing Fant, Joeckel will remain at left guard and Mark Glowinski will remain at right guard.
The Seahawks also traded for versatile lineman Matt Tobin, who started 20 games at guard for the Eagles since coming into the league undrafted in 2013. Tobin started for the Eagles at right tackle last weekend, and the Seahawks surely see him as a versatile backup.
Continue reading Carroll hopes Odhiambo can hold left tackle
We learned a lot about the Seahawks’ offensive line over the past couple of days — and we’ll learn a little more tonight when the Hawks host the Minnesota Vikings.
On Wednesday, Tom Cable announced that three-fifths of the line is set for the season opener, and Thursday the team announced that one of those three is set for the next four seasons — Justin Britt signing a three-year, $27 million extension.
It’s the only second deal for a Seattle starting lineman since 2012, when the team re-signed Breno Giacomini and extended Max Unger. As everyone knows, those two and the rest of the 2013 Super Bowl line were all gone by 2016 — none of them meriting what the market dictated the Hawks would have to pay.
His first two years, it certainly didn’t look like Britt would buck that trend. But he found a home at center last year and benefitted from the departure of J.R. Sweezy, becoming a technician rather than a Sweezy-style brawler.
“He has been a fantastic leader for us up there,” Pete Carroll said. “He had an excellent (2016) season and (has) played three spots and started at tackle, guard and center now. We really think he is in the best spot for him. I think it’s a recognition and acknowledgement of the player and teammate he has become for us.
“And also the fact that we are able to do it in the offensive line — I think it is important to note.”
Continue reading Will any other O-linemen be as worthy as Britt?
Pete Carroll and his staff got to see the 11 draft picks and almost 60 other players Friday as Seattle’s rookie minicamp got under way.
We wrote separately about Carroll’s take on the four draft picks in the secondary. Here are his first impressions of other rookies:
Malik McDowell is everything the coaches thought he was — so far.
Continue reading First impressions of the rookies
“(Ethan Pocic and Germain Ifedi) are going to compete and obviously what you hope is that they prove to us day in and day out that they are two of the best five. And then you’ve got to move one of them somewhere, and that’s a good problem to have.’’ — Tom Cable to KJR
This is so like the Seahawks.
With holes across their offensive line, they draft two guys with high picks in consecutive years — yet are so uncertain where to play them that they decide to pit them against each other at the same position.
In an interview with KJR, relayed by Bob Condotta, Tom Cable confirmed what Pete Carroll has been saying: The Seahawks basically have no clue where their linemen will start.
Continue reading Why put two top O-line picks at same spot?