Pete Carroll loves to do things differently, and if he still wants to build a dynasty — even if he won’t say it in those terms — he certainly will get his chance to do it in a way it has never been done.
The Seahawks are the second team to ever follow up a Super Bowl win with a Super Bowl loss the next year, and if they are going to become a historically dominant team, they will have to get back a lot sooner than Washington did.
In a look ahead to the offseason with 710 ESPN on Tuesday, general manager John Schneider gave some hints about the Seahawks’ possible approach to an extension for quarterback Russell Wilson.
Schneider basically indicated that Wilson is on board with helping the team structure the deal in a way that it does not inhibit the Seahawks’ ability to remain a contender. The GM also hinted the deal will be put together in creative fashion and might not resemble many of the quarterback deals done over the last two years.
Pete Carroll does not talk about the “D word” — as he called it at one point last offseason. But “dynasty” certainly is on his mind — even if it is buried way in the back, behind Cover-3 schemes and ways to dominate turnover margin.
What do you think his motto, Win Forever, means? Principle No. 1 of that mantra: To do things better than they have ever been done before.
The Seahawks are still working toward that goal — obviously much closer to achieving it on defense than on offense — and beating the Patriots on Sunday would be a huge step in that direction, making the Hawks the ninth repeat champ.
No team has ever won three straight Super Bowls, but the Hawks are in good position to make a run at it. Carroll knows it.
John Schneider and his staff apparently messed up in free agency last year, thanks to the Super Bowl, and they aren’t letting it happen again.
That was the most significant message imparted Friday by the general manager, who shed no new light on the team’s position with Marshawn Lynch or Russell Wilson but indicated the team was not prepared enough for free agency in 2014.
Schneider seemed to indicate his staff underestimated the value of some of their free agents last offseason — Golden Tate and Clinton McDonald come to mind (although the Hawks will get compensatory draft picks for those two).
To avoid getting caught with their pants down this year, Schneider has already met with his pro personnel guys — Trent Kirchner and Dan Morgan — and they have a better bead on the market for their 15 unrestricted free agents.
For a guy as quiet as he is, Marshawn Lynch sure does make a lot of noise.
And he made a lot of it over the weekend.
It all started with a report Friday that he was going to wear $1,100 gold-plated cleats against the Packers, followed by a report Sunday morning that the NFL would not let him play if he did so.
As it turned out, he played in shoes that had blue and green tops and gold soles. And he made a lot of noise with them, running for a team playoff-record 157 yards and a touchdown in the 28-22 comeback win that vaulted Seattle into the Super Bowl for the second straight year.
It remains to be seen whether the No Fun League fines Lynch for the gold shoe bottoms — or for another crotch grab while scoring. Not sure why he insists on doing that — it’s such a teenage maneuver. But, hey, if Lynch wants to be a dick, that’s his choice.
Newer Seahawks fans — and there are plenty of them — might think the Packers-Seahawks series consists of two games: the Hawks’ infamous Fail Mary victory on a Monday night in 2012 and Seattle’s 20-point win in the opening game of this NFL season.
But this series was full of great matchups back when Mike Holmgren and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck were leading the Hawks against their old team — led by Brett Favre — and this will be the 11th meeting, the third in the playoffs, since 1999.
The Seahawks’ deals for Cliff Avril and K.J. Wright had been in the works pretty much all year, so it was no surprise they got them done before the end of the season.
It takes away the top two players from Seattle’s sizable 2015 free-agent list and means Seattle now has all but one starter from the league’s No. 1 defense under contract next year (two if you add Kevin Williams to Byron Maxwell).
Wright and Avril join Legion of Boom stalwarts Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman, plus defensive lineman Michael Bennett, as the keys to a defense that could reign over the NFL through 2017.
“Him coming back has really changed our defense.”
— Michael Bennett, on Bobby Wagner
Bobby Wagner has been a major reason the Seattle defense has put the clamps on Arizona, San Francisco and — most impressively — Philadelphia over the last three weeks — and teammates are singing his praises.
“He’s the heart of the defense,” cornerback Richard Sherman said. “He cleans up a lot of mistakes made by guys, and other guys clean up mistakes like Earl (Thomas) and Kam (Chancellor). We’ve got a lot guys who are erasers out there, and he has such an instinctual game. He believes what he sees, he plays what he sees. On top of the immense talent and speed that he has, that makes for a fantastic football player that I hope everybody recognizes.”
Wagner’s agent obviously hopes general manager John Schneider recognizes it and will be ready to pay Wagner in the next two years.
If the Seahawks are able to sustain their newfound energy and momentum and make a major run through the postseason, a lot of credit will go to the veteran players who pulled the team together after the Kansas City loss. A little more credit will go to coach Pete Carroll and his staff.
But let’s not forget a key figure who has helped keep the Hawks afloat amid injuries and drama this season: John Schneider.
The general manager has had his most active season since 2011, when he was still putting together a competitive team for Carroll.