It’s been a week of interesting developments for the Seahawks, with Tramaine Brock signing, K.J. Wright out with a knee issue and Justin Britt becoming a rare O-line keeper.
With Brock in, Wright out and a few other personnel comings and goings, we will have plenty to keep an eye on tonight as the Seahawks host Minnesota in their second preseason game.
“It’s a really good test for us,” Pete Carroll said. “It’ll be a really great test for our guys up front on offense; it’s a very, very good defensive front. We look forward in all that we have to try to accomplish in this game. We know we are going against a really good group, so it’ll be a great test for us.
“We are hoping to continue to grow and see areas of emphasis and concern, and kind of get it taken care of so that we are making progress,” he said. “We are looking for progress, really, and there’s a million different areas of that. We don’t want to go take a big step and take a step back and all that. We like to make steady progress, moving forward. We are looking for really good plays on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. We are looking for great effort.”
Here’s what we’re looking for …
Continue reading Hawks vs. Vikings: What we’re watching
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?
When the Seahawks drafted four defensive backs in April, Pete Carroll said the new crew might end up being the best bunch of backups in the NFL over the next couple of years.
That’s because Carroll knew he wasn’t ready to blow up the Legion of Boom quite yet. The new deal given to Kam Chancellor this week proves that.
With Chancellor signed (through 2020), Seattle’s elite starting defense is set to remain intact for the next two seasons (unless Richard Sherman gets traded).
The Seahawks are quickly approaching a crossroads, though — the point where they will have to start moving on from some of their longtime core players if they are going to remain competitive.
Continue reading Roster set through 2018, but then what?
Ethan Pocic is the Seahawks’ league-high 16th offensive lineman drafted since Pete Carroll and John Schneider arrived in 2010. He also is a symptom of why Seattle has failed to put together a functional offensive line.
One scouting report calls Pocic a “five-for-one lineman offering roster flexibility.” The Seahawks love that so much they almost traded up for him — even though they have no idea where they are going to play him.
“He was the one guy that, quite frankly, we were really sweating out because we felt like you’re drafting maybe two and a half players with one guy,” Schneider said. “We debated whether to go up and get him or just wait and sweat it out.”
Continue reading Pocic more evidence of bad O-line strategy
John Schneider set such a high standard in his first three drafts, it would be nearly impossible to match. So it’s no surprise that he hasn’t.
According to an excellent study put together by The Washington Post using Pro Football Reference’s Approximate Value (AV) rating, Schneider’s 2012 draft was the best in 20 years — as measured against expected value (EV). And his 2011 draft was fourth on that list.
That clearly was an impossible level to sustain.
As Schneider joked Monday: “How come that doesn’t happen anymore? What’s your problem, dude?”
The problem was how far the Seahawks dipped for a couple of years. And the hope is the 2016 and 2017 draft classes will bring them out of the slump.
Continue reading Hawks’ drafts went from historic to subpar
Pete Carroll has said he wants to create continuity on Seattle’s offensive line.
He said he thinks Seattle’s young guys are going to improve and he hopes Luke Joeckel becomes part of the core. As he said after Joeckel signed, “Now that we have a good young bunch of guys, we’re going to try to keep this thing together.”
It’s debatable whether they have enough good guys yet, but the bigger question as pertains to Carroll’s stated goal: Will they ever be able to keep a quintet together in Tom Cable’s zone blocking system using their scattershot approach?
Whether it’s bad drafting, a bad scheme or just bad luck, Carroll’s Seahawks have had terrible fortune on the offensive line — typically fielding one of the weaker units in the NFL and annually needing to overcome its deficiencies just to get to the playoffs.
Why has it been so terrible? John Schneider and the coaches have consistently pointed to the disconnect between college and NFL offenses and the CBA-mandated lack of practice time.
But every team faces those issues. For Seattle, it has been more than that. It has been a complete inability to field a healthy, consistent line — and a total failure to set up a line of succession.
Continue reading Are Hawks capable of building a talented, consistent O-line?
In his radio interviews Tuesday, Pete Carroll stated what already has become very clear in the first week of free agency: The Seahawks are going to get back to their ground-and-pound ways.
The signings of Luke Joeckel and Eddie Lacy, along with the hot pursuit of T.J. Lang, were clear signs the Hawks want to get their running game in gear again, and Carroll has made that his No. 1 offseason priority.
“I want to be physical,” he told KJR’s Ian Furness. “I want to make sure that everybody that plays us has to get ready for a hard-nosed football game at the line of scrimmage.
“When our running game is right and we’re balanced out, we’re the most dangerous team,” he added. “I’m going to do everything I can to keep it that way.”
Continue reading Carroll: ‘I want to be physical’