Talking about it is tiresome, but it’s really the only thing hindering the Seahawks from winning another Super Bowl, so, until the Seahawks fix their offensive line, it will remain the topic du jour.
People can talk all they want about Kam Chancellor’s 2015 holdout or Earl Thomas’ 2016 injury being major factors in the Seahawks not advancing far in the playoffs those years. But the simple fact is: If the Hawks’ offensive line had been anywhere close to average in those seasons, the Hawks would have had a great shot at winning the Super Bowl — even with the issues in the secondary.
So now here we are again, coming off a significant opening loss to one of Seattle’s top NFC rivals, and the offensive line remains the biggest hindrance to Seattle’s success. And we have no idea if it will become any good, despite the insistence of Pete Carroll and Tom Cable that it will.
Continue reading When will Hawks’ O-line investments pay off?
Even as John Schneider extends core players and fills roster gaps this preseason, it is clear he is already looking intently toward the 2018 offseason.
With a bunch of players on one-year deals and half a dozen key extensions to consider next year, Schneider and contract expert Matt Thomas need to create as much financial flexibility as possible.
That explains why they used a rare (for Seattle) structure in Justin Britt’s three-year, $27 million deal: an option bonus.
Continue reading Britt’s deal shows eye toward 2018 contracts
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