Tag Archives: Max Unger

Seahawks aren’t much better yet, but what about their opponents?

Logo -- Free agencyThe Seahawks have signed eight guys over the last week, but only one would be considered an improvement over what they had last year. In other words, they are still just getting started trying to make this club better.

So far, they have kept the status quo at offensive line (D.J. Fluker and George Fant back, Mike Iupati replacing J.R. Sweezy), defensive line (Frank Clark and Quinton Jefferson both tendered) and linebacker (K.J. Wright and possibly Mychal Kendricks back). The only upgrade has been the makeup signing of kicker Jason Myers, who should have been their kicker in 2018.

At this point, the Hawks are basically the same team that won 10 games last year. To get better — and have a chance at the necessary home field next season — they absolutely have to add a couple of defensive linemen before the draft arrives. Once they do that, we will see whether they actually have improved.

Meanwhile, let’s see how their status quo approach compares to the moves of their 2019 opponents:

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Are Hawks capable of building a talented, consistent O-line?

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?

CHAWK LINES -- Hawks at Saints.png

Russell Wilson talks fatherhood and playing through yet another injury.

Wilson, limited in practice for the first time ever, said he plans to play in New Orleans.

Looks like Kam Chancellor and Kevin Pierre-Louis will be out again this week. Chancellor has missed the past two games.

Sherman Smith basically called out Christine Michael for running out of bounds and not bringing the physical attitude the Seahawks prefer.

Tom Cable said Germain Ifedi made a “big jump” last week and Garry Gilliam needs to be more physical.

K.J. Wright says playing Madden made him a smarter player and he played his best game of the season at Arizona.

Bobby Wagner says hot yoga is part of his recovery routine and he is taking better care of his body than he ever has.

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Will Graham earn extension like Unger did?

Unger-GrahamA year ago at this time, the Seahawks were preparing to start the season with a shiny new Pro Bowl tight end and a new center, replacing the injury-prone veteran they had traded for the tight end.

The Seahawks were willing to let Max Unger go because he had not been able to stay healthy in the previous two seasons, and they expected Jimmy Graham to enhance their passing game by giving Russell Wilson a big over-the-middle target.

The results were about the opposite of what you might expect. Just as Wilson and Graham were getting into a rhythm, Graham’s season was cut short by a torn patellar tendon. Meanwhile, Unger, who had missed 13 games in 2013 and 2014 for Seattle, started every game for the Saints.

So, as the 2016 season nears, Unger suddenly is the sure thing — receiving a big contract extension from the Saints — and Graham is just trying to get back on the field and prove he merits his own extension after the season.

Continue reading Will Graham earn extension like Unger did?

With XLVIII O-line deconstructed, will Clady be part of rebuild?

It’s official: The Seahawks have completed the deconstruction of the offensive line that tagged along for the Super Bowl XLVIII win and are in full rebuild mode.

With injured (again) Russell Okung headed to the new Super Bowl champs in Denver on a prove-it deal, the Seahawks have completely turned over their line since 2013.

While continuity is one of the hallmarks of any great line, the Seahawks have not had much of that due to injuries and inconsistent play, so they aren’t really missing anything by letting Okung and company go. None of them were worth keeping.

Continue reading With XLVIII O-line deconstructed, will Clady be part of rebuild?

Tobeck’s good advice: Add a couple of OL vets

If Seattle coaches haven’t learned their lesson, they should listen to Robbie Tobeck.

TobeckThe best center in franchise history says the Seahawks need veteran linemen, and he should know: He was the pivot on the best line in team history — the 2001-05 group that also included All-Pros Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson and savvy vet Chris Gray, a quartet that started 65 games together during that stretch (Hutch missed 12 in 2002, and Jones sat out three in holdouts).

Tobeck came from Atlanta in 2000 and started every game from 2001 to 2005, along with Gray, who set the team record for consecutive starts after coming from Chicago in 1998.

Pete Carroll’s Seahawks could desperately use the same kind of veteran savvy and dependability those two offered alongside superstars Jones and Hutch during Mike Holmgren’s Seattle heyday.

Continue reading Tobeck’s good advice: Add a couple of OL vets

Hindsight study: Was Unger-Graham trade a good move?

Max Unger sets up in pass protection vs. Carolina as Russell Wilson receives the center's snap (Seahawks.com)Jimmy Graham catches a pass on Day 4 (Seahawks via Twitter)The two biggest concerns during the Seahawks’ 2-2 start have been the struggles of the remade offensive line and the inconsistent use of Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham.

For many critics, the two issues are very closely linked. After all, the Seahawks gave up center Max Unger to get Graham.

For the record, we were very in favor of that trade. But some were dubious, thinking it foolish to give up a top center for a tight end the Seahawks might not even use right.

So, let’s revisit the question: Did the Hawks do the right thing in trading Unger for Graham?

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CHAWK LINES -- Seahawks at Packers

Controversy king Mike Freeman is at it again, claiming Jimmy Graham is ready to “explode” if he doesn’t get the ball. Freeman is the same dude who put out the inflammatory report last year claiming there was a schism in the locker room over Russell Wilson, who wasn’t black enough for some teammates. Pay no mind to his anti-Seahawk ramblings.

On a more constructive note, Bob Condotta reviewed every pass play that might have been able to go to Graham and determined what we all knew: He could have been more involved.

Field Gulls gave a much longer breakdown (with screenshots) of Graham’s Green Bay game.

At 0-2, the Seahawks look a lot like last year’s Super Bowl team.

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What if preferred OL & WR are gone by No. 63?

NFL draftDRAFT COUNTDOWN: Under three weeks. A weekly look at draft-related topics involving the Seahawks.

A year ago, word was the Seahawks were hoping to draft a couple of offensive tackles because they needed to replace right tackle Breno Giacomini and weren’t sure they would keep left tackle Russell Okung when his contract is up after the 2015 season.

At the time, Okung was recuperating from foot surgery after missing half the 2013 season, and the Hawks did indeed draft two linemen: Justin Britt, who started at right tackle all season, and Garrett Scott, whose NFL career ended before it started due to a heart condition.

A year later, the Seahawks are looking at linemen more than ever — needing to replace Max Unger and James Carpenter and perhaps prepare to replace Okung.

But when will they take them?

Continue reading What if preferred OL & WR are gone by No. 63?

Roster analysis: Hawks are already better

Jimmy Graham scores against the SeahawksTwo weeks into the new NFL year, the Seahawks are already a better team — despite losing four starters and nine players overall from their 2014 roster.

Re-signing Marshawn Lynch and adding one of the league’s best tight ends will make any team’s offseason.

Sure, the Hawks lost cornerback Byron Maxwell, center Max Unger, guard James Carpenter, tight end Zach Miller and five others via free agency, trade or cut. But they replaced Maxwell with Cary Williams and Will Blackmon and satisfied their tight end/receiver need with their stunning trade for Jimmy Graham.

They’re still looking for help along the lines but otherwise appear to be moving on to the big extensions for Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner — as well as the draft, where they will get even better via 11 picks.

Continue reading Roster analysis: Hawks are already better