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
The 2018 season originally was supposed to be the last hurrah for the Legion of Boom era Seahawks. But injuries in 2017 ruined that, so Pete Carroll and John Schneider turned 2018 into a youth movement instead — an audition for the core of Carroll’s next potential Super Bowl team.
The Seahawks surprised many (not us) by making the playoffs and then had an unnecessarily premature departure, but Carroll is confident he has created the foundation for his next Super Bowl window. Carroll already has re-upped through 2021, and he thinks he has most of what he needs to make a deep playoff push in the next three years.
“We come out of here with a great feeling about our future,” he said after the 24-22 loss in Dallas. “Our guys are excited about it. They know that we can do some damage in the playoffs. They know that we can go a long way …
“You can tell that the nucleus and the core of the team that you need to be a championship club is here. These are the guys that we’re going to build it around. I couldn’t be more adamant about that right now. That’s where we are.”
Continue reading Carroll says the core to ‘go a long way’ is here
The running back drama is operatic this week.
The Seahawks finally have rediscovered their long-lost running game just as they prepare to face the embodiment of their old one and, just as coincidentally, the coach they ditched so they could find it again. Meanwhile, Seattle’s first-round pick has had nothing to do with it, frustrating him and fans who are calling him a bust and wanting to trade him for a kicker.
Continue reading As Hawks face Lynch, rushing game is back — without Penny
When Earl Thomas gave his one-finger salute to John Schneider (who else would he be targeting?) as the safety was being carted off the field Sunday in Arizona, he was just pointing out the general manager’s latest error.
Earlier this year, we detailed many of the mistakes Schneider has made since his magical (lucky?) draft run from 2010 to 2012. It has merely continued this year, with the Thomas debacle now officially another black eye for Schneider and the Rashaad Penny pick looking every bit the waste it appeared in April.
Continue reading Thomas was just pointing out another big mistake by Schneider
The Seahawks have not suffered any devastating injuries this preseason, which puts them one up on some NFL teams; but, they certainly have their share of dings.
The Seahawks have just a handful of veteran stars left from the Super Bowl core, and a couple of them are banged up as the season approaches. But K.J. Wright and Doug Baldwin aren’t the only injuries that will affect the team when it takes the field in Denver in a little over a week. The team also figures to be without Dion Jordan, Ed Dickson, Jamarco Jones, J.D. McKissic and perhaps Byron Maxwell and Neiko Thorpe.
At least five of those eight players were expected to be big contributors this season, so it’s at least a little concerning that we don’t know how long Wright and some of the others will be out — and it’s unfortunate to hear Baldwin will play the season at 80-85 percent as he manages a knee problem. (UPDATE: Coach Pete Carroll said Wright the “optimistic” estimate is two weeks. The range is typically 2-4 weeks for arthroscopic surgery.)
We’re giving the Seahawks a B-minus for roster strength. Here are grades for each position, based on health and depth (updated 8/29):
Continue reading Grading roster strength
The Seahawks have had a few big injury issues this camp — missing Dion Jordan, Doug Baldwin and Ed Dickson, among others — and now we can add Rashaad Penny to the list.
Along with a handful of guys coming off surgeries and a bunch of short-term ailments (at least seven hip flexor issues), it seems like the Hawks have had a lot of injuries. But the good thing — even in the case of Penny — is that very few of them are big deals. And the roster is getting healthier.
Continue reading Penny aside, roster is getting healthier
In the last two weeks, the Seahawks’ special teams have undergone a major upgrade — and they might get better yet.
Sure, the field goal game is again a question — the team apparently relying on a 40-year-old who missed last season with a back injury and can’t kick from 50 anymore. But the rest could be really strong, thanks to a new punter, another dynamic returner and potentially big rule changes.
Continue reading Special changes could net big returns
This draft almost looks like an admission by the Seahawks that they screwed up the third round of the 2016 draft — they basically performed a do-over by drafting Rashaad Penny, Will Dissly and Jamarco Jones.
The 2016 third-rounders, who were supposed to be part of the next core, have done next to nothing for Seattle. C.J. Prosise has been injured almost his entire first two years, Rees Odhiambo was ineffective before getting hurt last year and Nick Vannett has barely contributed.
That trio has one last chance to show something, but the Seahawks’ additions of Penny, Dissly and Jones are obvious signs of discontent by John Schneider and Pete Carroll.
Continue reading Did Hawks just redraft 2016 third round?
“You never hear a doctor come out of a surgery, ‘You know what, I don’t know if that was such a good surgery.’” — John Schneider
As always, and as with every team, the Seahawks think their draft went well. Of course, they got their typical mixed reviews from analysts (the NFL’s worst grade in this composite) — understandable considering they drafted Rashaad Penny and Will Dissly higher than most ranked them and then traded up for a punter.
We’ve long known Schneider is not great at getting the best value for his picks — certainly not like the Patriots and some other teams are — but, throwing draft strategy out, it looks like the Hawks landed five roster locks and a couple of potential projects. And they kept Earl Thomas (reportedly ignoring Dallas’ offer of a third-round pick on Day 2).
Continue reading A look at the roster after the draft
Even Rashaad Penny did not expect to be drafted in the first round, which tells you all you need to know about whether the Seahawks made the right pick at the right time.
John Schneider and Pete Carroll said they had offers to move down from 27, but they obviously didn’t want to risk dropping too far and losing the running back to another team. Their fears might have been confirmed when a team apparently called right after they drafted Penny and offered to trade for the back. Schneider said he had never been offered a deal AFTER drafting a player.
Obviously some people think Penny, just the third back ever drafted in the first round by Seattle, is going to be great. For the pick to be worth it, though, Penny will need to become the primary rusher and score 8-10 touchdowns a year. To do that, new line coach Mike Solari will have to fix a run-blocking unit that was among the league’s worst last season.
If the Seahawks cannot fix the blocking and continue to use a rotation rather than riding Penny, he will have been a wasted pick.
Continue reading Will Penny be worth it?