For some (many?) people, it strains credulity that the Seahawks are 11-3 and sitting in the No. 1 position in the NFC with two weeks to go.
Those folks think the Hawks simply aren’t good enough to beat New Orleans or Green Bay or San Francisco, citing Seattle’s historically low margin of victory and inability to beat any team handily.
But they did beat the 49ers already — and they did it with the defense Pete Carroll hoped he would have. The big question: Will he ever have it again this season?
Continue reading Will top 11 defenders play together again?
Back from South Africa and Paris, a rare two-week vacation during football season, let’s catch up with some thoughts after the Seahawks improved to 7-2 while we were gone …
While we were watching lions (not the Detroit guys) devour baby buffalo (not the Bills) in the South Africa bush, the Seahawks held off Atlanta and beat Tampa Bay in overtime (we followed that one on Twitter from Nelspruit, S.A., which was fun).
Seattle also put Tedric Thompson and Justin Britt on IR, reportedly dangled Rashaad Penny, once again considered signing Antonio Brown and claimed Josh Gordon. And Quandre Diggs still has not played for them.
Continue reading Catching up ahead of huge Monday night game
The Seahawks are something between what we saw in their sloppy loss to New Orleans in Week 3 and their fairly easy win against the developing Cardinals at Arizona on Sunday.
One game made them look worse than they are and the other made them look better.
We know they are somewhere in the NFC’s upper tier — with New Orleans, Dallas, L.A., San Francisco and Green Bay. Exactly where they rank should become clear Thursday when they host the Rams (3-1) in the first NFC West battle royale in what appears to be a three-way round robin with the 49ers (3-0).
In between the New Orleans fiasco and the L.A. grudge match, the Hawks (3-1) were lucky to get a game against a struggling team like Arizona (0-3-1) — just to give some of their guys a confidence builder. The players who took most advantage were embattled Chris Carson and new pass rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah.
Continue reading Nice win, but Hawks need to prove it vs. Rams
Jadeveon Clowney and L.J. Collier have each made their debuts over the last two weeks. Now it’s Ziggy Ansah’s turn.
If it goes well, the Hawks might have the trio that, for this year anyway, is supposed to approximate the 2013 pass rush of Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Chris Clemons.
“We wanted to make sure everything was right,” Pete Carroll said of the long wait for Ansah. “He’s had three good weeks of work and he’s in really good shape. … He’ll play a considerable amount. He’s practiced hard enough to do that.
“That’s really going to be fun to see him out there, to see how we’re going to use him in the game plan. I’m really excited about that.”
Continue reading And Ansah makes three: Hawks will have all pass rushers finally
Now that John Schneider has repeated his 2013 defensive line coup, the question becomes: How long will it take Pete Carroll, Ken Norton and company to get this collection of linemen playing to its best capabilities?
Schneider told 710 ESPN that Seattle’s front seven, including a trio of “phenomenal blitzers” at linebacker, is “a really cool group. (Coaches are) putting it together right now: How do we work these guys together?”
For a sampling, we merely need go back to 2013, the last time Schneider brought in two impact pass rushers at the same time.
Continue reading ‘How do we work these guys together?’
In May, we said the Seahawks needed to replicate their 2013 moves and find a way to add a couple of impact veteran pass rushers.
Four months later, they have achieved that goal — in spades (Jadeveon Clowney trumps Nick Perry).
John Schneider getting Clowney and Ziggy Ansah for a grand total of no more than $21.25 million is akin to his 2013 coup of signing Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril for $18 million (Avril signed for two years). And, if Clowney and Ansah play like Bennett and Avril did that year, the Hawks could be looking at their second Lombardi Trophy.
Continue reading Hawks have replicated 2013 moves on D-line
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
It’s no secret the Seahawks need pass rushers. And that was before we learned that Ziggy Ansah, apparently recovered from a long-lingering shoulder injury, now is being held out due to a groin issue.
It’s also well known that John Schneider has a penchant for making preseason trades, and that has led to a fan frenzy over the possibility of Schneider making a deal for Houston holdout Jadeveon Clowney.
But don’t expect Seattle to do a repeat of the Duane Brown trade from a couple of years ago, even if Brown might offer a glowing recommendation of his former teammate. Instead, maybe look to tonight’s opponent, the Vikings, for a possible deal.
Continue reading Forget Clowney, but what about Griffen?
Bobby Wagner’s signing pretty much ends Seattle’s big-money deals for the foreseeable future. Now the Seahawks find themselves in wait-and-see mode, just like John Schneider and Pete Carroll’s early years in Seattle.
The Seahawks acquired and developed a lot of talent from 2010 to 2013 and were able to pay all of the top guys: Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, K.J. Wright, Russell Wilson, Wagner, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Doug Baldwin.
The Seahawks are still counting on Wilson, Wagner and Wright — all of whom got third contracts this year. But the team now needs to see which players, if any, become the next generation of stars in Carroll’s program.
Continue reading No more big deals on Hawks’ horizon
The Seahawks have done nothing but go backward on their defensive line the past two years — and Jarran Reed’s bizarre six-game suspension has basically completed the retreat to mediocrity.
Over the past two years, the Hawks have lost Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett and Frank Clark from a once very strong D-line. Ziggy Ansah, signed to fill the hole left by Clark, is no sure thing to be ready for the season opener, and now Reed — the top defensive tackle — will miss nearly half of what probably will be his final season in Seattle.
The Seahawks already needed another defensive lineman. Now they need two. And they need to sign them before camp begins this week.
Continue reading Reed’s odd suspension means Hawks need to add two D-linemen now