Apocalypse Now.. Maybe? My State Of The Seattle Seahawks Union Address

A legendary duo in a legendary era of Seahawks football

Well, this has suddenly become a very fascinating season for our Seattle Seahawks, hasn’t it? Maybe not in the way we had been hoping, for but let me count the ways.

Never before has Russell Wilson ever missed a game of professional football. In 2016, he played through a high ankle sprain that would have kept most quarterbacks off the field for weeks. Russell Wilson critics can list many things to make their case as to why he isn’t their preferred flavor. One thing that can never be questioned is his toughness and overall durability. Well, an injury to his middle finger on his throwing hand will now prevent him from properly gripping a football, and we will see Geno Smith as our starting quarterback for possibly six games or longer. Word has filter out that Russ intends to be back within four games, but that would be two week sooner than medical experts have projected. We shall see.

Jamal Adams is currently playing like one of the worst defenders in professional football. Through five games, his Pro Football Focus grades have been abysmal. In fact, he is graded as one of the worst safeties in football. That sucks because he is also the most expensive safety in all of football.

While a strong argument can be made that Seattle is not using his skills properly, it is still inexcusable for a player that Seattle traded two first round picks and a third round pick for to be playing this poorly. A top end strong safety should be able to be functional in coverage. Jamal Adams has been awful, thus far.

Pete Carroll’s 2021 defense is on pace to become the worst defense in the history of the NFL. Let that sink in. When Carroll was hired by Paul Allen twelve years ago, he came into the PNW as a defensive mastermind out of USC. For the first six seasons of his Seattle tenure, this label held true. One can argue the the Legion Of Boom was the best defense in all of modern football, but slowly, that defense has eroded and what is left in its place now is horrendous.

There is many reasons that I can list as to why I think it is in this state, but that is another long piece to write. Let me just say this; this Seattle Seahawk defense, in its present state, can not stop the run for four quarters, they can’t generate a reliable pass rush, and they can’t cover worth crap.

Even if Geno Smith plays well in place of Russell Wilson and the Shane Waldron offense functions well enough for Seattle to win without Russ, I find it incredibly hard seeing these Seattle Seahawks winning the majority of the games left on their season with this defense playing this way. If you can’t stop the run, and you can’t stop the pass, you literally do not have a functional defense. The Seattle Seahawks, right now, do not have a functional defense. It’s a tough task to win where you are strapped with that kind of mess.

And finally, there is this whole other situation. Despite all the off-season Russell Wilson controversy, at the start of this season, I believed it was highly unlikely we would ever see the Seattle Seahawks actually ever trade Russell Wilson, and I certainly never believed that Pete Carroll’s job as head coach and vice president would ever be at risk (even in a down year).

Like many others, I saw the pairing of Wilson and Carroll as the dependable secret sauce for the Seahawks to remain a playoff contending team, and I believed that, as long as Pete Carroll was coach, he would likely never be truly willing to part with Wilson. I believed it would take a ridiculous haul to pry Russ out of Seattle, and that sort of offer would be unlikely.

Right now, I think it is entirely possible this could be the last season we see both figure heads in Seattle. I hope I am wrong on that, but I have to be honest, I think we could be sitting inside the perfect storm that could ultimately send them both out of the PNW, even if Carroll can somehow summon enough magic to make his Seahawks competitive in December (more on that later).

So what are these Seattle Seahawks to now do?

Recently, I have read compelling reasons as to why the Seattle Seahawks should just start the process of blowing the whole thing up now with a fire sale. Long time Seahawks writer Brian Nemhauser wrote a very strong case for it on his Hawk Blogger site that I think is well worth the read for any diehard Seahawks fan.

Personally, I wouldn’t be upset if this actually happens over the following days and weeks. I think the biggest reason why we are in this position as a team is that Seattle hasn’t hit well enough in recent drafts, and I think, because of that, this organization has felt more compelled to trade high picks for expensive veterans in order to stay competitive in the tough NFC West where other teams have had more down years that have led to opportunities to draft higher, and therefor, collect better talent out of college.

This is the function of parity that the NFL is built on, and I believe it has finally caught up to Seattle. It certainly feels that way.

Arizona and San Francisco have younger and better rosters by way of draft positions, and the Rams have done a better job collecting talent and scheming them to success than Seattle has. Credit Seattle for staving off these rivals for a decade of football, but it looks like it has finally caught up to them.

Watching San Francisco and Arizona play each other yesterday, I could see all that young bright talent from both clubs popping off my television screen. Seattle simply does not have than on their roster, not to that level.

So for me now, entertaining this thought of a full blown rebuild, nobody on this roster is really that sacred. Not the quarterback, the middle linebacker, the “defensive weapon” safety, the left tackle, or really anyone else, if the right deal is there.

In his piece, Nemhauser lists DK Metcalf and Darrell Taylor as the only two players that are untouchable for him, and I can dig that. Both look bright fixtures for the future to build on, but I gotta be honest, if Indianapolis comes calling for DK and offers me two first round picks, I am listening.

In my gut, I believe that Seattle needs to suck it up, bite the bullet, and truly get back to building this roster back up through the draft. I think we need that sort of rebuild, and I am ready for that.

The reality is, though, that I don’t think rebuild is on Pete Carroll’s radar. At age 70, I don’t think he’s interested, and I think he’s going to see the present state of his team as a unique challenge to prove his coaching mettle. I don’t think it is in his DNA to coach his team to tank for any rebuild, and frankly, I don’t blame him. In fact, I praise him for it.

Pete Carroll is many things. He’s an eternal optimist, he’s a master culture builder, and above all, he’s a shrewd motivator. He’s also not stupid.

He’s probably well aware of what stakes are staring at him. If his 2021 team ends up bottom basement in the league where they don’t own a first round pick in 2022 because of the Jamal Adams trade, it’s very unlikely Russell Wilson is going to want to stick around. His camp might likely go nuclear and demand a trade this time, instead of weirdly sorta sideways suggesting one like last off-season. That could easily create an instant fan apathy that could make Jody Allen very nervous as a hand’s off owner who trusted Carroll to maintain a playoff level team in Seattle.

As much as she would probably prefer not to be in this position, she could feel compelled to make a very tough decision for the very first time as team owner. There have been some rumblings that she might be looking to sell this club in a few years, and she has seen franchise stability and a loyal fan base as a big selling point to maximizing profits in such a sale. If this is true, if that stability and loyalty from fans feels suddenly in danger, Carroll could easily end up with walking papers.

Pete Carroll isn’t going to want to go out like that. Therefor, I think we are likely to see him attempt to pull over a miracle in Seattle.

Instead of any fire sale, I think it is much more likely we could see Carroll spend more draft capital trying to bring in more pass rush to fix his defense. Who and what that player is, I have no idea, but I do know this; Seattle is currently resting on roughly $11 million in available cap space, and Carroll keeps insisting it’s the lack of consistent pass rush that is holding his defense back and the cover stuff is fixable.

If Carroll truly believes Geno Smith can successfully run this Shane Waldron offense, and he is one big time pass rusher away from turning this defense around, this move feels very obvious and predictable. I think we could see it happen fairly soon.

Pete Carroll won’t go down without a fight, and he will use adversity as a motivating force for his players. He won’t quit on this team because he doesn’t want his players quitting on him. That’s not how he wants his legacy to end in Seattle. That’s not the culture he fosters.

I expect this team and coach to put up a fight. Whether that is right or wrong for the long term health of this franchise in a tough division is a different matter, but this is what I expect to happen. From a pure football fan perspective, I’m intrigued to see what comes out of it.

What do I, Curtis Eastwood, life long diehard Seattle Seahawks fan since 1983, want to see happen in these fascinating circumstances?

Well, this is a very interesting question.

A big, huge, gigantic part of me would welcome a fire sale right now.

If the Colts called for DK and offered me two first rounders, I would say “deal.”

If Sean Payton suddenly calls from New Orleans and offers me three first round picks, a third, and Jameis Winston for Russell Wilson, I’d likely take it.

If Bill Belichick wants to take Jamal Adams off of my hands for a third round pick and a run stuffing defensive tackle, I’d bite that bullet.

If former Seahawk front office exec Scott Fitterer calls me about Duane Brown and offers me a third round pick, I’d say “cool,” and if someone wants Bobby Wagner for a second round pick, I would do cartwheels as I say “oh, hell yes.”

As I look at this team, I see these pressing long term needs: starting left tackle, starting center, starting defensive tackle, two starting cornerbacks, starting tight end, starting running back, and I probably also want one more talented young edge rusher to mix in with Darrell Taylor and maybe Alton Robinson.

It also goes without saying that if Russell Wilson does in fact want out, we need a new longer term answer for QB1. Even if the next starting quarterback isn’t coming out of college and is currently on another NFL roster, draft picks help getting him to Seattle just like this team did years ago getting Matthew Hasselbeck up here. That move turned out pretty well for the club.

I gotta be honest in also saying that if Pete Carroll decides to fight and manages to somehow coach this team up into playoff contention in December, I would be pleased to see that happen. I have always remained a Pete Carroll fan, even in the face of his declining defense over recent seasons. I will always be a Pete Carroll fan.

As a Pete Carroll fan, I would love to see him pull off a coaching miracle in a season when so much is stacked up against this team. I would love to see the growing number of Pete Carroll haters among the Twelves eat that flavor of crow.

Afterwards, as a Seattle Seahawks fan, I love to then see Pete Carroll back it all up, and ride out into the sunset with the title of best coach in Seattle sports history firmly secured.

In the end, I’m ready for a regime change. I’m ready for new blood, and a fresh perspective on how to build and manage winning football in Seattle.

Twelve years in Seattle as head coach is a heck of a run for Carroll, but I’m ready for something new, especially with local boy and Super Bowl winning head coach Doug Pederson sitting out there potentially ready to step in. I see a lot of cards lining up for that.

I just think Pederson potentially stepping in, still being young enough and with perhaps fresh perspective, with a year away from football, is too enticing. I believe he also has a history with John Schneider too from the Green Bay days, if Schneider wants to still stick around. Either way, I just sort of sense this being a perfect storm for this particular opportunity.

This move might even entice Russell to want to stick around. One thing I feel most certain about, if Pete Carroll remains head coach, I don’t think Russell and his camp will want to remain here. I honestly think Russ, right or wrong, believes he needs to get away from Pete to further his legacy. I think what we saw happen last off-season were calculated attempts at a long breakup so that he doesn’t leave Seattle perceived as a villain.

I certainly hope I am wrong, but I think that’s the likely case, and honestly, I think I can probably take this one further.

I think that if Sean Payton decides that he wants Russ down in NOLA, Russ is likely going to want to go there no matter who is coaching in Seattle. Russ is such a Drew Brees fan, and I think it is highly likely these two have talked about Payton. Whether Pete Carroll stays or a new coach comes it, if Payton believes his team is one Russell Wilson away next year of betting him another Super Bowl ring, his team has a lot of talent and draft capital to make Seattle a very attractive offer.

This is another reason why I think a hiring such as Pederson is important. If Seattle needs to make a change at quarterback and go through a mini rebuild, I want a younger coach who knows quarterbacks to handle that task. I trust Doug for that. He comes from the Holmgren tree as a player and the Andy Reid tree as a coach, and Holmgren did a pretty could job establishing his offensive identity in Seattle, and finding the quarterback to run that ship.

Doug Pederson did pretty darn well with that in Philly, too, when you think about it. Maybe it didn’t work out for the long run for him in the City of Brotherly Love, but getting fired in that market shouldn’t be seen as much of a blemish. After all, that was the franchise who thought it was a good idea to fire Andy Reid and replace him with Chip Kelly.

Just some of my thoughts, anyhoo.

Closing Thought

Before I end this, I just want to bring up one more final thought to this State of the Seahawks address.

Enjoy these games this season, win or lose, if you can.

No, I don’t think it is likely that we are to see these Seahawks in the playoffs this season, but it doesn’t mean it can’t happen, and if they put up a good fight against these odds, that will be fun to watch.

We should all root for Geno Smith to play well in place of Russell Wilson.

We should be excited if Darrell Taylor, who some more cynical sorts thought might not ever play a down of professional football, continues to lead Seattle in sacks all the way through the season.

We should be happy if Jamal Adams can turn his game around, and if Jordyn Brooks does, too.

We should enjoy watching Russell Wilson come back from injury and giving it a good fight at the end.

If Pete Carroll is able to turn this defense around enough to make it functional again, we should enjoy that, as well.

Even if none of these things happen, I think we should be grateful for what Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson have brought together in terms of professional football in Seattle for the last decade. I hope most fans will take this approach.

If Seattle does not make the playoffs this year, Carroll and Wilson’s record of getting to the playoffs together in ten seasons will be eight out of ten times. Of those eight playoff runs, they went to two Super Bowls and won one, they went to the divisional round four times, and they lost in the wildcard round twice. I would take that ten year stretch over and over again as a Seahawk fan in a heartbeat. Hell yes, I would.

There is a negative narrative out there among some Seahawk fans and writers about what this club has only accomplished in the last five years. Fans are free to look at their favorite club anyway they want to, and I won’t tell them they are wrong.

That said, even in the face of what is presently upon us as a fan base, I am choosing not to look at it negatively like that.

I have lived through 1990’s Seahawks football. I know what bad football truly looks like in blue and green. I think what Carroll and Wilson have done together over this decade is remarkable football. If it all ends this season, I won’t be upset. I will be grateful.

As the late great George Harrison sang it, all things must pass. If this era is going to be over with soon, I will be ready for the next. I’m in this with this team for the long haul.

Go Hawks.


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