I’m going to be honest with you readers. I’m not hopeful about these 2021 Seattle Seahawks making the playoffs this year.
Not that I wouldn’t enjoy watching this team somehow miraculously rally themselves out of a 2-5 hole to go on a month long win streak to have themselves in playoff contention in December. That would be fun.
I just don’t see it happening, and suddenly, I’m not even sure I see them having it enough within themselves enough to beat the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday.
Even if they do, and they get Russell Wilson back after their bye week, do you honestly have any real faith that Russ is going to win a shootout against Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, and then beat Kyler Murray’s red hot Cardinals the week after? Russell Wilson, when healthy this season, could not out dual Ryan Tannehill and Kirk Cousins.
Personally, I have little faith he is suddenly going to out dual two legitimate MVP quarterbacks in mid to late November. Not with the way this offense can’t ever seem to get any consistent flow or rhythm in any single game so far this season, and the fact that he is more of an off script quarterback trying to function in a timing offense.
Even if this defense continues to play better, I just don’t see the makings of a winning football team this year in Seattle. I hope I am wrong, but I don’t think I am.
This game against the Saints validates one of my main growing concerns.
I believe Pete Carroll doesn’t want to take risks on offense, and that is crippling the chances of this new offense under Shane Waldron to grow. I think Pete wants to coach this team as if he still had the Legion of Boom on his defense, but he doesn’t. This defense of his will not win Seattle games like the defense he had 2011 through 2015.
Even with the better play they have shown against Pittsburgh and New Orleans, they still couldn’t stop those offenses enough when needed. In this game against the Saints, the game plan was obvious. It was to stop Alvin Kamara running the ball, and to force Jameis Winston to beat them with his arm. It made sense. The Saints were severely limited at receiver and Winston can be a streaky passer.
But what happened here is that Jameis found Kamara in the pass game early and often enough for big plays to made the difference. Seattle had answers for stopping the run, but they didn’t have answers for Kamara on screens and in the flats. New Orleans’ head coach Sean Payton likely stayed patient with his plan knowing that Seattle has not been good defending the screen pass all season, and that was enough in this one.
So what did Carroll have his offense do to respond? He had them run Alex Collins up the middle of a defense that is near tops of the league against the run on third and two. No play action boot leg for Geno Smith to try to find Will Dissly on a short out pattern for an easy gain, which is the touchdown throw he tossed against Pittsburgh last week. Just Alex Collins up the gut against one of the stoutest defenses in the league.
Not very inspiring play calling. I seriously doubt that was Shane Waldron’s go to play there.
Pete Carroll is a good coach. He can get his team to rally through all sorts of adversity, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he has this team rallying to make things interesting in December. I suspect we will continue to see better defense played throughout the season (especially when the schedule softens more), but probably not anything close to a top ten defense.
I also think once he gets Russell Wilson back, he will be willing to open up his offense more than the ridiculous play calling that happened against these Saints.
But will that be enough to make the fans and Russ happy?
I don’t think so. I think Pete Carroll is perfectly comfortable dialing things back offensively when he knows his defense is playing well enough that they can pull out close wins. I think he is perfectly comfy in those scenarios, and I think he was attempting that against these Saints.
I think he believed all he needed was his kicker to make the necessary field goals to win a tight match, and that would be enough with a backup quarterback playing in only his second start in several years. In his mind, it made sense.
Unfortunately, this was not the night for Jason Meyers. One could argue that the logic of a relying on a kicker during an windy night might be a bit faulty, but this is what happens when you fear your quarterback will make mistakes, and you don’t mind winning ugly. You would rather trust your kicker with cray winds than Geno Smith.
It’s a shame because there were so many good things that came out of this game in a losing effort for Seattle, especially on the defense. Second year linebacker Jordyn Brooks, by far, had his best game of this year and looked worthy again of being a first round pick. Defensive tackles Poona Ford and Al Woods had strong games. Jamal Adams had his best game of the season in this one. I thought second year defensive end Alton Robinson had a good game.
I can’t really dish out tons of praise for the offensive effort, however. Even that dynamic catch and run score by DK Metcalf to start the game feels like there should has an asterisk next to it. It was a good throw and catch, but Marshon Lattimore lost his footing in coverage, and had he kept his feet, frankly, Seattle might not have seen the end zone for the entire game, and this one wouldn’t have really felt as close as it was.
So, yeah. I look at this team and it’s remaining games, and I kinda see a 8-9 finish for this club, at best, and that’s assuming Russ comes back and plays through most of these matches.
That’s okay for me, and here’s why.
The Seattle Seahawks need a massive shake up
I think it’s time for large scale change for these Seattle Seahawks. I don’t really care how it happens, I just know it needs to.
Pete Carroll is coaching into his twelfth year with this club and that is a pretty long time by NFL standards. In a league of 32 teams, only Sean Payton, Mike Tomlin, and Bill Belichick have coached longer with their clubs than Pete has with the Seahawks. I won’t be upset if he decides to step away after this season, and I have always been a big Pete Carroll fan. I also won’t be upset if he is graciously shown the door.
Russell Wilson is in his tenth year as the Seahawks starting quarterback. That’s as long has Matt Hasselbeck played for Seattle, and Dave Krieg stayed twelve years in Seattle but was only a starter for nine. If Russ decides that, after this year, he would like to refresh his career playing somewhere else, I wouldn’t be upset, and Russ has always been one of my favorite Seahawks of all time. I would feel the same way about him wanting to leave as I did with Ken Griffey Junior. I would get it.
And if John Schneider wants to seize an opportunity to become the new general manager of the Green Bay Packers, I would hardly fault him for that. Of these big three figure heads for this organization, I probably trust him the most, and he is probably the one I would least want to see go, but I would get it.
I’m honestly very indifferent to who stays of goes for this club. The one thing I know, deep in my gut, is this team needs a rebuild, if not a massive overhaul.
I see a team that hasn’t drafted enough good young talent to find a new young core, and is relying on a lot of older players to hold up and play well through a long grueling season. I see all the other teams in the NFC West division with younger and better overall rosters.
As much as I would like to say that it is time for Pete to leave and bring in a new coach with a fresh perspective, I see Russell Wilson as this team’s greatest chip to play for this overhaul. If Seattle can get three first round picks and decent change for him, I would be good with that.
If Pete Carroll wants to be part of a complete rebuild at age 70, I can be cool with it, so long as he gives John Schneider more reign over player acquisition decisions and the draft because I seriously doubt that it was John Schneider’s decision to trade two first round picks and a third for Jamal Adams, and I doubly doubt it was Schneider who wanted to take LJ Collier in the first round back in 2019. I sorta feel like Schneider has had to grin and bear a lot of Pete’s requests and demands over the years. He is the guy I feel least willing to criticize in this current mess.
That said, if Pete and John were to go, and Jody Allen decides she wants her team to build around Russ with an offensive minded coach, I hope that they pick the right one, and not just some patsy for Russ because I think that could be disastrous.
I have been a diehard Seahawks fan since the early 1980’s. The best moves that this organization have ever done is with their coaching hires. It was hiring Chuck Knox in 1983, hiring Mike Holmgren in 1999, and bringing in Pete Carroll in 2010. These were the best eras of Seahawks football, and each of these coaches decided who their own quarterback would be to lead this club, eventually.
This is why I feel like, if Pete Carroll needs to go, this team needs to nail the next head coach, and if that person is really good, they should be the one who decides who the Seattle Seahawks quarterback should be. This is what is best for the long term health of this club.
It shouldn’t be about who the team chooses to coach Russ because, frankly, I don’t think Russ is the ideal flavor at quarterback for a lot of coaches out there. I think he is a very acquired taste and he needs to be paired with a head coach willing to adjust scheme to fit his unusual talents. I actually think Sean Payton in New Orleans would make a ton of sense for him.
So, I am going to keep a very open mind to all of this, and how this team could go about any rebuild or reorganization.
All I want to see happen is for this team to commit to getting more dominant at the line of scrimmage on offense and defense with younger talent that will be a part of this thing long term. That’s how I want to see them built.
I also want to see them play smarter on both sides of the ball, and with schemes more willing to embrace more of the modern trends of the game, especially on offense.
I look at these Seattle Seahawks and I see old players on the offensive and defensive lines that will need replacing, and you generally don’t draft starting left tackles beyond round one.
This team needs so much, and hanging onto expensive older players because we are emotionally attached to them doesn’t make practical football sense in a situation like this one. I would rather part ways with them now, and let younger players get a shot at it.
Who is the young nucleus of this team beyond DK Metcalf? I can think of Darrell Taylor, Jordyn Brooks if he continues to play better, maybe Damien Lewis at guard, maybe Poona Ford.
Do we think Jamal Adams is a young core player? Are we convinced he is worth that contract?
Are we trusting Tyler Lockett can stay healthy for what is now a 17 game season?
I see a team with so many holes and longer term questions. I see a quarterback who is going to be 33 and is possibly looking for greener pastures elsewhere, and I see a head coach who will be 71 next September.
I see a lot of star aligning for sweeping changes.
What would I do if I was owner of the Seattle Seahawks?
If I am Jody Allen, and I had to chose which direction to go with this all, I am probably prepping to get ready to ask John Schneider is he wants to tough it through a rebuild. That would be the person that I would most want to gauge
Because, if I am owner of this team, I’m not willing to go through another off-season of Russ wanting out, and Pete wanting to hang onto Ken Norton Junior as defensive coordinator again and wanting to bring in more older players for his defensive line because he doesn’t want to bring along younger players. I’ve seen that, and done that enough.
If I was owner of this club, even if Pete and Russ were to turn this ship around mid season, I would be willing to part ways with both next off-season. I would ask Pete to gracefully step aside. I would entrust John Schneider to pick his next head coach, and I would empower him to make his own moves with this roster without any coach meddling in the draft room, or in free agency.
If John decides he is willing to work with Russ’s very difficult agent, it would be his choice. I seriously doubt he would. I kinda think John’s sniffing around other quarterbacks in recent drafts is an indication he would rather have some other general manager in the league deal with the wackiness of Mark Rodgers.
Whether Russ stays or goes, I am very indifferent. All I know is I’m ready to start hearing the winds of change.
Sing it, Klaus!
Bummer, I don’t agree with letting Russ go!
An interesting typo in this blog post, about letting Schneider have more rein (in the sense of holding the reins) but you have him reigning over decisions and I am not sure that is the case; I have always wondered how much he decides himself as opposed to filling requests from Coach Pete and other coaches.
Carroll is VP of the team, and because of that, Pete has the power to override all front office decisions. John pretty much works for him. So, really, this mess is probably most on Pete, for sure.
I’m not unopposed or opposed to letting Russ go. To me, it’s probably going to come down to whatever he wants
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