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Seahawks #11 Seattle Seahawks
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Seahawks Pulse

Seahawks preseason ends: schedule set, development shows
As the Seahawks start week one, the schedule strength based on last year looks very average. Amazingly average in fact.

:
WK   OPPONENT      Power Rank
1    vs Cowboys      4
2    at Cardinals   32
3    vs 49ers       31
4    at Giants      15
5    vs Redskins    16
7    at 49ers       31
8    vs Jets        11
9    at Bears        9
10   vs Cardinals   32
11   vs Patriots    19
12   at Bills       14
13   at Dolphins    26
14   at Rams         1
15   at Eagles      26
16   vs Rams         1
17   vs Buccaneers  10


Looking at this schedule, it looks to me like this is not the most challenging schedule. It's right in the middle, with an average of exactly 16 in power-ranking. The two divisions that will decide how difficult this schedule really is are the NFC East, and AFC East, providing a full 8 games for the Seattle schedule.

Those two divisions provided a total of two 10-win teams, but only one losing season among the 8 teams. If those teams continue to be strong from top to bottom, it will be tough for any NFC West team to cross the 10-win threshold, and it would be unlikely for the Rams or Seahawks to provide a WC entry to this year's postseason.

The division that matters most will be the 6 games against the NFC West of course, with only the Rams being a challenge a season ago. With the Rams and Seahawks each aging a year, Seattle seems to have gotten the better of that deal and is primed to overtake the Rams. But the question is, are they ready to do it, and are the Rams going to actually fall back?

Player development
After the preseason, some of the players showed signs of their continued development. Development of youth has been the rallying cry for this team over the past couple of years, and seems to have just continued on into the preseason.

HB Jordan Howard +1 BTK
FB Tra Carson +2 AWR, +1 RBK
WR Ja'Conte Nix +2 AWR
TE Brigadier Younger +1 AWR, +1 RBK
LG Landon Turner +2 PBK
LT Ryan Ramczyk +2 AWR
LOLB Hans Nelson +2 AWR, +1 TAK
CB Harry Jones Sr. +1 AWR, +1 TAK

Notable starters or potential starters include Carson, Nix, Younger, Turner, Ramczyk, and Nelson. The average among those 6 young starters was over 2 progression points per players, yet another piece of good news to go along with the report of no injuries sustained in the preseason.

Bring on the Cowboys!
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 11/10/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 13
Seahawks Training Camp: Onward and Upward!



Last year I wrote up a Training Camp article documenting my confusion over the previous year's horrid offense, and strong defense, after a year of the opposite. With the addition of Nix at WR, I predicted the offense and defense would both be too young to be elite, but would both be above average, and predicted a final record of 9-7. Looks like I was a little shy of the truth.

11-5 is a strong record, and broke a stream of 5 years without a winning season. And yet, when the Seahawks lost 33-20, it did not seem to be much of a surprise. That much winning seemed to be a year premature, but the arrow is pointed upward.

A winning season: Schedule
Seattle's record was boosted by a six games against 4 of the bottom 5 teams in the league, including a 57-7 win against the hapless 49ers in week 3. This was a perfect storm, as I wrote about, and more of a complete domination of the backup quarterbacks than anything else.

49ers QB's in total
26/48, 54%, 306 passing yards (277 after sack yardage), 7 sacks, 1 TD, 5 INTS

Based on this game and some other results, I stayed in the 3-4 most of the season. The 49ers were not the worst team in the league though, that was the Cardinals, who I found a way to lose to in week 9. That was the only win the Cardinals ever earned last year, going 1-15. The other two unfortunates discussed are the Falcons (#28) and Steelers (#29), whose defenses allowed 34 and 40 points to the Seahawks offense.

On the strong side of the schedule included two games against the Rams, ranked #1 by power rankings. We won one of those games, but lost against #2 Bengals, #7 Saints, and #10 Buccaneers. The next best wins were against #12 Lions, #13 Panthers, an #15 Giants, and only one of those wins was easy.

All in all, I thought the schedule was pretty forgiving, and that the Seahawks were a talented and good team, but not yet a great team last year. The easy thing to do would be to slot them between 10 and 12 with all those L's and W's distributed equally on both sides of that line.

That may be the right area, but that's not how football works. First, there are way too few data-points against good teams in a season. I wrote about 7 games above. Any one game swings on a couple of key plays that go one way or another. The Seahawks could have been anywhere between the 5th best and 15th best team last year and produced these results...and in all honesty could be even further from the middle.

Secondly, football is a matchup-dependent sport. How my front 7 matches up against the Bengals matters just as much as how my secondary matches up against the Lions, just one at a time. If my secondary was suspect, and front 7 stronger perhaps I shut down the Bengals running game and push them out of second place (remember, small sample size. One loss pushes them down the list) while losing to the Rams. Then these results change.

A winning season: 11-5
There are different ways to look at the caliber of a team. One is to look at the numbers, the production that tells us where in the league the team stands in offensive and defensive production.

Offense
PPG - 5th
Total yards - 6th
Pass yards - 2nd
Rush yards - 23rd
3rd down % - 14th

Defense
PPG - 9th
Total yards - 30th
Pass yards - 32nd
Rush yards - 3rd
3rd down % - 12th

Or one can look at the talent among the units, while also pointing out holes. From here it is easy to see why last year seemed to be an early breakout, while continued growth is expected.

Offensive stars
QB position - Old
LG Turner - 25
WR Nix - 22
WR Chance - 25
TE Younger - 22

Defensive stars
DE Aaron Donald - 28
DT Fritz Archeleta - 26
MLB Floyd - 25
FS Rice - 25
CB Hill - 29
CB Humphrey - 23

Either way, the youth in the offensive run game and defensive backfield stand out. So does that talent for the offensive passing game, and defensive pass defense.

What is surprising is how despite having 2/3 leading receivers as rookies, the passing game led this team to 11 wins. Period. The defense helped I'm sure, but sure didn't win 11 games.

Lastly, the biggest change not yet discussed has to be the QB. Last season was the first year without Cam Newton in almost the entire GZL's existence. Howard Christensen was so good that he has to be one of the final QBs considered for the MVP award. 3800 yards, 9.23 YPA, 23 TDs, 12 INTs, and 95.1 rating in 14 games with the Seahawks represents the best play they've had in a long time. Can we blame the WRs, or the QB? Possibly both.

This we should find out as the Seahawks transition back to...Cam Newton, who has returned this offseason while Christensen is looking for his next starting gig, and next starter's contract.

Offseason Recap
This offseason, the focus was on salary cap health in a very big way. Once Cam Newton was on his way in, the already mediocre cap situation became an issue. There is no other way to say it. So the Seahawks shed cap in a couple of areas, while keeping the youngsters employed as much as possible and signing no noteworthy FAs.

Losses
QB Howard Christensen - Cut
QB Lorenzo Sindle - Cut
RB Bobby Rainey - Cut
WR Anthony Perez - FA
TE Courtney Smith - FA
LT Earl Cote - Cut
LT Guy Schmidt - Cut
LT Bobby Gilbert - Cut
C Perry Howard - Cut
RG Jason Smith - Retired
RT Randy Schmitt - Trade (with Lions)
LOLB Casey Carter - Cut
SS Mike Greenfield - Cut
CB Jacob Reed - Trade (with Lions)
A couple of easy cap casualties became apparent with the slowdown of defenders Casey Carter and Mike Greenfield. Earl Cote has a lot left in the tank, but was also a casualty.

Perhaps a bigger deal, was the Seahawks had to let Courtney Smith & Anthony Perez go in FA without a fight, while cutting Christensen to make room for Newton. Tough decisions, and all of it led to allowing the new draft class to come in, while retaining a few members as well.

Actually, this is a good time to mention that the Seahawks added the Detroit Lions 1st round pick, as the centerpiece of a trade for Jacob Reed. Reed had his best season last year, starting probably 12-13 games. With Hunter Hill and Marlon Humphrey around for a long time, Reed was just too good to be the 3rd CB for a while, when a 1st round pick was on the table.

That pick turned into a Left Tackle.

Seattle turned around and made another trade with the Texans, where an early 2nd round pick was given up for this upcoming year's 1st round pick from Houston. This still left Seattle with a 2nd that turned into their hopeful running back of the future.

But that gives Seattle two first round picks in the upcoming draft, with an already up and coming team. The arrow is pointed upward once again.

RFA
HB Jonathan Cortez
WR Tashaun Leonard (5 year contract)
Cortez might be the odd man out at HB, but was retained at a one year rate of 930 thousand dollars.

Leonard stepped up into the #3/4 WR role Anthony Perez held. With TE Younger playing plenty of WR 3/4, Anthony Perez was not nearly the asset we hoped, just due to lack of snaps and routes run. Leonard taking that number of routes should still be an asset, just behind the big three receiving corps.

Gains
QB Cameron Newton - Trade (with Vikings)
HB Ivan Holmes - Draft
TE Ezra Beauchamp - Draft
LT Ryan Ramczyk - Draft
LT Aiden Green - Draft
LT Mike Washington - FA
LG Ben Shipp - Draft
C Dirk Walker - Trade (with Lions)
C Alberto Cousins - Draft
LOLB Sam Van Guilder - Draft
SS Blaine Ambrose - FA

So, I lied. Ambrose was a FA snag, and very surprising success. 5 years, 17.15M for a starting strong safety with a good mind, good athletic ability, and standing 6'1". How did this happen? Beats me.

The other big money names are Cam Newton, who returns to finish out his contract and perhaps career; Ryan Ramczyk, the first round LT, and Ivan Holmes, the 270 LB running back with no speed. Ivan may be the guy that steals my heart this year. The rest are all low contracts that allowed us to fill out our roster weeks ago. Did I mention we're stuck with a tight Salary Cap? We successfully stretched to $1.36 million in room. Injuries to starters will bring in some bad backups, or the IR will create the room to operate.

To be honest, this draft may have strengthened the running game long term but did little else but cap relief. Two players are expected to be anything at all.

Back to Cam. I really think Cam has carried a bad offense with bad WRs for much of his career, with good win numbers and good QB numbers to show for it. Now, the WRs are in place and Cam's giant arm should work well with these guys until he retires. The plan here is to get another ring, but this one with Cam actually on the field during the playoffs, not Levi Jones.

Often times I have one of the league's best offseasons, warranting a 1000-word write-up as I boast over the many awesome moves I made, like trading a 5th round pick for an awesome starting safety. I still got an awesome starting safety for cheap, but this year I can only boast of my restraint, which is certainly not normal for me.

If I cut no-one else for the year, Seattle will only have a 16M penalty next year, after being at nearly 25M this year. Furthermore, there are not huge cuts coming up that I have to make. Mathieu will be cuttable, but still a very good player after next offseason. Ditto with Okung. The other 7 players at 30 or older will have a combined 7 years left on their contracts, while all still being usable except Jake Long, who may retire.

Training Camp
The Seahawks training camp this year took place in a very unusual place. A High School gymnasium & track. Kickin it old skool was Head Coach London Fletcher, who wanted his guys to recapture the love of the game. Old Pull-up & Dip bars, pegboards, a rope hanging from the ceiling, all the things that make us nostalgic for our youthful athletic endeavors were present at Garfield High School. During this camp, a few of the fun events were conducted on those things, and even a timed 1-mile run.

(some) Results of the meaningless morale competitions:
1 mile run: HB James Frankel - 4:55
Fastest Rope Climb: Tyrann Mathieu
Best Pegboard posture: Brigadier Younger (the stork!)

Actual speed was built during the speed camp activities, with WR Joey Galloway brought in to oversee some phases of the training. Joey is not a personal trainer, more a celebrity and speed demon by reputation. But the guys seemed quite a bit more determined to work on their speed following some of the tape displays of Joey in his heyday, and the angles defenders tried and failed to use on him.

Those successes definitely sunk in with TE Brigadier Younger and Ivan Holmes. Though neither is known as a Joey Galloway, those same disappearing acts happen in short and intermediate distances between linebackers and safeties, and both focused hard on their training on sprint days, as well as in the weight room.

HB Homes not only added 10 LBs, but got faster by the end of the training camp. Younger did get faster as well, and is one of the fastest TEs the league has ever seen.

WR Nix also has been showing results, but his work has not just been in speed but in footwork, short area burst, and overall technique as an athlete getting in and out of the breaks in his route. Nix is one of those otherworldly athletes who's successes can clearly be traced to a supreme work ethic that others can't touch, while being blessed with a frame and musculature that are quite elite as well.

OLB Hans Nelson is the most noteworthy defender this offseason, as he competes with Younger to work on his closing speed while in coverage. Nelson and Younger have been inseparable during strength and conditioning days, and Nelson's speed work is working wonders on him.

All in all, these youngsters are quite impressive, and the training camp has brought out the best in them through competition and the daily gains they have earned.

Upcoming season
There are still several young players in key positions. While we count on growth from the young stars, the losses included experience at LT, and LOLB that we are replacing with far less awareness and skill (in some cases) than we had a year ago. Those 15-ish seasons lost from those two positions alone should have an effect on the offense and defense, while the growth at WR and in the defensive secondary will help tremendously.

Overall, I see the team improving. Simply too many stars and upcoming stars are playing together to predict anything mediocre for this team, especially while providing a two-deep QB group that can get the ball to the right place at the right time.

The defense overall should take another step towards shutting down the average team, and slowing down the great ones. With two 25 year old safeties, between 80-90 AWR, and two tall, athletic studs at CB, the pass defense will arrive. Three of those 4 are 6'1", and the 4th is 6'2", with the slowest guy in that group being SS Ambrose at 91 SPD, and the rest being 95 SPD or higher.

At the same time, the 25 year old star MLB has plenty of help in front of him, and to his right in stuffing the run. The DL is the most experienced and highest-awareness group on the defense. This defense should be top 5 or better.

On offense, I expect nothing but growth from the passing team. Even though OL isn't in a perfect place, Cam is smart, decisive, a strong runner, and has insanely great athletes to throw to at WR. In the running game the blockers will progress another year at most positions, while the LT is the only immediate downgrade. Ivan may be as well, but as big and strong as he is I imagine he'll be an asset from the beginning, perhaps greater than Jordan Howard has been so far. At 6'3", Ivan is BUILT for destruction, and is hopefully the next Brandon Jacobs or LaGarrette Blount for me.

Special teams continue to be among the league leaders in available talent, and shows no signs of falling off.

I am excited to see this team perform, and am expecting a similar result to last year's team, a team that needed some luck to bound our way to get to 11-5. This year I'll predict a 12-4, but really an 11-5 season would be very successful for us. I suspect that 11-5 was a bit of an over-successful season last year, and that playing a true 11-5 this year would still be a step forward.

I will add, that from where I sit, looking at the ages of these up and comers, that the best chance at another SB trophy appears to be with a version of this roster.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 11/01/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 12
Seahawks end quiet period, sign one FA starter
Up against the Cap, the Seahawks made a flurry of moves to start the offseason, and since then have made a series of cuts to continue to keep their young talent around and clear space for the draft. They have almost completely ignored free agency, but in the past week have awoken to make some moves.

FA Signings
FS Blaine Ambrose - 5 years, 17.15M Salary, 3.7M Bonus
RG Russell Okung - 3 years (Re-sign), 19.24M Salary, 4.08M Bonus
MLB Denver Wakefield - 5 years (Re-sign), 6.11M Salary, 890k Bonus

Ambrose was one of two safeties that Seattle targeted as a long-term SS for their rebuilt secondary. Freeman likely received an appropriately large contract, but Ambrose is younger and more likely to earn the full 5-year contract Seattle has offered. Ambrose is a former 5th round pick that is a good athlete for the position, with strong abilities to play the safety position.

The biggest downside for Ambrose is quite the downer for a safety. Injury resiliency is not high.

Okung returns for probably the last years of his career, making nearly 6M this season. He will continue to start at RG for this team. Wakefield is an obscene athlete, while undersized. This makes him a star at special teams, while a very nice addition to the defense when needed. He could be a star on the field if he holds up to the physical needs of the position. A perfect backup for the price.

FA Leavings
LT Bobby Gilbert
WR Anthony Perez
RT Jason Smith
TE Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith is one of the best TE's the GZL has seen, and after an entire career in Seattle, finds himself priced too high for the current roster. Seattle may attempt to bring him back still. Anthony Perez is the big name here though, as he got star money from the Colts.

2 years, 27.5 million salary, 11M of it is bonus money.

The linemen aren't starters, and would be more expensive than Seattle can afford right now for backup linemen.

RFA Signings
LG Randy Schmitt - 1 year, 930k
HB Jonathan Cortez - 1 year, 930k
C Perry Howard - 1 year, 930k
WR Tashaun Leonard - 5 years, 15.13M Salary, 2.55M Bonus

Leonard has been a pretty nice WR/PR for the team over his first three years, a very nice deep threat for a 5th round pick. He's averaged over 15 YPC on 104 catches, with 8 TDs, and another 29 Yards per kick return, and 4.5 yards per punt return on a combined 33 returns.

The other three have been and are slated to be backups, although Cortez had a loud and successful rookie year. Ultimately, only Leonard has long term security from this group.

After all of this, Seattle has a bit less than 5M in cap room, and may see another cap casualty or two during or after the upcoming draft.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 09/22/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 18
Seahawks make big moves: Prepare to launch
Oh boy, some big moves are being made in Seattle. Sentiment in some cases, and cold calculation in others, big money and big players have moved off and onto the roster, and a first round pick added.

Trades
:
Seahawks trade: Patriots 5th
Vikings trade: QB Cameron Newton
After an emotional separation last season, Newton is brought back, costing a mere 13.5M this season. More palatable than his number would have been previously, but not an efficient process the way it worked out. Plus, money is tight this year, so this will bring on a domino effect

:
Seahawks trade:
CB Jacob Reed
49ers 2nd (2.3)
Patriots 3rd (3.13)
Future Seahawks 7th round pick

Lions trade:
Lions 1st (1.11)
Future Lions 3rd round pick
This is a blockbuster, the big one of the offseason so far. Seahawks have spent some development time on Reed after acquiring him a couple years ago, and he had a breakthrough year a season ago. But Seattle ended up with three top CBs, but not the playing time for all of them. The Lions give up 1.11, which could be a more talented CB, but get a polished starter now, plus an early 2nd round pick and a swap of a current year 3rd for a future 3rd.

Seattle loses a favorable contract. Reed was being paid like a 3rd CB, while coming with the skill of a 2nd CB. Instead it has to re-sign Hunter Hill and is paying 1st round money to Marlon Humphrey over the next 5 years.

An interesting amount of draft capitol changing hands on both sides, plus a blue-chip player. But what need is Seattle aiming for with 1.11?

Cuts
QB Howard Christensen
OLB Casey Carter
SS Mike Greenfield

The two defenders were making a little over 10M, but both had lost a step and thus became quite overpriced. Christensen may be the league MVP, but was pushed out to make financial room for Newton.

All together, these three cuts represent nearly 20M in cap clearance.

Restructure
CB Hunter Hill got himself a very nice contract. However, I don't recall the terms of the deal at the moment, as it has been a while since it was signed. If I recall, he was reupped for 7 years, or until he's 35.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 08/24/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 20
Seahawks: 2022 is over...what To-Do next?
Energy and disappointment, and disappointed energy are swirling around the front office for the Seahawks this time around. More analysis will be done I'm sure, but a preliminary look is warranted for such a critical upcoming season.

On the offensive side the WRs will continue to grow into their dominating selves, but the offensive line is patched together with old guys. It worked well as a pass-blocking force but the run game was only ordinary. This article is more of a to-do list than a retrospective, but the first cannot come without a bit of the other.

To-do:
Re-sign the OL while being able to afford it
Upgrade at HB could be desirable
Replacement at #2 TE

On the defensive side the play was higher for much of the year, but a couple of spots have been vacated without a prospective player in place. The pass rush from the 3-4 generated a good amount of pressure and turnovers, assisted no-doubt by the young, re-built secondary. Outside of replacing things, my biggest concerns are health at key positions (CB, DE, MLB) that lack great backups.

To-do:
Find SS starter
Upgrade over LOLB Nelson

Finally, the most important part. Cap Health. It looks to me like the Seahawks have about 5M in room, prior to cutting about 10 million in slowed defensive players. However, they are discussing bringing back Cam Newton, looking at some of their key FAs, and of course, signing draft picks and free agents.

This looks like a squeeze year for the Seahawks, and it couldn't come at a worse time when the team is on the rise. There really are two ways to go about this:

1. Ride it out for cap health. Building nearly 25M in cap bonus penalties is most of the reason we're in this predicament. Limit ourselves to about 10M this year and next year will be healthy.

2. Cut big numbers down, and go all-in with this young team. Too much talent to wait it out a year.

So which path will it be? Wait and you'll see.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 08/03/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 13
Seahawks offense breaks out, 49ers QB's break down
It takes two.

On average, I'd estimate around 2-3 possessions per quarter for each team in a GZL game. The average points scored per game is somewhere in the low 20s...for roughly 1.5-2 points per possession.

Counting defensive scores as possessions, the Seahawks scored 57 points on 11 possessions (pre-kneeldown). Over 5 points per possession doh

They had a lot of help.

49ers
Early in the 1st quarter, Geno Smith was taking hits. He weathered a sack, but on another early hit he went down for the game. This was Smith's 1st or second drive, and had lasting impact on the entire game.

Davis Webb was a rookie being thrown into a meat grinder. The pressure 3-4 he faced in this game forced him into many mistakes, with 5 sacks taken and 5 INTs thrown.

Brett Hundley may have been a better option, he came in when Webb was hurt briefly, throwing for 1 incompletion and taking one sack.

49ers QB's in total
26/48, 54%, 306 passing yards (277 after sack yardage), 7 sacks, 1 TD, 5 INTS

80 yards passing and a TD on the last drive really made this day look slightly less like garbage, but on any day the opponent drops back 55 times times and the play results in either a sack or an INT 1 out of 5 times, you just dominated a passing game. On this day, sacks and INTs were only a part of the story. Davis Webb completed 6 consecutive passes part of the way into the final drive, pushing his completion percentage above 50% late in the 4th quarter, and his yards above 200.

Seahawks
Seahawks pass defenders got their hands on 16/48 passes, including the 5 INTs. But the real story of the game was the pressure from the 3-4 defense, where Casey Carter earned 3 sacks, Donald 2 (from the 5-tech position), and many more hurries and hits forced those throws to covered bodies.

On offense, it was actually a pretty ordinary game. The run game was not dominant. The passing game was mostly boosted by an 88 and a 95 yard TD completion. The rest of the game Howard Christensen was 12/18 for roughly 150-160ish yards, and 1 TD.

The large number of points game largely from short fields on 7 takeaways. Besides those two long passing TDs, the offense scored 2 TDs, and 5 FGs. In total 4 TDs and 5 FGs is good, but a dominant offense scores more TDs than FGs in most games.

All in all, this will be one I'll always remember tuning in for. A game where so many things went right, the #1 WR starter came in on defense, picked up a fumble, and returned it for 58 yards and a score. A game where 2 QBs were knocked out. A game where no punts were logged by Seattle. A game where the defense dominated a hapless team.

A game where the Seahawks scored 57 points without any one dominating player being the cause. A total team victory.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 03/28/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 17
From 5-11 to...?


In Armani Chance's first full year of health, the offense took a big step backwards. Sometimes this stuff can be majorly confusing.

How big of a step backwards?

2020
2nd - PPG
4th - YPG
1st - Rush YPG
25th - Pass YPG
3rd - 3rd down pct

2021
32nd - PPG
31st - YPG
21st - Rush YPG
30th - Pass YPG
28th - 3rd down pct

Last Season
The issues obviously start with the run game. After a fantastic rookie year, Jonathan Cortez took a huge step backwards in his sophomore season. From 5.0 YPG to 3.6 YPG, and 13 TDs to 2, Cortez looked more like an ordinary 3rd round selection than a mid-round star. There are a couple of changes that may have led to this.

FB change: Darren Hixon to Tra Carson
Hixon is both 20 AWR better, and 3-6 ACC/SPD better than Carson, which may have been the biggest factor.

OL age: Seattle was starting 3 players in their 2nd-4th year, at LT, LG, and RG. But they were the same OL from a year earlier. This shouldn't been a factor.

TE blocking: Last season Courtney Smith spent about half the time or less as the #1 TE, giving up a lot of AWR to Dominic Franklin. Could be a factor.

Game-plan: 2020, nearly always Broncos Gameplan. 2021, Run-Heavy, Colts, and Run Balanced were all run as much or more than Broncos. Possibly the biggest factor, but the 4 weeks running Broncos saw Cortez never breaking 4 YPC.

Outside of these issues, the passing game did not become the saving grace despite the real rookie year for Armani Chance.

Chance did have a great year, with 74 catches, 1118 yards, and 6 TDs for an offense that only threw for barely 3000 yards and 17 TDs. Outside of that, it was a struggle for Newton, who was sacked a staggering 57 times. Despite a huge amount of pressure, Newton was able to limit his INTs, with only 12 despite 452 pass attempts. In fact, he seemed to be carrying the team with his ability to limit the turnovers and allow the defense to keep them in the game.

On the defensive side, things got a lot better. Another year with Hunter Hill and extra polish for the young defensive players was fruitful. The biggest improvement between the two years is seen when comparing the QB rating.
2020: 90 QB rating allowed (30th)
2021: 72.5 QB rating allowed (9th)

Besides Hill, Mike Greenfield was a fantastic addition. 5 INTs and 22 DFL added up quick for the 6'3" former Raider, and he added 2 FR for 86 yards and a TD. He and Mathieu added a lot with their veteran skill and still-great athleticism.

In the front 7, Leonard Floyd and Coleman Burke had very good years, with 23 TFL between them. The DL added 24 sacks and 39 tackles for loss.

All together, the defense was on the field a LOT and only allowed 23.4 PPG this past season. If the offense can do anything better than 17 PPG, this defense is losing nothing from a year ago.

Special teams aren't notable from past year, but were very good at the kicking spots. Gregory Kelly had 96 punts (3rd most) with 4425 yards (2nd) and a 46 yard average (6th). He was the defense's best friend, while Kai Forbath only missed 2 of his FGs, going 33/35.

Offseason Reloading
This was an offseason to remember. I have not been this active in quite a long time. One measure of that is that I've already reached 24.8M in cap penalty. Another is being able to get to 1.1, 1.7, and 1.13 from having only 1.7, something I would have never bet on being able to accomplish myself. I've already memorialized much of it at this point in several other articles. But (as I've already been paid GZQ for that) I'm going to cover the ins and outs here anyway.

Remember the focus was for improvement in the following areas:
Don't lost momentum on a young but improving defense
Fix the worst offense in the league

Gone:
DE Mario Williams
DE Connor Barwin
FB Harvey Unga
RG Jahri Evans (Retired)
MLB Aaron Curry (Retired)
DT Brandon Mebane (Retired)
WR Rock Pritchett (Trade)
OLB Marten Ford (Trade)
TE Dominick Franklin (Trade)
OT Arie Kouandjio (Trade)
OG Zach Martin (Trade)
DT Cameron Reed (Cut)
CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (Cut)
OLB Micky Williams (Cut)
QB Cameron Newton (Amnasty)

The losses can be summed up in three different groups. The first is starters, including Newton, Reed, Martin, Kouandjio, Pritchett, and Evans at C. On defense these losses were not problematic, as no drop-off in talent was felt, so I'll ignore that. On offense I'll do the full analysis of these losses in the next section, but here's what is important to pay attention to. QB Newton throwing to Pritchett needs to be replaced by something better. And the loss of three starting OL has to be mitigated as well.

The second group would be old guys and "legacy Hawks," those retirees and FAs that are either old and done, or signed merely to end their career in Seattle, like Mebane and Curry. Nothing to see here, except a group of legacy guys that decided not to retire yet. Maybe you'll see them on this list in a year.

The third group is everyone else: Depth and prospects. They either weren't that important, or were replaceable. We'll see how that went, but in my opinion those guys were upgraded.

Arrived:
OLB Casey Carter (Trade)
RT Russell Okung (Trade)
WR Anthony Perez (Trade)
QB Cody Kessler (Trade)
QB Landry Jones (Trade)
DT Fritz Archuleta (FA)
OG Leroy Cerny (FA)
OG Jake Long (FA)
-Draft Class-

This is a pretty nice group. On defense you'll see Archuleta and Carter, replacements at DT and OLB that upgrade the already good young defense. Archuleta also comes from the Rams, meaning they had to spend some draft capitol to replace him if I recall correctly. Another place the defense improved is at CB, where a starting CB was drafted 7th overall, and the 4th/5th CB was drafted at 5.1. You can never have too many starting-worthy CBs, and Seattle has 3-4 this year.

On offense, the OL was patched with Long and Okung, while the C position was left to Jon Mitchell, who was signed last year but didn't beat out Jahri Evans for the starting role. I see these changes as roughly even with last year, but of course long term being a big step down.

Koua and Martin were traded on the way to turning 1.7 and a high 2nd into 1.1, 1.7, and 1.13. Two of this picks went back onto the offense, in picking up 6'4" Nix and 6'6" Younger to catch passes. Cameron Hester appears to be the starter, and he's not a huge step down from Newton but is a noticeable one. Levi Jones is a good backup, but Jones and Hester is worse than Newton and Hester. The hope here is that the pass catchers make the difference.

Another reason to believe in that boost is the addition of Anthony Perez. With him, Seattle now has 3 6'3" and 96 SPD WRs, along with a 6'6" 87 SPD TE and a 5'8" 97 SPD WR. There's no reason this offense can't be better than a year ago even with a downgrade at QB.

The draft has already been talked about, but I'm going to add information on the best non-1st round picks of the Seahawks draft.

3.9 - HB James Frankel
This guy is almost unbelievable. Too weak and fumble-prone to be a HB, too poor of hands to be a WR, too bad at blocking to be a FB, too short and small to play TE. Maybe he can be a KR? This is the sort of guy with eye-popping athleticism, and enough skills to back up every position. But not enough skills to start at any of them.

I have no idea what to do with this guy.

4.2 - OLB Hans Nelson
6'6", with crazy speed but no skills and no strength. I just added two of these guys. Nelson could be awesome in pass coverage if he ever progressed enough. It's pretty unlikely he'll ever do that though.

5.1 - CB Harry Jones Sr.
Right now my 5th CB, behind Hill, Mathieu, Humphrey, and Reed, Jones can be a strong nickel defender on this team. Great talent for 5.1.

New Contracts
MLB Denver Wakefield (RFA)
OLB Coleman Burke (RFA restructure)
DE Aaron Donald (Restructure)

Denver Wakefield is likely to be a FA target for Seattle to retain as a key backup at MLB. Burke is already a top starter after 3 years, and at over 5M per year APY is paid quite well for a 3rd round LB.

The key here of course is Donald, who at a little over 8M per year on a 7 year deal is highly paid, yet far under market for a guy like him if he ever hit the open market. Donald's lofty goals apparently include staying with one team over his career, and I guess he's satisfied enough with the transactions this team is making to believe being competitive is around the corner. He did get over 23.5M in his contract bonus, making him a very wealthy man, even living in Seattle.

Training Camp
Seattle might just be the team that has the GZL insiders buzzing most, the team the most will pick for a turnaround. Others might point to the extreme youth movement at key positions (WR, HB, TE, LB) as reasons to think the team will be too inconstant to win much this year. But there's no denying the buzz around several of the players on this team. With recent first rounders playing MLB, WR1, WR2, CB, FS, OG, and TE, there are several highlight-reel plays being made all throughout training camp.

The players who are making this buzz are undoubtably the young WR duo, Chance and Nix. Not exactly two peas in a pod as rookies, with Chance having a two-year head start they are nearly identical players. I'm very interested in seeing how opponents come out to deal with these two guys. Best CB on Nix? Tallest CB on Nix? Quickest on Chance? With two players this close of athletes, you almost can't go wrong in how you cover them.

Nor can you go wrong in how you play them. Let either one of them end up in single-coverage and just throw them the ball. This is going to be an exciting year.

Nearly identically they are giving Hunter Hill and Marlon Humphrey hell. Merely 6'2" and 6'1" respectively, these two CBs are really struggling against Chance and Nix. All four of these players are working on their speed and footwork together under the tutelage of speed coach Darrell Green, hired specially for this offseason. Green has been getting real, tangeable benefits out of Humphrey, Chance, and Nix specifically while helping Hunter Hill not to slow down as he continues to push into his late-20s.

Another set of players who have been turning heads is TE Younger, MLB Floyd, and OLB Nelson. At 6'4" to 6'6", the footspeed of this trio is ridiculous. It feels like football has taken a turn towards the super-athlete with all of these freakish players coming out in the draft and joining this one team.

Younger and Floyd have also been putting in enough work to see real speed benefits. Their regimen has included two extra "speed workout" days per week, as well as significant lower-body strength workouts to handle their secondary role in the trenches, and not just focus on their ability in the passing game. Nelson has instead been putting in his extra time in the film room, trying to work on patching up his weaknesses. Alas, he just doesn't seem like he's going to get any better there before his first regular-season game. If we could put Ray Lewis' head on this guy's body, we might just have a super-star in Nelson. Those sorts of transplants just don't have much history of success yet in human history.

Upcoming Season Predictions
Oh boy, can I predict three seasons from now?
2025: 14-2
So let's work backwards
2024: 12-4
2023: 11-5
2022: 9-7

Now that that silliness is out of the way, let's talk about the improvements in the ID'd areas of concern. Starting from least concern to most.

On special teams, none of the important members left. K, P, PR, and KR are all still with the team and have not regressed. Nothing to see here.

On defense, none of the positions got worse, and DT got better. Starting CB may have improved, but again 9/11 starters return, with the two new players being equal or better than their former seat-warmers. Archuleta makes the $$/performance ratio a bit worse, but man this defense is pretty close to returning to elite status. If not there today.

On offense, are all of the biggest areas of concern. At QB is still the most concern. Hester is a good player, but Newton had reached the elite tier of throwers. Hester is another year or two from that, and at 31 won't be growing much longer anyway. Levi Jones is similarly old, but is a good backup for this team. At WR and TE, the team is obviously better. From league-average to the league's best athletes. Not the best WRs in the league skill-wise, that's 4 years from now. But the best athletes, clearly. The OL has a lot of turnover, three spots. But it doesn't seem to be any worse this year. The HBs and FBs are the same, but are a year older and a bit better.

Overall, the offense can't be much worse, and are expected to be much better. If they are consistent (not too young) then this offense could be carried by this defense to the playoffs...making enough big plays to win some games for the defense. The biggest question mark is still the running game. Does this passing game need the run game to be great? Or can the passing game carry the team enough to making running easier?

The defense itself should be about ready to dominate running games, and already was breaking into the top 10 of pass defenses. Of course, injuries could sideline this group, but I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing Seattle in the top 5 of defenses this year.

They have the absolute strongest 4-man DL in the league. Their LBs are very athletic and have a good amount of skill. The secondary is also skilled and athletic, and have two very good safeties backing up a very athletic cornerbacks.

Bottom line, I'm predicting 9-7 because the team is young, but with the growth potential to break out and be a 12-4 type of team. The real question is, have we caught up with the Rams yet? I don't think team vs team Seattle beats the Rams this year, as the Rams elite CBs are good matches for Seattle's young WRs, and will be for another year or two. They also have a strong WR corps that can put pressure on our secondary like few can.

But can we win more games than them? I think it's possible.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 02/26/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 39
Seahawks Preseason: First glimpse of rookie class
The Seahawks got an early peek at the schedule last night, noticing four teams were on the list. (last year's records included)

Giants (7-9)
Bengals (9-7)
Lions (7-9)
Cardinals (5-11)


Against that competitive set of teams, Seattle is hoping to get a good showing from several revamped areas of the team. And of course, preseason is always a good test of depth for each position.

Youth
With three of the top 13 picks, the Seahawks will be relying on rookie production immediately in the passing game. In pass defense, Humphrey does not need to rush to start, but will likely earn at least the majority of nickle snaps. No other positions got younger at starter except DT, where FA Archuleta left the Rams and replaced Cameron Reed.

The Seahawks strongly need to see immediate impact from Younger at TE and Nix at WR to compliment the other growth from its young offense with Armani Chance and two HBs in their 2nd and 3rd year. Signs of explosiveness and consistency are what is needed from this preseason look.

Improvement & Changes
The team has changed significantly at QB, with scrambling no longer a part of the offense. Hester will hopefully be a good enough decision-maker to adequately replace Newton, and could thrive with the exciting talents at wide-out.

The OL also got older at LT and RG, and with the additional polish may come superior offensive production in every facet. The center position may be worse than a year ago, that has yet to be worked out in camp.

WR has been the focus of the offseason, and the Seahawks boast the scariest top 5 in the league. A streak to any one of them is going to have a big effect on the defense, with only the TE Younger going slower than 95 SPD, but making up for it by going against LBs and S's, and by being 6'6". Three 6'3" 96 SPD guys (or better) are going to be rough on a defense to deal with.

On defense, improvement will most likely come from experience, as the young players continue to grow year by year. MLB, both DEs, ROLB, and FS are all manned by young exciting athletes that are catching up with their experience and skill level. No where on the defense is a projected drop-off, but this D was not elite last year.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 02/12/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 16
Seahawks pre & post-draft moves: Three cuts, 2 signings
While getting the cap room to sign their entire class of ten players, the Seahawks had to let go of some players, including one they planned on keeping. Fortunately, the other two were planned cuts they just hadn't gotten around to doing by that point.

Before the draft, we knew money would be an issue and spent some of it anyway to fix a hole we blasted in the offensive line. The other FA signing was to get a cheap contract at OG to keep OL costs down.

Pre-Draft FA
RG Leroy Cerny
RG Jake Long

This year we traded away offensive linemen to add strength in the draft at CB, WR, and TE. Skill positions. One way this was mitigated was to look at aging linemen and pick one out. No, Cerny is just a cheap contract to keep costs down. I'm talking about Jake Long.

Long is a net upgrade for this year over Martin, but a net downgrade long term as he is 37 years old. He's not as strong as Zach, but a bit faster and a near-perfect blocker. He should be a very good 1-2 year stop-gap at RG, long enough for the Seattle offense to develop it's considerably talented young pass-catchers into a premium offense.

Cuts
OLB Micky Williams
CB DeMarcus Van Dyke
DT Cameron Reed

Williams and DVD have already regressed some, and were not going to start for their roughly 6M combined contribution to the team's cap. Reed though, found himself a cap casualty of the Seahawks spending to get a younger DT, and with Seattle having to choose between the pure NT Reed and the still studly dual-role Brockers, the Ospreys choose Brockers for just slightly more money than Reed.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 02/10/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 17
Seahawks Skew results: No Diamonds
Overall, I have to breath a huge sigh of relief. None of the 3rd-6th round picks for Seattle were integral players, or even expected starters. But all in all this was not the usual skew for Seattle.

I'm used to seeing one or two guys get a huge positive skew, and several guys getting completely neutered. Or some guys getting large positive AND negative skews at the same time.

All in all, the changes were negative, but very small changes. No one lost their role in the process of seeing these changes. No one gained a better one.

3.9 - HB James Frankel, 6'1" 179 lbs

Skew results
-1 STR, -1 AWR, +1 AGI, +1 CTH, -1 CAR, -1 BTK, -2 INJ, -2 TGH

Career Outlook
Frankel stayed pretty much the same player, with the same intriguing blend of athleticism, size, hands, and KR ability. His weaknesses (STR/CAR/ACC) remained weaknesses.

4.2 - OLB Hans Nelson, 6'6" 228 lbs

Skew results
-1 SPD, -1 STR, +1 AWR, -1 AGI, +1 ACC, +1 JMP, -1 STA, -1 INJ, -2 TGH

Career Outlook
Negative skew, but not really changing who he is. Hans remains a tall, super-athletic (for 6'6") project with a very long shot to make it into the starting rotation.

5.1 - CB Harry Jones Sr, 5'9" 177 lbs

Skew results
-1 SPD, +2 AWR, -2 AGI, +1 ACC, +3 JMP, +2 STA, -2 INJ

Career Outlook
Jones Sr stays special despite an overal negative skew. This was close to a no-impact skew, but the overall -2 in SPD/AGI/ACC outweighs other positive changes. Same role, same career expectations, which remain high for a 5th round pick.

5.2 - FS Quinn Attler, 5'10" 179 lbs

Skew results
-1 SPD, -4 STR, +1 AWR, -4 AGI, +2 ACC, +2 CTH, +1 JMP, -2 STA, +2 INJ, +3 TGH

Career Outlook
For a 5'10" FS relying on good athleticism and great skills, this hurts. He's still a backup, and can be a long term guy, but drops a class in who he can truly cover, when he already had limitations.

5.23 - LE Exetor Dryer, 6'4" 268 lbs

Skew results
+1 STR, +2 ACC, +2 TAK, -2 STA, +3 INJ, -2 TGH

Career Outlook
Pretty much all positive, but not enough to make him a useful DE.

6.2 - LE Eusebio Fillotobo, 6'1" 251 lbs

Skew results
-2 SPD, -2 STR, +2 AWR, -2 AGI, +1 ACC, +1 TAK, +3 STA, +1 INJ, -4 TGH

Career Outlook
Fillotobo was already a long shot. Now he's worse. At least we didn't care about him in the first place.

6.15 - DT Jakob Smith, 6'6" 299 lbs

Skew results
+4 SPD, -2 STR, +2 AGI, +2 TAK, -3 STA, -4 TGH

Career Outlook
No changes. Smith is still a mediocre player that fills out the end of the roster quite well with good awareness.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 02/07/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 16
Seahawks Draft Class: Championship foundation
1.1 - WR Ja'Vonte Nix, 6'4" 222 lbs

Athletics Ratings - A
95 SPD, 71 STR, 95 AGI, 91 ACC, 91 JMP, 73 STA, 88 INJ, 79 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B
65 AWR, 84 CTH, 71 BTK

Career Outlook
Almost pointless to discuss the career of a 1.1 guy. He'll start his entire career, and likely stay in Seattle until he's 32 or retired. Nix is one of the best 2-4 WRs to ever come out in the GZL draft. He's instantly the best WR on the roster for Seattle. And he changes Seattle's offense by drawing the #1 CB, possibly opening up Armani Chance for a long, satisfying career alongside Nix.

1.7 - CB Marlon Humphrey, 6'1" 198 lbs

Athletics Ratings - A-
93 SPD, 64 STR, 95 AGI, 94 ACC, 90 JMP, 86 STA, 87 INJ, 78 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B
70 AWR, 60 CTH, 55 TAK

Career Outlook
Humphrey is not the freak Nix is, which is why he made it to 1.7. But he'll have a long career, probably with Seattle as a nice running-mate with Hunter Hill. It seems making young starting duos at WR/CB seems to be the theme of this draft so far. WRs 6'3" & 6'4", CBs 6'2" and 6'1". Seattle is starting to get really tall and fast outside of the numbers.

1.13 - TE Brigadier Younger, 6'6" 240 lbs

Athletics Ratings - A
87 SPD, 72 STR, 84 AGI, 81 ACC, 80 JMP, 84 STA, 90 INJ, 88 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - C+
54 AWR, 77 CTH, 52 PBK, 55 RBK

Career Outlook
Obviously the best TE in this draft, and one of the best receiving TE's to come out in a while. The league may think he went to early, but it's easy to wonder if someone will fall and hard to predict exactly who will take the first TE. Younger represents a shift towards passing the ball for Seattle, as he's not an ideal blocker but is a great deep threat from the TE position.

3.9 - HB James Frankel, 6'1" 179 lbs

Athletics Ratings - B+
95 SPD, 55 STR, 97 AGI, 85 ACC, 68 STA, 84 INJ, 87 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - C+
65 AWR, 84 CTH, 71 BTK

Career Outlook
Why did Seattle get this guy? Clearly he looks like a change of pace back, but with fumbling problems and no strength. Apparently, his WR skills and versatiliy is what made him attractive to Seattle. Frankel looks like a HB/WR tweener that may be best on special teams. Where is this going?

4.2 - OLB Hans Nelson, 6'6" 228 lbs

Athletics Ratings - B+
87 SPD, 60 STR, 85 AGI, 82 ACC, 90 STA, 84 INJ, 81 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - D
47 AWR, 57 CTH, 69 TAK

Career Outlook
Hans seems to be partly an elite player, and partly a never-ending project. That makes early 4th round an appropriate place for him to go. Will he ever start? I don't know.

5.1 - CB Harry Jones Sr, 5'9" 177 lbs

Athletics Ratings - A
95 SPD, 64 STR, 92 AGI, 94 ACC, 95 JMP, 82 STA, 93 INJ, 94 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B-
63 AWR, 54 CTH, 48 TAK

Career Outlook
This guy is a special little talent for a 5th round pick. His football skills are suspect, as he doesn't tackle or catch very well. But he can absolutely be a strong nickle or even a good starter in this league with a couple years of seasoning. Does start out with pretty good awareness, and is a fantastic athlete.

5.2 - FS Quinn Attler, 5'10" 179 lbs

Athletics Ratings - B-
91 SPD, 63 STR, 87 AGI, 87 ACC, 89 JMP, 86 STA, 84 INJ, 74 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B
65 AWR, 74 CTH, 63 TAK

Career Outlook
Attler is the exact opposite of Jones Sr. He's a "just good enough" athlete, but has great skills. Paired with good awareness he may just be able to be a long-term backup for Seattle.

5.23 - LE Exetor Dryer, 6'4" 268 lbs

Athletics Ratings - B-
77 SPD, 74 STR, 69 AGI, 79 ACC, 77 STA, 80 INJ, 73 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B
70 AWR, 66 CTH, 74 TAK

Career Outlook
Ok backup, not a good starter. With a great skew will still never be more than an ok starter.

6.2 - LE Eusebio Fillotobo, 6'1" 251 lbs

Athletics Ratings - B
78 SPD, 70 STR, 81 AGI, 77 ACC, 75 STA, 82 INJ, 86 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - C+
66 AWR, 68 CTH, 68 TAK

Career Outlook
Somehow, DE's are coming out with better hands than the cornerbacks. Maybe these two guys get lucky, get on the field and come away with a couple INTs. Most likely they don't make it on the field.

6.15 - DT Jakob Smith, 6'6" 299 lbs

Athletics Ratings - C+
52 SPD, 89 STR, 57 AGI, 69 ACC, 84 STA, 90 INJ, 79 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B-
70 AWR, 68 TAK

Career Outlook
Smith is a decent backup DT. But that's all he's ever going to be without a huge skew.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 02/03/2017) Replies - 20 :: Views - 166
Seahawks Offseason Update: Contract Extension two on Defense



Now that the RFA stage is over, the dust has settled on the very few players in Seattle that were up for decisions. Here's what has been happening around Seattle the past couple days.

RFA Stage
This season Seattle had two RFAs left, both 3rd round linebackers from the 2019 draft. One, Coleman Burke is a starter and borderline star already. The other, Denver Wakefield is a backup MLB and special teams speed demon. Wakefield has started a handful of games, and is a stat machine with his insane speed. Here's what one person thought about getting these two in the 3rd round in that draft.

W_Pearce :
I look at the two linebackers you took in the 3rd round and think "those are the players the Lions should have drafted in the 2nd round."


In the RFAs they were given the following tenders:
ROLB Coleman Burke - 1st round pick
MLB Denver Wakefield - Original round drafted (3rd)

With neither of them recieving an offer from the other teams in this league, Burke returned to Seattle and negotiated a 5 year contract that begins this season.

Big News
The big news here is the contract extension for LE Aaron Donald. A foundational player on this team, Donald tore up the last year of his contract and signed a 7 year deal to stay in Seattle, becoming a Free Agent again when he is 34. Aaron has yet to dominate passers the way Clowney has, and may never get there. But as near as I can tell, he has already set one DE record for the GZL

TFL - Single Season
Aaron Donald - 24
Quinten Coples - 20
Couple DEs - 19

Normally a stat dominated by MLBs, a TFL is every bit as valuable as a sack. In a year that Manti Te'o set a new record, Donald's season was TFL away from tying for the 5th most ever in this league.

Sacks come with winning, when you force the other team to attempt 5-10 more passes per game. His time will come. But unlike some of the weaker pass rushers, Donald is dominant at run defense. And he he has been rewarded for it.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/22/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 15
At 1.1, Seahawks will draft...




Oregon's freak WR, Ja'Vonte Nix.



Calvin Johnson was a player who at 6'5" and 240 lbs was one of the biggest freak athletes ever to play in the GZL. Since him, a small string of players with skills similar to his have come into the league and several of them have dominated despite a lack of polished skills and short area quickness. Some have yet to meet their potential.

Mike Evans and Dorial Green-Beckham. Julio Jones, AJ Green, & Demaryius Thomas. In the GZL Keenan Allen, Stephen Hill, Marlon Brown, Devin Funchess and Donald Lake. Here in this league this group represents the prototypical #1 WR. I have to throw in the league's only 6'7" WR as well in Aaron Drogan, and I'm sure I've missed a few as they've regressed.

None of them evoked a comparison to Randy Moss like Johnson did, instead they seemed to be a new subset of guys who were very similar to the Andrew Johnson/Calvin Johnson mold. Until now.

Ja'Vonte Nix at 6'4" appears to be the only one of the group with the deep speed and elite agility to dominate not only against double-coverage downfield, but on short-area routes. Also like Moss and Calvin, Nix comes out with very good hands.

One aspect of Ja'Vonte's game that is more like the other WRs is his strength and ability to break tackles. He's no Aaron Drogan (no one is), but he is far more of an over the middle guy than Randy Moss ever was.

This league is far more athletic than the league Moss competed in, so it is unfair to expect Nix to be the single-handedly-win-the-game force that Randy or even Calvin have been. But he will put pressure on the opposition in a way that his possible Seattle replacements never could.

Welcome to Seattle, we like Pac-12 talent here!



Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/20/2017) Replies - 2 :: Views - 40
Seahawks Offseason Update: Trades




Whew! It's not quiet around here.

Trades have only been open for a little bit, and already Seattle has been a high-profile trade partner this offseason. Two star-level deals have been made, and the Seahawks were seriously involved in 3 other high-profile and exciting deals before the bidding wars ended further than we were willing to go.

Keenan Allen, Mark Perez, Terry Bailey, and 1st round picks were all involved in serious discussions for Seattle while considering what to do with 1.7, 2.7, and a late 2nd. When the dust settled, the 'Hawks had sent away a good number of qualily players and picks to get their hands on two players. Here's what went down.

Trades
:
Seattle trades:
OLB Marten Ford
3.24 (STL)

Chargers trade:
OLB Casey Carter
5.11 (SD)


:
Seattle trades:
1.7 (SEA)
2.27 (NE)
Future 2nd (SEA)
WR Rock Pritchett

Atlanta trades:
1.1 (ATL)
Future 5th (ATL)


Analysis
In the first trade, Seattle gives up a long term contract at OLB for a starter-level player in Ford. Ford is 6'6" and a GZL-worthy athlete at OLB. With seasoning, Ford will post star-level numbers in a couple of years. When he does, Casey Carter will be sitting on his couch.

That said, in the current defense Seattle has Carter is an instant upgrade. He is a current OLB star, a better athlete than Ford, and one that can equally dominate rushing a QB, in pass coverage, or in normal 4-3 run-stopping duties. Carter has a medium contract, that gets somewhat expensive next year but below top pass-rusher contracts. He should be at the top of his game next year as well, before starting to drop off. A two-year rental of a star OLB might be worth a late 3rd to Seattle, and that's what the bet is here.

At 1.7 Seattle was going to draft a big-time player no matter what. To move up to 1.1 means they are drafting a front-page star. There are a few players in this draft that warrant that label, in fact enough to reach 1.7. Yet, several of them are in the front 7 and on the OL, and do not significantly improve the Seahawks long term picture, because of the athletes already in hand. I am even ignoring DEs I can upgrade the RE position with. That reduces the group down to three players I am in love with. I've already picked 1.1, but I won't reveal the answer right this second. That's not the purpose of this particular article.

1.7 to 1.1 cost Seattle a very good WR. Pritchett is not a star, but is a force that some teams struggle to stop. A late 2nd round pick (NE) that is quite valuable, and a future 2nd round pick that can only barely be worse than the NE pick. For that, Seattle has to go from very good long term starter to a front-page star. We'll see who agrees that the pick will be that star. Maybe I'll tell you tomorrow.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/19/2017) Replies - 1 :: Views - 26
Seahawks Offseason Update: Retirees & Free Agents


In the quest to return to a championship level, I'm leaving no stone unturned including the usual franchise tracker-style articles that keep me engaged in exactly what is going on with my team. Never fear, I like to keep the tone light and throw in an interesting nugget or two when I can. But make no mistake, this is the sort of stuff I do for myself, to somewhat record the changes over time.

The offseason seems to kick off every year with another round of old guys deciding whether they'll hang up their cleats or try to make a team for another year.



Retirements
RG Jahri Evans
MLB Aaron Curry
DT Brandon Mebane

Mario Williams and Harvy Unga are holding on to try and make it through one more seaosn. But these three were all high-level performers at their position for a long, productive GZL career.

Jahri Evans finished his career as an interior lineman for the Seahawks, but spent many years as one of the top 2-3 guards in the league, blocking for Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints offense. As a Seahawk, he spent part of three seasons playing the C position for a very young OL.

Curry and Mebane's careers in Seattle and the GZL have been covered recently, and both of their numbers will be considered for retirement by the Seahawks Ring of Honor.

Free Agency
DE Mario Williams
DE Connor Barwin
FB Harvey Unga
MLB Denver Wakefield (RFA)
ROLB Coleman Burke (RFA)

At the end of last season, Seattle purged their entire FA class in favor of signing some old guys to write some feel-good story bullshit. Leaving them with zero redeemable players in free agency. Does anyone think they are going to sign Mario Williams at market value?

The RFA market is a lot more interesting. Wakefield and Burke were graded a B+ and A- respectively by Seattle homers when they were fellow 3rd round draftees.

They've both lived up to the relative hype in their own way. Burke has been an effective starter, with 26 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, and 29 pass deflections in 2.5 years of starting. Burke is a key cog in the new Seattle defense, regardless of scheme and is going to play at a high level for a long time.

With Wakefield you have to look a bit harder, but in only spot starts he has 3 games of 8 tackle or more, and has been a relentless special teams player. For 3.28 he's a good piece on this team.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/18/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 18
Seahawks sign 5 playoff veterans; all former Seahawks



The Seahawks took the unusual step today of cutting some of the backside of their roster early, and bringing back 5 former players with plenty of former playoff success. The plan here is to let some of these guys retire, whether this year or next year, but to get them in the building to spend time with Seattle's young roster and perhaps start the process of converting these guys to position coaches.

A winning culture is a pretty important. If you check out these 5 guys, 3 of the left after the 2016 SB win. Although money is often tight after a winning season, so is the margin for error in talent and experience. Bringing these guys back to be around this team is either a sign of desperation, or a move towards valuing what these players were a part of.


Players
MLB Aaron Curry
Playoff Appearances: 7
Playoff Wins: 9
SB W/L: 1/1
Other Playoff Experience: Titans

Curry's move to MLB was the start of a young, exciting defense that would eventually go to two straight SBs, losing the first and winning the second. Aaron during that time was the type of MLB that was always in the running for DPOY, but never lined the stats up right. No matter, he was one of the best MLBs in the league on any given day, and one of it's very best tacklers. He logged 16 Forced Fumbles with the Seahawks, and currently is tied for the GZL career lead with 18. He is 19th on the list for career tackles, 19th for TFLs, is currently the 3rd leading tackler for the Seahawks, and 1st for Seattle in TFLs.

FB Harvey Unga
Playoff Appearances: 7
Playoff Wins: 10
SB W/L: 2/1

Other Playoff Experience: Rams (SB W)
Before the GZL season began, there was a "draft" period for the sprinkling of quality FAs out there. Unga was my first or second signing during this time-period, and made the transition from HB to FB. Not the first or last time I've highly valued the FB position. What a move.

Unga was the engine of a run-first offense, regardless of who the back was. When LeGarrette Blount arrived, things really took off. Over his seasons with the Seahawks, Unga racked up 370 pancakes to 8 sacks allowed, along with 4 TDs. Unga is currently still 3rd on the Seahawks GZL blocking list.

DT Brandon Mebane
Playoff Appearances: 5
Playoff Wins: 4
SB W/L: 0/1

Other Playoff Experience: Bears (SB L), Titans
Mebane had a shorter Seahawks career, but from 2007 to 2013 is still 7 years, more than half of his very strong 11 year career. He left before the Seahawks headed to the SB, but got plenty of playoff experience, making it 4 for 4 with the Bears and Titans, and making it to one SB. With 37 career GZL sacks, Mebane has to be one of the best DTs in the league, but I have no known way of searching for a position's career stats.

DE Connor Barwin
Playoff Appearances: 4
Playoff Wins: 3
SB W/L: 0/0

Other Playoff Experience: Titans, Chargers
Connor Barwin was another of those early "draft" period picks, and played as the Seattle rush end for two years before moving on to a couple other very successful defenses. An "athlete" that lacked polish, Barwin is currently still 6th on Seattle's all-time sack list with 20 sacks in those two seasons, and 38th overall on the GZL list despite never completely overcoming his raw technique.

DE Brandon Bair
Playoff Appearances: 4
Playoff Wins: 6
SB W/L: 1/1
Other Playoff Experience: -none-

One of Seattle's best 5th round picks, Bair spend about 4 good years starting for the Seahawks at RE. When Mario Williams arrived, Bair became a backup, and goal-line package player, but regained his starting spot in 2016, the year Seattle won the SB. A throwback run stopper, Bair was a big part of the success of Seattle's run defense, averaging 8 TFL and 4.8 sacks per season as a starter at RE for Seattle.

Bair is not a HOF candidate by any stretch of the imagination, but he certainly was a key part of creating history on strong defense and earning the first SB win Seattle's ever had.


Analysis
The consequences for this do exist. Seattle cut:

-Nearly 13M cleared-
OLB Dontay Moch
RE Jeremiah DeVries
MLB Brody Wainwright
LE Jonn Charles
DT Mason Payne
CB Derrick Lusk
WR Kevin Jones
C Carlos Leblanc

No big losses, except the rights to match a FA contract on Moch. But Seattle did add 2.1M to the penalties for next season, limiting the Salary Cap by that much a season from now after already owing more than 16M in penalties next season.

Finally, some of those players may have given Seattle an extra RFA contract extension to a deserving, middle-roster player.

The gain is nothing tangible, with each of these vets signing a 1 year deal that expires in the offseason. And yet, I feel I've done something right.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 12/22/2016) Replies - 2 :: Views - 31
Almost There...Hawks fly again

Seattle Times
Winner of Eight Pulitzer Prizes


Seattle (AP) - Almost there...a phrase common in Seattle after losing 10 games, 9 of which were lost by a single score.

In fact, many of those losses included a lead held by Seattle, as the offense suddenly jumped to a level not seen since the last two years Seattle went to the Super Bowl. But an up and coming defense that mirrors the pre-SB Seahawks teams struggled to maintain leads, allowing 32 PPG in the first 5 weeks, and 27 PPG overall. But we'll get to why that split is important.

Offense
A year ago, I was lamenting the horrible offense, from the young OL to Cam Newton completing exactly 50% of his passes. What a difference a year makes.

There's no way to start this without the addition of the third round running back, Jonathan Cortez. Cortez and Eddie Lacy were brought in with a 3rd and 2nd round pick, and Knile Davis was sent to the Packers. This shift back to power running succeeded almost to the point of magic. We'll get to the individual stats later, but this group scored 28.4 PPG on offense, 2nd in the league. Cortez had 13 TDs on the ground, Cam had another 5, and 3 other TDs were ran in by Lacy and the FB Hixon.

Speaking of Lacy, he was expected to start, but never got comfortable in Seattle and is currently still a free agent.

The running of course had some things to do with the OL and the FB Hixon, as Cortez was a pretty raw back coming out of college. But whatever the reason, this combination was magical and spurred the rest of the offense to turn explosive.

Cameron Newton spread the ball around to three WRs, not including the best talent (Armani Chance got injured for the season early), and his long-time TE Courtney Smith. Smith had his best ever season, with nearly 900 yards receiving and 5 TDs. While Newton threw a total of 27 TDs and 13 INTs, he didn't complete more than 5 TDs to any one player, and 10 players on the roster for Seattle caught at least one. Cam's numbers didn't make this his best season (except on the ground), but when you look at the cast of characters he was throwing to...maybe it was his best season.

This may be part of why a team that scored so much didn't answer the opponents late scores as often as the other team did. The lack of a true #1 WR, a dominant deep threat.

Defense
The defense isn't as great of a story. Young talent has quickly been added in the past few years, with former first rounders at FS, LOLB, LE, CB, and DT. But the lack of experience really hurt, as did the lack of a shut-down corner type in Seattle.

After 5 games, Seattle started launching offers to every team with a top-flight young CB. Only the 49ers answered with a negotiation, and Seattle made the awkward move to trade their division rival two first round picks and long-time corner Steven Yates for CB Hunter Hill.

This move did pay off, as Seattle was averaging 32 PPG allowed to that point, and with Hill averaged 25 PPG allowed the rest of the season. It however, did not pay off well enough to get Seattle in striking distance of the division, the division the 49ers won at 11-5.

So what was the main problem?

I believe it was just a lack of polish. Hill wasn't yet a true shut-down guy, in only his 2nd season. The OLBs and starting FS had two seasons played total between them when the seasons started. That's four of the defense's most talented players in their rookie or sophomore year.

Now, the DE's both are pretty young, but did combine for 17 sacks and 18 tackles for loss. As a whole, I think the defensive line was good and will be great this year. But a DL can only bring so much in this league of freak OL.

It is hard to have a pass defense play well when so many of the back 7 are so new. And it showed. Teams loved to pass against Seattle, with 35 TDs and only 12 INTs against them. That made them the third-worst pass defense in the league, as well as the worst red-zone defense in the entire league, and the 2nd-worst in PPG.

Special Teams
Special Teams were indeed special in Seattle. The Kicker/Punter duo wasn't historically great, but certainly are rocks for this team. The surprise addition was again, rookie HB Cortez. Cortez averaged over 25 yards per attempt, including 1 TD. Add in Mathieu's 5.77 average on PRs and 24 yard average on 11 kick returns and the team really did at least above-average in every way.

Offseason
So, if the problem is experience and not talent, then the challenge is to add experience without benching talent. Enough to turn a 6-10 team into a playoff team. Sounds tough. But here's how I decided to go about it.

Normally, the offseason is good for a few things. First and foremost, adding talent to the base. The high draft picks, free agency lottery, and available trades are all ways to add talent, with the most patient way being keep your draft picks and pick smartly.

Secondly, move on from high-priced and/or regressing players to make space for medium to high-priced veterans.

Third, accumulate resources for the following season by trading away redundant talent (like a starter that just got replaced), or draft picks that you aren't excited about to get future picks.

So...easy as one, two three. Except I'd already traded my two first round picks to get Hunter Hill.

Defensive growth
With the defense having most of the starting positions set but needing more experience, the required changes were certainly tricky. Here's how I went about the changes.

Out
DT Dontari Poe - Amnasty (4th round pick)
MLB William Rogers - FA
SS C.J. Hodges - Trade (3rd round pick)
CB Shareece Wright - FA

Poe's Amnasty gave Seattle the room to focus on signing their draft class, as well as a few targeted free agents. But his talent-level leaves a pretty big hole on the front line. MLB William Rogers has slowed down, but is still at a high level. Seattle's been keeping an eye on him in free agency, while paying attention to their options to find a long-term MLB replacement.

CJ Hodges was a passable starter, but Seattle was able to get better market value for him than I thought he was really worth and moved on from him. Shareece Wright's regression made him a player not worth bringing back.

Overall the losses, if not replaced, would set this defense back. With the strength being players YP5 or younger at RE, LE, ROLB, LOLB, CB, and FS...the progression from them over the past season is the biggest thing expected to propel the defense forward. But filling in for those lost starters was key to getting this defense to take a real step forward, and not lose the gains made by the youngsters.

In
DT Michael Brockers - Trade (2nd/3rd)
CB DeMarcus Van Dyke - FA
SS Mike Greenfield - Trade (5th)
OLB Dontay Moch - Trade (FB Hixon)
Draftees

With the money saved from Poe's contract, the first FA signed was CB DeMarcus Van Dyke. "DVD" is a 6'1" corner that loses in press coverage, but has above-average speed and very good awareness. Making just under 4M, he's technically battling for the 3rd/4th spot, but is very good injury coverage and as an occasional starter next to Hill could provide a shutdown option against a lot of #2 WRs in this league.

One of the strategies for this offseason was to draft less youngsters and move those picks for legitimate starters if possible. That worked twice before the draft, in picking up Brockers (85% of the player Poe was) and Greenfield, who is a [url=4638]lot better[/url] than C.J.Hodges while being close to the same athlete.

Greenfield is the most obvious upgrade, and I'm expecting him to be a two-season starter with his being drafted in 2014.

The Greenfield for Hodges swap is a rare example of improving talent and stockpiling resources. Normally, trading a good back-up or marginal starter can be done, and is done when a FA or draftee is added. But getting Greenfield, one season older than Hodges and then trading Hodges for more than Greenfield cost is not a move I've seen very often. And believe me, I've tried.

The last and most recent defensive move is the addition of OLB Dontay Moch from the Rams. St Louis and Seattle made the (usually) rare inter-division move after the draft. The move benefits both teams, with the Rams added a 3-5 year FB just entering his prime, while Seattle adds a third starting LB who is on his first season of regression but is still at a star level. Seattle also got a 3rd round pick in the deal. Moch likely stays at OLB, while Leonard Floyd moves inside for his first year as a MLB. Conversely, Moch could play out of position at MLB and leave Leonard at OLB. That hasn't been totally decided.

To afford Moch's contract, it's likely Gerald McRath will be cut, making Moch's effect on the roster 4M less.

Offense
On offense, Seattle already is expecting Armani Change to return and (although raw) be the #1 WR they missed last season. With another year of progression for the young OL and Cortez, messing with the running game really isn't in the cards. In fact, the entire offense returned, giving Seattle the option to just continue with a mostly youthful, and surprisingly explosive scoring offense. So here's how that played out.

Out
HB Eddie Lacy - FA
HB Keith Payne - FA
FB Brit Miller - retired
RT Garrett Reynolds - retired
WR Levon Taylor - Trade (3rd round pick)
FB Darren Hixon - Trade (Moch, 3rd round pick)

Seattle let Lacy and Payne leave, with Cortez dominating the touches a season ago. That left Seattle with merely a starting HB, but he was a near league-leader, and a backup HB that is a scat-back/special-teamer type. So depth at HB was necessary, but hopefully cheaper and more productive than Eddie Lacy.

Taylor is somewhat redundant with Chance, who this year will be better than him and in the future will be one of the shining stars of this league. Moving on from Taylor as a 3rd WR is unlikely to be hurtful to the offense, and the salary/draft pick gained fulfills the resource recoup needed when such playing time conflicts pop up.

Miller and Reynolds were non-factors to keep roster minimums.

But Darren Hixon is a loss that no one would have predicted or recommended. Rather, it's something that happened post-draft when a player named Tra Carson ended up being the top player on Seattle's board.

The opportunity to trade Hixon to both fill a LB spot for 1-2 seasons, as well as get a 3rd round pick for next season was too big of an opportunity to pass up. So where does that leave the run game? Here's a comparison of the players, to help see if there will be a significant downgrade there.

Comparison: Carson vs Hixon

The way I read it, downgrades and upgrades are slight enough as to not be too significant. I'm more likely to regret putting a good FB on another team in the division than regret moving on to Carson. And long term, Carson should be the better player by the end of his career than Hixon could be, and that will be further from now than it is for Hixon.

In
C Jon Mitchell - FA
Draftees

At this point, one offensive addition has been made, outside of the draft. I'll cover the draft next. We still lack one WR.

Jon Mitchell has been a long-time starter for the Panthers, after being a steal of a 4th round pick. The Panthers moved on from the 28 year old, but Seattle sees him as a pretty big upgrade at C. The Seahawks have been playing Jahri Evans at C, and Evans may still beat out Mitchell, but if Evans gets hurt the drop-off on this otherwise star-studded OL is huge. Mitchell is a pretty inexpensive long-term solution to that problem, especially with Evans expected to retire next season.

Draft
2.7 - HB Jordan Howard
3.11 - HB Tra Carson (move to FB)
4.8 - SS Thomas Barden
7.19 - LT Guy Schmidt
7.23 - OLB Dan McBride

Trading out of the draft was the goal, but Seattle didn't pass up the opportunity to add to the talent base in a couple of areas. One of the goals was to land a long-term MLB starter, and that fell threw in about 5 different ways. But, they were able to add that HB depth mentioned earlier with Jordan Howard. In fact, it's hard to see how he's not going to beat out Cortez for the starting spot on this team.

Carson was mentioned above, but represents a couple of stairsteps up at the FB position, with better AWR/PBK/RBK than Hixon had as a second-year player (first year as a FB). Hixon was a better athlete, but Carson is no slouch himself in that department.

SS Barden is a pretty good player who's only warts are the fact that he's 5'11" and his low AGI/ACC. He has above-average to elite AWR/CTH/TAK for a rookie...a steal in the 4th round. He completes the SS overhaul, from two career backups with low AWR to a vet starter and a smart rookie.

Schmidt and McBride fill out two positions that needed the correct number of players for a small amount of money.

Future Picks
1 (SEA)
2 (SEA)
2 (NE)
3 (NO)
3 (STL)
6 (SEA)
6 (PIT)
7 (MIN)

Following the trade path through all of the picks traded back and forth is pretty tough. But Seattle got to pick in the 2nd and 3rd, added star CB Hunter Hill, added Brockers, Greenfield and Moch to the starting lineup as replacements, and add a future 2nd and 3rd while losing a future 4th and 5th.

In all, it looks to me like I accomplished the plan. Added experience at SS and LB, made a mostly lateral move at DT, added the growth of the young players, and are above the break-even point on future draft picks.

The offseason was successful...will the on-field talent be as successful in Cam Newton's last season before regression?
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 07/17/2016) Replies - 0 :: Views - 30
Seahawks Roster Moves - Momentum is building
The Seahawks, coming off of a disappointing 6-10 season, have all but sat on their hands this offseason...until this week. Want to know what I mean? Stick around for the summary.

Addition by Subtraction
So far the main thing Seattle has done is let guys walk. A lot of guys are gone. Ten players, or 20% of the roster has left thus far. That includes 3 starters and a couple of key second-stringers that occasionally started.

For the first time ever (in the RZL or GZL) had no RFAs to tender. And for the first time ever, I choose to submit zero contracts to consider matching in Free Agency.

Amnesty
DT Dontari Poe (for 4th round pick)

Restricted Free Agency
-No Moves-

Own Free Agents Let Walk (or retired)
MLB Williams Rogers
OLB Lawrence Wilson
HB Eddie Lacy
CB Shareece Wright
HB Keith Payne
FB Brit Miller (retired)
RT Garrett Reynolds (retired)

Cuts
-None-

Traded Away
SS C.J. Hodges (& 7th) for a 3rd
WR Levon Taylor for a 2nd & 7th

Addition by Addition
In the past week a lot more activity has taken place. Seattle's done 5 trades plus the one involved in the Dontari Poe Amnasty. And Seattle did submit offers to some free agents, with one choosing to sign in Seattle.

Own Free Agents Retained
K Kai Forbath (3 years, 6.5M Salary, 900k Bonus)

Free Agents Signed
CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (2 years, 8.5M Salary, 3.4M Bonus)

Traded in
SS Mike Greenfield for a 5th
DT Michael Brockers (& 5th) for 2nd, 3rd, & 5th

Other Moves
The last thing to mention is that CB Reed got a shiny new 7 year contract to stay long term in Seattle. Currently the 3rd CB and occasional starter, Reed's development has him nearer to being a starter at 6'3" with pretty good speed. He's no Richard Sherman against the deep ball, but against more ordinary tall WRs he should be a real asset.

Restructure
CB Jacob Reed (7 years, 12.94M Salary, 5.18M Bonus)

In Summary
What are the big impacts?

First, Seattle retained their elite kicker, their uniquely athletic 6'3" CB, and added DVD at CB for a total salary addition of roughly 5.5M.

That was offset pretty well by the reduction in salary cap from trading Poe away, who cost 14.5M against the cap. In the Poe move, Seattle picked up a 4th, but the real benefit was the cap savings. Poe's dead money next year will be roughly 8M.

The other big move was to move on from Levon Taylor, who became somewhat of a redundant piece with Rock Pritchett (27) and Armani Chance (23) developing as the long-term starters. Getting a 2nd for him helped equalize the 2nd traded for Michael Brockers. And of course, moving him cleared several million in cap space as well (4.5ish?)

With the extra cap, Seattle went out and traded a late 5th to get a potential starting SS for a couple years in Mike Greenfield, a 6'3" SS with a couple years left before regression, a 2.42M cap # this year, and pretty high-level play being at the tail end of his prime. Of course, the addition of DeMarcus Van Dyke at less than 4M this year was a pretty cost-effective way to add a high-talent player as well.

Seattle did spring a 2nd and a 3rd to get Michael Brockers' last 2-3 years. However his contract number (4.61M) is very attractive compared to his elite play on the field. He's 85% the player Poe was, at worst.

And furthermore, Seattle has 11 starters who are 26 or under and while I rarely go this direction, I feel like trading picks for veteran skills is better for the on-field product this season.

Part of the strategy in not offering contracts to the free agents on the roster was to look for a number of high-impact, medium-level veterans to enhance this roster. In the past week, the addition of DVD, Greenfield, and Brockers, the Defense got a bit older and a lot cheaper. In particular, the defensive backfield should be the best it has been since Earl Thomas and Taylor Mays played with Patrick Peterson and Steven Yates.

Seattle still has the cap room to have a draft, has not exhausted the cut pile, and has not maxed out the salary penalties for next season. Nor have they (yet) stolen from future picks to help this year out. The way things are trending, Seattle may start a better and wiser team, while keeping the young core intact and next year's picks in place. While being coached by rainbows and Unicorns. Which reminds me.

Who's coaching this team?
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 06/30/2016) Replies - 6 :: Views - 34
Steven Yates will not suit up for final game
The rumor-mill has been quiet around Seattle this season but things are heating up quickly for the 2-3 team.

Insiders are reporting that the 6'4" corner will not suit up for this week in preparation to join another team.

Stay tuned for more information.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 02/23/2016) Replies - 0 :: Views - 18
Seattle an exciting 2-2 team, led by offense
I've been doing this a long time. I'm not sure what some of the other old-timers would say, but in many ways I have a type.

I run defenses that revolve around having a great secondary, and that can put more beef on the front lines than most teams do.

I run offenses that rely on having at least one unstoppable WR, the best QB I can find, and then balance the run and pass to force teams to choose.

Neither has worked for me recently, including my sometimes legendary trades for WRs. Instead, success is coming from falling back to an old type.

Power run game, behind a hyper-athletic OL
PA pass to some decent athletes at WR

2-2
Seattle is .500, and it was not against a great strength of schedule. The Colts and Texans are a combined 2-6, while Seattle went 1-1 vs the 5-3 CardiNiners in the division.

Or you could say, Seattle lost to the only team (49ers) that looks like a strong team. So is there hope for this year, or is this just a developmental year?

Only way to answer that is to time-travel, but in the interim I'll look at the team.

Defense
On defense, the 4-man line I love was being betrayed by the inexperienced linebackers and lack of elite play in the secondary. It's rare for me, but a switch to the 3-4 defense seems to have put these youngsters in a better position to display their athleticism. We've only played primarily 3-4 in 2012 and 2017, it's possible we'll see that this year based on early results.

Speaking of results, there's two ways of looking at these first two games.

1. Allowing nearly 400 yards per game, nearly 29 PPG says we're horrible. And that may be true, with the QB rating against us above 94.

2. Points allowed per game (in order): 37, 31, 27, 20

We're getting better!

Perhaps I've been underusing our best CB Steven Yates, cause Jacob Reed hasn't exactly been playing lights out. But there's not a lot of adjustments I have left to try without adding talent.

Offense
Wow. The philosophy shift to running the ball more was not expected to produce:

208 rushing yards per game
33.8 PPG (only 1 defensive score, less than 2 PPG boost)
Cam Newton's return to the leaderboards
Cortez - Looking like the next Blount for Seattle

So what about this is real? Seattle has gotten younger and less skilled at HB, WR, and the OL. Sure they're more athletic, but that doesn't beat great defenses.

Maybe that's the issue, Seattle hasn't really played a "great defense" unless it was the 49ers. That said, the formula of pounding the ball and giving the best player on the offense more space to pass the ball may continue to work all season.

Season projection
So far, this does not look like a SB team. But it looks like a team that could sneak into the playoffs. What can we do there? Who knows? But we'll know very soon how good we really are, because just look at this upcoming schedule.


5 - Cowboys (1-2) - we have a chance

Then

6 - 49ers (3-1)
7 - Bye
8 - Eagles (3-1)
9 - Rams (2-2)
10 - Titans (3-1)
11 - Rams (2-2)

Those last 5 games involve teams with an average W-L record of 11-5 last season. Getting to week 12 with a 5-5 record will be a positive thing. Anything above .500 will boost my expectations higher about our ability to compete in the playoffs.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 02/10/2016) Replies - 0 :: Views - 14
Seahawks moves: Weeks 2 & 3

Seattle Times
Winner of Eight Pulitzer Prizes


Seattle (AP) - In the past couple of weeks Seattle has made some moves to change up the structure of their MLB and HB positions. If you remember back to the offseason, Seattle traded a second round pick in a deal to get a young MLB from the Packers, David Piper-Lewis.

Following that move, Seattle was unable to trade long-time starter William Rogers (my grandfather's name) and decided to try and move Piper-Lewis instead.

In a parallel universe, Seattle obtained Eddie Lacy (and some change) for a second round pick before the draft, but landed on a rookie RB Cortez who has been an impact player early on. Since then they've been trying to change the depth at the position. Which brings us to:

Week 2
Trade One :
Seahawks trade:
MLB David Piper-Lewis
HB C.T. Chase

Chargers trade:
HB Christine Michael
Chargers 5th


Week 3
Trade Two :
Seahawks trade:
HB Christine Michael
Ravens 4th

Rams trade:
Rams 2nd


Seahawks sign:
HB Keith Payne
HB Bobby Rainey

Analysis
To be honest, trading Eddie Lacy would have left Seattle with less depth, so the Christine Michael move allowed for Lacy to be moved. And Michael is more of a compliment to Cortez. So Seattle put both on the block.

Michael got more offers, and Seattle ended up doing a deal to recoup one of those second round picks.

At the end of that, having moved Piper-Lewis and Chase (their third HB), it gave Seattle the room to make signings to improve the HB depth. Payne is a power-back at the end of his career, who can still run people over but not run through space. While Rainey is the sort of guy who can take all of the green he gets with his speed, but will not break tackles. Together they would make the perfect back. Apart they make the depth at RB pretty good behind Cortez and Lacy.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 02/01/2016) Replies - 0 :: Views - 22
Seahawks Reborn

Seattle Times
Winner of Eight Pulitzer Prizes


Seattle (AP) - These are your defending champions, are they the future champions as well?

This was the closing statement in the linked article, following the 2016 Super Bowl win. That question remains unanswered as we enter 2020. Actually, those defending champions have yet to make the playoffs, missing in three straight years.

How did a young, swashbuckling team with a top-notch secondary, beastly backfield, and one of the top WRs in the league turn into a pumpkin? Hubris, mostly.


Sad fans


2017: Lost Cam Newton for the year...in week one.
2018: Traded LaGarrette Blount, found out the passing game couldn't carry the team
2019: Traded Demaryius Thomas, found out the replacements were not good enough.

In other words:

7-9
8-8
4-12

So what happened to make 4-12 a reality?

2019 Offense
On offense, moving on from Thomas at WR became a problem rather quickly. Seattle cycled through a couple of 6'4" unfinished players but never established a reliable or dangerous passing attack. Moving onto a more steady ground diet produced some good results, but nothing spectacular. Perhaps starting two guards with low awareness contributed to both of those outcomes. but overall, the offense was the problem most of the season. Except for one game, but I'll get to that. It's worth saving.

Whether it was the mediocre weapons, the young OL, or the gameplans didn't matter. The end result on offense was a very bad season from Cam Newton. More than half of his starts ended with him throwing for 50% completions or less, and he finished the season with an even 165/330.

The best game of a Seattle QB by far, was the game Cameron Hester played against the Rams. But as I said, I'll get to that later. Otherwise, Hester played even worse than Newton, but got a chance since the team had won so few games. Hester came in and competed, but just didn't have it, with an even more abysmal 61/126.

If the offense cannot improve dramatically, the Seahawks will not have a chance to go to the playoffs.

Seattle's Best
The Seahawks managed to win 4 games, including a close one against the 13-win Lions. However the best game they played all years was clearly in week 11. A 36-20 knockout against the 12-win Rams that wasn't even as close as the score indicates.

St Louis looked like a SB contender the entire year. A consistent, explosive passing game yielded 29 passing TDs and 14 rushing TDs, 29 PPG. The Rams also boasted a group of stars on defense that are in the sunset of their prime. Loaded and dangerous for a struggling Seattle team.

Looking back, I still have no explanation for how a Seattle team that struggled so much on offense looked so smooth against that front 7. But Seattle ran the ball comfortable, with 224 rushing yards on 45 carries, a 4.98 AVG. Seattle coupled that with just enough passing offense to score two offensive TDs, five FGs, and one defensive TD while playing Bradford and injury fill-in Kellen Moore. With a combine 3 INTs, 4 takeaways overall, and a consistent ground game, Seattle also stifled LaConte Bell on 20 carries for 73 yards, in a year where they otherwise struggled to stop the run.

On this day, Seattle just looked like a strong team, and I was able to almost forget the misery that surrounded the rest of it.
2019 Defense
The defense was bad too. But this was more of a transition year at safety, LB, and another growing year at DE. The Seahawks allowed nearly 30 PPG, nearly 400 YPG, a 41% 3rd down percentage, all while keeping opposing QBs to a more modest 27 passing TDs, earning 20 INTs, and allowing a QB Rating of 80.71.

What that tells me is...the offense was so bad, that a decent defense allowed a ton of yards on a ton of plays. Time of Possession doesn't look bad, because the only decent part of Seattle's offense was the running game.

So in a transition year, the defense was decent. And if improvements at FS, DE, ROLB, and LOLB work as planned, maybe this team is good at defense again.

Team MVPs - 2015
HB Knile Davis - 277 rushes, 1234 yards, 4.45 AVG, 6 TDs, 4 Fumbles
20 Receptions, 320 yards, 16.0 Yards per catch, 5 TDs, 2 drops
Knile was initially a big step down from Blount, and the aging offensive line did not match up well with his gifts. Over the past two seasons though, Davis has been a better and better fit, and had his best season as a pro in 2019. As primarily only a 4th WR and receiving back, Davis did a surprising amount of damage lined up out wide, leading the team in receiving TDs and rushing TDs. In total, he had 11, and the most total yards on the team by far.

TE's Dominic Franklin & Courtney Smith - 79 receptions, 1025 yards, 5 TDs, 19 Drops, 117 Pancakes, 2 sacks allowed
Playing mostly TE and some WR3, this duo blocked and gained yards in an impressive way. Continuing the theme of non-WRs being the MVPs, these guys were the engine to the running game and sucked in a ton of the passing game for TEs.

FS Courtney Rice - 84 Tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 FF, 4 INTs, 55 Yards, 10 Deflections, 18 CTHA
Rice came in as a rookie and showed up big. Cleaning up after a lot of plays, Rice was the leading tackler. But he also had the most takeaways forced with the 4 INTs (team leader) and the forced fumble. For a rookie was outstanding, and almost singlehandedly played the Earl Thomas and Taylor Mays roles both speeding and with big hits.

CB Steven Yates - 50 Tackles, 1 TFL, 1 Sack, 3 INTs, 2 Yards, 25 Deflections, 37 CTHA
Yates once again thrived with limited starting time. Mathieu had a bigger starting role than ever before, and Patrick Peterson started every game. Yet Yates out of the slot and in spot starts once again had healthy numbers influencing passes. This year he may earn an bigger role on the outside of the team feels they can get to the QB fast enough to protect his lack of speed.

Offseason Roster Turnover
Owning two firsts heading into the offseason, Seattle looked like they'd be set for a low-turnover offseason. Instead, they went nuts. Mostly in shedding players to pay for their draft picks. Having a 4th and 5th overall pick, and even later turning them into a total of three 1sts is expensive.

The two areas Seattle opted to take on salary were HB (Lacy) and P (Gregory). Both look like improvements at least in the short term, with Gregory a long-term solution. The other long-term solutions came in the first round of the draft, which may signal a lack of progress this season.

Out:
FS Earl Thomas - Trade (MIN)
FS Lincoln Gaspar - Cut
CB Patrick Peterson - Trade (NO)
OLB Brett Lewis - FA
OLB Marten Ford - Trade (NO)
OLB Rufus Tanner - Cut
MLB Brandon Underwood - Cut
DE Jared Allen - Retired
DE Kiril Harding - Cut
LT Sammy Fraser - Trade (WAS)
LG Chris Snee - Cut
C Ryan Wendell - Cut
C Cornelius Barnes - Cut
RT Malik Shepard - Cut
WR Cameron Shaw - FA
WR Tavarres King - FA
WR Bud Poole - Cut
HB Karim Harris - Cut
HB Knile Davis - Trade (GB)
P Josh Carbonne - Cut

In:
Draft Class - 10 players
CB Shareece Wright - Trade
CB Jacob Reed - Trade
MLB David Piper-Lewis - Trade
HB Eddie Lacy - Trade
P Gregory Kelly - FA

1st - SEA
1st - GB
3rd GB
4th - SEA
4th - BAL
5th - SEA
5th - TB

Training Camp
When a team gets young, training camp gets both more difficult and more energetic. On a Seattle team with some recent high draft picks like Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd, Zack Martin, and Armani Chance, the competition gets white hot. Chance battling the Honey Badger, Aaron Donald schooling any of the recent first round OL, Martin, Turner, Kouandjio. Jonathan Cortez running hard into the big linebackers of Seattle.

The workouts themselves have been intense, with offseason work benefiting a huge list of players. This team has a pretty impressive collection of 6'1" or taller players in the secondary and at WR.

6'4" CB Steven Yates, WR Levon Taylor
6'3" CB Jacob Reed, WR Rock Pritchett, WR Armani Chance
6'2" SS CJ Hodges
6'1" FS Courtney Rice

Those battles have been spectacular, with Chance and Pritchett posing unique matchip challenges to Yates and Reed. With Courtney Rice over the top, they don't get downfield (with Levon Taylor) quite as readily as they would otherwise.

OLB Leonard Floyd's matchup with the linebackers has been the most interesting to watch of the offseason though. Courtney Smith has met his athletic match for the most part, a surprise for the converted WR to meet a 6'4" linebacker than can run with him almost step for step. Smith has been generally relying on his skills to still win the battles, but Floyd is pretty smart for a rookie and will catch up quickly.

Speed work has shown up for Chance, Cortez, CS Jacob Reed, OLB Leonard Floyd, OLB Coleman Burke, and FS Courtney Rice. The strength coach has been this team through serious work that has impacted Turner more than anyone else.

Training Camp Battles
The Seahawks have a pretty set group of starters, but there will be position battles and information to gather to determine who is really going to get the playing time.

HB - Eddie Lacy vs Jonathan Cortez
Seattle picked up two backs in the shift back to the power running game. Cortez will get a chance to steal some carries, and if Lacy turns out to be an unspectacular back than Cortez will likely get some extra snaps to develop for the post-Lacy era, which may come up pretty darn quick.

TE - Courtney Smith vs Dominic Franklin
Smith has been the guy, and has had no competition in Seattle. In fact, he leads this team in career receptions, and this year will likely gain the top position in yards (445 behind) and YAC (7 behind) and is second in TDs with 32. He is firmly the career leader in pancakes with 481. Franklin is a talented big TE that lacks Courtney's speed and skill, but brings good skills for a young player. Franklin may allow Smith to play more 3rd WR.

#2 WR - Armani Chance vs Levon Taylor
The skills are pretty even, growth potential is on Chance's side. But this one is neck and neck. If Chance's elite agility gives him an edge, he's going to win the starting job opposite Rick Pritchett.

MLB - William Rogers vs David Piper-Lewis
Here is another case where DPL is a similar athlete, but Rogers still is the better player with better skills. If Rogers stays, expect him to give DPL some snaps while moving outside, or he may just make him wait a year.

CB3 - Shareece Wright vs Jacob Reed
Reed is a raw, talented 6'3" player. Wright is a veteran 5'11" skilled player with smooth coverage skills. The snaps Wright is suited for are the snaps Reed needs to develop. Something's gotta give.

2020 Outlook
What is the goal for Seattle this time around? Is this the return of an elite team? Or a rebuilt team that is hungry just to get to the playoffs this year?

I'll get to an answer to that question. Instead I'm starting at what is realistic.

Offense
Seattle has moved on from Knile Davis and brought in Eddie Lacy, signaling a return to the power running game. Lacy will be running behind 3 players who have a combined 4 years of experience, but are all 1st round picks. So these are athletes, with elite skills for youngsters, but still lack some polish.

In the running game, I expect Lacy to have good days, great days even, but with bad stretches against good defenses. This will be due to the opponents exploiting mental errors or just whiffed blocks. The real answer to the unspoken question, is I expect this to be an improvement. The consistency of gaining 2-4 years is expected to improve, and thus enhance the entire offense. This will not be the Raiders or Packers running game, the 5+ YPC on 53% runs, but against some of the weaker defense I expect to see the signs of it springing to life.

Mostly that is what I expect because of the athleticism of the young OL, the strength of them, and the athleticism and skill of the FB and TEs. This run game is going to be in the top 10, and it may spring the passing game for it as well.

Newton struggled as a pass first QB. And with the turnover and youth movement at WR and OL, this wouldn't be the year to continue that experiment. But with a return to running the ball, I expect Newton to return to the high-percentage, low-volume passer he has been at times in his career.

The WRs should overwhelm shorter DBs, but against elite corners I expect will have their rough days. The TEs look like they add quite a bit to the passing game, and playaction should see them getting out behind some linebackers and over safeties.

All in all, I see a promising, but not totally explosive offense. A giant step up based on a subtle shift in focus.

Defense
The strength of the SB team, a giant shift has just completed in the secondary. The elite FS, SS, and #1 CB have finished moving on, giving way to a new soon-elite FS, a patch job at SS, and actually a pretty strong group at CB still.

The CB's will benefit from Aaron Donald's continued growth. I'll expect at the end of the season he'll have "arrived" as the standard at his position, one of the top 2-3 guys for the rest of his career and the only one with his power holding the edge against the run.

The rest of the DL averages 86 AWR, and just under 97 strength. These are some smart big dudes, and it's going to be scary to see how clean the lanes are for linebackers to clean up. If this group generates the pass rush I'm hoping for...game over.

At linebacker, William Rogers may continue to start, but his heir seems to be in place. We shall see how Seattle deals with 4 starting LBs in a 3 LB scheme, but too much talent is preferable to not enough.

Special Teams
Kicker is the same, KR game stays the same, P improves a lot. Expect this group to be above average in every phase.

Summation
I see this team being stronger in enough ways to threaten every team they play, but young enough that they'll lose 5-7 games. In a division where the Rams are one of the top two teams in the NFC, that's probably a WC slot and no SB trip.

Prediction
10-6, Beat the 3 or 4 seed, lose the next game.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/05/2016) Replies - 4 :: Views - 106
First look at 10 newly drafted 'Hawks
I have a certain format I love to do for these drafts, one that takes some time. With a three-day weekend coming up, I might get to do that. But before I do, I really want to look at this guys and their strengths and weaknesses now that the flurry of draft/trade activity is on pause. So here we go.

Offense
The offense received the greater boost in this draft, with 3 of the first 4 picks and 6/10 overall going towards the offense.

1.5 WR Armani Chance - 6'3" 230 lbs, 93 SPD, 65 STR, 60 AWR, 97 AGI, 91 ACC, 78 CTH, 89 JMP, 95 INJ
1.12 OG Landon Turner - 6'4" 315 lbs, 65 SPD, 92 STR, 66 AWR, 66 AGI, 80 ACC, 87 PBK, 84 RBK, 80 INJ
3.3 HB Jonathan Cortez - 6'1" 227 lbs, 86 SPD, 77 STR, 59 AWR, 86 AGI, 84 ACC, 49 CTH, 78 CAR, 80 BTK, 90 INJ, 70 KR
5.3 C Perry Howard - 6'3" 279 lbs, 62 SPD, 85 STR, 63 AWR, 65 AGI, 77 ACC, 80 PBK, 72 RBK, 72 INJ
5.3 LG Randy Schmitt - 6'3" 288 lbs, 70 SPD, 86 STR, 52 AWR, 58 AGI, 71 ACC, 79 PBK, 78 RBK, 85 INJ
5.10 WR Tashaun Leonard - 5'8" 185 lbs, 96 SPD, 40 STR, 59 AWR, 92 AGI, 91 ACC, 74 CTH, 65 CAR, 87 JMP, 37 BTK, 72 INJ, 93 KR

Speed at WR, Speed on the OL, power at HB. Sometimes that's tough to do, but that's what Seattle's six picks look like.

At WR these are currently the two fastest players (Bailey is leaving, Chance will tie with Taylor), and make the deep ball more viable instantly just by showing up to training camp. Chance in particular looks like he'll compete with Taylor for the starting job, and they are very even in attributes at this point. Chance only really has the advantage with his insane COD skills. No, not Call of Duty, but Change of Direction in this case. Of course, that may make Taylor the better outside WR and Chance the better slot guy this year.

The OL added one starter with the addition of Turner at guard. That'll push either Zach Martin or Arie Kouandjio out to LT and nearly complete the OL for the next 10 seasons, with Cote at RT lasting for at least another 5-7. The other two were upgrades to the former depth, and at C Howard really ups the baseline if Evans retires and we can't find/afford someone to play the position.

Depending on how Schmitt skews, he is an intriguing athlete that could get himself a spot start or more in a run-heavy scheme.

Speaking of running heavy, Seattle added Eddie Lacy before the draft, but that is a move they wouldn't have needed if they knew they could end up with the best power-runner in the draft in the 3rd round. Jonathan Cortez needs a little work to add to his RB skills, but comes in with the type of banger-body Seattle's been missing since Blount was traded. Could get some work in right away, depending on whether Seattle hangs onto Lacy or tries to get Cortez starting right away.

Defense
1.20 OLB Leonard Floyd - 6'4" 230 lbs, 86 SPD, 69 STR, 68 AWR, 85 AGI, 86 ACC, 65 CTH, 79 TAK, 95 INJ
5.2 DE Jeremiah DeVries - 6'3" 263 lbs, 79 SPD, 76 STR, 66 AWR, 73 AGI, 77 ACC, 73 TAK, 77 INJ
5.15 MLB Brody Wainwright - 6'1" 258 lbs, 76 SPD, 76 STR, 70 AWR, 80 AGI, 78 ACC, 70 CTH, 81 TAK, 82 INJ
5.19 CB Derrick Lusk - 5'11" 211 lbs, 94 SPD, 43 STR, 48 AWR, 92 AGI, 93 ACC, 47 CTH, 90 JMP, 50 TAK, 86 INJ

Only clear contributer is Floyd, but what a talent! The highest drafted linebacker in Seattle since William Rogers at 2.6 in 2012, Floyd is a speed demon in a 6'4" frame. Add to that good hands, tackle, and awareness and you have the total package, elite athlete and elite skills (for a rookie). Only downside is 69 STR, so we'll see what that leads to.

Among the front 7 backups was a MLB and DE with great size and awareness. Depending on whether their speed skews, up, down, or stays the same these could be valuable backups or merely cheap depth with good decision-making skills.

The one back 4 guy drafted was Derrick Lusk. How a guy with his measurable was still available as a 4th/5th CB is beyond me, but the kid will cover ground on special teams. Oh, Horrible skill ratings, that explains it. Sometimes just getting there will cause problems. A pretty good special team addition until something better comes along.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 12/31/2015) Replies - 4 :: Views - 75
Seahawks 1-3, trade rumors flying
0-0 at half-time, it seemed Seattle had solved it's defensive issues and continued to struggle on offense. However in the second half things got worse.

First, Seattle struck with an over 50 yard TD to Courtney Smith, who outran linebackers at the intermediate level to the right sideline, then ran around a block on the sideline and sprinted the rest of the way to the end zone. A good throw by Newton and fantastic play by the veteran TE.

Then Seattle allowed a short FG and then a late TD in the 4th to go down 10-7 with under two minutes to play.

Seattle started at the 40, and continued to struggle before Newton rolled right, threw a laser to the left sideline and found speedster Knile Davis sneaking down the sideline for another 50+ yard TD.

But once again, the Seattle D couldn't stop a heavy passing attack and lost on the second late TD of the quarter, turning a great 3 quarters of defense (3 PA) into a 17-14 loss. This happened after Earl Thomas went out half-way through the 4th quarter with a slight back issue, but there remains larger issue in the front 7.

No Pass Rush
Seattle signed Dontari Poe to huge money, and put together a big strong front 4, hoping to see the bull rush and strong coverage in the secondary lead to more crushing sacks. But...then they traded away vet SS Taylor Mays, and lost speedy part-time starter Tyrann Mathieu for the past three games.

Playing with a 4 man line, here's the results so far for Seattle.
DE Donald, 3 sacks
DE Malenko 1 sack
LB Tanner 1 sack
CB Yates 1 sack

Lousy. Of course, there's no complaints for Donald's production...but the rest of the front 7 has 2 sacks in 4 games...and one DB has a sack.

Furthermore, this bigger DL is not leading to domination against running backs either.

Perhaps starting two DEs and 2 OLBs that have a combined 5 years of experience is having an adverse effect.

Trade Rumors
With every unit underperforming, Seattle refreshed their trade block and rumors are flying that more sell-offs are coming, to possibly include their stud MLB. Is this team already waiting until next year?
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 08/12/2015) Replies - 5 :: Views - 57
Seahawks trade for backup QB, invest 2nd round pick
During the preseason the Seahawks started QB negotiations with the Lions, who had three worthy QB's on their roster. Seattle offered the value the Lions were looking for, and have been patient in waiting for Detroit to finish their evaluation of their strategy regarding Stafford and Mariota.

Having finished looking at their short and long term options, the Lions pulled the trigger and agreed to the terms of a deal that the League is still reviewing.

Seattle trades:
2nd (SEA)

Detroit trades:
QB Cameron Hester
5th (DET)

Looking at this deal, the Lions get a 2nd round pick for a former 6th round selection that they discovered. A value that would be almost as great a feeling as winning games with a former 6th round QB. At 28 years old Hester's long term value is cut short a little, but his development puts him in reach of being a 5 year starter or more.

Seattle gets another QB named Cameron, a backup that is 6 years younger than Chad Henne, and another player behind two injury-prone QBs that can play at a winning level.

So who wins this deal? Why not both teams?
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 07/30/2015) Replies - 2 :: Views - 49
"Seahawks draft a win" and other fairy tales
With the draft over and mini-camps beginning, the team is starting to figure out how these rookies are doing. And it turns out not all of them are the same athlete that was scouted. Here's what's up with the newest Hawks.

7.31 LOLB Rufus Tanner: +3 SPD, -2 AWR, +1 AGI, +2 ACC, -5 CTH, -2 TAK, +1 INJ

6'4" 236 lbs, 77 SPD, 79 STR, 57 AWR, 71 AGI, 77 ACC, 34 CTH, 76 TAK, 89 INJ

It turns out that Tanner is two things. Raw, even more than the scouts said. Worse at AWR, CTH, and TAK. And a good athlete for his size, even better than the scouts and combine projected. Tanner is a good enough athlete to have a real shot in the 3-4 defense, and may find a way onto the roster even with too many outside linebackers and DEs on this team.
Grade: A+


6.30 WR Bud Poole: +3 STR, +2 AWR, +1 ACC, -2 CTH, -3 JMP, +3 INJ, +1 KR

6'1" 200 lbs, 86 SPD, 56 STR, 72 AWR, 91 AGI, 94 ACC, 73 CTH, 82 JMP, 84 INJ, 89 KR

Poole is an above-average last WR on the roster. Good run-block and KR make him an able (though not ideal) special teams contributor, and as an athlete he's neither undersized or underquicked. At 86 SPD he's slow and he has no hops, but at least he can go on the field and be where he needs to be with 72 AWR out the gate.
Grade: A-


6.1 LE Sam Mosby: +2 SPD, +1 STR, +1 ACC, -2 TAK

6'5" 263 lbs, 80 SPD, 75 STR, 51 AWR, 75 AGI, 81 ACC, 73 TAK, 83 INJ

Not the most impressive overachiever at this position ever seen, but he turns out to be a potential starter with a little work, at a premium position.
Grade: A


5.27 DT Mason Payne: -2 SPD, +1 ACC, -1 INJ

6'3" 315 lbs, 53 SPD, 93 STR, 60 AWR, 54 AGI, 74 ACC, 71 TAK, 83 INJ
Not a good skew, and yet he's still a good player. Surprising to see a guy with his strength/acc/size profile still available. Not a pass rusher, not a pure NT but good enough to play in a 4-3 and hold his own. Can be a starter and has good enough AWR as a rookie to start his career early.
Grade: B+


4.30 C Cornelius Barnes: +1 AGI, +1 ACC, +2 INJ

6'3" 285 lbs, 55 SPD, 90 STR, 55 AWR, 63 AGI, 75 ACC, 76 PBK, 76 RBK, 89 INJ

Barnes is a goodish athlete at the C postion but lacks the skills to be a starter. Nothing changed, even with a slight increase in athletic ability.
Grade: B-


3.32 LT Malik Shepard: -1 SPD, -1 AWR, -1 ACC, +1 PBK, -1 RBK, +1 INJ

6'5" 295 lbs, 69 SPD, 87 STR, 60 AWR, 48 AGI, 76 ACC, 77 PBK, 73 RBK, 84 INJ

Not much changed here either. The guys major flaws (AGI, blocking) didn't get patched up, and his prodigious in-line speed is pretty much intact. Still the same guy, mostly.
Grade: C


3.30 TE James Dabrowski: -1 SPD, -1 STR, +1 AGI, -1 ACC, -1 CTH, +1 JMP, -3 PBK, +1 RBK

6'6" 248 lbs, 74 SPD, 76 STR, 61 AWR, 75 AGI, 75 ACC, 69 CTH, 76 JMP, 56 PBK, 61 RBK, 83 INJ

Ouch. Dabrowski was already a TE2 prospect that would be a TE1 only for a heavy running team. But with a little extra speed he had the ability to perhaps develop into a true TE1 prospect. Instead, he's further solidified that he's no more than a blocking TE with height. He is a good run blocker though.
Grade: C-


3.28 MLB Denver Wakefield: +1 SPD, -1 AWR, +1 ACC, +1 CTH, -1 INJ

6'1" 225 lbs, 87 SPD, 61 STR, 59 AWR, 83 AGI, 85 ACC, 52 CTH, 68 TAK, 89 INJ

WOOOHOOOO!
This guy is basically a safety at linebacker. Short, weak, and an ineffective tackler, he's nonetheless a speed demon and got even better. This guy is going to be effective in the spots he's used.
Grade: B+


3.8 LOLB Coleman Burke: +1 AGI, -1 CTH, -1 TAK, +1 INJ

6'1" 231 lbs, 83 SPD, 72 STR, 72 AWR, 86 AGI, 78 ACC, 60 CTH, 72 TAK, 91 INJ

This guy has some skills. First off, he's has a high on-field IQ. He couples that with being a good athlete and durable. Downside with him is being short, not having great ACC, and being a mediocre tackler. But a nice upgrade to scrubs at OLB.
Grade: A-


1.31 SS Courtney Rice

6'1" 220 lbs, 92 SPD, 70 STR, 66 AWR, 86 AGI, 94 ACC, 59 CTH, 87 JMP, 73 TAK, 97 INJ

Rice is an A-level safety. Explosive enough athlete to play CB...at a pro bowl level. Big and strong enough to play as an undersized linebacker. No one would have questioned him as a pick in the 15-20th range in the 1st round of most drafts. The only question is where should we play him. FS or SS?
Grade: A+
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 07/06/2015) Replies - 3 :: Views - 76
Seahawks offseason, how good are they?
8-8, the record of a team going no-where. So what happened to the NFC Champions of '15 and '16? Obviously, in '17 the lack of QB did them in, but in '18 the biggest deficit has to be pointed at the loss of Aaron Curry at OLB, Logan Mankins at OG, Mario Williams at LE, and LaGarrette Blount at HB.

Paying attention to this, you have losses in pass rush and run stopping in the front 7, and the power run game for the offense. While Seattle had a really talented roster anyway, this lack of consistency put Seattle behind in too many games, and kept them from reaching elite performances.

So how did they reach this low? Let me count the ways.

Offense
Asked to carry the offense more this year, Cameron Newton failed to produce. With 20 TDs and 20 INTs, he easily had his worst season with a QB rating of merely 73.7. All of this despite Demaryius Thomas being his usual star self and Rock Pritchett having a mostly good year. The issues seem to have stemmed mostly from the OL's struggles, with three players allowing 7 or more sacks and many more hurries. Starting two rookies next to the mediocre C Joe Madsen seems to have been a bad strategy, and the interior averaged nearly 6 sacks allowed apiece, or nearly 9 sacks per starting DT in a 4-3.


The running game stepped forward quite a bit though, in the second year without Unga. Knile Davis had his best year, and looked like a feature back with 1530 yards, 0 TDs, and only 3 fumbles with a 4.59 average rush. With 9 games at or above 80 yards, and an average of 16 carries in the other 7 games (Seattle was behind a lot) the 24 year old back produced like a stud. While he didn't carry the offense, he certainly benefitted from the increased focus on the passing game and provided a strong counter to the best backfield presence in Seattle.

Defense
Seattle had some nice defensive standouts, like the whole DB section and MLB Rogers. But the front 7 struggled to provide sacks or stop the run. Overall, the inability to stop the run set Seattle up to struggle holding or gaining the lead, and really held them back from looking like an elite team.

Opposing passers struggled a bit, but looked roughly similar to Cam Newton's abilities with a 72.8 QB rating, but with less sacks allowed. Ultimately, this is a team that needs more front 7 abilities to return to the elite team they were the past few years, and are merely a good enough defense in the mean time.

Special Teams
Not as special in the past, we'll start with the best parts and move forward.

Punter Jon Ryan did a lot of work for this 8-8 team, and averaged a scintillating 46.4 yards per punt despite a long of only 62 (consistent greatness) on 91 punts. Furthermore, he averaged 23.08% in the red zone, and had the same percentage of touchbacks. So he didn't merely feast on long fields but was consistent punting with short, medium, and long fields.

The bad news is he'll no longer punt for Seattle.

Kicker Kai Forbath had his worst season, but missed long FGs in cold places, AFC North, NFC north, and home in Seattle. Otherwise he was perfect and overall drew no complains from leadership. He'll still be a consistent part of what we do.

KR/PR Tyrann Mathieu had his first year of no TDs. This was as much because of the lack of front 7 talent (LBs make up a large portion of special teams) as anything, but he'll be looking for a bounce-back year.

Offseason
The Seahawks have been perhaps the busiest team of all this offseason. There have been a total of 38 trades so far (just before the draft), and Seattle has been involved with 9 of them, or almost a quarter of them. Seattle at one point had nearly maxed out their cap room, but now have reached over 24M in space available with only 8 positions needing to be filled.

So how did we get here? Here's an update on the offseason activity for Seattle.

Restricted Free Agency
The Seahawks had 3 RFAs going into the offseason, all three were good players. So Seattle gambled on getting an affordable contract for more than one of them by offering low tenders on each. Here was the result:

FB Darren Hixon - 1 year, 900k salary
LT Sammy Fraser - 5 years, 10.12M salary, 1.7M bonus
WR Oliver Coleman - 6 years, 18M salary, 5.04M bonus - Cleveland Browns

Only Coleman got a contract offer, and while it was reasonable for a 99 SPD, 98 ACC guy to be paid to be a slot/starter it was a richer contract than his role in Seattle would be. So he went to the Browns.

Hixon will become a FA next year, while Fraser got a 2 year contract at decent backup money, and may get a chance to be a starter at LT if Cote moves over to RT.

Retirement
The Seahawks had three retirees, and surprising them Lofa Tatupu decided to come back and compete for another contract somewhere.

RG Bryant McKinnie - 39
HB Arian Foster - 34
HB Marshawn Lynch - 33

Of the three, Foster was signed to fill an injury slot, Lynch was signed to retire with the team, and McKinnie was a vet backup that mentored Seattle's rookie OGs. So McKinnie leaves the biggest hole.

Free Agency
The Seahawks had several FAs, including Tatupu who were available to be signed. But they only offered contracts to the following players. HB Knile Davis signed with Seattle before FA began, while the others negotiated with teams before coming back.

You could say the other three are signed at "market value."

LT Earl Cote - 5 years, 40M salary, 16M bonus
OLB Micky Williams - 5 years, 6.38M salary, 950k bonus
FS Earl Thomas - 3 years, 11.75M salary, 3.33M bonus
HB Knile Davis - 5 years, 8.8M salary, 1.55M bonus

Cote was the one that got serious looks around the league, but the former 31st pick of the fifth round came back to Seattle averaging 8M per year during his peak seasons. Add his first year and the first year of Earl Thomas contract this season and it roughly equals what Earl made last year, so Seattle did have a source for this "new money." While Micky and Knile are making similar money to what they already were.

This prompted Seattle to look into adding a big money player as they had some room to play with and they offered to three players.

RT Menalik Watson - Texans
DT Dontari Poe - Panthers
WR Levon Taylor - Rams

Ultimately, Seattle was unable to fax the contract in time for Watson to sign so he returned to the Texans for what was on the table. Rumor has it that they offered a lot of money, and would have let Cote leave to the Patriots if their offer was accepted.

Poe however, signed for an average of 15M per year. Dontari has been held up as perhaps the best dual-use DT in the league, but has not posted the elite sack numbers of a couple other guys. Taylor signed for just under 4M per year. A 6'4" speedster with hops, Taylor has been down on the depth chart for the Rams and with Odell Beckam Jr in town has lost his chance to break into the starting lineup. Seattle's plans with Taylor seem to be similar, slot deep threat with little chance of starting, but are paying him more like a sometimes starter. Maybe having two starting WRs that are due to be FAs in a year has something to do with it.

Cuts
In order to sign Poe and be able to afford their draft class, they had to make some room. Cuts are how they started off.

FB Sean Hendrickson
DT Manny Smith
TE Clay Harbor
OLB Roddrick Muckelroy

A second TE, a second FB, a third (4th with Poe) DT, and a 3rd OLB that regressed in speed, this group didn't lose Seattle a lot of depth, but also didn't clear a lot of money. That happened in the next section, Seattle's trades.

Trades
Seattle started the offseason a little slow, but then things started to heat up considerably. The trade market saw Seattle trade away three stars and eight total players, mostly bringing in mid-level current picks and high future picks.

Seahawks trade:
3.13 (SEA)
3.29 (DEN)

49ers trade: WR Ronyell Conway

Seattle noticed the Niners still had WR Conway on the block after a long time, so they inquired about his availability. Two thirds wasn't a huge amount to offer for the former 2nd round pick, but that was enough to get him into a Seattle uniform with one year left on his deal.

Conway has been a good, almost great WR on the outside for the 49ers. But they didn't develop him into a star as they should have and he's merely an above-average physical talent with good reliability that can still have a great impact on the league.

If Seattle can keep him long term, this deal looks like a steal.

Seahawks trade:
WR Demaryius Thomas
Future 7th (SEA)

Chiefs trade:
Future 1st (KC)
4.2 (KC)

Fallout from the Conway deal, Seattle once traded almost it's whole team to get DT. Thomas responded by being consistently great, saving his best for the playoffs. He's near the end, but as great as ever and the only positive thing for Seattle here is that in three years Thomas will be worth only a 3rd or 4th. So the timing is good to get a chance at a top ten pick next year, although with Thomas on the team, the Chiefs will probably win a lot.

Seahawks trade:
SS Duke Williams
C Dirk Walker
ROLB Warren Genovese

Lions trade:
6.1 (SF)

Seahawks trade 3 pieces of cheap depth for a late pick. The best player is probably Williams, but none can be more than a marginal starter. Looks like a cap/roster-clearing move for Seattle, especially when you see the timing (before more expensive names left) of this deal.

Seahawks trade:
C Joe Madsen

Panthers trade:
3.30 (GB)

The Seahawks have started 5th rounder Madsen for most of his six years, but he's never been a great player. Perhaps getting tired of waiting for his "turn the corner" season, Seahawks put him up for trade and are happy to get a 3rd round pick for him. Now they have to make sure they find a player that's at least as good to play C.

Seahawks trade:
4.5 (CLE)
5.16 (CAR)

Ravens trade:
3.28 (BAL)

Seattle has been having so much success on the trade market, they were running out of room for picks and had still more suiters. So they started consolidating picks. Here they move up 9 picks for a middle 5th. A break-even trade, but one that makes room for more picks coming in.

Seahawks trade:
RE Ndamukong Suh
Future 6th (SEA)

Jaguars trade:
Future 2nd (JAX)
7.11 (JAX)

Suh makes a lot of money. Seattle signed Poe, and had 5 DT-type starters. So Suh went on the market and immediately fetched what Seattle wanted. Cap space and a 2nd round pick.

Seahawks trade:
4.7 (PHI)
4.13 (SEA)
4.29 (DEN)

Bills trade:
3.14 (SD)

Seattle wanted some more breathing room, and traded more middle picks to move up. This time moving up 25 picks by trading 4.13 and 4.29. The room and the middle 3rd are probably worth it.

Seahawks trade:
P Jon Ryan

Chiefs trade:
7.31 (MIA)

Ryan's replacement was signed last year, but no one would trade a 5th for a dominant punter. This year Ryan's one year closer to retirement, and Seattle took a 7th for him. This was nearly the cap room of three cuts this year, and gives Seattle the ability to still play the FA game after Poe and Cote got paid.

Seahawks trade:
RT Russell Okung
Future 5th (SEA)

Patriots trade:
Future 2nd (NE)
5.27 (TB)

With Cote getting paid, Okung started looking too expensive and Seattle looked at sending him away. Unlike Suh, losing Okung would be a step down so Seattle looked a little harder at how they'd use this money (and re-structured Fraser at LT) before trading him away. Now Seattle has some room to sign a couple FAs and their draft picks.

Training Camp
Ahh, training camp. This is when you find out who feels they have their legacy on the line and who was just content to make the team. In Seattle, this has been highly productive every season, and not all teams can say that. Because of the dedication of staff and players, Seattle has a truly elite #1 CB, TE, QB, and even Rock Pritchett has put in the work to earn the #1 spot on this team.

So who is putting in the work?

Often youngsters, highly drafted and otherwise, are the ones to show their skills, and no where does it show up more often than in foot speed and quickness.

This offseason work has been put in by several players, and in training camp you can see who's really benefitted from the workout plans put in by the new training staff.

DE Aaron Donald has taken Sam Mosby into workouts with him, and the results for both are impressive. On top of the regular strength and conditioning given to the pass rushers, these two players went through speed camp two days a week on the field, along with 3 hours per week of classroom instruction on footwork and posture. Explosion and field speed show improvement for both players, and defensive coaches are raving about how much better they look in drills.

TE Dominic Franklin has battled with Marten Ford and Rufus Tanner and so far Franklin has been winning many of his battles due to superior strength or speed. Being tall and long players, the long speed is kinda there. But each one struggles more with short area quickness and starting up. These guys did a separate sprint workout, learning to start fast and how not to waste the first few steps. The hope there was to see improvement in their overall speed from both the gradual improvements over the offseason workings and more dramatic gains from the economy of motion. But athletically these three players are pretty close to each other, and Ford and Franklin both have gained another step on Tanner from their offseason workouts.

Finally Greg Malenko spent time doing yoga during the offseason, and surprisingly the improvements in his core strength and balance are seen on the field in his battles with the bigger linemen against the run game. Already a big and strong DE, Malenko is more adept at pushing around the big boys Seattle employs on the OL. And if you've seen Seattle's OL, you know there's a lot of strong dudes on that line.



2019 prediction
I jokingly told a friend here that they were receiving the 30th pick in the round. Obviously I was insinuating I'd be the loser in the NFC championship, but also have one of the best records in the league. While the comment was in jest, often humor reveals true thoughts and feelings. So how close is that to my expectations? Let's see how good this team may be.

Offense
The Seattle offense took a step back the past two seasons without LeGarrett Blount, and that was partially because the move happened simultaneously to a youth movement on the OL and at FB. So has any of that been addressed?

No.

Instead the youth movement is getting older, little by little, and the gains asked for are incremental. The two guards are in their second year, Cote has reached elite status as a LT and has now moved to RT, and Fraser moves into his role and position. Notice I didn't mention the C position. In the draft and FA, Seattle struggled to find a decent long-term player, so 36 year old Snee at OG is going to slide over and give it his best shot.

Overall, Seattle is counting on a series of small improvements to add up to the best run game since Blount left.

Passing may be a problem. Seattle traded away Demaryius Thomas, and with at least one or two more elite seasons left will be hurting trying to replace his contributions. Instead they'll rely on an athletic (but not star) group of 6'3-4" pass catchers at the 1-4 positions (including #1 TE), and hoping to get better pass protection for Newton than a year ago. Cam struggled last year, but what wasn't immediately apparent was how much he saved the team while under duress. The youngsters in the middle of the line were detrimental to his numbers, but he actually was a very strong decision-maker throughout the season.

Ultimately, if this team can 1-3 more big plays out of the passing game per year, and a consistent ground game, that will be enough because...

Defense
There are some elite members of the team, and most of them are defenders.

Run defense? Try running through the 4 DL that combine to average 66 SPD, 95 STR, 64 AGI, 77 ACC, 80 AWR and 300 lbs. If you do, Will Rogers is roaming behind them to clean things up with a hammer tackle. Seattle's upgraded the OLB quality from a season ago, it just has yet to determine which ones will get to see the field.

Pass defense? With the awareness of the DL and the beastly pass rushing skill of Aaron Donald, expect QB's to be pretty uncomfortable. But while this won't be the fastest NASCAR package around, ones again Will Rogers is around to provide some of the best MLB coverage in the league. Behind him (and some quick/tall outside linebackers) are a group of the best CBs the league has. There are maybe 4-5 other teams that can play as versitally and well as the Seahawks top 4 players at CB, and this year Earl Thomas may have more chances to play at CB as Ed Reed did at times in his career.

At safety Seattle got younger, but no less athletic than the duo that was the best in the league for the past several years. FS Courtney Rice will take some of or all of the duties from Earl this year, freeing him up to play some at SS or CB. Speaking of SS, somehow CJ Hodges was out there this offseason, waiting for Seattle to sign him to a cheap contract. At 6'2", with 92 SPD, he has good hands and tackling ability and is only 27 years old. On the downside, Seattle moved him to SS, a new position for him that makes him a little more of a risk. But he ranks as a rangy, 6'2" CB with good tackling skills, giving Seattle the ability to play 2-deep and give them good deep ball coverage with tall safeties.

Special Teams
At special teams, Seattle has two of the three main components back. Kai Forbath is a rock-solid kicker with star abilities beyond 50 yards. Returner Tyrann Mathieu should bounce back with some more athletic backup linebackers in the fold.

The newcomer is P Josh Carbonne. Seattle traded Jon Ryan away to clear cap and clear the way for the 6'4", big-footed 5th round pick from a year ago. Josh is raw, and inconsistent. There will be growing pains. But expect the field position battle to still be won by Seattle, even if the second year punter tries to screw it up a lot. Because with the emphasis on the defense and balance on offense, Seattle will do well at field position.

Looking through these areas, Seattle has added risk at the SS, FS, LT, WR, and OLB position. But have also added athleticism and better players at DT, WR, LT, and OLB. Coupled with the growth of key young players at LG, RG, LE, RE, HB, FB, and WR, there's reasons to see a winning team here.

I don't see the #1 seed in the NFC coming out of Seattle. In fact, that's probably the Rams. But I do think Seattle will be the 5 seed, a 10 or 11 win team that may lack dominance at anything but stopping the passer. And without dominance by any offensive unit, most likely will fall short of the SB.

10-6, 1 win in the playoffs
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 06/25/2015) Replies - 2 :: Views - 100
Seahawks go to familiar face, rehaul sideline
This week the Seahawks replaced nearly the entire coaching staff, following two disappointing seasons. Here is the introduction to each member, starting with the least important.


Special Teams coach: Russ Purnell (85-58-1, Jags/Texans)
Russ Purnell has been a part of only one losing team in the past 9 seasons. Yes, the GZL really has lasted that long. As one of the best ST coaches in the league, the Seahawks used one of their earliest picks to secure his special teams teaching ability.


Offensive Coordinator: Antonio Gates (0-0)
The Seahawks tried, unsuccessfully to pull several former offensive players into the position before securing Gates. It's tough to tell why Seattle wanted a first year coach for this offense, but Antonio Gates is here, ready to try out his ideas. The next Mike Tice? Perhaps, as TE, QB, and OL are the three positions that have the best exposure to both the run and pass schemes.

Training Staff: Livelihood Training
The best training staff available this time around, it's among the best 3-5 in the league. Seattle went after them before even securing it's head coach...or any other coaches for that matter.


Head Coach: London Fletcher (48-32, Seahawks, Browns)
The Seahawks averaged 12 wins in his three years as their defensive coordinator, and the defense was the best part of those teams. Since London left, the Seahawks have a 7-9 season and an 8-8 season. He's back...expect 12 wins?
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 06/18/2015) Replies - 3 :: Views - 55
Seattle Seahawks - 2018 Predictions
Yes.

No one is asking if Seattle will rebound, as they nearly made the playoffs without QB Cameron Newton. But if they did, the answer would be yes.

Instead, the question is simply, how far will they go? This is mostly the same team as the one that won the SB two years ago, but many of the changes switched out youth, inexperience, and athleticism for established good/great players. Hopefully that will be balanced out by the improvements longtime star players like Mathieu, Rogers, Newton, Smith, and Yates have shown. This will be a quick roster analysis to support the 2018 predictions I'm making.

Pass Offense
Clearly the passing game will be better, with Cam Newton, but the increased development of Rock Pritchett should boost the team as well. The OL may however be a bit worse at pass blocking with two rookies at OG. Overall the passing game should match or exceed the SB-winning team. A final note is the team starts the season with the best backup QB they've ever had.

Run Offense
Seattle's run game will not match the SB season. They currently have their most athletic set of blockers, both on the OL and at FB/TE. They may even match the SB season numbers with a number of big runs from Newton and Knile Davis. But the reliability and consistency of the run game that season can't be matched by the raw Davis, rookie OGs, and FB Hixon, a recent convert from HB. Expect the engine of the team to be Newton if this team is to make it all the way.

Pass Defense
This should also be an improvement. The same main 5 players are involved in the secondary, but now all of them but Mathieu have reached their prime, and he's improved most of them all. This was the best attribute of the SB winning team, and it is two seasons better now. The pass rush will have been reduced a bit going from Mario Williams to Aaron Donald, but with Suh at RE and a couple of more talented/aware DTs than that season the pass rush may equal or exceed the SB season.

Run Defense
The run defense is too new to tell. The SB season had a younger Rogers and an in-prime Curry, so at LB the current team lags it. But up front this is the strongest 4-man DL the team has had, and it comes with a good amount of athleticism, as well as awareness the further you get from LE. Athletically I have to take this team, but LBs make the best run tackles, so this team is probably going to allow more rushing yards.

Season Prediction
Based on this analysis, I see a team that is still very athletic, strong, and talented throughout the roster. And a team that has matured in the passing areas, the most high-leverage parts of a winning team. These improvements outweigh the youthful parts, and I see this team being at a higher level than the team that won two NFC Championships in a row.

Being in a very strong division, I predict 12-4 and a run to the NFC Championship game. Winning that game will depend on whether some of the thinned out depth gets exposed this season.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/09/2015) Replies - 2 :: Views - 34
Seattle, WA - You've got questions, we've got answers: pt 2
Good evening GZL, this is round 2. The first set of Q & A brought out some good discussions on Scramblers, Seattle's DL studs, and no discussion on how tough I have it against the Cap this offseason. All positive thinking!

Press Conference

Tyler Richardson: How do the Seahawks plan to replace Legarrette Blount?
This is a great question, cause last year we failed to do that.

This season you'll see nothing different. Knile Davis is hopefully the heir, but Cameron Newton might be the best runner on the team next season and the true Blount replacement. I've always wanted to just throw Newton out there with the Colts playbook and ask him to drop back 45 times per game and see what we get. Maybe that's what will happen if Davis sucks, but last year I worked hard and found some playbooks I like him in. Plus, I have a 91 SPD FB set aside just to make it work, so I'm not giving up yet.

Darryl Breckheimer: Where will M Williams end up?
Based on trade momentum...playing OLB for the Seahawks!

Really, I'm hoping that's how it works out, and I've moved enough guys that I'm close to being able to field a roster with him on it. I'd love to see how Suh, Donald, and Williams treat opposing offensive lines. It's going to be bare bones with rookies filling all depth positions, and you might see me trade for multiple 7ths there at the end.

But if I had to pick a team, I'd make it an AFC team if possible. I don't want to see Williams chasing down Cam in the playoffs.

Bryan Laurenson: I totally missed Donald getting moved to LE. Do you play exclusive 3-4 or a mixture? My original hope last draft was to land both Clowney and Donald. Would have been a pretty ridiculous pairing.
Clowney and Donald would be a lot of fun, but if I had the ability to do subs again I would make that pairing no fun for the rest of the league ever again.

To answer the real question, I play a mixture. I prefer not to play the 3-4 at all and drafted Donald to play in the 4-3. But I struggled to get enough pass rush with the rest of the 4-man line I had, so I went 3-4. I found that I had such a strong set of linebackers that run stopping was almost the same in 3-4, while the pressure we got on the QB was a lot better.

I'm expecting to see 4-3 about 75% of the time this year, but that's what I expected last year. Keeping Mario may swing things closer to 50/50 or to majority 3-4 again. But right now I'd slot Mario at ROLB, Donald at LE, and Suh or Malenko at RE with the other playing DT next to Reed. A very strong front 4.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 12/20/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 22
K Kai Forbath found no suiters, returns to Seattle
The Seahawks found themselves struggling a bit to figure their cap situation out. Rather than give Forbath a third 5M franchise tag, they let the kicker test the free agency market, a move that they were expecting to backfire. Forbath had previously tried and failed to negotiate a long term deal, finding himself behind in the priority order to other players.

Instead, Forbath found a soft kicker market, where two younger kickers were shown the money and the 30 year old returned to Seattle to sign a 3 year, 6.3M contract. Forbath has made some good money the past two years, but the longer-term stability benefits both he and the Seahawks moving forward.

Staffers were seen high-fiving each other at the VMAC as Forbath exited after signing his contract. While Forbath had a down year, he's one of the top kickers in the league, a vital asset to any contender.

Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 12/19/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 11
Seattle, WA - You've got questions, we've got answers
Good evening GZL. I asked for some questions and a couple of you delivered some good ones. After reading the Q & A, consider the comments a place to ask round 2. Many of you did not ask your questions yet, so if you have one ask away. If I get one question I'll answer it in the comments. If several of you want to know how, why, what I was thinking when...I'll do a second article. Thank you to those of you who asked the first time around.

Press Conference

Brady Tinnin: As the owner of a team lead by a scrambling quarterback, what do you look for in a scrambler (general strengths) and what playbooks does Cam like using that display him as a passer and a runner?

I inherited Vince Young in the RZL probably 8 or more actual years ago, and since have traded for Tim Tebow in this league (twice) and drafted Cameron Newton quite highly. Most of my experience is with pocket passers, but that gives me good context for what I do and don't like in a scrambler.

I dislike a scrambler that fumbles the ball. Strength and carry, as well as awareness I believe all play a factor in this. Carry rating is very important to me when preparing to use a scrambling QB.

I also look for injury rating. The scrambler is going to take 2-3 times the number of hits that a pocket QB does, roughly. I can keep a 20 INJ rating QB upright in the pocket, but I can't keep a 75 INJ rating scrambler safe.

Finally, I want the running to matter. A guy with 80 SPD isn't going to contribute much when he does get an opportunity for a positive run. Tebow is a bit of an exception with his BTK and STR, and so is Newton. But I'd love to get a chance to run a 95 SPD Vick type QB someday. Meanwhile Newton (and the 3 SPD I added to him) is fast and powerful enough to be a real good contributor.

Your last question is about playbooks, and the answer is that I don't. I have found a couple of useful playbooks that allow me to limit QB running, although how it works I have no idea. But if the QB drops back, he can and will choose to run on his own and playbooks don't affect that decision-making at all. The more the drop-backs, the more he'll run.

Tom Riddell: Where you shocked to see the Lions trade Suh?
I was not actually. I've asked for Suh several times over the years, but late last season there was a big shift when the Lions began shopping some of their aging stars. All of us have to decide whether to trade a beloved hero to get some value before they fade or let them retire slowly with fat contracts. It was clear which way Detroit was going, and that's why we got in on it early to try and make sure he could come to Seattle.

Not surprised.

Tom Riddell: Why do think they did it?

I answered this above, Detroit made the right decision to clear cap and pick up players and picks. Less than they'd have got a year or two ago, but they got his play on the field and earned a lot less of a cap penalty by waiting until now.

Matt Spencer: Who would you be targeting with the 10th pick if it were still in your hands?
Since I have 1.9, I'll decline to answer that question.

Matt Spencer: Any regrets moving 3 firsts for Aaron Donald, or has he lived up to the hype?
The answer is yes and no. First, his rookie season was absolutely a success. His value is not in being a Clowney-level edge rusher, but being a top 10-15 edge rusher while being a top 3 run-stopper on the edge.

In the 4-3, he makes it a 4-DT line while still applying pressure. In the 3-4, he adds pressure from DE to help the OLBs without being a weak-link in run defense.

Seattle currently is not an elite pass rushing team, but they were able to pressure a lot of good QBs into bad days last season without allowing HBs to get huge days. Being able to play Clowney on the edge would be awesome, but no one else gives us the run and pass-stopping ability at once that makes 3-4 or 4-3 easy to get something extra from.

Value-wise, the top 8-10 players are not nearly as scary this year as last season. And Donald doesn't have to have 20 sacks to give that level of value to this team.

Tom Riddell: Where do you rank this crop of QB's draft-wise?
I rank position groups against my team, similar to what the Seahawks currently do. This group of QBs has two guys that I'd consider, and the rest would be 3rd QBs for the next 3 seasons. So it looks like a pretty normal draft, and if I had a lessor backup QB there are some pretty good developmental QBs out there for me. But for me, I'd only take one if they become BPA, like a guy I like being available in the 3rd-7th.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 12/19/2014) Replies - 12 :: Views - 92
Seattle, WA: Live Press Conference Announced
I want in. Ask me anything, I'll give an answer. Even strategic questions.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 12/19/2014) Replies - 4 :: Views - 34
Seahawks Trades: Suh speaks out
The Seahawks SB hangover lasted into the beginning of the offseason, with leadership finally making decisions at the last second. And so far, they've done quite a bit. The biggest move has clearly been the addition of Ndamukong Suh. "The angry one" had plenty to say after anonymous quotes indicated Tom Riddell was fed up with Suh.

He first started by expressing his excitement to play for the Seahawks and their multiple-front schemes. He said "they have so many guys, PP, Donald, Rogers, Earl, Taylor, these guys love to hit. We're bigger, faster, and better, who's gonna block us?" But he saved the best for last.

"I had some things to learn when I was a rookie, but guess what, I listened. I stayed with Detroit, and I learned to make better decisions on the field.

But nobody every told me to work as hard as I was already working. Tom said I'm fat? Lazy? Do I look fat to you?" Lifts up shirt, shows off the scariest six-pack ever. "The Lions were one of the most talented teams, but Voldemort was the reason they never won a championship with me, Megatron, Bailey, Matthew. I'd retire before I'd go back and play for him."

Player Deals
Seattle's been dealing with a bit of a cap problem with so many stars under contract. So there's been a bit of a cutdown, along with three trades. Below are the deals so far.

Cuts
HB Beanie Wells
LT Jackie Gold
RG Bryant McKinnie
RG Carl Chavez
LG Chris Snee
C Jackie Crawford
OLB Jameel McClain
OLB Jacoby Humphreys

Trades
Seahawks send WR Kenny Britt, Bears send CHI 4th
Seahawks send DT Akeem Spence, Texans send WR Darvin Adams
Seahawks send WR Darvin Adams, CIN 3rd, DET 4th, Lions send DT Ndamukong Suh, HOU 5th

Signings
QB Chad Henne - 3 years

If it is not obvious, the Texans deal was to facilitate the deal for Suh. Seattle has not determined whether they'll play him outside or inside, or whether his presence will add more 4-3 snaps for this defense. But right now Suh is one of the top 5 DTs in the whole league, and would be one of the top 3-4 style DEs if he plays the Aaron Donald role.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 12/19/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 16
(6-7) Seahawks almost lose to former QB Stanzi
Seattle's first GZL draft saw Patrick Peterson go at 1.2, then three second round picks to begin building an putrid Seahawks team into something that stopped smelling like garbage. Of those four players, only QB Ricky Stanzi is gone, six seasons later.

Seattle traded him to get a 1st, reinvesting in their team but have famously battled without the sort of backup QB they groomed him into. With some success and some failure, one could question the move in the first place.

This week, that move almost backfired once again.

The game
It started out looking like a game between two even teams. Seattle came out throwing, with the good (50 yard bomb to Jock Sanders) balanced out by the bad (two first-half INTs). Seattle's D actually played well, but the short fields led to a Redskins TD and a FG.

The half ended with a 10-10 tie.

In the third quarter, that tie lasted until late in the 3rd, when Henne's third INT gave Washington another short field, which they converted into a TD. 17-10 going into the 4th quarter was doable with Henne trying to throw bombs all the time, but the Redskins were able to get Seattle to punt, and with the wind in Seattle's favor the punt turned into a touchback. That's when crazy began.

Crazy
Bull Griggs was stopped for a loss of one, then took the next handoff and disappeared 81 yards for the two-score lead.

24-10.

Matheiu has a decent return, which set up Knile Davis for a casual carry off the left tackle, where his WR got a block, Davis cut, turned around a defender who then turned straight into the second block for that WR. Davis casually turned on the NOS and made the remaining chasers look slow. 67 yards and Seattle was still down by a score.

24-17.

The kickoff (wind still at Seattle's back) went deep in the end zone, and after an incomplete pass or two, WR James Mayes broke behind zone coverage for an intermediate catch and outran everyone including Earl Thomas for an 80 yard score.

31-17.

At this point not a lot of time is gone, so Seattle once again starts past the 30, and completes a few short and intermediate passes, and finds Demaryius Thomas on a 26 yard TD. Still over seven minutes left.

31-24.

Seattle is able to force a punt on a 3 and out, and the wind helps keep the ball near midfield. Henne hit Kenny Britt for a 52 yard strike, then hits him again on a short TD.

31-31.

Seattle's kickoffs and XPs must have been taxing, because this time the kickoff allowed for a return, and Mayes nearly broke one. He got past the 35 from the end zone, and the only tackler to get off his block in time was able to get him. The Redskins ran a few plays, and were a few yards past midfield when they reached a 4th and 1. With a little over 3 minutes left, the Seahawks stuffed the run and the ballsy move backfired.

Seattle hit a couple short/medium passes, including a slant where Jock Sanders was nearly decapitated, and started running. The Redskins were able to halt them and Seattle kicked a FG with about 1:20 left, one TO in the Redskins pocket.

34-31

This is where Seattle's defense stiffened. Washington got a first down on a 3rd and long, but only got past the 40. Facing a 4th and 2, Griggs ran inches past a 1st down, but holding turned that into 4th and 12. On the final pass of the game, Yates rose up and intercepted the pass, and Seattle sealed the wild and unlikely victory with 3 kneel-downs.

Outlook & WC Race
The outcome was bad for the Redskins. Stanzi left late in the 4th quarter, and will not return this season after breaking his ribs. Furthermore, they've dropped to 6-7, tied with Seattle and a game behind 4 teams who are tied for the 2nd WC spot.

Seattle on the other hand, were 2 games back of the Cowboys (sole possession of the 2nd WC spot) coming into the week, but now are a single game back of the spots.

Race
(9-4) Cardinals
(7-6) Cowboys
(7-6) Packers
(7-6) Vikings
(7-6) Saints
(6-7) Seahawks
(6-7) Redskins

Seattle still has a tough schedule, but if they win out chances have increased significantly that they'll make the playoffs. Still probably under 50%, but improving none the less.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 10/24/2014) Replies - 2 :: Views - 45
(5-7) Seahawks slough off Aaron Curry
In the past three weeks Seattle has traded two 3rds for over-30 offensive players, traded away their SB winning QB to the Raiders, and now dumped Aaron Curry for a 3rd round pick.

Throughout these moves Seattle has claimed to be posturing themselves for a winning streak, but that is difficult to support when you send your best linebacker out of town for a mid-range pick. So lets break this trade down, what does it really mean?

Trade/Amnasty
Seattle sends: OLB Aaron Curry

Tennessee sends: CIN 3rd

Seattle future cap penalty reduced from roughly 13.3M to 3.3M

Breakdown
Seattle's been pretty good with the cap so far in the GZL, but saw some issues on the horizon. With mega-stars at QB, CB, OLB, CB, DE, and some pricy vet OL, Seattle was looking a little tight next year. Looking at Mario Williams and Aaron Curry, Seattle chose to dump one of the two and give themselves a little breathing room.

Also, if needed, Seattle can afford to trade or release Mario Williams in the offseason, while Curry's penalty made this a one-time deal.

On top of that, Seattle was down some draft picks after their maneuvering for Aaron Donald, so have been recouping what they can to get ready for the offseason.

On-field impact
So what about winning? Losing Curry is a big loss right?

Not so fast. Mario Williams has been playing OLB, and during the season Seattle's signed fast former pass rushers Freeney and Tuck. Neither has seen the field despite the 3-4 Seattle's used, so they are just depth. But the player really taking Curry's place is OLB Jameel McClain, who brings the hammer as well as Curry does, just a pace or two slower.

So whether Seattle needs more speed rush or run stopping from the ROLB spot, they can make up 75% of what Curry brought to his 1/7th of the front seven.

Furthermore, Curry and McClain have been pitching in to help at 2nd MLB. This week, Seattle signed their former 6th round pick in 2011, Colin McCarthy. Colin has slowed down a little, but is still a star-worthy MLB, and a big upgrade at #2 MLB.

So a little bandaid and Seattle's looking like a team that won't miss a step without their star OLB.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 10/22/2014) Replies - 2 :: Views - 29
Seahawks chances of winning out?
With Chad Henne the Seahawks have their first legitimate QB since week one. This team has won 13 and 11 games the past two years, along with the SB everyone knows about. So does Seattle have even a 1/3 chance of winning out? Let's go to the schedule.

Eagles (0-11)
Redskins (6-5)
Chargers (6-5)
Rams (7-4)
Broncos (6-5)

Ouch.

Seattle is a team that played it's best against great teams the past few years, and of course had to beat 4 playoff teams in a row to win the SB just a season ago. So if Seattle can win out, they'll have merely matched their best play from a year ago.

Personnel
The biggest losses from that playoff run are of course Newton and Blount. With Newton somewhat replaced at this point, missing Blount is the biggest downfall to this team. However the team does have a couple of powerbacks they can use to at least simulate that style of play if they believe that is the other part this defense needs.

So while the offense may be suffering compared to last year, with Kenny Britt involved they may actually be able to match that level. They are also degraded at #2 TE, and certainly have felt the loss of Harvy Unga. If Seattle is to beat these teams it may have to do it by unleashing the passing game a bit.

On defense the Seahawks secondary has been just as good, but the front 7 has been even better. Seattle has been playing a 3-4, a style that normally is gashed in the run game if they are playing from behind. But the Seahawks have been able to be stout with the use of Mario Williams at OLB simulating 4 DL on the field while still utilizing big powerful Aaron Curry and William Rogers.

The 3-4's best asset has been the increased pressure on even elite QB's this season. While Seattle has lost 7 games, only 3 have been by more than one score with the other 4 games were lost by a total of 12 points. Despite some pretty bad QB play in Seattle, they've kept elite QB's from outpacing them by much.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 10/12/2014) Replies - 2 :: Views - 30
A QB trade that wasn't defines Seattle's 2017
After the Seahawks and Patriots started 0-4, the teams had very different reactions. Partly because Seattle's first round pick resided in NE.

New England, who held their own 1st, decided to put the talented Chad Henne on the trading block.

Seattle, offered the following trade:

Seahawks send QB Landry Jones to NE
for
QB Chad Henne

They were turned away because "I have to hope you are as shitty as me." This is a fair sentiment, and one the two GM's have been riffing on the rest of the season thus far. But in Seattle an otherwise pretty outstanding team has felt the weight of mediocre QB play as well as the failed HB switch ever since.

Since then, Seattle has limped along at 4-3, while the Patriots have been a similar 3-4. When Henne went to the Chiefs of course Seattle offered the same trade and got shut down cold as the Chiefs don't have any desire for another young QB. Seattle has offered for several other QB's since and gotten a similar cold shoulder.

Week 12 resolution
Seattle was contacted by the Chiefs prior to week 12 on Henne's availability and a deal was quickly struck. With Henne's expiring contract and Seattle's decreased chances for this season the price was reduced to Seattle's likely high 3rd round pick. This deal was passed after the Seahawks week 12 win, not damaging their slim chances at all.

So it was with great irony when Seattle was contacted by the Raiders about Landry Jones just before games began week 12, offering the 1st round pick Seattle wanted for him. This is what Seattle has groomed the young QB for, and with Henne in hand had no trouble pulling the trigger on this sort of deal.

Seahawks send SEA 3rd to Chiefs
for
QB Chad Henne

Seahawks send QB Landry Jones to Raiders
for
WAS 1st

In the end
Did Seattle benefit from being turned away after week 4? After all they still got Henne along with a 1st for 3rd upgrade. But they still lost 3 out of their last 7 games. Here's the best and worst case scenarios.

Best case: Seattle rips off 4-5 wins, sneak into the playoffs and the 2nd seed and upset some teams that don't want to have to deal with this defense. Redskins miss the playoffs and Seattle gets a mid-round first along with the good play that develops their young players as they've attempted to do all along.

Worst case: Henne is a waste of a 5-game rental, performing poorly and/or getting hurt. Redskins make the playoffs and the two picks are a little over a round apart.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 10/11/2014) Replies - 7 :: Views - 61
(4-7) Seahawks defend SB win against (6-5) Raiders
47-29 was the final score, Seahawks coasting to a win over the very talented Oakland Raiders. Seattle's 3-7 record had Garth Pearce smelling revenge while trying to keep gaining in the AFC playoff hunt.

The Seahawks struggles have rendered them mostly irrelevant during weekly discussion, as they've been mostly written out of the playoffs since starting 0-4. With a 4-3 record since, they've not really made up for the bad beginning and may be 2 weeks from being mathematically eliminated.

But for one week, Seattle relived the glory of being defending champs and forestalled the revenge for perhaps another 4 years.

Road to victory
The Raiders came into this game missing more than Seattle was, and worse at QB without RGIII. Furthermore, they were still missing their stud back Mark Ingram, and left MLB Lamarr Woodley on the bench to finish his recovery. Seattle also just added WR Kenny Britt, and started him this week.

The game actually went more the Raiders way on a yards per play basis, and because of this Oakland dominated third down conversions, total yardage, and slightly led in TOP. This game went Seattle's way due to turnovers and QB pressure.

Seattle was able to get to the QBs for 4 sacks, and it seems they knocked Dysert out for half of the game or so, while picking him twice. That may have made things easier on the Raiders, as Hoyer performed a bit better at QB.

The turnovers involved the usual suspects, with Mario Williams forcing a fumble while Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu added their 5th and 4th intercpetions of the year, respectively. The Honey Badger's went for 50 yards and a score, and was the difference in the otherwise low-scoring game.

On offense, the Seahawks best attribute was avoiding the turnover. QB play was mediocre, with some scrambles adding value. The WRs had few chances, but mostly played well with their limited chances. Knile Davis had another bad game as a starter, with FB Darren Hixon the best run of the day at 16 yards.

All in all, Seattle won yet another game mostly on the backs of an elite defense that is getting almost no support from their offense. The Raiders bring a lot of their great defense from last year, so the offensive effort isn't entirely horrible.

Cam Newton and LaGarrett Blount never really proved which of them was the MVP of the league a year ago, but this season in Seattle sure makes it seem like one of them was.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 10/10/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 13
The Victors write the history

Seattle Times
Winner of Eight Pulitzer Prizes

Seattle (AP) - In reading the state of Seattle one season ago many of the observations seem identical. Seattle's triplets continue to be the offensive MVPs of the team, and in fact two of them were up for MVP and OPOTY as the offense as a whole grew a bit more efficient this season. The balance stayed the same while the output grew a bit, and while Seattle ended up as a Wild Card team the defense seemed to sustain and the offense got better this year.

Speaking of the defense, Seattle's unconventional oversized DL & elite secondary continued to give problems to both the pass and the run regardless of opponent. William Rogers, Seatlte's granite 6'4" MLB with great hands was injured until the end of the playoffs, weakening Seattle's run defense numbers during the second half of the season. But overall the front 7 was very good with improvements by the young DTs, while Yates health and Mathieu's proficiency leap made the secondary even better than the year before. But on defense the same MVPs starred, and outplayed their opponents best players, bringing Seattle where the wanted to go.

And in the darkness bind them

Team MVPs - 2015
QB Cam Newton - 265/445, 59.55%, 3640 Yards, 8.18 YPA, 25 TDs, 8 INTs, 39 Sacks, 97.0 QB Rating, 54 Rushes, 419 Yards, 7.76 AVG, 3 TDs, 1 Fum
I wrote last season that Newton had reached MVP level. He certainly took another step forward, with more attempts, better accuracy, increased yards per attempt, and less turnovers with the same number of TDs. And as a runner he had his best season while reducing his sacks per drop-back to 7.2%. That's his best percentage since his rookie year, when Seattle avoided Newton dropbacks as much as possible. He was rewarded with a new 7 year contract worth an average of 11.&M per year with 32.76M guaranteed.

HB LeGarrette Blount - 340 Rushes, 1548 Yards, 4.55 AVG, 14 TDs, 3 Fumbles
The league's MVP, & the SB MBP. Blount had a few of his signature games, with 5 games over 140 yards during the season and 252 yards on 26 rushes during the Super Bowl, along with 2 TDs. While I would place Newton's value to the offense as a more integral piece, with Thomas at WR for whatever QB backs him up Blount might be the most valuable offensive player on this team. The way he avoids negative plays and keeps the defense from loading up against the pass keeps Seattle firmly in position as the best balanced offense in the league.

WR Demaryius Thomas - 80 Catches, 1307 Yards, 16.3 AVG, 12 TDs, 2 Drops, 215 YAC
If Blount and Newton keep the offense steady, moving, and turnover free, Thomas keeps it explosive. A true #1 WR, Thomas is a deep threat, wins the jump ball, and boxes out like a possession WR. And as a Seahawk he's averaging his best TDs, lowest drop rate, and best YAC. Last season is clearly his best season, and at 30 he shows no signs of slowing. Best of all, Thomas elevates in the playoffs with 37 receptions, 9 TDs & 928 yards in his 7 playoff games as a Seahawk, an average of 25.1 yards per catch. Only one of those games has he been held without a TD.

CB Patrick Peterson - 69 Tackles, 4 TFL, 2 FF, 6 INTs, 2 TDs, 20 Deflections, 36 CTHA
I haven't run numbers in a while, but Peterson makes the best post-catch tackles of anyone in the league. He consistently limits yards after catch against the league's best WRs, and gets his hands on the ball plenty as well. With 11 INTs the past two years, he is doing what we want manned up against the best and/or fastest opposing pass catcher while keying one of the best pass defenses in the league.

CB Tyrann Mathieu - 47 Tackles, 2 TFL, 2 Sacks, 3 INTs, 21 Deflections, 30 CTHA
23 PR, 117 yards, 5.09 AVG, 50 KR, 1385 Yards, 27.7 AVG, 3 TDs
Mathieu played starting CB more and more as the season went on, and still held down the KR/PR role. In the playoffs he started every game, with his best game coming against the Rams when he was tested to the tune of 2 INTs and 3 DFL while allowing 4 catches. As a KR he added another TD in the playoffs against the Eagles, and had another called back for holding. Mathieu is explosive, has great hands, and already shows a surprising ability to cover taller than his 5'10" frame.

CB Steven Yates - 60 Tackles, 3 TFL, 2 FR, 5 INTs, 18 Deflections, 1 TD, 32 CTHA
Yates and Mathieu nearly split the starting role opposite Peterson, and Steven added to his early legacy with another great season outside and in the slot as essentially a pass covering linebacker. He brings tremendous length and knows how to use it with those INTs and DFLs.

Offseason Roster Turnover
Having represented the incredibly tough NFC the past two seasons in the SB and owning 2 1sts, Seattle had options. And surprisingly they turned over a lot of the roster.

Out:
FS Bernie Freeman - Trade
MLB Vince Williams - Cut
MLB Charles Agnew - Cut
OLB Clint Sintim - Trade
OLB Donald Jones - Cut
DE Jerry Ellis - Trade
DT Pete Owen - Cut
DT Eric Foster - Cut
RG Johnnie Gonzalez - Trade
RT Logan Mankins - Trade
RT Vernon Carey - Trade
QB JaMarcus Russell - FA
TE Zach Ertz - Trade
FB Harvey Unga - FA

In:
Draft Class - 9 players
ROLB Jameel McClain - FA
MLB Roddrick Muckelroy - FA
DE Dwight Freeney - FA
RG Bryant McKinnie - FA
RT Russell Okung - Trade
QB Tim Tebow - Trade

2nd SEA
3rd BUF
3rd SEA
3rd STL
3rd DET
4th SEA
5th DET
5th IND

A lot of the cuts were late round picks from the past two years that filled the roster until this draft class and FA's came in. Seattle did lose two players they have struggled to replace thus far. TE Zach Ertz and FB Harvey Unga were integral to the MVP season for Blount, and Ertz had reached a 50/50 timeshare with imcumbent Courtney Smith at #1 TE. Ertz was traded for a 1st bringing Seattle up to 3 1sts. Unga was offered a large contract from the Rams that will be his last payday. Seattle already had his replacement on the roster, but was planning on playing Unga for another season at FB and possibly at #2 TE while the next FB split those same positions with him. Instead, Seattle had to replace the #2 TE with another player, who has still not been identified.

Armed with 3 1sts, Seattle traded one of them to upgrade and stabilize the RT position bringing back Russell Okung. The other two were traded with Seattle's future 1st to move up to 1.7 where they selected Mario Williams LE replacement, Aaron Donald.

Finally, Seattle picked up a very good vet RG and a couple of veteran LBs to fill out their roster and fill up their salary cap.

Brick by Brick
What is better than winning a SB? Winning the next one.

This offseason Seattle drafted a replacement for one of the very few old stars on this team. They continued to stockpile future picks and kept their depth at nearly the same level while being opportunists in free agency. The Seahawks secondary, WRs, and offensive backfield stayed identical outside of FB/TE. The OL is clearly better, as is the front 7.

More than just personnel changes, player development drove the 2X NFC Champions the past two seasons. Several core players have reached their full maturity (and full cap values) and are driving the success of the team with more young players half-way developed. This year's draft class only has 2-4 players that may play a role with the team but at least one that will be a cornerstone player. There are some pieces Seattle would like to replace in the coming years, like HB, RE, and OL but nearly the rest of the team is young and talented. Next year Seattle has a 2nd and 4 3rds, and with no integral positions expiring could be adding more and more depth to this group.

With a sneaky trade Seattle brought back Tim Tebow for a mere 5th round pick, and while Jones will be the better QB someday Tebow is better right now and isn't very costly to the Salary Cap.

The only thing standing in this team's way is the talent in the NFC in general, specifically in the NFC West, and the prospect of injuries. Last year Seattle's improvements were enough to injury-proof them from losing Cameron Newton for two games, and this year Seattle looks more injury-proofed having used up even more of their cap room.

These are your defending champions, are they the future champions as well?
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 07/12/2014) Replies - 2 :: Views - 41
Seahawks scouting report leaked!



1.8 DE Aaron Donald
Rookie Outlook

Like almost every top 10 pick, Donald will start 100% of the time from day one. Super Mario and Donald will start at the ends for this defense, with left/right still being unclear

Potential

Long term Aaron Donald projects to be the best of his type. Not a pure speed rusher, he does bring an impressive 40 time at 285 lbs with top pass rusher acceleration. Oh, and he's strong enough to play DT full time on a 4-3 team. As you can see on the scouting report, he projects as a fast but not overly strong DT, while at DE he is up to every standard of a top edge rusher except his 79 SPD. While being able to effectively bull rush TEs and OTs, disengage and close quickly. Donald has the long term potential to match or surpass DE Cameron Jordan, who's numbers may be on a HOF track if the Browns can start winning.

Athletics Ratings - A

79 SPD, 89 STR, 83 AGI, 86 ACC, 85 STA, 93 INJ, 90 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - C+

59 AWR, 77 TAK

Skew Result - 1st rounder, no skew

Skew Effect - None





3.13 LOLB Marten Ford
Rookie Outlook

Ford hopes to be a situational player, but likely will ride the bench this year.

Potential

Ford is one of only 3 linebackers in the league with his height, with the other two being converted DEs. Ford has good hands and is a very good tackler. He could get himself a long-term starting gig as a TE stopper and great tackler. Or he may just be a long term depth player.

Athletics Ratings - B-

80 SPD, 74 STR, 78 AGI, 81 ACC, 70 JMP, 85 STA, 97 INJ, 99 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B-

49 AWR, 60 CTH, 79 TAK

Skew Result - -1 AWR, +1 ACC, +2 INJ, +3 TGH

Skew Effect - None





3.22 DT Greg Malenko
Rookie Outlook

Malenko was drafted to be a backup, but comes into camp looking like a starter.

Potential

Malenko doesn't have the size of an NT, or the ACC of an elite 3-tech. But he has a really cool mixture of all of a DT's tools, and high awareness, and could be an above-average to elite DT for many years if he can get on the field.

Athletics Ratings - B+

66 SPD, 93 STR, 60 AGI, 73 ACC, 79 STA, 88 INJ, 92 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - A-

66 AWR, 75 TAK

Skew Result - +2 SPD, +1 ACC, +1 TAK, +2 STA, +1 INJ, -1 TGH

Skew Effect - Noice!





5.7 LG Carl Chavez: Chavez is not a long term part of Seattle's roster.

Skew Effect - Bad




[b]5.12 LOLB Marten Ford

Rookie Outlook

Chase is clearly just a #3 HB, but if injuries take place he looks capable of playing instead of being replaced.

Potential

Chase appeared to be a power-back with no chance of being a tackle-breaker, or FB, but came to camp with better ability at both than expected. He's a full-size back with enough strength and athleticism to start someday. With some development he could have a 3-5 year peak of being great. Furthermore, with a lot of development he could turn out to be a good FB, but he'd need to learn to run block for about 3 years first.

Athletics Ratings - B-

86 SPD, 74 STR, 85 AGI, 84 ACC, 79 STA, 76 INJ, 83 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B+

51 AWR, 67 CTH, 85 CAR, 76 BTK, 49 PBK, 36 RBK, 51 KR

Skew Result - -1 STR, -2 AWR, -1 ACC, +2 CTH, +4 BTK, +4 PBK, +3 RBK, +3 STA, +4 INJ, -4 TGH, +3 KR

Skew Effect - Bad for the body, great for the skills






5.25 FS Lincoln Gaspar
Rookie Outlook

Gaspar is the direct backup to Earl Thomas. Hopefully he's ready if needed.

Potential

Lincoln has pretty good long term potential. He has a bit of height, ok athleticism, great strength and pretty good awareness. None of his abilities are elite outside of strength but he could be a pro bowl safety with those ability with only agility and hands a concern.

Athletics Ratings - B

89 SPD, 70 STR, 78 AGI, 90 ACC, 90 JMP, 72 STA, 90 INJ, 88 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - C+

63 AWR, 54 CTH, 63 TAK

Skew Result - -3 AGI, +2 JMP, +2 STA, +1 INJ, +1 TGH

Skew Effect - Not helpful, didn't hurt too bad





5.32 FB Manny Rice
Rookie Outlook

Rice comes into camp a new man, ready to start at FB or perhaps get some #2 TE time in.

Potential

There are only 3 other players in the league that have similar SPD/STR/RBK, one other being rookie Bubba Andrews who was drafted 2.3. Rice compares pretty well to Bubba outside of the passing game. Rice & Bubba have the ability to be the best run blockers in the league once the Steelers Munzenmaier & Packers Hynoski expire in the next couple years.

Athletics Ratings - B

80 SPD, 76 STR, 70 AGI, 78 ACC, 91 STA, 90 INJ, 92 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B+

58 AWR, 54 CTH, 70 CAR, 82 BTK, 54 PBK, 68 RBK

Skew Result - +2 SPD, +1 STR, +2 AWR, +2 AGI, +1 ACC, +2 CTH, +1 CAR, +4 BTK, +1 STA, +2 INJ, +2 TGH

Skew Effect - Life-changing





6.18 LT Jackie Gold: With 40 SPD and 73 RBK merely a roster filler.

Skew Effect - Bad

6.22 LOLB Jacoby Humphreys: With 77 SPD merely a roster filler

Skew Effect - Not terrible, but he already was
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 07/01/2014) Replies - 11 :: Views - 169
Seahawks do well in FA, retain all but one available player.
Seattle neglected to take care of a restructure last season, so when it came to this offseason they had more talented players on the market than they were aiming for.

Retention
First Seattle took care of Patrick Peterson and Cam Newton, then they started negotiating with the next tier of players.

K Kai Forbath
P Jon Ryan
C Joe Madsen
FB Harvey Unga

These aren't big money positions, but each of these players had either age or expertise on their side (or both). As it turns out, Kai got a little attention but no one chose to redefine the kicker market with the 29 year old, and Seattle was able to retain him on a 1 year, 4M contract, nearly half of it guaranteed. In Forbath's case, Seattle is hoping to get him a long term contract next season.

Joe Madsen and Jon Ryan were ignored by the market, which was cool on punters and centers, and they came back on Seattle's terms.

Loss
Harvey Unga attracted attention from two teams, with the Rams making the strongest bid after having to deal with him for 5 seasons. St Louis gave the 29 year old FB the money that he earned blocking for Lynch, MJD, and Blount on a cheap contract. Harvey earned a 5 year, 25M contract with a full 10M guaranteed. A mid-level CB might earn that money, but it's a lot for a FB and Seattle declined to match the offer.

It remains to be seen how Seattle will address the blocking up front for league MVP Blount outside of the RT upgrade they've already performed. But Seattle's linebackers will now have to go through Unga twice (or thrice) per season to stop the Rams running game.

Gain
Seattle did go after several players, but quickly bowed out of bidding as prices rose on all of their targets but Dwight Freeney. Seattle signed the former Colt, Bengal, Giant, & most recently Lion to a 3 year deal that is a bit lower than he is used to, but far more than most 37 year old pass rushers ever hope to get. Seattle adds him to their already old set of DEs. In reverse order, they now have

Freeney - 37
Mathis - 36
Williams - 32
Bair - 32

Easily the oldest set of 4 DEs in the league. Look for them to draft at least one DE this season, but if not they should be able to keep at least two of these old guys on the field this season.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 06/21/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 21
Seahawks trade 1.32, manuever a bit in draft
Seattle has been very busy on the trade front, and now find themselves executing their first draft-pick-only trade.

The Eagles advertised that they wanted to move back from 1.22 (plus a 4th) to pick up an early-2nd and a mid-2nd. Sitting at 1.32 & 2.17, the Seahawks thought that was an attractive pick to move on. The Eagles and Seahawks quickly agreed to terms and struck a deal, in time for both teams to research their new positions for the upcoming draft.

The Eagles traded: 1.22 & 4.18

for

The Seahawks: 1.32 & 2.17

Not all trades end with each team feeling great about their deals but is one of them. Seattle still has 10 picks, including 1.22 and 1.26, while the Eagles were able to add a 2nd round pick to move back 10 spots.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 06/21/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 23
Hawk moves: Seahawks spend BIG money
In the column written mostly for me, I detail the latest moves that rock the Pacific Northwest.

Trade
Seattle traded away FS Bernie Freeman, in a move that is sure to delight most Earl Thomas fans...which is just about every Seahawk fan after speculation that he may replace ET the third. Below are the details.

Seahawks trade FS Bernie Freeman, RG Johnnie Gonzalez, Redskins 6th

for

2.17 (CAR) & 3.13 (NYG)

It is presumed that Freeman will get his chance to start and never look back, while Seattle stays with the young Thomas who himself is only 28.

Contracts
Today, the first picks in the 2011 and 2012 draft for Seattle (2nd & 3rd overall) signed contracts to stay in Seattle for the duration of their peak years.

CB Patrick Peterson was convinced not to test FA with roughly a 46M, 5 year contract. The shutdown corner everyone wishes they had, Peterson has had 11 picks in the past two seasons, with 3 more in postseason play for the two-time NFC Champs. He also upped his play in those two postseasons with 21 deflections in those 7 games, a 3.0 average. At only 26, Peterson most resembles a young Champ Bailey, and will hopefully be at the top of his game as long as Bailey, his new defensive coordinator.

QB Cam Newton also earned himself a new contract, with an extension announced that wipes out the final year of his current deal. His new contract runs for 7 years and will pay him $83M dollars. Newton was nearly voted the OPY, completing nearly 60% of his passes for 25 TDs and only 8 INTs. He added 419 yards on only 54 rushes, a 7.76 AVG and 3 TDs with only 1 fumble, an astounding stat all by itself.

Newton's ability to avoid turnovers is in stark contrast to the QB that won OPY, Matt Stafford & his 25 INTs. The only fly in the ointment here is Newton's unlucky timing with playoff injuries the past two years after shrugging off so many regular-season hits.

The core of the Seahawks appears to be fully in place for several more years, and at the ages of 26 and 27 these two players are in position to become GZL legends.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 06/14/2014) Replies - 4 :: Views - 48
Seahawks trade a 1st, bring back OT Okung
As Seattle prepares to welcome Tim Tebow back for his second stint with the team, the rookie OT that was most victimized by Tebow's frenetic rookie season just got news he's on his way to protect for Cameron Newton.

Seattle had just heard that their former 1st round pick was on the block and immediately initiated a negotiation with the Jaguars. After a very competitive back and forth, Mr Herr and Mr St. Marie agreed on terms of a deal that has been submitted to the league office for approval.

Seahawks send 1.24 (DEN), RT Vernon Carey

Jaguars send LT Russell Okung, 6.12 (WAS)

This deal does bring the Seahawks 1st rounders back down to 2, but fills one of the few holes the team really wanted to deal with after relations with Mankins soured and they were forced ( Wink ) to trade him. Okung has always been a physically outstanding OT, and at 30 years old has reached the maturity he needed to dominate. Equally powerful and quick, he should be able to dominate most defensive ends placed in his way, as well as being more than proficient at getting to the second level. Now he'll get a shot at protection against the Rams twice a year, with their deadly front 7.

Not a lot of teams want to get a guy older than 25 with a first round pick, but Okung appears to fit the age curve of the World Champion Seahawks very well, and on paper at least starts to elevate this offensive line to above-average or better, for the first time since before the GZL began.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 06/11/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 33
Seahawks add to the LOB
It was a small surprise to the GZL community when the SB champs first offseason move was to relieve well-respected LB and DC London Fletcher of his duties after what was a pretty successful year defensively by the Seattle Seahawks. A few hours into the first day of hiring, it became clear what the plan was. Champ Bailey decided that a HOF playing career wasn't the end for him, and Seattle wanted his mental game in town to work on the defensive backfield for Seattle.

While Earl Thomas and Taylor Mays stats took a step back, Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson had their best years while Stephen Yates had a fine year as well. Despite that, the Seahawks allowed about as many TD passes as they had picks, and ideally a talented DB corp like the one in Seattle could be better at shutting teams down than they were this year.

Look for Champ Bailey to be hands on, challenging this group with his credentials in a way that perhaps London Fletcher could not.

One possible change in Seattle could be the exploration of more man defense instead of the zone they have been playing. Despite having two elite safties, Seattle may look to lock up the outside man-on-man and put pressure on the opposing defense. Currently Seattle seems to have avoided this due to their lack of elite pass rush on the QB outside of Mario Williams. "Super Mario" has been aging gracefully, but even at full strength probably would benefit greatly from more pass rushing talent around him.

Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 06/10/2014) Replies - 1 :: Views - 43
Seahawks never sleep
Following their SB, the Seahawks front office didn't take much time to start making changes.

They started by firing defensive coordinator London Fletcher, despite a year where the defense was a worthy compliment to the offense, only allowing about 20 PPG (including playoffs) and proving to be a thorn in the side of every elite passing or rushing offense they played. Rumors are that the Seahawks believe the next defensive coordinator should make them the best defense in the game, coinciding with the development of youngsters like Tyrann Mathieu, Cameron Reed, and Akeem Spence complimenting the already talented 27-29 year olds on the defense.

Trades
Seattle has also agreed in principle to four trades, all of which will await the opening of the league calendar to trade season.

Seahawks trade TE Zach Ertz, 3.32 (SEA)
Broncos trade 1.24 (DEN), 5.7 (BUF)

Seahawks trade DE Jerry Ellis, 7.1 (NE)
Panthers trade 4.17 (CAR)

Seahawks trade 5.6 (DAL)
Giants trade QB Tim Tebow

Seahawks trade RT Logan Mankins, 5.17 (CAR), future 7th
Lions trade future 3rd, future 5th, 7.27 (DET)

Seattle mostly maneuvered in the draft, trading the YP2 Ertz, YP2 Ellis, 3.32 and 7.1 for a 1st, 4th, and 5th.

They moved on from Logan Mankins for a 3rd and a swap of a mid-round 5th for whatever the Lions (27th this year) will have next season in a competitive NFC North. Mankins will be making half the money with the Lions that he was making in Seattle, likely a big reason the Seahawks moved on from the star tackle with only Vernon Carey (36) behind him.

And they did reach out to the Giants to explore the idea of trading a 5th for Tebow, a deal James decided to do a few days ago. This appears to be an opportunity cost move, and it is unclear whether Seattle will be hanging onto Jones after his SB victory or seeking to send him away.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 06/08/2014) Replies - 2 :: Views - 33
Earl Thomas WK 17: 7 Deflections
Aaron Rodgers just made the playoffs for the first time since he was a Packer.

Earl Thomas just logged 7 deflections in one game, and looks to repeat his last effort against Aaron in 2014 when two 2nd half INTs keyed a 20 point comeback without Cam Newton.

Week 17
The clear difference in the game was Seattle's secondary, led by FS Earl Thomas.

:
FS Earl Thomas      - 8 tackles, 1 INT, 7 Deflections
CB Tyrann Mathieu   - 8 Tackles, 1 INT, 2 Deflections
SS Taylor Mays      - 4 Tackles, 1 INT, 1 Deflection
CB Patrick Peterson - 3 Tackles, 1 FF, 1 INT, 3 Deflections
CB Steven Yates     - 0 Tackles, 1 FR, 2 Deflections


This led to the Cards QB's posting a combined line of:
14/40, 171 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs, Long of 29 yards

That's how the Seahawks win 39-17 on a day when Cam Newton really was not that sharp himself, and that is how the Seahawks won their 11th game and got the chance to face Aaron Rodgers.

After how the last game went against him, maybe the Eagles will just run the ball.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 05/07/2014) Replies - 4 :: Views - 51
Seahawks report: Week 1 Win
Seattle came into week one against the Falcons without a good set of expecations. The Falcons dipped from 10 wins to 3 wins withought any perceivable loss of talent, rather with an absense of leadership and direction.

This year the Falcons drafted a franchise LT and traded away AJ Green while getting younger and deeper. So would last year's NFC Championship roll on or would ATL show them up?

First Half
Seattle got down early on a 75 yard TD to Ryan Swope, but from there appeared to win the game in the first half. QB Cam Newton was supremely accurate and on point, driving to the 8 before Blount ran for a pretty easy red zone score. After a 3-and-out, Seattle went down the field again before stalling and getting a 52 yard FG from Forbath.

The Falcons answer was for Matt Ryan to throw a lazy out-route that Yates stepped in front of for a 38 yard INT return and a TD for the defense. Seattle wasn't done for the half, as the Falcons continued to struggle to get started on offense and the Seahawks had another smooth drive that ended with a 16 yard TD pass to rookie WR Rock Pritchett.

Second Half
As often happens, halftime was also a large shift in momentum. The Seahawks tried to run the clock out starting in the 3rd quarter, but with some long-developing runs that were easy for the Falcons to sniff out. Most of their 6 tackles for loss came in the 3rd and 4th quarter, and many of Jon Ryan's 8 punts followed those.

The Falcons offense started moving too, and they scored a FG in the 3rd quarter to make it 24-10.

Seattle was able to move the ball a little better in the 4th, but stalled outside of FG range and Ryan's punts were twice downed between the 1 and the 7. Undeterred, Ryan found Wheaton out of the slot for a 61 yard TD to make it a one-score game at 24-17.

The Seahawks conservative 3-play drive was a bust and the Falcons got the ball back just outside of two-minutes. Ryan made quick work of the playing field and inside the red zone tied the score up with 1:11 left.

Seattle wasn't sure what they wanted to do from the 20, as they got past the 20 and started a no-huddle only to be called for holding and get pushed behind the 20. Blount ran for 6 on 1st and 20 and Pritchett made a big play on 2nd down to make it 3rd and 4. Big play being a catch, but also a near-fumble (overturned) and injury.

Blount's run on 3rd down converted the drive and turned on the jets. Passes to Ertz, Smith and Unga put Seattle in position for a long FG and conservative they turned once more with a 1 yard run by Barner taking the clock down to 1 second.

After the TO, the 51 yard GW FG was good and Seattle escaped with a game they once had in the bag.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/17/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 29
Seahawks coaches report
Seattle got a lot of their youngest players involved in the preseason, and as a result the coaches showed growth in just about every unit on the team. The team went 4-0 and still look like a team that plays good defense and tries to generate a strong running game and big plays.

Coaching report
HB Kenjon Barner +2 AWR, +1 BTK
HB Darren Hixon +1 AWR
WR Rock Pritchett +2 AWR
TE Zach Ertz +2 AWR, +1 RBK
LT Earl Cote +2 AWR
RG Sammy Fraser +2 AWR

LE Jerry Ellis +2 AWR
DT Cameron Reed +1 TAK
DT Akeem Spence +2 AWR, +1 TAK

MLB Vince Williams +2 AWR
CB Tyrann Mathieu +2 AWR, +1 CTH
FS Bernie Freeman +2 AWR, +1 CTH
*Bold denotes starters

Of the group, it was an impressive showing for so many non-starters to get significant time and still perform as well as the team did and the coaches expect the group to continue to improve throughout the season.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/17/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 27
Seahawks getting busy
Seattle has been working the phones, starting to make up for the lack of activity earlier in the off-season.

First, they've offered contracts to their very first three FAs.

RG Chris Snee
LOLB Clint Sintim
LG Ramon Foster

Snee was a cap casualty for the Dolphins, but a guy who they've tried to get a 1st round pick at times in the past several years. An elite vet, Snee is an OL with athleticism and skill. With zero holes in his game, Snee's biggest weakness might be he merely average strength at this point as he may get pull rushed by a defensive tackle if they are beastly enough. Expect him to start for Seattle, perhaps for three years.

Sintim has been a long-time backup that has seen the field for parts of three seasons with the Giants and Cowboys. Clint has actually been a Seahawk in 2012 and comes in with prototypical size and athleticism on the outside. Seattle signed him as a FA, and later traded him with a backup HB to get a 4th round pick. Whether he plays only special teams or gets in to start due to injury he shores up the front seven at a position where the Seahawks are getting thin.

Foster was on a one-year deal with Seattle as the 10th OL. He did not get a contract before the draft but when he was still available Seattle signed him for the same role. Foster is on the team because he didn't want a lot of money. Not expected to play at all.

Trades
Seahawks trade FS Courtney Brown
Lions trade Detroit 6th

Seahawks trade MLB Jason Williams
Lions trade Detroit 7th

Draft trades will be covered in the draft articles coming up, but these trades are easy to understand. Seattle traded two of their long-time speedy backup defenders in Brown and Williams to the Lions for a 6th and 7th. With youngsters drafted at MLB and FS, Seattle had more than they needed. The Lions got two speed guys with really low salaries for backup positions, making these two trades wins for both teams.

Cuts
To make some room, Seattle cut a few players.

QB JaMarcus Russell
FB Kyler Reed
WR Jonathan Holland
SS Courtney Greene

Along with the trades, these cuts give Seattle the breathing room to add Snee and fill out the roster. Besides Holland, none of these players really took snaps outside of special teams last season.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/04/2014) Replies - 2 :: Views - 31
You surrender after you are dead

Seattle Times
Winner of Eight Pulitzer Prizes

Seattle (AP) - Is GM St. Marie ready to deliver? That was the question asked before last season, after Seattle backed into the playoffs with Jamarcus Russell at QB and earned a 40-14 exit to the eventual SB winner New York Giants.

The answer was clearly yes, as Seattle led from the front on the way to the 2nd seed at 13-3. Two wins established them as the NFC champions, putting them in a SB against the Steelers. Although Seattle lost Cam Newton and had to put rookie Landry Jones in they still were able to make a game of it losing 27-21.

Along the way, the Seahawks were able to establish their winning ways through an effective offense and a dominant defense. The defense not only had the best PPG allowed during the season but they contributed an astounding 10 TDs through the regular season and postseason. This helped a good but not great offense score over 30 PPG.

The additions of Demaryius Thomas and HB LeGarrette Blount did illustrate the impact that top skill players can have on an otherwise below-average offense. Thomas didn't have his best season, but it may have been his most efficient. It was his 3rd best yards per catch with 17.21, tied for 1st in TDs with 10, and tied for his career low in drops with 5 while setting his own record for yards after catch with 257 despite having his second lowest number of receptions with 66.

Furthermore, this production and efficiency came as the clear focal point of the offense, with no other receiving target being even close to the threat he was in possession receiving or as a deep threat. Thomas is a true #1, one of the top 3 most unguardable WRs in the league, and was a big reason Seattle was able to be average or above-average at offense.

Team MVPs - 2015
QB Cam Newton - 223/390 57.2 comp %, 3044 Yards, 7.81 YPA, 28 TDs, 10 INTs, 40 sacks, 95.5 QB Rating, 54 Rushes, 327 Yards, 6.06 YPC, 2 Fum
Newton had by far his best full season, with good enough stats to be in the MVP discussion. He wasn't, but expect that to change if he continues to play at this level. He did a good job on the ground, and started to show signs of elevated decision-making on when he stays in the pocket.

HB LeGarrette Blount - 364 Rushes, 1641 Yards, 4.51 AVG, 9 TDs, 5 Fum
Blount is one of the bigger reasons not to consider Newton a league MVP, as he ran the ball over 360 times, earning over 1600 yards. He causes a defense to play honest, and even when they do stack the box he shows he can be quite effective.

LG Logan Mankins -
102 pancakes, 5 sacks allowed
With apologies to a couple of the skill players, Mankins is the third MVP on this offense. He had a lot to do starting between two young players at LT and C, and had a fantastic season once again. Mankins doesn't get a terrible amount of publicity but on a team so focused on the run game and keeping a scrambler in the pocket he is a key person on the team.

CB Patrick Peterson - 78 Tackles, 5 INTs, 100 Return Yards, 2 TDs, 33 Deflections, 44 CTHA
Patrick Peterson has started against the best WR of the opposing team since the day he showed up in Seattle. Despite some looking down on his efforts due to the catches he allows and high tackle numbers he is infinitely better than his taller teammates that swat more passes but allow more long TDs. Whether Peterson gets the pick, deflection, or tackle, the opposing team does not get yards after catch against this player.

DE Mario Williams - 59 Tackles, 13 TFLs, 18 Sacks, 2 Deflections
Mario had only 3 sacks after 9 games, continuing an unusually cold stretch for him with 7 sacks the previous season. But the last 7 games the monster end hit a historic track, logging 15 sacks to push his season total to 18 for the season. Against playoff competition, he had another 3 in the three games Seattle played, along with two more tackles for loss.

SS Taylor Mays - 69 Tackles, 6 TFLs, 1 FR, 5 INTs, 37 Return Yards, 17 Deflections, 9 CTHA
While Earl Thomas got less opportunities this season outside of a 75 yard pick six, Mays got a lot more play as he feasted on intermediate passes. His normally bad hands came through and his time in Seattle has given him 8 of his picks in two years.

Seattle's legendary fans

Offseason Roster Turnover
So far Seattle has kept their championship roster nearly intact, with only one player leaving who was under 30, and zero of those players being starters outside of the RE, which was split between Julius Peppers and Red Bryant last season.

Out:
LG Ramon Foster - FA
LT Damien Woody - Retirement
RG Eric Steinbach - Cut
DE Julius Peppers - Cut
DE Red Bryant - Cut
OLB Thomas Howard - FA
OLB Reginald Phillips - Trade
WR David Nelson - Trade


In:
OLB Slade Norris - Trade
WR Rock Pritchett - Draft
LG Sammy Fraser - Draft
FS Bernie Freeman - Draft
HB Darren Hixon - Draft
WR Oliver Coleman - Draft
MLB Charles Agnew - Draft
LOLB Donald Jones - Draft

Once again Seattle stayed quiet on the FA front, focusing mostly on trades and the draft. This is mostly due to the cap concerns, as Seattle's lack of attention to the roster over the past year and their focus on the SB run caused some dead weight to add up. They got lucky by being able to hand onto stars Demaryius Thomas and William Rogers, while franchising star kicker Kai Forbath and hanging onto RFA Steven Yates for another 7 years. No big losses constitutes a win with this very young and talented roster.

In the draft Seattle picked up seven rookies, one veteran, and did some investing into and out of next year's picks. The second round WR adds a the ability to start a big due at WR, while giving Seattle a big target to groom while Thomas plays through the prime of his career. The only other likely impact player on this season is Fraser, who is projected to start at RG where his power, speed, and run blocking are expected to be an upgrade over what the team has seen from Johnnie Gonzalez.

Freeman is good enough to be a starter at FS even as a rookie, but will instead be learning from Earl Thomas and getting ready in case of injury. Oliver Coleman will be running deep routes, playing special teams, and hoping to catch up to Jock Sanders role on the team.

The draft saw an increase in team talent while being able to maneuver picks back and forth to essentially an equal amount of picks next season. Seattle lost a 2nd, 4th, and 6th next season while picking up a 1st and a 5th.

SEA 1st
KC 1st
SEA 3rd
SEA 5th
DAL 5th
SEA 7th

The roster was filled out pretty well salary-wise but Seattle will have to make more cuts to fit at minimum one DE and two OL. They do have some extra backups at a couple of positions, but those cuts will probably average 700k per player so Seattle will have to be pretty creative to fill out the roster. If they want to make a strong improvement at any other position, they'll have to cut another impact player.

Brick by Brick
Seattle is at the point where the roster can literally be called Championship calibur. And for those who want to leave the past in the past, only 1.5 starting positions have been vacated. The RE position, manned at different times by Red Bryant and the ghost of Julius Peppers is likely going to Mario Williams or Brandon Bair. The LT position had already been manned for half the season by Earl Cote, the 5th round wonder.

So how does this offseason make Seattle better? Well that's easy to answer.

On one hand, there was not a lot of big names they could bring in unless they lost some very good young talent. On the other hand, Seattle came into the draft with like 5-6 picks in the 3rd-4th round. A big opportunity to find some steals that could back up or even replace a current starter.

A draft like that puts Seattle in a position to shed salary in the upcoming years in a far more comfortable way than they otherwise would. Mostly, this type of draft injury-proofs the very good roster Seattle has. Specifically the terrific secondary got a backup FS that may be a star. The OL got a guard that isn't an elite athlete like at the top of the draft, but who was above average in speed, strength, and blocking. And the linebacking corps got a veteran near the top of his game and a couple of rookies that may pan out.

All told, 7 rookies and 1 veteran were added for a total of roughly 8 million. If Seattle makes a big move, this is the foundation that that allowed it to happen. If Seattle has injury problems and continues unshaken, just like last season at CB and a couple other positions, moves done similar to this offseason are the reason it all works out.

Training Camp
#2 CB Steven Yates vs Tyrann Mathieu
Last season Yates was poised to take over the starting CB spot across from Peterson permanently, with a pick and 6 deflections in the first few weeks. But he was lost for the season and gave Mathieu and Sanchez the chance to compete for the spot. Mathieu stepped up big time. He still split time between nickle and starting with Sanchez (Yates-lite) but Mathieu was further along in his development than previously expected. He had 3 INTs, 16 passes deflected, and 2 TDs. Yates is still going to be a very valuable part of the rotation, but Mathieu might be earning more starts against speed WRs than previously expected. The closer Mathieu gets to 8 games started, the more ecstatic Ray Lewis will be with the defensive weapons on this team.

LOLB Slade Norris vs Jerry Ellis
Ellis started parts of last season as a rookie, and showed good playmaking skill with 10 TFL, and one INT returned 71 yards for a TD along with 7 deflections. He should be in line for a bigger year as he's improved, but Seattle brought in the veteran Norris to compete. Ellis is a bit bigger, has better hands, and can jump higher while having a bit better speed. Norris is more savvy, stronger, and a bit more athletic in short areas. This one could come down to Ellis in pass coverage vs Norris against the run but so far it is too close to call.

RE Brandon Bair vs Mario Williams
The RE position is wide open on a defense that played a lot of 46 D and a little bit of Ravens-style D. Bair has size, speed, and awareness. Having been brought up in the system he's ready to be the big type of end that GM St. Marie likes so much at RE. Bair has shown a good ability at LE to rush the passer, and it is possible that the team could benefit more from putting Mario Williams at RE to work against less TEs. This one could go either way.

#2 WR/Slot WR Rock Pritchett vs Jock Sanders
Rock n' Jock are reminiscent of Nate Robinson and Glen Davis in how physically different they are. Pritchett is 9 inches taller than Jock, and with his incredible leaping ability and strength can go places Jock could only dream of. Sanders is a burner that few can keep up with. Those few that can be in the vicinity are often able to knock a pass down on the 5'6" Sanders, especially over the middle and on intermediate routes. Depending on the opposing team's talent, Seattle can deploy two 6'3" beasts on the outside to bully shorter WRs, or pair Jock with Demaryius to put the deep pressure on, while allowing Pritchett to team up with the TEs to get the chains moving. Expect this to be a shared duty between these two, with Cameron Newton the beneficiary.

RG Johnnie Gonzalez vs Sammy Fraser
Johnnie started a good portion of the past four seasons, and has acquitted himself well as a pulling guard. But he still lacks a strong grasp of blocking fundamentals and still struggles to diagnose what the defense is doing. Sammy is a bit smaller, and certainly not as nimble or fast as Gonzo. He is however a powerful little guy, and he already is a good enough run blocker to play in the GZL. His pass blocking and awareness leave some to be desired, but Cam's ability to escape will hopefully help avoid some of those pass blocking issues. Fraser will be a lot better than Gonzales, and when factoring in strength may be the better pass blocker already. This one appears to be in Fraser's corner.

Player Improvements
The Seahawks have the benefit of practicing at a fantastic facility on the lake. A picturesque view is just a side benefit to the great workout rooms and nutrition staff that have become the norm in a world class league like the GZL. Coach Ray Lewis has brought a warrior intensity to the offseason, and one of the surprise new workouts has been the Tom Hardy Warrior workout.

Built on the High-intensity interval training (HIIT) theory, a large group of these Seahawk players have a medium workout session in the morning (60 minutes to 75 minutes, quite short for an NFL workout) during which they learn and perform each of the day's three interval workouts. Then, every 2-3 hours they perform exercise one, two, or three. Including the morning workout, that gives each player 3 repetitions of each workout, with a total of 6 short workouts and one "medium" workout per day, but all at high intensity for a total of 3-5 hours worth of workouts per day.

Led by the trainer, reminders are sent out via twitter to the players, who generally do these sort of workout days twice during the week and one weekend day. It's a pretty tough time commitment even though players aren't having to stay at the practice facility and a lot of them do stick around for parts of the day just hanging out.

The workouts of the day are designed individually, although a lot of similar players have a good amount of crossover. Jock Sanders and Tyrann Mathieu for example are usually competing to prove who is the fastest player on the team, and Mathieu has been pushing 4-5 "Hawk workouts" per week trying to catch Jock who won their races last season. The small gap has been closing, and it appears Jock may not be the fastest Seahawk anymore.

Seattle is a very speed-oriented team, and rookie Oliver Coleman is nearly as fast as Jock as well as Patrick Peterson. But some of the bigger guys really move for their size. TE Zach Ertz and WR Rock Pritchett have been in close competition as well, with Pritchett trying to match Ertz physicality in the blocking game, while Ertz is trying to catch up to Rock's athleticism while Rock wants to stay ahead.

The workouts have been showing results for both of these players on the field. Pritchett and Ertz seem to be faster and are sustaining that speed, especially on deep routes. All in all, the Seahawks are a size/speed team at a lot of positions and seem to be only getting more impressive physically.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/01/2014) Replies - 5 :: Views - 144
Seahawks RFA news
Seahawks GM was discovered in a swamp, appearing to have a serious SB losers hangover. Considering it's been a few months since the SB ended it is starting to look like the Seahawks are not in good hands.

However the RFA period did show some signs of life from leadership, as a three players were still under club control and it appears all three will remain with the club.

CB Steven Yates - 1.9M (1st round)
C Joe Madsen - 870K (no compensation)
SS Jaxon Bigsby - 870K (no compensation)

Despite Yates playing ability being clearly at the first round level, no other clubs took a risk on his injury background, an old story from college that popped up this year when Yates only played in a little over three games. Madsen has been a starter for Seattle since being selected in the 5th round, but although his physical attributes are good, no one tried to steal him away.

Bigsby and his 96 SPD got a 7 year offer for a total of 6.79M salary, which Seattle happily matched to keep their backup mighty-mouse safety. Bigsby is a supremely fast safety, plying his trade mostly on special teams but also providing a great tackling and blitzing presence from strong safety when injuries dictate he is needed on the starting defense.

The Seahawks are expected to offer Yates a long term contract soon in order to get him locked up to play next to Peterson for many years.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 12/19/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 18
Seahawks go 3-1 in preseason, get valuable experience
Preseason numbers are wildly inconsistent, as Seattle scored 10 in an overtime win and 34 points in another win. But over the preseason, Seattle averaged 23.5 PPG while allowing 14.25 PPG in their 3-1 jaunt through preseason. WR's Jock Sanders and Demaryius Thomas looked like a great duo, although they played at least a half each game lined up against scrubs in the secondary. Besides the normal starters, there were some youngsters that are not slated to start that showed some good or interesting performances.

Notable Performances
Landry Jones 38/80, 47.5 Comp %, 565 yards, 3 TDs, 7 INTs, 4 sacks

Kenjon Barner 61 ATT, 315 YDS, 5.2 YPC, 31 Long, 2 TDs

Jock Sanders 24 Rec, 451 YDS, 18.8 YPC, 4 TD, 3 Drop

Demaryius Thomas 23 Rec, 364 YDS, 15.8 YPC, 1 TD, 2 Drop

Zach Ertz 7 REC, 56 YDS, 14 pancakes

Cameron Reed 6 Tackle, 1 TFL, 2 Sack. 1 FR

Akeem Spence 11 Tackles, 2 TFL, 2 Sack

Jerry Ellis 17 Tackles, 5 TFL, 1 INT, 2 DEF

Preseason Gains
Seattle used the preseason as a tune-up for a few specific areas of their team. SS Jaxon Bigby, CB Tyrann Mathieu, MLB Vince Williams, LT Earl Cote, QB Landry Jones, TE Zach Yates, HB Kenjon Barner, and HB Jawan Jamison spent time with with the 1's throughout preseason as Seattle explored a mixture of their best players and their young depth. Below are the results of the training for some of the youngest players on the Seahawks

QB Landry Jones +1 AWR
HB Kenjon Barner +1 AWR
FB Kyler Reed +1 AWR
HB Jawan Jamison +1 BTK
TE Zach Ertz +1 AWR
LT Earl Cote +2 AWR
DT Akeem Spence +2 AWR, +1 TAK
DT Cameron Reed +1 AWR
LOLB Reginald Phillips +1 AWR, +1 TAK
LOLB Jerry Ellis +1 AWR
SS Jaxon Bigsby +1 AWR, +1 CTH
CB Steven Yates +1 TAK
CB Tyrann Mathieu +2 AWR, +1 CTH
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 07/20/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 11
Seahawks Draft Day: 1st day picks



2.30 DT Akeem Spence
Rookie Outlook

In a 4-3 team, you don't have to say which one is better, but Spence is probably the #1 DT on this team.

Potential

Spence pairs quite well with Reed. He keeps the strength ratio up, while bringing more speed and agility to the position. Long term Spence probably sticks longer than Reed if one of them gets replaced.

Athletics Ratings - B+

64 SPD, 95 STR, 61 AGI, 71 ACC, 58 STA, 75 INJ, 99 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - C+

54 AWR, 73 TAK

Skew Result - 2nd rounder, no skew





3.14 TE Zach Ertz
Rookie Outlook

Ertz is #2 TE behind the pro bowler Courtney Smith. Seattle might play Ertz at #3 or #4 WR to get him on the field more.

Potential

Ertz went from a good but not great at anything prospect to one of the faster 6'5" TEs in the game. He's the whole package, a first-round talent at TE. Courtney Smith could see himself in a battle for his job down the road.

Athletics Ratings - B+

85 SPD, 73 STR, 75 AGI, 83 ACC, 64 JMP, 89 STA, 99 INJ, 80 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - A-

70 AWR, 79 CTH, 60 BTK, 50 PBK, 59 RBK

Skew Result - Very Good (+2 SPD, -1 STR, +2 ACC, -1 CTH, -2 JMP, +1 RBK, +3 STA, +2 INJ, -1 TGH)




3.21 QB Landry Jones
Rookie Outlook

Jones is +22 in combined AWR and THA on his competitor for #2 QB. Even as a rookie he is expected to sew that job up entirely.

Potential

Seattle should expect Jones to back up Newton for 10 years, or be lured away by a trade offer by a team that wants to start him. Jones is already one of the top 10 backup QBs in the league, day one.

Athletics Ratings - B

59 SPD, 53 STR, 59 AGI, 58 ACC, 89 THP, 87 STA, 84 INJ, 79 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - A-

65 AWR, 89 THA

Skew Result - Neutral (-1 SPD, -2 BKT, -3 STA, -1 INJ, -2 TGH)





3.23 OLB Jerry Ellis
Rookie Outlook

Ellis is bigger and stronger than Thomas Howard, while being similarly skilled in tackling and catching. This is a key training camp battle.

Potential

The negative skew doesn't make him unstartable, but there's a good chance another better linebacker might be sought. Ellis could be converted to DE as a pass rushing specialist if he loses his OLB job, but he's not a perfect fit their either.

Athletics Ratings - B-

83 SPD, 71 STR, 77 AGI, 80 ACC, 82 JMP, 79 STA, 86 INJ, 90 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - A-

61 AWR, 57 CTH, 78 TAK

Skew Result - Not good (-1 SPD, -1 STR, +1 AWR, -1 AGI, +1 CTH, +1 STA, +1 INJ)



© The DynAFsty formatting
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 07/04/2013) Replies - 4 :: Views - 55
Seahawks Draft Day: 4th-5th Rounders



5.18 HB Shaun Robinson
Rookie Outlook

Shaun Robinson would probably split starts with Kenjon Barner for #1 HB if Blount goes down. Seattle's not nervous about the depth at this position for the year, but Robinson has no shot to beat out Blount this year.

Potential

Long term, he's the perfect #2/#3 back. He can start and do well, so the team doesn't have to overspend on getting a back that's better than him, or worry when the #1 back goes down.

Athletics Ratings - B+

90 SPD, 76 STR, 83 AGI, 88 ACC, 86 JMP, 79 STA, 86 INJ, 88 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B

57 AWR, 70 CTH, 78 CAR, 75 BTK, 39 PBK, 26 RBK, 62 KR

Skew Result - Good (+1 STR, -1 CAR, +1 JMP, +1 PBK, +3 RBK, -4 STA, +2 INJ, +2 TGH, -2 KR)




5.30 DT Pete Owen
Rookie Outlook

Pete Owen is not a projected starter, but he makes the 3rd DT spot better with good enough AWR to make a difference on the field. As an injury replacement, he keeps Seattle from being forced to sign a FA.

Potential

His skew took away the SPD that made him somewhat decent and no one would choose to develop him into a borderline starter. As long as he's willing to take #3 DT money, there's a place for him on some roster in the league. His AWR, and TAK should always keep a GM from panicking if he makes it on the field, so he could have a long career as a sub.

Athletics Ratings - C

57 SPD, 87 STR, 49 AGI, 60 ACC, 82 STA, 85 INJ, 90 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - C+

71 AWR, 74 TAK

Skew Result - Bad (-4 SPD, +1 STR, +2 AWR, -1 AGI, -1 ACC, -1 TAK, -4 STA, +1 INJ)



5.31 LT Earl Cote
Rookie Outlook

Earl Cote will push to see the field, but his low proficiency at blocking will probably make him the #3 TE and get him on the field for the occasional start at LT if he's lucky.

Potential

Cote can be a long term starter at LT or RT, astounding for such a late pick. Furthermore, with his higher awareness that could be as soon as next year with some focus on his blocking. He's an outstanding pull-blocker and very powerful. Only thing that could hold him back physically is his ordinary ACC but his speed might make that a moot issue.

Athletics Ratings - A-

64 SPD, 95 STR, 59 AGI, 61 ACC, 77 STA, 99 INJ, 80 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B

66 AWR, 80 PBK, 82 RBK

Skew Result - Great (+3 SPD, +1 STR, -1 AWR. +4 ACC, -1 RBK, +2 TGH)



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Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 07/04/2013) Replies - 1 :: Views - 23
Seahawks Draft Day: 6th-7th Rounders


6.18 LOLB Chase Thomas
Rookie Outlook

Chase Thomas will be lucky to make the roster, with athleticism that just isn't good enough for this superb front 7. If he makes it, he'll be the 6th LB.

Potential

Long term he could make it for a team with a 3-4 that treats it's OLBs as DEs. Thomas could be good at 4-3 DE, but likely lacks the weight to be allowed to move officially.

Athletics Ratings - C-

75 SPD, 76 STR, 76 AGI, 80 ACC, 68 JMP, 76 STA, 886 INJ, 96 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B-

68 AWR, 50 CTH, 77 TAK

Skew Result - Not Good (-1 SPD, +2 STR, -2 AWR, -1 AGI, +2 ACC, -4 CTH, +3 JMP, +1 INJ, +1 TGH)



7.4 MLB Vince Williams
Rookie Outlook

Vince is reliable enough to be the main backup at MLB for the Seahawks. If Seattle wanted to go 3-4 they can rely on Vince to play well enough, even as a rookie.

Potential

Long term Vince shouldn't ever expect to be a starter for Seattle, but he could start at MLB for someone in his career, maybe a couple times. He has high enough AWR and TAK to reach that veteran starter level.

Athletics Ratings - C+

77 SPD, 74 STR, 82 AGI, 82 ACC, 70 JMP, 89 STA, 93 INJ, 67 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B

63 AWR, 64 CTH, 81 TAK

Skew Result - Very Good (+2 SPD, -2 AWR, +3 AGI, +2 ACC, +2 CTH, -2 JMP, +2 INJ, -4 TGH)



7.18 HB Jawan Jamison
Rookie Outlook

Jawan Jamison could be knocking on the door for Robinson's role as the #2 back. But even with the skew there is one hole in his game, as he isn't so good at breaking tackles. Likely he stays behind Robinson this year.

Potential

Could be the next MJD mighty-mite, if enough work is done on his ability to break tackles. Or he could be the 3rd back that doubles as the backup FB, as he is a capable blocker for a HB. He should have a long career in this league, with those great measurables.

Athletics Ratings - A-

88 SPD, 79 STR, 91 AGI, 87 ACC, 68 JMP, 81 STA, 93 INJ, 91 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B

68 AWR, 65 CTH, 77 CAR, 67 BTK, 43 PBK, 37 RBK, 67 KR

Skew Result - Good (+1 SPD, +4 STR, +2 AWR, -2 AGI, -1 ACC, +1 CTH, -1 CAR, -2 JMP, -3 BTK, +2 PBK, +1 RBK, -2 STA, +1 INJ, -1 TH, +5 KR)

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Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 07/04/2013) Replies - 1 :: Views - 21
Seahawks keep both RFAs, want to sign Jock to long term deal
Seattle had two RFA's this year (of the possible four drafted with 3 year contracts) as their 2012 draft was a little light on picks. Both players were drafted in the 4th round, and have spent some time starting for the Seahawks.

LG Johnnie Gonzalez at one point was considered the possible RT of the future, but his development has not panned out quite as well as hoped, and he was returned to the less demanding LG. Even at LG, he has not earned a full-time starting role, and is in danger of turning into a career backup, a disappointment with so much physical ability. On a team with a scrambler, the progression is infinately more difficult for an offensive lineman, and they often fail to progress as pass blockers.

Gonzalez was tagged with a $1.38M tag, and due to his slower development teams declined to bid a 4th round pick on him.

WR Jock Sanders has been more of a bright spot. His rookie season he spent some time as a KR/PR, doing well, and also put in some work starting. His second year he was almost entirely a slot WR, while his third he picks up a spot start or two, then finishing the year as a starter and looking good.

He started the last four games this season, almost entirely receiving from bad backup QBs. In that time he put up numbers that indicates he could win the starting role going forward, including his first ever 100 yard game. Below are the 4 game numbers, and the 16 game projection to understand what those numbers mean.

4 games - 12 catches, 299 yards, 4 TDs, 1 drop
16 games - 48 catches, 1196 yards, 16 tds, 4 drops

Jock received the 1st round tender, and Seattle expected that to be enough to keep teams off of him. He'll be negotiating a long term deal, with the hope that he'll thrive next to newcomer Demaryius Thomas.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 06/17/2013) Replies - 2 :: Views - 43
Hawks & Buccs shift offensive styles in Blockbuster
Last year Seattle's offense still ran the ball in the top 10 due to number of attempts, but never seemed to reach the efficiency levels they were used to with Marshawn Lynch and Stephen Jackson. So Seattle signed Frank Gore to run the ball at the end of the season and started searching for a power back.

Seattle also increasingly relied on Jock Sanders to start with Schilens or Matthews to provide a better field-stretching role. With Jock's third year ending so well, it became apparent that they had overstocked the WR bin.

Thus, this trade was born.

Seahawks trade:
WR Chaz Schilens
TE Antonio Pantana
Titans 2nd

Buccaneers trade:
HB LaGarrett Blount
Chiefs 5th
Jaguars 6th

Seattle brought in LaGarrett Blount, one of the league's candidates for best HB over the first four seasons, to bring the power back to Seattle's run game. In return they gave up one of their twin towers, a developmental TE, and a late 2nd.

The Buccaneers explosive passing offense gets another weapon, adding to the opposition's matchup struggles. The next few seasons might result in a ring for one of these teams, and that will probably determine who won this trade.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 06/13/2013) Replies - 7 :: Views - 81
Seahawks infiltrate Pro Bowl with 5 invitees
Coach Pete Carroll was unable to make it far enough in the playoffs to be the coach in the pro bowl, but five players did get voted on the roster. This is even more significant because Seattle had only 4 pro bowlers in the past four seasons, with an appearance by Mario Williams, one by Earl Thomas, and two by Aaron Curry. It is not on his player card but Williams has two other appearances with the Texans. In this the Seahawks best season and first ever division championship five players is one of the indicators of how much the team has grown.

Key - Primary stat - Secondary stat
TE Courtney Smith - 3 rushes, 11 yards, 47 receptions, 667 yards, 3 TDs, 13 tackles, 63 pancakes, 1 sack allowed
GM St. Marie's first drafted pro bowler, Smith played #1 TE for a team that ran 50.4% and passed 49.6% of the time. The ability to do both is heavily reliant on the TEs, and Smith brought a pro bowl level in his ability to do succeed on both battlefields. His performance did not change a lot, as he's averaged 46 receptions and 63 pancakes in his three healthy seasons but he was catching the ball further downfield, resulting in a career high in yards. He also motioned into the backfield a bit more often this season, and played a special teams role on punt coverage, kick coverage, and kick returns. His 13 tackles and blocking for Mathieu's 4 KR TDs are evidence he is not just going through the motions.

OLB Thomas Howard - 67 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions, 4 deflections, 1 TD
Probably beating Aaron Curry by a TD, Howard might have been the third best linebacker. But he was the biggest impact linebacker with 6 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions. Howard is an elite linebacker on the league's most effective run defense in yards per game, but without the forced turnovers this is not even his best season. But as the defense gets better across the board, more leverage is applied and more mistakes are forced. Howard held up his end and did the forcing. The oldest of the group, this may have been Howard's best chance to make a pro bowl and a worthy award for the role he has on this defense.

CB Patrick Peterson - 92 tackles, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions, 25 interception return yards, 20 deflections, 55 catches allowed
Patrick Peterson has been considered both an elite talent and a production disappointment. Universally selected to cover the fastest opposing WR, Peterson had a huge impact on making this defense a killer on quarterbacks. He didn't completely shut out WRs, and perhaps his most impressive skill was the yards per completion or yards after catch allowed. Only 23 years old, Peterson gets almost LeBron treatment among CBs and expectations are that he'll "break out" in deflections and interceptions. Time will tell, but he was the most valuable member of the secondary, despite what his "stats" tell you.

SS Taylor Mays - 82 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions, 28 interception return yards, 12 deflections
It is exciting for three of this secondary's members to make the pro bowl, and for them to be so you. Mays is the eldest at 27 and was a surprising trade addition after week 5. He was averaging 7 tackles per game and had 3 deflections when he joined the Hawks, where he fell off to just over 6 tackles per game. But with Seattle he was more active in the passing game, with his best overall season including a career high in interceptions. The future is bright in Seattle, with elite athletes in the secondary and an elite run defense. Could this defense be poised for a sustained run as best in the league? There's a good argument that they were this season.

FS Earl Thomas - 62 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovered, 6 interceptions, 42 interception return yards, 13 deflections
ET was courted heavily by the Rams this offseason, culminating in an $8M per year contract offer. Seattle matched it, and was rewarded by a breakout year for Thomas. With 11 interceptions in his first four seasons, Thomas had 6 this year, including two second half picks against the elite Aaron Rodgers to spur an unlikely comeback without much help from Hunter Cantwell. It was this ability to take over a game that was the most impressive. No wait, the fact that Seattle allowed a pass that was 50 yards or more in only 5 games was most impressive. Or that Seattle's longest pass allowed was less than 40 yards in eight games, HALF of their games, that might be most impressive. The deep coverage, led by Earl Thomas, was astounding, and he's a worthy repeat pro bowler and might be on his way to many more years of going to Hawaii.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 06/10/2013) Replies - 3 :: Views - 38
Seahawks 9-5, is the season over?

Last season, Cameron Newton got hurt in week 12, and Ricky Stanzi came in playing at roughly the same level until the playoffs started. During the offseason though, Seattle traded away Newton's safety net to the Cowboys for the 1st round pick that was used to draft long term project Tyrann Mathieu. Seattle's backup QB is now, Hunter Cantwell, and the KVW scouting report on him goes like this.

:
4. Hunter Cantwell, Seahawks. Not sure if the Seahawks prefer Cantwell who started a few games in SF or Grossman who is on his 4th team in 5 years. Either way, hold on!
The "4." is for 4th "Journeyman" out of 5 in the NFC, being a euphemism for not being young enough to develop, and not being good enough to be called a veteran backup.

This is relevent because with Newton breaking his jaw, the Seahawks season might just be over with Hunter Cantwell coming off the bench to replace Newton. In week 14, the Falcons knocked Cam out for the game, and the drop to Cantwell was drastic. Mathieu scored two KO returns late in the game to try and spark an unrealistic comeback, but was unable to drag Cantwell to victory against the torrid team from Atlanta.

Week 15, Newton's jaw was broken as he completed his first pass attempt, and Cantwell was not much better. Besides Cam Newton's 18 yard completion (without which Seattle might not score their initial FG) Cantwell did everything he could do to lose the game on the first 5 drives. His line after 5 "drives," a loose term since he had two 1st play INTs.

Hunter Cantwell - 2/9, 22 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, 1 sack. Meanwhile:
Aaron Rodgers - 8/12, 107 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 0 sacks.

...And a 23-3 Eagles lead half-way through the 2nd quarter.

Lucky for him, the Seahawks defense decided to win anyway. Against the run Seattle is the best in the league, and put up perhaps their best game while the Eagles tried to salt away their 20 point lead. 10 tackles for loss, for roughly 18 lost yards helped hold the Eagles to this line.

37 carries, 70 yards, 1.89 YPC, 0 TDs, 0 FUM, long of 12 yards

Their best performer in the game was Ray Rice, at 27 carries, 54 yards, for 2.00 yards per carry. Furthermore, that means subtracting the 10 tackles for loss, the Eagles carried 27 other times for a total of 88 yards, still only a 3.26 YPC average on all non-negative runs. Pure dominance by Seattle's defense against the run.

This forced Aaron Rodgers to pass despite an insane lead, and the 2nd/3rd & longs caused the Eagles to be an abysmal 3/15 converting 3rd downs. In fact, after the 23-3 lead, this was Aaron Rodgers' line.

5/18, 37 yards, 0 TDs, 4 INTs, 0 sacks

Earl Thomas got himself two picks and a deflection, while Taylor Mays had a pick and a tackle for loss. Linebackers Curry and Rogers had 3 deflections between them, while including Howard they combined for 7 tackles for loss. Corners McCourty and Peterson were even more smothering, with 3 and 4 deflections between them.

The takeaways and 3 and outs led to short enough fields for Seattle to score some field goals. A prayer by Cantwell barely made it over the safety to hit Jock Sanders (who was in stride after adjusting to the flight of the ball) and the 53 yard TD could have been a 99 yard TD with no one catching the super-fast Sanders. Cantwell still added two more INTs during the comeback to keep things interesting, and Seattle had a hold wipe out a made 50 yard field goal. Down 7, Seattle got the ball back with 4:18 left and ran the ball 5 straight times for 26 yards before the 2 minute warning. From there (43 yards from the goal line) Cantwell went 4/6, and Seattle mixed another run in there and the unlikely tie score was made.

Seattle actually got the ball back after another 3 & out (and 10 of Rodgers' passing yards) but after Cantwell got past midfield he threw his 4th pick of the game and there was just time enough left for 4 incomplete Aaron Rodgers passes before going to overtime.

In overtime, Rodgers threw two completions for 12 yards, before finding Steven Yates defending out of the slot. Yates made the pick, couldn't quite outrun everyone to the goal line, getting stopped at the 7 yardline from behind. The easy FG went through and Seattle's defense stole a game where they were down 20.

Playoffs?
Which brings us full circle, where does Seattle go from here?

  • put QB Cameron Newton on IR: done
  • Sign new QB, better if possible: Jamarcus Russell contract awaits league approval
  • Use Newton's cap hit to strengthen team?: HB Frank Gore's contract awaits league approval
  • Give up: ...?


There are some who will call it a season for Seattle. Signing Jamarcus Russell and him having a chance to be the best QB on the roster? Not a good sign.

On the flip side, the worst QB in the playoffs, a man that gets so much hate
for being a mediocre (or worse) QB on a great team is the QB that held the lombardi trophy last year.

Seattle's team will have to outclass the competition enough to cover their weakness at QB. Even more sobering is the fact that Seattle's run game has not been elite already, and the Falcons already showed what doing that against this team looks like. The result was not pretty.
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Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 05/09/2013) Replies - 2 :: Views - 61
Seahawks 2-game losing streak, shuffle (downgrade) DL

In the past two weeks, the 5-2 Seahawks became the 5-4 Seahawks as two teams combining for a .500 record have dealt the Seahawks tough losses.

Chris Matthews - 2 games, 6 receptions, 64 yards, 4 drops, 0 TDs
Kevin Ogletree - 2 games, 17 receptions, 360 yards, 2 drops, 3 TDs

Since the Matthews trade, Seattle's passing game has yet to take flight as the Seahawks led for three quarters in each game before giving up the lead in the 4th quarter. Running to victory always seems to be a stressful path to victory, and in Seattle the shake-ups aren't over.

Optimists might point out the six lost fumbles in the past two weeks, including two 4th quarter fumbles this week that gave the Vikings their only two TDs as the main culprit in the 6 and 8 point losses. But the naysayers will continue to point to the trade package dropped off for Chris Matthews, as well as the explosion of production Ogletree has had in Miami since the deal.

Defensive Line
Seattle placed a couple of their big boy DL rotation players on the block, including late round sensation Brandon Bair and starting fan-favorite RE Red Bryant. Bair has been riding the bench this season after signing a new 7 year contract. Red Bryant ended up on the bench this week as Julius Peppers earned his first RE start, in which he contributed one sack.

So after the loss to the Vikings it was a shock to see that rather than trade one of these two players, fan-favorite Brandon Mebane has been placed on the amnasty waiver chopping block. Although Mebane is no sack artist, he's been a DT that contributes pressure, sacks, tackles for loss, and a stalemate inside for a Seahawks team that is currently 3rd in the league at stuffing the run. He's had at least 5 sacks in two separate seasons, and currently has 3 after 9 games. Although Seattle has some big strong players sitting on the bench, Mebane is clearly the best DT on the team and at 29 has his best years still coming up.

Don't expect this move to win over the skeptics, especially with such poor timing.
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Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 04/02/2013) Replies - 6 :: Views - 90
Ogletree & picks traded to Phins for WR Chris Matthews

A couple of weeks of rumors and sniping at Chaz Schilens are over, and Seattle's big move has been announced. WR Chris Matthews has arrived in the Pacific Northwest. The 6'5" WR that was too fast to be just a TE but lacked a little of the quickness of a WR was taken 16th in the 1st round of the very first GZL draft. Since then the Dolphins have paired him with Brandon Marshall as the biggest, strongest starting pair of WRs in the league.

Matthews has been productive, averaging over 1000 yards in his first three seasons and 14 yards per catch. At 25 years old he's entering his prime, and hopefully smashing his way into the "elite," a category that he has been flirting with as a young buck. Schilens was described this week as a "poor man's Calvin Johnson." Although that description fits literally every WR in the league, the levels of poverty vary quite a bit. Chris Matthews seems to be one of the WRs with tall, fast, and strong in mind. He has great hands but doesn't get up for the ball with the best of them. This may limit him to being a possession WR, but compared to Larry Fitzgerald and Brandon Marshall he could end up surpassing them in his prime.

Seattle has yet to announce whether Matthews keeps his Dolphins number 84, or moves to a number that he wanted more. It is also unclear whether he or Schilens will play the #1 spot, pushing the other to the #2 WR position. Below are the details of the deal.

Seattle sent:
WR Kevin Ogletree
Seattle 1st
Chargers 1st

Dolphins sent:
WR Chris Matthews
Dolphins 3rd
Dolphins 4th
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Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 03/23/2013) Replies - 16 :: Views - 134
(5-2) Cam Newton's 4 TDs top 7 FG Cowboys in thriller
This Seahawks team has been a talented bunch of misfits for a while now, but the misfits are starting to win the close games. Long passing plays led the charge, but Seattle won in a coordinated effort that included great red zone offense, tough defense, and most of all great quarterback play.

Quarterback Cam Newton had a slow start throwing against a very strong Cowboys defense, but threw three long touchdowns in the second half to go along with his three yard TD run from the first half. His 4 total touchdowns and 303 passing yards were both career highs, augmented of course by the 63 yard, game-winning TD pass to Chaz Schilens as time expired. It was the sort of performance that Cam has shown he's capable of, but has not done. The Cowboys defense is a very good one, further highlighting this as a breakout day for the young quarterback.

Also breaking out of the possible underachieving catagory for a day was the other half of the hookup, as Chaz Schilens had his best yardage day as a Seahawk, as his 110 yards was his second 100 yard game of the year, and his time in Seattle. Ogletree was close behind, with 4 catches for 84 yards and a TD, and his 63 yard TD down the sideline was a display of his pure speed. Courtney Smith had 3 for 97 and a TD, with one of his catches putting the ball on the one yardline. Smith in particular showed his potential, outrunning linebacker on an out, trucking a safety, and outrunning the rest of the defense on a 66 yard TD to put Seattle ahead in the 4th quarter.

Defensively, the Seahawks and Patrick Peterson could not stop Dez Bryant from catching too many passes. Of the 55 pass attempts by the Cowboys, Bryant had 12 catches while Peterson knocked one pass down and helped Bryant drop one pass. But Patrick did an outstanding job limiting his yards. Dez's 12 catches went for only 109 yards, including a total of 3 yards after catch. This helped the Cowboys rack up 23 first downs, and an amazing 7/7 day on field goals for Beuhler. He hit two chip shots, two 38 yarders, a 40 yarder, a 42 yarder, and a 51 yarder on the day.

The other big thing the defense did was knock Tony Romo out twice. Ricky Stanzi nearly outdualed Cam Newton, although the one TD the Cowboys had was on a long drive that Romo started and Stanzi got to finish on a short field. Getting 13 passing attempts from Romo and 42 from Stanzi was not the ideal game for the 'Boys, and probably won Seattle the game just as much as the offense did.

DT Cameron Reed is the one who knocked Romo out the first time, on one of his two big sacks. Devon McCourty helped on his side, knocking down 4 passes against Miles Austin, who caught only 3.

The electricity from this game is still shaking Seattle, as the largest lead in the game was a 9-3 lead by the Cowboys, and an 18-12 lead by Seattle. Eleven lead changes or ties in all, and Seattle has to feel good that they can play with the Cowboys and concerned that they barely beat Dallas without Romo. In the end, it leads to a 5-2 record in what looks like might be the more difficult half of the schedule.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 03/21/2013) Replies - 1 :: Views - 37
Seahawks Draft Day Two: 6th round duds and one gem?



6.2 HB Rex Burkhead


Rookie Outlook

Burkhead was drafted to be startable depth on a cheap contract. The depth and cheap part is still there, but if he were in line to start multiple games expect the FA market to be scoured first.

Potential

Long term Burkhead seemed like a good #3 HB, combining good HB skills and blocking skills into a decent backup at HB and FB. Scouts were a little optimistic with him, as his best long-term position might be FB. He does lack the blocking ability to be a top FB too. Seattle has a good one so he'll continue to be the 3rd HB for now but he may be moved or cut sometime between this year and next.

Athletics Ratings - C

84 SPD, 70 STR, 84 AGI, 89 ACC, 78 JMP, 99 STA, 83 INJ, 94 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B

61 AWR, 62 CTH, 77 CAR, 81 BTK, 36 PBK, 39 RBK, 74 KR

Skew Result - Not Good (-1 SPD, -1 STR, -2 AWR, +1 ACC, -1 CTH, -2 CAR, +2 BTK, +1 PBK, -1 INJ, +1 TH, +3 KR)



6.6 LG Jumbo Jiminski


Rookie Outlook

Jumbo is probably the 8th or 9th OL on the roster. If injuries cause him to play, he could be a decent pulling guard this year and hold his own. His job is to learn from Logan Mankins

Potential

Jumbo is a first rounder in size, speed, strength, acceleration, and pass blocking. He has weaknesses in agility, awareness, and run blocking that dropped him all the way to the 6th round. The agility moved him away from OT, but his awareness and run blocking could be developed enough for him to be a starter someday. Because he's such a good pass blocker (nearly the best in the draft), he could play while he develops at some point in his career.

Athletics Ratings - A-

67 SPD, 91 STR, 49 AGI, 67 ACC, 81 STA, 89 INJ, 85 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - C+

49 AWR, 87 PBK, 68 RBK

Skew Result - Good (-1 SPD, +1 STR, +1 AWR, +2 ACC, -2 RBK, +4 STA, -1 INJ, +3 TGH)

Jumbo's +1 STR and +2 ACC more than outweigh his -1 SPD, still an outstanding 67 speed. With +1 AWR and -2 RBK, it softens the blow of weaking his runblock further and left his outstanding pass blocking ability intact. Jumbo was already a good prospect but the skew was a net gain for the big man.

6.9 TE Antonio Pantana


Rookie Outlook

Pantana might get his way onto the field as a 3rd-5th WR, or be the #1 TE if Smith goes down. But the Seahawks would like him to play sparingly as he's a liability in the blocking department.

Potential

Pantana is a 6'6" target with good movement skills and good hands. He was not as fast as scouts projected, so as a result he will not be a player the Seahawks expect to develop into a long term part of the team. He can still play a "move" TE role as a #2 TE and 4th or 5th WR but his speed may limits his usefullness in that role.

Athletics Ratings - C

78 SPD, 55 STR, 84 AGI, 84 ACC, 74 JMP, 93 STA, 87 INJ, 80 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - C+

65 AWR, 77 CTH, 44 PBK, 44 RBK

Skew Result - Not Good (-3 SPD, +1 AGI, +2 ACC, -1 CTH, -1 RBK, +3 STA, -1 INJ, -4 TGH)

Expected to be a sneaky good pick at 6.9, Pantana's hand-timed speed at BYU's pro day turned out to be a bit of a mirage. He's still a 6'6" tweener with very good hands and awareness, but he's quite mediocre in the blocking game at 235 lbs, 55 ST, 44 PBK and 44 RBK. With that loss of speed Pantana's projected role is not going to be available to him.


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Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/23/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 44
Seahawks Draft Day Two: Prospecting for gold



4.2 OLB Reginald Phillips


Rookie Outlook

Phillips was drafted to improve the depth at LB, which was pretty bad even last year. If one of the linebackers goes down, Phillips is a good candidate for replacement. On this pretty stacked defense, Phillips shouldn't see the field apart from special teams this season.

Potential

He's good enough to be a starter for most of his career, so he may replace Thomas Howard in a couple years. Otherwise he'll be top depth or end up on another team. Could function alright as a middle linebacker but best suited to be a 4-3 OLB.

Athletics Ratings - B

83 SPD, 68 STR, 74 AGI, 83 ACC, 72 JMP, 85 STA, 87 INJ, 91 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B+

60 AWR, 61 CTH, 78 TAK

Skew Result - Not Good (-1 SPD, -1 ACC, -1 CTH, +3 JMP, +1 TAK, -3 STA)

This skew is one that hurt. Phillips went from clearly better than Williams to about the same player with the loss of speed and acceleration. Still a good player Asleep picked a player that was good at multiple things but with a less stellar penetration this 6'0" 227 lb player has less of a chance of getting developmental time than before.

4.9 OLB Trevardo Williams


Rookie Outlook

Can echo the comments on Phillips when talking about Williams. Practically the same player, Williams can be a very good player but won't get a shot unless Seattle gets some injuries at linebacker.

Potential

Williams is the same style player, best in a 4-3 not having to deal with offensive linemen. He could be a good starter someday, especially for a 4-3 team at OLB.

Athletics Ratings - B

83 SPD, 67 STR, 81 AGI, 81 ACC, 68 JMP, 88 STA, 86 INJ, 92 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B+

60 AWR, 64 CTH, 79 TAK

Skew Result - OK (-1 STR, -1 AWR, +1 AGI, +3 JMP, -2 CTH, +2 STA)

Not touched too much, but what did happen wasn't good for the most part. All in all, he's not much different.

5.14 LT Tony Dakota


Rookie Outlook

If Dakota is lucky he might get some time in a "swing tackle" capacity as the #2 TE, really the 6th OL on the field. Other than that, things have gone wrong is this guy ends up on the field.

Potential

Long term Dakota's skills are intriguing. Big, fast and strong, Dakota seems to have starting potential and is not terribly raw. He isn't the best pass blocker, and with a running QB it might keep him off the field longer, but overall he seems to have a real shot at developing on this team.

Athletics Ratings - A-

61 SPD, 94 STR, 57 AGI, 60 ACC, 80 STA, 85 INJ, 93 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B-

58 AWR, 75 PBK, 82 RBK

Skew Result - OK (+1 SPD, -1 STR, +2 AWR, +2 AGI, -3 ACC, +2 STA)

Dakota is still a good prospect, and one of his weaknesses (AGI) got a little better. Losing in strength and acceleration cancels out just about everything positive he got making it somewhere between a draw and a slight loss.

521 DT Cameron Reed


Rookie Outlook

Reed is Mebane's primary backup at NT, and seems to be earning his spot as the second DT on the field. Reed at his best could be starting in a 4-3 defense all year.

Potential

Reed will never be a 3-tech DT, but seems to be a very good 1-tech. He's going to struggle any time a stunt is called for him, and he won't be chasing plays down from behind. But Reed has amazing strength, girth, and awareness with sneaky acceleration for such a big man. He could be a starter with several sacks per year just collapsing the interior. No do-everything guy, but pretty good at his role.

Athletics Ratings - B+

47 SPD, 96 STR, 48 AGI, 66 ACC, 76 STA, 90 INJ, 92 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B

66 AWR, 71 TAK

Skew Result - Good (-1 SPD, +1 STR, +1 AWR, -1 AGI, +1 ACC, -2 TAK, +4 STA)

Reed is slow, strong, with good awareness and acceleration. Each one of those intensified, as he got slower, stronger, more awareness and more acceleration. He became condensed Cameron Reed, and it helps his play on the field.


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Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/21/2013) Replies - 11 :: Views - 130
Seahawks Draft Day One: Role Players too early?



1.26 CB Tyrann Mathieu


Rookie Outlook

Mathieu as a rookie will mostly be a special teamer. He's projected to be the KR and PR, but is not likely to be more than a nickle at times on the Seahawks defense.

Potential

Tyrann might just be a top 5 returner when he steps on the field. He is good enough to be a star cornerback despite being 5'10" but it'll be a few years before he could start for most teams, and maybe five years before he starts on this team. But at his best he'll either be the best nickle-back ever or a very good starter. And could challenge kick return records over his career. On the downside, besides the well-known awareness he could have durability issues to go with his frail frame. KR might be unkind to him over his career.

Athletics Ratings - A

96 SPD, 48 STR, 94 AGI, 95 ACC, 92 JMP, 87 STA, 82 INJ, 84 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - C+

43 AWR, 73 CTH, 75 CAR, 70 BTK, 63 TAK, 93 KR

2.26 HB Kenjon Barner


Rookie Outlook

Barner is the speed element on the ground for Seattle, primarily expected to be the #2 HB. He's better than Leon Washington was already, and would be an upgrade at KR if Mathieu wasn't already playing that role. If Mathieu ends up losing more time this season Seattle will still be set there. At best, he may win the job of starting HB if MJD's struggles continue.

Potential

Long term, Barner may grow into a starting role or always be the lightning to another back's thunder in Seattle. He may win the KR role as well. If he fails to be a starter during his career in Seattle he may play some WR as he's the type of talent everyone wants to get on the field.

Athletics Ratings - A-

96 SPD, 62 STR, 89 AGI, 94 ACC, 77 JMP, 90 STA, 95 INJ, 92 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B

55 AWR, 67 CTH, 76 CAR, 72 BTK, 31 PBK, 88 KR


© The DynAFsty formatting
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/21/2013) Replies - 7 :: Views - 125
Seahawks preseason.
The record
Seattle made it through their preseason with a meaningless 3-1 record, and a +9 point differential through four games. They only averaged 17.25 PPG, while keeping a couple key starters out most of the the games, but defensively seemed to really shut the opponents down, as the defense averaged 15 points allowed.

Of course, one 3 point victories featured a 1/5 day for kicker Connor Barth while Kai Forbath was a combined 9/9 during the entire preseason. In general Seattle excels at special teams, which should help their defense meet their goals. Goals may be leaked at a later date.

Offensively Seattle seemed to settle for mediocrity, as they played with three different gameplans (the fourth was rejected by the league in a discrepancy over deadlines) and evaluated Kenjon Barner, Jock Sanders, and Antonio Pantana, as well as their three young developmental offensive linemen. Cam Newton took 16 sacks in three and a half games while watching the development, and surprisingly played well. He threw for 4 TDs and only 1 INT, while throwing mostly short passes. The one game where he had a long pass is the one game Chaz Schilens played, who caught a 55 yard pass from Newton and a 33 yard pass from Grossman.

Schilens will return to the offense full time week one, with no one in Seattle knowing what to expect. Will this passing offense even reach league average, or will it exceed it, or will Schilens not make much of a difference?

Injury
The more important part of preseason is how many injuries you rack up to key players.

Seattle was able to escape with only one injury this preseason. Tyrann Mathieu sprained his elbow and missed the last two preseason games, and is expected to miss a little bit of time to start the season as he recovers fully. Mathieu is projected to be the starting KR/PR, but Kenjon Barner's 98 yard return for a TD included two broken tackles and some great speed. Mathieu's tackle-breaking probably won't show up quite like that, and the Seahawks can rest assured knowing that Barner can cover the position until Mathieu is fully healthy.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/19/2013) Replies - 2 :: Views - 22
Victory settles a lot of arguments in most men's heads

Seattle Times
Winner of Eight Pulitzer Prizes


Seattle (AP) - Is GM St. Marie ready to deliver? That was the question asked before last season, following a 12-36 record for the Seahawks in the first three years of the league. As it turns out, Seattle was able to reach 9-7 and squeeze into a wild card slot before losing to a Lions team that went to the Super Bowl. The 31-10 loss highlighted the fact that Seattle just wasn't ready to start beating the big boys, but it's exciting that Seattle could even get there in the first place. This next season is where Seattle is looking to put a serious SB run together.

A defense-first team, Seattle actually played worse than their defensive talent suggests despite a full season from Patrick Peterson. Seattle certainly thought they could do better than allowing over 22 points per game and an 83.3 QB Rating against them. Although the defense was good enough to make it to the playoffs, they clearly underachieved and will be looking to clear up some schematic areas and weaknesses. First off, the Seahawks played almost exclusively in the 46 defense, perhaps an overkill with such a big strong line and fast linebackers. This helped opponents score late on them and certainly kept Seattle from winning more games.

Yates probably could have started more often in a different scheme, where his height could have cut off a lot of routes with the pressure this defense can generate, while Peterson and McCourty could have played looser and gone for the pick a few more times. All in all, the 46 D has it's uses but the modern game passed it by with the west coast offense and short timing routes. Nearly every offense utilizes the slot WR well enough to break a 46 defense and while this group is talented they might not be transcendentally talented enough to pull this defense off.

Expect to see more than one type of defense by Seattle as they have enough front 7 talent to run a front 9 and play goal line the whole time.

On offense, the run game suffered a bit without Marshawn, and while Spiller had some great games Maurice Jones Drew just never seemed to get things going. He goes into the season as the starter, but Kenjon Barner brings a Spiller-like element to the ground game and could be used to bring back some of the early-season magic last year. In the passing game they were able to see improved efficiency and decision-making from Cam Newton and more TDs scored by the WRs who kept the deep ball in play all season.

Speaking of the WRs, the Seahawks were counting heavily on Chaz Schilens to balance out the offense and the defense but lost him for the season in the very first game. They had to rely on a group of WRs pretty similar to one another in Kevin Ogletree, Jock Sanders, and Jonathan Holland, with Brandon Banks deeper on the depth chart in case one of them was lost too. Ogletree had the very first 1000 yard season for any WR with the Seahawks for an entire season. The ball was spread around a bit behind him, with the second leading receiver being Courtney Smith with 45 receptions and 537 yards, while Jock Sanders was second in yardage with 37 receptions and 627 yards. Sanders showed he still needed to work on his hands but also still has a pretty sharp connection with Cam Newton. He's also still looking for his first 100 yard day, as he hasn't been a starter for than a couple of times in his career.

Despite the success, Seattle has plenty of more growth to win the division and challenge for the SB. That was the plan for this year in the rebuild, but is this team ready to take that step? Let's find out.

Preseason Potential Pro Bowlers
QB Cam Newton 40% - Cam's rise to prominance nearly completed last year with an efficiently truncated season. Between the personal improvements he's made and the (re-)additions on offense there is no reason his passing and rushing stats go up enough to get a pro bowl.

LG Logan Mankins 75% - Seahawks will probably stay balanced enough not to see any WRs in the pro bowl, but Mankins is merely at the top of his class. Expect to see him in the pro bowl or the Seahawks are doing it wrong.

OLB Aaron Curry 85% - Curry has made it the past two years, and because he still won't come off the field from MLB gets a better position than most OLBs to make the pro bowl.

DE Mario Williams 90% - Super Mario just had one of the best DL seasons even and has been remarkably consistent at the top. Dude is money on the edge whether at a 5-tech, OLB, or somewhere in between.

FS Earl Thomas 40% - Thomas is a ball-hawk who is just starting to reach star level. He made it for the first time last year and could certainly get enough picks to make it again this year.


Seattle's legendary fans

Offseason Roster Turnover
The biggest threat to this defense came from inside the division, as the Rams made a strong play towards signing FS Earl Thomas. Bad Bones stuck around, but for a lot more money than Seattle had planned on, sparking a house-clearing that the Seahawks front office hadn't planned. In the end, the starters stay the same nearly everywhere except the offensive line, but the depth is almost entirely new.

Seattle kept all eleven defensive starters, as well as oft-used role players like Steven Yates and Brandon Bair. But Seattle did add to this group once again, with four rookies out of their top six being defensive players. None of them expect to start.

One issue they seemed to have against the Lions specifically was the ability to cover the slot WR. Wes Welker was able to shake loose and get a couple of nice completions on this defense. In general, the Seahawks targeted that as one of the biggest spots for upgrade, as well as the depth behind the speed CB Patrick Peterson. This target may have been helped with the unusual number of speedy CBs in the draft, and the Seahawks had their pick of the litter when the 26th pick in the draft came about.

CB Tyronne Mathieu, the Honey Badger was the pick much to the consternation of several GMs who voiced their displeasure with his Wonderlick test and off the field antics. Seattle cited his KR ability, hands, and tackling ability as separating him from some of the "athletes at corner" available in the draft but considering this was a first round pick the concern may be well justified.

On offense Seattle did get HB Kenjon Barner and some depth players, but did all of their improving on the offensive line in the trade market. They traded a 2nd and 3rd, and Brandon Keith to the Patriots for Logan Mankins and a 5th. Then added Vernon Carey in a salary dump by the Chiefs, and Ray Gray as an upgrade from Anthony Collins in the Ricky Stanzi trade, which included the first round pick that turned into Mathieu. All in all, the OL is better at LT, LG, RT, and at RG Diem moved from RT to upgrade that position as well. 5th round pick Joe Madsen is the C of the future, and should outplay O'Hara to start in the middle of this otherwise veteran OL. But he was out most of the season and completes the 5/5 OL changes, all upgrades except perhaps Madsen.

A constant source of meddling, the OL does not seem to be very settled but the LT and C positions look like they have permanent solutions in Gray and Madson. Mankins is still in his prime and could be with the team for several years, but the RT and RG positions will need further replacing within two years.

Seattle could not sign Jon Ryan to his satisfaction and he left to test the FA market for a few weeks. Seattle was able to up their offer to him and signed the best punter of last year to a three year contract.

Out:
CB Jabari Greer - Cut
CB Sheldon Brown - Retired
LT Anthony Collins - Trade
LT Benjamin Bush - Cut
LG Mark Tausher - Cut
LG Brandon Frye - Trade
C Todd McClure - Cut
RG Ismael Bryant - RFA --> Trade
RT Brandon Keith - Trade
WR Jonathan Holland - Trade
WR Brandon Banks - Trade
TE Cameron Morrah - Trade
FB Brit Miller - Trade
HB Josh Vaughan - Trade
QB Ricky Stanzi

In:
RE Julius Peppers - FA
LT Ray Gray - Trade
RT Vernon Carey - Trade
WR David Nelson - Trade
QB Rex Grossman - FA
QB Hunter Cantwell - FA

Once again Seattle stayed quiet on the FA front, focusing mostly on trades and the draft. This of course results from the squeezed cap where Seattle has been pretty top-heavy in their roster construction thus far. Eight players now make between 4 and 9 million, while 15 of them make less than a million dollars.

In the draft Seattle stuck to depth, showing a strong belief in the players they already had. Identified holes included backup (and future) HB, backup TE, SS, and possibly the OL, as well as nickle CB.

They were able to not only draft two HBs, a backup TE, two OL, two OLBs, and a nickle/dime CB, but were able to secure a 1st next year, two seconds, a third, and a fourth round pick.

SEA 1st
SD 1st
SEA 2nd
DET 2nd
TEN 2nd
SEA 3rd
SD 3rd
DET 4th
SEA 4th

Altogether this was an exciting draft for Seattle and how it set us up for the future. Mathieu may be a bit of a luxury pick but there are some important roles for him to play now, and hopefully the most important later on. For now his speed may occasionally join the defense but he'll see most of his time on special teams. The rest were picked to be usable depth, including Barner as the change of pace back, two depth OLBs, an NT with high awareness (for a rook) and some OL.

The roster was filled out pretty well salary-wise and Seattle even has some room at the moment despite the unexpected signing of Julius Peppers.

Offense to match the Defense
Seattle's lacked a passing game the entire time the GZL's been a league. They have been the lowest in passing yards per game twice, and come in second to the bottom twice. Clearly the league's worst all-time passing game. To fix that, Seattle spent two first round picks on Schilens, and two seconds on Ogletree, along with drafting Jock Sanders and acquiring Holland, Banks, and Nelson. But after Schilens got hurt last year, it was more of the same conservative play from Seattle and only taking care of the ball and a good defense kept them in games. This year the passing game has to open up, the balance kept between size and speed amongst the targets, and Newton unleashed. Schilens has a primary backup this year in David Nelson, who is a talented 26 year old Seattle was able to steal for a 4th.

Ogletree and Schilens project as a formidable duo on paper, with Jock Sanders a nearly uncoverable 5'6" jitter-bug getting separation in the middle and over the top. More importantly, this offensive line appears to be above average for the very first time, after being merely replacement level for the first three or four years. Look for the balance between run and pass to work behind the offensive line imports as Cam seeks to pass, break sack attempts, and run all over defenses as the lord of chaos in his third year.

The run game looks ready to rebound as MJD understands this scheme a bit better and should avoid outrunning his blockers more often. When asked if this just means he's old and slowing down, he threatened a reporter (who to be fair, shouldn't have asked such a question) and basically said no way. "I haven't slowed down one bit, in fact I showed up to training camp in the best shape of my life" said Jones-Drew, and that was that.

Leading the way for him is the young and talented Unga, who seems to be overlooked on a league-wide basis every year. All he does is block for 4.5YPC backs or better, and with the improvements on the OL expectations are high for him and his backs to have a career year.

TE Courtney Smith has outperformed scouts projections of him as simply a WR/TE tweener that couldn't do enough in-line blocking to be a star TE. While he hasn't led the league in TE receiving or TDs, he's been remarkably balanced at blocking (62 pancakes, 5th) and catching the football (45 receptions, 13th) in a very run-first offense. Smith appears primed to break through the barriers set up for him and enter the league's truly elite group of TE statistics on this balanced team. Not bad for a 233 lb TE.

Training Camp
The battles are best on defense, where the crowded front seven and two 4th round SS's continue to provide friction. Elsewhere the battles are nearly non-existent as Seattle traded away a lot of it's accumulated depth to earn draft picks and cap room this offseason.

SS: Jaxon Bigby vs Don Byrd
Year two of this battle begins after a pretty even split last season. Byrd has that safety size, better skills, and a better awareness of where to be on the field. Bigby is a near-clone of Bob Sanders, short, fast as hell, and a good tackler. It's likely Seattle wanted to upgrade in the draft here but this competition is still being carried out. Expect Byrd to pull ahead if Seattle plays a lot of tall WRs, but for Bigby to get his time when there are speedy number ones. Otherwise this one is too close to call.

LE Brandon Bair vs DT Cameron Reed
Bair had himself a great first two seasons for Seattle as primarily a 3-4 DE with 13 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. He's a smart player who is quite athletic for a guy of his size but who lost his role when Mario Williams came in. This front 7 is crowded but Seattle retained him for another 7 years, clearly looking for an opportunity to feature this YP3 play sometime in the future. Cameron Reed is just a short fat NT who's 342 lbs and has great strength. These two will be competing for DT2, a position that's not nearly as prolific in this hybrid defense, but which is the only way for these guys to get on the field barring injury.

RE Julius Peppers vs LOLB Thomas Howard
The Peppers signing was never in the plans, but letting a talent like him sit on his couch available to play against you for any team is not smart. Peppers might be better than Howard with his size, athleticism and hands, and furthermore may end the Mario Williams at 3-4 OLB trend in Seattle. If the Seahawks go 3-4 either in the Ravens defense or in a pure 3-4, expect Mario to stay at LE with Peppers at an OLB position and either Howard or Curry kicking in to MLB with Rogers.

Slot WR Jock Sanders vs David Nelson
Sanders is likely to play in the slot much more often, but there may be times when Seattle is looking to put Nelson on a team as a "big-slot" WR similar to the way the Saints have used Colston in real life. Nelson is primarily a backup at the #1 WR position, while Sanders will back up the #2, but the two will battle it out for the chance to play the #3 when the team is fully healthy.

Player Improvements
The Seahawks players are sometimes called Raiders North, with such an emphasis on size and speed over football skills. Nowhere is this more evident than at QB where Cam Newton's physique is said to have ended GM Richardson's love affair with Keith Payne who was traded this offseason. As the leader of the team and a guy who leads by example in the weight room, Newton took prides himself with going toe to toe with his blockers and wideouts. He led speed workouts with Jock Sanders, Tyrann Mathieu, and Kenjon Barner. Of course, he didn't beat those guys but then none of them could hope to tackle him very well either.

This group went through some personal workouts with the hot trainer of the past five years, Tony Horton. Yes, the P90X founder joined the Win Forever crew to focus on speed rather than a beach body. Like Pete Carroll, Tony uses comedy and anecdotes to distract from the world-class training sessions and world class pain. Muscle confusion, simplicity in workouts, focusing on the core strength and how it adds to every workout, the 90X architect was the forerunner to most of the popular workouts today, to include the spreading of cross-fit's popularity and yoga in sports and the military.

These four players earned everything, did their best, and forgot the rest as they mixed in the mother of all plyo workouts with their already grueling weight training. These guys have felt their speed endurance go up tremendously, but the addition of these cross-training techniques (yoga, really?) have strengthened the base and core for these athletes like they didn't expect. Sanders, Mathieu, Barner and Newton all got faster during these workouts. Jock Sanders is now one of the fastest men to ever play the game of football, while Newton is merely the Lebron of quarterbacks. Mathieu doesn't need a lot of help but he's been roasted by Jock Sanders a couple times so it's not like he didn't need to keep working at it.


© The DynAFsty formatting
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/14/2013) Replies - 6 :: Views - 108
Patrick Peterson changes twitter handle to Optimus Prime
Patrick Peterson was drafted as a can't-fail cover corner, but whispers around the league are that he's not living up to the expectations that made him the 2nd overall pick in the draft. With only 5 INTs in two years and a lost season to injury to show for three years in the league, PP hasn't been lauded for his performance level.

So when he changed his twitter handle to Calvin "Megatron" Johnson's comic book nemesis, media sources around the league were taken aback. Peterson has not been available to be interviewed by the media, but analysts have been expecting this to stir up the nearly unstoppable Johnson and are predicting 150 yards and 2 TDs for the league's best WR.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 11/21/2012) Replies - 10 :: Views - 82
All that is Steel Blue does not shimmer...

Seattle Times
Winner of Eight Pulitzer Prizes


Seattle (AP) - Six Victories. That's what Seattle had combined in their first two GZL seasons. And that's how many they earned last year alone. Despite being perhaps the youngest team in the league, Seattle made large improvements on offense and defense, and in the competitiveness of their team.

But this offseason Seattle retained or improved all of their best talent, and with the growth of the young team are possibly looking at increased expectations. The future's so bright, they're wearing shades in Seattle for the first time in years, as monsters of all kinds are being welcomed on the offense and defense for the Seahawks. The fans are starting to really take notice of what the team is doing, and are ready for a winner. Is GM St. Marie ready to deliver?

A Seahawks fan interested in the young team.

Offseason Roster Turnover
This year, Seattle was largely interested in keeping the core together while adding some talent around them. They are rated the 2nd fastest team in the league, but the very lowest in game awareness. This is clearly a function of being so young, but despite that they had their cap struggles like much of the league. That resulted in the loss of many of the veterans on the offensive line, while facilitating the addition of a couple more high-class talents.

Mario Williams, a bouncer in his spare time

In:
SS Jaxon Bigsby - draft
CB Sheldon Brown - FA
CB Steven Yates - daft
LE Mario Williams - trade
LT Anthony Collins - FA
LT Benjamin Bush - FA
C Joe Madsen - draft
RT Brandon Keith - FA
HB CJ Spiller - trade
HB Cedric Benson - trade
HB Josh Vaughan - trade

Out:
CB Don Carey - trade
OLB Arthur Parker - trade
OLB Clint Sintim - trade
DE Osi Umenyiora - trade
DE Jason Pierre-Paul - RFA restructure/trade
LT Vernon Carey - cut(CAP)
LT Chad Clifton - cut(CAP)
LG Brian Waters - cut(CAP)
C Chris Spencer - trade
RG Harvey Dahl - trade
RT Jon Stinchcomb - cut(CAP)
HB Steven Jackson - trade
HB Marshawn Lynch - trade
HB Bernard Scott - trade

Last year Seattle was very active in the draft. This year, it was the trade front where Seattle did all of it's work. The big additions were CJ Spiller & Mario Williams, while they were able to keep Jon Ryan, Thomas Howard, and Kevin Ogletree, all three of the talented players that were expiring free agents.

In the draft Seattle didn't get their first guy until the first pick in the 4th round, but besides him, they may have added two starters. Bigsby reminds some of the impact Bob Sanders had at SS, and next to Earl Thomas gives Seattle the fastest safety tandem in the league. With Patrick Peterson (hopefully healthy) and Devin McCourty, this may be the fastest starting secondary in the league. C Joe Madsen turned out to be better than expected, and has a good grasp of the offense already in training camp. His blocking skills could use some work, but he is likely going to be a starter at C despite being a 5th round pick.

Expect Seattle to be active in adding one more veteran offensive lineman if they can, as Cameron Newton might be forced to run with the much younger offensive line in front of him.

Anatomy of an elite defense?
Seattle's offense is young, fast, and interesting; the best side of the ball is clearly projected to be the defensive side. Seattle's linebackers may not have been the clear-cut best in the league, but their 3-4 defense was one of the most disruptive. 43 Sacks (7th), 29 takeaways (10th), & 30 points scored (6th) are impressive numbers for a team without Patrick Peterson, their best CB. So all Seattle did was keep their starters at every position, and add Mario Williams and Jaxon Bigby to the mix.

Bigby's speed is a huge upgrade over Byrd, but Byrd was no slouch himself and has better strength, size, hands, and tackling ability. Expect a good battle at SS between the two as Seattle tries to figure out how best to augment their pass coverage and run stuffing from that position.

With Mario Williams there are no questions of whether he'll upgrade the team. Just of where he'll play. He could man one of the 3-4 DE spots, turning the already deadly pass rush into a different monster entirely. Or he may take on one of the pass rushing spots at OLB, pushing Howard or Curry to MLB, upgrading the strength on the edge and the speed/tackling on the interior of the LB corps. No matter what, he'll bring an improved ferocity to the front 7 and make it more suffocating than it was.

The final addition is the re-introduction of Patrick Peterson to the secondary. Anytime a top 10 CB is added to a defense the difference is visible. Seattle's defense could project to be a top 5 defense without stretching the truth at all.

Training Camp
The battle at Strong Safety was already mentioned, but there will be a few training camp battles to be decided, that will likely spill into the preseason.

SS: Jaxon Bigby vs Don Byrd
Speed vs the traditional safety. Bigby is strong enough and a good enough tackler to make his contributions in the run game more even with Byrd than some might imagine. What he'll give away in taking on blockers he may return or better in chasing down ball carriers from sideline to sideline and taking down running backs behind the line of scrimmage. In passing defense Byrd's height and hands are clearly superior, while Bigby's speed could help more deep against faster teams. This could turn into a time-share.

MLB Stuart Simpson vs LE Brandon Bair
Confused? This goes back to where Mario plays. Simpson is a pretty decent linebacker from last year's draft (5.9), who has very good tackling ability, hands, and strength. Bair is the DE from two years ago (also 5.9) that was drafted with good 3-4 end athleticism and size, and surprising awareness. He's put together two very productive years from the 3-4 LE spot, and is expected to win this battle, pushing Mario to OLB. But this is no sure thing, as the intrigue of having that much speed on the field could get Mario in at Bair's spot a time or two this season.

Slot WR Jock Sanders vs Jonathan Holland
Holland has been on the block for a while. Seattle got their hands on him and Jock and started both week one last season. As the season went on they traded for Ogletree and Schilens, and pushed these two down the depth chart. Now at 3rd-5th WR Seattle is more talented than most teams, and at the 3rd WR position have a tough choice to make. Sanders is pure speed, while Holland is very fast and 6'1", giving Newton a much bigger catch radius to work with. A trade to open the spot up for Sanders may not happen for a while, and this one is too close to call. Keep an eye on the preseason results.

Player Improvements
Most seasons, Seattle's offseason training is augmented by speed training. This season, anyone who is involved in the sprinting world in wrapped up in the olympics, so they had to watch Forrest Gump to get trained on running.

Two weeks later, the team had lost so much weight they decided that was not a good idea for a football team. They enlisted the help of their new training staff, Wellness Studios, to put together a workout to get some of their fastest players at or above their peak performance level. WR Jock Sanders, CB Patrick Peterson, and QB Cam Newton were joined by SS Jaxon Bigsby & CB Steven Yates during the breaks in between mini-camps for a special Seahawks speed camp.

Normally the work is almost clinical in its routines, but this was the funnest speed camp they've ever held in Seattle. They did a lot of running from the waterfront up the hills and back, sprinting from stop-light to stop-light. They went to Alki Beach and did a lot of running there, sometimes scaring the couples who thought they'd gotten themselves into a romantic spot. And at the practice facility on Lake Washington, they ran races, relays, and did a lot of plyometric work together. Mostly these were competition and games related, but the time they spent running in the city really strengthened the connection these young players have with their fans, and really got them motivated to work hard.

In the end, the motivation pushed them during their routine work and the new approach seems to be strengthening them mentally and physically. Watching two men as big as Cam and Yates set new PRs in the 40 yard dash was impressive this summer, and some of their shuttle runs were at or above what they did during their combines.


© The DynAFsty formatting
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 07/13/2012) Replies - 3 :: Views - 53
Seahawks land two stud pass rushers
In 2012, the Seahawks 3-4 defense was a top 10 defense in sacks, despite lacking an offense that could force the other team to pass. But they didn't rest on their laurels going into 2013. In the past week they have made two deals with AFC South teams to land two of the biggest names on the Mount Rushmore of pass rushing.

Dwight Freeney has been one of the monster sack artists during his long career as a Colt. He's older, but still has most of his pure speed intact. Seattle traded Osi Umenyiora, a 2nd, and HB Steven Jackson for the right to send Freeney after opposing QBs. Seattle is likely to plug him in at one of the OLB spots in their 3-4 defense, rather than change back to a 4-3.

The real deal however, was the one for Mario Williams. If Freeney was always a top 5 sack artist any year he played, Mario is one of the top 2 or 3 freaks on the edge. In fact, he can play a 3-4 DE, or any linebacker position along with his normal 4-3 DE position. Super Mario was traded for 2.5, LE Jason Pierre-Paul, and CB Don Carey. The fact that he's expensive and in the last year of his contract brought his price down, and allowed him to become another foundation piece in the Seattle defense.

The Seahawks are a little tight against the cap after those two players were added, as they make a combined 18 million this season. But most of the teams around the league should start to worry about what Seattle will do to their quarterback.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 07/01/2012) Replies - 3 :: Views - 41
Seahawks improve to 6 wins in 2012
After 6 total wins in the first two years, the Seahawks were able to get that number in one season, a remarkable upgrade as they also fielded their youngest roster yet. Following the second offseason in a row of turning over a large percentage of starters, the Seahawks started rookies or 2nd year players at 9 different positions this year. While the talent was better, it also led to a series of late games where the Hawks failed to put the other team away despite having the lead.

In their 10 losses, the Seahawks led after 3 quarters in four games, games against the Rams, Bears, Lions, and 49ers. Despite those teams representing average offenses (Lions a top offense, Bears & Rams in the middle, 49ers near the bottom) each one of them was able to mount an impressive comeback.

Entering the 4th quarter the Seahawks lead averaged 5.5 points, and the smallest lead was 4. The opposing team averaged 15.25 points in those 4th quarters, despite having been limited to 11.75 points in the first 3 quarters of those games. The loss of Patrick Peterson is possibly the biggest factor, especially since the largest comeback (Rams came back down 21-3) came in the game he was injured and a backup CB was burned several times en route to a 21 point 4th quarter for the Rams. However equally problematic was the Seahawks lack of offense, as they only scored 3.25 point per 4th quarter.

Seattle's offense lacked a true #1 WR until the trade deadline, when Chaz Schilens came in for a kings ransom of draft picks. It clearly hurt the passing offense, and that showed up especially late in games when opposing teams took leads. Instead of being able to drive down the field and score a FG or TD, Seattle's attempts to pass usually led nowhere, giving the opposing team even more opportunities to score.

The Schilens effect was also apparent in the passing numbers of Cam Newton and Ricky Stanzi. Cam Newton had a visible edge in passing ability, but did not play with Schilens. Stanzi struggled more, yet had better numbers, although his were also boosted by one magical 4 TD day against the Colts.

The Solution
Bill Walsh once said the key to winning is 4th quarter pass rush. In Seattle's case, the pass rush is there, but what they need is a more efficient offense, and better coverage downfield. The hope is that all of that is already on the roster. Cam Newton should make fewer mistakes and better passes, while the upgraded WR corps should make more plays. Defensively the hope is that Patrick Peterson stays on the field, while the young players continue to improve. Mostly the corporate awareness on this team should be better on pass offense and pass defense, and that is the real key to closing games out in the 4th quarter.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 05/08/2012) Replies - 1 :: Views - 24
Seahawks bring in missing piece? Too late?
Seahawks gain big target
The Seahawks have caused a lot of conversation since the end of last season. Besides drafting a flashy QB, Seattle traded for Randy Moss, Steven Jackson, Terrell Suggs, Thomas Howard and Antonio Cromartie before the season started. Now, only Steven Jackson and Thomas Howard remain on the team, as the rest have been traded for Kevin Ogletree, Jason Pierre-Paul, Devin McCourty, and now Chaz Schilens. The newest trade details are as follows.

Seattle trades:
Patriots 1st
Saints 1st

Jacksonville trades:
WR Chaz Schilens
Jaguars 5th
Jaguars 6th

Seattle has mostly loaded the WR corps with speedy guys, but after trading Randy Moss away seriously lacked size down the field.

Meet Chaz Schilens.

6'4", 225 lbs, with athleticism, hands, and hops, Schilens will start every game he is healthy for. He does lack a bit in the route-running department, and is not overly strong for his size. In other words, he is not a Brandon Marshall or Larry Fitzgerald type of player. But what he lacks in possession receiver-type strength, he makes up for in his athleticism. His athletic profile is quite similar to the 4th overall pick in our 2011 draft, and the 7th overall pick in this year's draft.

Schilens will immediately be the featured receiver in Seattle, who barely missed out on Julio Jones in this year's draft. After starting Mike Williams, Ruvell Martin, and Deon Butler just a year ago, the Seahawks now will be starting Kevin Ogletree and Chaz Schilens, with Jock Sanders and Jonathan Holland fighting for leftovers. Seattle's offensive make-over seems to be completed, with explosive potential being the most apt description.

From 3-7 to NFC West Champion?
After the Cardinals raced out to a 5-2 start, it looked like predictions of mediocrity for Arizona and the division in general were blind to the strength of Arizona and it's offense. But the defensive woes started to catch up a bit during this 3-game losing streak, and suddenly the Cardinals are 5-5. Seattle is tied with the Rams for the basement at 3-7, so every team in the west is within 1 or 2 games of being in first place, and with 6 weeks to go everyone will be alive for another couple of weeks at least.

The Cards play Seattle again, so for the rest of the schedule, Seattle just needs to make up one other game and beat the Cards in order to tie them. The Cards have a much more difficult schedule than Seattle, and so do the 49ers. The Rams schedule is similar to Seattle's, only one team with a winning record, and then the Cardinals.

So if this move translates into wins, then the Seahawks could absolutely make a run at the playoffs. Will it happen? The upcoming game against the 4-6 49ers will be be a big step towards the playoffs (move Seattle into a tie for 2nd) or a big step away from the playoffs (missed opportunity).
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 03/25/2012) Replies - 2 :: Views - 47
Seahawks still sliding
The Seahawks have been ahead in most of their games going into the 4th quarter, but have hit one of the first road blocks for a young team. Inability to finish games. There is clear improvement defensively, and competitively this is a much better team. But at 2-5, Seattle is not getting much further towards their goal of making the playoffs.

One thing that has held them back is their early schedule. To this point, the Seahawks have faced 4 teams that are ranked top 10 in the league, while only one team ranked lower than 15. So 6 out of the 7 games have been against teams that are ranked in the top half of the league, and 5 of the 7 have winning records.

The rest of the season the schedule looks a lot better. 7 of the 9 final opponents are currently under .500. If Seattle wants to show that they have improved, they'll win at least half of those games. Five more wins would give Seattle 7 on the season, and that is the kind of improvement Seattle is looking for. Any more wins than that would make Seattle a young up and coming team, challenging for either the division or a wild card slot, right on schedule.

Yes, that means there is make-up work to do, but for Seattle to even be competitive is a difference that the city is starting to notice. Add a few wins in going forward and that might turn into real interest.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 03/01/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 15
Seahawks lose big in week 1, 24-21.
Early in the first quarter, the Seahawks lost Patrick Peterson for the second straight year to a serious injury. This time, it was week one, and the torn rotator cuff will keep him out recuperating for the entire season.

Seemingly undeterred, Seattle's defense continued to harass the Rams offense, and even chipping in to score. CB Jabari Greer stepped into a bigger role following Peterson's quick exit, and picked off a Bradford pass for a 56 yard pick 6. He played well, with 4 deflected passes, helping keep Bradford under 40% completions on the day. The Seahawks were the only defense to keep a QB under 40%, and they did it on 38 passes, a real sign that they may be breaking out as a defense this season.

That was Seattle's only TD in the first half, but they chipped in a couple of short FGs on two stalled drives in the red zone. At the half, they led 13-3.

The third quarter saw more of the same, solid defense from both squads. Jon Ryan, perhaps ready for a pro bowl compaign, launched a rocket that landed at the 1 in the center of the field, bounced sideways, and rolled out of bounds at the 3 yardline. The next play was a poorly called pitch to the Rams HB Keith Payne to Cromartie's side of the field, and Antonio Cromartie sniffed it from the beginning, came up, and ran through him for the safety. Two more points for the Seattle defense.

In the 4th quarter, the Rams saw things go their way. Steven Jackson tried to catch a punt midstride, muffed it, and the Rams picked it up in their red zone. That led to a Payne TD run to close the gap to 15-10. Seattle's O didn't do much, and the Rams started trying to convert 4th downs. A 28 yard reception by Avery on 4th down was the highlight of the TD drive, with Spaith catching a TD on the goal line for the TD. The Rams 2 point convo was stuffed, leaving them with the slim 16-15 lead, with about two and a half minutes left.

Cam ran a nearly flawless 2 minute drill. Completed three spot-on throws to single-covered receivers and went down into FG range. Cam on the next play dropped back, decided to run, breaking a tackle attempt in the backfield, and sliding for a 7 or 8 yard gain. The next play is a run for the first down. Seahawks let the clock run some more, run one more time, but then decide to hurry up. Cam threw the next pass to Jock Sanders in the end zone for the TD, and the ensuing 2 point conversion attempt is no good, putting Seattle back up 21-16 with 1:11 still on the clock. If anything a 2 minute drill run TOO well by Mr. Newton.

Sure enough, the Rams complete a couple of passes to midfield, using spikes to stop the clock. Just past midfield, Bradford launched a pass to the left about 35 yards to Hankerson. Without Peterson on him, he highpointed the pass, broke the tackle attempt by Jabari Greer and highstepped into the end zone. This time, the 2 point conversion was successful, and the Rams held a 24-21 lead with only :12 seconds left. Game over right? Wrong. Cam Newton was not done.

The kickoff was a squib kick, that Marshawn ran backwards, and picked up on the goal line. He broke one tackle and returned the kick to the 40, taking 6 seconds off the clock, leaving 6 seconds for Cam. He took a 3 step drop, put an arc on the ball and threw it on the left to Jonathan Holland, who went up against two defenders and caught the 23 yard pass while being tackled. The timeout left 2 seconds on the clock, and gave them time to line up a 55 yard FG that would tie the game. The FG fell short by about 3 yards, and the Rams escaped with a victory that they barely had the chance to get.

Other than Peterson, the Seahawks escaped with their health intact, but the loss pinpointed some key issues. The Seahawks run game was atrocious, forcing Cam to throw the ball on 3rd and long over and over again. Some he completed short, some he took a sack while waiting for an open man, some were incomplete against a lot of men in coverage. But this run deficiency was unexpected, even against such a strong front 7 like the Rams have. A second deficiency was the speed of Steven Jackson in running down punts. Seattle has agreed on a contract with Bernard Scott to come in and return punts. Scott has inferior hands, but will be waiting under the ball when he is returning punts, ensuring the kind of muffed punt we saw won't happen again. And defensively, the only real issues we saw were watching the 3rd and 4th best CB trying to guard the Rams best WR. Cromartie was not slid off of Avery to Hankerson, and that proved to be the crucial misstep.

Good things that were seen included Cam's two minute offense, 5/5 passing, for 85 yards and a TD, and one run for 7 yards with no sacks taken. 4 passes for 1st downs, one for a TD. His decision-making was perfect during those last two drives. The punt game was great, and the defense was great for the first 3 and a half quarters. Besides two missed 55 yard FGs, and the muffed punt, all in the 4th quarter, the special teams were great. And the pass defense especially did great for most of the game without their best cover CB.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/10/2012) Replies - 4 :: Views - 72
Seahawks land Antonio Cromartie
With the trade finally submitted to the league office, a Seattle blogger working for the site FieldGulls kidnapped the courier, read the details, and leaked them onto his blog online. Having already been leaked, we here are not breaking any laws, simply posting hearsay information already in the public domain.

Below are the details of the trade supposedly sent in to the league office.

Seahawks send:

Seattle 1st
CB A.J. Jefferson
WR Randy Moss
LT Russell Okung

Jaguars send:
Jacksonville 2nd
Jacksonville 4th
CB Antonio Cromartie
OLB Thomas Howard

The risk (as previously reported) is not to be sneezed at, as the loss of a top 5 1st round pick could be crippling to the Seahawks. Seattle also loses Randy Moss, the best set of hands Cam Newton currently has, and Okung, the young beast on the left side that would have been the answer for sealing off his blindside for most or all of his career.

On the upside, Seattle still gets back a 2nd and a 4th, while adding two very athletic pieces to their already pretty good defense. Patrick Peterson gets some help on the opposite field, and Cromartie might be an even bigger asset against the taller receivers. If the opposing team scores less points, Cam Newton has a better chance of outscoring them.

Did Seattle make a good move, or did they give up too much?
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 12/27/2011) Replies - 13 :: Views - 169
Seahawks to trade their 1st already?
When GM Nic St. Marie took over the very bad Seattle Seahawks, one of the first questions many of the GM's privately had was when would he first pull the trigger one a trade involving his first. In some of his previous football experience GM St. Marie was known for trading away his first nearly every season in an attempt to improve the team. Here in the GZL, the Seahawks have drafted in their slot each of the past two seasons, at 1.2 and 1.3. If rumors are to be believed, Seattle has signed the papers on a trade that is to be submitted to the league office when it opens up again in the next day or two, and this trade sends the Seahawks 1st round pick to the Jaguars.

Will this be a case of the rich getting richer? After all the Jaguars have acquired Phillip Rivers, Malcolm Floyd, Chaz Schilens, Thomas Howard (AFC West poachers really), Michael Neal, and Antonio Cromartie via trade with other teams, and gone to the playoffs the past two years, after only going twice since 1999.

Or did the Seahawks make a smart move to build a winner? Stay tuned for the details.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 12/26/2011) Replies - 5 :: Views - 60
The Seahawks are coming! The Seahawks are coming!

Seattle Times
Winner of Eight Pulitzer Prizes


Seattle (AP) - Six Victories. That's what the Seahawks have to show for the past two years. That makes the Seahawks the worst team over the first two years of the GZL by a full two games. Unlike most "worst teams" the Seahawks failed to secure 1.1 in each of the last two seasons, settling for 1.2 and 1.3. In each season, that left Seattle on the clock with the first QB already gone. Andrew Luck is a Chief, and Blaine Gabbert is a Charger. Instead, the Seahawks have Patrick Peterson (a stronger Champ Bailey?) and Cam Newton, a QB/RB/Athlete the likes of which no one has seen before.

A Seahawks fan near the end of the 2 win season.

Offseason Roster Turnover
All focus for the Seahawks was on the draft. They had 1.3, had spent three 2nds on Jimmy Clausen, and had three more high 2nd round picks going into the draft. On top of that were several 3rd-5th round picks, and the few fans who were still optimistic believed this would be a defining draft.

Just like last season, the Seahawks added a few rookie starters to their team. Unlike last season, they will not be starting 7 rookies from this class. More than enough has been written about Cam Newton until he plays some meaningful snaps, and more still will, but Seattle added starters at MLB and WR, while adding significant rookie backups at SS and MLB. Perhaps the steal of this Seattle class will be the future right tackle, and his introduction to the league is below.


1.3 QB Cameron Newton


Rookie Outlook

Cam will likely start the entire season, but depending on his success could lose snaps to a pocket QB against specific matchups that may threaten his weaknesses. Expected to run every now and then, score a couple of TDs, and work on his accuracy and decision-making. Everything else is there, as this is the most complete package a QB has ever been. Could be the offensive rookie of the year, or could have a bad season.

Potential

Cam Newton's potential is unlimited. His arm strength, size, strength, athleticism, and skill carrying the ball nearly breaks the ratings mold. Every offensive coordinator's secret dream is to find that dominant runner and thrower that makes an offense unstoppable. Newton has several x-factors that could make him the one that succeeds where others failed. One is his freakish size, strength, ability to break tackles, and avoid fumbles. Another is his combination of stamina, durability, and toughness, which should keep him on the field far more than Michael Vick was in his career. He could be a hall of fame QB in this league, or just be another tantalizing scrambler who couldn't take his team to the promised land.

Athletics Ratings - A++

85 SPD, 88 STR, 88 AGI, 90 ACC, 96 THP, 98 STA, 98 INJ, 98 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B-

70 AWR, 88 CAR, 95 BTK, 82 THA

2.6 MLB William Rogers


Rookie Outlook

William Rogers is starting in the important MLB position. His size, speed, and strength all say he'll make an impact, but his poor tackling ability and diagnosing skills say otherwise. A project that will be working things out on the field, he's in a position to succeed, with impact players around him. He could have tons of tackles, or he may lose many to Aaron Curry, Earl Thomas, Thomas Howard, and some pretty fast CB's. His impact could come more quickly in his pass defense, and his chances at Defensive rookie of the year might be enhanced by some big interceptions.

Potential

Rogers looks the part in a combine situation. Big body, tall, strong, fast. But his technique and defensive understanding also make him a bit of a boom or bust player. He could be one that hurts his team with his poor tackling ability, or poor angles. If he progresses well though, his ceiling is above most 2nd round linebacker prospects at MLB. One bright spot in his game that has been pinpointed by positional coaches is his hands. He is in a spot where he can get a handful of interceptions with some pretty good hands. Over his career, turnovers might turn out to be his best asset, between forced fumbles and interceptions, and he has a chance at being a pro bowler or defensive player of the year if they start to bunch up.

Athletics Ratings - B

83 SPD, 83 STR, 81 AGI, 77 ACC, 68 JMP, 77 STA, 81 INJ, 89 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - C-

49 AWR, 67 CTH, 70 TAK

4.4 WR Jock Sanders


Rookie Outlook

Jock's first role is taking the top off the defense. Cam's got a rocket arm, but with that accuracy and Jock's poor hands they might not hook up that often. But that role still should put some separation between the 2nd level defenders and 3rd level defenders, giving the backs, tight ends, and slot receivers extra room to catch the ball. His second best role is that of a sudden separation receiver. He'll be deadly on slants, outrunning the defense to the sideline on crossing routes, and even comebacks. Get him loose on a screen and just watch the jets turn on. With his lack of height and hands, he could drop a lot of passes as he's hit over the middle, or not even get his hands on passes over the middle as safeties pick passes. His third best role could be that of a KR. He won't fumble an inordinate number of times, but neither will he break a lot of tackles. Sander's could succeed here due to pure speed, but without top stamina may suffer down the field if overused. He could explode onto the scene with one to three gamebreaking plays per game, or he could be the cause of incomplete and intercepted passes. The range is wide for Jock's rookie season.

Potential

As he and Cam mature together they could be a deadly combination. With so much speed and such a powerful arm, these two could be deadly all over the field. Not many CB's will be running with Jock on any route, and Cam's rocket can make a CB pay for any separation. Marvin Harrison was Peyton Manning's best weapon for a long time, a faster, more sudden Wes Welker with equally great hands. Jock Sanders athletically can be the Marvin to Cam's Peyton, but the limiting factor will be his hands. The more reliable Jock becomes, the more he'll be impossible to take off the field, and the more chances he'll have to outrun everyone.

Athletics Ratings - A

97 SPD, 48 STR, 99 AGI, 96 ACC, 78 JMP, 74 STA, 94 INJ, 81 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - C+

54 AWR, 72 CTH, 62 CAR, 50 BTK, 27 RBK, 39 KR

4.5 SS Don Byrd


Rookie Outlook

Byrd is not expected to start, but he was drafted with the expectation that he could. While being an extremely light player, Byrd is tall, athletic, and skilled for the position. Without having jaw-dropping athleticism, he has good athleticism and top strength. Coupled that with his great tackling ability and pretty good hands, Byrd is the complete package against the run and the pass. Expect him to be a backup, but to perform well when called upon.

Potential

If Byrd's awareness of the game is improved, he could be a long term starter. If Seattle is forced to play him this year due to injury, don't expect them to look too hard at FA options before giving him the reins. He could also be a lifetime backup and occasional starter that other team's decline to pay big money to because of his slight frame. Regardless, he appears to be a valuable piece of depth for Seattle, that could grow into a starting role.

Athletics Ratings - B

89 SPD, 68 STR, 82 AGI, 91 ACC, 75 JMP, 65 STA, 84 INJ, 88 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B+

52 AWR(after position change), 61 CTH, 70 TAK

4.19 RT Johnnie Gonzalez


Rookie Outlook

Johnnie's rookie season goes like this. Sit. Bench. Watch. He gets to learn from Stinchcomb, a huge advantage for a raw athlete like Gonzo in his development. If Stinchcomb gets hurt, Seattle will start anyone but Gonzalez. If he sees the field this season at RT, Seattle's season is over. If he starts anywhere else, he'll still likely cause the run game AND passing game to get worse.

Potential

At 4.19 Seattle just had to halt the slide. A guard with elite guard size, but tackle athleticism, Johnnie Gonzalez is potentially a shutdown pass blocking tackle, with great pulling ability in the run game, as well as good drive-blocking potential. Seattle immediately moved him to RT, where they see him as the heir to Stinchcomb in three seasons. Hardly Cam's best friend at the moment, he is extremely unpolished, and will take some serious work to round out. His awareness and blocking deficiencies will keep him off the field most of his first 2-3 years, but if he develops he's a 1st round athletic talent that was drafted late in the 4th round. Of course, he did get a little benefit (+2 SPD, +2 ACC) from the skew to push him closer to that elite OL athlete that he appears to be.

Athletics Ratings - A-

62 SPD, 91 STR, 70 AGI, 67 ACC, 76 STA, 85 INJ, 84 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - D+

45 AWR(after position change), 78 RBK, 78 PBK

5.9 MLB Stuart Simpson


Rookie Outlook

Simpson is a backup, that if called on to start could be a sure tackler, a strong body, and a good pair of hands on the middle. Lacking the length, strength, and speed of Rogers, Simpson is a much more disciplined tackler and a good bit more durable. That combination almost guarantees he'll see the field this season, and Seattle will not hesitate to let him get out there. Could be a starter for this team in the middle and be a net positive addition to the defense.

Potential

Simpson is just the right sort of 5th rounder to lay a foundation for a young team like Seattle. A guy that has GZL-starter level size, strength, and athleticism, he also has great hands and tackling ability, especially for a rookie. If Seattle didn't draft Rogers, this would be an even better pick, but starter-level depth at linebacker is never a waste, and Simpson is likely to get a chance to put his talents on display. He could be a long term starter for Seattle if Rogers doesn't pan out, or if Seattle starts itching to play a 3-4 defense. Likely a super-sub backup for much of his career as the roster is currently laid out.

Athletics Ratings - B-

80 SPD, 76 STR, 80 AGI, 77 ACC, 72 JMP, 74 STA, 93 INJ, 89 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B

55 AWR, 65 CTH, 82 TAK


Seattle did not lose any players to retirement or RFA, in fact signing both WR Brandon Banks and CB Alphonso Smith to long term contracts during the RFA process. Before the draft the Seahawks did patch some holes through FA and trade.

In:
FS Tom Nelson - FA
OLB Clint Sintim - FA
MLB Jason Williams - FA
DE Osi Umenyiora - FA
DE Vernon Gholston - FA
RG Harvey Dahl - Trade
LG Johnnie Gonzalez - Draft
WR Jonathan Holland - Trade
WR Randy Moss - Trade
WR Jock Sanders - Draft
HB Steven Jackson - Trade
QB Cameron Newton - Draft

Out:
FS Jordan Babineaux - contract expired
SS Gerald Sensabaugh - contract expired
SS Sean Jones - contract expired
SS Kam Chancellor - cut
MLB David Hawthorne - contract expired
MLB Kawika Mitchell - contract expired
MLB Colin McCarthy - contract expired
ROLB Brandon Johnson - trade
DT Fred Robbins - contract expired
LE Connor Barwin - contract expired
LG Breno Giacomini - contract expired
RG Sean Locklear - trade
WR Deon Butler - trade
WR Donte Stallworth - contract expired
WR Golden Tate - trade
WR Ruvell Martin - cut
TE John Carlson - contract expired
HB Justin Forsett - contract expired
QB J.P. Losman - Cut
QB Jimmy Clausen - trade

If it looks like Seattle didn't get as much out of the draft as the draft pick stockpile suggested, it's probably fair to mention (to the chagrin of win-now Seahawks fans) that Seattle did trade out of some of their high 2nd round picks to gather a 1st and 2nd each from the Packers and Saints in next year's draft. Yes, Seattle currently has 3 1sts and 3 2nds for next year. Fans are starting to wonder if Seattle is going to commit to any season as a playoff push, or if they will be a perennial "wait till next year, we have draft picks" tease. At this point, a casual fan can't even say this team has improved. It certainly has changed flavor at some positions, obviously at QB, but also getting bigger/faster/stronger at MLB, and much faster at WR. In other parts the D is nearly identical, including the entire run game, the DL, and the secondary. Most of the changes appear to the fans to be lateral moves, and the Cam Newton experiment seems to be the only "Wow" move, and not necessarily in a good way.

As happened with most GZL teams, the Seahawks lost a lot of players just to expired contracts. In fact, not appearing on this list are the re-signs, including Leon Washington and the franchise tagged Jon Ryan. But the Seahawks were busy in FA without spending "big money" going after guys who can start like Umenyiora, Sintim, and Tom Nelson, but who are more likely to fill out the roster. The more cemented starters were brought in through trades (Dahl, Moss, possibly Steven Jackson and Jonathan Holland) or in the draft (Newton, Gonzalez, William Rogers, maybe Jock Sanders) for the Seahawks.

Anatomy of an elite Run Game
For players who capture the national media's curiosity, Seattle couldn't find a player more intriguing than Cam Newton, a gamble that most teams would rather someone else take on. But while all eyes will be on Cam Newton, the Seahawks in 2009 built an almost improbably gifted run game out of their original roster, spare parts, and a converted WR at TE.

The offensive line of the Seahawks had a 7th round rookie starting at LG, this year it looks like they've upgraded to a 4th round rookie. Otherwise, they've relied on existing Seahawks and a FA acquisition up front. At FG the Seahawks feature FB Harvey Unga, a converted college HB who is a beast with the ball in his hands, but who is still learning to block. At TE is 2nd round pick Courtney Smith, a receiving TE. A converted college WR who is surprisingly adept at in line blocking, Smith has had an impact with over 60 pancake blocks a year ago. As long as you don't ask these two players to pass block, they have been every bit the assets the Seahawks have wanted as their run game exploded last season.

In all, the Seahawks averaged over 145 yards per game on the ground, despite losing nearly every game. And they did this with the inherited HBs, Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, and Leon Washington. Lynch was the bellcow, with over 1400 yards, a 5.2 YPC average, and 11 TDs with only 1 fumble. Forsett and Washington added another 745 yards, a 5.6 average, and 7 TDs, with 4 fumbles (primarily earned during their combined 83 touches during KR/PR duties) providing a strong counter-punch to the Seahawks run game. Seattle has added HB Steven Jackson to the mix, an even bigger and stronger back than Marshawn Lynch, and if there is any hope of success for Seattle this season it appears to be squarely on the shoulders of a super-powered rushing attack.

Training Camp
The rushing game is just one of the positions where a training camp battle is being waged. Under Pete Carroll the mantra is "Always compete," and this Seahawks team certainly shows that throughout the roster.


You ain't benching ME


HB
HB Steven Jackson VS HB Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch is coming off of a studly season, while Steven Jackson barely had the chance to have any carries. SJax is more of a pure power back, has amazing hands, way more size and strength, more agility and acceleration, and will usually fumble less often. Marshawn is much younger, is the established franchise back, is faster and actually breaks tackles better. This could be a timeshare, a coaching preference based on speed, or a situation where both backs are used as much as possible. Steven Jackson has been split out wide in the past, although the league has restricted the HB's to only lining up in the slot. Lynch has some KR skills from his college days and early days in Buffalo.
Projected Winner:: Too close to call

WR1
WR Randy Moss VS WR Jonathan Holland
Randy Moss, the human video game. At one time he was the best deep threat the league has ever seen. At 35 years old, he's slowed down to being mostly a possession receiver, with the ability to occasionally go deep. His career could be rejuvenated playing with a young super-athlete like Cam Newton, but it's Randy Moss. That might be too much extra effort to expect. Holland is a raw speed receiver with ok hands. He lacks awareness, leaping ability, strength, and run blocking ability. He could be too much of a deficiency in the run game to start for a team like this, but his ability to run the playaction might get him the nod.
Projected Winner:: Both, but more Randy Moss

WR2
WR Jock Sanders VS WR Jonathan Holland
In this battle, the loser is likely to play WR #3, and occasionally WR #1. Jock Sanders is the new 4th round rookie WR, but may be better than Holland. He's faster in every direction, already has more game awareness, breaks more tackles, loses less fumbles, and run blocks better. Holland is taller, has better hands, and...is a better kick returner. Yep, sounds like Holland might play in the slot.
Projected Winner:: Jock Sanders

LOLB
OLB Clint Sintim VS OLB Arthur Parker
Almost two peas in a pod, the defense would not look terribly different with either one starting. Sintim is slightly bigger and faster, while Parker is a bit stronger and more aware. The two players could switch off depending on whether the team is worried about the pass or the run more, but either one could outplay the other for a different reason. This is Parker's 2nd season, so he could play just because his development is more likely to accelerate with the increased time.
Projected Winner:: OLB Arthur Parker

SS
SS Sabby Piscitelli VS FS Don Byrd
Sabby Piscitelli is rumored to have accepted an offer by Seattle to play SS. Rookie Don Byrd was a 4th round draft pick that would be learning to play SS after converting from FS. Byrd is younger, more athletic, and stronger, while having slightly better hands. Sabby is a veteran of 5 years, is much bigger, knows the position better, is a better tackler, and also known for his durability. Sabby is like having an athletic linebacker, while Byrd is slightly more athletic, but is extremely underweight for the SS position.
Projected Winner:: SS Sabby Piscitelli

Camp Battles
In training camp, the Seahawks have been hard at work, devising crazy scheme's and playbooks for their new-look offense. Anyone who thinks they already know the playbook on Cam will be wrong, because we don't even know which book is going to work for him yet. As detailed above, both the lead HB and the WR configuration are also under construction, and it's proving to be rather difficult to figure out how best to use the talent currently on the roster. Is Cam accurate enough to rain bombs with the speedsters at WR, or does he need Moss to be his ever-present possession receiver? Will the run game lose a little bit of it's "oomph" with the slightly slower Jackson, or does the increase in muscle add something special? Should Newton spend more time handing off and running a playaction, or in shotgun with the defense more spread out?

These are the questions that must be answered when an offense has options, and with Cam on board this offense might never run out of options.

Defensively the Seahawks need more improvement. They allowed nearly 28 PPG, and rarely made it difficult on opposing QB's. The opposing passer threw for 27 TDs, only 7 INTs, and a 56% completion rate against Seattle last season. On the positive side Seattle did garner 39 sacks, tied for 9th in the league. They traded their best pass rusher, but signed Osi Umenyiora who is a comparable athlete with more pass rushing experience and better game awareness. SS might have been upgraded, but the real improvement might be in size and strength at MLB. Ultimately, the Seahawks are depending on player development for a better defense, without having a serious talent infusion. Expect the Seahawks to completely abandon the 3-4 defense they have flirted with the past two years, in favor of a pure 4-3 based defense.


Player Improvements
Seattle has been targetting some talented players for individually targetted improvements. By far, the player receiving the most individual attention was Patrick Peterson. He had a two week vacation after the season ended, and every couple months after that. So pretty much he had four 6-week training sessions with the Seahawks world class trainers broken up into Jan-Feb, Mar-Apr, May-Jun, and Jul-Aug. First he started with his physical therapy, then continued into a program designed to push him past his already impressive athleticism into a truly elite GZL athlete. Through this time, he put on 10 lbs (229 lbs!), got faster, and worked on injury-proofing his body by strengthing as many "connector muscles" as one can find in the body. Core work, ankle and toe strengthening, neck exercises, flexibility; Peterson will be a tough player to injury. Aaron Curry spent some time with Peterson worked on some of these exotic workouts improving some of his weaker areas, and is looking to continue to stay healthy as his role on the defense expands.

FB Harvey Unga put on some weight this offseason, as he continues to grow his reputation as a punishing FB.

The Seahawks held a speed camp during June, when a couple of the new draftees were put through the training some of the team does annually. Newton and Sanders joined Patrick Peterson and Earl Thomas for sprints, plyometrics, and sled pulls. They did drag FB Harvey Unga out to it a few times while he was busy getting pumped, but he really hated being the slowest athlete of the group, and tried to find excuses not to go. This camp, coupled with some individually designed workout routines, helped these players get faster. Even Unga looked faster one day, but it turned out he was told that if he beats Cam Newton he can be done with the workouts. He didn't, and seemed to resign himself to staying all the way though the 4 week camp in June.

© Special Thanks to Anthony "The DynAFsty" Fernandez for formatting tutorial (his team news)
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 12/21/2011) Replies - 11 :: Views - 185
Best Player Available?
In the wee hours of the night before GM Christmas, the Seahawks have already begun their wheeling and dealing. They agreed to a trade with the New York Football Giants that goes as follows.

Seahawks send 3.2 & MLB Colin McCarthy

For

Giants WR Jonathan Holland

Holland is a speedster with a 6'1" frame, that is good at kick returns as well. Otherwise, he is an unpolished deep threat who has the athleticism to be a #1 WR, but lacks the discipline or mental game. McCarthy was a 6th round pick the Seahawks unveiled as a surprise MLB starter when the seasons started, and as a rookie performed admirably. His numbers included 100 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. The Seahawks clearly seem to believe Holland can put it all together, but may find out differently at some cost.

This trade comes on the heels of the Seahawks sending draft picks away for veterans Steven Jackson and Randy Moss. Perhaps more names than long term fixes, Steven Jackson is one of the toughest HBs in the league, while at the same time possessing the hands of a WR. Randy Moss has slowed down, and is only likely to be a possession receiver, but is a reliable set of hands for the young Jimmy Clausen. With Marshawn Lynch coming off of an amazing season, it seems to make a bigger mess adding Steven Jackson, but perhaps there will be room in the offense for two power backs.

Draft Needs?
With the flurry of moves by the Seahawks this offseason, they seemed to have patched holes at DE, WR, and OL, while amassing draft picks and waiting to pick high in the draft. At 1.3, there seem to be several directions this team can go, and with upgrades at QB, WR, and DE recently, the Seahawks are free to pursue a BPA theme. They have their young QB of the future, they have an improved WR corps, they already have their TE and FB set. Perhaps the biggest hole is at SS, although LG could use an upgrade. The Seahawks have had numerous talks with other teams in the top 10 about moving around, but at the end of the day, have stuck with their 1.3 pick, and their other picks in the 2.2, 2.3, and 2.6 slots. Clearly this draft is a very important one for Seattle, and coupled with the players already brought in could begin a strong shift towards winning. It is what it will take to save the GM's job in Seattle.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 12/11/2011) Replies - 19 :: Views - 194
Seahawks add OC...prepare for draft
After allowing OC Jeremy Bates to look for other offers, the Seahawks did not upgrade their offensive coordinator despite drastically low offensive outputs. Bates was re-signed for the same position, and none of the other coaches lost their jobs. Many of the fans seem to be more disappointed after this lack of changes, pointing to the wait and build philosophy as perhaps just to make money off of the fans without a commitment to winning. The grumblings are turning to roars, as GM St. Marie's hold on his job appears to be wavering. One gets the feeling that his office chair has flames creeping up higher and higher toward his lazy and entitled ass.

GM St. Marie declined to be interviewed, stating he had no time as he prepars for the extremely important draft for Seattle. Currently holding 1.3, 2.3, and 2.6, as well as multiple 3rds and 4ths, rumors say the latest 4th has been traded for an offensive lineman from the SB reigning champions, who might be coming in to teach this offense a thing or two about how to play. Stay tuned for more news in a matter of weeks.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 11/30/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 21
Seahawks Fans set sights on Draft Day
While many of the fans talked draft all year, the rest of the weary fan base is now ready to focus squarely on the offseason. The most exciting part being the draft.

With the draft order nearly ready to be announced, the Seahawks already know where they are picking first.

1.3 SEA
2.3 SEA
2.5-8 CAR
3.1-2 MIN
3.playoffs PIT
4.1-2 MIN
4.3 SEA
4.playoffs GB
6.1-2 MIN

In the top 40 players, the Seahawks will pick three times, while in the top 100 players the Seahawks pick a total of 7 times. This after already trading three 2nds for QB Jimmy Clausen. The fans tend to be getting very excited about this group of picks with another strong draft, and are spending most of their time arguing about what positions need the most help and which players should fill those holes. It looks like Seattle is not so high in the draft (like last year) to know exactly who they will end up with, but by targeting players in the top 2-5 in their position, the Seahawks should end up with some real quality in their draft this season.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 10/30/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 12
Seahawks Improvement
The Seahawks went into the season trading away their "QB of the future" Tim Tebow to the Redskins, starting Ricky Stanzi, their 2nd round QB who clearly was not ready to start. Stanzi did not play terribly, as there were teams that did worse, but he also was leading the team with the lowest passing yardage per game in the league. A few weeks ago the Seahawks made their second attempt to add Jimmy Clausen to the team, and this time they were successful.

The Seahawks traded three second round picks including one that should be in the top 3, giving the Vikings a pretty good chance to make up for the top 10 1st round pick they traded for him just a season ago.

Since adding Clausen, the Seahawks are 1-2, but already averaging over 200 yards passing per game for the first time in a while, and of their 13 passing TDs this season, Clausen has 6 of them, yes nearly half. Clausen still has thrown interceptions, and the offense is not suddenly a juggernaut, but another foundation piece seems to have been added to the Seattle offense, to team with one of the top rushing teams in the league. Which puts Seattle in an interesting position this offseason. They could go BPA, but if that is a QB, would they be able to then trade Clausen? Or should they instead focus on building around Clausen, drafting a top offensive lineman or wideout?

What is clear, is that this will be the offseason that proves whether the leadership in Seattle is worthy of competing sooner, or whether they may not be able to deliver on what they are being asked to provide.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 09/30/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 8
Seahawks Bye week comes with mixed benefits
After dropping to 1-4, the Seahawks nevertheless showed some big improvements over the first five games. After a season where the Seahawks averaged 15.5 points per game, they are averaging a healthy 22.6. Averaging 280.2 yards a year ago, they average 352.2 yards now. After allowing 164.1 yards per game on the ground last year, they allow 91.4 yards per game on the ground now and as of yet have not been blown out of a game. While the team is even younger and filled with more potential than a year ago, the results on the field have not yet translated to wins and losses, and with the bye week comes the return of two of the Seahawks better young players from a season ago.

DE Red Bryant and FB Harvey Unga both return from suspensions that stem from an incident last season. Each can be a difference maker, but as they return, the Seahawks lose two more to suspension, leading the league to start to whisper about the kind of players Pete Carroll and GM St. Marie are letting run loose in Seattle. SS Sean Jones and TE Cameron Morrah have both been suspended for the next 6 games. Seattle fans certainly feel like they are getting better players back than they are losing, but have to be wondering if GM St. Marie is the right fit for their return to glory, with all the losing, suspensions, and getting rid of all of their favorite players.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 08/03/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 13
Seahawks gather draft picks, content to lose?
The big news for Seattle this week does not involve a big win (they in fact lost to the Patriots) or a big name player coming in to play. Instead, it involves the trade of mega-talented DT Dan Williams being traded to the Texans, giving the Seahawks the chance to stockpile more draft picks and worrying the fans who want to see the team win.

Seahawks send:
DT Dan Williams
Seahawks 3rd
Lions 6th

Texans send:
Texans 2nd
Patriots 2nd

This gives the Seahawks four 2nd round picks, putting them in position to make the team even younger next season, but losing a uniquely talented DT in the process. Dan Williams has speed and strength like few DT's do, and he also put some weight on this offseaosn to be more of a run stopping presence. Thus far, the Seahawks are by far the best run stuffing team in the league, and Dan Williams has added 2 sacks in 4 games played. It remains to be seen what his loss will do to impact the defense, but it is likely the opposition will have an easier time running, and a pocket that does not collapse as quick.

Not Winning
On the field, the Seahawks have a 1-3 record, and look as though they've established a clear identity. Running the football, the Seahawks are almost unmatched. Only one team has rushed for more yards, but the Texans numbers are boosted by one ridiculous game and the fact that as a team they average 40 rushes per game. Seattle still averages a healthy 30.5 carries per game, but only averages 22 less yards per game. Needless to say, the Seahawks are in the conversation about the best running team in the league, and when it comes to who's been the most consistent, it's hard to argue against the Seahawks.

Defensively they've allowed less than 60 YPC in 4 games, a dramatic improvement since last season. Pass defense and pass offense has been less than impressive however, and that has shown up in the W/L column.

Giving the Seahawks a chance to improve, they get two of their starters back after this week's game. FB Harvey Unga and RE Red Bryant will return from their 5-game suspensions to possibly improve the already stellar run offense and run defense. RE Brandon Blair may shift inside to play some DT for the departing Dan Williams, but he'll compete with new teammate Fred Robbins. Blair has a lot of athleticism on Robbins, but is a bit light for playing DT and may only contribute on pass rushing downs.

Unga will be returning to his successful role as the starting FB, a player has great hands and power rushing ability, but lags a little as a run blocker. Between HB Andre Brown and TE Courtney Smith, the position has been in good hands, but combined they've only averaged 4 pancakes, half a rush, and 1 catch per game. In the passing game they have averaged over 25 YPC, so they have made a small impact there. Having Unga back at FB will allow Smith to start at TE, giving the passing game and run blocking a boost from both positions.

Ultimately, the Seahawks passing game, and pass rushing are what need the most help, and it does not appear they will be spending many resources this season to fix those two areas. Perhaps they are content to wait until the offseason, but with only 4 games complete it remains to be seen whether the fans will be quite as patient as the front office seems to be.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 07/31/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 13
Seahawks 2011, will they improve?
In 2010 the Seahawks were bad. Really bad. The kind of bad they’ve only experienced one time in their history. In wins and losses, they’ve reached as low or lower in the past, but in terms of offensive futility, only the 1992 Seahawks have been worse. Scoring a mere 8.8 points per game, or 140 total in a 16 game season, the ’92 Seahawks went 2-14 despite having an elite defense, and having the defensive player of the year on the team.

This season, Seattle averaged 15.5 points per game. While this is nearly double their worst offense ever, the 2008 Lions, the only winless team to play a 16 game season, scored 268 points, for a 16.8 PPG average. So how did the Seahawks use the 2nd overall pick earned in such an atrocious season? By picking a defensive player.

Fans have generally been assauged by the glowing reports in the media about Patrick Peterson, as the hype machines have been calling him a can’t miss prospect, a once in 10 years type of player. But many of the Seattle skeptics are worried because those same descriptions were being given of OLB Aaron Curry, who has so far never turned into a franchise changing player. Nevertheless Seattle picked a defensive player, a WR turned TE (read: project), a kicker, and a QB, saving the most important position until the end of the 2nd round. While fans are excited about the potential of Peterson and Courtney Smith, as well as a couple of linebackers and left guards picked late in the draft, the fans just haven’t felt like the team has become too much more exciting when they had 4 picks in the first two rounds of the draft.

On the FA front, the Seahawks have brought Zero new players onto the team. In trades, they’ve only added two cornerbacks, both of whom are more likely to play in nickle and dime packages than start. Some more trades have been rumored, but all of them have players leaving for more draft picks, seemingly the only thing this team has been trying to win at.
While the team is in a publically acknowledged rebuilding period, with 2012 being the earliest projected competitive season, the fans want it to be accelerated, and GM St. Marie has been feeling the heat. The attendance is down dramatically at Qwest field, normally a visiting team’s worst nightmare, and confidence in the Front Office is just not there. The fans want to see improvement, not a team that rolls over and plays dead, waiting for the future.

Offseason Transaction Bonanza
The Seahawks re-signed QB Charlie Whitehurst, DT Colin Cole, and K Olindo Mare. They also gave a franchise tag to OLB Leroy Hill.

In trades, they brought in CB’s Alphonso Smith & Jabari Greer. Greer was brought in more for the influence that he will have on Patrick Peterson than for his on-field prowess, but has some decent playing ability as well.

Seattle cut quite a few players before the draft, as they prepared to make 10 draft picks and start moving towards youth. LG Chester Pitts, LE CLifton Geathers, TE Chris Baker, LE Raheem Brock, and LG Ben Hamilton were all cut, with four of the 5 players being 31 years old or more. Furthermore, the Seahawks declined to offer a contract to FB Michael Robinson, LT Tyler Polumbus, RG Sergio Render, and WR Brandon Stokley.

The draft has already been well-covered, go here for profiles on the first four Seahawks picks.

Mini-Camping
The players have been hitting mini-camps hard, but the training staff gave special work to four players. With youth development being the absolute priority, for the purpose of devoping a talented core group of players, three rookies and a second year player were being held after practices for another hour or two of physical workouts. CB’s Patrick Peterson and AJ Jefferson have been training under the tutilage of Leon Washington to work on speed. Washington recovered from a compound fracture in time to begin the season…with no lasting issues and all of the speed he used to have. He used the rehab training program so well that he decided to pass on many of the same workouts to these two defensive backs, including some intense plyometric workouts that required a metric shit-ton of ice afterwards.

QB Ricky Stanzi has been working one-on-one with Drew Bledsoe, Carroll’s quarterback when he was with the Patriots between 1997-1999. Bledsoe has been altering Stanzi’s hip motion and arm torque to get some more power with less effort. Stanzi has also been put on a strict workout schedule to improve his core, as well as increase his arm strength.

Kai Forbath is already known for his powerful leg, but the Seahawks new special teams coach Bobby April has been adding soaked footballs to simulate the rainy Seattle outdoors scene he’ll have to be kicking in. He also has the training staff working on Forbath’s lower body strength, increasing it little by little to make sure he carefully adds strength without making his legs more bulky. The team is trying to protect his leg to make him their long term kicker, and avoid the hamstring injuries that plague some kickers that work too hard in the weight room.

Positional Battles
As a young, inexperienced team, there are several position battles throughout the roster, from QB all the way to kicker. While some of these are expected to be swayed by the front office, such as at QB and kicker where two 2nd rounders are facing off against two mediocre veterans, Pete Carroll preaches the “Always Compete” mantra, and while that allows good young players to play over vets, it also keeps underproductive youngsters on the bench. At each of these positions, there is a training camp battle that may determine the direction the team will go.

QB Tim Tebow vs Ricky Stanzi vs Charlie Whitehurst
Tebow is rumored to be on the way out of town, but as of now he is the most athletic and strongest armed QB on the team. Stanzi comes in more comfortable with a pro offense, although not nearly the pro athlete Tebow is. Charlie is somewhere between the two, athletic, strong enough arm, but struggles even a vet to lead an offense.

HB Leon Washington vs Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch.
Speed vs Power, Carroll prefers to use both in his offenses and will start the one he thinks will make their offense the best. Last year, it was Marshawn, until he fell afoul of the league rules (again) and Washington actually had better per-carry numbers. This battle may not be decided by week 1.

TE John Carlson vs Courtney Smith
Carlson is polished, has great hands and blocking ability, and height. A traditional TE. Smith is Gates-like in his athleticism and lack of polish coming into the league. Smith was clearly drafted in hopes he’d be an improvement, stretching the field for the Seahawks but first he has to beat out Carlson.

LG Clay Harvey vs Ismael Bryon
Both drafted late, one in the fourth, one in the sixth. Each has great size, strength, and some athleticism, but on most plays are indistinguishable. Both were good finds, turning out to be stronger and more athletic than projected, but most likely only one will be able to start. Will it come down to speed and pass blocking (Bryon) or agility/acceleration and awareness (Harvey)?

CB #2/#3/#4 Jabari Greer vs Alphonso Smith vs Kelly Jennings vs AJ Jefferson
Jennings is rumored to be involved in a trade, Smith is undersized but talented and young. Jefferson is young and very athletic, but very raw, while Greer is quite polished, but limited athletically. Whoever Peterson doesn’t cover is going to likely have an easy time in 2011, but it’s tough to see who is going to play the best out of this group.

4-3 vs 3-4
The Seahawks hit on a couple of linebacker prospects late, as both MLB Colin McCarthy and LOLB Arthur Parker turned out to be better than projected. But that leaves the Seahawks with many more linebackers than they need, with Leroy Hill, David Hawthorne, Kawika Mitchell, and Aaron Curry all former productive starters. Will this force them into a 3-4? The problem is, they have four talented defensive linemen too, in Red Bryant, Dan Williams, Brandon Mebane, and Connor Barwin. As a 4-4 or 5-3 defense is not available to play (pity, since we only have one good CB anyway) the Seahawks are going to have to find someone to take some of their talent, or bench some good players.
Will Seattle trust the trade market to determine whether a 4-3 or 3-4 is the way to go, or will they choose their defense moving forward and accept the wasted resources that happen along the way?
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 06/19/2011) Replies - 1 :: Views - 46
Seahawks draft...Day 1
1.2 CB Patrick Peterson


Rookie Outlook

Will start immediately, and guard the best WR on the opposing team. Already the best CB on the team, he is one of the top 10 CB's in the league already. Speed, quickness, acceleration, jumping ability, dangerous kick returner, skilled tackler, good hands, and a sophisticated understanding of pro offenses already are his strengths. No weaknesses. As close to a "can't fail" prospect as there is in this draft, Andrew Luck included.

Potential

Patrick Peterson is the Seahawk with the best chance of reaching the Hall of Fame, before even playing a down. Expected to win awards, reach pro bowls, and shut down the opponents best WR by year 3, "The Rainmaker" has some very lofty expectations. This year's Darrelle Revis, the most complete CB in the draft and the most talented.

Athletics Ratings - A+

95 SPD, 56 STR, 96 AGI, 96 ACC, 97 JMP, 96 STA, 89 INJ, 88 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - A

75 AWR, 64 CTH, 63 TAK, 88 KR

2.5 WR Courtney Smith


Rookie Outlook

Seahawks are hoping the 10 lbs he put on between the combine and their private workout will be able to stick. Smith's size, blocking ability, and athleticism has made him their project TE, but if he catches on quick enough he may start and often. Seattle worries about his inconsistent hands at TE, but otherwise he is already a good fit for a starting role.

Potential

Already a good run blocker, Smith has deep threat athleticism at TE, and could be a dangerous two-way player if he becomes more consistent. Expect the second half of his career to be his most productive by far, and he could be a pro bowl TE in his career.

Athletics Ratings - A-

86 SPD, 68 STR, 87 AGI, 87 ACC, 89 JMP, 65 STA, 87 INJ, 88 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - C

63 AWR, 70 CTH, 57 RBK

2.8 K Kai Forbath


Rookie Outlook

Starter, best rookie K in the league, top 10 kicker in the league already. Has the leg power to hit 50 yarders already, and the accuracy to make plenty of them. Has a surprisingly high level of football awareness and mental toughness, will be a great end of game kicker during his career.

Potential

Kai has unlimited potential. Already an above-average kicker, will be among league leaders as soon as this year, or as late as year 3. Could have multiple pro bowls.

Athletics Ratings - A

93 KPW

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - A

74 AWR, 90 KAC

2.21 QB Ricky Stanzi


Rookie Outlook

Will compete for starting job as a rookie, just about as good as any Seahawk QB on the roster. Expected to earn the starting job immediately unless a FA is brought in. Lacks elite pro arm strength and mobility, but has enough of both to become a quality starter. Lacks accuracy, but has a good grasp of the game for a rookie. Knowledge is best asset.

Potential

Probably long term would be best as a backup QB, but with the absense of QB talent on the roster will get a chance to start and show his stuff immediately. Could stunt his growth, but Seattle hopes it accelerates it. Best case, Stanzi can develop into a quality starter, as his best attribute (knowledge of game) allows him to make quality decisions and develop into a Matt Hasselbeck type of quarterback.

Athletics Ratings - B-

58 SPD, 54 STR, 65 AGI, 69 ACC, 89 THP, 99 STA, 94 INJ, 99 TGH

Skill/Knowledge Ratings - B-

68 AWR, 80 THA
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 06/14/2011) Replies - 5 :: Views - 69
Rumors 2011: 1.2 nearly traded
Most of the GZL world knew that Phillip Rivers is on the trading block, and that the Chargers GM seemed to be serious about trading him. What Seahawks fans did not know is that he nearly became a Seahawk, and that two of their favorite rookies were supposedly going to be traded. This has yet to be confirmed, but supposedly 1.2, Russell Okung, and Earl Thomas were all supposed to be leaving in the deal to bring a franchise QB into Seattle.

Most of the citizens of Seattle thought it was a windy day on May 18th, but it was actually a sigh of relief from GM St. Marie, who was no looking forward to telling Seahawks fans about losing Russell Okung or Earl "Bad Bones" Thomas.

Seahawks draft plan will continue as expected. Patrick Peterson, and then BPA for their three 2nd round picks and four 4th round picks as the roster begins to get really young and hopefully talented.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 05/22/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 33
Seahawks expected to draft "The Rainmaker"


Rumors have connected Andrew Luck to many of the teams who could use a QB. The Seahawks certainly fall into that category after having by far the worst offense in the league. But the Seahawks are not interested in paying a kings ransom to move from 1.2 to 1.1, and in fact see a player of near equal stature. While Luck has been the consensus "franchise-changer," available, Patrick Peterson seems to have equal chance of being elite, and at a position nearly as important.

While the Seahawks are expected to at least inquire about 1.1, it is being said they are confident in Peterson's talent and have no interest in reducing their number of 2nd and 4th round picks when they need almost an entire team's worth of talent.

The Seahawks also expect to be contacted about trading back. Their stance on trading out of the top of this draft is that they'd have to end up getting two long term starters out of the team. So a 1st and a good player, or two 1sts, or a great player and a 2nd. Expect Seattle to be very choosy, on the cusp on drafting what they believe to be an elite, franchise-building player.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 05/04/2011) Replies - 2 :: Views - 69
Seahawks limp to the finish-line
With one game left in the season, the Seahawks look poised to take one of the top 5 picks in the draft, and the way they have looked this season they seem to need it pretty badly. The Seahawks are clearly happy to still own their own 1st and 2nd round picks for the upcoming draft, but they also own two other 2nd round picks and four 4th round picks. The FO has been quiet this season, as they prepare for their first offseason following the new regime's stated desire to rebuild the roster.

Surprisingly, the Seahawks players are almost uniformly behind the re-build, as most of the young players seem to have bought into the Pete Carroll 5-year plan. A few of the veterans are unhappy, but in general the morale of the team is surprisingly high.

With one more game going against the Rams, it will be interesting to see if the players get up for this game after being shut out last week. Will the Seahawks offense set an offensive futility record that teams struggle to surpass? Will the run defense collapse and leapfrog Seattle over the Detroit Lions? Will the Charlie Whitehurst that the Seahawks traded a couple of 3rd round picks for show up, or will he prove once and for all that he does not deserve a spot on the roster?

Many small questions will be answered this final week, but the whole league and city of Seattle already know the answer to the most important one. This team is not competitive yet.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 04/30/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 9
Seahawks beat Chiefs, avoid "worst team" label.
The Seahawks started the season off with a bang, with two of the biggest losses the franchise has ever seen. It was a sobering start, but one that the Seahawks have battled back from. Losing by 59, and 31 in the first three weeks could be a death blow to some general managers, but Seattle stuck with their talent and drastically changed the way they've played.

The wins have been few and far between, but in the 6 losses to follow, the Seahawks have only lost by more than a TD in one single game. They've lost by 1 point, by 2 points, by 4 points twice, and a single TD, including a 4 point loss to the 8-3 Saints. The only loss to be more than a TD was a 19-6 loss to the Cards, still not an embarrassing loss in the vein of the first two weeks.

All those "moral losses" aside, this is an article about winning. Beating the Chiefs by 10 points, the Seahawks added their 3rd victory, and marked the first game where Whitehurst really showed up to play. While he played a game-manager role, he certainly did a much better job than he has in any other part of the season. A loss to the Chiefs would have left the Seahawks as the only 2 win team in the league, but that label was left with the Chiefs.

Surprisingly, the Seahawks have only won against AFC West opponents. They have beat the 7-4 Raiders, 5-6 Broncos, and 2-9 Chiefs, with their only loss being to the 8-3 Chargers in week 3. Unfortunately, that means they are winless against their own division, and winless in the NFC.

Look for the Seahawks to continue to battle in every game, as they look forward to the week 14 rematch against the San Francisco 49ers.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 03/30/2011) Replies - 1 :: Views - 25
Seahawks O shows up, Defense improves
One week after the most embarrassing game the GZL may ever see, the Seaehawks rebounded in a major way. QB Tim Tebow had himself an amazing game at the helm of a very balanced offense. At one point, he was 10/10 before throwing a completion that was out of bounds for his first "incomplete" pass. Despite playing against an aggressive front 7 (he took 5 sacks) he never fumbled, stayed cool and on target, and completed over 75% of his passes. Speedster Deon Butler was mostly shut down by Champ Bailey, but this did not deter Tebow or shut down the offense, as the ball was spread around to 7 different targets.

The run game was also good, as Marshawn Lynch was steady and reliable on each carry, before breaking out with a long TD run. The OL didn't dominate the game as much as influence the game, a nod to their Zone Blocking System, a principle that Pete Carroll feels strongly about as a foundation of their offense.

The defense was vastly improved, although they allowed two long TD runs by backup HB Correll Buckhalter, they completely shut down Knowshawn Moreno, allowing under 3 yards per carry on his 25 attempts. Their league-high rushing average dropped to 338.5 YPG, while their pass defense also dropped to a very good 202.5 YPG, making them one of three teams to allow more yards rushing per game than passing. Three more teams have passing yards within 15 yards of the rushing they've allowed, making for a wacky season thus far. But watch for the Seahawks to continue to make improvements in the run stopping, as no one is as bad as they look in the stats column.

Their pass D was aided by good individual efforts along the DL, as the 3-4 seemed to be more effective in this game than the multiple fronts was in the past game, although opponents talent most likely played the biggest factor in the difference. DT Brandon Mebane gathered 2 sacks, while Barwin and Williams each had one. CB Don Carey had a whale of a game, with an INT and three deflections against stud receiver Demaryius Thomas. Earl Thomas also had a demoralizing pick in the third quarter to continue the Seattle momentum.

Look for Seattle to continue the up and down play, as they play difficult opponents like this week's Chargers team, and not so difficult opponents like some of their division rivals, while looking for improved play like that of QB Tebow, their young DL, and CB Don Carey this week.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/20/2011) Replies - 1 :: Views - 37
Seahawks land "The Chosen One!"
After trading Matt Hasselbeck, the Seahawks have been widely considered to be a team with some young talent, but with a long ways to go on their rebuilding. Specifically, their lack of direction at QB has slotted them as a team with potential, but no real timetable for competition. As recently as this week, these comments have been made.

In terms of results this may be a painful season in Seattle but the experience picked up by some of the youngsters will prove invaluable in the long run. Likely to contest bottom spot with Arizona. Again any more than 4 wins is unlikely.

and

QB looks a problem with neither JP Losman or Charlie Whitehurst likely to be anything other than a stopgap. That probably won’t concern them as this looks like a long term project.

and

The one offensive weapon the Rams have which the others lack is a promising young QB.

These quotes are anything but harsh, in fact they are complimentary of Seattle and honest, but it appears the Seahawks have added perhaps the most important part of their foundation, as they landed not only a young QB, but a highly regarded leader in a trade with the Broncos.

Seahawks trade LB Adam Hayward and Jaguars 2nd to the Broncos for QB Tim Tebow.

Adam Hayward is an undersized but ultra-athletic cover linebacker that Seattle was expecting might make a difference against TE Vernon Davis, easily the biggest mismatch player in the NFC West. Depending on scheme, Hayward could explode with rare speed, and is a very good tool for the Broncos front 7.

Tim Tebow is the powerful running QB with a good enough arm, but comes in with concerns about his ability to read a defense, his height, his release, his accuracy, and how often he decides to take off and run. Regardless, the Seahawks have given up what appears to be starting-QB level compensation, and despite the flaws that come with are clearly are planning to build around the charismatic youngster.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 01/08/2011) Replies - 11 :: Views - 108
Seattle Seahawks Hire GM Nic St. Marie.
After a failed season with Jim Mora and Tim Ruskell, the Seahawks have decided to do a complete overhaul of their coaches and front office. In one of the most unique moves professional football has seen, they fired Mora and hired Pete Carroll without even having a GM in place. Pete Carroll had a strong hand in the interview process, finally settling in on super-fan Nic St. Marie as the new general manager in Seattle. Both Carroll and St. Marie see eye to eye on how they want to build this team, who's growth was stunted even further by Mora's refusal to play young players during last year's horrible 5 win season.

PC and St. Marie have looked over the roster and are expected to make wide-scale changes, with an eye towards to future. However, they still are committed to a win-now approach, and think they'll surprise a few teams this year that take them lightly. Sure, Seattle lacks a true impact star on the roster, has a piece-meal offensive line, and lacks a true #1 WR, to go along with many other holes, but there are some interesting talents present on this team.

The Seahawks began the season with 6 defensive tackles, and a 7th is on his way in a trade. So to begin their player movement, Seattle held an in-practice competition in order to determine which three would stay and which would go. It was no surprise to anyone then, when the three weakest bodies were the ones to be sent home. DT Amon Gordan, long-time Seahawk DT/FG blocking specialist/Country Music singer Craig Terrill, and DT Junior Siavii were all sent him backing by Pete Carroll as the new "competition" theme starts to spread throughout the 2010 training camp in the great Northwest. Apparently if the Seahawks need a 4th, 5th, and 6th DT, they'll have to look to street free agents this season, as it seems not to be their plan to carry them on the roster.

On the trade front, it is rumored that the Seahawks have dealt from a position of strength and traded away one of their best linebackers, getting an anchor DT and a faster CB than they currently have on their roster. Another supposedly completed deal has Seattle sending away one of their OL prospects for a 4th round pick. Other deals have been discussed, but no other serious offers have been brought up, and Seattle still has 4 or 5 WR's they'd be willing to start. Actual details are said to be released in the next couple of days.

Finally, one of the questions swirling around has to do with Veterans. Every team needs them, and every team needs to develop young players and stars. Will Seattle stick with Hasselbeck to try and win through this developmental period? Or will he be traded to a more polished team and attempt to finally get that SB ring, while the Seahawks develop another passer? That question, along with what to do with Trufant, Chris Spencer, Sean Locklear, and Olindo Mare, some of the polished veterans who can still fetch a price on the market is going to be one of the big questions going forward. Of those players, Hasselbeck, Trufant, and surprisingly Mare are fan favorites, and it will hit this team economically if some of these players leave this season.
Forum Discussion (by N_StMarie on 12/23/2010) Replies - 0 :: Views - 21

All Team News Stories

At A Glance

SEAHAWKS FRONT OFFICE
GM N_StMarie
Head Coach L.Fletcher
Offensive Coordinator A.Gates
Defensive Coordinator M.Trgovac
Special Teams Russ Purnell
Salary $147.94M
Cap Penalty $24.8M
Cap Room $1.26M

INJURY REPORT
PLAYER POS OVR LENGTH

NFC West
RNK TEAM W-L-T PCT DIV
#3 Rams Rams 2-0-0 1.00 1-0
#21 Cardinals Cardinals 1-1-0 0.50 1-1
#11 Seahawks Seahawks 1-1-0 0.50 0-1
#29 49ers 49ers 0-2-0 0.00 0-0

SEAHAWKS SCHEDULE
WK DATE OPPONENT TIME/RESULT
1 Sun vs Cowboys Cowboys #10
Won 31-19
2 Sun at Cardinals Cardinals #21
Lost 30-31
3 Sun vs 49ers 49ers #29 4:15pm
4 Sun at Giants Giants #20 1:00pm
5 Sun vs Redskins Redskins #22 4:15pm
7 Sun at 49ers 49ers #29 4:15pm
8 Sun vs Jets Jets #15 8:30pm
9 Sun at Bears Bears #18 1:00pm
10 Sun vs Cardinals Cardinals #21 8:30pm
11 Mon vs Patriots Patriots #4 9:00pm
12 Sun at Bills Bills #13 1:00pm
13 Sun at Dolphins Dolphins #28 1:00pm
14 Sun at Rams Rams #3 1:00pm
15 Sun at Eagles Eagles #26 1:00pm
16 Sat vs Rams Rams #3 4:15pm
17 Sun vs Buccaneers Buccaneers #8 4:15pm

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