There is no rest for a hack sports blogger!! Writing this while sunning myself by the black sea. Listening
to the waves crashing against the shore becomes difficult when there’s so much noise being made about
our week 2 clash with Chicago!! Let’s digest.
From Last Week
The protection struggles continued against the Bears, with Russell taking another 6 sacks and an
additional 7 QB hits. The protection is clearly worrying Russ as he’s noticeably more jittery in the pocket
and has run into sacks trying to escape pressure which, at times, isn’t there. He’s also holding on to the
ball, in the expectation that he can make things happen downfield. These magical plays aren’t
materialising though. As such, this problem has evolved into a wider ranging issue.
We have no offensive identity. Admittedly I’ve not been following Seahawks football as long as some of
you, but in the majority of that time, the Seahawks have been a hard, brash run-first team who will
chew the clock and beat you up on defense. We got half of that right on Monday night. The defense was
good. We put Mitch Trubisky under a lot of pressure and got some turnovers. However, the offense was
not what it used to be. In fact I’m not quite sure what it is. It’s some sort of Frankenstein’s Monster with
equal parts “panic we’re about to take a sack”; “oh crap our best running back can’t play because he’s
played special teams” and a topping of “because of these two factors, let’s rush our QB into a quick
throw to the outside where he’s gonna throw a pick 6 and effectively kill the game”.
While some of you reading this will have been debating me on social media about Russell Wilson's level
of blame in all this. I’d rather contemplate how we fix this. Because I’m a problem solver! Firstly, the
running back situation. As a unit, our backs are averaging less than 3 yards per carry, which I think we
can all agree, is poor. However, Chris Carson is actually far out performing this stat line and has been
flashing brilliance since pre season. It’s quite obvious to me that we need to use him as a bell cow if we
want to establish the run (something we need to do if we’re to get any joy out of play action). So why
didn’t we do this on Monday night? Pete Carroll said that apparently, Carson was “gassed” after playing
special teams. Leading to a reliance on underwhelming first round pick Rashaad Penny, Mike Davis, and
the passing game. Here’s an idea for Pete, Brian and the offensive staff….. DON’T PUT YOUR BEST
RUNNING BACK ON SPECIAL TEAMS. Especially if he’s not fit enough to cope with it.
As for the passing game, we spluttered through this one, with Russell totaling less than 230 yards
through the air. Playing without his angry safety blanket for the second consecutive week. Once again
though, I saw encouragement from the supporting cast of receivers. Will Dissly (who’s jersey I already
have on order) looked like a beast again, Brandon Marshall made some key move-the-chains catches
and Tyler Lockett caught a beautiful touchdown pass in the back corner of the end zone. The play calling
looks suspect though, with the receivers at times struggling to get separation. Schottenheimer needs to
adapt the scheme to suit the guys we have otherwise we look doomed to be suffering more 3 and outs.
And while Michael Dickson is admittedly already one of the best punters in the league; punting doesn’t
win you football games.
If we can adapt our play calling to utilize more quick rhythm throws, establish the run through Chris
Carson and then look to make big plays from play action; and not hope that Russell’s pocket can avoid
collapsing for longer than a badly cooked souffle; I think we can improve. My worry is that like a lot of
coaches, Schottenheimer will believe that the players can adapt to his scheme, and not flip his scheme
to suit the talent that we have.
PANIC LEVEL: RED ALERT!! Grab your belongings and head for the border!! There are major flaws in our
offense and something needs to change quickly or we risk the embarrassment of losing to a very
average Cowboys team that’s also struggling. Let’s hope the guys can put it together at home and prove
No More Boom?
It’s no secret that our defense is missing some pieces from years past. Of the 2013 Superbowl winning
defense that so brilliantly dismantled supposedly the greatest offense ever, only Earl Thomas was on the
Field on Monday night. Bobby Wagner lost to injury, and the rest either retired, released or traded.
I’m not going to sit here though, and lament the losses of times gone by, this part of the article is to
celebrate the new talent that appears to be inhabiting our locker room. Ladies and gents, there are
some great players on our defense. Let’s start from the front. Frank Clark and Rasheem Green, in my
(admittedly biased) opinion form one of the more underrated pass rushing duos in the league. While
Green still needs time to develop, he could blossom into a stud. Clark emerged last season, totalling 9.5
sacks and showing us all that he belongs in this league. Frank has now taken that one step further and is
leading the line for the Seahawks as a veteran presence that is much needed with so many young guns
in the team.
Moving further back, our linebackers will have pro bowler KJ Wright back next week, in addition to the
main man Bobby Wagner. This will be a massive upgrade. Shaquem Griffin has struggled in the regular
season so far and will need time to learn the nuances of the game at this level. While I don’t necessarily
agree with the signing of soon to be convicted felon Mychal Kendricks, he played well in Chicago, so if he
sticks around until he inevitably gets off with a slap on the wrist because he’s famous. Let’s do it. The
NFL is a damn lottery when it comes to punishing criminals. Just go ask Ezekiel Elliott. Either way the
linebackers should be an effective unit this Sunday.
Then the secondary. A supposedly depleted secondary that lacks talent and will get torched this year.
Well. That secondary has 5 picks through 2 games. 2 each for supposed downgrades Shaquill Griffin and
Brad McDougald, and one for training camp absentee Earl Thomas. On the note of Thomas. Can we
please pay him. I think he’s proven how good he is time and time again. Let’s keep him as a Seahawk till
he retires. We have more than enough cap space to do it. But yeah, this secondary looks great so far.
Griffin is showing not only that he can defend passes, but he can make tackles much and lend a hand in
the run game. McDougald is showing that he’s a solid starter, and although he’s not the hall of fame
caliber player Kam was, he is more than capable of making big plays at key points. All in all, I like the way
the secondary is shaping up this year.
PANIC LEVEL: GREEN. The greenest of all greens. While this unit may not be of the standard of the
legendary group that led the league in scoring defense 4 years in a row, they’re good. Don’t be fooled,
these guys can make plays. Good luck Dak, you’re gonna need it.
LET’S GO TAKE OUR FRUSTRATIONS
OUT ON DALLAS!! GO HAWKS!!