Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Carroll talks scheme

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 22, 2010 at 11:08 am with 53 Comments »
January 22, 2010 11:08 am

KJR-AM’s Mitch Levy talked with Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll this morning about how his evaluation process is going with his new team, and what changes might be coming down the pipe this season.

Carroll said he’s going about the evaluation process in a patient matter, and that he’s only two-thirds of the way through looking the defense in performing an individual study on each player. Carroll has not started the evaluation process on offense yet, but he did offer up a few nuggets worth noting.

“I think the easy thing to nail when you look at it is if we’re going to go about this and run the football the way we want to we’ve got to make the sure the offensive line is situated and stocked with guys who can block in the manner we’re going to do with the approach that Alex (Gibbs) helps us generate here,” Carroll said. “We need really athletic guys who can move the line of scrimmage, get down field and get to the second level of their blocks so the scheme, the zone principles that we block with, can be executed properly.”

*It sounds like Seattle will be sticking to a 4-3 defensive alignment, which is the same system Carroll has been running for over 30 years. However, Carroll said he could use some 3-4 principles within that system, which includes using a stand-up defensive end on the weak side.

“We can play 4-3 principles, which is what we’ll do, with 4-3 personnel or 3-4 personnel,” Carroll said. “It just depends. Meaning it’s a defensive end vs. an outside linebacker-type.

“That’s the first thing I took a look at to see what’s Aaron Curry all about. Can he be that kind of player who is an outside rusher, where you would rush him more like two-thirds of the time he’s a rusher and some of the time he’s a dropper. As opposed to the other way where he’s an outside backer, where he drops 80 percent of the time and rushes in pressure situations 20 percent of the time.”

USC used Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews as stand-up ends during part of their careers with the Trojans, and Seattle used Darryl Tapp and Nick Reed in that capacity at times last season. USC calls this the elephant position, which you can learn more about here. But expect Curry to be used in this capacity as well, as Carroll believes he plays better at the line of scrimmage, and I tend to agree.

Carroll spoke highly of Curry, Tapp, Cory Redding, Brandon Mebane and yes, Collin Cole. I know Cole has been used as a punching bag at times by some in the comments section, but I watched him pretty closely the last four games and I also believe he’s part of the solution, not the problem for Seattle defensively.

*On Lawrence Jackson, Carroll said the Seahawks have to get him back to playing down and dirty and being a solid, every-down player, not a pass-rush specialist.

“Lawrence was a really good player for us,” Carroll said. “And he’s learning to be a good NFL player. He’s still working at it. He’s a work in progress. I think we have some ideas on how to help Lawrence on the way he approaches the game. He’s trying to be a flashy, 4-3 outside pass rush guy. We need to make him a down-and-dirty guy who plans down after down and does all the hard work. And I need to beef him up a bit.”

By that description it sounds like the expectation is for Jackson to continue to play strong-side defensive end and perhaps some 3-tech inside, which he did last season.

*Carroll emphasized getting athletic players on the offensive line that can get to the second level in the zone blocking scheme. He said it will be important to run the ball because the passing game will work off of that. And he also talked about evaluating Julius Jones and Justin Forsett to make sure they fit the scheme.

* Carroll said quarterback Matt Hasselbeck already has started meeting with new offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates to learn the offense, and again reiterated that he believes Hasselbeck can still play.

“We’re fired up that Matt is a guy that’s played,” Carroll said. “He’s been in big games. He’s won big games. He’s been a championship quarterback. And now we need to build it around him so that we can be successful.

“So that’s where it’s so obvious the easiest formula is to get the running game going. So that’s why our commitment is so clear there. A great deal of our passing attack comes off the running game.”

*Carroll said he also would choose speed and agility over size and and girth in terms of evaluating athletes for his team defensively.

*Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley will continue to call the plays defensively, with both Bradley and Carroll working together to come up with a defensive game plan during game week.

* Carroll said he recommended Steve Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin for the job in order to maintain the tradition they have at USC, but he didn’t contact either one of them.

Listen to the full interview here.

Listen to KJR-AM Mike Gastineau’s interview with Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke in an audio link here and here.

KJR-AM’s Elise Woodward talks to TNT’s Dave Boling in this audio link.

CBS Sports Chad Reuter details the record number of underclassmen who will enter this year’s draft.

More Reuter: Risers and fallers in this week’s East-West Shrine practices.

Tony Pauline of Sports Illustrated outlines which underclassmen made good and bad decisions in entering the 2010 draft.

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Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 53
  1. this is great stuff, Eric. Thanks.

  2. nighthawk2 says:

    The kind of linemen that Carroll’s talking about would seem to point away from a guard like Mike Iupata and more towards guys like Alabama’s Mike Johnson and Illinois’ Jon Asomugha. Also tackles like Iowa’s Bryan Bulaga and USC’s Charles Brown.

    There seems to be some talk now that Russell Okung of Okie State will go earlier than 6th, to either Tampa Bay (depending on Donald Penn’s situation by draft time), Washington or KC. Personally I think Detroit is in desperate need of a left tackle to replace Jim Backus, and move him to guard. Branden Albert is at LT with the Chiefs but he was shaky there last year, and maybe they move him to guard. Samuels needs to be replaced at Washington but Shanahan probably takes a quarterback. I don’t like Trent Williams or Ciron Black at all as a left tackle in the NFL, they look like right tackles or interior lineman at the pro level.

  3. Bernie42 says:

    I listened to the interview this morning, but was looking forward to seeing it transcribed since it was such an insightful interview. I liked what I heard about Matt Hasselbeck and also really appreciated how up-front and honest Carroll was about Lawrence Jackson.

    Thanks for recapping here, Eric.

  4. nighthawk2 says:

    Misspelled his name. The Illinois guard is Jon Asomoah.

  5. IdahoHawk says:

    I don’t recall every hearing this much info from Mora. I like what I’m reading; Carroll has probably done more player research in two weeks than Mora did all of last year.

  6. Mitch Levy is the best interviewer in local sports radio. Thanks for the transcript.

  7. ArterioZ says:

    Great Stuff. Thanks.

  8. I saw Asomoah play at the Gophers this past season and I don’t think he fits the ZBS. He was more of a “plodder” than a quick, athletic type.

    Lawrence Jackson at strong side DE means Kerney is gone.

    I haven’t been overly excited about much lately, but Curry in the elephant role is exciting.

    I agree about Cole not being as bad as people think. Sure, he’s not a star, but I thought he played his role pretty well. He makes good money, but it’s not like he’s a $5 million/year player either (when I would definitely expect more).

  9. Dukeshire says:

    Reading into what Carroll said about Jackson; I hope that also means Tapp and Mebane will rotate in and out far less. One of my peeves last year with the D was how often they rotated linemen. Seemingly for every down and distance. Too much.

  10. I agree, Duke. It made no sense for Mebane to be watching the game as often as he did. And Mora supposedly had them in such great shape (which I don’t doubt) but then still took them off the field far too much. We all cry about talent, but it makes no sense to take your legit talent off the field so you can put in a Craig Terrill. I know big guys need breaks here and there, but they seemed to get way too many last year.

  11. I like the focus on Curry too – he’s an asset, let’s figure out what he can do. I’ve got my doubts that Jackson can be a good NFL D-lineman, I’ve really seen very little from him – and he’s not shown he can be anywhere close to the Kerney of two years ago – but we’ll see.

    Carroll and all the new hires, new points of view on things – definitely has me out of the doldrums of the year. Not expecting 12 wins next season or anything, but I’d bet things will be much more fun to watch than this year. Hope always springs eternal in the off-season . . . .

  12. Dukeshire says:

    Bobby – I’ve got to ask; how is it you “…haven’t been overly excited about much lately”? With all the changes in the front office and coaching staff? Come on, man! Let it in, every thing’s going to be fine. Lol.

  13. Yeah…next year won’t be twelve wins but at this point, I would settle for nine…realistically, given that there won’t be much going on in FA, we’re probably looking at a 7-9 season with more competitive games in the losses.

  14. Dukeshire says:

    The amount of wins, for me, is irrelevant. It’s how they get those wins and how they look during the losses that I’ll use as a measure of their progress.

  15. My anxiety has slowly been turnin to excitement. I like the fact that “Big Balls Pete” has been evaluating every single player. He seems very thorough and more adept at using a player to his strengths..

    Duke – what happened to hawksnest? Shut down already?

  16. bird_spit says:

    For me, I’ll take wins as a measure. Hawks must compete for this lousy division. If they put in the work, it will be obvious. Do I expect them to take the division next year? I think it depends on Warner and his decision to stay or go. I can’t wait to see this new look Hawks next year..

  17. williambryan says:

    as long as warner retires and smith is still starting in san fran, I like our chances of taking back the west. there have been a lot of successful one year turnarounds lately so I expect one here. if we dont win the west it wont be the worst thing in the world as long as we compete, but Warner will be the key.

  18. Duke…. I know they’re supposed to be conditioned, but ya ever been on the field when linemen run on for situational scenarios… ? In the start, they’re fine, but they eventually get tired out … These are big guys…. I like a bit more consistency too… ‘rests’ should come in bunches, not one or two plays at a time…

    Idaho…. I had the same feeling relating to Mora… and not like PC hasn’t had a pretty busy time of it here recently, with media, etc…….. I love it…. This is going to be a fun, fun ride….

  19. princeaden says:

    Being competitive will be my measuring stick as well. I’m hoping that we’re tough and people don’t like playing us. I also hope Warner returns and we are pressuring him to the point that he makes one of those poor decisions, we pick it off and get to clean his clock during the return. A lot like what happened in N.O. Get a little payback for the way Dockett treated Hass.

  20. princeaden says:

    I forgot to add. Does anyone remember how Steve Largent got a similar payback on Mike Harden of Denver on Monday Night Football after Harden knocked him out earlier in the season on a questionable shot in Denver?

  21. That Largent tackle on Harden’s interception return is one of my favorite plays of all time! I wish our corners could hit like that.

  22. That was a brutal hit on Warner.

  23. OutSydeDog says:

    My most furious moment as a Seahawk fan was when Largent got his jaw broke by Harden, only to lead to my favorite moment when in the rematch Largent got his payback. Love it!!!

    I must say, after comparing Mora’s mantra of “relentless” cliches to Carroll’s “I’m not even done elvaluating the D players yet.”, I am more opimistic this year than last. I’m with those who measure our progress through being competitive in games, win or lose. I want teams leaving Qwest feeling like they never want to come back.

    GO HAWKS!!!

  24. bird_spit:Do I expect them to take the division next year? I think it depends on Warner and his decision to stay or go.

    Do you think so? I don’t know. I thought Leinart looked awfully solid in there when he was subbing for Warner during the New Orleans game. They weren’t holding him back either. They were trying to come back from a big deficit and he was airing it out. I think he’s going to be very good right out of the gate as soon as Warner steps down.

    I thing quarterback is the least of Arizona’s problems. They still have a very one dimensional offense and a leaky defense. Seattle can beat them if they can muster some balance and consistency.

  25. There’s a point when you have to measure success in wins and losses. Let’s not lose sight of what’s going to get us into the playoffs. My only point is that our turn-a-round is probably going to be slower than many of us would like because of how Schneider approaches team building. If we build mostly through the drafts, it’s going to be 2-3 years before we’re competitive again.

  26. Carroll and Company may be blowing smoke about Matt when they say he’s their “guy.” If they are serious, I think they must understand the window is soon, so they could temporarily abandon the Schneider/Packer way. That doesn’t mean they will abandon the draft, it means they may be more aggressive in FA (if there’s anyone out there this year with no CBA?). As one reader pointed out the other day, the Packers are publicly owned and aren’t as willing to spend the big bucks that Allen is, which means Schneider is going to have much more money to build a team (even though Carroll is calling the shots). If they are blowing smoke, you can bet QB will be a focus in the upcoming draft. It’s too early to tell.

    The more I think of this Curry/elephant thing… the more I think he’s going to the Pro Bowl next year and will have 10-12 sacks. Him being an 80% pass rusher, 20% drop back guy is awesome. If he’s going to be more of a stereotypical strong side LB, I think we’re going to be swearing around here and calling him a bust. The strengths he had in college don’t seem to equate to NFL success. He too often looked lost in coverage and didn’t play as well in space as we expected. I don’t think he’ll suck, I just think he’ll be a disappointment for what we all expect from a #4 overall pick. We can blame some of it on coaching, but some of it was instincts and that’s not coaching and I didn’t always like what I saw. But when he rushed, I saw a natural ability with pure athleticism that will turn into double digit sacks. As Mr. Happy said, he’s more of an impact player the closer he is to the LOS. If he’s our elephant next year, I also expect him to be one of the league leaders in forced fumbles. And if we’re going to be a winning team again, we’ve got to get that turnover ratio back to favoring us.

    As Duke pointed out, there has been plenty for people to get excited about but I’ve been keeping my excitement down because for all the goody-goody talk… I need to see more talent on the field before I get too wrapped up in winning talk. I had a couple of so-so years of coaching where the talented was limited, but had a couple of great years where we won a lot and did it because of talent. I was almost the same coach from year to year (you always like to think you get better each year yourself) but the talent improved and that’s why I looked smarter. I want/need to see the talent level increase before I get drunk on the kool aid. But I love Curry the elephant. To me, it’s like trading a strong side LB that I don’t ever think will be overly special for a guy I can see making Pro Bowls. That’s a damn good trade that can be traced to good coaches putting players in the right position to be successful. We shall see…

  27. It’s so nice to have a coach who instills confidence. It’s not just his enthusiasm either. There’s a lot of substance to his interviews, which is so much more effective than the platitudes that Mora was know for while in Seattle. If a coach can’t instill confidence in fans, it’s no wonder that the players stopped believing in him.

    I wonder how much of his appeal is because Mora set the standard for coaching so low after Holmren.

    Also, how much substance did Holmgren provide? I don’t remember him ever discussing “schemes” and analysis like Carroll does.

  28. Dukeshire says:

    Audible – Of course it’s all about winning. In the end, that’s all that matters. My point is that with a totally new staff, front office and what is sure to be significant roster turnover, I’m not going to place a win total expectation on the ’10 season. It’s irrelevant to me. What I’ll be looking for however and will expect to see, are the building blocks and progress toward an extended playoff runs for seasons to come. Will they sustain drives and control the clock on offense? Will the d begin to control what opposing offenses can and cannot do? These sorts of things. This franchise has won 9 games in 2 years, and as Leiweke pointed out, 4 of those have come against the Rams. Carroll and Co. have a lot of work ahead of them. I’m rarely concerned with win totals in the best of times. 13 wins. 9 wins. Whatever. What I expect to see is a team that will defend home field, win division games, beat teams with winning records and win on the road. When they get to the point that those things are being accomplished, the playoffs and championships will follow. The wins are a byproduct.

  29. Dukeshire says:

    “It’s so nice to have a coach who instills confidence.” Very. And I wonder too, if our expectations were lowered to a point where nearly anything would sound good. Ultimately I don’t think so. I really like Carroll’s approach, early on, in any case.

  30. vichawkfan says:

    already PC has a more clear vision and idea about his players than Mora ever did. I’m excited to hear some of the players talk about the changes.

  31. bird_spit says:

    I have not seen this posted. It is a good read on Gibbs. Man–I’d like to see him live up to his legend…

    http://www.seahawks.com/news/articles/article-1/The-Godfather-of-zone-blocking/3206f063-61d3-431b-a5ad-c6127daba76f

  32. I agree completely with BobbyK’s most recent post.
    The Largent/Harden payback was SNF, not MNF. The Seahawks had just 1 MNF game that year, against the Raiders.
    Finally, are we still at the point as Seahawks fans where we need every other team to be bad just to win the division? The attitude should be on how to beat Warner at his best, not hoping he doesn’t come back.

  33. Dukeshire says:

    Bobby – With due respect, this – “The strengths he had in college don’t seem to equate to NFL success. He too often looked lost in coverage and didn’t play as well in space as we expected.” – I really disagree with. He did look lost, I’ve been on record as say that as well, but I do not equate that to a restrictive skill set. I think he was unsure of what he was asked to do. Coaching. This is where Norton Jr. comes in. We will see a world of difference in him, we agree on that, but I believe we’ll see equal improvement in all aspects, not simply rushing to QB. He’ll excel there, no question, but there’s nothing he can’t excel at on the field.

  34. I can see now why Carroll kept Bradley as his DC. A lot of what Carroll said this morning is the same stuff Bradley was saying last summer.

    They tried Curry in an elephant position early last year, and Tapp as well, but since Lofa was injured they spent most of the year trying to teaching Curry to cover which didn’t work out well. Losing Lofa and Leroy to injuries messed with Bradley’s plans last year, but it sounds like Carroll wants Bradley to keep working the same system.

    Getting Lofa healthy, getting Mebane bulked up and back at undertackle, keeping Curry focused on rushing the passer, and get another pass rushing DE and S, and it seems that some combinations of the same defensive system should start paying off.

    The offense is a different story, though. I can’t wait to hear Carroll start talking about watching tape of last year’s offense.

    I predict his first comment will be: “Oh holy mother of god whatthefudge is that?!”

  35. I didn’t see where he was fluid in coverage. I saw stiff hips in space and didn’t like that, but I saw ferocity/explosion in close quarters when he was on the attack. I did not see that when he was attacked and asked to shed blockers (scheme/coaching can correct this). I don’t think coverage will ever be his game, or something he’ll be overly good at. We’ll certainly know more in about in about 8 months who is right on that one. I’m not going to bet on it, because you could very well be right, but for now I’m a bit skeptical of his ability to be overly good in coverage.

  36. Stevos – you’re right. I can’t wait for the offensive analysis either. Once he sees tape of their “performance” I wouldn’t be surprised if the Carroll back to USC rumors start to surface. Lol.

    And for those of you who take posts too seriously, no, I don’t think Carroll will want back in to USC after watching our ’09 offense.

  37. maddog12 says:

    BobbyK what do you mean “stiff hips in space” ? I am not asking to be critical just want to know.

    I know you weren’t talking about geriatric astronauts.

  38. It may be more interesting to hear what Bates has to say about our ’09 offense. Sounds like Carroll is going to defer to him when it comes to that side of the ball.

  39. maddog12 – “Stiff” refers to someone who can’t seem to turn/explode to the left or right (in a backpedal/coverage, as was originally being referred to) or backwards/forwards in space in coverage. As Duke said, some of that is coaching, but, to me, some seems like it should be natural and I didn’t see as much of that from Curry as was supposedly advertised about him (although going forward seemed much more natural). It’s kind of a weird thing. When Michael Boulware was a R and was our nickel LB… I thought that guy was a great coverage LB and very fluid in his hips… When he turned into a SS he looked almost as stiff as a board… I don’t know if I can give you a good enough explanation as you’re looking for… I know what I’m thinking in my head, but having trouble writing it down…

    But when Curry attacked, he looked like an animal, even if he was uncontrolled sometimes (again, coaching/inexperience is/was part of the problem in ’09). Duke may be right about the coaching part, and if he is, the NFC West should really look out with respec to Curry. As it stands right now, I want Curry the elephant to be unleashed and I want to see him rushing 80/20 (20 being coverage). He’ll be a Pro Bowler if he does. I don’t see him being a Pro Bowler otherwise (although he’ll still be improved, as is every NFL player from year 1 – year 2…).

    Audible – Bates will come from the bathroom, he’ll look sick, he will be wiping his mouth off from the stuff that just came out of it, looking pale, and then will explain to Carroll what he saw from our offense in ’09. And when he gets to the part about our offensive line play, he’s going to go to the bathroom again and spend about 15-20 minutes in there and then start crying and begging for all 3 early picks to be on offensive players.

  40. maddog12 says:

    BobbyK- Thank you for your explanation. I can see what you talk about when you see a guy like Rivas backpedal and turn.

    I am looking forward to seeing what these coaches do with the players. I am a little concerned with Bradley still being here and wondering (the obvious) if he was such a good coach and Carroll, as he did earlier with Mitch on KJR, says he sees good things in Tapp, Mebane, Cole, Jackson and Curry how come we didn’t get more pressure?

    In Mitch’s interview… Carroll is talking about being surprised at how high some of his players were drafted? This includes Jackson. Seems to be saying he thinks Jackson was drafted too high and expectations of him were too much. He seems to infer that Jackson is good but not a dominate player and that the Seahawks over reached. Yep I think Carroll can say that again.

  41. Oldbutslow says:

    Your explanation of stiff hips was helpful, Bobby, and I could not help but reflect on how Trufant looked after he came back. He did not seem like the same athlete, which I interpret to mean he was not really healthy. He looked stiff and slow compared to what I have come to expect from him. Perhaps he will be fully recovered by the season.

    As for hopes for the season, I hope that Carroll is still Pete and not Peter.

  42. ObS – I’m sorry but your condition is rigor mortis. Some believe that a sip of the Fountain of Youth would be your cure. I suggest reincarnation or perhaps a brain transplant. On the other hand some mad scientist could use your donor DNA and create many an ObS. Now that is a scary thought!

    How ya been? Leiweke looks to have set us up with a winner of a staff. For a moment as things began to seem muttled I became worried we were in for another TR episode. But now with the finishing touches to the staff complete I would consider the Hawks, GOLDEN. Can’t wait for the new kid genius OC, Bates to show his stuff… you?

  43. “In Mitch’s interview… Carroll is talking about being surprised at how high some of his players were drafted?”

    That little nugget tells us a lot about what we can expect from this year’s draft! I think we actually have some guys on staff who know what the hell they’re doing.

  44. maddog12: “says he sees good things in Tapp, Mebane, Cole, Jackson and Curry how come we didn’t get more pressure?”

    That’s a big batch of questions the whole staff will be working on through the offseason, Maddog. Here’s a few suggestions of answers:

    1) they couldn’t get adequate pressure without adequate coverage. Deep coverage was ok, but losing Trufant hurt badly, Lucas no longer has his speed, and Babs was often not in position. We lost Lofa, who provided great shallow coverage in the middle; Hawthorne lacks those coverage skills. Curry was young and always a step behind in covering the TE. Our pass rushers often got pressure on the QB without getting the sack or causing an inc. Add it all up and the QB was generally able to locate a receiver before our pass rushers could get to him. If a team can’t cover well, they don’t get sacks.

    2) Your list of “Tapp, Mebane, Cole, Jackson and Curry” offers more reasons for the lack of sacks. Tapp is a very good pass rusher but he’s small for the DE position. He’s 6-1 and gets swallowed up by 6-5 OTs. Scouts knew that when he was drafted and Ruskell took a chance on him, but we shouldn’t expect too much. Mebane was moved to the 3 last year to help the pass rush, but he’s a natural 1, or undertackle on this D, and should be moved back. Jackson has been moved around searching for his natural position, which he says is LDE where Kerney started last year. Jackson isn’t really a pass rusher, he’s a stout DE who sticks to his gaps. Curry was a rookie, being taught a lot quickly, and was injured during the final games. He has more pass rush potential than any of the others, and just needs his role established.

    3) The guy missing for your list, Kerney, is the biggest reason we didn’t have pass rush. Bradley was counting on him, yet he’s lost some quickness and is no longer the great pass rusher he was. This team needs to add a DE who is a natural pass rusher. Reed and Tapp are the two young guys on the roster who fit that description, and they are both small for the position. Expect Carroll and Schneider to target a DE over 6-3 tall to compete for the RDE position.

  45. “Losing Lofa and Leroy to injuries messed with Bradley’s plans last year, but it sounds like Carroll wants Bradley to keep working the same system.”

    So . . assuming Lofa is fully healthy and back next year, what happens to Hawthorne? He played too well to sit the bench forever, no? I suppose it’s always great to have depth at LB, guys do get hurt there every year, but will be interesting to see what they do with him.

  46. “Your list of “Tapp, Mebane, Cole, Jackson and Curry” offers more reasons for the lack of sacks. Tapp is a very good pass rusher but he’s small for the DE position. He’s 6-1 and gets swallowed up by 6-5 OTs. Scouts knew that when he was drafted and Ruskell took a chance on him, but we shouldn’t expect too much.”

    I think Mebane gets good push for a DT, and as noted above by others, i’m hopeful that Curry can become a good pass rusher if given the chance/scheme. He’s fast and a beast, so if he gets some technique, I don’t see why he can’t excel there – though of course he has to prove it.

    As to the others – I don’t see it. I don’t think Tapp/Jackson are good enough players to be counted on as pass rushers. Neither of them has shown me the ability to put pressure on the O-Lineman they go against one-on-one. And, I don’t think it’s a size thing – some of the very best pass rushers in the NFL – Freeney, Dumervil, Harrison, Ware, are no bigger than Tapp – it’s just a combination of things, quickness/strength/knack that some guys have (and are very well paid for), and some don’t. It’s why the only time we ever saw pressure from our D last year was in blitz situations (and occasionally from Kerney, who, I agree, is not the player he was – but is still our best pass rushing d-lineman).

  47. chuck_easton says:

    If and that’s a BIG if all the LB’s are healthy I wouldn’t be suprised to see either HIll or Hawthorne being shopped for an offensive body or an extra draft pick or two.

    So, the big question would be did Hawthorne show enough to make Hill expendable or did Hawthorne show enough to make him trade bait?

    Lofa and Curry are the only two LOCKS in the LB core in my estimation.

  48. Hill has a large salary and he’s been injured a lot. Seems unlikely we’ll get much in trade for him. The question is what would we take for Hill or Hawthorne? Is a 3rd rounder too low?

  49. “So, the big question would be did Hawthorne show enough to make Hill expendable or did Hawthorne show enough to make him trade bait?”

    You figure Hawthorne can just slide to the outside from the middle? Maybe so.

    You know, it was a small sample and all, but I thought Wil Herring looked good in the games he played last year too. Obviously, a heckuva lot cheaper than Hill.

  50. Dukeshire says:

    One incentive to trade Hill, aside from Hawthorne, is that in addition to he $6 mill he’s due a $2.5 mil roster bonus. And if a team was able to rework his deal, trading him may become more feasible.

  51. FireRuskellNow says:

    - LoJack was trying to be a ‘flashy pass-rusher’? He’s so worthless that I barely remembered he was on the field at all this season.

    – Aaron Curry is a bust. No pass rushing skills at all, sucks ass at covering players too. So we’re stuck with a criminally overpaid liability at an unimportant position.Thanks for the parting gift, Ruskell!!

    – Speaking of Ruskell failures, remember when he thought Colin Cole was going to somehow beef up our front 7 because he’s a fat ball of crap?

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