Seahawks Insider

Carroll says Hawks better, even though record doesn’t show it

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm with 23 Comments »
January 2, 2012 12:41 pm

Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald was the best player on the field today, and he just took over the game in overtime.

Fitzgerald had two catches for 38 yards in the final drive, including a diving, one-handed catch over the middle that put the Cardinals in field goal range at Seattle’s 24-yard line.

Three plays later, Arizona kicker Jay Feely split the uprights on a 28-yard field goal to give the Cardinals their first victory over the Seahawks in four games.

Fitzgerald finished with nine catches for 149 yards, including a long of 41 yards. Second-year quarterback John Skelton targeted him 18 times.

“He’s just an incredible football player, and he’s as good as you can get in this game,” Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said about Fitzgerald. “I just marvel at the things that he does. And he’s done it before, and he did it again.”

Once again, Seattle’s offense struggled to execute in critical moments of the game. The Seahawks finished 3 of 16 (19 percent) on third downs, and 0 of 4 in the red zone.

Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson bears the brunt of that poor effort. Jackson finished 21 of 35 for 222 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also threw a pass in the red zone that should have been picked off by Arizona linebacker Daryl Washington.

Jackson didn’t get a lot of help from his young receivers, who dropped balls that would have resulted in first downs.

But overall, he needs to play better for this team to have a chance to make the playoffs next season.

“We just have to execute,” Jackson said. “Regardless of whatever the coach calls, we got to be able to put the bal in the end zone. … Touchdown or check down is our motto as far as getting into the red zone, but we’ve got to do a better job of scoring touchdowns.”

Even though the Seahawks finished with their fourth straight losing season at 7-9, and an identical record as last season, Carroll feels much better about where this team is at compared to last year’s playoff team.

“Without question we’re different,” Carroll said. “We’re way different than we were last time. We had a couple games in the end of the year that got us a lot of excitement, and a lot of fun. And we’re proud of all that.

“But the way we’re playing right now, and the margins that we’re dealing with right now are so much closer, and we’re so much more effective. And I mean double-digit losses last year were silly and embarrassing, and that’s not the kind of team we are. When we get beat, we’re getting beat close, and we’re right in it with a chance to win – with opportunities on both sides of the football to finish games in four, five or six games this year.

“You don’t think of it that way, but if that turns, and we were more effective at the end – stopping them that last time on defense or making the drive that wins the football game – this season is a really good football season, and we would have done really well.”

Draft order: Props to Danny O’Neil of the Seattle times for figuring this out. The Seattle Seahawks will select No. 11 or No. 12 in the upcoming draft, based on a coin flip with the Kansas City Chiefs, who also finished at 7-9. The two teams finished with the same opponent’s winning percentage of .512, which is used as a tiebreaker in slotting teams for the draft.

2012 Season opponents: With the completion of the regular season, Seattle’s schedule is set for 2012. Along with playing NFC West divisional games at home and on the road against Arizona, San Francisco and St. Louis, the Seahawks will travel to Detroit, Chicago, Miami, Buffalo and Carolina. The Seahawks will host Minnesota, Green Bay, the New York Jets, New England and Philadelphia Dallas.

Lockette takes off, Part 2: Rookie Ricardo Lockette made another big play in his second straight game. His 61-yard, one-handed grab against Arizona cornerback Marshay Green was just as spectacular, tying the game at 20-all, and would have went down as the turning point of the game if Seattle had managed to get into field goal range in the final two drives of regulation.

Lockette, who had a 44-yard reception against San Francisco last week, said his play the last two games has given him confidence he can be a regular contributor in his second season.

Lockette is averaging 52.5 yards a catch, which may be tough to live up to next season.

“I plan on blowing that out of the water,” Lockette said of his performance that last, two weeks. “I have high expectations. I think I have greatness in the future.”

Game coverage
Leave a comment Comments → 23
  1. Time for John Schneider to sign a guy that he had a hand in drafting (Matt Flynn). I remember the Green Bay staff and front office surprised that Flynn (7th round) outperformed their 2nd round pick (Brohm) for the back-up job to Rogers. It was exciting that Flynn was that good, but had to have been disappointing that Brohm wasn’t what they thought they were getting either. One thing I will say about this Matt Flynn stuff is that if Schneider chooses not to go after him, I won’t put up a fuss (even though we know Mr. Happy calls a majority of the shots). He knows more than any of us even though I’ve had my heart set on Flynn since the day Matt landed in Tennessee and we signed T-Jack.

  2. nidhighe says:

    I agree with Carroll. This year’s 7-9 team was better than last year’s.

  3. Soggybuc says:

    Like i said in the chat Bobby this FO already has a plan and know’s if or just how much they will spend on him if that is part of the plan.
    I think they will be very interested up to a certain $ amount, worst thing about his play today was that it might have moved the numbers out of what we will spend.

  4. I agree that there’s always a limit to what you should spend (I wouldn’t trade double-digit 1st round picks for Luck) but getting a guy like Flynn would be so much better than drafting any rookie not named Luck.

    There’s already NFL game film on him, granted it’s not much. But I’d rather take my chances on him than a rookie (not named…).

    Instead of a wide-eyed rookie, we’d have a guy who has played in the NFL for four years behind one of the best QBs in the league (not to mention been having been through preparations to play in a Super Bowl). Those are they type of intangibles that you can’t will to someone.

    I like a healthy Sidney Rice more than I like Greg Jennings (who Flynn didn’t have today). Baldwin and Nelson do different things, but I think Baldwin can hold his own. If Finley is better than Zach Miller, it’s not by much. Just because Rogers throws to all kinds of receivers doesn’t mean that all of those other guys are overly good (Driver is on his last legs). We all know darn well that some of our guys would look a lot better with Rogers throwing to them, too, as opposed to T-Jack. Nobody can tell me a Packer RB is better than Lynch. With a healthy Okung and Tom Cable coaching our line, I wouldn’t take the Packer OL moving forward either. There’s absolutely NO reason the Seahawks offense can’t be explosive with a legit QB.

    Flynn has also spent the last 4 years in a pretty similar WCO than what the Seahawks run. It’s not like he’d have to learn a whole new system!

    I tried doing a drive-by-drive update on the blog today but found out that you pretty much can’t post too much in a short period of time of you won’t be able to write anything. In a nutshell, I thought Flynn started off a bit so-so and kept getting better as the game went along. He looked comfortable and like a stud in the 2nd half (when I couldn’t write anything, lol). He’s certainly not going to (probably) throw for almost 500 yards again or throw for 6 TDs but I think he should have opened enough eyes without the Packers playing 4 of its best offensive players and 2 defensive players.

    Now, he did make a couple of “gun slinger” throws that didn’t turn into picks and he’s certainly not a finished product (I don’t know of any QB that would be with 2 career starts).

    For those of you who want to see him play, I’m about 99% that NFLN will replay it this week as one of the top four best/exciting games of the week. Granted, it’s only 1 week and it’s not like the Lions had extensive film on HIM and strengths/weaknesses, etc. but, still, it was a pretty nice performance.

    Signing Flynn would also allow us to keep our 1st round pick and focus on drafting (or trading up for) the best available pass rusher. How often can you can solidify a position as important as QB without having to give up a player or draft picks?

    I like a guy like Tannenhill, but in that scenario I don’t see us truly having a real chance with a quality QB until 2014. Next year T-Jack would “lead” us to whatever kind of record that Lynch and the defense can lead them to (9-7?). And then in 2013 Tannenhill would go through the normal rookie growing pains and he wouldn’t be ready to truly lead the team, IMO, until approx. 2014. I don’t want to wait 3 more years to have a legit QB, I don’t know about any of you.

  5. HawkfaninMT says:

    I am on BKs Flynn bandwagon…

    Sign him up, draft Jeffery and Whitney Mercilus and I will be happy 12

  6. Lastly, Flynn took his team downfield with just over 2 minutes left in the game and scored a TD in just over a minute. We certainly didn’t see that this year (although we needed someone who could do that).

  7. edstang45 says:

    I’m on BK’s Flynn Bandwagon also, TJ would make a decent back up and would leave the draft for other needs as in A pass rush DE and middle linebacker, …defense defense defense

  8. edstang45 says:

    we’d have had 3 more wins if the defense could stop final drives and put up a consistant pass rush

  9. Seahawks2620 says:

    I wouldn’t mind going after Cliff Avril in free agency. Could be nice having Clemons and Avril at end on 3rd down.

  10. We’ll have to see what price tag is attached to Matt Flynn. Saying sign him is one thing, but for how much is another. What price is too high?

    I believe we need another QB, even though TJack will take another step up and be better next year. His WRs will be better next year too. But we need a QB to groom.

    Meanwhile we need to re-sign:
    Lynch, Bryant, and Hawthorne, and maybe consider bring Carlson back. That will cost $. Then there a few intriguing FAs out there (Mario Williams, anyone?)

    And if they can trade down and still draft a player like Ryan Tannehill, they might feel they’re coming out ahead. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how much Schneider and Carroll really like Flynn for their system.

  11. Does Carroll really have confidence in Darrell Bevell as offensive coordinator? Bevell had spent his entire coaching career in the league under offensive-minded coaches before coming to Seattle. He has never developed young quarterbacks. His quarterbacks over the decade are, “past prime” Favre at GB, QB carousel & “unretired” Favre at MIN.

  12. Stevos, I don’t think you will see TJACK get much better if at all next year. His issues aren’t related to his WR (totally) he is a WYSIWYG guy

    He holds the ball too long
    Only reads half the field.
    NO pocket Presence
    and cant move to save his life

    I have no idea why he is considered moble. Skelton who is bigger and slower got in and out of the pocket far more fluid than Jackson today and that has been an issue all year. He has scrambled into pressure soooo many times this year or waits until it is too late and can’t go anywhere

  13. The12thMan says:

    So here’s a little perspective on how this team has improved from last year: last year our defense finished the season ranked 27th in the NFL at yards allowed, and 25th in the NFL at average points allowed per game. This year our defense finished the season 9th in the NFL at yards allowed and 7th in the NFL at average points allowed per game. Pretty damn significant improvement especially considering that our defense was exhausted towards the end of almost every game since our TJack led offense was horrible at time of possession in almost every game.

  14. The12thMan says:

    I am also on the Matt Flynn bandwagon big time even though I admit I haven’t seen him play at all except for highlights from today’s game. So Flynn has had 3 NFL starts, 2 last year and 1 this year. In his first start he pretty much sucked against Detroit, not too surprising for a first start ever in the NFL. However, just one week later he almost leads the Pack to a win on the road vs. the Patriots by throwing for 251 yards with 3 TDs and 1 int, for a QB rating of 100.2. Not too bad for his 2nd NFL start EVER. And then Sunday vs. a Detroit team that wanted a win desperately, in his 3rd NFL start EVER, against a decent pass defense, and in cold and windy conditions, he simply breaks the Packer franchise record by throwing for 480 yards, 6 TD’s, and just 1 int. Put this in perspective people: in his 3rd NFL start EVER, Matt Flynn had the best game that any Packer QB has ever had (and there have obviously been some great ones) in almost 100 years of football history (the Packers formed in 1919).

    Just adding to the impressive stats were Flynn’s 70.5 completion percentage, his 10.9 yards per completion average, and his 136.4 overall QB rating. As BobbyK pointed out, Flynn also pulled a dramatic come-from-behind win in the last minutes, and again, this was against a team that very badly wanted to win while the Packers really had nothing to play for as far as playoff standings. As Bobby also hinted towards, Tarvaris couldn’t pull off even one come-from-behind victory all season. In my opinion Jackson’s complete futility in the clutch lost us the VERY winnable games against the Falcons, Redskins, 49ers and this last one against the Cardinals. It would be very hard to convince me that any above average QB wouldn’t have us finishing the season at 11-5 or even better.

    So let’s roll out the red carpet for Flynn this off-season. The Hawks have been pretty good at signing some of the top free agents available the last several years (Rice, Zach Miller, ‘Who’s Your Mamma’, etc.) Give Flynn the V.I.P., seaplane, VMAC, seafood dinner treatment. Have Marshawn resigned before he comes so he knows the run game is set. Sell him on our stable of young, talented receivers. Sell him on our young and talented OL, with the mad genius Dr. Cable molding them into a solid fortress of protection. With all of the financially shrewd (and sometimes painful) cuts and trades Carrol and Schneider have done, the Hawks have to have a lot of cap room to sign this guy. And finally, when they bring Flynn in on that seaplane lets all cross our fingers for a sunny, clear, and beautiful Seattle day!!

  15. GeorgiaHawk says:

    So the In for Flynn campaign has now started. Six tds in one game! Very impressive. Isn’t that about half the total of Jacksons tds for the whole year?
    Heck, we would be in the playoffs right now if we had a qb that could average two tds a game.
    And being able to lead your team down the field with the game on the line is a must for any team to be successful, imo.

  16. I side with chuckeaston in not liking the phrase: “Just pay the man.” However, we really need to be willing to go above/beyond in this scenario (if Schneider okays it – he’s the Yoda of knowing about Flynn, as he helped draft him and saw him develop for the first two years of his career while he was still in Green Bay) because it’s a unique scenario of only having to give up money (again, no draft picks) in solidifying a position as important as this. Obviously, you don’t pay the man like he’s Manning, Brady, or whatever Brees is going to make, but if you have to overpay the market value that you think he’s worth, you do it. I know you have to be as careful as possible with finances, but every once in awhile you need to open the pocketbook. I think we have a real shot with Flynn and it jacks me up, as I have no faith in this team moving forward without a real QB. He’s familiar w/the system, there’s offensive talent to work with, etc. I’m not content with going 9-7 or 10-6 and making the play-offs and then getting outdueled by a Brees or Rogers (or even Ryan/Eli or newbie like Newton moving forward – I never would have guessed that) when their QB makes plays late in the game and ours doesn’t.

  17. mojjonation says:

    WooHoo. We can take credit for being the best 7-9 team. Big deal. Here’s a hint for next year when playing the cards: Bracket cover Larry Fitzgerald. 18 targets? You have got to be kidding me. Nearly half of his attempts went to Fitzgerald. Hello? I think something could have been done about that.

    What can be said about TJ that hasn’t already been said 1000 times? I am not on the Flynn bandwagon. One gigantic game when both teams were already in the playoffs and pretty much set at their playoff position really means nothing. It seemed more along the lines of a stat padding game where the defenses didn’t bother to show up.

  18. 12thFan – Actually, he didn’t start that Detroit game. He came in after Rogers got hurt. The Patriot game was his 1st NFL start and yesterday was the 2nd. And only 26 years old.

    If anyone wants to watch the game, I see that NFLN is replaying it tomorrownight.

    Eric – Any way to get a comment from Mr. Happy about the progress of Thurmond in his rehab, what they know of Moffitt, how Carpenter is doing, did Sidney Rice have any work done on that shoulder (since the concussions forced him to IR early), will Dexter Davis be 100% for off-season workouts, and things like that. Thanks.

  19. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Could Green bay franchise Flynn and force a trade?

  20. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    it is real funny listening to everyone. Flynn looked ok put up monster numbers but his passes were’nt that great on a lot of those passes. the first td pass he almost hits the receiver in the back with a wobbly pass. don’t forget this was detroits secondary he thru against. several passes were underthrown. i am not saying he wouldnt be a huge improvement over Tj because he would, he isnt the second comming of brady manning or rogers thou.
    this game rests solely on Tj for the loss, 2 reasons. 1. 5 times i counted he had receivers open down the sidelines and missed the throws. atleast 3 of which would most likely led to points. you have to hit atleast some of those throws to win these close games.
    2.for every game he looks good there is one he looks terrible. bad throws, bad dicision making and horrible vision. blame Obo all you want most drops were Tj’s fault with bad throws. mike williams production dropped off in large part do to Tj not looking his way.

  21. Georgia – If Flynn signs for a big payday, they will get a higher comp pick in ’13 (potentially a 3rd rounder, depending on the contract numbers). If they franchised Flynn, they would have to guarantee him around $20 million for 2012 (I don’t know the exact number for a top 5 QB) and with Rogers making less than $10 million I don’t think that would sit too well. I think that would open a whole new can of worms that I don’t know they would be willing to open. Could happen although I don’t think it will (unless Rogers gets hurt in the play-offs and Flynn leads them to the Super Bowl).

  22. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Thanks for the info BobbyK. It will be interesting to see what will happen and how many teams will pursue Flynn.
    The Redskins come to mind as a team that would give us a run for our money just because of their past history of signing free agents to huge contracts.

  23. xcman – I completely agree with you that TJack holds the ball too long, takes too long to read the field, and has poor movement skills in the pocket.

    That said, those are all things that QBs improve upon. Its the job of his QB Coach to work with him through next year’s OTAs and training camp to improve him. There was no offseason program last year, so TJack walked into preseason with only Vikings coaching behind him, and almost no live play during 2008-09. Smith and Bevell had no chance to work on skills development with their players. This hurt the development of all our QBs.

    We saw Tjack improve on his reads throughout the season. Re-watch the games and its clear that late in the season he was reading defenses and picking his spots far better than early in the year. Trouble is, late in the season he had no WRs other than Doug Baldwin. That’s at least part of the reason he was standing around waiting a lot for guys like Golden Tate to get open and that wasn’t happening. If Sydney Rice had been on the field in the final weeks, I believe TJack and Rice would have beaten the 49ers and the Cardinals.

    Now he needs to improve his footwork, awareness in the pocket, and reading D – and these are all things that are coached. Maybe he’ll succeed or fail, but I think TJack, Smith, and Bevell all deserve the chance to show what their offseason program is for.

    Also, TJack’s chemistry with all his WRs is something they’ll be working on together this offseason. Lockette, in a recent interview, said that all the younger WRs have committed to going to wherever TJack is this offseason to work out with him before OTAs begin.

    Not saying TJack will turn into Aaron Rogers, he won’t. But he’s on the verge of becoming better than he ever was in MInnesota. Plenty of QBs have improved skills throughout their careers when they are in a good program, and TJack now is.

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