Seahawks Insider

Rang on draft: Hawks still need dynamic edge rusher

Post by Eric Williams on April 26, 2010 at 11:53 am with 93 Comments »
April 26, 2010 12:28 pm

Rang gives Hawks high marks on draft

Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.con, joined the chorus of national media and draft analysts praising Seattle’s performance in the draft over the weekend.

Rang gave Seattle an A grade in his draft evaluation of NFL teams.

I had a chance to talk to Rang minutes after the draft to get his assessment on Seattle’s haul, and here is what he had to say.

“When you look at that roster there were a lot of holes,” Rang said. “I still believe that there is a need for a dynamic pass rusher. But otherwise I think that they solidified their roster in all those different, other holes.

“Left tackle certainly had to be the primary need, and they checked that off. And positions like safety, wide receiver, return specialist they filled, and running backs they got addressed through trades. Really, if you had a check list, then you pretty much can put a check mark next to all of those positions.”

Rang said he wasn’t surprised that the Seahawks passed on selecting a dynamic edge rusher because there was dearth of talent at that position.

“If you were going to invest in one, then you better get him early because that was one of the weaker positions in the draft,” Rang said. “And I think the Seahawks just made a decision and said, ‘You know what, we’re not going to reach for a pass rusher just because we need to fill that need. Let’s just get some better football players to fill our other positions of concern.’ And I think that was one of their focuses, and I thought they pulled it off rather well.”

Rang said Seattle’s move to get LenDale White and Leon Washington shows that both head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider mean what they say about encouraging competition.

“There was a belief, at least in my mind last year that when they had the running backs they had it was ‘just’ Julius Jones or it was ‘just’ Justin Forsett,” Rang said. “There wasn’t anybody pushing them, and you were going off just their ability. Now someone is going to earn those spots. And I think that is going to push those players. I think Julius Jones is a better player when he’s pushed.”

Of the players drafted by Seattle on the second and third days, Rang believes that North Carolina defensive end E.J. Wilson has the potential to be the best of the bunch.

“He’s very physical at the point of attack,” Rang said. “He’s not going to produce a great deal of sacks, that’s not his game. But at the same time, for what the Seahawks are trying to build on this team, I think that he makes the most sense. So I think he’s going to be the best player, you just aren’t necessarily going to see that in terms of production.”

Here’s a pretty good interview with Wilson, where he talks about his sneaker obbession.

Rang went on to say that he like Virginia Tech safety Kam Chancellor’s ability to come up against the run and be a physical presence.

“He’s a guy that needed a playmaker, needed someone with speed and pure coverage ability behind him,” Rang said. “So when you put Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor together, then it makes a lot of sense.

“In Kam Chancellor you’re getting a player who is certainly a poor man’s version of Taylor Mays – a similar player in terms of size and being a big, physical guy in the middle. But you got him at so much better value later on that it allowed you to address other concerns early on.”

Finally, Rang said he was a little surprised Seattle only drafted one offensive lineman, albeit an important one in left tackle Russell Okung.

“I’m a little surprised by that,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Seattle is really hitting offensive linemen hard in free agency. But you could see from about that fifth round on that most of the top offensive linemen were going off the board.

“One of the players who I was really high on and thought would be a real nice fit for them was Selvish Capers from West Virginia. And I’ve actually spoken to some other teams, and I’m not exactly sure what happened to him but some teams were pulling him off the board. And that’s one of the reasons he slipped as far as he did. So there was the run on offensive linemen, and once they were gone I think the drop was so much that they are going to have to address those concerns in free agency.”

Leave a comment Comments → 93
  1. Not seeing the Wilson interview link. Just a blank spot in the post.

  2. Ian Swenson says:

    TNT Web guy here:

    hawkdawg, the video should be fixed now.

  3. kurtthekraut says:

    “So I think he’s going to be the best player, you just aren’t necessarily going to see that in terms of production.”

    I really like Rob Rang’s insights,..however this quote concerning the DE we selected in EJ Wilson is very confusing. Is it just me? Or is ” Terms Of Production ” the only terms that freaking matter? Can someone help me with this one. Perhaps im just reading this wrong.

  4. kurtthekraut says:

    Of the players drafted by Seattle on the second and third days, Rang believes that North Carolina defensive end E.J. Wilson has the potential to be the best of the bunch.

    “He’s very physical at the point of attack,” Rang said. “He’s not going to produce a great deal of sacks, that’s not his game. But at the same time, for what the Seahawks are trying to build on this team, I think that he makes the most sense. So I think he’s going to be the best player, you just aren’t necessarily going to see that in terms of production.”

    I apologize,..i should have posted the entire quote. Am i trippin or does this make no sense?

  5. JMSeaTown says:

    adalius thomas?.. don’t really know if he’s washed up or if he just needs to be motivated again. i think it’s his 10th or 11th year in the league.. it’d be nice to get him for a year or 2 and see what he can do not being an every down player

  6. chuck_easton says:

    Eric,

    By my count the team has 90 players on the roster. While that includes

    Walter Jones (likely to retire)
    Lawyer Milloy ( UFA)
    Justin Griffith (UFA)

    that is still 87. Isn’t the team limited to 80 players even during the off season?

    Do the players from last year’s IR (Tatupu and others who may be injured) not count against the 80?

    Are there cuts coming this week?

    Just a few questions here.

  7. guywhothinksheknowsitall says:

    kurtthekraut,

    I think what Rob is saying is that maybe Wilson is going to be the type of player that eats offensive lineman for breakfast, allowing the linebackers behind him to make plays.

  8. ballgame says:

    Chuck, I think you are right about the 80 player limit, however none of the draft picks count against the roster limit until they are signed, so as they start signing you will see some players waived.

  9. The12thMan says:

    guywhothinksheknowsitall says:
    April 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    kurtthekraut,

    I think what Rob is saying is that maybe Wilson is going to be the type of player that eats offensive lineman for breakfast, allowing the linebackers behind him to make plays.

    Yes I agree, I think by production Rang is referring to sacks and stats that jump out at you. So he could be a Brandon Mebane type where you don’t often see his value unless you watch the trenches closely.

  10. kurtthekraut says:

    I agree,…and i was being picky I guess,…but to me eating up lineman, is considered production. In terms of ” Stats ” would have been a better way to phrase it.

  11. kurtthekraut says:

    Thanks gentlemen.

  12. Yahoo rumors is stating that the Hawks are actively trying to trade J Jones.

  13. Leonard Marshall was a guy like that for the Giants in the late 80s/early 90s. He was good, but you didn’t see him on the highlights. He did the dirty work so L.T., Banks, Carson, etc. could be put in better position to be successful. Those great Giant LBs wouldn’t have looked so great if it weren’t for the DL up front gobbling up so many blockers (Jim Burt is the NT that comes to mind).

  14. I don’t care what they do with JJ, I just want him gone. I don’t think I can sit and watch him for a 3rd straight year. If they can pull a trade off envolving him, I would take everything back I ever said about Pete Carrol (almost).

  15. Everything bad

  16. The12thMan says:

    For me it was interesting to read Rob’s take on EJ Wilson here because this pick (along with the Dexter Davis pick) really had me really scratching my head.

    With the Hawks taking Wilson (a big, slow, run stuffing DE) and then Dexter Davis (a very small, pass rushing DE, see Nick Reed’s clone) makes me think that maybe they are planning on doing major rotation at the DL. For example, on 1st and 2nd downs (and any obvious running downs) the line would be EJ Wilson, Mebane, Cole, LoJack. And on obvious passing downs it will be something like Dexter Davis, Mebane, Terrill?, and Nick Reed.

    I don’t know, just a thought but the Wilson and Davis picks really have me wondering. Or maybe they are planning to move to a 3-4 in 2011 and took these two picks in preparation for that. Wilson really seems like a 3-4 DE to me and Davis a 3-4 rushing LB.

    By the way I am still trying to catch up on everything that has been posted during and after the draft. Like everyone else I absolutely loved the draft and couldn’t believe how many holes we were able to fill with great talent. It felt like the best Christmas ever! When Golden Tate fell to us at #60 that’s when I really knew the draft gods were smiling on our Seahawks this year.

  17. What about John Henderson (released today) – worth a look?

    Who’s the starter at DT next to Mebane as we currently stand?

  18. Norwester4life says:

    What about Rob Rose? I thought I saw Seattle picked him up as a UFA. He showed promise at Ohio State but fell out of favor, not sure if it was academics or something else. He may be the answer as a pass rusher.

  19. Still haven’t found much of substance on Jacob Philllips, our FA OT from Belhaven….

    Here’s one note: Phillips should have been at TE at Live Oak, but had a stubborn coach trying to promote his own son at TE and refused to give Jacob a chance, even though Jacob had better blocking skills, more athleticism, more speed and better hands. Jr year, they had Jacob at Center and he was too tall and always had guys falling into his legs. Had the coach helped Jacob, he could have gone D-II or to a D-IAA school in LA, but no help and then the coached quit that spring and a new guy arrived. Five kids in that 2006 class got a taste of college football, but not the coach’s kid.

    See: http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/messagetopic.asp?p=19089508&pg=1

  20. Chuck_Easton: That is correct. Guys like Lawyer Milloy and Justin Griffith are not officially on the 80-man roster because they have not signed with the team, but by their listing on the team’s web site I would believe there is a strong consideration that they would return for training camp.

    kurtthekraut: I think your question has been answered by others, but yes Rob meant that Wilson isn’t exactly going to fill up the stat sheet but will be a productive player who affects the game in a positive way.

  21. Dukeshire says:

    pdway – Cole / Bryant.

  22. Regarding JJ:…..

    I’m expecting if anyone really wants him, they must know that all they have to do is wait it out… He won’t make the Hawks final roster if there are no injuries…..

    Looks like we will need to be prepared to see him in preseason….

  23. Dukeshire says:

    Regarding Wilson; I don’t think Carroll expects anything more of the LDE (generally strong side) than to be stout against the run and hold the point of attack. These are Wilson’s strengths and in the spirit of competition, he’s here to push Jackson. That’s not a position that he expects (I wouldn’t think) to produce a lot of sacks, that’s going to be Curry’s role (in part) on that side. The under scheme overloads the weak side and that’s where a pass rushing DE is expected to be more productive. The strong side players (Jackson, Cole, Curry now Wilson) have to be dominant vs the run or teams will kill them on that side. Like Bobby said, it’s not a flashy role but absolutely necessary in order for this D to function.

  24. All I know is the 2010 Opening Day Seahwaks team is going to be drastically different from the 2009 team. Hopefully that translates into more wins. The front office answered a lot of questions this past weekend on how they are going to run this team. Also, I like how they almost washed the Whitehurst trade with the selection of Golden Tate. I said almost because we lose a third next year. When Fozzy Bear (Holmgren) traded up in the 2nd I thought he would take Tate for sure, and then he couged it as usual. Good ol’ Holmie is going to set the Brown’s back 10 years and many, many, millions of dollars.

    Dukeshire- When does the rookie mini camp start?

  25. Dukeshire says:

    rollo73 – Ask and you shall receive…

    May 1-3 (rookie, voluntary minicamp); May 5-7, May 18-19, May 21, May 27-28, June 1-2, June 4, June 8 (OTAs); June 10-12 (mandatory minicamp)

  26. Got it before me, Duke!!!

    Bing didn’t have it… Google did…;-)

  27. “pdway – Cole / Bryant”

    I guess I kind of forgot about Cole – what’s the opinion on his level of play last year? Decent, subpar? I know I didn’t notice him too too much in the games – though for the most part (the 1st SF game obviously a glaring exception) our defense was pretty good against the run last year.

  28. Dukeshire says:

    I would say decent but certainly not exceptional. He’s stout against the run for the most part, although for a plugger he gets pushed back more than one would expect. He offers next to nothing in the way of penetration or pass rush. I believe he’s at worst serviceable with a chance to be solid, but at 30 years old I think we may have seen the best he has to offer. Let’s see what Carroll can get out of him.

  29. The12thMan says:

    “These are Wilson’s strengths and in the spirit of competition, he’s here to push Jackson.”

    You could certainly be right that they only envision Wilson to backup LoJack and maybe eventually replace him. If that is the case though, who are they expecting to start at RDE, Chris Clemons?? I would hope Clemons will only be brought in on passing downs.

    By the way Duke, I am just over the river from you in Vancouver. I didn’t respond to your invite for Portland area folk to get together for the draft because I had plans those nights. But I would love it if we could organize several of us to meet up and watch a Hawks’ game together in Portland sometime.

  30. The12thMan says:

    Eric,

    First off thank you very much for your excellent draft coverage over the last several weeks. I especially loved the piece on the Seahawks’ scouts and what they liked about each draft pick.

    I’m wondering if you might be able to use your superhero-like media powers to get either PC or JS (or both) to give us some insight on why they decided on each player (just the ones in the 4th round and later) and what roles they see each player fitting. It would also be great to hear from Alex Gibbs on the UDFA linemen that were picked up. If none of that is possible then an updated depth chart including all the draft picks would be 2nd best. Thanks for anything you can do on this.

  31. RDE definitely is the mystery position at this point. Training camp should tell us a lot, but it seems hard to project right now how that will shake out.

    We have Reed, Clemons, and Henderson all capable of lining up at RDE, or standing up in the ‘elephant’ position. Carroll has talked about keeping Curry over at strong side OLB, but it seems likely that he would want to take advantage of Curry’s pas-rush ability by having Aaron jumping over to the weak side to play the elephant on passing downs.

    Its hard to see how this well play out yet, because its a little hard for me to imagine Reed or Clemons being the starter there.

  32. Dukeshire says:

    The12thMan – Absolutely, I’d be down for watching a game this season. That would be awesome. As the season gets closer we will set something up. Week 2 on the road vs Denver is a great place to start.

    I didn’t mean to imply Wilson will only be a back up. By pushing Jackson I meant that the player who plays best starts. But Jackson is the incumbent and Wilson is here to take his job, if he can (along with Rose, Henderson). The whole Carroll competition mantra.

    RDE? Clemons, Davis, Foley, Reed and pray for rain.

  33. Dukeshire says:

    Stevo is right of course, Henderson RDE.

  34. The12thMan says:

    Week 2 would be perfect Duke!

    I totally got what you were saying about Wilson competing with Jackson at LDE. I just hadn’t considered that for some reason when we drafted him. I don’t know why but I was only thinking of him playing RDE on running downs, although it also crossed my mind that maybe the FO was actually thinking he could transition to a 3-tech DT. That might sound crazy but from what I’ve read (I’ve never seen him play) he does have some pass rush but it’s a power rush. He obviously doesn’t have the kind of speed that a DE needs to get around the edge. But maybe he has enough speed and power to be able to get penetration from the DT position? Anyway I’m sure you are right and they are only thinking LDE, it would just be nice to know for sure.

  35. Dukeshire says:

    He’s big enough to play the 3-tech situationally, that’s for sure. Of course I’m projecting as well, kind of a best guess scenario. Until the camps begin and we get to see what the staff has in mind for everyone it’s hard to know for sure. It could be like a Kam Chansellor situation; played one position in college (FS) but they project him to play SS for them. Perhaps they see versatility in Wilson beyond LDE. This is a great time, watching the pieces being added and then see how they intend to use them. It’s hard to be patient though, lol.

  36. I have a different perspective on the lineman.

    When Carroll was asked about the position he planned for EJ Wilson he said 5-technique. He said EJ would compete at the same position as Lawrence Jackson. Before everyone jumps to a 3-4 defense, stay with me for a minute. As we know the 5-technique is a defensive end in a 3-4 defense.

    Pete has also referred to a 3-technique, and 1-technique or nose tackle. He is also planning for an elephant, a defensive lineman by position, but a lighter player who will be a roving pass rusher. Our front four consists of: 5-technique, 3-technique, nose tackle, and elephant. That is the alignment that was run in the last minicamp.

    Fit the players into those positions. EJ Wilson is a 5-technique along with Jackson. They may try Mebane at 5-technique in a heavy lineup. Cole and Mebane may compete at nose tackle, it will be interesting to see whether Pete likes Mebane as a 3-technique or whether he will move Mebane back to nose tackle. Kevin Vickerson may be a 5-technique or 3-technique, I don’t know enough about him to guess at his position.

    The starting elephant is Chris Clemons at this point, Dexter Davis will compete at that spot. I think Aaron Curry may be an awesome at elephant, give him a running start at the line of scrimmage and let him pick his hole, it could be fun.

  37. The12thMan says:

    “When Carroll was asked about the position he planned for EJ Wilson he said 5-technique. He said EJ would compete at the same position as Lawrence Jackson”

    Thank you Tompage, that is pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Do you remember where you read this?

    Also, do you (or anyone else) know how often the “elephant” will be in play? Only on obvious passing downs, every down, sporadically, etc? If Curry does play the elephant on occasion do I assume correctly that a backup will come in to take his spot so that there will still be 3 backers?

  38. The12theMan, you ask very good questions. The source is the press conference that Pete Carroll, John Schneider held after the draft. The press conference was broadcast over the internet. We could not hear the questions very well, but we could hear the answers very clearly. That is where I heard Pete Carroll say that EJ Wilson was going to play the 5-technique.

    I don’t know whether they played this lineup in the last minicamp due to a lack of depth at the defensive end position or whether we will see the elephant as the base defense. I expect a more natural 4-3 alignment will prevail on first down, but we will see.

    My expectation is when Aaron Curry plays the elephant we will see three other linebackers on the field. We need linebackers to fill in behind Curry when Aaron moves to elephant. Many will say Hawthorne should be in there, we need a linebacker that excels in space. Hawthorne is not that guy. We will see how it plays out.

  39. Dukeshire says:

    Of course we’ll have to wait and see it devolop, but I don’t expect Curry to be in the “elephant” role often, if at all. They seem committed to having him play above the TE, as the SLB. I would expect to see him on the line however. This is why having a capable SS is so crucial in this defense. He has to be able to come up and make the play in the event the SLB gets hooked or can’t shed his blocker. So for all intents and purposes there will be a 5 man front a good portion of the time. Curry (standing), Jackson, Cole, Mebane and Clemons or Reed or whomever standing (elephant).

    I’m excited to see Hawthorne in this defense. The WLB he’ll be required to make plays sideline to sideline and this aggression and pursuit would seem to fit well for him. (I don’t know what to expect out of Hill at this point.)

  40. I have always liked Herring. He plays well in space and I think he’s underrated at the point of attack (not saying he’s great at it though). When Curry is our elephant, I definitely see Herring on the field, because he’s much better in space than the Heater (although, overall, he’s not as good). Most of us have been scratching our heads at the way Hill has been used since his R year and I know a lot of that had to do with his role changing the day we signed Julian Peterson. Perhaps this is the year we use Hill more effectively so he’ll be more of a blitzer too? Of course, this is when he’s A. Not Suspended, B. Not out of the line-up due to injury. As Duke said, this is an exciting time with respect to seeing how it all shakes out. I only hope (for the 738th time) that Curry is our Elephant in obvious pass rushing situations.

  41. Dukeshire says:

    Umm, Bobby, you’re not going to like my previous post. Lol.

  42. snydro81 says:

    You got a job yet, BobbyAyala?

  43. goneshootin says:

    I keep writing it, so you’re probably tired of reading it already.

    But, it’s pretty clear what Carrol’s doing: getting huge DT/DE to engage/take up the OL.

    Then, he’s sending Curry like a missle-shot, just like Lawrence Taylor was used.

    Curry is a freak talent, but was TERRIBLE – TERRIBLE – in space last year. He’s not used to covering guys out of the backfield or TEs and simply isn’t a coverage guy.

    And, he does worse when he has to think or read-and-react.

    I really think the Hawks think they’ll get their pass rush from changing fronts, multiple stunts and bringing different guys from different spots. Not too dissimilar to the Eagles.

    Anyone who watched USC knows the LBs made the bulk of the plays that show up in the stats column even though their DL was often times dominant.

    This is Curry’s year to sink or swim. He’s getting paid either way. But, no one wants to be labeled a bust. And, I think his issues last year had a lot more to do with coaching than ability.

    And even though Bradley is back as DC (because he’s a Monte Kiffin protege), it’ll still be Pete’s defense. Similar to Holmgren and Haskill on offense.

  44. Time will certainly tell but at least there’s reason for optimism in the present.

  45. superduk says:

    Thank you for the excellent info on the “elephant” package TomPage. Those are answers to the questions I was posing prior to the draft in response to folks wanting to draft a DE in the first round.

    I got the impression from what I read that the “elephant” position is in the stand-up position and moves around quite a bit. That might explain the smaller DE’s that they seem to be stockpiling (or the use of Curry).

    Does anyone know of a posting that talks about how much the “elephant” alignment was used while Carroll was at USC?

  46. chuck_easton says:

    Just read the article by Perloff of SI regarding his very early 2011 mock draft.

    Don’t bother. Not only does he have Seattle finishing last in the NFL in 2010 behind even the Rams he then gives us the QB from Arkansas and doesn’t have Locker going until about 11.

  47. Dukeshire says:

    “Just read the article by Perloff of SI regarding his very early 2011 mock draft. Don’t bother…” – No problem there, Chuck.

    To clarify the Curry role in the “elephant”; he’s going to be the Sam in their 4-3 under, not the weak side DE or the “elephant”. Now, if teams want to motion the TE away from him on the strong side to help out an overloaded pass rush coming from the right side, please do. Giving Curry a free release to the QB will would be awesome.

  48. I read that idiot Perloff’s mock just now. What I don’t agree with is that he has the Hawks selecting at #1, which now makes it the 2nd 2011 mockery draft I have read with the Hawks at #1.

    I love how every sports person out there says that the Hawks had (one of) the best drafts of the entire weekend, and filled a lot of needs. Then they turn around and give the Hawks the #1, basically saying we’re going to be the worst team in the NFL. Somehow, I think that pick is going to eithe St. Louis (again) or Buffalo. STL has a weak O line and no receivers, and at BUF they did really nothing to help their team, their GM is a moron.

  49. seahawklovertoo says:

    Mocks,mocks,mocks…. people, they are fun to read as something that proves there are dumber people then ourselves. How many of those idiots got the top 10 picks right in the last draft? How many were right on OT Campbell going top 10,or Clausen etc. NONE ! No need to get worked over some dumb ass’ opinion.
    We might TRADE-UP and pick #1 for all we know. Those people get paid a lot of money to write something-ANYTHING !
    We are the Seahawks’ (somewhat disfunctional) family and the rarest bread in NFL , so if someone in the rest of the US wants to badmouth someone—we are the “safest target”. So what?

  50. Mr Williams-
    I know there’s lotsa questions for you already, but can you (or someone else on the board here) please tell me about the status of the RFA free agents out there? I thought they had to sign their offers before the draft, yet there are free agent lists that are still listing “RFA” free agents (like Vincent Jackson).

  51. seahawklovertoo says:

    I think we have an excellent shot of play-offs and with a little luck go even further… We really need only three players to get us there (barring major injuries
    to our key players and timely and complete recovery to the injured players on our roster like Thurmond) such as : someone like Elvis Dumerville @DE, an extra interior OL and a back-up for Okung (McIntosh again maybe?). I think we have some jewels in rough on the roster as we speak.
    As I spoke before, it was/is more about the quality of the coaching and the FO than the quality of the roster. Mora the Moron and his clowns couldn’t have gotten into the playoffs if he had coached the Saints last season. I believe PC will take us to the play-offs in ’11 and into the SB in ’12 or ’13 .
    It is clear that many other teams had been improved by this draft so, the battle will be fought by the superior coaching and FO, which is our strength (minus Tod Leiweke) .

  52. Dukeshire says:

    klm008 – The deadline for players to sign their tender was midnight the 15th (a week before the draft). Once that passes the team has exclusive negotiation rights. So players that didn’t sign are still RFA but can’t sign with anyone else. They can still sign their tender or negotiate a deal (then get traded potentially).

  53. Thanx Duke!
    Rush DE, interior OL upgrade, and a deep threat ‘x’ WR. Butler is the closest thing we’ve got, but he still seems more like a flanker or slot guy, like Golden Tate(?) Mike Williams?

  54. Duke: RE your comment:

    “To clarify the Curry role in the “elephant; he’s going to be the Sam in their 4-3 under, not the weak side DE or the “elephant”.

    Is that ‘our’ speculation, or has it been firmly noted by PC? I know ‘we’ve’ referenced Curry as the “elephant” many times ( including me), that seems like what we’ve referenced most…. not sure PC specifically said it was the plan…. now you’re saying that isn’t the direction…. I’m confused….

  55. I think it’s a little crazy to think the hawks will be a playoff team, I think that if things keep going the way they are, the following year would be plausable. No shame in wishful thinking, but sometimes you gotta be realistic so you don’t get more frustrated than you should be when things are going the way you hoped they would.

  56. chuck_easton says:

    TruBlu,

    I’m going to agree with you on this one. I’ve decided that I will be thrilled and consider this year a success if the team finishes in the 7 to 8 win range. Anything above that is gravy. If we go 7-9 we won. 8-8 I’ll be doing cartwheels down the street. I’d even accept 6-10 if it was pretty apparent that the team was competative in those 10 losses.

    It’s next year that I see the team getting their collective heads above water and we break into that 9 to 11 win range.

  57. EyeAmBaldman says:

    I thought after seeing the schedule we would be an 8-8 team. I think with where we’ve been the last two years, I’ll take an 8-8 year. We are building for the future so I don’t expect a playoff run this year. I think we’ll be competitive, but not a playoff caliber team.

  58. Dukeshire says:

    IBGoofy – Yes, Carroll has said he’s the SLB. Curry in an interview has stated that Carroll will be moving him back to the strong side, above the TE, where he played at Wake (Curry referred to it as his “natural” position.). And in the volunteer camp last week he was on the strong side. Curry will be used to rush the passer but it doesn’t appear it’s from the “elephant” position. He will be used the way Cushing was used at USC, if that helps clarify. I have never read Carroll say the Curry will play the “elephant” role / position. I think when people read “Curry will rush the passer” or he has the skills to rush the QB or some such, they project him in that role. Curry may play there at some point, youo never know, but for now it is pure speculation.

  59. “To clarify the Curry role in the “elephant; he’s going to be the Sam in their 4-3 under, not the weak side DE or the “elephant”.

    I thought it was indeed the plan to use Curry in this position at times.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/seahawksblog/2011608181_mini_camp_carro.html

  60. bird_spit says:

    chuck_easton –

    The draft was better than expected, but I would consider the season a success if PC can get this team to play to Par outside of our time zone. The seasons win/loss doesnt matter as much as the motivation, and “playing to the echo of the whistle”. It will be fun to watch a younger/hungrier Seahawk team play on Sunday. If some miracle happens and the team competes for the NFC West, then all the better. I predict that the 49ers will win the div, but it sure would be wonderful if the Seahawks defend the home turf and play hard on the road.

  61. Dukeshire says:

    He’s said that “at times will fill that role”. I’m not saying Curry won’t play there, but even O’Neil’s comments are purely speculative. If Curry’s lined up on the strong side and the TE motions right, does that then mean Curry then has become the “elephant”? Again, we’ll have to see all manor of formations and plays to get a true sense of it, but nothing so far that I’ve seen or read has Carroll lining Curry up as a weakside DE.

  62. Dukeshire says:

    That should read; *motions left* (to the defensive right side.)

  63. I couldn’t give a rip where Curry lines up!!

    All I am concerned about is overall results. I don’t care if we have 25 guys with 2 sacks each or 2 guys with 50 each.

    I want our Defense to be able to get off the field!!! How many times have we seen them give up 3rd and long over the last few years. I sit in the stands and cringe every time we line up and defend 3rd and long! We seem to give it up more than we do 3rd and 3 or less. SOOOO frustrating.

    On the offensive side, I want to see consistancy at moving the ball. not series like this 8yds punt, 6yds punt, 9yds punt, 30yds punt, 8yds punt, 50 yrds, Turnover.

    If we can do those 2 things we will be markedly better than the last 2 years.

    We don’t need to force 3 and out every time and we don’t need to score every time to be succesful but we need to be much more consistent with the things we do to help out the team!

  64. Early on PC said his first job was to look at Curry to see where he could be placed to best advantage. He said Curry should be pressuring the QB 80% and cover 20%, not the other way around, then added he was gonna look at Curry playing the elephant role – but that was some time ago.

  65. Just read that Michael David Smith is reporting that we just traded TJ and a future draft pick for Haynesworth. Has anyone heard this? I’m trying to find the link…

  66. Dukeshire says:

    kim008 – You were pretty damn close with the Carroll quote, with exception Carroll didn’t mention the elephant part, good memory –

    ““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.””

    http://blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks/2010/01/22/morning-links-carroll-talks-scheme/

    There is nothing that says Curry cannot rush from the strong side. He’ll certainly be up on the line often enough should they want to bring him. One of the significant weaknesses of the “under” is that it can be vulnerable to the run on the strong side. Curry shed blocks well which will prevent him from getting hooked by the blocker, absolutely necessary for the Sam in this scheme. He seems perfect for this role for what Carroll wants to do.

    And look, I’m not trying to say this won’t happen. All I am saying is that Curry to play RDE is speculation, at this point. If someone here has read Carroll specifically mention Curry there, please post it and straighten me out.

  67. HAYNESWORTH – A hawk or not?

  68. Dukeshire says:

    Audible – The last thing I saw on that front was Shanahan on NFL Network Friday night saying that Haynesworth would not be traded. He seemed pretty straightforward and adamant. But that means very little if a deal was in the works. I haven’t seen anything more.

  69. BobbyK… Interesting possibility…. fits the missing link….

    Being competitive is clearly key on the coaching… If you misplay key players, like Curry last year, you take away some of your advantage…. playing players to their strengths is very key… For example, how our corners were directed to play last year hurt our “D” a lot given the pass rush schemes…. The ‘Mora year’ is something we need to eliminate from our thought process… Though we finished poorly the year before him under Holmy, despite the injuries and very poor backups he was provided, it seemed we were always still competitive… Though I am not a favorite of predictable conservatisim, which is the way I feel he coaches many times…

    Each tidbit I pick up, certainly the draft, I feel more and more reassured that PC and crew will provide us with a direction to make us competitive, not just ‘a direction’…. competitive… I also feel we have a higher player skill level already established than we have been credited for… because of the coaching…. (Schemes, direction, game plans….. they make a mjr difference)

    Nope, I’m many miles from his group, but seeing what I see, is fun…. I’m not in ‘his’ employ… LOL… but….

    It would be hard for anyone to argue the motivation PC has generated at this point… The PC mini camp comments are clear support to this… This is just another key item that makes winners…. Believability…. still early, but it’s like water around a sponge… it gets there and just makes a huge difference….

    We have many athletes here on the blog and apparently a number that have also coached…. I know they understand this…. We’ll have great fun this year….

  70. I’ve been scouring the Internet, including Michael David Smith’s twitter…and can’t find anything to corroborate that. but it looked legit in the blog I was reading.

  71. “I want our Defense to be able to get off the field!!! How many times have we seen them give up 3rd and long over the last few years. I sit in the stands and cringe every time we line up and defend 3rd and long! We seem to give it up more than we do 3rd and 3 or less. SOOOO frustrating”

    So true . .

    I’d love to see a 9-7 season (which will probably have us in the running for the division) – more likely is 7-9, but we’ll see. If they can keep Matt upright and healthy – i think we could have a decent year. I think in many respects that defense was not that terrible last year – and to the O, we’ve added upgrades at LT, LG, and arguably RB and WR. If Hass still has it – we’ll see some wins.

  72. The12thMan says:

    “Thank you for the excellent info on the “elephant” package TomPage.”

    Yes, I second that emotion (love that song). Thanks also to Duke and others for giving a clearer picture on the DL and Wilson’s likely role.

    Some very interesting rumors going around right now that could hugely impact the DL if true.

  73. seahawklovertoo says:

    I don’t get this from some people here : we all agreed to the fact our platers shut out the previous coaching staff and weren’t willing to “give it all” for them. That is why TR , Mora the Moron and most of his coaches got fired, right? We lost almost all the games in the last half of the season , right? Tampa and Tennessee games were games we should have won easily under regular circumstances . Our final record was 5-11 right? So, with a normal effort from the disgruntled players our record could have easily been 7-9. So, without any roster changes/improvements , just from the fact we have new coaches and easier opponents next year we should be 8-8 or better. Now,since we have improved at LT, safeties and WRs wouldn’t that mean we could win extra game or two?
    I don’t think I’m drunk on kool-aide or overly biased. It just makes sense to me
    to be optimistic for the ’10 season.
    I just felt somewhat “fuzzy all over” when I got patronized by some of you. LOL
    Maaaaan, to many distractions around here. Over and out !

  74. “just from the fact we have new coaches and easier opponents next year we should be 8-8 or better. Now,since we have improved at LT, safeties and WRs wouldn’t that mean we could win extra game or two?”

    Well, other teams get better too (SF, STL) – and it’s an open question right now as to what Hass has left. I do think we’ll be better – doesn’t always translate to a ton more wins. But I’m hopeful.

  75. I question whether the Rams got better. Sure, they got better for ’12, but I see them getting even worse in ’10 (if it’s possible). A rookie like Bradford isn’t going to start out by starting the world on fire. They are on the right track by (hopefully for them) getting their franchise QB but that’s not going to mean anything for ’10. If anything, their defense is probably going to lose its best player (Atogwe – even though he missed the last month).

    The Cards have obviously declined, but they have room for error, already being the 2-time divison champs.

    The 49ers seem pretty legit, but don’t forget our horrible Hawks beat them in the later part of ’09. And I believe we improved more than they did this off-season.

    I look at this as a 3-team race.

    Personally, if these crazy Haynesworth-Housh rumors turn out to be true, I believe we’re the best team in the NFC West. I view Housh as a hardworking loudmouth (not always a bad thing) who needs a great player around him to be a better possession WR. He may be a playmaker with respect moving the chains, but he is not a playmaker in the mold of scoring TDs from everywhere on the field (and who puts fear into defenses where they have to alter their game plan). Haynesworth is a great player (albeit sometimes lazy) who makes every player on the defense better and drives offensive coordinators nuts because they know they can’t run on him and their QB is going to get pressure up the gut. Plus, he’s so tall, even when he doesn’t get to the QB, the QB still has his vision altered by looking at that mountain of a man. Personally, I hope this rumor is true, but history has taught me that it most likely isn’t.

  76. SeahawkFan12 says:

    Faneca signs with Arizona. That sucks; I would have liked to have either seen him sign with us or stay out out of the NFC West:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5140938

  77. I see the 9ers winning the division with a 9 – 7 record with the Cards right behind them with an 8 – 8 record. We roll in at 3rd with 5 – 11 or maybe 6 – 10 (competitive in games at least) and the Rams getting to a great 3 – 13 record.

  78. snydro81 says:

    I’m sure everyone has seen this, but just in case..

    http://www.tmz.com/2010/01/11/lendale-white-tennessee-ya-later/

    I have those same boxer-briefs!

  79. Walter Thurmond tore his ACL, MCL and his PCL in a game last season but jumped up, not thinking the injury was serious. That makes me think the tears were very small. My guess is he makes a full recovery.

    I’m not so confident about Leon Washington. The Giants OG Rich Seubert, the Raiders RB Michael Bush and the Jets Musa Smith all had similar injuries and none came back the following season.

  80. Well if Washington doesn’t get healthy to get back then maybe he sits on the IR for a year and then see where it goes from there?

    I am truly hoping that EVERY player gets the chance to earn playing time. I think guys like Forsett will step up IF given a true opportunity.

    I am hoping that given a true chance to EARN a job that it will make the team step up and play better. I am hoping for a 8-8 record but would be content with a 7-9 but competitive team. I am hoping for no stupid brain fart games on the east coast!! If that happens I will be a very happy fan!!

  81. vichawkfan says:

    Haynesworth – Housh….link please.

    Listening to PC on Moving the Chains with Kirwan and Ryan….questioned posed – were they done. Answer was – NO. Working the phones seeing what`s out there. To be continued….

  82. Dukeshire says:

    I too would be surprised if Washington came back 100% this season, but long term he should be okay. Sando had a good piece on it…

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/17708/prognosis-for-leon-washington

    I can say that knee injuries and how people react to them is so odd. In my right knee I tore the MCL and PCL (PCL complete tear) and was able to walk (ski) away. Years later I tore the ACL in my left knee and thought someone had blow my leg clean off. Not that I’m a professional athlete (did that really need to be said?) but reactions to them can be so different. Hell, Tom Brady was able to limp off after a his ACL / MCL tear and he required multiple surgeries (granted that was infection related). I sure hope you’re right about Thurmond. He a legit NFL talent.

  83. ArmchairQB says:

    If you are wondering, Google “Haynesworth” and you find:

    http://www.footballnewsnow.com/2010/haynesworth-staying-in-washington/

    Haynesworth Staying in Washington
    By
    Diane Chesebrough

    Football News Now Staff Writer
    April 27, 2010

    Albert Haynesworth

    This could be the last we’ll hear of trade talks about Washington Redskins’ defensive tackle, Albert Haynesworth… at least until the first day of Training Camp.

    According to Redskins.com, head coach Mike Shanahan has said, in English that cannot be misconstrued, misunderstood or misinterpreted, that the big man is going to be wearing the burgundy and gold come September 12, 2010.

    Over the last several weeks there have been many rumors about the Redskins trading Haynesworth. The Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions have all been said to have been interested.

    Shanahan said during an interview last Friday evening with Rich Eisen of the NFL Network that Haynesworth isn’t going anywhere.

    “No, it’s not going to happen,” he said. “There have been a lot of rumors and a lot of speculation going on here for the last month, but Albert Haynesworth will not be traded.”

    There were two issues that initially caused the speculation about a possible trade. One of them was the word that defensive coordinator Jim Haslett was changing the Redskins’ defensive scheme from the 4-3 to the 3-4. According to ProFootballTalk.com, Haynesworth has made it clear that he has no desire to play “nose tackle” in a 3-4 defense. The veteran player has been a three-technique lineman in a 4-3 defense throughout his 8 year career and loves to rush the passer.

    The other issue was that of Haynesworth choosing to work out away from Ashburn during the voluntary off-season programs, which Shanahan made clear were important for the players to attend.

    The defensive lineman attended the first day of voluntary team events for orientation but then failed to return after talking to the head coach about working out on his own. It was reported by ESPN that, although it was Haynesworth’s plan to report to training camp in July in better condition than last year, Shanahan was displeased with his intended absence. However, according to the Washington Post, General Manager Bruce Allen recently said he was not disappointed about Haynesworth doing his own thing because the off-season programs are voluntary.

    There is no doubt about one thing: when healthy and motivated, Haynesworth is a defensive force to be reckoned with. If he returns to Ashburn in shape and things stay copacetic, the big man could make a difference in what has the potential to be an aggressive, productive defense. This is a must in order for Washington to be competitive against in the NFC East.

    I was hoping like all of you, maybe FO have something better in store.

  84. http://blog.seattlepi.com/football/archives/192173.asp

    “Carroll and Gus Bradley both say their roots run deep in the 4-3 defensive front, but they’re already looking at ways to better utilize the talent on hand with new schemes.

    “The key will be how Seattle uses Aaron Curry, whose impact was largely lost last season when he spent more time dropping into coverage than playing up on the line and rushing the passer.

    “Carroll loves the concept of an “Elephant” linebacker/defensive end hybrid made famous by former 49ers star Charles Haley and Giants Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor.

    “In recent years, USC used standouts Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews in that exact role, frequently lining up with a 4-3 front using 3-4 personnel (the fourth linebacker essentially filling one of the defensive end spots in a stand-up position).

    “Carroll’s first order of business with the Seahawks was studying tape of Curry in search of clues as to how he might fill that role and he’s also intrigued by the potential of Darryl Tapp in that vein.”

    http://www.fieldgulls.com/2010/3/23/1387325/on-standup-ends-and-the-seahawks

    “Pete Carroll talked up playing Aaron Curry as a stand up end,. . .”

    “Standup End: This is Aaron Curry’s position, but Curry has never played it before and that means Seattle better be ready if he struggles. Tapp could have provided depth, but now Seattle needs to find a player of good size and athleticism that can pass rush should Curry not be able to. . . . . Seattle probably can’t spend an early pick betting against Curry, but luckily there are plenty of tweener types that can fit this role. It has already added situational pass rushers, but in this all important position, it would be nice to have legitimate depth.”

    http://blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks/2010/04/15/carroll-branch-shines-at-minicamp/

    “Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said one thing they wanted to improve on from last season is speed off of the edge of the defense, and they believe guys like Clemons, Ricky Foley and Nick Reed can do that.

    “Another player feeling more comfortable out on the field is linebacker Aaron Curry, who has been returned to his strong side linebacker position he played at Wake Forest.

    ““As far as scheme, I’m allowed to return to my natural home on top of the tight end setting the edge like I did in school,” Curry said. “That’s just where I feel great at. It’s also a great confidence booster. . . .”

    Coulda sworn PC did talk about looking at how to get A.Curry to be more productive, including using him at the elephant position. So far I’ve found things where he’s implied it, but not where he’s outright said it. Doesn’t matter- in minicamp Curry went back to his usual SLB position, and Hawks have plenty of other candidates for elephant.

  85. Matthews and Cushing played together at USC and both were drafted in ’09. They both couldn’t play the ‘elephant’ position at the same time, which means, as Duke has already speculated, that Curry will most likely see some time there, but for the most part, he’ll be lined up over the TE on the strong side.

    My personal believe is that Curry should be the elephant 100% of the time b/c of his speed/explosion (we have no other edge rusher that I respect, but I think his potential at this positioin is unlimited) but I don’t see this happening from all indications we have gotten this off-season. I firmly believe Hill is fine lining up over the TE and is very stout at the point of attack, despite his size in comparison to Curry and, therefore, these two at these positions would give us the best chance IMO. Hill is a good blitzer too, and we’d have two good players coming from each edge should we choose to use them in some instances.

  86. Dukeshire says:

    klm008 – Exactly. Thank you for elaborating on my point further. When one reads things that are speculative to start with, is very easy to draw conclusions that aren’t really bases on anything.

    It’s really frustrating when writers like Greg Johns print something likes this -

    “In recent years, USC used standouts Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews in that exact role, frequently lining up with a 4-3 front using 3-4 personnel (the fourth linebacker essentially filling one of the defensive end spots in a stand-up position).”-

    It’s very misleading and really lazy. Matthews played everywhere for USC including all LB positions in addition to RDE. And with the exception of his sophomore year, Cushing played SLB not RDE or “elephant”. Then there are the LT comparisons. Taylor did play WLB but the Giants were a 3-4 and that’s not the same defense. From where the DL align themselves to their assignments, it’s very different. Simply because a defense has 3 linemen with their hands in the dirt, that does not make it a 3-4. It can be confusing but it’s a fact. The thing that Taylor and the WLB in the 4-3 under have in common is that they will make a ton of tackles. Hawthorne / Hill will be “protected” by the RDT and RDE (elephant) and freed up to fly sideline to sideline smacking people.

    If Curry stays on the strong side, as he should IMO, he will stand at the line of scrimmage at times, giving them a 5 man front, and be right on top of the TE a bit off the line. So the option to get after the QB is there and he is less responsible for dropping into coverage than what Mora’s ill defined defense asked him to. And no one is saying he won’t be moved to RDE, but again, we’ll know a lot more about what they have in mind for Curry as OTAs come and go and training camp starts. But as you now see, Curry the ‘elephant” is speculation.

  87. Dukeshire says:

    BobbyK – Personally, I don’t think Hill wouldn’t be able to set the edge on the strong side nearly as well as Curry. This is one of Curry’s best attributes and where he can really take advantage of his strength. And Hill from the WLB, would in fact be freer in this scheme to blitz than the Sam LB is. I think this takes advantage of each player’s strength rather than having them play in positions they never have or have had limited experience at.

  88. Dukeshire says:

    … don’t think Hill *would* …

  89. We all know we have a good set of LBs (and the depth is good too). One thing that worries me is their pass coverage ability. Lofa is fine/quick, but he’s not getting any faster and he’s the type of guy that needs all the speed he has. With that being said, I trust him the most dropping back from the middle.

    I don’t think Hill is overly great in space. I trust him more at the point and attacking.

    Although Curry has potential (I don’t think he should be dropping back much), I was less than impressed with this aspect last year (again, we all know he’s raw and has talent though).

    And although Heater can go sideline to sideline, his dropping back in space scares me a little too much for my own comfort.

    I mentioned yesterday that Herring could/should see some time and he’s a converted Safety.

    Which brings me to (changing the topic) Earl Thomas. It’s nice to have a guy coming in with his coverage versatility. Add if the Chancellor of Kam is going to be our SS, the ability of Thomas to play in space (which he’s supposedly good at) and be that great in coverage and ballhawking type of player is going to be especially needed and welcomed. I’m getting more and more excited to see him play this year by the day!

  90. Dukeshire says:

    Oh yeah, me too. Having a player back there that get his hands on the ball will take so much pressure off others in coverage. I’m so excited they have that type of player.

    I like you’re thinking about Herring and agree. I also think that Hawthorne not having the MLB responsibilities, in addition to clear direction from capable coaches will help him a ton. Remember, he’s also a converted safety. He came to TCU as one.

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