Seahawks Insider

Carroll on Hawks off-season plans: Pass rushers needed

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm with 92 Comments »
January 14, 2013 6:41 pm

Pete Carroll talked for about a half hour on a number of issues his team needs to address during the offseason this afternoon

Among them, Carroll acknowledged the lack of a consistent pass rush this season, and said the Seahawks will address that by looking to add guys to the mix of players already on the roster.

“We need another pass rusher,” Carroll said. “We really do. That’s why we went out and got Jason (Jones) last year. And we’re going to have to double it up. We need a couple of guys.”

Along with improving personnel, Carroll said he’ll count on young guys like rookies Greg Scruggs, Jaye Howard and Bruce Irvin improving during the offseason.

Asked if Jones showed enough to warrant bringing him back with his one-year up once free agency begins, Carroll was diplomatic.

“We thought he did some good things,” Carroll said about Jones. “We’ll see how that works out. There’s a lot of work to be done to get that done, with a one-year contract. So we’ll see where that fits. But he did some nice stuff.”

Carroll said that Chris Clemons has not had surgery to repair an ACL and meniscus tear in his left knee suffered against Washington two weeks ago.

However, Carroll said that Clemons plans to meet with renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews early this week, and that his knee did not suffer that much trauma, so he could have the surgery done relatively soon.

Carroll said that he felt Marshawn Lynch was not limited by a foot injury that kept him out of practice most of the week.

“I don’t think we made as much space for him,” Carroll said. “I think they did a nice job playing defense against us. We had so many opportunities in the throwing game, it was just there. And so we just kept exercising it.”

Carroll joked that Wilson’s ready to get after it right now, but he told him to at least take the honeymoon with wife Ashton.

“He said, ‘Oh yeah, we’re going to go away for a week!’” Carroll said. “Poor girl.”

Seriously though, one of the things Seattle will benefit from is being mostly healthy heading into the offseason.

Carroll said that offensive lineman James Carpenter is expected to be ready to go once the team’s offseason program begins in March. And other than Clemons, no player is expected to have a significant, off-season surgery.

“Our guys this offseason, rather than having to rehab to get back to practice, they’ll be getting stronger and developing,” Carroll said. “And hopefully we’ll come back bigger and stronger and faster than we were this year.”

Here’s what Carroll had to say about Carpenter: “He absolutely should be healthy. There’s no reason not to be physically right. We’re going to be off for like three months or something. And he’ll be in great shape.

“That’s a really important project for us. James is a really dynamic blocker. And he gives us a different dimension of just force and thrust off the football. And we would love to have him playing for us.”

Hawks open to trading Flynn?
Carroll was asked if he would accommodate backup quarterback Matt Flynn if he requested a trade during the offseason.

There could be interest. As many as 10 teams around the league likely will be looking for an upgrade at quarterback. And this year’s draft has significantly less prospects that can come in and play right away than last year.

The Seahawks signed Flynn to a three-year, $19.5 million deal during the offseason, but Wilson beat him out for the starting job, and the LSU product saw just spot duty in blowout wins over Arizona and Buffalo.

“First off, Matt handled himself really well,” Carroll said. “He never accepted it. I never expected him to. I wanted him to fight the whole way. And if it made him grumpy at times or whatever it made him, that was what was going to happen. But he handled it like a real champion kid. He competed in practice on a regular basis.

“He never did want to accept it. And he still thinks he’s the best quarterback in the program. I admire him for thinking that way. And I forever regret that fact that we never got the chance to see him play very much, just because everything he did was on point. But Russell just never let it happen.

“As we move forward we’re going to figure it out. We’re fortunate that we have two really good football players in the program.”

That said, Carroll also acknowledged that it would be nice to have another quarterback on the roster with a similar skill set in terms of running ability as Wilson.

“We’ve talked a lot about that,” Carroll said. “It would be nice to have another guy that might be able to be a factor that way. There’s some really good kids out there. We’ll see.”

Bevell, Bradley get call backs
Carroll confirmed that after introductory interviews, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley are expected to have more extensive interview sessions with the teams interested in them this week.

Bevell is a candidate for the Chicago Bears head coaching vacancy, and met with team officials down in Atlanta on Saturday. Bradley is a candidate for the Philadelphia Eagles head coaching vacancy, and did the same thing with Eagles officials on Saturday.

“Those guys are both great candidates for those jobs,” Carroll said. “And I have now idea what’s going to happen. … It does create uncertainty for the future, yeah, but we’ve got to figure it out. I’ve been in this situation a lot, so I’m not worried about it. But we’re very prideful at the fact that people are interested in our guys. That’s always cool. And it will also help us attract really good guys to take those spots.”

Wilson expressed concern over the possibility of Bevell moving on.

“Obviously I pray that Coach Bevell stays here, but I also pray for the best for him as well,” Wilson said. “Whatever is best for him and his family, but at the same time he really helped me develop.

“We’ve grown a tremendous relationship over the past season, and we’ve really grown a lot in terms of play calling and just in terms of me knowing what he’s going to call and expecting a call.

Added receiver Sidney Rice, who also played for Bevell in Minnesota: “He has the ability to control our offense, get the ball down the field, incorporate the running game. He’s done a wonderful job, and he deserves the opportunity.”

Cornerback Richard Sherman said Bradley would be missed on the defensive side of the ball as well.

“It would be a tough blow to lose Gus,” Sherman said. “Obviously we have a couple of other coaches who would be happy to step up, to run the same thing that we’ve been running.

“But he’s a great coach, he’s enthusiastic, he’s energetic, he’s a players coach. There’s not enough verbs and nouns in the dictionary to describe all the great things about Gus Bradley.”

Leave a comment Comments → 92
  1. I’m with PC on Jones – he was ok at times, but even with Clemons and Irvin on the edges, he wasn’t a significant pass rushing presence. Given his injury situation, I think I would pass on resigning him unless it was to a low dollar short contract.

  2. Dukeshire says:

    Pass rusher last year. Pass rusher this year. At least there are less needs moving forward this off-season, QB chief among them. And I like hearing that he’s going to “double it up”. I presume that means DT and DE both, but a long way to go before that is all sorted out.

  3. FleaFlicker says:

    If we have to lose a coordinator, let it be on defense. Don’t want a new system next year when this one worked so well once it got up to speed. PC has enough brain power on the defensive coaching staff to make up for the loss of Gus Bradley.

    Personally, I’d like to see Flynn stick around. RW had a great year, and hopefully he’ll continue the upward trend, but nothing is guaranteed in this league. And as RGIII demonstrated, a running QB is only a hard hit away from being out of the line-up for a while.

    Still, smoldering over that last second loss yesterday, but really proud of these guys and happy to bleed blue every Sunday. Go Hawks!

  4. If this is anything like last year, this blog post should be bookmarked as your offseason cheat sheet for Seahawks moves.

    I think they can get a 4th or maybe even a 3rd round pick for Flynn. And if they trade him away, guess who they bring back as the backup QB in FA?

    “That said, Carroll also acknowledged that it would be nice to have another quarterback on the roster with a similar skill set in terms of running ability as Wilson.”

    Perhaps a certain QB who was the 2011 starter and will be a FA?

    I’d be interested in where the Seahawks find these pass rushers from. They are almost as hard to find as franchise QBs.

  5. I bet pabs would disagree about the words Sherman would use to describe Bradley. :)

    I expect every player in the NFL to improve from year #1 to year #2 (Scruggs & Howard). However, will they go from contributing basically nothing to being key contributors to a Super Bowl winner? I have my doubts (although at least we know they will be improving though).

    I have my doubts about Irvin being “the man” at Leo. I still stand by my belief that we have zero legit pass rushers right now going into next season and am glad Carroll talked about adding more (as in plural).

    I’d be more than thrilled if they went “overkill” with pass rushers this season; kind of like they did the previous year when they paid good money to Gallery in free agency (don’t want a crappy player like that though) and then used their top two picks on linemen as well.

    Great to hear about Carp being 100% for off-season workouts. I thought he’d “only” be 100% for training camp. It’ll be nice to see him (and Moffitt) in shape! The line has a chance to be special with Okung on the blind side and Unger in the middle, if they are surrounded by two good guards (I think we have three good guards moving forward with Sweezy having a full year under his belt and Moffitt getting his butt in shape and that’s not even saying anything about McQuistan).

    The future looks bright, that’s for sure…

  6. pabs – Even if you think it, please don’t mention that bastards name around here. It gets my blood pressure boiling too high.

  7. Yeah, I am happy about the double dip comment too.

  8. freedom_X says:

    All Carroll is doing is admitting the need. I don’t think he’s saying they’re going to get what they want, though of course he’s certainly entitled to be optimistic about it. We won’t know, really, until preseason. Hopefully we get one or two new players with promise, or a guy from another team that fits in well with the Carroll system, or existing guys get better (Irvin, Scruggs, Howard.)

    I also doubt there will be an instant pass-rush hit anyway, not where Seattle picks. Pass-rushers taken lower in the draft tend to take time to develop (like the Giants do) and there aren’t that many instant rookie hits anyway as sack men. Aldon Smith and Von Miller in the same draft were rarities. A lot of big-time defensive linemen had so-so rookie years.

    You could argue that Seattle got the best pass-rusher in the 2012 draft (Irvin) so it’s not realistic to count on getting a 10 sack guy in the draft, that’s for sure.

    I wonder if Carroll said anything about addressing the softening run defense. I hope that was mainly due to a gimpy Red Bryant.

  9. freedom_X says:

    I’m certain Seattle will target some young guy to be a Wilson clone. But I don’t think it’s realistic. Easy to find a running QB. Hard to find a running QB who can throw. Over time Seattle would need to evolve away from read-option as a major offensive factor anyway (unless you can get 170 yards before contact like Kaepernick did against GB.)

  10. Personally, I want Jason Jones to return if he’s going to be 100% by the time OTAs begin. He was, by far, our best interior pass rusher. Sure, that’s not saying much, but he certainly didn’t suck and he’s still young. His $4 million is coming off the books ($8 million between he and Branch set to become FAs) and if he’s resigned, you know it won’t be for that much. Would I want Jones back at $4-5 million per season? No. But he’ll be a discount this off-season (for anyone) and I want in on that action if he’d do a 1 year, $2 million deal. No question about it. Just because I think Pierre-Paul is great, I wouldn’t give him a 1 year, $50 million contract. It’s all about value and I believe a healthy Jones would be great to have at a couple of million bucks. He, Howard, and a 1st or 2nd round pick would make that 3-tech look really nice. If Jones signed another 1 year deal, that would actually work out for the best because how realistic is it to expect a rookie #1 pick (25th overall) to come in and be a difference maker at the 3-tech for a team that wants to win a Super Bowl right away?

  11. “When they already had Matt (Flynn) and they drafted Russell (Wilson), I figured I’d be the odd man out,” said Jackson. “They were kind of screwing me around. They had their plan the whole time, either Russell or Matt. It was obvious when we got to camp, especially in preseason when I didn’t play.”

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/player/7813/tarvaris-jackson

    I never had interest in the guy in the first place and now we would be interested in having him come back? No way! Wilson needs a back-up with a brain in his head.

  12. Some of these guys will get the franchise tag, but most won’t.

    http://nfltraderumors.co/nfltr-features2013-nfl-free-agents/

    I don’t necessarily agree with the order, but it’s a good idea of who will be available.

    I am also so happy that we took care of our own with Unger prior to the season and don’t have to worry about resigning extremely important players now and can still worry about it… but look at add, instead of losing and adding and wondering if you ever come out ahead.

  13. #13 on that list is a cruel joke to many of us who were mad when Ruskell allowed him to leave.

  14. JS is a savvy trader. With 10 picks available plus a possible mid round pick for Matt (who I hope stays) – he may trade up to get one of the defensive linemen that will be available. I don’t think he has to trade up into the top 10 to do it either. That’s just me guessing though.

    Being a die hard Aggie, I want Damontre Moore on our radar…he and Big Red can kick some butt together!

    Here is a good article that discusses our needs in detail (it’s long):
    http://seahawksdraftblog.com/off-season-priority-1-find-a-pass-rush

  15. It’s so weird to see a guy like Glenn Dorsey be ranked so low when he was drafted so high (not really, but you get the idea). Could he be rejuvinated as our 3-tech? He’s played out of position in a 3-4 the last few years. I haven’t followed his career, so I don’t know. Just throwing it out there.

    I remember there were quite a few people who were bit Pat Chung fans, too. He’s available (not that there’s a need for him, unless Kam plays Will).

    Can’t wait for free agency and the draft!!!

  16. TomIPDX – You mention being a die-hard Aggies fan. I have done some reading about Sean Porter and there are good things about him potentially being a Leo type of guy in the early/mid rounds. What do you think of him as someone who follows the program?

  17. thursday says:

    victor cruz! if only there were any chance the giants would let him go lol

  18. Bobby, I hadn’t really focused on Porter. I do know that the A&M defensive unit didn’t really get your attention compared to the offensive side of the team, with some exceptions. I fully expected us to get our butts kicked for our inaugural season in the SEC and end up at around .500 but I sure was wrong about that one! Had our offense not been as explosive as it was the D would have kept us squarely in the middle of the pack (D ranked 9th in the SEC). I’ll have to go dig a little deeper on Sean Porter.

  19. edstang45 says:

    It’s good to see PC acknowledge the need for pass rushers, I got faith Schneider will find his coach players to fit his wish list. probably get the next top pass rusher somewhere after the 4th round

  20. freedom_X says:

    Yes, I was one of those who was really mad when Michael Bennett was released to make room for free agent and backup WR’s. Even though they were hurting for healthy receivers that year, it was a colossal mistake by someone who had no notion of value.

    Regarding the idea of Glenn Dorsey and players like him – it’s what I hope Seattle can do. Find a talent who’s underperformed due to a bad fit in his old scheme(s) and a good fit for Seattle’s. They did get mileage out of Alan Branch and lots of mileage out of Chris Clemons. BTW Daryl Tapp is a UFA as well and available…

  21. Ewalters7354 says:

    Two word:Sedrick Ellis! Watch out for this guy.Real good 3-tech.

  22. aldenroche says:

    Jones did not do what the team brought him here to do.
    Whether it was injury, or whatever, it did not happen.

  23. Ewalters7354 says:

    And only 26 btw..

  24. Mr Happy coached him too.

  25. Ewalters7354 says:

    I would also be in favor of moving Irvin to OLB.I think his skill set better fits a Tamba Hali type role.With his speed and expressiveness, I think he would be more successful as a stand up pass rusher.Kinda like JP was.He may struggle in coverage, but I think he can flourish in that role as opposed trying to take on a 300+ pound tackle every snap.

    That also makes me think the hawks may be better suited for a 3-4 scheme.Not trying to be a coach, but they have the skill players to run it…

  26. Can Lovie Smith run an effective Defense without a solid pass rush from the front four?

    Could he be the next Defensive Coordinator?

  27. Ewalters7354 says:

    Pabs, that’s an intriguing question.But being that Lovie is a Tampa 2 guy, I highly doubt he would be very successful without a good front 4.

  28. Michael Bennett and Jason Babin were both once on our team…
    Some guys on the KFFL UFA list we may be targeting as free agents that fit our profile:
    6. Henry Melton – CHI – 26 yrs old
    26. Cliff Avril – DET – 26 yrs old
    35. Michael Johnson – CIN – 26 yrs old.
    Darryl Tapp may be a good bargain bin find if we can sign him at a cut rate. Also, Richard Seymour is 33 but if he is healthy and we can get him relatively cheap on a one year deal…
    Dwight Freeney less so because he is 35, but I want him to come in and teach young Irv his deadly arsenal of moves including his killer spin move which was unstoppable for a long time.

  29. the uber understated Lovie coaching side by side with Pete? That would be a very interesting juxtaposition to say the least. I don’t think he’ll be available as a DC, he’ll get a head coaching gig somewhere – he won 10 games last year after all.

  30. freedom_X says:

    That’s a key with Irvin – he’s very raw and has a lot to learn. He claims he was never taught any techniques in college, though that’s a bit hard to believe.

    But if Irvin can do what he did with no technique (assuming his story is true) imagine what he’ll do when he learns some tricks and strategies. Combined with another 15 pounds of muscle, he could be Clemons+.

  31. WiscCory says:

    I think PC just indicated he wants JS to deal Flynn away, and sign Tebow once the Jets cut him…

    Oh wait, there more to Wilson’s skillset than just running.

    LOL.

  32. I definitely don’t want us signing Tebow and turning VMAC into a circus sideshow. Don’t want Tarvaris back, either. He was serviceable in the lockout shortened year, but now that we got spoiled by RW, having TJack come in as a backup would be like going from dating Katherine Webb to dating Kathy Bates…
    JS can probably draft someone mobile but raw in the later rounds and have us develop him into a decent backup. I wish Flynn could stay, but at some point it’s really selfish of us as Hawk fans because he deserves to start and show what he can do. I believe he’ll request a trade anyway, so it’s a moot point. I think Flynn can be a top 20 qb in this league.

  33. Tebow and Wilson do have one thing in common…they can seemingly will their teams to victory. Wilson has the skillset to go with his intangibles, though.

    I actually think Tebow would be okay on this team because Wilson is so firmly entrenched as the starter. It’s hard to imagine Wilson’s production dropping off enough for there to ever be a QB controversy. Wonder what Tebow’s pass rush is like?

  34. bbnate420 says:

    Oh god, please NO TEBOW!!!!!!!!

    Strange how a number of people here were ready to dump Clemons when he wanted more money in the off-season. Many said we’d be fine with Irvin taking his place. Now he’s the only pass rusher on the team? Strange indeed!

  35. DanielleMND says:

    No to Tebow. Wonder how cheap we could get Vick?

  36. I am not real pumped up about a potential return of Jason Jones. I think the guy’s body is probably close to being done. Preferably, it would be nice to have an every down sort of 3-technique DT instead of specialists and niche guys filling the role. I am optimistic about Scruggs’ future only because he has the type of body to get bigger. He potentially could grow into a legit 3-tech DT.

    It was somewhat encouraging to hear Pete at least mention Jaye Howard’s name as a guy to think about in the future. His rookie year was next to forgettable, but I suppose Carroll sees great potential in him.

    WLB is something of a priority as well. I’d expect them to move on and let Hill walk, use a draft pick to replace him.

  37. piperfeltcher says:

    Hawks have some cap room they should try and get Seymour the guy is old but he still puts pressure on the QB and brings a lot of big game experience. I thought Irvin really wore down against Atlanta and by the 3rd was being blown off the line he needs to gain some strength if he is to be a everydown player.

  38. CDHawkFan says:

    Our 1st and J. Lane for Suh? I think the Lions are getting a bit tired of him, and there are reports he won’t resign with them.

  39. Ewalters7354 says:

    “No to Tebow. Wonder how cheap we could get Vick?”

    Vick would be a good choice if he didn’t feel he was a starter. But with him thinking that,I doubt it’ll ever happen.He would be more of a distraction than anything imo

  40. montanamike2 says:

    I don’t think the Lions would part with Suh. I agree with freedom_X that losing Michael Bennett was a big mistake. I would like us to address the pass rush both with drafting and FA’s. Jason Jones can be kept on a minimum contract but if we find someone better then let him go, guys almost done, if not already is. NO NO NO Tebow, that’s it just NO.

  41. montanamike2 says:

    Vick also wants big $.

  42. CDHawkFan says:

    The Lions are going to stuggle having a team and paying Stafford, Megatron, and Suh at the same time. They have Fairley and could resign Avril with the Suh money to keep their D line going. The biggest issue, Suh is wearing out his welcome there with management and the fans. I don’t think he would be #2 overall again as he is known to take a few plays/games off. He is a Portland guy, and Pete and the guys might be able to light a spark in him. We also have the cap money and a CB Detroit needs, just don’t know if we want to bring him in as he sounds like a douche sometimes.

  43. It’s almost impossible to trade high draft choices from the previous rookie salary structure due to the acceleration of the remaining signing bonus.

  44. ohiohawkfan says:

    “having TJack come in as a backup would be like going from dating Katherine Webb to dating Kathy Bates” – CCVI

    Damn funny

  45. If I could add any one player in the entire NFL to this Seahawks team, it would be Suh hands down. The Lions have some key free agents who are going to get paid (like Avril) and they aren’t in a great cap situation. That being said, trading a potential Hall of Fame talent is an easy way to get you fired and wouldn’t look good on your resume when you’re job hunting again either.

  46. montanamike2 says:

    I didn’t know he was a Portland guy, maybe Paul Allen has a chance.

  47. The Eagles fans are as excited about the impending hiring of Gus Bradley as their Head Coach as I was on the live chat the night the Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson.

    I felt like I won the lottery that night. The Eagles fans just “won” something as well.

  48. No to all the QB’s mentioned. Flynn is a good QB, he’s under contract and having him stay on the roster will help our new OC (if Bevell goes to Chicago). The zone read stuff is a PART of the offense, not the primary tenant. We are a multi-faceted offense built from Lynch, Cable, and the zone running game. We have a ton of West Coast timing stuff in the passing game, something Flynn does well. So, we don’t need a Russ clone (if one even existed) in order to run an effective offense should Russ go down (God forbid).

    I do think Bevell will get the job in Chicago (or elsewhere). There are still many in the NFL, the “old heads” who believe Bevell SCHEMED Russ into a good QB as opposed to the truth, that Russ PLAYED Bevell into an offensive genious. Let’s not forget how inept this offense was for the first 22 games with Bevell at the helm. That said, Russ and Bevell are in lockstep now – so I hope he stays.

  49. Ewalters7354 says:

    Well when you are working with T-Jack at QB you’re offense will always be inept. It’s not Bevell’s fault that guy only read one side of the field and could only throw the deep ball lol

  50. Dukeshire says:

    Whether Smith could coordinate an effective defense without consistent rush from the front 4 is a non-sequitur. He won’t be DC in retrospect, he’d be taking over a defense that Carroll has singled out as requiring upgrades in that area.

    Smith is ontrequing, but my first concern is that he runs *far* too much cover 2 for this group, beyond the d line. And as common defensive backgrounds as he and Carroll have, not sure I see this happening. But like I said, it’s intreguing.

  51. What kind of coverage did Chicago run with Jennings and Tillman this year?

  52. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Bringing back Jackson? Picking up Tebow? Signing Vick? Trading for Suh?

    No! No! Hell No! And a big Hell No!!! Lol.

  53. Ewalters7354 says:

    Georgia I started to post along those lines earlier but didn’t lol

  54. If we did trade Flynn, it would be nice to send him to a team that had a young veteran defensive lineman who has shown some potential to get to the QB. With that being said, I hope we don’t trade Flynn. If Wilson goes down, I don’t want to find ourselves in a lost season with a QB incapable of helping us win (rather than a bum who helps us not to lose). If Tennessee decides they don’t want to pay Matt good money to sit on the bench next year, I’d love nothing more to bring him back to be that veteran on the bench who could even help Wilson with all of his NFL experience. Now that Wilson is firmly entrenched as the starter, I don’t think this would be a threatening move one bit.

  55. Georgia – You know full well that if this team traded for Suh that your “and a big Hell No!!!” would turn into: “He’s the best interior lineman in the NFL and I wouldn’t trade him for any other defensive player.” lol

  56. I was bummed when we lost Michael Bennett as well. He’s a talent. I would love to see us nab him from Tampa. I thought the D-line played much better both against the run and vs the pass when Jones was healthy. Rotating him in worked pretty well. He’s one of those guys that isnt flashy, but you miss him when he’s gone.

    Branch is the same way. A glue guy. But it would sure be awesome to find a big huge DT who can put some pressure on the qb. Not to mention a DE with speed who can actually play the run.

    Babin was a sad deal, and he still hates the Seahawks. Holmgren treated him very badly becuase he was pissed at Ruskell for trading Michael Boulware away, and he so he took it out on Babin. The guy looked pretty good in preseason, but Holmy wouldnt play him all year, then after another good preseason they cut him. But Babin looked pretty used up this year, dont know if he’s even worth a look, and as I said he wont be interested in coming here.

  57. CDHawkFan says:

    GA & E, what is wrong with Suh, because he takes plays off or because he is a douche?

    Below a Detroit writer suggesting the Lions part ways with Suh;

    http://www.twincities.com/vikings/ci_22072682/detroit-lions-ndamukong-suh-will-strike-again

    http://www.prideofdetroit.com/2012/12/7/3739314/ndamukong-suh-anonymous-criticism-detroit-lions

  58. Dave Boling says:

    Hey, troops.

    CCVI, I don’t think they’ll give any graybeards a chance at pass rusher. Clem was like 28 when they got him, and I think that would be on the upper end. It just seems to me they’re so in love with young guys with great speed. I will be hugely interested in Irvin’s development and how he approaches the off-season. I got the feeling he was a little lost at times this season making the transition. I know he was thinking about responsibilities and techniques, and I wonder if he’ll get all that down to the point where he can just cut loose and let his physical skills take over. I think the question about moving him to linebacker would add another layer of learning and changing that would stifle his progress.

    On Jason Jones: I thought he was okay, but I don’t recall a lot of wow-look-at-that moments. I was a little surprised that Jaye Howard never really flashed (at least in nothing that I was around to see). I would have expected him, as a fourth-rounder, to show more than Scruggs, as a seventh. But I thought Scruggs looked pretty solid when he was in there for a low-round rookie.

    The Bears coverage: Mostly a lot of two-deep as I recall.

    Along with most of you, I like the idea of keeping Flynn, too. But Pete was quick to say he was open to the idea of finding somebody who could be a Wilson-like backup. As you pointed out Schneider, with 10 picks and cap room, could really have a lot of resources to shape into a mega-move or two to really shore up the couple areas of concern.

    Eric and I were on planes all day and we got back in time for Pete, but not for the players. From what I hear, they were all very upbeat and optimistic about the future. As they should be.

    Pete’s line about Wilson’s finally taking a honeymoon was funny, especially considering it’s already been a year … their anniversary was yesterday. This guy is amazingly motivated, eh?

    As I think back, you the one thing I thought about often during games this season but never have seen mentioned: Doesn’t this guy ever tire? Everybody who tries to chase him down looks about to die from exhaustion, but this guy never looks out of breath. I’m not even sure he sweats.

  59. I would like to see us go after Jared Cook from the Titans. He’s big, fast, and can catch. He’d be an awesome bookend to Miller, but he’s gonna cost too much…

  60. Russell Wilson’s first line to Pete Carroll upon arrival to Seattle was

    “Come with me if you want to live. ”

    Read that last line with a big thick Schwarzenegger accent.

  61. “Wonder what Tebow’s pass rush is like?”

    This got me chuckling this morning…thanks Audible! :-)

    If EJ Manuel (FSU) should happen to fall to the 4th or 5th round we should pick him up.

    at least we aren’t talking about bringing Vince Young in!

  62. Would we love Dockett if he were a Seahawk? Hell yes! Him strangling Matt is not different than Suh kicking a guy in the heat of the moment. Did Dockett ever do anything cheap like he did to Matt? Yes. Has Suh? We know it’s a yes. Since he’s our opponent, we hate him. If he were with us, we’d coddle the hell out of him (like we do with guys who have been “losers before” like Mike Williams and Marshawn Lynch). Look at all of the “alleged” things that turned teams off to Lynch before Buffalo traded him for next to nothing… of course, since he’s already a Seahawk there’s no need to do that because now he’s the perfect person that would make even Russell Wilson a sinner (if any other team had drafted Wilson, of course). I have followed Suh pretty close for a lot of years and he’s done a few stoopid things, but I guarantee (barring injury) if he played for us he’d be Canton bound.

  63. Dukeshire says:

    pabuwal – I’m not sure what you’re really trying to ask. That is, their corners tend to play man-press, but that has little to do with your concern regarding the front 4 or mine regarding cover 2.

  64. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Dave, thanks for the info.

    BTW- Does anyone have a breakdown of our 2013 draft picks? What are we getting for Curry and Jackson?

  65. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    STTBM, what about keller from the jets for bookend for miller?

    henry melton sounds great from the bears certainly less drama that Suh.

    richard seymour even at 33 could be a good rotational guy at DT.

  66. Ertz from Stanford. Start building long term offensive weapons for RW.

  67. Take a look at this, I think it’s something we can all relate to as fans. http://tmblr.co/ZekEWybnxlyZ

    #2 TE definitely needs addressing. McCoy took steps forward this year, but still cost the Hawks on more than one occasion. Is it fair to think that Sean McGrath could take on that role?

  68. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Agree TomlPDX. After hopefully finding a pass rusher or two, BPAFW- Best player available for Wilson.

  69. sluggo42 says:

    Hass from Tennessee.. Uh, that’s funny

    If we got Suh, that would guarantee a SB next year.

    What about trading Flynn and lane and our 25th pick to one of the top drafting teams in order to get Sheldon Richardson .

    We are a pass rush away from dominating the league. Just an average pass rush. Just something besides nothing…

  70. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Hopefully some QB desperate team will offer us a little more than a 3rd round pick.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/15/matt-flynn-could-be-trade-option-for-teams-needing-a-quarterback/

  71. Duke – I am trying to get at a few things regarding the scheme he ran at Chicago the last few years.

    How much has it evolved from the standard Tampa 2 where they are solely dependent on the front 4 for pressure, rely on a rangy MLB to cover huge amounts of the middle of the field, rely on the Safeties to cover each half of the deep portion and rely on the CBs to cover the short to intermediate zones?

    Obviously, none of that fits with Seattle’s personnel and I was trying to figure out to what extent Smith has deviated from the pure Tampa 2.

  72. Not sure why, but something about his calmness and poise, and his smooth athleticism, and maybe its because I know he played baseball, but the athlete I’m reminded of by Wilson comes from another sport, Derek Jeter.

  73. pabuwal – that’s not a bad idea, to bring back Tarvaris as a back up.

    He would fit and be dependable running the whole offense for a couple games now and then if needed. Not that I want to trade Flynn, I think backup QB is too important. But Flynn will never run the option so the offense would have to change quite a bit any time he came in to play. Not ideal. But I think Flynn is too good to trade.

    But I wouldn’t be opposed to dangling Flynn out there until the trade deadline to see if some desperate team wants to give up a 2nd rounder perhaps. If so, we could trade picks up and draft a couple of top-flight studs in this upcoming draft. That wouldn’t suck.

    And, yes, Tarvaris is one of the only veteran QBs out there who could back up Wilson effectively.

    (And settle down BobbyK, TJack never stole your lunch money. He’s earned everyone’s respect except yours.)

  74. hawkfaninoklahoma–Keller is a good player, but he’s really a WR, he’s not a blocker on the line. He would be a step up from McCoy in receiving, but he isnt even as good as McCoy at blocking. Cook is a really big dude, and I think having him and Miller in Two-TE sets would be awesome–you line em up, and the D would have no idea if they are both gonna block, both gonna go into pass routes, or if one is blocking and if so which one?! Both are quick and can block and catch. Whereas McCoy and Keller really arent great blockers and usually are in as receivers, you’d never know what Cook and Miller were up to…

  75. I would totally Sign Tebow – If he could play TE!! and was willing – No idea if he could block/run routes – but if he could that would be a interesting position for him.

    But as a QB – no way do you want Tebow, Vick, or Tjack – none of them bring anything of value to that position

  76. T-Jack? What are people thinking? He burned his bridge here already and he wasn’t very good in his season as a starter. He’s never run a zone-read option and is incapable of “reading” in the pass game. What about him is similar to Russ besides being athletic? Russ and T-Jack are entirely different and require different playcalling. At least Flynn is a capable passer with the ability to make good decisions.

  77. SeventiesHawksFan says:

    For all of the focus on getting better a better pass rush from our base defensive line over the off season (something we undeniably need), the soft zone SCHEME was undeniably the primary reason for why the Hawk’s defense was most consistently burned and gashed the most. And for why we lost the game against the Falcons.

    On defense this becomes both a scheme and an end of game clock management issue. The clock stops too often on pass incompletions (something that was not a factor in the Falcons game, but which would have been if they had incompletions on their final drive).

    With the soft zone alignment, the benefits of attempting to blitz are neutralized. The blitzes are often poorly timed as defenders in the backfield must start from too deep a position and the quarterback knows exactly what he is facing. Our safeties and corners cannot creep up nearer to the LOS without giving away that they are coming.

    And where is thus most often the defensive scheme and play call? Precisely those plays where the Hawk defense had its worst breakdowns:

    On third down and at the end of the game with a lead.

    With thirty-one seconds left, it made no sense whatsoever to allow the Falcon receivers to freely run their routes while also running and utterly predictable and poorly timed five man blitz.

    It was the very worst of all combinations. Being in a deep zone alignment, the blitzer being sent (in this case Winston Guy) was forced to start from way too deep so he arrives too late to get home and even be a factor in the play. The Seahawks were effectively playing with ten men at that point.

    And not playing press on the receivers at the LOS, allowed Ryan to know which areas of the field he could make a throw and his target would at least be there.

    All of that is different if the receivers timing is disrupted or misdirected and he now has to make a decision or go through multiple reads.

    And with only 31 seconds left, even holding and illegal contact penalties at the line of scrimmage on ALL plays would have made more sense than allowing the Falcon receivers to run their routes without any attempt at disrupting their timing.

    I really hope that along with a focus on improving the personnel, there is also a philosophical shift in how we play on third down and end of games.

    The current scheme on third down and at the end of games is dictated by fear, rather than trying to force mistakes and disrupt what the the opposing offense wants to do.

    Great defenses force teams to change what they would otherwise choose to do. At the end of the game against the Falcons, the very scheme itself allowed the Falcon receivers and QB to do EXACTLY what they wanted to do.

  78. Tebow could play TE if he wanted to. He certainly has the physical attributes to pull it off. The problem is I don’t think he wants to give up the dream of becoming a QB. It’s too bad too because I think he could be a hell of a TE. I don’t know that his ego will ever allow for that.

  79. If you thought you were watching a “soft zone scheme” in the 4th quarter of the game, you need to go watch the tape to see what really happened. They played a little zone, but were also blitzing and stunting, and getting burned doing those things. Staying in zone might have actually worked better and saved them, but the fact is this worn-down defense was torched by a better and well-rested offense.

    The reason we failed to stop Atlanta was not because we stayed in a ‘soft zone scheme’. We failed to stop Atlanta because 1) their offense is deadly-good, 2) our #1 DE was out, 3) our rush RDE was a rookie with tired legs, 4) our LDE was a 330 pounder with an injured foot, and 5) our SS is 6’3″ 230 and can’t cover quick WRs.

    Its easy to blame Gus Bradley and “scheme”, but after all these players had been through recently, they clearly weren’t ready to beat a top team on Sunday.

  80. tchristensen says:

    It looks like Bevell may interview with Jacksonville. My ideal situation would be for Bevell to land the head coaching job with Jacksonville and then trade for Flynn as he’s already familiar with what Flynn can do. Bevell may even offer more in a trade to make sure it happens.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/15/jags-receive-permission-to-interview-darrell-bevell/

  81. tchristensen says:

    And anyone can see Gabbert isn’t the answer.

  82. I wasn’t too concerned about the idea of losing Bevell until I heard Russell Wilson talk about how much he learned from Bevell. Now I want to see him stay and keep working with Russel.

  83. Ex-nay on the Teebow-ay. Sheesh.

    Makes as much sense as hiring Rex and Rob Ryan to be our weight-loss and conditioning coaches.

  84. SeventiesHawksFan says:

    Stevos,

    I could not disagree more with your assessment and the reasons you offer don’t also explain all of the other late game and third down breakdowns.

    There is more going in here than personnel. In late game and third down situations, the defensive scheme itself allows the opposing offense to run exactly the play they want. Especially with respect to their receivers getting to precisely the spot they need to be and often uncovered. A better pass rush doesn’t address that issue at all.

    The alignment the Hawks ran on the last two plays had the corners playing off, the safeties standing too deep. With the only ‘gamble’ being a blitz coming from a spot that can’t get to the QB anyway.

    Yes, we need the horses up front to get to the QB. But the notion the the Falcons offense was just too good to be stopped is exactly the kind of thinking that leads to prevent defense alignments that leaves their receivers running to exactly where their QB wants them to go.

  85. SeventiesHawksFan says:

    Also to Stevos,

    Here’s a link to the final two plays: lack of rush wasn’t the problem. Ryan didn’t have all day. His receivers simply exploited the weakness of our coverage scheme.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG3mN7yZUnk

    And I’m not actually disagreeing with your stated reasons and deficiencies. I agree with you on all of those as well.

    But to confine one’s focus almost solely to the pass rush is to miss what’s happening in the way the secondary was set up for failure, players being out of position to make a play on the ball, and Falcon receivers were running free to the likely places that the coverage would break down.

    I also didn’t say that the Seahawks played a soft zone for the entire fourth quarter. But they undeniably did so on the final two offensive plays of the game that killed them.

    Bradley and PC didn’t have either the confidence or willingness to play man or press coverage at the LOS those final two plays.

    On each play, the scheme they ran cleared out the area of the field they wanted left open.

    Our coverage didn’t REQUIRE for the Falcons to be lights out good. Just for their intended targets to get to their spots. Miami, Chicago and Detroit can complete similar plays just the same, and as they showed us earlier in the season.

    There is a schematic and philosophical problem at work here as much as there is a personnel problem.

  86. freedom_X says:

    If the defensive scheme is that bad, how did Seattle win 12 games (including playoffs), finish in the top 5 in defense, and lead the league in points allowed? (Oh wait, they did it all by stopping weak teams at home. Right?)

    Basically, some people here think Seattle has the defensive personnel to run any defense and do anything. I disagree. It still has its limitations, and the schemes called are probably as good a compromise between what is possible and what they want to do. The plays Seattle ran in the last series were plays that had worked in the past according to Carroll. So how does one draw the conclusion they had no chance?

    Matt Ryan had excellent statistics against teams that sent 5 or more players. That’s all teams, not just “soft zone” teams. While hindsight may come up with a better defensive play, there’s no obvious solution given Seattle’s personnel. Sometimes you have to give a powerful offense with very talented receivers and a skilled, veteran QB its due.

  87. freedom_X says:

    On personnel – I’m glad they dumped Jason Babin. He was the most one-trick of one-trick ponies. He did absolutely nothing against the run, and that’s why so many teams let him go (even Tennessee, where he had his breakout season.) He had value as a situational pass rusher, but not for the kind of money Philadelphia forked out. And Philly’s defense, you may note, didn’t do a heck of a lot even while Babin was racking up all the sacks. I remember Seattle’s TE’s easily shoving him out of the way to make room for Lynch.

    Suh? I’d say the signs point to him being more like the next Albert Haynesworth. He’s on that same track. Anybody think a guy like that is what Seattle needs? A extra bad apple like that is what can destroy a team. Characters like that are why Detroit’s team is such an underachieving disappointment. Lynch and Mike Williams should be insulted if their character is lumped in with Suh.

    If it turns out he’s misunderstood, great, get him if perceived character has devalued Suh. But without that inside information, it would be crazy to bring in a guy who’s on the Haynesworth track.

  88. SeventiesHawksFan says:

    FreedomX,

    You are confusing the overall and total season statistical performance for the defense with how the defense and scheme that is put on the field for late game and third down situations.

    If the Seahawks ran THAT kind of man off defense coverage for defensive snaps, its a virtual certainty that they’d be in the bottom five in the league in passing yards. For whatever, reason PC and Bradley choose to abandoned the very strength of their personnel for such critical situations.

  89. Seventies, I don’t think we disagree on that much, but that’s hard to know when you say “I could not disagree more with your assessment” and then you say “I’m not actually disagreeing with your stated reasons and deficiencies. I agree with you on all of those as well”.

    I never said the loss was all about lack of pass rush. I pointed to player deficiencies that hurt us all game long, especially in the first half when, realistically, we lost the game by half time. The loss I saw can’t all be blamed on two plays, and can’t all be blamed on two Gus Bradley defense calls. It was a combination of excellent receivers, weak DEs getting little pressure all day, allowing the QB to stay clean and in rhythm, young defenders who could not cover well enough, and if all that could possibly be solved by the DC adjusting scheme on two plays, well that didn’t happen either.

    On the second-to-last Atlanta completion was to Douglas. Rookie Wagner couldn’t handle the coverage. The CB ‘playing off’ was Browner who could not cover Douglas on a crossing route anyway. I wish they had BB chuck him at the line and send Trufant to cover his route, but blitzing Trufant was not a bad call in my mind and almost worked. Speedy Wagner was supposed to handle that coverage assignment but he got beat.

    The last pass was to Gonzales, and no Seahawk was able to stop Gonzales all game long regardless of what scheme the defense was in. He beat them every way a TE can beat a defense. He was happy to beat every scheme they played.

    I think Gus Bradley, given a few more healthy and experienced players, can coach as well as and DC. Players win the games, and these guys weren’t quite ready. Some were just too inexperienced to be complete players at this stage of their careers.

    Bottom line for me is that these Seahawks were young, inexperienced, tired-out, and not ready for the big-time yet. The Falcons were the better team Sunday and Seahawks weren’t in shape to beat a championship team. Even if we had got lucky and won this game, travelling to SF next week would have been a suicide mission for this tired out bunch of kids. We’ll be better next year.

  90. SeventiesHawksFan says:

    I don’t think we disagree on that much, but that’s hard to know when you say “I could not disagree more with your assessment” and then you say “I’m not actually disagreeing with your stated reasons and deficiencies. I agree with you on all of those as well”.

    Well yes, the statements are completely contradictory. Reconciling them would be: While I agree with nearly all of your stated reasons for why the Hawks lost were contributing factors to the final outcome (other than the Falcon’s offense being so good that we just couldn’t stop them), I disagree than any of those were primary factors on the final Falcon’s drive and the two pass completions that put them in position to kick a field goal to win the game.

    Those two huge pass completions had more to do with how the coverage was called than our pass rush. And the coverage also had the blitz coming undisguised and starting too deep.

    Ryan did not have time on either play to go through multiple reads and check to a second or third option. He knew the part of the field where his man would be and that he’d be likely to be open once his man got there.

    On the first play, the area Ryan wanted to throw the ball was cleared out using the zone against itself.

    On the second play, there wasn’t even a player assigned to Gonzalez, no one disrupted his route. No one was in front of him when he came open. There was simply a defender near him and not in position to make a play on the ball. Easy peasy.

    That play is WAY different if his route is disrupted even a little bit and there is a player on him. At least make him beat someone in coverage. Neither of those things happened.

    We can add to this: their wideouts being able to also run freely, meant that ET had to play deeper than otherwise to make the tackle on Gonzalez. Nor could he bracket him between an LB.

    That is a scheme and ultimately a philosophical issue about how such downs are to be played, covered and defensed.

    And if you ARE going to go with that kind of man off zone, then sending a blitzer is exactly the wrong thing to be doing, since you’ve effectively taken him out of the play.

    And I’ll repeat again: If the Bradley and PC played the majority of their defensive snaps this way, the Hawks would be in the bottom five in passing yards allowed. The very strengths of their personnel would be neutralized. The fact that they DON’T is why they have the overall stats that they have.

  91. SeventiesHawk – yes you make good points. Wagner was unprepared to handle his assignment on Gonzales. that said, I didn’t see trying to disrupt Gonzales routes had much effect on him all day. He made his catches in every circumstance, after being chucked and while being covered.

    We all wish they woulda/coulda/shoulda schemed it differently, after the fact. I still think we lacked the players on the field needed to beat that Gonzalez/Douglas combo from every alignment they tried on Sunday. Part of that was missing our Clem and a healthy Red and our pass rush, and part of that was young guys like Wagner still learning their craft.

    And, yes, a different scheme might have turned that final play, maybe. But would that have made us a championship team? I think this young team went as far as we could expect them to go this year.

    SI did a nice feature on that last play. Not as detailed as your, but good. lol. cheers!
    http://nfl.si.com/2013/01/14/a-second-look-at-tony-gonzalezs-clutch-catch/?sct=uk_bf2_a12

  92. freedom_X says:

    What might that reason be for Carroll and Bradley to “ignore the obvious?” I suppose that’s the biggest problem I have with this argument – that even though this has been a problem all year, the coaches are too dense to understand that a simple fix is staring them in the face.

    If the analysis backs that up, then that would be the most interesting question – why don’t Carroll and Bradley see this? Anyone can blow a call for a given play or series, but the thesis here is that they’ve been messing up all year and don’t correct themselves. Why would that be?

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