Seahawks Saturday: Notes on the week, with 85 days until the 2022 season
Seaside Joe 1200: 53-man roster, rushing concerns, and stop worrying about Russ
John Gilbert posted a 53-man roster projection for the offense on Saturday and it is hard to even find a point that is even arguable outside of the final(?) wide receiver position. John chose Cody Thompson and his point about Thompson’s special teams availability is sound and I agree with it.
Pete Carroll could decide to keep six receivers, or he could choose someone other than Thompson, or just maybe the situation with Dee Eskridge gets to the point where the Seahawks just can’t rely on him by September (I keep forgetting that Eskridge is older than Rasheem Green).
Whatever the case ends up being, fans get into these funny arguments every year about who the last couple of receivers to make the roster are and who missed the cut, and yet the entire lot of them tend to end up with little-to-no career impact in the NFL. I’ve always felt that steals show up early and long-term development with backend roster players is a pipe dream.
The Seahawks knew immediately that Doug Baldwin was an NFL player. Whereas Jermaine Kearse did work his way into an important role on the team after a few years, his value was always capped as a third or fourth receiver—and Kearse is one of the biggest success stories for Seattle’s undrafted free agents.
Previously: Updates on all 13 Seahawks receivers
With those parameters in mind, I think Seattle knows the cap on Freddie Swain, Penny Hart, and Thompson. It’s also reasonable to have hope and optimism for first-year players like Dareke Young and Bo Melton, although we’ve heard nothing encouraging from Carroll thus far and in fact should be mildly concerned that he’s expressed disappointment in their conditioning routines already.
I know that seeing Melton and Young on the cut list would be very disappointing to Seahawks fans. But keep in mind that your two favorite Seahawks receivers of the last three years were both day two picks. Not only day two picks, but day two picks that Carroll needed so bad that he traded up for them. So in spite of a large list of names on the roster at receiver, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Eskridge are the only three that received that level of investment.
So I think that if anyone were to breakthrough, it could be Marquise Goodwin. If Eskridge isn’t prepared to start in Week 1, Goodwin’s experience may outweigh any expectations that a younger player is a diamond in the rough. If any of these young players are diamonds, we’ll know sooner than later.
Bob Condotta on Andy Dickerson, running under center
Bob shared some great stats on Seattle’s rushing game from last season in The Seattle Times this week.
One specific change was running a bit more from under center than out of shotgun — Seattle had 256 runs from under center and 157 out of shotgun in 2021 compared to 196 under center and 251 out of shotgun in 2020, according to Pro Football Reference.
Rashaad Penny particularly thrived in runs from under center. When he had his breakout game against Houston both of his TD runs of 32 and 47 yards came with Wilson lined up under center. Penny has said being lined up behind the quarterback under center allows him to see things better and get more of a head start.
Dickerson hinted to expect more of the same in 2022, which is no surprise given that trying to build the offense around a stellar rushing attack has seemed obvious as Seattle’s hoped-for template for success in the post-Wilson era.
We know that Carroll wants to establish the run again in 2022. The Seahawks ranked sixth in rushing DVOA last season—heavily influenced by Penny’s late season heroics—after ranking 12th and 9th in the previous two seasons. But my concerns with Seattle’s intentions to be a top-ranked rushing team in 2022 are threefold:
The offensive line is both inexperienced, particularly when it comes to the tackles and run-blocking, and has concerns of ability and availability at guard and center.
The NFC West has the best run defense in football, especially with regards to the Rams and 49ers, with the former adding Bobby Wagner to the mix.
Nobody is fearful of Geno Smith or Drew Lock consistently beating them downfield.
What will we find out in Week 1? The Broncos were at best an average run defense in 2021, but change over from Vic Fangio to new defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero…formerly of the Rams. It seems to me that Denver is still more concerned with pass rushing and coverage than run defense… but if the Broncos get out to an early lead, that’s a fourth prong that could mitigate Penny and Ken Walker’s impact on the ground.
We’re seeing how fans always put player comments through a lens that starts with “Is he on the Seahawks?” and now Russell Wilson is a jerk I guess
On Friday, Russell Wilson said something to the media… but in reality he said nothing and yet it still offended some people.
Wilson is trying to be accepted by Broncos fans. He probably feels a lot of pressure to be this very important player who will be worth the incredibly high price that Denver has already paid (two firsts, two seconds, Noah Fant, +++) and the price that is yet to come with his next contract. He’s this new guy and I bet not every Broncos fan was all that pleased about the trade and won’t be until they see the quarterback in action.
I bet Wilson is a little bit nervous and as usual, overcompensating for his critics.
So he’s giving all the same lip service he gave to Seahawks fans when he was in Seattle. He’s the same guy, saying the same things, to new media doing the same job as Seattle media, and the only difference is that now Seahawks fans are “one of the other 31 teams.”
Everything that you liked about Wilson for 10 years, or even moments that you cringed at but said “Well at least he’s our cringelord, hehe”, were things being made fun of by the other 31 teams or criticized by other fans. Now Seahawks fans are the “other fans” except it is also being filtered as, “Well, every time he doesn’t pay gratitude to the Seahawks, it is an insult.”
I don’t see any reason that Wilson has to even think about the Seahawks, other than a Week 1 game that he wants to win. I don’t see any reason that the Seahawks need to think about Wilson, other than a Week 1 game that they want to win. When Wilson was traded, that was the time to move on from caring about him any differently than you care about the other 30 non-Seahawks starting quarterbacks in the NFL.
There’s no way that anybody should watch that video and have this reaction:
Seattle traded away a cringelord. We don’t need him replaced with new cringelords.
Russell Wilson’s legacy in Seattle: 104-53-1 regular season; 9-7 postseason with two SB appearances and the only SB win in franchise history. That’s impossible to trash.
The only reason I'll be keeping an eye on Wilson is the remaining draft picks we got from Denver. I want them to be as high as possible, so although I have nothing against him personally and don't care what he says to the media, I don't want him to have any success this year in his new gig. But once the season's over, I'll stop caring about him.
Re the "last" receiver spot: I hope it goes to someone who can play the slot but have no preconceived ideas about who best fits that description.
And I hope we can find a better backup center than Kyle Fuller. I'll be rooting for Shepley to beat him out, but I understand John's logic on this.