Pete Carroll again avoids a reactionary mistake, sticks to the same plan he's had for 30 years
Seaside Joe 1152: If you saw it coming, you have nothing to worry about
Friday was another perfect example of the “team-first” mentality that I’ve been saying to expect of Pete Carroll since Russell Wilson was traded to Denver. The Seahawks are smartly avoiding the advice of Twitter and sticking to a blueprint that will neither waste a draft pick on a player who is more likely to be a backup than a starter, nor waste the time of said draft pick by putting him in a bad situation for a rookie quarterback.
Reacting to the Wilson trade by making panicky moves to put a band-aid on the situation is the exact type of roster management moves that Seattle fans have been laughing at other teams at while things had been solid for the Seahawks at quarterback for the last 10 years.
The Panthers traded a second for Sam Darnold? “Ha. Ha. Ha.”
The Panthers signed Teddy Bridgewater for how much? “Ha. Ha. Ha.”
The Giants drafted Daniel Jones how high? “Ha. Ha. Ha.”
The Vikings traded what for Sam Bradford? “Ow. Ow. Ow.”
It’s stunning to see so many people who were pillars of “smart football” a few years ago turn into some of the most call-in radio of sports takers in recent weeks. This isn’t to say that there isn’t a quarterback who the Seahawks have passed on or will pass on who couldn’t come to make them regret it later on. This isn’t to discount that maybe you, reading this right now, are thinking to yourself, “But I do like (this quarterback) and I want my voice to be heard on this.”
You and I, we are both mere guessers of the answers that would unlock a bright Seahawks future, and I respect your plan too.
What concerns me is not a difference of opinion. What concerns me is the lack of curiosity that some zombified sports takers have in trying to understand a point of view that doesn’t perfectly line up with their own. If you wanted Seattle to draft Malik Willis or trade for Baker Mayfield or sign Marcus Mariota, then more power to you, and if any of those things had fancied Pete Carroll then more power to him.
If Carroll had drafted Willis or Desmond Ridder or Kenny Pickett, it wouldn’t have lined up with my point of view. But I would no less have supported the player and attempted to see what it was that I was missing; I think I’ve made it clear over the last two days and since the Wilson trade that I am willing to admit mistakes when I screw up reading the tea leaves. Why? Because I want to continuously improve my analysis by refining my understanding of the game and the Seahawks, which means that I must constantly update what it is that I’ve learned over the last 20 years of writing and 39 years of living.
That means admitting errors, of which there will be many, which recently has included failing to see the forest for the trees with Charles Cross, and miscalculating Seattle’s ability and willingness to trade Wilson before 2023. But I’ve also gotten a lot right recently, including be able to predict most of what the Seahawks would do and would not do in free agency, as well as what they would do and would not do in the draft—which on Friday included drafting EDGE Boye Mafe at 40, RB Kenneth Murray III at 41, and OT Abe Lucas at 72.
I shouldn’t be too up my own ass about it though…I’m fortunate enough to have been studying two guys who’ve been at the same job…FOR THE LAST THIRTEEN YEARS.
So it kind of confounds me that there are many Seahawks voices who have managed to ignore that probably no head coach/personnel VP in history has spent less draft capital on a quarterback than Pete Carroll. Not only does Carroll have an incredibly consistent track record when it comes to not drafting quarterbacks, but he just did this thing…this thing that I call…trading Russell Wilson!
Like it or hate it, it sure was a Pete thing to do.
Why the befuddlement then when Pete avoids the worst quarterback class since 2013 at a time when the Seahawks also have the most non-quarterback needs on the roster since 2012? You are more than welcome to disagree, but…surprise?
For the last seven weeks, I’ve made it clear that the Seahawks would not spend an abundant amount of draft capital or cap space on replacing Wilson, especially having acquired Drew Lock in the deal. Lock, the 42nd overall pick in 2019, is a better quarterback prospect than all of the quarterbacks who were available at 41…and all of those who were available at 72…of which the number did not change.
I believe that by cautioning everyone against splash reactionary moves and pounding home that Seattle would NOT draft a quarterback with an early pick, would NOT make a desperation move for a veteran, and that he would NOT suddenly change his philosophies after 50 years in football, that the writing here gets to remain sane and rational. He’s been running virtually the same football team since 1994, only the uniforms and the players and the levels have changed.
On March 21st, I wrote this Regular Joes Freemium post, but I just unlocked it because I want to give everyone else a chance to read it. I think it is perfectly relevant to the moment. This is what Pete Carroll believes about QBs that 99-percent of Twitter doesn’t understand:
It must be torture. To have spent every day since the Russell Wilson trade expecting Pete Carroll to trade for or sign a quarterback significantly better than Drew Lock, for no reason at all based on any historical evidence we have to draw from over 12 previous years in the organization.
Because Pete Carroll does not view the quarterback position as the most important position in football. At least, he doesn’t think that quarterbacks ever come before the team, and he doesn’t believe that quarterbacks are as God-like and singular as the impression of them you might get on Twitter.
Carroll, who started coaching football in 1973 (when NCAA’s leading passer, Jesse Freitas, had 347 attempts), and who joined the NFL for the first time in 1984 (when Dave Krieg threw 24 interceptions… and made the Pro Bowl), and who turned Matt Leinart into a Heisman-winning national champion by putting him in the buddy system with Reggie Bush and Lendale White, does not agree with Twitter about how teams become most successful.
That does not mean that he is right. That does not mean that you or I have to agree with him. What that means is: You’re needlessly taking bullets when you sit on your phone all day waiting for news to break that the Seahawks will add one of the quarterbacks—who doesn't make any sense for Pete Carroll.
Are you expecting Seattle to do what you want ahead of what Pete Carroll wants? Because Carroll still wants to run the football. And he wants a quarterback who understands that and who will help the Seahawks offense lead the league in rushing, not passing yards. Not pass attempts. Not passing touchdowns. Not even scoring. RUSHING.
Believe it or not, that excerpt is only part of a much longer article, so please give it a read if you didn’t get to before. But you get what I want to relay which is that I’ve been emphasizing all offseason what it is that Pete Carroll has wanted to accomplish in 2022: RUNNING THE BALL, IMPROVING THE DEFENSE.
I predicted that the Seahawks would definitely pick a OT and EDGE with two of their first three picks, while saying that either CB or RB would be the third pick. Here’s what I wrote 10 days ago:
The Seahawks picked an OT—and I said all draft season that it HAD TO be a left tackle, not a right tackle—then an Edge OLB with Mafe at 40, then a running back with Murray at 41. I wrote about the possibility of the Seahawks drafting Breece Hall, and I was excited about it, but the only reason that I didn’t give Murray his own article is that I felt like one was enough to speak for both; I had equal grades on them by draft day. I ALSO said in that article (“I wouldn’t be surprised to see a double-down and tackle and/or edge rusher.”) and wrote multiple times that I would not be surprised to see the Seahawks double-down at offensive tackle, then they selected Lucas at 72.
After the draft, Carroll said this: “I think that three of the four picks really make a statement about the emphasis of what we would like to get done and we are going to shore things up on the edge and re-emphasize the run game.” The run game!
The Carroll offseason has been easy to predict and therefore, I haven’t had any anxiety about these moves. I don’t go around hating football all day long. And I’m very excited to see Kenneth Murray in the Seahawks rushing offense next season…he has higher odds than any of the quarterback prospects to be starting in the NFL in four years.
I did not score a perfect 100. The Seahawks did not trade down. But that is not an issue in misreading Seattle’s philosophy, John Schneider noted multiple times in the last two days that it was more of an issue of opportunity. The Seahawks were close to trading down several times and decided they couldn’t risk losing certain prospects without a better return and we saw that trade values weren’t great this year because it is considered to be such a weak class.
I’ll have a lot more to say about the great value in drafting a running back on day two and the historically bad value of drafting a quarterback on day two in the future, but there will be plenty of offseason time to get into that. The bulk of the work in building the roster is nearly done…which I think we could all see coming.
Help us out by hitting that SUBSCRIBE button and SHARING Seaside Joe with a Seahawks friend.