4 Seahawks articles wrapped into one: Pete Carroll thinks of CBs how others think of RBs
Seaside Bonus: Plus more on the tackles, the need for a receiver, and being allowed to criticize guards instead of quarterbacks
The Seattle Seahawks are 0-1. A week ago, the Seattle Seahawks were 1-0, but now they’re 0-1. Not 1-1. At least, when measured by how people seem to view the limited NFL season in a vacuum, a team is only ever as good or as bad as their most recent game.
It feels really good to be 1-0 at least 12 times in a season.
The pain piles up like shit on a stick if you are 0-1 that many times over.
You have already read what I’ve had to say about the increasing presence of a quarterback controversy (I hope) and nothing else needs to be said until another week of data or a change at the position. Now time to address other components of the team after Sunday’s 27-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers and officially move onto the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3.
Another opportunity to be 1-0 all over again.
Seaside Joe needs you! To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Seaside Joe has written almost two articles per day about the Seahawks and has pledged to write over one million words on the team in 2022 alone. That’s a world record. Instead of flooding your inboxes with a bunch of new articles on the Seahawks, here are four stories condensed and compressed into four shorter segments.
This is a free bonus post. Please feel free to share it.
The Seahawks can’t just hope to be better by not facing Nick Bosa every week
The Seahawks were concerned that their two rookie tackles wouldn’t be able to stop Nick Bosa from pressuring the quarterback. They were right: Bosa had two sacks, five QB hits, and he continues to show off as one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.
So not facing Bosa sure is a lot better than facing Bosa.
Facing Arnold Ebiketie a week after facing Bosa is like taking a dream vacation in Bali a week after crawling through sewage to get your Shawshank redemption.
Carroll says that finally Seattle can unleash the deep ball because Charles Cross and Abe Lucas won’t have to pass protect against an All-Pro—the Falcons had the worst pass rush in the NFL in 2021, led in sacks by the 4.5 of Dante Fowler, and then they did practically nothing to address that issue in the offseason—and I have no doubt that the results should be different in Week 3.
Ebiketie, a second round pick out of Penn State, has one sack in two games and might actually be Atlanta’s best edge rusher right now.
However, what are the Seahawks going to do after the Falcons game?
There’s Aidan Hutchinson (three sacks in Week 2) in Week 4; Cam Jordan in Week 5; Joey Bosa in Week 7; Shaq Barrett in Week 10. Those are just a handful of the upcoming matchups that we know could favor the defense, not mentioning the more surprising challenges that could present themselves along the way.
I expect Seattle’s young tackles to do better against the Falcons already. What’s important is how the Seahawks plan to improve the protection with internal changes, not how they will do better based on factors outside of their control.
The Seahawks need to add an ELITE wide receiver in 2023
I might be more excited to find out which wideout the Seahawks add next year than which quarterback. While a first round quarterback has much more value, the position also carries the highest bust rate in the league. Though there are many disappointing first and second round receiver selections in the last five drafts, there are also way more examples of players to enter the league in the last few years who’ve earned fans, accolades, and $72 million.
Speaking of which, the fact that Seattle extended DK Metcalf doesn’t make it any less true that the team desperately needs another pass catching weapon. Neither does the fact that Tyler Lockett leads the NFL in average yards of separation through two games.
Look around at the NFL’s top wideouts in receiving yards so far and you are going to find a lot more players who joined their teams recently than those who are into years four, five, or eight with their current franchise: Tyreek Hill, Justin Jefferson, Jaylen Waddle, Ja’Marr Chase, Amon-Ra St. Brown, A.J. Brown, Christian Kirk, Rashod Bateman, Garrett Wilson, Drake London…
You have probably also noticed that those players are on teams that haven’t stopped attacking the wide receiver position with more options than one or two:
The Eagles drafted DeVonta Smith in 2021, traded for Brown in 2022
The Dolphins drafted Waddle in 2021, traded for Hill in 2022
The Lions drafted St. Brown in 2021, then drafted Jameson Williams in 2022
The Jets drafted Elijah Moore and signed Corey Davis in 2021, drafted Wilson in 2022
The Ravens drafted Bateman in 2021, a year before they knew they’d be trading Marquise Brown to the Cardinals in 2022
The Falcons drafted Kyle Pitts in 2021, then London in 2022
The Bengals knew they had Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd when they drafted Chase in 2021
The Raiders had Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller when they traded for Davante Adams
The Rams signed Allen Robinson to complement the reigning Offensive Player of the Year—and L.A. still has needs at wideout
Watching the Dolphins-Ravens highlights, I’m as struck by the host of weapons on either side—Waddle, Hill, Bateman, Mark Andrews, Devin Duvernay, Mike Gesicki—as the two quarterbacks.
I wrote during training camp that it is too soon to panic about Dee Eskridge. It’s not training camp anymore and Pete Carroll seems more intent on getting Marquise Goodwin involved in the offense than Seattle’s recent second round selection.
Eskridge is three years older than many of his draft counterparts at receiver. He’s not the only player to suffer too many injury setbacks in their career and yet others find ways to see the field. Certainly Eskridge isn’t being held back because he’s buried on a depth chart like Denzel Mims on the Jets…not that I think Mims is a future starter.
But he’s right when he says he’s not going to get opportunities on that roster.
So breaking down Seattle’s wide receiver room: Metcalf is signed through 2025, but is only one player and fits only one kind of need at the position. Lockett is worthy of at least seven enshrinements in the Ring of Honor, but will be 32 when the 2024 season arrives. Eskridge has played in 11 snaps this year and is already 25-years-old.
The Seahawks will have two first round and two second round picks and I firmly believe one of those should be used on a wideout. The 2023 draft class will have as many exciting receiver prospects as there have been in the last four years, including LSU’s Kayshon Boutte, Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and USC’s Jordan Addison.
Seattle would be lucky to add a receiver prospect on the level of Chase, Waddle, Bateman, London, or Jameson Williams, to name a handful.
Predicting which veteran receivers will be available on the market could prove as difficult as it would have been to suggest that Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams were changing teams prior to those players changing teams. However, I do predict that big names will continue to move around the league and it’s possible the Seahawks would involve themselves in those talks, just as they did when Percy Harvin and Jimmy Graham got dealt.
The receiver room may not be the issue today. But an even better receiver room could be part of the solution tomorrow.
Pete Carroll thinks of CBs how others think of RBs
The highest-drafted cornerback in 13 years under Pete Carroll is Shaquill Griffin, 90th overall. The Seahawks signed Richard Sherman to a four-year, $57 million extension in 2014. Carroll once gave Cary Williams a three-year, $18 million free agent deal, only to release him after 10 games.
In that same period of time, Seattle has drafted Christine Michael, C.J. Prosise, Rashaad Penny, and Kenneth Walker III within the top-90 picks. Carroll has traded for Marshawn Lynch and extended Lynch—twice—and also re-sign Lynch again in 2019 after a stint with the Raiders. He’s added Eddie Lacy in free agency. Extended Chris Carson. And stayed loyal to Michael by going through multiple engagements and breakups.
It’s well past the time to accept that the Seahawks hold the cornerback position in lower regard than the running back position. Agree or disagree with that approach to roster building, this is one that Seattle has had over 13 years and for the most part it has worked on defense.
The Seahawks are currently going with Sidney Jones IV, Artie Burns, and Justin Coleman on one-year contracts, plus Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant as day three rookies, a journeyman in Mike Jackson, depth with Isaiah Dunn, and John Reid, Tre Brown hanging on injury lists.
Do cornerbacks matter?
You’re allowed to be mean to players if they play guard!
Point out “statistical uncomfortableness” with Geno Smith? Then you’ve probably heard something like this: “The Seahawks have other issues besides the quarterback!”
Suggest that Gabe Jackson is past his prime at guard after eight years of him being pretty good at his job? Then read the replies to this tweet, including “Right now, they should be open to any options they have if he's going to play that poorly. That was a rough, rough performance that somehow looked worse in re-watch than live.” from Corbin Smith himself:
As well as:
“abysmal” “Yuck” “Do you think Jake Curhan would be a better option at RG?” “Who can replace him?” “Why is Jackson still on the roster?” “Get him out” “Yikes” and a gif of a kid vomiting.
This is not to defend Gabe Jackson (I was endorsing getting a Jackson trade done from March to September and had NO support from Corbin Smith on that one!), nor is it meant to incite a protest of Geno Smith as the starter. This is merely an observation of behavior, reaction, and narrative: If you’re a quarterback who is struggling, sometimes fans need to know “What else is wrong?” If you’re a guard who is struggling, nobody is likely to get your back, not even fans or bloggers.
I picked one tweet example, but this reaction exists everywhere.
Replacing Jackson isn’t going to make Geno better. Replacing Geno isn’t going to make Jackson better.
But it would be better to be more consistent with having both criticism AND patience for everybody, not just the quarterback.