How to survive a bad season if it happens, and other Seahawks chats
Seaside Joe 1274, 8/31/22: Continuing our conversations from Monday
On Monday, I asked Seaside Joe readers to start a conversation with me about the Seahawks and we got 100 comments, a new NFL record! How many of those comments were made by me? According to my rulebook: It don’t matter.
What matters to me is this community and what we’ve built over the last 1,274 days. I spoke to all of you who responded in my Community Conversations corner and we had some great convos in the comments section about the Hawks.
Thank you to all who joined in the conversation, whether you’re a longtime reader or a first-time caller, or both! I appreciate every one of you and while I am of humble offerings at the moment, I’m randomly giving out 90-day comps to the Regular Joes bonus section to people in the comments.
This week, that went to Geff Ratcheson, AggieHawk, and 10to80!
I’ll keep doing that at random, so please come join us and mix it up because Seaside Joe already has one of the most active comments section of ANY blog at Substack and trust me, I’ve checked them all. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as usual, stands taller than everyone else.
I believe wholeheartedly that one day Seaside Joe can reach the same level of “Substack fame” as Kareem.
This morning, with so many Seaside Joe articles about the 53-man roster already posted on Tuesday, I want to continue a few of those conversations from Monday in today’s episode of Joe. Your support, through comments, shares, and word of mouth, is immensely important and appreciated. But also through subscriptions if you want to upgrade before the season:
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Now let’s highlight some of your highlights from Community Conversations.
“I'm incredibly concerned about the tackling. Peteball has always been play a conservative offense and limit turnovers and have the defense stop the other team cold. I'm pretty sure we have the conservative offense (and perhaps limiting turnovers in place as well) but the Hawks aren't stopping anyone if they can't tackle. What the heck is going on?” - Bob Johnston
This is another great example of what I mean when I say, “What you all know collectively about football is way more than I’ll ever know.” I mean, so many of you all know what to expect and what to rightfully be concerned about and what Pete Carroll is good at. And what Pete Carroll is bad at.
I tend to be more optimistic this time of year because we haven’t really seen “the Seahawks” yet. That is especially true of the defense without having seen Jordyn Brooks (one of the NFL’s surest tacklers last season), Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, and really only smatterings of the defensive line.
Sidney Jones IV is also an interesting piece of the puzzle as he was praised for his tackling last season, truly his first full year in the league.
I’ll reserve judgment until a few games into the regular season. But certainly that was the story of the preseason, outside of the quarterback fair. At this point that situation feels more like a science fair than a competition. Two quarterbacks, put on display, waiting to be judged.
“I try to be an optimist, but the sum total of training camp and preseason games has left me mentally preparing for a VERY BAD season. I will admit I was holding out some hope that Drew Lock was at least a league-average quarterback/game manager and combined with the running game, we could skew toward a league-average year. With Lock's performance against the Cowboys, I'm expecting that we will be in the conversation for Bryce Young. Geno is unwatchable; he takes care of the football but the offense has no juice with him at the helm. How many times has Russ marched down the field at the end of the game and won it at the end. Just don't see it with Geno. I will be watching for progress from some of the young guys, especially KW3, but my question for you and the commenters is how do you mentally deal with the losses after being spoiled for so long with all of the wins? I can't not watch!” - Bill
You asked for it, Bill. And I hope to give you the response that question requires: Let’s put it to the commenters. It’s a great question: “How do you mentally deal with the losses after being spoiled for so long with all of the wins?”
I have my answer, what about you reader?
I think first and foremost, the Bengals have proven that we can’t take any team for granted going into the season. I’m not an unreasonable person, I don’t think the Seahawks resemble last season’s Bengals, but I’ll give Pete Carroll the benefit of the doubt. I think we will get our answer almost immediately in Week 1 and Week 2, then perhaps the true test is if the Seahawks look much better than the Falcons and Lions in the next two games.
If Seattle starts 0-2 against the Broncos and 49ers, but they play well, maybe there’s reason for hope. If the Seahawks struggle against the Falcons and Lions, that would be much more telling.
To address your question more directly, my opinion is that it is all part of the fun of being a sports fan. I’ve personally run through thousands of Madden seasons on dynasty mode, happily losing not only to get better draft picks, but it kind of just feels better to become great when you start near the bottom.
I’m not saying that it would be better if the Seahawks bottomed out this season.
The Bengals are also an example of a team that drafted Joe Burrow with the number one pick two years before reaching the Super Bowl. I would never advise teams to lose on purpose. But I do think that bad seasons can actually be good seasons and so I won’t stress out about the win-loss results. What matters, as you say, is watching greatness in young players start to show itself at moments throughout the season.
That’s what we saw in 2010 and 2011. It was always worth watching.
“What is the best case scenario for our offense?” - Luis Guilherme
I want to hear what other people think, but from my perspective everything starts with the offensive line.
Penalties need to be next-to-never to give Seattle every extra yard that it can get on offense. They can’t hold themselves back. Geno Smith was sacked 13 times last season and he was consistently losing yards in the preseason, so that will also put more pressure on this largely-new group of offensive linemen.
Charles Cross and Abe Lucas have zero NFL experience, Austin Blythe had 12 snaps last season, and Gabe Jackson’s 116 career starts is 19 more than the rest of the offensive line combined.
My emphasis here wouldn’t be: “Caution: the offensive line is bad.” More that I do not see their best case scenario being top-10, but I could see their worst case scenario being bottom-three. Individually, the players could all be good, how will they play as a first-time offensive line unit in the first two months of the season though?
Starting there, then the other questions would be how good the run blocking is for Rashaad Penny, whether any of the tight ends can actually break out, and if Seattle can find a super dynamic individual weapon next to Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.
The Seahawks had one of the best offenses in the NFL over the last six weeks of last season. Russell Wilson played a big part in that.
My best case scenario would be as modest as the 2021 Detroit Lions. Bridge quarterback does “fine”, lots of weapons and offensive linemen who fans should really be excited about, but not a scary offense.
Best case scenario for the offense?
“What surprised me the most (negatively) was the tackling, which IMHO also explains the surprisingly poor special teams performance. Guys taking the wrong angles, arm tackling, etc. Pete made it sound like it was guys who were not going to be on the team, but, those guys are preseason fodder every year and I don't recall ever seeing tackling this poor on a Pete Carroll team. Makes me worry about the general preparation of the team. So many new coaches, new defensive scheme, etc -- could it be that so much time was needed to teach the scheme that the fundamentals went out the door? Really worrisome” - Zezinhom400
I just wanted to highlight this because it goes into greater detail about the tackling issues. And because your username is Zezinhom400.
“One question? How’s the McCaw campaign going? Do you get any responses from anyone working in Hawks office or around it at least? I mean, at least it would be interesting to know if they pay some extra attention to him, regardless if they chose to go in another direction at the draft.” - Tom Kvarnström
So far it’s mainly just been the announcement article, but Coastal Carolina kicks off this Saturday at 4 PM against Army. When McCaw starts putting out more excellent film out there, it will be the perfect time to start tagging the @Seahawks in all of his highlight videos and hopefully for other Seahawks fans to join in on the campaign.
Imagine how great it would be if at the very least, somewhere out there in the world of media, they pick up the story that there’s an NFL obsession with an unheralded quarterback out of the Sun Belt? And then, in the dream of dreams, the Seahawks actually do it.
He’d be a great fit. Time to start running the triple option with McCall, Penny, and Walker.
Kkkkk ok I'll explain the name. Grew up in Brazil and people struggled with my real name, so they just called me Zezinho the equivalent of Joey. Started using this handle in my very first venture into forums, which was a small group of guys who owned or loved the Noble M400, a quirky but ridiculously quick British sports car. I bought one, joined the forum, hence zezinhom400.
Odds are I'm your only subscriber who a) lives in Brazil (Brasil to us) and b) owned a Noble M400
The titanium one was mine, parked outside my home when I lived in Omaha NE
How to deal with loss after loss:
Hopefully those games will be interesting, but with GS, NAH
FinallY it all comes down to watching development & individual performances.
Gonna be a LONG season!