Seaside Joe 1315: On the importance of Kenneth Walker, Tariq Woolen's insane start, and Seattle's offensive and defensive struggles
I think you've been spot on as to the value of Walker from the day the pick was made. Even earlier, as you advocated for the early pick of a top RB prospect. Anyone who didn't know Carson was unlikely to return and Penny had a history of catastrophic injury wasn't knowledgeable about our team (and too lazy to do a tiny bit of research). Let's hope Walker holds up under the load he's got to carry going forward. Was wonderful to watch him rise to the challenge.
I love your point about how people used RB injury data to disparage the pick rather than as evidence for why it was a smart pick.
As for Adams, I'm one of the people who feel the trade was a mistake. I felt that when it was made but, without a crystal ball, I thought there was a chance it would prove wise (like the Rams' trade for Ramsey). As things have turned out, Adams has been injured a lot and we would have had the 10th pick in last year's draft. Those two factors make it a no-brainer that it was a bad trade -- with the value of 20/20 hindsight. Without hindsight, a more fair assessment is it was a swing for the fences by a team that saw itself in a quickly-closing win-now window.
Our defense is beyond porous. The worst I've ever seen for this team and I first watched the Seahawks in 1986 when they were coached by Chuck Knox. Offenses cut through this defense like a warm knife through room-temperature butter. Geno isn't great but he's proven himself far better than I (and most of us) expected. A lot of the credit goes to our much improved OL but Geno's proven himself smart, poised and accurate. With a strong defense, this team might have had a shot at the playoffs and, once there, who knows. (Think Nick Foles and the Eagles.) But this defense places way too much pressure on a guy with limited tools who can only do so much when blitzed in long yardage situations.
In regards to why the offense isn't as good in the 2nd half as the first, I have to wonder why. We went through 10 years of Russ sucking in the 1st half and now poor second half performance with Geno so I can't see how it would be the coaching, it must be the players... right? So what happens at halftime that would cause such a problem?
Outside a 3rd receiver, the next draft has to be defensive heavy.They need one pro bowl quality tackle (Anderson of Bama ) one pass rush end , 2 LBs and a shut down corner. Could be achieved with 3 high draft choices and some smart free agent pick ups.
2nd half lack of offense could be bad halftime adjustments by the staff.
Unfortunately, Hawks don't have the personnel for a 3/4 scheme.
Other than being too hard on the DL, I agree with most of what you said.
I have not lost hope for Taylor, Ford, and Mone who all played well last year against both the run and pass. They cannot all be losing their skills. This has to be the scheme and or coaching. When Woods went out they went back to a 4 man DL, that moved closer together, and it seemed to work.
I don't think the Hawks have the personnel to play the 3-4, but the loss of Woods would insure we abandon it, I believe.
We have essentially the same DL we had last year with better corners (especially when Tre Brown returns) and the same LB's and Safeties we had at the end of last year after we lost BWags to injury. We should be better than last year.
And Pete must know all of this and will take steps. I believe the entire FO and Pete are taking this year like most of us - as a developmental year with no honest aspirations for a SB. Geno's play might have changed those aspirations except for the defensive fail. So no one is freaking out at our trajectory. I feel sorry for the defensive coaches. The switch to 3-4 cannot be accomplished without more foresight and drafting.
Those are the facts, I will say it has been far more entertaining than I had imagined. When I could, before the season started, I said our 2 linebackers needed help. Most people felt we would play 3 safeties. I agreed and thought Jamal Adams could have a career year. Look at the play he got hurt on, the speed the tackle, that is what we are missing. We have 3 interior lineman 2 good Pro's one a 350lbs stud. So what do you run if your the other team. You run just inside the edge or outside it.
I believe Carlos Dunlap, KJ, and Bobby would have cleaned up a lot of this. Just Jamal Adams alone would have won us one more game. That couldn't be helped but the players replacing the other three aren't helping a lick.
If we can tackle it would help.
As far as the offense goes, Shane Waldron, Geno, poor Rashad our tackles and TEs have played well. Kenneth Walker took advantage of a hole when he found it and will learn every game. Don't be surprised if DJ gets as many snaps as KW3 to start. Also when the offense only gets to run 49 plays they sure made the most of them.
I feel I should end with wow Woolen is special
This is a very good commentary. Honest and in my opinion, very truthful. I would pretty much say that everything you stated is true. I did feel like we won "our" Super Bowl beating Russ. But that really does not seem like that big of a feat today, but it was still FUN!!
Man do I feel for Penny. An injury waiting to happen finally was able to prove himself, and yet again, another season ending, serious injury. Thank goodness we DID draft a wonderful RB in Walker.
Like you state Kenneth, we better draft some D talent next year. It is very hard watching every aspect of our D being terrible. The only good thing to say about our D is that usually the pain of watching them perform does not last a long time with each opponent's possession. Ok, the two rookie corners make me smile and clap at least once a game.
Isn’t half time when coaches adjust what they are doing based on what is working / not working.
Could it be the coaching?
The reason people didnt like the Adams trade was because they gave up two 1's for him, which you fail to mention- not because people felt he wasn't talented. In the same article, you say he's no Minkah. You're right. Minka is better and cost just one first rounder. That's the rub. GET IT?
In this SAME ARTICLE you bemoan the lack of high end talent that typically comes from first round picks. Yes! Exactly! LIKE THE ONES THAT WERE PISSED AWAY ON A GOOD-NOT-GREAT SAFETY.
Do you even hear yourself?
-Let's hope that DJ Dallas IS comparable to Walker in a good way.
-At the risk of repeating myself, it does't make sense that both linebackers or struggling in coverage. Both are fast, that's why the organization drafted them. I can certainly see one of them not panning out in coverage but I think this has to be a scheme/coaching issue.
-I really want to know what happened between Sidney Jones and the coaching staff.
-I can't wait until Trey Brown gets back.
-Does anybody know how Mike Jackson played in New Orleans?
Finding a durable tough RB in the draft like a Marshawn Lynch, Frank Gore, Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, Earl Campbell, Herschel Walker, or a small guy like Christian McCaffrey are a rare breed to find. The type of body that can take-a-lickin and get backup and come back for more punishment. The kind of RBs that Pete covets for the run game; like when he coach at USC, he had two RBs, "Thunder & Lightening". One for speed 'Lightening and the other for running up the middle, 'the Thunder. Based upon the past few years of Seahawk RB injuries, I said before this season started, the Seahawks need a full stable of RBs to make it thru a full season. Because, all the RBs end up on the injury list before the season was over !! My feeling was, they should have kept RB Adrian Peterson as an extra in the stable for times like now, the 'Thunder' up the middle. I watched all the Utube film on Walker after the Seahawks drafted him, and I notice, he is not the 'Thunder' punishing runner. BUT, he has the 'Lightening' speed to bounce to the outside, and take it up the field quickly. He has the instinct to dart quickly between the cracks with speed and find the open field. Now Pete needs the 'Thunder' RB. I just hope Walker doesn't try to be the punishing runner like Marshawn Lynch, or he will probably end up on the Injury Reserve list like all the others ?? Thats how I see it....
While I agree that Woolen is completely deserving of DROY so far, I wonder if the powers that be outside of Seattle will see it that way. I fear that his draft position (while it shouldn't matter) and playing for the worst defense in football may count against him.
I still feel like we won our season in week 1 and all this other stuff is just interesting to watch now.
Such a bummer to lose both Adams and Penny so early into the season. Those are two of our top five players and I really hope Walker makes it through the season without injury.
Geno has been a much better QB and storyline than I even imagined he would be. However, I still think his ceiling is bridge QB and he's playing up to his potential so far.
PFF has the coverage rank for Barton at 89th and Brooks at 92nd. How important does that make finding an on ball linebacker with good coverage skills? That said, I'm certainly guilty of jumping to conclusions based on five games. Steve Raible, who knows more about football and has more insider knowledge than I ever will, said that he specifically watched Brooks and Barton against the Saints and that they looked greatly improved. He went on to point out that the in NFL one step is the difference between good coverage and giving up a first down and changing schemes has a bigger effect than you think. He gave the example of Poona Ford moving four feet but it changed his responsiblities and angles. His point was it takes time to adjust.