A Deconstruction and Chronicle of Pete's Defense

Fade

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First of all, how did we get here? It starts with coaching.

-2015- Dan Quinn was hired away and so Pete decided to go with an internal hire, Kris Richard.

(Made total sense. Seattle had the best defense in the league for years, and in keeping continuity with that group there was no need to look outside the org for a new DC. But then Kris Richard was told to leave because he was playing more man defense and blitzing more, essentially not doing it how Pete wanted, so he had to go. The defenses weren't terrible, they were good in fact, but no longer dominant.)

-2018- Ken Norton replaced Kris Richard because he would be Pete's "Yes Man," unlike Kris Richard.

(Norton was allowed to stick around for far too long and only retained his job because he was Pete's puppet, no other team in the league would've hired him to be DC. They became stagnant, stale, antiquated, and historically bad.)

-2022- Clint Hurtt another internal hire. They have a 3-4 alignment in their base, but 4-2-5 in nickel, and not a 3-3-5. And on the backend are playing the same defense as they did with Norton a lot of Cover 2 and Cover 3, with little shifting post snap. Not a lot of blitzing, not a lot of stunts-twists-games. It's pretty much the same defense, save for the 3-4 alignment in base. Which I expect to be abandoned in the near future as it is an utter failure.

(But the pattern and thus problem is obvious. All of the hires are made internally with Pete refusing to let go.)

Onto recent personnel, and this is where it gets spooky. They have significant investment in Pete's failed attempt to build his defense. Featuring a lot of pieces that are outright failing, bad, or at best… meh.

Here's a run down of every 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rd pick in recent years, along with $$$ investments on defense.

D-LINE / EDGE

- L.J. Collier - 2019; 1st rd pick.

(The Seahawks got played like a damn fiddle in this draft, and would require an entire write up of it's own. But sticking to Collier in this blurb. He was like the 10th D-Lineman/EDGE off of the board when he was picked, and has been a huge bust.)

[Utilization: Should've been cut for cap savings before the 2022 season.]

-------
- Darrell Taylor - 2020; 2nd & 3rd rd picks.

(Moving up to take Taylor, he was supposed to be the next great Edge/Leo rusher for the Seahawks. He was bad against the run but flashed early in Seattle's old 4-3 under alignment. Shifting to a 3-4 and getting another big body on the LoS it was thought it would help mitigate Taylor's weakness. It didn't and he is worse than ever.)


[Utilization: DPR, only should be on the field on obvious passing downs. Trending toward being a bust.]


-------
- Boye Mafe - 2022; 2nd rd pick.

(Too early to tell at this point. He has flashed, but so did Darrell Taylor last year, so that doesn't mean much given this regime's consistent track record of having their young players flash early only for them to fall off a cliff in year 3. Here's hoping Mafe is an exception.)

[Utilization: Edge/Leo, exactly how he is being utilized.]


-------
- Uchenna Nwosu - $9.5M APY ($12.76M cap hit in 2023.)

(One of the few bright spots as it pertains to the bigger investments on the defense. For the 1st time in a long time the Seahawks appeared to have finally hit on a UFA, it has been a laundry list of failings in Free Agency for years. But Nwosu only costs $9.5M APY so he is an absolute bargain. The catch is it is only for 2 years.)

[Utilization: Edge/Leo, exactly how he is being utilized.]

-------
- Shelby Harris - $9M APY ($12.27M cap hit in 2023.)

(A piece from the RW trade. He was brought in to help to transition to a 3-4. Old and already injured, will be 32 next season, and doesn't make sense for a team that is supposedly rebuilding.)

[Utilization: 3-4 End, kick inside on passing downs.]

-------
- Al Woods (4.5M APY) & Brian Mone ($5.5M APY) ($10M APY combined.)

(Mone, Al Woods backup is making more money than him to be his backup. Makes sense. This is a lot of money to have tied up in NT, when you're going to be in Nickel more anyway, and thus have these guys off the field. And if they are on the field in Nickel, there goes your pass rush. Logic. Also spending this kind of money on run-stuffers and still can't stop the run is a bad look.)


[Utilization: NT.]

-------
- Poona Ford ($10.075M cap hit in 2022.)

(Poona was one of the best 1-Tech's in the NFL. So Seattle decided to pay him and move him to 3-Tech and spend money on Woods and Mone to fill the void Poona left. Makes sense. This season they moved him again to 3-4 end, where it requires size and length, where guys are usually around 6-5. Poona is 5-11. To no one's surprise he is struggling playing out of position.)

[Utilization: 1-Tech in a 4-3. Doesn't fit the scheme.]

LINEBACKER

- Jordyn Brooks - 2020; 1st rd pick.

(This is a major investment for this position. Drafting an inside linebacker in the 1st is saying this guy will be a perennial pro-bowler in the near future. He has been mismanaged, playing him out of position his first 2 seasons which impeded his development as a Mike, finally moving him to his natural Mike position in year 3, but now throwing him into a 3-4 which he didn't play in college and is not built to play. Still can't cover, will never be able to cover. He likes to go downhill, straightforward, and shoot his gap. Playing on his heals having to read and react is not his game which is required in a 3-4. This is why he is failing and will continue to fail.)

[Utilization: Early down 4-3 Backer that must come off the field on passing downs. He doesn't fit the Seahawks current defense. They have no choice but to continue rolling him out there, but don't expect it to get much better. He is what he is.]

-------
- Cody Barton - 2019; 3rd rd pick.

(They actually moved up in the 3rd round to take Barton. Swapping a 5th for a 6th with Minnesota. LBers going in the 3rd means the Seahawks thought they were drafting a starter. They were wrong. It's why he hasn't been pulled yet. They made a starter investment in him. But he is a special teamer only, and having him on the field speaks to how bad the Seahawks are at either developing, evaluating, or both as it pertains to Linebackers. Part of the disaster '19 draft where they took Collier, Blair, and Barton in the first three rounds.)

[Utilization: Special Teams. Asking anymore than that and heads need to roll both in coaching, scouting, and whoever decided he could be a starting NFL linebacker. No accountability.]

DEFENSIVE BACK

- Marquise Blair - 2019; 2nd rd pick.

(A slight of build, hard hitting safety. (Anyone not see the problem here.) Oft injured, and undisciplined. Never really developed, and is currently off of the team. His disappointing play led to trading the farm for Jamal Adams compounding things further.)

-------
- Jamal Adams - 2021; 1st & 3rd rd picks, 2022; 1st rd pick. ($17.5M APY)

(Has a lot of talent, but was miscast in the wrong defense. Pete Carroll was quoted on the record stating, "We're still trying to figure out how to use him." Over a year after trading for him. I don't know about you, but if you give up that much you better damn well know how to use him from the jump. The Seahawks are still trying to figure out how to use him. Frequently injured, but still made the highest paid safety in the league when extended due to giving up QB level draft capitol. A disaster that most front offices do not survive. It makes you question if accountability even exists at the top of the org.)

[Utilization: Could be cut pre JUN 1 for only a $3M dead money hit. Post JUN 1 would lead to cap savings. However it's very likely he will be back for 1 more year until he inevitably gets injured again. Should be a box safety in a blitz heavy 3-4, where pressure comes from everywhere. Doesn't fit the scheme.]

-------
- Quandre Diggs - $13M APY ($18.1M cap hit in 2023)

(Quandre was a good player, but his age and major injury at the end of the 2021 season makes his big contract a head-scratcher for a supposed rebuilding team. This will be a contract Seattle will come to regret as he will be 30 next season with an $18.1M cap hit. The early returns in 2022 so far have been bad to boot. The Seahawks have spent resources at Safety like it's their defensive line, or QB, insane!

It is even crazier when you realize Pete is actually good at developing DBs. He is a DB whisperer of sorts, and has developed countless DBs with late round picks. So he should be leaning in on this special power of his, while allocating all the major resources to the D-&-O-Lines, QB, etc.)


[Utilization: Diggs should be in a 2-Deep / 3-Deep scheme as he has lost speed and doesn't have the range to be a sole single high safety. It is how he is being utilized now.]


In conclusion: Pete is the architect of this dumpster fire of a defense. These are his coaches, his players, he has final say on personnel. He decides how it is run. There is no passing the buck, it stops with Pete. Scapegoating his DC's is a waste of time, so replacing Hurtt with another puppet would just be rearranging the lawn furniture.

2019: Spending 1st, 2nd, & 3rd round picks on Collier, Blair, and Barton. Only to follow it up in ->
2020: With 1st, 2nd, & 3rd spent on Brooks and Taylor. Only to then trade away ->
2021/22: Both 1sts and a 3rd for Jamal Adams is absolutely brutal. That is FOUR 1sts, TWO 2nds, and THREE 3rds for a whole lotta nuthin.

So those rubbing their hands together at the 4 early picks they have next year to fix the defense, you might want to pump the breaks. Based on Pete's recent track record on defense with early picks they could easily all get flushed.

But more importantly fans must come to grips that Pete and the defense are a packaged deal. Like how Holmgren and his offense were a packaged deal. If you want a new defense, you'll need a new HC.

In terms of fixing the defense this year, to duplicate the previous seasons after starting historically bad. Well… if they fully go back to the oldway they could improve the defense a little like in recent seasons, but the pass D will remain toothless, as the underneath softzone, featuring a bland rush will always be exploited. Teams have a literal book of Pete Carroll beaters that has spread throughout the league just to exploit his defense.

And with no Wagner or K.J. Wright in the middle I even question if it would improve that much. Brooks doesn't belong on the field on passing downs, Barton doesn't belong on the field ever. It would take a collection of all-pros to overcome this scheme at this juncture. No. The team needs a full reset on defense. A new leader that can salvage some of the pieces they have, bring in a scheme that actually makes sense, and go get the pieces he needs with the upcoming draft picks. It is time.
 

Seahawker76

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Collectively, with 23' encompassing our top 4 draft picks (undiluted) and four top FA additions, J & P should easily be able to upgrade 4-5 defensive starters to reboot for next season. Our current rookies will have a valuable year of experience under their belts and the overall defensive play will improve exponentially.
 

cymatica

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Collectively, with 23' encompassing our top 4 draft picks (undiluted) and four top FA additions, J & P should easily be able to upgrade 4-5 defensive starters to reboot for next season. Our current rookies will have a valuable year of experience under their belts and the overall defensive play will improve exponentially.
Doubt it. As the Op pointed out, they are horribly mismanaging the talent they do have and hoping the draft picks pan out is a crap shoot. Even if the picks are good, takes a couple seasons for them to learn.
 

morgulon1

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Damn. I was in a relatively good mood before reading Fade's post. These should come with
warning labels . I don't pretend to know the NFL or defensive scheme like a lot of you on here.
I just watch like I have for 40+ years. One thing I do notice however is that it looks like Seattle
doesn't have the right guys out there. It's like they're a diet defense. They make a nice stop or
TFL and then it's 3rd and 15 and the other team runs a little crossing route for 30 yards.

Seattle set that first squad up so nicely , hit on all their picks......then WTF happened?

Did Schneider quit doing his homework? I don't think so. I think Pete Carroll has meddled in our
drafts and FA and the team is the worse off for his efforts.What do ALL head coaches want to be?
They want to be the general manager for some reason. I've never understood this but look back
at other coaches through the years. Just read Fade's stuff again. These are crappy moves that get
most people fired.

I also hate Russell Wilson.
 

TheLegendOfBoom

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A lot of the issues we have been seeing for a lot of seasons now is collectively many facets of the modern NFL has left Carroll’s system struggling to survive.

Carroll has always made it clear, it’s his system, all the time, both offensively and defensively, that needs to work and not how the league operates no matter what fancy modern schemes are the popularity now, but doing things the simple way, which isn’t at all “simple” to build to get it to be successful, “run the ball” and “play great defense.”

Problem with this is the pieces it takes to “run the ball” and “play great defense” Carroll has missed more times than not on collecting the individual talent necessary to make it work collectively.

While Carroll is attempting to put in place year and after year of “his system.” The NFL evolves leaps and bounds and has decades of tape of Carroll’s style and adapts to stop Carroll’s system.

The NFL has already made in game rule changes that has prevented Carroll to truly play his brand, and the players he has coveted seem to be also coveted by other teams so the talent pool and cupboard he can collect from is almost bare.

This is a fantastic write up by the OP, I’d like to distinguish him and his time and effort piecing it all together.

Everywhere Carroll’s previous coordinators and assistance has gone has not been so successful. And you can’t even now say that Carroll’s approach has been great for Carroll either.

A lot of what we have been seeing for the last 8 or so years has been depreciating each year and the team seems to get worst every year.

Like the OP said, alot of the problems cannot be concealed by using the coordinators as scapegoats. It all starts with the person in charge and that has always been Carroll.

Will this season get better? Maybe, but it may also remain rather stagnant with a window for turning the ship around closing with each game.

I don’t see Carroll being removed from the HC spot as JA has to absolutely consider selling the team at a certain time, possibly soon, or at least looming in the near distant future, and removing the longest tenured coach before selling the team isn’t a great business decision on her end, so she isn’t going to do so.

We should probably just strap ourselves in for however long this ride will be and not expect much or even hope for any HC changes cause it’s not very likely to happen.

At least Seattle has the Mariners to look forward too for these playoffs and the next couple seasons!

Cheers to whatever happens cause it’s very likely entirely out of our control!
 

chrispy

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OP, didn't you always like JBrooks? I recall you singing his praises at times. ...maybe I'm wrong.

I recall that the main, recurring point of OP for the past year or two is that RCW is the savior of the franchise and PC/JS/JA are the obvious demise. I guess, now that the Offense doesn't look so bad, PC haters have to find flaw elsewhere. Jury's still out, but maybe it's not so black and white. I'm not even saying Fade's wrong, only that it's possibly a little more complex than "Pete's 100% awful and responsible for all things bad, never good." Considering the weekly reinforcement that the past offseason went pretty well, maybe the problems with the D can also be addressed by the current regime. They have built reasonably good Ds in the past...

FO has made bad bets. No question. We all agree. Each of them (on D, and there are others) are outlined above. But they've also made some pretty crazy-good steals too. PC/JS FO has never made a secret that they'll swing for the fences every time knowing they'll fly-out doing so. Highlighting the swing-and-misses without acknowledging the homeruns is, well, it is what it is....

Seahawks traded the franchise QB and cut MLB. There wasn't a realistic expectation of winning the SB in '22. Instead of looking backward, the team is where it is in '22. Both sides of the ball needed help. It seems like, if you're a D-minded coach who's built great Ds in the past, you worry about the O first. Commit resources to the Offense and trust you can teach the D over time. Maybe you try to get a generational LeftTackle by drafting 2 great OTs high. Maybe you luck into 2. Maybe you re-sign a top 5 WR and put together a TE room that's league-enviable. Maybe you spend the entire off-season preparing around your QB options. Pete's not known to be an Offenisve-minded genius, but this team has surprised thus far. Just because they haven't surprised on D yet, doesn't mean that it won't get better. (There are obvious places/positions it can't get worse.)

In my opinion, if there are deficits at all three levels of a D, it's going to look horrible even if there is a lot of talent. I think that's what we're seeing. Pete will take care of the backfield somehow. I think it'll take personnel improvements at the LB and DL levels.
But, to me, the good news is that's potentially only 2 players.
... and the Seahawks have 4 picks in the first 2 rounds.
... and increasing cap space as QB contract ages out.
... and an offense that can get 1st downs and stay on the field

I'm not DQing Fade's opinion/s. He's right on every fact he pointed out. Frankly, I appreciate his cynicism because bad decisions need to be called out. I just think it's not a complete picture and I disagree with the conclusion. Including the past homeruns, the potential for growth over this season and the huge amount of draft capital and cap space for the upcoming offseason, it's hard for me to qualify the situation as a "dumpster fire." In fact, I'd even say it's the best situation the team's been in since the SB.
 

DarkVictory23

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Damn. I was in a relatively good mood before reading Fade's post. These should come with
warning labels . I don't pretend to know the NFL or defensive scheme like a lot of you on here.
I just watch like I have for 40+ years. One thing I do notice however is that it looks like Seattle
doesn't have the right guys out there. It's like they're a diet defense. They make a nice stop or
TFL and then it's 3rd and 15 and the other team runs a little crossing route for 30 yards.

Seattle set that first squad up so nicely , hit on all their picks......then WTF happened?

Did Schneider quit doing his homework? I don't think so. I think Pete Carroll has meddled in our
drafts and FA and the team is the worse off for his efforts.What do ALL head coaches want to be?
They want to be the general manager for some reason. I've never understood this but look back
at other coaches through the years. Just read Fade's stuff again. These are crappy moves that get
most people fired.

I also hate Russell Wilson.
Ok, well, to kind of fix your mood, Fade just hates everything Pete Carroll does in any way, shape, or form and this thread is a way to try and move the conversation from why the predictions about how losing Russ would kill us have proven so disastrously wrong.

The first thing I'd point out is that our defense last year under Norton was not historically bad. (Neither was the previous year, for that matter). We had a period where we were on track to be 'historically' bad on defense in only one particular metric (yards) and then... we weren't. It was early season hyperbole that didn't pan out.

Our defense last year, that Fade HATED was actually, shockingly... decent. They were the type of defense that many a team (including us) has taken to a Super Bowl before. They were basically equivalent to the defense of the Rams last year with superstar Aaron 'Why don't I ever get suspended for the things I do?' Donald.

We were in the top 10 or better in numerous categories, including Opposing Scoring %, Points given up per drive, and Red Zone defense.

The problem with our defense last year was our offense. If our offense had been just like, the 27th worst team in the league at sustaining drives instead of dead freakin' last (by some margin), our defense would have instantly shot up to the top 3 or 5 in terms of scoring defense. Like, we were 1 or 2 first downs a game away from being considered one of the better defenses in the league.

That's not to say that we aren't horrendously bad this year (to this point)... we are. BUT you have to look critically at this big assessment of our defense because this type of stuff is the same kinds of things that were said about our perfectly fine defense last year.
 

olyfan63

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OK, so what the hell is Sean Desai doing in all this? We're changing schemes to use a lot of 3-4, we have some new players, and yes it's approaching historically bad defensive numbers.

We're having a lot of missed tackles (like on Hockenson's ridiculous 81 yard catch and run) and only getting minimal pass rush. Is there ANY hope for improvement this season? As DarkVictory pointed out, there are numerous teams with "average"-ish defenses that have gone to the Super Bowl, including, IMO, the 2005 Seahawks, with their lights-out, move-the-ball-on-anyone offense, that only needed an "average" defense to get to the big game.

I generally appreciate and enjoy Fade's posts, no matter how nasty-negative, because there are nearly always a whole bunch of thought-provoking truth-bombs in them, and this one was chock-full of them. However, there is reason for optimism, because the way the offense is playing*, IF the D can improve to just "average", we could conceivably eclipse the .500 mark. Yes, that looks like a big "IF" at this point. Fade does at times drift into fatalism, that none of the issues on D are at all fixable, Carroll is an old dog who is set in his ways, etc.

What plausible opportunities for improvement to "average" are there, for this D? Players get more used to, and better coached up, in the new scheme? Coaches ID better positional fits for certain players, adjust the scheme to fit what players do well, etc.? Add a little more pre-snap deception and disguise of coverages? Pick up some league-wide practice squad or street free agents that will be an upgrade to our current cast? :oops: So how can Carroll, Hurtt, and Desai make chicken salad out of this current chicken poo?
 
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DarkVictory23

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OK, so what the hell is Sean Desai doing in all this? We're changing schemes to use a lot of 3-4, we have some new players, and yes it's approaching historically bad defensive numbers.

We're having a lot of missed tackles (like on Hockenson's ridiculous 81 yard catch and run) and only getting minimal pass rush. Is there ANY hope for improvement this season? As DarkVictory pointed out, there are numerous teams with "average"-ish defenses that have gone to the Super Bowl, including, IMO, the 2005 Seahawks, with their lights-out, move-the-ball-on-anyone offense, that only needed an "average" defense to get to the big game.

I generally appreciate and enjoy Fade's posts, no matter how nasty-negative, because there are nearly always a whole bunch of thought-provoking truth-bombs in them, and this one was chock-full of them. However, there is reason for optimism, because the way the offense is playing*, IF the D can improve to just "average", we could conceivably eclipse the .500 mark. Yes, that looks like a big "IF" at this point. Fade does at times drift into fatalism, that none of the issues on D are at all fixable, Carroll is an old dog who is set in his ways, etc.

What plausible opportunities for improvement to "average" are there? Players get more used to, and better coached up, in the new scheme? Coaches ID better positional fits for certain players, adjust the scheme to fit what players do well, etc.? Add a little more pre-snap deception and disguise of coverages? Pick up some street free agents that will be an upgrade to our current cast? So how can Carroll, Hurtt, and Desai make chicken salad out of this current chicken poo?
Well, there are two main (and a couple of ancillary) reasons we can have hope:

First and foremost: Our schedule for the first quarter of the season was, depending on which metric you use, one of the top 10 hardest. Our schedule for the remaining three-quarters currently looks to be one of the 5 easiest. In other words: We went 2-2 against the toughest part of our schedule so going .500 or better against the easier part isn't crazy.

Second: Our defense over the last few years just always seems to improve as the year goes along. We didn't improve as much as some people thought last year because we weren't as horrendously bad as some people though to start the year either, but we did improve. This just seems to be a standard of Pete Carroll teams to this point.

And we saw some evidence of this in the first half+a drive against Detroit who is a team that has scored on EVERYBODY. We got what, essentially, were two three and outs. It was really special teams' failures/flukes that basically erased those two stops.


My biggest takeaway looking at our defense to this point is this: We really, really needed Jamal Adams in this scheme.

We are not the defense we spent all off-season preparing for. Does Cody Barton kind of suck? Yeah, but our LBs are also filling holes and gaps that were probably supposed to be filled by our hybrid safety/LB in Adams. Changing up what you did for an entire offseason (which was already a change from what you did for seasons before) isn't going to become second nature in 1- or 2-weeks' time.

I think we'll continue to try and simplify the scheme so that our guys don't have to do as much thinking on the field. We lack the leadership that Bobby previously brought and that Adams was supposed to provide. We'll focus on better tackling. And finally, young dudes will just get better at being in the NFL.

I think our defense is definitely going to get better. How much, that's tough for me to say.
 
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Seahawker76

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Just to touch on Fade's detailed & informative post a bit further.

-Pete Carroll's record at USC and in the NFL speak for themselves.

-Totally agree about the poor drafting and suspect Pete's influence in the war room could be part of the reason.

-Carroll (71) received a 5 year contract extension midway through the 2020 season that runs through 2025.
I would bet Carroll see's that time frame as a optimal time to retire and I doubt the organization has any plans to give him a gold watch.

-I believe the Defense, LOB and Lynch had more to do with our success than RW3, not taking away from RW's accomplishments,
just how I see it. The QB position is important, but Lynch & that D were a force.
 

Rock_the_Hawk

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I admire the time and thought put into this post. But... when its all said and done it will prove to be meaningless. yes, there are problems and they need to be better and yes there could be and will be some pieces added in the future. Patience patience patience..

Just saying
 

Own The West

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Damn. I was in a relatively good mood before reading Fade's post. These should come with
warning labels . I don't pretend to know the NFL or defensive scheme like a lot of you on here.
I just watch like I have for 40+ years. One thing I do notice however is that it looks like Seattle
doesn't have the right guys out there. It's like they're a diet defense. They make a nice stop or
TFL and then it's 3rd and 15 and the other team runs a little crossing route for 30 yards.

Seattle set that first squad up so nicely , hit on all their picks......then WTF happened?

Did Schneider quit doing his homework? I don't think so. I think Pete Carroll has meddled in our
drafts and FA and the team is the worse off for his efforts.What do ALL head coaches want to be?
They want to be the general manager for some reason. I've never understood this but look back
at other coaches through the years. Just read Fade's stuff again. These are crappy moves that get
most people fired.

I also hate Russell Wilson.
Don’t get too worked up over Fade’s posts. If you claim the world is going to end enough, eventually you’ll be right and then you can call yourself a prophet…
 

toffee

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First of all, how did we get here? It starts with coaching.

-2015- Dan Quinn was hired away and so Pete decided to go with an internal hire, Kris Richard.

(Made total sense. Seattle had the best defense in the league for years, and in keeping continuity with that group there was no need to look outside the org for a new DC. But then Kris Richard was told to leave because he was playing more man defense and blitzing more, essentially not doing it how Pete wanted, so he had to go. The defenses weren't terrible, they were good in fact, but no longer dominant.)

-2018- Ken Norton replaced Kris Richard because he would be Pete's "Yes Man," unlike Kris Richard.

(Norton was allowed to stick around for far too long and only retained his job because he was Pete's puppet, no other team in the league would've hired him to be DC. They became stagnant, stale, antiquated, and historically bad.)

-2022- Clint Hurtt another internal hire. They have a 3-4 alignment in their base, but 4-2-5 in nickel, and not a 3-3-5. And on the backend are playing the same defense as they did with Norton a lot of Cover 2 and Cover 3, with little shifting post snap. Not a lot of blitzing, not a lot of stunts-twists-games. It's pretty much the same defense, save for the 3-4 alignment in base. Which I expect to be abandoned in the near future as it is an utter failure.

(But the pattern and thus problem is obvious. All of the hires are made internally with Pete refusing to let go.)

Onto recent personnel, and this is where it gets spooky. They have significant investment in Pete's failed attempt to build his defense. Featuring a lot of pieces that are outright failing, bad, or at best… meh.

Here's a run down of every 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rd pick in recent years, along with $$$ investments on defense.

D-LINE / EDGE

- L.J. Collier - 2019; 1st rd pick.

(The Seahawks got played like a damn fiddle in this draft, and would require an entire write up of it's own. But sticking to Collier in this blurb. He was like the 10th D-Lineman/EDGE off of the board when he was picked, and has been a huge bust.)

[Utilization: Should've been cut for cap savings before the 2022 season.]

-------
- Darrell Taylor - 2020; 2nd & 3rd rd picks.

(Moving up to take Taylor, he was supposed to be the next great Edge/Leo rusher for the Seahawks. He was bad against the run but flashed early in Seattle's old 4-3 under alignment. Shifting to a 3-4 and getting another big body on the LoS it was thought it would help mitigate Taylor's weakness. It didn't and he is worse than ever.)

[Utilization: DPR, only should be on the field on obvious passing downs. Trending toward being a bust.]

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- Boye Mafe - 2022; 2nd rd pick.

(Too early to tell at this point. He has flashed, but so did Darrell Taylor last year, so that doesn't mean much given this regime's consistent track record of having their young players flash early only for them to fall off a cliff in year 3. Here's hoping Mafe is an exception.)

[Utilization: Edge/Leo, exactly how he is being utilized.]

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- Uchenna Nwosu - $9.5M APY ($12.76M cap hit in 2023.)

(One of the few bright spots as it pertains to the bigger investments on the defense. For the 1st time in a long time the Seahawks appeared to have finally hit on a UFA, it has been a laundry list of failings in Free Agency for years. But Nwosu only costs $9.5M APY so he is an absolute bargain. The catch is it is only for 2 years.)

[Utilization: Edge/Leo, exactly how he is being utilized.]

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- Shelby Harris - $9M APY ($12.27M cap hit in 2023.)

(A piece from the RW trade. He was brought in to help to transition to a 3-4. Old and already injured, will be 32 next season, and doesn't make sense for a team that is supposedly rebuilding.)

[Utilization: 3-4 End, kick inside on passing downs.]

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- Al Woods (4.5M APY) & Brian Mone ($5.5M APY) ($10M APY combined.)

(Mone, Al Woods backup is making more money than him to be his backup. Makes sense. This is a lot of money to have tied up in NT, when you're going to be in Nickel more anyway, and thus have these guys off the field. And if they are on the field in Nickel, there goes your pass rush. Logic. Also spending this kind of money on run-stuffers and still can't stop the run is a bad look.)

[Utilization: NT.]

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- Poona Ford ($10.075M cap hit in 2022.)

(Poona was one of the best 1-Tech's in the NFL. So Seattle decided to pay him and move him to 3-Tech and spend money on Woods and Mone to fill the void Poona left. Makes sense. This season they moved him again to 3-4 end, where it requires size and length, where guys are usually around 6-5. Poona is 5-11. To no one's surprise he is struggling playing out of position.)

[Utilization: 1-Tech in a 4-3. Doesn't fit the scheme.]

LINEBACKER

- Jordyn Brooks - 2020; 1st rd pick.

(This is a major investment for this position. Drafting an inside linebacker in the 1st is saying this guy will be a perennial pro-bowler in the near future. He has been mismanaged, playing him out of position his first 2 seasons which impeded his development as a Mike, finally moving him to his natural Mike position in year 3, but now throwing him into a 3-4 which he didn't play in college and is not built to play. Still can't cover, will never be able to cover. He likes to go downhill, straightforward, and shoot his gap. Playing on his heals having to read and react is not his game which is required in a 3-4. This is why he is failing and will continue to fail.)

[Utilization: Early down 4-3 Backer that must come off the field on passing downs. He doesn't fit the Seahawks current defense. They have no choice but to continue rolling him out there, but don't expect it to get much better. He is what he is.]

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- Cody Barton - 2019; 3rd rd pick.

(They actually moved up in the 3rd round to take Barton. Swapping a 5th for a 6th with Minnesota. LBers going in the 3rd means the Seahawks thought they were drafting a starter. They were wrong. It's why he hasn't been pulled yet. They made a starter investment in him. But he is a special teamer only, and having him on the field speaks to how bad the Seahawks are at either developing, evaluating, or both as it pertains to Linebackers. Part of the disaster '19 draft where they took Collier, Blair, and Barton in the first three rounds.)

[Utilization: Special Teams. Asking anymore than that and heads need to roll both in coaching, scouting, and whoever decided he could be a starting NFL linebacker. No accountability.]

DEFENSIVE BACK

- Marquise Blair - 2019; 2nd rd pick.

(A slight of build, hard hitting safety. (Anyone not see the problem here.) Oft injured, and undisciplined. Never really developed, and is currently off of the team. His disappointing play led to trading the farm for Jamal Adams compounding things further.)

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- Jamal Adams - 2021; 1st & 3rd rd picks, 2022; 1st rd pick. ($17.5M APY)

(Has a lot of talent, but was miscast in the wrong defense. Pete Carroll was quoted on the record stating, "We're still trying to figure out how to use him." Over a year after trading for him. I don't know about you, but if you give up that much you better damn well know how to use him from the jump. The Seahawks are still trying to figure out how to use him. Frequently injured, but still made the highest paid safety in the league when extended due to giving up QB level draft capitol. A disaster that most front offices do not survive. It makes you question if accountability even exists at the top of the org.)

[Utilization: Could be cut pre JUN 1 for only a $3M dead money hit. Post JUN 1 would lead to cap savings. However it's very likely he will be back for 1 more year until he inevitably gets injured again. Should be a box safety in a blitz heavy 3-4, where pressure comes from everywhere. Doesn't fit the scheme.]

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- Quandre Diggs - $13M APY ($18.1M cap hit in 2023)

(Quandre was a good player, but his age and major injury at the end of the 2021 season makes his big contract a head-scratcher for a supposed rebuilding team. This will be a contract Seattle will come to regret as he will be 30 next season with an $18.1M cap hit. The early returns in 2022 so far have been bad to boot. The Seahawks have spent resources at Safety like it's their defensive line, or QB, insane!

It is even crazier when you realize Pete is actually good at developing DBs. He is a DB whisperer of sorts, and has developed countless DBs with late round picks. So he should be leaning in on this special power of his, while allocating all the major resources to the D-&-O-Lines, QB, etc.)


[Utilization: Diggs should be in a 2-Deep / 3-Deep scheme as he has lost speed and doesn't have the range to be a sole single high safety. It is how he is being utilized now.]

In conclusion: Pete is the architect of this dumpster fire of a defense. These are his coaches, his players, he has final say on personnel. He decides how it is run. There is no passing the buck, it stops with Pete. Scapegoating his DC's is a waste of time, so replacing Hurtt with another puppet would just be rearranging the lawn furniture.

2019: Spending 1st, 2nd, & 3rd round picks on Collier, Blair, and Barton. Only to follow it up in ->
2020: With 1st, 2nd, & 3rd spent on Brooks and Taylor. Only to then trade away ->
2021/22: Both 1sts and a 3rd for Jamal Adams is absolutely brutal. That is FOUR 1sts, TWO 2nds, and THREE 3rds for a whole lotta nuthin.

So those rubbing their hands together at the 4 early picks they have next year to fix the defense, you might want to pump the breaks. Based on Pete's recent track record on defense with early picks they could easily all get flushed.

But more importantly fans must come to grips that Pete and the defense are a packaged deal. Like how Holmgren and his offense were a packaged deal. If you want a new defense, you'll need a new HC.

In terms of fixing the defense this year, to duplicate the previous seasons after starting historically bad. Well… if they fully go back to the oldway they could improve the defense a little like in recent seasons, but the pass D will remain toothless, as the underneath softzone, featuring a bland rush will always be exploited. Teams have a literal book of Pete Carroll beaters that has spread throughout the league just to exploit his defense.

And with no Wagner or K.J. Wright in the middle I even question if it would improve that much. Brooks doesn't belong on the field on passing downs, Barton doesn't belong on the field ever. It would take a collection of all-pros to overcome this scheme at this juncture. No. The team needs a full reset on defense. A new leader that can salvage some of the pieces they have, bring in a scheme that actually makes sense, and go get the pieces he needs with the upcoming draft picks. It is time.
An A+ for effort!!!
 

seabowl

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The problem also are the picks from 2017-20 within the first three rounds. These are all busts to this point or confirmed busts:

Darrell Taylor (jury’s still out)
Lj Collier
Blair
Barton
Rasheem Green
Malik McDowell
 

Rock_the_Hawk

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Ok, well, to kind of fix your mood, Fade just hates everything Pete Carroll does in any way, shape, or form and this thread is a way to try and move the conversation from why the predictions about how losing Russ would kill us have proven so disastrously wrong.

The first thing I'd point out is that our defense last year under Norton was not historically bad. (Neither was the previous year, for that matter). We had a period where we were on track to be 'historically' bad on defense in only one particular metric (yards) and then... we weren't. It was early season hyperbole that didn't pan out.

Our defense last year, that Fade HATED was actually, shockingly... decent. They were the type of defense that many a team (including us) has taken to a Super Bowl before. They were basically equivalent to the defense of the Rams last year with superstar Aaron 'Why don't I ever get suspended for the things I do?' Donald.

We were in the top 10 or better in numerous categories, including Opposing Scoring %, Points given up per drive, and Red Zone defense.

The problem with our defense last year was our offense. If our offense had been just like, the 27th worst team in the league at sustaining drives instead of dead freakin' last (by some margin), our defense would have instantly shot up to the top 3 or 5 in terms of scoring defense. Like, we were 1 or 2 first downs a game away from being considered one of the better defenses in the league.

That's not to say that we aren't horrendously bad this year (to this point)... we are. BUT you have to look critically at this big assessment of our defense because this type of stuff is the same kinds of things that were said about our perfectly fine defense last year.


First of all, I totally agree with you.

People like to talk about how bad this D has been in the past (which is not totally true) and truthfully, I don't care what they did last year, this is this year and that is what is relevant.

I see a young team that is developing, and they are not very good right now, but they are improving quickly, I see improvement every week. Carroll is playing his young talent, and EVERYBODY knew they were going to take some lumps and they are... but the cool thing about it they are starting to contribute. I'm seeing some turn overs, good tight aggressive coverage from the young corners they just need to get more comfortable in the scheme and the position, they need to fix the little things and that only happens with reps.

Yes, there are some bad plays out there that need to be cleaned up... but more than the bad plays, its the penalties that are killing them, stopping the D from getting off the field on 3rd down, negating sacks and other big D plays.

Yes a D needs to play together so it could just be 1-2 players that are making mistakes and throw the whole scheme off. How many teams are having success starting 3 rookie corners? They are doing fine but they need to continue to get better and they will only do that with reps.

if they get the D squared away this is going to be a powerhouse team. there is a crap load of talent on the Seahawks, and it seems Waldren is scheming his talent well with QB who understands what's happening and is willing to pull it off.
 

sutz

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First of all, I totally agree with you.

People like to talk about how bad this D has been in the past (which is not totally true) and truthfully, I don't care what they did last year, this is this year and that is what is relevant.

I see a young team that is developing, and they are not very good right now, but they are improving quickly, I see improvement every week. Carroll is playing his young talent, and EVERYBODY knew they were going to take some lumps and they are... but the cool thing about it they are starting to contribute. I'm seeing some turn overs, good tight aggressive coverage from the young corners they just need to get more comfortable in the scheme and the position, they need to fix the little things and that only happens with reps.

Yes, there are some bad plays out there that need to be cleaned up... but more than the bad plays, its the penalties that are killing them, stopping the D from getting off the field on 3rd down, negating sacks and other big D plays.

Yes a D needs to play together so it could just be 1-2 players that are making mistakes and throw the whole scheme off. How many teams are having success starting 3 rookie corners? They are doing fine but they need to continue to get better and they will only do that with reps.

if they get the D squared away this is going to be a powerhouse team. there is a crap load of talent on the Seahawks, and it seems Waldren is scheming his talent well with QB who understands what's happening and is willing to pull it off.
One good thing is that the O has been actually getting some drives and TOP so the D can catch their breath and discuss the things that went wrong on the previous drive, something last year's O hardly ever did.
 

Donn2390

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Damn. I was in a relatively good mood before reading Fade's post. These should come with
warning labels . I don't pretend to know the NFL or defensive scheme like a lot of you on here.
I just watch like I have for 40+ years. One thing I do notice however is that it looks like Seattle
doesn't have the right guys out there. It's like they're a diet defense. They make a nice stop or
TFL and then it's 3rd and 15 and the other team runs a little crossing route for 30 yards.

Seattle set that first squad up so nicely , hit on all their picks......then WTF happened?

Did Schneider quit doing his homework? I don't think so. I think Pete Carroll has meddled in our
drafts and FA and the team is the worse off for his efforts.What do ALL head coaches want to be?
They want to be the general manager for some reason. I've never understood this but look back
at other coaches through the years. Just read Fade's stuff again. These are crappy moves that get
most people fired.

I also hate Russell Wilson.
I'm still in a good mood because I'm smart enough not to read Fade's posts..
 

TraderGary

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The problem also are the picks from 2017-20 within the first three rounds. These are all busts to this point or confirmed busts:

Darrell Taylor (jury’s still out)
Lj Collier
Blair
Barton
Rasheem Green
Malik McDowell
And who was the architect for those picks? JS is or was the GM by title only. Everyone knows PC has or at least had final say in all personnel decisions, and basically anything Seahawks. This is his team.

It's debatable if PC was stripped of some of those powers in this past offseason with JS being given more say in personnel matters, particularly in the draft. I suspect that's true.

Outstanding thoughtful and well-researched post by the OP, and I completely agree with pretty much everything he wrote.

PC above all else is supposed to be a defensive guru. And yet statistically we've had some of the worse defenses in the league the past few years. We still can't get off the field on 3rd downs, a problem that has existed for years. Before the Lions game, we were the ONLY team in the league without a 3-and-out on defense. That's not just bad, that's abysmal.

We desperately need a change at the top. But as another poster mentioned, with the team currently or soon to be up for sale, unfortunately a change seems unlikely at this juncture.
 

toffee

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If we have last year's defense now, that defense averaged 21.5 point per game while suffer long minutes on the field courtesy of RussBall, we would be 3-1 and leading NFCW.
 
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