A Deconstruction and Chronicle of Pete's Defense

DarkVictory23

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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.
This is a really important thing and people kind of get stuck into looking at Offense, Defense, and Special Teams as kind of like their own siloed aspects and don't understand how much they can affect each other.

The Denver Broncos, who to this point, have an even better defense than we did last year, are seeing this exact same thing start to play out that we faced last year. They aren't seeing any of the benefits from their stops or stands and the field is getting turned around on them. For all the ways Russ had one of his statistically better games this week, the string of three and outs in the middle chunk of the game allowed the Raiders defense to simply erase any progress the Broncos defense was making.

When a defense gets stops but their offense consistently goes 3-and-out (and quickly), many of the benefits of the stop the defense got disappear. It's like the opposing offense is just continuing their previous drive rather than starting a new one which makes the odds of that offense finally breaking through and scoring so much higher.


Right now, for us, we are in the complete reverse situation of where we were last year. Instead of the offense hanging the defense out to dry, it's the reverse. As an offense, we are top 10 or better in terms of all measures of efficiency and scoring but we're not top 10 in actual points scored (we're actually 11 now, but we weren't that close until after the Lions game even though we were still top 10 in the all the efficiency metrics prior to that). Why?

Because we are bottom of the league in number of drives and near the bottom of the league in average starting position. In other words, we have had the least number of chances to score points and we have to go further down the field than most teams to do it because our defense can't get off the field.


However, there is room for hope. Our defense essentially got us two straight three-and-outs yesterday to start the game, a MASSIVE improvement over what we had seen to that point and against a team that has been scoring a ton of points against everyone. The problem?

Our special teams muffed a punt return and then gave up a first down on a fake punt. Here, our special teams let our defense down and it looks like our D failed to stop the Lions in two drives when they actually had, but now they have to try and stop them all over again. It's very difficult to do that.

Every phase of the game matters and each phase has effects on the others.
 

toffee

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This is a really important thing and people kind of get stuck into looking at Offense, Defense, and Special Teams as kind of like their own siloed aspects and don't understand how much they can affect each other.

The Denver Broncos, who to this point, have an even better defense than we did last year, are seeing this exact same thing start to play out that we faced last year. They aren't seeing any of the benefits from their stops or stands and the field is getting turned around on them. For all the ways Russ had one of his statistically better games this week, the string of three and outs in the middle chunk of the game allowed the Raiders defense to simply erase any progress the Broncos defense was making.

When a defense gets stops but their offense consistently goes 3-and-out (and quickly), many of the benefits of the stop the defense got disappear. It's like the opposing offense is just continuing their previous drive rather than starting a new one which makes the odds of that offense finally breaking through and scoring so much higher.


Right now, for us, we are in the complete reverse situation of where we were last year. Instead of the offense hanging the defense out to dry, it's the reverse. As an offense, we are top 10 or better in terms of all measures of efficiency and scoring but we're not top 10 in actual points scored (we're actually 11 now, but we weren't that close until after the Lions game even though we were still top 10 in the all the efficiency metrics prior to that). Why?

Because we are bottom of the league in number of drives and near the bottom of the league in average starting position. In other words, we have had the least number of chances to score points and we have to go further down the field than most teams to do it because our defense can't get off the field.


However, there is room for hope. Our defense essentially got us two straight three-and-outs yesterday to start the game, a MASSIVE improvement over what we had seen to that point and against a team that has been scoring a ton of points against everyone. The problem?

Our special teams muffed a punt return and then gave up a first down on a fake punt. Here, our special teams let our defense down and it looks like our D failed to stop the Lions in two drives when they actually had, but now they have to try and stop them all over again. It's very difficult to do that.

Every phase of the game matters and each phase has effects on the others.
Great post.
 

morgulon1

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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.
What are you doing? A level headed and respectful response with optimism? Cmon mang !!!
 

LeaveLynchAlone

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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.
I was going to give your post a thumbs up until you stated "I'm not going to DQ Fade's opinion."

I DQ Fade's opinion. Cherry Picking with hindsight is so very easy without considering the bigger picture or taking responsibility for the takes that turn out to be way off.

It is simplistic to claim to be smarter when things are seemingly going wrong to only ignore the facts when the contrary occurs.

Critics will always criticize and crow even when they are wrong. When Fade writes something brief I read it for a laugh, when Fade writes something that runs on and on trying to prove a superior take. I generally parse it or don't read it at all.

Fade, as are a number of others here, is a critic and an all or nothing thinker. Pete Carroll bad. The more words doesn't make the point or opinion any clearer. I am enjoying reading some of the other responses though.
 

LeaveLynchAlone

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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.
You say this very clearly and beautifully. Thank you.
 

Ozzy

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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.
Fantastic write up and I can't believe the same people who were hypercritical of Russ give Pete an absolute pass for any team failures. He should be coaching for his job and he has been terrible the past few years. This is what he is supposed to be legendary for too. People now want to give him the keys to the draft with a ton of capitol at the top as if he has a track record of drafting well.
 

Ozzy

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Lets hear it hawkstrong....if Fade is so wrong whats your counter? You arguing we have drafted well or that Pete has done a fantastic job building this defense?
 

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We need to go back to a 4-3 base defense, they don't have the personnel for a 3-4.
That would be the quickest way to improve this defense, along with starting willing & able tacklers.
 

Maelstrom787

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We need to go back to a 4-3 base defense, they don't have the personnel for a 3-4.
That would be the quickest way to improve this defense, along with starting willing & able tacklers.
You'd really have to go back to, what, 2019 for the base 4-3 defense, and most people didn't like that when it was being rolled out. They're running a 4-2 in nickel currently.

They were running bear fronts as base in 2020/2021.

They don't have the personnel to really run anything well. Most of it is a talent and execution issue. They need reliable pass rush and they just don't have that. The run fit improvement will come.
 

toffee

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Our defense was UGLY last season, and folks called for Norton's head. It sure was ugly, seemingly couldn't stop anyone, could they? But in the end of the day, the sole purpose of defense is to stop the other team FROM SCORING.

Our boys were on the field for more minutes than all other teams' defense, partially their own fault for allowing 3rd down conversions, partially due to 3-and-outs of from offense.

In the end of the season, our poor poor Norton must go defense yield 21.5 points per game. Please allow that to sink in, 21.5 points per game. Why is it significant? 3 of the 4 conference championship teams' defense allowed MORE than 21.5 points per game, the other one was very close to 21.5.

Sorry, our defense did their part, our offense didn't. They might still sneak into the playoff IF our franchise QB didn't rush back to deny Geno the opportunity to help the team win, that and Pete didn't have balls to pull Russ.
 

Seahawker

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Our defense was UGLY last season, and folks called for Norton's head. It sure was ugly, seemingly couldn't stop anyone, could they? But in the end of the day, the sole purpose of defense is to stop the other team FROM SCORING.

Our boys were on the field for more minutes than all other teams' defense, partially their own fault for allowing 3rd down conversions, partially due to 3-and-outs of from offense.

In the end of the season, our poor poor Norton must go defense yield 21.5 points per game. Please allow that to sink in, 21.5 points per game. Why is it significant? 3 of the 4 conference championship teams' defense allowed MORE than 21.5 points per game, the other one was very close to 21.5.

Sorry, our defense did their part, our offense didn't. They might still sneak into the playoff IF our franchise QB didn't rush back to deny Geno the opportunity to help the team win, that and Pete didn't have balls to pull Russ.
If you pay him, you have to play him. Plus benching RW would have stunted his trade value.
Would have loved to see Geno starting with Russ on the sidelines, it would have benefitted both players & the team.
Seems like Pete usually erred on the side of caution with injuries...except with Mr. Unlimited.
 

toffee

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If you pay him, you have to play him. Plus benching RW would have stunted his trade value.
Would have loved to see Geno starting with Russ on the sidelines, it would have benefitted both players & the team.
Seems like Pete usually erred on the side of caution with injuries...except with Mr. Unlimited.
I agree with you, but sit for one or two more games won't change Russ' trade value.
 

Seahawker

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I agree with you, but sit for one or two more games won't change Russ' trade value.
It might have if Geno's play was on par or better than RW's.
He might have dropped from #2 highest paid to #5 or so. Gotta' protect the brand, lol.
 

Spin Doctor

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Our defense was UGLY last season, and folks called for Norton's head. It sure was ugly, seemingly couldn't stop anyone, could they? But in the end of the day, the sole purpose of defense is to stop the other team FROM SCORING.

Our boys were on the field for more minutes than all other teams' defense, partially their own fault for allowing 3rd down conversions, partially due to 3-and-outs of from offense.

In the end of the season, our poor poor Norton must go defense yield 21.5 points per game. Please allow that to sink in, 21.5 points per game. Why is it significant? 3 of the 4 conference championship teams' defense allowed MORE than 21.5 points per game, the other one was very close to 21.5.

Sorry, our defense did their part, our offense didn't. They might still sneak into the playoff IF our franchise QB didn't rush back to deny Geno the opportunity to help the team win, that and Pete didn't have balls to pull Russ.
Is that enough though? Our TOP and opportunities were a huge problem. Teams kept our offense on the bench and also recall that towards the end of the year we started playing some bad opponents... The defense last year showed progress but at times looks helpless. Even with RW playing a game manager role and Penny rolling over people it wasn't enough to win many games. Can we honestly say that defense was good? Yes the points part was decent but they really struggled getting off the field and setting the Seahawks up in good field position.

This years defense is a completely new beast than last year. Many new players, or players such as Brooks that were moved into a new position. We lost Wagner, and now Brooks is an ILB -- clearly a huge downgrade from Wagner at that specific spot. People such as Poona Ford don't really fit their new positions, and Taylor really has regressed quite a bit from last season. Barton and Brooks are huge problems, our front 7 is a huge problem.

I agree with Carroll's conclusion on running a 3-4 defense. This is the way the league is heading and it offers a lot more potential for subterfuge regarding what blitz you're doing and what coverage you're playing. That being said there are some problematic elements that I'm seeing.

1. We don't have the personal to run the 3-4 front correctly. As a result we tried switching to more 4-2-5 after the first few games were rough. Still the same results as last time.

2. The way we were running 3-4 negates all of the upsides of the 3-4 and highlights its weak areas. We talked a lot about the Fangio system. In that system it uses a lot of disguised coverages and when they do blitz it's very unpredictable where it comes from. Our defense is very vanilla, we generally tip our hand on what we're going to do -- which has always been a Pete hallmark. He believes in simplicity leads to the ultimate expression of skill.

3. Linebackers seem to struggle getting into the right places even pre-snap. Cody Barton and Brooks both look lost in space. Even if the D-Line does their job there is no gap integrity with these two.

Since 2018 our defenses under Pete have been quite poor, if we can't get our act together this year it'll be four and a half seasons of really poor defensive play. I do think it's time to start questioning Pete on why his defenses have struggled for so long. Many of these trends have extended long before this season. Even the trade for Jamal Adams then an omission by Pete that he had no idea how to use him almost two years after the trade was very curious.

All that being said, I do think Pete made the right decision to start moving towards more of a 3-4 front, it's just we don't have the correct personal yet. Hell, even if we moved back to the bear front we used in 2020, I think we'd still have many of the same issues.
 

FrodosFinger

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Fade listen guy. The 3-4 variation the Hawks run is a technique driven scheme. This scheme is beautiful once we get the right personnel this offseason. Barton isn’t athletic enough and often misses gaps. I have no doubt that this will be a Super Bowl caliber team within a year or two.
 

Spin Doctor

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Fade listen guy. The 3-4 variation the Hawks run is a technique driven scheme. This scheme is beautiful once we get the right personnel this offseason. Barton isn’t athletic enough and often misses gaps. I have no doubt that this will be a Super Bowl caliber team within a year or two.
We're not really running 3-4 right now, we've moved away from that at the moment.
 

CalgaryFan05

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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.

THIS. And I agree - they suck, but are improving every week. We got hope IMO.

I'm just happy that the gods are letting us grind the offense a little to take some pressure off the D. Gone are the days (hopefully) of 2 garbage plays, a deep bomb attempt from RW into triple coverage (which for some reason we can never snag DPI on like the rest of the league 50% of the time on deep crap), and then a punt. D is great - and hopefully improving, but not the entire story here.

Props to Fade for the research and effort and the post.
 

CalgaryFan05

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We're not really running 3-4 right now, we've moved away from that at the moment.
I think the line is quite blurred. The thing that I DON'T like between the two schemes (and If ya noticed, I'm pretty sure the 49ers were running a 4-3 'dinosaur' scheme the other night).

At base, and this is simplistic. Is is quicker to bring a person up in a 3-4 to address a run, or drop a person in a 4-3 into pass coverage? I don't really know the answer to the question, but if you're running a 4-3, and it's a run, you're dude's already there. If you're running a 3-4 and you need run support - which I can't help but notice that we completely sucked at for 3 straight weeks - it takes time for the back to identify and bring him in. By the time you get there - the play is over.

I don't understand what the fascination is with the 3-4. Got it, it's a pass defense. But, In my opinion, it's so weak on run (hybrids and stunts aside) - I don't know why it's the current flavour. And it's obviously past our personnel - and I agree with Fade in a previous post: If it takes 2 years to learn - what is the point - personnel rotate more frequently than that.
 
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