Welcome to the Podcast AF offseason review series, astutely titled “The Probe” – the unofficial official NFL offseason review series of the Vegas Golden Knights. Here, like most NFL “writers”, I will regurgitate takes I read or heard somewhere else and pass them off as original thoughts. Will Ryan Tannehill breakout in 2018? Was Mike McCarthy abandoned by the run game as a child? Does Saturn have a playoff atmosphere? Your questions, answered! Sponsored by “Ready Player One”, in theaters now!
#24 – The Seattle Seahawks (9-7, 2nd NFC West)
It is at this point I’ll hint at my diabolical plan for wrapping up this crap: notice which teams are left? How many days until the draft? Your move, Yu-Gi.
In the first wave of free agency, which runs from when free agency starts to whenever I updated my Seahawks spreadsheet, the Seahawks signed one offensive lineman, DJ Fluker. In the second wave, which runs from then until now, the Seahawks have signed zero offensive lineman.
At 66-year old, is Pete Carroll entering his counterculture phase? I can picture him now, showing up to OTAs with long hair, a Velvet Underground banana on his shirt and forcing everyone to address him as Sgt. Pepper.
It’s widely accepted that the Seahawks offensive line is the root of all their problems. It’s what caused Russell Wilson to surpass Ryan Tannehill as the most-sacked QB since 2012. Fluker being bumped inside from RT to RG would be like me being recruited to a band, but them asking me to switch from guitar to drums. Sure, I supposedly can play the first but like…not really. So you then ask me to play something else I’ve never even touched? Well, I’ll play along like Bernard in last night’s Westworld premiere until I’m called out.
On the other side of the line, the Seahawks also signed (theme forming) zero defensive tackles, which isn’t a big deal as Nazair Jones and Jarran Reed are fine, but also zero DEs, aside from re-signing role-player Marcus Smith. A potential lack of pass rush is not good news for the Seahawks, as they signed or re-signed about a billion DBs who will need the pressure alleviated. It won’t be like having the Legion of Boom at it’s height when it was more of a rare case in which the DBs consistently allowed the defensive line to get pressure on the QB.
The defense is being built around Bobby Wagner at middle linebacker. That’s why KJ Wright is safe on the roster and Barkevious Mingo was brought in as a plug-and-play. The defense goes through them. Every other spot aside from Earl Thomas and pending the health of Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril will likely feature either a rookie or a younger guy. But neither the pass rush nor the secondary are going to be elite like they’ve been in the not-so-distant past.
The Seahawks are transitioning into the “we have an elite QB who needs to offset deficiencies in other part of the roster” phase of roster-building. Russell Wilson dragged Seattle to nine wins last season. This year is going to be a major sign of if he can make that step to being a player like a Tom Brady, am Aaron Rodgers, a Peyton Manning, or an Andrew Luck – all of whom have dragged their teams at one time or another. These would be the “elite” quarterbacks.
Rounding out the piece is the fact that Pete Carroll said Ed Dickson is a “downfield catcher.” Doug Baldwin is still there and it seems Tyler Lockett and Tanner McEvoy will slot in to the WR2 and WR3 spots, while the TE and RB positions remain overwhelmingly underwhelming. Although I will say, keep an eye on Mike Davis and Chris Carson.
*I didn’t mention LT Duane Brown. Duane Brown. There it is.
*No 1st-round pick thanks to Sheldon Richardson debacle.
MAJOR DRAFT NEEDS: LG/C/RT, DE, CB, TE, possibly SS
Don’t worry, I’ll resume my crusade against Pete Pricksco another day.