Hawk Blogger On Sports Radio KJR With Softy

Vintage microphone and headphones on green background. Concept audio and studio recording. 3d
Sports Radio KJR host Dave “Softy” Mahler invited me into the studio today to talk Seahawks. He was worried. It took weeks of podcasts and numerous bloody mary’s Sunday morning’s before the Seahawks games to make him feel comfortable allowing me on his airwaves. We were scheduled for about 20 minutes, and ended up going for over an hour. It was a blast, and we talked to callers about a number of different Seahawks topics.

Tell me what you think. Tell me what you’d like us to cover in the future. Hope you like it!

**Listen to the Podcast**

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  1. I really don't spend a lot of time checking "rival" Seahawks bloggers sites, but this podcast has become a weekly essential for me. You have a lot of natural charm on the airwaves and a good sense of humor that builds a very good rapport with Softy. Its obvious why he keeps bringing you back- the back and forth you two share is refreshing and fun.

    That said, I'm commenting today to express a couple of very minor disagreements. Just my opinion of course.

    #1.) Marshawn Lynch was the 6th worst running backs of 2010 by DYAR, which is even worse when you factor that he had 4.4 YPC in the four 2010 games with Buffalo before that trade. Early in 2011, Lynch was South of 3.0 YPC at one point. When you say that for a year and a half, Lynch wasn't helping this team, I am in complete agreement.

    Its also true that the run blocking made a sudden and dramatic improvement starting with the Cowboys game. Obviously, Lynch has seen his numbers flip around in that same exact time frame.

    However, I also think that Lynch has also been playing better lately. He's lost weight and looks more athletic and elusive as the season has gone on. He's been far less hesitant choosing running lanes than earlier, even when there's no running lane open yet. There was an article just released (which I'll link below) in which Tom Cable flat out says that Lynch approached him for advice about how to run better in Cable's system. I realize that the majority of Lynch's success is from the improved blocking. But it really does look to me like Lynch is a smarter and better coached back in recent months too. He's missing fewer running lanes, hesitating less, and making fewer dumb decisions, while looking more elusive and explosive.



    I DO AGREE that Seattle could let Lynch go and get someone just as good or better without too much trouble. However, I do think Lynch has elevated his game recently, and its a big reason why his numbers per attempt have shot up so dramatically while Forsett and Washington's production have remained relatively stationary.

    #2.) The 2nd minor disagreement is that I'd give Pete Carroll a bit more of a positive review for his coaching decisions. I thought he was totally wrong to attempt the 61 yard kick when he had enough time to make 1 more play to set up a shorter attempt. Pete did have a few other controversial decisions, but I actually agreed with most of them. The CBJ start against Cincy was a little strange, but I was more upset about forcing a hurt QB into action than starting CW, honestly. Overall I wouldn't say Pete's decisions stray into "below average" territory, and I rather like "Big Balls Pete." Many great coaches are of the gutsy variety, most famously Bill Belichick.

    That being said, whatever negatives come from Pete's decision making are easily cancelled out by his incredible ability for half time adjustments. I saw it on Sando's blog, but Seattle outscores opponents something like (roughly) a 2-1 margin in the second halves of football games. Pete Carroll's consistent domination of the 2nd half is one of the more impressive displays of X's and O's coaching for the 2011 season I think. I could go very long on this topic, but since these comments are like 3 inches wide, it will probably already look like a novel.

    In short, if I was on the radio and I was asked if I was a believer in PC, I wouldn't hesitate for even a milisecond in answering yes. His ability to develop players, hire quality coaches, identify talent, motivate players, and quickly instill his vision for the team has blown my expectations out of the water, and I was in his corner from the start.

  2. Hey Kip,

    There is no such thing as a rival seahawks blogger in my book. Thanks for listening and commenting.

    I don't doubt that Lynch has been playing better, I just don't think there was any improvement on his part that could spark this transformation. Without the line change, his improvement would be indiscernible.

    I'm also a huge Pete supporter, but his lack of preparedness in pressure situations has left the team scrambling, using timeouts and taking penalties in key moments. Can't happen in big games.

  3. I would agree that Lynch's improvements would be irrelevant without the improved blocking. All I mean to say is that from my vantage point, the turnaround is less than 100% on the line. Maybe 90% or 80%.

    There are moments in games where Pete does look unprepared for situational decision making, something that is less emphasized in NFL coaching and much more emphasized in MLB managing. That said, does Pete REALLY spend a lot of timeouts to correct those things? In the 2nd half that is (in the first half, it hardly matters). I've noticed for several games in a row that Seattle has often held more timeout than their opponents in the 2nd half.

  4. Nice job on Softy's show! Here's a topic suggestion for the future.

    After the Chicago win, Pete made an interesting and slightly disturbing comment on the Brock and Salk show. He said that the recruiting advantage he enjoyed is about to come to an end. He was referring to his familiarity with the players from his USC days. This isn't an exact quote but it captures the point I understood him to be making.

    He has done an exceptional job of acquiring talent up to this point. Do we have reason to think this will change in 3 years? How much of an advantage does his familiarity with the upcoming draft classes a former college coach give him?

    I know that the John Schneider deserves a lot of credit as well for this. It's not clear to me how much credit belongs to Pete and how much belongs to John.

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