Why I feel completely hopeless about the Seahawks.

For those that know me, I lean towards the pot of optimism. I typically believe more often than not, the best is yet to come. Not just in football — but in life too. In my relationships, in my career, in my decisions, and ultimately my passions. Whether or not it’s always realistic, I truly believe the best is yet to come. 

But for the first time in my life, I feel incredibly hopeless. And I truly doubt the best is to come for these Seahawks. I feel completely hopeless about the Seahawks moving forward — and it sucks.

While Twitter is arguing back and forth on whether Pete Carroll should or shouldn’t be fired, I hope to lay out the reasons for feeling the way I do. 

Before I begin, I want to communicate something: I sincerely do not have an agenda or narrative to push here. I feel hopeless about the Seahawks moving forward. Those feelings, thoughts, and emotions are genuine. I do not take joke in having these types of thoughts or discussions. But it’s important that we unravel them.

Football has changed. 

Carroll got his first start as a football coach in 1973 for the Pacific Tigers. He’s been coaching football for a very, very long time. 47 years to be exact. He’s coached football for twice as long as I’ve been alive! You will hear no argument from me on his legacy: both as a college and professional football coach, I think he’s one of the best coaches the game has ever produced.

I genuinely believe that. 

Let’s take a quick look at his accomplishments over the course of his career:

  • Super Bowl champion (XLVIII) 
  • 2× National Champion (2003, 2004) 
  • 4× Rose Bowl champion (2003, 2006-2008) 
  • 1× Orange Bowl champion (2002) 
  • 5× Pac-10 champion (2002, 2003, 2006-2008)

That is one hell of a resume. Not only is Pete a good football coach, I believe him to be an incredible leader of men. I would actually argue it’s the greatest trait he brings as a head football coach. He’s incredibly skilled at developing a program’s culture, motivating complex and difficult personalities, and ultimately coaching up football fundamentals. There are countless examples of players leaving his program and reflecting on the positive environment they experienced.

But over the course of Pete’s tenure as a football coach, football has changed radically — and particularly in the NFL. I could list countless rule changes that have tipped the scales in favor of the offense — the evolution of defensive pass interference, how you’re allowed to tackle players, quarterback treatment in the pocket, strict blocking rules, and a whole lot  more. A game where defenses once dominated opposing offenses on the regular, it has become increasingly difficult to play defense in the NFL. A game where running the football was paramount to offensive success is now outdated. The scales have been artificially tipped towards the passing game. 

The reality is that the NFL has transitioned from a running to a passing league. It’s evident in both the stats and the money paid to quarterbacks, offensive linemen, and receivers.  A combination of rule adjustments favoring the passing game (contact with the receiver — whether he has the football or not), the increased use of shotgun formation, and the development and access to football data has made the NFL a passing league.

If the goal is to score points and win football games (which I hope it is), passing is almost always better than running — with the specific exclusion of short yardage situations. Don’t take my word for it, take the data’s word.

Long story short: with the exception of short yardage downs (and potentially in the red-zone… the data isn’t clear yet), passing is much more productive and likely to result in more points. And in turn, winning football games. 

Philosophical Flaws ingrained in Pete Carroll’s Approach to Football

I believe there are three core flaws in Pete’s approach to playing offense in the NFL. 

Overvaluing the Run Game (duh)

Of course, we all know that Pete values the running game. He doesn’t buy into the hype of forward thinking offenses that prioritize the passing game over running the football. Brian Schottenheimer, who is merely an executor of Carroll’s offensive vision, had this to say following their disastrous 2018 loss against the Cowboys:

“For the play-caller, you have an identity of what you want to do. We obviously want to be a balanced team, but we know we need to establish the run.”

The Seahawks, of course, sit in the bottom 10 teams of early down pass rate. And in-case you’re concerned this was a one year anomaly, they led the league in run-heaviness in 2018. 

Yes, you read that right: The Seahawks were one of the best early-down passing teams and worst early-down rushing teams and still chose to be run-heavy football team. It is clear that Seattle’s obsession with running the football puts the team at a significant disadvantage. What makes the situation even worse is that they’re failing to utilize their best player: Russell Wilson — who is their top competitive advantage they have going into any football game.

Here’s the thing: if Andy Dalton was the quarterback, I wouldn’t be that upset about Pete’s approach to running the football. Sure, it would be old fashioned — but you’re probably not missing out on much. However, the Seahawks do not have Dalton at quarterback. They have this guy named Russell Wilson. Don’t know if you’ve heard of him, but I hear he’s pretty good at playing football. 

Artificially limiting Russell’s pass attempts to “establish the run game” or “set up play action” puts Russell and this offense in a hole every time they attempt it. There is no need for this. Running more than the bare minimum required to make the defense respect the run on first down or 2nd and long is a policy failure.

Prioritizing Run Blocking over Pass Protection

Although the Seahawks may preach pursuing a balanced offense, their personnel decisions on the offensive line are anything but balanced. Here… would you like some pain? What’s that, you don’t? Nope, you don’t have a choice. One dose of pain coming right up.

Per Pro Football Focus, here’s Russell Wilson’s offensive lines ranked in pass pro throughout his career:

2012: 22nd 

2013: 30th 

2014: 26th 

2015: 30th 

2016: 32nd 

2017: 30th 

2018: 18th 

2019: 30th

Yes, you read that correctly — the best offensive line Russell Wilson has ever had in pass protection ranked 18th overall. Oh… but maybe they’re just bad at scouting and developing pass protection skills. Hm. Let’s look into that. Here’s a peculiar list of decisions where Seattle’s coaching staff has prioritized run blocking over pass protection:

  • DJ Fluker over Jamarco Jones at RG (Fluker has better run blocking grades than Jamarco, but every time Jamarco filled in — he had a better pass blocking grade)
  • The Seahawks brought in Jahri Evans and then quickly demoted him to third string in training camp. Didn’t make the team and was quickly picked up by Packers and immediately has a phenomenal year in pass protection (ranked top 15 in pass pro for all guards in 2017)
  • James Carpenter came out of college known for being a “mauler” in the run game
  • John Moffitt was a bad pass blocker in college
  • Starting mediocre receivers because Pete knows they can block in the run game (**cough Jermaine Kearse cough**).
  • Extending DJ Fluker and signing Iupati (both guys who are better at run blocking over pass protection)
  • Trying to make one dimensional tight end Jimmy Graham into a run blocker

The list goes on and on. I can’t emphasize this enough: this is a major, major strategic failure. You have an excellent quarterback. Yes, sometimes he does hold onto the ball too long and takes some bad sacks. This does not excuse the incorrect value they place on the run game and subsequently run blocking. 

Valuing Field Position over Possessions 

Maybe the largest debate over the 2019 season was Pete Carroll’s fourth down decision making. As you may already know, the Seahawks were exceptionally conservative with their fourth down decisions. 

What ever happened to “Big Balls Pete”?. What makes this even worse is how bad the Seahawks defense was for most of the year. When you’re a team that struggles against quarterbacks such as Matt Schaub and Andy Dalton, punting to gain 20-30 yards of field position is an incredibly weak trade-off for taking the ball out of Wilson’s hands.

Many are arguing that Seattle’s decision to punt on 4th and 11 against the Packers lost them the game. In the moment, I wanted Seattle to go for it. Even if they hadn’t converted, I truly believe it would have been the better decision.

Let me put it this way: I trust Wilson more to convert a long fourth down than I trust Seattle’s defense to get a stop against Aaron Rodgers and the offense that had been slicing them all night long. There’s a legitimate argument they’re not playing in the NFC championship game because of this decision. 

Common Arguments Exposed

There’s some really good arguments for *why* Seattle should keep Carroll. But I’ve also seen some really bad ones. Let me take a second to counter some of the bad ones I’ve seen.

Argument: Pete Carroll has won so many games!! How can you say he should be fired?

Of course the Seahawks have won football games. They have Russell Wilson, an MVP-caliber/future HOF quarterback in the prime of his career. What Russell has consistently done with atrocious offensive lines and suboptimal offensive support (to put it lightly) is nothing short of miraculous.

Argument: But Pete Carroll drafted Russell Wilson! He chose to bring him on!

Actually, John Schneider had to convince him

Argument: But Pete Carroll has earned the right to leave when he wants!

OK, that’s fine. But then you better be comfortable wasting the prime of your franchise’s best asset — a HOF quarterback in his prime. Personally, I’m not comfortable doing that. Russell is more critical to this franchise’s success and frankly, it’s not close. Additionally, I don’t think employment status should solely rely on what you’ve done in the past. It should be about what value you plan to bring in the future. 

Argument: But if you fire Pete Carroll, who are you going to replace him with?

There’s always quality candidates out there — it’s simply about finding them. Every big time coach you love was a nobody at first. However, Greg Roman, Eric Bieniemy, and Lincoln Riley are some intriguing names out there. 

Argument: But there’s a chance the team is worse if Pete Carroll is fired!

That is correct. Of course there’s a chance. But in its current state, this Seahawks regime is highly unlikely to come close to winning another Super Bowl. Frankly, being “good enough” to make the playoffs with a HOF quarterback isn’t good enough for me. It’s a subjective exercise, but the expectation should be building your team around Russell Wilson. This regime isn’t doing that. I’m willing to take the risk. 

Potential Paths Forward — and why I feel hopeless

I think Seattle has four viable options moving forward:

  1. Pete Carroll adjusts his offensive philosophy to build around and unleash Russell Wilson. 
  2. Transition Pete Carroll into a defensive or personnel role that removes his authority over the offense. 
  3. Fire Pete Carroll and hire a coach who will build around Russell Wilson and the passing game
  4. Keep Pete and pray to god their draft selections are free agent acquisitions are so good that they mask their philosophical flaws. 

What’s the ideal option? You might not have expected this, but option #1 is actually my ideal solution. Option #2 would also be encouraging. The reality is I don’t want Pete to leave the Seahawks. I want him to modernize his offense and build around the Hall of Fame quarterback in his prime. 

Will he do so? Absolutely not. We’ve seen enough from Carroll to know he’s not going to change. He brings tons of defensive expertise (although that has sort of been in question recently) and cultural building value, but his offensive philosophy and in-game decision making is so detrimental to the success of this team that there’s a strong argument it outweighs his positive traits.  

What’s most likely? Option #4. I don’t think a change is coming, unless a new owner purchases the team. 

So the question everyone wants answered is: should the Seahawks fire Pete Carroll? My answer is simple. Yes. I have zero hope of Carroll adjusting his offensive approach. He’s highly unlikely to modernize his approach to football in any significant way.

Is there a risk to changing head coaches? Absolutely, and I will not argue that this move carries zero risk.

But it is absolutely worth the risk, because Wilson is the most valuable asset in the history of this franchise. It’s time the Seahawks finally build around him and give him a true shot to win multiple championships for this franchise.

Making the playoffs and barely winning wildcard games is not good enough. Our expectations need to be higher for a team with a Hall of Fame quarterback at the helm.

The clock is ticking on the prime of his career. 

Staff Writer
  1. Your theory based on facts is compelling. However take into consideration we are building the potential to be an extremely strong passing team. Once our line improves in pass protection, scary how good we can be. Don’t drink the Kool Aid yet. Let’s watch how this year plays out. Great defenses and run games still win Super Bowls. I believe this year was an anomaly where all of the NFL is average. Zero have all three phases. Zero could beat the 2013/14 Seahawks. Because of that it could be that KC might finally win a Super Bowl. However I would not be surprised if Titans have all phases clicking and as Russ was able to manage the game well behind Marshawn and that defense. The same might be said for Tannenhill. 49ers don’t have a prolific passing game, Packers have Rodgers but have not relied on him as much. So quietly they slipped through the season. I guess I don’t care what regular season statistics say. If you have a great defense and great balanced attack (even if it’s run first all the time (not my preference) in the playoffs it gets a lot more physical and you are able to keep the ball out of the Ferrari QBs hands. If I lived in a sports betting state I would go put some chickens down on Tennessee Everytime, because I don’t drink Kool Aid. GO HAWKS!!!

    1. John I have great respect for Pete Carroll but I duly appreciate what Russ had to say. He usually doesn’t say that much so I say give him more rope and talk to Pete we need a super bowl team.

    2. I agree that I’ve seen Pete set the team back with bad play calling in the first half , namely if a play works great immediately they try to get to the player that made it the next play . It’s so often that you can call it before it starts. Also Russell has finally been coached right not to run back 20 yards before he passes has helped . Finally instead of making a statement by playing the game till the end instead of sitting on the lead has had teams catch up then beat us in the last minutes is nauseating. This is beside of him making dum rookie mistake in critical game decisions

    3. Even when healthy this defense was not good. Also depth is major part of any NFL because injuries are so common. In 2013 Hawks lost Multiple OL for several games, Browner for the last several games, Rice halfway through the season. Even Benett and Avril had injuries during that season. And they won a damn Superbowl. Also says something about your personnel decisions when your keep having to use the injury excuse every year. Carson, Procise, Penny, Ansah, Jones, Iupati and even Clowney all have pretty extensive injury history. And while much of that is on JS it is also partially on Pete as he has influence on who they sign and draft

  2. Let’s name to top five teams in passing and see how they did in the post season.
    1. Tampa Bay
    2. Dallas
    3. LA Raiders
    4. LA Chargers
    5. Atlanta
    Oh, that’s right none of those teams made the post season. BTW guess who was sixth… Russell Wilson. So much for your premise.

    1. Buuuuut, if you don’t look at the least indicative passing stat (yards) and actually look at some decent/good ones you actually find that good passing was pretty important. For example, 9 of the 12 highest passer ratings, 8 of the 12 highest QBRs, 9 of the 12 highest AY/As, 9 of the 12 highest ANY/As made it to the playoffs. Being good at something is better than doing it a lot.

      1. They don’t have as much yardage, because they’re efficient, and due to that, don’t have to keep throwing the ball to catch up. They start running out clock

    2. That’s because those teams were so often behind they Had to throw a lot to try to come back. They’re not bad because they pass a lot, they pass a lot because they’re bad. Lots of yardage in garbage time.

  3. Finally a story about Pete Carroll that spells it out correctly. He is too much of a Rah! Rah! Coach and a we will get them next time coach. The team makes constant dumb mistakes and are wasting a possible hall of fame Quarterbacks career. This is a professional sport the time to get them is now not next time. Use Russell’s talents and stop the run heavy offense with an atrocious offensive line.

    1. “…Pete has been coaching football for 27 years. Thats more than twice the years I’ve been alive”.

      Is there any reason I kept reading after that sentence? I’ll take JSPC experience over your charts.

      Had we not lost ALL 3 of our RBs in the last 3 weeks plus Disley plus Britt and got ANYBODY but Ansah and Flowers, we’d be playing this weekend. They’re gonna run next year. PC will be here. BTW… do you get paid in someway for football and these analysis? I hope so, else you should get a GF or something man. Go hiking..

  4. Honestly Evan, I think you want to be a fan of a different team. The Seahawks are who they have been crafted by JSPC to be. Barring a slate of horrific injuries (the most significant were to Carson, Penny (who was just breaking out) and Justin Britt, and Dissley–all on offense, plus Clowney and Diggs on D) they would likely have earned a bye and would also likely still be playing.

    Pete has a philosophy about how to win that says you need a “balanced” offense–not “run first” but you have to have the ability to run the ball when you want to game plan for that.

    There is no doubt the team has failed, largely on D, to realize Pete’s vision for how the team should play. But the outlook going into the offseason is pretty encouraging! Tons of draft capital, tons of cap room. Some really great young talent on the team that will be better next year.

    Cheer up Evan, relax and enjoy the off-season!

    1. I like it they r n a good spot compared to we’re they was three years ago is all I know go Hawks

  5. I don’t agree that firing Pete Carroll is the answer. Seattle was unlucky with so many injuries, that is not Pete’s fault. With everybody healthy, Seattle has a hell of a team! Are there a few more pieces they could use? Sure! They need another dominant DE to go with Clowney, assuming he comes back. We could use a better CB opposite Griffin. We also need to bring in some O line talent. Otherwise, they are stacked at RB, TE and WR, LB, S, FS. Just my opinion. GO HAWKS!

  6. I as a Seahawks fan respect the research you put into this report. However, Pete is not the problem. The Seahawks are in a rebuilding stage and have been since the collapse of the Legion Of Boom. With that being said for a team that’s in the rebuilding stage to still make consistent playoff appearances is amazing! The team needs to be given time to rebuild and people need to allow this process. All of the teams STILL in the playoffs are some of the highest rushing average per game teams in the NFL. Yes the league is trying to make this a passing league with the rules and what not, but at the end of the day a successful run game makes for a overall successful record. I feel like this article would not exist if the injuries to there RBs did not happen. Again I highly respect all the research and graphs you did, however I disagree with the fact that you stated a coaches accolades and then proceeded to say he may be the problem. The Seahawks will be fine. And they will be stronger next year given the evolution of Metcalf who never fully developed as a house hold name until the game just a few weeks back. Let them heal, let them rebuild, and stop bringing a negative energy to the franchise.

    1. I agree with Mills, I’m a fan indeed of the Blue and Green Seahawks all day over here in Sacramento, Ca. Since my teen days with Largent, Bosworth, David Kreig. It’s heart breaking however not ever once in the Playoffs I believed we had a chance. We will be back at it even better next season, word is my bond. If I’m lying I’m dying.

  7. 8 playoff appearances in 10 years.
    Why are you so blue?
    Let this cheer you up: Next season the Seahawks are projected to have the 27th easiest schedule.
    They’ll have Carson, Penny, Dissly, Lockett and Metcalf on offense.

  8. I don’t know exactly why Evan’s hot takes bother me so much. Maybe it because they are so obviously hot takes and not well thought out. Maybe because of the logical inconsistencies and the massive leaps from point to point. Maybe it is because of the obvious biases for and against certain individuals (RW3 and PCJS being the most notable). Maybe it is just the passion in which he argues his point and my lack of actually knowing the guy. Regardless… Evan literally sounds like the cacophony of talking heads on the radio at the beginning of Friday Night Lights. Some patience, perspective, and calm could do him some good. Videos of him grumpily sitting on the couch is all I need to know that he has a bad faith view of the game. The Seahawks aren’t everything dude. I love them too… but chill. Perhaps all of this is just a sign of the toxicity of social media. I should be less bothered by the consequence-less views of strangers. We all have the ability to just not sign on to Twitter or mute him if we wanted.

    Really… I am just happy to save all these tweets and bad takes in hopes that they make A-class fodder for a Cable Thanos video next year when the Seahawks take the cake. I would hope that Evan would be happy to be the butt of our jokes and be proven wrong. Here’s to hoping!!! <3

    To engage with Evan's argument:

    Pete Carroll surely could adapt and improve. Passing the ball more often, going for it on 4th down, and emphasizing pass-blocking are all areas of possible improvement. I doubt though that the casual fan has all the answers. I know well enough from my day job that data can be misleading. Myself, I am most bothered by the pass-blocking and RW3 endemic issue with sacks. RW3 is quite simply amazzzze ballz… but will not be TB12, PM18, or DB9 level until he starts getting the ball out quickly and stop taking drive-killing sacks. That is the fault of RW3, PCJS, the o-line, the o-line coach, and the QB coach. Pete Carroll is not Bill Belichick. He has a philosophy and sticks to it. He doesn't game plan game by game. What is needed, imho, are other voices in the room. I would love to see Carroll bring in some retired vets and train them as coaches. You could see how the team gravitated to the force of Beast Mode's gravitas. Russell Wilson, as good as he is, succeeds because of the coaches and team around him. Truly great players, even those in their prime, have not had the success he has had. Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees only have 1 ring… and there better (so far) than RW3. Peyton only one his second after he was washed up. No imagine the list of HOF QBs without ANY rings. There is literally ZERO reason why friggin B-class coaches like Greg Roman, Eric Bieniemy, and Lincoln Riley would be any better. More like an assured road to 7-9 or 8-8ville.

    The biggest elephant in the room is personnel. It makes little sense to go pass heavy when you just lost DBfresh and are relying upon rookies or a depleted receiver room. This season was a huge success given that the team is still in the middle of a reset. All the talk about last year hearkening back to 2012 was a bit premature. As the off-season played out it was obvious there were still glaring holes and missing pieces. This team exceeded their personnel/skill. The last couple of years the team faced a cash crisis and an exodus of talent. Evan doesn't nearly appreciate the upswing the team and management has made. We were a couple of plays or scenarios away from having home field. We had no business being there, but were there anyways.

    Final point: Evan's missive is grounded in his pessimism. He is wrong. With the available cap space and draft capital… I expect the Seahawks to make the jump to real Super Bowl contender. We are in a new world of football. The sustained dominance of TB12 and PM18 is gone. There is no head honcho on the NFC… must less the NFL. I can foresee the possibility of another shot at a dynasty, but am also aware that the NFC West is not the AFC West and is actually probably the toughest division in football. It won't be easy, but Pete Carroll at the head is probably the best shot we have at sustained dominance and another Super Bowl or two or three.

    Evan… we are one off-season away. Have faith young one.

    1. Evan didn’t even grow up watching the Seahawks, he’s admitted as much. The only Seahawks he knows is the highly successful Pete Carroll version. He has no clue what it’s like to have Dan Macguire or Kelly Stougher (can’t even remember how to spell their names) at QB or Ken Behring as owner.

      People don’t realize how good they have it right now. Drafting is hard, football is hard, building a team is hard. These guys aren’t perfect at it. Guess what, besides Brady and Bill nobody is perfect at it.

      Finally, I went out of my way block all things Evan (Figured I’d give an actual article a chance) but then it’s just more drive from Twitter, with endless tweets from holier than thou analytics nerds that believe all their data exists in a vacuum. Data is great, but requires an multidisciplinary integrated approach. It’s football, not accounting

  9. First i want to say ive been a die hard fan of the Seahawks for years and will continue to be. The way I see it us the Seahawks have 1 problem offensively and 2 or 3 defensively and its the same problem year after year. On offense i don’t mind them running so much, my problem is thy don’t mix it up..for example, they run 1 or 2 trick plays a season and i believe their success rate with them is very high. Ex: they ran 1 flea flicker this year for a TD, they ran 1 a couple of years ago for a TD. russell Wilson has had 1 pass thrown to him in his 8 year career and need i say it was a TD,..get where I’m going. U don’t have enough finger to type about the defense.

    1. You lie , most notable player in Seattle prior to 2002? That fan base is Horrid!!? My personal observation, I lived I lived in Tukwilla in 2010 never seen 12’s nor major Seattle fans roaring behind them when times were bad. Prior, too 2002 it was a joke then and basketball was that City bread & Butter- Not NFL .. sit back have several Stairwells out into the Abyss

      1. Oh look, it’s a whiner fan.

        Regardless, I’ll play your little troll game based on utter ignorance of this team and its fan base. You might have heard of a little place around here, a place that was magical, a place where eardrums went to die.

        A place called the Kingdome.

        I’ve been going to Seahawk games since the Kingdome was built. Through thick and thin, win or lose, that place rocked. they kept a meter and we’d be louder than an airplane, louder than a Ted Nugent concert, then it went to louder than it is safe for humans.

        I was there when the rule the NFL made to make Seattle fans be quiet was first used against us.

        They never tried that stunt again.

        You need to buy a vowel? Buy an O and in O I C U don’t know WTF you’re talking about.

      2. No fanbase roared when their team sucked. Lifetime Seahawks fan here and the LAST thing I did was open myself up to ridicule by “roaring” about my sucky team. Your comment lacks merit.

  10. Of the final 8 teams in the playoffs before last week 5 of them were top 6 in the league in rushing. 2 of the top 3 remain, with GB being in the top half of the league. Meanwhile Rodgers having one of his worst statistical seasons, but they’re winning on defense and the run game.

    Once we lost our top 3 RBs and it was on Russell’s shoulders we went 1 and 3 in the final 4 games.

    Anyone think Tannehill or Jimmy G are elite passers? Me either. They’re here due to solid D and good running games, and passing games that develop off the run success.

    This article… please. Anyone who really knows football knows why our Hawks have been so successful this past decade. If we lose Pete, we lose.

  11. Evan, you are wasting your breath when you are talking with folks who believe the line is average and jump on the “Russ is sacked so much because he holds the ball too long” and will hand waive away Seattle has been one of the worst teams are pressure under 2 seconds and one of the worst at ESPN’S pass blocking win (2.5 seconds) rate. Seattle built to he a power run team…

    And then ask Wilson to bail them out with a team constructed for the run. It is a joke. As for running backs, there is a reason teams are not building around them and won’t pay QB money to Rushers. The position is brutal.

    67% is the number of seasons Carson landed on IR.

  12. The hawks had their chances against the Packers. They could have won but GB wanted it more. GB’s third down conversions were amazing and they pulled thru. A few small plays made all the difference and we’d be looking forward to this weeks game

  13. Time management in the last six minutes was key to win. Passes in middle running clock to 5 seconds in one case…not stopping clock after sack before punt. Pack ran nearly 1:30 off on their punt but Seattle acted like they had a full quarter. No visible urgency.

    1. Yes! A huge point not to made in the article. Clock management by Pete AND Russ is so bad that it costs them wins. Comes down to coaching.

  14. When Russ did his most passing was when Seattle missed the playoffs for the only time in Carroll’s tenure. This year the top 3 passing qb’s all sat at home as the top 3 rushing teams all went to the playoffs. Seattle didnt have a great roster this year, but running the ball and playing good defense is still a winning philosophy. The Hawka gotta go back to work on improving those areas. To get as far as we did with no defensive pash rush this year and weekly Carson fumbles was a miracle in itself.

  15. If you are truly are a hawks fan you have faith in the team regardless of the stupid decisions made by any personnel of the team. Take the raiders fanbase for example. Their fans remain loyal as can be given all the losses and embarrassment they endure. I dont care about the analytics of the game. It’s about those guys ultimately going out earning a check playing hard for their team and having fun doing it. Putting on a show. Your lack of faith goes to show how many fraudulent 12s there are out there. You all should be pushed off the bandwagon for good. You dont deserve to be called a Seattle Seahawks fan!

  16. WOW!!!! As I write this there are already 26 replies to the post. When was the last time that many folks got that motivated to reply? Give Mr. Emotional (aka, Evan) credit for pokin’ a buncha bears, if nothing else.

    I’m not going to attempt to refute any of the believed “facts” as it isn’t possible to refute people’s feelings that they believe are absolute truth. There’s something called “The Dunning-Kruger Effect”, one of those egghead studies of human behavior that has been carefully documented and graphed. And their graph of the subject at hand is fascinating. If you’ve ever raised a teenager/young adult, or can be brutally honest about your own life pattern, you’ll recognize the behavior. It’s basically a clinical definition of “you don’t know what you don’t know”.

    When my life trajectory evolved to starting and running my own business I would get something similar to what Evan and we other fans do so often. Well intentioned folks would volunteer all manner of suggestions/”silver bullets of knowledge” that they were certain would improve my business model. While it was prudent to give each some consideration, for the most part they were “ideas” that had been tried many times and not worked, or were impractical when juxtaposed against the entirety of factors that impinged on the actual business environment. Those well meaning folks, for the most part, had not actually run a business of any kind and didn’t understand the breadth of factors involved, so simple solutions as they offered made perfect sense based on what they knew/understood. So it is with people who don’t have the actual responsibility of running a football club. We may be able to guess at some effective solutions to perceived issues, but we don’t really know what’s going on where we don’t have access to the full story/dynamic. As fans we’re entitled to lunatic rantings………………….after all, fan is short for fanatic.

    1. Hey Uncle Bob, really appreciated this post from you. Unfortunately (for me) with 20/20 hindsight I now know I made a huge mistake in my business taking advice from people who I thought knew better. Live and learn, as they say.

      But “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” and that is surely true when we, as fans, observe a football team principally in ‘performance mode’ without the in-depth background of practice, scheme, performance testing, etc that goes on behind the scenes.

      One other point re: Evan’s analysis: football really can’t be analyzed the same way baseball can be. Every baseball play begins pitcher vs batter but in football, there are 11 1:1 matchups, schemes etc and team execution plays a huge role. A football team is far more than the sum of its stats, and culture is a huge part of it. That is why I am a “ride or die” guy when it comes to Carroll. He gets how to build a team over the arc of a season–even with all the injuries he had his team in the playoffs believing they could win every game.

      1. Thanks for the kind words Doug, and the thoughtful commentary that followed.

        As for your business experience/lessons, I refer to that as a degree in business from the University of Asphalt………………you learn the valuable lessons “on the street”.

      2. I appreciate both your takes, Bob and Doug. I put an article up on Field Gulls that touches on these issues.


        It’s pretty easy as a fan to be sure what to do, and pretty easy to embrace analytics because it feels certain. I’m willing to criticize Pete but unwilling to say the solution is so obvious. I agree with Evan about the fourth down calls, for example, but absolutely disagree about the run-heavy strategy being doomed. But that’s the beauty of being a fan.

      3. Kyle, interesting take on fieldgulls… best line “There’s a lot in football that seems obvious in hindsight.” Several teams have tried to replicate Pete’s single high safety D but with mixed success. Pete himself has adapted his D schemes to the personnel he has at hand. With a ton of draft capital (especially compared to last year) as well as cap room, we are going to see a stronger, better version of this team next year.

        And Uncle Bob… yeah I have the road rash to prove it lol!

  17. As a life long Packer fan I hope the Seahawks keep Carroll until he croaks. I despise him (almost as much as the Seahawks) and can’t stand his sideline antics. Please favor the pass. Greatest play in Super Bowl history was the pass from the one yard line against the Patriots. Of course, Green Bay has dominated the Seahawks so much lately that they are nearly as much fun to beat. At least it shuts up the idiotic 12th man.

    1. Ok. But you know as we all do that you’ll be blown out by SF on Sunday. We had a chance against them.

  18. I like how you only show stats that support your opinion while omitting stats that offset. For example you mention that 2 of the most pass happy team are in the Conference championship, completely ignoring the fact that 2 of the most run heavy teams are also in the Conference championships, 1 of those run heavy teams (the 49ers) are the odds on favorite to win the SuperBowl. Their formula is oddly similar to the formula that The Seahawks use.

  19. Good, well written and thought article.

    However, personally, I am all in with Pete as the coach. I will take the high floor that comes with a Pete Carroll team, as if you’re in the dance every year you can then be some injury luck, good bounces and breaks away from being a champion. It is so tough to do, and I wouldn’t be happy trading in the ticket to that dance in exchange for the unknown.

    Winning a championship is so hard to do. Look at Brees and Payton – 1 ring. Payton’s team was out in the first round, he takes the ball out of Brees’ hands multiple times per game in order to give it to his 3rd string qb, and yet he’s not receiving the same criticism that Pete does.

    Pete got this roster, with the injuries that they had, with that schedule, in that division to be one of the final 5 teams alive this season. Let’s not take for granted what we have.

  20. I think the Seahawks would have soundly trounced the Packers if they came into the game with the wishbone offense.

  21. Aye! It took two years to get to the super bowl after Russell. With people like Sherman, Bennett, Thomas, Washington bitching about money and being loudmouthed throughout the seasons you can’t really blame the coach. They couldn’t humble themselves for the next few years to be a dynasty. There is also Graham, luke Willson that were key players that they got rid of at the same time that were developing well with he team. But money (not the coach is what the problem is). Hence, play the game and continue to play it well. It may take two, three, four or five years to get there but you get better each time and you begin to start your dynasty. You don’t quit after two years for 5 more million. You make enough already. Look at the big picture! Pete is making the best with the picks he can get and as far as I’ve seen, he has got the Hawks to the playoffs, past wildcard with a complete rookie team. Not to mention there are key rookies that look damn good. Pete is always up to something. Give or take a player or two or a year or two. He stays up with the rest but is still dialing in on what he and the team needs. Brilliant I say.

  22. I try to understand peoples different point of view. With thought and reflection. To those who think Pete Carroll should be fired are f/÷/;”n retarded. End of story

  23. Good post, Evan. Pete’s a great motivator & culture builder, but he’s wasting RW.

    Yes, he’s brought the Hawk’s success, but that success is argueably due to the phenomenal drafts of Pete’s early years and RW’s HOF play. Without RW, Pete would probably not be coaching the Hawks now. (An unprove-able argument, I know).

    Tim Ruskell had early success and a lot of vocal backers too. Until he was finally gone.

    Pete believers need to raise their right hand and pledge: “I support the Seahawks only trying their best in the 2nd half.” Because that’s been Pete’s approach.

    Myself, I think this team needs to have a sense of urgency from the opening gun, and play the 1st quarter like they know points are what decides the winner. Myself, I think always comPETE means 4 quarters of pedal to the metal football.

    Buy, hey, all you Pete backers, you win. Pete’s a nice/great guy, probably, and he’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Seattle will make the playoffs most years. They might even win a game or two, if/when they get there. But forget the Superbowl. That game is for coaches that play to the strengths of their best players.

    I have a problem with last week’s lost at Lambeau. I think Pete hindered His Team again. I think they could have won with RW running in the 1st half and creative play calling. Instead of running up the gut with one second left on the play clock.

    But, hey, I’m being negative, and some fans think that’s wrong and maybe treasonous. (See Tim Ruskell) I should remember that the Hawks have lots of cap space and draft picks for 2020. And odds are we’ll make the playoffs again next year. Maybe win a playoff game before we get bounced (again) Congrats, if that satisfies.

    Me, I expect no more than Evan does from this team going forward. Oh, well, it’s just a game, right?

  24. Ohh Evan…REALLY???

    If there was a season that proved that in spite of all those nice charts and pies, RUNNING MATTERS, it was the 2019 season.

    Yes, the rules changed etc. and still, the two teams that ended 1st in the NFC (SF) and AFC (BAL) are predominantly running teams.

    “2 of the 3 pass-happiest teams in the league are now in the conference championship games.” – Another masterpiece from the e Baldwin school of cherry picking. Four of the 8 teams in the divisional round were RUNNING TEAMS (SF, SEA, TEN, BAL), Two of the 4 teams in conference championship games were RUNNING TEAMS (SF @ TEN). SF made it to the SB after trashing a passing team. It’s a clear 50/50 split at the top of the game in-spite of the rules and analytics.

    The thing that drives me crazy more than anything is that I have been following the hawks since 1979 and I know that all my extensive knowledge of the game gathered over 4 decades is less than what to lowliest assistant on the team forgot. They have a better access to stats and analytics than all of us fans combined and still, They decided on a strategy you do not agree with. When that happens someone probably has to go, I pick Evan.

    In the last decade, with all the pro passing rules, you can count the number of head coaches that reached the SB more than once on one hand. As long as one of them is coaching your team you should be happy (if not grateful).

    I know that the people who are perfectly happy with PC are not the load voices screaming on social media. So far, the constant wave of negativity has not affected PC and his coaching staff but the guy is not young and dumb and I worry that at a certain point he’ll have enough with that constant ungrateful chatter and decide to go.

    So, here I am, Thank you Pete, love you, carry on the great work.

  25. It’s How you run, not IF you run. It’s about Wilson Never running in the 1st half = futility. It’s about running up the gut with one second left on the clock. It’s about how easy other defenses have it when coming up against the utter predictability of Pete’s macho ball philosophy. It’s about the blindness that bias engenders.

    It’s about talking to the hand

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