Cover Photo Source: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Reason #3: Most Importantly, The Coaching
Pete Carroll has not only been the downfall of this team this season, but also has been the reason for why they’ve heavily underachieved in past seasons too. With the way that the Seahawks have plummeted this season, there is reason to believe that Pete Carroll should lose his job after this season. Hell, if things get worse enough fast he should probably get axed in the middle of this season. In 2019, 2020, and 2021 Pete Carroll has had top-5 rosters but has not even been unable to scrape past the divisional round dating back to the 2014/15 playoffs. The main flaws in pete Carroll’s coaching have been his unwillingness to adapt to the modern NFL with a change in philosophy, as well as his horrible defenses that he’s put up in recent seasons.
To get into the first point, Pete Carroll has insisted on running the football when he has a $140 million dollar quarterback and future hall of famer on his team. This problem has persisted since Seattle’s running game fell off in 2017 when Wilson was the team’s leading rusher for the season. The only time Carroll will throw the ball is when Seattle is down big, or trailing in the fourth quarter, when it would already be too late or Wilson would have to pull off a miraculous comeback. The only time we did see a change in philosophy was in the memorable first few weeks of 2020 when Wilson had one of the greatest 5 game stretches by any quarterback in NFL history. Then once when Seattle’s pass protection fizzled and opposing teams took away the deep ball, this forced Wilson into taking more sacks and giving up more turnovers, which then led to Pete attempting to run the football down enemy players throats with a 7th round running back. As a result of this, Seattle’s offense collapsed and looked like the incredibly boring and mediocre offense of years past, despite having a top 5 quarterback on your roster. On top of this, Pete has built a defensive roster to stop the run which then forces the opponents to pass, but this strategy simply doesn’t work because of how bad of a secondary we’ve had for multiple years. Carroll’s inability, or rather unwillingness to adapt to the modern day NFL has killed not only the potential of this offense but also this team.
Carroll’s defense has also been a major factor as to why this team has been held back so much in recent years. In 2019, they were ranked 22nd overall; an incredibly subpar unit on the verge of the bottom 10, in 2020 they were initially on track to be the worst defense of all time, but were able to correct the course mid-way through the year due to the horrible offenses they continued to face, and in 2021 they are also currently on track to be the worst defense of all time, even in a 16 game season. Due to the horrible defenses they’ve put up, Russell Wilson has been forced to make throws that he shouldn’t throw knowing that the other side of the ball will just give up points when they trot onto the field again, thus the defense negatively impacts both sides of the game. People give credit to Carroll for the Legion of Boom, which is fine, but it’s only fair to credit him for this putrid defense too. Additionally, Carroll’s unwillingness to fire Ken Norten Jr., the defensive coordinator, despite his 4 years of underachieving, is baffling and not fair to the players and the fans. Finally, the coaching staff has given up so much capital, and more importantly so much trust into these players like Jamal Adams, Jordyn Brooks, and Tre Flowers, yet have had no semblance of a plan when it comes to using them the proper ways.
The Hope for the Hawks:
Now, after all this critique, easy to say that I'm down bad on the Hawks for a multitude of reasons. But now let's get into the potential hope I have for Seattle moving forward:
We still have Wilson. As long as we got Russ, we got hope. Even with him being out for the next few weeks.
The Seahawks have had brutal starts to the season in the Wilson era, and they’ve almost always rebounded and made the playoffs even with their struggles.
The NFC West may not look as good as it did a few weeks ago; San Francisco is in an even bigger mess than we are, and the Rams keep scraping by wins against poor opponents while boasting a bottom ten defense in the NFL
The roster still has potential to be great, it’s just a matter of utilizing it to the best of their ability.
They have made great trades in recent years with players like Quandre Diggs, Carlos Dunlap, Gabe Jackson, and then potentially still Jamal Adams.
The Seahawks are the Patriots of the NFC; although all good things must come to an end, it still is possible that we’re not quite there yet.
Even with the slim glimmers of optimism I have I still retain my belief that Seattle is nearly at the end of an era, and may be looking for a new coach, general manager, and possibly quarterback come January. For watching these next few weeks, I’ll be treating it like preseason, watching for some of my most intriguing players to see how they hold up against an equally desperate Steelers team. My hot take for this year is that Russell will be back in uniform in 4 weeks, just in time for us to go on the road against Green Bay. The Hawks' schedule will look like this for the next four weeks:
@ PIT (2-3) SNF @5:25 PST
VS NO (3-2) MNF @5:25 PST
VS JAX (0-5) SUN @1:05 PST
If they can scrape out with a 2-1 record during this stretch and get back up to .500 at 4-4, Seattle has still got a worthy shot at the postseason with 9 games to go.
Thanks for reading, and Go Hawks.