Turnover Friday
why do we start at Green Bay


Or Tell the Truth Tuesday, or whatever day it is for Pete Carroll.  Cliches can work very well, you know.  :- )  As far as the Green Bay game specifically:  if the Seahawks went 15-1 this is the likeliest -1, correct.  What a ripoff.

When it comes to Sheldon Richardson and "climbing the pocket" you almost wonder whether the Seahawks were thinking about, um, this game.  Never saw any quarterback so good at single-step rush evasion.  Whatever the term is for what Aaron Rodgers does.


Sure enjoyed the comments after my last little stub on Sheldon Richardson!  My questions to the 'xperts this time are:  just HOW MUCH is it going to benefit Richardson from (1) playing 60% of the downs rather than 80% plus?  I know that in basketball, if I can go real hard for half the game, I am a DIFFERENT PLAYER than if pacing myself for the whole game.  (2) How much will it benefit our edge rushers, that offensive tackles don't have the high ground in being able to push them past the pocket?  etc?  

There is a fanpost at Field Gulls saying the Seahawks' defensive line has gone from "great" to "extraordinary."  (3) Is that hyperbole?  .. And no matter how good the line gets, it will not be the strength of the defense in view of the fact that the Legion of Boom is best-of-generation not best-of-year.


I wish that we could see Russell Wilson, just for a few GAMES, play behind Dallas' offensive line.  LOL.

Pete Carroll can't have everything and so he punts* the offensive line -- using Wilson as a one-man compensation crew.  Does that feel to you like it's a little bit "exploitative" of Wilson, to make him play his whole career running for his life?  I don't mean it in a bad way.  But if I were Wilson that's a little bit how I'd feel.

Imagine if RW3 could sit there like Dak Prescott and look the field over in an unhurried way!  Now tell me he's not underrated.


Sherminator's little gem resonated.  The salary cap looms, But.  Take away even a single big salary and your budget transforms.  It says here (from 30,000 feet as a wide but not deep NFL fan) that the Seahawks can come up with a Frank Clark when it comes time to replace Cliff Avril.

To me, Pete Carroll has a legit advantage in coming up with Chris Carsons and Thomas Rawlses, in large part because he is ego-free and not married to his previous decisions.  Carroll and Belichick are unusual people, and the usual salary cap patterns may not apply to them as much.


It says here the Packers have won 7 straight vs the Seahawks in Green Bay?  Forecast is for 70 degrees and sunny, though; some of those 7 games must have been cold and some might have been affected by defensive injuries.  Also, we see here, the Seahawks are 19-6-1 against the spread when playing as underdogs.  The Packers are similar when playing as favorites, though.

And Dr. D is guessing we all enjoyed the look of our own 2017 preseason.  This game could already decide* the NFC Championship is played.  Right out of the chute, an epic defense taking on an epic quarterback, in an epic NFL battle.  Wow.

Dutton alerts us to the 12-page pullout on the Seahawks.  Long time since I bought a print newspaper.  Going to go get that one and sit comfortably in a restaurant.  Ah, life's good :- )




If you aren't pacing yourself, of course you can come out and go full bore and not worry. Even HWMNBN went to the bullpen and got an extra 3 MPH on his fastball out of the pen, because he wasn't pacing himself to go 6 innings. Fast Eddie Diaz went from 95-97 to 100 when he knew it was max effort for a single inning.

When you are a 300+ pound defensive lineman, and you're basically doing a wind sprint impeded by a 300+ pound offensive lineman, trying to get to Aaron Rodgers, you aren't going to be able to do that very many times in a row before your performance suffers. Micheal Bennett and Cliff Avril both got better once they got here, because they were used properly, not just used up. I daresay Sheldon Richardson will enjoy a similar benefit.


from a max-burn rotational deployment rather than an every-down pattern of usage.  As said above, Bennett AND Avril's games somehow got better once they got here (well...maybe Avril's is basically the same?) and our SB championship season featured a truly ridiculous rotation on the D-line, with specialty players coming in for niche usages, and hammers like Bennett reserved for when they could do the most damage.

I anticipate two things with Richardson on the line: 1) we eclipse last year's interception totals due to increased interior pressure; 2) Bennett has his biggest year, pressures+sacks, since arriving in Seattle.  Avril does what Avril does, and he's been able to do his thing essentially since his arrival.  I don't see that changing any time soon.  But Bennett has always been Target #1 on the D-line for opposing O-linemen to deal with, so wherever he lined up he could get double-teamed or gapped out of the play.  This year, with SRich and MB often lining up beside each other, it's going to be impossible to block them both out of the play full-time.


How much will it benefit our edge rushers, that offensive tackles don't have the high ground in being able to push them past the pocket?

I think this is significant, particularly for weakside end.  While these details vary a lot from snap to snap, one of the goals of four downline scheme where the defensive lineman focus on one gap is to make it hard to double team the weakside end and the weakside tackle (the 3-technique in silly jargon).  This means Sheldon Richardson and Michael Bennet (or Frank Clark) one-on-one with both men powerful enough and quick enough to have a lot of success running stunts and twists.

As an aside, both Michael Bennett and Sheldon Richardson were top five in the NFL for run stops (tackles at or behind the line of scrimage).

I wish that we could see Russell Wilson, just for a few GAMES, play behind Dallas' offensive line.

I think Russell Wilson is significantly underrated and the offensive line has been a weakness for years, but the Seahawks offense is designed to make it hard on the offensive line to pass protect.  The Seahawks emphasize run blocking and long developing (down field) passing and Russell has a propensity to hold on to the ball hoping for the big play.  The easiest way to make your line look good is to get rid of the ball.  I think Russell has gotten to the point where his judgement about when to make the easy play versus when to go for the jugular has improved to the point, where he will start making the job for the offensive line easier.



that suggest in no uncertain terms that O-lines always look bad blocking for mobile QB's.  Some of that's the nature of the slow-developing-play, and some of it is due to the intentional trade-offs made by teams with mobile QB's.  But, clinically speaking, mobile QB's tend to create their own pressures to such a degree that a studly O-line is largely nullified by them.  Hence, why a team like Seattle refuses to invest heavily in the O-line.

I've also wondered about opposing team morale when playing someone like Russell.  If you're a pass rusher and you know that RW3 is going to get sacked more often because of his scrambling, wouldn't you churn the legs a little harder, and a little longer, on otherwise routine plays?  I suspect that's going to be near-impossible to pin down, stats-wise, but it seems consistent with human nature (to me) that we rise to the challenge when there's a carrot dangling in front of us.  When you're pass-rushing Dallas' O-line, and you've got a dozen dings and scrapes--any one of which *might* be a potential season-ender if it gets tweaked the wrong way--are you really going to drive as hard as you would against an O-line like Seattle's?  'Professionalism' only goes so far in the real world.


By the way, I love your comments at SSI.  One of the amazing aspects of the Seahawks and offensive lineman in general, is that Russell makes their job harder and then gets hailed as a magician that saves the linemen's behinds, yet you don't hear any bitterness or complaints from the linemen.  They just try and do their job.  It is so refreshing to see such an unusual combination of achievement and humility.


If we were going to get these kind of comment responses every day, we'd probably do a Seahawk post almost every day ...


Another great Life Is Sports point from yer Jonezie.  It's much easier to give max effort on anything when you can smell the reward, ain't it?  And it's easy even for me as a casual NFL fan to sympathize with an NFL offensive lineman who blocks in the wrong direction and turns around confusedly to see his quarterback running into the defensive lineman from an odd angle.

Perhaps one compensating factor ... in the NFL Top 100 videos there was an enemy pass-rusher who had an insightful point of view from field level.  "You do not pass-rush Russell Wilson.  You chase him around."

Heh!  I used to have this experience chasing quick little quarterbacks around in flag football.  Their jitter-bug can take a lot of alacrity out of your closure ...


As to the Yin/Yang perspective on increased/decreased morale for the defense vs. offense, that's got a resonance to it for me.  I've watched, probably six times by now, the ULTRA excellent television series, Three Kingdoms (2010) which I highly recomment to anyone looking for a true epic tale based on one of the Four Classics of Chinese Literature.  In it, they frequently put things in Ying/Yang terms "The Riverlands are easy to defend, but difficult to attack from" or the like, there's probably two dozen lines like that scattered throughout the series that are intentionally demonstrating inverse relationships at key moments.  Love it when my favorite pastimes intersect like that :-)

Think that Yin/Yang Offense/Defense morale issue might have played some part in Seattle's O-line woes?  Also FA linemen, especially those who think they could get another contract AFTER one with Seattle, don't exactly want to be on the wrong side of a sacks highlight reel when they sit down for an eight figure negoriation.  Kinda tough to defend such when you're arguing over an extra million dollars of guaranteed money.

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