BY Art Thiel 09:38PM 12/17/2017

Thiel: Long storm of mistakes imperil Seahawks

The worst defeat of the Carroll era was more than just being overpowered by the Rams. It was the collision of age, injuries and contracts/egos bringing down a once-great team.

Todd Gurley had a huge day in the the Rams’ conquest of the Seahawks. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

For a town that has had four mayors in one year, we should be a little used to institutional shock. But watching the Seahawks in two weeks go from darlings to derelicts is mind-bending. When such a trajectory happens to meteors, they burn up in the atmosphere.

Maybe we need another explanation from Neil deGrasse Tyson, this one about the physics of spontaneous immolation. The Galilean Dissolution?

If Tyson knows anything, he should text Pete Carroll, because the Seahawks coach has no clue.

“It’s really hard for me to explain to you, because this is something that I haven’t seen us do — play that far off,” said Carroll, genuinely bewildered for perhaps the first time in his Seattle tenure. He had the look of a man expecting a sports car for Christmas and getting a wheelbarrow.

Two weeks ago, the same Seahawks that beat the Philadelphia Eagles, the team with the NFL’s best record, lost Sunday to the Los Angeles Rams 42-7 in a game that was over before breakfast, much less the 34-0 halftime score. Numbers to know: 11 first downs, nine punts, nine penalties.

Seattle’s Super Bowl loss to New England was one bad play. This was a wall-to-wall walloping unique in Carroll’s tenure. Since it all but killed the 8-6 Seahawks’ playoff chances, the bruise on the franchise ego was visible from space.

“That wasn’t anything like it’s been since I got here,” said C Justin Britt, a four-year veteran. In fact, finding a worse Seattle margin of defeat requires going back to 2009, a 48-10 loss at Green Bay in the single lamentable year of coach Jim Mora.

But at least that was at Lambeau Field. This was at the formerly impenetrable fortress of the Clink, where Sunday boos boomed readily across a stadium half empty late in the third quarter in the gray gloom of December.

Is this how it feels in Cleveland?

Many hallmarks of Carroll’s time were shattered — the home field advantage, the great December record, the ability to stay in every game, excellence in games with stakes.

Even the quaint, albeit fanciful, notion of team harmony took a hit. After the game FS Earl Thomas said that LB Bobby Wagner, who missed the week of practice to rest a strained hamstring, was sufficiently limited that he should not have played.

“To be totally honest,” Thomas said, “I think the guys that played, you’ve got to give your hats off to Wags and a couple guys that played. But my personal opinion, I don’t think they should have played.

“We’re used to Bobby going sideline to sideline. I think the backups would have did just as good.”

Wagner responded in a tweet later deleted: “E keep my name out yo mouth. Stop being jealous of other people success. I still hope you keep ballin bro.”

The defeat was sufficiently profound to not only disrupt the natural order of the NFC West — the 10-4 Rams looked every bit the formidable playoff force the Seahawks once were — it could break the Seahawks.

They have to play Christmas Eve in Dallas against a Cowboys teams revived with the return of RB Ezekiel Elliott, then conclude the regular season at home against often gnarly Arizona. But Thomas wasn’t offering up the usual blather about a quick emotional recovery.

“It depends,” he said, “as far as the veteran leadership, we gotta lead these young guys right. We can’t clique off in sections, go this way and go that way. I don’t think (we will), but we’ll see.”

Indeed, we shall see. The issue is whether the leaders and coaching staff can convince themselves and each other that Sunday was a one-off, rather than a seismic event the emotional opposite of the BeastQuake of yore.

Almost certainly the drama was bigger than missed tackles, 19 yards from the lead running back, and a punt-coverage unit that gave up 128 yards in returns. What happened Sunday was the culmination of three debilitating facts of NFL life — age, injuries and huge contracts/egos — simultaneously undercutting a once-great team in a single game.

Wagner should have joined LB K.J. Wright on the sideline, despite a defense that was already missing CB Richard Sherman, SS Kam Chancellor and DE Cliff Avril.

And QB Russell Wilson, the franchise foundation, should have come out of the game late in the third quarter to protect him from the ferocious Rams pass rush (seven sacks, nine hits) and his own dubious play: He had a backward pass for a loss of 23 yards and another called intentional grounding, and because it was thrown from the end zone, was scored as a safety, the Rams’ final points of the game.

But those tough personnel decisions weren’t made. Carroll said a curious thing about Wilson’s continued play in a cause lost well beyond even his remarkable powers to rally.

“You probably all were thinking that too,” he said. “I thought (to myself), why is he still out there? I agree with you. But he wants to keep battling, and I gave him one more series. It’s just who he is.”

That prompts a question: Who is in charge? There is no way that Wilson’s body should be left on the tracks for the freight train of DT Aaron Donald, who had three sacks and four hits on Wilson.

It was another mistake in a year pickled with them. Going back to free agency (Luke Joeckel, Eddie Lacy and Blair Walsh) through the draft of knucklehead DE Malik McDowell and the cut of RB Alex Collins, the Seahawks created a misshapen roster that put them in such a tight financial corner that they had no room under the salary cap for decent emergency hires beyond LT Duane Brown, who cost premium draft picks.

Ask any player if he understands why former all-pro Dwight Freeney is not still on the team, and you will see a back-lit, six-foot question mark and exclamation point above his head.

Injuries contributed much to the Seahawks woes, but not everything. All the misdeeds  climaxed into something described well, in a bewildered tone, by Wilson:

“It stayed away from us the whole game.”

That has never happened in the Carroll/Wilson era.

He also said something else worthwhile:

“There’s no panic, by any means.”

That is normally a good thing. But at this moment in Seahawks history, it might worth a try. Many other compensations and workarounds reached their expiration dates Sunday.

 


YourThoughts

  • Steed

    Clean up a couple of assignment errors, execute a little better, and it could have been a closer game, like 38-10 even.

    Making the playoffs 5 years in a row was pretty good. It had to end.

    I hope they conclude that they have an excellent QB, and other than that, it’s time to blow it all up and start fresh. Let the big money guys go a year too early instead of too late, and get on with it. Turn the roster over like they did 7 years ago, and do it with no sentimentality. Only Wilson is exempt.

    • 1coolguy

      yep – They should hire an insider from New England, the team where turnover is a proven, successful art. Who can even name any New England players after Brandy and Gronk? The rest are bit layers, pieces that are all replaceable, and their roster churn is amazing, each year. And who do they pay big bucks to? Brady.
      Hire that NE person and fix this mess. At $20.5mm, Brady ranks TWELFTH among QB’s and is the Pat’s highest paid player.

      • antirepug3

        I’ve noticed that about New England…they plug in rejects and has-beens and somehow make a championship team out of all that…

        • art thiel

          They’ve done well, and Seattle is only a step behind.

      • art thiel

        Actually, Brady has a below-market contract. And NE’s front office isn’t any smarter than Seattle’s. It’s just Belichick’s ruthlessness as the franchise don that sets it apart.

    • Will Ganschow

      Very similar to my own thoughts. Being of a similar age, it is painful to also say, perhaps it is time for Pete to move on.

      • Steed

        Keep the front office in place.

      • art thiel

        Generous of you to not fire everyone after one bad loss.

    • art thiel

      “Blow it up” is always the one-size-fits-all advocacy when something goes bad.

      Doesn’t work. What about Wagner, Wright, Reed, Clark, Griffin, Carson, Baldwin, Britt, Fant, Brown, Lockett, etc?

      Next time your kid breaks the most expensive window in the house, make sure to tell him that you’re going to blow the house up.

  • Kevin Lynch

    They’ve seemed unhappily distracted all year for one reason or another. When they play well they play angry and focused or desperate and focused. When they don’t have those qualities they are often lethargic. Is it the game plan? The lack of improvement on the offensive line? The coordinator? Russell taking 85% of the offense? Pay disparities? The social activism? Whatever, they don’t play four quarters with the will and drive the Rams showed today on every play. That bodes poorly for the future unless they rebuild either the roster or reshape player attitudes, something more difficult. Today was more than the injuries, as Art said. 35 point losses at home are rare for any team but especially one with a championship pedigree. There’s something else going on.

    • antirepug3

      “…they are often lethargic.”

      “Lethargic: affected by lethargy; sluggish and apathetic.” That is the exact word I have used all along to describe what happens when the Hawks lose in miserable fashion. The Rams brought their energy, the Hawks left theirs in the locker room. I’ve never been a fan of the “It isn’t how you start, it is how you finish” BS. This always coming from behind BS is just that, BS. The Rams finished the way they started…so did the Hawks.

      • art thiel

        It’s not BS. It’s worked for five years of playoffs. But the cavalcade of injuries to such key players changes a lot.

        Players won’t admit it, but they were emotionally down after intense games vs. PHI and JAX. No team hits 16 emotional peaks in a row.

        This will shock you, but the Seahawks don’t want to start slow. With a throw-together line, they don’t want to make mistakes with higher risk plays and get behind early. When they do, you saw what happened Sunday.

    • art thiel

      Every team goes through similar problems and dramas. I would agree that the social activism on the team took a toll, however immeasurable. Every player will deny it, of course, but as Baldwin said, we’re human, not robots.

      The fact is that this team has a high number of smart, veteran guys with well-developed social consciences. Seahawks fans should be proud that these guys care beyond themselves. But the margins are so thin at this level that any distraction can be costly.

      None of them could possibly know where their actions would take them emotionally and physically. It is often true that one pays a price for following one’s conscience. But when in pursuit of the easy fix, you get what we have in America today.

    • Lightninbug

      I’m amazed that anyone needs to read tea leaves to understand what ails this team. This is a gladiator sport which, when a team pays attention to nothing but football eschewing all other pursuits, will generally discover they have found the only path that leads to football glory. I’ve followed this team since it first took to a field way back when. I didn’t need any prognosticator to know their chances of even making the playoffs this year were slim to none.

      Pay attention to the game, Seahawks. Can the BS. Or watch even more of us walk away from your once upon a time great performances.

  • Husky73

    Paul Newman looked over the Seahawks’ starting 22 and remarked, “Who are those guys?” Those aren’t the Seahawks. They are The Replacements.

    • Effzee

      What is a The Replacements and what’s a Paul Newmon? Is it an American sports personality? I’m cold and there are wolves after me. My sock has a hole in its bucket. I’m googling infinity. #darrelbevelistehsux

  • Tom G.

    It’s just time to blow it up.

    Or at the very least, it’s time for Schneider to act A LOT more Dipoto-like.

    Because what you have right now is a roster that’s old, beat-up, expensive and overly concerned about figuring out how they point fingers, protest the national anthem and earn petty 15-yard penalties.

    That and you also have some poor coaching at least on the offensive side of the ball.

    And what infuriates me about all this is I don’t think Pete Carroll is going to change a thing about this program. I think ’18 and ’19 have the potential to look a lot like ’17 because Pete’s going to be overly optimistic about how things can just magically turn around at the drop of a hat.

    • art thiel

      Not you too, Tom. Blow it up? Please.

      They made a bet that they could make one last big run with the talent on hand. Then Fant, Rawls, Avril, Carson, Sherrman, Chancellor and Wright happened. And Wagner and Bennett are hurting. Find me the GM that could fix all of that midseason.

      They lost the bet.

      As I wrote, the failures in FA and the draft have come home, and the FO deserves the lash for those. But to use the Dipoto analogy, neither he nor Schneider could possibly compensate for the mass coincidences of injuries that crippled both teams.

      • Matt Kite

        It’s déjà vu all over again.. Hasn’t a similar conversation played out in comments here regarding a recent season that blew up for the M’s after multiple injuries to the pitching staff, etc.? Not much you can do when half the starting defense is out and the other half is playing hurt.

      • Tom G.

        I’m just worried that we suddenly now have a team that’s older and more beat-up than it needs to be.

        And it also feels like we’ve got to start moving FAST because we’ve now established the Rams are a legit good team and the Niners have a competent head coach (finally), Garropolo, extra draft picks and lots of cap room.

        Plus, some of the other stuff surrounding the team (Tom Cable being here, slow starts to game, penalties, ejections, gossip about in-fighting/jealousy, anthem protests, etc.) isn’t admittedly keeping me sane either.

  • PokeyPuff

    Hand it to the Rams for having their act together for a pivotal game. We were a lifeless mess in comparison

    • art thiel

      Losing the first game when they deserved to win was an itch that was scratched by the Rams Sunday,.

  • 1coolguy

    As I have mentioned over time, Art, you are the pre-eminent NW sportswriter and the one I turn to for honest AND witty comments. Everyone has an Achilles heel, yes, including myself, yet today I considered your extreme devotion to the weakest, IMHO, coach on the staff, Bevell, and today was yet another horrid example: Matt Millen commented that total offense at a point in the 4th (FOURTH) quarter was 69 (interesting number) yards! As your column once again did not mention the “leader” of what I consider to be a debacle of an offense, Bevell, I can only conclude the game you saw was much different than what I witnessed today. So if you are once again giving Bevell a pass, I offer the following possible reasons:
    Bevell is your:
    brother
    brother in law
    cousin
    college roommate
    next door neighbor
    loan shark
    distant relative
    bookie
    investor
    whew! That about does it – so what is it, that you are hands-off on the guy?
    I presume I will be lambasted for the following, as the Original Sin of fandom is suggesting plays AFTER the game, BUT, I cannot resist: When facing what RW considers the NFL’s best defensive player and what most consider the NFL’s best D-line, WHY on earth would the game plan not include 5 to 10 yard dump-offs to our 6’7″ OR 6’5″ TIGHT ENDS? We know going in the rush would be oppressive and the running game useless, so why not TRY to protect RW and the offense progression with quick passes to slow down the rush?
    And as far as Soft Jimmy Graham goes, Millens’ post-game truth-telling was music to my ears – “I am so done with Graham and his $10 million salary”.
    Getting back to Bevell, my earlier bet, Art, concerning interviews by other teams of Bevell after the season still stands. What say you?

    • Ron

      Expect Art to point out the fact that Bevell called the Wilson to Willson TD play.

      • Effzee

        Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.

    • DB

      Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see what Bevell’s game plan was, past the first 2 series, -which did contain the short passes and the runs you were looking for. Passes to the tight ends? It wasn’t Bevell who turned the ball over in the first series (McEvoy) or dropped the first down catch in the second one (Graham), etc. etc. When you are down 3 scores early in the second quarter and you are consistently doing second and twenty, and you are starting at your end of the field and the Rams are also starting at your end of the field, a game plan to run and throw short passes goes out the window. You can blame Bevell if you want to, but keep in mind that this is the same offensive leader who’s offense went to 2 Super Bowls. What was that? Luck?

      • Effzee

        Yes. Luck. Luck, Beast Mode, and a RW that the league had not yet figured out. Bevell is an abomination.

        • art thiel

          To Effzee, Ron and many others, including most in the fan bases of every NFL and major college team, who hate their offensive coordinators when plays don’t work:

          You don’t know what you’re talking about.

          Whether it’s Bevell or Jonathan Smith or any OC, they know things you don’t. They know the momentary physical conditions of their players. They know what defenders they are trying to set up. They know from last week and two years ago what sequence of plays brings about defensive vulnerability.

          The OCs are themselves vulnerable to O-linemen who hold, TEs who drop passes and QBs who misread disguised defenses, and DTs such as Aaron Donald who are many times unblockable regardless of scheme.

          Read my column this morning, gents, about the first nine minutes of the game, then go online and read the play-by-play descriptions, and tell me how Bevell was the idiot responsible for a 13-0 deficit.

          And I’d like to thank reader DB for being a sufficiently alert fan who understands implicitly that blaming the OC is the easiest fan cop-out in sports.

          • Effzee

            Exempting the OC from all criticism is the easiest cop-out in all of sports media-ing. Nothing is ever their fault. Nah. Don’t hold them responsible for the relentless lack of coordination in the unit they are charged with coordinating. Pray tell, then, how uncoordinated must a unit be for any blame to go towards the corrdinator of said unit? *raises eyebrow*

  • DJ

    Thanks Art. You’re right – how the heck can a total 180 degree performance from two weeks ago be explained?! No way was it the difference in the way the teams match up.
    It will be difficult to explain ultimately why the Seahawks could not be some, even extreme, assemblance of themselves. When things like this happen, I think focus – or lack thereof. (A lot like my golf game at times) Kudos to the Rams. They had it, and maintained it where the Hawks didn’t and then couldn’t find it, as they usually do.

    Perhaps because the chasm created between them was so great in such a short time.
    Such uncharacteristic behavior smacks of the need for an off-season reset. We’ve seen the years where they have been able to recover from offseason and early season injuries only to make a great and commanding run through the end of the season and charge into the playoffs. A lot of that is the good fortune of timing. But playoffs? (Who said anything about playoffs???) I’m not sure that there will be much of a decent team left to field if the Seahawks had the good fortune to even make the playoffs. We can now be realistic – the Seahawks are not on the upswing.

    I really feel for the core, the veterans. It’s got to be so hard to see things go so sour so fast. Twenty years from now it is certain that some of them will have busts in the HOF, and even more of them will be in the Seahawks Ring of Honor. Carroll and Sneider created an Era – the string of records is an accomplishment to be desired by many. But it seems that they lack one element to creating greatness – to be able it to propagate it beyond its original pieces. Maybe those “pieces” can only function to their maximum ability when the majority of them are in place, and that the system is too reliant on the unique skill sets of the original core.

    May the force be with them and the swagger return – GO HAWKS!

    • art thiel

      Let’s not lose sight of a very simple explanation: Sherman, Chancellor, Avril and Wright out, Wagner and Bennett hurting but playing.

      They peaked emotionally vs. PHI, were drained by JAX, and played a team completely focused for two months for this game (and why they lost to PHI the week before).

      As I wrote, the workarounds lasted for awhile, but the expiration date was Sunday.

  • ll9956

    After this horror story my thinking tends toward trying to think of what might help to improve things for next year. Given my lack of expertise in such matters, the only thing I can think of is for the ten or so highest-paid players on the team to agree to salary cuts of 10% or more and to spend the money on improving the O-line. If coaches’ salaries count toward the salary cap, then all of them should also take the 10% cut. The probability that anything remotely resembling this would ever happen is close to, if not not equal to, zero. I just can’t think of any other remedy. It’s unpleasant to say, but I also have difficulty picturing some of the present players being on the roster next year.

  • Effzee

    1) Schneider has done a reprehensible job on this roster, starting with the neglect of the O-Line, extending to the inability to locate NFL talent at the “skill positions” the offensive side of the ball, and finishing with mindless, non-thinking, inexcusable signing of Blair Walsh. You can’t put a pygmy QB who can’t see over the O-Line behind the worst O-Line in the league. I can’t even comprehend what they saw that made them think this would work. The thorough mismanagement of the offense has led directly to the demise of the defense. I would call it unforgivable if I was in the position to make such judgements.

    2) Darrell Bevell is beyond awful. Hideous. The offense is stupid. Its 100% smoke and mirrors. You can’t rely on sandlot football. The offense is flawed on so many levels, from the mind-numbingly moronic game planning and play calling to the lack of execution. The problems are not new. They existed during the SB run but were masked by the presence of Beast Mode. This team has been on a steady downhill slide ever since Bevell called The Play Which Cannot Be Unseen. The cart was lit on fire by Lynch’s temporary retirement, and and its been careening out of control towards a precipice ever since.

    • antirepug3

      And, for all the hype about Tom Cable taking light-weight defensive line players and turning them into heavy-weight offensive line players…how does that seem to be working……

      • Effzee

        I would say it seems to be working very crappily.

  • Kevin Mohundro

    Didn’t think I’d say it but I miss Jeff Fisher.
    Got too stressed during the game and switched to Shawshank Redemption and found Andy Dupree (insert Seahawks) surrounded by a group of worked up prisoners (Rams). Just like the game we know what happened next.
    The team is blown up if one considers all the injuries. Most defensive starters were on the bench or limping on the field.
    Next year????

    • Husky73

      It’s Andy Dufresne.

  • Will Ganschow

    So many intangibles go into even any one successful NFL game. Injuries, weather, time of season, matchups, “luck,” outside distractions, game time decisions. With all the efforts to reduce head injuries over the past few years, I’m wondering if we wouldn’t see that overall injuries are up. The Seahawks really did beat the Eagles a couple of weeks ago. There are a lot of sharks commenting here, smelling blood in the water. Seahawks need changes obviously. The leadership group built a Super Bowl champ out of duct tape and bailing wire. They own time as far as I’m concerned to put the Seahawks back on top. (Could happen this year, not putting my money there.)

  • tor5

    Of all the horrors, the crack between Earl and Bobby Wagner might be most troubling. This is a test of the team’s spirit, and sort of the whole Carroll philosophy. “Tell the Truth Monday” is as big as any game right now.

  • rosetta_stoned

    Instant karma.

  • Kevin Lynch

    Trade or cut some of the largest contracts to rebuild the offensive line and give Carson and Davis a chance. Go for young and hungry (and relatively inexpensive) and eschew the expensive vets who are more injury prone. Yeah, do the New England thing. It’s a bit brutal but it’s about winning, not loyalty.

    • art thiel

      Getting rid of big contracts without a replacement plan is the height of folly. But the gradual transition plan went to hell with the career threatening injuries to Avril, Chancellor and Sherman, nearly simultaneously.

      Young and hungry is what they did with the O-line, and you saw how that worked out.

      • Kevin Lynch

        Yeah, I don’t think the social activism was a huge distraction. And it’s something I typically support. But when Avril and Chancellor, two very important players, decided they were done for the season with neck stingers, not surgeries, that just sent the wrong message. You can’t blame them for protecting their health but Super Bowls are reached and won by guys who run through walls for their teams. Crazy. Stupid? I don’t know. It’s a rough game. In any case, it doesn’t make sense for the Hawks to continue paying large contracts for players with significant injuries.

  • Paul Harmening

    The snowball slowly rolling down the hill in dry snow all season has the past 2 weeks been rolling in a thick blanket of a major wet snow storm. And suddenly, it has become an avalanche.

    I can’t add anything to what Art has either insinuated or stated plainly, as well as most of the comments that followed. Regardless of the remaining games, the handwriting is on the wall. I expect you, Art, to keep leading the journalism charge of telling it like it is. The way Edward R. Murrow did (minus the cigarettes).

    I’m just wondering where Paul Allen and his subordinates are going to take this after the season?

  • Mícheál Mac Cionnaith

    I think, as per usual, people are letting hyperbole get out of control. You don’t go from a team able to beat the supposed best in the NFL (Eagles (who beat the Rams away)), and then suddenly you’re a squad of no-talent bums just 2 weeks later. That’s just not logical. Sure; we’re all upset and disappointed, but maintain a grasp on reality.

    But for Blair Walsh missing 3 FGs in Washington and the game-tier vs. Atlanta, this team could easily have 1 or 2 more wins.

    Let’s not forget: The Rams Defense has tended to give Seattle fits, even when they were at polar opposites of the division standings. Some teams inherently present harder challenges than others.

    Many are now calling to “clean house”. Given Seattle’s record with jettisoning players … how many more players like Alex Collins do you want to get rid of (knowing that they’ll probably come back to bite us)?

    Others may disagree (go ahead; I’m not threatened by differing opinions), but within a ball game, I believe that momentum can “snowball” to an unrecoverable degree. If McEvoy doesn’t instantly fumble a good pass on the first series … I think the entire “tone” of the game is different. If he holds on to that pass, I believe the entire game goes differently. That set the Rams up to have midfield-or-better positioning on almost every possession.

    I don’t think I’m alone in having watched the game and thinking, “This is just the Rams’ day.” Strip sacks of Goff would bounce into the breadbasket of a Rams player. The officials (on a busted route that sailed) felt the need to tack on a Safety when LA already had a 33-point lead? That’s unnecessary. The Rams’ coach challenging an 8-yard reception with a 30- or 33-point lead? Also classless.

    Do I like Bevell’s playcalling most of the time? Hell no! But the Rams’ fantastic field position (also caused by poor special teams) resulted in them getting so far ahead, so fast, that then a sensible offensive formula of 5-6 yard passes goes out the window.

    A point upon which I think NONE of us disagree is that the Seahawks have pushed their luck for far too long by neglecting the O-Line. What point is there in giving a guy a contract north of $80 Million, and then entering him into a demolition derby, telling him he has to drive an AMC Gremlin? They’re going to get him killed, or seriously curtail what could be a HOF career.

    My apologies to those who don’t agree; I’m just saying the things I feel while yesterday’s embarrassment is still raw.

    • Ron

      Here’s reality: five of the Hawks’ eight wins are against teams with a collective record of 13-43.

      • art thiel

        Take a look at the Eagles record at the same stage.

        • Ron

          I have no respect for the Eagles record or the claims that they were the best in the NFC. The Eagles have played an easy schedule. All the more reason that the Seahawks win over the Eagles was nothing special.

          • art thiel

            True. I’ve pointed out the soft Serahawks schedule in previous columns. But the casualty rate, starting with Fant in August, outstripped the ability to patch with the funds available under the cap.

            That’s on Schneider, not the coaches and players.

          • Ron

            Then we agree that it’s on the front office. Putting all the eggs in one basket was a gamble that lost.

    • art thiel

      Micheal, I appreciate yo

  • John M

    OK, guys, you’ve stated some facts, bitter truths about the evolution of Cap, etc. But Art saw this coming and has been hinting at it since before mid-season. Everything seemed a bit off key since the draft. A season of less than great personnel decisions, bad luck and the the mental as well as physical anguish of injuries. Think about how many great players the Seahawks have who have played so many intense snaps without serious injury. Injuries killed the Hawks this year as sure as greed killed Bird.

    I was impressed with post game interviews with Frank Clark. Frankly I used to think he was nuts. But his introspection and earnestness in expressing how he saw the game was a good sign. The Hawks will play hard these last two games and make mistakes. But the new guys will learn something, Clark will become one the new leaders, and the team will get some higher draft picks than anticipated – at least those they haven’t given away . . .

  • Michael Galey

    My beloved Hawks looked like turds out of a tall cows A##. This debacle was doomed from the beginning!! Wags at 40%, O line looked like a collection of sign board walkers just hired off the street. And old dang it Russ had to be concussed after that run a way Freightliner FLD 120 bounced him like a beach ball on a July picnic! It’s time to make out the pink slips and try to cull the herd to only the QB and MAYBE a coach or two remain.

    • art thiel

      I was going to lump you in with all the fire-everyone reactionaries, Michael, but I’ll exempt you from incarceration on the basis of colorful writing.

      • Michael Galey

        Mucho Gracias mi amigo! I appreciate the pardon from the pokey!