Posts tagged Tom Cable
Five things to watch
Before the season started, I would have been more than happy with a 2-2 record. Of course, I would have assumed the Seattle Seahawks beat the Cardinals and the Rams. Instead, Seattle lost those both of those games, but they did defeat the Cowboys and the Packers, at home.
No matter how you slice it, the Seahawks have a record of .500, and last place in the NFC West.
Who would have thought the division, who had a 7-9 Seahawks team win it two years before, would become the best division in football.
So much has been made of the performance of Russell Wilsonthis week. Yes, he is the starting quarterback, there is a certain amount of pressure that comes with the position.
Personally, I think the 12th man has been a little hard on the young man. I am not going to waste everyone’s time by stating the reasons why I believe that in this piece, but if you haven’t seen my opinion, or would like a refresher, click the link to the “Player Spotlight” piece I wrote on Wilson this week.
With all that said, or not said, I do want to see some improvement from him during the next four games.
Pete Carroll is a very tough man to get a good read on.
Far too often, Russell Wilson is missing wide open receivers. As most of you probably know, I was a proponent of letting him sit on the bench, behind Matt Flynn, for a year so that he could learn the pro game.
If he doesn’t start making more correct reads, I think that is exactly where he will end up.
Pete Carroll is a very tough man to get a good read on. On a personal level, I like the guy, but I would never play poker with him.
Honestly, I think Pete is putting himself in position to switch quarterbacks at any time.
It will be interesting to see if Wilson will be able to move the offense well enough to remain the teams starter, or if Pete will decide that it is time to try to “Win with Flynn”.
Seahawks offensive line grades
Last week: A-
Max Unger continues to prove why he got his new contract during the offseason. Last week he was the best offensive lineman on the Seahawks, and he backed that up by doing it again.
- Ability to consistently get to the second level, and deliver solid blocks.
- Ability to seal the running lanes up the middle and give the running back a large hole to run through.
- Max was pushed into the face of Matt Flynn and gave up a sack.
the grade: A+
Last week: C-
After struggling a bit last week Breno Giacomini responded in week 2 of the preseason. His aggression is a positive, but he needs to learn how to turn it off before he makes stupid mistakes. That said, a stupid penalty couldn’t take away from the outstanding job Breno was doing out there on Saturday.
- 3 pancake blocks in pass protection.
- 1 pancake while run blocking.
- Push in the running game, including on a 4th and 1 play.
- Cut block, took out 2 defenders and created a big hole for the running back.
- Missed a cut block attempt while pass blocking.
- Fell while trying to run block.
- Got pushed back into Matt Flynn, while in pass protection.
- He got baited into his 2nd unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in 2 weeks, when he head-butted a Broncos player.
- Holding penalty.
the grade: A
JR Sweezy #64
Last week: C+
I didn’t think JR Sweezy could impress me more than he had last week, but thats exactly what he did. When the Seahawks drafted him and switched him to the offensive side of the ball I expected him to compete for a practice squad position. Now, he is definitely competing for a roster spot.
- Strength to push defensive tackles out of the lanes, and open big holes to run through.
- Aggressiveness, always plays through the whistle and looks for someone to hit.
- Solid pass protection.
- Struggled getting to the 2nd level to make blocks.
- Struggled to get outside and set up block on screen pass.
the grade: B+
Paul McQuistan #67
Last week: b+
Paul McQuistan has really improved his pass blocking ability this season. Every snap Paul was in pass protection he was solid. McQuistan struggled a couple times while run blocking.
the grade: B+
Russell Okung #76
Last week: b-
Russell Okung has had a career marred by injury. Every game he makes it through without being carted off I feel is a success.
- Pass protection, at times he is a complete wall at left tackle.
- Pancake while run blocking.
- Russell missed a couple run blocks.
- Missed 2 pass blocks, one he was forced to hold to save Matt Flynn, and the other led to a quarterback pressure.
- Should have been called for a false start, but the officials missed it.
the grade: b+
Rishaw Johnson #63
last week: B
For the second week in a row, Rishaw Johnson looked good when he had a chance to play. I hope that he gets an opportunity to play against better competition in the game against Kansas City this week. If not, I think the Seahawks might try to sneak him onto the practice squad.
- Good job holding the pocket.
- Getting push in the running game.
- Rishaw plays near the end of games which means he’s playing against end of the roster type players at best.
the grade: b
Allen Barbre #78
last week: B-
Though Allen Barbre was not quite as good this week as he was last, he still had a very solid game.
- Threw defender to the ground like a rag doll.
- Ran defender out of the play on a running play.
- Solid pass protection when left on an island
- Cleaned the linebacker out of the hole on Russell Wilson’s quarterback sneak. (That was the key block that allowed the Seahawks to move the chains.)
- Pushed into the backfield on a running play.
- Missed a run block.
- Allowed a sack.
the grade: C+
Edawn Coughman #70
Edawn Coughman may wear Michael Sinclair’s old number, but he sure isn’t doing it justice.
- He isn’t expected to make the roster.
- Lost a run block.
the grade: c-
Lemuel Jeanpierre #61
last week: A-
I don’t have to pick a player who disappointed me the most along the offensive line. Then again, Lemuel Jeanpierre didn’t have to go out and play like an undrafted rookie free agent.
- Held the pocket strong.
- Knocked to the ground at the second level while run blocking.
- Slow getting to the second level while run blocking.
- Completely missed a run block.
the grade: D+
Alex Barron #73
Last week: D+
Pete Carroll, John Schneider and Tom Cable have got to be extremely disappointed in the job Alex Barron has done since joining the Seahawks.
- He can’t be the worst on the line, as long as Duce Lutui is lined up next to him.
- Monday is a cutdown day so, he might not be around by the end of that day.
- His play on the field.
the grade: D-
Duce Lutui #72
last week: D-
Is there something to be said for consistency?
- He plays nasty football.
- He plays nasty bad football.
the grade: d-
Seahawks Training Camp
Several months ago there was no certainty that we would be playing this or any other game in 2011. The safer bet was that the owners and players would figure something out and make sure the season wasn’t lost. Now here we are today knowing that this game will in fact take place along with every other game for the next ten years.
As soon as an agreement was reached things got pretty crazy, well actually the first day teams were allowed to contact players was pretty slow but after that it picked up and was crazy for the next several days. Teams had very little time to prepare for this game and play will most likely be more sloppy then we are used to.
The Seahawks have completely revamped the offense that ranked 28th in the NFL last season.
During the offseason they added Tom Cable as the new offensive line/assistant head coach. They used the draft to add RT James Carpenter and RG John Miffitt both of whom are know for being aggressive offensive lineman who excel in run blocking and have a streak of nasty in them and picked up LG Robert Gallery (who played for Cable in Oakland) in free agency. Words I have heard used to describe him: Aggressive, mean, nasty, tough. Landing Gallery was a big move in free agency because he is able to add some experience to a very young line. The other four guys have a combine 27 games in the NFL and most of those are from Max Unger playing RG not his current position at Center. These moves were made to improve the leagues 31st ranked rushing offense.
Pete Carroll and John Schneider weren’t happy just changing the running game they knew much more needed to be fix. They fired Offensive Coordinator Jeremy Bates and hired former Vikings OC Darrell Bevell to replace him. After the lockout the front office decided to part ways with FA Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and sign former Viking QB Tarvaris Jackson. Those were not the only things Seattle would take from the Vikings because a few days later the Seahawks Signed former Vikings Pro Bowl Receiver Sidney Rice. Adding one Pro Bowl caliber Receiver in his prime can really bolster a teams but how about adding a Pro Bowl Tight End to the mix? Thats what they did when they signed Raiders Free Agent TE Zach Miller. These moves should improve the leagues 19th ranked passing offense.
The majority of the starting players on Defense will be familiar faces from a year ago. Some have changed positions like Brandon Mebane and Davide Hawthorne and some will be new to the starting lineup like Kam Chancellor and possible Walt Thurmond if he can beat out Kelly Jennings for CB#2.
Here is a Guide of Rookies and additions to the team
#75 RT James Carpenter (1st team) Rookie #99 DT Alan Branch (1st team)
#74 RG John Moffitt (1st team) Rookie #65 DE Jimmy Wilkerson (2nd team)
#72 LG Robert Gallery (1st team) #53 OLB Malcolm Smith (2nd team) Rookie
#86 TE Zach Miller (1st team) #50 KJ Wright (2nd team) Rookie
#18 WR Sidney Rice (1st team) #25 CB Richard Sherman (2nd team) Rookie
#7 QB Tarvaris Jackson (1st team) #37 CB Brandon Browner (2nd team)
#67 LG Paul McQuistan (2nd team) #30 FS Mark Legree (2nd team) Rookie
#68 RT Breno Giacomini (2nd team) #97 DT Ryan Sims (2nd team)
#48 FB Ryan Travis (2nd team) Rookie #69 DT Jay Alford (3rd team)
#84 WR Kris Durham (3rd team) Rookie #96 DE Pierre Allen (3rd team) Rookie
#62 C Brent Osborne (3rd team) Rookie #42 OLB Neal Howey (3rd team) Rookie
#77 RG Zach Hurd (3rd team) Rookie #55 OLB Mike Morgan (3rd team) Rookie
#69 RT Caz Piurowski (3rd team) #35 SS Jeron Johnson (3rd team) Rookie
#15 WR Doug Baldwin (3rd team) Rookie #38 FS Ricky Thenarse (3rd team) Rookie
#13 QB Josh Portis (3rd team) Rookie #41 CB Byron Maxwell Rookie
#43 Dorson Boyce (3rd team) Rookie #93 DE Lazerius Levingston Rookie
#2 Ricardo Lockette Rookie #44 Jesse Hoffman Rookie
#40 RB Chase Reynolds Rookie
What I’m watching for in this game
I want to see power out of the O-line in the running game. I don’t need to see perfection just ability.
Tarvaris Jackson and Max Unger making clean exchanges.
Tarvaris Making good decisions and keeping the ball down.
Seeing what Josh Portis looks like in action.
Seeing if Ricardo Lockette can really use that speed to stretch the field how he uses the speed in Special Teams duties.
To see what Alan Branch and Brandon Mebane can do in the middle of the D-line
Improvement in young DB’s Thomas, Chancellor, and Thurmond
Originally posted on Bleacher Report on February 24, 2011 Written by Darin Pike
As the combine is starting, so is my first position analysis for the Seattle Seahawks. I begin with the offensive line, as many see this as the likely use of Seattle’s first round pick in April’s draft. At the expense of brevity, I offer a review of the last decade for the unit, followed by a summary of where Seattle stands today. Finally, I will discuss what steps are needed for the future.
To completely understand why Seahawks fans want the offensive line to be a draft day priority, their recent history merits discussion. There is a combination of nostalgia and frustration with the unit built by Mike Holmgren and Ted Thompson from 2000-2004. Walter Jones was getting his Hall of Fame feet under him and had begun working with Chris Gray and Robbie Tobeck.
The supporting cast was lacking in 2000, which led the team to some solid draft picks. Steve Hutchinson was taken 17th in 2001, and the offensive line that pushed the Seahawks to Super Bowl XL was rounded out when Sean Locklear became the 84th selection in 2004.
There were a few draft clunkers along the way, too. Who can forget Chris McIntosh with the 22nd pick in 2001? Oh, that’s right, everyone except avid Seahawk fans, who try in vain to forget.
The offensive front began to disintegrate as soon as it was built. Hutchinson was gone after the 2005 season, lost via free agency to the Vikings when GM Tim Ruskell opted to transition tag the Pro Bowl guard instead of using the franchise tag. The NFL refused to enforce equal financial terms for both teams, and the cap hit along with the money Seattle would have to guarantee to re-sign him was impossible.
Tobeck retired after playing just half of the 2006 season, followed by Gray at the end of 2007.
Walter Jones’ established injury concerns finally caught up with him and he last saw meaningful time during the 2008 season. Within three years of their Super Bowl appearance, the only carryover from the starting line was Locklear.
Despite glaring need, Ruskell largely ignored the offensive line on draft day. His first draft pick with Seattle was used on G/C Chris Spencer in 2005. The next time the offensive line saw a selection in the top three rounds came in the second round of 2009. Three drafts—four starters lost—no draft-day priority.
Seattle did have the opportunity to acquire solid prospects. Playoff appearances provided challenging draft positioning, but successful franchises work through late picks.
Entering the 2007 draft, issues on the O-Line were becoming clear. They didn’t have a first round pick (it was traded for Deion Branch), so their second round choice would be quite important.
Still on the board was Ryan Kalil, the top center and one of the best interior linemen in that draft. Kalil became a Pro Bowl center after being taken by Carolina two spots after Seattle’s pick. The pick after Kalil was Samson Satele, and while not a household name around the NFL, he has been a solid starter for Oakland the last two years.
Either of those names would have provided Seattle with needed help on the interior of the line, and would have helped stave off the unit’s looming collapse.
Instead, Ruskell opted to select Josh Wilson, the speedy, yet vertically challenged CB from Maryland. While he became a fan-favorite, his size made him a questionable pick to cover the tall WRs in the NFC West. My then-14-year-old daughter was surprised he was an NFL player—we had the opportunity to host him for a weekend shortly after he was drafted and she was a bit taller than Josh. Pete Carroll shared her concerns, and traded him for a fifth round pick in the 2011 draft.
When the 2008 draft rolled around, the failures of the Seattle O-Line were quite clear. However, the draft class was lacking, and when Duane Brown came off the board two spots before Seattle’s first round selection, there was no longer a viable first round selection for the O-line. Instead of reaching for the likes of Mike Pollak, Seattle reached on the other side of the ball and grabbed Lawrence Jackson. Options in the second round were also ignored, leaving Seattle with large holes on the offensive line.
Draft Day ’09 created the quandary of Mark Sanchez or their eventual choice, Aaron Curry. The other option—and one many Seahawk fans favored—was trading down from that spot to allow them to grab Eugene Monroe or Michael Oher later in the first round.
Instead of looking at the offensive line with their second round pick, they traded forDenver’s 1st round pick in 2010 (which turned into Earl Thomas). As good a move as that was, fans were amazed that yet another draft would pass with nothing done on the offensive line.
A little luck fell into place when Max Unger was unexpectedly available in the middle of the second round. Seattle acquired the 49th pick from Chicago to draft him. When the dust had settled, Seattle surrendered the fifth selection in the second, third and fourth rounds and left with the guy they needed in the second round and Denver’s first pick in 2010. These two second round maneuvers would become one of a few bright spots on Ruskell’s record in Seattle, even if slanted with a bit of luck.
The 2010 draft brought the Pete Carroll era to Seattle. He and John Schneider had as good an initial draft as anyone, albeit with a little luck of their own along the way.
First, enter the fortune of having Russell Okung slip to them at the No. 6 spot. The fairytale continued when Earl Thomas also dropped down the board to Seattle holding the aforementioned 14th pick acquired from Denver.
Relative to Seattle using the sixth pick in 2010 on a tackle, a certain writer (OK—it was me) said the following: “I don’t want to take anything away from Russell Okung. He will be an elite LT, and is the class of this draft. He looks solid in every aspect of the game, and will be a Pro Bowler at some point in his career. If he is there at No. 6 he will be a Seahawk. But three of the five teams picking ahead of Seattle need a LT, so there is no real chance he’ll slide that far.”
So much for casting draft selections a few weeks ahead of time. In my defense, I did predict this scenario unfolding the morning of the draft, as Washington started to tip their hand on their plans to take Trent Williams.
Okung figures to be one of the top left tackles in the league for years to come. Even hobbled with high ankle sprains, he was able to shut down elite defensive ends his rookie season, and blocked with agility and power in the running game (just ask Brian Urlacher, who didn’t take kindly to being knocked through the end zone by Okung).
The RT position is a little more fluid. Stacy Andrews, at 6’7” and 340 pounds, wanes in a gray area. Will he regain his prior form with a move back to RT, or continue to muddle through false starts, holding penalties and some missed blocking responsibilities that plagued him at RG?
To be fair, his size isn’t exactly typical for a guard. The move back to RT should be favorable for him. Given Andrews’ age, he is worth the risk. If he can regain the form that impressed the Bengals enough to franchise tag him, he could be an anchor on the right side for several more years.
Should Andrews not return to prior form, he will have solid competition from Ray Willis. While missing the 2010 season due to injury, he was the only offensive lineman to start every game for Seattle in 2009. Willis has also shown he can perform well at the guard positions.
As for the three interior slots—Max Unger will certainly occupy one of them. I expect him to take over at center, the position he was drafted to play. Things get murky from there, though.
Locklear, Spencer and Tyler Polumbus are all unrestricted free agents. Locklear appears to be on his way out, as he struggled most of the season with the new run blocking scheme. However, he did seem to catch his stride the last few games of the season, and fans should brace themselves for the possibility that he could be re-signed by the Seahawks. Giving him one more chance to perform under Cable wouldn’t be the worst outcome.
Spencer and Polumbus are more likely to fit into Seattle’s future plans. Spencer had a decent season for Seattle, but not spectacular. This should make him an inexpensive option to return and compete for a starting position and offer depth.
Polumbus has shown flashes of brilliance as he’s bounced around the O-Line as an injury replacement. Mike Gibson has shown himself to be solid and versatile since Seattle acquired him in ’09, but not spectacular. Along with Willis, all three can compete for the guard positions and offer depth at tackle.
Many fans want to see Seattle draft linemen early again this year. This is understandable with the manner in which the Ruskell era handled—or didn’t handle—the position. Seattle definitely needs to add a bruising run blocker, either in the draft or through free agency.
Tom Cable, Seattle’s new offensive line coach, provides a logical tie from his former team. The Oakland Raiders have voided the final two years of Robert Gallery’s contract, clearing the way for Bruce Campbell to get some playing time. Gallery has credited Cable with reviving his NFL career when he moved him to guard and dedicated coaching time to him. It is almost a foregone conclusion that Cable will convince Carroll and Jon Schneider to sign Gallery, providing the bulk and attitude he wants on his line.
Shoring up their O-Line with current players and via free agency would leave Seattle free to pursue other glaring needs in the draft.
Most notably, Seattle needs help at CB, still doesn’t have a long-term plan at QB and could desperately use a nose tackle that can apply pressure on opposing QBs. It is likely that a quality option for one of these positions will be available with the 25th pick.Elite tackle options in this draft appear to be thin. There is a volume of what look to be quality picks, but none have differentiated themselves at this point. The combine will allow someone to step up, and I see that person as Tyron Smith. He looks solid against the run and can take on fast and strong defensive ends in the passing game. The concern is that at 285 pounds he lacks NFL size. There are reports that he has beefed up to 305 pounds, though. Editor’s Note: Smith reported to the NFL Combine at 307 lbs. and was carrying the weight well.
If Smith can sustain his mobility at the higher weight, I expect him to be the elite offensive tackle in the draft. He’ll be gone before Seattle’s pick though, so better value will be available at other positions.
My concerns with the tackles in this draft have come under scrutiny by some readers. I stand by my assessment (for now at least), and I’ll provide a more detailed summary on the options following the combine.
Offensive guard might be a more difficult decision. It is possible that Mike Pouncey, G/C Florida, will be available. He has great size and holds the mental and physical traits to play the three interior positions. I contend his biggest strength though, is his twin brother—Maurkice certainly worked out well in Pittsburgh.
If available, Pouncey will be a tempting option, but one I hope Seattle avoids. He moves well enough to get to the outside in the college running game, but I’m concerned he lacks the speed necessary to do so in the NFL. He is a solid blocker, but at times gets beat due to an apparent lack of concentration. He could be great in the NFL, but also has the potential to fall far below the bar set by his brother.
The drop from Pouncey to the second best guard in the draft doesn’t figure to be significant, and Seattle can likely draft Rodney Hudson or Danny Watkins with their pick in the second round—I am a proponent of this approach.
Don’t fret Seahawks fans. The O-Line is a lot closer to being good than many realize. The addition of Cable should add the toughness needed to get them over the hump. He was able to push five non-descript linemen in Oakland to one of the best rushing attacks in football.
His presence alone will make a difference in the ground game, and Seattle’s pass blocking was much improved in 2010. Even with a less-than-nimble Matt Hasselbeck taking most of the snaps, and the use of 10 different starting lines, the team only gave up 35 sacks. While not elite, it still placed them in the middle of the NFL.
Seattle needs to dedicate a few high draft picks to the offensive line very soon. The 2012 draft looks a lot more promising to get help at tackle, and waiting a year will also reveal if Andrews, Willis, or Polumbus can seize the RT position.
The second round of the 2011 draft looks to be a good time to grab a quality guard. What to do with their first pick?
I will be kicking off my annual Free Agency tradition by calling in a friend of mine’s radio show The Mud Show tonight at 9:05 Western Time. For those wanting to listen to the show here’s the link:
We will be discussing the expiring CBA and Free Agency and what everything means for the Seahawks and the NFL. Should be a good listen and hoping to get a nice turnout!
Follow my Twitter for the most-up-to-date news and information on the show.
John Schneider made some announcements Friday that will begin to answer a few big questions many Seahawks fans have this off season.
The biggest question has got to be ‘what are they going to do at quarterback?’ and more specifically what is going to happen with Matt Hasselbeck? On Friday John made it clear that the organization and Matt’s camp have been communicating and that talks are “Going well”. This is truly a case where both sides want the relationship to continue and both parties are better off staying together so, it is just a matter of reaching a contract that works for both. I would not be surprised to see something done before the March 3rd deadline. If a deal is not reached he would become a Free agent and could sign with any other team when free agency starts (date dependent upon the new CBA).
Schneider also let it be known that he has contacted the representatives for soon to be free agent DT Brandon Mebane. He is a player many Seahawks fans wanted to see the franchise tag placed on and he is a good young player but certainly not worth top 5 money. This one could go either way and he is certain to be a hot commodity when free agency begins if he reaches the open market.
The Seahawks will not be looking at the WR position any differently despite the switch from Jeremy Bates to Darrell Bevell at Offensive Coordinator, but with Tom Cable becoming the new Offensive Line Coach the team would be willing to add bigger offensive lineman. I can think of one ‘bigger’ offensive lineman who is a soon to be free agent and would make a nice addition to the line who has a strong connection to Tom, Robert Gallery.
The first day of the offseason starts off in a world wind as the Seahawks start off by the sum what surprising firing of Offensive Coordinator Jeremy Bates. Losing Bates should end the 4th and fade and hopefully give the offense an identity. It appeared that this was done to make room for the Seahawks to sign former Denver Bronco Head Coach Josh McDaniels as their new OC. By the end of the day Josh decided to sign with the division rival Rams. Although I would like what Josh bring to the table he is also sure to get more head coaching jobs in the future and very likely will be out in the next year or two. What the Seahawks need is to get someone in place who will be able to implement a system and stick around for a while. This will allow a rebuilding team to grow up into the system.
As other coaches have departed to take other job the Seahawks have begun to fill those positions: None bigger then the hiring of former Raiders Head Coach Tom Cable as offensive line/assistant head coach. This move has Seahawks fans split. Some point out the fact that he punched an assistant coach, the credit him with the demise of the Idaho Vandals football team and that at one point he said he hated the Seahawks and has always been black and silver. That aggression will be good for his new position. If you remember before he was an HC he was a highly accomplished line coach and a direct descendant of Alex Gibbs coaching tree. I also have to wonder if this can help the Seahawks land Guard Robert Gallery. He knows who signs his checks and will do everything in his power to make sure Seattle is a winner.
Seahawks also hire Todd Wash as Defensive Line Coach who worked with Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley in Tampa. Kris Richard was promoted from assistant DB coach to Cornerbacks coach and promoted Rocky Seto from Quality control coach to Safeties coach.