Once again, it’s Victory Monday. But it doesn’t feel like it.
Contributors, guest-posters, and all sorts of rascals from the BeastGlobe wrote stuff about Seattle’s costly win over Arizona.
Enjoy these words from all of these nerds.
When Pyrrus, the king of Epirus, agreed to assist the Greek colonies in their war against the Romans, he sealed his fate having wasted away his power in a series of conflicts away from home that culminated in his untimely death. Thus unto the Seattle Seahawks in Glendale.
The burial ground of Super Bowl 49 hopes, Kam Chancellor’s career, the warrior Achilles –or at least the Achilles of a warrior in Richard Sherman—is joined now by the likely end of Earl Thomas’ time as a Seattle Seahawk. Despite what the announcers may have told you, Michael Dickson was no more responsible for the missed field goals as he was the injury to Earl Thomas. Which… you know what I need a minute.
“I fully expect he’ll step up day one and begin to make plays.” I fully expected Earl to retire out of Seattle after his third contract. Satisfied he’d done enough. Three or more Super Bowl rings, alongside his longtime teammates Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. I thought we’d seen a new era, a resurgence of defensive dominance. I thought there was an unstoppable legion.
My romantic vision for a dynasty is gone. Washed over with the harsh reality that dynasties almost never form in the salary cap era NFL. A feeling I’m sure fans of other teams share. How many other “next Patriots” have risen and fallen now? Our watch has ended; the torch is passed. Seattle is no longer the center of NFL innovation, I don’t know if we could bribe Pete Carroll to go for it on fourth down anymore. Seattle isn’t the new kid on the block; we aren’t the upstart champs. The rebuild is now.
The Seahawks are dead, long live the Seahawks.
The advocation for one Pete Carroll has long been part of my mantra; throughout thick and thin, following every trudge through the quicksand of Sunday, I’ve always believed that his grasp of the bigger picture and grand scheme of things was far beyond anything we as fanalysts could ever conceive.
My confidence has begun to waver.
I can’t get a piece written by Brandon Adams over at Seahawks Draft Blog out of my head. Pete Carroll has always prioritized explosive plays over consistently accumulating first downs and, after a contest against Dallas that featured what some might dub a functional offense, Seattle reverted back to their deep drop/hold the ball too long/put your players in the worst possible position offense that we’ve seen much too often over the past several years.
Brian Schottenheimer has been entirely underwhelming but, at the end of the day, Pete Carroll runs the show and Schotty is just converting his vision into tangible concert.
Pete has always been ideologically flawed but his incredible knack for creating intimidating defensive units has more than made up for it. I don’t want to come across as one who is not incredibly grateful for what Carroll has done for this franchise. I am and I will never forget the golden age of Seattle football.
But it might be time for Russell Wilson to have a coach that plays to his strengths as opposed to forcing him into a conflicting identity like a corner puzzle piece forcefully shoved into a central spot.
It might be time for a coach who embraces the forward-thinking tendencies much of the league is trending towards, not just in an effort to innovate and find advantages, but to avoid falling entirely behind.
It might be time for a coach who doesn’t play for a 52-yard field goal when his kicker has already missed twice on the day when his dynamic quarterback is most excellent at orchestrating end-of-game touchdown drives.
It might be time for a coach who is not Pete Carroll.
I’m not near talented enough as a writer to properly eulogize Earl’s tenure as a Seahawk or the LOB era, so I’ll state it plainly: We (almost certainly) watched the last game, as a Seahawk, of one of the greatest players Seattle will ever see and have officially closed the chapter on the greatest team Seattle is likely to ever know.
More championships will come with time, but we’ll likely never see greatness quite like we saw from the Legion of Boom. It sucks.
In other bad, but less depressing, news, the Seahawks passing attack looks like ass. Russ isn’t playing his best football and talent at the skill positions is sparse, but it’s undeniable that Schottenheimer’s play calling is limiting this team. Use play action! Don’t run on 2nd and long! Do run on 3rd or 4th and short! Call plays with routes that go past the stick on the other 3rd down plays! Find ways to use Russ’ mobility! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T BANK ON JANIKOWSKI’S LEG!
If the Seahawks want to keep their heads above .500, they’re going to have to start consistently getting the basic stuff right.
Mets outfielder Jay Bruce has a three year, $39 million contract. Bruce was good at the start of his career, and great in 2010, but has been middling to bad the last four years. Unless he retires, he is guaranteed to earn the entirety of his contract.
Martin Prado, the Marlins’ third baseman, signed a three year, $40 million deal in 2017. Since then he’s been, statistically (by FanGraphs’ Wins Above Replacement), a negative asset to his team. He could fall down a well while chasing a butterfly, break all the bones in his body, and still earn the entirety of his contract.
David Wright, the Mets third baseman, has had three plate appearances in the last two years, due to injuries. Over that span has been paid $40 million.
Earl Thomas, the best free safety in the NFL, who toted the Seahawks’ defense to two Super Bowl appearances, signed a four year, $40 million contract in 2014. He was guaranteed $26 million at the start, and has been fortunate to stay both healthy(ish) and good enough to not be cut, and subsequently should earn the entirety of his contract this year. He’ll be a free agent next year, his age 30 season, and last night he broke his leg. It was, per reporters, a “clean” break, “not nearly as bad” as it could have been. It will likely cost him millions in free agency. No guarantees though.
So all of the joy turned into sorrow. Maybe you feel like shit. But somewhere in the back of your mind, you always knew it could happen. A sloppier landing, a harder hit, a blown assignment. It doesn’t take much for things to go to shit.
You knew it, and Earl Thomas knew it.
Earl knew that football thrives not on the punishment you deal but on that which you take; that a player’s career is a ticking time bomb of the hits and injuries they endure from their first snap. It was only a matter of time, and it finally blew up for Earl. He won’t be the first nor will he be the last.
Now there’s nothing left but to find solace in a sport that often garners little.
Another “win” in the desert, at the expense of serious vitality. Say what you want, but Will Dissly was on a fast track to becoming a key piece to Pete Carroll reclaiming his offensive identity. His injury was devastating to see and I’m praying for a clean recovery. This isn’t the last we’ll see of him.
However, the last standing LOB member, Earl Thomas, has likely played his final snap for the Seahawks, going down in Arizona like Kam and Richard did; on a routine play, just like Kam and Richard did.
Over the last decade, it’s been hard to truly understand some of the things Earl has said and done. Watching him flip off his own sideline as his internal fears had outwardly manifested, it’s hard to blame him for such a reaction. I’ve been a well documented proponent of not extending him… and though I get my wish, I didn’t want it to go down this way. I’d rather have taken less in a trade and seen him flourish somewhere else than this. This relationship is completely tarnished as goes for many members of such a special era of Seattle football.
Whatever happens, Earl, thank you for all the great memories. You’re a legend, 29.
Pessimism is the dirtiest word in my personal fan vocabulary. Why even follow a team if you don’t believe in them in the immediate or long-term future? So if you catch me in a pessimistic mood, sit back and enjoy, because it won’t last. But while it’s here…
It’s not the Earl loss exclusively that has me down. Although I do earnestly believe it knocks two future wins off the 2018 ledger.
It’s also serious doubt over the effectiveness of the “Galaxy Brian” Schottenheimer offense. You don’t want to judge a team by one putrid 0-for-10 third down experience. Especially when the New England Patriots, in Week 14 of LAST SEASON, went 0-for-11 on third down. And that’s a real offense, with a real coordinator, and a real quarterback. But the body of work (24 turnover-aided points in Denver, 17 in Chicago, one decent quarter at home vs. the Cowboys, and 20 points against the worst team in the league) inspires very little confidence moving forward. They’re often not watchable. That’s a problem.
It’s also also serious doubt over whether the depth can withstand these injuries. Wagner, Wright, Baldwin, Jordan, Carson, and various linemen have already had to sit out a game or games, and now ET and Will Dissly (FUCK) have landed on IR. More I’m forgetting, too. And the season is only a quarter over. (Already a quarter? Only? Matter of perspective.)
It’s serious doubt over whether Russell Wilson will ever rediscover that delicious 2015 magic.
It’s burgeoning doubt over the leadership from Seattle’s front office. I still think Pete Carroll is the right man for the job and I still think John Schnieder is an astute GM. I still think they’ll both be back in 2019, and again in 2020. But the number of things backfiring against them at once could snowball, and then what? I don’t think the locker room chemistry or the decision-making processes are intrinsically bad, or even getting worse. But they certainly could head in that direction. It’s conceivable.
12-3-1 only works if the injury demons find another team to torment, the coaching doesn’t hold the talent back, and enough lucky breaks visit the Seahawks, enough to offset the inevitable unlucky ones.
Right now, a little bit fuck football. It’s stupid — and Sue Bird doesn’t even play for the Seahawks, so how good can they really be?