A few months ago, both Michael-Shawn Dugar and Aaron Fentress of the Athletic penned thoughtful missives outlining what they believed to be the best courses of action for the Seattle Seahawks this offseason. I’m thrilled to inform you that I have indeed completed this triptych, and, despite the belatedness, in exponentially more valid fashion than my contemporaries.
What should the Seahawks do to set themselves up for success in 2020?
1. Re-sign Jadeveon Clowney
After bolstering their pass rush by drafting archtypical LEOs Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson, Seattle is desperate for a competent rusher to man the defensive line’s strong side. Rasheem Green looks to slot into the role of 5-technique as of now, but the Seahawks shouldn’t hesitate to bring back a game-wrecking behemoth in Clowney.
Unfortunately, Seattle’s best lineman from a year ago doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to sign — be it with the Seahawks or another franchise — and is prepared to wait out a proper physical with his suiters before inking a deal.
Patience is a virtue but sacks are eternal. Retaining Clowney should be Seattle’s number one priority at this point in the offseason.
2. Emphasize fundamentals
Selecting Jordyn Brooks on day one of the NFL Draft speaks volumes to the Seahawks’ desire for speed and physicality in their front seven. Brooks is a premier run-defender (the most important quality in a linebacker) and looks to spearhead Seattle’s emphasis on sound tackling, a taken-for-granted ubiquity from a simpler time.
You remember hawk tackling. What I propose instead is an improvement upon this technique, which should yield both efficacy and longevity: bear tackling. And by that, of course, I mean tackling literal bears (not to be confused with those pinstriped idiots in Chicago). Grizzlies, preferably. Modern NFL practice restrictions sap defenders of their grit and desire for greatness. Honing these critical skills against opponents of the ursal variety will bolster Seattle’s defense considerably.
3. Sign more Griffins/Griffens
The tale of Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin playing together in the NFL has become canon. Combining for a sack to nearly propel the Seahawks to an NFC Championship Game berth was both the best moment of Seattle’s season and a blueprint for how the franchise should navigate the offseason’s fourth phase. If Quill and Quem are proof that Griffins add exponential value in numbers, what comes next is obvious.
After the team re-signs Jadeveon Clowney — something that, once again, they should definitely do — there are still pass-rushers available on the market. Everson Griffen should be relatively affordable and a vauable contributor for a team starved for sacks.
If and when this signing transpires, there’s no reason for the Seahawks to avoid what comes next: lean into it. Roster every Griffin in the league, since nothing bolsters a depth chart like mythical avian beasts. Trade for both Ryan Griffin and Robert Griffin III to push Anthony Gordon. Bring in the other Ryan Griffin as well as Garrett Griffin because if there’s one thing this team needs, it’s tight ends. If the Seahawks really want to get weird, they can also sign free agent and Bloge contributor Griffin to a futures contract (find his official scouting report here).
4. Ensure a member of the organization makes an appearance in the upcoming Fast and Furious movie
When Fast & Furious 9 (also known as F9 and, weirdly enough, technically the 10th movie in the series) drops in 2021, I’ll be on the lookout for cameos from anybody on Seattle’s roster. Let us not forget that, during the 2015 offseason, Russell Wilson popped up in the Entourage movie and went on to put together an MVP-caliber year and the best stretch of football in his career to date.
Within the Fast & Furious franchise — which, similarly to Entourage, is built upon a foundation of taurine and coitus — only two qualities matter: speed and fury. Including a young stud such as DK Metcalf would surely yield dividends on both the gridiron and the big screen.
5. Bolster the offensive line
Protecting Russell Wilson is of the utmost importance as he continues to age, and the Seahawks are prepared to do so in revolutionary style. Seattle now has twelve guards on their roster, essentially doubling the number of tackles. They look to be building their line inside out.
The logical step to follow? Addition via subtraction, baby.
Cutting all tackles paves the way for five starting guards on Sundays. The best way to get your best road-graders on the field is by literally putting all of them on the field. Russell Wilson should be guarded, not tackled, folks.
Cutting DJ Fluker may seem counterintuitive to this initiative, but I assure you it makes sense.
6. Perform ritualistic sacrifice to ensure Rashaad Penny’s health
By December, Penny had proven to be a true weapon in Seattle’s offense. What the Seahawks must sacrifice to get their dynamic back back is up for debate. Their dignity? Given up long ago in the blessed pursuit of content. The ability to truly contend for a championship? Ditto.
Jokes aside, I think the answer is obvious: early down passing. Everybody knows that establishing the run promotes healthy regeneration of running back knee ligaments. If Seattle cedes the right to attack via the atmosphere on first down, Penny’s recovering ACL will benefit from the ensuing rushing volume.
An added benefit of this course of action would be increased durability for the hopefully returning Marshawn Lynch.
7. Re-sign Marshawn Lynch
Do it you absolute goons.
8. Excrete footballs
Since Doug Baldwin’s retirement, Seattle has experienced a void of players willing to stage or clasp footballs upon their asses. The Seahawks have recently shown an aptitude for post-score theatrics, but the art of shitting pigskin has been temporarily lost.
If Seattle is lucky, an unlikely hero poopeth. This noxious messiah doesn’t even need to be a wide receiver. Jordan Roos seems like the type of guy who would literally consume and then defecate a football if asked to do so. More like a clog-molly, amirite?
But I think the obvious position group of choice to source this champion of the people from is the defensive line, since the Seahawks’ pass rush fucking stinks. Imagine a sack dance from Poo-na Ford.
9. Abandon the strategy of winning games in the fourth quarter
The Seahawks won twelve games in 2019 (including playoffs), eleven of them by a lone score. To seriously contend in 2020 and beyond, they can’t keep waiting until the fourth quarter to ice contests. They need to wait even longer. Until overtime.
Two of Seattle’s twelve wins came in bonus periods, a decent proportion. Increasing this value would all but deliver the organization to the promised land. Data analysis currently purveying analytical circles suggests that upping OTWP (overtime win percentage) from 16.7% to 30% will increase DVOA by nearly a factor of two. This linear trend boasts a whopping r2 of zero, a discovery sure to influence teams from both roster construction and game management perspectives.
10. Focus on calling fewer timeouts
If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that Pete Carroll needs to be calling timeouts at a lower clip. This may be the toughest ask of the offseason, though. How can somebody so obsessed with animated sideline conversation progress to a point where his timeout usage notably plummets?
By losing challenges more frequently of course.
Quoted after a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccanneers in November, Carroll admitted to challenging a call while knowing full well that it would be unsuccessful, all in the hopes of proving a point. Hell yes, Peter Clay. If there’s ever been a moment to stick to your self-imposed
constraints mantras, this is it. I want to see red flags raining from the heavens every Sunday (two of them to be exact). I want to see Dean Blandino’s beady, soulless eyes on my television 32 times in 2020 tacitly informing me that Seattle’s head coach is a fucking moron, since I currently don’t get that enough through visual media.
To succeed in the NFC West’s hyperspeed hellscape is to utilize any and all edges one can muster up. By way of this detailed platform, perhaps Seattle can overcome the challenge(s) ahead.