A Look Back at the Impressive Draft History of the John Schneider Era

With the draft coming up in a couple days, it’s always fun to look back at all the success the Seahawks have had in their current regime, overhauling a franchise in the toilet and propping it up as world champions.  You don’t get this good, this fast, without some remarkable drafting and some remarkable coaching.  Who can say if all of these guys would have been just as good under the tutelage of lesser men?  What we know is that a lot of these guys panned out in a big way, thanks to the system we have in place.

To give the full picture, you actually have to go back to the 2009 draft, when we had Jim Mora Jr. as our head coach and Tim Ruskell calling the shots on the personnel side.

Like all of Ruskell’s drafts after his first one back in 2005 – where he nabbed Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill, to solidify the middle of our defense – his 2009 class was a huge disaster.  The Seahawks had the #4 pick and wasted it on a bust of a player in Aaron Curry.  Given the downward trajectory of the franchise at that point, you had to wonder where Ruskell found his erroneous sense of job security, as he traded away Seattle’s second round pick (37th overall) to the Denver Broncos for a 2010 first round pick (to further confuse matters, the Seahawks ended up trading 3rd & 4th rounders to get back into the second round – 49th overall – to select Max Unger, the last bit of good from the Ruskell regime).

With that 2010 first round pick, however, the Seahawks would build their dynasty.  As we’re all well aware, the 2009 Seahawks ended up being a trainwreck just like the 2008 variety, leading the franchise to earn the #6 draft pick in 2010.  The 2009 Broncos did their part by going 8-8 and failing to make the playoffs, which meant that their first round draft pick (which was now ours) was 14th overall.

While the 2010 draft wasn’t quite up to the elite level of the 2012 class, it seriously jumpstarted things in a big way.

  • First Round, #6 – Russell Okung (LT)
  • First Round, #14 – Earl Thomas (S)
  • Second Round, #60 – Golden Tate (WR)
  • Fourth Round, #111 – Walter Thurmond (CB)
  • Fourth Round, #127 – E.J. Wilson (DE)
  • Fifth Round, #133 – Kam Chancellor (S)
  • Sixth Round, #185 – Anthony McCoy (TE)
  • Seventh Round, #236 – Dexter Davis (DE)
  • Seventh Round, #245 – Jameson Konz (WR/TE/DE/FB)

Of note is that the Seahawks were originally slated to draft much earlier in the second round, but ended up swapping picks with San Diego (along with giving them a third rounder in 2011) to trade for Charlie Whitehurst.  So, you can’t tell me there weren’t some roadblocks in the early going of the John Schneider era.

Also, it wasn’t all peaches and cream out of Tim Ruskell in the 2009 draft, as he sold off our 2010 third round pick to get Deon Butler in that 2009 class.  The Seahawks also ended up trading back in the 4th & 6th rounds with Tennessee to grab LenDale White and Kevin Vickerson.  Vickerson proved to be an adequate defensive tackle; White never made the roster.

In a much happier deal, the Seahawks acquired their extra fourth round pick (which they used on E.J. Wilson, who didn’t pan out) and managed to get Chris Clemons from the Eagles (who very much DID pan out), and all we had to give up was Darryl Tapp.

More deals to come.  The Seahawks traded away their original fifth round pick to the Jets for Leon Washington and the Jets’ 7th round pick.  But, the Seahawks got back into the fifth round (ahead of their original pick) in a deal with Detroit where we also received some defensive end, where we only gave up Rob Sims (a guard who was never all that good with the Seahawks) and a seventh round pick.  The Seahawks would use that pick to draft Kam Chancellor, locking down their two starting safeties in the same class.

As far as I can tell, the Seahawks didn’t really get much from the undrafted free agent class of 2010, though Lemuel Jeanpierre and Breno Giacomini were both brought in that year.  And, obviously, the Seahawks would bring in Marshawn Lynch via trade during the season.  But, when you look at that draft class, you’ve got 6 key contributors, including 4 starters (Okung, Thomas, Tate, and Chancellor) and great ones at that.

That brings us to 2011, or the mule of the John Schneider draft classes.  It gets a lot of flack for being mediocre, but upon further review was pretty underrated.

To kick things off, the 7-9 Seahawks of 2010 were stupidly allowed into the playoffs by way of winning one of the worst divisions in recorded NFL history.  Even though that team had literally no chance of winning the Super Bowl, it still made some noise with the Beastquake run and the unlikely upset of the previous year’s Super Bowl champion Saints.  Of course, the Seahawks would go on to lose the very next week in Chicago, meaning that for all the hubbub, the Seahawks would end up picking 25th overall in the 2011 draft.

If you were like me, you saw this as a sign of doom.  The 2010 Seahawks were not good.  Not by a longshot.  And, to be hampered with drafting so low in the first round (and in subsequent rounds) would only set things back that much further.  Apparently unable to find a partner with which to trade back, the Seahawks made that selection James Carpenter, who started as our right tackle before getting bumped inside to guard.  Everyone thought this was a reach, and history has proven this to be true; Carpenter was adequate at best, but not a true impact player you’d hope to get in the first round.  Nevertheless, he was a starter all four years, so he wasn’t quite the crime against humanity everyone makes him out to be (indeed, his current salary with the Jets would speak to how other teams have come to value his strong run blocking abilities).

  • First Round, #25 – James Carpenter (OL)
  • Third Round, #75 – John Moffitt (G)
  • Fourth Round, #99 – K.J. Wright (LB)
  • Fourth Round, #107 – Kris Durham (WR)
  • Fifth Round, #154 – Richard Sherman (CB)
  • Fifth Round, #156 – Mark LeGree (S)
  • Sixth Round, #173 – Byron Maxwell (CB)
  • Seventh Round, #205 – Lazarius Levingston (DE)
  • Seventh Round, #242 – Malcolm Smith (LB)

The Seahawks ended up trading away their second round pick to the Lions to pick up an extra third & fourth round picks (used on Moffitt and Durham).  Recall they gave away their original third round pick in 2010 to get Charlie Whitehurst.  All in all, nothing too impressive with any of these moves, as Whitehurst was a bust, Moffitt ended up getting traded to Denver after a mediocre rookie season, and Durham never panned out with Seattle.  In that same Lions trade, the Seahawks moved up in the fifth and seventh rounds, which they used to grab Richard Sherman (GREAT!) and Lazarius Levingston (WHO?).

The Seahawks gave up their original fourth round pick in the Marshawn Lynch trade (as well as a conditional 2012 pick that ended up being a fifth rounder).  However, the Seahawks got back into the fourth round by trading Deion Branch back to the Patriots.  Branch was a turd sandwich in Seattle, and we used the pick we got from the Pats to grab K.J. Wright, who has been a stalwart for our linebacking corps.

That above trade wasn’t the last time we’d deal with the Lions.  In a spectacular move, the Seahawks traded away former bust under the Ruskell regime, Lawrence Jackson, to get the Lions’ sixth round pick, which we used to grab Byron Maxwell, a huge part of our success in his final two years here (and a great special teamer and backup overall).  That made up for giving away our original sixth round pick to the 49ers for Kentwan Balmer, who would go on to be cut prior to the 2011 season.

To wrap things up, the Seahawks traded their original seventh rounder to Philly for an offensive lineman who did nothing.  However, the Seahawks were granted a compensatory pick, which we used on Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith.

Among the 2011 undrafted free agents, we have Doug Baldwin (WR), Ricardo Lockette (WR), Jeron Johnson (S), and Mike Morgan (LB).  This would also be the year the Seahawks took a flyer on Brandon Browner from the CFL, among many other free agent acquisitions.

When you look at the haul of just the rookies, though, you’re talking about 10 contributors, including 5 starters (Carpenter, Wright, Sherman, Maxwell (eventually), and Baldwin).

That brings us to 2012, or one of the greatest draft classes you’ll ever see.  The 2011 were again 7-9, but thankfully weren’t saddled with a futile playoff appearance.  As such, they were granted the 12th overall selection, which they promptly traded to Philly to move back to 15.  The Seahawks were granted picks in the fourth (Jaye Howard, DT) and sixth round (Jeremy Lane, CB), and away we go!

  • First Round, #15 – Bruce Irvin (DE/LB)
  • Second Round, #47 – Bobby Wagner (LB)
  • Third Round, #75 – Russell Wilson (QB)
  • Fourth Round, #106 – Robert Turbin (RB)
  • Fourth Round, #114 – Jaye Howard (DT)
  • Fifth Round, #154 – Korey Toomer (LB)
  • Sixth Round, #172 – Jeremy Lane (CB)
  • Sixth Round, #181 – Winston Guy (S)
  • Seventh Round, #225 – J.R. Sweezy (G)
  • Seventh Round, #232 – Greg Scruggs (DE)

Not to be stopped, the Seahawks traded back in the second round as well, this time with the Jets.  We would pick up extra picks in the fifth and seventh rounds (Toomer & Scruggs, respectively).  That one didn’t totally pan out, though I would argue injuries to both players hampered their ability to make a significant impact early in their careers.  Nevertheless, you can sense a theme:  the Seahawks wanted as many picks in this draft as possible, as it was laden with talent.

No more trades until the seventh round, where the Seahawks got the pick they’d use to nab Sweezy from the Raiders, in addition to a conditional 2013 pick (which ended up being in the fifth round) for the privilege of jettisoning Aaron Curry (who would only last with the Raiders for a little over a year before being waived).  The Seahawks did trade away their original seventh rounder for Tyler Polumbus (from the Lions), who was a starter here, but wasn’t any good.

The Seahawks also got Jermaine Kearse (WR) and DeShawn Shead (CB) from the ranks of the undrafted free agents.  All told, this class netted the Seahawks 9 contributors, with 5 starters (Irvin, Wagner, Wilson, Sweezy, and Kearse), with Lane expected to start this year, given the big money he made this offseason to re-sign with the Seahawks.

Obviously, the 2012 squad made a huge leap, thanks to the Seahawks’ tremendous draft success.  In those three classes alone, you’re talking about 14 starters, and 25 contributors overall.  The 11-5 record, and first round victory against the Redskins, meant the Seahawks would draft 25th again in the first round in 2013 (as they did back in 2011).  In something of a stunner of a move, the Seahawks would trade away this pick, as well as its seventh rounder, and a 2014 third rounder, for the right to get Percy Harvin and sign him to an ill-advised huge free agent deal.

  • Second Round, #62 – Christine Michael (RB)
  • Third Round, #87 – Jordan Hill (DT)
  • Fourth Round, #123 – Chris Harper (WR)
  • Fifth Round, #137 – Jesse Williams (DT)
  • Fifth Round, #138 – Tharold Simon (CB)
  • Fifth Round, #158 – Luke Willson (TE)
  • Sixth Round, #194 – Spencer Ware (RB)
  • Seventh Round, #220 – Ryan Seymour (OL)
  • Seventh Round, #231 – Ty Powell (DE)
  • Seventh Round, #241 – Jared Smith (OL)
  • Seventh Round, #242 – Michael Bowie (OL)

The 2013 draft has proven to be the real dog of the John Schneider classes.  Nevertheless, let’s run through the moves that got it to where it was.  As a volume drafter, Schneider found multiple ways to recoup draft picks after spending so much on Percy Harvin.

To start, the Seahawks moved back in the second round, from 56 to 62, and received from the Ravens a fifth and a sixth (165 & 199).  As you can see from above, the Seahawks didn’t draft at either of those positions.  That’s because the Seahawks traded both of those picks to the Lions to get pick #137 (Williams) at the top of the fifth round.  The very next selection came from the Raiders in the Aaron Curry deal, which we used on Simon (who has been good, but has never been healthy).

The flurry of seventh rounders (none of whom were worth a damn) came from the Saints (pick 220, for some linebacker we gave them), and a couple of compensatory picks (#241 & #242).

Alvin Bailey was the only notable undrafted free agent in this class; he was a quality reserve along the offensive line, but nothing more.  All told, the Seahawks only managed to get one eventual starter in this class (Luke Willson, who has only been a starter thanks to injuries to Zach Miller and Jimmy Graham), and three other contributors (Michael, Hill, and Simon), though Spencer Ware got a crack at a job with the Chiefs and seems to be pretty good.

We all know what happened with that 2013 team, built on a rock solid foundation of draft picks.  Following that year, the team started to get picked apart a little bit, with free agents going to other teams.  With the 2013 class already looking like a bummer, the pressure was on John Schneider to right the ship with a banner 2014 draft.  He started it off by trading away our first round pick to the Vikings for a second straight year.  The Vikings would select Teddy Bridgewater with the 32nd pick in the class; the Seahawks would get Minnesota’s second and fourth round selections (40 & 108 overall).

Before Seattle could make a pick, we traded back again, this time with the Lions.  The Lions picked at 40, and also received our fifth round pick at 146 (which we got from the Raiders for Matt Flynn) in exchange for second, fourth, and seventh rounders from Detroit (45, 111, & 227).  At 45, the Seahawks finally made their first pick, selecting Paul Richardson.

  • Second Round, #45 – Paul Richardson (WR)
  • Second Round, #64 – Justin Britt (OL)
  • Fourth Round, #108 – Cassius Marsh (DE)
  • Fourth Round, #123 – Kevin Norwood (WR)
  • Fourth Round, #132 – Kevin Pierre-Louis (LB)
  • Fifth Round, #172 – Jimmy Staten (DT)
  • Sixth Round, #199 – Garrett Scott (OL)
  • Sixth Round, #208 – Eric Pinkins (DB/LB)
  • Seventh Round, #227 – Kiero Small (FB)

To make up for the loss of our third rounder (to the Vikings, in the Harvin deal the previous year), you can see why the Seahawks wanted to trade back so many times to start the draft.  They were able to pick up two extra fourth rounders.  That pick we got from the Vikings would go to Marsh, who has been a quality reserve and special teamer.  The Seahawks would use that 111th pick to trade with the Bengals to get pick 123 (Norwood) and an extra sixth rounder (Scott, who never made the team due to health concerns).  That seventh rounder from Detroit ended up being Kiero Small, who also didn’t make the team (the Seahawks would trade away their original seventh round pick to the Raiders for Terrelle Pryor, who never amounted to much of anything).

Among the undrafted free agents, we grabbed Garry Gilliam (OL), Brock Coyle (LB), and Dion Bailey (S).  At first glance, this class doesn’t look any more impressive than the 2013 class, but there are a number of under-the-radar players in there.  Right now, we’re looking at 2 starters (Britt and Gilliam), with four other contributors (Richardson, Marsh, KPL, and Coyle).  Depth guys, special teams guys, people to round out the roster.  When you figure so many of this team’s starters were already on the team ahead of this class, it’s not like you’re talking about a huge number of available openings.  Granted, a lot of this class hinges on Britt and Gilliam improving, and Richardson remaining healthy for a full season.  Should they fail, then you could make an argument that THIS is indeed the worst class of the John Schneider era.  But, until another couple years pass, it’s still TBD.

A second Super Bowl appearance for the 2014 squad meant that the 2015 Seahawks would be drafting quite low again.  With the obvious disaster of the Harvin trade looming over the franchise, the Seahawks opted to take another swing for the fences, trading away their first rounder (along with Max Unger) to the Saints for Jimmy Graham (and their fourth round pick, #112 overall).  We kick off the 2015 draft DEEP into the second round, with a controversial pick in Frank Clark (with domestic abuse allegations swirling around him, yet with an obvious cliff after him with regards to pass rushers in this draft class).

  • Second Round, #63 – Frank Clark (DE)
  • Third Round, #69 – Tyler Lockett (WR)
  • Fourth Round, #130 – Terry Poole (OL)
  • Fourth Round, #134 – Mark Glowinski (G)
  • Fifth Round, #170 – Tye Smith (CB)
  • Sixth Round, #209 – Obum Gwacham (DE)
  • Sixth Round, #214 – Kristjan Sokoli (OL)
  • Seventh Round, #248 – Ryan Murphy (DB)

The Seahawks had a ton of extra picks in this draft, which I’ll get to below.  They used a package of third (95), fourth (112), fifth (167), and sixth (181) round picks to move up to #69 from the Redskins.  That pick at 95 was our original third rounder.  That fourth rounder at 112 came from the Saints in the Jimmy Graham deal.  That fifth rounder at 167 was our original fifth rounder.  And that sixth rounder at 181 came from the Jets when we gave them Percy Harvin.  So, obviously, we sent away two picks that we got in deals, and two original picks.  We were more than happy to do so because 1) Tyler Lockett is a special player, and 2) we had extra picks throughout.

Poole was from our original fourth round pick; Glowinski was from a compensatory pick.  Tye Smith was also a compensatory pick, as were both of our sixth round guys (Gwacham and Sokoli).  That’s what you get when you don’t over-pay to keep your own players who aren’t necessarily worth big-money deals.

The only notable undrafted free agent from 2015 was Thomas Rawls, who very well may be our starting running back in 2016.  Combine him with Lockett (a Pro Bowl returner, and #3 wide receiver), Clark (valued rotation guy on the D-Line), Glowinski (projected starter at right guard in 2016), and Tye Smith (someone who will battle for minutes this pre-season) and you’ve got the makings of a very good draft class, that could be great if some of these players turn into elite starters.

With the 2016 draft class supposedly dripping with talent throughout, it wouldn’t be crazy to see the best Seahawks draft class since 2012.  Obviously, we’re drafting pretty low again, this year at #26, but with compenatory selections, the Seahawks already have 9 picks to select from, with a real opportunity to trade down in the first round to pick up some more (and gain some flexibility within the draft, in case we want to move up later).

I’m pretty excited for this year’s draft.  I’m sure I won’t know who these players are when I hear their names, but over the ensuing months, I look forward to getting to know them.

Just Say No To Terrelle Pryor

Boy, that Derek Carr kid really fucked us right in the pussy, didn’t he?

I know this isn’t a Raiders blog, but the biggest takeaway I got out of this game is:  Derek Carr is the real deal.  That kid was FEARLESS out there, grabbing the Legion of Boom by the horns and riding them down into the turf like a wounded animal.  Not too many quarterbacks are able to ram it down our throats like that – not even the greats like Manning or Brees.  Here’s to hoping Matt Schaub is renting and didn’t already buy, because he’s going to have to pack his bags by season’s end.

Not too much to say about this one.  It was the fourth pre-season game.  The starters – for the most part – played for one series.  Granted, it was the greatest fucking series known to man:  4 plays, 80 yards, and a touchdown in less than 2 minutes to kick off the game.  Consider me the most psyched that we actually managed to get Russell Wilson out of the football game after only one series.  Seems to me he manages to weasel his way into more pointless pre-season series than I care to witness.

After that, it was all young guys (with the exception of Okung and a few others who needed to play longer to get their conditioning in order, since they missed so much of the pre-season).  The Raiders, under Carr’s direction, scored 28 unanswered after our opening touchdown, and they never looked back, even though they immediately took him out of the game at that point and replaced him with Matt McGloin before Carr could drop 50 on us.

Not a whole lot of people stood out on the good side of things.  Bryan Walters had a seemingly good game, but he also fumbled a kickoff, so he’s probably gone.  Can’t be holding the ball like a loaf of bread out there (whatever that means).  None of the running backs stood out.  Jordan Hill played an okay game, I suppose.  DeShawn Shead had that interception return for a touchdown (off of McGloin) that I didn’t see because I was out picking up a few things from the store.

I thought Phillip Adams looked pretty terrible, especially considering he was out there with the second-team defense and is right there on the bubble of making this team.  You can’t get caught flat-footed when you have no help behind you on a go-route.  There’s being aggressive and there’s making aggressive mistakes, and you’ve got to walk the finest of lines if you want to make this team.

The backups as a whole didn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence.  It wasn’t, really, until the second half before our pass rush got home with any sort of regularity.  Derek Carr might be the best quarterback in his draft class, or he might just be another Mike Glennon, but even the Mike Glennonest of quarterbacks will be able to tear through your defense if you’re giving him all day to throw.

The thing I really want to talk about is Terrelle Pryor.  I don’t think the Seahawks should keep him, in case you couldn’t tell from the title.  He’s not a good quarterback, plain and simple.  There’s talent there, sure.  Strong arm, running ability, but those guys are a dime a fucking dozen and you all know this!  Stop being dazzled by these qualities!  He’s not accurate, he doesn’t make quick decisions, he often doesn’t make GOOD decisions, and I don’t care if there are openings within our division – the 49ers probably aren’t happy with their backup QB situation; the Rams obviously lost Bradford for the year – I would GLADLY watch Pryor walk to one of their teams, because I think we’d rip his shit apart if he ended up starting against us.

I said it before and I’ll say it again, Terrelle Pryor isn’t even the third-best quarterback on this roster right now.  B.J. Daniels is FAR superior, plus you don’t lose all that much in the arm strength arena or the run ability arena.  But, that’s neither here nor there, because I think keeping a third quarterback is idiotic.

Are we really going to lose two quarterbacks in the same game?  Is that something that needs to be worried about?  How often does that happen?  For two quarterbacks to get SO injured that they can’t simply stand there and hand the ball off until the clock reaches zero?

Are you keeping him so you can prevent other teams from picking him up?  Well, that’s stupid.  For starters, he doesn’t know their playbook, so if he’s picked up elsewhere, it’ll take him weeks before he’s able to figure out what he’s doing.  And even then, as long as the starter on that team is healthy, he’s not going to get the reps in practice to work out his shit.  He’s a free agent at the end of this season anyway, so it’s not like that team would get to work with him long term unless he signed an extension.

Finally, let’s say for the sake of argument that the Seahawks end up watching both Russell Wilson AND Tarvaris Jackson go down with injury at the same time this season:  you think Terrelle Pryor is going to come in there and save our bacon?  He’s TERRIBLE!  He can hardly move the ball against second and third string defenses!  What makes you think he can move the ball against the likes of the 49ers, or literally anyone else?  Let’s face it, our season ends the moment Russell Wilson goes down with a long-term injury.  I don’t care how good the rest of the pieces are around him, no one else is leading this team back to the Super Bowl.

No, there’s no damn point in it.  Terrelle Pryor needs to go.  My first preference would be for the Seahawks to keep only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster and take their chances with B.J. Daniels trying to slip through to the practice squad.  There are too many other areas of need on this team when it comes to depth.  My second preference would be to keep Daniels as our third QB, because he honestly has more upside.  Plus, he’s been with the team longer, so I have to believe he knows the players and the system better.

Cut-downs come by tomorrow.  Let’s hope I get what I want; you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

#5 – Earl Thomas

To see the full list of the Top 10 Most Important Seahawks in 2014, click here.

This feels a little low, I know.  As you can probably glean from the rest of this Top 10 list, Earl Thomas at five means that Richard Sherman is somewhere higher than five.  Here’s the deal:  I know if you look across the NFL as a whole, it’s a lot easier to find elite-level cornerbacks than it is to find elite-level safeties.  I’m talking, pretty much, on the level of Earl Thomas.  Those are pretty rare.  It’s, like, him and two other guys, and one of those other guys is Kam Chancellor.

And that’s the thing.  If we were to lose Earl Thomas, we’d still have one of the best safeties in the league, plus the drop-off from Thomas to DeShawn Shead (or whoever beats out DeShawn Shead) isn’t as steep as it would be from Richard Sherman to whoever is right under him (Tharold Simon, probably).  I would think, if Sherman suffers the Madden Curse, they’d keep Maxwell on his side, they’d keep Lane in the Nickel, and they’d bump up Simon to play in Sherman’s spot.  I know everyone likes what Simon has been doing thus far in camp (notwithstanding the ejection in the game against Denver), but he’s as untested as it gets.  At least Shead has played in some meaningful games!

But, enough about why Thomas may or may not be as important as Sherman.  These posts are essentially fluff pieces!  Earl Thomas is outstanding.  He’s the unquestioned leader of the best defense in the NFL.  He’s got more heart and desire to win than anyone I’ve ever seen.  Also, I think he’s still in the process of growing.  He’s going to be the defensive player of the year pretty soon.  And, when all is said and done, he’s going to be in the NFL Hall of Fame.

Earl Thomas makes football worth watching.  Like most of you, I was glued to the television last Thursday.  Seahawks football was back!  I generally like the pre-season games, because I like watching all the battles for the back-end of the roster.  But, it kind of hit me at the end, when we were officially losing that football game:  this is kinda dumb.  Yeah, I was into it, and it would’ve been pretty neat to see Terrelle Pryor complete that comeback, but it wasn’t REALLY football.  That game only made me that much more excited for September 4th.  When the games matter.  When we get our starters in there for all four quarters.  When we see a guy like Earl Thomas knock someone’s torso clear off his body!

To be fair, there’s probably a little football hangover.  Just a little!  Let’s face it, the Seahawks won it all.  2013 was the greatest sports year of my life, by far.  It’s all been basking in the afterglow ever since February.  No other football season will ever be as great.  Hell, no other season of ANY sport will ever be as great!  This is the first championship I’ve celebrated in my lifetime.  It feels like it JUST ended, and here we are playing football again.

Also, part of that is due to the Mariners making a run at the playoffs.  They’re truly interesting and truly good for the first time in a decade, and to be honest, I’m more interested in what’s going on there than I am in these meaningless football games in August.

But, I’m sure when September rolls around, I’ll get that hunger back.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the battle for the punt returner job.  So far, apparently Earl Thomas is the leader in the clubhouse.  I can’t think of anyone who’s excited by this prospect.  Yeah, I hear all the arguments:  you can’t live your life in fear of injury; the Seahawks have always used their best players on special teams; Golden Tate was our number one receiver and he was back there for just about every punt return the last couple years.  I get all that, but I still don’t necessarily get it.

Will he get hurt?  If he does, I’m like 95% sure he’ll get hurt while playing defense.  But, still, why take the chance?  Is he far-and-away the best punt returner on this team?  If they say he is, then fine.  But, I just don’t see it.  How much lifetime experience does he have returning kicks?  Yeah, he’s fast, and that’s why he’s in the running, but you can’t tell me that one of our back-end receivers wouldn’t be just as good.  It’s a punt return!  The very best punt returner last year was Tandon Doss, who averaged 15.6 yards per return.  The 12th-best punt returner was Julian Edelman, who averaged 10.7 yards per return.  The absolute worst punt returners (who qualified, with at least 20 returns) still managed 5.6 yards per return.  Golden Tate was one of the better returners out there and he still ended up 9th, with 11.5 yards per return.  The difference between Tate, and the worst guys, is about five yards per return.  Is that really worth exposing Earl Thomas to the added 40-50 hits?

Maybe he doesn’t get so injured that he has to miss games, but I guarantee you that it will slow him down to the point where he’s not as effective as he’d be if he were just playing defense.  Ask anyone who’s played football, they’ll tell you there’s a HUGE difference between getting hit and being the one who hits others.

I like Earl Thomas better when he’s hitting others.  Unless he’s got the football in his hands thanks to an interception.  But, please, let’s come to our senses and find Just Another Guy to go back there and catch punts!

Seahawks Lose Pre-Season Opener To Broncos

You’ll have to forgive the lateness of my posting on this.  I took today off because I spent last night drinking and watching the game on a delay via DVR.  Then, I got up this morning and went out to watch that new James Brown movie.  So, you know.

I saw what y’all saw.  For starters, the offensive line was a fucking disaster!  That’ll happen when your starting left tackle, left guard, and center are all nursing injuries and didn’t even make the flight.  That’ll also happen when you’re breaking in a rookie at right tackle who doesn’t appear as if he’ll be ready to step right in and own the position like we all hoped he would.  Also, was it just me, or did J.R. Sweezy play hardly at all?  Probably could’ve used him when some dud named Schilling was letting guys get free runs at our quarterback.

But, you know, you expect difficulties with the pass protection when you’re sending in a M.A.S.H. unit at offensive line.  But, our utter inability to run the ball was even MORE disturbing.  Not counting the quarterbacks running for their lives, we only managed 59 fucking yards on the ground on 21 attempts for a measly 2.81 yards per attempt.  Yeah, the Broncos’ first unit is pretty stout against the run; but, how do you explain the last three quarters?  It’s not like we were facing a huge deficit in scoring!  The opportunities were there, but we as an offense just couldn’t get the job done.

Obviously, it’s the first pre-season game, so it’s not like I’m going to start panicking.  But, this offensive line has proven time and time again that it can’t stay healthy.  If we’ve got to rely on these backups to be thrown into the fire, I’d like to think we could hang in there okay.  They’ve got three more games to get their shit together.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom, of course.  There were some bright spots.  I thought Paul Richardson looked good in his first action in the pros.  Indeed, the receivers as a whole look like a huge strength for this team (this team that likes to base its identity on rushing, but that’s neither here nor there).

The defense didn’t look bad, but they were spotty, and clearly rusty.  Cassius Marsh looks like a guy who can step in right now and be a force in that defensive line rotation.  He just needs to stay healthy.  Yeah, he missed that crucial sack in the second half, letting their QB run for a third down conversion, but he showed great ability to disrupt and get through that line.  He very well may be solid coming off the edge, in time, but I REALLY like his potential coming from the D-Tackle position on sure passing downs.  Throw him in there with our other studs – Bennett, Avril, Irvin when he’s healthy – and we just might not miss a beat this year in the pass rush department.

I thought the starters looked good at defending the run.  Better than I expected anyway.  The secondary should be solid as per usual – you can’t stop a guy like Peyton Manning all day every day (in spite of what happened in the Super Bowl).  Yes, their starters drove on us for a touchdown, but it was a hard-fought drive that chewed through clock and a bunch of plays.  I’d like to acknowledge A.J. Jefferson for being a true force in that cornerback rotation.  Here’s to hoping his ankle injury isn’t serious, and that he’s able to quickly bounce back, because I think he can really help this team this year (or, if we cut him, he’ll certainly help some other team and rub it in our faces).

I’ll close with my thoughts on the quarterback position.  Russell Wilson didn’t have the best game, but he REALLY looks like he’s going to take the leap this year into true greatness (as scary as that sounds, considering he’s already pretty fucking great).  Here’s to hoping we get our offensive line issues squared away so he can stay on the field and achieve that true greatness.  Tom Cable is REALLY going to earn his money this year if we’re to make it back to the Promised Land.

Here’s also to hoping that the Seahawks don’t treat this battle for the backup job the way they treated the “battle” for the starting job two years ago (where they kept talking about it being a battle, but stacked the deck heavily in favor of Russell Wilson winning the job over Matt Flynn).  Yes, they were vindicated in their treatment of that delicate situation, because Russell Wilson appears to be the real deal.  But, I have no faith whatsoever that Terrelle Pryor is the man to backup our franchise quarterback over Tarvaris Jackson.

I’ve given Tarvar a lot of hell over the years, because I don’t see him as a viable starting quarterback in this league.  However, he’s absolutely Solid Gold as a #2.  No, I don’t want him starting 16 games for my team; but if the worst should happen, I wouldn’t mind seeing him spot-start a couple/few times.

Tarvar is steady.  He knows the offense better than he knows himself.  He’s a veteran and a leader.  He’s the guy who will carefully guide this offense while not trying to do too much.  And, with the talent around him, he may even thrive for a short period.

But Pryor?  I just don’t see it.  Yeah, he had an okay game last night, but it’s nothing to fall all over yourself praising.  For starters, he was going up against the dregs of the Broncos’ roster.  Yes, he has elite athleticism (which would come in handy should this offensive line continue to struggle on into the regular season), but he strikes me as a slightly-better Tim Tebow and nothing more.  You like his strong arm, and his ability to elude tacklers in open space.  But, for all that he gives you in those departments, he takes away from you in everything else.  I don’t want a Check-Down Charlie with escapability.  I want a guy who can run this offense like it was his own.

For me, Terrelle Pryor would have to be far-and-away the superior player to Tarvaris Jackson for him to supplant the veteran.  Not only do I not see that, I don’t think he’s even as good!  It would be a potentially vital mistake for the Seahawks to give Pryor every opportunity to win that #2 job, because to be quite honest, I don’t even think he’s the third-best quarterback on this team.  Letting him win that job while getting reps against the worst players from these pre-season games would be absolutely tragic.

But, as I said before, it’s just one game.  One pre-season game.  You could hear it from all the 12s in Seahawkland going into this game:  the Broncos want it more.  This game meant more to them than it did to us.  None of us were going to freak out if the Seahawks came up on the short end of the stick, because we won the Lombardi Trophy last February, and they don’t take that away because you lose a pre-season game.  Now that it’s behind us – and our pre-season winning streak is behind us – maybe we can move on and put 2013 to bed.  We don’t see Denver again until the regular season.  In Seattle.  With the starters playing all four quarters.

THAT will be a very different affair.

Who Should Return Punts For The Seattle Seahawks?

In 24:  Live Another Day, you’ve got another of the ol’ tropes alive and well.  When they take you out of the field RIGHT BEFORE a big assignment where they’re going to go somewhere with guns to attack some bad guys, possibly with more guns, it ALWAYS means that assignment is going to be a huge, explosive failure.  In this case, Cute Blonde C.I.A. agent gets shackled to the office while the C.I.A. head Benjamin Bratt and his lead officer both go out to supposedly bring in the main terrorist lady.  Except, in this case, SURPRISE!  They’re at the wrong house, and there’s a bomb, and EXPLOSION, and now some are dead and some are not.  All in a day’s work in the world of 24.  With some bigtime cast members either killed or knocked out for the rest of the day, it’s only a matter of time before Jack Bauer is reinstated and put out into the field with Cute Blonde.  For sexy times and ass-kickery, just break glass …

File this under:  Slow News Week.

Yesterday, the local media just about crapped their pants when they heard Pete Carroll tell everyone that Earl Thomas would be the starting punt returner if the season started today.

This is news??? has turned into THIS IS NEWS!!! because it’s the end of May and absolutely nothing important is going on in the world of local sports.  And because I’m no different, here’s my two cents.

For the last couple of years, Golden Tate returned punts.  He was good at it.  Prior to that, Leon Washington returned punts.  He was really good at it.  As far back as I can remember, from Bobby Engram to Joey Galloway, it seems like the Seahawks have always had quality punt returners.

I tend to like the more conservative, veteran guys, who lean towards fair catching a punt, because the worst case scenario with any return is muffing it and letting the other team recover.  I’d rather just secure the possession, because really, what are the odds you’re going to break a punt return for a TD?  What’s the average punt return anyway?  I bet it’s less than 10 yards.  Is it worth it to gamble the health of a valuable part of your offense or defense just to see if you can improve on a very small number?

Yes, I loved having Golden Tate back there returning punts, even though he took what some deemed foolish risks.  And yes, Golden Tate was also a very valuable member of our offense – at wide receiver, where we weren’t necessarily the deepest.  And, of course, on any play, anyone – even your most important player – can be injured.  Hell, Russell Wilson could be standing on the sideline talking to a teammate during a kickoff return when someone rolls up on him suddenly, without him expecting it!  That’s the football equivalent of walking out of your home and getting hit by a bus.  If you sit around waiting for the worst to happen, what kind of a way is that to live?

Fast forward to 2014:  Golden Tate is a Detroit Lion.  Apparently, the only other person who ever returned a punt for the Seahawks in 2013 is Richard Sherman, who had one return for -6 yards, and I’ll be damned if I remember when THAT happened.  No one on the 2014 squad really has any significant punt returning experience, so someone will have to step up.

The obvious choice is Percy Harvin – who is slated to return kickoffs for us.  He’s an experienced kickoff returner, and an elite one, so how much harder could it be for him to take in punts?

Other options include Earl Thomas and the aforementioned Richard Sherman.  I’m less interested in Richard Sherman returning punts, because I think there’s no chance in Hell he wins that job.  My hunch is, he’s throwing his hat into the ring because he heard Patrick Peterson talk all of his shit about being the more complete player and wants to show him that it doesn’t take much to be a punt returner in this league (which it doesn’t, for the record).

I’m more interested in Earl Thomas, especially because he’s the supposed front-runner.

Earl Thomas has elite speed.  He just LOOKS like the kind of guy who would thrive in the punt returning job.  Elusive, able to cut on a dime, able to get around the edge while also running right over you.  If he wasn’t so integral to the defense, I’d put my 100% stamp of approval on this move right now and move on with my life.

But, you can’t remove risk/reward from the situation.  Yes, as stated above, there’s risk on any football play.  There’s risk in every second of your everyday life!  But, not all moments are created equal.  Earl Thomas, flying around in the field, playing free safety, trying to remove the torsos from the bodies of ball-handlers is not the same thing as one man, isolated, with 11 snarling beasts bearing down on him while 10 of his teammates backpedal in a hopeless attempt to prevent bodily harm.

In one scenario, Earl Thomas is the aggressor:  he chooses where he’s going to hit and how hard that impact is going to be.  In the other scenario, Earl Thomas is on the defensive:  he could get smashed head-on, or he could get rolled up from behind.  Or, any other injury in-between.  It’s a vulnerable position being the punt returner, just as it is being the kick returner.  Why do you think they’ve been talking about all these rule changes with kickoffs?  They moved the kickoff line once and almost did it again!  They want to eliminate kickoffs because they’re so dangerous.  As are punt returns.

You could argue that Golden Tate was pretty important, but he was nowhere NEAR the level of Earl Thomas.  Without Thomas, our defense changes drastically.  Without Tate, it would’ve been tough, but our offense would’ve essentially continued as it did, with just the next man up replacing him.

I know Bryan Walters is being tossed around as an option, but I wouldn’t make him the punt returner unless he’s also a clear winner of a roster spot as just a wide receiver.  I see no point in keeping a guy on the team to JUST return punts.

What about Terrelle Pryor?  This team seems hell-bent on keeping him as a quarterback, which is a damn shame, because I’d LOVE to see what he could do returning punts.

I also wouldn’t mind seeing Doug Baldwin back there, but it doesn’t sound like the team is considering it.

If the Seahawks really want to go dynamic, why not use Paul Richardson?  As a rookie, you don’t expect a whole lot out of him on offense, so it’d be nice to get some value out of him in special teams.  Of course, with any rookie, you have to worry about inopportune fumbles in such a role.  Probably not something the team would be comfortable with (especially considering I’m not so sure he has any experience in that role).

If you ask me, I’d say we just go with Jermaine Kearse.  He has proved to be reliable with the ball in his hands, elusive-enough in open space, and tough enough to endure the types of hits he’d have to endure.  With his role looking to be diminished with the additions of rookies Richardson and Kevin Norwood, it might be a good way to establish some more value, especially if the team decides they don’t want to extend him beyond whenever his contract ends.

Either that, or just stick with Percy Harvin and have him return both kickoffs and punts.  If we’re already risking his health in one arena (or, I guess two arenas, if you count the actual offense), then why not go full bore?  He’s obviously the best candidate, and he’s NOT as important as Earl Thomas.

Seahawks 2014 Draft Roundup

Well, Mel Kiper gave the Seahawks one of his worst draft grades, so we should probably expect a couple of All Pros and a few more Pro Bowlers in this class.

Here’s the rundown:

  • Paul Richardson, WR (2nd)
  • Justin Britt, OT (2nd)
  • Cassius Marsh, DE (4th)
  • Kevin Norwood, WR (4th)
  • Kevin Pierre-Louis, OLB (4th)
  • Jimmy Staten, DT (5th)
  • Garrett Scott, OT (6th)
  • Eric Pinkins, CB/S (6th)
  • Kiero Small, FB (7th)

At first glance, I like the chances of Richardson, Britt, and Norwood to make an immediate impact.  Marsh is the epitome of a wild card, though I think he’ll get every chance to win a spot in the LEO rotation.  KPL and Pinkins are practically guaranteed to be standout special teamers right away, with outside chances to be impact starters in 2015 and beyond.  I’ve got Staten as the leader in the clubhouse to be the first draft pick cut in training camp.  Scott looks like total practice squad fodder.  And Small could range anywhere from a starting fullback on this team (which, in and of itself doesn’t come with all that many snaps per game) and a key special teamer, all the way down to practice squad (if we can somehow sneak him through, which shouldn’t be too hard considering how fullback is devalued in the league nowadays).

This is a huge draft for the future of the Seattle Seahawks.  We’ve got a ton of guys entering their final year or two with this team.  It sounds funny to say, considering we just won the Super Bowl and were among the youngest teams in the league, but the Seahawks are really in need of an infusion of young talent.

I think it’s safe to say that last year’s class was a little underwhelming.  Luke Willson had the biggest impact of anyone, and he was a backup tight end who didn’t get a ton of snaps.  Our two defensive tackles rode the pine (one because of injury, one because he wasn’t ready/good enough for the rotation).  Our top draft pick hardly played at all considering the logjam at running back.  And, the guys with the most promise were a couple of unheralded offensive linemen who are looking to make a bigger impact in 2014.  But, when you compare the 2013 draft class to the three that came before it, there’s a lot for those guys to live up to.

We need these classes (2013 & 2014) to be future starters in the next year or two.  After a year with the 2013 guys, it’s reasonable to have your doubts.  It’s also a reason to be excited for some of the freakish athletes we picked up over the weekend.

Paul Richardson

LOVE this pick!  He’s a little under-sized, but so is Harvin, and what are the odds that BOTH of them get injured at the same time?

Richardson is a speed freak and a big play waiting to happen.  But, while Harvin is a guy you want to throw short to, in space, giving him room to create; Richardson is the guy we’ve been waiting for to seriously stretch the field.  I want to see him on the field as much as possible right away.

What are teams going to do with both Harvin AND Richardson on the field?  One guy will stretch the field and force defenses to protect the pass over the top, the other guy is going to use that space to his advantage for big plays underneath.  Or, if defenses focus on Harvin (as they rightly should), there’s the opportunity for deep bombs.

Kevin Norwood

Might as well keep it in the WR unit.  While Richardson is the speed demon we’ve been looking for, Norwood is the big body we’ve been looking for.  Unlike other big bodies we’ve tried out (Durham, Mike Williams, Sidney Rice), Norwood doesn’t appear to be an injury waiting to happen, a drop waiting to happen, or a big lumbering slowpoke waiting to happen.

One of Norwood’s gifts is his ability to find the quarterback after a play has broken down.  In case you haven’t been watching, that’s sort of Russell Wilson’s forte.  Norwood will improvise with the best of ’em, and he’ll make those twinkle-toe catches along the sideline.

Norwood’s presence makes Sidney Rice’s chances of winning a spot drastically reduced.  I’m seeing the Seahawks keeping:  Harvin, Baldwin, Kearse, Richardson, and Norwood for sure.  Rice might be able to win a sixth receiver spot, but it’s no sure thing.  It’ll depend on how the roster crunch plays out (doesn’t help him if the Seahawks opt to keep three QBs on the roster, with Wilson, Tarvar, and Pryor).

Justin Britt

One hope of mine was, if the Seahawks drafted a tackle reasonably high (as they did with this pick), it would be a guy who could, theoretically, shift over to left tackle in the event that the Seahawks aren’t able to re-sign Okung at the end of his deal.  Gotta find savings somewhere, and if you can use a guy on his rookie deal who isn’t a huge dropoff from the incumbent, all the better.

But, after listening to Tom Cable talk about the guy, it sounds like there’s zero chance Britt ever gets the nod on the left side.

Britt’s claim to fame is absolutely shutting down Jadeveon Clowney in the latest college season.  Don’t know if that’s one of those games that Clowney “took off”, but it seems to me Clowney playing at 60% is still better than most pass rushers, so I’ll take it.

Britt will come in and compete right away for the starting right tackle spot against Michael Bowie.  Love it.  Either he wins the job and we’ve got arguably an improvement at the position over the last few years, or he pushes Bowie to be even better than we thought.  That’s what you call a win-win.  At the very least, Britt should be great line depth for injuries (and you know there are ALWAYS injuries).

Cassius Marsh

As I said above, this guy is a total wild card.  If I let my imagination run wild, I’d tell you that he has the chance to be a J.J. Watt clone, but I’m not about to go that far.  My opinion all along has been that it’s VERY difficult for pass rushers to make an immediate impact.  Bruce Irvin did pretty well as a rookie, but he’s a beast with his speed rush.  Marsh doesn’t have his speed, but reportedly has some good hands, so he should be able to shed blocks pretty well.

I say if Marsh manages to find a way into the rotation on an occasional basis, improving as the season goes along, it’s a victory.  Failing that, I could see him as a guy who sticks to the 53-man roster, but is rarely active on gameday.

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention his hot-headedness.  That scares me a little bit, but if there’s any team that can rein that in and teach him how to use that aggressiveness to his advantage, I feel like it’s this team.  Also, don’t ask me why, but my gut tells me this guy is a candidate for failing the NFL’s drug policy in some way, shape or form.  I have no precedent to cite for this, but it’s just a feeling I have.

Kevin Pierre-Louis

This is EXACTLY what I was talking about when I said I wanted the Seahawks to draft a linebacker in the middle rounds.  He won’t play much on defense in 2014, but given his athleticism, he’s almost a lock to be a huge player on special teams (and probably force Heath Farwell out of Seattle).

And, if he finds a way to pick up the scheme quickly and refine his technique in the pass-coverage game, he should force his way into the starting lineup in 2015 when we have to make a difficult decision between K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith.  People are saying KPL is a natural weak-side linebacker, which is Smith’s natural position, so we may be seeing the final season of Malcolm Smith in a Seahawks uniform.

Eric Pinkins

Meet my absolute favorite draft pick of the 2014 class.  6’2, 230 pounds.  He was a safety in college for San Diego State; when the Seahawks picked him, we immediately thought of Kam Chancellor.  However, in interviews after the draft, it was noted that the team is looking at him to play corner.

So, now we’re thinking:  Brandon Browner.

This guy could be HUGE.  I’m, like, one interception in the preseason away from buying a Pinkins jersey and getting in on the ground floor.  You know the Seahawks are excellent at player development, especially in the secondary.  There’s no reason to think – with Pinkins being the athletic freak of nature that he is – that this coaching staff WON’T turn him into a viable starter.

Why is that big?  Byron Maxwell is entering his final season and is almost guaranteed to be playing for another team in 2015.  If Pinkins turns into a more athletic Brandon Browner, we’ve just fortified the Legion of Boom for years to come, and at a bargain to boot!

Other teams might have taken this guy and stuck him at safety where he’s comfortable.  The Seahawks see this guy and have the talent and know-how to convert him into a starting cornerback opposite Richard Sherman.  I’m tingling.

The Rest

I don’t know anything about Jimmy Staten.  Looks like he could be a 3-Tech tackle in the rotation with Jordan Hill.  Maybe there’s an outside chance this team bulks him up another 30 pounds or so and tries him out at nose tackle, but who knows?

Garrett Scott looks like a project along the offensive line.  I don’t see how this guy DOESN’T make the practice squad.  Considering the talent we’ve got on the O-Line, it’s going to be difficult to get him in on the rotation.  But, he sounds like he’s really athletic and a perfect fit for the zone blocking scheme.  I’ve even heard that he’s going to get some play at left tackle.

Kiero Small is a fullback.  By the sound of things, he could be one to watch, but again, it’s fullback.  When you consider the fact that this team normally keeps five running back/fullback types, let’s count ’em out:

  1. Marshawn Lynch
  2. Robert Turbin
  3. Christine Michael
  4. Derrick Coleman
  5. Spencer Ware
  6. Kiero Small

It looks like it’s going to come down to Small vs. Ware, if he’s going to make the 53-man roster.  Which means it might come down to which of the two are better in special teams.  Ware might have worn out his welcome with that DUI last year, so Small probably has a pretty good shot.  We’ll have to see how he does in camp.

As for the undrafted rookies, the Seahawks have Keith Price.  Zero chance he makes the team.  Probably a pretty good chance he rocks it in the practice squad.  Then again, if you’re keeping three QBs on your 53-man roster, do you really need a QB on the practice squad?

It’s going to be tough for Price.  How often do you ever see four quarterbacks play in the preseason games?  You know how the Seahawks will play Wilson (a series or two in game 1, a quarter or two in game 2, into the third quarter in game 3, a series or two in game 4).  They’ll likely want to give Tarvar his share of reps to keep him warm and get him ready for the season.  And, you’d think they’ll want to watch Terrelle Pryor as much as possible to see if he’s worth keeping on the team.  And, don’t forget B.J. Daniels.

What does that mean?  If Price looks good in camp, MAYBE he gets a series or two in the entirety of the preseason games.  Don’t know if that’s enough to get him an opportunity with another team, but maybe just the fact that the Seahawks wanted him and brought him into camp, that might be enough for another team to pick him up and stash him.  We’ll see.

All in all, as I said before, I’m a big fan of this draft.  The best part?  Our entire coaching staff is intact.  We didn’t lose Cable, we didn’t lose Quinn, we didn’t lose Bevell, and we’ve got everyone else.  Considering how good the Seahawks are, and how coveted those guys would have been had the Seahawks not made the Super Bowl, it’s like we’re playing with house money.  Another year with this full staff intact?  That’s going to be an insane advantage for this draft class to eventually make the jump to full time starters for this team in the years to come.

Ranking The Seahawks’ Needs In The 2014 NFL Draft

You know, at some point, people are going to realize it’s going to require more than two dudes and a pair of handcuffs to escort Jack Bauer into any prison/interrogation room.  I’d bring along about five or six trigger-happy ex-Marines and hope for the best.  GOD I’m glad 24 is back!

The better your team is, the less excitement surrounds that team once it comes time to draft.  For bad teams (like the 2008 & 2009 Seahawks, for instance), the draft means everything.  It’s a chance to dream.  The NFL is the Great Parity Hope!  One amazing draft can flip your franchise from a bottom-feeder to a champion!  Well, maybe not JUST one, but it can certainly send you down the right path.

When you’re great – and especially when you ARE a champion, which is what we’re dealing with here – the draft isn’t so special anymore.  You’re not looking for that sparkplug to jumpstart your franchise; you’re just looking to maintain your level of dominance and hope to pluck some quality, inexpensive starters for down the road when it’s time to reload.  What this draft means for 2014, however, is merely to add to our depth.

The foundation is here, and it’s spectacular.  The bulk of the starters are set, and they’re elite at the most important positions.  That might lead one to believe that the draft doesn’t matter all that much, but don’t fall into that trap.  Bad, useless drafts start to pile up and stink like a mountain of dirty diapers in the sun.  If you take enough dumps on draft day, you can go from among the youngest to among the oldest teams in the league in the blink of an eye.

So, while this draft isn’t necessarily make-or-break for our immediate future, it’s still important in the Big Picture.  And, as you well know, the Seahawks are all about the Big Picture.

There are always needs in any draft, so here I’m going to rank the Seahawks’ needs in order of importance.

#1 – Get More Draft Picks

The Seahawks, right now, have six picks.  They received no compensatory picks, traded away their third-rounder to the Vikings for Percy Harvin, and traded away their seventh-rounder for Terrelle Pryor (the Seahawks received an extra fifth-rounder from Oakland in the Matt Flynn deal).  On top of that, they draft last in rounds 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 (not counting compensatory picks, of course).  Essentially, it’s like the Seahawks have a high 2nd, a high 3rd, two high 5ths, a high 6th and a high 7th.  I’m not necessarily dismissing their chances to find diamonds in the rough – after all, they’ve made careers in their last four drafts by doing just that – but it always helps to have more chances.

You can’t predict draft-day trades (which is why all mock drafts have very little predictive value), but you have to anticipate the Seahawks at least TRYING to be big players in the trade market.  I wouldn’t mind seeing a couple of move-downs (like those 32nd & 64th picks) to net more 4’s, 5’s, and/or 6’s.  If we can bump that number to around eight or nine total draft picks, I’d be more comfortable.

Of course, failing that, the Seahawks should be a major factor in the undrafted free agent market.

#2 – Cornerback

Did I just blow your mind or DID. I. JUST. BLOW. YOUR. MIND?

Yes, yes, yes, there are plenty of other needs on this team.  Offensive line comes immediately to mind.  So does wide receiver, so does the pass rush, so does the interior defensive line.  But, I’m here to tell you that if I had my druthers, I’d like to see the Seahawks go for a cornerback with one of their top two picks.

You like the Legion of Boom?  So do I.  They might be my favorite unit of any sports team I’ve ever rooted for ever.  The safeties are locked up, and a deal with Richard Sherman could be imminent.  So, where do I come off listing cornerback as the #2 draft need?

Well, I’ll tell you:  the talk of this draft is far and away its wide receiver class.  Everyone expects a record number of receivers going in the first round.  Beyond that, there’s the usual inane quarterback chatter, and all of the linemen who will be plucked by the more sensible teams.  With the rising importance of safety, you have to figure there’s at least one or two pretty good ones.  Ditto cornerbacks; I don’t see the Seahawks getting the cream of the crop here.

But, if there’s a prototypical “Seahawks Cornerback” still on the board late in the first or early in the second round (depending on whether or not we’re able to trade back), I could totally see this team going in that direction.  An homage to last year’s drafting of Christine Michael out of nowhere when we still had Marshawn Lynch in his prime and a hungry young runner in Robert Turbin.

Here’s the deal:  Byron Maxwell is only signed through the end of 2014.  I fully expect him to continue starting across from Richard Sherman, and I fully expect him to be as good – if not better – than he was in the last few weeks of 2013.  And, when that happens, I fully expect him to sign a lucrative contract with another team (please not the 49ers).  So, in looking long-term (and really, not THAT long, just one season after this one), the Seahawks are going to need another starter to play across from Sherman.

And, not for nothing, but the depth at nickel & dime cornerback could use a boost as well.  In that area, we’ve got Jeremy Lane and a lot of question marks in 2014.

Don’t sleep on the cornerback position.  Just because we’ll have the best corner and the best safety combo in the league, it’s still a position of need and a pretty big one at that.

#3 – Pass Rushing Defensive End

Also known as the LEO defensive end.  It’s where Chris Clemons called his home the last few years.

The pass rush isn’t in total shambles – thanks to Michael Bennett’s 4-year deal – but it could use an infusion of young talent.  A big question going into the 2015 season will be:  can the Seahawks afford to extend Cliff Avril?  If he has a repeat of his 2013 season – or improves – then I would wager that we can’t afford him.  If he regresses, or gets injured for a big chunk, then I’d have to ask if we even WANT to bring him back, but that’s neither here nor there.

Elite pass rushers are at a premium in the NFL.  Recruiting these guys in free agency requires blowing a big chunk of your salary cap.  It would be nice to have a young, cost-controlled option from the draft.

The only problem with this is:  it’s hard to find a pass rushing end who is capable of starting right away.  The best guys are usually picked high in the first round.  I’m not saying it’s impossible for the Seahawks to find a worthy guy at this position, given their crappy draft picks at the bottoms of nearly every round; but I am saying it might take more time for that guy to develop.

Unlike offensive linemen, running backs, and linebackers – who tend to start and succeed right away – defensive ends tend to need a little more seasoning.  If we get lucky, then great, we’ve got a guy who can start at the end opposite Michael Bennett.  If we’re not so lucky, then maybe we just drafted a guy who, in a few years, will develop into Michael Bennett’s replacement.  Either way, it’s something that needs to be addressed this year.

#4 – Defensive Tackle

Because Brandon Mebane won’t be around forever.  And last year’s picks at the position – Jordan Hill & Jesse Williams – didn’t necessarily inspire a whole lot of confidence with their rookie campaigns.

Yes, it’s always possible to find this position on the cheap in free agency, but if you go that route, you’re opening yourself up for a lot of injury risk (if they’re cheap and seeing free agency, they’re either not very good, or they’ve been injured in the recent past).  Brandon Mebane is so important to this line because he’s so durable.  Finding someone like him, who’s just as durable, is a huge need for this D-Line going forward (and would obviously save us a few bucks to boot).

#5 – Linebacker

Like cornerback, linebacker appears to be a position of strength with no holes outside of some back-end depth spots.  But, take a look at where these guys are in their rookie deals:

  • Bobby Wagner is signed thru 2015
  • Malcolm Smith is signed thru 2014
  • K.J. Wright is signed thru 2014
  • Bruce Irvin is signed thru 2015 (but is converted from defensive end and will be entering his second season as a strong-side linebacker)

I feel like we might be able to re-sign Wright to a reasonable deal.  I think Wagner will be the bigger priority, but his cost might be a little prohibitive.  Malcolm Smith is the biggest wild card of the bunch.  If he continues this opportunistic roll he’s been on since the midway point of 2013, he very well could find himself on another team with a big, fat contract.

Either way, I don’t expect the Seahawks will be able to extend all of these guys to long-term deals, so a starting replacement will likely be necessary as soon as 2015.  I don’t think that replacement is currently on the Seahawks’ roster, which means they’re going to want to draft someone.  Maybe in the fifth round or thereabouts.  I wouldn’t expect the Seahawks to go any higher than a fourth rounder, but I’ve been surprised before.

#6 – Wide Receiver

This spot was pretty high on my list before the Seahawks re-signed Sidney Rice.  For the record, I expect Rice to make the team and be among its top four receivers.  So, anyone drafted at this position will have to be a special teams ace or ride the pine until someone above him gets injured.

Like defensive end, I don’t expect this spot to get a whole lotta play in 2014.  Nevertheless, when looking at the future, it would be nice to have someone at a reasonable salary, especially when we’ve got Harvin taking up so much cap room.

Doug Baldwin is with us through at least 2014.  If we can’t work out a long-term deal with him, then we’ll be hurting.  Jermaine Kearse is also with us thru 2014, but he may be a restricted free agent for 2015 (in a sense, getting a similar tender that Baldwin has this year).  I don’t expect Kearse’s value to skyrocket, but you never know.  If there are injuries, and he ends up picking up the slack, catching a bunch of touchdowns and whatnot, he very well could price himself out of this market.

It’s just a nice luxury to have a home-grown receiver on a small deal.  Golden Tate used to be that luxury for the last couple years of his deal before moving on.  Finding that kind of value – even if it takes a year or two for him to grow into the position – is huge in this league.

#7 – Offensive Line

You ask most Seahawks fans who they want to see with our first draft pick, and I bet a big majority says, “An offensive lineman”.  I wouldn’t be among them.

Right now, pre-draft, the Seahawks have six guys with SOME starting experience.  That’s not counting Alvin Bailey, who filled in nicely at times as a rookie last year.  If push comes to shove, I think the O-Line looks like this in week 1:

  • Russell Okung – LT
  • James Carpenter – LG
  • Max Unger – C
  • J.R. Sweezy – RG
  • Michael Bowie – RT

That still leaves this team with enough depth to fill in, as well as another rookie or two to fight for a roster spot.

Frankly, I’m more interested in this Caylin Hauptmann guy who we kept on our roster all year last year than I am in anyone we might draft on the line this weekend.  Either way, I’m not as concerned about the line as most people.  Sure, our guards were sub-par last year, but I don’t think that necessarily means you have to go and get one in the first couple of rounds.  Now, if some great guy falls and we’re looking at a high first round grade on someone who slipped for no apparent reason, then fine.  But, I feel like the best guards are going to be snapped up well before we get to pick 32.

Do what you’ve been doing.  Find that value later in the draft or among the undrafted free agents.  No sense in reaching for someone when you can mold a nobody into a legitimate starter.

For the record, I don’t think J.R. Sweezy is that bad, and I kind of expect him to make a big jump in 2014.

#8 – Tight End

I’m back-tracking like you would not believe on the prospects of ASJ.  Right after the Super Bowl, I had him in my sights as a possible target with pick #32, but not anymore.  Part of it is the foot issue, but part of it is I just don’t know if he’s going to translate into an elite professional.

He’s not particularly fast.  He’s not freakishly athletic.  He was a valued member of the Washington Huskies and, at times, a dominant force in the red zone, but here’s the thing:  he’s not much of a blocker.  If you’re not a very good blocker on the line, then you better be the type of pass-catcher that they’ve got in New Orleans with Jimmy Graham, or in New England with Gronk.  I don’t think he’s that.  I think linebackers in the NFL will be able to keep up with him no problem.  He might be able to use his size to leverage a career in the Tony Gonzalez mold (not the best line blocker, not the speediest guy), but that’s going to require a work ethic I’m not sure ASJ possesses.

Look, I hope I’m wrong about the guy.  I hope wherever he goes, he terrorizes everyone who let him fall in the draft (again, please don’t go to the 49ers).  I just know that I don’t want the Seahawks to pick him (and no small part of that is because I think he needs to get away from his hometown and away from friends & family to just focus on football).

The Seahawks might want to pick SOMEONE at the position.  If, for nothing else, than some Anthony McCoy insurance.  If they do look for this position, I’d like for them to go low in the draft (or, more likely, in the realm of the undrafted).

We’ll need a replacement for Zach Miller eventually.  Luke Willson impressed me as a rookie, but will he be able to carry the load as a blocking tight end in our run schemes?

If it were up to me, the Seahawks would find a long-term stud of a blocking tight end and pair him with Luke Willson going forward.  Willson in small doses, I’m sure, can block on the line just fine.  But, when we need to beef up, then we bring in our bulldozer.

Anyway, that’s pretty much that.  I guess the Seahawks could consider the safety position, but I’m not sure I see much of a point in that (unless Kam Chancellor’s hip injury is worse than we realize, in which case I think I need to start this post over again).  I’ll be very disappointed if they draft another running back or another quarterback.  I mean, seriously, you can only carry so many on one roster!  We’ve already got too many of both as it is!

Filling The Gaps On The Seahawks’ Roster

For starters, this isn’t going to be the most comprehensive thing you’ve ever read in your lives.  I’m not getting into the 90-man roster so much as the 53-ish man roster.

When I list the “2013 Roster”, I’m talking about the 53-man roster we had for the Super Bowl, with a small handful of extras tacked on who made a somewhat big impact in the 2013 season.  That having been said, let’s take a look at where we are and where we were.

I more-or-less already got into this subject a few weeks ago, but I thought I’d make it a little more visual-friendly (for my own sake, if nothing else).  In essence, this is another call to Seahawks fans out there that this offseason hasn’t been as devastating as it seems.

2013 2014
Def Line Michael Bennett Michael Bennett
Cliff Avril Cliff Avril
Brandon Mebane Brandon Mebane
Chris Clemons
Red Bryant (Jesse Williams)
Tony McDaniel Tony McDaniel
Clinton McDonald (Greg Scruggs)
O’Brien Schofield
Jordan Hill Jordan Hill
Benson Mayowa Benson Mayowa

As you can see, there aren’t a crazy amount of holes here.  Red Bryant’s spot will most likely be filled by Michael Bennett, with a little help coming from Jesse Williams (if he’s recovered from his IR stint as a rookie in 2013), Greg Scruggs (who also found himself on the IR, though has bulked up considerably in anticipation of his return to the playing field), or a rookie/someone from off the scrap heap.  I’m not TOO worried about replacing Red Bryant, because I believe Michael Bennett is a capable run defender, and other big bodies aren’t all that difficult to come by.

Also, I would anticipate Jordan Hill to improve and earn MUCH more playing time in 2014.  He saw almost no action as a rookie in 2013, but with these holes in the line (specifically the Clinton McDonald-sized hole in our D-Tackle rotation), I expect Hill to pick up the slack admirably.

The real thing to worry about is finding that third pass rusher.  I’m not so worried about the O’Brien Schofield spot, as that could be literally anybody at this point.  But, who will replace Chris Clemons?  That’s the most important question of the off-season, if you ask me.  We carried Benson Mayowa for the entirety of 2013; you’d have to think he’s learned all he could and is ready to apply that knowledge.  Mayowa had an impressive pre-season last year; let’s hope he carries that over.  If not, I fully expect the Seahawks to hit the draft for a pass rusher, as well as hit HARD the free agent scrap heap as the season approaches and teams have to cut their rosters down to 53.

2013 2014
Linebackers Bobby Wagner Bobby Wagner
K.J. Wright K.J. Wright
Bruce Irvin Bruce Irvin
Malcolm Smith Malcolm Smith
Heath Farwell Heath Farwell
Mike Morgan Mike Morgan

As you can see, we’ve got everybody back from this position group.  That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to keep it EXACTLY the same.  My hunch is:  the top four guys come back, and the team pushes HARD for the final two spots to be rookies, or otherwise cheaper replacements.  Maybe not so much Mike Morgan, but certainly Farwell, whose cap number is around $1.67 Million.  For a guy who only plays special teams (albeit, really fucking well), that’s kind of a high number.  And, aside from that, you gotta figure this team will want to groom at least one future starter at this position, as it won’t be able to pay Wagner, Wright, AND Smith the type of money they’d command on an open market.  I don’t see Farwell or Morgan as a starter type, so their jobs are probably in jeopardy.

2013 2014
Secondary Earl Thomas Earl Thomas
Kam Chancellor Kam Chancellor
Richard Sherman Richard Sherman
Byron Maxwell Byron Maxwell
Brandon Browner (Tharold Simon)
Walter Thurmond (Phillip Adams)
Jeremy Lane Jeremy Lane
Chris Maragos
DeShawn Shead DeShawn Shead
Jeron Johnson Jeron Johnson

As you can see, there aren’t any holes where it counts!  The Legion of Boom (Byron Maxwell Edition) is entirely intact.  We lost Browner, but we lost Browner last year too.  We also lost Thurmond, but you figure that Jeremy Lane (who returns) is still here and did just as well, in my book anyway.  Tharold Simon was a draft pick last year who spent 2013 on the IR.  He COULD be a Browner replacement/depth guy, but that all depends on how seriously he takes his job and how much he’s grown as a player since his lost rookie season.  I’d expect the team to look to the draft for one or two secondary guys.  We lost reserve safety (and special teams whiz) Chris Maragos, but DeShawn Shead and Jeron Johnson both return.  Phillip Adams was also re-signed by the Seahawks this offseason, so at least for 2014 we’ve got another experienced body to play on the inside.

2013 2014
Quarterbacks Russell Wilson Russell Wilson
Tarvaris Jackson Tarvaris Jackson
Terrelle Pryor

As you can see, we’re solid at quarterback.

2013 2014
Kicker Steven Hauschka Steven Hauschka
Punter Jon Ryan Jon Ryan
Long Snapper Clint Gresham Clint Gresham

As you can see, we’re solid at kicker, punter, and long snapper.

2013 2014
Receivers Percy Harvin Percy Harvin
Golden Tate
Doug Baldwin Doug Baldwin
Jermaine Kearse Jermaine Kearse
Sidney Rice Sidney Rice
Ricardo Lockette Ricardo Lockette
Bryan Walters Bryan Walters

As you can see, we’ve got just a Golden Tate-sized hole in our receivers unit.  Of course, one could argue that since Harvin only appeared in three games last year, it’s kinda like we replaced Tate with Harvin going into 2014.  Nevertheless, I fully expect a wide receiver to be drafted (and probably pretty high), and I expect a fierce battle among the undrafted free agents and other younger guys already on this roster.  In short, I expect Lockette and Walters to be replaced by two guys not even on our radar right now.  Also, I don’t expect this team to hold onto seven receivers, so disregard the table in that respect.

2013 2014
Backs Marshawn Lynch Marshawn Lynch
Robert Turbin Robert Turbin
Christine Michael Christine Michael
Michael Robinson
Derrick Coleman Derrick Coleman
Spencer Ware Spencer Ware

As you can see, our running backs are intact.  Michael Robinson is always an option, but probably won’t make the opening day roster unless there are some injuries we’re dealing with.  Expect Lynch, Turbin, Michael, & Coleman to be locks to make the roster.  Ware will probably have to win a job (doesn’t help his cause that he had that DUI last year).  There’s maybe an outside chance that the team trades Turbin for a low-end draft pick, but that’s only if the team is confident in Michael’s ability to block for the quarterback.

2013 2014
Tight Ends Zach Miller Zach Miller
Luke Willson Luke Willson
Kellen Davis (Anthony McCoy)

As you can see, we’re good at tight end.  Anthony McCoy re-signed after being on IR all of last year.  If he’s healthy, he’s a pretty sure bet to be this team’s third tight end and REALLY give us some versatility.  McCoy is probably a better blocking tight end than Willson, and he’ll give us some better hands in the passing game than Kellen Davis.

2013 2014
Off Line Max Unger Max Unger
Russell Okung Russell Okung
J.R. Sweezy J.R. Sweezy
Breno Giacomini
James Carpenter James Carpenter
Paul McQuistan
Lemuel Jeanpierre Lemuel Jeanpierre
Michael Bowie Michael Bowie
Alvin Bailey Alvin Bailey
Caylin Hauptmann Caylin Hauptmann

As you can see, just a tiny bit of work to do along the offensive line.  Max Unger, Russell Okung, and J.R. Sweezy have all locked down their respective spots (Center, Left Tackle, Right Guard).  Left guard is still up for grabs, but James Carpenter probably has the early lead in that battle.  Right tackle will be brand new, and maybe Michael Bowie or Alvin Bailey wins that job.  Maybe one of them wins the left guard job.  Maybe this Caylin Hauptmann guy who was on the roster for most (if not all) of 2013 will shock the world and steal a spot somewhere.  Regardless, I like our line, and I like our depth.  By my count, I’ve got 6-7 guys in that roster who can start for me and not give me any gray hairs

So, when you look at it, there’s not a lot of places where we have to plug guys in.  Depth might be a little bit of an issue, but that’s what’s going to make this training camp and pre-season so interesting.  Who’s going to fill out in the back-end of the secondary and offensive line?  Who’s going to assume that third pass-rusher role?  With new, bigtime deals for Sherman and Thomas (presumably), one would figure that their roles in special teams will go away; who picks up that slack?

I’ve got, in my head, somewhere around 44-46 players listed above who are locks to make this team (and another handful that are on the bubble).  That means there could be upwards of 7-9 guys on the 2014 opening-day 53-man roster that we’ve never heard of!  On a Super Bowl champion, no less!

Again, these are merely depth positions, but who knows?  You could be talking about the next stars on this team starting with 2015 and beyond.

It’s exciting to be a Seahawks fan right now.  It helps that we’re coming off of a championship, but still.

Seahawks Trade For Terrelle Pryor

When I first heard about this, the people on Twitter were flipping out … in a positive way!  My initial reaction was to think, “Well, this is a nothing move that’s going to get analyzed to death.”

We have a quarterback.  His name is Russell Wilson and he just led us to a championship.  We also already have a backup quarterback.  His name is Tarvaris Jackson, and in spite of my feelings for him as a starter, he’s still a better backup option than Terrelle Pryor.

Also, Terrelle Pryor’s contract runs through the end of the 2014 season, meaning we’ve got him under contract for exactly the same amount of time we’ve got Tarvar, so it’s not like we just picked up our “Backup Quarterback of the Future”, if such a thing even exists.

What did we do?  We gave away a seventh round draft pick to … I guess … light a fire under Tarvar for that #2 Quarterback job?  Mind you, the Seahawks have had some relative success in the seventh round and among the undrafted free agents.  You use those seventh round draft picks to grab would-be UFAs who you think won’t sign with you if granted their UFA status.  And we squandered it on, what, a third-string quarterback?

If that is the case, if we are looking to carry a third quarterback on our roster all year, then who does that bump?  The Seahawks have been one of the deepest teams in football the last couple years, and 2014 should be no different.  There are open spots on this team, sure, but I expect those spots will be filled by rookies and practice squad guys from last year.  The point is, it’s tough making those last few cuts, and now we’re going to have to make one more if we want to keep Pryor on the 53-man.

Those were my initial thoughts, in a nutshell.  But, then, as people started talking about his athleticism, and people kept wondering what he’d look like on the field split out wide, I started to get a little excited.  Terrelle Pryor is a running quarterback who isn’t much of a quarterback!  Remember when we had Seneca Wallace and he had those one or two times where we threw it to him and he made amazing plays in the open field?  Remember how we had to reign Seneca Wallace in because he was our only other viable quarterbacking option, so we couldn’t risk him getting injured?  Well, what if we had that … WITHOUT the concern about him getting injured?

Of course, that feels a little unrealistic to me.  I mean, you’re going to take this guy who has been a quarterback all his life, at the highest levels of the game, and you’re going to try to get him to learn a different position?  The Seahawks are saying all the things you’d expect them to say – they plan on Pryor playing the quarterback position when he gets here – so I ask again:  why is he here?

Maybe he’s just this year’s version of Brady Quinn.  Maybe we bring him in to make Training Camp a little more interesting, and then we cut him because we get to see with our own eyes that he’s horrible.

Or, maybe it’s my worst nightmare come to life:  we bring Pryor in and he shows us something, and then our offensive coordinator creates this package of plays based on his “abilities” and he’s our version of Tim Tebow, disrupting the regular offense by being shuttled on and off the field to diminishing returns.

I’m not going to freak out one way or the other on this move, because it’s not important.  People are making it into a bigger deal than it is, because it’s the quarterback position and because he played for a bigtime program in Ohio State.  So, I hope you like hearing about this all day every day, because that’s what your week’s going to be like if you follow sports in Seattle.

Terrelle Pryor Is An Idiot

Plain and simple:  college athletes do not deserve to be paid.  Go read this article; it says pretty much all that needs to be said.

You know what fails to get mentioned in every college football or college basketball scandal?  Every single time you hear about some college athlete getting money on the side – from boosters, from agents, from merchandise buyers – the athlete is ALWAYS someone who would’ve made millions of dollars at the next level anyway.  ALWAYS.

Can’t you wait a year or two?  In basketball, you have to wait a year.  You can’t wait a year?  I guarantee you these kids – if they play for a power school – get free meals, free drinks, free whatever wherever they go.  Can’t that just be good enough?  You have to go out and sell your autograph like you’re a washed-up Pete Rose?

I don’t get it.  Yeah, it sucks to be a college student and be poor.  Guess what, 95% of college students ARE poor.  Maybe they have their ride paid for, but they themselves aren’t necessarily rolling in dough.  That’s all part of the college experience.

It’s ridiculous that the only people who complain about being exploited by the NCAA for all the billions it makes off of student athletes are those athletes who are destined to be making the most money when they turn Pro.  You are GOING to be a millionaire!  Just put in your time and don’t fuck it up for the fans!

Of course, they shouldn’t see it as “putting in time”, but they do.  College is just a means to an end.  The NFL and the NBA both have constraints where guys HAVE to be a specific number of years out of high school before they can enter a draft.  You’d think – especially if you’re a world-class athlete – that you’d want to make the best of a bad situation.

College is the last time you will ever have to be poor in your life.  I’m not saying that it’s the last time you WILL be poor – if you fuck up your finances, that’s your problem.  You should cherish that time.  Use that time as a learning opportunity.  Not just academically, but as a way to gain wisdom.

There’s nothing I hate more than a future-millionaire who breaks a bunch of rules and fucks it up for his school.  Not only did he get a free ride, not only was he a star on an elite college team, not only did he get drafted high in the Pros and make millions of dollars instantly, but then he gets to turn his back and blame the system.  While his school – who gave him all the exposure, gave him all the training to succeed at the next level – gets years of sanctions and gets their titles stripped.

Is it even possible to win a title anymore without cheating?  I’m beginning to have my doubts.

Terrelle Pryor is an idiot, but he’s just one in a long line of idiots.  Fucking it up for everyone else, then skating away free and easy while college athletics takes all the shit.

Maybe, instead of looking to pay these assholes at the college level, we should start looking again at these restrictions on how many years out of high school you have to be to enter the NFL or NBA.  It’s OBVIOUS these guys don’t want to be in college.  So, give them what they want and stop taking our schools hostage!