Now is the part of Seahawks Death Week where I sit in quiet, somber reflection of what might’ve been.
In an ideal world, George Fant would’ve played 16 games and looked spectacular! It would’ve spared us half a season of Rees Odhiambo’s flailing, and kept him rotating at guard where he belonged.
In an ideal world, Chris Carson would’ve been in the Rookie of the Year conversation. Sure, he probably would’ve had a relatively slow start, but over time we would’ve seen some huge games out of the kid.
With Carson pushing 1,000 yards and any number of touchdowns, it might’ve spared the defense – especially later in the season – allowing the offense to win more Time of Possession battles.
In an ideal world, Sheldon Richardson would’ve been the game-changer we all expected him to be. What we got out of him was okay, I suppose, but I was really thinking he’d be this force of nature a la Cortez Kennedy in his prime. What I got instead was 1 sack and not NEARLY enough big plays in the backfield.
Of course, in an ideal world, we never would’ve needed to trade for Sheldon Richardson in the first place, because Malik McDowell would’ve come into Training Camp healthy, he would’ve been a model citizen, and he would’ve been the force of nature up the middle that we all hoped he’d be!
In an ideal world, sure, maybe some of our defensive players would’ve been banged up from time to time, but not to the extent that guys like Avril, Sherman, Kam, and Bobby were! Those guys, for a full season, would have absolutely prevented our December swoon. There’s no fucking way guys like Fournette and Gurley would’ve gone off the way they did had Kam and Bobby been near 100%; and there’s no fucking way guys like the Bort or Drew Stanton would’ve thrown on us the way they did with Sherm locking down his side. And, you better believe we would’ve owned that tie-breaker over the Falcons!
If you would’ve given me just one unicorn season – a season with almost zero injuries; those seasons you always see from teams who make the Super Bowl – this Seahawks team could’ve contended. This Seahawks team could’ve even run the table in the second half! With wins over the Eagles, Falcons, and a sweep of the Rams, people would be talking about the Seahawks right now as NFC frontrunners!
Of course, that’s just a pipe dream. To believe that injuries alone torpedoed our season neglects all the other problems we had. The offensive line woes outside of the left tackle position. The quarterback’s late-season regression. The fact that this team was mostly healthy for games against the Redskins and Titans and STILL managed to look bad in those games.
That’s all true, but if I’m slicing up the pie, and each slice is a Reason Why The Seahawks Missed The Playoffs, the biggest slice by far is injuries to key guys. And, quite frankly, if I’m slicing up a different pie, and each slice is a Reason Why The Seahawks Are Fucked In The Immediate Future, it’s injuries again. Because injuries forced us into trading multiple high-value draft picks to bring in guys like Richardson and Duane Brown. Because some injuries are so severe, guys like Avril, Kam, and McDowell might not play another snap of football in their careers! Because other injuries – to guys like Sherman, Bennett, Fant, and Joeckel – might force the team to move on from them.
It just sucks, because we really WERE all in on this year. At the beginning of the season, there were two big needs for this team (aside from, of course, the need to stay healthy): interior pass rush, and offensive line help. We had high hopes for the young guys (McDowell and Fant), and we had skyrocketing hopes for the veterans (Richardson and Brown). It really felt like, particularly with the Richardson trade, that the rich was getting richer, and that this defense was going to be a hornet’s nest. But, it never really came together, and ultimately got worse and worse as injuries started to mount.
At that point, I have to wonder if the bigger problem isn’t Darrell Bevell or Tom Cable, but Kris Richard. I agree that he’s had his moments, particularly with the Eagles game, but he’s had WAY more bad performances in his career, and nothing is really all that encouraging for him going forward. It’s hard to know if some of that is Pete Carroll putting the restraints on him, forcing Richard to adhere closely to his scheme (when maybe this team would’ve been better served with a lot more blitzing and maybe a different type of coverage scheme). But, I find it hard to believe that even with all the injuries, this defense would’ve fallen as hard as it did with a better defensive coordinator at the helm. And that doesn’t even get into all the sideline arguments we’ve seen since Richard took over; it doesn’t really feel like he’s got control of that unit. Weird, a mediocre player in his day evolved into a mediocre coordinator now. And I guarantee you the only reason he’s seeing head coaching interviews is because of the Rooney Rule, and the fact that there aren’t enough qualified African American candidates out there that haven’t already been interviewed a million times. Because, really, who is SERIOUSLY considering Kris Richard to be their head coach right now? That’s total lunacy! He’s done NOTHING but be the caretaker of a #1 defense that has gotten worse every year under his watch.
Sheep! Get off the Bevell & Cable nonsense! Remember, we’ve actually WON a Super Bowl with these guys! You know who we HAVEN’T won with? Richard. He needs to go. Now.
Oh, what could’ve been. In an ideal world, we would’ve snagged Gus Bradley back after he got fired from the Jags.