With apologies to Peter King:
(A) A thought that sticks with me is John Schneider being interviewed on the Seahawks radio show before the San Francisco road game last season. He basically admitted that he thought San Francisco was a couple years ahead of Seattle in terms of talent. His comments stuck with me during that blowout game and those comments come to mind in 2011. San Francisco will likely head to Lambeau to play in the NFC Championship Game.
(B) Another John Schneider thought was an interview before the 2011 season. He mentioned that he told Paul Allen something to the effect of "We are bigger, younger, faster, stronger - but I don't know if that will translate to more wins than in 2010". Schneider obviously setting Paul's expectations before the season started.
(C) Having no off-season really hurt the Seahawks. Enough said.
(D) Seahawks are averaging over nine penalties per game over the first eight games - and it's a problem that has been hammered hard in the media and recently, by Pete Carroll. Look for an average in the final eight games closer to six penalties per game. I think the team is going to have a "Come to Jesus" moment in this regard. At least, I hope they do.
(E) Leon Washington does not need to return every kick out of the end zone. Starting on the 10 or 15 yard line when the coverage is strong while he is fielding it seven yards deep in the end zone is something our offense can't overcome at this point. I understand the risk-reward, but it is ok to sometimes take a knee.
(F) I am amazed that Deon Butler was activated. His game is built on speed and I did not think he would see that come back in 2011. Hopefully it did, and we see that speed in 2011. Tarvaris may not be good in the red zone, but he is good for about one amazing deep shot (or two) per game. Quality guy, that Deon.
(G) I really think Robert Gallery is suffering from an injury. I really hope it is not a rapid decline in skill. It may be hard to squeeze a quality left guard out of the 2012 Draft with other pressing needs. If they do draft one, I totally get it.
(H) Going to share a Paul Allen quote from his book "Idea Man" - this is from the Chapter "Blazermania", and there is also one called the "12th Man". Both of these chapters shed some light on his view toward the present Seahawks. Pick up the book if you want a peek into Paul Allen's thinking:
(I) On Bob Whitsitt: "He overpaid middle-of-the-road performers and failed to re-sign our top talent in a timely fashion. After the 2004 season, he inexplicably allowed sixteen players to enter unrestricted free agency...squandering our leverage in negotiations and costing me tens of millions of dollars."
Pretty sure John Schneider is staggering those contracts.
(J) My overall feel, from reading these chapters over a few times, is that Pete Carroll has time - even if he were to lose every game for the rest of 2011, which will not happen. The dueling songs of the day on Twitter and the public support of Pete's charity organizations make me think Pete is going to be here for a while unless he just lays a gigantic egg this off-season in the draft and free agency, and the 2012 season shows little improvement.
(K) Andrew Brandt - who you should follow on twitter - mentioned a few weeks ago that Green Bay had studied the history of successful NFL teams (both he and John Schneider worked together in Green Bay) and concluded that the best way to structure a team, salary-cap wise, is to spend equally on both offense and defense. "50-50" so to speak.
An Amateur Salary Cap Analyst (me) once did an analysis of the 2010 Green Bay Packers and found that their Super Bowl winning team was almost exactly 50-50, even with Aaron Rodgers and some highly paid wide receivers. In 2012 the Seahawks Offense Salary Cap is going to hover around $50M and with Curry gone and Trufant possibly gone, the current entire defense cap number is close to $30M.
Even if the Seahawks sign Red Bryant, Heater, and Leroy Hill to moderate contracts, there is plenty of room for one giant Free Agent signing. Keep an eye out for that. Maxing out both sides of the ball would bring each side to $60M each, which I don't see happening in 2012, but I can see some dollars being spent on defense beyond the draft picks (which will be inexpensive).
(L) If I were drafting today - ignoring the talent falling on the board and ignoring free agency - my 2012 Seahawks draft would look like this: Rd 1: QB, Rd 2: DE, Rd 3: Guard, Rd 4: RB. The bottom of the draft may include depth at Linebacker, Cornerback, Safety and possibly Tight End. Or perhaps at the bottom of the draft - just go best player available.
(M) I am not a big Nick Foles fan - but if Matt Barkley stays in school or is out of reach for the Seahawks, I have this growing sense (zero inside information) that Pete Carroll would consider Nick Foles as his QB. He is more athletic than Landry Jones. I have no idea why Pete would prefer him over a Robert Griffin III or a Ryan Tannehill, I would like to think it is more than Pac12 bias, but it's just a sense I have that I can not shake.