Not all heroes wear capes. In fact, some people don’t get to be heroes at all, and it’s those unfortunate souls who get featured this time around. We’re looking at the members of the Seattle Seahawks who - for whatever reason - did not live up to expectations this season.
The 10 biggest surprises of the 2022 Seahawks (negative)
It will surely be a sticking point that Wilson does not in fact play for Seattle. But he was the face of Seattle sports for 10 years, and every aspect of his departure and ensuing “season”, I personally would rank as the biggest sports surprise I’ve had to endure. Besides, we all paid attention like he was a Seahawk, perhaps even greater for some.
A not-well contained philosophical rift. A trade out of nowhere. A nine-word farewell tweet. The Seahawks twitter page trolling with a clip from Castaway. Wilson’s immediate stratospheric hype in Denver, followed immediately by very cautious optimism and a decreasing ability to tolerate his persona across the fanbase.
All of that is before the actual bottom-10 QB play for an entire year. Wilson has managed to win zero playoff games and lose two fanbases in three years, and I did not see that coming.
The over-criticized safety gets number two on my list because of two reasons. One, it was really difficult to put anybody else this high, because they did things like step up late in the season, or weren’t a big name with expectations. Two, Adams made the first playmaker’s type of play in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos, nearly sacked Russell Wilson, and vanished for the rest of the year.
Gut-wrenchingly, unfairly, brutal.
In the one year when Adams had neither multiple injuries nor an inept play-caller, he had almost 10 sacks for this team. It has to just kill John Schneider that we never got to see this trade pan out the way it was intended.
Shane Waldron’s worst blunder of the season was vouching for Blythe, who is incredibly fun and sounds smart in the behind-the-scenes clips, so why in the world did he hand out free passes to the backfield all season?
Blythe started the season below average and never got better.
Austin Blythe had an 11.6 pass block grade yesterday. Please end the Unger curse and draft a quality center!— Brian Nemhauser (@hawkblogger) January 2, 2023
Blythe goes way up high for me because both Kenneth Walker and Geno Smith played remarkably considering all the times the middle of the offensive line was completely useless. Center was the truly disappointing catalyst of most the problems.
I don’t know what Pete Carroll meant about everything he said after the Wild Card loss, but he indicated that personnel and scheme were driving him crazy.
Clearly Hurtt’s defense did not have the same gaping issues that Ken Norton Jr.’s did for the past few seasons.
It had...entirely new gaping issues! Which is justifiably infuriating, Pete, we’re with you. Either some combination of Al Woods, Poona Ford, Bryan Mone, Shelby Harris, and Cody Barton are below replacement-level NFL players, or something is wrong with the scheme, and obviously the answer is probably a little of both.
But I so desperately want somebody to come in and not have a nine-week stretch of abominations before putting together a good defensive game. Clearly that has something to do with Pete Carroll, but man if a defensive coordinator could just make it happen for once, there’d be no shortage of applause.
This is a tough one. Diggs is obviously still a baller, and just look how said the Detroit Lions are about it!
Quandre Diggs. Why did it have to be Quandre Diggs.— Barstool Detroit (@BSMotorCity) January 9, 2023
That play was my favorite interception of the year. Diggs finished the season significantly better than he started, and hopefully that’s reflective of a devastating ankle injury continuing to heal and gain strength...mid...season. Um.
Because the alternative is that he simply made some dynamic plays which cover up the fact that Diggs could barely tackle all season long, let more than a few explosive plays get by him, and dropped a handful of picks. It was not what we’re used to seeing from one of the best players on the team for three years.
He’d be higher if we actually expected anything, which we didn’t, but we did hope, and he took that hope and held onto it so tightly he broke his hand.
An inability to recover from a concussion, learn the playbook, suit up for consecutive weeks, and just generally be not C.J. Prosise-like has derailed the team’s highest pick of the 20212 draft. Super annoying.
Poona Ford / Bryan Mone / L.J. Collier
As mentioned earlier, things did not go well up front. I point to these three in particular because I don’t believe it was Shelby Harris’ fault. Al Woods should eat for free for life for carrying these guys through the season.
Collier missed his last chance to make the jump, Mone seems to have not earned his contract, and Ford was invisible, really invisible, for the entire season. Big bummer across the board, as this team continually plays twice a year against loaded defensive lines every season.
Taylor would have been much higher on the list if he hadn’t finished the way he did.
Darrell Taylor, 9 1/2 sacks this seahawks season, 6 1/2 the last month: “A lot of people counted me out. But look at me now.” @thenewstribune pic.twitter.com/H9vjQAovmz— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) January 9, 2023
“Look at me now” is not necessarily rich, but it comes close.
At this point, Taylor has now had two good stretches of football that both came at the end of two different seasons. To be sure, that is better than having a good September and then becoming
the Seattle run defense bad, but it’s a far cry short of being a consistent playmaker.
I think Taylor has star power, and that’s why three months of the season were such a disappointment. He’s got to find something to contribute when the sacks aren’t free and easy.
No fights here with anyone who’s secondary purpose in life is to defend Barton on Twitter. Perhaps he’s been making the correct reads every moment of his NFL career, and simply has bad coaches or even worse players around him.
But he’s just not that fast, and a full season of it shows the limitations that a starting NFL linebacker should not have - especially speed. He can play, he can do some right things, but I believe the door is closed to being great.
The impressive rookie from last year didn’t make it onto the field until Week 12, and never saw more than 15 defensive snaps. Michael Jackson played well, but as for expectations it was disappointing to see Brown never even a thought to contend for more playing time. One can hope that next season starts a fresh battle, having the entire offseason to continue building strength around his knee.
Some of the guys on this list won’t be on the team next year, but a few of them will be. Of those, I think there’s reason to be hopeful in places like Taylor, or Hurtt’s second season. In fact, I wouldn’t count anyone on this list out for good except L.J. Collier.
Nice knowing you.