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3 unpopular opinions about the Seahawks

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TomCable

  • In my opinion, Russell Wilson is a top five quarterback.

Really, who are five QBs currently better than Wilson? Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton and Carson Palmer? First of all, that’s way more than five, but also they’re all just varying levels of potentially different opinions that I could see somewhat reasonable arguments for.

But if we’re pointing out that Wilson has a passer rating of just 88.5 to open the year, then we must also acknowledge that Dalton (89), Roethlisberger (83.2), Palmer (80.5), and Newton (78) have passer ratings below 90 so far this season as well. The “Rodgers, Brees, and Brady are better than Wilson” camp is perfectly fine (though to be fair, we know nothing yet of the viability of a 39-year-old Brady) but the last four seasons tell me that Wilson has earned the right to be slotted ahead of Rivers, Newton, Ryan, Stafford, and Luck.

Or at least he does, in my opinion.

  • In my opinion, Darrell Bevell is a good offensive coordinator and we do not know enough about the inner-workings of meetings and practices to assume that Tom Cable is a bad coach.

Let’s lump these two universally-disliked-when-things-aren’t-going-right coaches together. Bevell is the easy one; the Seahawks were 1st in offensive DVOA in 2015 and he’s helped orchestrate some historically-good offensive performances since 2012 (his second season with the team), including a Hall of Fame-level career for Marshawn Lynch, record-breaking stats for Wilson, and the maturation of Doug Baldwin into an elite receiver. He did all of this despite the fact that during his time with the team, the only offensive players they drafted in the first round were Russell Okung (6th overall) and James Carpenter (26th overall).

Speaking of which, how could anyone possibly know enough about what goes on between Cable, Pete Carroll, Bevell, and his players, to know that the reason the offensive line sucks is because Cable sucks as a coach?

Okung played about as well as you can expect a left tackle prospect of his caliber to play. Carpenter turned into a fairly good starting left guard, which is acceptable for a player drafted in the backend of the first round. Max Unger transitioned back to center in 2011, Cable’s first season with the Seahawks, and became a Pro Bowler there. J.R. Sweezy was a seventh round pick as a defensive lineman who they turned into a capable starting right guard just a year later. Garry Gilliam was a undrafted free agent tight end who they made into a decent right tackle in 2015, though he’s had struggles in 2016; something you might be upset about if Gilliam was a top 50 pick, but that’s not even close to what he was.

The biggest “disappointments” as far as offensive linemen go while Cable has been the offensive line coach are John Moffitt, a mid-third round pick in 2011, and Justin Britt, a near-third round pick in 2014 who is currently playing like a decent center despite just beginning to learn the position less than nine months ago.

I don’t even think most people could even name another position coach on the team, but Cable is a former head coach, so he got a lot more attention when he was brought into the fold, and yes, he’s managing the unit that has been the consistent weakness on the team for a long while. But if you didn’t tell me anything about position coaches and just showed me a depth chart of some sort that said: “Well, this left tackle here hasn’t played any meaningful snaps in three years and was a street free agent, and this left guard here was a fourth round pick and is starting for the first time, and this center is playing his third position in three years, and this right guard was well-known to be one of the weakest in the NFL but was forced into a starting job when Seattle’s first round pick got hurt, and the right tackle was a college tight end and nobody even drafted him,” then that is what I would point to as the culprit of the horrific play.

Not the coaching. Not when I haven’t been inside of a single meeting, when I’ve never seen the dynamic in between the coaches nor between players and coaches, and when the presumption of said relationships really just makes me look like a know-it-all who thinks he has better insight into the people working for Pete Carroll than Pete Carroll does.

Carroll wasn’t afraid to fire Jeremy Bates as offensive coordinator after one season. He’s never been afraid to admit mistakes on players far before many other coaches and executives would. What would he have to gain by retaining Cable for longer than he’d have to, when the scapegoating of Cable would clearly be seen as acceptable and favorable by 99% of the fanbase?

I’m going to say it’s probably because Cable is an above-average offensive line coach (and let’s not forget, Carroll’s assistant head coach for six years now), if not a pretty damn good one.

  • In my opinion, this could be Kam Chancellor’s last season with the Seahawks.

From 2013-2014, Chancellor may have been somewhat-lowkey the best player on the defense for Seattle. He was definitely the best defensive player on the team during the 2013 playoffs when they won the Super Bowl, and he appeared to play about just as well the following season right up until he injured himself days before the next Super Bowl. Since that injury and a holdout that lasted two games into the season, Chancellor just doesn’t seem the same.

Chancellor missed another three games with injury and finished with 42 solo and 30 assisted tackles in 11 starts in 2015. This season he has 12 solo and eight assisted tackles, putting him on a pace well below the 134 total tackles he had in 2013. That season he also had three interceptions and 12 passes defensed, but he’s only managed those same totals (three picks, 12 PD) in the 28 games since.

Seattle signed Chancellor to a four-year extension before that 2013 season, showing their knack for locking players down at just the right time, and it’s probably that same savvy contract management that could send the strong safety to another team in 2017.

Chancellor held out unsuccessfully for more money when he was at the height of his value, and the team said no. Next season, he’s due to make $8.1 million -- a raise of over $2 million from 2016 — including a $325,008 roster bonus. Why would the team pay Chancellor 33% more than they’re paying him this season when he’s performing at a level lower than he did when he signed the deal?

In addition to that, the team has spent the last two years stockpiling players like Kelcie McCray, Tyvis Powell, and if he moves back to safety, Dewey McDonald. I think it’s extremely unlikely that the team could find a person and a leader as valuable as Kam Chancellor, but time is something that is constantly working against NFL players. Just like Marshawn Lynch and Russell Okung, Kam’s time with Seattle may be running out sooner than we’d like to admit.

Forget about holding out for more money, Chancellor may need to consider taking a pay-cut just to stay with the team.