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Hawks Playbook Podcast Episode 44 – A Fitting End to A Less Than Ideal Season
Open: Welcome to another episode of the Hawks Playbook Podcast. Our 44th to be exact, and one that represents the official end to the 2017 Seahawks football season. The Seattle Seahawks lose their final game at home and it leaves them with a winning record at 9-7, but out of the playoffs for the first time since 2011. That’s an end to five consecutive years with at least one playoff victory, including two NFC Championship wins, and two Super Bowl appearances including winning Super Bowl 48. Now, the season is over, no playoffs and we officially have the number 18th pick overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. The losses were bad enough, but they way they lost a few of those games, such as the devastating home loss vs the LA Rams, will dictate a lot of change to the team in the off-season. From the coaching staff, to Blair Walsh’s replacement, this team will look drastically different next season.
Featured Segment One: Seattle Loses and Atlanta wins, Sending Seahawks Into the Off-season.
Seattle lost the game 24-26. Of course, in the final seconds, Blair Walsh had a chance to win the game by making a time running out forty something yard field goal, but alas, he missed the kick wide to the whatever and it cost us a chance at 5 consecutive 10+ win seasons, but the playoffs were not meant to be regardless, as Atlanta won its game vs the Panthers and moved into the playoffs. It was a fitting and darkly poetic finish to the season, as the game encapsulated all that was wrong with the under performing season. Slow starting offense with 24 first half yards, a great comeback effort by Russell Wilson and crew, only to be thwarted by unfortunate and ill-timed penalties that allowed the Cardinals to score on their last drive, and force a last second field goal attempt by Walsh who missed. The 2017 season in a nutshell.
Seattle ended the season leading the NFL in penalty yards at 1342, and had two of the top 3 players in the NFL with the most penalties. Germaine Ifedi had 20 penalties (16 accepted) and Bennett who had 12 penalties including 10 offside penalties. Seattle finished the year with 100+ penalty yards in 7 games, an NFL record.
Seattle has many changes in store both in terms of player personnel changes as well as needing to change several coaches. The latter statement is the opinion of both Bill and Keith, but we think changes to the coaching staff are indeed likely. Players who are likely to not return to the team include both unrestricted free agents, and players likely to get cut, or retire. They include: Jimmy Graham, Eddy Lacy, Luke Joeckel, Thomas Rawls, Jeremy Lane, cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Paul Richardson, Sheldon Richardson, Michael Wilhoite, and of course, Blair Walsh. There may be others, but will stick with the easy ones, although, both Keith and I would like to see Paul Richardson back, the Wide Receiver market in free agency might dictate that the Seahawks would have to let him go. The good news is that this should give the Seahawks the cap space it needs to pursue a laundry list of free agents it will need to fill out it’s roster prior to the NFL Draft in late April.
Coaches that may find jobs elsewhere in the NFL in 2018 are Kris Richard, who is interviewing for the Colts head coaching job soon. Tom Cable, will interview for the same job, and we also thing he should just be let go regardless. Darrell Bevell should be on a few head coaching lists, and might be let go if Carroll decides the team needs to move in another direction offensively. Guys like Brian Schneider, special teams coach, and Carl Smith, Quarterbacks coach should also be on the list of coaches to watch if they get let go. As I said on the podcast, the level of dysfunction on the team, requires a proportional response by the team to fix it. Time will tell.
Close: Thanks again for joining us for the show. While the season has ended for the team, the next season is just getting started for Keith and I here at the Hawks Playbook. We will be back here each week all the way along your off-season to bring you updated news, coaching changes and player moves along with the usual banter. So, make sure you subscribe to the show over on iTunes or use your favorite podcast app to subscribe and listen to the show each week. You can also catch the show on our own website, www.seahawksplaybook.com
Follow Bill and Keith on Twitter. Keith is @MyersNFL and Bill is @NWSeahawk. See you right back here next week when we will discuss our end of season review with awards and a talk about the historic run of success for the team during the Pete Carroll/Russell Wilson era.