With “crucial year” starting, one more look at how Seahawks came apart

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Stories of dysfunction and disagreements inside the Seahawks over the last couple of seasons are nothing new and the initial denials of rifts within the team gave way to a tacit acknowledgement that the mix needed to change this year.

The Seahawks overhauled much of their roster this offseason and said farewell to many of the key defensive pieces that helped them win a Super Bowl after the 2013 season. Some of those players spoke to Greg Bishop and Robert Klemko of SI.com for another look back at how things fell apart in Seattle over the last couple of years.

The stories they tell are familiar. There’s dismay about the decision not to run Marshawn Lynch against the Patriots at the end of a Super Bowl loss, disputes over how some members of the defense treated quarterback Russell Wilson and, per former Seahawk Tony McDaniel, discussion of how players “just stopped responding” to head coach Pete Carroll.

Anecdotes similar to ones that have been circulating for a while paint a picture of growing resentment about the way Carroll treated Wilson. The rift got bigger and bigger until Carroll and General Manager John Schneider decided to seriously shift the makeup of the roster heading into this season. As wide receiver Doug Baldwin notes, the year to come will serve as a referendum on the direction the team is taking now.

“This is a crucial year, marking a new era of Seahawks football,” Baldwin said. “The jury is still out on what’s to come.”

The first answers will come on Sunday afternoon in Denver.

48 responses to “With “crucial year” starting, one more look at how Seahawks came apart

  1. It will be fun watching them implode in Denver. While nobody can argue Wilson is a winner in any measurable way, the entire Legion of Boom was one of the most annoying spectacles in sports history. I;M THE BEST CORNER IN THE GAME!!!! BARF!

  2. Cap hell and arrogance and 25 mil per Qb. I am still laughing at Peter King claiming they will be a surprise team.

    They are rebuilding like Arizona and SF in the division as well.

    Why are people so delusional at life?

  3. It’s like a garage upstart tech company saying their offices must remain in the garage and they must stick to their original business plan. The yappers were given too much say, then the yappers just couldn’t see the forest through the trees. I remember that amazing defense folding like a cheap lawn chair more than once on make or break 4th quarter drives. It was never their fault. It was either the coaches, or Russell Wilson.

  4. For as much discord as there supposedly was it’s really remarkable the team continued winning games. They missed the playoffs by just a game last season despite all these bad feelings, a horrible line, injuries, and numerous guys in decline.

    And the stuff about Wilson–all the way from the story of Sherman going off on him in the first practice back after the Super Bowl ViCTORY to the stuff mentioned here–is really odd given how star quarterbacks are treated in general around the NFL. Everybody bends over backwards for their star QBs so it’s almost impossible Wilson was getting more preferential treatment than a lot of other QBs. It sounds like some guy were crazy-jealous of him from Day 1 and that just got worse the better Wilson played.

  5. Some of the roster changes are due to bad luck, not bad decisions, such as the likely career ending neck injuries to Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril and the loss of Richard Charmin to Achilles Heel injury.

    Nevertheless, it would be difficult to argue that trading for Sheldon Richardson, and signing Eddie Lacy and Luke Joeckel as free agents were good personnel decisions. All 3 turned out to be 1 year rentals who are no longer on the roster.

  6. I guarantee you, if Russ hadn’t audibled to stone hands Kearse for the 40 yard game winning overtime NFC Championship TD pass…and they had only got a field goal….the defense was going to be carved up for a game losing TD by Rodgers. He went right down the field last minute of regulation with his eyes closed for an easy tying field goal.

  7. Wilson can win games by himself. Not many QB’s in the league can do that. If Wilson still buys into Snaeky Pete’s act, than no reason to think they won’t contend for the NFC West. I mean realistically, the division could be anyone’s for the taking. Very interesting landscape heading into this season. I’m not buying the Rams at all. Groff needs to show us this year that 2017 wasn’t a mirage. I think L.A. has way too many paper champions

  8. NFL Films will make a documentary film of the 2018 season, tentatively titled Clueless in Seattle. If they fail to win a single game, it will be named Winless in Seattle. LOL

  9. C’mon now, let’s say it all together:

    Pete the Cheat will be fired at the end of this last place season if they’re smart.

  10. A rinse and repeat of how Pete took an SB appearing Pats team and over a couple of years walked them back to barely .500 as he lost the locker with his rah-rah players’-buddy coaching. Such cheerleading can work in college with a high through-put churnover of know-nothing kids who need a pops, but not in the pros.

  11. Pretty interesting read.

    I think its more plausible that the egos on the team spiraled out of control.

    52 guys, or an overwhelming majority, should have been able to get the lockeroom back on track. Enormous egos seem to have made that impossible. They seem really quick to air all this to the media.. should have invested effort into solving their problems in house. That’s not on Russell Wilson. I don’t care how you want to church it up.

    Its clearly Wilsons team now.

    Lets see if he can get them back to where they were 5 years ago.

    Players smearing him on the way out is juvenile.

  12. These guys accomplished a lot. They had the premier defense in the league for many years, and I will always appreciate the incredible 43-8 beating they gave mighty Pey Pey in SB XLVIII. Just a magnificent display of football execution. Facing them the next year was very exciting and the game did not disappoint — nor did the elaborate chess match between Belichick and Caroll in the final minutes that many just write off as a bad play call. It’s a shame to see them fall out over something as stupid as not winning back to back SBs since almost nobody does anyway. And I don’t buy their excuses — QBs are always pampered to some extent, and there are way worse QBs for your team to pamper besides Russell Wilson. Some of these guys complaining about him are the ones who have the real growing up to do.

  13. Cap hell and arrogance and 25 mil per Qb. I am still laughing at Peter King claiming they will be a surprise team.

    2018 – 7.1 mil under…. 200k more than your team
    2019 – 68 mil under.. SIXTY EIGHT.. 42 mil more than your team
    2020 – 106 mil under

    .. you were saying??? Consider that rhetorical.

  14. “The losing that is to come will sure be a difficult adjustment to all of us longtime diehard Seahawks fans who have been following the team since way back in 2012.” – the 2012th Man

  15. The egos that came about after the SB win (along with the bandwagon fans) proved to be very annoying, and I think a lot of people were happy to see a pass called in an obvious run situation in the second SB. The one year dynasty was defined (born) and bandwagon fans disappeared. That said, I think Russel Wilson is a tremendous QB and if he can keep from getting hurt the Seahawks will always be competitive.

  16. Boy there sure is a lot of hate here. And those of us that have been around and while know that that kind of hate can only mean that your team made all these trolls super mad at one point or another… Which of course is a good thing.

    If you hate Richard Sherman, he is in San Francisco now. If you hate Michael Bennett, he is in Philadelphia now.

    There is not much in the way of anger and hatred on the Seahawks roster anymore as we have the Griffin Brothers controlling the mood these days.

    I would say it is possible, if not likely, that many of you haters will be unhappy with the results of this season as long as nobody gets hurt seriously. the Hawks are all brand new with brand new offensive coordinators and defensive coordinators they could seriously get much better over the first half of the season as they settle into the new system.

    The problem with the Seahawks currently is depth and a good reason why they didn’t win preseason games was because they always got beat in the second half when the Scrubs were playing.

    The Seahawks are a much more balanced team offensively now and the defense, while not the legion of boom in its prime anymore, is led by Bobby Wagner and run by Pete Carroll …one of the greatest defensive backfield minds in the game.

    It feels to me like the defense will be a more of a Bend but don’t break kind of Defense so the offense is going to have to score some points to be successful. Maybe as the young players get comfortable they will be locking it down more but they are giving up a lot of 3rd down conversions early.

    Good luck to everyone I am not an idiot so I don’t make predictions but I do want everybody to remain healthy and let the cards fall where they may based on talent and production, not who gets hurt.

    Being a football fan is awesome and this is the best time of year… everyone has hope.

  17. Classic case of guys coming up together, and then one starts pulling away in importance while the others know their run is about to come to an end. It’s exacerbated because Wilson was a third rounder instead of your typical franchise QB. So while they once could say they carried him, that hasn’t been the case for at least 3 years now, and those defensive players’ skills eroded in that same time period while he was ascending. That’s a tough pill for such personalities to handle. It’s underlined by the treat him different thoughts. Duh, like every other franchise QB in the history of football. When he wasn’t one, you could treat him like any other piece to the puzzle on the roster. As he became one, you couldn’t. Not rocket science.

  18. It happens. The Seahawks brought a lot of the core together in a short period of time. When players play on the edge for so long things have to change. Not a mystery.

  19. “Wilson can win games by himself.” Not unless they have a functional offensive line that keeps him from getting hit and injured. They also haven’t built up a running game or developed much in the way of the receiving threats at WR or TE. It will be an interesting year. We’ll see if Carroll is right or the naysayers are right.

    they had some really dud draft years and some expensive free agents that did not pan out, but then it’s much easier to build a wining team than to keep one competitive after winning it all.

  20. If players stop listening then it’s time for them to move on. It happens. Change is good in those cases. It’s not a big drama like the media likes to make it. Sherman said it best he needed something new.

  21. seahawkboymike says:
    September 7, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    How is 7 straight winning seasons “coming apart?” Just curious.

    Exactly, the 49ers could only maintain the intensity/winning for a short time before it was a reboot.

  22. thegreatjimbrown says:
    September 7, 2018 at 2:44 pm
    “Wilson can win games by himself.” Not unless they have a functional offensive line that keeps him from getting hit and injured. They also haven’t built up a running game or developed much in the way of the receiving threats at WR or TE. It will be an interesting year. We’ll see if Carroll is right or the naysayers are right.

    they had some really dud draft years and some expensive free agents that did not pan out, but then it’s much easier to build a wining team than to keep one competitive after winning it all.
    This comment makes no sense. They won more than they lost last season while a kicker literally lost 2 games possibly a 3rd. Seattle had no running game, and no offensive line, Russell threw or ran for all but 1 of their TDs………..and basically ‘Won games by himself’. This year their line is better, their running back situation is 100% better….so he won’t have to just win them on offense…all by himself.

  23. After reading the article, I am a little less salty over the dismantling of the defense. Wilson can do no wrong in my book. I was angry at the playcall as well, but Butler made one of the most clutch plays in the history of the sports. I can honestly say I would rather have Wilson as our QB than any other player in the league. When he takes the field for a late-game comeback drive, I have never seen him fail to get the team in position to qin the game.I don’t recall him saying a single bad thing about anyone for any reason.

  24. Meh the Seahawks had three amazing drafts between 2010-2012. Then they started drafting average to below average and trading 1st round picks for players who didn’t work out. By 2017 most of the star players drafted during that time got older, injured, and surpassed by players other teams drafted in the years following. Football is a young man’s game. It’s as simple as that. Nothing more nothing less.

  25. I mean, really, first and goal last seconds of super bowl game, you got one of the best running backs in the game and your three four feet from a touchdown to win. To call a pass was plainly speaking, stupid. The head coach was just plain stupid and the players could not believe it. You got to ask why the team imploded?

  26. Lynch had 133 yards on 25 touches and was about to be the obvious MVP……then getting cute……got in the way. Cute as in trying to wiz a slant into your special teams gunner for the win.

  27. Know Marshawn, Know Super Bowls
    No Marshawn, No Super Bowls

    Pete blasting off all of his coordinators while trying to save his own neck is funny. And this dedication to RW, a great individual player (NOT team player), will show as the flaw in all of this. These guys struck lightning in a bottle and just couldn’t keep it together – that falls on the Head Coach and the GM. Not to mention the luck that was realized when they had McGlohan calling their draft picks vs. Schneider (this is the biggest area of drop-off).


  28. AS a life long Hawks fan SB49 will always be painful and any fan you talk to believed Lynch was going to get the ball and win the game. I can still remember being in shock when Russ went back to pass. A second later it got way worse. Having said that our D got thrashed in the last quarter so there was plenty of blame to go around. This story is a result of the pain we all felt in that moment. It created a rift that will always be for those certain players that were there. Reality is it won’t ever go away because every year we all get to watch SB49 again and hope to hope Lynch gets the ball, he never does. I personally than all the players, coaches and the organization for bringing us our first and only SB win. SB48 made it all worth it and the bottom line is there was a time these players were together as one and we as fans got to be apart of it. Go Hawks!

  29. The defense was the dominant side for a few years, while Wilson was figuring out the job. As he got better , the “D” got older, injuries and age happen to us all. Wilson became the man and his salary increased…The “D” moved back to average, but they’re ego didn’t.

    I can honestly type, No other QB in the NFL could live past half time with the way the O line has played since 2015

  30. As a seahawks fan, sitting here and reading all the comments that the seahawks are suddenly going to be terrible and everyone will be fired is extremely ridiculous. They were 9-7 last year. They did that with a ton of injured players, one of the worst offensive lines in history, and a terrible kicker. So far this year, the O-line looks much better with its new coach, and the offense has looked great under new OC Schotty. Winning attracts haters and Judging by all the haters on here, clearly the Seahawks have won a lot of games since Pete took over. Bottom line is Russell Wilson can elevate the offense if the O-line is even average, and turn the team into an offense heavy team rather than defense like it was in the past. Pete and Ken Norton Jr can coach up the young guys on D and have them be at least above average. I am actually more excited for this season than I have been for a few years. Bring on the donkeys, and can’t wait to watch Sherman get scorched this year while wearing a disgusting red and gold uniform.

  31. I do think Carroll held onto bad coaches and players who started sliding a bit too long. Tom Cable is a terrible offensive line coach, and Bevil isn’t that good at coordinating an offense. Richard was a downgrade at DC, but Norton was terrible in Oakland too although he didn’t have this personnel to work with. Sherman was still great before his injury, but constantly going at your franchise QB because he has become one of the best in football in the locker room while you start facing down your football mortality is addition by subtraction. That just puts people on egg shells. Tom Brady’s and Ben Roethlisberger’s early careers were exactly the same. They grew from game managers into franchise players, and it’s up to the rest of the team to fall in line as they get better, not snipe at them when you have failures, which that defense has had a lot since the second half of Super Bowl 49.

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