Seattle Seahawks roundtable: Who’s to blame for slow start?


The Seattle Seahawks have begun the 2015 season with a disappointing 2-3 record. A lot has gone wrong for a team that is expected to contend for another Super Bowl. The talent is still there, but the results haven’t been. So who exactly is to blame for Seattle’s slow start?

The offensive line has been terrible. That’s obvious to anyone who has watched the games. For this week’s roundtable discussion, we’ve removed that as a discussion option. There’s plenty of blame to go around.

Dayna O’Gorman

While the offensive line has been the major culprit in the Seahawks slow start, I don’t think you can ignore the other issues in the offense. In my mind, Lynch missing 2 games has been huge. I can’t help but think if Thomas Rawls could get 160+ yards against the Bengals, Lynch could have gotten more in turn adding points to the score board.

I also think the “misuse” of Jimmy Graham has caused some confusion not only to the fans but to the players too. Just throw the ball to Jimmy, Russ. He’ll catch it.

And may I add, I’m thrilled with the way the defense has played. Yes, they’ve not held on to the 4th quarter leads, but last week you could really see the defense we have grown to love. The boom is there. The offense just needs to be able to give them a real break at times with sustained drives.

Thomas Oide

I blame Darrell Bevell. The Seattle Seahawks obviously have a litany of issues, the biggest being the offensive line. But while the defense hasn’t played to its full potential, it has been the reason why Seattle has been in games.

The offense has been putrid and the line play obviously deserves a lot of blame for that, but the playcalling has been downright atrocious at times and Bevell is criminally underusing Jimmy Graham, who is widely viewed as the second-best tight end in the game behind Rob Gronkowski.

If the offensive playcalling doesn’t get any better, Bevell will have to go.

Hanley Bonynge

Oct 11, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) makes a catch while being defended by Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) in the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Besides the offensive line, taking this question quite literally, I would have to say the secondary has been the biggest reason for Seattle’s 2-3 start. From Kam Chancellor’s ridiculous hissy fit which lead to Dion Bailey falling down on a game winning touchdown to Kam coming back and blowing a coverage on one of Tyler Eifert’s touchdowns last week, the secondary has looked out of sorts.

Byron Maxwell isn’t worth the money he was paid, but Cary Williams looks way worse than burnt toast out there. He looks slow, confused, and overall ineffective. I think based on the transition and Kam’s holdout there has been a ripple effect that thrown off Sherman and Thomas as well.

Along with this being the biggest shortcoming, I also have the most faith that the secondary will sort itself out. Kam will get back into game shape and hopefully Williams will figure out how to suck less.

Honorable mentions go to quarterback and wide receiver corps.

Keith Myers

This is going to probably be an unpopular answer, but defensive coordinator Kris Richard needs to shoulder a large portion of the blame. This is the same group of talented players that the team had last year, but Richard is getting significantly lower results than Dan Quinn did.

Richard’s defense lack an identity. He has moved away from the cover 3 principles that led the Seahawks to two straight Super Bowl appearances. The defense is no longer simplified to help the defenders play fast.

This problem was on display in the fourth quarter last week. The Seahawks never once ran their standard cover 3 with a four man pass rush. There were too many 3-man pass rushes, corner blitzes, and cover 2 principles.

The result was confusion and miscommunications. The defense was carved up, and a 17 point lead evaporated. It was the third time already this season that the Seahawks lost after having a fourth quarter lead.

Richard needs to get back to doing what the defense does best. Until he does that, the Seahawks are going to continue to struggle to hold leads.

Dan Viens

Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell prior to the game against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I have to say it’s Darrell Bevel. I’ve spent a lot of time defending him the last couple of years. We won a Super Bowl with him calling plays, nearly won another one, and you have to give him credit for developing Russell Wilson.

Furthermore, I’ve always felt it was cliche and lazy to always blame the play-caller when a call doesn’t work. But this year I think he’s consistently falling short, and can share directly in the blame for all 3 losses.

I believe the mark of a good Offensive Coordinator is three-fold: 1) Adjust to the weaknesses of the defense; take what they give you. 2) Maximize your assets, put them in a position to succeed, and 3) Establish a rhythm on offense. #3 has never been his strength, but in areas 1 and 2 he’s failing miserably, and more specifically it’s his inability to use the talent he has on hand properly that’s been the team’s biggest downfall.

Why are all the throws to Graham short out routes? What kind of damage can he do with those? Nothing deep or down the seam? Why aren’t there more quick routes to help mitigate the issues with the O-line?

No attempt at all to try and get the ball to Tyler Lockett in space where he can do some damage. In the 4th quarter in Cincy alone, he completely shut down as a play caller. Run every 1st and 2nd down and throw on 3rd? Everyone could see that coming. You had a back run for over 160 yards but no play action off of that?

These are simple concepts. He overthinks things, trying to figure out how to fool the defense with how they use Graham rather than just leaning on his elite skills. Watch the way the Patriots use Gronk. Brady doesn’t give a rip about whether you know he’s going that way or not, he just does. He knows Gronk can go up and get the ball against just about any defender in the league.

So can Graham, but he’s being wasted because our play-caller hasn’t been at the top of his game. If this doesn’t improve over the next 11 games, I wonder if Carroll would be so bold as to make a change at that position.

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