In their short tenure together, the dynamic duo of Pete Carroll and John Schneider has had glowing success of deal after deal and draft selection after draft selection that Seattle has their version of Gotham cities Batman and Robin.
Fortunately, both Carroll and Schneider are married to squelch any of those Batman and Robin rumors that have circulated since the 50‘s.
There is only one move that I question and hope doesn’t come back to bite our gluteus maximus. We’ll visit that at the end since it’s really just splitting hairs at this point.
Let’s recap the coach and general manager's paramount trades and draft choices that will put their stamp on our Hawk future at the NFL cornerstone positions of QB/LT/Pass rush and ball hawk secondary play before visiting the one questionable move.
1. Getting a Quarterback.
The trade for Whitehurst has been harshly criticized by Hawk fans as giving up too much for an unproven clip board holder in San Diego rather than the potential Jesus Christ miracles that await us in Seattle.
Post draft, what did we really give up in 2010 for Whitehurst? According to draft niks, we gave up absolutely nothing, nada, zilch. Many mocks and scouts had Golden Tate as a late first round prospect. We picked him up with selection No. 60.
Does anybody know for sure that Tate wasn’t a sure fire No. 40 selection that we picked at 60, thus giving up nothing in 2010 for Charlie?
Anyone related to Carroll and Schneider in the draft war room that know for sure?
Through my eyes, I see Carroll and Schneider picking up both a QB and a WR through the use of selection No. 40.
Pre-draft nobody thought Clausen would be available at 40.
So those that would’ve rather had Clausen could make a case, but getting Whitehurst and Tate for the use of 40 and a 2011 third round pick will ultimately turn out to be a major coup for the Hawks.
2. Getting a Left Tackle.
Prior to the draft, getting a LT and FS in the first round were my two most glaring desires and cornerstone pieces to return us to prominence as delineated in this March article.
It was either a first round combo of FS Eric Berry and drop down for LT Charles Brown or a combo of LT Trent Williams and FS Earl Thomas.
Carroll and Schneider obviously knew what they were doing when making their first round selections and am still surprised Earl Thomas dropped to No. 14.
I like Okung’s ability to run block and brute strength to engage bull rushers with little resistance.
In the 2008 collegiate season, Okung held his own against the bull rush of Texas’ Brian Orakpo while Williams was manhandled by the stronger Orakpo.
Williams may have better footwork for pass blocking at this stage, but I like the fact that Okung is equally adept at pass and run blocking. Nice addition to protect our QB's blindside.
3. The secondary.
I never cared that he’s too short by measurables at 5’10”. Earl is a ripped 205 pound football player with instincts and quickness to more than justify his No. 14 selection. He's a player the Hawks desperately needed to make the draft an A.
Thomas is always around the ball and he will become an instant fan favorite.
He was the player I wanted and glad Carroll and Schneider passed on Derrick Morgan, the player many Hawk fans preferred because he was a DE. In fact, the Jags, Eagles and Giants were other teams that needed a pass rusher and passed on Morgan.
We picked up Walt in the fourth round after the trade and swap with the Titans that also netted Lendale White.
Walt has second round ability with his instincts but the torn ACL injury leaves this as an unknown risk.
Carroll and Schneider felt great about their earlier selections and the trade for White. The gamble on the recovery of Thurmond was worthwhile in an attempt to improve our porous secondary.
He’s the big safety from Virginia Tech that will be converted to the strong side in certain secondary schemes.
In the base Tampa 2, both the free and strong safeties typically have similar responsibilities. But I expect different schemes to get Thomas to play centerfield and Kam to play the eighth man in the box like Arizona plays Adrian Wilson.
At 6'3" and 230 pounds, he's the big hitter that gives our secondary a lot of versatility and ability to scheme any offensive package thrown at us.
The best moves of our dynamic duo were focusing on the secondary in a deep draft and these guys will be be the lynchpins of getting our defense into the NFL’s upper echelon by 2012.
4. Pass Rush
There weren't a lot of big names to tout the pass rush. So it looks to be rush the QB by committee and scheme driven defense in 2010. Finding a pass rusher will be a high priority in the 2011 draft.
Finally, the only deal that I wasn’t fond of and is contrary to almost all opinion was trading the fifth round draft pick for Leon Washington.
Yes, he’s versatile, the lightning to White’s thunder and for only a fifth round, how can I be so picky?
It’s partially because Washington is coming off of an injury and the fact he’s going on 28-years old. We continually ignore the running back position with fresh college legs and I wanted the powerback with quick feet from Mississippi State.
I’m a big Anthony Dixon fan and thought he’d look great in Hawk blue running behind our zone scheme that is predicated on one cut and burst you typically find in smaller guys. Dixon was available with our fifth rounder that was traded for Washington, but ended up going to our divisional rival 49ers early in the sixth round.
That’s how good of a Carroll and Schneider have done focusing on the core positions that were ignored by Ruskell.
In the few months they’ve been collaborating on how to get the Hawks back to the playoffs and ultimately win a SB for Paul Allen and the great fans of the Pacific NorthWest.
Yes, I'm very pleased and it shows.
Regardless of the clouds that fill the days and nights in Seattle, Carroll and Schneider are bringing some sunshine to the Seahawks organization.
As fans, we should be glad that we have a new dynamic duo in town.