Gallant: Seahawks should make these 4 New Year’s resolutions in 2021
The end of (hopefully) the worst year ever marks the beginning of a strange annual tradition. New Year’s Resolutions. Goals we optimistically set for ourselves because of a one-digit change on the calendar.
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It makes more sense to just set goals and carry them out. But I get why they’re a thing. After all, that new diet is pretty hard to kick start when you’re stuffing your face Thanksgiving through the Holiday Season, wrapping it all up with one long New Year’s Eve.
“Enough projecting on us PAWL. That’s a YOU problem.”
Enough about me, my December of binge-eating, and the past eight (failed) resolutions to reacquire my abs. What resolutions should the NFC West Champion Seattle Seahawks make in 2021?
1. THE PRINCIPLE AIN’T WORTH IT
Pete. Your coaching track record speaks for itself. But can you please, please, PLEASE stop throwing challenge flags because the referees spotted the football in the wrong place. Even if you’re right! Because they’re never going to change the call.
(Puts on tin foil hat) I’m convinced that there’s a conspiracy amongst referees to never change the spot of the ball unless it’s obscenely obvious. You may overturn their catches. You can overrule their fumbles. But in a sport with HD cameras at all sorts of angles, slow motion replay, and referees at sometimes bad angles using their best judgment to mark the ball, legitimately EVERY challenge ball spot challenge should result in some small change. And yet…
Stop it Pete. In principle, you’re right. But it’s never going to work out for you.
2. URGENT. EMERGENCY, URGENT .
It’s the season finale against the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks – in the midst of a 15-play drive – are marching down the field for what surely be the game winning, NFC West clinching touchdown. A John Ursua reception on fourth-and 10-sets the Seahawks up at the 1-yard line. A spike on the next play gave the Seahawks a second-and-game with 23 seconds left to play.
The crowd begins to roar. Why? Because Marshawn Lynch is trotting onto the field. And he’s going to punch in a sort of redemption story for the game that must not be named.
Everything is moving in slow motion. Marshawn’s continues his jog. The rest of Seattle confidently strolls to the line of scrimmage. Russell Wilson is Thanos, ready to snap his finger and make the 49ers first round bye dissolve into dust.
FLAG. DELAY OF GAME. HOW IN TH-
You remember what happened next. A mildly scarring moment. A failure that would transform the Seahawks forever.
Wrong. The Seahawks regularly call timeouts to avoid delay of games, sometimes take advantage of referees who fail to notice the expired play clock, and have been called for five delay of game penalties this year. That’s third most in the NFL.
It should have stopped years ago. So let’s stop it in 2021.
3. FEET ARE STINKY
They say that they’re taking the foot out of football. After all, kickoffs don’t matter anymore and onside kicks are impossible. But don’t tell Pete Carroll that.
Pete’s told us on a regular basis that the Seahawks are a kicking team. I can understand why. Michael Dickson might be the best punter in the NFL, and Jason Myers hasn’t missed all season! (Knocks furiously on wood, though I’m not sure if it’s imitation wood.)
That said, I’d love to see the Seahawks upgrade the aggressiveness on fourth downs. Less punts. Fifty six on the season – which ranks 16th – might not be a lo, but 13 fourth-down attempts – 30th in the NFL – is way too few for a team quarterbacked by Russell Wilson.
My demand resolution? If the Seahawks find themselves in a fourth down with less than five yards to go situation on the opponent’s side of the field, sweep the leg under the rug and keep the offense on the field.
4. RELEASE THE JORDYN
Two Seahawks linebackers have jumped off the screen in 2020, and neither of them are named Bobby Wagner.
That’s not to say Bobby Wagner’s played poorly. He’s the quarterback of the defense, has racked up a ton of tackles, and played out of his mind the last time that the Seahawks played the 49ers.
— Paul Gallant (@GallantSays) November 2, 2020
“Sick take, Pawl. I’m tuning out already.”
But I think he’s been overshadowed by K.J. Wright – a Pro Bowl snub who’s played the best season of his career – and rookie first-round pick Jordyn Brooks. While Bobby’s compiled a million (a rough, scientific estimate) or so tackles, Wright and Brooks have regularly blown up plays in the backfield AND made plays in coverage.
Side note: this Pro Football Focus ranking should cancel PFF into the Phantom Zone for all time. Erroneous to the max.
We expect that out of Wright, especially with how much he plays. But considering that Brooks has played so little – a little under 30% of defensive snaps in 2020 – I found it shocking that he’s been able to contribute as much as he has.
I understand why he’s not playing as much. He’s a rookie, still learning Pete Carroll’s system. Bobby Wagner knows it like the back of his hand, and makes the defense around him smarter. Still, if Brooks continues to make plays both in run support and downfield, maybe it’s time to give Jordyn a few of Bobby’s snaps.