Bumpus: The key question Seahawks failed to answer this season

Jan 9, 2024, 10:31 AM

Seattle Seahawks offense Geno Smith Kenneth Walker III...

Geno Smith hands the ball off to Kenneth Walker III on Dec. 31, 2023. (Conor Courtney/Getty Images)

(Conor Courtney/Getty Images)

The 2023 season is a wrap for the Seattle Seahawks, who again finished over .500 but missed the playoffs for the second time in three years.

Pete Carroll: ‘I plan to be coaching’ Seattle Seahawks moving forward

The Seahawks did not take a step forward like many expected, and the franchise will now enter the offseason set to do a bit of soul searching in order to improve going forward.

During Monday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports, former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus used the word “disappointing” to describe the 2023 Seahawks, and a big reason for that description is that he said the team failed to answer a key preseason question.

“We entered the season thinking, OK, who are they on offense and defense when it comes to their identity?” Bumpus said.

That was especially the case on offense, Bumpus said.

“We know who they want to be, and is it time to do away with that? Because when you think of a Seahawks offense when it’s most successful, you’re able to run the football. For most people, that’s what they think of,” he said.

But when the Seahawks have been at their best lately, Bumpus said, it’s come with success throwing the football. Seattle also entered the year with an established receiver tandem of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett and added promising rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba to the mix.

Seattle ultimately was inconsistent on offense, finishing 21st in total yards, 14th in passing yards, 28th in rushing yards and 17th in points.

“I’m looking at the team and I don’t know what they do well,” Bumpus said. “And there have been so many ups and downs, right? DK only has three 100-yard games this season. Tyler Lockett has none this season. Ken Walker had one 100-yard rushing game this season. You want to run the football? You’re not good at that. You want to throw the football? You’re not good at that either. So no, it hasn’t been answered. I don’t know who they want to be.”

It wasn’t just that the Seahawks’ numbers were all over the place on offense at various points of the season; the personnel was, too.

“There are times where the tight ends are involved, there are times when the tight ends aren’t involved,” Bumpus said. “I don’t look at the Seahawks’ offense and see a game plan that’s connected or that’s a staple like, ‘This is what they’re going to do. We’re always going to see them line up in this and do that.'”

The identities of the best teams in the NFL are clear, Bumpus said, pointing to the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, the No. 1 seeds in the playoffs. The Seahawks still haven’t answered that question when it comes to their identity on offense.

“I came in (to the season) with that question and I still haven’t (answered it),” Bumpus said. “I’m not sure. So I think that until they they figure out exactly how they want to attack teams. offensively, they’re going to be a 9-8 type of team. Because you look at the talent, there’s talent over there … It confused me because you’ve got DK and Lockett and JSN and Ken Walker, and Geno (Smith) is pretty good, the tight ends are are good, so you should be better than this. But it’s simply because they don’t even know who they are when it comes to calling plays and showing up every weekend saying, ‘When you play the Seahawks, you have to prepare for this.’ I don’t know what teams actually prepare for when they go up against Seahawks offensively.”

Listen to the full second hour of Tuesday’s Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

• Cowherd: Seahawks have right coach, GM and roster, but need franchise QB
Future of Carroll and Geno among 10 biggest Seattle Seahawks offseason storylines
Rost: Seahawks left with a lot of same questions from last year
• Instant Reaction: Seahawks’ season ends despite win in Arizona
• Salk: Seattle Seahawks aren’t executing philosophy due to compromises

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