Friday, April 29, 2011

SEAHAWKS: Pete Carroll made the logical pick in James Carpenter

C'mon, admit it. Don't tell me you weren't a little disappointed when the Seahawks shocked everyone by using their 25th overall pick on Alabama tackle James Carpenter. 2009 Heisman Trophy winner running back Mark Ingram was still on the board, along with Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith and TCU Quarterback Andy Dalton.

Running back, quarterback, cornerback. Pretty exciting positions, which is what the fans want, right? But a tackle? Really Pete Carroll? Lame. Bad decision. A reach. Boring. Useless.

That's what I initially thought. But the more you think about it, the more you realize the Seahawks made the logical decision.

To Continue...

Let me ask you this question: What has been the most frustrating thing with the Seahawks' offense the last 4 years? It's not the quarterback, not the wide receivers, or the tailbacks.

It's been the offensive line.

Nearly every time Matt Hasselbeck has dropped back to pass the last couple years, he's had to run for his life. Fans routinely blame the QB for Seahawks' pass problems, but it's hard for Matt to make a good decision when a 280-pound defensive tackle is in his face two seconds after the ball is snapped.

The same idea goes for the running game. Marshawn Lynch can go "Beast Mode" all he wants, but he's not going to get past the line of scrimmage if a defensive end is already grabbing him before he even receives the handoff. Whiffed blocks occurred a lot in 2010, contributing to a 31st ranked run offense.

So how do we fix this problem? Draft a "boring" offensive linemen, that's how.

Sure, James Carpenter might have been a bit of a reach in the first round, but what do we know? It's not like we're the ones studying hours upon hours of game tape every day! I'm putting my trust in John Schneider and Pete Carroll and their drafting abilities.

Because when you think about it, how would drafting someone like Mark Ingram significantly help the team? Yeah, we get a talented running back, but what's the point drafting him if a) we already have three decent running backs in Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, and Leon Washington and b) there'll be no holes for Ingram to run through if we don't have decent linemen.

"I'm just aggressive," Carpenter said after being drafted. "I play hard. I'm mentally tough. I do my best to get the job done. I know football is a tough sport, so that's what I do."

That's what I like to hear.

So Seahawks fans, put away those pitchforks and torches, because Schneider and Carroll made the right, logical decision opposed to the flashy, attention grabbing one. The Seahawks aren't concerned with flash and style right now, they're concerned with getting the right players for Pete Carroll's offensive system.

"This guy is a real road grader," Carroll said of the 6-foot-4, 321-pounder. "He fits the way we want to bring our program along."

You can't get a 7-9 football team to transform into a Super Bowl contender in one draft pick. It just doesn't work that way. To be a Super bowl contender, you must have a decent O-line, which is something the Seahawks are in the process of building right now.

James Carpenter and 2010 first rounder Russell Okung are a start.

Reach Nathan Parsons at