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Gregg Bell | Tacoma News Tribune Seahawks Reporter

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
January 9, 2023 6:06 am

Gregg Bell | Tacoma News Tribune Seahawks Reporter

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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January 9, 2023 6:06 am

 The Seattle Seahawks are playoff-bound! Reporter for the Tacoma News Tribune Gregg Bell joins the show.

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This show is sponsored by BetterHelp.

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That's BetterHELP.com slash positive. We're pleased to welcome Greg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune covers the Seahawks and this wild ride of a season. Greg, just today, how would you describe the emotions of what the Seahawks went through? Well, hi Amy. This is the first midnight Pacific Time interview I think I've ever done in my life. Thank you for that.

You keep long hours. Tonight was, the whole day really, was the Seahawks two or three times could have lost their season. I mean, the clip you heard, Steve Rabel's call of the interception by Quandre Diggs. Van Jefferson was 10 yards behind anybody before Baker Mayfield threw that pass halfway through overtime.

There was nobody near Jefferson. And if Mayfield had thrown the ball out further, anywhere further, that was a game-ending touchdown for the Rams and the Seahawks would be home right now and the Detroit Lions would be in the playoffs. Diggs, a former Lions captain, took advantage of Mayfield, lofting the ball too high and underthrowing Jefferson, and that allowed him to make up the difference sliding over.

That wasn't his man in coverage. The Rams totally beat the Seahawks on that play, but Dave gets the interception, taunts Bobby Wagner, and they go down and kick the field goal and the Seahawks win. Two or three times today, it felt like the Seahawks season was over. They were down 13-6 in the second half, they weren't stopping Cam Akers in the run, and then Sean McVay, I thought, stopped running the ball. He ended up running 28 times in all, passed to 26. The Seahawks defense has had problems, Amy, all year stopping the run. Eight teams have run for 160 plus on them. They were on pace for most of this season to give up the most rushing yards ever by a Seahawks team, and the Rams quit running, and even with a 13-6 lead, they could have run a lot more, and I thought, salted the game away.

So then the game ends, and there's this three or four hour window of just limbo, right? I mean, Tino Smith said he was going out on a date with his girl, and he said he couldn't stand to even watch the game. He just wanted to go out to dinner, and Andre Dixon's going to have steak and lobster, and Tyler Locket said he might watch Netflix.

There was nothing they could do. They were prisoner to fate because of the games they had won earlier in the season, Carolina and Las Vegas, chief among those. And so it was just weird, we were asking Tino Smith questions. I was asking him questions about his contract and his future, not knowing for sure whether there would be a playoff game, obviously, and in the line to do something they've only done four times since 1992, and they beat the Packers in Lambeau.

And then all of a sudden, it was a party. We were still in the press box in Lumen Field, and there were Seahawks staffers that were screaming in the back watching it, and the Seahawks had a team group text that blew up, Pete Carroll said, and they had a great time with it. And now there's some work to do, short week at San Francisco, who has dominated them twice, and that's on Saturday. So you had a chance to talk to Pete after the win by the Lions? He talked on a Zoom call. He had talked to a local television affiliate, so we didn't need to ask you questions, but we heard quotes from him, and he talked about how excited they were and how this was great for this team to experience this, and while they still wish that they could have controlled their own fate by winning some of those games they gave away earlier this season. It's a mammoth challenge. They intend to make the best of it.

The team's confident and playing really well right now. You know, Pete Carroll's system works, Amy. It does. A lot of people knock them.

It does. Being 71 years old, they trade Russell Wilson and cut Bobby Wagner on the same day, and here they are still in the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 years. Greg Bell is with us from Seattle, where the Seahawks get in, whether they back to order or not, the fact that they get in after trading Russell Wilson and the Broncos are nowhere to be found is one of the best stories or one of the unique stories of this 2022 season.

It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. You've covered the Seahawks. You know what Pete Carroll's all about. This particular coaching job, how did it come together?

How did he make it work? Well, Amy, first of all, from the very start, from April and many camps in May, he picked Geno Smith. Once they decided to trade Russell Wilson, the plan was we're going to go with Geno Smith.

We trust him. He's been here three previous years as Wilson's backup. He had to play three games when Wilson got hurt and had the finger surgery. So we know him, we trust him, and let's build an offense around him. And a lot of people around here, myself included, thought Drew Locke would have more of a competition, at least get a better shot in preseason.

He really didn't. It was Geno Smith's job from the start, and Locke rarely had even first team reps in practice, let alone the full opportunity to start. So Carroll went all in on Geno Smith from the start. Now the grand plan when they traded Wilson, Amy, was, okay, by the end of the 2023 draft, we're going to have our quarterback. We've got four picks in the first two rounds. We're going to have Denver's first and second round picks. And that draft, of course, coming up in May is chock full of what people think are NFL-ready quarterbacks.

C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, and so on. So we'll have our quarterback by then.

We'll take these picks. We'll avoid the $50 million price tag Russell Wilson will probably want to sign for after 2023. We have Geno Smith and Drew Locke under contract for 2022, and both their contracts are ending. And we'll get our guy, whether we re-sign Smith or Locke or draft a top guy, we'll have our guy by the end of the 2023 draft.

And what's happened with Smith playing is, I mean, look what Geno Smith's done. He's on the bench, I often tell New Yorkers, he's on the bench for four different teams for seven years. He's never had more than a one-year contract, Amy, since his rookie deal. He's 32 years old and his 10th year in the league. He's never had a multi-year deal beyond his rookie contract.

Scrappy. He's made $3.5 million this year with incentives and bonuses. He made the Pro Bowl for the first time. Today he set four Seahawks single-season records, three of those Russell Wilsons and one from Matt Hasselbeck for passing. He takes the Seahawks that everyone thought would win five or fewer games to the playoffs, and he's about to make $25, $30 million a year in the open market.

It's an incredible story. And what the Seahawks now have to think about is, do we really need to draft a quarterback with that fifth overall pick we have from Denver? Maybe not. If they re-sign Smith, they can get the help on the defensive line to stop the run or offensive line pass protection that they need, or they can draft a quarterback and not have him start right away and sign Smith to a two- or three-year deal. The calculus Smith has really changed the calculus's team, but in the big-grained picture of all this, Amy, they went to the playoffs and had the fifth overall pick. That's been 20 years since the playoff team has picked that high in the draft.

Wow. Of the Tacoma News Tribune, Greg Bell with us after what was a dramatic day for the Seahawks. Really, it's been that way all season, one of the great stories and surprises of 2022. It's after hours, CBS Sports Radio. Also, Kenneth Walker, the rookie, running back over 1,000 yards, so he's become their bell cow.

I just have a couple minutes before we hit the hard-out and the computer cuts us off. So let's talk about the Niners. What stands out about the two games between Seattle and San Francisco this year?

Physically dominated. The Seahawks were physically dominated on both the offensive and defensive lines. San Francisco does that to a lot of teams, but especially Seattle. They ran for 170-plus yards in both meetings, and they are going to run right downhill like bowling balls. Kishon McCaffrey and everybody else is going to be coming right at Seattle.

They've got to figure that out. They have Kenneth Walker to try to offset that. They really need Walker to run offensively to keep the 49ers from field position and getting the ball back and having their running game run wild.

But that's why this is such a tall test. If you could pick, Amy, all the teams in pro football, the Seahawks don't match up well against them. They'd rather not play in the first round at San Francisco because of how they play, and that's the biggest weakness of Seattle, essentially stopping the run. But they do have at least some experience with Brock Purdy because they just faced him, what, like three weeks ago, four weeks ago? Correct, and Purdy was brilliant. He carved him up on third downs and in big red zone situations. He looked like a 5-10 year veteran. Really impressed Pete Carroll and the Seahawks defense. It wasn't all running for San Francisco that game when they clinched the NFC West title up here a few weeks ago.

Purdy was great. It was his first road win. This is the top 10 offense, the number one defense in the league. Ten straight wins. Welcome to the playoffs, Pete Carroll. Yeah, exactly. The 7th seed's not going to get any pushovers if Seattle doesn't have one.

The magic carpet ride. If Pete Carroll pulls this off and she just pulls this off sadder than Amy, that would be unbelievable. It would be. Alright, we got to let you go because we're at the top of the hour, but at G Bell Seattle covers the Seahawks for the News Tribune, Tacoma News Tribune. Greg Bell, you are a total cool guy to be able to hang out with us live. Thank you so much after a long day. Yeah, you're a cool guy for being up at 3 a.m. Enjoy your day. Thank you. I appreciate that. The show is sponsored by BetterHelp.

When you're at your best, you can do great things. Working with a therapist can help you get closer to the best version of yourself because when you feel empowered, you're more ready for life's challenges. BetterHelp is a great therapy option. It's flexible, affordable, entirely online, and it matches you with a licensed therapist. Let therapy help empower you. Visit betterhelp.com slash positive to get 10% off your first month. That's betterhelp.com slash positive. This show is sponsored by BetterHelp.

When you're at your best, you can do great things. Working with a therapist can help you get closer to the best version of yourself. Because when you feel empowered, you're more ready for life's challenges. BetterHelp is a great therapy option. It's flexible, affordable, entirely online, and it matches you with a licensed therapist. Let therapy help empower you. Visit betterhelp.com slash positive to get 10% off your first month. That's betterhelp.com slash positive.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-09 08:07:19 / 2023-01-09 08:12:27 / 5

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