Seahawks Coach: A.J. Hawk "Doesn't Have It Anymore"

Former Packers assistant and current Seahawks offensive line coach Pat Ruel thinks Hawk has come to the end of the road.

PHOENIX—If there was any lingering doubt that A.J. Hawk could play another season for the Green Bay Packers, surviving on his own smarts and guile—and that's not to say any such doubt existed—Seattle Seahawks offensive line coach Pat Ruel probably put that suspicion to rest.

A former Packers assistant under Mike Sherman in 2001 and 2002, Ruel brought up the topic of Hawk unprovoked at Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday.

As the Seahawks offensive line coach, I had asked Ruel about facing Julius Peppers and Mike Daniels, guys he was pretty familiar with, having just prepared for and faced in the NFC Championship game.

"The guy you probably should ask me about is A.J. Hawk," said Ruel.

I was in mild disbelief.

You can hear me raise my voice, "Okay." It wasn't my intention to throw Hawk under the bus, or bring him up at all for that matter, but if Ruel wanted to do so, the soap box was his.

Audio (1:25 total):

"A.J., he doesn't have it anymore," said Ruel. "I hate to say it. He's very instinctive, but we could see it a lot of times in the game. He didn't have enough speed to get there anymore. He's a guy that probably had a great career, and I would say he's pretty close to the end of it."

Neither Ruel, nor Seahawks offensive lineman Garry Gilliam, who scored the touchdown on the Seahawks fake field goal, said Seatte didn't specifically target Hawk because of his lack of speed, however. This time, I did ask specifically about Hawk.

The play call had more to do with Brad Jones, which had been pointed out in the post-game article by Robert Klemko at Sports Illustrated's MMQB.com.

"It was just a matter of where they were rushing from, and we knew that they rushed pretty hard from a certain area," said Gilliam. "We just knew where they were rushing from; we had the opportunity for a fake, and that's what it was."

Gilliam would say that Hawk made the wrong decision, however, abandoning his coverage responsibilities to take off after holder Jon Ryan, who threw the pass.

"I think so, because I scored," said Gilliam. "So he made the right decision in my favor."

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Comments (15)

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Evan's picture

January 27, 2015 at 07:14 pm

Very odd to hear a coach speak so candidly, especially about an opposing player.

He ain't wrong, though.

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jmac34's picture

January 27, 2015 at 07:56 pm

I think the better question is, did Aj Hawk ever have it?

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mrtundra's picture

January 28, 2015 at 09:34 am

Yes. When he played for OSU.

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Imma Fubared's picture

January 27, 2015 at 08:00 pm

Hawk does a lot of charity woork and is a fine guy! I would like to see him hang it up versus being shown the door! There was a tremendous change in run d once they finally saw the light and put in Barrington! Just like it took how many years to figure the obvious, put Mathews in the middle and use his speed!

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mrtundra's picture

January 28, 2015 at 09:37 am

You hit it on the head, DannyDS! Hawk could replace Greenway in their LB corps. LOL!

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KenEllis's picture

January 27, 2015 at 08:36 pm

Hawk was a really, really bad NFL player this year.

He was never a good player.

If he is on the team next year, instead of being cut and opening up $3,500,000 to spend on deserving players, there ought to be an investigation.

Very embarrassing for the organization.

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badaxed's picture

February 05, 2015 at 06:54 pm

If hawk is brought back then maybe there is chance to bring back Johnny Gray. A better hitter and more than likely faster still than hawk is today.

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zoellner25's picture

January 27, 2015 at 09:22 pm

Tape don't lie.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 27, 2015 at 10:34 pm

I've read that Thompson would rather get rid of a guy a year too early than a year too late. If that's true, he blew it with Hawk.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 28, 2015 at 09:48 am

No we let Woodson go instead. What a difference that would have made.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 28, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Funny you should mention Woodson. His name ran through my head as I was typing that up.

I completely agree that he could have made a huge difference if they had just asked him to accept a pay cut and move to Safety full-time, instead of just letting him go.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 29, 2015 at 05:51 am

According to Woodson, he was open to a pay cut and was never offered one.

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murphy's picture

January 28, 2015 at 01:21 pm

I think Thompson let Woodson move on at the right time. He just failed to provide a replacement for Nick Collins until 2014. If Safety would have been properly addressed in 2013 (maybe if the 49ers hadn't snatched up Eric Reid?) we wouldn't have missed Woodson nearly as much. Instead, we got Datone Jones at #26 and a rotation of JAGs next to Burnett.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 29, 2015 at 07:51 am

Murphy,

Woodson could have been the guy that properly addressed replacing Collins until a younger player was acquired and developed. I haven't watched him in Oakland. I have no idea if he's just there because they are so bad. But I wanted him brought back to play Safety when he first made the move back to Oakland because based on what I saw the year before, he was losing a lot as a CB but had plenty left to contribute a productive year at Safety.

I don't wish to make a big deal of it. It's in the past and the Packers have a solid group at Safety now with Burnett and Clinton-Dix backed up by Richardson and Hyde. It's just an interesting contrast between what they did with Woodson and with Hawk. And it had nothing to do with Hawk "getting guys lined up" or being a great locker room guy. There were few better at that than Charles Woodson in recent Packer history. The only explanation is that they simply never saw it coming with Hawk, IMO. I just hope they see it now.

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Allan Murphy's picture

January 28, 2015 at 11:54 am

Say that next year when you come too our house ?

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