Archive for December, 2010

To Win or Lose

Brett Bivens

Brett@NWPS12.com

The question has been asked many times by many people. “Do you want the Seahawks to win the game Sunday and go to the playoffs or lose and get and earlier draft pick?”. The Seattle Times had a poll and 53% of people said they wanted the Seahawks to lose.
Are you kidding me? How can you root for your team to lose? I understand the perceived talent is higher at 11 than it is at 21 and that could help you in the future but the fact remains that we have a chance to win the game and win the NFC Western division. Since 1976 the Seahawks have won 6 division titles. That boils down to 1 in about 5 and two-thirds season. The Seahawks get a first round draft pick every year.

Maybe we have been too spoiled lately to realize how special that is. In the last 6 years we have won it 4 times which means in the first 28 years of this franchise the Seahawks won a title once every 14 years.

There is no chance in hell I want to see our Seahawks fall to the Rams on Sunday Night Football in Qwest Field with the nation watching. It would kill me to sit in my seats and watch the Rams celebrate on our field, in our stadium, and in our city.

Getting to draft higher in the round is a consolation prize but I want to be champions damn it. Consolation prizes are for losers and I want to win now, win tomorrow and “Win Forever”! Go Seahawks!

Dustin Ackley

Mariners Top 10 Prospects

I have watched many videos and ready many reports and stats. After all of that I have put together my top 10 Mariners prospects for 2011. You can see other Mariners prospect lists on my blog at http://swinginginseattle.com/ If you have any questions feel free to ask me. If you also would like a more in depth scouting report on a certain player ask away.

10. Dan Cortes: 6’5” 205lb. Bats/Throws: Right/Right. Position: Pitcher. Age: 23. Relief Pitcher with a strong fastball and a good curveball to go with. Potential setup man or closer in the future for the Mariners.

9. Esteilon Peguero: 6’1” 185lb. Bats/Throws: Right/Right. Position: Shortstop. Age: 17. Signed not too long ago as one of the top International Prospects. Great swing with great bat speed. Good runner and is solid defensively. Great offensive potential but is still very far away.  

8. Johermyn Chavez: 6’3” 220lb. Bats/Throws: Right/Right. Position: RF. Age: 21. Great power potential with a great arm in the outfield. Strikes out way to many times.

7. James Jones: 6’4” 195lb. Bats/Throws: Left/Left. Position: RF. Age: 22. Great tools and high upside. Strong arm, speed, and decent power are all there. Still raw in regards to his swing which is improving.

6. Alex Liddi: 6’4” 215lb. Bats/Throws: Right/Right. Position: 3rd. Age: 22. Good level swing with decent power potential to all areas of the field. Has showed the ability to hit lots of runs in. Good pitch recognition. Struck out far too much last year.

5. Taijuan Walker: 6’4” 195lb. Bats/Throws: Right/Right. Position: Pitcher. Age: 18. Still very young and raw but has great potential. Plus arm with good secondary pitches. Needs to work on consistency. Great build and is very athletic. 

4. Guillermo Pimentel: 6’1” 180lb. Bats/Throws: Left/Left. Position: OF. Age: 18. PLUS power potential as he develops. Short swing with a great approach. Good pitch recognition for his age. Still far away/

3. Nick Franklin: 6’1” 185lb. Bats/Throws: Switch/Right. Position: SS. Age: 19. Breakout year last year. Not tools that really stood out but very solid skills across the board. Does not have any huge weaknesses. Hard worker with a great swing and approach.

2. Michael Pineda: 6’5” 180lb. Bats/Throws: Right/Right. Position: Pitcher. Age: 21. Great powerful fastball and locates it. Strikes out lots of batters. Secondary pitches don’t stand out. Changeup and slider are improving. Front Line rotation potential.

1. Dustin Ackley: 6’1” 190lb. Bats/Throws: Left/Right. Position: Second Base. Age: 22. Very advanced eye and discipline at the plate for his age. Very polished hitter that will hit for a great average. Decent power and speed. Needs to work on defense at second but it is improving. Very High Ceiling and high floor.

Honorable Mentions: Mauricio Robles, Marcus Littlewood, Kyle Seager, Rich Poythress, Josh Lueke.

Dustin Ackley

Seahawks at Buccaneers: Week 16 Gameday Preview

Seattle Seahawks (6-8, 3-2 T-1st in NFC West) at Tampa Bay (8-6, 2-3 3rd in NFC South)

Raymond James Stadium

Announcers: Thom Brennaman (Play-by-Play) and Brian Billick (Color Commentator) FOX

Last Meeting: Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks 24-7 last year in December.

Analysis:

Matt Hasselbeck was benched last week in the middle of the Seahawks 34-18 loss to the Falcons. Back-up QB Charlie Whitehurst came in and threw a touchdown, but don’t expect to see much of Whitehurst this week. The Seahawks need to still get a running game established to be successful. The Seahawks pass the ball 60% of the time allowing defenses to focus on the pass and easier for them to recognize the run. Mike Williams of the Seahawks has been the go-to-guy for Hasselbeck as Brandon Stokley doesn’t provide the deep threat. Look for Ben Obomanu to start getting involved in the deep threat as well. Otherwise defenses can just cover Williams on the deep balls. If the Seahawks can get going on the ground and that’s a big if then the Seahawks should be able to be consistent with the pass game, but if they have to rely solely on the passing game expect another long week.

Defensively the Seahawks are playing against a young quarterback in Josh Freeman. If the Seahawks can get pressure to him and make him scramble then the secondary may not have to worry as much. The Buccaneers have a young team with a lot of speed at the quarterback position so Aaron Curry could be getting his share of work in on the day applying pressure and keeping an eye on Freeman at the same time. The Seahawks need to force Freeman to throw and control the running game. Seattle could have success if they do that defensively, but offensively will need to put points on the board.

Connections:

-Seahawks LB and Special Teams player Matt McCoy left the Buccaneers after spending 2008-09 with them to join Seattle. He played in 17 games- starting two of them with 21 tackles and forced fumble during the two-years.

-Seahawks Offensive Coordinator Jeremy Bates worked his first job in the NFL with the Buccaneers (2002-04).

-Seahawks Defensive Coordinator Casey Bradley worked under a Monte Kiffin run defense from 2006-08.

-Seahawks Wide Receivers coach Kippy Brown coached the Buccaneers in 1995.

-Seahawks Offensive Line coach Art Valero coached the Bucs 2002-07.

-Buccaneers LB Niko Koutouvides entered the NFL with the Seahawks and played with them 2004-07. He missed only five games during that time and started two. Picking up over 100 tackles during that span and having a sack.

-Bucs DT Frank Okam didn’t appear in a game for the Seahawks, but was on the roster for a few weeks in 2010.

Seahawks News of the Week:

-Placed DL Junior Siavii and CB Roy Lewis on season-ending injured reserve.

-Activated LB Joe Pawelek and CB Marcus Brown off of the Practice Squad.

-Released OG Ben Hamilton.

History in the Making?:

-If Hasselbeck wins this game he will tie with former QB Dave Krieg for 70 all-time wins as Seahawks starting QB- a franchise record.

Inactives:

Seahawks

QB- JP Losman (3rd QB)

WR- Ruvell Martin

OT- Will Robinson

OT- Breno Giacomini

OG- Paul Fanaika

OG- Stacy Andrews

LB- Will Herring

CB- Marcus Brown

Tampa Bay

QB- Rudy Carpenter (3rd QB)

FB- Kregg Lumpkin

WR- Sammie Stroughter

TE- Nathan Overbay

OT- James Lee

DE- George Johnson

CB- DJ Johnson

S- Dominique Harris

rob johnson

Mariners Trade Rob Johnson

The Mariners have traded Catcher Rob Johnson to the Padres for cash considerations or a player to be named later. Johnson was designated for assignment on December 13th. The move was to clear space on the 40 man roster for Jack Cust. Johnson figured to be playing in Tacoma for the 2011 season with Moore and Olivo in the bigs. Seattle probably figured another team would show interest in Johnson and they could trade him.

 

The Mariners had a 10 day window to trade, release, or outright him to the minors. That opportunity was coming to an end in the upcoming days but obviously they were able to get a deal done.

Johnson hit .192 with Seattle so he certainly isn’t an offensive answer for the Padres. He had one of the worse OPS in Mariners franchise history. I figure that the Padres acquired him for some catching depth behind Nick Hundley.

It is unclear what the Mariners will be getting yet exactly. If it is indeed a player that they get than I assume it would be a AAA player or maybe a former prospect. I would love to see Everth Cabrera who has been very disappointing for the Padres thus far. He would provide us with infield depth and great speed off the bench. That might be asking too much but either way I doubt we will see a significant contributing player added. I’m not sure how much cash the Mariners would receive or when we will know the amount.

Week 15 Recap: Falcons v Seahawks

A game that started with what may have been the most impressive series the Seahawk offense has put together all season, ended amongst controversy.  The Seahawks offense came out to start the game by sustaining a 12 play, 80 yard drive that ate up 7:32 of clock on and resulted in a Marshawn Lynch touchdown.  The drive was balanced 7 runs (46 yards) to 5 passes (34 yards) and the offense appeared to be rolling with all its pieces back.
 
The defense at the same time came out stout against the run holding the Falcons to a 2.6 yards per carry on 37 attempts (98 total yards) and truly made the Falcons work for every point they put on the board.  However, the defense could not find away off the field on 3rd or 4th down.  Even when they appeared to come up with stops on two 4th and inches plays, the Seahawks’ did not get favorable spots.  The following defensive series for the Seahawks yielded 2 forced fumbles, but no recoveries.  In the first half the ‘Hawks defense allowed 17 pts on four defensive series. 
 
However none of the above is truly relevant in what happened yesterday at Qwest field.
 
For the second consecutive week Matt Hasselbeck has cost the Seahawks a game.  I don’t think there is anyway to get around it.  Another abysmal day for the Seahawks QB (10/17 71 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT and a rating of 28.9) lead being replaced by Charlie Whitehurst late in the 3rd quarter.  The Seahawks offense came back onto the field with 11:33 remaining in the 3rd quarter.  The next 9 minutes and 41 seconds ended the game, and started a legitimate QB controversy in Seattle.  It went like this:
 
-Hasselbeck strip sacked in the end zone, recovered by Falcons for a TD…24-10 Falcons
-Hasselbeck intercepted on 3rd & 12 returned to Seattle 37…Defense holds to only allowing a field goal….27-10 Falcons
-Hasselbeck intercepted on 1st & 10 returned to Seattle 27…3 plays later TD Roddy White…34-10 Falcons
 
The last Hasselbeck interception capped off a 4 game stretch in which Hasselbeck has been directly responsible for 13 turnovers (10 INTs, & 3 fumbles).  On the next series Charlie Whitehurst replaced Hasselbeck as the quarterback.
 
In 4 series Whitehurst racked up 81 yards, on 8-16 passing, and also rushed 3 times for 10 yards and 1 TD. 
 
Depending onyour personal point of view, it’s either amazing, or unfortunate that the Seahawks have a chance win the NFC West;
 
-Amazing that they could host a playoff game, and hang another NFC West Championship banner from the rafters at Qwest
-Unfortunate because being in the think of a division title does not allow the agility to evaluate unknown (mostly Charlie Whitehurst) potential as a possible option to start next season

The news late today out of Seahawks HQ was that Hasselbeck would be the starter this week in Tampa Bay as the Seahawks continue their quest for an NFC West title, but Whitehurst will be ready if Hasselbeck continues his late December slide.  The Seahawks have the opportunity to capture a division title, of which only 7 other teams will be crowned this season.  Each and every team enters training camp with goals; Win the division, Win the conference, Win the Super Bowl.  With the later two greatly out of reach for the Seahawks this year, the former is very much obtainable and could be quite a feat for a team in the middle of a complete rebuild. 

I wish everyone Happy Holidays, and look forward to more Seahawk football in 6 days!

Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks: Week 15 Gameday Preview

Atlanta Falcons (11-2, 4-0 1st in NFC South) at Seattle Seahawks (6-7, 3-2 T-1st in NFC West)

Qwest Field

Announcers: Sam Rosen (Play-by-Play) and Tim Ryan (Color Commentator) FOX

Last time they met: Dec. 30, 2007 Falcons led by Chris Redman defeated the Seahawks 44-41.

Analysis:

Matt Hasselbeck should have both Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu back this week along with Chester Pitts on the offensive line. Williams has been Hasselbeck’s go-to-guy throughout the season and since he’s been injured the past few weeks has been hurting the Seahawks offense. That could be a major upgrade for the offense as they take on the NFC hot Falcons this week. If Brandon Stokley plays with his injured hamstring the Seahawks receiving core could help the Seahawks offense this week, but the running game also has to be established. Despite having Marshawn Lynch they haven’t been able to get anything going on the ground and will play against the 13th best rush defense in the NFL.  Expect the Seahawks to pass as much as they can though as they host the 24th overall pass defense.

Defensively the Seahawks will have to apply pressure on the third-year Matt Ryan and hope that the crowd can get the former Boston College quarterback confused in the huddle. If Seattle can put pressure on Ryan and contain Roddy White then Ryan might have to make throws he doesn’t want to or even make plays he doesn’t want to. Overall the Falcons could test the Seahawks run defense despite having both Colin Cole and Brandon Mebane back they’re still missing Red Bryant whose proven just how much he meant to the Seahawks run defense. If the Seahawks can limit the Falcons run game and contain Ryan well enough then the Seahawks might have a chance if their passing game can get established and Williams can play the full game.

Advantages:

Quarterback- Atlanta

Matt Ryan has proven this year he can come from behind and get the win. Now will the loud noise change that for him?

Running Backs- Atlanta

Top 10 rush offense heads into Seattle against the 2nd worst rush offense should be a one-sided running game.

Receivers- Atlanta

Roddy White is leading all receivers in Receiving yards and will go against a Marcus Trufant that hasn’t been the same since his Pro Bowl season.

Tight Ends- Atlanta

Despite getting older and having 14-years in the NFL Tony Gonzalez is still a top tight end. John Carlson has seen limited participation in the Seahawks offense and Cameron Morrah and Chris Baker don’t provide as much as the Gonzalez.

Offensive Line- Atlanta

Is leading the eighth best rush offense in the NFL and the fourth best running back in the NFL right now.

Defensive Line- Seattle

They’re better against the run and Colin Cole is healthy which could work in Seattle’s favor.

Linebackers- Seatte

I still think Seattle has a top linebacker trio and are better with David Hawthorne than Leroy Hill. Aaron Curry should blitz Ryan as much as he can.

Secondary- Atlanta

The Falcons defense is better against the pass than the rush and the Seahawks secondary will have their hands full with White.

Connections:

-Seahawks S Lawyer Milloy spent three-seasons (2006-08) with the Falcons missing only one game during that span. His best season was 2006 in which he had 98 tackles- two of them for sacks.

-Falcons Assistant Head Coach/Secondary coach Tim Lewis spent the 2009 season with the Seahawks as their Secondary Coach.

Brotherly Love:

-Seahawks DB Jordan Baineaux and Falcons DT Jonathan Babineaux are brothers.

Seahawks news of the week:

-Placed WR Deon Butler on the IR after he sustained a broken right leg on a touchdown reception in last weeks loss to the 49ers.

-They also signed OL Paul Fanaika off of the Cleveland Browns practice squad.

Records:

-If Hasselbeck wins he will tie Dave Krieg with 70 wins which is the most as a Seahawk starting quarterback.

Inactives:

Seattle

QB- JP Losman (3rd QB)

T- Stacy Andrews

T- Breno Giacomini

T- Will Robinson

G- Paul Fanaika

DT- Amon Gordon

DE- Jay Richardson

CB- Walter Thurmond

Atlanta

QB- John Parker Wilson (3rd QB)

RB- Antone Smith

T- Garrett Reynolds

G- Mike Johnson

DT- Trey Lewis

LB- Spencer Adkins

CB- Dominique Franks

Week 14 Recap

In their first meaningful December football game since 2007 the Seahawks had a golden opportunity to make the NFC West a two horse race with 3 games remaining.  The opportunity seemed to slip away before it even started.  Both Mike Williams, and Ben Obomanu were in street clothes watching the game from the sidelines, but I am not sure they would have helped on this forgettable Sunday.
 
When you are starting one WR who 2 weeks ago had more drops than catches (Deon Butler), and the other who has been cut more times by the Seahawks than he had catches on the season (Ruvell Martin) the margin for error is slim.  Matt Hasselbeck had one of his worst games as a Seahawk accounting for all 5 turnovers (4 INTs, and 1 fumble lost).  Pete Carroll has repeatedly preached that the job of his quarterback is to take care of the football, and distribute to the skill players.  He is not the focal point of the offense; he is the point guard.  Hasselbeck seemed to be trying to do too much with his top offensive weapons on the sidelines.  3 of the 4 INTs were forced, and totally inexcusable throws, and one could argue the 4th should have been thrown more accurately to Mike Robinson.
 
The defense got Colin Cole back in the middle, and seemed to help stabilize the run defense a little.  The 49ers longest run went on a broken play that Anthony Dixon cut back across the field for 34 yards.  Take that play away and the 49ers only rushed for 61 yds on 26 carries (2.35 yd/carry).  The story of the defense wasn’t up front though, it was the awful display of tackling in the secondary.  The Seahawks gave up 2 TDs on 3rd down in the 2nd quarter, both direct results poor tackling.
 
On the first Alex Smith hit Josh Morgan at the 6 yd line, short of a 1st down and the end zone, but Marcus Trufant whiffed on a tackle and Morgan stepped into the end zone.  That made the score 20-7.  On the next play that showed awful tackling the Seahawks brought pressure on a 3rd and 4 from the SF 38.  The 49ers had the perfect play called against the pressure to dump the ball to Brian Westbrook open in the middle of the field.  Earl Thomas came up and hung off Westbrook with 2 hands, but could not get him to the ground.  Westbrook broke free and took it to the house for a 27-7 lead, and put the game out of reach.
 
In the 1st half the Seahawks gave up 196 yards on 6 plays, 3 of those came on 3rd down, and 2 resulted in TDs.  The entire 49ers offense accounted for 336 yards of total offense.  The remaining 48 plays the 49ers ran on Sunday accounted for 140 yards of offense.
 
Its hard to find good news from such an absolute dreadful performance.  However, the Rams lost and the Seahawks at 6-7 are tied atop the NFC West for another week.  With 3 games to go it is anybody’s guess as to what Seahawks team will show up, and how this division will unfold.  For another week December football means something to the Seahawks, and the 12th man.

Seahawks, Bucs game flexed

The Seahawks will take on Tampa Bay at 4:15 instead of the original 1PM Kick-off time.

The switch should benefit the Seahawks more than a 1PM start given the time difference and distance they will travel to Tampa Bay, Florida. The Vikings/Eagle game will be the Sunday Night game and Chargers/Bengals game also got flexed to 4:05 PM.

The Seahawks will need to defeat the Buccaneers to stay in the hunt for the West title as the next week they host St. Louis in a game that could decide the winner of the West.