Posts tagged Matt Hasselbeck

Who is the Best Seahawks Team?

Greatest Seahawks team

 

By Carl Hoglin

 

The 2013 Seahawks team has managed a franchise best record at 9-1, but are they the best Seahawks team?

The Seahawks have been to one Super Bowl, and they are the only team in the NFL to attend both the AFC and NFC Championship games.

Lately the question has been that, “Are we witnessing the greatest Seahawks team?”

Statistically we can compare two different teams and make our own judgement.  But let’s throw a little wrench into this, and compare three different teams.

As mentioned before, the Seahawks are the only team to have attended both AFC and NFC championship games.  The 2005 Seahawks as we all know went to the Super Bowl.  The 1983 Seahawks team managed to get to the AFC Championship game.  Therefore both of these teams are viable in contrast as the Greatest Seahawks team.  Comparing these three teams should be a lot of fun!  All of these stats will be compared through the first ten games of the season regardless of the bye week.  The 1983 team didn’t have a bye week, and the 2005 Seahawks had their bye week in week 8.  The current team the bye week is week 12.

                                 2013                                       2005                                         1983

Total Record               9-1                                           8-2                                            6-4

(Home Wins)               4-0                                           5-0                                            3-2

(Away Wins)                5-1                                           3-2                                            3-2

Points For                   265                                           272                                           246

Points Against             159                                           187                                           225

Total Offense            3,620                                        3,892                                        3,071

Total Defense            2,890                                        3,158                                        3,744

Total Sacks                  30                                              34                                            27

Interceptions               13                                                9                                             20

 

Surprised at how close they are?  It’s actually very interesting data.

There really isn’t a clear cut greatest team off these statistics.  Three different teams, three different coaches, not a single player that played on two of these teams.  We can delve deeper into the depths of these statistics and get a little bit more personal.  If all of these stats are fairly close, we can break down a few key positions to see if there is any big difference.

Quarterbacks

  •   Russell Wilson                      163/257(63%)     2,132 yards    17 TD 6 INT
  •   Matt Hasselbeck                   200/316(63%)     2,357 yards    12 TD 7 INT
  •   Jim Zorn*                              103/205(50%)     1,166 yards     7 TD 7 INT

*These comparisons were through the first ten games of the season.  However Jim Zorn only started 8 games in the 1983 season.

Running Backs

  • Marshawn Lynch                    191 carries          871 yards          7 TD
  • Shaun Alexander                   232  carries         1229 yards       19 TD
  • Curt Warner                          198 carries          889 yards          8 TD

Wide Receivers

  • Golden Tate                           41 catches           574 yards          4 TD
  • Joe Jurevicius**                      36 catches           421 yards          5 TD
  • Steve Largent                         38 catches           547 yards          6 TD

** Jurevicius was chosen because Darrell Jackson only played 6 games that year and didn’t meet the minimum requirement of 10 games.

While the argument can be made that the current team we are watching is the greatest Seahawks team ever,

Bruce Irvin, the look says it all.  Photo by Brett Bivens

Bruce Irvin, the look says it all. Photo by Brett Bivens

the stats are really similar to the other two great Seahawks teams.  Each team has its strengths and weaknesses.  Chuck Knox, Mike Holmgren, and Pete Carroll all have run  unique football teams that had great players in key positions.

Maybe it is too early to compare these three great teams to decide which one is the greatest.

At the end of the season we can again look at these stats and re-visit the argument as to which Seahawks team should be crowned the greatest Seahawks team?

Seahawks QB comparisons: Wilson vs. Hasselbeck vs. Jackson

From Hasselbeck to Jackson, now Wilson

After the Seattle Seahawks signed Matt Flynn this off season, one of my readers (Todd) asked me if I would compare Flynn’s first 8 games as a starter to that of Matt Hasselbeck’s and Tarvaris Jackson’s.  He wanted to see how the new quarterback stacked up to those two, since they were the most recent Seahawksstarters.

I agreed to write it if he would remind me after the 8th game of the season.

After Russell Wilson was named the starter, Todd asked me if I would be willing to write the piece on Russell Wilson, instead of Flynn.

All three quarterbacks became starters in vastly different ways.  Matt Hasselbeck spent his first two seasons backing up future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre before being acquired by Seattle, via trade.  Matt was named the starting quarterback of the 2001 Seattle Seahawks.

Tarvaris Jackson started for the first time on week 16, the Vikings 15th game of the season,  after spending most of the season backing up Brad Johnson.

Russell Wilson was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft by the Seattle Seahawks.  Most people, including myself, expected Wilson to spend his first season backing up Matt Flynn, unless Flynn fell flat on his face, or was injured.

Instead, Wilson won the job in training camp. Flynn didn’t lose it. RW did enough to impress Pete Carrolland beat out Flynn to become the starter at the beginning of the season.

Start 1

Matt beat the 10th best passing defense, Tarvaris lost to the leagues 17th ranked passing defense, and Russell lost to the leagues 4th best passing defense.

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft

Jackson had the roughest outing, managing only 50 yard on 20 pass attempts.  Ironically, Hasselbeck and Wilson each had 34 attempts in their 1st game.  Matt had two more completions for 15 more yards but unlike Russell, he was unable to find the end zone.

Wilson>Hasselbeck>Jackson

Start 2

All three quarterbacks faced top 10 defenses in their second start.  Russell Wilson was the only one of the three who was victorious.

Jackson’s 213-yards were the only time he surpassed the 200-yards mark during his first 8 starts.

It was Matt Hasselbeck’s worst game in his first 8 starts.

Russell Wilson didn’t do anything spectacular.  He just played extremely efficient football, completing 75% of his passes and ending up with a 112.7 passer rating.

Wilson>Jackson>Hasselbeck

Start 3

For the third straight week Matt Hasselbeck faced a top 10 passing defense, but Jackson and Wilson got a bit of a break.  Tarvaris faced the 23rd ranked Falcons while Russell faced the 19th ranked Packers.

Hasselbeck was the only quarterback to lose his third start, but he did throw for the most yards.  Matt injured his groin during the game and was replaced by Trent Dilfer for the next 2 games.

More. . . 

Seahawks player grades vs Titans: Defensive backs

Seahawks defensive back player grades

 

 

Brandon Bowner #39

After making the pro bowl last season, Brandon Browner wasted no time proving he hadn’t been resting on his laurels during the off season. On the first play from scrimmage Brandon intercepted Matt Hasselbeck’s first pass in CenturyLink Field as a member of an opposing team and took it to the house. It wasn’t Matt’s fault, but Browner made an outstanding play by staying with the action through the whistle. It appeared the pass was going to be incomplete, but it bounced off Earl Thomas‘ arm and Brandon grabbed it.  Being a big physical corner allows him to play the run well and Saturday was no exception.

the grade: A-

 

Earl Thomas #29

Earl Thomas is ready for some action Saturday. Photo by Brett Bivens

Earl Thomas seems to be playing at a different level this year. I think he is starting to understand the game better than he has in the past. Instead of relying solely on his physical talents to run around and make plays he’s using his head more. That’s a scary thought for opposing offenses. This could be the year that Earl breaks away from being a talented young safety and becomes a dominant force, like Troy Polamalu. In the first preseason game I noticed Earl playing the run extremely well. I couldn’t have asked for much more out of him.

the grade: b+

 

Jeremy Lane tackle the Titans tight end. Needs to keep his head up or a better player will hurdle him. Photo by Brett Bivens

Jeremy Lane #1

The good:

Jeremy Lane is a big physical corner, the kind of kid that Pete Carroll likes to see play the position. He was playing the run very well and was one of the best tacklers on the team Saturday. Late in the game Jeremy stripped the ball that could have ended the game but unfortunately it was recovered by the offense

the bad:

On the play where Jeremy stripped the ball he didn’t stick with it. Unlike when Heath Farwell punched the ball out earlier in the game, Heath’s eyes never left the ball and Farwell was able to recover the fumble. Jeremy Lane seemed content with stripping the ball. He hesitated, for just a moment, before going after it. In the NFL if you hesitate at all in the NFL you miss out and he learned that lesson the hard way…I hope. Jeremy needs to work on his timing a little bit and avoid pass interference penalties. Now for a little rant, I cannot stand to see players who don’t either kick the ball or throw it who don’t wear a single digit number.

the grade: B

 

Kam Chancellor #31

Kam Chancellor did not see much action against the Titans but he did have a big hit on Chris Johnson. The play was a run up the middle and I’m sure Chris was feeling that hit most of the week.

the grade: C+

 

DeShawn Shead #5

DeShawn Shead, an undrafted free agent out of Portland State, was not tested in the passing game but he did have an opportunity to show that he can play the run very well.

The grade: C+

 

Coye Francies looked good returning a kickoff on Saturday. Photo by Brett Bivens

Coye Francies #37

the good:

Coye Francies looked very solid in coverage against the Titans. When he kept the receiver from going out of bounds and stopping the clock he also demonstrated awareness of the situation late in the game.

The bad:

Tackling is an area that he needs to improve on if he want to stay in the NFL.

the grade: C+

 

Richard Sherman #25, Chris Maragos #42, Marcus Trufant #23, Jeron Johnson #32 and Byron Maxwell #41

all received C grades.

 

Winston Guy #27

The good:

Winston Guy showed some awareness recognizing the draw play.

the bad:

Winston looked lazy out there to me. I did not see him finishing plays but I did see him half heartedly try to tackle and miss it. If he doesn’t want to be the NFL bad enough there are other players that can replace him who do.

the grade: C-

 

Phillip Adams #35

the good:

It was tough to find something Phillip Adams did well, but on one play I saw him take on a blocker and still tackle the running back.

the bad:

Most of the time when Phillip was in position to tackle he missed it, having 2 missed tackles in the game. On the long touchdown run he was in position to make a play or force the running back inside to help. Instead, he spun himself out of bounds and completely took himself out of the play. If it were up to me, I would have already cut him and brought someone else in.

the grade: F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seahawks player grades vs Titans: Defensive line

Seahawks defensive line grades

 

This is part two of the Seahawks player grades from the Titans game. If you missed the quarterbacks they can be found here.

Jason Jones tackle Chris Johnson for a loss. Photo by Brett Bivens

Jason Jones #90

The Good:

As advertised, Jason Jones was able to create pressure from the inside on Saturday. Jason showed off a wicked swim move that forced the Titans to double team him. I was surprised by his ability to get off blocks in the running game. He uses his strong hands to grab blockers and throw them off balance. Early in the game Jason locked up with a guard and pulled the guard towards him and off balance allowing  Jones to run Chris Johnson down from behind and pick up a tackle for a loss.

The Bad:

On one play Jones was pushed 5 yards down the field and out of a running play completely. Jason needs to do a better job of holding his ground.

The Grade: B+

 

Brandon Mebane #92

Honestly Brandon Mebane looked really good out there on Saturday, if he had played more snaps I would have been more apt to give him a higher grade. While he was in the Titans were double teaming him to keep him from disrupting the plays and he was still able to pursue them from behind as he shed blockers. Brandon looks like he’s in mid season form already, though his conditioning isn’t there yet.

The Grade: B

 

Greg Scruggs #98

The Good:

Greg Scruggs played the running game extremely well using his long arms to keep the blocker from setting solid blocks and then shedding the blockers. This is the technique he used to make a stop at the opponents 1 yards line as well as record a tackle for a loss.

The Bad:

I am not sure what was going on but on one snap him and Pep Levingston were talking while the ball was snapped and everyone began the play while those two just stood in their stance oblivious.

The Grade: B-

 

Jaye Howard #94

The Good:

The Seahawks 5th round looked pretty good on Saturday. On the third down play that was stopped at the Titans 1 yard line it was a combination tackle between Greg Scruggs and Jaye Howard as both players fought off blockers to make the big play. Jaye showed some ability to create pressure from the interior of the line as well as the power to collapse the pocket.

The Bad:

Jaye Howard lost his balance and was pancaked.

The Grade: B-

 

Red Bryant #79

Red Bryant is introduced to the 12th man for the first time in the new Nike uniforms. Photo by Brett Bivens

The Good:

Who would have thought that Red Bryant’s biggest contribution on Saturday would be against the pass? Yet it was. Red tipped an early screen pass causing it to fall short of the intended target and later dropped back into coverage while staying with the tight end step for step in the flat. The run game is Red’s forte and he was able to stretch the game outside keeping the running back from cutting upfield.

The Bad:

Red Bryant was unable to get any kind of a pass rush which isn’t odd for him but what was odd was watching him get blown up and pushed out of a running lane by a full back.

The Grade: C+

 

Bruce Irvin trying to rush Jake Locker. Photo by Brett bivens

Bruce Irvin #51

The Good:

When it comes to evading blockers Bruce Irvin does it well. Bruce showed he has an ability to stunt inside and find a gap to get a clean run at the quarterback as well as the ability to set up blocker and then change directions. In the running game he can fit through small lanes and he was able to record a tackle for a loss.

The Bad:

Once a tackle gets his hands on Bruce he’s done. The Seahawks coaching staff is going to have to work with him on that if he’s going to be successful at this level.

The Grade: C+

 

Several Players received a C and just like last year I am not going to break C’s down unless there is a specific player someone wants broken down.

 

Chris Clemons getting some pressure on Matt Hasselbeck during an interception. Photo by Brett Bivens

Chris Clemons #91

THE GOOD:

Chris Clemons made a nice swim move inside on the first defensive snap getting in the face of Matt Hasselbeck right as he released the ball.

The Bad:

After that play Clemons was unable to do anything positive. Chris lost outside contain on one play and was being consumed by the tackle while trying to rush the passer.

THE GRADE: C-

 

Dexter Davis #58

Dexter Davis getting a little pressure a little too late on Jake locker. Photo by Brett Bivens

The GOOD:

Dexter Davis needs to get pressure from the edge if he wants to stay a member of Seahawks. He was able to get minimal pressure in both the running and passing game on Saturday.

THe Bad:

He struggled mightily in special teams coverage and an end of the roster player like him will have to contribute on special teams if he is going to suit up. Dexter Davis struggled even more than Bruce Irvin did when blockers were able to get their hands on him and he was fooled by misdirection plays.

Pierre Allen #95

The Good:

Pierre Allen was able to get some push at the point of attack.

The Bad:

Having a hand in 2 touchdowns scored against your team is not a way to make a positive impression but that is exactly what Allen did on Saturday. Pierre was pushed out of the way by the left tackle, opening a huge hole, on a rushing touchdown and he was out of position on the punt return for a touchdown.

THE GRADE: D-

Seahawks photo blog: Return of the quarterbacks

Titans at Seahawks photo blog

The 12th Man was on hand to welcome back Matt Hasselbeck. Photo by Brett Bivens

Matt of the past and Matt of the present have a conversation. My guess is they were talking about how much better they like living in Seattle than they did Green Bay. Photo by Brett Bivens

Richard Sherman and Terrell Owens go head to head during pre-game. Photo by Brett Bivens

Golden Tate checking out Terrell Owens? Was he smuggling maple bars on the field? Photo by Brett Bivens

Terrell Owens takes a moment to sign some autographs for fans before leaving the field after warming up. Photo by Brett Bivens

Richard Sherman was ready to go during pre-game introductions. Photo by Brett Bivens

Matt Hasselbeck’s first snap as a Titan at CenturyLink field. Photo by Brett Bivens

Jason Jones drags Chris Johnson down behind the line of scrimmage. Photo by Brett Bivens

The Matt Flynn era has begun. Photo by Brett Bivens

Seahawks rookie Bobby Wagner drags down Chris Johnson behind the line of scrimmage. Photo by Brett Bivens

Breno Giacomini takes on the Titans defense by himself. Photo by Brett Bivens

Jake Locker can’t believe he’s watching Chris Johnson drop a perfectly placed ball. Johnson blamed the ball and asked for more money after the game. Photo by Brett Bivens

Seahawks 1st round pick Bruce Irvin trying to get to former University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker. Unfortunately he was unsuccessful. Photo by Brett Bivens

Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson avoids pressure and delivers a strike to his intended target. The kid looked pretty good Saturday. Photo by Brett Bivens

These guys were busy Saturday with the Seahawks scoring 27 points against the Titans. Photo by Brett bivens

Braylon Edwards makes a man miss to pick of some YAC yards. Photo by Brett Bivens

Seahawks rookie tight end Sean McGrath making the most of his opportunities on Saturday versus Titans. Photo by Brett Bivens

Seahawks 7th round pick Greg Scruggs and Pierre Allen converge to sack Titans quarterback Rusty Smith. Photo by Brett Bivens

Seahawks defense converging to keep the Titans from running out of their own endzone. Photo by Brett Bivens

Seahawks rookie linebacker Kyle Knox makes a nice tackle on Titans rookie DJ Wood. Photo by Brett Bivens

Seahawks 5th round pick Korey Toomer picks up a quarterback hit. Photo by Brett Bivens

Seahawks linebackers Heath Farwell and Kyle Knox converge to strip the ball for a fourth quarter turnover. Photo by Brett Bivens

Charly Martin blocked Titans rookie Coty Sensabaugh for ten yards leading the way for Russell Wilson’s touchdown run that put the nail in the coffin in the Seahawks 27-17 win over the Titans in the preseason opener. Photo by Brett Bivens

Curry demoted, Wright to start

NFL scouts say you can’t judge a draft pick until at least three-years later.

Aaron Curry in the 2010 Home Playoff win against the Saints. Photo By Brett Bivens

In 2009 Aaron Curry was selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the fourth-overall pick- right before Mark Sanchez’s selection.

At the time of the pick Seattle still had Matt Hasselbeck as quarterback, Jim Mora Jr. as coach and the best offensive lineman had already been selected by the St. Louis Rams in Jason Smith. It was an ideal pick for the Seahawks in selecting the linebacker out of Wake Forest College.

At the time of the selection scouts regarded him as the most highly regarded product in the entire draft, but as we’ve seen in the NFL before scouts tend to be wrong sometimes.

In August, Seattle restructured his rookie deal meaning that Curry could be let go as early as the 2012 season.

Through his first two-full years as a Seahawk, Curry has played in 30 games- starting 28 of them and having 145 tackles, while only 5.5 sacks. He hasn’t lived up to the expectations he carried with him out of Wake Forest and has proved to be a question mark in the selection of Curry in 2009.

It’s hard to go back and think “what could have happened?” had Seattle selected a guy like Mark Sanchez or even BJ Raji, but his selection isn’t the sexy pick for the Seahawks.

Sanchez has blossomed into an elite quarterback, while Raji has a Super Bowl ring and is a threat on the defensive front, but Curry has yet to live up to the threat he was supposed to bring to the field for Seattle.

It come as no surprise that Pete Carroll has named rookie KJ Wright starter for the upcoming match-up between Arizona, benching Curry.

Through two games for Wright he has seven tackles, but has shown signs of a future. Curry’s clock is quickly approaching the three-year judge period and Seattle could see how Wright handles the chance.

Once the season is done Curry could be let go or even be traded before the Week 6 trade deadline. If Curry gets traded it will be Wright’s job, but if not its Wright’s to lose.

The demotion is another sign towards Pete Carroll’s tendency to do whatever it takes to get competition going. Maybe Curry’s demotion is nothing more than an attempt to bring the best of Curry’s game out, or maybe it’s more than that.

Time will tell which is the latter part, but hopefully it’s not a long three-year wait that most scouts say is the ideal time of judging a player.

Football Is Finally Here

Image designed and provided by Ryan Gray

Several months ago there was no certainty that we would be playing this or any other game in 2011. The safer bet was that the owners and players would figure something out and make sure the season wasn’t lost. Now here we are today knowing that this game will in fact take place along with every other game for the next ten years.

As soon as an agreement was reached things got pretty crazy, well actually the first day teams were allowed to contact players was pretty slow but after that it picked up and was crazy for the next several days. Teams had very little time to prepare for this game and play will most likely be more sloppy then we are used to.

The Seahawks have completely revamped the offense that ranked 28th in the NFL last season.

During the offseason they added Tom Cable as the new offensive line/assistant head coach. They used the draft to add RT James Carpenter and RG John Miffitt both of whom are know for being aggressive offensive lineman who excel in run blocking and have a streak of nasty in them and picked up LG Robert Gallery (who played for Cable in Oakland) in free agency. Words I have heard used to describe him: Aggressive, mean, nasty, tough. Landing Gallery was a big move in free agency because he is able to add some experience to a very young line. The other four guys have a combine 27 games in the NFL and most of those are from Max Unger playing RG not his current position at Center. These moves were made to improve the leagues 31st ranked rushing offense.

Pete Carroll and John Schneider weren’t happy just changing the running game they knew much more needed to be fix. They fired Offensive Coordinator Jeremy Bates and hired former Vikings OC Darrell Bevell to replace him. After the lockout the front office decided to part ways with FA Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and sign former Viking QB Tarvaris Jackson. Those were not the only things Seattle would take from the Vikings because a few days later the Seahawks Signed former Vikings Pro Bowl Receiver Sidney Rice. Adding one Pro Bowl caliber Receiver in his prime can really bolster a teams but how about adding a Pro Bowl Tight End to the mix? Thats what they did when they signed Raiders Free Agent TE Zach Miller. These moves should improve the leagues 19th ranked passing offense.

The majority of the starting players on Defense will be familiar faces from a year ago. Some have changed positions like Brandon Mebane and Davide Hawthorne and some will be new to the starting lineup like Kam Chancellor and possible Walt Thurmond if he can beat out Kelly Jennings for CB#2.

Here is a Guide of Rookies and additions to the team

Offense                                                                                 Defense

#75 RT James Carpenter (1st team)   Rookie                   #99 DT Alan Branch (1st team)

#74 RG John Moffitt (1st team)  Rookie                          #65 DE Jimmy Wilkerson (2nd team)

#72 LG Robert Gallery (1st team)                                     #53 OLB Malcolm Smith (2nd team) Rookie

#86 TE Zach Miller (1st team)                                            #50 KJ Wright (2nd team) Rookie

#18 WR Sidney Rice (1st team)                                         #25 CB Richard Sherman (2nd team) Rookie

#7   QB Tarvaris Jackson (1st team)                                  #37 CB Brandon Browner (2nd team)

#67 LG Paul McQuistan (2nd team)                                  #30 FS Mark Legree (2nd team) Rookie

#68 RT Breno Giacomini (2nd team)                                 #97 DT Ryan Sims (2nd team)

#48 FB Ryan Travis (2nd team) Rookie                             #69 DT Jay Alford (3rd team)

#84 WR Kris Durham (3rd team) Rookie                          #96 DE Pierre Allen (3rd team) Rookie

#62 C  Brent Osborne (3rd team) Rookie                         #42 OLB Neal Howey (3rd team) Rookie

#77 RG Zach Hurd (3rd team) Rookie                               #55 OLB Mike Morgan (3rd team) Rookie

#69 RT Caz Piurowski (3rd team)                                      #35 SS Jeron Johnson (3rd team) Rookie

#15 WR Doug Baldwin (3rd team) Rookie                       #38 FS Ricky Thenarse (3rd team) Rookie

#13 QB Josh Portis (3rd team) Rookie                             #41 CB Byron Maxwell Rookie

#43 Dorson Boyce (3rd team) Rookie                              #93 DE Lazerius Levingston Rookie

#2  Ricardo Lockette Rookie                                               #44 Jesse Hoffman Rookie

#40 RB Chase Reynolds Rookie

 

What I’m watching for in this game

I want to see power out of the O-line in the running game. I don’t need to see perfection just ability.

Tarvaris Jackson and Max Unger making clean exchanges.

Tarvaris Making good decisions and keeping the ball down.

Seeing what Josh Portis looks like in action.

Seeing if Ricardo Lockette can really use that speed to stretch the field how he uses the speed in Special Teams duties.

To see what Alan Branch and Brandon Mebane can do in the middle of the D-line

Improvement in young DB’s Thomas, Chancellor, and Thurmond

 

Position Battles

WR

DE

LB

CB

K

 

 

Seattle Fans And Love Affairs

We have all seen it. Most of us have felt it. But why is it?
The Seattle sports fan has a knack for falling in love with players and then overvaluing them. Im not going to go back very far but Lets look at a couple.
Darrell Jackson, he had a pretty good career in Seattle and gained the support of fans. To us he was a great receiver and when he was sent to the division rival 49ers it For a 4th rd pick the team used to draft Mansfield Wrotto fans were unhappy and thought it would come back to bite us. The truth was that his career had been over for two years before he was traded. After being leaving Seattle he had 58 reception and 4 TD’s and only one of the years was spent with the 49ers.
Next case in point Shaun Alexander. I cannot begin to tell you how many disagreements I had about giving him that fat new contract he was seeking however I understood where everyone was coming from. The guy had just been MVP of the league and on the cover of Madden. These are things that just don’t happen in Seattle and are the reason (I believe) that former GM Tim Ruskell gave him his big contract. After signing that deal he was not the same there were injuries and the loss of Steve Hutchinson, Robbie Tobeck and Chris Gray. The fans were still enamored with the broken down running back they thought he was finally healthy and would set the world on fire and even to this day there are a large group who believe he should have his number retired and be in the Hall of Fame. The truth was the regardless of the other factors he had lost a step and defenders could close in and touch him (which was all it took to tackle him). After he left Seattle he had 11 rushes and one reception after sitting in Free Agency for a long while. He was then released by Washington never to be signed by a team again.
Currently there are two such former Seahawks out there.
Matt Hasslebeck is one of those. Don’t get me wrong he has done a lot for the Seahawks and deserves to be in the ring of honor but he does not deserve to have his number retired and he is not the QB he once was. The player that turned down the 2 year 13 million dollar deal with the Seahawks and took a 3 year 21 million dollar deal with the Titans is not the same gut who took Seattle to the Superbowl. I hear “but his line” “no running game” all the time and to be honest they are very fair arguments. Matt never had a strong arm but recently he has lost some of the arm strength. This has caused him to have to try to throw the ball harder thus causing his accuracy to decrease. He has an amazing competitive fire inside him and that is a great thing but it no longer helps him win more than he loses. He has always had a tendency to make bad decisions when under pressure but they were overwhelmed by the great plays he could make. This isn’t the case anymore and we will see it in Tennessee.
Lofa Tatupu oh how I have heard about his leadership. Argued several times about his underperformance on the field last year but some fans love him for what he did in 2005 and can’t look past that to see that he has broken down as well. Yes he’s a great Leader but I don’t believe he’s a better leader than Pete Carroll and you don’t see him play Corner. Leadership on the field only works if your physically an addition as well. Others will step up and fill the leadership void he left behind and David Hawthorne is a much better LB physically at this point. Still some fans think letting him go was a big mistake because he is so good. He is so good? So good that teams have had almost a week to sign him yet he’s still on the FA market while many others have been signed? It’s not his fault he just broke down.
This was titled “Seattle Sports Fans” and I only gave examples of Seahawks but that is because the Mariners Organization always holds the players past the fans breaking point, the sounders haven’t been around long enough and the NBA turned it’s back on us and I have turned my back on it.
We are all guilty of falling in love with these guys and not seeing them for the current player they are. We get blinded by the player they were and that’s not how you win Championships. I have been trying to use logic not love while evaluating the players and I’m sure glad Pete Carroll does the same thing because he’s making this a stronger team for years to come.

Seattle Fans And Love Affairs

We have all seen it. Most of us have felt it. But why is it?
The Seattle sports fan has a knack for falling in love with players and then overvaluing them. Im not going to go back very far but Lets look at a couple.
Darrell Jackson, he had a pretty good career in Seattle and gained the support of fans. To us he was a great receiver and when he was sent to the division rival 49ers it For a 4th rd pick the team used to draft Mansfield Wrotto fans were unhappy and thought it would come back to bite us. The truth was that his career had been over for two years before he was traded. After being leaving Seattle he had 58 reception and 4 TD’s and only one of the years was spent with the 49ers.
Next case in point Shaun Alexander. I cannot begin to tell you how many disagreements I had about giving him that fat new contract he was seeking however I understood where everyone was coming from. The guy had just been MVP of the league and on the cover of Madden. These are things that just don’t happen in Seattle and are the reason (I believe) that former GM Tim Ruskell gave him his big contract. After signing that deal he was not the same there were injuries and the loss of Steve Hutchinson, Robbie Tobeck and Chris Gray. The fans were still enamored with the broken down running back they thought he was finally healthy and would set the world on fire and even to this day there are a large group who believe he should have his number retired and be in the Hall of Fame. The truth was the regardless of the other factors he had lost a step and defenders could close in and touch him (which was all it took to tackle him). After he left Seattle he had 11 rushes and one reception after sitting in Free Agency for a long while. He was then released by Washington never to be signed by a team again.
Currently there are two such former Seahawks out there.
Matt Hasslebeck is one of those. Don’t get me wrong he has done a lot for the Seahawks and deserves to be in the ring of honor but he does not deserve to have his number retired and he is not the QB he once was. The player that turned down the 2 year 13 million dollar deal with the Seahawks and took a 3 year 21 million dollar deal with the Titans is not the same gut who took Seattle to the Superbowl. I hear “but his line” “no running game” all the time and to be honest they are very fair arguments. Matt never had a strong arm but recently he has lost some of the arm strength. This has caused him to have to try to throw the ball harder thus causing his accuracy to decrease. He has an amazing competitive fire inside him and that is a great thing but it no longer helps him win more than he loses. He has always had a tendency to make bad decisions when under pressure but they were overwhelmed by the great plays he could make. This isn’t the case anymore and we will see it in Tennessee.
Lofa Tatupu oh how I have heard about his leadership. Argued several times about his underperformance on the field last year but some fans love him for what he did in 2005 and can’t look past that to see that he has broken down as well. Yes he’s a great Leader but I don’t believe he’s a better leader than Pete Carroll and you don’t see him play Corner. Leadership on the field only works if your physically an addition as well. Others will step up and fill the leadership void he left behind and David Hawthorne is a much better LB physically at this point. Still some fans think letting him go was a big mistake because he is so good. He is so good? So good that teams have had almost a week to sign him yet he’s still on the FA market while many others have been signed? It’s not his fault he just broke down.
This was titled “Seattle Sports Fans” and I only gave examples of Seahawks but that is because the Mariners Organization always holds the players past the fans breaking point, the sounders haven’t been around long enough and the NBA turned it’s back on us and I have turned my back on it.
We are all guilty of falling in love with these guys and not seeing them for the current player they are. We get blinded by the player they were and that’s not how you win Championships. I have been trying to use logic not love while evaluating the players and I’m sure glad Pete Carroll does the same thing because he’s making this a stronger team for years to come.

Quarterback Situation

Originally posted on Bleacher Report on March 11, 2011
Written by Darin Pike
Seattle’s Draft / Free Agency Expectations for QB

Now up on my weekly position reports: Quarterback.

The Seattle Seahawks’ 2011 offseason has quickly revealed an urgency at the quarterback position. A few weeks ago, Seattle had a proven veteran on the roster, albeit with some questions surrounding his abilities going forward. They also had a solid backup with some potential to be a starter, and a young project with a cannon for an arm and good legs.

As the NFL works through a second extension of the current CBA, Seattle finds itself with just one quarterback on the roster. Matt Hasselbeck appears headed to test the free-agent waters, and Nate Davis was released without comment from the Seahawks.

Seattle appeared to have perhaps one more season before they needed to find additional options at quarterback. Now, the position joins both lines in needing immediate attention.

Seattle needs to sign at least two quarterbacks. One will likely come via April’s draft, with the remaining spot being filled via free agency or trade. Many still expect the free agent signing to be Matt Hasselbeck, while others are hoping to see Seattle make a big trade for a QB.

By now some readers are fixed on the current inability to sign or trade players. For current purposes, I’m going to continue with the expectations I laid out in a labor article last week. The owners and NFLPA will agree on another extension at some point today. In the very near future the two sides will be close enough on terms that they will sign a final extension, taking us through spring and a final agreement. The last extension will allow free agency to start prior to the NFL draft.

Editor’s Note: Obviously I missed on that one…BIG TIME. Seattle will have to draft a QB, albeit likely in a later round, and attempt to add a third option once free agency and trades resume.
NFL Draft: The Seattle Seahawks Need a QB with Starter or Solid Backup Potential

The release of Nate Davis seems to erase the question of “if” Seattle will grab a QB in the draft. Now the question is “in what round will they make their move?”

The answer likely has a lot more to do with who is available than what round Seattle would prefer to dedicate a pick to the position. There are anywhere from three to six QBs being talked about as late first- to second-round picks. If the Seattle front office is interested in any of them, they will need to use their pick at 25 to get into position to snag one.

If Jake Locker is available at 25, it isn’t a stretch to imagine him being a Seahawk this fall. Any other available QB would be just that (a stretch) with that pick.

Cameron Newton, Auburn

Newton figures to be either a huge bust or a huge success. Regardless, the cost for Seattle to trade into position to draft him would be too great. I’d rather roll the dice with Whitehurst this season and acquire picks for 2012 and go after Andrew Luck or Matt Barkley.

Blaine Gabbert, Missouri

Gabbert has been called the most NFL-ready QB, and will be a top 10 selection. I’m not sold on his value, particularly for Seattle. There is no reason to believe he’ll be available, nor is he worth giving up the needed draft capital to move up the board to draft him. That, and I really don’t see Gabbert as being an NFL QB, but that is a different story.

Jake Locker, Washington

Locker is definitely this season’s wild card at the QB position. He’s been pegged everywhere from the 10th pick to the third round. The 2010 draft held several QBs in this position (Tim Tebow, Jimmy Clausen, and to a lesser extent, Colt McCoy). This year, Locker is joined by Ryan Mallett as draft day wild cards.

Locker’s positive qualities (arm strength, athleticism, character, work ethic and intelligence) definitely put him as a top five selection. His negatives (accuracy and decision making) makes him a third or fourth-round talent.

Most NFL scouts and coaches will need to rely on film and interviews with Locker to balance the pros and cons. They will need to determine how much of his problems were mechanics-related or attributable to lesser talent on the Husky offense and if the deficiencies are teachable areas or not.

Carroll has one obvious advantage over the 15 or so other teams that might be tempted to draft Locker. The closeness Carroll shares with Locker’s coach, Steve Sarkisian, allows enhanced insight on what actually plagued Locker during his senior season. While Sarkisian will likely be cautious with other teams in interviews, candor is expected in conversations with the coach that helped cultivate his career.

I’ve gone back and forth with Locker being a fit for Seattle. I watched him at the combine and thought he put in a very strong performance. His footwork looked improved, he threw a very solid deep ball and his timing routes were spot-on. It prompted me to go back and watch his snaps in the Senior Bowl and several of his college games.

There was a footwork issue, and my concern with him looking to run way too soon was also reaffirmed. At times, there were outlet options with room, but he tucked and ran before making it through his progressions.

What I have concluded is that much of Locker’s issues dealt with a poor offensive line and inexperienced receiver options. A lack of faith in his targets catching the ball, and even less faith in his offensive line giving him time to go through progressions, led him to take the game on his shoulders. In the first Nebraska game, he tried to force the ball to receivers that weren’t open. Later in the season, he chose to run instead of forcing passes.

If Locker happens to be available at 25, I firmly believe he’ll be drafted by Carroll. Even if his accuracy issues continue, he’ll be a better option than Whitehurst. If he can elevate his game, he’ll be a much better QB than Kolb and could become an elite QB in several years.

I have my doubts on other teams letting him get that far, though. If they do, Locker is worth the risk.

Ryan Mallett, Arkansas

Leading up to declaration day for the 2010 draft, some mock drafts had Mallett going in the first 15 picks of the first round. The financial cost tied to Locker’s decision to stay for his senior year has received a lot of attention. Mallett stands to lose almost as much as Locker.

There is little question regarding Mallett’s ability to throw the ball. He has a very strong arm and is accurate as well. There have been some that question his accuracy, citing his Sugar Bowl game performance. I watched that game in large part just to watch Mallett, and he threw very well. If not for about 18 dropped balls, his stats would have been through the roof.

Mallet made the most of postseason workouts. He was as good as anyone in combine passing drills. He also performed very well at his pro day when throwing the ball. His 5.36 40 time should give some pause, as he’s been called a bit statuesque in the pocket—this could explain why. Still, the NFL Network analysts said he has worked himself back into opening day consideration.

Then there is the other side of Mallett. He might not be smart enough to read NFL defenses. He may have an issue with drug use. He also has a bit of an attitude. Check that—he’s a raving narcissist. This is my biggest issue with Mallett, and something that can’t be overlooked.

It is one thing to lead a huddle of college kids. They are your friends and you run the campus with them. You are all playing for school pride. Many of them have similar attitudes, and those that don’t are apt to overlook the arrogance for a player that is performing.

However, his antics simply won’t fly in the NFL. His dismissive attitude towards the press at the combine is just another example of why he will struggle gaining the respect a QB has to have in an NFL huddle. The QB must be the leader of the offense and Mallett is a long way from being able to command the needed respect. He may grow out of it, but he has Ryan Leaf potential.

I can’t see using a first round selection on Mallett. Seattle may decide to pass on selecting a QB in round one and gamble on him still being available in round two—and then gamble that Carroll and Bevell can turn him around. With his talent, Seattle’s pick in round two would be worth the risk.

Christian Ponder, Florida State

Ponder has been ranked from third to sixth on the QB charts, depending on what review one wants to rely on. He has an accurate arm and good athleticism, making him a good fit for a West Coast offense.

Given the huge need at the QB position, it would not be surprising to see Seattle grab him with their first pick (albeit after some maneuvering, discussed below). Seven of the first 10 teams to pick in the second round have a need at QB; Ponder won’t last until Seattle’s second pick.

One of Ponder’s strengths is his ability to extend plays with his legs. Unlike Locker, when Ponder tucks and scrambles he has shown the ability to keep his eyes downfield and get a pass off. Also unlike Locker, he lacks zip in intermediate range passes, and doesn’t have a strong arm on deep passes.

Colin Kaepernick, Nevada

Kaepernick is every bit as intriguing as Ponder. Coming out of a pistol offense, he will likely need a few years to adjust to a professional offense and the speed of the NFL. This may be enough to discount him as a viable option for Seattle. Still, Kaepernick has a strong arm, is a hard, intelligent worker and is athletic. His legs will help him gain yards when scrambling and help him extend plays outside the pocket.

He figures to be a second-round pick, and grabbing him at 25 would be a stretch. Depending on who else is available on the draft board, Seattle may be able to acquire a few picks by trading down from 25. They have the “advantage” of having so many needs that teams behind them won’t know what direction they plan to go.

The Ravens need WR and CB help, and could be tempted to trade spots with Seattle to avoid losing their guy. That move would equate to the Ravens’ sixth-round selection. While not much, they might be able to parlay that with an additional trade.

The Bears and Steelers need help at OG—Chicago has to worry about Seattle drafting the top option at the position, and Pittsburgh has to recognize they are at risk with Chicago as well. A trade with one of those teams should yield a valuable third-round pick.

The Packers and Jets will likely be looking at DE, and might have minimal concerns about Seattle getting their player. However, both of them should be concerned with the Patriots, as they need help at the position, too. Green Bay would need to part with their third- and sixth-round picks to trade places with Seattle. If a move happens with the Jets, they would need to send their third-round selection and receive the aforementioned sixth-round pick hypothetically received from Baltimore.

Pat Devlin, Delaware

Devlin is also an intriguing option, and one that could be considered with Seattle’s fourth-round pick. He appears to be a well-rounded QB, but hasn’t played top competition.

It is hard to know if he’ll be able to make the big step to the NFL. He was impressive against Eastern Washington University in the FCS National Championship Game, but he’ll need to make quicker decisions in the NFL. Devlin can’t be ignored, and Joe Flacco has shown that Deleware QBs can step up and perform in the NFL.

Editor’s Note: Devlin showed up to his Pro Day 30 minutes late and was terribly erratic with his throws. He is now likely a 7th round pick, but may be waiting until the CBA is settled to know where he will have a shot to play next season…after all—isn’t that when undrafted free agents can sign?

Andrew Dalton, TCU

Dalton is projected as a fourth- or fifth-round pick. He was considered a possible second- or third-round option earlier, but accuracy issues have made that less likely. There is a sharp concern that his performance was centered more on the system at TCU and talented players surrounding him. Seattle is better off using their fourth-round pick on a fullback.

The Rest of the Field

Ricky Stanzi, Iowa, Nathan Enderle, Idaho and Greg McElroy, Alabama: These QBs have potential to be starters in the NFL down the road, but don’t seem to meet Seattle’s need of a passer that can step up sooner as opposed to later. Should Seattle grab one of these options in a later round, we can expect that they are looking at someone in free agency and have their eye on one of the elite passers expected in the 2012 draft.

Trade: Is There an Available QB That Won’t Cost Too Much Draft Capital

Seattle could find someone to step in and fill the QB position immediately. That person may or may not be the long-term solution, though. A lot of names have been floated in recent weeks—here is a summary on some of the options.

Kevin Kolb

Seattle showed an interest in trading for Kolb prior to the 2010 season. However, the Eagles weren’t quite ready to part with him. The expected contribution from Mike Vick was unclear at the time and Kolb was slated as their starter.

Entering the 2011 season, Philadelphia has made it clear that Kolb is available. Trading Kolb makes sense for the Eagles, provided they pull in the right compensation. Vick’s style of play leads to injury concerns and having a proven backup is important for their offense. They have that in Kolb, but with only one more season left in his contract, the long-term value of a few high draft picks makes him expendable.

Many see Kolb as following Aaron Rogers as the next breakout QB. His on-field performance to date doesn’t quite support the comparisons, though. He looks to be a solid starter, but expectations of being a star are premature.

In five starts last season, Kolb had a record of 2-3 with seven TDs and seven INTs. He averaged 235 yards per game.

Yes, he looked great against ATL and good vs. a SF team that was then torched for over 300 yards by such powerhouses as Carolina. But he looked terrible against Washington, Dallas and Tennessee. He had three TDs and six INTs in those three games—and isn’t that type of inconsistency the rationale some Seattle fans use for dumping Hasselbeck?

Carson Palmer

There has been a lot of speculation on where, if at all, Palmer will play the 2011 season. He has stated he will retire prior to playing another game in Paul Brown Stadium. This does give Seattle an advantage over most teams, as the Seahawks aren’t scheduled to play in Cincinnati until the 2015 season.

The Bengals have stated they won’t part with Palmer, but as they are faced with losing him with no compensation, their tune may change. Palmer’s stats were impressive in 2010, despite matching his career-worst interception total of 20. He struggled through a power struggle between Ochocinco and Terrell Owens.

If Mike Brown changes his stance, the anticipated asking price for Palmer could make him an attractive option. He seems to have come back well from his injuries and should have several good seasons left. Seattle would likely be looking at surrendering their second-round pick in 2011 and a third- or fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft.

The advantage of acquiring Palmer is it would give Seattle several more seasons with a quality starter, and allow them to target one of the projected top prospects in the 2012 draft.

Vince Young

I’ll readily admit bringing Young in isn’t the most appealing option for Seattle. His style of play isn’t ideally suited for a West Coast system, and his passing performance hasn’t exactly set him apart. He has shown the ability to get wins, but that has more to do with his surrounding talent and ground game than his passing prowess. He won’t have that luxury in Seattle.

I’ve included Young because the price will be right. He is clearly not going to be back with the Titans—a team willing to part with a sixth-round pick will likely be able to garner his services.

Free Agency: Seattle Must Sign Someone That Can Challenge Whitehurst

There are few free agents that have shown the ability to control a passing game. Seattle has offered very little along the lines of a running game in recent years, which makes life problematic for most QBs. There is hope that the ground game will improve with Tom Cable taking over the offensive line and Darrell Bevell stepping in as the new offensive coordinator.

A rejuvenated run game will offer significant help for Seattle’s starting QB. Hasselbeck had the majority of the offense strapped to his shoulders in 2010. It worked well at times, but had disastrous effects at others. As for free-agent opportunities Seattle may pursue:

Matt Hasselbeck

Hasselbeck has to be the first name on a list of potential free-agent signings. Despite concerns over his health and inconsistent production, he has the most familiarity with the skill position players that will be in the huddle during the 2011 season. He is also a proven winner and is coming off two spectacular playoff games.

Seahawk fans looking for a change from Hasselbeck point to the 17 INTs during the 2010 season as rationale for letting him move on. As brutal as the stats look, many of those turnovers were in desperation time and as a result of Hasselbeck pushing to make something happen. Regardless, at this point the Seahawks don’t have a better alternative.

Alex Smith

While widely considered a bust for not playing up to his draft status, Smith can’t be blamed for all of his issues. He’s been playing for a 49er franchise that has had its share of issues in the front office and on the sidelines.

There has been little continuity, impacting the opportunity for Smith to succeed. I won’t go so far as to say an elite QB wouldn’t have been able to be productive in the turnover-riddled 49er organization—had they drafted Aaron Rodgers I believe he would have elevated the franchise.

The biggest issue for Smith in Seattle would be his injury history. Despite comments about Hasselbeck being frail and breaking down, Smith has missed more time to injury in his five seasons than Hasselbeck has in his career.

Matt Leinart

Leinart’s name has been mentioned repeatedly given his collegiate history with Pete Carroll. While a possibility, and one that is a little more likely following Seattle’s release of Davis, I don’t give much weight to this signing.

If Carroll saw Leinart as a potential starting QB in Seattle, I would have expected him to sign him when Arizona released him last season. Seattle’s lack of interest then is an indicator of what to expect in 2011.

If Leinart is going to attempt a resurrection of his career in 2011, Seattle sans Hasselbeck is a good place to do it. While he’s been criticized for a lack of a deep passing game and his proclivity to check down to short patterns, that approach will likely be a good fit with the offense Bevell will run.

There will be some expectations for a vertical passing game, but Seattle will look to exploit the size of Mike Williams in an intermediate passing game. Ben Obomanu and Golden Tate will be used across the field, and Seattle should look to exploit Tate’s athleticism in bubble screens, short post patterns and in the deep passing game. This approach would actually fit well with Leinart’s skill set.

Tarvaris Jackson

Jackson hasn’t done much to garner extended attention in free agency. His time in Minnesota was so underwhelming that they failed to offer a tender offer prior to the end of the CBA. As such, Jackson is free to sign with any team once free agency begins.

Seattle would be in dire straits if they were relying on Jackson to step in and start. However, Jackson’s familiarity with Bevell makes him a possibility to challenge Whitehurst for backup duties. He has shown some signs of proficiency, and it is possible that a few years under Brett Favre allowed him to grow.

Summary: Projecting What Steps the 2011 Seahawks Take with Their QB Position

Despite performance challenges over the past few seasons, Hasselbeck still remains as the Seahawks’ best option for the 2011 season. With an emergence of a ground game, development at the receiver positions and some improvements on the offensive line, he can still be an effective QB. We saw that with two postseason games following the 2010 season.

Re-signing Hasselbeck would also provide some flexibility with drafting the future QB this April vs. next year.

It is possible, even likely, that a team will be willing to put up $25M over two years for Hasselbeck’s services. Should that happen, the likelihood of Seattle matching the offer seems low. Comments from the negotiations have been that the two teams are far apart on contract terms. If the Seahawks were willing to part with the kind of money it will take to re-sign Hasselbeck, I have a feeling it would have already happened.

I do not see Seattle making a move for Kolb at anywhere near the current asking price. They would likely pull the trigger in exchange for their first-round pick in 2011. Much beyond that is too much, though, as Kolb is not under contract beyond the 2011 season. That is too much risk for a QB that hasn’t shown himself to be much beyond an average starting QB.

There are significant concerns with Seattle giving up an early pick in 2012. The Seahawks face a brutal schedule in the 2011 season, and a poor finish would not be a big surprise. They could be picking early in each round, which could put them in position to make a play for one of the top picks in the first round. I doubt any Seahawk fans would want to see the team pass up an opportunity to draft Luck or Barkley because they gave up too much for Kolb.

Should Palmer become available, he would provide a solid starter for several years, and put Seattle in position to draft their future QB in 2012 or 2013. If he isn’t an option, look for Carroll to open up competition at the QB position. Names such as Young and Leinart could join Whitehurst and a draft pick in competition to lead the offense in the coming season.

Fans should brace for Hasselbeck wearing different colors next season. If Locker is available at pick 25 I’d expect Carroll to give him an opportunity to show he can be an NFL QB. If Locker is gone, Mallett could be the next-best option in round two.

Seattle may very well be looking at stop-gap efforts to fill the QB position in the 2011 season; it could be a rocky one for the Seahawks. Carroll and Schneider will continue their roster overhaul, but a step-back this year may be necessary to set the team up for long term success. The QB position looks to be a manifestation of this approach.

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