Friday, December 30, 2011

A Loss Sunday is really a Win

Now that the playoffs are no longer a possibility, it is time to improve draft positioning. A loss, coupled with a few 6-8 teams winning could put the Seahawks drafting in the #9 spot next spring. A win Sunday could have them picking as late as #20 (when strength of schedule gets sorted out).

Those are some serious Depends®.
I know PC and the players want to finish the season strong--and there is something to finishing .500, but at what price? Last year the playoff run was worth it, but very costly. The team dropped 17 positions in the first round (from #8 to #25 by beating St. Louis and NO).

This season is already viewed as a success--with either 7 or 8 wins. The Hawks exceeded everyone's expectations. Most "experts" projected Seattle with a top 3 pick before the season started. So, this year a week 17 loss would help the team more than hurt them.

As Ronald Reagan once said, "Just win lose one for the Gipper!"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Roster Churn is Paying Dividends

For those naysayers who said that PC and JS were turning over the roster too quickly, it is fair to say that they were dead wrong. The cupboard was essentially bare when they took over, and in less than two years they have orchestrated a massive turn around in the talent level and overall depth of the team. Let's look at some key players and how they were acquired:

  • Drafted in 2010--Earl Thomas, Russell Okung, Golden Tate, Kam Chancellor
  • Drafted in 2011--KJ Wright, Malcolm Smith, Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, James Carpenter, John Moffit 
  • Undrafted FA in 2011--Doug Baldwin, Josh Portis
  • Trades--Chris Clemons, Marshawn Lynch, Leon Washington, Clint McDonald
  • Free Agents--Alan Branch, Zach Miller, Sidney Rice, Robert Gallery, Anthony Hargrove,  Tarvaris Jackson
  • Players cut from other teams--Atari Bigby, Michael Robinson, Raheem Brock
  • Players left for dead--Brandon Browner, Mike Williams
I only count 12 players left from the Tim Ruskell era: Marcus Trufant, John Carlson, Leroy Hill, John Ryan, Ben Obomanu, Brandon Mebane, Red Bryant, Roy Lewis, Justin Forsett, Max Unger, Deon Butler and Cameron Morrah.

After next summer's training camp, this number will be in the single digits with Trufant, Forsett, Morrah and Carlson potentially not returning.

Looking at the SF Matchup

I was a bit surprised when comparing the teams statistically, that they are more equal than you would think--especially based on their win/loss records.

Both teams are built on the same formula, a sound defense, a running offense and not turning the ball over.

  • The Niners have the #25 ranked offense (9 rushing, 29 passing).
  • The Hawks have the #28 offense (22 rushing, 23 passing).

  • The Niners have the #5 ranked defense (1 rushing, 21 passing).
  • The Hawks have the #8 defense (11 rushing, 13 passing).

The big difference is turnover margin: SF: +25, SEA +8

Hopefully the 12th Man can make a difference on Saturday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What's on Your Christmas List?

I was going to write up what the Seahawks need to happen this weekend, but Mike Sando beat me to it, so here is the link:

Hawks Dream Scenario

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Good Test for the Offense

I watched all of the Denver / Chicago game last weekend and I sure hope the Seahawks offense is more functional Sunday than Denver's. Has recent success come at the hands of bad teams, or have the Hawks made serious progress?

Without Cutler and Forte, the Bears offense is limited at best. Hopefully that will be the case again Sunday. That said, they are relying on defense, so we will see if the Hawks can muster sustained offense (especially with the patchwork line).

I am worried about McQuistan lining up against Peppers. I am also worried about blitz pick ups. Tarvaris will have to make smart decisions under pressure. The running game will be essential to keep the pressure off him.

I hope that the defense can bottle up the run and force Caleb to beat them. So far, he has not shown that he is capable.

Will the team sleepwalk through the first half like they have been known to do when they have 10 am starts? Let's not repeat the debacle at Cleveland.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Doug Baldwin wins NFC Special Teams Player of the Week

Thanks to his blocked punt that set up a touchdown, his 37 yard kickoff return and downed a punt at the six-yard line, our own Dougie Fresh is NFC special teams player of the week.

Not only is the undrafted rookie leading the team in receptions and receiving yards, he can play special teams too. What a steal.

I read that 20 teams reached out to him when he was not drafted. would love to know the back story about how he became a Seahawk.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Who to Root for this Weekend

For Seattle's playoff chances to improve here is what needs to happen:

1. Carolina over Atlanta
2. Minnesota over Detroit
3. Denver over Chicago
4. Dallas over NY Giants
5. Seattle over St. Louis

Conversely, if you are more concerned with draft positioning than winning (Seattle would be picking #14 if the season ended today), then you want to cheer for every 3, 4 and 5 win team.

9-7 Will Do It

If the Hawks win their remaining four games, they will most likely make the playoffs as a wildcard. In a way, you could argue that they control their own destiny. Here's why:

If tied with more than one team at 9-7, the first tiebreaker is conference record. The Hawks would be 8-4 versus the NFC and that will get them in.

If tied with the Bears or Giants, the Seahawks have the edge based on head to head records.

If tied with the Falcons for the final spot, the Falcons get in as they beat the Hawks.

A dose of reality: Seattle hasn't one more than two games in a row since 2007. To go 9-7, they would have to win five in a row (and 7 of 8) Not likely.
But who knows?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sunday's Matchup Even on Paper

When looking at both the Skins and Hawks a number of similarities stand out:

1) Inconsistency. Both teams look like world-beaters one game and then lay a big fat egg the next. Which teams will show up Sunday?
2) Bad offenses. The law firm of Grossman and Jackson is not impressing anyone. Managing the game and not making mistakes is what both teams hope to see.
3) Good defenses. While not elite, both teams are improving from some pretty bad years.

Las Vegas has the Hawks favored by 3.5. Given that home field is a field goal advantage, this came could be close. Hopefully the 12th man will have something to say about it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Kam Chancellor's Fund for the Needy

After a $40,000 fine this week and a $20,000 fine last week, Mr. Chancellor has given back 15% of his annual salary to the NFL (which they give to charity).

This ride may have to wait until next Crhistmas.
Kam only (only?) makes $405,000 this year, so my guess is that he is feeling the pain in his wallet this week. So much for using your head. Ouch.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Draft Watch

The Hawks are sitting in the #12 position right now with their 4-6 record. With three home games against losing teams they could be moving down in position with a couple of wins in the next few weeks.

Their draft need by position is QB, DE, LB, DT, OL. That could change with free agency and re-signing David Hawthorne and Leroy Hill whose contracts expire at year's end.

The QBs to watch:
  1. Andrew Luck, Stanford -- He won't be around and would require too much to trade up.
  2. Matt Barkley, USC -- His second had has really helped his draft status.
  3. Robert Griffin, Baylor -- He is rocketing up near the top of mock drafts.
  4. Landry Jones, Oklahoma -- Big guy with a big arm.
  5. Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M -- Played more games at WR than QB in college.
  6. Nick Foles, Arizona -- Husky Fans know all about him.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bottom 10 Offense?

It looks like the Hawks are headed for a finish in the lower third of the league offensively this year. Not a huge surprise. Here are some of the reasons for their statistical struggles:

  1. Offensive line play. Obviously we knew the group was young, at the point they seemed to be turning a corner, 40% of the line is injured for the rest of the year. In fact the injuries to our promising rookies may set the line back a fair amount next year. It is the youngest line in the league.
  2. Stupid penalties. False starts and holding have really hurt a number of drives and also all the negative yardage doesn't exactly help the statistics.
  3. Sub-Par Quarterback play. Jackson's rating (73.1) is #28th in the league. Whitehurst's rating (62.9) is somewhere below Blaine Gabbert who is last at #33 in the league. The median rating is Ryan Fitzpatrick at 82.4. I hoped that TJack would be in the low 80s this year. I realize he is playing through injury, so maybe he gets a pass (bad pun). For those who miss Mr. Hasselbeck, he is ranked #10 with a 86.1 rating.
  4. Unimaginative play calling. I hope because of the youth of the line, and the lack of an off season Darrel Bevel decided to play it safe with his play calls this year. I have not seen much creativity thus far. 
The Hawks are 28th in team offense (24th Passing and 27th rushing), I don't see much of a change coming over the next six games. Here is where the offense has been ranked over the last 5 years:
  • 2006  --  19
  • 2007  --  9
  • 2008  --  28
  • 2009  --  21
  • 2010  --  28
The hope for the offense in coming years is youth. They need to get better together and this year is about getting game experience for the future. The line (except for Bob Gallery) is between 22 and 25. Rice, Miller and Lynch are all 25, while Baldwin is 23.

To improve, the offense needs continuity in its coordinator. The Hawks had to learn a new offense in each of the least 3 seasons which is a recipe for offensive mediocrity.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top 10 Defense?

The Seahawks defense has been slowly climbing up the rankings this year, After a stellar performance in St. Louis it is now ranked 11 in total yards (8 in rushing yards against and 15 in passing yards).

Not bad for a bunch for a team playing with a secondary that consists of 3 guys who had never really played before, and one with only a year of starting under his belt. It looks like the secondary could be a point of strength for years to come. They are young, tall and aggressive. This is a far cry from Trufant who kept everything in front of him but always gave up yardage. Kelly Jennings would be around the ball but utterly oblivious that it had just been caught by someone else. Jordan Babineaux and Lawyer Milloy are easy to forget when you have a force in the middle like Kam (Bam Bam) Chancellor.

The linebackers have a nice balance of youth and experience. Leroy Hill is playing with renewed energy. I hope the team re-signs him as he is a stabilizing force. The Heater makes a ton of plays while KJ is really learning the position from game to game. He is instinctual and does not make boneheaded mistakes like his predecessor.

The front four are dominant in run coverage. If they are not making the tackle themselves, they are blowing up the play enough to allow the linebackers to clean up. This is a drastic improvement over the last few years. A consistent pass rush is needed from someone other than Clemons. I am not sure what happened to Raheem Brock this year, but he has been a non-factor. Maybe his age (33) caught up to him.

Of the remaining six games only one team (Philadelphia) has a top 15 offense which leads me to believe that the Hawks can end the season in the top 10 in defense. That would make huge progress for Pete and JS in a very short time. Here is where they finished in the last 5 years:

  • 2006 -- #19     (9-7)
  • 2007 -- #15     (10-6)
  • 2008 -- #30     (4-12)
  • 2009 -- #24     (5-11)
  • 2010 -- #27     (7-9)
  • 2011 -- #??

Monday, October 31, 2011

Room for Improvement

We knew that our Seahawks were a young team and with youth comes mistakes, but as a fan it is difficult to watch a team that is penalized this much. The coaches really need to clean up the penalties, it feels like a Raiders game!

We have also seen clock management problems twice this year (that have cost us points)--another inexcusable thing for a coaching staff. This team has looked disorganized getting out of the huddle and had to burn time outs unnecessarily.

A team with a small margin of error cannot make these kinds of mistakes and win.

Speaking of winning, if the Seahawks want to do it again, then they need a running game. I don't see any holes and I felt sorry for Lynch as he was literally getting his helmet ripped off yesterday (which according to the refs is legal as long as you use two hands).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Charlie! Charlie!

I think we've heard the last Charlie! Charlie! chants at the Clink for a while given his pathetic performance today. He fumbled twice (1 lost) and was sacked three times. Here is his line for the game:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Week 6, Draft Watch

If the season ended today, Your Seattle Seahawks would be sitting in the 10th position come next April. I see their draft needs being: Quarterback, Defensive End, Cornerback and Defensive Tackle. A lot could change based on the next 11 games, but that's where I would rank draft needs today.

This Trojan performs under water. 
Who was drafted in the 10 spot in some previous drafts, you ask?

2011--Blain Gabbert (#3 QB taken)
2010--Tyson Alualu (#3 DT Taken)
2009--Michael Crabtree (#2 WR taken)
2008--Jerod Mayo (#3 LB Taken)
2007--Amobi Okoye (#1 DT taken)
2006--Matt Leinart (#2 QB taken)
2005--Mike Williams (#3 WR taken)
2004--Dunta Robinson (#2 CB Taken)

Not exactly an all-pro team, as can't miss prospects can always miss (Mr. Kiper, please meet Mr. Curry).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thoughts on the Browns Game

I think many people in the Seattle are penciling in a win for the Hawks on Sunday. I am not so sure. Cleveland is a 3 point favorite, being that home field is usually worth 3 points, the teams should be evenly matched. My concerns:

  1. Injuries to Heath Miller and Max Unger could hinder offensive line play. It looked as though this group was turning a corner, without these two will they take a step backwards?
  2. The Browns have the 4th best passing defense in the league and the 27th rushing defense. The Hawks will need to run the ball regularly as yards maybe more difficult through the air. Hopefully the no-huddle will loosen up both areas.
  3. When Cleveland has the ball, they have not been a consistent running team but are moving the ball in the passing game. Their o-line has not given up many sacks (only 9), so if Seattle can't get pressure on McCoy, then the pressure will be put on the young Seattle DBs. McCoy has used many targets this year so far and I would expect to see him mix it up on Sunday.
  4. Special Teams. Josh Cribbs is always a threat, let's hope he doesn't pull a Ted Ginn.
We all know that Seattle is not a great football team, but a win this weekend is what they need to become a good team. Beating the Cleveland's and the Cincinnati's of the league is how they go from being 5-12 to 8-8 and competing for the NFC West title again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Legalize It, Don't Criticize It

With Congressional approval ratings nearing the single digits and the "super" committee floundering, now is the time to legalize (and tax) sports betting. Will it solve our country's fiscal woes? No. But it won't hurt either.

News alert to congress: Everyone is betting anyway (illegally). It makes no sense that it is legal in one state and not the other 49.

Our congress needs to wake up on this non-issue. There is no controversy here. The government already allows certain forms of legalized gambling in the form of Lotteries and Horse Racing. Why not sports betting?

As an adult, I should be able to login to a website and place a bet with the click of the mouse. Other countries allow it, why can't we? Here's a safe bet: congress will do nothing.

Monday, October 17, 2011

End of the line for Trufant?

With Marcus Trufant going on IR today, his 2011 season is over. Enter Walter Thurmond.

Given the fact that he will be 31, and have a huge a salary in 2012 (7.3 million including a workout bonus), I think he played his last game as a Seahawk. I can see the team cutting him in the offseason before any bonuses are due.

He will have missed 17 games since 2009. 

His play is solid, but hardly spectacular. He has always been a steady number 2 corner on a team that needed him to be a number 1 corner. He regularly keeps the receiver in front of him, but rarely breaks up the play. Football Outsiders breaks down the top 10 cornerbacks in 2010 in 3 separate categories (success rate, yards per pass, yards after catch), Trufant does not make the list in any category. They also break down the worst 10 corners in each category and he doesn't make the list there either.

All in all, he has been a class act and a leader on a young team that needs leaders. Not to bad...even for a Coug!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Look Back at First Round Picks

The best teams get the most out of their picks in the top three rounds. High picks are supposed to make pro-bowls or at least become steady starers. Here is a look at the last 10 first rounders for the Hawks.

2002--Jerramy Stevens, 28th overall pick. 
            201 career receptions, 202 career arrests. Out of NFL, 2010.
2003--Marcus Trufant, 11th overall pick. 
            Longtime starter, 1 pro-bowl, 2007. Current member of the Seahawks.
2004--Marcus Tubbs, 23rd overall pick. 
            29 games due to injury shortened career. Out of NFL, 2007.
2005--Chris Spencer, 26rd overall pick. 
            Mediocre starter on bad Hawk O-lines. Current reserve Guard for Chicago.
2006--Kelly Jennings, 31st overall pick. 
            Mediocre starter on bad Hawk secondary. Current reserve for Cincinnati.
2007--No Pick. Traded to New England for Deion Branch
2008--Lawrence Jackson, 28th overall. 
            2 lackluster seasons with Seattle. Traded to Detroit and is in their rotation.
2009--Aaron Curry, 4th overall. 
            2 underwhelming seasons with Seattle. Traded to Oakland for 2 late rounders.
2010--Russell Okung, 6th overall.
            Immediate starter, unfortunate injuries. Current member of the Seahawks.
2010--Earl Thomas, 14th overall.
            Immediate starter, flashes of brilliance. Current member of the Seahawks.
2011--James Carpenter, 25th overall.
            Immediate starter, making solid progress Current member of the Seahawks.

The tally: 1 hit, 7 misses and 3 that are too early to tell (but look promising).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

With the 4th Pick in the 2009 Draft...

The Seahawks select: 2 conditional late round picks.

While I was a big fan of the pick when they made it, what a colossal bust it turned out to be. Various coaching staffs tried Curry in a number of roles to see where he would thrive and the results were poor on all counts. He routinely was out of position and missed tackles.

Big Busts
I remember watching his debut and expecting to see this amazing flash of football brilliance and it never happened. He was expected to be an impact player and never was. The lesson is that all the athletic ability in the world only gets you to the league, hard work and football IQ is what makes a young talent succeed (and some HGH, of course).

Doug Baldwin is the antithesis of Aaron Curry. Undrafted, undersized, a little slow, but hardworking and smart.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Razor's Edge

The margin of error for the Seahawks this year is razor thin, as I don't see them blowing anyone out and to win regularly they have to play almost perfectly. Unfortunately, young teams are mistake-prone and the Seahawks have proven so, thus far.

I am fine with players learning on the job--take the offensive line--they have had rough patches, but they seem to be making progress.

What I can't stand are the mental mistakes. Stupid penalties: offsides, false starts, encroachment, excessive celebration, etc. I also hate to see two wasted timeouts because of personnel issues. Bad coaching decisions don't help either (see prior post).

This team that needs everything to go right for them to win.

The Last Two and a Half Minutes

As I was sitting at the Clink watching the clock tick down from 2:30 to 2:00, I thought "why not use the last timeout?" Instead the Falcons were able to run off an extra 30 seconds before the two minute warning. Given the fact that the game ended without using the timeout it was a 30 second waste.

On first down from the Falcons 45 Jackson spikes the ball to stop the clock. Again, why not call the timeout after Miller makes the catch and save first down. The wasted down ends up being pivotal as the Hawk do not run out of time, they run out of downs! Ack!

I also thought that if PC knew he was going to attempt an impossible kick on 4th down, then why not run the ball on third? They had the timeout. A running play (perhaps a draw) would have caught the Falcons off guard. If it gains 5, then a 56 yarder, while still unlikely is worth a shot. Maybe Forsett gains 10 and then you are staring down a 51 yard kick. Who knows?

If The Season Ended Today

Reunited and it feels so good?
From left to right: Peaches, Herb.
With the sixth pick in the draft, the Seattle Seahawks select...

Here is the current draft order:

  1. Rams
  2. Colts
  3. Vikings
  4. Dolphins
  5. Cardinals
  6. Seahawks
  7. Chiefs
  8. Eagles
  9. Broncos
  10. Panthers

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Andrew Luck Watch, Episode Two

The Seahawks are one of seven winless teams in the league after two games. One could argue that Carolina and St. Louis are not in the running for a QB, so for argument's sake that leaves us with 5 teams: Seattle, Miami, KC, Indy and Minnesota.

Against Arizona this week, Mr. Luck went 20/31 for 325 yards. 2 TDs 0 INTs, and a rating of 173.9.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sounders 3 Seahawks 0

Would you rather watch the Seahawks offense or watch the Mariners at the plate?

Would you rather watch the Seahawks offense or discuss Alaskan Way Viaduct options?

Would you rather watch the Seahawks offense or pick at a scab until it bleeds?

Would you rather watch the Seahawks offense or get a chest wax?

Offense Crosses the Fifty! OMG!

A nice catch by Golden Tate got the mighty Seahawk offense to the Steelers 47, but a False Start penalty on the next play returned the team to their own half. It was too good to be true.

No Respect

Teams are going to go for it on 4th down against the Hawks this year a lot as they don't respect the Seattle offense.

The offense? Yes, opponents know that the Seahawks are little threat to score, so that there are little to no implications for going for it and not getting the first. 3 and out for the Hawks and they get the ball right back. The same goes for trick plays. Sad but true.

Scheduling Complaints

Starting the season with 2 road games means playing 2 separate home openers at the Niners and the Steelers. The league should balance the schedule so each team hosts and goes on the road for home openers within the first two weeks. It's simple math.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

Apparently the national media is none too impressed with the Seahawks so far. After week 1, they have dropped to 31 in the ESPN power rankings. Ouch. I am afraid that after the Pittsburgh game the Hawks will be looking up at 31 other teams.

Andrew Luck Watch, Episode One

I thought it might be fun to see where the Seahawks will pick in the 2012 Draft on a weekly basis. While I don't think the Hawks are going to earn the number one pick, the need for a quarterback next year is vital to the team's rebuilding process. Landry Jones or Matt Barkley are more likely, but who knows?

Luck's week: He led Stanford to a 44-14 win over Duke, completing 20 of 29 for 290 yards. 4 passing TDs, 1 INT.

Seattle and 15 other teams are the leaders in the clubhouse for Mr. Luck. Four of these winless teams have young and expensive quarterbacks already: Carolina, St. Louis, Atlanta and Tampa Bay. That leaves the competition for futility to the Hawks and 11 others. May the worst team win.

Mazeltov! Rabbi Luck. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Night Football

Tom Brady is so accurate he is putting on a clinic. It looks like he is running a summer QB camp. Wes Welker just scampered 99 yeards which takes Brady over 500 for the game. Wow. That is like 3 games of passing yards for the Hawks! Tom Brady is so good he makes Deion Branch look like a pro bowl receiver--he looked washed up in Seattle. So much for the defense being ahead of the offense. Not in the AFC East.

"They Are Who We Thought They Were"

To quote one of my favorite rants of all time, the Seahawks offense and defense played as expected. The special teams, on the other hand, not so much.

As written about in prior posts, the offense is only is good as the offensive line, and at this point in the season one could argue that it is the worst line in the league. That said, it can only get better right? Pittsburgh is going to be a huge test next week. Yikes.

The defense was stout against the run and looked good in coverage against the pass. SF isn't exactly an offensive juggernaut given the limited playbook they used, so the jury is still out here. The pass rush was horrible, it needs to improve especially when playing teams that do not run the ball every time on 3rd and 8.

What can be said about special teams? I know Ben Obomanu was starting at receiver due to Sidney Rice's injury, but he is probably the Hawks best special-teamer on the active roster (Roy Lewis is on the PUP). The punt and kick coverage was suspect from the start, so lets hope this issue can get fixed in a hurry. Last year kick coverage was a bright spot, this year they looked like the San Diego Chargers special teams unit. Ugh.

I was planning on re-watching the game for some in-depth analysis, but I don't think I can take watching it a second time. Once was enough.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

How Good is the Defense?

Over the last few years I have said that if Jordan Babineaux, Craig Terrill and Kelly Jennings are on the team, then the defense is not going to be good. This year all three are not with the Hawks: two are not with any team and Jennings is a Bengal.

I hope that overall talent and depth has improved and that is why these three are not Seahawks. It looks like the defense could be in the middle third in the league this year which would be a vast improvement.

A key for defensive success this year will be how much time they are on the field. The offense needs to be competitive in time of possession to give the defense a fighting chance. It all begins today.

Hawk and Roll!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

All I Want For Christmas is an Offensive Line

Like the Ghost of Christmas Past, the loss of Steve Hutchinson reminds us why things took a major turn for the worse. The Seahawks have used 16 different starting combinations over the last two seasons. That is 16 different lines in 32 games! Not exactly the stability you need to win in this league.

This year, like the last five, I hoped for continuity on the o-line--so the bigguns could gel as a unit. I knew they were young, so reps would be more important than ever.

Instead Big Russ makes it through a whopping three plays before his preseason is over. Robert Gallery didn't show much in the first couple games, and then gets hurt in the last one--putting his regular season debut in jeopardy. Unger, Carpenter and Moffitt remain healthy but their blocking needs a lot of work, based on what we have seen so far. Carpenter is now backing up Left Guard and may start there on Sunday. Let's hope he is better there then at Right Tackle and that his nickname, "the turnstile" doesn't stick. It can't get worse, can it?

If these guys can't play together, then let's watch these five play together.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Beware False Prophets

I generally respect the thoughts of Mike Florio and staff over at ProFootballTalk, but while I agree with him positioning the Hawks in the mid-20s, his comment is ridiculous. He writes, "If/when Charlie Whitehurst becomes the starting quarterback, the Seahawks will climb the ladder."

I don't know why so many fans inside the Clink last Friday night, as well as Florio feel that Charlie Whitehurst is this year's savior. At least let's give Tarvaris a chance in the regular season before we chant "Charlie, Charlie!" ad nauseam.

Hawk and Roll News Flash: Just because CW looks like Jesus Christ, doesn't make him Jesus Christ.

Jesus, career passer rating: 158.3
Clipboard Jesus, career passer rating: 65.5
(pictured left to right)

Welcome to the Regular Season

Hello fellow Hawk And Rollers, we have finally made it to WEEK ONE. Finally. Let's see what we have accomplished as fans:
Free Agency...check.
Training Camp...check.
Exhibition Games...check.
Roster Cuts...check.

I am glad to see that Pep Levingston was added to the Practice Squad today in favor of Maurice Fountain. He is over 5 years younger and showed some real promise in the pre-season.

A special thanks to The Seattle Times' Danny O'Neil who mentioned our little blog during his live chat today. We can't afford live chats here, nor would we have any participants, but I really appreciate the shout out. Thanks Danny. I am a big fan.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Few Thoughts After the Cuts

I thought Colin Cole would be on the PUP list for the first 6 weeks but given his large salary, that wasn't the case. The loss of Jimmy Wilkerson for the season also hurts the defensive line. Cole could come back to the team for less money once he is healthy.

Three rookie free agents make the 53 as well as Brandon Browner who is from the CFL. This speaks to the team's willingness to embrace youth and keep the best talent possible. Jeron Johnson beating out Mark Legree is a prime example.

Last year the Hawks kept five LBs, this year seven. As the roster shuffles, I would expect a line backer or two to be vulnerable.

It will be interesting to see how active the front office is over the next couple days. Last year they picked up Raheem Brock off the scrap heap. Maybe they will find another diamond in the rough?

This Diamond likes it rough.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Seahawks lead 3-0


Pre Game Thoughts

The starting offense needs to move the ball. If not, I am worried that the opener at SF may end in a nil-nil draw. Let's hope the Sounders don't outscore the Seahawks next weekend.

The Raiders ran at will against the Hawks last year. Let's hope the defense proves more stout upfront.

Tampa cut a MLB and a DE today. I wonder if either (or both) get a look from JS. One thing we know, this team will always try to improve overall talent.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Position Watch for the Raider Game

Beware of the Turk.
There are three positions that I will be watching closely Friday night:

1) Safety. Last year the team carried 4. Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are locks as the starters. That leaves 5th round draft pick Mark Legree battling for a spot with Atari Bigby, Jeron Johnson and Josh Pickard. I haven't seen Legree on the field much, so I would guess he is offerred a spot on the practice squad. Bigby offers game experience which the others do not. It is a very young group overall which helps Bigby's chances.

2) Wide Receiver. They kept 6 last year. Rice, Williams, and Obomano are the first three on the field. 4th rounder Kris Durham has a spot too. That leaves 2 spots and a host of guys. My guess is Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin. Burner Ricardo Lockette to the practice squad. Deon Butler on the PUP. I don't see how Husky Isaiah Stanback makes the 53.

3) Defensive Line. There is a logjam here with 15 players and only 9 roster spots likely. Chris Clemons, Red Bryant, Alan Branch, Brandon Mebane, Raheem Brock are on the team. That leaves 4 spots up for grabs. These 5 have the inside track: Junior Siavii, Jimmy Wilkerson, Ryan Sims, Pep Levingston and Clinton McDonald. I don't think Dexter Davis of Jameson Konz are going to make it. Pierre Allen to the practice squad. Colin Cole on the PUP.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Your Opening Day Right Tackle Will Be...

 A face only a mother could love.
Tyler Polumbus. Tyler Polumbus you ask? Yes, the very same guy Pete Carroll affectionately called Troy. If Big Russ is healthy enough to start the opener, then Polumbus could very well be the next best tackle on the roster. But then again, a healthy Russell Okung is a very big IF.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Truth about Tru

When news broke about the restructuring of Marcus Trufant's contract my first thought was, "that's great, now he is more affordable and can remain with the team for a few years." But when you look at the numbers the only year that was touched (of the three remaining) was 2011. Hmm...

Tru goes from making almost 6 million in 2011 to 3 million. In 2012 he will be at 7.3 and then 8.9 (with workout bonuses) in 2013. Ouch.

This year looks to be his last with Seattle, unless he returns to pro-bowl form of 2007. If he does, then maybe his number for 2012 is palatable. Lets face it, the Seahawks aren't going anywhere in 2011 or next year either--they're a work in progress. Trufant will be 31 this December, by the time they are a playoff team again, his best days will be gone.

I believe he will be traded mid-season for a draft pick. It makes sense. The Seahawks will be around 3-7 and youth will be served. A team near the vying for the playoffs may just overpay for a player who they think can take them to the promised land. Tru is just this kind of player as reliable cornerbacks are always in demand. We will see.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tarvaris Got Run Over by a Bronco

I would have posted this earlier had I not thrown up all over my game notes while watching the offensive line. Here are my thoughts:

1) If the offensive line can't block, then the Seahawks best weapon is John Ryan. There. I said it. Why not just quick kick on first down and save us all the trouble? The o-line was so dysfunctional that I have no idea how good our feature players are. Or if we even have feature players. Someone needs to put out an ABP on these guys. Zach Miller...who? Sidney Rice...never heard of him. Marshawn Lynch...Beast What?

2) James Carpenter looked bad. Really bad. Not the good kind of bad, the bad kind of bad. The other 4 guys weren't so hot either. It made for a painful viewing experience. I could have gotten a random body part waxed and it would have hurt less.

3) Leon Washington got his speed back. He has a burst that turns what look like a small gain into an 8-10 yarder. His running looks effortless this year. I want to see more of him.

Players of the game:
#15 Doug Baldwin: Is he going to be ahead of Golden Tate on the depth chart? He seems to do everything better.
#79 Red Bryant: The guy is a menace against the run and gets nice penetration against the pass.
#41 Byron Maxwell: This guy was everywhere covering punts on special teams.
#53 Malcolm Smith: He was always around the ball, making tackles.

I can't decide whether to go to the Raider game this Friday, as I don't want to throw up all over the people in front of me.

Kelly Jennings Traded for a Box of Rocks!

A 175 pound weight has been lifted off my shoulders this morning having read the KFJ is a Cincinnati Bengal. I thought his days as a Seahawk were numbered and now we get to welcome him back to C-Link on October 30th.

Dwayne Bowe having a career day vs. Mr. KFJ

Friday, August 26, 2011

PreSeason Game 3 Preview

Here are a few things that I am going to be watching for on Saturday night:

1) The return of Walter Thurmond III. I am not a big Duck fan, but if this guy can displace KFJ from the starting line up, then I just might paint my house dark green and yellow...maybe I'll even throw in some black, white, gunmetal grey, florescent yellow, and add some diamond plate and duck feather trim. Whatever Phil Night wants. It sure would be sweet to see WT3 progress this year so that he can be an every down corner. Ideally Sherman and Browner are the nickel and dime (no particular order) and KFJ doesn't make the final 53. Somebody pinch me...I must be dreaming!

2) Can the number one offense move the ball? Forgive me for sounding greedy, but maybe they can actually score, too? Maybe? This unit starts and ends with the line and so far, no good.

3) Is it just me, or has fan favorite Justin Forsett done very little this preseason. I know he missed the first game, but I would like to see something from him this week. He doesn't look as elusive as Leon Washington nor as powerful as Marshawn Lynch. How does he fit into this crowded backfield? How does PC embrace his youth movement at a position with three veterans?

4) How good is the defense? We may not know the answer to this question until the end of September, but it has been hard to tell how talented or deep they are. KJ Wright and Josh Pinkard will be starting, so 9 of 11 projected starters on opening day will be out there. Last year Orton picked apart the Seahawks in an efficient manner, we will see if he can do the same tomorrow.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sea Gal Granny Panties...Not Cool

I know throwback uniforms are all the rage with the kids these days, but these things are sorely in need of an update. Even Christina Aguilera can't make them look good. They are so ugly that the Sea Gals actually look better in pants. It's gotten so bad that I've learned that Mrs. Cunningham from TV's Happy Days has been hired to design next year's outfits. What gives? 

Poor Sea Gal Amanda can't even muster a smile in
her ultra-confining 4-ply polyester Granny Panties.
Less is most definitely more.

Spoiler Alert!
2012 Sea Gal Uniform 

©Marion Ross

Better Late than Never

A few thoughts from the game:
  1. For a team committed to running the ball, a true fullback is required. I don’t see Michael Robinson clearing out linebackers like he needs to—given the youth of the line an experience battering ram of a fullback would be a nice pick-up. Maybe this type of player will be available when teams cut down to 53. I miss Mack Strong.
  2. The O-line needs to learn pass protection. And fast. It is hard to evaluate a QB when he is constantly under fire.
  3. On first and goal at the two, why run essentially the same play to the same guy 4 times in a row. Maybe they are looking for a short yardage back and learned that Forsett is not that guy. While I love his effort, Forsett makes no sense at the goal line. Why not mix it up a bit and use some of your team speed to the outside?
  4. Curry needs to get his head in the game
. A couple plays really stand out: Curry bites on a inside fake and complete loses contain on the edge. The Vikings gain a bunch of yards and Curry looks foolish for over-pursuing the play. The personal foul (helmet tossing) is plain stupid. I know it is the pre-season, but I am not impressed with this guy. Leroy Hill looked good. He looks leaner than before.
  5. I really liked the toss-sweep in the 3rd quarter. After watching so many inside power runs that weren’t that successful, it was refreshing to see a lineman and the fullback pulling left and getting out in front of a play. The sweep went for six, and I hope we see more of this.
  6. Charlie looked good again. He is stepping up to the snub of not having an open competition. I am becoming curious to see how he would do with the starters. He is getting better o-line play than Tarvaris.
  7. Jeff Reed wins the kicking job before kicking in a pre-season game.

Friday, August 19, 2011

5 Things to Watch for vs. Minnesota

1) Quarterback play. According to PC, Tarvaris will play at least for a half. Will he look the part of a starting QB? He will have more WR options this week, so hopefully that will help. Will his play make it obvious as to why he has been named the opening day starter? Will CW and Portis look good in subsequent games?

2) Offensive line. Can Tyler Polumbus keep it together? I am interested in watching the rookies on the right side to see how they are functioning. Is the run game improved? How is their pass protection?

3) Depth at cornerback. How well do the tall rookies need to play to displace KFJ from the starting 11. Walter Thurmond is still hurt and won't play so Sherman, Browner and Maxwell are the ones to watch.

4) Defensive Line. With Colin Cole on the PUP and Chris Clemons injured, who will step up and get some penetration? Red Bryant is back, will he make it through the game healthy?

5) The most heated competition: kicker. Jeff Reed will be kicking this week, can he get a touchback or two?

It should be a nice night at the Clink, regardless of what happens on the field.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Seahawks Lead The League In...

Our newest Seahawk, Atari Bigby.
Jersey number: 10.
Braids. I've searched high and low for something they are best at, and it clearly is hair. Here are the players with braids (that I can think of):

  • Atari Bigby
  • James Carpenter
  • Colin Cole
  • Kennard Cox
  • Marshawn Lynch
  • Sidney Rice
  • Richard Sherman
  • Isaiah Stanback
  • Earl Thomas
Robert Gallery and Charlie Whitehurst have hair that is certainly braid-eligible, but they haven't got the memo. Yet.

Slow news day, if you hadn't noticed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Great Rookie Class or Major Rebuild? Yes.

I am not sure if the Seahawks have one of the best front offices in the league or this team is going though a major rebuild. Come to think of it, it's not about the "or" it's about the "and." This is a great rookie class and many will have an immediate impact because this is a roster overhaul.

It looks like the 1st and 3rd round picks will be day-one starters and most (if not all) of the remaning 4th-7th rounders are having an impact in practice and are likely to make the team. KJ Wright, Richard Sherman, Mark Legree and Malcolm Smith all seem to be playing well and could see the field this Fall. This was a draft that was pretty well ripped by the national media (especially Tent Dilfer) which leads me to think that John Schneider and team have a strong eye for talent and the Seahawks mission is to get younger and give these kids a real shot. They will make mistakes but it will be fun to watch their development.

In terms of the undrafted rookies that were signed as free agents, it seems like three of them may make the team. Three. That is unheard of in recent memory. I think there are 4 with a legitimate shot of making the 53. Josh Portis is the leader in the clubhouse. He is the 3rd quarterback and I don't think he would clear waivers to make it to the practice squad. Former Boise State Safety Jeron Johnson is probably next likely. Pierre Allen and Doug Baldwin are having fantastic camps by all accounts, but both play very crowded positions.

The only undrafted players I can remember in recent memory that made the opening day roster were CJ Wallace and David Hawthorne.

Even most of the Free Agents they signed from other teams are young. This is a nice change from signing overpriced players whose best years were behind them.

  • Sidney Rice, 24
  • Zach Miller, 25
  • Alan Branch, 26

The willingness to potentially keep a slew of drafted and undrafted rookies leads me to believe that this is a major rebuild as PC and JS are building a team in their image. This looks to be a great rookie class and it needs to be. It is big and agressive. The Tim Ruskell teams were undersized and based on finesse, which when all the parts worked in unison made for some pretty entertaining football. The only problem was that since 2006, a lack of talent at some positions caused many others to be exposed.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One Less Lawyer to Worry About

It seems with the signing of Atari Bigby that the Seahawks will not be re-signing Lawyer Milloy this season. Sorry Husky fans. I guess that Bigby will be backing up Kam Chancellor and hopefully mentoring him along the way. If you remember, Bigby was all over the field vs. the Hawks in a playoff game in January 2008. He led the Packers in tackles that day and did a great job of intimidating Seattle receivers with big hits. It was the game that the Hawks jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first few minutes but found a way to get crushed 42-20 in the end.

While I got a kick out of the first name Lawyer, it is always nice to add an Atari to the mix. Missile Command anyone?

Ink is Permanent

Remember this guy?
The Seattle Seahawks decided to take the "better safe than sorry" approach this year by printing team logos on the tickets instead of featuring player photos. With over 235 roster moves last year alone, there were a number of games that featured your favorite ex-Seahawk of the week!

I was hoping that a certain cornerback, nicknamed KFJ (the F is for Friggin', thanks Hank), would be on a ticket so that this timely release would be imminent. Oh well.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Practice Cancelled?!?

So the Seahawks have been practicing for all of two weeks and Captain Khaki (er, Pete Carroll) cancelled practice this afternoon. He says the boys are tired. What makes no sense is the fact that they no longer "hit" twice a day and that most of the practices are essentially walkthroughs with shoulder pads and helmets only. I would hope that such a young team would take advantage of every allotted opportunity to be on the field given the new offense and the youth of this team. Oh yeah, tomorrow is the players day off as stipulated in the new CBA. This is not your father's NFL.

I sure hope we see a full half of the offensive starters Saturday night. They need the work in the new system and it would be nice to get a feel for how Tarvaris manages the game under center. In the next two games I would like to see:

  • Q1: Jackson
  • Q2: Jackson
  • Q3: Whitehurst
  • Q4: Portis

I hope T-Jack can excel in this offense as I love his speed, but I didn't see much poise last week when pressured. There will be pressure with a right side of the line being rookies and a Tyler Polumbus in for Okung. If, after game 3, Jackson seems behind Whitehurst, then it's time for a switch and CW can start the last preseason game and head into the season as the starter. I liked the way Whitehurst hung in the pocket last week and made the pass, while Jackson seemed to panic too quickly. It's probably not a fair comparison as Stanback and Tate are not exactly elite receivers.

Seahawks in the news:

Mike Florio's PFT Live interview with GM John Schneider

The mystery, wrapped inside the enigma that is Charlie Whitehurst by Danny O'Neil

The real reason fans bring binoculars to games

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pre-Season Game 1--San Diego

After 15.5 hours of travel Thursday, I arrived home tired to watch the game on the DVR.

General assessment: While I was hoping for some flashes of offensive brilliance from the starters, this wasn't the case. Maybe it was because the top three WRs were not dressed, maybe it was because Okung only made it through 4 plays, maybe it was because they are installing a new offense for the third year in a row...whatever the reason. The Hawks looked a lot like they did last year. Poor pass protection, no separation for their receivers and a genuine lack of playmakers. Maybe this will change when the o-line gels and Rice and BMW are in at WR. I sure hope so. The run blocking looked improved. Hopefully this will only get better. It would be nice to have a true fullback who can block. I am not sold on Michael Robinson in this role.

Defensively, Kelly Jennings reminded me of...Kelly Jennings. Ack! He is too small and too out of position to play regularly. Hopefully Walter Thurmond will be healthy enough to win the spot. Browner and Sherman looked good (and tall) in the second half. Let's hope they continue to impress. Kam Chancellor made an impact with a couple of stops against the run. Wilkerson did the same getting in the backfield a few times.

Quick thoughts:
1) has anyone seen Red Bryant? His injuries are always an issue and I have a bad feeling about him again.

2) has anyone seen Russell Okung? His injuries are always an issue and I have a bad feeling about him again. Ugh.

3) it would have been nice to see more of Tarvaris. He knows the system, why not play him more? Whitehurst is new to the system, yet he played the most.

4) Josh Portis (once he settled down) is pretty dynamic. I would like to see more from him. His upside seems large..

5) I would like to see the big, young corners Browner and Sherman get some time with the first team. If they can play then we can get rid of Jennings.

6) Coutu can't kick it deep enough even with the extra five yards. Let's hope Jeff Reed can.

7) Not sure what is up with John Carlson, but his blocking is horrendous. Maybe he wants to get traded, who knows.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Week 2 Assessment

Prediction: 5-11

Reasoning: Huge lack of leadership on Defense. The loss of Lofa and Lawyer Milloy means that the defense lost both of its leaders. Granted the defense wasn’t any good last year, but with all the youth out there, it is good to have a stabilizing force or two. Now that both are gone, I get the impression that they are completely embracing the youth movement this year. We are going to see a lot of mistakes with some flashes of brilliance as well as the chance of drafting a very good QB prospect EARLY in the first round.

The Hawks just re-signed Kelly Jennings, which tells me that their secondary will be no better than last year. Ugh. I would like to see Walter Thurmond play more as well as the rookie from Stanford. They could trade for Asante Samuel but I don’t think they will want to give up future picks. Same goes for Osi, who will cost a lot and at 30, won’t be around that much longer (especially when the team is probably 2 years away from being good). Colin Cole’s ankle is an issue, if he gets PUP’d then there are some serious depth problems in the middle. I like the signing of Mebane and the acquisition of Branch from AZ. The first string D-line looks good (Clemons-Branch-Mebane-Bryant) but after that we are in big trouble.

It is hard to say what the offense will look like until they get some of the news guys on the field, but they seem to have some playmakers (Leon Washington, Rice, Tate) as well as a young (but BIG) line. If the line can pass and run block there is a hope that they will be able to move the ball.

Health is a big issue for this team, as I don’t think they're very deep.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Free Agency Day 1

The hawks were a 5-11 team last year that were coached up and a little lucky to get to 7-9. They were blown out in most losses and couldn't win any games down the stretch to ice the division (especially the SF game). They are also going to start 2 rookies on the O line and 2 second year players (okung and unger who I count as a 2nd year guy as he missed all year in 2010). That said, I think putting someone younger and more mobile at QB is a good idea. I do not think the team is stressing QB play as they want to run the ball and play defense. Unfortunately the defense is going to be really bad, but that is besides the point.

I think this year they will go 5-11 and I think that sets us up well for drafting one of the top 2 or 3 QBs (especially given the fact that a lot of teams drafted QBs last year). Maybe someone will fall to us...who knows.

While I was a Hasselbeck fan, I didn't want him to return as now the team can embrace a major rebuild.

Sidney rice would be nice, but I don't think he makes much of a difference. I would rather they signed a big time corner or a D lineman.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I have been sending out random emails to fellow Seahawk fans and based on my sage wife's suggestion, I turned my regular (or irregular) ramblings into this blog. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to comment on the posts. Thanks!