Saturday, January 21, 2012

Free Agent QBs

We know this is a position of need for Seattle, but is signing a Free Agent the way to go? I think the team would prefer drafting and developing a young QB, but who knows if they will be able to get one in this spring's draft. They will have the following players to consider before the draft:
  1. Drew Brees (NO) - He's not leaving Nola. This much I know.
  2. Matt Flynn (GB) - An intriguing option. Not physically ideal. Lots of unknowns. 
  3. Alex Smith (SF) - I can't imagine SF letting him go anywhere. He gets the job done.
  4. Kyle Orton (DEN) - Middle of the pack type of QB. I don't see him as an upgrade to TJack. Speaking of Jack, anyone seen my Jack and Coke?
  5. Jason Campbell (OAK) - Campbell has been fairly efficient. His game is too similar to Jackson's and he is two years older.
  6. Donovan McNabb (MIN) - Retire already.
  7. Chris Redman (ATL) - Who?
  8. Derek Anderson (CAR) Chile, Please!
  9. Shaun Hill (DET)
  10. Drew Stanton (DET)
  11. Brady Quinn (DEN)
  12. David Garrard (FA)
  13. Luke McCown (JAC)
  14. Chad Henne (MIA)
  15. Sage Rosenfels (MIA)
  16. David Carr (NYG)
  17. Mark Brunell (NYJ)
  18. Kevin O'Connell (NYJ)
  19. Kyle Boller (OAK)
  20. Vince Young (PHI)
  21. Charlie Batch (PIT)
  22. Dennis Dixon (PIT)
  23. Byron Leftwich (PIT)
  24. Charlie Whitehurst (SEA)
  25. A.J. Feeley (STL)
  26. Josh Johnson (TB)
  27. Rex Grossman (WAS)
Options #9-27 are so bad, they aren't even worthy of snarky comments (sorry, Charlie).

Mock Draft Tracker 1.0

I charted 20 different mock drafts to see what the "experts" think will happen when the Seahawks pick 11 or 12. Here are their thoughts:

Seven of 11 potential choices are defensive, even though Seattle clearly needs more help on the offensive side of the ball. Free Agency plays a huge part in their this, as needs could completely change if the Hawks lose or sign players in positions of need. Free Agency opens March 13th.

Here are the candidates thus far:

Luke Kuechly, ILB 15%
Ryan Tannehill, QB 15%
Devon Still, DT 10%
Melvin Ingram, LB/OLB 10%
Michael Brockers DT 10%
Quinton Coples DE 10%
Whitney Mercilus, DE 10%
Brock Osweiler, QB 5%
Jonathan Martin, OT 5%
Nick Perry DE 5%
Zach Brown, OLB 5%

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Report: Packers "unlikely" to use tag on Flynn

Here is an article explaining the risks of using the Franchise tag on Flynn:

The Packers also have to consider the contract of Jermichael Finley who will also be an unrestricted FA and they may need the tag for him.

If it is only about money (and not losing picks) then the Seahawks should go out and get Flynn.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Math: SEA + BASF = SF


Anyone old enough to remember the "making everything better" commercial from BASF? Shannon, I know you are. If not, here it is:

The Niners play the game like the Seahawks want to play it, but only better. Can we sprinkle some BASF on the Hawks before games next year?

As I wrote when the two teams met in week 16, both were statistically close in all areasexcept the Niners were nominally ahead of the Hawks in every area. These small margins take a team from 7-9 to 13-3. Pete Carroll can use his bay-area rival as a model for the team he is trying to build. It will be interesting to see how well San Francisco is built for the playoffs.

Friday, January 6, 2012

End of Season Awards

The 2011 NFL regular season is over and it is time to take a look at who deserves the team awards for the Seattle Seahawks.

Rookie of the Year — Doug Baldwin. 
He led the team in receptions and yards as an undrafted free agent. He is a smart football player who easy finds the soft spots in zone coverage. Runner up: Richard Sherman. This fifth rounder was forced into duty after two other corners were injured and he never looked backbecoming the team's best corner. A bright future for both Stanford products. 

Most Improved Player — Kam Chancellor. 
This fifth rounder in 2010 saw very limited action his rookie year only to become a starter and a standout in year two. He demonstrated a much needed toughness that prior Seahawk teams only dreamt about, and quickly became one half of a very young and talented safety tandem. Runner Up: Max Unger. He anchored the patchwork o-line all year starting every game and making all the calls for the unit. His steady presence allowed the young line to get better with even game.

Comeback Player — Brandon Browner. 
After playing in Canada and not getting a chance in the NFL for 3+ years the Hawks signed him to a futures contract in January 2011 with little to lose. He became an opening day starter and led the team in interceptions. He played the run as aggressively as he played the pass and he was rewarded by his peers as a pro-bowl alternate. Most Importantly he is the reason the Hawks traded Kelly Jennings (which yielded Clint McDonald, too). Runners up: Leroy Hill and Red Bryant. Both players rebounded after season ending injuries in 2010.

Most Disappointing Player — Zach Miller. 
A big time Free Agent acquisition with major expectations after some big years with Oakland. By no fault of his own, he was kept in to block most of the time and Tarvaris Jackson tends to favor sideline throws. While his play was fine, he made little impact25 catches and no TDs. Not good. Runner up: Sidney Rice. Health has been a concern given his huge deal, and it proved to be the case again. He played in only 9 games having just 32 catches and 2 TDs. He was not healthy in many of those 9 games either. Lets hope he does not win this category next season.

Defensive MVP — Earl Thomas. 
In just his second year he is shaping up to be everything that was advertised about the #14 overall pick. He is a leader of the secondary making calls and getting everyone into position. He made a ton of tackles and was very stron supporting the run. Runner up: Chris Clemons. He continues to get to the QB (11 Sacks) and is surprisingly strong against the run.

Offensive MVP — Marshawn Lynch. 
Beast Mode. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

One less QB this April

News out of Oklahoma today is that Landry Jones is staying in school for another year.

This is not as deep of a QB draft as once thought, now that he and Matt Barkley aren't coming out early.

Given the lack of QBs and my unwillingness to trade the farm for RGIII, I think the Hawks need to get a pass rushing defensive end at #11 or 12.

Thoughts on Matt Flynn

Let's face it, the Packers are going to use the Franchise Tag on Matt Flynn this off-season. They would be crazy not to. Using the tag ensures that they will receive some sort of compensation for their back-up QBinstead of letting him walk-away in free agency for nothing.

It mirrors the move that the Patriots made with Matt Cassel, trading him for a 2nd round pick after tagging him.

That said, I don't think it is worth it to give up a high pick for an unproven, 27 year old talent. Look what happened to Arizona last year with Kevin Kolb. They gave up a 2nd rounder and a starting corner and got a 2-6 record and a QB controversy in return. The media is speculating that the cost for Flynn could be a first rounder given the fact that 4 to 6 teams may be interested. If tagged, I hope the Hawks sit this one out.

I would be all for signing Flynn as a free agent though, as all you would be risking are salary cap dollars. The Hawks have a ton of room under the cap (30 million?) and will free up more money once Misters Whitehurst and Trufant are no longer with the team. CW's 4 million will be off the books and Tru's 2012 salary is 7.3 million which I didn't think the Hawks would pay (see post) even before Browner and Sherman emerged as bonafide starters.

I would hate to see the front office give up a top pick or picks for a big unknowngiven that the team still has room to improve at a number of positions. Maybe the failed Charlie Whitehurst experiment will prevent it from happening again.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Making Progress, Part Three

If you look at the average age of the Seahawks 2011 roster it is 25.8
Last year the team average was 26.9
Both numbers include the 53 man roster plus IR.
Getting younger AND getting better is a great combination.

The Sea Gals are heading in the right direction, too.

Another reason to embrace the team's youth movement.

Making Progress, Part Two

I mentioned a while back that the Hawks were on the cusp of becoming a top 10 defense. Well, they finished #9 in yards against and #7 in points. A HUGE improvement over the last few years.
Here's how this team stacked up:

League Ranking In:
Yards Points Turnovers
2011 9 7 5
2010 27 25 28
2009 24 25 26
2008 30 25 25

You could argue that these numbers are all because of an improved defense, but that is not entirely the case. The defense was on the field less in 2011, and the offense turned the ball over less than in previous years.

Time of Possession Give
2011 28:18 23
2010 27:18 31
2009 27:30 31
2008 26:37 27

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Making Progress, Part One

As last year's Seahawks and this year's team both finished with 7-9 records, there are a number of ways to see how the team is headed in the right direction. Here is one:

The 9 losses in the 2010 regular season were by an average score of 14 to 35, essentially getting blown out in every loss. The margin of defeat was a whopping 21 points.

The 9 losses in the 2011 season were by an average score of 14 to 24. The Hawks were in every game except for 2 (Pittsburgh and Cincy) and lost by a margin of just under 10 points a game.

A Quick Look at Our Free Agents

Here is a partial list of the 18 Seahawks who are no longer under contract in 2012 and will be Free Agents in the spring:

Pay Them
  • Marshawn Lynch, RB, age 25.
  • Red Bryant, DE, age 27.
Nice to Have
  • John Carlson, TE, age 27.
  • Kennard Cox, CB, age 26.
  • Michael Robinson, FB, age 28.
  • Leroy Hill, LB age 29.
  • David Hawthorne, LB, age 26.
  • Paul McQuistan, OT, age 28.
  • Breno Giacomini, OT, age 26.
  • Chaz Whitehurst, QB, age 29.
  • Raheem Brock, DE, age 33.
  • Chris Baker, TE, age 32.
  • Justin Forsett, RB, age 26.
  • Matt McCoy, LB, age 29.

    Lynch is the heart and soul of the offense, if you let him go, it puts a lot of pressure on the QB and that is not a good thing. They can't afford to take a step backwards offensively. Big Red is an essential piece to the young defense getting even better next year.

    In the next category, I don't think any of the players are going to be particularly expensive:
    • Carlson's numbers have been going in the wrong direction and the injury this year will also lower his value.
    • Cox is a special teams player only, so he will come cheap. The team sure needs his kick coverage skills (see Ted Ginn).
    • Robinson is a decent blocking FB and a good Special teamer. I am not entirely sold on him as a road-grading FB (i.e. Mack Strong) but he gets the job done.
    • Etiher Hill or Hawthorne will need to be signed. I have a feeling one of these two will be moving on. I think the Hawks will draft another LB and will have to decide on whether to move KJ Wright to the middle or whether they need to replace LeRoy. Hawthorne was slowed by injury this year but still performed adequately. He is undersized and a little slow but makes a lot of plays. Ideally, I think the team would like a bigger Mike LB. Hill played well all year, but he is getting older on a young defense and might be the odd man out.
    • McQuistan and Giacomini need to come back given the lack of health of the starting five. They proved to be solid backups, if not starters in the league. Their depth and experience will be needed in 2012.

    Monday, January 2, 2012

    Welcome to the Off-Season

    Happy New clean out your locker.

    "Hey Charlie, How about our 8 million back?"