With everyone being so negative about the future of our beloved Seahawks, I thought I'd bring in some more positive thoughts and things we might do to help the club. All these negative viewpoints need to be offset by a little bit of positive thought or they could become a self-fulfilling prophecy in and of themselves. Here's five things to chew on and ponder as the 2009 season closes and the offseason starts.
1) Everyone agrees that Hasselbeck probably only has a couple of good years left and the rebuilding effort in Seattle is beginning to look as if it will surpass the useful career he has left. With Holmgren taking the Browns job, maybe we should see if he wants Hass to help get his new team off the ground and try to engineer a trade with Cleveland for one of their young quarterbacks (as suggested by "Radem44") and/or a draft pick. Holmgren might find a veteran QB who knows his system invaluable in getting his new team up and running and as a role model to his developing quarterbacks. If we could solve our quarterback of the future dilemma with one of the Browns' young quarterbacks while Hasselbeck, who would be more valuable to Holmgren than to any other team in the league including the Seahawks, played out his last years starting in Cleveland for Holmgren, that's a true win/win situation for both teams. In terms of what the Seahawks could ask in trade, Radem44 suggests:
"They would get their pick of: Derek Anderson--a guy who had a damned good season a couple years ago and could still turn into a good quarterback if he had a fresh start and decent receivers. Or: Brady Quinn--a former 1st round pick with a great pedigree and all the physical tools, but who like Anderson was handed a pile of poop and asked to make pudding out of it."
As far as the Seahawks go, if they are going to be re-building, Hasselbeck is not of much use to them for the next two years or so anyway. They won't be a contending team right away, and by the time they're ready Hass will be retiring or moving into a backup role. It's time to get the next Seahawks quarterback on the field so that he can develop as the team develops. It doesn't make much sense to rebuild and develop the team using a quarterback with only two years left in the tank and then have to go through the developmental pains of breaking in a new quarterback two years later when the rest of the team is starting to gel and play well together. That would just further extend the developmental time needed for the Seahawks to get back to being a contender. Better to have that quarterback developing right along with the team from the ground floor up especially if we don't have much chance at contending anyway. I would bet that Hass wouldn't mind starting for Holmgren for a couple years in Cleveland to end his career as a starter as opposed to what is coming for the Seahawks.
2) Here's a good point brought up by Seahawk Addict "WestSeattle" for you guys advocating a boycot of the Seahawks to ponder. WestSeattle says:
"....boycotting games always makes a difference. First games get blacked out, then before you know it, your team is packing it's bags for another city. I remember what almost was the L.A. Seahawks. I'm not willing to take my chances on doing an ignorant boycott."
Right now the NFL is considering which team to move to LA in leiu of expansion. Paul Allen isn't one to weather empty seats, revenue losses, and the community not supporting him or the team he rescued from Behring's attempt to move it. If the Seahawks venture fails, Mr. Allen very easily could sell the team. Losing the Seahawks on the heels of losing the Sonics will kill the big time sports attraction of the Seattle area. Could you root for the L.A. Seahawks? If you want to send a message to Paul Allen, think long and hard about how much you want to try and out-muscle the richest owner in the league over money and support before you take a chance on killing the golden goose for good. There are other and better ways to get the point across. To continue reading, click on the "Read more" link below.
3) Before last season started, Holmgren thought he had a team capable of contending for the Super Bowl. From his press conferences and appearances on KJR, at the very least he thought he had a pretty good football team. Coming from Holmgren, you have to believe the talent level was what he thought it was. We all know how injuries played such a big part of what happened last season. I see some posters asking what happened that we could be less than two years removed from that team and be in the state we're now in. I think there's a good chance we're in the current situation more from coaching than the thought we've lost or overestimated our talent.
Essentially, this is still the same team that Holmgren thought was ready to compete for the title prior to the 2008 season. In fact, in some ways it should be improved. The one notable exception is, of course, Walter Jones. The good news here is that the new GM and particularly a new coaching staff, if it comes to that, are starting with a team that is still just a few pieces away from being a pretty good team. That's a whole lot better situation that attempting to resurrect a team that has been neglected by the owner and is barren of talent, which is more the norm when a team needs to make a complete housecleaning.
4) I still say that the GM job for the Seattle Seahawks is a plum job. I doubt that there will be a problem attracting good candidates to apply for whatever positions open up. If I remember correctly, it took Allen two years to land Holmgren once he figured out that was who he wanted. I think one of the problems with the Holmgren situation is that Allen refused to be rushed and bullied into giving Holmgren the job right away and maybe the Cleveland offer backfired on Holmgren if he thought it would force Seattle into action rather than taking the chance on losing him. It appears that Seattle did want to try to get Holmgren involved but only as a part of the management team, not as the presiding King of the Land. Holmgren might have been whistling "I Just Want To Be King" as he left the Seahawks offices, but I suspect Paul Allen has a pretty good idea of what he's looking for and it wasn't a supreme ruler. The thing about Paul Allen being boss is that when he finds the man he wants, he'll most likely get him eventually. That's what being rich is all about.
There are qualified candidates working for other teams who cannot be interviewed until the season is over, and if they work for a playoff-bound team they can't be interviewed until their team is out of contention. I'm sure Paul Allen doesn't want to make a hasty decision now and regret it later if someone becomes available who would have been a better fit for how he wants to structure the front office and has the skill sets he is looking for. The correct approach from the start was to turn over every rock and interview every qualified candidate until the team finds the right guy, otherwise it'll be in flux for years again before we get back to being what the team was in 2005. I feel positive that if the right guy comes along and wants to clean house and bring in his own hand picked coaching staff, the "join us" philosophy could end up being rescinded and the rebuild would get underway. Sometimes, it's a bit like doing an unconventional home project where you need something from the hardware store, only you don't know what it looks like but you'll know it when you see it. I'm sure the Seahawks are looking for a particular combination of skills and experience but they are always open to evaluating whatever presents itself and looking for a better option. It's better to make sure you get what you want and need now than to hurry the process and end up repeating it every two or three years while never getting out of the muck.
5) A lot has been said about the Seahawks "cleaning house" and getting rid of many of our top players because they are overrated. I disagree. Houshmandzadeh has been the second leading receiver in the NFL over the last 5 years and that wasn't on a team playing in the weak NFC West division. Trufant, Tatupu, Grant, Lucas, Hill, and Mebane are all savvy veterans who should be playing a whole lot better and have in the past under a different coach and scheme. When you have proven players who all of a sudden can't seem to perform up to their own standards that usually points to players who are not being given the chance to succeed by not being put in position to make plays. The scheme and philosophy of the offense and defense dictate how players respond to their opponents in any given situation, where they concentrate their efforts, and their positions on the field. Carlson and Wilson are both young players who should be tearing it up at their respective positions, but Carlson hasn't succeeded in this offense like he did in Holmgren's offense last year.
Wilson is our best cornerback right now, but along with the rest of the defensive backfield he's getting hammered by inadequate pass rushing schemes which generates the need to cover NFL-caliber receivers for several long seconds, an impossible task for even the best DBs. I see wide open receivers all the time from our opponent's offense, which indicates the scheme isn't good because Trufant, Lucas, and Wilson are all good NFL cornerbacks capable of shutting down receivers if the scheme puts them in position to do so. Three years ago, Trufant, Jennings, Grant, and Russell were at the top of the league in pass defense using Marshall's cover 2 defense (with consultation and help from Rhodes). Wilson, Trufant, Grant and Milloy/Babineaux are agruably a better defensive backfield, yet they can't seem to cover even the worst passing attacks in the league this year. Either the players got worse or the new scheme sucks. You make the call.
All season we've been using the excuse that the players haven't learned the new schemes yet, that they will get better as the respective schemes mature. I think with only two games left to play in the season the players should know the schemes very well by now and it still seems like we're seeing the same results we've been watching all season long. Players are frequently out of position, opposing playmakers aren't accounted for (isn't that what film study is for?), Hasselbeck can't find open receivers and has to check down frequently, our opponent always seems to have a wide open receiver down field on third and long, and the Seahawks haven't made a decent adjustment during the game all season long. Outsmarted, outcoached, or outschemed? Whatever you want to call it, I don't think you can hang all that failure on the players, especially those who have proven themselves in past performances under a proven coach to be above average to very good players. These are for the most part players in the prime of their careers so they shouldn't be getting worse, they should be getting better.
I still have faith that the Seahawks have a talented team in a lot of areas. They are not a team that needs 5 years of rebuilding to become a solid contender again unless we hire a GM who insists on doing it all his way and cleans house before building from the floor up with new coaches, new players, and new schemes. I know some are suggesting that we need to do just that, but I disagree. We still have many talented players in place and are lacking maybe four or five key players to rebuild our offensive line and pass rush, with maybe a defensive back and running back sprinkled in.
Okay Addicts, weigh in and remember this is not an "R" rated post. Here's your chance to discuss some things that reflect positively on the future of the Seahawks rather than all the doom and gloom. We're going to be okay. That was a given when Paul Allen bought the team and showed he's willing to do whatever it takes. Give him a chance to uncover the right man for the job and then give that man a chance to show why Paul Allen hired him. A lot of you guys have been crying for change all season long. Well, here it comes, so embrace it instead of dragging it through the dirt.