Hey guys, I'm still alive. Been struggling to get anything on here of late, what with life and general Seahawks-related-malaise... November is always a tough month for some reason. Anyway, Bill and Mike have been taking care of you like the excellent folks they are, but I'll try to get back in the mode of actually writing too. We don't want to have to change the blog's name to SeahawkEnthusiasts.com, after all.
Anyway, so we're through with 8 games. Not a whole lot to celebrate thus far, though for what its worth we were 2-6 at this time last year. At this rate we'll be undefeated in 2014! Yeah! Anyway, I thought that a good way to get back on track was a mid-season awards ceremony, so, without further ado, here... we... go...
Rookie of the Year (So Far)- Max Unger
Max Unger has played every snap this year and, other than three holding penalties and a few missed assignments, has played well above the level that can be expected of an NFL rookie in his second position. Obviously Aaron Curry has been good too, but he's mentioned later and, honestly, Unger has been quietly more impressive to me.
Sophomore Player of the Year - Lawrence Jackson
LoJack was routinely bashed and used as an example of Tim Ruskell's imbecility. For some reason, now that he is playing very well, no one seems to be giving Ruskell credit for him, but I suppose thats hardly the point. Long-run I think we can agree that John Carlson is the best draftee from 2008, but thus far this season it's been Jackson who has shone brightest.
Comeback Player of the Year - Nate Burleson
After a strong year in 2007 and an ACL tear in 2008, no one knew what to expect of Nate Burleson. Nasty Nate leads the team in receptions with 45 for 562 yards with 3 touchdowns. The TDs aren't the best, but come on, we've only scored like 5 total. Burleson is on pace for 90 receptions for 1,124 yards and 6 TDs. That'd be 4 receptions short of Engram's team record and about 150 yards short of the team record set by Steve Largent in 1985. Um, sure, we'll take that.
Most Pleasant Surprise - David Hawthorne
Hawthorne has come in and played exceptionally well in Lofa Tatupu's absence. He makes a lot of tackles, has a knack for big plays, and has a nose for the football and for big hits. He isn't ready to fill Tatupu's shoes just yet, but is becoming much more of a linebacker than a hitter like he was in 2008.
Preseason Stud Sent to Pasture - Michael Bennett
Arguably even better than Nick Reed, Bennett was cut to get an offensive lineman on the squad and ended up being signed by the Bucs. He has played in 3 games for the scalliwags recording 3 tackles and one sack.
Most Addictive Player to Watch - Aaron Curry
Curry is not yet the player he will become, but he is incredibly fun to watch. It's just a matter of time before he starts recovering fumbles, making interceptions, knocking down a few more QBs, et cetera. In the meantime, I'll take the wicked backside pursuits and bone-jarring spears.
Offensive MVP - Matt Hasselbeck
This year, Hasselbeck is 3-3 as a starter, including one game he left at halftime that the NFL has admitted they blew, so it's likely you could call that 4-2. He hasn't been perfect, but when he's not trying to force the ball into Housh he's been playing at a very high level. More to the point, it's clear that no one is more important to this offense than Hasselbeck right now.
Offensive LVP - T.J. Houshmandzadeh / Deion Branch
If you determine value as the output divided by cost, it's hard to argue with this one. Combined cap hits of these two WRs for 2009 exceed $13 MM. That's more than Carlson (~$1MM), Burleson ($4.5MM), Hasselbeck ($5.25MM) and Julius Jones ($1.95MM) combined.
Defensive MVP - Josh Wilson
Has Wilson been the best player on defense? No. But no one has been particularly great, and Wilson has been one thing that no one else has: consistent. Call him a midget all you want, but he has been the best cornerback on the team for each of his games this year save for maybe last week (Trufant and him were both quite good).
Defensive LVP - Jordan Babineaux
Brian Russell was bad. Real bad. If he was on the team, without a doubt, this would be him. But he's not, so it's not. Instead, it's his replacement. Everyone was very excited to see Russell cut and Babs given a chance to shine. Unfortunately, he is squandering it. The only big plays Big Play Babs has been involved with have been for the other team. He's been poor in coverage and somewhere between sloppy and terrible in the run game. I was rooting big time for him, but it's clear that we will need to fix the safety position in the off-season.
Coach of the Year - Mike Solari
Funny for the worst part of the team to get the coach of the year award, but what can I say? In reality, Mike Solari took an offensive line as depleted as has ever been in the NFL -- five LTs?! -- and put them in a place that they could fulfill their most crucial task: keeping Matt Hasselbeck healthy. Now that the team is healthy, it's time for him to get the running game going...
Okay: Your turn!