As most of you know there has been lots of sports news swirling around Seattle in the past couple days, some good some not so good. First we started yesterday off with a rumor that indeed Chris Hansen had made a deal to but the Sacramento Kings NBA team, only to hear today that Georege Maloof whose family owns the team came out today and said that there was no deal pending. Then yesterday we had our annual Edgar Martinez let-down day as not only him but several other deserving players who belong in the Hall of Fame didn’t get in this year as the writers punted due to the PED controversy and didn’t let anyone in to the Hall.
On top of these dismal stories, word is now out that the Mariners and Diamondbacks had completed a deal to bring Justin Upton to Seattle in exchange for some of our top prospects only to have Upton excercise his no-trade clause in his contract in order to nullify the deal. Lots of sports news, lots of bummers here in Mayberry with skyscrapers which is nothing new for guys like me with 30+ years under our belts as Seattle Sports Fans.
But despite all this negativity I have been giddy all week knowing that our SEAHAWKS are still alive in the NFL playoffs and are preparing as I write this to flying down to Atlanta to take on the Falcons Sunday morning. Call me crazy but I have a feeling in my gut we are going to make it 0-4 in the playoffs for Matt Flynn and his gang down there. Saying this doesn’t come easy for me knowing full well the the roller-coaster ride of emotions that accompany believing in a Settle team . Trust me I’ve been through the wringer emotianally with both the Seahawks and the Mariners over the years hanging on by a thread of hope most years that someday we will have a World Champion in this city besides the distant memory of the 1979 Super Sonics. Now I’m not sure that is going to happen this year as we still have to get by a tough Atlanta Falcons team then face whomever wins the 49ers-Packers game just to get back to the Super Bowl, but myself like a lot of fans I have spoken to are allowing lost dreams to awaken this week and it has given us a reason to hope in the middle of this long, dark winter.
So on behalf of myself and the other Seattle Sports fans who make up the 12th man and who have hung in there since 1976 when the Seahawks made their debut I want to thank Pete Carroll, Paul Allen, Marshawn Lynch and our new hometown hero Russell Wilson for giving us HOPE once more here in Seattle. GO HAWKS!
I am 28 years old and have lived here my entire life. I was born in Redmond, raised in Bellevue, attended college at the University of Washington, and have since resided everywhere from Renton to Lynnwood. I can tell you about the best bars in the south end, how to avoid traffic in the north end, and get you in and out of Bellevue Square in under an hour on Christmas Eve. I have never left this place. I’ve never wanted to leave this place. The Greater Seattle area is my home and it always will be. I love it here. For better or worse, I will always love it here.
I’ll admit that a large part of what has entrenched me in this region, besides family and friends, are our sports teams. It doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. Over the course of my lifetime, none of our teams have enjoyed much success. There have been a handful of playoff trips here and there, a couple title appearances, a number of memorable players, and modest streaks of decency. But outside of Husky Football’s 1991 National Championship, we’ve never taken home a major sports crown since I’ve been alive. And even when Washington was anointed No. 1 over two decades ago, I was just seven years of age. I’d be lying if I told you I remembered it. What I’ve known, for the most part, is futility. And yes, it has been painful at times.
Memorable occasions have been few and far between. I can count on two hands the number of joyously significant sports moments I’ve paid witness to in Seattle. To tally the disappointments, however, I’d need to line up at least a hundred other fully-digited individuals. There have been so many letdowns that it hardly seems fair. Thankfully, I don’t exactly remember the frustrations, themselves — I’ve managed to repress those memories, it seems.
I do remember the aftermaths, though. The moments when I’d sit alone and wonder what the hell went wrong. When I’d grab a basketball and go shoot at the park until the sun went down. When I’d fill a notepad with my thoughts, then let it fester before throwing it away. I swear, if nothing else, this tragic run of championship abstinence has made me who I am today. If we had been winners my whole life, who knows if I’d have any desire to write. Writing, often times, is an outlet for pain. And as a lifelong Seattle sports fan, I’ve endured my fair share of heartbreaks.
I’m not the only one, of course. There are so many of you out there, just like me, who have dealt with our collective failures in sports in your own ways. It’s one of those things that unite us, that only those of us who were raised to worship at the altar of the Seattle sports scene can fully understand. Those from out of town who come here, who try to relate (bless their hearts), simply cannot. We appreciate your efforts to empathize, but this is something unique to the lifers, a wound we share that has never quite healed. Seattle sports fans have withstood dismay in spectacularly tragic fashion. It is that tragedy that brings us together.
Each passing year, we cynically write off our ballclubs at the first signs of ineptitude. We scoff as they sink to the bottom of the standings — “Knew it would happen. It always happens.” — then feign apathy as the remainder of a lost season plays out before dwindling crowds and only semi-interested onlookers.
But we’re fools for this sort of thing. Our fabricated indifference is a coping mechanism. How else do you deal with a broken record that keeps playing a horrible track? At some point, you tune out. Or at least pretend to. In doing so, you invite criticism — “You guys don’t even care about your teams. Seattle is a horrible sports town. Does anyone there do anything but drink coffee and listen to grunge? When was the last time you even went to a game? You guys don’t even deserve the teams you have. You’re not real fans. You don’t care.” — and turn yourself into a punching bag for any outsider who wants to kick you when you’re down.
When your teams fail time and time again to back you up, to represent you, to actually look like they give a damn, how can you fire back? You can’t. You just can’t. And so you keep faking listlessness, keep conjuring up detachment and disregard, even while your insides burn and your heart breaks more and more for these teams you can’t even will to victory. It sucks. It hurts.
But there is this year.
But there are the Seahawks.
There is always a “but.” Thank GOD for the “but.” And the Seahawks, these Seahawks, this year’s Seahawks — OUR SEAHAWKS! – are this tale’s “but.”
There have been other Seattle sports teams, as we know, that have enjoyed success.
There have been other Seattle sports teams that, to date, have delved farther into the postseason.
There have been other Seattle sports teams that have bubbled with captivating personalities, that have won in equally remarkable fashion, that have stumped critics, quieted detractors, and whipped our entire region into a frenzy.
But this team, quite frankly, has it all.
There is something special about these Seahawks. From Russell Wilson’s stoically consistent leadership, to Richard Sherman’s unwavering brashness, to Marshawn Lynch’s never-say-die running style, to Pete Carroll’s effervescent ebullience, to every player and every thing and every moment, every win, every tackle, every run, every pass, and every catch in-between. This is the team. This is the one. And my goodness, how many teams have we encountered that we thought could have been, should have been, that special, once-in-a-lifetime team? Too many to name.
We’ve been down this road before, only to encounter dead-ends. We’ve been told yes, only to experience no. We’ve been given hope when there was no basis for its arrival. We’ve been teased and taunted, tantalized and tormented. We have lost for so, so long. Wouldn’t it be nice to finally be the winners? Wouldn’t it be nice to finally see what the view from the top looks like?
This is the team that can take us there. They just have it. Whatever it is, they’ve got it. And everyone knows it. You can’t explain it. But you feel it when you cheer, when you giggle, when you high-five a friend, when you put on your blue-and-green shirt with the helmet on it. It’s confidence mixed with happiness mixed with swagger mixed with excitement and some other magical juju that can’t be defined. It’s amazing and awesome all at once. And it’s what they’re giving to us right now.
I hope we do it. I think we can do it. I know they believe they can do it, and that’s good enough for me.
We are Seattle, these are our Seahawks, we just won a playoff game, and we’re not gonna quit. We want one thing and one thing only: the Lombardi Trophy. And yeah, we deserve it. Go Hawks.
Filed under: Seahawks
This is America. And if there’s anything I’ve learned over the years about great pieces of prose, it’s that reminding people that this is America is always a good thing to do. You can’t argue with patriotism. It’s why politicians preface every controversial issue they have with talk about the stars and stripes. As if everyone in this country of ours agrees with what they’re about to say. It’s a genius ploy, and one that sways the impressionable swing voter time and time again. So before I engage in this rant on the liberties of sports fans everywhere, allow me to remind you that this, friends, is America.
In America, we enjoy freedom. That freedom extends to speech, it extends to human rights, it extends to the pursuit of happiness, and much, much more. We are very lucky to have these freedoms. These freedoms give someone like Sarah Brown, for example, the right to express her opinion on the Seattle Seahawks and their fan base, which she did quite loquaciously in this piece from Friday’s Seattle Times.
In fairness to Sarah, she is not a journalist. Like the rest of us, she’s a layperson who attended a sporting event presumably as a fan. Her experience, as detailed in the article, was decidedly negative. That negativity, one can infer, came as a result of her experience failing to align with her expectations. It’s human nature. If we expect something to occur in a certain, positive way, any result short of that anticipated positivity will leave us feeling perturbed. In these instances, we either internalize our disgust or let it out unto the world. In Sarah’s case, she was presented the opportunity to divulge her angst upon the masses. Unfortunately for Sarah, many of us amongst the mass she has now been exposed to fail to agree with her emotions.
For starters, it doesn’t appear that Sarah Brown is a Seattle Seahawks fan. She may associate herself with the Seahawks based on geography — she lives in Vancouver, Wash., according to the piece — but her fanatical knowledge is suspect, at best. I’m not here to question Sarah’s loyalty to the Seahawks organization or sports as a whole, but I will present some logic.
Logically, one would have to believe that most fans are somewhat aware of the NFL stadium environment. It is not a tea party. It is not a cordial affair. For the most part, NFL stadiums on gameday tend to be fairly hostile, offensive places to be. They are not for the faint of heart. You will hear some choice words. You will see some fights. You will experience disorderly drunks. This is the reality of the situation. The NFL stadium environment tends to mimic that of an amped-up saloon. Think Red Bull meets vodka meets testosterone meets excitement. That caustic combination of lubrication and emotion leads to an atmosphere of intensity, to say the least.
To not expect this going in is truly naive. For all their intellectual shortcomings (and believe me, many people will have you believe that all NFL fans are intellectually stunted), I wouldn’t expect any true-blue Seahawks fan to hastily ejaculate this much naivety and, in turn, expect other Seahawks fans to see eye-to-eye with the assessment. If you’re a Seahawks fan, if you’re an NFL fan, if you’re a sports fan in general, you know what you’re getting yourself into when you attend a pro football game. And in the immortal words of one Christopher Wallace, aka Notorious B.I.G., if you don’t know, now you know.
Sarah’s naivety is only Step One in her failure to get past her own unfortunate ignorance. Step Two is this: if you walk into that exact lubricated, emotional environment we just depicted hand-in-hand with the enemy, you are asking for trouble. You just are. I know. It doesn’t seem right. It hardly seems fair. We’re all people here, are we not? I hear you. I hear the argument. I hear your cries for humanity. But I’m sorry. For as much as I understand that we are all equal, for as much as I get that we are all unique creatures living as one on this beautiful planet, I cannot agree with you in this instance. Allow me to explain.
When it comes to sports, the opposition might as well be the Confederacy to our Union. This is basically war. We do not like the opposition. At the very least, we are slightly embittered by our rivals. In some cases, however, we hate the opposition. In the cases of the two rival teams cited in Sarah’s article — the San Francisco 49ers and the Oregon Ducks — there is unbridled disdain on the part of Seattle sports fans for each of those logos. Again, to not understand this is incredibly naive. We do not like the Oregon Ducks. We do not like the San Francisco 49ers. That’s just how it is, Sarah. And I’ll tell you what. I know some awesome people who happen to be 49er fans. I also know some awesome people (though not nearly as many) who happen to be Duck fans. Those awesome people are not stupid enough to walk into CenturyLink Field wearing the colors of either of those teams without expecting some level of vitriol from the Seattle faithful. Anyone wearing those colors in a Seattle sports venue knows they are likely going to piss somebody else off. Yeah, it sucks. But it comes with the territory. I wouldn’t let my friends wear those logos to a Seahawks game because I care about my friends’ safety. That’s how much I understand these rivalries and know what to expect when I walk into a hostile environment. Knowledge is power, Sarah. Get some.
Naivety and ignorance will lend themselves to unrealistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations will lend themselves to unfortunate experiences. Unfortunate experiences will lend themselves to anger and disappointment, which in turn will lead to emotional reactions. As someone who specializes in emotional reactions (scroll through these pages if you haven’t been here before; you’ll see what I mean), I get what Sarah Brown was attempting to intimate when she wrote her piece for the Times. The problem is, what she ended up vomiting into the newspaper and onto the internet is exactly the type of prejudiced beliefs that tend to be borne out of emotional reaction.
Beyond everything else, Sarah’s greatest mistake is that she up and decided to decry ALL Seahawks fans for the behavior of a few. In doing so, she also took it upon herself to anoint the Brown clan as the holy representation of what good sports fans look like. But the thing is, she couldn’t be farther from a sports fan. Sarah Brown is nothing more than a person upset over a bad day. As a result of that crappy day, she opted to become society’s hall monitor. And nobody likes a hall monitor. The halls were meant for running, anarchy, and free reign. Don’t you get it, Sarah? Don’t you understand?!
Here’s the thing, Sarah. Let’s say you enjoy a good, old-fashioned male strip club. I don’t know if you really do or not, but you might. Lots of women do. So for the sake of argument, we’ll say you do, too. You enjoy walking into that room with its dark walls and elevated stage. You enjoy the attention from shirtless waiters as they bring you beverages and flash you fabricated, million-dollar smiles. And most of all, you enjoy watching a well-coiffed, chiseled gentleman methodically remove his clothing in perfect accord with each thump of the beat in Ginuwine’s Pony. You get a kick out of all that. It might not be the most well-thought-of way to pass the hours during an evening out with the ladies, but it’s fun. You like fun. Heck, you love fun. And this is your definition of fun. Whether anyone else agrees with you or not. This is effing fun and nobody can tell you otherwise.
But then Joe Buzzkill walks in. Joe Buzzkill doesn’t like male strip clubs. It’s not his thing. He prefers a nice woman and a good book. But lo and behold, here he is at Chippendale’s tonight. And he’s not happy. So far, his night has not gone as planned. Nothing has worked out in his favor and he’s stewing upon every slight like a crock-pot full of chili. When he gets home, he decides, he’s going to let out all that anger in one sorely written piece of literary acrimony. All those women in attendance that night? Whores, he states. All those entertainers on stage? Heathens, he determines. What Joe Buzzkill decides to do is walk smack dab into the middle of your definition of fun and shit all over it with his ignorance, his anger, and his bad experience. And that, Sarah, is what you’ve done to Seahawks fans because of one unfortunate day.
You see, we’re not going to walk into your home and tell you it’s a little stuffy in there. We’re not going to do that. But that’s what you’ve done to us, Sarah. That’s what you’ve done to Seahawks fans.
Every fan base has its assholes. On behalf of my fellow fanatics, I’m sorry you encountered a few of those jerks. We’re not all like that, but you don’t seem to care.
Every fan will have bad days. Every fan will have good days. But you’ve generalized how those days should always be, Sarah. You’ve tried to turn us into you. Or at least that’s what you’ve expressed. And we don’t want to be you. I respect your opinion, but I don’t respect the way you’ve gone about expressing it. Your day sucked because for all your insistence over what a fan should be and how a fan should act, you truly had no idea what the fan experience was like. It was your ignorance that cost you a chance at a good day — combined with a few assholes and likely some alcohol, I’ll concede that. But the rest of us are fans, too. And somehow, we’ve managed to avoid the shit days like the one you went through. The difference? Knowledge, understanding, and realistic expectations.
Go home, Sarah. And stay there. We don’t want you with us. We don’t want your support. We don’t want your indignation over our behavior. We don’t want you to tell us how we need to behave. You’re not America’s mom, Sarah. You’re not our June Cleaver.
You said it yourself in the close of your article: “Being a fan means that you are an extension of the team, and in a sense, a representative of the team you support.” I couldn’t agree with you more. This team and this fan base needs fewer people like you.
Filed under: Seahawks
After 7 weeks of the 2012 NFL season Seahawks fans have to start asking themselves who this Seahawks team is. We know that the Seahawks have a top 5 defense. But, the Seahawks offense goes from good to bad not by the game but by the quarter or even by the drive. One drive they are able to move the ball up and down the field and the next series they move straight backwards. Is it because of the 12th Man, is it because of their young Quarterback or is there a noticeable difference when they are on the road vice at home. It is obvious that this team has struggled moving the ball at home sometimes, but the offense seems to struggle even worse when the Seahawks are on the road.
It is not a new thing for the Seahawks to struggle on the road. They are 1-3 on the road this season, but 3-0 at home after beating the Cowboys, Packers and Patriots. The Seahawks are 9-27 in the last 5 years on the road counting this season; they are winning 25% of their games on the road. At home they are 18-17 which is a winning percentage of 51%; that is a drastic difference of wins and losses. The sports world has heard how loud Century Link Field is; just ask Eli Manning and the Giants offensive Lineman after their 11 false starts in the 2005 match-up at then Quest Field. So we know there is a huge advantage to playing at home for the Seahawks.
The Seahawks being tucked up in the Great Northwest have always struggled going across the country due to the fact that they have to travel further than any other team in the NFL. They struggled against the Rams in week 4 this year being in the Central time zone. But when they traveled to the Eastern time zone the team responded with a win against the Panthers. So in 2012 it doesn’t seem like the distance traveled is the culprit for the offensive rollercoaster ride.
The thought is that maybe it is the woes of having a Rookie Quarterback who is getting use to playing in different surroundings. Russell Wilson stats at home are 41/68 pass attempts, 574 passing yards, 6 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in 3 games. Although his stat line on the road looks a lot different 63/107 pass attempts, 656 passing yards, 2 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in 4 games. It is expected for rookies to struggle, especially on the road but those numbers are drastically different especially the touchdown passes to interception ratio. This team has been able to run the ball more when at home and that is due in part to the lack of turnovers thus keeping the offense on the field and letting Marshawn Lynch continue to grind out the tough yards. The more touches that Lynch gets the less 3rd downs Wilson has to throw on.
This 2012 version of the Seahawks has show that they have a dominant defense, particularly when they are able to rest. But when this defense is constantly put back on the field due to their offense going 3 and out, they cannot use their strengths of speed and size to their advantage. As usual in the NFL this Seahawks team is only going to go as far as their quarterback will take them and from the looks of things they will only predominantly win the games they play at home. This is Russell Wilson’s team for this year and the years to come; he has sold his talents to Coach Pete Carroll and the 12th Man. But for this TEAM to truly become a dominant force on both sides of the ball, Wilson and his offense must learn to grind games out on the road because their defense will keep them in almost all games they play in.
Every home game is a big game for the 12th man. This game is even bigger. Tom Brady brings the NFL’s #1 offense into CenturyLink Field against our Seattle Seahawks and the league’s #1 defense. As fans we need to do our part to help the Seahawk defense stile the Patriots offense, and that means being the loudest we’ve been all year.
As members of the 12th man, we’ve heard all the accolades. We all know about the false starts we’ve caused. The accusations of “piping in noise” fuel us. The doubters only make us louder. It’s time to take our game to another level, and I know we can do it.
Earlier this week, Brady talked about trying to get us to boo our own team. That can’t happen. If the Seahawks stumble, we need to pick them up. And yes, I’m even referring to polarizing QB Russell Wilson. Even if he plays poorly, lets choose not to boo on game day. Any negativity can wait until after the final whistle. Lets not given the Patriots the satisfaction.
Brady also talked about silencing us by jumping out to a early lead. We have to make sure that doesn’t happen. We need to be as loud, or louder, if the Seahawks are down by 2 TDs. Lets choose to be the fans that can’t be silenced. Lets be the fans that never sit down. Lets be the exactly what we are.
We are the best, and loudest fans in the nation.
1) Where in the World is Clay Matthews?
- Clay Matthews has been a force in this league since his arrival as a first round selection out of USC. Already off to a torrid start this season with 6 sacks in 2 games, its imperative the Seahawks identify and communicate his location on the field at all times. Not to diminish the fact that all of Green Bay’s front 7 can get to the passer, it starts with Matthews. Line calls, and checks by Russell Wilson will prove vital to the Seahawks ability to handle the Packers ferocious pass rush.
2) Opposites Day
- It’s pretty obvious that a key for both teams to be successful will be trying to offset each other’s strengths, and force each other into their supposed weaknesses. For Green Bay, look to Seattle to play aggressive man-coverage and force the Pack to beat them with the run, while it’s the other way for the Packers. Stop the run, and make Seattle beat them with a rookie QB. What may be surprising to both teams, and their respective fan bases, is that both of these ‘weaknesses’ could end up being keys to victory. Russell Wilson flashed signs of brilliance in the preseason, while Cedric Benson had yet once again been left for dead, however comes out and shocks everyone with his continued physical running style and is now the Packers featured back. Aaron Rodgers and Marshawn Lynch may be the keys for each team’s defense, but watch out for Russell Wilson and Cedric Benson as well.
3) The Legion of Boom
- Green Bay will assault its opponents with aerial efficiency and domination. With 5 readily capable WR’s in Greg Jennings (who is said to be active tonight), Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Donald Driver, and the ever-dangerous Randall Cobb, the barrage won’t stop here. With that, it’s up to Seattle’s feared defensive backfield to take the proverbial ‘wind’ out of the Packers offensive ‘sails’ with its usual physical, bruising style of play. The unit’s cohesiveness and ability to communicate effectively throughout the ballgame will determine the ability Green Bay has to move the ball through the air. Look for a lot of nickel and dime packages from the Seahawks as they try to create difficult matchups for the quick, yet undersized Packer receiving corps. Pressing receivers at the line, and disguised blitzes will certainly force the decisive Aaron Rodgers into thinking twice before he throws the ball. A pass-rushers dream.
4) Hit em’ in the Mouth
- Seattle’s offensive line was marvelous last week against the Cowboys. The Seahawks were able to march the ball down the field with its physical running game, and efficient passing attack. The recipe Pete Carroll has been developing since his arrival. While Dallas is no slouch up front on defense, Green Bay is a different animal. The 3-4 attack style defense they play causes nightmares for opposing D-coordinators. Clay Matthews, A.J. Hawk, B.J. Raji, and co. are going to key on stopping the run on 1st and 2nd down, and forcing the ‘Hawks into 3rd and longs with the hope they can rattle Russell Wilson into making rookie mistakes. A nice game plan, certainly. What will be key is the Seahawks O-lines’ ability to once again punch the opposition in the mouth play after play. Out playing them with the physical, deflating style that has become their identity. The Seahawks have good depth on the line, and reports that Russell Okung is said to be back healthy only adds to this key factor for victory. As the old football adage goes, “So what if they know what we’re going to run, they still have to stop us.” If the O-Line looks like it did last week, good luck to you Green Bay.
5) The 12th Man + Monday Night Football > Ear-Popping Decibels
- So, we’re right up against it 12th Man. Monday Night Football returns to Seattle. John Gruden loves coming here, as much as he loves our new QB. It’s always a blast to hear him talk about how great the atmosphere is at the Clink, and that’s because of you my friends. I can only imagine the walk up to the stadium as kick-off approaches. 1st Avenue will be an avalanche of both confidence, and hope. A statement win on National T.V. brings the Seahawks to the forefront of the already hot button topic of the surprising NFC West. The nation will be watching 12th Man. Let’s let em’ hear it as well.
It’s always sort of like taking a new car out for a test ride when a new quarterback takes the field. It always helps to have done a little homework on the various options and differences with that new car prior to setting out for the dealership. Many fans have only seen short snippets of the 3 Seahawks’ QBs on the evening news, but have read a good deal about them. So, in this first pre-season game what are the fans going to be looking for versus what Pete Carroll might focus on regarding the play of his QB? Is it possible for Matt Flynn to have a great game but be a disappointment to his coaches? Might what looks like a great play to fans be a “fail” to his coaches? For example, what if Flynn misses all his reads when he comes up behind center, scrambles for his life, and miraculously finds an open receiver for a touchdown? Is that a good play? Or will coaches give him bad marks for missing the reads and failing to audible out of the play?
On the other hand here are some of the things Flynn might do which could appear as “bad” plays to fans that Pete Carroll will absolutely love;
1. Flynn drops back to pass, can’t find a receiver and throws the ball away. That might be marked as a positive on the part of the QB for not throwing a risky pass into coverage and getting intercepted, unless film later shows there was an open receiver.
2. Flynn comes to the line, looks over the defense and calls a time-out. Rather than going ahead with a play that will go nowhere, he can go talk it over with coaches and discuss the look the defense was giving him and plan an appropriate audible for the next time that look comes up.
3. Flynn drops back to pass, and drops to the turf for an easy sack. Some of the worst game-changing QB mistakes come on plays where the QB tries to make something out of nothing. If the defense is getting the better of Flynn’s protection, it’s a veteran move to go down and live to throw another play. Maybe the coaches can change the protection to stop the problem with their pass rush or call a play that could take advantage of over-aggressive defenses.
Of course, we would all like to see Matt Flynn come out and tear up the opposing defense. Here’s what I’m going to be watching for in the seconds between the drop back and the release of the ball. If Flynn does these things well, he could very well avoid the mistakes new quarterbacks make that turn the game against them.
1. Quick decision making. I hope to see Flynn’s head moving around as he checks off his first, second, and third options instead of locking in on one receiver.
2. If the first option is open, I will be looking for NO hesitation before the throw. We had a whole year of that with T-Jack and we all know what that looks like. So do defenses, and they’re going to exploit any hesitation.
3. Sensing pressure. This is a critical skill for any QB. Flynn seemed to have a great feel for the pocket in Green Bay. If he is to be successful, he needs to feel that pressure and take a few steps away from the pressure as he’s looking for his receivers to open up.
1. I’ll be watching the huddle. You can see body language by both the QB and the other players in the huddle as the play is being called. Also the break and how the team approaches the line can indicate how players feel about how things are going.
2. When a play is over, whether it’s successful or not, I’ll be watching for players attitudes when they come back to the huddle. Are they frustrated? Are they “pumped and jacked” as Pete Carroll likes to see them? Are they communicating positively or in an exasperated way?
3. What’s happening on the sidelines when Flynn is talking to coaches? Is it relaxed, tense, animated?
4. I want to see Flynn congratulate his receivers when they make a play, but also maybe have a short conversation to get things straight after an incompletion. This is key to Flynn building his leadership with the team.
1. Quick decision making.
2. Avoiding the forced throw.
3. ”Touch” on the pass.
4. Throwing high to the corner or back of the end zone where only the receiver can make the play.
5. Adapting to the short field with more compact coverages.
So, how will this “test drive” go for Flynn and what will the implications be? Keeping in mind this is the first game and defenses are almost always ahead of offenses this early in the pre-season, I’m thinking it could be pretty ugly for our new QB in a new system on a new team. But if it is, it’s possible to be ugly in a positive way. Flynn could have a good game with a bad result and still come out on top of the QB battle as long as his decisions are sound.
I’ll be watching all these things and taking notes for both QBs during both halves of the game so I can report back next week on what I saw. On the other hand, maybe I’ll just grab a bowl of nachos and a 6 pack and yell at the TV for two and a half hours, scare my dogs, and make a general nuisance of myself to my family. Ahhh yesssss! Football season is FINALLY HERE!
Like many of you, I am suffering from pre-training camp depression and am also often at a loss for things to write about. So I decided to make a list of activities that would help kill time for the next month or so. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments section and enjoy.
- Make every single one of these.
- Write a thesis paper on why the economic model used by the NFL should be used by the whole world.
- Patch the Tarvaris Jackson inspired holes in my wall created during last season.
- Put foam padding on objects routinely thrown in anger and celebration during games.
- Bake cookies, deliver, and ask for forgiveness from neighbors offended by obscenities yelled during last season.
- Sound-proof doors, windows, and basically entire apartment to prevent future offending.
- Brew enough beer to last through season.
- Make enough jerkey (of various sorts) to last through season.
- Learn meditation and proper anger management methods to be used during games.
- Learn flower arrangement.
- Assemble shrine to the 12th Man and Pete Carroll/John Schneider; both of which may or may not be desecrated and rebuilt many times during the season.
- Order new 12th Man flag to replace one that was lost during a storm.
- Prepare Christmas cards to be air-dropped on San Francisco after the Seahawks beat the Niners in prime time in October.
- Preemptively apologize for all false promises made, and consequently not kept, to a variety of deities and sky-gods during tense and critical moments of a game.
- Teach my dog to do this. (Also yet another reason dogs are better than cats.)
- Read all the books I intend to read during the season but know I will never get around to.
- Catch up on season two of Boardwalk Empire and Tremé.
- Watch all previous seasons of Breaking Bad in preparation for the final season.
- Create a liquid form of Skittles to be mainlined when Beast Mode takes place.
- Decide whose jersey to get when I am in Seattle in August.
One thing that I take very seriously in evaluating a team is leadership. This is one reason I always doubted Tarvaris Jackson. In all of his press conferences this year he looked scared and confused, as well as mumbling every word he spoke. It was almost like he didn’t really want to be our starting quarterback, as if his mom was forcing him to go out for the team.
All year long I have been trying to decipher who our leaders are. With the absence of Marcus Trufant, Lawyer Milloy, Lofa Tatupu, and Matt Hasselbeck it has been difficult for the Seahawks. We are definitely a young team in transition waiting for leaders to emerge. So with this article I am going to do my best to evaluate which leadership roles have been filled as well as try and spotlight roles where leadership is still needed.
I’m going to start with the two emotional leaders of the team since they are definitely the most fun to watch (as well as being my favorite players). Our two emotional leaders are unquestionably Marshawn Lynch on offense and BIG Red Bryant on defense. The emotional leader on an offense or a defense is the guy that thrusts energy into the heart of every player before kick-off as well as being the one to keep that energy pulsating as the game wears on. They also help pick the team up in situations when they are down, whether with a play on the field or through encouragement on the sideline. Richard Sherman is a player to watch in this regard, for he is too emotional not to become a leader.
Tags: 12th Man, Earl Thomas, Ed Reed, football, Lawyer Milloy, Lofa Tatupu, Marcus Trufant, Marshawn Lynch, Matt Hasselbeck, nfl, Pete Carroll, Ray Lewis, Red Bryant, Richard Sherman, rookie, Seahawks, Seattle, Seattle Seahawks, tarvaris jackson, Troy Polamalu
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