Welcome back to Hawk Tawk,
This week I would like to start with this:
Wednesday was the 11th of September, a day that is forever a solemn day. Innocent lives were taken on that day 12 years ago. The actions taken by terrorists that day have shaped a new world that we live in. I am an active duty Soldier, serving in the United States Army Infantry. Just as I write this article to help quench my love of the Seattle Seahawks, I serve you to quench my love for our country, and for my family. I serve out of respect for those who have served before me. I sincerely hope that you took a moment out of your day to stop and think about those we lost, their families, and the service members who are still fighting to prevent it from happening again. You will never be forgotten. You will never be alone.
Okay….now let’s Tawk. That was one nail-biter of a game to start the season off with fellow 12ers. But now that I have those pesky fingernails gone and out of the way, let us get down to our business of Tawking some Hawk. I want to Tawk offensive line. I want to Tawk about the offensive line’s effect on the running game. I want to Tawk about the lack of any kind of pass rush or quarterback pressure. I want to Tawk about how the read option is now more of a play action 3.0. I want to Tawk about the game plan for San Francisco. I want to Tawk about Hauschka and the special teams play. I want to Tawk about what I got right and wrong last week and, lastly, I want to Tawk about a 49ers running back who has never gained more than 70 yards in one game calling the Seattle Seahawks the She-Hawks. Are you ready? Let’s go.
Last week, I perhaps over-emphasized my lack of comfort with the play of the offensive line. They really didn’t do anything to change my mind. Penalties still accumulated (though not all O-line) and the running game never really got off the ground. Not that it is supposed to leave the ground, then the running game would be the passing game. Well, maybe it did get off the ground then, because that is what happened. I understand that Carolina has an excellent defensive line. I just do not understand how Pete Carroll and company can be happy watching their offensive line get pushed around like they have been. If Russell Wilson was not behind center, that game would have been much, much uglier for the quarterback. They look porous to me and didn’t show the toughness I had Tawked myself into expecting. The play selection in the fourth helped a bit, but come on, when is Seattle going to get their offensive line back in form? I hope that answer is yesterday, because our biggest rival is coming to town, and we need them.
The running game really stumbled out of the gate, as did the entire offense. It almost appeared that there was no real commitment to run the ball like I expected. It looked like they tried a few times and said, “Well, that ain’t gonna work, let’s try throwing it.” I expect more this week. Seattle has to commit to the ground game in order to keep defenses honest. The ground game opens up play action, and play action opens up Stephen Williams and Jermaine Kearse behind the defensive back field. Think I am lying? What happened on Seattle’s last scoring drive? Nuts and Bolts are what the machine is made of. You have to have nuts and bolts to make a good machine, right Coach Carroll? Running equals nuts, blocking equals bolts. Please coach, remember that we have three, that is right, three punishing backs that can all contribute. Please put the Skittles machine back together coach. Please.
Cam Newton had all day to sit back and look for receivers who could drop the passes he threw. He was only sacked once, and not really pressured on a regular basis. This was seriously disappointing. I expected it though. Two of our (hopefully) top pass rushers were not in the game, and one member of the Legion was out. Overall, I was pretty happy with the pass defense, but seriously disappointed in the run defense. Seattle has to find a way to get to the opposing quarterbacks. Without an elite pass rush, the defense is not truly elite, at least in my not so humble opinion. I have my fingers crossed that we have Avril back this week, and that he is ready to smash some quarterback. I also am hoping to see Browner back, as Seattle did fine without him, but we all know how much Kaepernick is depending on Boldin now. Seattle’s starting corners should be able to make Kaepernick find a new friend.
Did you notice the lack of effectiveness in the “real” read option plays ran across the league on Sunday? Rush ends have caught on and are disrupting what was the original read option. I have read, listened and watched many programs Tawking about how the read option is slowly transforming into the newest twist on play action. I am a believer because quarterbacks can be tackled without the ball on read option plays, they are making quicker decisions and not letting plays materialize like they have in the past few years. This allows the rush ends to cue on the quarterback and go strictly after them, not worrying about where the ball really went. It is interesting to see how the option is now being twisted into another wrinkle of play action, giving the defense three possible ball carriers to concentrate on, instead of two. We will see how it all plays out.
Against San Francisco, I hope to see an improved pass rush. Even if it isn’t sacks, at least put some pressure on Kaepernick to get rid of the ball. If he chooses to run against Seattle, so be it. I will take the Seattle safeties and corners against him any day. Press man as Seattle plays it, should slow down the Boldin connection considerably, and a little pressure will most definitely prevent another 400-yard passing game for the 49ers. Gore is a great running back, and that will have to be reckoned with, regardless of how successful Seattle has been in the past. A good pass rush can have a huge impact on the running strategy of San Francisco too, so let’s go get ‘em Hawks. What do you say? I am not too concerned about covering their receivers, but Seattle will need to improve the defensive front line and linebacker play to be successful on Sunday night. I am hoping to see a little more creativity on the defensive side of the ball, a little less creativity on the offense, and a “keep doing what you’re doing” on special teams.
The special team play was phenomenal…Tawk about winning the length of field advantage. The Special teams play so far is awesome. I swear that punt traveled 75-80 yards in the air. It only came out as a net 68 yard punt (I think) and it is fun to say it was only 68 yards. The punt returns were respectable for Tater, and there were how many touch backs by Hauschka? No worries on special teams if they keep bringing the A game like they did.
I thought Seattle would make an example out of the Panthers, but I think the Panthers made Seattle wake up a little and realize that the season has indeed started, and that Carolina is indeed a good football team. Overall, I used my 12th Man heart a little too much in my expectations for the game and really missed on about every prediction. Except one. Seattle won, and that is all that matters.
Last but not least, Anthony Dixon Tweeted this.
“Extra weight on the racks all week getting less sleep preparing for these She-Hawks I love hostile environments Imma feel right at home.”
Mr. Dixon, do you know what is going to happen to you if your coach actually lets you carry the ball against the Seahawks? Oh, Anthony. Poor, poor, poor choice of words young man. I feel bad for you.
Well it wasn’t the blow out win that Seahawks fans were hoping to see but the Seahawks had a big win in week 1 against the Carolina Panthers. Besides the obvious who played well and who didn’t, we have to recognize what the Seahawks were able to do on the Road against a stout Panthers team. Seattle traveled 2,832 Miles and then played a game at 1 pm Eastern Time which is 10 am Pacific Time. Seattle has never been a team that traveled across country very well and when you add the fact that this was the first game of the 2013 season and you have the setting for a possible upset to one of projected top teams in the NFL. The Seahawks played a strong game and weathered the storm before taking the lead late, killing a promising Panther drive and then running out the clock.
Russell Wilson started the game slow; he seemed to have a few butterflies early although he settled down in the 2nd quarter and started to find his groove with his efficient throws. Wilson threw for 1 Touchdown on 25 of 33 passing for 320 yards. Wilson had a huge 3rd down conversion throw to Doug Baldwin with multiple Panthers in his face he threw a precision pass on the sideline. Although, Wilson was only sacked twice in the game he seemed to constantly be under duress, he has to have an internal clock in his head to either move out of the pocket or throw the ball away.
The Panthers got a lot of push off the line and Marshawn Lynch was never able to truly unleash Beastmode. Lynch finished with 43 yards rushing on 17 carries and Robert Turbin had 17 yards on 3 carries. Although, after Seattle got the ball back late in the 4th Quarter the Seattle running game was able to plow through the Carolina defense for a few much needed 1st downs to finish the game off.
The Seahawks Receivers had a strong game although there were not any huge numbers, just like last year the Receivers were able to hang on to the balls wherever Wilson placed them. Jermaine Kearse had the big 43 yard Touchdown catch which was placed perfectly for him to turn jump and haul in while in tight coverage. Stephen Williams just missed a diving catch on a big throw by Wilson, even though he missed the catch he again showed his ability to get behind the defense. Doug Baldwin was the top Receiver; he was targeted 8 times pulling in 7 catches for 91 yards. Baldwin seemed to be Wilson’s security blanket when he got into trouble.
The Offensive line seemed to be the weak link on the Sunday as Wilson seemed to be under constant pressure. Wilson had pass rushers in his face the whole game and the Running backs did not have any clear running lanes until late in the game. The Seahawks must find a consistent Offensive line and let them work together.
The Defensive line did not have a horrible game for missing Cliff Avril and Chris Clemons to injury and Bruce Irvin to suspension. The Panthers were able to create holes and put together a solid running game although the Seahawks line did keep Cam Newton and his running ability at bay only allowing him to rush for 38 yards on 5 attempts and Newton was sacked once by O’Brien Schofield.
The Line backing Crew of the Seahawks put in a solid day, Bobby Wagner had a solid day with 7 tackles in his first game of his second year. KJ Wright had 4 tackles as they cleaned up the Panthers Running Backs that made it through the Defensive line. Seattle used their Linebackers regularly to fill the holes and create the pressure on Newton in the 2nd half that slowed down the Panthers attack.
The Legion of Boom i.e. The Seahawks Secondary was missing Brandon Browner this week yet they put together a solid day with Walter Thurmond filling in. Earl Thomas lead the Seahawks with 10 tackles and Kam Chancellor had another 6 tackles. Seattle’s Safeties had their work cut out for them once Carolina got its running game going. The Seahawks Secondary was impressive shutting down the Panthers passing attack and holding Newton to 16 of 23 for 125 yards and 1 Touchdown. The Seahawks only allowed the Panthers to an average of 5.4 yards per reception. Richard Sherman had a few huge plays in this game, barely missing an interception that had 6 points written all over it but he dropped it after making a huge break on the out route. Sherman later caused the game saving fumble as the Panthers were driving deep into the Seahawks territory he forced the ball out of Deangelo Williams grip as he closed in on a go ahead score late in the 4th Quarter.
Special Teams: A
The Seahawks special teams had a solid game; Steven Hauschka was 2 for 2 on field goal attempts. The Panthers were not able to return a single Kick-off as they all sailed either into or out of the Endzone. Jon Ryan had a 49.5 Punting average while pinning the Panthers inside the 20 yard line once. Ryan then kicked a booming punt from the back of the end zone which seemed to carry 80 yards but was scored as a 69 yard punt to flip the field in the Seahawks favor. Seattle was unable to return any Kick-offs but Golden Tate was able to return 4 punts averaging a solid 12 yards per return with his shifty hips.
The Seahawks definitely have some things to work on after week 1. Although, all things considered the Seahawks put together a solid win and they have started the 2013 Season on the right foot getting the “W”. The Seahawks have struggled in the past going east but this team traveled the country and was able to do enough to win and head back to Seattle in anticipation of their much anticipated meeting with the hated San Francisco 49ers next Sunday.
I know I am not alone. It doesn’t get talked about much but it is there nonetheless; Seattle Sports Paranoia (SSP). I’ve written this post in four or five different ways over the last week, never really sure how to best go about it. I’ve even seen tangential brushes with SSP being covered elsewhere, such as by Dayna over at NFLfemale.com.
After last season ended, I was crushed. The roller coaster ride in Atlanta took me to ridiculous highs and ended with devastation. Eventually, though, I made peace with it and enjoyed the incredible ride the season was.
Now, with a brand new season about to start, I can think back and remember the feeling after giving San Francisco the beat-down of a life time. Of winning at Washington in the playoffs. I want to feel that again. I want Sundays to continue to be celebratory holidays where Seattle’s warriors go out and beat the representatives from another city. This isn’t “Southern Alaska,” Jimmy Asshat Johnson. THIS IS SEATTLE!! (Said, of course, in the voice of Leonidas, while kicking Jim Harbaugh down into pit of misery.) (I really need to learn how to make GIFs because this one would be great.)
There it was, though. That Seattle Sports Paranoia. We’ve been letdown as a fan base so many times that talking about it with friends is like showing old battle scars. As excited as I get, I can’t push the thought out of my head that a trap door is about to open up underneath us when we are most vulnerable. This isn’t to say that I don’t have complete faith and trust in Pete Carroll, John Schneider, and Russell Wilson. I just feel like entropic forces are stronger in Seattle for some reason.
SSP definitely diminishes when I talk about the team with other fans and listen to podcasts or radio shows that talk about the Seahawks. As soon as they’re over, though, it starts to creep back. It’s like a terminal case of self-doubt. The difference is that Seattleites internalize it, while other cities, namely ridiculously overpriced foggy ones, project this out onto others as a massive inferiority complex. Seattle wants to be great, athletically and otherwise, to the point that we don’t have to tell you how great our teams are, you just know.
It takes effort and some level of will power to tamp down what could easily be wild expectations. Seattle didn’t make one bad move in the off season. They were proactive and signed several players to fill obvious needs. It would be hard to imagine a season in which the Seahawks regress at all. But, the unimaginable has happened before and my Seattle Sports Paranoia reminds of it. The Super Bowl. The 1993 Western Conference Finals. The perpetual awfulness of the Mariners that feels like domestic abuse at this point. (And I’m not even a Mariners fan!)
For some, SSP hardens them. They become jaded and cynical. They’re fans, for sure, but always slightly aloof as a form of protection. Some are more empathetic and take big defeats and letdowns right on the chin and are temporarily a wreck. This is me. I consider people like this to be the true optimists because they felt to their core what could have been and are therefore more sad when it doesn’t happen.
Luckily, my fear and doubt have absolutely zero effect on the outcome. I know there will be a bunch of people that think I’m a Debbie downer, have no idea what I’m talking about, or think I should stay optimistic and upbeat no matter what, but that just isn’t me. It’s not how I am with areas unrelated to sports, and it sure isn’t in my nature as a Seattle sports fan. That doesn’t diminish my dedication and loyalty as a fan. Blind faith is not a measure of fandom. I was recently derided for stating that I’m now completely on the Russell Wilson bandwagon. Apparently that is virtually meaningless since I wasn’t on it from day one, like this other guy, and required some proof. To me, that’s ridiculous.
It’s okay to critically think about your team. Ultimately, we all want our team(s) to win. In doing so, you want the best players to play. I originally thought Matt Flynn was the best option. I was wrong. That makes me human, not a bad fan.
Anyway, I’m off to silence those tiny doubting voices once again. I will say, though, that when you have low expectations (not that I really do) or inklings of doubt, it make the joys of victory that much greater, and Seattle fans are in need of continued victory. It never feels better to be oh so wrong.
Football is finally back and like Lazarus, I am emerging from my tomb. Even though preseason doesn’t pack much of an emotional punch, I now have a legitimate excuse to kill an entire day without anybody questioning it.
Ultimately, this game means very little. It did give those who are on the bubble to make a stronger impression and many did. It also exposed serious weakness at tight end. Granted, Zach Miller is slated to return by week one, but Luke Willson and Cooper Helfet have a long way to go.
Here are some reactions in bullet form.
- The first team didn’t look very impressive. Granted Marshawn Lynch and Miller did not play. Russell Wilson was also running the most basic plays.
- Living in Santa Monica, I got the pleasure of watching the San Diego feed of the game which meant listening to Dan Fouts and Billy Ray Smith. It took them approximately .000068 seconds to bring up Golden Tate’s touchdown when Hauschka set up for a 61 yard field goal instead of going for a deep pass. They also wasted no time in making fun of Christine Michael’s name. Fouts and Smith would do well to listen to Sir Sean Connery’s advice to one Alex Trebek.
- I didn’t see much to impress me out of Chris Harper. He seems to block okay, but I didn’t see him open very often.
- On the other hand, Stephen Williams was very impressive. He had two receptions for 83 yards, with a touchdown. He looked very smooth on the field and was able to make himself open.
- Jermaine Kearse also looked good. He got wide open across the middle on busted coverage for an easy touchdown pass.
- Seattle is deep in the back positions. Spencer Ware, Derrick Coleman, and Christine Michael all looked great. Coleman was especially impressive. On one broken play he came back to bail out Brady Quinn by making a tough catch for positive yards along the sideline. Coleman was also strong in blocking and rushing. Michael also showed quickness and the ability to find gaps and react before they close.
- Benson Mayowa was a stud. He looked very good out there. Seattle’s defensive line is going to ferocious. Woe be the man lining up against them.
- The offensive line also looked very solid giving up no sacks on any of the three quarterbacks.
- Both Brady Quinn and Tarvaris Jackson looked solid and capable of running the backup competently. They are different styles with Jackson more similar to Russell Wilson. That being said, I’ve seen Jackson make terrible, rage-of-1000-suns type of decisions too many times. I don’t trust Jackson outside the pocket and I barely do within the pocket. Let’s just hope neither Quinn nor Jackson sees time unless Seattle is up by 50.
- Rice also looked good. Wilson threw a bad pass to him (might have been throwing it away) but Rice extended and nearly got it anyway. Rice looks plenty healthy to me.
- Maybe the most consistently sterling part of the Seattle team is special teams, on both sides of the ball. San Diego’s starting yard lines were the 15, 20, 20, 18, 20, 20, 22, 15, 15, and 20. Consequently, Seattle started at the 20, 14, 9, 14, 15, San Diego’s 28, 50, 45, 17, and San Diego’s 48. Ware, Jeremy Lane, Will Blackmon, and Walter Thurmond all look like formidable kick returners. Oh, and Jon Ryan can still kick the crap out of the ball.
Those were my takeaways. There are still some holes that need to be filled, but overall I was impressed. It’s very clear that Percy Harvin does not need to rush back. I would rather him get completely healthy. No need for a repeat of the Shawn Alexander cluster-f$*@.
My chronic Seattle sports paranoia is starting to subside a bit yet I can’t help but think of Robert Burns’ lines, The best laid schemes of mice and men / Go often awry, / And leave us nothing but grief and pain, / For promised joy!”
Right now things look positive, though. Hopefully next week some of our defensive ends can introduce themselves to Peyton Manning up close and personal.
Blue Jays fans. What the hell, man. I don’t get you. You make very little sense to me. First of all, your team is in Toronto. And yet you all show up in droves every time this team of yours plays in Seattle. Seattle! Do you know how far it is between Seattle and Toronto?! I do. It’s 2,068 miles, according to the internet. That’s roughly the same distance between Seattle and New Orleans. New Orleans! LOUISIANA!!
Look, I get it. Many of you make the trip south from Vancouver, B.C. to cheer on your favorite team. But shit, Vancouver is no closer to Toronto than Seattle. In fact, it’s farther. As the crow flies, 2,089 miles separate the two cities. Yes, that’s even greater than the distance between Seattle and Toronto. It makes no sense. It’s like if Seattleites became unabashed supporters of the New Orleans Saints, the Pelicans, or…what other teams do they have…the Zephyrs! We would never do that. Because it’s crazy. And not fun crazy, either. Alex Rodriguez crazy.
You Canucks are insane. You never cheered for the Expos like this. Is it because Montreal’s Olympic Stadium resides roughly 200 miles farther east than the SkyDome? Was that 200-mile differential all you needed to determine which of the two teams would become your preferred Canadian baseball franchise? Was geography really that important to you?
I honestly don’t understand. You people drive like drunken geriatrics, park like assholes, love the crap out of our outlet malls, can’t get enough of American name brands, and have an unrequited, damn near inexplicable love affair with a baseball team half a world away. Do you see the people of Toronto rushing to celebrate anything that has to do with Vancouver? No. Do you see the Blue Jays organization going out of its way to celebrate an adoring West Coast fan base? No. So what is it? It’s Kawasaki, isn’t it. Just admit that’s it and all will be forgiven.
Every time you come to Seattle, we cringe. It’s a guarantee of a few extra car accidents and a reminder that “O Canada” will have to be sung before the game can get underway. That blows.
Anyway, I’m not really going anywhere with this. I just wanted to point out that what you’re doing is stupid and you’re no better off to me than Red Sox fans. Yes, Red Sox fans, those bandwagon-riding bags of douche.
Get your own outlet malls, jerks.
Filed under: Mariners
There is no better place to be right now, it seems, than the building that sits about a par five away from my home. I’ve done the math. It’s roughly 600 yards between the pillow I rest my head on each night and the entrance to the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, better known as the VMAC, best known as the Seahawks Practice Facility.
Today marks the opening day of Seahawks training camp, and with all the hubbub and fanfare that surrounds the beginning of any NFL season, excitement is radiating from my neighbor’s turf-covered backyard. When one factors in the expectations that now follow this team around – most prognosticators have the Hawks pegged as a Super Bowl favorite – the fervor evolves from palpable to totally understandable. And thus we have a midsummer block party taking place in and around Interstate 405’s Exit 7.
In an NFL offseason punctuated by the shock and awe of unspeakable crimes (Aaron Hernandez, most notably), the thumb-twiddling idleness of the hometown organization’s relative innocence has led fans and pundits to make mountains out of the mundane. Take, for instance, left tackle Russell Okung, who spent a portion of his free time running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Upon learning of such brazen behavior, sports radio exploded for days (literally, days) discussing whether Okung should or shouldn’t have embarked on such a risky journey. Never mind the fact that he returned safe, sound, and without a worry in the world; it’s about the principle of the matter, apparently.
There were charity softball games that outdrew real-life professional baseball games, media tours (Richard Sherman) that put smarmy talking heads (Skip Bayless) on blast, a quarterback controversy that reached its apex when a fourth-stringer (Josh Portis) was released, a notable drug suspension (Bruce Irvin), the usual smattering of injuries, and little else that captivated the attention of onlookers.
The offseason was a pot of water slowly simmering atop the stove. And while the 2013 campaign is supposed to boil over by the time February 2nd, 2014 rolls around, we’ve yet to see anymore than the occasional stray bubble rise to the surface.
That all changes today, however. With the start of training camp comes a certain optimism that we have never before encountered as Seattle sports fans. In the past, there have been postseason aspirations that were conjured long before games were played, playoff runs that materialized out of thin air, even championships that were on the line at season’s end.
But this is entirely different. Never before has one of our teams been placed so high upon a pedestal at a new year’s outset. Probability and numbers say this season could end any number of ways for the Seattle Seahawks. For fans, however, there are only two possible outcomes: a Super Bowl appearance or unmitigated disappointment.
Tempering expectations is near impossible for this franchise. Fans have clamored for a championship since a victory in Super Bowl XL eluded the team amidst controversy. That fateful run at a title came eight years ago now, and the wounds of nearly a decade prior have still not healed.
When you consider the past, however, tempering expectations is what Seattle fans have been conditioned to do. Buying into a team, a season, a coach, or even individual players is not what we’re used to. The average Seattle sports fanatic is a cynical non-believer, a curmudgeon hesitant to foolishly tread down a path that will ultimately lead to despair. We’re prone to cautiously hedging our bets, jumping ship at the first sign of trouble. So as we submerge ourselves in the silliness of hope and anticipation, we remind ourselves that this isn’t our usual M.O. But we’ll go ahead and buy in anyway. Because logic, for perhaps the first time, says it’s okay.
Logic points to a quarterback who after just one season is among the league’s elite. Logic references a running back who is among the top five (top three?) at his position in the NFL. Logic points to multiple Pro Bowlers, a secondary that has revolutionized their entire sport, offensive and defensive lines with more exclamation points than question marks, and the return of the vast majority of a roster that emphatically dropped warheads upon their opponents during the second half of 2012. Logic is great when it’s on your side.
Players practice beneath a cloudless sky as the sun shines down upon the football oasis carved into Lake Washington’s eastern shore. Temperatures are in the mid-80-degree range and for most Seattleites this is considered hot. The heat is high and only continues to get higher as we approach the boiling point of this season.
For now, though, we simmer. For now, the eyes of the fans — and arguably the entire NFL — look upon the Seahawks and pay witness to this moment of reckoning. And for now, Seattle – yes, Seattle – is the place to be.
Filed under: Seahawks
An anonymous tipster (okay, this wasn’t really a tip, but I just like saying “tipster”) sent the image you see above of a surprisingly-chiseled Mike McGinn contending with our new favorite enemy, Peter Steinbrueck, for the metaphorical future of the City of Seattle. (The metaphorical interpretation is mine; maybe they’re just playing basketball, who really knows.)
Anyway, the image was apparently created by someone who goes by the name “Sensei 23″ and the general school of thought here was that we could have a good ol’ caption contest with this beautiful piece of art, because who doesn’t love a caption contest?
But wait, there’s more. Our tipster informed me that the best caption(s) will be printed up onto posters and distributed en masse at next week’s Capitol Hill Block Party — your goofy wit may actually make you famous/get you laid/result in thousands of people wanting to meet you! Or more likely just be good for a few laughs. But still, laughter is wonderful!
The best place to submit captions is right here in the comments section of the site. If you’re absolutely opposed to commenting on blog posts, you can also submit captions via Twitter (@alexSSN) or even on Facebook to Seattle Sportsnet, but I’d recommend sticking the captions you truly care about in the comments section here so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.
In addition to the captions themselves, there’s a groundswell of movement around our original hashtag on Twitter, #SteinbrueckFacts, as well as a new hashtag, #BeatPeter. Personally, I really like the idea of the #BeatPeter hashtag because of the sexual innuendo involved, but maybe that’s just me (I’m 12, you know). So be sure to use both hashtags when discussing the upcoming battle for Seattle’s mayorship and keep the social media momentum going.
I believe in you, Sonics fans. I believe in your cleverness, your wit, your wordsmithing, all of that goodness. Do us proud.
Filed under: Sonics
I hate losing. I once sat in a 1991 Toyota Previa in the Factoria Square parking lot and bawled for an hour because I had pitched poorly in a Little League game and had cost my team a victory. My family went inside to eat dinner and I stayed in the van, refusing to eat, refusing to move. I don’t do well with defeat. I never have. Even now, there is little that can be done to assuage me when my team so much as drops a rec basketball game. I will either a) sit in grim silence for an entire car ride home, or b) verbally break down every single thing that went wrong on our failed quest for triumph. My friends deserve a lot of credit for dealing with that version of me that, to this day, struggles to cope with losing.
I guess in many ways it’s ironic that I am a Seattle sports fans — I don’t know how to lose, and seemingly all my teams do is just that. My whole life, I’ve encountered failure from these entities I hold so dear to me, and yet I’ve never learned how to accept the bitter taste of defeat. I sat through an entire childhood of Seahawks futility, labored through thousands (literally, thousands) of Mariner losses, had seats in the upper level for every home game of the only 0-12 season in University of Washington football history, then paid witness to the ultimate heartbreak when the Sonics were taken from us and moved to Oklahoma City.
When I started this website and began writing in a public forum, I didn’t really know what would happen next. On the day I embarked upon this journey — November 12th, 2008, officially — Seattle was in a rut. We were only a couple months removed from losing the Sonics, in the midst of that fateful 0-12 Husky football campaign, had just suffered through a 100-loss Mariners season, and were on the verge of watching the Seahawks put together a miserable 4-12 finish. Things were worse than usual and I felt compelled to share my emotions. For me, it was the only way to cope with, at that time, 24 years of misery come to a head.
Over the course of four-and-a-half years, I’ve witnessed firsthand what bonding over tragedy truly looks like. We tend to think of the loss of human life as one of the few instances where the term “tragedy” applies. On a much smaller (and undoubtedly, less important) scale, however, losing a game, a playoff berth, or a team is viewed as a tragedy in the microcosmic world of your typical sports fan. Knowing that, Seattle sports fans must be some of the most grief-stricken people in the history of organized athletics. We should be miserable. At all times. And occasionally we do get that way. But for all the shit we go through so frequently, there is this perpetual hope existing amongst all of us that bears mentioning. It is not at all insignificant in its existence.
I remember the day the Sonics left town back in 2008. I didn’t mourn that day, or anytime shortly thereafter. It took me until the opening day of the ’08-’09 season to realize that we weren’t getting our team back anytime soon. Up to that point, I had refused to accept the inevitable. I just could not do it. That might make me the least credible person in the world when it comes to saying what I’m about to say, but screw it, I’ll say it anyway.
I may be naive. I may be on an island. I may be the only one who still believes after the events of Monday afternoon that Seattle is destined to get its NBA team back. But I truly have faith that this good thing, this return, is going to happen. I have no sound logic behind my faith, because really, that’s not what faith is. Faith is believing in something not knowing if that thing actually exists. Faith is blind and sometimes stupid and often irrational and possibly inane. But faith is necessary. Faith exists to give us hope and reason to get up each morning. Faith exists to make us smile even though we’re sad, to persevere when times are tough. I have faith that, even though the NBA has told us we won’t get someone else’s basketball team on this day, we will still get our Sonics back.
On this day, things kind of suck. We’re hurting, and no one wants to hurt. We’ve been down this road before, this path to what appears to be yet another tragic ending. All along, though, we’ve never given up. This city and its fans have pulled together time and time again for reasons unknown. We’ve bonded in moments of adversity on countless occasions and we’ve done so with little more than faith holding us together. I don’t really know what it means to be truly exceptional, but I like to think that Seattle sports fans are exactly that. We don’t settle for the tragedy of losing. We fall, and then we rise again. Every single time. So why should this time be any different?
If the NBA spurns us — if the NBA spurns Seattle and Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer and all the good people who have made this new arena we’re going to build a reality — it will be a blow to our collective psyche that I don’t want to try to process right now. It appears today that the NBA may be one step closer to disappointing us, but I like to think there’s something else going on, something good, that maybe we don’t know about yet.
I have this unreasonable amount of hope for us. I know that. I may be foolish for that. Whatever. When you’ve been through as much crap as we have, there really is no other way to approach obstacles as they present themselves.
I believe in Seattle. I believe in Seattle’s sports fans. We are strong individually and even stronger together. We’re destined for good, I just know it.
So I leave you with this clip. As dumb as it is, it makes sense on this day. Because nothing is over until we say it is.
Filed under: Other Sports
Playing baseball on Sunday afternoons until the sky turned red and the shadows disappeared. Until my arm ached from hundreds and hundreds of tosses (forget pitch counts) and my legs tired from all the running. Until dirt stained my socks and sweat softened the bill of my cap.
I remember laughing for no reason and shouting for fun. Chasing ground balls and fly balls and bugs and just about anything else that was deemed worth chasing.
I think about diving into the grass over and over again, trying wholeheartedly to snag pop-ups that fell just out of reach. It wasn’t about the catch; it was about the leap and the fall. It was about the cushion that the cool, green earth somehow provided. That feeling of hitting the ground and caring about nothing else in the world besides getting up and doing it again.
These were nights when my biggest concern was making sure my homework got done. A set of math problems, a few lines of cursive, a book report on Maniac Magee, reproduced to the ignorance of my teachers on multiple occasions.
In the background, light standards would hum with electricity, their buzz commingling with the shrieks and yelps of those of us too young to worry about staying quiet for any amount of time.
The air would grow increasingly crisp as the hours wore on, the scent of a grill permeating the twilight, calling us to dinner without a word being uttered. We only ate when the playing stopped; barbecue in the springtime had a way of stopping the playing.
We would fight over nothing, make up minutes later after shoving and pouting, then return to the vagary of turning sticks into swords and trees into enemies.
These are the nights when I think about my memories here, all located in one neat little area of the map that sits between mountains and surrounds a sound. This is the one place on the globe that my spring nights are consistent, dating back forever and ever — or nearly three decades, if counting is a must.
See, when tomorrow hits and Monday morning lands squarely upon our calendars, we’ll go back to being adults. Our issues will center around work and finances and all sorts of varying realities. When it comes to sports, we’ll fret over a struggling Mariners squad and the fortunes of the NBA in this town of ours. We’ll agonize over so many things we can’t control and turn the littlest issues into the biggest deals. All of that will happen and we’ll accept it, because it’s who we are now.
But for today, for tonight, for every seemingly perfect spring evening that passes through this haven we call home, we can be young again. Enjoy the innocence.
Filed under: Other Sports
Seattle made another roster move Thursday night signing former quarterback Josh Portis. Seattle signed Portis to be the 3rd string Quarterback in 2011 backup Tavaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst. Portis then served on the practice squad last season before being let go later in the season. With the trade of Matt Flynn Seattle needed another quarterback who knew the system and decided to go with Portis.
Is Portis the quarterback Seattle feels can be the primary backup to Russell Wilson? I believe the answer is no. Portis shares many of the same skills that Wilson does, he is mobile, he can throw the ball down field and he can avoid pressure. Portis was a highly recruited Quarterback coming out of High School he attended Florida for a year before transferring to Maryland due to a lack of playing time. He was later suspended for the 2007 season due to cheating on an exam. Portis later transferred to California (PA). The fact that he was not able to find stability with a coaching staff his entire college career is concerning to me.
The problem I have with Josh Portis is he is not a great thrower in 2011 he played in three preseason games and failed to complete 50 percent of his passes coming out at an pedestrian 41.7 percent. The guy is simply not a great passer at this point and with Seattle aiming for a super bowl this year they need a backup quarterback who can move the offense. I believe if Portis gets thrown into a game that matters he will falter.
I really do like Portis as quarterback to develop for another year and see if he progresses, but the fact that Seattle was not willing to carry him on the practice squad for the entire year and another team did not take a chance on him is telling. I fully expect Seattle to sign another veteran quarterback such as Thigpen or Leinart and maybe draft a young quarterback too. Seattle needs a veteran quarterback with experience during Matt Hasselbeck’s tenure in Seattle his backups included Trent Dilfer, Brock Huard, Seneca Wallace, and Charlie Fry all Quarterbacks who had experience under their belt.
The Seattle Seahawks have stolen the stage during the off season after signing; Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, and trading for wide receiver Percy Harvin. Seattle added these three players to an all ready lethal squad that includes Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Zach Miller, and of course Russell Wilson. Seattle finished the 2012-2013 season in a gut wrenching loss to the Atlanta Falcons, losing a slim lead in the last 30-seconds to a Matt Bryant field goal. A lot of hype is headed Seattle’s way after adding the trio, and some are calling them the team to beat for the 2013-2014 NFL Season.
The addition of Percy Harvin has made Seattle even better on offense. Harvin will give Seattle a much needed deep threat at the wide receiver position that they lacked during Pete Carroll’s three first years in Seattle. Harvin also gives Seattle another element to us for the zone-read option. Harvin often lined up as Running back during his time at Florida with Tim Tebow, Minnesota also used Harvin at Running back on third down situations. The addition of Harvin also takes pressure off of Sidney Rice, and Golden Tate and will give Russell Wilson another weapon who will haul in a lot of receptions, and be able to gain yards after the catch, much like Golden Tate was able to last year.
On the defensive side of the ball Seattle has added defensive end Cliff Avril, and Michael Bennett who can play tackle and defensive end much like Jason Jones was able to do last year for Seattle. These two combined for 18.5 sacks last year, add that to Seattle’s total of 36 last year that is a total of 54.5 sacks. I find it hard to believe Seattle will be able to rack up that many total sacks, especially with Chris Clemons who led the Seahawks in sacks last year with 11.5 is recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in the playoffs, and may not be ready for the 2013 NFL season. However it is not hard to believe with the growth of rookie Defensive End’s Bruce Irvin, and Greg Scruggs that those two can’t add to their total sack total. Irvin led all rookies with eight-sacks, and fellow rookie defensive end Greg Scruggs totaled just two-sacks in a very limited role, I expect both players to up their sack totals next year. I see no reason Seattle can’t get at least 42 –sacks which would put them in the top half of the league.
The latter part of the 2012-2013 NFL season Seattle arguably played better than any other team in the league, they dominated on offense, and defense and showed little weakness, a slow start in the playoff game to the Falcons led to the ending of the season for Seattle, despite outscoring the Falcons 28 to 10 in the second half.ed to be one of the most complete teams in the NFL, with two deep threats at wide receiver, one of the best running backs in the league and the team is young, they bring back every starter on offense, and nine of eleven starters on defense. It is logical to think this team is only going to be better, some fans are calling this team the “Dream Team”. Is it true? Is this team the best team in the league, and the team everybody in the league does not want to play? Is this team the most talented team in the entire league? My quick answer to all three of these questions would be simply, yes. I am however scared of a team that originally dubbed themselves the “Dream Team” (something no Seattle player has done, which I am very thankful for.)
The team I am speaking of is the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles like the Seahawks brought in big named players to a team that went 10-6 the year before, and had one of the most lethal Quarterbacks in the NFL in Michael Vick. They seem a seasoned coach in Andy Reid.
The eagles decided to add to an all ready potent roster, and brought in All-Pro corner back Nnamdi Asomogha, former pro bowler defensive end Jason Babin and seasoned veteran defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. These three starters along with former first round picks Ronnie Brown, and Vince young mixed with an all ready talented roster formed what was supposed to be the “Dream Team” as Vince Young famously called them during the 2011 off season. So with all these added additions what happened? A 11-5 NFL football team, ended up going 8-8. Poor coaching and management of the team is the simple answer, if you want a specific name it is on Andy Reid, he made the mistake of hiring Juan Castillo who coached the Offensive Line to become his Defensive Coordinator. I failed to see the logic in this, at the time and still do.
Reid also tried to buy himself a championship team, something in football you can’t do. He added a lot of high priced guys who did not fit with his or his staffs coaching. Injuries to Michael Vick also led to the demise of the Eagle’s football season but that should also be blamed on Reid for failing to give his franchise Quarterback Michael Vick a stable offensive line to protect him. I highly doubt this fate will be Seattle’s. They return the entire coaching staff besides defensive coordinator Gus Bradley who went on to become the Head Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Seattle replaced him with former Florida Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn who also worked under Gus Bradley through 2009-2010 in Seattle as the Defensive Line Coach. As long as Seattle stays with the current defensive system they have ran under Carroll I see no reason why the defense should suffer with the arrivals of Avril, and Bennett, and Dan Quinn.
The 2007 New England Patriots also took the route of free agency to improve an all ready talented team who went 12-4 the year before. The result turned into a 16-0 regular season finish, and a loss in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants.
The Patriots first move of the 2007 off season was trading for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Wes Welker giving up a 2nd and 7th round draft pick, to acquire the veteran pass catcher. The Patriots then looked to further boost a wide receiving group that lacked explosiveness and signed free agent wide receiver Donte Stallworth. New England then went a step further to acquire one more wide receiver to help out Tom Brady and traded for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Randy Moss. The end result was a 16-0 season and both Brady and Moss shattered the touchdown record for their respected positions on the football field. Moss was the biggest risk as many felt he played lazy and uninspired football during his stint with Oakland. Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick was able to keep the talented wide receiver happy. All three wide receivers contributed greatly to the season. Moss finished the season with 98 receptions, 1493 yards, and 23 touchdowns. Welker had 112 receptions, 1175 yards, and 8 touchdowns, and Donte Stallworth finished his season with 46 receptions, 697 yards, and three touchdowns. The result of spending in free agency can work if you have a good coach, stability at the quarterback position and the franchise. Patriots clearly had that, Eagles well they are still looking.
So will the Seahawk’s season end in dismay like the Eagle’s, or will it end in record breaking success like the patriots. I feel somewhere in between, I do not believe Russell Wilson will throw for 50 touchdowns, and that Harvin will haul in 21 touchdown receptions, or haul in 112 receptions the team is too balanced for that to happen, nor do I believe they will go 16-0 at the moment. I do believe however they can achieve something the 2007 New England Patriots were not able to achieve and that is a Super Bowl. I do believe this Seattle team is the Dream Team and team to beat for the 2013 NFL season.
Tags: Advanced Analysis, Andy Reid, Chris Clemons, Cliff Avril, Dream Team, featured, football, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Bennett, Michael Vick, News, nfl, Percy Harvin, Philadelphia Eagles, Popular, Previews, Randy Moss, Russell Wilson, Seahawks, Seattle, Seattle Seahawks, Tom Brady
This Super Bowl was just plain weird. Not that I really cared who won, but I’m glad San Francisco lost. I don’t like Jim Harbaugh and I don’t like San Francisco fans, at least the ones I have had contact with, and you know who you are… Just kidding! Seriously! You’re great people, really…
Since the Seahawks got totally screwed by the NFL with that early morning game in Atlanta I didn’t really have a dog in this fight (so much for journalist impartiality). The way the 49ers fans thought they deserved to be in this game after the butt whoopin the Hawks handed them in Seattle was just ignoring the truth. The Niners backed into this game by not having to face Seattle and they know it. Sure they beat Atlanta…barely. Try doing that at 0-dark thirty west coast time. And if not for SF’s tie against the Rams the Hawks would have had your conference title and your bye week. But I digress…
Did anyone else go get a pedicure during the national anthem? MAN that was long! Well done, but tooooo looooong. And that whole halftime show was BOOOOORING. Sorry. Beyonce is a lovely and talented singer/dancer but I think she sang the same word for something like 15 minutes! Besides that, it was like watching a 30 minute Bud Light commercial. Where’s a good marching band when you need one?
The power outage was interesting. I’ve seen a QB change make a game turn. I’ve seen a snow storm make a game turn. But I’ve NEVER seen a power outage totally turn a game around like this. The Seahawks should remember that trick next time they find themselves down by 20 at home. In the end, the 49ers got screwed by the refs on that last non-call for holding; so welcome to Seattle’s world SF. One wonders if they might have gotten “Bettised”; you remember the love-fest the league and network was giving the retiring Jerome Bettis before the Seattle/Pittsburgh Super Bowl in which Seattle suffered a number of bad calls. It’s heart warming to think the refs might have been “letting them play” for Ray Lewis, a guy who plea bargained away a double homicide a few years back, getting 12 months probation instead of double life in prison. (There I go digressing again! Dang!) Yes, getting hosed by the refs in the Big Game is great fun, and now the Niners know how it feels. And so ends their 5-0 Superbowl streak.
Now it’s on to the NFL draft and next season. I fully expect it’ll be the Seahawks and Russell Wilson who will get it done next year. With his learning curve well in the past, Wilson will be unstoppable. I wish I could have seen him in this game, but next year will be even more incredible. Seattle was the team no one wanted to play the second half of the year. Next year, it will be that way from week one on because Russell is ready. As for the rest of the NFC West, don’t get too excited. You’re getting better, but as long as Wilson, Carroll, and Schneider are in the picture it’s going to be tough going to get past Seattle.
I just got back from a weekend of skiing and finally feel like I can look back at the Seahawks’ 2012 season without feeling too large a pang of disappointment. Sometimes it takes stepping away to gain some perspective. The only football I watched was the third quarter of the NFC Championship game and had to walk away because I saw two teams Seattle could certainly beat.
If someone had asked me nine months ago how I’d feel if Seattle were to go 11-5 with a playoff win on the road I would have taken it in a heartbeat. However, winning makes a person greedy and leaves them craving more. Once it was apparent all the talent and potential that John Schneider and Pete Carroll had stacked onto a roster that still had some significant weakness, I set my sight on an even further horizon. When Seattle wasn’t able to reach it, it left the city in somewhat of a state of shock. Especially with the emotional whiplash that took place in the fourth quarter of the game in divisional game.
All cities are unified when their sports teams do well. It’s one of the great things that sports teams bring to communities. I believe that Seattle is a little different from cities like Atlanta, New York, San Francisco, and Miami. Every team has their true fans, but Seattle itself seems to suffer when the Seahawks don’t do well (everyone is used to the Mariners sucking). It’s easy to lose sight of that when the team has a few rough years but is obvious when look at the incredibly civic pride and enthusiasm that takes place when the team succeeds. In that regard Seattle is like a Cleveland, Kansas City, or Green Bay. Labeling Seattle fans fair weather is ridiculous and ignorant. Fair weather fans don’t cause seismic activity last time I checked.
The Seahawks over 2012 reminded Seattle why they stuck with a team that had been disparaged and struggled for the last six years. The team from South Alaska that was always too small, too hurt, too slow, too whatever became big, strong, loud, and a force unto themselves. Win or lose, a team was going to remember that they played Seattle last Sunday. Watching that and experiencing it with a great community of 12th Men made it that much hard to realize it was over. Even my dad who can be very jaded and reserved when it comes to sports (game 7 of the 1993 Western Conference finals between the Sonics and Suns is still very much remembered) couldn’t help but get excited at what just might be.
The reason I bring up these seemingly random aspects of the 2012 season is because they are what stand out in my mind looking back. Seattle became a team that would walk up to anybody and punch them in the mouth. Led by a calm, cool, and incredibly talented quarterback a team comprised of many castoffs and unknowns turned into a wrecking ball and the 12th Man was the crane that swung it. The connection between the team and fans in Seattle can’t be overstated. From completely open training camps to showing up at Children’s Hospital every week the connection is real. That is what I love. I realize I’m not part of the team but to feel part of it is either the greatest marketing gimmick ever or a true community-franchise connection. I choose to believe it’s the latter in this case. (Every article I write, I have to go and take out any “we’s” and replace them with “Seahawks.”)
Fortunately, Seattle doesn’t have many free agents going into the off-season which means that many of the personalities and people that the make up this great team will be back. And they will be hungry; hungry to prove to themselves and the 12th Man that they are good enough to win a Super Bowl. For that, I am just as excited as I was this season.
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
There have been a lot of stories about Russell Wilson and Seattle’s offense and how they will have to play better to beat New England. But I think the game will really be decided when New England’s offense is on the field against Seattle’s defense. Because if Brady has a good game, even Seattle’s vaunted defense could be in trouble. My focus here is on the pocket, Brady’s pocket that is. Tom Brady was drafted in a late round because on one thing, he is SLOW. Really slow. That translates into limited mobility on the field. He is a pure pocket passer and not a serious threat to run around and make yards with his feet.
So this begs the obvious question; how does the Seahawk defense put pressure on Brady? This is an interesting problem. Brady isn’t one to sit around in the pocket and wait for the pressure. He gets rid of the ball fast. If he has time he can hit receivers on medium to long routes. Seattle can shut those routes down most of the time. So Brady will be looking for quicker passes over the middle, inside the hash marks. For this he has two world class tight ends who make their living 5 or 10 yards at a time. New England is a disciplined team. They can do that all day long, mistake free, every series. And if Seattle’s defense starts hanging out in the middle trying to stop those short passes, Brady can burn them on the outside with his wide receivers. They also have a decent running game which is designed to open up with the help of multiple tight end sets.
In my estimation, Seattle’s job will be to force things outside to the wide receivers. That’s right, I said OUTSIDE. This is a choice between the lesser of two evils, short quick plays or longer plays that take time to develop. They need to shut down the quick over the middle passes to the tight ends. Period. That is the Patriots bread and butter and they wear down defenses with it. Seattle has to stop that tactic. With the short, quick passes unavailable, Brady will have to wait in the pocket for his wide receivers to get open downfield. When Brady holds the ball for too long, his completion rate goes way down…if there is pressure.
Enter Bruce Irvin. He needs to have not just a good game, but a GREAT game. Same with Chris Clemons. If either of them can get a paw on Brady they will spoil his comfort level in the pocket, causing his accuracy to suffer. Accuracy is important if you’re trying to hit a streaking wide receiver in single coverage. This is what Seattle did to a much more mobile Aaron Rogers. Without Rogers-like mobility, Brady will look like a giraffe in a hanging lamp store if he’s constantly getting hurried. Seattle’s defensive backs are the strength of the team. If Brady’s passes are just slightly off target, the best thing he can hope for is an incompletion.
Well, there it is. The Seahawks game plan in a nutshell. Or I could be completely wrong. We may see Russell Wilson be given the keys to the playbook and go wild for 400+ yards on a mediocre Patriots defense, thereby keeping Brady and friends off the field. Hawks fans can only hope. Wilson and the Seattle offense did look better last week, making 50% of their third downs. Still, their red zone performance was about what we’ve seen all year long. Ok, I think this second scenario is pretty unlikely, but it’s still fun to wildly fantasize about…oh…maybe…two touchdowns??? Yeah I know; the Seahawks D had better show up big time!