Last night I found myself on the corner of FANatic and logical human. In that moment, and despite my internal GPS yelling “re-calculating”, my fandom got the best of me and I made a decision…head down emotion street.
For those on social media last night that think I don’t understand the business of football you couldn’t be further from the truth. I understand the business of football very well. What I couldn’t get my arms around was Pete Carroll‘s apparent departure from the “best guy wins the position battle no matter what” deal. I find it hard to believe that Michael Robinson was not the best Fullback on this roster.
However, looking long-term I can’t escape the fact that the money saved by Michael Robinson leaving could help pay other players that are going to need big paychecks down the road. Guys like Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner and Earl Thomas come to mind.
Still, because I believe that Pete Carroll means what he says, there has to be more to this decision than just money for other players later…Mike Rob must be hurt.
What made Michael Robinson unique was not just his pro bowl quality play on the field but his ability to bring us into the locker room like we’ve never been before.
I’ll admit I’m being selfish here and I’m okay with that.
That’s what got me. That’s what got me a tad emotional last night on Twitter and it’s what makes me sad today. That access is gone. Probably forever unless it’s produced professionally by the Seahawks media relations staff. Even so, I would imagine it will never be quite as organic as when Michael Robinson walked around with his Real Rob report microphone.
Michael Robinson was more than the Seahawks fullback. He was more than just a replaceable leader on a football team. He was the perfect match for Pete Carroll’s new way of doing things and his walks around the locker room allowed us to see what Pete was building behind the scenes and be “All In”. It was amazing.
From John Moffitt’s hilarity to Marshawn Lynch‘s attempt to completely ignore the camera in seemingly every video, the team became more than just football players we cheer for on Sunday, they became actual people. It is because of that exposure I love the Seahawks even more today. Which for a fan of the team for over 30 years it’s crazy for me to say. I’m connected now on a different level.
So as a tribute to Michael Robinson I gathered some of my favorite youtube clips from his Real Rob report and as a Seahawks football player. I hope you guys enjoy.
It’s effin’ here – the 2013 NFL season. HOT DAMN!
I’m so pumped for this season that if I had a kitten here with me I’d excitement-squeeze it to death. Precious!
Football is a sacred time in my household. That is, my wife hates it – and so I get to leave her with our devil toddler and a 6-month-old infant for places where the game is appreciated. Where I can fuckin’ swear at people on television like they can hear me. Where I can use the word “fart” (I wish this were a joke. Save me).
But let’s recap a little bit of how we got to this point in the year:
With or without Harvin, I fervently believe the Seahawks are a team that can easily go 13-3, take the division and bring Seattle its first Super Bowl. Thinking anything less for a team that went to the divisional round of the playoffs with a 5’10” rookie quarterback in 2012 makes you look like an asshat.
The Seahawks are absolutely better in so many ways than they were last year. Our quarterback has a year under his belt. Our defense – which was insanely good last year – got even better adding ALL THE PASS RUSHERS. Golden Tate, by all accounts, is poised for a star season at wide receiver. And Doug Baldwin so far still has all his teeth. I haven’t even mentioned All-Pro Stanford Graduate Richard Sherman (he mentions himself enough, I think, in this hilarious MMQB piece).
Hang on, 12th Man. We’ve only got a week.
For me, the thirst for Seahawks victories consumed most of my late teens and have continued into my late 30’s.
I’ll be completely honest here, I’m a football purist. I loved Coach Holmgren’s approach because I always felt the best way to win was to have a team that was assembled with a few things in mind.
2. Character (Not Characters)
3. Competitive fire to be great
But they failed, and with that failure the Holmgren era slowly eroded into oblivion and the Seahawks fell back to earth..hard.
I know, this is old news, but I need to you to understand the lens I see “the perfect team” through.
Enter Pete Carroll and his strong sense of “why” that permeates the Seahawks organization at every level. Compete, Compete, Compete is paramount, and this approach has done amazing things for this franchise.
Players on this current Seahawks roster meet or exceed two of my personal prerequisites for team success, but there’s a sticking point.
Character vs characters..
I will never judge anyone without walking in their shoes first. But unwillingness to pass personal judgement does not mean that I’m blind to the distractions that this recent Seahawks team is experiencing and the player that brings the most of that to the forefront is Richard Sherman.
From his alleged and overturned PED issue, to the embarrassing ratings grabbing interview Skip Bayless suckered him into on national TV, to the consistent over the top trash talk, like it or not, Sherman has become the face of the Seattle Seahawks.
The big market media wouldn’t have it any other way.
Funny thing is, I’m a HUGE fan of Sherman. His abilities on the football field are – in my opinion – unmatched in the NFL. His play alters the sleeping patterns of opposing coaching staffs and his physicality demoralizes the majority of receivers.
We have one of the best leaders in the NFL who could be one of the best QBs in time that -next to Sherman- is completely overshadowed outside of Seattle. I have a big problem with that and also know how lucky we are to have a talent like Sherman on the roster.. Conflict much?
So I’m curious to hear what you think…Vote, and then I’d love to read your thoughts in the comment section below.
It’d be easy enough for this entire reaction blog post here to simply be me typing in all-caps just one big, long curse word and hitting submit. I should do that, because the amount of effort that would take is about as much as the Seahawks put in against a team like the St. Louis Rams. I’ll hold off on that, but I’m sure there will still be some blue language here.
The game was a frustrating loss and continued to keep questions about rookie quarterback Russell Wilson‘s long-term viability as a starter front and center. Perhaps what’s worse, however, is that it’s at times unclear if the issues the ‘Hawks offense is having is because of QB play, because of the line collapsing in like a dying star, because the receivers don’t have the ability to get open down field or the coaching.
Perhaps it’s all those things.
This week, coach Pete Carroll made claims that he has called for a conservative offense because he is having a rookie QB helm the ship.
It’s mind-boggling that is the tact of a coach who allegedly believes in his starting quarterback considering the play of some of the other rookie starters out there. Robert Griffin III put up another huge game in Week 4 against Tampa Bay (or as I like to call them, the St. Louis Rams of the NFC South) with 323 passing yards, 43 rushing yards on seven carries for a TD. Miami’s Ryan Tannehill dropped 431 passing yards on the stout Arizona Cardinals defense. Cleveland Brown’s rookie QB Brandon Weeden tossed 320 yards over the Baltimore Ravens. Both Miami and Cleveland lost this week, and they’ve got their own issues, but the point here is that there is a huge difference in what appears to be the faith of the coaching staff of those teams versus the Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll can say whatever he wants to the media, but what we’re seeing on the field seems different.
What has me the most pissed off this week is that we simply should not have lost this game. It wasn’t the damned fake field goal (though if I hear a Fox announcer say “trickeration” ever again I’m going to kick a puppy) or even the three interceptions Wilson threw (they didn’t, largely, appear to be fully his fault).
I’m angry our coaching staff appears to simply not believe in the person they’ve asked to lead this team.
Today we saw some great flashes from Wilson in the first drive of the game. The quarterback was able to zip some passes to wide receiver Sidney Rice and our ground game was superb. When the Rams brought pressure, he got out of it and it was clear climbing the pocket wasn’t the answer.
After that, everything seemed to falter. Red zone touchdown scoring simply doesn’t exist for the franchise right now. The offensive line doesn’t have any inkling as to what pass protection seems to mean. Russell Wilson does not have the ability to climb the pocket and appears to have some type of fetish for the scrambling boot leg (including loss of yardage while being tackled in the backfield).
Today’s game made it hard not to think that Wilson’s height really has a large impact on his ability to make plays, most especially when his line fails him in protection and closes throwing windows. If he were taller would he be able to get the ball to wide open tight end Zach Miller at the two yard line?
It’s just very hard to know where exactly the offensive failure is right now.
I’ll tell you where it’s not, though: The failure sure as hell isn’t our running game. Beast Mode Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin (aka Turbo) are the shining stars of the offense. If Turbin had been given the 20 snaps Lynch did, he could have had 150 rushing yards today based on his pace. Marshawn, too, was extremely effective in his runs, including an 18-yard Skittles Scramble (that’s trademarked) for a TD on the first drive.
But the Seahawks simply cannot rely on only the running game to win. What’s baffling is that, with such a successful ground game, the passing game should be all the more successful. And, yet, when Wilson is back to pass it’s like a different team is playing.
Frankly I better end this now. I’m so frustrated this week I’m not even sure where to go with this. Just a few quick snippet thoughts and then I’m going to mic drop and go eat some apple pie:
1) Despite how pissed I am, Wilson should still start. He needs better coaching support, better play from receivers and damned better pass protection. Let’s face it, we’re still 2-2. I don’t know that Matt Flynn would have fared any better and frankly Wilson has a far better chance of escaping when our offensive line plays like shit, which seems to be the norm right now on passing plays. I’ll change my tune quickly if I don’t see some changes at QB, however.
2) The left side of the line with Russell Okung and James Carpenter was great today in run blocking.
3) Bench Breno Giacomini. Two after-whistle unsportsmanlike penalties for 15 yards each are unacceptable. Period. During Carroll’s post-game press conference he attributed it to Giacomini playing the full play or some such shittery. Bullshit. When the whistle blows, stop playing. You’re hurting your team. And I’m going to kick a puppy.
4) Our defensive secondary are clearly stronger when they jam at the line. Zone coverage is a weak spot. Getting burned by the Rams really showed it, and really, really hurt.
That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. Next week we face a high-flying offense run by second-year star and big-ass cry baby Cam Newton over at the Carolina Panthers.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find a puppy.
In the Twittersphere, the usual bandwagon, fair-weather Seahawks fans who cried out for Charlie Whitehurst last year blew their lungs out clamoring for Matt Flynn after a heart-breaking 20-16 loss against the Arizona Cardinals today.
Those people are stupid. And get them some oxygen, quick.
Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson had some hiccups in his first-ever NFL regular season game but there was much to like, and Danger Russ looked solid for most of the game, as did the Seahawks defense and special teams.
Let’s look at it this way: Only one rookie quarterback starting in 2012 had a better QB rating than Wilson today. Andrew Luck wasn’t that person. Wilson’s rating wasn’t stellar by any measure at 62.5. Hell, it was even below average. But he did no worse than most of the other rookie starting quarterbacks and avoided mishaps that most of them made, most specifically in the turnover category where he had one just one interception (Luck with three interceptions; Brandon Weeden with four; Ryan Tannehill with three). Wilson didn’t force anything, and if he threw a long pass, he threw it where, generally, a defender wouldn’t have access.
Unfortunately, our O-line members apparently were having conversations like this tonight: “Derp-a, derp derp derp,” and couldn’t seem to understand the value in providing a more solid throwing window for Wilson. The pocket frequently collapsed, forcing Wilson into tenuous situations, QB hits or sacks.
But we should also, as hard as it may be, give credit to the Arizona defense, known for exotic looks and stunts. While the media focus on the Cards’ QB kerfuffle between John Skelton and Kevin Kolb may have taken focus from the rest of that franchise, the defense is acknowledged as a solid unit. In many ways, the Cardinals and Seahawks were very similar in 2011 for that very reason. Solid D play, mediocre quarterback.
Only, the Seahawks were supposed to be the much more all-around improved team in 2012.
The offense still has some work to do. Receivers appeared to give up on routes. Offensive lineman ran around like chickens without heads. They looked meek compared to the aggressive style of the Card’s D. Odd, considering how nasty players like Breno Giacomini frequently looked for the Hawks throughout the preseason.
It’s like all of a sudden the lineman found a stash of Mom’s sedatives and decided to down the entire bottle on opening night. Russell Okung shocked the world by, again, turning into fragile tea cups, leaving the game with what has been announced as a knee injury. Think of him like a fine China set worth a guaranteed $29 million. Those are some expensive cups.
But there were some wonderful flashes tonight:
Wilson showed poise and smarts during plenty of pressure situations, taking the ball himself to gain a few first downs. It’s that talent that we don’t have with Matt Flynn, who is still accurate and would be a wonderful replacement if necessary (but he’s not necessary now).
During a terrible four-down series to end the game — including a botched decision by the replacement referees that gave the Seahawks a third timeout they shouldn’t have had — he tossed four completely catchable passes to receivers. Turns out their hands had been chopped off prior to each snap, unfortunately.
Sidney Rice, the previously-matching set of crystal stemware for the Seahawks offense to Okung’s China, caught multiple acrobatic catches and took some tough falls. At one point, he landed on at least one shoulder and it looked like he was about to break dance back up onto his feet.
Richard Sherman had an ankle-breaking sideline interception of Cardinals QB Skelton during the second half. Speaking of ankle-breaking, we’ve learned he came out of the locker room in a boot, though he claimed on Twitter he’d “be fine,” whatever that means. Fine for next week? Fine for another sweet “My Brother Dance”?
Braylon Edwards should have a breakout year. We saw it in the preseason and it translated in Game 1.
Doug Baldwin played a fairly solid game after sitting out preseason due to a hamstring injury that required blood to be removed to help the healing process (hello year 1642, bloodletting is BACK BABY! Where my leaches at?), despite the end-zone drop that could have clinched the day.
There’s almost no reason to mention the defense and special teams, because as usual they looked great. Of course, that’s why they should be mentioned, because they deserve it.
But back to Wilson and those “fans” screaming for him to be replaced. After one.friggin’.game.
Despite his claim during his post-game press conference that he had no jitters at all, I think that Wilson will only get better, and those jitters he didn’t have will slowly fade and he’ll settle. Note he also mentioned working on quicker reads, which likely is not only something he needs to work on to continue his progression in the pros, but also because his offensive line is going to force him into that situation.
He’ll need to ensure he doesn’t overthrow receivers on his bombs, too, and game clock management is essential after a few false starts thrown directly because of him.
But he has great field awareness, knows when to scramble when necessary and doesn’t make a bunch of stupid mistakes. He’s a playmaker, but he can’t be the only one doing the heavy lifting, and that’s where that line comes in to play.
No, 12th man, it’s not time to bring Matt Flynn out for a test drive. Not after one game. Not after five, in my view. Wilson has been given a shot, and he needs more time. It was one loss. It was a hard-fought game and everything the Seahawks did they earned through tough work.
For Marshawn Lynch, who gained 90 rushing yards through sheer will power and Beast Mode-style runs, it’s a familiar place to be. That same trudging patience Lynch has attained was embraced by the rest of the team. We nearly had it. This was not a loss in the mold of 2010, or even 2011.
Fixing those red zone mistakes, not leaving the game in the hands of replacement refs, and all of those other things I’ve mentioned (i.e. ~ Derp-a, derp derp offensive lineman) will happen. Pete Carroll will make it happen.
There are 15 weeks to go until the Seahawks are in the playoffs, folks. Let’s all watch it happen.
I watched and charted every 2011 Seattle Seahawks Offensive snap in the Red Zone. Below is a
quick breakdown of what I saw by personnel grouping. Disclaimer: I’m an amateur, it was a lot of data,
and I had a small screen so definitely factor in a slight margin of error.
The Outside Zone Run (or tackle zone) is the Seahawks favorite play by far. It should be
assumed going forward that the Outside Zone is the primary running play in each of the subsequent
personnel groupings. They will run it with a lead blocking Fullback (out of 21, 22, or 23 personnel) or out
of Single-Back sets (in 11 and 12 personnel). Lynch is good at turning this play into a big gain.
11 (Kings) Personnel : 43 Plays (Run-16, Pass-27)
Personnel philosophy Outside/Inside Zone Runs, Vertical Concepts, Primary Target:X Vertical
Formation tendencies 50% of the time they will be in a Trips Set of some type.
50% of the time it will be a Shotgun formation.
5 times they lined up in a Trips Speed formation
All sprint outs look like they are coming out of Kings Gun Trips Near.
11 (Kings) Alternate Y Line-up Locations
Y Off-4 Times
Y Crack-4 Times
Y Wide-4 Times
11 (Kings) Types of Motion with Play in parenthesis
W-Yoyo (Inside Zone)
W-Deep (F Wheel)
Y (Zone Run, Slant)
Y-Yoyo (Inside Zone)
11 (Kings) Personnel Red Zone Pass Targets
W-Slant (lined up wide in Trips sets the other two WRs lined up inside of him run clear out
vertical routes), comeback, bubbles.
Y-Out, slant, seam
Z- Hitch, curl, bubble
12 (Ace) Personnel 21 Plays (Run-11, Pass-10)
Personnel Philosophy-Horizontal and Three-Level (Flood) Concepts, Zone Runs with U as a
lead/trap blocker, Primary Target(s): Crossing Routes (To both X and U)
12 (Ace) Formation tendencies
The QB is always under center in Ace sets.
50% of the time it is a Trips set
38 % of the time both Tight Ends are lined up next to each other (Wing and Trump).
They don’t line up either Tight End wide in Ace.
12 (Ace) Types of Motion with play in parenthesis:
F2 (U Out)
F3 (U Cross)
U (Zone run)
X (Inside zone)
X behind Z (Flood)
Y-Deep (F Swing)
Y-Yoyo (X Cross)
Z (Z cross, inside run)
12 (Ace) Personnel Red Zone Pass Targets
21 (Regular) Personnel 20 Plays (Run-15, Pass-5)
Personnel Philosophy-Run First, Inside/Outside Zone Runs, Quick Concept and Play Action
Passes, Primary Target(s): Short passes to Z and H
21 (Regular) Formation tendencies
The QB is under Center 100% of the time
100% of the time it is an I Formation (3 times Off-set I Far)
They don’t split any Running Backs or the Tight End wide.
They will line Lynch up at both H and F.
When Lynch is lined up at F
They will either hand it to Lynch or fake it to him and pitch to H Washington
33% of the time WR in Flip Alignment
21 (Regular) Types of Motion with Play in parenthesis
Y (Zone run)
Z (Delay screen to Z)
21 (Regular) Personnel Red Zone Pass Targets
H-Wheel (to field)
22 (Tens) Personnel
13 Plays (Run-9, Pass-4)
22 (Tens) Personnel Philosophy-Run First, Outside/Inside Zone Runs, both H and F touch the ball equally
22 (Tens) Formation tendencies
100% of the time it is an I Formation
Both TE aligned to same side (Heavy) 5 times
Y lined up wide one play
Won’t hesitate to run the same Short Yardage play 2 or even 3 times in a row
22 (Tens) Types of Motion with Play in parenthesis
F Off (PA Pass)
U (Z Sluggo, Zone Run)
U Out (U Slant)
22 (Tens) Personnel Red Zone Pass Targets
23 (Jacks) Personnel 2 Plays (Run-1, Pass-1)
This is a short-yardage grouping both plays were run with 1 and 3 yards to gain respectively.
One play was Jacks I Right lead dive with a Tackle eligible. The other play was Jacks I Left pass to FB in
0? (Spread) Personnel 11 Plays (Run-0, Pass-11)
Personnel groupings that fell under this category had no RB in the backfield but on some plays I
could not make out exactly if there were Tight Ends in the formation or not. So in theory they could be
00, 01, 02, 03, personnel but they’ve all been grouped together under this (0?) Category.
0? (Spread) Personnel Philosophy-Vertical/Horizontal Concepts, Intermediate and Deeper Routes,
0? (Spread) Types of Motion with Play in Parenthesis-
Z Deep (Z Wheel)
0? (Spread) Personnel Red Zone Pass Targets
U-Out (away from Trips set)
W-Post, trips slant, screen
Concluding Thoughts and Notes
Kings Personnel is the Seahawks preferred personnel grouping by a wide margin. (It is also their
preferred personnel grouping on all 3rd down plays regardless of field position but I’ll get to 3rd down
plays on another report). They will try and take some vertical shots to the Y just outside of the Red
Zone. They like to throw Bubbles to the 3-WR Side of formations. Sometimes they will manufacture
that 3-WR side by using F3 motion (1 target) or by lining the F out wide (1 target). Late in the season
there was a noticeable trend to target the motion man.
I know that Russell Wilson is starting at QB now so the play calling could change to suit his
strengths. However, NFL Offenses don’t change much from season to season when the same Offensive
Coordinator is in place. Therefore, it would be safe to assume that Darell Bevell’s Red Zone Offense in
2012 will look quite similar to the one detailed in this report. The difference in the 2012 version will
have more to do with whatever Russell Wilson does within plays (favorite targets, throws, or launch
points, etc). I believe that Russell Wilson’s skill-set and leadership will make the Seahawks Red Zone
Offense more effective than it has been before under Darell Bevell. Last but not least, none of this
matters if you don’t tackle Marshawn Lynch. Good luck with that.
Tweet me your criticism, feedback, or suggestions for other Advance Scouting Reports to
Here’s a quick look at some of the offensive trends for the Seahawks game 3 performance in Kansas City. If you guys like the data make sure to comment! I’ll do one of these for all regular season games as well as show seasonal trends if the community has a desire for the info.
NOTE: There will be a ton of more useful passing route data once ALL22 is released for regular season. This will allow for passing concept trends..
TOTAL GAME PASSING ZONE % (Russell Wilson)
Deep Right: 22.2%
Deep Middle: 7.4%
Deep Left: 11.1%
Mid Right: 7.4%
Mid Middle: 11.1%
Mid Left: 0.0%
Flat Right: 11.1%
Check Down: 0.0%
Flat Left: 14.8%
Offense QB Pass Drop Ranking Report for Entire Game
Rank Drop #Plays %Plays
1. 3 Step 16 59.3
2. PA 6 22.2
3. 5 Step 3 11.1
4. 0 Step 1 3.7
5. Roll 1 3.7
Personnel Ranking Report for 1st Down & (10 – 10) Yards
Rank Personnel #Plays %Plays
1. 11 9 39.1
2. 21 6 26.1
3. 12 5 21.7
4. 22 2 8.7
5. 10 1 4.3
Personnel Ranking Report for 2nd Down & (7 – 10+) Yards
Rank Personnel #Plays %Plays
1. 11 5 62.5
2. 12 2 25.0
3. 21 1 12.5
Personnel Ranking Report for 2nd Down & (3 – 6) Yards
Rank Personnel #Plays %Plays
1. 21 2 50.0
2. 11 1 25.0
3. 12 1 25.0
Personnel Ranking Report for 2nd Down & (1 – 2) Yards
Rank Personnel #Plays %Plays
1. 12 1 33.3
2. 21 1 33.3
3. 22 1 33.3
Personnel Ranking Report for 3rd Down & (7 – 10+) Yards
Rank Personnel #Plays %Plays
1. 11 5 83.3
2. 21 1 16.7
Personnel Ranking Report for 3rd Down & (3 – 6) Yards
Rank Personnel #Plays %Plays
1. 02 1 50.0
2. 10 1 50.0
Personnel Ranking Report for 3rd Down & (1 – 2) Yards
Rank Personnel #Plays %Plays
1. 21 1 100
Game: Offense Formations Ranking Report for Entire Game
Rank Formation Name % of Plays Run % Avg. Run(yds) Pass % Avg. Pass(yds)
1. Spread 23.5 25.0 5.0 75.0 10.0
2. Gun Spread 17.6 11.1 2.0 88.9 12.4
3. Ace 2TE Bunch 9.8 60.0 3.7 40.0 18.5
4. Pro I 7.8 50.0 1.5 50.0 24.0
5. Pro I Twins 7.8 50.0 5.0 50.0 -3.0
6. Ace 7.8 75.0 8.3 25.0 1.0
7. Field Goal 7.8
8. Pro I Weak 5.9 100.0 12.7 0.0 0.0
9. Pro Heavy 2TE B 5.9 100.0 3.7 0.0 0.0
10. Gun Spread Trips 2.0 0.0 0.0 100.0 11.0
11. Pro I Strong 2.0 0.0 0.0 100.0 25.0
12. Empty 2TE 2.0 0.0 0.0 100.0 -2.0
Runs Ranking Report for Russell Wilson led drives:
Rank Run Name #Runs % Runs % to Str Avg(yds) % Away Avg(yds)
1. Inside Zone 13 65.0 61.5 5.6 38.5 7.0
2. Outside Zone 3 15.0 66.7 5.0 33.3 8.0
3. Power 2 10.0 100.0 15.5 0.0 0.0
4. Dive 1 5.0 100.0 3.0 0.0 0.0
5. Draw 1 5.0 0.0 0.0 100.0 0.0
If the November elections were held today, Seattle Seahawks fans would elect rookie quarterback Russell Wilson not just to the presidency of this great nation, but as Emperor of the World!
My wife and I are expecting our next kid in February, and we’re likely going to name it Russell. The gender of the baby doesn’t matter.
And I’m also fairly confident Wilson can cure diabetes.
These overreactions brought to you by Top Pot Doughnuts, the official Hand-Forged Overreaction Dessert of the Seattle Seahawks!*
They may be exaggerations, but it is extremely likely if you watched the third Seahawks preseason game last night versus the Kansas City Chiefs you have had similar thoughts. Or feelings. Personally? I want to make love to the Seahawks. That’s my feeling, alright, Dad? I LEARNED IT BY WATCHING YOU!
Keep in mind these reactions are coming from an ardent supporter of Matt Flynn, who I still believe is quite talented and would do well as our starter. That’s what makes watching this QB “competition” so fantastic. No matter what happens, we’re far better off than last year.
But last night we got to see why Wilson was so coveted by Pete Carroll and John Schneider, and it appears that they really have wanted him to succeed and win the starting job since the evening they drafted him at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall. As Seattle Times reporter Danny O’Neil shared from the Seahawks live chat last night, it is also the case that “Every day I’m Russeling.”
Like many watching this four-part QB miniseries unfold, I was convinced that Wilson’s wonderful play during the initial two preseason outings against Tennessee and at Denver were due to playing against second and third stringers and players that aren’t even going to make the final roster of those teams. He was a shining star on the rise, but who may lose some luster against the big boys who start games. I was wrong, and so were plenty of others.
But I wasn’t adamantly against Wilson taking first-string snaps during the Chiefs game, and so I can haughtily say: “Na-na, na-na boo boo, stick your head in doo-doo.” And not really caring all that much who took the snaps, because I was pretty comfortable with either guy (though I still felt it was likely Flynn would be the starter no matter what), it made watching Wilson shine that much more lustrous (I’m using a lot of clichéd adjectives to seem impressive, here, you see).
Wilson had poise in the pocket, made intelligent throws and had enough balls to toss a few up in to traffic with confidence that his receivers would win the jump. And they usually did. We saw his mobility, and how he used his run game only when necessary or when he could take advantage of it, not because he was scrambling in a panic. There were a few minor hiccups: Some overthrows on finesse balls and throwing behind receivers a few times. Before you knew it though, he came back with a touchdown throw. Those misses didn’t look like rookie mistakes, they seemed like minor veteran errors that would inevitably corrected with points on the board a few plays later.
Now I’m taking a more aggressive tact on this whole QB battle. Wilson must start and anything else will end with Pete Carroll being the most loathed coach in the history of the Seahawks franchise (right behind Jim Mora, nobody will ever beat him for that spot). Carroll is the one who told fans he didn’t care about conventional wisdom and wanted to see what Wilson had. Now he’s seen it, as have countless thousands of others and it’s a pretty simple choice.
Tap the electric play of a rookie and know that we have a win-win situation with Flynn sitting right behind him. That is, of course, unless they trade Flynn away already.
We may still have Tarvaris Jackson, who we all know can maintain some semblance of game management, despite the fact he holds on to the ball so long it’s like he’s doing a monthly cancer screening on it.
Wilson wasn’t the only one with impressive play last night, and other rookie standouts are showing just how well John Schneider works an NFL draft. I’ll point to the most obvious, because I’m a basic fan, not a nerd, you nerds.
Robert Turbin, with his Hulk-sized biceps, showed lightening speed through gaps while he out-ran Chiefs linebackers for a TD. For all the talk we heard about him still having to work on the basic one-step then through the hole stuff early in camp, he seems to have it down.
J.R. Sweezy man-handled opponents at the right guard spot, making another impressive show as he transitions from the defensive line to the offensive side of the ball. He mad huge gaps for the running backs and played so well that my wife and I will probably name our third child Sweezy.
And lest we not forget that the entire Seahawks defense is amazing, and appears to be making party plans to move from a top 10 defense to a top five.
There are plenty of things to be excited about with this 2012 iteration of the Seattle Seahawks. They may or may not be overreactions. It’s just exciting to see success after some lull years.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get Russell Wilson’s face tattooed on my left ass cheek.
Going into this pivotal third preseason game against the Chiefs in Kansas City, the Seattle Seahawks first-team offense has yet to gain much offensive traction.
Quarterback carousels, injuries to key starting receivers Doug Baldwin and Sidney Rice, as well the additions of new receivers like Terrell Owens and Braylon Edwards have been a mixed bag of occasional flashes of brilliance yet inconsistent offensive football to date.
One can only hope the decision to start rookie quarterback Russell Wilson in the regular season dress rehearsal will be the calming and galvanizing force needed as the Seahawks prepare for the Arizona Cardinals in 2 weeks.
Just for fun I decided to take a look at 2011 scoring outputs for each opponent we face in 2012 as well as defensive points allowed statistics.
Here is a snap shot of what the Seahawks might face. (Stats in Seahawks favor are highlighted in green).
Seahawks 2011 Offensive Scoring: 20.1 PPG
Seahawks 2011 Defense allowed: 19.7 PPG
Game 1: Arizona Cardinals (John Skelton, Kevin Kolb)
2011 Offensive Scoring:19.5 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 21.8 PPG
Game 2: Dallas Cowboys (Tony Romo)
2011 Offensive Scoring: 23.1 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 21.7 PPG
Game 3: Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rodgers)
2011 Offensive Scoring: 35 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 22.4 PPG
Game 4: St Louis Rams (Sam Bradford)
2011 Offensive Scoring: 12.1 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 25.4 PPG
Game 5. Carolina Panthers (Cam Newton)
2011 Offensive Scoring: 25.4 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 26.8 PPG
Game 6. New England Patriots (Tom Brady)
2011 Offensive Scoring: 32.1 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 21.4 PPG
Game 7. San Francisco 49ers (Alex Smith)
2011 Offensive Scoring: 23.8 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 14.3 PPG
Game 8. Detroit Lions (Matthew Stafford)
2011 Offensive Scoring: 29.6 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 24.2 PPG
Game 9. Minnesota Vikings (Christian Ponder)
2011 Offensive Scoring: 21.2 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 28.1 PPG
Game 10. New York Jets (Mark Sanchez)
2011 Offensive Scoring: 23.6 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 22.7 PPG
Game 11. Miami Dolphins (Ryan Tannehill)
2011 Offensive Scoring: 20.6 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 19.6 PPG
Game 12. Chicago Bears (Jay Cutler)
2011 Offensive Scoring: 22.1 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 21.3 PPG
Game 13. Arizona Cardinals (John Skelton, Kevin Kolb)
2011 Offensive Scoring:19.5 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 21.8 PPG
Game 14. Buffalo Bills (Ryan Fitzpatrick)
2011 Offensive Scoring: 23.2 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 27.1 PPG
Game 15. San Francisco 49ers (Alex Smith)
2011 Offensive Scoring: 23.8 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 14.3 PPG
Game 16: St Louis Rams (Sam Bradford)
2011 Offensive Scoring: 12.1 PPG
2011 Defense allowed: 25.4 PPG
Understanding that previous years do not always project future outcomes, It is still interesting to note that the Seahawks face twelve games in which the opposing team had a better scoring offense yet face thirteen games in which their defense has lower defensive points-per-game allowed.
This schedule may be brutal. Facing Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Jay Cutler, Cam Newton, Tony Romo and the 49ers (twice) with lingering questions at QB and receiver will be something to behold.
One thing is for sure….The Seahawks can not afford to waste their great defense by taking a step back offensively in 2012.
BOLD PREDICTION: The Seahawks get through 2012 with a winning record for the first time under Pete Carroll: 9-7
If not the seat under Pete Carroll will get hot quickly.
Pressure is on Coach.
When Marshawn Lynch was arrested for playing drunken Econoline bumper cars, the 12thMan became completely overrun with anger, disappointment, and sky is falling predictions. These predictions, while over the top and scary, just showed me how much faith and pride Lynch’s “BeastMode” persona have brought to Seattle.
I also heard immediate calls for an apology for wronging us as a fan base.
Buckle up, I’m going to get controversial here… apologies from athletes are pointless, and in my humble opinion we shouldn’t want one.
Pete Carroll knew what he was getting when he signed Marshawn Lynch in 2010. He knew he had weapons charges, a hit and run, and other various issues. This is not an indictment of his character as much as it is his maturity and decision-making. Most individuals with checkered pasts do not change all that much and even when they do their improved behavior will eventually become disrupted by another event. If anyone owes us an apology I would argue the case for Pete Carroll is a much stronger one. One in which I would never pursue.
Earlier today Marshawn Lynch released this statement:
“I want to apologize to my family, the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL and the 12th Man for the negative attention resulting from my recent actions. This is not the type of community leader I have been over the last two years or the one I’m striving to become. I want to assure everyone that I will work to be better and look forward to a very exciting, and very successful season with the Seattle Seahawks.”
Great statement.. Mature, remorseful and also a complete waste of time. I happen to believe Marshawn Lynch is a good guy, and probably is truly sorry for the lives he could have ended, the people he could have hurt, and the injuries he could have inflicted on himself but we will never know for sure. These types of statements serve one purpose, and one purpose only..Damage control.
And that’s my point. These contrived apologies from star athletes are never going to be enough. They are never going to stop a fan base from turning their back or force someone to forgive their transgressions.
But maybe I’m wrong..What do you think?