Since he employed the KISS method and allowed Matt Hasselbeck to just react and make plays instead of thinking so much before the ball was even snapped, never mind all the processes going through his head as live bullets are flying around him, we’ve looked more like the team that started 3 and 0 and less like the team that lost 3 straight.
Playing the quarterback position is one of the toughest jobs in all of sports. There’s so much that a quarterback has to decipher and process on every play that its mind boggling more mistakes aren’t made. Some coaches get caught up in their own egos and have plays with so much verbiage it practically takes 10 seconds or so just to even call the play in the huddle. It really makes no sense to me why coaches do that. It’s like the old saying that ball players and fighter pilots use: “If you think, you’re dead”. There just simply isn’t enough time to decode and decipher all that information in 2 or 3 seconds with 300-pound monsters crashing all around you.
So let’s give some credit to Mike Holmgren for seeing what needed to be done to right this ship. Let’s give him credit also for being able to set aside his ego for the betterment of this team. You know it’s killing him to not be able to put his 10,000 plays into the game plan each week, but he’s stuck with his simpler attacks for the past 2 weeks and its really worked well.
When I heard the announcers say this past Sunday that coach Holmgren had dropped the run audibles from 12 down to 3 it really blew my mind. No wonder Hasselbeck looked like a jittery cat in the pocket. He looked like he was going to explode right there on the field. Call it brain overload I guess. He’s looked much more comfortable these past 2 weeks with a simpler game plan. Let’s hope we keep it that way.
Now for some “Extra Points” from the 49er game:
I’ve got to give it up for Shaun Alexander. I’m one of the first ones to gripe about his running style and how easy he is to bring down but these past 2 weeks he’s run like a guy who definitely belongs in the elite class of NFL running backs. The guy is as talented as they come and has proven his worth over the past couple of games. He needs to keep up this kind of play for the rest of the season in order to get the fat contract he’s playing for.
As previously stated, Matt Hasselbeck is back to looking comfortable in the pocket and is making plays that made him a Pro Bowl quarterback last season. The 49ers blitzed us heavily with some success until Matt made the audible call to Koren Robinson when he saw the blitz coming and K-Rob ended up scoring on that play. The 49ers didn’t blitz us much after that and that’s what Matt has to be able to do. He also had a couple of nice deep throws on Sunday which is very important to opening up the rest of our offense. We’ve struggled with the long ball all season and the opposing team secondary kept creeping closer and closer to the line of scrimmage. Until we show some consistency in the long passing game we’re going to have cornerbacks jumping routes because they have no fear of getting beat deep. If Hasselbeck can complete a few more deep balls, then I think we’ll be over the hump on this situation.
I don’t like to fuss too much after a victory but why does our secondary get beat deep so much? Every game there’s at least one or two plays where our guys are simply chasing a receiver down the field. I love Marcus Trufant to death and I believe he’s going to be a special player but someone has to get with him and teach him how to adjust to the ball better while it’s in the air. He seems lost on how to play the ball. Seems like a simple technique to teach. I wonder why he still struggles with the same issue.
I still think our secondary plays off the receivers too far and gives them way too much cushion. I know we’re young back there but it’s easy pickins for opposing quarterbacks. Let’s hope that Ken Lucas is okay and is able to play this upcoming Sunday against St. Louis. Without him in the lineup it could be a long day in the dome with Kris Richard chasing Torry Holt or Isaac Bruce around.
It’s great to be in first place!! We have the perfect opportunity to put some space between us and the Rams if we can beat them this week. This is a very important game for us. A win gives us the swagger back and puts us up 2 games in the NFC West. A loss puts us back into a tie with the Rams and kills us in the tiebreaker situation and it’s not too early to start thinking about that stuff.
If we can keep it simple and execute the plays then I think we can beat the hated Rams this week. I think we’re going to do it. You gotta believe!!!
It’s a great time
to be a Seahawks fan. Always has been, always will be.
Micky James writes weekly for Seahawks.NET. You can reach him at email@example.com.