2005 Seahawks Player Analysis: QB/RB

With the Seahawks' 2005 training camp just a few days away, Seahawks.NET will take a player-by-player look at the current roster over the next week. Everyone will be profiled, from the stars to the role-players on the bubble. We begin with the quarterbacks and running backs.

Quarterbacks

Matt Hasselbeck
Age: 29 HT: 6-4 WT: 233 YR: 7 Boston College

PASSING

Year

Team

G

GS

Att

Comp

Pct

Yards

YPA

Lg

TD

Int

Tkld

20+

40+

Rate

2004

SEA

14

14

474

279

58.9

3382

7.14

60

22

15

30

43

2

83.1

CAREER

91

52

1756

1048

59.7

12466

7.10

80

72

48

138

161

15

83.7

In February of 2005, Hasselbeck signed a 6-year, $49.4 million-dollar contract with the Seahawks, validating and cementing his status as the team’s franchise quarterback. Although he was stymied a bit by injuries and receiver drops in 2004, Hasselbeck enjoyed his second consecutive high-quality season. His pocket presence has increased exponentially through the years, and his ability to go through reads has greatly improved over time. Hasselbeck does not have a deft touch with the deep ball, but he’s as good as there is on short and medium-range passes, making him a valuable component in Mike Holmgren’s West Coast Offense. At this time, he’s also the only Seahawks quarterback with regular-season NFL experience.

2005 Outlook: Massive (and necessary) offseason changes in Seattle's corps of receivers should benefit Hasselbeck greatly. Gone is Koren Robinson, with his multiple drops and his “extracurricular” headaches. The projected lineup of Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram split wide with new acquisition Joe Jurevicius in the slot (replacing Engram at that position) will help the inconsistency factor – Jackson's the only one left with greasy hands on a regular basis. What would help him even more than the acquisition of a “deep threat” (which Hasselbeck’s never really had, consistently) would be if the backs could catch more balls – Shaun Alexander’s receptions have fallen from 59 to 42 to 23 in the last three seasons. In the WCO, that ain’t good.

Losing friend and mentor Trent Dilfer, who was traded in the offseason so that he could start with the Browns, marks a new horizon for Hasselbeck. Dilfer thinks like a coach on the field and has been a key component of Hasselbeck’s development.

It’s all on #8 now.


Seneca Wallace
Age: 25 HT: 5-11 WT: 193 YR: 3 Iowa State

PASSING

Year

Team

G

GS

Att

Comp

Pct

Yards

YPA

Lg

TD

Int

Tkld

20+

40+

Rate

2004

SEA

0

0

0

0

---

0

---

0

0

0

0/0

0

0

---

CAREER

0

0

0

0

---

0

---

0

0

0

0/0

0

0

---

”Can't wait for my phone to ring this fall with my editor, Chad Millman, on the other line saying, ‘We need you to do a Seneca Wallace story. Soon.’ – Seth Wickersham, ESPN.com

Keep that laptop warmed up, Seth…although he’s never completed a pass in an NFL regular-season game, there may indeed be reason for excitement about young Mr. Wallace this year. From a physical perspective, he could be the Seahawks’ best athlete, regardless of position – reports have indicated that he’s returned punts and lined up as a wideout during camps and practices, with intriguing results. But it was his QB skills during recent minicamps – his increased ability to handle the offense and grasp the playbook – that bears watching through training camp and into the preseason. He’s got great speed and the ability to throw a football 60 yards on a string – his arm strength is superior to Hasselbeck’s, and his quickness could turn that old “Sprint Right Option” chestnut into a NASCAR thrillride.

2005 Outlook: Dilfer’s departure has made it Now Time for Wallace, and fans are intrigued as to whether those “Vick. Jr.” scouting reports when he came out of Iowa State have any merit. At 5’11”, there are concerns about his ability to see over the line and find passing lanes. He also might be a little light to take all the hits he’d receive with consistent playing time as a result of his mobility. The degree to which he’ll able to think his way out of trouble as opposed to sprinting away from it will decide his place on the 2005 depth chart. It's the same dilemma all hyper-mobile QBs face, but don’t sleep on Seneca Wallace as the full-time backup.


David Greene
Age: 23 HT: 6-3 WT: 231 YR: R Georgia

YEAR

CMP

ATT

YDS

CMP%

YPA

LNG

TD

INT

SACK

RAT

2004

279

474

2508

58.5

5.29

79

20

4

14.0

148.4

CAREER

657

1116

8739

58.8

7.83

79

55

23

80

138.1

Greene finished his outstanding four-year career with the Georgia Bulldogs as the winningest Division 1A quarterback ever, posting 42 wins (besting Peyton Manning’s old record of 39). Greene is an outstanding leader, understands the ins and outs of the quarterback position better than most and is a proven winner. No, that 2004 TD/INT ratio is not a misprint. He lacks big-time arm strength, but that isn’t necessary in the system the Seahawks run. Some thought his third-round selection was a bit of a reach, but he is one of the more finished products you will ever see coming out of the collegiate ranks. While he may never be a starter in the league, his intelligence and maturity will pay dividends as an outstanding backup at the NFL level.

2005 Outlook: Greene heads into camp as the third quarterback behind Hasselbeck and Wallace. His ability to pick up head coach Mike Holmgren’s complex playbook will be the biggest factor in whether the Seahawks feel comfortable with him. He has had solid mini-camps this summer and the expectation is that he will be able to nab that third slot throughout the season.


Gibran Hamdan
Age: 24 HT: 6-4 WT: 208 YR: 2 Indiana

PASSING

Year

Team

G

GS

Att

Comp

Pct

Yards

YPA

Lg

TD

Int

Tkld

20+

40+

Rate

2004

Redskins

0

0

0

0

---

0

---

0

0

0

0/0

0

0

---

TOTAL

1

0

2

1

50.0

7

3.50

7

0

0

1/2

0

0

58.3

Hamdan looked quite good this spring as a Seahawks allocation with the Amsterdam Admirals of the NFL Europe League (39 of 75 passes for 556 yards, with five touchdowns and two interceptions) until he broke his collarbone halfway through the season. He then watched backup Kurt Kittner lead the Admirals to their first-ever NFLEL title.

2005 Outlook: Given Wallace’s development and the high draft pick the team spent on Greene, there doesn’t appear to be room for Hamdan…a decent player who will probably find a space on someone’s practice squad and wait for next year’s NFLEL season to prove himself yet again.




Running Backs

Shaun Alexander
Age: 27  HT: 5-11  WT: 225 YR: 6 Alabama

RUSHING

Year

Team

G

GS

Att

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

2004

Seattle

16

16

353

1696

4.8

44

16

CAREER

80

60

1347

5937

4.4

88

62

The NFC's leading rusher with 1,696 yards in 2004 (he led the NFL with 20 total touchdowns), Alexander is a premier back at the peak of his game. He is also at odds with his team for more then one reason - the Seahawks slapped the franchise tag on Shaun in 2005, a designation he has not yet agreed to, and probably will not sign until the last minute. Alexander is great at waiting for lanes to develop, and he hits the hole with a burst that belies his size. However, he's not a terribly effective blocker out of the backfield, nor has he proven to be the kind of reliable pass receiver required in Seattle's offense. The perception that he’s unwilling to fight for those tough post-contact yards is one that he will have to work to overcome. Alexander, for his part, might prefer to be with a team that places a disproportionate emphasis on the running game.

Put simply, there are great running backs, and there are great football players. Shaun seems content with the former, and that’s enough to make him a top 5 fantasy football pick over the next few seasons. His enduring legacy will be tied to how involved he chooses to become with the latter, larger, concept.

2005 Outlook: Alexander will be playing in what is essentially his second consecutive "walk year", so look for stellar numbers once again. As productive as he’s been during his time in Seattle, don’t be surprised if he’s wearing another uniform in 2006.


Maurice Morris
Age: 25  HT: 5-11 WT: 202  YR: 4 Oregon

RUSHING

Year

Team

G

GS

Att

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

2004

Seattle

15

0

30

126

4.2

12

0

CAREER

42

1

100

518

5.2

43

0

Morris, who has been a distant “Option B” in the Seahawks’ running game for the last three seasons, is an elusive scatback who spells Alexander on obvious passing downs. With a 5.2 career yards-per-carry average, Morris has been productive in fits and starts for the team. Although he doesn’t possess the ability to consistently run inside and take the pounding that is expected of elite backs and he does get knocks about his ability to endure the rigors of multiple 20+ carry games, Morris is a valuable specialist. His ability to run outside and make people miss, as well as his excellent hands, gives the Seahawks interesting situational offensive choices.

2005 Outlook: The team has made some noise about their faith in Morris as a starter, should the Alexander drama become untenable. Whether this is front-office posturing or a legitimate projection of his ability, Morris will most likely get more reps in 2005. His future as a full-time starting RB at the NFL level, however, is uncertain.


Kerry Carter
Age: 24  HT: 6-1  WT: 238  YR: 3 Stanford

RUSHING

Year

Team

G

GS

Att

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

2004

Seattle

16

0

4

15

3.8

6

0

CAREER

32

0

7

13

1.9

6

0

Every team has a “myth” – a player who has fans convinced that were he to start, he’d absolutely blow up the world. Carter, primarily based on one very impressive half in a preseason game against the Chiefs two years ago and some good camp and practice reports, has become such a player. Those who have become frustrated with Shaun Alexander’s limitations enough to wish him gone, but who also know that Maurice Morris isn’t built to carry the ball 300 times per season, project Carter as the Future.

2005 Outlook: Where Carter shows great potential is as a between-the-tackles runner with a great deal of desire, who can catch the quick pass and fight for yardage. Is that enough to sustain him as an NFL starter? Carter will be able to take the next steps toward answering that question this preseason, when he gets the carries and tries on the vision. If Alexander bucks convention and holds out for any length of time, Carter will be cramming for the final, NFL-style, as he plays T.J. Duckett to Morris’ Warrick Dunn.



Jesse Lumsden
Age: 22 HT: 6-2 WT: 224 YR: R McMaster University (Canada)

YEAR

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

2004

178

1,816

10.2

108

21

CAREER

NA

4,238

NA

108

47

A most intriguing Canadian import, Lumsden joins long-snapper Jean-Philippe Darche, WR Jerome Pathon and RB Kerry Carter as the four players who were born north of the border and now populate the Seahawks roster. Lumsden set several records in his time on the Canadian gridiron, including single-season marks on 1,816 yards and 21 touchdowns (in eight games) and career marks of 4,238 yards and 47 touchdowns. His main asset is his speed and shiftiness in the open field. He will need to work on his blocking and receiving skills, but coaches have been pleased with his performance in offseason workouts.

2005 Outlook: The Seahawks appear to be set at the running back position. Assuming franchise RB Shaun Alexander is still on the roster by the start of training camp, Lumsden faces a daunting task having to fight for a backup spot with Maurice Morris and Carter. He isn’t the prototypical West Coast running back, but he has the skills to make his presence felt during training camp. He was drafted sixth overall in the CFL Draft by the Hamilton Tigercats and the expectation is if he doesn’t make the final roster, he will probably head back to Canada to play this season and then tryout again next season with another NFL club. Lumsden does have special teams experience, so the Seahawks could take a flyer on his potential and let him learn on the return teams.


Mack Strong
Age: 33  HT: 6-0  WT: 245  YR: 12 Georgia
 

RUSHING

Year

Team

G

GS

Att

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

2004

Seattle

16

13

36

131

3.6

11

0

0

CAREER

164

86

176

663

3.8

21

4

2

If every team has a “myth”, fortunate NFL squads also possess elder statesmen who garner infinite respect by virtue of their battle scars and selfless, giving natures. The Seahawks have such a player in Strong. An undrafted free agent in 1994, he’s been through the Flores, Erickson and Holmgren eras (and wouldn’t THAT make one hellacious book?). As his proposed replacements find themselves jettisoned year after year, Mack just keeps going…and going…and going. He’ll turn 34 on 2005’s Opening Day, and while he’s a bit more susceptible to injury than in seasons past, he’s also still quite capable of messing up your kitchen if your intention is to attack his star quarterback or franchise halfback.

2005 Outlook: All in all, it’s just a…nother brick in the wall. When the lights come on, Mack Strong will be there, ready to do the dirty work for the 12th straight year. Ready to be underrated by the national peeps again…ready for the Seahawks aficionados to take him to their hearts again. Mariner fans were smart enough to realize what they had in Edgar Martinez before it was too late – and knew enough to appreciate it even when Edgar was hitting .294 instead of .356. This season, when you’re screaming your guts out at the “Q”, take a minute to appreciate Mack Strong – he understands the game, and his role, on that same rarified level.

Lest we forget, he also gets infinite bonus points for the best fullback’s name since Bronko Nagurski!


Tony Jackson
Age: 23 HT: 6-2 WT: 264 YR: R Iowa

YEAR

REC

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

2004

7

82

11.7

24

1

CAREER

14

134

9.57

24

3

Jackson saw action every season he was on the Hawkeyes’ roster. He only caught 14 passes over the course of his career, but he was used extensively in the running game. He has excellent strength and underrated hands. He lacks ideal height to play tight end in the NFL so it is expected that he will line up at either H-Back of fullback at the next level.

2005 Outlook: With veteran Heath Evans moving on and the release of injured FB Chris Davis, there is an opening for Jackson to make the squad as the backup to Mack Strong. Lack of positional depth could make up for a rocky start on Jackson's part. With his strong blocking ability and his skills as a receiver, Jackson could enjoy a long career if he can stay healthy and learn his new position. He is also a solid special teams performer and could contribute on the return units right away.


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