2006 Seahawks Player Analysis: The QBs

With the Seahawks' 2006 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 future Hall-of-Famers to roleplayers on the bubble. We begin with the quarterbacks.

Matt Hasselbeck
Ht/Wt: 6’4”/233 Yr: 8 Age: 30 Boston College

PASSING

Year

Team

G

GS

Att

Comp

Pct

Yards

YPA

Lg

TD

Int

Tkld

20+

40+

Rate

2005

SEA

16

16

449

294

65.5

3459

7.70

56

24

9

24

41

7

98.2

CAREER

 

107

68

2205

1342

60.9

15925

7.22

80

96

57

162

202

22

86.6

It’s hardly Standard Operating Procedure for an athlete to outperform each of his prior seasons in the year he signs the contract that will leave him set for life...that certainly blows the whole “contract year” theory. It’s even rarer if said athlete is an NFL quarterback who loses his #1 and #2 receivers for a total of twelve games to injury. In 2005, Matt Hasselbeck proved that he is an elite quarterback (most likely the NFC’s best) by doing these exact things. In February of 2005, Hasselbeck signed a 6-year, $47 million contract. A few months later, he started earning the first year of that deal - and then some.

At least two aspects of Hasselbeck’s season bear closer analysis – first, the aforementioned fact that his top two receivers, Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram, missed those twelve games. Jackson was out from Week Five through mid-December with a knee injury, and Engram missed games five through eight with cracked ribs. Jackson also sat out the regular-season finale against the Packers, because Seattle had pretty much sewn everything up except for a couple of Shaun Alexander season milestones. The Seahawks were 2-2 before Jackson and Engram were hurt, and they did not lose another meaningful game until Super Bowl XL.

He had just about the most productive running back in the NFL behind him, and Joe Jurevicius had the kind of career year that will be talked about ‘round these parts for a very long time, but make no mistake – Matt Hasselbeck led this 13-3 team through the NFC in 2005.

Second, his December. In the two playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl, Hasselbeck completed 36 of 54 passes for 434 yards, 3 touchdowns, no interceptions and a 109.7 passer rating. Anyone who was surprised by those numbers obviously didn’t pay attention to his December. In his four games in the final month of 2005, Hasselbeck completed 76.1% of his passes – the best percentage of any quarterback in NFL history who played in at least four games in the month. His 135.5 December passer rating told the story – 67 completions in 88 attempts for 777 yards, 10 touchdowns and one interception. For the season, he ranked 9th in the league in completions, 10th in passing yards, 4th in touchdowns, and 4th in adjusted yards per pass.

Prorated, that December would leave him with a ridiculous season – 268 of 396 for 3108 yards, 40 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. That such a season is beyond impossible gives you a taste of how impressive it is to hold that standard for even a month.

Officiating aside, what does Hasselbeck do in the Super Bowl if Jerramy Stevens doesn’t drop all those balls? The mind positively reels.

2006 Outlook: 2006 could be feast or famine for Hasselbeck – a lot of factors are up in the air right now. Jurevicius is gone, replaced by former Viking Nate Burleson. Burleson will play the #2 role under Jackson, putting Engram back in the slot where he belongs. Though it’s always iffy to bet on career years, Burleson is a perfect fit for the West Coast Offense – he’s a tenacious competitor who doesn’t fear the middle and gets great yards after the catch. If Burleson can stay healthy, Jackson’s knee holds up and Engram continues his drive-extending consistency, Hasselbeck’s own burgeoning talent will tear the NFC to shreds. If he’s dealing with another patchwork unit…well, Hasselbeck’s greatness now stems from the fact that he’s able to get the job done and get a squad to the Super Bowl without his “A-Team”. This alone puts him in rarefied air.

Intelligence, efficiency and leadership combine to make Hasselbeck a huge part of Seattle’s success – and one of the more impressive chapters in Mike Holmgren’s legacy of quarterback development.


Seneca Wallace
Ht/Wt: 5’10”/193 Yr: 4 Age: 25 Iowa State

PASSING

Year

Team

G

GS

Att

Comp

Pct

Yards

YPA

Lg

TD

Int

Tkld

20+

40+

Rate

2005

SEA

7

0

25

13

52.0

173

6.92

42

1

1

3/20

3

1

70.9

CAREER

 

7

0

25

13

52.0

173

6.92

42

1

1

3/20

3

1

70.9

After his brief flirtation with the wideout position during the NFC Championship game, Wallace may get some more opportunities to get on the field so that Mike Holmgren can use his immense talent to help the team.

Wallace also saw his first regular season playing time as an NFL quarterback in 2005, working mop-up duty in two games and playing the entire second-half of the final game of the regular season against Green Bay.

2006 Outlook: Fans can expect to see the ultra-athletic Wallace on the field at a position other than quarterback at some point this season. Will it be a regular occurrence? Probably not, but Holmgren is intrigued with Wallace’s instincts, attitude and athleticism. The head coach has also been happy with his progress in understanding the intricacies of the offense.


David Greene
Ht/Wt: 6’3”/231 Yr: 2 Age: 24 Georgia

PASSING

Year

Team

G

GS

Att

Comp

Pct

Yards

YPA

Lg

TD

Int

Tkld

20+

40+

Rate

2005

SEA

0

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

---

In 2004, 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 lacks big-time arm strength and Mike Holmgren has publicly expressed a bit of frustration with how long it has taken him to learn the Seahawks’ system. He has a big body and is a good leader, but he needs to step up his game in order to make the final roster.

2006 Outlook: Greene has a long road ahead of him to make the team. Gibran Hamdan was impressive in NFL Europe and the athletic Travis Lulay has better physical skills. Greene needs to show he’s started to grasp this offense and display leadership glimpses, or he could be looking for a job sometime during the month of August.


Gibran Hamdan
Ht/Wt: 6’4”/208 Yr: 1 Age: 25 Indiana

PASSING

Year

Team

G

GS

Att

Comp

Pct

Yards

YPA

Lg

TD

Int

Tkld

20+

40+

Rate

2005

SEA

0

0

0

0

---

0

---

0

0

0

0/0

0

0

---

CAREER

 

1

0

2

1

50.0

7

3.50

7

0

0

1/2

0

0

58.3

The wild card in this positional equation, Hamdan approaches Seahawks camp as the man on the outside looking in for the second straight season. Where he has excelled in 2005 and 2006 is in the NFL Europe League. In 2006, he was named the league’s Offensive MVP, leading the Amsterdam Admirals to a 6-1 record before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. Hamdan led the league in completion percentage (63.0 percent), passing yards (1,629) and touchdowns (12) while posting the highest passer rating in NFL Europe history (113.4).

2006 Outlook: In the Seahawks’ 2005 Cheney camp, Hamdan was in attendance, and looked effective. The team wasn’t going to admit defeat on a third-round pick and give up on David Greene just yet, but this year might be different. The questions for Hamdan as he looks to replicate his continental success in the bigs will be whether he can stay healthy (in addition to the abbreviated 2006 season, he lost over half the 2005 season to a shoulder injury), and whether he can show enough of a grasp of the offense to satisfy Mike Holmgren. Playing within the relatively simple NFLEL schemes, he’s shown everything he would need to, and this could be Hamdan’s year to make the move.


Travis Lulay
Ht/Wt: 6’2”/205 Yr: R Age: 22 Montana State

PASSING

YEAR

TEAM

CMP

ATT

PCT

YDS

AVG

TD

LNG

INT

RAT

2005

MTST

223

388

57.5

2629

6.8

17

55

10

123.7

CAREER

 

889

1559

57.0

10716

6.9

58

73

35

82.1

As an undrafted rookie free agent, Lulay obviously has a steep ladder to climb in order the make the Seahawks roster. However, there is no denying his experience and numerous physical skills. At Montana State, a Division 1AA school, Lulay started as a freshman in 2002 and never relinquished his spot. Lulay was also athletic enough to lead MSU in rushing with 611 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

2006 Outlook: The top two signal-callers on the Seahawks roster are clearly Matt Hasselbeck and Seneca Wallace, but after that, the third spot is wide open. Lulay will battle David Greene and Gibran Hamdan for the last roster spot at quarterback and may even get a look at sticking on the practice squad if he doesn’t make the final cut.


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