The Giant Third Step

In today's random damage report, .NET's own Ryan Davis takes on Tom "Turn your head and" Coughlin, the undisciplined Giants, why Mo Morris could be the answer to what ails #37, Hass the gunslinger, Troy Aikman, the cast of "Jackass 2" (which is NOT based on a Seattle City Council meeting) and much, much, more.

Quick quiz:

What’s easier?

  • Lindsay Lohan with an 8-Ball in your pocket
  • Playing one-on-one dodge ball against Jeff Healey
  • Shooting “H-O-R-S-E” against Hervé Villechaize
  • Getting in the heads of Eli Manning, Jeremy Shockey, and Plaxico Burress

After Sunday, we all know the answer’s “D”.

Going into the game, I didn’t understand my fellow Seattle Seahawks fans' trepidation. The Giants are not, and will never be, a quality team under their current leadership.

Eli Manning appears to have everything that Peyton does not: guile, sportsmanship, leadership, and a winning persona. But unfortunately for him, playing under Coughlin has lessoned the “yin” to Peyton’s “yang”. It’d be like Jack Nicholson acting in a George Lucas-directed film.

“Plexiglass” Burress, as Ray Lewis accurately coined him, is for lack of a better word a “head case”. He makes Tom Cruise, Gary Busey, and the ghost of Vincent Van Gogh all cry, “that boy’s crazy”. He’s talented, yes, but will never amount to anything more than an afterthought and a “what a shame” head shake from NFL historians.

I love and would take Jeremy Shockey on my team right now, if for only his inappropriate and anti-PC labeling of Bill Parcells a few years ago. He’s a bit of a load to handle from a coaching perspective, but just like Eli, if Coughlin could coach his way into a Pop Warner league – he’d be better utilized.

The defense is a solid one, with no excuses for ineptitude. In all fairness, it looks similar to the Hawks in regards to the Defensive Secondary, truly being secondary in concern. The difference being, the Seahawks defensive front seven comes to play every game – wreaking havoc on opposing QBs. The Giants front seven on the other hand, is about as inspired as I’d be at a born-again Christian singles party.

So what gives in the Big Apple? Why is a team with talent, which shows flashes of brilliance, so disappointing? The answer’s simple: Tom Coughlin.

Coughlin’s totalitarian rule, without the charisma of a Parcells or Belichick to back it up, crushes and demoralizes the spirit of the team he coaches not the one he’s coaching against. He’s a great disciplinarian and trainer, but not a great coach.

So Giants fans, please stop flapping your gums or even bother pretending your team’s a force until you get a coach. What happened Sunday was embarrassing to you and me.

The Comeback that Wasn’t

Was anybody really worried about the Giants making another comeback on Sunday? I mean, really concerned? Concerned to the point you may’ve been pacing, increased your smoking, or just rocking back and forth like Brittany Murphy in “Don’t Say a Word”? I wasn’t and nor should you have been.

It’s very rare in today’s NFL to hold and maintain a 38-point lead, regardless of the coaching and talent disparities. The difficulty only increases, when it’s a national game, one that had been discussed and looked forward to, and when you have proud veterans such as Tiki Barber, Michael Strahan, Shockey, and even Manning. Ray Charles could’ve seen some resurgence was going to manifest. Even with all that, it still took the captain-less Giants a perfect series of events to even make it that close.

Say “Hello” to the NFL’s Newest “Gunslinger”

It’s what Mike Holmgren envisioned when he made the trade to begin with. A dangerous and volatile QB who’s gambling nature, natural toughness, and god-given swagger can and will carry a team all alone, if he has too. And that’s exactly what Matt Hasselbeck has become and will prove to be over the coming weeks.

With the “Gunslinger” tag/qualities, however, comes the occasional bone-headed interception, which we saw from Hasselbeck Sunday. In a way though, it was refreshing to see. Those late interceptions signaled to me that the days of Holmgren being conservative are gone. And he, as we all should, have 100% confidence in Hasselbeck.

Besides, does anyone really believe that Hasselbeck would’ve thrown any of the interceptions he threw the past two weeks, if the Hawks were on the road, or in a game where the outcome was in doubt? If you do, you haven’t been paying attention.

Over the next few weeks we’re going to see Hasselbeck spin-kick the entrance to the “Elite QB” lounge, take a seat, and refuse to exit like some indigent, vagabond squatter. He must and will carry this team on his back.

Sit back and enjoy the next few weeks, Seahawks fans. Because Hasselbeck and the “Grunge” Fun Bunch are about to be sued by George Lucas for acting-out Star Wars on opposing defenses.

The Mighty Duck

I’m going to be alone in this assessment – and will draw much ire from fellow Hawk fans. I’ll have the Scarlet Letter of “SA Hata’” smashed on my lapel. But, I think the best thing that could’ve happened right now is for Shaun Alexander to sit and watch a couple weeks.

Maybe it was the injury, maybe it’s the absence of Hutch, maybe it’s the contract – I’m not sure – but something in Alexander’s game hasn’t been right. In my opinion, he hasn’t adapted his running style to best suit the offensive line in front of him.

Over the past few seasons Alexander, rightfully, evolved his style into a “read then run” approach, to maximize the wealth of tools in front of him. That’s the correct approach to take when the offensive line is opening bigger holes than “Highlander” plotlines. The problem now is, the holes have decreased in size and duration, and he’s not hitting them in a timely manner. He needs to revert back to a few years ago; running first and reading second.

If you looked up the term “run first, read second” in the dictionary it would say: see Maurice Morris. Morris, or as I like to call him “the only thing good from Oregon”, over the next few weeks will go a long way toward solidifying the Hawks spotty run game.

Especially against the run-stingy Chicago Bears, who honestly would’ve embarrassed Alexander if he continued on with last year’s style.

I expect that when Alexander does return, he’ll utilize the time on the sidelines to adequately adapt his style to his new line.

Quick Hits

  • Have you ever encountered someone or something that no matter how hard you tried to loathe it, you couldn’t? That’s my recent quandary as it relates to Troy Aikman as an analyst. Like many on this planet, my survival instinct tells me to hate anything and everyone Cowboys, with the intensity of Bill the Butcher. But, I can’t do it with Aikman. He’s quickly established himself as the best analyst in the game – and man, does that bug me.
  • Last week I corrected my proclamation that the Miami Dolphins would be the one to supplant the New England Patriots, by anointing the Buffalo Bills as the new king of the AFC “Big” East. Well, I’m not sure what happened, but that was a mistake. What I meant to say was the New York Jets were going to come out of the scrum victorious. Kudos to my arm-strength double Chad Pennington and Phil Mickelson’s body double Eric Mangini.
  • Since the beginning of organized athletics, there have been players, coaches, and fans that believe a higher power, in whatever form, has influence over players, teams, or even games. If you personally subscribe to that theory, then you must acknowledge the odd events that landed Reggie Bush in New Orleans as “divine intervention”. Despite all of the controversy, pressure and questions surrounding him he’s remained a professional. His presence is key to the recent resurgence of the Saints – giving the city a much-needed pleasant distraction to the horror that still encompasses them.
  • Spleenectomy? Are you kidding me? Ouch! I really feel bad now for ripping Phil’s son – suggesting the Buccaneers send out a search party for Major Applewhite. But, now I’m over it. This would be a perfect time for Jon Gruden to trade for a QB he wanted and drafted over four years ago, Marques Tuiasosopo. Tui can play all he needs is a shot and the right system.
  • Shave my bikini line with a rusty tuna-can lid. Saw off my index finger with a butter knife. Get a Colorado hotel room with Kobe Bryant. Those are all things I’d rather do than watch Dick Clark Jr., Chris Collinstool, Sterling “not so” Sharpe, and Jerome “free ring” Bettis Sunday Night Football show.
  • Did anyone notice how pleasant it was last week not having a prefabricated, non-story, and ass-kissing Dallas Cowboys game shoved down our throats?

Mule Sniff

Where have all our “rock stars” gone? What happened to men who inspired and cautioned us simultaneously with their acts of rebellion and depravity?

Why are there no more Jim Morrisons, Jimi Hendrixes, Mick Jaggers, or even young Ozzy Osbornes? Sure, rock music still has a pulse and recently has enjoyed somewhat of a revival. The Strokes, The Killers, Panic at the Disco and The Darkness are all great bands that are giving us some great music.

But, none of the above truly has anyone that fits the definition of a “rock star” . There’s no over over-consumption, groupies, or social commentary going on. Go backstage at any rock show now, and all you see is salad, water, and a wife or fiancé. Lyrics inspiring change or encouraging rebellion in rock have been transformed into suburbia teenage angst over not getting the right Christmas gift.

I’m not sure what has deprived us of such important figures. Maybe it’s a symptom of legislating safety, fear-mongering news, political correctness, or forced morality? Whatever the case, I think its time we start looking outside of rock for out “rock stars”.

This weekend I was one of the millions that lined up to see Jackass 2. In that movie I saw men who were brilliant, stupid, shameless, grotesque, rebellious, daring, spontaneous, hilarious, and thought provoking at the same time. They were all “rock stars”. I thank them, and pass on a hefty sniff for being as they are.


Known very well to friend and foe as "pehawk" in our fan forums, Ryan Davis provides a fresh voice on the Seahawks, Seattle sports in general, and life in a nutshell. Feel free to send your thoughts, recriminations and mule sniffs to Ryan here.


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