"Did anyone get the license plate of that Hummer that rolled over the Seahawks 2008 season?"
1. So this is what it feels like to be a Lions fan staring at losses every week on the schedule.I never saw it coming. And boy, do I miss that 2005 season. I knew every week that we were going to win, one way or another. There was such a pervasive feeling of superiority during the 2005 march to the Super Bowl. Even the NFC Championship game; I knew when we took the field we were going to win.
Now I've been reduced to waiting for the next injury, hoping we can get one first down per quarter, and hoping we don't ruin our chance at a top-flight offensive threat in the top of the draft next April.
2. I'm just not ready to embrace the thought that our run is over and that we are now going to have to start paying attention to the first few hours of the NFL draft again. But looking at the schedule, I don't see many "W's" left on the slate.
Speaking of the draft, I still wonder what a top-flight wide receiver would do for this offense. The proponents of the WCO always like to say, "you don't need a downfield threat in the WCO", but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be a good thing if we did have one! People forget our effective our down field passing game was with Darrell Jackson and D.J. Hackett in 2005. If you don't believe me, go check out how many pass plays of 30+ yards we had that season.
3. Why is Sean Locklear starting at right tackle ahead of Ray Willis? I see a clear difference when Big Die Slow is in there. And I am glad to see Pork Chop Womack has been able to stay in the line-up this season. Don't you love a right side of the line with the nicknames of "Pork Chop" and "Big Die Slow" ?
Speaking of the offensive line can we petition Mike Holmgren to end the Chris Spencer follies and let Steve Vallos give it a shot? I'm tired of watching Spencer not realize his first-round draft pick potential.
4. What's the life expectancy for a Seahawks receiver this season, about 90 minutes? So long, Billy McMullen - it was great while it lasted (well, except for that fumble against the 49ers). Maybe you can come raise the 12th Man flag sometime. It's enough to make me want to stick another pin in my Joe Jurevicius voodoo doll.
If you would have told me in the pre-season that by the middle of the season Charlie Frye would be misfiring passes towards Keary Colbert and Koren Robinson, I would have kicked one of your relatives in the knee cap. Twice. It's a crazy season when at one point we were hoping the likes of Logan Payne or Michael Bumpus are available on Sunday.
It's not just receiver - Matt Hasselbeck is ailing (missing the last 2 games and most likely this weeks snooze fest in San Francisco), and although we are fed the weekly optimistic party line ("he might be able to play this week"), don't you just feel like this is a bad situation? How long until they just put him on the shelf and not risk anything severe?
In the last two games, Hasselbeck's replacements Charlie "I'm Not The Chocolate Factory Kid" Frye and Seneca "Frozen Apple Juice" Wallace have channeled Stan Gelbaugh and Dan McGwire. Frye threw for 83 yards against the Packers. Wallace managed a whopping 73 against Tampa Bay. 156 yards in two full games?? Hasselbeck would accumulate that before half-time of a single game last season. Heck, I had more yards in my cul-de-sac last weekend playing Nerf with my kids.
That's like the Naval Academy passing game, and they get a break because they run the ball 98% of their snaps.
Our only bona fide receiving threat, Bobby Engram, is getting more attention than Sarah Palin. He has managed a single reception in the last two games, partly because of the extra coverage over the top from defenses and partly because apparently only Hasselbeck knows he's one of the best receivers in Seahawks history. Hey, Charlie and Seneca: Bobby E will set you free! Throw to him. A double-teamed Engram is better than any of our other current receivers singled-up.
5. Am I just crazy, or does John Marshall teach our defense to run full speed into any available blocker when they blitz? And do the opposing receivers smell so bad that our corners have to play as far away from them as possible? I mean, why employ bump and run coverage when you can stand 10 yards away and hope the receiver runs close enough to you to make a play.
6. Dear Mr. Marshall: Leroy Hill is woefully underutilized. How can Hill not have a single sack through seven games, especially with us many plays as our defense has been on the field? Check out http://www.creativedefense.com if you need some ideas.
Also, did you see those Bucs defensive backs have more success in our pocket than our own quarterback did?
7. It was "amusing" watching Kelly Jennings chasing around Antonio Bryant last Sunday night in Tampa. OK, not amusing - frustrating. I have come to a conclusion that Tim Ruskell's GM-crush on smallish corners is not helping my blood pressure. We need some size in the secondary. I know they are not getting much help from a tepid pass rush, but they just don't match up physically with most of the receivers we have faced either.
8. Where can I go to put down money on 3rd down conversions, both on offense and defense? You just KNOW we are not going to convert when our offense has the ball, and you just know our defense will find some way to get real close but not close enough to stop the opposition. Is there anything more frustrating than forcing a team into a 3rd down situation and then watching them convert over and over and over again?
9. Look on the bright side - we haven't had any catastrophic special teams break downs for awhile (oops, I hope I didn't just jinx it). It still fascinates me that every time we punt, it seems, it's a white knuckle affair where defenders are inches away from getting to the ball. Conversely, our punt block attempts remind me of the old electric football game where the players rode on currents of electricity straight up the field with no hope of touching the other team. I think Bruce DeHaven is teaching punt block technique from the same book as Marshall is blitz technique; "avoid the opponent AT ALL COSTS!"
Does anyone recall the last blocked punt we had? Or better yet, when is the last time we blocked a punt or a field goal and took it back to the house?
10. If you want to watch a team that plays football the way it was designed, watch the Tennessee Titans. They are so fundamentally sound and it is impressive to watch. They don't do too much to show up on the highlight shows, but they block well, run the ball with authority, play great defense, and have solid special teams. You remember Mike Reinfeldt, right? Our old cap guru is the Titans Executive VP/GM.
11. Where is Leonard Weaver in the passing game? And how come we don't throw to John Carlson more? It would seem that a team struggling with its downfield passing game would seek to take advantage of the backs and tight ends more. Did you notice how many times Jeff Garcia took the check down to his backs in the Bucs game?
By the way, it still amazes me that Garcia is married to the out-of-this-world Carmela Decesare. Just type her name into Google and you can thank me later. How Garcia scored that one is beyond me.
12. Who stays and who goes from the coaching staff? I think it's obvious that Gil Haskell and Marshall will be gone from their respective coordinator positions. I suspect DeHaven might be out the door as well.
13. Mike Wahle holding calls have cost the offense over 90 yards in the last two games. That's a lot of yardage - nearly as much as our passing game puts up in a game! If you would have told me that Wahle would cost us gains equivalent to the amount of yards we are averaging the last two games, I would have punched a puppy.
14. I am glad we have Justin Forsett back. I thought it was a mistake to let him go in the first place, and he has a lot of potential.
15. Rocky Bernard's "Sugar Bear Shake" is in diabetic shock. Where have you gone, Rocky? And if you find out where you are at, can you grab Craig Terrill while you are there? Speaking of the defensive line, welcome to the NFL, Lawrence Jackson. Keep working at it, kid.
16. ONE interception in seven games? ONE?? I don't even know what to say about that. Is it possible we go an entire season without a single pick from a cornerback?
17. Brandon Mebane is a stud.
Alas, Seahawks fans - we
still need to ardently support our team. I traveled from Virginia in September
to see the Rams-Seahawks game (now known ubiquitously as "that one game
we managed to win") and I am coming back again with my 15-year old son
for the Patriots game, which will be his first Seahawks game (I had to take
him to Qwest).
I may even be coming back again for the Jets game a few weeks later, with my wife who is a die hard Jets fan; nothing like testing the foundation of marriage. It's still a treat for me to come back to my old stomping grounds and watch my favorite team, even if they might be playing for draft status.
I sure hope to see a packed Qwest Field and that we don't suffer from fair-weatheritis. After all, at least it's not the Oklahoma City Seahawks.
Greg Renick known as "FlyingGreg" in NET Nation, can be reached via email here.