So, has the Seahawks 2008 season gone the way you expected? Like what you have seen thus far? Are you enjoying the horror that has been this 'root canal via nasal-passage' trip through the first half of the season? I'm betting if you are a Seahawk fan the obvious answer is a resounding NO. So the clear question is what to do about it? And who or what is at fault for our sudden fall from grace?
I don't know about you, but after the Green Bay 'Snow-Bowl' playoff loss last year I felt pretty rough. Not like the playoff losses to Chicago or even our Super Bowl loss, which each stunk in their own way mind you, but rather after each of those losses I had a sense that this team would be better the season following, and held on to that feeling to get me through the tough times. Those feelings are long gone and have been replaced by the fear of the unknown that has not shown its ugly head since 2001.
So who or what is to blame for our current debacle? Let's look at our list of who's who to point the blame at and in what order:
Point Here First- The Injury Bug
We have been wiped off the map by the injury bug plain and simple. To lose all starting wide-receivers is bad luck, to lose every wide receiver on the team at one point or another is a gypsy curse. Factor in losing Matt Hasselbeck for an undetermined amount time and you get an offense that is in total chaos. Our injury luck runs hardly any better on defense where half the starting line-up has enjoyed wearing casts most of the season and Patrick Kearny's shoulder will be a problem to deal with through the rest of the season.
No doubt the lack of offensive continuity due to injury has hurt us on both sides of the ball. When you can count third-down conversions for two games on one hand, I think the case kind of makes itself. Injuries have killed us this far and with Hasselbeck week-to-week and Branch's uncertainty, who knows when it will let up?
Injuries are by far our biggest burden this season, there's no possible doubt about it.
Point Here Second- Tim Ruskell
I remember all the Tim Ruskell 'Kool-Aid' parties don't you? People were all about this guy and I do respect the way he looks for character quality as well as football quality in Seahawks players. I do though, have some very clear opinions of his operation of our beloved franchise and sometimes question his decisions.
The Good- Goes for the quality, character player. Makes a mean glass of "Kool-Aid". Short list for the good, don't you think?
The Bad- The hole Jim Mora mess. I understand the need to protect the stability of the Seahawks franchise past the Holmgren era but selecting a new head coach while one was in place was a bone head move to say the least. Now don't get me wrong, I like Mora. I like his youthful energy and the fact that he is a player's coach may work well but it was way too soon to crown him. I am of the belief as are some of you I'm sure, that this has caused a 'melt-down' of the pecking order and thus becoming more a cancer than a cure. I hope Mora works out in 2009 because in 2008 it has worked 'less-than-well'.
The Ugly- I know
I am beating a dead horse here but losing Steve Hutchinson in the manner we
did was as dumb a front office move as this franchise (or any franchise) has
ever made. I am, at-best, a video-game Madden GM and even I know the difference
between 'transition' and 'franchise' tags and the implication of each. That
loss of thought easily cost us the best offensive line in football for the next
5 years following and I need not tell you that your offensive line is one of
the most important, if not the most important aspects of a good football team.
That blunder is inexcusable period and haunts us to this day. I also think people underestimated the value of Mike Reinfeldt and I'm not just saying that because the Titans are doing so well. The man was a cap genius and I hated to see him go.
Point Here Third- Mike Holmgren
Any time you have a losing football (or any pro) team, who to blame usually begins and ends with the head coach. In our specific case, I am not too sure that is the case. Now before you reserve me a room with padded wall-paper, let me clarify my stance on Holmgren:
The Good- He is a class act no doubt about it. It has been a blessing to have him as a coach. He took us to a Super Bowl as well as represented the Seahawks in perfect fashion. In my opinion he is the best coach this franchise has had to-date and I will miss him when he is gone. No one in the history of the NFL says "Shucks", "Heck" or "My Goodness" more than Mike during pressers.
The Bad- His offense is about as fresh as a Foghat concert. His version of the West-Coast offense has been studied, researched and devoured since the Bill Walsh era and teams are becoming wiser to it and thus, we are an easy read by most above-average defenses. In other words, just blitz the heck out of them. His clock management skills in my opinion also leave a lot to be desired.
The Ugly- I get the feeling that he and Tim Ruskell are not on the same page don't you? The tension reminds me of the last years of Bob Whitsett's tenure and no-one needs go through that mess again. If the GM and head coach don't mesh, the product on the field usually shows it.
Those are the places I point
when asked what the problem is this season.
Where do you point?
Who do you blame?
Scott Norris is better known as 'Hllywood' in NET Nation. If you would like to email Scott, you can reach him here.