Are you still fighting that sinking feeling? Feel like your drowning in a sea of misery? Are you struggling with the fact that is season is a wash? Your not alone in your suffrage my fellow Seahawk brethren. Relax Seahawks fans, take a deep cleansing breath and join me for a look at where we are and more importantly where we are going. This season looks bleak to say the least but there are reasons to look forward to the future.
Where We Are-
I've never been one to 'sugar-coat' things and there is no possible way I can in regards to this season thus far. We are, in a word, abysmal. We look confused, out of place and uncomfortable on both sides of the ball. We have a front-office that is set in one direction, with a hall of fame coach tugging (albeit gently) in another. We have players that not only have to listen and respect Mike Holmgren this year, but sleep with one eye open in regards to their future under Jim Mora.
Our offense is so out of sync it is almost comedic (not really) and our defense at times looks like it couldn't stop a pee-wee team and both go hand in hand. If I had to target one issue alone on this team it would be continuity. An old cliché suggests that they 'are not on the same page'. I moreover think they are each reading from a different book, with two different teachers in the classroom, a difficult situation to be in as a Seahawk player to say the least.
We are (barring a miracle of epic proportions) going to give up "our" division title for the first time in four years. And I give the Arizona Cardinals tons of credit, they are playing well in and winning the games they have to, albeit in an anemic division that has a combined record of 12-24. I do look forward to the upcoming games versus Arizona, if nothing else, to get a gauge on how we stack up going forward.
It is the direst of straights for all of Seahawk nation right now. We are all feeling the sharp sting of pride messing with us and that is totally understandable. I have to admit this season's collapse caught me off guard as I am sure it did most of you. Saddest thing of all Seahawks fans is there is no 'cure' for our illness, only time and letting it run its course will cure our ills.
All I can tell you for sure is that "now is the time" (remember that?) for all good Seahawks fans to earn their respective 'keep' as it were. It's easy to ride the bandwagon when the road is smooth and bound for the playoffs. Now you have to stand up for your team in the midst of great adversity, the truest test of fan-hood.
Where We Are Going-
I do not see this team as a 'total-rebuild' that our record and the national media indicates we should be. I honestly think a fully healthy Seahawks team wins this division this year. With that being said, in my opinion, we are not as far off from success in 2009 that some might think.
If we return healthy next season that alone will make us competitive in the NFC West. Now obviously there are a ton of questions in regards to Jim Mora's philosophy in regards to schemes and coordinators, but working with what we know we have, it paints a pretty good picture going forward. Let's take a look at "what's good" going forward.
Quarterback- Matt Hasselbeck will return to old form given time to heal and time to work with his receivers. I think Matt can mentally adapt to any offensive scheme Mora wants to go with. I think people under-estimate Hasselbeck's intelligence and that is something I fully expect Mora to take full advantage of going forward.
NFC West- The thing about playing in a weak division is that there is very little to be frightened of. Holmgren has always emphasized winning the division as the first goal of his teams and Mora will be no different. Say what you want right now, but this division will be totally up for grabs in 2009. If we were in the NFC East with the Giants, Eagles, Redskins and Cowboys for example things would be a bit tougher. Irregardless of how Arizona does this year, I fear them not going forward. And if the Rams or 49ers scare you given their current rosters and scenarios, then I suggest you break the blue pill in half next time before you take it.
Our Defensive Players- Now before you have me committed, hear me out. Our defense is no where near as bad as the stats may show. Bill Parcell's says "you are what your record says you are" and that's true, but the Seahawks defense has been given a bad rap or bad 'cast' (pardon the injury pun) if you will.
Given our offense is a weak as water our defense has been as ripe for the picking as an ant at an aardvark convention. When your defense is on the field for 40 of 60 minutes it's hard to blame them alone. I have not been pleased with John Marshall's play calling to say the least, but the players themselves still have a good road ahead in 2009. I think with a healthy Patrick Kerney and with the continued development of Brandon Mebane, Rocky Bernard and Lawrence Jackson we have a few bright spots on the line. Our line backing core without casts, has the chance to be something special under a new scheme. The talent of Lofa Tatupu, Leroy Hill and Julian Peterson hopefully will be 'un-earthed'. And Josh Wilson is learning and will continue to improve, thus helping Marcus Trufant be more productive. And the kid is a lightning rod on special teams, which is kind of like a bonus prize.
A Fresh Start- Just the relief of a fresh start under Mora has to be of some value. The confusion of this season has had to take a toll on the entire organization. Like it or not Tim Ruskell will have 'his-man' at the helm and that will provide a sense of relief through out the organization. Like you, I will be curious to see what Mora's plans are. But I have to think just the 'spring cleaning' will provide a breath of fresh air in the smoke-filled pool-hall that has been Seahawks headquarters of late.
Things are rough now but I think we are in for a pleasant surprise come 2009. This wrecked car is that is the Seahawks this season is not totaled ladies and gentlemen, just dinged up a bit albeit in vital parts. So endure the rest of this season the best you can, Seahawks fans. And remember Arizona is only "keeping it warm" for us.
Scott Norris is better known as 'Hllywood' in NET Nation. If you would like to email Scott, you can reach him here.