Every Seattle Seahawks fan remembers when quarterback Seneca Wallace electrified the Qwest Field crowd with a beautiful, 28-yard over-the-shoulder reception against former teammate and then-Carolina Panthers cornerback Ken Lucas during the 2005 NFC Championship Game.
Wallace's reception set-up the Seahawks first touchdown in what turned out to be a blowout win over the Panthers, propelling the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. It also amplified the fan's desire to get Wallace, widely regarded as the best athlete on the team, more involved in the offense.
Those pleas have grown increasing louder over the last three years.
"I understand where you're coming from, and I feel the same way," Wallace said during an interview with Dave "Softy" Mahler on 950-KJR on Thursday. "It's difficult for me to, on game day, to have to be sitting on the bench, and to not be able to go out and help my teammates out. Knowing my talents, and knowing my skill-level, and knowing I could be able to help produce and do some things offensively.
"But at the same time, this is what I've been wanting to do is play quarterback and I've been sticking to it. Coming out of college, people say ‘You can't do it. You can't do this. You can't do that' and I've been in the league going on seven years now, and I've been blessed playing this position, but at the same time, I know where you're coming from. I still want to be able to go out on the field, wherever it is on the field, playing receiver, playing quarterback, playing punt returner, whatever it is, I want to be able to help us out at any means."
The NFL has always been a copy-cat league, so after the Miami Dolphins rode the "Wildcat" offense to a 10-win turnaround and an AFC East title, nearly every team is looking for ways to implements elements of the offense into their current systems.
The Dallas Cowboys are using second-year running backs Tashard Choice and Felix Jones as part of their "Razorback" package. The Minnesota Vikings have hinted at using first round wide receiver Percy Harvin in their form of the "Wildcat" package, as well. Even the Dolphins didn't stand pat, using a second-round pick on West Virginia quarterback Pat White, whose athleticism prompted many to pigeon-hole him as a wide receiver at the NFL level, much like they did to Wallace back in 2003.
So with the league-wide popularity of the "Wildcat", and an anxious to play Wallace already on the roster, could we see the Seahawks employ elements of the offense du jour in 2009?
"We haven't talked about it, but I know that it's something that, from last year, getting ready to play Miami and things like that, and seeing them do it to our defense for the scout team, I knew that (head coach Jim) Mora was a huge fan of it. So I think it's going to open some doors, and hopefully once we get into training camp and get things going, I think we'll be introduced to that."
As for that reception in the NFC Championship Game, with Lucas back for a second stint with the Seahawks, has Wallace mentioned the play to him?
"You know what, I haven't. It's something that it's in the past. It's big for us at the moment, we end up going to the Super Bowl, but I haven't really mentioned it too much. I know he (Lucas) sees it, and he remembers it, and I'm going to bring it up to him, as a matter of fact. I think it's a good time to bring it up right now."
Seahawks 2009 Training Camp Open to Fans
Fans interested in attending the team's training camp practices at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center must register through the team's web site, www.seahawks.com, beginning July 16 at 10 a.m. Open practices will begin on Monday, August 3 and conclude on Thursday, August 20. Practice times will be listed on the team's web site starting in mid-July.
Brian McIntyre lives in the Boston area. In addition to writing for NorthwestFootball.net, Brian maintains his own blog (www.macsfootballblog.com), writes for FalconInsider.com, and charts games for Football Outsiders. If you'd like to e-mail Brian, you may do so here.