Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fun With Rosters

by: Michael Steffes

I noticed that excellent reporter, and damn fine blogger, Matt Maiocco, who covers the 49ers for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat was doing something fun with the Niners roster(s). He is comparing the Niners 04' roster, from when they finished 2-14, to the current roster, to see how much they have actually improved. Check it out too, the 04' team gets a lot of nods!

Well not to rag too hard on the Niners, but here at Seahawk Addicts, we take a Winners!! mentality when looking at the team. So, I believe, and I think a lot of you agree, that the Hawks are gearing up for a run at playing in February next year. Because of this I thought it would be fun to look at the 05' Superbowl team compared to this years team, and see how it compares. I am going to start with the offense, because I have a feeling that we are going to see a huge discrepancy between the two sides of the ball. To check it out....


2005: Matt Hasselbeck, Seneca Wallace, David Greene

2008: Matt Hasselbeck, Seneca Wallace, Charlie Frye

I think that this one is no contest, 2008. And maybe not why you think. 2008 Matt Hasselbeck is a different guy. It wasn't really till that Redskin Playoff game in 05' that Hasselbeck really had to carry the team on his back. Since then, though, the running game has declined and Hasselbeck has improved. His decision making seemed to take another step up last year too. Plus, Charlie Frye has starting experience in the league, David Greene can't find a job. 2008 Wins!


2005: Shaun Alexander, Maurice Morris, Mack Strong, Leonard Weaver

2008: Julius Jones, Maurice Morris, TJ Duckett, Leonard Weaver

Ok, so I left out Kirtman (08) and Scobey (05). They will show up under special teams. Lets face it neither one of them were/are running the ball. So, in this comparison, we have a lot of trade offs. Maurice Morris has improved I would say, as has Leonard Weaver, but probably only because they had to take on bigger roles. Mack Strong and Shaun in Pro Bowl years make it pretty hard to pick against 05', but we are only left to wonder what could have been if Julius Jones was running behind one of the best o lines ever. Chances are he could have lit up the stat columns too. The also benefit by having a platoon situation. Plus they could add a top rookie still too. Either way, 05', but a lot closer than you think.


2005: Darrell Jackson, Joe Jurevicius, Bobby Engram, DJ Hackett

2008: Deion Branch, Nate Burleson, Bobby Engram, Payne/Taylor/Obamanu

This one seems easy on its face, but maybe not so much. Bobby Engram has only gotten better with age, Nate Burleson(50,694,9) was surprisingly close last year to Jurevicius(55,694,10), with only 1 TD separating them. Remember in 05' Hackett was young and unproven and hadn't played until Jackson and Bobby went down. So it is very possible that any of the three young guys could follow that same path. So essentially it is a DJack/Branch Debate. If you include intangibles, they may be even. However, Branch's injury has to be accounted for and thus, 05' wins by a hair.
If Branch comes back, or two of the young guys surprise us, this could be reversed on review! 05' benefits in this case because we already have the results.


2005: Jerramy Stevens, Ryan Hannam, Itulia Mili

2008: Jeb Putzier, Will Heller, ??

This is tough too because I think we all agree that TE isn't a finished product yet. Mili spent the whole year hurt. However, 05', was easily Stevens best year. He had 45 for 554 & 5tds. However, Putzier's best year in Denver was 36 for 572 & 2 tds. So while he didn't score as many TDs, he had a comparable year. Add in a first day rookie, and it is possible that exceeds 05'. Heller and Hannum are close to being equal Each had close to 90 yards with Heller winning in TDs 3 to 1. I think am I out on a limb here, but I am going to say 08', assuming a first day pick is used on TE. I really think when the intangibles are figured in, and the lack of Superbowl choke by any current tight end is enough. Here 05' is hurt by having the results at hand.


2005: Jones, Hutch, Tobek, Gray, Locklear

2008: Jones, Wahle, Spencer, Sims, Locklear

Ouch, do I really have to do this. It would really be ugly had we not signed Wahle right? I am giving this to 05' hands down. It was one of the best lines ever. However, I am going to give an edge to Solari over Laveroni, and put in an editors note that I think the 08' line will exceed expectations. That said, they would have to be the best line ever for me to give them the nod, and I doubt that will happen. 05' wins!

So in this comparison, it is clear the offense has declined a bit. However, it stems mostly from the line becoming weaker. Todays team is better at QB and TE*, very close at RB and WR, but has a weaker line. Really, though with improved line play the team will field a competent offense. Lets remember the 05' team led the league in offense. I suspect that when we look at the other side of the ball, it will be clear that this team doesn't need to lead the league in offense, but just be above average in all facets to have a chance to win it all. Good Stuff! Tell me what you all think.....