by: Michael Steffes
Ooh lots of questions about the next years issues. Me likey. Anyway, I am glad there was a response. You guys know the drill. I am not an expert, not does Tim Ruskell speak to me in dreams, although that would be sweet. In other words, these are my opinions, guesses, etc. But if it makes you feel better they are certainly educated guesses. Enjoy....
Chris... asks what type of turnover we can expect with Mora taking over? and Who will be the captains this year?
First off, the Mora issue. My gut feeling is that Haskell is going to call it quits with Holmgren. If anybody has a right to be a little sore on the Mora hiring it is him. That is fine though because Mora will want to bring in Gregg Knapp who he worked with previous. Knapp is in the last year of a two year deal in Oakland. If you noticed they ran the ball pretty well last year for such a crappy team so that aint all bad. Mora and Marshall have worked on several defenses together so I could see him staying. Most of the new coaches like Dunn, Lazor, and maybe even Solari knew about the change so they should stay. Also Mora has ties with Gilbertson so he likely keeps his spot. Now if the team somehow bombs this year this could all be up for debate again.
As for the captains, you are on the right path. Hass, Lofa, and Deon Grant all return. Mack Stong, Niko Koutouvides and Josh Brown's C's all remain unused. I think that some likely candidates are Laury, Morris, Engram maybe. Not sure who will take Brownies, special teams seems a bit thin on captain prospects.
Shams... How will I celebrate when the Hawks win on Thanksgiving?
That is a good question. Likely by having leftovers, writing a nice blog post about the game, and passing out when the Eagles go up on the Cards by 3 touchdowns. There are three things I do on Thanksgiving...Eat, Sleep, and watch football and I try do all of them three times. Being in Dallas will limit my ability to nap all day, so likely I am passing out early with a big ass smile on my face.
Lyric... asked if the Hawks could bring back K-Rob?
To tell the truth I don't think there is anyway it happens. They haven't been linked to him so far either. I think that would be like getting back together with a girlfriend who things ended badly with. You can never really trust the person again and when there are so many other choices, why bother? That said, the idea does intrigue me. If Koren has his life together, then i wish him well. Coming back to Seattle and redeeming himself would be a great story. Still, I am a bit skeptical it would ever happen that way.
As for the Mora thing, I think that the offense will be similar after coach leaves. Even in Atlanta when they lead the league in rushing, it wasn't a smashmouth system. Besides, the NFL is a passing league these days. To put up a lot of points you have to be able to throw. Those Atlanta teams ran a lot, but they didn't win as many as if they could have thrown too.
Steve... Do I think Morris will be the starter?
I don't think it really matters. I expect there to be a big time share in the backfield this year. Morris really had a breakout year last year and he is in a contract year so he could be set up for another jump in stats. I think that Jones may be the starter in name, but expect Morris to figure in heavily, especially early. Remember, he is the only tailback who knows the system. As for next year, I wouldn't count on it. The Hawks are hopefully going to have very few needs next year and taking a running back is a strong possibility.
OregonHawk.... asked which position is our weakest and which is our strongest?
I am going to go hands down with linebacker as our strongest. I think the Hawks have the best linebackers in the NFL. There are lot of good units on this team but LB is tops, as least as far as the starters go.
The worst unit is a bit tougher. I would say it is tight end. Only because Heller is the only returner and he is a blocker. Both receiving tight ends are new and essentially unproven. Until they prove it, it is the weak spot. Wide receiver at least has the two most productive members from last year returning.
realspd.. asked about coaching changes too?
I kind of addressed this up above. Haskell is the most likely to leave. Marshall has a tie to Mora so unless Holmgren takes a job somewhere he is likely to stay. Not sure he has the reputation some d-coordinators do around the league, so he shouldn't be in high demand.
Here is what we know about Gregg Knapp. Knapp is likely going to be the offensive coordinator next year. He got is first coordinator gig under Mariuchi when Mora was running the defense. Other than T.O. dressing him down, he was pretty successful. Jeff Garcia went to a couple of Pro Bowls under him and the Niners went to the playoffs. His first year in Atlanta the team went to the NFC Championship game. From there on out MV became larger than life and never quite lived up to the hype. Mora and Knapp's reputations suffered. However, if you watched those teams, they could run on anybody. Unfortunately, teams stocked the box and Vick was horribly inaccurate when passing. Hasselbeck is a different guy to put it mildly. Considering the improvement Oaklands offense made under Knapp, imagine what he can do with the Hawks talent. Watch Oakland this year and watch their scheme, cause we will likely look similar in 2009 and beyond.
Thats all, I will try and remember to do this more often. Sorry for the lapse. I will be happy to answer questions as often as wanted, especially with the lack of news right now, so feel free to throw questions into the comments sections.
Also, I want to thank all of you who have been supporting the site. Several people have used the Seattle Team store to get gear and I appreciate it. They are going to have Carlson and Jackson jersey's soon, for those who asked. Traffic is a bit slow right now because of the dead time so if you are a regular please remember to even the smallest little bit helps. I really appreciate it.
Monday, May 12, 2008
by: Michael Steffes