Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Whats Up With TJ Duckett?

by: Michael Steffes

For a long time this offseason, everyone seemed certain that TJ Duckett was brought in to help the team convert 3rd and 4th and short. However, the deeper we get into the offseason program, Holmgren quotes continue to leave many scratching their heads....

The one I have to figure out a little bit is how we are going to use Duckett.” ...I have to kind of work out how we’re going to use Duckett. That is really the question, as to how we’re going to use a player... Is he a fullback, is he a halfback, do I use him on short yardage and who comes out of the game if I do that. It’s all that kind of stuff.”
Those quotes came from Mike Holmgren's mini press conference yesterday. However, it is not the first time we have heard this. This is about the third time that Coach has made similar remarks. Now here is the question... do we believe him? TO CONTINUE...

Holmgren is kinda sly. As Seahawk fans, we tend to take him at his word, but he has been known to play coy a time or too. I have a hard time believing that he has no idea how to use TJ Duckett. Just because he has never had a big, third down type back before, doesn't mean he doesn't know how to use him.

Yesterday he also talked about how the other backs will be used. Talking about how not having to worry about which back is in helps the offense, he said...
"It makes it easier. With the few seconds you have to really make an intelligent call, you don’t have to think so much about protections, who’s in the game, the type of route you call. If you don’t have a guy that can do all those things, absolutely it’s my responsibility to try and do that to help the team. If you don’t have to, it’s easier. It’s easier to call the play and go.”

This offense is all about tempo, tempo, tempo and not having to think about the personnel as much, including tight end also, will help this offense assert their will on opposing defenses. Now for Duckett. Well he will obviously play the role of insurance policy, however, I doubt that will be his only role. Many of you have heard my feelings about putting him in with the lead in the fourth quarter. I have no idea if Holmgren has this in his plans, but it continues to make sense to me. Using TJ when the tempo slows, and versatility is less important, because everyone in the stadium knows a run is coming, is where I think he has value.

If that is how he is used, we can only wait and see. As for Holmgren's assertion that he doesn't know what he is going to do with Duckett... well... I am not buying it. I think Homlgren is holding a full house(as in the backfield, pun intended), and he is not quite ready to show all his cards until more chips are in the pot.