Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Postcards from Kirkland

by: Michael Steffes

Jim Trotter of SI.com was out at Seahawks training camp and has done a pretty inclusive write up of his experience. It is part of a series, "Postcards from camp."

There is a lot to break down in this article, but I will just touch on some of the premises that have been less talked about.

First, Mike Holmgren's increased intensity is drawing notice. This is great. Not only will the "lame duck" BS subside (i hope), but he is the tone setter for the team. If he wants to take it easy, the team may take it easy. If he is coaching like his back is against the wall, then the team will hopefully respond with a similar focus and intensity. To continue...

Second, Trotter notes that the defense is returning EVERY SINGLE STARTER from last year. This is a defense that improved every week from mid season on, until the snow debacle. They were strong on fourth downs and the goal line, they were hard to throw against in the red zone, and for the most part, until GB, they shut down top runners. They did seem to allow a disproportionate amount of long runs, but hopefully they can correct some of that and move into elite status. If they do, continuity will be a big part of it.

Finally, Trotter notes that the schedule looks difficult, but in reality the Hawks were handed some breaks. Playing Tampa in prime time is one. This is a workable schedule for the Hawks, especially if just ONE of the tough road teams falls off. NY and Dal are possibilities. Trotter mentions the early bye and says health will be key. That is one reason the depth on this team is so comforting. Also, the team gets 10 days off before NE, which will give a second chance to recharge.