Friday, October 17, 2008

Can the Hawks Win in Tampa?

by: Michael Steffes

The simple answer is yes. Of course they can. So far however, they have not shown the efficiency on offense to be able to score enough points to beat the Bucs. However, there is always reason for hope. Here are some of the things I see that are looking up for the Hawks in this game.

The Tampa Offense plays into the Seahawks strength- Tampa attacks teams with a power running game and a short controlled passing game. Neither of the Tampa runners are terribly large or explosive. It would seem that a properly motivated Seahawks front seven should be able to contain Graham and Dunn. Also, the Tampa Bay receivers should be manageable. It looks as if Joey Galloway is coming back, but will only be available for limited snaps. He is easily their most threatening receiver. Neither Ike Hillard or Antonio Bryant will threaten deep, so this COULD allow the Hawks to be more aggressive with their coverages. Tampa's offense doesn't figure to put up a ton of points.

John Carlson can prove even more- When they drafted Carlson they liked him because he was a complete tight end. Not since Jerramy Stevens have the Hawks had a TE who could work the deep middle. That may be more important against the "Tampa 2" than any other defense. You may remember last year's opening game vs Tampa. They literally shut our outside threats down. Deion Branch didn't record a catch and Burleson was practically invisible on offense. The Bucs will give you the middle of the field if you can exploit it. That means Carlson, and Bobby in the slot have to make some plays. The Seahawks running game will struggle no matter who they play if they can't pass the 8th and 9th men out of the box. Teams are going to make us pass to beat them. In this game, Carlson and Engram seem to be the logical targets who can get this done. So far Carlson has stepped up big time when we have needed him, hopefully Bobby is ready to do the same.

You have nothing to lose Big Show- I love Mike Holmgren and what he has done for this organization, but one thing I won't miss is his conservative nature. I am not suggesting a triple reverse flea flicker or anything (although we do need a spark, right), but just open up the playbook. Last week was a game we HAD to win. Charlie Frye is not the typical 3rd stringer, but he was handed a game plan like he was. I know he threw 2 picks once they opened it up, but wouldn't it have been better for that to happen when the defense was fresh? This team has to score some points. Keeping the offense ultra conservative puts pressure on the defense. Just open it up, if we make mistakes and lose, so be it. The training wheels approach hasn't been working either. And try something different! Miami went Wildcat to help with their offensive woes, I know we can find something that will make the defense think, especially with Seneca playing. Try it! Maybe even fake a punt or try a surprise onside. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by playing it loose and fast with offensive playcalling. ~END~