Thursday, December 11, 2008

Should the Hawks Draft a QB First?

by: Mike Parker

John Morgan at Field Gulls makes a pretty solid case for Ruskell & co. to draft a quarterback with their first pick of the 2009 draft in his post here.

As solid as his argument is, I'm not sure this is really the step this franchise needs to take in order to get back on track next year. If we could draft anyone with the first pick, I'd say take Pete Carroll. (Okay, I kid. Sort of.)

Morgan says franchises are built around successful QBs, citing the Peyton Manning/Tom Brady eras leading to Super Bowl titles for each team. He uses the example of a likely MVP candidate this year in Kurt Warner, a man who no one thought was capable of performing so well this season.

What I'm more likely to say is this Seahawks team needs a regime change, and quickly. I believe the team's failures this year are based in overly-conservative play calling, horrible defensive coordinating, and a freakish slew of injuries--Matt Hasselbeck included. We already know Matt is the head and shoulders of this team, as proven in years like 2007 when he tossed 28 touchdown passes and got the team into the playoffs without the presence of a ground game to speak of.

According to recent reports in the Seattle Times and Tacoma News-Tribune, Matt's injuries will heal "by February" if he sits out the remainder of the season, yet he's listed as questionable on this week's injury report. (Along with Walter Jones, for now.) Why is this happening?! Why are these decisions being made? A skeptic could say the coaching staff is almost looking for a reason to aggravate Matt's injuries to give them an excuse to trade him away in the off-season and draft a quarterback like Tim Tebow (which I think would be a colossally bad move.)

In short, once the new coaching staff takes over we're looking at a fresh start. There is no reason to ditch Matt in favor of someone younger, because when healthy, Matt has consistently shown he's a leader and an elite threat at quarterback when his top weapons are healthy. (Branch, keep it up.)

Therefore, the team needs to protect its investment in Matt--literally--and take an offensive lineman with their first round pick. I was calling for them to take Michael Crabtree, but after doing some more thinking that might not be the best option for Seattle in 2009. The offensive line needs to be held together after Walter Jones leaves, and replacing a player like him is going to be a task in and of itself. -END-