Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Will the Seahawks Have Too Many Holes to Fill?

by: William P. Tomisser

After browsing through your comments on the free agent list for the Seahawks, I was thinking about the worst case scenario and how our team might look if we end up with way too many holes to fill.

Let's make some suppositions. First of all, some of you don't think we should or will be able to re-sign Hill and that Peterson is getting old. Peterson will probably be asked to restructure and take a pay cut or he might need to be released. Ruskell has a chart that shows the relative value to the team each position brings. Last season he used that chart to determine what a cornerback was worth and refused to pay Trufant what he initially wanted because it was close to quarterback money and he figured a cornerback wasn't worth that much to the team.

I figure he will slot Hill into his chart and not want to pay more than an OLB is worth to the Seahawks. Hill isn't going to give the Seahawks the hometown discount that Trufant did. I see it as a definite possibility that both Hill and Peterson will be gone, and that's a huge blow to the defense. We have one of the top linebacker corps in the league, and to have to rebuild that would put the defense in a big hole.

Weaver is coming into his own as a legitimate all-pro prospect. He's become a solid blocker and he's also a dangerous man carrying the ball as well as being a very good receiver coming out of the backfield. While we do have Owen Schmitt in reserve, losing Weaver would mean losing a big part of our running game. I don't see him giving Seattle any kind of discount either, so he's another one who might get an offer from another team that's outside Ruskell's value chart for a fullback.

Bernard, Green, and Pork Chop are players who a lot of you said we wouldn't resign next season for various reasons. That list includes half of our defensive tackles and the offensive lineman who probably had the best year other than Jones. Engram is probably gone and the long snapper Robinson will surely go back into retirement.

For the sake of argument, let's say we re-sign Heller, Willis, Lewis, and Pork Chop, we lose Hill and Weaver to higher offers than we want to make, and Peterson is asked to take a pay cut and refuses so we cut him because no one will trade and pick up his salary. With Bernard and Green gone, we're down to Bryant, Mebane, and Terrill on the defensive line. We can live without Engram, but Morris might hurt if we don't get another running back. Frye is no problem whatever happens with him.

We have all pretty much said through previous discussions that we think we need to acquire offensive linemen, a corner, a safety, a defensive tackle, and a wide receiver or two to patch the holes we perceive the team to have without additional problems being added.

If we figure that Ruskell can get really hot, we might be able to find three draft choices who can come in and plug some of those holes next season and maybe sign a couple of free agents. That's five players I see tops who can be acquired to come in and produce next season. An offensive lineman, corner, safety, receiver and defensive tackle eats up those five opportunities and makes us a contender. Right?

Not so fast. If we lose two thirds of our linebackers, need an additional defensive tackle or two, and have to replace our starting fullback with a backup who for all intents and purposes is still a rookie, then we all of a sudden have more holes than I can see us filling. We probably should be looking at a running back, too. We can't fill all-pro linebacker's positions with average linebackers and not expect the team to suffer as a result. Schmitt could fill Weaver's position, but can he fill his production next year?

Here's the question: what happens if we lose more players in free agency and all of a sudden are 9 or 10 players down instead of 4 or 5? What happens to the team? If you're the GM, how do you handle the player turnover and meet team needs? Do you overpay for free agents or stand pat on keeping our cap manageable like New England does by finding lower priced free agents and draft choices to fill in and keep on trucking? Lastly, will losing too many of our own important free agents derail the club from being on a fast track back to the division crown?


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Rumor Mill!

by: Chris Sullivan

KeathHuff just hit the Seahawk Addicts twitter with a juicy bit of gossip from Sirius NFL radio: Rod Marinelli is rumored to be in the running for the Hawks' defensive coordinator position or a position coach role. I'm about to take off from work a bit early, and I'll try to update this a bit later if there's anything more to report. Feel free to leave stuff in the comments related to this, if you've found anything. Thanks guys, and thanks Keath!

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Freedom Calling

by: Mike Parker

Here's a list of the unrestricted free agents on the Hawks' roster going into the 2008 off-season:

DT Rocky Bernard
WR Bobby Engram
QB Charlie Frye
DT Howard Green
TE Will Heller
LB Leroy Hill
LB D.D. Lewis
RB Maurice Morris
LS Jeff Robinson
FB Leonard Weaver
OL Ray Willis
OL Floyd Womack

Of these, Rocky has already said he doesn't expect to be here next year with "the way things go in the league," but others, such as our favorite fullback without a mohawk Leonard Weaver, have said they'd like to stay in Seattle for the rest of their careers.

This of course lends itself to tons of speculation and intriguing possibilities in the weeks and months to come. Who do you expect to stick around, Addicts? And who (coaches included) do you see getting the boot? -END- Read More!

Jim Mora in Familiar Spot

by: Chris Sullivan

In doing a bit of research for another piece I'm working on for the blog, I stumbled upon a pretty telling article about the 2003/2004 Falcons squads. In 2003, the Falcons had a lot of buzz going for them; they had been good the year prior and even had a few people talking Super Bowl. Early on in the pre-season, an injury struck their star player (Michael Vick) and their entire season was thrown into turmoil. The Falcons ended up with a 5-11 record in 2003, and Jim Mora was hired to right the ship.

In 2004, the Falcons went 11-5 (including a meaningless Week 17 loss to Holmgren's Hawks, woo woo!) and lost to the Eagles in the conference championship game. With health on their side, a new offense installed, and a zone blocking scheme implemented to take full advantage of the QB's skillset, Mora did indeed turn the Falcons around in his first year.

I see some clear parallels between the 2003 Falcons and the 2008 Seahawks, and hope to see something similar out of Mora's inaugural season in 2009 (but not a repeat of his 2005-06 efforts, gulp!). ~END~ Read More!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holmgren's Legacy as GM

by: Chris Sullivan

I'll start by saying that this is by no means a comprehensive post--in fact, it's not even close. I was reading through this piece by Eric Williams detailing Holmgren's last full press conference as a member of the Seahawks squad. At the press conference, Holmgren was asked what he felt his high point was in his time as general manager; he mentioned a couple of things:
Among his proudest achievements as general manager, Holmgren mentioned the Joey Galloway trade to Dallas, with the Seahawks receiving two first round draft picks in return. One of those picks turned out to be Shaun Alexander. Holmgren also mentioned the trade bringing Matt Hasselbeck to Seattle, in which Seattle received a first-round pick that ended up being Steve Hutchinson.
It could be argued that those three players (Alexander, Hasselbeck and Hutchinson) were three of the four main reasons the Hawks made it to the Super Bowl in 2005 (along with big Walt). That's not to take anything away from the defense, who had a lot to do with it too, but our offense drove that season for the most part.

Perhaps Holmgren's mistakes were obvious quickly, while his successes took longer to develop; he had his GM duties revoked at the end of the 2002 season while the fruits of his labor did not hit a crescendo until 2005. This is not necessarily intended to say that Holmgren was a GM genius, but perhaps a number of fans (myself included) have not given him a fair shake.

Also, I'm not writing this article with the intention of pitting Holmgren against Ruskell. Ruskell enters his fifth full season as GM in 2009, the same year that Holmy never quite reached. It will be interesting to continue assessing Ruskell for the next year or two and see which of his mistakes (Hutchinson, Pollard, etc.) remain and which successes come out of their development phase (offensive line, WRs, etc).

Anyway, how do you guys view Holmgren's run at GM with the Seahawks?
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Holmgren Headed to the Booth?

by: Mike Parker

Hey all, Gonzo here, back from an agonizingly long vacation in Sacramento. I think I overdosed on family, but hey, that's what the holidays are for, right?

Anyway - it appears as though our own Mike Holmgren may be headed to the broadcast booth.

Holmgren apparently told KIRO Radio up here in Seattle that he may be interested in a broadcast role as early as the upcoming playoffs or possibly the Super Bowl.

I'm kind of surprised to hear this, but part of me is sitting here wondering what decisions our celebrated coach is going to be juggling around next. Someone should start playing The Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" for the next few weeks until he makes up his mind on his future (maybe the Jeopardy theme?).

But I digress. Holmy has plenty of time to mull everything over still, and I'm waiting with bated breath to see what happens with the rest of the coaching staff in the coming weeks. By now, I don't think I have to elaborate on who I think should be first to get the axe. -END- Read More!

Update on HasselBack

by: Chris Sullivan

Jose Romero at the times had a minute to catch up with Hasselbeck on how his injury is progressing, so I thought I would pass along the resulting article. Hass sounds pretty optimistic about his future and healing from the injury that decimated his season. From my standpoint, the single most important thing is for Matt to get as many snaps as possible with his wide recievers in 2009--and that starts with minicamps and carries through to every stage of the pre-season process.

There will be unfamiliar guys lining up on the ends next year, be it Payne and Obo or Crabtree and Housh, meaning that it is very likely that there will be a lot of people catching with whom Matt is not very familiar. Early on in the year, Matt suffered by not having any rhythm with his WRs. We can't afford any such games next year. 12-4 or bust, baby! ~END~ Read More!

How Will Things Differ Under Mora

by: William P. Tomisser

In the last couple of days there has been speculation by some of the players about what to expect under Mora's leadership that will differ from the way things were under Holmgren's tenure. Some players like Kerney and Peterson have played under Mora before in Atlanta and San Francisco and have first hand knowledge of how he conducts himself and practices.

One thing that was noted was that Mora is a more hands-on coach than Holmgren and should be much more involved with drills and conditioning than Holmgren who was more of an overseer sometimes, watching things from afar. Expect the practices to be much more up tempo and the players to be running from drill to drill instead of walking or jogging. Expect Mora to be right there running alongside his players.

Mora is known as a fiery coach who likes getting up close and personal with players. His aggressive style is something that attracted Grant to the Seahawks two years ago. He says that Mora's young personality contrasts with his experience--at only 47 years old, Mora still boasts 25 years of coaching experience in the league. Grant wanted to hook up with Mora in Atlanta, but Mora moved on to Seattle before he could arrange it. Mora was instrumental in getting Grant to Seattle.

Kerney talks about Mora in Atlanta inspiring players to play hard for him by taking an above and beyond the call of duty approach to players' careers and well-being. For example, Roddy White was drafted by Atlanta in 2005 and the receiver struggled in his rookie year. Mora took to tutoring White on Tuesdays by playing catch with him. It's pretty unusual for a head coach to take the time to work one on one with a player, as usually a position coach is assigned that kind of duty.

For White, the hard work paid off as he had 88 catches this season and is headed to the Pro Bowl. It wouldn't surprise me if White would do anything to play again for coach Mora, the guy who took a personal interest in his career and gave him the special attention needed to jump start that career and get him on track to become the elite player in the league that he is now.

I've heard many of you Addicts say that you wanted a young, fiery, intense, high-energy, hands-on kind of guy to be the next head coach for the Seahawks. Well, isn't that a coincidence? That's just how the players who have worked for Mora before describe him.

If the Seahawks take on the look of their new head coach next season, look for them to be more active, more intense, infused with enthusiasm, and ready to walk through walls for their new head coach. I have a feeling that Mora is going to be like a breath of fresh air when he takes the reins. He says he won't make any public statements until mid January.

I can't wait for it all to begin. After two years of position coaching and reflecting on how his first head coaching job turned out in Atlanta, Mora has to be chomping at the bit to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty again. I can't imagine how difficult it was to keep a low profile last year with all the crap going on, but Mora was good to his word. The mufflers are coming off in a couple of weeks though and we'll see what he has to say.

Meanwhile, I wonder how long it will take for heads to start rolling among the assistant coaches and coordinators?


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Monday, December 29, 2008

What Could Mora Be Thinking

by: William P. Tomisser

Well, all you addicts in Seahawks land, we’re now officially post Holmgren and in very beginning of the Mora Era. It might be a little while before we get some glimmerings of what his plans will be, but I hope to see some indications that he’s hitting the floor running and soon. Without Mora giving us any tidbits yet to glean what he might be thinking in regard to the direction the team will head, it leaves a great big hole that we at Seahawk Addicts can’t resist filling with our own speculations.

With the 4th pick in the draft, Mora should get a pretty good player to shape one of his squads around. Will he go for a bolstering of the defensive backfield where he has coached the last two seasons and has the most intimate knowledge of the talent? Will he give his new OC, whoever that turns out to be, an opportunity to draft a stud to build his offense around whether it’s a skill player like Crabtree or an impact player for the trenches in one of the top three tackles available? Maybe, he gives his new DC the chance to get the best defensive player we can to jump start a defense considered already talented by most observers but who also woefully underplayed their potential last season.

Just what is Mora thinking?

A lot of us have been speculating about who the Seahawks might draft in April but I’m not so sure we haven’t been able to get Holmgren and his WCO out of our minds as we did so. The wide receiver Crabtree, one of the offensive tackles Smith, Oher, or Monroe, the cornerback Jenkins, the center Mack, the safety Mays, the defensive end Orakpo, and the top rated quarterbacks Bradford, Stafford, and Tebow have probably been the most talked about players so far in this forum. Some of them would be considered a reach in the top 10 and would probably require a trade down to make them a feasible choice.

What we haven’t talked about too much is in what direction Mora might point the team with respect to offensive and defensive schemes and how that might affect how the draft is conducted in terms of player selection.

In Atlanta, Mora ran an offense that featured the quarterback as a running threat and was pretty successful before they found out Vick couldn’t throw for beans. That offense might not put the premium on receivers that the WCO did for example. The new defensive coordinator might want to run a 3 – 4 defense instead of the 4 – 3 Seattle has run throughout most of it’s history. That would put a premium on linebackers and a great nose tackle.

We may have all been a little guilty of thinking about the draft as a means to fix the current team and it’s current problem areas when we don’t really know how much next years team will resemble this one on offense and defense and how close their respective philosophies will be to the way things are now being run. We’ve all pretty much said we want to get Marshall and his scheme out of here. No one seems to be too crazy about hiring Knapp either who is probably the safest offensive coordinator prospect outside of Haskell to count on to continue to run a version of the WCO that is close to what Holmgren has installed.

The point of discussion is what you Addicts would like to see happen next season when Mora takes over as far as continuing or discontinuing the current offensive and defensive schemes and how that choice might affect who we draft? Secondly, how close to the way our offense and defense currently operate scheme wise do you think Mora will design his offense and defense? Will we still run the WCO that the offense and particularly Hasslebeck knows so well and that Tampa Cover 2 “D”? Are we going to be bringing new offense and/or new defense to the plate next season?

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Seahawks Insider dead?

by: Chris Sullivan

Frank Hughes, head writer at the Seahawks Insider blog over at the Tacoma News Tribune, announced this morning on the blog that he has accepted a buyout offer from the TNT and will no longer be working for them or covering the Seahawks. We don't know precisely what this will mean for the Seahawks Insider blog (Eric Williams! Eric Williams!), but we'll do our best to pick up their slack if there is any.

Good luck, Newspaper Man, and thanks for covering the Insider blog for two years. Hughes stepped into unfillable shoes, and never got much respect or slack from the fans, sometimes myself included, but he never quit trying to cover the Hawks and gave his all with some very good stories over the years. His direct quotation pieces following every game were some of the most helpful blog posts I've read over the last year or so, and will especially be missed.
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2009 NFC West Schedule

by: Chris Sullivan

Mike Sando wrote up a quick bit about each of the NFC West's 2009 Opponent Breakdowns (Cardinals, 49ers, Rams). The Seahawks will face the following teams in 2009:

Home opponents: Bears, Lions, Jaguars, Titans, Bucs, Cardinals, Rams, 49ers.

Road opponents: Packers, Vikings, Texans, Colts, Cowboys, Cardinals, Rams, 49ers.

We play the AFC and NFC North divisions and the Bucs at home, Cowboys away (3rd place teams in the NFC South and East, respectively). The strength of schedule of our opponents? 0.457, with only one game played in the Eastern Time Zone (Colts). This could be a very good year to get back on our feet. We'll be analyzing the schedule more as the offseason goes on.

The Rams have the toughest strength of schedule, followed by the Hawks, 49ers, and Cards... but, lets be honest, thats just because the Rams don't play themselves, we don't play ourselves, et cetera...

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What Did Holmgren Leave Mora?

by: William P. Tomisser

When Mike Holmgren rode in here 10 years ago on his white horse ready to save the Seahawks from being the laughing stock of the NFL and it's poster child for failure, he never imagined that it would end the way it did and now as he rides into the sunset on his new Harley, I'm wondering just what he left in his wake for Jim Mora to inherit.

At the beginning of the season we all anticipated that he had put the team back together strong and filled the holes with an excellent draft by Ruskell and some shrewd free agent moves and the team was ready to challenge for the NFC championship again and beyond.

And then, all Hell broke loose.

No need to go through all the details as we all lived through them the whole season long. What I'm wondering though is just what Holmgren left Mora to work with. Do we have a Seahawks team that is resilient and able to comeback from a season like this one just past and re-group as if nothing happened or will there be lasting scars?

There are a number of potential problems that could plague the team next season and I'm not so sure that we didn't add to that list from what we thought we had at the start of last season. Here's what I see as things that Ruskell and Mora need to look at and resolve or at the very least determine if it is a real problem or something that can be dealt with.

Matt Hasslebeck and Walter Jones are two of the franchises most important offensive players. They both have nagging chronic injuries and both are questionable to be able to play a full season in 2009. What alternatives do we have

  • The running game along with the offensive line is still in need of repair. I'm not sure you can separate them and fix them independent of each other. Do we need new blood in the offensive backfield as well as the offensive line? How far dow we need to go?

  • Burleson may or may not come back fully recovered from his serious knee injury. Do we need to make a big effort to revamp our receivers corps or can we get along with Burleson and Branch and perhaps a draft choice plus a free agent and fill in with the youngsters again? How big a problem do we have here?

  • Do we need a new starting safety and cornerback in order to improve the defense adequately or is the problem purely in the pass rush? Do we also need an interior pass rusher on our defensive line or will someone on our roster like Red Bryant be able to step up and fill that role?

  • Can we re-sign Hill and restructure Peterson's contract to keep our linebackers together? They are one of the best in the NFL and if we lost Hill and/or Peterson, our defense would suffer. Will Peterson deal with us? Does Hill want to remain playing in the shadow of Tatupu and Peterson?

  • Will Kerney come back and be able to perform for us or will we have to factor a pass rushing specialist into our plans too? Can Tapp, Jackson, and Atkins handle the end positions and provide an adequate pass rush if Kerney can't play?

  • Will the Seahawks have enough resources to patch all the holes that could end up being of concern to the team after Mora evaluates where he's at and where he wants to be? Did Holmgren leave Mora with more problems than he had to deal with at the beginning of last season and before the injuries took their toll? Are we more than just the proverbial couple of players away? If we have to find offensive linemen, a running back, a safety, a cornerback, a defensive tackle, a wide receiver and possibly a defensive end, can we find that many starters in the draft and free agency or will we need current players to step up and play better? Who can we depend on to take that next step?

What do you readers think is the state of the Seahawks now that Holmgren is done and Mora is taking over? Are we still the same team as last season and with everyone healthy again are we ready to take up where we left off? Did the past season and rash of injuries as well as the lame duck year Holmgren put in as head coach somehow weigh the team down and leave them not able to recover and be ready to assert themselves next season? In summary, what do you all think Holmgren left Mora to work with when all is said and done? Can the team recover enough realistically to win 9 games or more next season?
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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Branch Shows Why Ruskell Traded For Him

by: William P. Tomisser

There's a good story over on the Seattle PI by Clare Farnsworth today that talks about the resurgence of Dion Branch among other Seahawk accomplishments this season.

"Injuries, and rehabbing from injuries, limited Deion Branch to a half-season. But the elusive and oft-sidelined wide receiver gave a pretty good indication on Sunday of why the Seahawks gave up so much to acquire him."

Branch finished this year like he started last season. He was the receiver Tom Brady was so remorseful about losing and in the last four weeks, he's showed us why. He's made catches that only the very best ones can make like the one handed grab last week that only went for a yard in the snow but showed talent that Seattle fans have been thinking was totally absent from our receiving corps.

In 2007, Branch played in 4 games before he was injured. In the first game, he wasn't even thrown to and afterward Holmgren apologized to him and said that no matter what, they were going to get Branch involved. In the next three games, Branch averaged 7 receptions and 110 yards. Even counting the first game where he was blanked, that projected to 105 receptions and 1650 yards for the season. All pro numbers for a receiver in anyone's book.

Then came a series of injuries starting at Pittsburgh where he suffered a lisfranc injury in the Seahawks 5th game and culminating in his tearing up his knee in the playoff loss at Green Bay in the snow. All season long in 2007 after the Pittsburgh game, Branch battled back from injury and then re-aggravated it again and again playing in parts of 11 games and finally ending up with 49 receptions for 661 yards in a season that started with so much promise.

During the entire off-season, Branch did serious rehabilitation hoping to come back sooner than projections indicated that he could. The type of knee injury he suffered (torn anterior cruciate ligament) has robbed some NFL players of their careers especially one who relies on speed and cutting ability to be a special player. When Branch finally made it back on the field, he promptly suffered a heel injury that kept him rehabbing until the last quarter of the season.

Many fans called him a bust and criticized Ruskell for making the trade. Meanwhile, Branch worked as hard as he could to get back on the field by the end of the season and produce. Finally, returning to the field on Thanksgiving Day, Branch caught 5 passes and made it through the game without any more injuries. During the next 4 games, Branch looked a lot like the receiver we saw at the first of last season making difficult catches, scoring touchdowns, and playing with the precision and control he is capable of when completely healthy.

He appears to not have lost much and is a bright spot going into the Mora Era. We can only hope that Burleson, who suffered the same type injury, will rehab with similar results leaving us with our two best receivers ready to go in 2009. Branch can still make good on the trade with New England by having the year we've all been waiting for in 2009. He is by far our most talented receiver and has the ability to take over a game as he did when he won the MVP award of the 2005 Super Bowl when he was with the New England Patriots.

Other Seahawk accomplishments this season include:

Lofa Tatupu became the first player in franchise history to lead the team in tackles for four consecutive years.

Josh Wilson became the franchise season record holder for kickoff returns and kickoff return yardage.

Tight end John Carlson became the first rookie to lead the team in receptions and receiving yards since Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent did it in 1976, Seattle's inaugural year in the league. He also broke the single season receptions and receiving yardage records by a tight end. He is tied with Stevens for touchdowns by a tight end in a single season at 5.

The real question about Branch is do you guys out there feel that Branch has done whatever he could to live up to his contract and deserves our respect for battling back from a serious potentially career threatening injury? Does he look like he's poised to be that number one receiver we thought we had after the trade when Brady made those remarks about us getting a super star receiver? Or, on the other hand, do you think he's been a huge disappointment and there isn't anything he could do now to redeem himself or is your opinion somewhere in-between?


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Who might Mora hire?

by: Chris Sullivan 

I think the biggest question going into this week will be who--oh who!?--will Jim L. Mora, Head Coach of your Seattle Seahawks, hire this week to build up his coaching staff? A lot of that depends on who is let go... For now, lets assume that we're only dealing with Offensive and Defensive coordinators. 

OC Possibilities:
  • Greg Knapp - Knapp was Mora's OC in Atlanta and currently is the OC in Oakland (but we'll forgive him their ineptitude, we all know the Cryptkeeper runs that team into the ground). Because of his experience with Mora and Ruskell, I give Knapp the best odds.
  • Mike Shula - An old name from Ruskell's past, Shula was the OC in Tampa Bay from 1996-1999 under Tony Dungy. Shula is currently the QB coach in Jacksonville. 
  • Scott Linehan - local guy with ties to the UW who was great as an offensive coordinator and sucked as head coach. We know he's looking for a job, and this is as good as any other, right? 
  • Rod Chudzinski (Chud) - Currently the OC in Cleveland, Chud will almost certainly be out a job after the Browns suffered an awful year and Romeo Crennel has been shown the door. There was big talk of him in the offseason last year as a head coaching possibility; Chud could be a steal... or a dud... 
  • Gil Haskell - Keeping Haskell on for a year is a definite possibility. It would lend some consistency to an offense that could struggle (more) with a systemic shock. We know we'll be sticking to WCO for the time being, so why not stick with Haskell? I don't like it much, but it could happen. And hey, if Haskell were calling the plays, things might be a little different... might...
DC Possibilities: 
  • Ed Donatell - Another Mora guy from Atlanta, he worked under Mora for three seasons as DC in Atlanta. He's currently DC at the University of Washington, but we won't hold that against him. Maybe...
  • Dwaine Board - Current Seahawks D-Line coach, one of the bright spots these past few years, at least, at times. This would be another bit of sticking with a current guy who has proven himself to be competent. Board has never been a DC though, so it might be a bit iffy with some other guys free. 
  • Richard Smith - A name to watch, Houston's current DC who is expected to be fired today or tomorrow. He hasn't done too much great in Houston, but he's been solid throughout his career and spent a good 6 years in San Fran with Mora + Co. 
  • John Marshall - Just  kidding. 
Who am I forgetting? Who are you guys hoping for? 
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The 2008 Seahawks Season is over

by: Chris Sullivan

Well guys, the misery is over. The 2008 season has drawn to a close, and with it, Mike Holmgren's 10 year career as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks is done. The Jim Mora era begins in earnest tomorrow morning. 

The Seahawks gave it a pretty good try today, but lacked the fire necessary in the second half. The last quarter's play calling seemed like Holmgren was resigned to a loss in order to let Morris show his stuff a little more. But hey, I think Big Mike deserves the luxury to let us lose in his last game, if thats really the game he wants to call. Why not, right? 

UPDATED:  Oakland won today as did Cincinatti, so it would appear that the Seahawks will be picking #4 overall. The draft order appears to be 1) Detroit 2) Kansas City 3) St Louis 4) Seattle 5) Cleveland.  [Thanks to all who corrected me in the comments!]

Okay, okay, enough prattling: Send this season out like it deserves... R-Rated Post begins F***ing NOW! 
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Da Chat

by: Chris Sullivan

Let's chat, shall we?

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Keys to a victory

by: Chris Sullivan

So, what do the Hawks need to do to pull off this upset? I'll keep this one sort of quick:

  • Get to Kurt Warner early and often. When he's gone, do the same to Matt Leinart. I'd love to see ex-Bear Mebane squash ex-Trojan Leinart. Just sayin'.
  • Keep Fitz, Boldin and Breaston under control. How was it done last week? Lets do that. Wilson may be playing for his starting job next year -- can he REALLY have an impact against someone like Larry Fitzgerald? He's got the speed, but he'll never have the size. How have his fundamentals improved since Week 11? We're going to find out today. Trufant should cap off his quietly excellent year today.
  • Another strong game from Seneca. Duh.
  • Continued success of the O-Line. This should be a pretty good test today. The Cards don't have an elite pass rushing squad by any means, but they do have something the last few teams haven't had: real game film to watch of these young guys. Can they exploit it? We (and Seneca) will find out today.
Add your keys in the comments.
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A couple of things to watch

by: Chris Sullivan

Just wanted to give you guys a few personal feats to keep your eyes on...

  1. John Carlson needs 1 touchdown reception to hold sole possession of the franchise tight end receiving records -- he broke the yards record two weeks ago, the receptions record last week, and perhaps the TD record today.
  2. Lofa Tatupu needs 7 tackles today in order to become the second NFL player to collect at least 100 tackles in each of his first four season.
  3. Seneca Wallace has won more games as a starter (3) than Matt Hasselbeck (1), due largely to injuries to Matt. Still, Wallace has stepped up as a leader on this team, and in 2 of the last 3 weeks has had a 100+ QB rating. Matt has one game over 100 this year (Rams), but that was also the only game above 75 on the year.
So, there ya go. I'll also be watching Wilson on the blitz, Mebane to continue his domination, and the hodgepodge offensive line to continue looking better than the starters did much of this year. Go Wrotto! Go Williams! Go Vallos and Womack, on Willis, on... uh... damn, only five. But you get the idea...
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The End of an Era

by: Chris Sullivan

The day has finally come, fellow Addicts... Mike Holmgren steps onto the field for the last time as the Head Coach of your Seattle Seahawks. What's more, he steps on the field with a rag tag team composed of 7 starting backups on his Offense, but a team with which he has led to victories the last two weeks. We are underdogs again, and with just cause, but a victory today means a lot to Mike Holmgren, the entire Seahawks squad, and to the franchise as a whole. A win today keeps the Cardinals at a statistical tie with their 2007 record despite all the hype surrounding them this year. A win today sends the winningest active coach out of the realm of coaching with a win that he deserves. A win today proves to the young players that they have the talent to win in the NFL consistently, and makes the path to a winning 2009 a slight bit easier.

A win today will also likely drop the Seahawks Draft Pick from around #5 to #7, which sounds like bad news, but it will decrease the value of the contract a few million and if you're in the Taylor Mays camp, he is more likely to be grabbed at 7 than he is 5, but that might still be a bit of a stretch.

Either way, I am rooting for Mike and for the Seahawks today, I want a win and I want it bad. I want to crush the Cardinals and show them who really does reign the NFC West... lets force them to question their talents, question their RBs, their QB situation... etc. Seahawks for President, 2009!
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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Open Thread - Countdown to Mora

by: Chris Sullivan

Alright guys, well, the time is almost here. After 10 seasons, Mike Holmgren will call his last plays for the Seahawks tomorrow. This season has been a big disappointment, but the last few weeks have given us a lot of reasons to cheer, which is nice. I for one am hoping the Hawks can knock off the Cardinals tomorrow to leave them at 8-8, indicating that, in reality, that Arizona did not get a whole lot better over the last 12 months, we just had an off year.

But hey, that's just me. What ONE thing do you guys want to see tomorrow in Holmgren's last game? It could be a single play call, a screaming fit on the sideline, a victory (or loss), or anything else. How will you cope with losing arguably the greatest coach the Seahawks have ever had (which is not a knock to Chuck Knox--he is why I said arguably)?

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Holmgren Gets a Good Send-Off

by: Chris Sullivan

The Seahawks players and coaching staff today sent Mike Holmgren into semi-retirement with a fitting gift: a custom Harley Davidson motorcycle. Frank Hughes reports:
At the end of practice, wide receiver Bobby Engram stood up in front of the team to give a speech for the departing coach. After a few words, the back door of the field came open and Mike Wahle came riding in on a souped-up Harley, a 2009 Screaming Eagle with all the bells and whistles.

~END~ Read More!

Report: Singletary to Ink Multi-Year Deal in SF

by: Chris Sullivan

FoxSports is reporting that Mike Singletary is set to sign a multi-year deal to remain head coach of the San Fransisco 49ers for the foreseeable future. Good for him, good for the 49ers, and good for competition in the NFC Worst. I've always liked Singletary as a player, position coach, and yeah, even as the head coach of the Whiners.

Within the report is an interesting bit about how Mike Martz will be shown the door with the official ascension of Singletary. Not that I'm shocked (or displeased), but the Magical Mike Martz Machine again proves itself incompetent. Maybe it's the lack of a decent QB, O-Line, and backup players, or maybe Martz isn't the genius he was once considered.

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Do We Need Elite Players?

by: William Tomisser

After debating the notion that Tim Ruskell has been a bad GM because the team had worse records in the two years after the 2005 Super Bowl year, his first year with the team, I was talking to a friend the other day about the need to maintain elite players (or, as some call them, impact players) on the Seahawks team and it struck me that they are actually part of the same debate.

I thought it might be good to bring up as a topic of discussion, since the Seahawks are in a position where they could lose more of their elite impact players over the next three years to retirement and have already lost elite impact players from their Super Bowl team in 2005, which entered back into the discussion concerning Ruskell. Maybe that makes it a circular discussion? I’m not sure, but what the heck--onward!

We’ll call these players EIPs, which stands for Elite Impact Players. They are the ones who make everyone around them play better, the ones who rally the team around them when big plays are needed and come up big when the legends are made. They are the ones who head for Hawaii at the end of February to play in the friendliest NFL football game of the year.

If you replace them as they are lost with ordinary or even merely above average players, your team production will decline and you’ll lose more games as a result, assuming all other factors are equal. Sometimes you may need to find two lesser EIPs to replace a real stud EIP like Walter Jones, but I'll be using the term to mean equal talent for equal talent as applied to the overall team (but not individuals).

You need to replace EIPs with other EIPs if your goal is to maintain the overall level of play from your team or better it after losing an EIP (and whose isn’t?). You can look at it as a balance sheet where the individual numbers don’t need to be the same on either side, but have to add up to the same value. You don't necessarily need to replace each lost player position for position or even year for year, but the plus and minus tally of the balance sheet should remain constant and can have a bearing on how well your team is currently playing. The sooner you can replace an EIP, the sooner you get your team back close to its previous level.

Right now, the Seahawks are down in the EIP balance book and it’s impacted the team and its ability to win games. We lost the best left guard in football and haven’t had an above average guard in that position since. We lost our all-pro center and haven’t been able to get the line adjustment calls correctly called since. We lost our MVP running back to injury and age and we still have big time offensive line and running back problems.

Remember how the Seahawks functioned in 2006 and 2007 after being an elite team at the top of the league in 2005? They lost a bunch of EIPs from that 2005 Super Bowl Team: Hutch, Tobeck, Strong, Gray, Jerevicius, Alexander, Hasslebeck, Engram, D-Jack, Bernard, Tubbs, and to some extent Trufant were all either injured into retirement, lost to free agency, or injured for a significant period of time during the three years after 2005 and it impacted the team's ability to function at its previous level.

That list of names includes a few of our EIPs from the Super Bowl team that still haven’t been replaced to this day, and you can see the effect that losing that kind of elite talent and production has on your team when it isn't replaced. It can take a 13–3 Super Bowl team and turn it into a 9–7 team.

That is really the major reason our offensive line and running game haven’t been anywhere close to the production and efficiency of the 2005 team. The entire interior of our offensive line was gone, including two all-pros, and our league MVP was injured and never the same again. Now he’s gone, too--that’s three EIPs right there who are still missing from our offense to this day.

If we lose a player like Walter Jones, for example, and the goal is to remain at our current level of play or better it as a team, we need to try and get an EIP (or in Walter’s case maybe even two) at some position to compensate for his loss. You don’t even have to replace them in the same year or at the same position, but the sooner the better.

For example, if we lost Walter after next season (2010), and we get a monster elite DT the following year (2011) or a franchise QB the preceding year (2009) then that's a balancing trade of players that could leave you stronger on defense and weaker on offense or maybe just replenish the offense, but overall you have as good a team as you had before, all other things being equal of course.

We need that handful of impact players on both sides of the ball to keep the team playing at a high level. If we lost Walter and never had a chance at a player of his caliber or someone like Peterson or Hill with no comparable replacement made, the whole team’s level of performance goes down some. If after two or three years, you just have a couple EIPs left like the Seahawks do, the team won't be doing as well and will have a worse win percentage, and that’s exactly what we saw from them after 2005 and until this season.

Those EIPs can be from all walks of NFL life. They can be found in a higher round of the draft as a sleeper like Tatupu or Carlson were or even in a bottom round as Hasslebeck was. They can be traded for like Hasslebeck was from Green Bay or picked up as a free agent like Kerney was. However, by far the most productive grounds for finding one is the first round of the NFL draft--more specifically, right at the very top of the first round.

Baby, that’s where those players hide out, thick as flies and ready to be plucked. Hopefully, Seattle will put a good one on the plus side of their EIP balance sheet this offseason to start replacing some of what we’ve already lost from the 2005 team and to compensate for the eventual departure of Hass and Jones in the next two or three years.

Sometimes there’s quite a few EIPs available in the NFL draft, and sometimes there isn’t. It’s been said that this year is one of the ones where there isn’t going to be too much available; however, the Seahawks are going to be somewhere at the top of the draft and it’s a good bet that they will come up with an above average player and hopefully an elite one.

This is going to be the highest pick Seattle has had in the last decade, and besides, it’s our big chance to get one of those EIP thingies.

Do we need elite players on the team and need to keep ourselves stocked with them? Only if we want the team to improve and do something really crazy like win the Super Bowl.

~END~ Read More!

49ers Throw Their Faces Back Too

by: Chris Sullivan

As a long-time Hawks fan, I've been hoping to see the retro Seahawks jersey on the field for a long while, but to absolutely no avail. As far as we can tell, the Hawks don't seem too interested in wearing the throwbacks, perhaps because the new uniforms are recent enough that they are still "branding" the team. Who knows? Anyway, I stumbled on this article and found it pretty enjoyable, even if those being praised are the 49ers.

Basically, the 49ers are wearing their throwback jerseys this coming weekend for the season finale against the Washington Redskins, but thats not all: they're also wearing throwback mustaches as was all the rage back in the golden days of the '9ers. Anyway, I found it pretty amusing, and it gave me another opportunity to gripe about the lack of throwbackage.
~END~ Read More!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Quick Post -- Seahawks injury situation

by: Chris Sullivan

Well, not exclusively the injury situation, but I thought this was worth posting. Mike Sando has posted a very interesting list over at the ESPN NFC West Blog and, well, the Seattle Seahawks--YOUR Seattle Seahawks--have officially started more players than any other team in the National Football League in 2008, with 46 players. The league's fewest, Carolina, has started 29.

Worth noting, I'd say, is that the four teams with the fewest different starters are all playoff bound.

~END~ Read More!

Merry Christmas!

by: Chris Sullivan

Hey all, just wanted to take a minute to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Here's hoping your tree is stuffed to the gills with Seahawk Blue and Lime Green! I thought I'd share my [poorly made, but well intentioned] gingerbread house with you all, since, uh, there's not a whole lot of news to report on Christmas!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bill T's Christmas Eve Wrap up!

by: William Tomisser

Hey Guys and Gals,

I had an interesting week end in the hospital and wanted to thank all the well wishers who gave me words of encouragement. It’s always appreciated at times like that and it really helped me weather the storm, so to speak. For those who may not have heard, I was hospitalized with pancreatitis last Thursday night and spent until Sunday night in the hospital. I missed the TV broadcast of the game against the Jets, only getting to listen to it on the radio.

I’m back now and ready to try one last time to get the team into a very high draft position. I think that the 3rd or 4th pick is still within our grasp if fate gives us the nod and we don’t manage to beat the Cards. It’s looking like that might be harder and harder to see happening, though.

Of course, as usual, if me or any part of my “lose for a high draft pick” team of fans are caught, the Seahawks will disavow any knowledge that we tried to get them a better draft choice and we’ll be labeled as traitors and forced to burn our Seahawks jerseys and hats. This column will self destruct in 5 seconds. This could truly be a mission impossible with the Cards having nothing to play for but pride, and I’m not sure they have any. If they put in the same effort as the Rams did, we’re going to light them up unless fate takes pity on us.

I had a couple of requests from readers last week and the one that made the most sense to me was to make shorter paragraphs so readers don’t lose their place. I consider that to be a valid criticism and will endeavor to do that starting with this column. That’s why you’re going to see a lot of paragraph breaks. I’m fairly new to doing a column every week and your comments will always be considered and appreciated.

Chris already did the good, the bad, and the ugly concerning the game against the Jets so I’m going to be more general in my approach this week and, with Christmas coming on, quite a bit shorter. I have to admit that the hospital stay put me way behind on getting ready for the holidays so my time is a bit constrained this week.

Well, everyone came out of the woodworks on the issue of wanting the team to lose to get a high draft choice or to win for the prestige of winning. Without actually counting, to me it seemed to run about 50/50 before the Jets game. After the game, it ran mostly in favor of the win, but what can you say after that one? It helped that some of our competition for those high picks also won so we’re still in contention for a top 5 pick even with the win.

Some of you thought the ones wanting the team to lose were showing themselves to be shallow and not true die hard fans. The other side thought that the ones who wanted the team to win last Sunday and not worry about tomorrow were just living for the day and not concerning themselves with what the cost of that win would be in the future.

I thought that most who voiced their opinions showed themselves to have great passion for the team no matter which side of the debate they were on. It’s great to see that Seahawks fans can disagree on some things but still be totally devoted to the good of the team as they see it.

There were a couple of posters who seemed to be in the discussion purely for a chance for some more Ruskell and/or Mora bashing. They will remain nameless in this column, but you know who you are and so does everyone else.

One suggestion would be that when you spew so much venom against Ruskell or Mora you become obnoxious and most people tune you out, so even if there was a message in there somewhere worth reading it's most likely no one will take the time to try and understand it.

It’s a free country though, so feel free to waste your time if you like. A more thoughtful approach with less venom and more valid examples to support your argument would help get people to take you seriously, but it’s your ink.

You all know where I stand on the issue of late season meaningless wins versus high draft choices in April and I didn’t waver a bit. After it was all over Sunday, I hated thinking about what could have been with us almost in the running for the number 2 pick. Sunday morning I was giddy with the possibilities. The Rams, the Bengals, and the Chiefs were all winning and I could see it all happening as the morning games wound down. I felt that fate was going to give us the nod for the number 2 pick, but then the Rams pulled a dirty for the second week in a row and the Chiefs crapped out too.

What irritates me more than anything is the way the Rams have taken a good lead deep into the 4th quarter the last two weeks and then relinquished that lead both against us and then again last Sunday against the 49ers. St. Louis is a team who is pretty obviously tanking it to get to the top of the draft and it looks as if they’ll win the number 2 spot because of it. I can’t believe they can play well for 3 ½ quarters and then let their defense like a sieve, letting everyone through for the score that beats them.

Now, that’s not the way I would ever like to see the Seahawks get a high draft pick. I don’t subscribe to the team tanking it to get there. If fate steps in and grants us the legitimate losses and therefore the earned high draft choice then I’ll be all for it and embrace it, but the team has to be above reproach. The Rams are not an honorable team in my book and are playing dirty ball to try to get ahead next April. I think that karma will take care of them. Cheaters never win and winners never cheat. If he hasn’t already, Brown will rue the day he evaded being a slave to the businessman.

It was so hard being so close to sliding into the 2nd pick and then to watch ourselves possibly ending up on the fringes of the elite talent again come April. It made me think about what I’ve called the “Seahawks draft pick curse” which started with their very first draft back in 1976 when we lost the coin toss to Tampa Bay--they got Leroy Selmon, a perennial All-Pro, and we got Steve Niehaus, who was supposed to be the anchor we built our defensive line around but only played 36 games for the Seahawks.

From then on, we’ve been a snake-bit team with respect to draft choices. That coin toss sealed our fate for the last 33 years with respect to the draft, and I suspect the curse is still lurking around ready to pounce again.

It has continued down through the years with players getting drafted who never had a chance to play for the team, or whose careers were cut short by injury, or us just missing on a chance to draft an elite player. Even when we traded a draft choice with upside and expected to get someone back with the same potential, the curse reared its ugly head. Somehow, we never seemed to have much luck with the draft as a team except for just a handful of players.

The curse continued the very next year with a RB maned David Sims, whom we drafted in 1977 and in the process hit paydirt with a sleeper drafted in the 7th round who showed great promise of becoming an all-pro running back. David Sims was looking like the steal of the '77 draft, but with all that promise and possibly a great career ahead of him he injured his neck and was forced to discontinue his career or face paralysis.

We’ve had our share of those promising players who never got to make an impact too, with Chris Mackintosh drafted by Holmgren in the first round who never played a down for us and the famous Ahmad Green trade when our side of the trade (Fred Vinson) got hurt in a pickup basketball game and never donned a Seahawks uniform, while Ahmad went on to become a four time all-pro for Green Bay.

Kenny Easley’s spectacular career was cut short in its absolute prime by kidney disease after only 6 years, and of course Mack Strong was forced to call it quits before he really wanted to although he did have a pretty full career first.

The Bledsloe/Mirer thing of course was another example of us getting the short end of a draft choice stick by beating New England earlier in the season and giving them the first pick in the draft, while we got the second and one of the greatest QB busts of all time. In the '94 draft, we were all set to take DT Bryant Young with the 8th pick when San Francisco traded into the 7th spot and snagged him just ahead of us, and we were left taking Sam Adams.

Sam Adams had a pretty good career with the Seahawks, but he was a player known for taking plays off and not giving a full effort. He never made the pro bowl until he was traded to the Ravens and was shamed into playing harder by the other Raven linemen. It was frustrating to watch Sam play for us and then watch Bryant Young lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl as well as make four pro bowls, earn rookie of the year honors in '94, and comeback player of the year in '99. Selected as part of the all decade team for the '90s, I’ve always wondered how it might have gone had we got Bryant instead of Adams, as was our intention.

Of course, more recently there was Koren Robinson. We spent a high draft pick on a receiver for one of the very few times in Seahawks history, and we got a guy with loads of potential who pissed it all away off the field on a weekly basis. Add Jeremy Stevens to that list, too. Both of those players could have been all-pros if they had kept their noses clean and concentrated on football. The Robinson case is one where we might yet see redemption next season, but for the first go around the Seahawks curse was in full bloom.

There have been more draft busts for Seattle, but I’ve tried to list the situations where it just seemed to be bad luck and not someone simply missing on a talent evaluation. I’m really hoping the Seattle draft pick curse doesn’t rear it’s ugly head again this year and manage to put us right up against a stud player whom we really covet and then cause us lose out by just one pick. However it turns out, this April will be mighty interesting.

This will be the last column I write until after the season is over. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do for the time I was in the hospital, so look for my column to return next year on Saturday, January 3rd. It will probably continue in a shorter version until the season heats up again for 2009, what with the drastic drop in Seahawks news at season’s end. I’ll be scouring the internet and everywhere else where Seahawk talk might spring up to help Chris, Mike, Strategerie, and Matthew keep the Seahawks alive and in the news during the offseason here at Seahawk Addicts.

Since I’ve been a season ticket holder for 33 years now from the day the Seahawks came into the league, I thought I might do some reminiscing about some of the early years and how the team has changed over its lifespan during the offseason. I saw a couple of requests for that sort of material over the last few weeks in your comments and thought maybe I could help bring some of those stories to life since I lived through them as a fan and as a season ticket holder. Any other suggestions that I might be able to accommodate would be thoroughly appreciated and encouraged.

For next Sunday, I want the Seahawks to leave it all out on the field and hold their heads up high and be proud that they fought 'til the bitter end and never gave up even though fighting through the most difficult year any of them has probably ever had. I also wish that fate would step in and grant us the 3rd pick in the draft with whatever events need to happen to make that so.

Here’s wishing all of you out there in Seahawk Addicts Land a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May your fondest wish come true, your health be excellent, and your travels be enlightening. I want to once again thank all of you who sent me kind words and helped me make it through my stay in the hospital.

I love all of you here at Seahawk Addicts and leave you with this little tidbit for the end of the year.:

“Keep the faith.”


Bill Tomisser
Anchorage, Alaska
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SA Fantasy League #2 Results

by: Chris Sullivan

You guys asked for it, here are the final results from the second league. Thanks a lot to Jordon Boss for getting this info to me, and congrats to Brandon for winning.

1 Brandon Sauer (First year Champ) as his name indicates...won in an epic battle taking the lead with 6 minutes left in the Monday night game.
2 Jordon boss (Asleep at the snap) started 8-1, then sputtered to 9-4 at the end of the season before limping into the championship game and losing.
3 Pat Monson (Power Rangers) takes the number 1 seed at 10-3 but can't get past playoff round 2
4 Tim Streeter (CHawk FanAddict) started out 2-3, but won his final eight regular season games to be the number 2 seeded team
5 Curt Barnes (12th man)
6 Andy Weinstein (DirtyTeabaggery)
7 Andy Melsness (WENATCHEEHAWKS)
8 Mike Doyle (Bayou Belchers)

9 Dan Hibbard (Shibby Hibbies) was very disgusted he didn't make it to the playoff's, as he was the regular season points leader (ouch)
10 Seattle Reign
11 Pullman Chiefs
12 Bill Walsh Allegory
13 Seattle Dingos
14 Runaway Mack truck
15 Funky cold Madinas
16 El Coo Cuy's
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Seahawk Addicts Fantasy League - Final Results

by: Chris Sullivan

Hey all, thought a few of you might like to know how the Seahawk Addicts Experts Fantasy League turned out... here are the final standings:


1) Michael Steffes - The Leavy Conspiracy defeated the favored
2) Mike Parker - FusterCluck, who finished with the best overall record of 11-2 in the regular season.
3) Hasselhawks FFT, won the bronze after giving a handsome beatdown to
4) SocalHawks, who loved sending messages to the group complaining about Hojo's Seachickens (see below)
5) Chris Sullivan - The Ballard Bosworths could've had it all if not for two consecutive defeats to Parker, but did hold off
6) Yung's Hawks, who was favored but lost because he didn't notice that Boldin was benched. Ouch.
7) Purple Pansies crushed his competition by the 46 points, leaving
8) The Bed Wetters in 8th place, but hey, at least he came out on top of...

9) Stimpson's Squad
10) Green Machines
11) Tangoed Whiskey Man
12) Hojo's Seachickens
13) Ground Chuck
14) Bad News Kennel
15) '05 Steeler Cheaters
16) NFL Witness Protection

Congrats to Steffes! Thanks to all of you who played, next year it will be on Yahoo Sports.
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Jets' Mangini: Snowballs Are a Safety Risk

by: Mike Parker

It appears that just two days after the Hawks put a dagger in the Jets' playoff hopes, the problems in New York are snowballing.

Jets' coach Eric Mangini said today that he thought there should have been more action taken against the fans at Qwest who were throwing snowballs onto the field as time wound down on Sunday.

"There were a lot of people that were hit with snowballs," Mangini said. "All you need is someone to get hit in the eye. It's just not a safe situation. It was disappointing to see that, but that stuff, we couldn't control that. How we can control it is how we respond."
Seriously, Mangini? Is there something you're not telling us here? Bad experience with being temporarily blinded by snow as a child? Do you work for Homeland Security's Anti-Snowball Society? (A.S.S.)?

Mangini went on to say he just hoped nobody was hurt as a result of snowballs being thrown.
"It just was a really unsafe situation and a lot of people got struck by snowballs," Mangini said. "I wouldn't want that to happen at our stadium, and I'm sure Seattle didn't want that, either. It's just something that hopefully can be avoided whether it's us, Seattle, whoever in the future. Just don't want someone to get struck and hurt in that environment."
Hey, Mangini--snow is snow. It's not like the fans were filling up on $9 beer and throwing around hand grenades.

It's a shame we've already played our final home game of the year, because if there were any remaining, you'd be seeing me in the Hawks' Nest next Sunday making a snowman effigy of Mangini and pelting it with snowballs every time the Hawks got a first down. Maybe I'd call it the Effigini. -END- Read More!

ESPN: "Worst Year Ever" for Seattle

by: Mike Parker

And before you roll your eyes at the title of this story (which I initially did), look closer.

ESPN has published this story on the past year in Seattle sports, with the appropriate headline "The Worst Year Ever."

But the story isn't just about recapping an exceedingly brutal period in the lives of Seattle sports fans - it details the life and times of Loren Sandretzky, otherwise known as "Big Lo." Anyone who's been to a Hawk game or seen the legion of 12th Man on TV will instantly recognize Big Lo's "Sea-Fense" sign and relentlessly enthusiastic presence.

The story chronicles, among other things, Big Lo's struggle with diabetes and his undying love for all things sports in Seattle. It does delve into some painful wounds that aren't healed for fans just yet - the Sonics being stolen from the city by scheming owners, the Huskies' dismal season, and the death of the Tuba Man - but it's at least worth your time to skim over.

Besides, with a year like this, there's got to be a light at the end of the tunnel. And hey, it might not even be the train. -END- Read More!

NFL Loves Fines

by: Chris Sullivan 

The NFL announced today that Shaun Ellis has been fined for throwing a "snow boulder" into the stands at Qwest. I thought it was pretty funny, honestly. There's a lot of hoohah being made now about the fans throwing at the players and the players throwing back at the fans and so on and so forth... well, it's snow. Big whoop.

As you can hear in the video, people didn't seem too upset... heh. 

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Josh Wilson Gets Some Credit

by: Chris Sullivan

Well, well, well, what have we here? Josh Wilson has been nominated for NFL's Defensive Player of the Week, alongside Leon Hall, Jason Jones, Ed Reed, and Jason Taylor.

Wilson earned the nod by playing well against the Jets' wide recievers, pulling in two game-changing interceptions, and taking Favre down in a very timely sack. Check out the video on to relive Josh's greatest hits of the week. Josh Wilson has been a huge, and pleasant, surprise this year--but so was Jennings last year, let's not forget. Do you guys think Josh is a long-term fix at corner, or should the Hawks continue seeking someone out? I think Wilson will stay on for the long haul, but only time will tell.

Either way, congrats to Josh for pulling in the game of his life on Sunday, and helping to pay Holmgren back with a home finale win! (Hat tip to Tom, thanks!)
~END~ Read More!

Monday, December 22, 2008

NFL Official Lives Out Seahawk Fan's Dream?

by: Chris Sullivan

Check out that video above. Kind of funny. More than anything though, I am curious to see how the NFL plans to deal with the official. In a way, he is protecting himself; in another way, he is interfering in the game. It's hard to believe he couldn't jump backwards or otherwise avoid tackling the player.

What do you think the NFL should do, if anything, to discipline the official and/or respond to this event?

~END~ Read More!

Chiming in on Holmgren's Goodbye

by: Mike Parker

Well, how about that.

The Seahawks ended their home game appearances in 2008 yesterday on a joyous note, amidst an otherwise depressing year for Mike Holmgren's final run as the coach of the team.

Highlighted by a backup offensive line that had one member making his first NFL start, this group of unproven players looked like they'd been on the field together for the past two seasons at least by not allowing even one sack against a very good Jets defense vying for a playoff spot.

It was a great sight to behold. Contributions from Courtney Taylor (!!), the always-reliable John Carlson, and a list of others made the final game in the 2008 season at Qwest Field one to remember. Game balls go to Seneca Wallace for outplaying Brett Favre (!!!), Josh Wilson for excellent coverage and getting a pair of picks, and, of course, coach Holmgren gets the Lifetime Achievement Game Ball Award. (Yes, Sully, I just blatantly ripped you off.)

Today's required reading:

Steve Kelley: Seahawks Get it Right This Time

Jose Romero: This Party Couldn't be Put on Ice

Tacoma News-Tribune: a slideshow of pictures from yesterday's game. (Must-see!)

Frank Hughes: Holmgren's Post-Game Quotes

Danny O'Neil: Wilson Gets the Big Play - Twice

In the meantime, it's back to the coffee pot to enjoy being snowed in for another day. Seattle has officially turned into South Alaska for the time being. -END- Read More!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wrapping Up the Victory

by: Chris Sullivan

Well, holy crap. We actually won. Here is my quick breakdown of the good, bad, and ugly:

The Good
  • The players gave Mike Holmgren the exciting victory that he deserved at his home finale.
  • The offensive line (the "8Us and a V"--Williams, Womack, Vallos, Wrotto, and Willis) played incredibly well. Williams had a few mental lapses, but that is to be expected in his first start, especially considering he wasn't on an NFL squad until a few weeks back. Womack continued his strong play, Vallos continued making an argument for going with him over Spencer next year, and Wrotto continues to grow as a player. Willis is no surprise, but always fun to watch. Bottom line: ZERO SACKS and a 100 yard rusher.
  • Seneca Wallace--I think I said he would need over 60% completion and no more than 1 interception . . . well, he had 72% completion percentage and 0 interceptions. He played very well, with a lot of poise and composure throughout.
  • The defensive line stopped the AFC's top rusher and put a lot of pressure on Favre even when they weren't blitzing. Add to it that there was a lot of strong blitzing and good play in the secondary (Wilson had the two picks, but Grant played well and Trufant played very well).
  • Special teams played well, especially on coverage against one of the premier returners in the league in Leon Washington. The same can be said for the Jets, however, but hey, they only gave Wilson two shots to return it . . . heh heh . . .
  • We held a 9-5 team with everything on the line to 3 points. Like, for the whole game. Total.
The Bad
  • Nothing has gotten better for this team (things have gotten worse, if anything) yet the last three weeks they have proven the sort of mettle of which they are actually made. It's a shame that Holmgren's final season imploded like it did.
The Ugly
  • Conflicted Hawk fans were torn as to whether to root for a win or a better draft pick. That's tough, and it makes a fan feel a little bit dirty, doesn't it? I personally don't root against us but I don't really care if others do. Still, from my assessment the worst pick we can realistically get is #7 and the best is #5 at this point. Mays, Oher and Crabtree are all still very strong possibilities to be found in that range. Andre Smith probably won't creep that far back, but hey, such is life.
Needless to say, I'm feeling very good about this game and this win. Thanks to all the Seahawks who busted their asses to beat a "better" team today and show the fans that they have fight left and can be competitive next year and in years to come. Game balls: John Marshall on defense for finally putting together a defensive strategy that can beat an NFL football team; on offense, the entire offensive line for playing great with special mention to Kyle Williams and Mansfield Wrotto; Jon Ryan on special teams for some good kicking. Oh, and Lifetime Achievement Gameball to Mike Holmgren!

~END~ Read More!

R-Rated Post - Hawks Win!

by: Chris Sullivan

Eeep! Hawks win! Hawks win! Thank you Mike Holmgren, and thank you Seahawks for playing up to your potential and sending Mike out on top. Say whatever the heck you want below, and don't forget to send Holmgren out with some comments in the other thread. Woo! ~END~ Read More!

The View from Qwest Field...

by: Chris Sullivan

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Live Chat - Mike Holmgren's Grand Finale at Home

by: Chris Sullivan

Let's chat, shall we?

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~END~ Read More!

Your thoughts on Mike Holmgren...

by: Chris Sullivan 
NOTE: This post will be at the top of the page for most of the day. Please scroll down to see the updates]

Hey guys, I asked for your thoughts for Big Mike and, well, here are a few of them. Feel free to fill in the comments with more, or shoot me an email and I'll make some random posts throughout the week. Keep them coming! 

The first writeup comes from Jeffrey Gearhart, long-time Seahawks fan and contributor to

This Sunday will mark the end of an era in Seahawks history. Mike Holmgren will step onto Qwest Field for the final time as Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks. Could we ever have imagined the impact and success he would bring to this team? If that first season was any indication; winning the AFC West and making the playoffs for the first time since 1988; we as fans knew this was the start of beautiful thing. As the longest-tenured coach in club history, he passed Chuck Knox last season for most career Seahawks victories.

As of this week, Holmgren stands at 88-79 including post-season. Holmgren did what no other coach did in franchise history; took us to the Super Bowl. Not only did he take us to the Super Bowl, he gave us 5 division titles, a conference championship, and an NFL MVP in Shaun Alexander (we miss you Shaun). Without a doubt, Mike Holmgren brought new life back into the franchise and gave fans something to look forward to every season. His success in Seattle will live on in the history books and there is no better way for him to exit Qwest Field than a match-up against his former star quarterback in Green Bay, Brett Favre. When Sunday rolls around there will be a lot on Mike Holmgren’s mind, not only does he have a game to coach, but this is his last home game and there’s no doubt he wants a win. On Sunday, when time expires at the end of the game, you can be sure that the fans will not be making a quick exit. As classy as Mike Holmgren is, Seattle fans are just as classy. And they will pay their gratitude by hanging around and letting Mike know he will be missed. Mike thanks for the memories and everything you did for this great franchise. We will miss you and you will never be forgotten!

Greg in Portland talks about the 'signature' of Iron Mike Holmgren, and even provides a youtube video for our edification! 

I would have to say that my favorite memory/memories of Mike are definitely his reactions/expressions after a whistle is blown.  Whether positive or negative he has always been very animated (except for this season).  Here is one example

It seems as if the fire was put out this season (as it has for most of us fans), and it's too bad he is ending on this note.  Also, I always liked when the commentators would tell fans who do not know Holmgren how he is given a five yard bubble after a turnover/bad play.  Matt would avoid eye contact and keep his distance for a few minutes before he would go and talk to coach H.  Someone with that kind of presence is always welcome on the sidelines of any team.  Which is why Nolan was canned and Singletary took over.
JPHawker shares his thoughts on Coach Holmgren:

Coach you will be missed... Under the leadership of Coach Holmgren the Seattle Seahawks have been transformed from a pretender that no one noticed into a contender that other teams wish to emulate, he helped turn the mindset of the fan base from one of hoping to win into one that now expects to win and not only win regular season games but to win in the playoffs and Super Bowl, what else needs to be said turning a team from pretender to contender is the ultimate, and he did it the right way he brought in people and players that we can be proud of, and made a day at Qwest a fun filled joyous time. I remember exactly where I was when I heard the great news that the Seahawks singed Holmgren to a contract and I remember having goose bumps and a chill run down my spine knowing that he would do what it took to get this team to the Promised Land and I don’t care what the score board read in Detroit the Seahawks are Champions in my mind and Coach had a huge part in creating that. 

Thank You Coach for all you have done and meant to the rabid “12th Man” we can’t begin to thank you enough, and I truly hope the best for you and yours in what ever the future holds for you.

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12th Man Flag

by: Chris Sullivan / Mike Parker

Hey guys, as I had guessed and hoped, the 12th Man flag will be raised this afternoon by none other than Kathy Holmgren. Very fitting, I'd say.

That's all. Feel free to send your pictures of the game if you're there and able to send via phone!
~END~ Read More!

Game Preview: Seahawks vs. Jets

by: Chris Sullivan

Well, it's been ten years in the making, but today is the last home game for Mike Holmgren as head coach of your Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks face an uncommonly steep hill to climb in order to send Holmgren out with a victory, but one would imagine the team will be motivated to give it their all in his home game swan song.

The game looks to be bogged down by the cold and snow, with the potential for high winds throughout. As most of you know, this type of weather typically suggests that the best running team is going to walk with a W--here's how I think the Hawks will pull it off today:
  • The offensive line must continue its surprising play and then some. For the third consecutive week, the Seahawks' line has no reason to be any good at all (the top six starters on our O-Line are all on Injured Reserve), but the Seahawks will, for the third week in a row, rely on them to play like a veteran unit. With the running game being the key to the game, the only way to get the recently stalled running game going is through solid, NFL-level play by the young offensive line.
  • The running backs must provide a spark. I don't care if it is Maurice Morris or Julius Jones, though I imagine we will be seeing more Mo Mo than Ju Jo today, because Morris has more on the line right now (free agent in '09) and Holmgren is going to lean on the guys most likely to play their hearts out for him. Whoever lines up behind Seneca today MUST be explosive and at least play up to the level of rival back Thomas Jones.
  • No mistakes from Seneca. He has had two back-to-back very good games. He needs a third, desperately. We don't need 300 yards and 3 TDs, we just need 65% completion percentage and no more than 1 turnover.
  • Contain Thomas Jones. This is the biggest task for the Hawks in this snow bowl; Mebane and Bernard must keep the middle clogged up like they have all year long (along with Terrill and Howard Green). The linebackers must be solid in defending against the run game too, especially if we manage to push Jones out to the edges.
This is going to be a very tough game for the Hawks. The Jets have much more experience playing in this type of weather, and this will be Seneca's first snow-start since at least college. Still, it is Coach's last home game and there is not a fan in the stands not rooting for a big win here. If the fans SHOW UP despite this snow and send Holmgren out with the goodbye he deserves, I think we can pull the upset today.

Your thoughts?

~END~ Read More!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jamar Adams Back on Active Roster

by: Mike Parker

After placing Sean Locklear on the injured reserved list today, the Seahawks re-signed S Jamar Adams from the practice squad for the 104th time this season. Maybe tomorrow he'll see some playing time against the Jets? I'm surprised Jeb Putzier wasn't involved in the exchange this time.

As of now, I'm officially motioning for this season to be called "The 2008 Injured Reserve All-Stars." Ladies and gentlemen, your 2008 Seattle Seahawks!! -END- Read More!

Locklear Ices the Cake

by: Chris Sullivan

In case any of you were disappointed that our injury situation hadn't quite reached the "holy crap that's almost funny" level, well, now it has: Sean Locklear has officially been placed on the injured reserve list. That means all five week one offensive line starters are on IR. It would be interesting to see if that has ever happened to an o-line before . . .

Our injured reserve is currently stacked with so many starters, we could practically field a team if any of them could play--here is what it looks like now:

T Sean Locklear
T Walter Jones
WR Nate Burleson
G Chris Gray
DE Patrick Kerney
WR Ben Obomanu
WR Logan Payne
LS Tyler Schmitt
G Rob Sims
C Chris Spencer
G Mike Wahle
WR Billy McMullen

DB DeMichael Dizer
LB Wesly Mallard
T William Robinson

QB Matthew Hasselbeck
LB Leroy Hill

Here is wishing all of our (and other teams') injured players full and speedy recoveries. Nothing fun about injuries . . . ~END~
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Bill T's Weekly Wrap-up -- Slight Delay!

by: Chris Sullivan

Hey all, Bill T wanted me to give you all a heads-up that he has not been able to complete his weekly column quite on time due to some medical issues. I'll let him do the speaking:

Wednesday morning I had to have a shot of steroids injected into my spine in an attempt to reduce swelling that was causing a nerve to be pinched. This is a result of an earlier automobile accident. They cautioned me that being diabetic, I would see my blood sugars go up. Boy did they ever! My sugars went berserk and out of control. I tried vainly for the next 36 hours to get them back down, but even using upwards of 700 units of insulin (around 7 days' worth) in that short period of time didn't help.

What did happen though was that I developed pancreatitis from the shock to my pancreas and was hospitalized early this morning. I've been in severe pain all day and haven't been able to get my laptop here yet so I guess I'm going to be late on my column this week. I've got it underway on my computer back at the house but I've got work to do on it to be able to get it ready for publication.
Well-wishing goes in the comment thread below! ~END~
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Conversatin' with the Enemy

by: Chris Sullivan

Alright, well, maybe not quite the enemy, but Brian Bassett over at the excellent and aptly titled "The Jets Blog" shot me an email asking if we could do a little blog exchange for the upcoming matchup pitting Holmy versus Brett "The Protege" Favre, and since I'm posting about this you already know what my answer was. I asked Brian five questions, and he did the same for me, my half of which you can find below. You can check out Brian's post right here, if you're curious about who I said the Hawks' surprise player was and the keys to Seneca's success, amongst other things.

SA: The Jets were near the top of the NFL for Pro Bowl players this year and are leading a charge towards winning the AFC East. What is the biggest change from 2007 to 2008?

TJB: Everyone knows about Favre, but the line play has been worlds better. The Jets had some of the pieces . . . like Shaun Ellis (7 sacks) already, but needed just a few players like LG Alan Faneca and DT Kris Jenkins to, ahem, tip the balance.

SA: The Seahawks have the most inexperienced offensive line in football right now (no week one starters); who on the Jets Defensive Line should we be afraid of?

TJB: Kris Jenkins. You might be familiar with the big guy from his Carolina days, but in the 3-4 his role is different. He will still gash towards the ballcarrier at times, but he also plays more the read-react style that's key to a nose tackle. Jenkins has experienced a boost to his career in New York this year. Beyond Jenkins, Ellis is a solid end and Seahawks fans' old friend from Arizona OLB Calvin Pace (7 sacks, 4 FF, 4FR) will see a lot of action against the Seahawks offensive line Sunday.

SA: What Jet player will Seahawk fans not be familiar with today, but will be cursing come Monday morning?

TJB: Dustin Keller. The rookie TE is more of the Dallas Clark split out type than a traditional tight end. Although the rookie has had some mental lapses, he's become Favre's third favorite target behind Coles and Cotchery. Keller is big enough to overpower defensive backs, but fast enough to embarass linebackers in coverage. He won't have many huge gains, but he's a great chain mover for the team this year.

SA: What is the Jets' ideal scenario for the playoffs? What would you put their odds at for getting to the big game?

TJB: The Jets need to win out to make the playoffs. Of the teams they play, I'd most like to see them get Baltimore (even though they have a great D) in the first round or Denver (who the Jets played a stinker against, but I think could take). To make it to Tampa, the Jets need to get their whole defense back on track and for Favre to limit his interceptions without constantly throwing checkdown passes.

SA: With Brett Favre endlessly contemplating retirement, what is the Jets' backup plan at quarterback for 2009 and beyond?

TJB: Kellen Clemens (an Oregon native) is the current backup for the Jets and might be the favorite to take over the job, but Clemens--like most young QBs--struggled in his starting for half of the 2007 season. Brett Ratliff, the team's third QB showed promise this summer in the preseason. I think that there would be a healthy competition should Favre give up the game. ~END~ Read More!