Saturday, January 10, 2009

End Of Season Position Analysis, Part Seven: Quarterbacks

by: William P. Tomisser

Seattle ended the season with the same three quarterbacks that it started with. All saw action during the regular season. Wallace played eight games, Hass played seven, and Frye played one.

The Seattle Quarterbacks

  • Matt Hasselbeck
  • Seneca Wallace
  • Charlie Frye
Seattle's incredible injury situation during the 2008 season didn't pass the quarterbacks by. Starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had a number of injuries in 2008 the worst being to his back. The back injury, suffered against Minnesota in pre-season, is impacting a nerve in the lower back region by way of a bulging disk and is making his leg go weak. This condition caused him to suffer a knee injury.

To Continue................

It's being treated with injections at this time but the stories concerning his rehabilitation have gone from rumors he's being traded because we're not sure he can stay healthy for the full season to Ruskell's announcement that he'll be back healthy and recovered and he's the starting quarterback.

Additionally, during the season, he hurt his knee as mentioned and then suffered a helmet to helmet hit that caused minor brain damage. There was some concern at one point that he might not be able to play again because of the chronic condition in his back or his concussion or a combination of the two.

Matt only appeared in 7 games in 2008 amassing a 57.8 quarterback rating, the lowest of his career. Seneca Wallace played 8 games and Charlie Frye played one. Hass was 1 -6, Wallace 3 - 5, and Frye 0 - 1 for the season.

Wallace was also injured during the season for several games after he tweaked his hamstring warming up to play receiver against the Rams when all our receivers were injured. They were desperate enough that they risked their 2nd string quarterback and took a chance they might have to play Frye. They lost and Frye had to play against Green Bay.

The big question now is how is Matt Hasselbeck. He's not having any procedures done but is relying mostly on rest as his doctors have recommended. It's not known if he'll have a chronic injury that will come and come and go or if he'll recover 100%. The Seahawks have said Hasselbeck should be back and he's their man. We'll all have to keep track of his progress especially leading up to the draft.

Trade Matt or build the new Seahawks around him? There are fans on both sides of the fence. Of course, his injury and how well he recovers will dictate what options he has. The Seahawks want him to start and will build Knapp's offense around him if he's healthy according to their press conference with Tim Ruskell.

Seneca Wallace had a pretty good year in reserve. He had a better winning percentage and quarterback rating than Hasselbeck did. He seemed to get better as the season progressed and as he acquired more and more game experience. Some folks would like to see how good he could be in an offense that was designed around his unique talents.

The trade Hasselbeck proponents have us either using Wallace as our quarterback in a offense designed to utilize his talents. Another discussion has us drafting one of the top quarterbacks with our number 4 pick and starting Mora's Seahawks on the ground floor with a new quarterback.

Even if we wanted to trade Hasselbeck, the likelihood that we could get good value out of him is very low right now because of the injuries and the poor season he had. If we played him next season and he has a pretty good year, there would be more takers and with better offers.

Once again, I stress that Ruskell has said they want to use Hasselbeck so unless there are injury concerns, it looks as if the Seahawks will have Matt back at the helm in 2009 with business as usual. I can't imagine anyone else but Seneca as the backup at this juncture.

Frye should be gone so the Seahawks will probably take a quarterback somewhere along the line in free agency or as a later round draft choice or even in a trade. Whether they look for just a 3rd string backup or start the search for a serious replacement for Hass remains to be seen.

The best quarterbacks coming out this season are generally thought to be Matt Stafford from Georgia and Sam Bradford from Oklahoma. Both are listed as top 3 picks. Tim Tebow from Florida and Colt McCoy from Texas are two other quarterbacks expected to go in the first round.

Seattle will certainly acquire a quarterback to be at the least their emergency quarterback but whether they look for that as a minimum requirement and are ready to start grooming someone to take over or just want an emergency quarterback will have to be forthcoming.

Unless Matt has problems, the quarterbacks are really the least of the Seahawk's worries right now. If Matt's OK, we're OK.