Monday, July 6, 2009

Hasselbeck on the "downswing," and Branch is "key"

by: Aaron Weinberg

Flying along the West coast on my trip up and down from Santa Clarita I had a lot of time to read up on sports news with my Sports Illustrateds, Golf Digests, and ESPN the Magazines. In the dead of the offseason (and a small market to boot) there understandably wasn't much Seahawks reading during my four total hours of flight time.

In my 168 page SI fantasy football primer, which I boringly read in its entirety on my way down to Burbank, I came across a short one column piece of insider information featuring a division rival coach breaking down the team.

In the case of the Seahawks, it was unflattering to say the least.

Here's what I wrote over at NSS.

And below is the full SI write-up from page 148:

They made a massive change offensively, bringing in [coordinator] Greg Knapp, who will install the zone running game . . . Matt Hasselbeck has gotten the s--- knocked out of him the last two years. Last year you could see the cumulative effect of the big hits on him. He's on the downswing . . . They're very pedestrian at running back. Julius Jones [below] is not a guy who keeps you up nights defensively . . . T.J. Houshmandzadeh is not a home run hitter, but at the end of the day he'll catch a lot of balls . . . The key for them is Deion Branch coming back healthy. If he does, with Housh, you're looking at some real good play at receiver . . . John Carlson benefited from [former head coach] Mike Holmgren's throwing the ball so much, forcing defenses to play Cover Two on the outside. His production may go down with Housh also working the middle.

The part I found most surprising was how much the anonymous source dissed Hasselbeck. At 34 years old he's not getting much better, but the Addicts seem to universally agree that a healthy Matt means success for the 2009 season. He missed nine games last year due to injury, so you might wanna just toss out 2008. By all accounts, Matt seems healthy and clicking.

Another point that can be argued was John Carlson's decline. Greg Knapp and Jim Mora produced TE Alge Crumpler's best seasons back in Atlanta with a career best 877 reception yards in '05 and a few Pro Bowls to boot.

Tabbing Housh as not being a "home run hitter" is correct, but since when does a WCO call for a deep guy? Housh is the perfect guy for a short yardage West coast team. Granted, I'm assuming the source is talking in terms of fantasy output.

Ah well, not a lot to read into here 'cus it's just fantasy talk, but any football talk is a plus during July.