Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hawk Blogger 2014 Season Preview Part I: The Franchise


Players are told to approach each game one play at a time and each season one game at a time. Coaches and general managers build up their rosters and teams one season at a time. Fans are different. Seahawks fans have been around long before any current coaches, players, general managers, or even owners, and will be here long after they are gone. Fans endure. Seahawks fans have endured playoff droughts that lasted more than 10 years. They have endured referees that feel so bad about the quality of their championship calls, that they feel compelled to come forward and apologize years later. And now, they have felt the pure elation of winning a Super Bowl for the first time. Being a fan allows for a big picture perspective that nobody else can afford.

Patterns from history often repeat. Even while some teams have broken from their franchise histories in recent years (e.g., Patriots become champions, 49ers become a joke for a decade), much can be learned by exploring the patterns across generations. Before diving into the detail of this 39th season of Seahawks football, take a moment to see where we are in franchise history.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Russell Wilson Targets Rare Achievement

Pete Carroll has been very public with one of his primary goals for his young quarterback. He wants Russell Wilson to complete 70% of his passes this season. That sounds like a nice round number, and a quarterback as efficient as Wilson would seem a perfect candidate to reach that mark. The task may be taller than you think. Only three players in NFL history have started at least 12 games in a season and completed at least 70% of their passes. Those three players combined to accomplish the feat only four times. The names are legends. Joe Montana, Steve Young and Drew Brees have done it, and only Brees has done it twice. But what Carroll has not said is that besides wanting a historic completion rate, he also wants an explosive passing attack. The combination of efficiency and explosion would make it one of the most notable seasons for a quarterback in league history.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Packers Two Key Injuries Will Impact Seahawks Opener

BJ Raji was once a dominant force in the middle of the Packers defensive line. He has trailed off considerably, but the news that he was lost for the year with a torn bicep still takes a starter in the center of their defense off the field. Perhaps more impactful was the news that starting center JC Tretter is out for at least six weeks. The Packers let a high quality center in Evan Dietrich-Smith walk in free agency to the Bucs, largely due to their confidence in Tretter.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Morning After: Seahawks Overwhelm Again, Stomp Bears 34-6

Logo by Kevin Gamache, Hammerhead 

To say the Seahawks beat the Bears Friday night would be incorrect. The names and colors on the jerseys were irrelevant. The men occupying said jerseys...also irrelevant. Seattle has reached a point in their development that Pete Carroll has talked about for years. When you are truly the best team on the planet, your only competition is in the mirror. The Seahawks defense set a standard last season that very few in NFL history have ever touched. Seattle special teams nearly broke records of their own. A reality that is sure to catch many in the NFL off-guard, the Seahawks offense now has a chance to be the best unit on the team. A season after Seattle made big corners all the rage, we may be talking about small, fast receivers being back in style by this time next year.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bears Are The Perfect Warm-Up

The best part of pre-season games is also the worst: they don't count. Knowing that allows coaches and players to focus on player development and assessment. This third pre-season game is often used as the tune-up for the starters as the fourth game is almost entirely used to evaluate the back-end of the roster before cuts. The Seahawks could hardly ask for a better opportunity to get ready for opening night against the high-powered Packers offense than facing the explosive Chicago Bears.

PODCAST: Interview with Chicago Sports Radio

I joined the Fahey and Chavari show to discuss the Bears/Seahawks pre-season game, and how the Seahawks have looked so far.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Future Of The Seahawks Linebacker Corps

Malcolm Smith returned to full practice yesterday and returned an interception for a touchdown. The play elicited chants of "MVP! MVP!" from his teammates. It will not, however, help the Super Bowl MVP get his name announced as a starter in a very crowded linebacker group. Further, early indications are that Smith will not be re-signed when both he and K.J. Wright become free agents. That would be a mistake.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Seahawks Roster Projections As Of August 19th

So many factors contribute to which players are chosen to fill out the bottom of an NFL roster that being exactly right is pretty darn tough. Special teams play, use of injured reserve and PUP to stow away players, a player coming free from another team that is higher on the value chart than what the Seahawks currently have available, and the ever-present injury bug can all play a role. Last year, I incorrectly expected the team to keep 4 running backs instead of 5, 3 tight ends instead of 2, 7 linebackers instead of 8 and 6 cornerbacks instead of 5. Of course, the team realized they made a mistake with the tight end decision after one week and added Kellen Davis right away. And looking at the thin cornerback depth this year, and the suspensions that happened last year, they might have been wiser to keep an extra corner around. It would be nice to have a Will Blackmon on the roster.

History is a valuable reminder in these exercises of what position numbers the team actually chooses:

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Cold War: How Pete Carroll Is Defeating Jim Harbaugh Off The Field As Well

It is no secret that the Seahawks won the Super Bowl thanks in large part to Pete Carroll's coaching ability. He has proven to be one of the best defensive minds in NFL history while contributing to dominant defenses over four decades. He has become a championship head coach by playing a classic style of football that emphasizes the running game while most teams are passing, and focusing on great defense when many teams chase points on offense. He is not alone in this approach. In fact, the San Francisco 49ers, his team's greatest rival, follows a nearly identical blueprint under Jim Harbaugh. The greater intrigue comes off the field. Two coaches who mirror each other in playing style, could not be more different in how they deal with people. Carroll defeated Harbaugh between the lines last year, and there are signs he is winning outside the lines as well.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

PODCAST: Pre-Season Seahawks Round Table With Davis Hsu & Scott Enyeart

It is always good to catch up with Davis Hsu and Scott Enyeart about all things Seahawks. We discussed every position group on the roster, and took our sweet time doing it. Sit back and listen to nearly two hours of in-depth Seahawks discussion and analysis.


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