April 28, 2011

See you on Twitter during the draft...

I'm sure I'll be posting something longer here between rounds/after the draft, but if you want to see my real time reactions, etc go over to my twitter page as the draft and the weekend progress...

Go Seahawks!

April 22, 2011

The Lockout Contingency

Let's imagine that ultimately an injunction is not imposed to stop the lockout (either no injunction is issued by Judge Nelson or her injunction is thrown out on appeal). The lockout drags into the summer, and is finally, sadly resolved when the vast majority of players can no longer afford to miss any more game checks. It is early-to-mid September when the lockout ends- What would a season look like then?

According to multiple reports, the NFL has (wisely) prepared for this contingency. Even if the first four weeks of the season are wiped out, we can still have a 14-game schedule with each team playing 7 home and 7 road games. Additionally, the full divisional schedules would remain intact. Week 1 would be rescheduled to the week of January 8th, 2012, week 3 games would be moved to each team's bye week (so long bye weeks), and weeks 2 and 4 would be deleted from the revised schedule. Here's what that would look like for the Seahawks:

10/9 @Giants
10/16 Cardinals (week 3 game moved to what was SEA/AZ bye)
10/23 @Browns
10/30 Bengals
11/6 @Cowboys
11/13 Ravens
11/20 @Rams
11/27 Redskins
12/1 Eagles
12/12 Rams
12/18 @Bears
12/24 49ers
1/1 @Cardinals
1/8 @49ers (week 1 game moved to new "week 14")

1/15 Wild Card Round
1/22 Divisional Round
1/29 Conference Championships
2/5 or 2/12 Super Bowl XLVI

A couple of weird things about this revised schedule: 4 of the last 5 games would be in the division, and 3 of the last 4 would be on the road. In an 11-week midseason stretch, the Seahawks would play all 7 of their home games. Upside? Say goodbye to two of the toughest games on our schedule: At Pittsburgh and Atlanta at Qwest.

Obviously, I hope it doesn't come to this, and I don't think it will (an injunction will ultimately get the NFL year going, probably by early June, and in time for the full season to get played). But if it does, it could be a crazy, fun, wild sprint to Indianapolis- Particularly if we bring back Hasselbeck and he has a renaissance, why couldn't we shock the world in a confused, muddled, mixed-up NFL season?

I guess my point is- Don't be one of those douchers talking about "boycotting" the season if games are missed. First of all, a season will get played, even if it's 14 or 12 or whatever number of games... and if the season is played, something magical might happen for our Seahawks. Go ask a Redskins fan if they give any amount of a fuck that two of their rings were won in "tainted" seasons marred by work stoppages. Um, no. Nobody gives a fuck...

So stay strong, Seahawks fans- No matter how ugly this gets, we'll have a season. I don't know about you, but I don't plan on missing a single snap.

April 19, 2011

I'm a Broken Clock (Still Right Twice a Day)

First, here's the Seahawks 2011 schedule...

I was dead-on correct that the Seahawks would have to open with two on the road, that they would get an MNF and an NFLN Thursday game (both at Qwest), that they would get five 10 am pacific starts, and that they would close the schedule with 3 out of the last 4 against NFC West foes. Of course, every other prediction I made about the schedule was wrong...

What does it all mean? That opener at SF seems crucial, given the overall Dethklok-level brutality of Seattle's schedule going up to the bye in week 6. As always, the divisional games are key- If the Seahawks can go 4-2 or 5-1 in the NFC West, four more wins (how about Redskins, Bengals, @Browns, Eagles) should put them in a position to repeat as division champs. My fearless prediction? The Seahawks will enter those last two against the Niners and Cardinals controlling their own playoff destiny in the NFC West.

The two prime-time games at Qwest are a huge coup for the Seahawks- They've had great success under the lights at home in recent years, and winning those games against Philly and STL will be absolutely crucial to Seattle's playoff hopes. Yeah, overall it's a tougher schedule than I'd like, but I don't think it precludes Seattle from making another run at the playoffs...

What do you think, sirs?

April 16, 2011

An (Sorta) Educated Guess at the Seahawks' 2011 Schedule

See you there (again)?

Despite the lockout, word is that the 2011 NFL regular season schedule will be released within the next week- and at this point I'm still going to proceed as if the season is going to start on time, on Thursday, September 8. One BIG assumption I am going to make about the league schedule overall is that the NFL will avoid divisional matchups the first couple of weeks, in case those slates of games get wiped out by a (brief) work stoppage. In a similar vein, I expect December/January to be even MORE loaded with divisional matchups than last year.

Another team-specific assumption is that the Seahawks will be hitting the road weeks 1, 2 and 6- Why? First, the Mariners have games at Safeco at 1 pm on Sunday September 11 and Sunday September 18. There's NO WAY that they'll have Seahawks games at Qwest simultaneously. Yes, we could be on MNF kickoff weekend or week 2, but like Mal Reynolds once said "That's a long wait for a train don't come." (I DO think we'll be on MNF this year, but not in one of those marquee slots week 1 or 2)

Why the road (or maybe a bye) week 6? The Sounders have a game at 7:30 the night before, and I have to think that's too tight of a window to get everything converted from soccer to football.

So here's our opponents for '11... Here's what I think the schedule might look like (all times Pacific):

9/11 @ Browns (10 am)
9/18 @ Bears (10 am)
9/25 Redskins (1 pm)
10/3 (MNF) Rams (5:30 pm)
10/9 BYE
10/16 @ Steelers (10 am)
10/23 Cardinals (1 pm)
10/30 @ Giants (1 pm)
11/6 Falcons (1 pm)
11/13 @ 49ers (1 pm)
11/17 (NFLN) Ravens (5 pm)
11/27 Bengals (1 pm)
12/4 @ Cowboys (10 am)
12/11 @ Cardinals (1 pm)
12/18 Eagles (1 pm)
12/24 @ Rams (10 am)
1/1/12 49ers (1 pm)

Of course, that almost certainly WON'T be the schedule, but it's fun to speculate, isn't it? I think we get one MNF game and one NFL Network Thursday night game. NFLN LOVES the inter-conference games, so I picked our tilt with the Ravens for that slot. MNF tends more towards divisional matchups, so that's why I put the Rams game there. Hopefully, we will all be shocked and get to open the season on MNF...

Could the NFL screw us? Of course- They could give us all six possible 10 am games (NY teams often play 1 pm pacific home games, so I had our trip out there at that time)... They could put us on a 3-game road trip... they could have us play a bunch of teams coming off bye weeks, etc. But since we'll have to open with two road games, I'm HOPING that'll be the extent of assplowing we receive from the schedule-makers.

What do you think, sirs? Is my stab at the schedule at least plausible? Let me know if I messed anything major up.

April 10, 2011

Top 10: Seahawks Greatest NFL Draft Misses

Over on Field Gulls, they are doing the all-time Seahawks draft busts (and hoo boy, Owen Gill BETTER be #1). It's a worthy project, but what about those players Seattle COULD HAVE drafted, but didn't? I'm not here to single out the Seahawks for mistakes EVERY team made (like letting Joe Montana slip to the 3rd or Tom Brady to the 6th), and I'm not here to say "See! The Seahawks front office is always fucking up!" My point is more that the NFL Draft is primarily a high-stakes crap shoot where you don't know for YEARS whether or not you've won each throw. I've got a TERRIBLE track record on the NFL Draft- Famously, and in print on my old blog, I RAVED and RANTED against our picking Lofa Tatupu in 2005... I tend to give our FO the benefit of the doubt, but they should also be held accountable for their actions. Here's the 10 greatest misses in Seahawks draft history:

10. Trading our 2007 #1 for Deion Branch instead of drafting... Kevin Kolb.
OK, this one is totally unfair, but given my man-crush on Kolb, I had to shoe-horn this one in. It would have been a bold move to draft Hasselbeck's successor back in the Spring of 2007, but a plausible one to be sure. By now, we wouldn't be debating whether to trade ANOTHER first round pick for Kolb- He might ALREADY be the starter, and if not we might now be ready to let Beck walk and hand the starting job to Kolb. I was never a DB hater, but we have to admit he was a total bust given the price we paid to pick him up.

9. 1978- Picking Keith Simpson instead of... Ozzie Newsome
Simpson was a pretty-damn-good player for the Seahawks for almost a decade, but we missed a chance to draft a future Hall-of-Fame tight end in Newsome. Imagine Zorn and Krieg with Newsome as an additional option, rather than Mike Tice, Pete Metzelaars, etc. Given that our ALL-TIME TE is John Carlson, who after three seasons is somewhat of a disappointment, Newsome could have been a difference-maker for those 1980s Hawks.

8. 1989- Picking Andy Heck instead of... Steve Atwater
Heck was another fairly solid player- He started 70 games for Seattle from 89-93- but he wasn't the intimidating 8-time Pro Bowl presence that Atwater was for the hated Broncos through the 1990s. Just imagine an Atwater-Robinson-led secondary in the early 90s, and you can envision Chuck Knox and Dave Krieg keeping their jobs a bit longer...

7. 1995- Picking Joey Galloway instead of... Warren Sapp
Joey Galloway, until 1999 at least, was one of the most popular players in Seahawks history- He was an electrifying weapon, and even I sported his jersey as my primary game-day wardrobe in the mid-90s. But... My God... Warren Sapp was a BEAST. We found this out first-hand in 1999 when he more or less destroyed Seattle's season and Jon Kitna's career as an NFL starting QB in one terrifying afternoon at the Kingdome. Yes, we already had Sam Adams and Cortez Kennedy, but that could have been one of the most insanely destructive defensive lines of all time if you add Sapp to the mix.

6. 1996- Picking Pete Kendall instead of... Ray Lewis
Like Andy Heck (but better), Pete Kendall was a solid pro for the Seahawks, and then for other NFL teams... But we could have had one of the top 5 defensive players of all time in Ray Lewis. It's worth pointing out that he could have patrolled the middle in the late-90s alongside the borderline-great Chad Brown. The downside? Lewis would have likely saved Dennis Erickson's job.

5. 1982- Picking Jeff Bryant instead of... Marcus Allen
All Seahawks fans, even the younger ones, should know and honor the legacy of Jeff Bryant. Alongside Joe Nash and Jacob Green, he formed one of the best 3-4 D-lines in the 1980s NFL. Only Jacob Green and Michael Sinclair have more sacks in team history than Bryant, but as great as he was- He wasn't Marcus Allen (and let's be honest- Curt Warner, who we'd draft a year later, wasn't Marcus Allen either). If we had drafted Allen, not only does his HOF career happen in Seattle, we also would have spectacularly weakened the hated Raiders and Chiefs of the 1980s.

4. 1976- Picking Steve Niehaus instead of... Mike Haynes
With the first pick in their franchise's history, the Tampa Bay Bucs picked future Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon. The Seahawks? Their 1st draft pick fell far short of that standard, as Steve Niehaus started an undistinguished 20 games over three seasons in Seattle. Sitting on the board was Arizona State corner Mike Haynes- Who started his Hall of Fame career in New England but spent the bulk of his career tormenting Seahawks WRs for the God Damn Raiders. He could have held down the corner opposite the great Dave Brown for a decade or more...

3. 2001- Picking Koren Robinson instead of... Reggie Wayne
Most Seahawks fans will admit that K-Rob is a decent person, and that it was cool to see him fight his way back into the NFL again and again (including a return to the Seahawks in 2008)... But the sad truth is that he was a MASSIVE bust given his draft position, and the Seahawks picked K-Rob over another WR who has almost 500 more receptions, 6000 more yards receiving, and 53 more touchdowns. Yeah, a few other teams passed on Reggie Wayne too, but given that we were looking for a WR that year, this one still stings.

2. 1998- Picking Anthony Simmons instead of... Randy Moss
Yeah, TONS of teams passed on Moss in addition to the Seahawks- But at #15 in the first round, many Twelves at that time thought Moss's talent made it worth gambling on his various character issues. Instead, we picked Simmons, who was a serviceable if not elite linebacker over the early '00s for Seattle. Just imagine Warren Moon throwing rainbow TDs to Moss and Galloway in 1998 (and maybe beyond)... Randy Moss might have flamed out in Seattle without Cris Carter's guidance, but it's just as likely Moon's veteran leadership and Hall-of-Fame arm would have kept Moss in line. Of course, just as with Ray Lewis above, the downside of this move is the prospect of Dennis Erickson's job getting saved for god knows how long.

1. 1991- Picking Dan McGwire instead of... Brett Favre
I hate the Land Baron as much as anyone today, but I'm sure I would have been Brett Favre's biggest fan if he had spent the '90s bringing Lombardi Trophies back to Seattle. Sando already has a write-up here... Chuck Knox clearly knew the game well as late as 1991- With his hand-picked replacement waiting in the wings, Knox doesn't get forced out after the '91 season, and Favre takes over for Dave Krieg in 1992... Maybe he gets crushed along with the rest of the offense in that forlorn 2-14 season, but perhaps he makes some big plays and we're 5-11 instead. Add Favre to those mediocre but talented mid-90s Seahawks teams, and we may well have been playing in a few Super Bowls back then.

Let's hope that when I revisit this in 5-10 years, nothing from 2010 or 2011 makes this list... What do you think, sirs?

April 2, 2011

Birthday and QB Thoughts

I turn 36 on Monday, and I've been a Seahawks fan for 28 of those years. My relationship with the Seahawks is longer than any other one I've had in my life beside my parents and older siblings- Friendships, romantic relationships, schools, jobs, homes have come and gone by the dozens but my connection to the Seattle Seahawks has thrived through it all. I'm waiting to hear about this job I interviewed for in Orlando, and if I get it the first thing I'll do when I move there is hook up Sunday Ticket so I can watch the Seahawks. Is that awesome or sad? :)

Here's Patton Oswalt on why I shouldn't bother celebrating my birthday until 2015:

Anyway, on to some other Seahawks-related thoughts:

I've blathered about this on Twitter, but I might as well "officially" summarize my position on the Seahawks QB situation here on the blog:

-My first choice would be a trade of our #25 pick in the first round for Kevin Kolb. I think that Kolb is going to be a better NFL QB than Ryan Mallett or Jake Locker. I also doubt that either of those guys will still be on the board when we pick in Round 1. Obviously that's dependent on Judge Nelson blocking the lockout on or after April 6th, so draft-day trades can include players. If we're able to, I think it makes sense to give up as much as our 1st and a 4th for Kolb. I also like the symmetry of trading for Kolb 10 years after we traded a 1st for one Matthew Hasselbeck (not to mention- We've had TERRIBLE fortune with QBs acquired via high draft picks).

-Speaking of Hasselbeck, I'd love to have him back IF we can't deal for Kolb. Without Kolb, even if we got our hands on Locker or Mallett, I wouldn't want one of those guys starting in 2011. Finally, if we end up having to settle for a 2nd-round-or-lower QB prospect, we NEED Hasselbeck under center in 2011. Again, all Hasselbeck scenarios hinge on when the lockout ends. I don't think the front office will overpay for Beck, even if he might end up on the roster of a division rival.

-I'm not very excited about ANY of the other QB possibilities via trade of free agency, but I'd prefer Kyle Orton over Carson Palmer and the rest of those jokers.

-I also don't want to see us mortgage the future by trading picks to move up and snag Newton or Gabbard. We have too many roster holes to fill, and frankly I don't see either of those guys developing into franchise QBs.

-My gut feeling is that Kevin Kolb is Seattle's starting QB next fall, and that Matt Hasselbeck will end up in Minnesota (continuing that franchise's history of picking up veteran QBs at the tail end of their careers: Moon, Cunningham, Jeff George, Favre, etc).

What do you think, sirs?