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Seahawks Are Bad, But Not That Lucky, Time to Look Ahead

The Seahawks are terrible.

Charlie Whitehurst, Tarvaris Jackson, Josh Portis, whoever is behind center, they’re terrible.

Unfortunately in the logical but flawed draft laws, they’re not going to be terrible enough to land Andrew Luck in a year where there is there is a No. 1 overall pick and then the rest and there are some teams that make the Seahawks look like the quality contender they could be with an actual quarterback.

In fact it’s probably been since the Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf (couged it), days that there was such a defined and publicized top of the draft. Reggie Bush was the last real mega-hype, but he didn’t even go No. 1 overall. You can argue the results; Mario Williams may be considered the better player at his position, but Bush does have a ring.

My fandom really began after watching Dan Marino lead his last comeback drive against an at his best John Kitna and the Hawks in the Kingdome, so these are the two (Manning and Bush). I can recall that resemble the Luck talk.

Even then, I think the Luck talk has even eclipsed that of Manning and Bush, I never recalled hearing the volume of “Suck for Luck” esque campaigns calling for squads to bomb it for Bush or Manning, even Leaf, who was believe it or not actually considered equal and viewed by some as better than Manning (you really should have stayed for your senior year here), didn’t garner that kind of talk.

Still, it’s time to move on, at least I have personally, as far as the Seahawks are concerned. I knew the Seahawks were going to be awful which is why I had been calling for Luck. Call me a terrible fan like a good buddy of mine does, but it wouldn’t be a topic up for discussion if the Hawks were say, 5-2, instead of 2-5.

Since were 2-5, and the division leader is 6-1 and has the tiebreaker over us, I can safely doubt the Seahawks postseason chances and justify my pre-season stance.

It’s time to do what all fans, writers, bloggers do of bad teams; look ahead to the draft.

Know this isn’t really a knock, this was done by design to sacrifice a season to secure a true franchise quarterback. When Pete Carroll installed Tarvaris Jackson instead of drafting Andy Dalton that was the conscious decision made. As I am learning in history class, there’s a saying by Winston Churchill that goes “take one step back, but go two steps forward”.

Cam Newton has dazzled but endured some typical rookie struggles, he has defied all the doubters though, and as a rookie has kept the previously 2-14 Panthers competitive in every single game. In fact I have heard several vehement analysts who I heard blast Newton pre-draft not only recant, but say they would actually prefer him to Andrew Luck.

Again though, this is a No. 1 overall pick, and the Seahawks believe it or not finished amongst the top eight teams last year in terms of post-season standing, that’s why they were picking 25th overall.

That’s why I mention Dalton, because Newton, Jake Locker (8th), Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder (12th), were all gone by the time the Seahawks had a selection. Few had Gabbert going behind Locker much less locker going in the top 10; Ponder had an almost universal second round draft grade (as did the Seahawks choice, who has actually improved), and was rated the highest reach.

Ironically enough, Gabbert has struggled, Ponder is the one who impressed in his first start, and Locker (deep sigh everyone), a rejunvinated Matt Hasselbeck. I’m not saying a divorce wasn’t necessary, but seeing him play well both makes me happy and upset because this team really is one good quarterback from another stretch of division titles.

Looking ahead one year, it shouldn’t need explaining that the draft class at quarterback is much more loaded with Luck, USC’s Matt Barkley, and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones. Nick Foles has a current grade akin to that of Christian Ponder’s pre-draft stock, many would argue Ryan Tannehill, Branden Wheeden, Ryan Lindley, and even Russell Wilson will approach that territory as well.

Pete Carroll is making some questionable choices on the field, certainly, he has even admitted to “not being used to scratching and clawing”, to paraphrase and compare to his USC days. This is why you see 60 yard field goals and brash fourth down calls when you haven’t scored a touchdown in almost 2 games; because he’s a winner, and he’s not used to losing.

The design he has in place is the proper one, and commend Pete for being willing to take the heat of a bad season while he gets younger, more talented, and orients towards the future. Who cares how Sidney Rice and Zach Miller do this season? They are young, proven, cornerstones and they were signed and probably signed in Seattle because of what’s next year and beyond.

If the season were to end right now the Seahawks would be selecting 9th overall, and that sounds about right.

Indianapolis, Miami, St. Louis, Arizona, Carolina, Jacksonville, Minnesota all have worse records, and Denver matches the Seahawks at 2-5. Of those squads, certainly Indianapolis and Miami are virtual locks in the “Suck for Luck” and either would snatch him up in a heartbeat (lets just accept the fact he’s going to end up in Indianapolis already, it’s fate), Denver is the only other team who will be looking for a quarterback on draft day.

The wait will pay off even if the Seahawks do not obtain Luck because they will obtain a much higher rated quarterback prospect regardless. Few would have rated Locker, Gabbert, or Ponder higher then Barkley or Jones in the same draft class. None were regarded as franchise quarterbacks and that word has certainly been tossed around in regards to Barkley and Jones, both considered legitimate top 1o prospects in likely any draft class.

Instead of “settling” on Andy Dalton because they have to, Pete Carroll can zone in and have his choice of two guys worthy of applying the “franchise quarterback” tag to. Instead of rushing the process, he has slowed it down for a season and built other pieces of the roster up.

Waiting for his hand picked franchise quarterback will be pro bowlers Sidney Rice, Zach Miller, and Marshawn Lynch, and talented pass catchers Mike Williams and Doug Baldwin. The offensive line will probably see an upgrade between now and next season, and in my honest opinion the defense is elite status and the sky is the limit; you can’t blame them for what happens because of the bad offense, and regardless they have arguably the best rushing defense in the league.

Last year and this year got reversed, and that’s ok, the Seahawks found themselves in a unique never to be repeated scenario and Pete Carroll capitalized. He and Matt Hasselbeck successfully patched a statistically poor regular season and a poor late season stretch of play by Matt (4 TD’s to 10 INT’s over last four games), with the stunning upset of the Saints that garnered multiple ESPY nominations and a resurgence of old form by Matt that has largely spilled over into this season with the Titans.

It should be refreshing to see someone dedicated to a youth movement, something that all eventually good teams have to go through to some degree. as opposed to the Ruskell strategy of patching a veteran roster past it’s peak with expensive veteran free agents. It worked for a couple years, but the foundation eventually collapsed. Credit Carroll for realizing that every single one of the past Super Bowl winners (Green Bay, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, New England, New York) have “franchise quarterbacks” and all except one drafted theirs (Drew Brees’ never hit the open market).

In other words, credit Carroll for taking a step backwards so he can take more steps forward in the future.

 


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One Response to “Seahawks Are Bad, But Not That Lucky, Time to Look Ahead”

  1. Russ Loede says:

    Andrew,

    Outstanding piece!

    This strategy could turn to gold and work out excellent for the ‘Hawks if they get their franchise QB next April.

    Thoughts on Baylor’s Robert Griffin III?

    I liken him unto what Randall Cunningham could have been had he stayed healthy. Even with injuries, Cunningham was still a player and a half as a signal caller/scrambler.

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