Tag Archives: Seattle

Review: Seahawks 14, Packers 12

27 Sep

Image

I have watched Seahawks games for 22 years. I have been a season ticket holder for the last seven seasons. I have NEVER witnessed a more epic finish than what happened on Monday Night. I have dubbed the Seahawks victory over the Green Bay Packers the “Monday Night Miracle” after Golden Tate scored on a Hail Mary as time expired to give the Seahawks the lead and the win. I will get to my analysis, feelings, and opinion of Tate’s catch later on in this post. Other than this play, one of the greatest moments in Seahawks history, here are my thoughts about the rest of the game.

Pass Rush: Present: In my preview posts, I always state that the pass rush is the biggest key on defense. If you can put pressure on the quarterback the chances of getting him to be uncomfortable throwing and/or forcing him to commit turnovers skyrockets. The Seahawks sacked Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers 8 times in the first half; 4 by Chris Clemons, 2 from Bruce Irvin, and 2 from Brandon Mebane. It honestly got to the point where the performance of the Seahawks defense was laughable in the stands. It really was that amazing. In the second half the defense recorded no sacks, which is unfortunate. The next phase of improving the pass rush will be to display consistency throughout the entire game. Can you imagine if the Seahawks continued to sack Rodgers throughout the second half? It would have been the greatest defensive performance in team history.

Shutting Them Down: The pass rush is only one part of the Seahawks defense’s night. The defense, which entered the game allowing only 13.5 points per game, held the explosive Green Bay offense to only 12 points. The Packers averaged 35 points per game last season. Considering the weapons Green Bay has, I am beyond satisfied with the defensive performance. The leading receiver for the Packers was tight end Jermichael Finley and he only had 60 yards receiving. The Seahawks now have the 4th best overall defense in the league. With another road test coming next, the Seahawks need to make sure that the defense keeps on rolling. If they can do that, they will prove to me and the 12th Man that they can be successful both at home and on the road.

Another Average Night: Russell Wilson once again did not put up highly impressive numbers against the Packers. Wilson ended the night 10/21 for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns. Wilson did not even break triple digit yardage numbers until the final drive of the game. Once again however, Wilson committed no turnovers. In three games, Wilson has 4 touchdowns and only one interception. It is now to the point where I have to critique Wilson in terms of his stats. Throwing for only 130 yards cannot become the norm for Wilson. Russell must show improvement throwing the ball and completing passes. The defense is holding this team upright and they can only go so strong for so long. Sooner or later whether it is because of seasonal wear-and-tear, the defense will not be able to hold the fort down. It is up to Wilson to improve his numbers. If he can throw for at least 250 yards per game, I think the Seahawks have a great chance of winning the game.

The Special Teams Is Exciting: It feels like every time the opponent lines up to punt or to kick a field goal, the Seahawks have a chance to block it. On Monday night, the Seahawks came incredibly close to blocking both a punt and a field goal. On the attempted field goal block, one Seahawk hurdled the Packers center and I was so convinced he was going to block it I jumped up before the ball sailed through the uprights. Against the Cowboys, the Seahawks special teams could have singlehandedly won the game and it is a huge relief to know that this very important unit is good enough to significantly alter the outcome of the game. The season is young, but I think the special teams will make much more noise throughout the rest of the season.

In Primetime, The 12th Man Never Disappoints: I tip my cap to myself and the rest of the people in attendance on Monday night. Most everybody was in their seats by the time pregame ceremonies rolled around. The scene was really cool with everybody waving their rally towels. The most impressive thing though was that very few people left the stadium after the Seahawks failed to convert on 4th down right after the two-minute warning. Not to criticize Seattle sports fans, but usually at that point in a game most fans usually leave to avoid getting stuck in traffic heading home. Not on Monday night though. I am very happy that everyone around me stayed and we all got to witness one of the most incredible plays not just in Seahawks history but in NFL history.

Let’s Talk About The Final Play: Before the Seahawks lined up to run the final play of the game, I looked up one row across the aisle from me. There was a Packers fan who started chanting “S**t Hawks! S**t Hawks!” He had been chanting this throughout the game and of course it made me mad. I started thinking to myself and praying that the behavior by those types of fans is exactly the reason why the Packers do not deserve to win this game. The Seahawks had played lights-out all game long and they played too hard not to win.

Wilson took the snap and after rolling to the left he planted and fired a Hail Mary to the corner of the end zone. From my view, I thought that Golden Tate had out jumped all 5 Packers defenders and had made the catch. After investigating the scene I saw the side judge call touchdown and I went absolutely crazy. I didn’t even see the back judge call interception and touchback. I was focused on seeing the ref call touchdown. As soon as the side judge did, my eyes were attracted to his arms and the fans around me went into full party and celebration mode. Everyone around me including myself didn’t bother watching the play on the big screen as it was reviewed; we were too happy that we had won the game. When the replacement referee confirmed the call on the field, round two of celebrations in the stands took place. My buddy Elliott and I could not believe what had just happened. As we walked down the aisle to the concourse, I heard people scream “I love Golden Tate!” and “Russell Wilson will NEVER buy a drink in this city ever again!” I then headed back home to re-watch the end of the game.

Upon arriving at home I watched the replay of Tate’s catch over and over and over again. Here is my opinion about what happened:

I don’t think Golden Tate caught the ball. I think that the refs clearly missed his offensive pass interference and although the NFL rulebook states that in the event of simultaneous possession the tie goes to the passers, I don’t think there was simultaneous possession in this case. I think M.D. Jennings of the Packers had two hands on the ball initially and Tate only had one hand on it. Upon descent to the ground, Tate was able to sneak in his other hand around the ball to give it the look that both players had their hands on the ball.

There is one view I have seen that shows that the officials may have made the right call. Although Jennings had full possession of the ball initially, he had both feet off the ground. Golden Tate had two hands on the ball and both feet on the ground before Jennings did, meaning Tate completed the entire “act of a catch” before Jennings did. Over the last couple of seasons there have been a couple questionable touchdown/non-touchdown calls because the receiver did/did not complete the entire act of a catch. Most notably, a Calvin Johnson reception for the Lions in Chicago against the Bears that did not count because he let go of the ball before getting up off of the ground. In this instance, from this one view it looks like Tate completed the catch and the Seahawks were correctly awarded the touchdown.

The response from what happened on Monday night has been unbelievable to me. As a Seahawks fan we have had many games that have come down to close calls go negatively towards us over the years. To have this play go in our favor I honestly had trouble understanding the feeling of the victory. It is incredible to see the national attention we have gotten over the last 48 hours since the last play of the game. We have been the top story on SportsCenter, the Today Show, and even President Barack Obama tweeted his opinion about the outcome of the game. At the end of the day, the Seahawks won and the Packers lost. As great a game as this was and for the memories that will live on forever, it is time to move on, get over it, and focus on our next game.

My Opinion Of The Replacement Refs: I’ll keep this brief. After almost three weeks of questionable calls, it was only a matter of time a call made by the replacement officials would determine the outcome of a game. Although the result of Monday night’s game went in our favor, I still believe the job done by the replacements have been utterly ridiculous and it is time for the real referees to return. As of now it looks like the NFL and the NFL Referees Association have agreed on a new contract which will end the lockout. This is ultimately the best case scenario for the league.

Random Thoughts: I did not prefunk before the game. We were running a little late and wanted to get into the stadium in time to get a rally towel and to see pregame… The Steve Sabol tribute was really cool to see again. The ovation was really nice and well deserved. Sabol, the president of NFL Films died this past week after a battle with brain cancer. He was 69… It was weird to see Trent Dilfer raise the 12th Man flag. Usually in the flag raiser video the person’s accomplishments are listed. The most memorable accomplishment for Dilfer was his 2003 Steve Largent Award. I loved Dilfer when he was a Seahawk but I personally do not think he has the appropriate accolades to be raising the flag for a regular season game, much less a Monday Night Football game… The offense was introduced and Russell Wilson got the loudest ovation once again. What a thrill that must have been for him… I was asked to sit down by the person behind me for the second straight week. This week it was a Packers fan probably in his late 50’s or early 60’s. Of course I ignored him and he must have dealt with it because he didn’t make a complaint through the rest of the game… Beer is too expensive inside the stadium. Period… There were way too many penalties by the Seahawks this week. That must change going forward. Most of the penalties are discipline penalties that should be easily avoided… There were WAY TOO MANY Packers fans in attendance. Probably worse than the number of Cowboys fans at the home opener… Marshawn Lynch did not score a touchdown, but that did not prevent me from ripping open a king-size bag of Skittles and throwing them at the end of the game when Tate scored the game winning touchdown… The 2005 NFC Championship Game will most likely always be my favorite Seahawks game that I attended, but there is no question this game is the most exciting game I have ever been to. It will probably take another Hail Mary reception at the end of a game to de-thrown this as the most exciting game I have ever been to.

I apologize that this review post is a little bit late. I just started my first week of school and have been up to my neck in readings for my classes. This will not stop me from writing my preview post of the game next weekend against the St. Louis Rams. Look for that preview most likely on Saturday afternoon. Thanks for reading everybody. What an incredible game. Go Seahawks!

Advertisements

Packers/Seahawks Preview

23 Sep

Image

Matchup: Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks

Site: CenturyLink Field (Seattle, Washington)

Kickoff: 5:30pm

The Seahawks have a big task ahead of them in week 3, as they host the defending NFC North champion Green Bay Packers in front of a nationally televised audience on Monday night. The Seahawks are coming off a much needed win last weekend over Dallas and the Packers are also coming off a dominating victory over Chicago last Thursday night. The Seahawks are 5-10 all-time against Green Bay. In their last meeting, the Seahawks were blown out by the Packers at Lambeau Field 48-10 in 2009. Here is what I will be looking for this week.

This week the Seahawks need to make sure the best players start along the offensive line. This means having Russell Okung at full strength. Although the Packers have struggled recently as a whole on defense they have some pretty spectacular players. Clay Matthews in particular is a player the Seahawks must keep in check. Through two games Matthews already has 6 sacks. I always touch on the fact that Russell Wilson can make plays happen with his feet but it would be much easier to have the offensive line give him the time and the protection to make throws from within the pocket. In addition to Matthews, the Seahawks also have to keep a keen eye on B.J Raji along the defensive line and Tramon Williams in the secondary. Raji can singlehandedly give Marshawn Lynch fits this week and Williams can make the Seahawks pay if Russell Wilson is not on target with his throws.

I have heard a lot of talk early this week about the Seahawks perhaps using a ground-and-pound strategy this week. Marshawn Lynch is averaging 103.5 yards per game and I have no reason to believe why Lynch will not break 100 yards again against the Packers. Maintaining a steady run game against the Packers enables many things that would carry momentum to a victory. If the Seahawks are effective running the ball, expect them to win the time of possession battle and put themselves in position for many scoring drives. However going off of this point…

The Seahawks cannot afford to settle for field goals on every drive. I have full confidence in our defense to keep the Packers offense in check but I do expect the Packers to score touchdowns. Russell Wilson needs to improve in the passing game. The Seahawks rank last in the NFL in passing yards per game and a strong performance by Russell Wilson will put us in a great position to win. This week I predict that Sidney Rice will be our leading receiver. I think the Packers will give up a couple big plays that will carry Rice over 100 receiving yards this week.

Our pass rush has not shown significant improvement acceptable to my standards. Because we are up against a talented gun slinging quarterback this week I think our pass rush will struggle again this week. On defense, if we can hold the Packers offense to less than 150 yards in each half I think we will be in great shape. Look for our secondary to be in the spotlight on Monday night. I will not predict any interceptions or big plays but I think all four starting secondary players will play up to expectations.

The Green Bay Packers are a very talented team. Aaron Rodgers is one of the elite quarterbacks in the league and the weapons he has around him scare me this week. Cedric Benson saw expanded play last week so I would expect to see the Packers try to establish the running game early. As far as receivers, Rodgers has Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Donald Driver, and Jermichael Finley to throw to. All five of these guys can put up big numbers and all can find a way to get open. Jennings will most likely be back this week after missing the Chicago game with a groin injury. If we cannot put pressure on Rodgers, these receivers will put up big numbers.

The Seahawks this week will be keeping a close eye on the Packers special teams. Last week, Green Bay ran a fake field goal that turned into a touchdown pass and a relatively easy seven points. I do not expect Packers head coach Mike McCarthy to pull trick plays out of his hat again this week but the Seahawks need to be aware that fake plays are included in the Green Bay playbook.

The Seahawks have not lost a home game on Monday Night Football since 2004. Since then the Seahawks are 4-0 at home on Monday night. This week the 12th Man will be on fire and it will be up to the Seahawks to make sure we stay that way. Bad play and Green Bay scores will take the fans out of the game so the Seahawks need to keep up their Monday night momentum. Best case scenario to keep the crowd alive is to score. Score early, score often.

Random Thoughts: The last time the Seahawks played on Monday night I showed up at halftime due to a final exam for school. This year I am sacrificing my first day of the 2012 school year to be at the game. It better just be syllabus day in both of my Monday classes… The Seahawks are giving out white rally towels to the first 50,000 fans this week. Looks like I may have to cut my prefunction short this week to make sure I get one… Kris Allen of 2009 American Idol fame is singing the national anthem Monday night. Usually for primetime games the home team is able to book a well-known artist so Allen is a breath of fresh air in my opinion… There has been buzz online this week about the possibility of Chris Hansen raising the 12th Man flag on Monday night. The new Seattle arena is on track to be officially approved on Monday so I think it would be only fitting to have Hansen raise the flag. However, according to multiple Twitter reports, former Seahawks quarterback Trent Dilfer will be raising the flag. Dilfer works as an analyst on Monday Night Countdown so he will be in town for the game… I have been used to cold weather primetime home games recently. It will be nice to go to a primetime game with no sweatshirt and shorts instead of jeans… The Seahawks will most likely wear blue this week. I want to know what games we will be wearing gray for… Honestly I don’t want Greg Jennings to play for Green Bay. I would be fully content with starting DeSean Jackson and Mike Williams of Tampa Bay in fantasy football this week… The offense will be introduced this week. I cannot wait for Russell Wilson to run onto the field on national television in front of the 12th Man and all the fans who cheered him on at the University of Wisconsin… I will be bringing lots of Skittles this week. Fair warning: If anyone is sitting in or around section 340 on Monday night, be prepared for a Skittles shower if Beast Mode scores a touchdown… I’m so happy I won’t have to listen to Jon Gruden’s horrible analysis on television… Maybe if we win I’ll try to go down to field level to get a picture with Stuart Scott of ESPN. That would be pretty cool, even though I have heard he can be a d**k sometimes… Speaking of ESPN, it will be nice to get a lot of national media coverage this weekend leading up to the game. I just hope all the talk is not about the Packers. Who am I kidding? Of course it will be. The Seahawks get ZERO national media respect… If we win the talk on ESPN better not be about how the Packers lost. That happened last week against the Cowboys. Nobody wanted to acknowledge the fact that we played an incredible game. Stupid east coast bias.

Prediction: This game will be a lot closer than most people think. At this point however, I’m not convinced the Seahawks can pull it off. They have the pieces and the talent to win but I am not convinced right now that it will all come together. The lack of a pass rush will be the difference in this game. I think we could be in for a track meet early on in the game. I see Aaron Rodgers passing for at least 275 yards and a couple touchdowns. The Seahawks will be competitive throughout the entire game but the Packers will sneak out of Seattle with a victory.

Packers 31, Seahawks 27

Check back Tuesday afternoon as I review the Monday night matchup with the Packers and preview the next upcoming week of practice. Thanks for reading everybody. Go Seahawks!

ESPN: CAN YOU HEAR US NOW?

My Weekend in Arizona

12 Sep

Friday: My flight to Phoenix left Seattle at 3:20 Friday afternoon. I was in an aisle seat about 25 rows back and to be honest my flight could have gone a lot better. Let me touch on the one bright spot; there were at least 20 Seahawks fans on my flight and when we started to descend towards Phoenix, most of them started to get riled up. That was a lot of fun to be a part of. Now to the annoying part of my flight. The guy sitting next to me was wearing a Seahawks shirt and Seahawks hat, which was nice. About an hour into our flight while I was listening to music, he wanted to start a conversation about Sunday’s game. I told him about my annual road trip and what my outlook on the game was and he told me about his thoughts. While he was talking I remembered one of my least favorite things about talking to strangers about football; I ALWAYS seem to know more about the game than they do, so I had to listen to amateur analysis that either didn’t make sense or was completely irrelevant. To make things even worse, he was boozing throughout the entire flight. As the drinks went down, the more annoying and belligerent he got. I tried to make it clear I wasn’t in the mood to talk by putting in my headphones but he just would not shut up. The icing on the cake was that he would try to get up to use the lavatory at the most inopportune times including right when the beverage cart was in front of our row, and once the flight landed and everyone seated on the aisle was standing and grabbing for their bags in the overhead storage bins. At least I can say I didn’t have the most frustrating flight, as one of the other guys I traveled with got a condensed life story from an elderly woman he was seated next to.

After getting off the plane we headed for the rental car shuttle. Once we stepped outside it was like walking into a sauna. 90 degree temperatures at 6:00pm is uncomfortable but also add in the smelly Phoenix air and you are miserable, at least to start. I got used to it by the end of the weekend. After getting our car we drove about 20 minutes to Glendale, the site of both University of Phoenix Stadium and our hotel. We checked in to the Glendale Renaissance then drove to In-N-Out Burger for dinner. After dinner we headed back to the hotel and I took a self-guided tour of the place. Let me tell you, I have never stayed in a more luxurious hotel than this place. Unfortunately I was only there for the weekend and since we were busy for most of the trip, I was not able to take advantage of any of the amenities the hotel offered which includes a beautiful outdoor pool with bar, state-of-the-art workout room, or the spa.

We then walked around what is called the “Glendale Entertainment District” which includes our hotel, University of Phoenix Stadium, Westgate shopping center, and Jobing.com Arena (home of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes). All of these buildings are within walking distance. We spent the rest of that night at a pub called McFadden’s. If I had to simply describe McFadden’s, imagine if Finn MacCool in the U-District had a baby with a place like Coyote Ugly or Cowgirls Inc. The women are incredibly attractive and the beer is expensive. All in all, the four of us had 12 Guinness’s total which racked up a tab close to $80. To a college aged man, McFadden’s is a place to go drink and observe the people around you. Our bartender may have had the most clothes on of any bartender and she was only wearing a bra-type tank top and shorts that were so short her buns were drooping from the base of them. I’m not going to lie though it was fairly awkward being at a place like that with my dad. This bar became a talking point among the four of us for the duration of our trip because each night we pondered the thought of going back to drink there. When we got back to the room we called it a night. Even though we had landed at 6 at night, we definitely made the most of our first night in Arizona.

Saturday: After pounding a coffee and a cinnamon roll, the four of us headed to downtown Phoenix to tour Chase Field; home of MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks. We have done a baseball stadium tour for the past three road trips and this one was one of the best. Among the stops, a pool located beyond the right-center fence, the club level, a suite, the visitors’ clubhouse, and the Diamondbacks dugout. After the tour we had an appetizer and beer at TGI Friday’s which is located in the second deck in left field. It is a similar setup to the Hit it Here Café at Safeco Field but because this restaurant is a TGI Friday’s, the food is leaps and bounds better than what is served at the Hit it Here Café.

After leaving downtown Phoenix we headed towards Peoria. I stayed in Peoria for my three trips to Mariners spring training so it was nice to see how the area had changed in the last ten years; the last time I went to Arizona. We killed some time at a mall (the same mall I had bought Pokémon cards at in 1999) before heading over to Buffalo Wild Wings for the Washington Huskies game against LSU. After some bickering (by my dad) about which televisions the Husky game was going to be on, I enjoyed some classic buffalo and spicy garlic wings while watching my Dawgs get pummeled by LSU. We left at halftime because the game was so bad. On the way back to the hotel we stopped to get beer for Sunday morning and to get a poster and pens so I could make a sign for the game.

When I got back to the hotel I made this sign:

Image

And then I called it a night in preparation for a HUGE day on Sunday.

Sunday: My alarm went off at 6:30am and I was immediately alert with adrenaline flowing through my veins. I pulled back the curtains on the window and witnessed a spectacular view of the stadium and then I turned on NFL Network to watch NFL Gameday Morning. After watching Warren Sapp make his “bold” prediction that the Kansas City Chiefs would beat the Atlanta Falcons 41-0, I took a shower and got in my gameday attire. I went down to the lobby to get another cup of coffee and cinnamon roll, not before I high fived two young girls who were wearing Seahawks jersey’s. The prefunction started in my room at 9:30am. While flipping back and forth between the Colts/Bears game and the Redskins/Saints game, I drank a 6-pack of Bud Light and then at 11:30 we headed across the street to the stadium.

Imagine walking into Costco on a 100+ degree day and walking straight into the frozen produce section in the back corner of the building. That is the only example I can think of when comparing the difference in temperature between outside the stadium and inside the stadium. There was easily a 25 or 30 degree difference and it really hits you once you open the doors and enter the stadium. I held my sign for the duration of pregame warm-ups, hoping FOX would get it on camera to use when the coverage of the game started on TV. Unfortunately I was not informed that my sign made it on TV by any of my friends watching back home so I just assumed all of the work I had put into it came short of my ultimate goal. The Seahawks had a great turn out in Arizona. I had several Hawks fans around me and I saw many 12th Man flags around the lower bowl of the stadium. After the Seahawks ran out of the tunnel, it was the Cardinals turn to be introduced and the building went absolutely crazy. I can easily say that it was the loudest environment I have been a part of on the road. Of course the noise level was not even close to CenturyLink Field, but it definitely came the closest of all the places I have been. Add in 50,000 white rally towels and it felt like a playoff game. The game had its ups and downs. I can’t remember the last time I screamed so loud after Sidney Rice’s touchdown. I wanted to make sure Cardinals fans knew I was there representing the Seahawks. After Braylon Edwards’s dropped pass on 4th and goal, I immediately slipped into a state of frustration, anger, and disbelief. I went back to the hotel and sat in a chair upset while listening to the broadcast of Sunday Night Football. After grabbing another burger at In-N-Out for dinner, I returned to my chair and sulked until I fell asleep about an hour after the Sunday Night game.

Monday: I woke up at 6:30am again in order to get ready, pack up, eat breakfast, and drive to the airport. Because one of our group members was heading to Detroit instead of back to Seattle, we had to get to the airport early because his flight left an hour before ours. I sat at the gate for a little over an hour before boarding my flight and I tried my best to get over the painful loss from the day before and to start focusing on Dallas next weekend. I noticed that there were some media members on my flight home; Ian Furness of Sports Radio KJR sat in the fourth row of first class and the cameramen and production team from Q13 FOX sat three rows behind me. I sat in row 19 by the window. This time around, I sat next to another Seahawks fan returning home but we did not communicate at all. Upon our descent to Seattle, I had a breathtaking view of downtown Seattle. Unfortunately my camera was not working on my phone so I could not get a picture. If I could have taken a picture, I’m confident I would have gotten likes on Facebook that would tally into the 30’s or 40’s haha. I made it home just in time for the Monday Night Football doubleheader and told my roommates all about my great but painful weekend.

I had a ton of fun on this trip. I highly suggest going to Arizona to see the Seahawks play. It is a trip that is easy to make with friends especially if you are staying in the Glendale Entertainment District. I hope my friends and I can put a plan together so I can make that trip once again next season!

Hawk Notes 8/20: Ruud Traded, Remembering George Hickman

20 Aug

Not a whole lot going on down in Renton today. There were a couple of big things off the field however.

Tonight the Seahawks traded linebacker Barrett Ruud to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for a future draft pick. This move all but solidifies rookie Bobby Wagner as our starting middle linebacker this season. Congratulations to Bobby, as he will become the first rookie middle linebacker to start for the Seahawks since Lofa Tatupu in 2005, who wound up a candidate for defensive rookie of the year. Wagner has looked really good during the preseason and in my opinion he has shown that he is capable of making the defensive calls. The trading of Ruud is somewhat surprising but understandable given the Saints linebacker corps lost Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne to injuries this past week. With Lofton and Hawthorne’s statuses up in the air, Ruud may be in a position to start for New Orleans in week 1. It has not been announced what the Seahawks will receive in return but it is believed to be a draft pick most likely in 2013.

Sad news both in Seattle and around the country today as Tuskegee Airman and Seattle resident George Hickman passed away Sunday morning at the age of 88. Hickman served in World War II from 1943-1945 and was one of the first African-Americans to fly and serve in war. The reason I mention this news is Hickman’s connection to the Seahawks and the rest of the Seattle sports community. Hickman raised the 12th Man flag on Veterans appreciation day last season before the Seahawks defeated the Baltimore Ravens. Hickman served as a seating host for the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field and was also an usher at Alaska Airlines Arena for University of Washington Husky basketball games. Hickman was a passionate sports fan and connected with fans young and old at all kinds of Seattle sporting events. He will be missed by many, including this 12th Man who greatly appreciates everything George Hickman did for not only this city but for this entire country.

Tomorrow morning the Seahawks have a practice at 10:15 as they begin prep for the ever important third preseason game against Kansas City on Friday night.

Mario Williams or Red Bryant?

23 Feb

The Seahawks have lots of salary cap room this offseason to potentially sign high-profile free agents. A name that I have seen recently that the Seahawks might be interested in is Mario Williams. Williams, the 1st overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, is an unrestricted free agent and possibly the top defensive player available in free agency this offseason.

If the Seahawks were to make a play for Mario Williams, the probability of letting Red Bryant walk away is pretty good. Williams will be lobbying for big money; money that will not be able to go to other big name free agents should we sign Williams. This could turn out to be a good debate on who would be a better fit in Seattle, and who would the fans want more. It is safe to say that Williams is the better all around player. Although he is coming off an injury that forced him to miss the final 11 games of 2011, he still had 5 sacks in the 5 games he played. He would have been on pace for at least 16 sacks if he had not gotten hurt. Williams would add a pass rush that the Seahawks haven’t seen since Patrick Kerney signed in 2007. Williams would best fit in a 4-3 defensive scheme as a defensive end opposite to Chris Clemons.

Although Williams is a dominating presence on the field, adding Williams could hurt our rush defense, which was dominant last season. If we were to sign Williams, it is almost certain Red Bryant would be signed by another team. As I have stated in prior posts, Bryant adds  veteran leadership and re-signing him maintains continuity among the defense. In my opinion he is the one defensive player we cannot lose.

We will only have room for one of these players. In simple, Williams adds a dominant pass rush but will come with a large price tag. Bryant maintains continuity among the defensive unit, leadership in the locker room, and will maintain a rush defense that finished in the top 5 in the NFL last season. As a fan I would love them both. As seen in my Peyton Manning opinion, I am unsure which player I would like to have more.

UPDATE: It was announced today that free agency will officially begin at 1:00pm pacific time on March 13th. Also the NFL will conduct a coin flip tomorrow morning at the combine between the Seahawks and Kansas City to determine will pick 11th and 12th in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

The Pros and Cons of Peyton Manning

19 Feb

The Seahawks have been mentioned by several media outlets in connection to having interest in Peyton Manning, should Manning be released by Indianapolis before his March 8th bonus deadline. Today a cbssports.com article explains that the Seahawks may potentially be the leading candidate to land Manning if he is released. Everyone who knows about the Peyton Manning/Colts dilemma understands the potential high risk/high reward that would come with another team signing him. Here are my pros and cons that the Seahawks and the 12th Man should know about if we pursue Peyton Manning this offseason.

PROS:

Peyton Manning is better than Tarvaris Jackson: Okay I know this is an obvious statement but think about it for a little while. If the Seahawks sign Peyton Manning we would not be getting the same Peyton Manning who broke the single-season passing record or the Peyton Manning that led the Colts to a championship in 2006. However, I believe that if Manning can get his velosity up on his throws to be able to perform well in a game, a diminished Manning is still better than a healthy Tarvaris Jackson.  Also, Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com said in a radio interview on Friday that Manning “still has 100 percent of his brain.” Manning’s decision-making I believe would be an upgrade to the decisions Jackson made in certain situations last year. Peyton Manning is a smarter quarterback and has the ability to make the other ten guys on offense around him better. Going off of this last point….

We have the offensive weapons to be explosive with Peyton Manning: A lot of people including myself looked at our offense last season and said we are going to be real good as soon as we can get a decent quarterback. Let me drop some names real quick; Sidney Rice, Mike Williams, Ben Obomanu, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, and Zach Miller. Rice and Miller specifically are former pro bowlers who signed big contracts last offseason. Many believe in Rice’s case that he got his big money because of the season he had in 2009 with Brett Favre in Minnesota. Superstar quarterbacks can turn ordinarially talented receivers into superstar playmakers. Imagine what our offense would look like with Peyton Manning instead of Jackson. I think with Manning at the helm both Rice and Miller could be heading back to the pro bowl in 2012.

Veteran Leadership and Mentoring: Matt Hasselbeck was one of the best leaders the Seahawks have ever had. Peyton Manning may be next coming of Hasselbeck’s leadership in Seattle. Manning was a perennial captain with the Colts. His knowledge and understanding of the game would have a great effect on this young Seahawks team. The lessons he could teach this team I believe would be a great benefit for future seasons; lessons that could not otherwise be taught if Manning was not a Seahawk. Hypothetically if the Seahawks were to bring in Manning for the present and we aquire a young quarterback for the future, do you truly believe there is anybody better to have that young quarterback sitting under and learning from then Peyton Manning?……. I didn’t think so.

CONS:

Health: Most of these cons are pretty obvious but bear with me. There is a chance that Manning’s arm strength will not be up to his or any other  team’s standards come training camp. If this is the case you potentially lose the chemistry with your backup quarterback (most likely Jackson) and you could set the team back an additional year or so in regards to signing or drafting your future solution at quarterback.

Cost: I have no idea what kind of money Peyton Manning will ask for if he becomes a free agent but I can guarantee you it won’t be the $4 million that Tarvaris Jackson is making this year, or even the $5 million Charlie Whitehurst made last year. The Seahawks have the most cap space of any team this offseason so investing in Peyton Manning may not be a total burden, but if he is asking for too much the Seahawks will not spend. I think John Schneider knows the ballpark number he would be willing to spend on Manning and if the price is too high, I believe he would know better than to go all in on him. If Manning’s price tag is reasonable to the Seahawks standards, there is a good chance he may land here, but I am not expecting this to be the case to be honest. This may be the biggest hurdle to signing Manning.

Could Manning be the Next Favre?: Brett Favre played two seasons in Minnesota. In year one the Vikings came within a minute of winning the NFC championship. In year two, Favre got hurt and the Vikings finished 6-10. I think the Vikings are still recovering from the Favre era; they invested in Christian Ponder to be the quarterback of the future and they are picking 3rd in this year’s draft. The Seahawks are doing a great job in building this team to be a consistent winner and the thought of Manning being the next Favre is a scary proposition. If we sign Manning and things do not work out, then we have wasted this construction effort by the front office and we could potentially be set back for many seasons to come. If this is a realistic possibility, which it could be, I don’t think it is worth taking the risk.

At this point I am uncertain whether I would want the Seahawks to bring in Manning. Like I said earlier, it’s high risk/high reward. If the Seahawks were to bring in Manning I would fully expect they will have done their homework to make sure they are not going to be spending money on a guy who may not be able to get the job done anymore.

Scouting Combine Preview: Defense

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day!

One of the Seahawks biggest struggles on defense last year was putting pressure on the opposing quarterback. With the 49ers drafting Aldon Smith last season and the Rams having Chris Long, the Seahawks may look to gain ground on their divisional rivals in the draft by drafting a pass rusher. At the combine I will be more focused on 40-yard-dash times, vertical jump measurements, and the 20-yard shuttle. As this may help show which defense players have the speed and lateral movements to be a dominating defensive presence. At this point, I believe the Seahawks will use their first round pick on a defensive player. Here is my take on some of the players that we could potentially take in round one.

Quinton Coples, Defensive End, North Carolina: Coples is not expected to be on the board when the Seahawks are on the clock, but if he does fall it is going to be very difficult for the Seahawks to pass on him. Coples is the top defensive player available according to Mel Kiper of ESPN and his college stats back this ranking up. Coples racked up 55 tackles and 7.5 sacks at UNC in 2011. The one area that has Coples slipping down the draft board is his motor. Coples has been known to take some plays off and not try as hard as he can but I believe Pete Carroll is the right coach to make sure he stays motivated all the time.

Melvin Ingram, Defensive End, South Carolina: Ingram recorded 48 tackles and 10 sacks for the Gamecocks in 2011. According to various mock drafts, Ingram may or may not be on the board when the Seahawks pick. Ingram played a big role in South Carolina having the third best pass defense in college football in 2011. If Coples is not available, Ingram may very well be the next best option if the Seahawks are set on drafting a pass rusher.

Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama: Both David Hawthorne and Leroy Hill are unrestricted free agents. I am unsure how much of an effort will be made to retain Hill. If we do lose Leroy Hill before the draft, Upshaw could be the perfect replacement. Upshaw is a winner, coming from an Alabama program fresh of the BCS National Championship. He sacked opposing quarterbacks 9.5 times in 2011 from the linebacker position. Upshaw could be the player Seahawks fans were hoping for when we drafted Aaron Curry in 2009. If we can re-sign Hawthorne and we draft Upshaw, out linebacker corps is young and fierce and should not be taken lightly by other teams.

Michael Brockers, Defensive Tackle, LSU: To be honest I do not see us taking a defensive tackle in round one. DT is one of the deepest positions on our roster with Brandon Mebane and Alan Branch locked in starters. If something were to change between now and the draft, Brockers may be an option. Brockers is a big boy, measuring to 6-6, 302 pounds. With a defensive line with Red Bryant and Brockers, the Seahawks could definitely improve on a run defense that was already stout in 2011.

Dre Kirkpatrick, Cornerback, Alabama: My initial hunch is that Marcus Trufant will not be back in 2012. Brandon Browner is coming off a pro bowl season and Richard Sherman made the NFL all-rookie team in 2011. Add a healthy Walter Thurmond into the mix, the Seahawks may not be looking for secondary help this early in the draft. If we do go after a corner in round one, Kirkpatrick may be the best man available. One thing I have learned over the years is height may be the most important aspect of a cornerback. We saw what a flop 5-11 Kelly Jennings was and Josh Wilson, although would make a big play from time to time, was never consistently dominant. Kirkpatrick is 6-3 and the way he plays the position is electric. With may mid-to-late first round cornerbacks projected, if the Seahawks are to draft a cornerback, Kirkpatrick is the guy I would like to see us draft.

SPECIAL: In honor of valentine’s day, I will be posting a write-up on why I love the Seahawks later today. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this. I hope you have a great valentine’s day!