We’ve all seen the comedy movie classic “Animal House,” if you haven’t put it on your bucket list. When Otter says to Flounder “You $$$&** up! You trusted us!” it applies to the Seattle Seahawks. In a roundabout way, this off-season the Seahawks’ Brass pretty much told their fans that by saying Tavoris Jackson wasn’t the answer at Quarterback. Uh, duh. Seattle could have paid me a six figure salary and there is no way Action-less Jackson would have been on the roster. Jackson did complete sixty percent of his passes, but threw only 14 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. He doesn’t scare anyone as Seattle was ranked 28th in total offense.
Rectifying the problem, Seattle makes the second most intriguing Quarterback move of the off-season, getting Packers Free Agent Quarterback Matt Flynn. In Flynn’s lone start last year against the Lions, he put up X-Box like numbers throwing 480 yards and six touchdowns. Was it a fluke? Was it some divine intervention? Who knows. Needless to say, that game put him on the map and landed him a three-year 26 million dollar deal with Seattle. Action-less Jackson is now officially holding a clipboard full time and watching Kevin Bacon say “Thank you, Sir. May I have another?” Face it, in the NFL you have to have a good Quarterback or your stuck in comatose like the Miami Dolphins.
It was a great move by General Manager John Schneider because if Flynn plays well Seattle could be dangerous. The Seahawks also draft Quarterback Russell Wilson out of Wisconsin, a very good athlete. Who is listed under six feet tall. He’s had a great preseason and was named the opening day starter against the Cardinals.
Seattle hits a major home run at Quarterback and surrounds the key position with an adequate receiving unit. Not a thousand yard receiver among the group, I don’t get it. Receiver Doug Baldwin leads the Seahawks with 51 catches for 788 yards and five touchdowns. Ben Obomanu and Golden Tate are serviceable but not stellar by any means. If Sidney Rice can stay healthy, which is almost impossible, he could be the star of the group. Desperate to stretch the field, Seattle signs Braylon Edwards, who seems to have played on every team in the league. He was a bust last year for the 49’ers and his time in the league is winding down. In the draft, Seattle didn’t address the receiving unit…big mistake. Taking a chance, Seattle signs 38 year old receiver Terrell Owens to a one year deal. But, he was cut a couple weks later for being TO. Tight End Zach Miller has big play potential and could benefit from the change under center. The passing game comes down to Wilson.Flynn. They’ll have to make do with what they’ve got. Good Quarterbacks have a way of making everyone better. Maybe either can do the same.
Pete Carroll’s team will have no problems running the football with Marshawn Lynch. Who rushed for 1,204 yards with 12 touchdowns last year. He averaged 4.2 yards a carry and might be able to do more if Flynn can keep defenses from stacking the box. Lynch should have a capable back-up in rookie Robert Turbin. Drafted in the forth round out of Utah State, Turbin has great lower body strength, great vision and cutback ability. Pro Bowl Fullback Michael Robinson does everything and more as the backfield is set. The Offensive Line doesn’t have any big names. The group gave up 33 sacks, but did pave the way for Lynch’s thousand yard season. Seattle signs former Cardinals’ Guard Deuce Lutui to a one year deal. It could be a great pickup if Deuce can keep his weight under control and not eat downtown Seattle.
Defense is the strength of the Seahawks, the group ranked ninth in the league last year giving up 330 yards a game. It starts with Defensive End Chris Clemons, who racked up 11 sacks with 51 tackles. The Linebacker Corp takes a major hit as leading tackler David Hawthorne signed with the Saints. To replace him, Seattle signs former Bucs Linebacker Barrett Ruud. Who led Tampa Bay in tackles from 2007 to 2010. They also re-sign Outside Linebacker Leroy Hill, who was forth on the team in tackles with five sacks. Defensive End Red Bryant also returns and has to give the team more than 32 tackles and one sack.
Many feel Seattle gambled taking Outside Linebacker Bruce Irvin from West Virginia with the 15th pick in the draft. He’s lightning quick off the edge and could step right into a pass rushing role. His lack of size could make him a liability against the run. If Irvin doesn’t play well, Seattle’s questionable draft class could be considered a bust all the way around. The Secondary is stacked with Safeties Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Cornerback Brandon Browner. The three some are physical and have great instincts to the ball and helped forced 22 interceptions last year. Plus, Cornerback Richard Sherman played at a Pro Bowl level, he’s a star in the making. The Secondary is as good as any in the league. Seattle needs to get to the Quarterback more, if they do, this group will once again be a top ten defensive unit. I believe they will because defense is Pete Carroll’s specialty.
The Schedule is tough right out of the gates for the Seahawks as they open on the road against the Cardinals followed by home games against the Cowboys and Packers. Talk about getting hit right in the mouth. In October, it doesn’t let up as they host the Patriots on October 14th, followed by road games against the 49’ers and Lions. The Jets and Bears also make the trip to the CenturyLink Field, where the Seahawks have one of the best home field advantages in the league.
The Seahawks finished seven and nine last year and lost five games by six points or less and that was with Jackson running the show. Now they have an upgrade at the position. Packers Coach Mike McCarthy groomed Aaron Rodgers into one of the best Quarterbacks in the league. Maybe he did the same with Flynn, but as of now Wilson is the starter. When it’s all siad and done, I believe Wilson will be the starter. If either quarterback works wonders Seattle improves to 9-7 and will be in the hunt for a Wildcard berth. Until then, turn on the boys from Delta Tau Chi, scream ‘”Toga, Toga” and dance to Otis Day and the Knights. Joe Pequeno over and out!