Seahawks Play Like Numb Nuts, Lose At Home

Make no mistake, the Arizona Cardinals are a garbage football team.  Carson Palmer is easily in the Top 5 Worst Veteran Quarterbacks in the NFL.  His decision-making is the worst, and it cost him four interceptions while also netting him one VERY lucky touchdown at the end of the game.  A guy like that doesn’t deserve to win football games.  He’s been terrible for YEARS and is only in the league because he has a strong arm.  Period.

The Cardinals took advantage of a weak offensive effort by the Seahawks.  Everyone on that side of the ball – and especially the coaches – should be fucking ashamed of themselves.  The offensive line played like total ass.  How was Max Unger ever named an All Pro center last year?  He’s TERRIBLE!  Tell me any different, and I’ll tell you you’re full of shit.  I think the voters picked the top handful of rushing offenses, threw all the offensive linemen in a hat, and picked at random.  I’ve seen Max Unger blow more blocking assignments this year than I’ve EVER seen.  Chris Spencer wasn’t even this bad!  And James Carpenter?  Yeah, he’s a bust.  I’ve been biting my tongue on his play, waiting for him to turn it on, but he’s awful.  The Seahawks have had some MAJOR issues at drafting offensive linemen since Pete Carroll and John Schneider took over, and now it’s coming home to roost.

This offense used to run the ball against ANY defense!  It didn’t MATTER how highly rated you were!  It didn’t matter if we were playing the 49ers or the Jaguars, the Seahawks were running the ball and you weren’t going to stop ’em!  Bullshit.  Utter, utter bullshit.

If there’s any positive to winning the Super Bowl, the biggest will be some dumb team hiring Darrell Bevell away to be their head coach so we can hire someone who doesn’t have his head up his ass!  Uhh, you think maybe it would be a good idea to adjust to what the Cardinals are doing to you?  Maybe shorten up some of those passes, give Russell Wilson something easy to complete?  Get him in a rhythm, get this offense moving … I dunno, go no huddle, throw more screens against their overly-aggressive front seven … ANYTHING DO FUCKING ANYTHING, OTHER THAN THE SAME BULLSHIT PLAY AFTER PLAY AFTER PLAY!  How many 3 & Outs do you have to watch before you do something different???

Now, we gotta fucking play real football next week.  Great.  And, of course, we’re talking about a Rams team that’s set up exactly like the Cardinals:  all defense, bullshit offense.  We’re already a team suffering with injuries.  If we lose someone important next week, you’ll have no one to blame but half of this fucking team against the fucking Arizona Cardinals.

Way to play like assholes, Seattle.  Do it again and see what happens.  See how you like it when you’re the #5 seed and going on the road throughout the playoffs.

The Greatest Seahawks First Round Draft Picks Of All Time

In honor of the Seattle Seahawks not having a draft pick last night, I decided to go through all the drafts and rank all the best Seahawks first rounders. 

I don’t want to shock you, but there are Hall of Famers on this list!  There are some Ring of Honor folks, there are some good players, there are some guys still playing, and there are busts.  A whole lotta busts.  And not-busts who are just sorta sub-par.  You get the idea.

I didn’t totally discredit what these players may have done once they left the team, but I weighted heavily their time in Seattle.  For the record, there are people I’ve never heard of on this list, as well as people I don’t remember very well (because who remembers offensive linemen from teams they followed when they were five?), so don’t expect the most thorough of analysis.  Just sit back and bask at how much you disagree with my order.

The Hall of Famers

1.  Walter Jones (1997, #6 overall)
2.  Cortez Kennedy (1990, #3 overall)

You know me (no, you don’t), I love me some Tez.  That guy was right behind Steve Largent for my Most Favorite Football Player Of All Time pretty much since he won Defensive Player of the Year back in the day 1992.  But, Walter Jones is Walter Jones.  Cortez Kennedy is a Hall of Famer, but Walter Jones might be the best who has ever played his position.  He’s a legend.  And if you don’t think he’s a legend, go look up some stories about his off-season training regimen.  How many guys do you know who go around pulling cars to get in football shape?

The Ring of Honor-ers

3.  Shaun Alexander (2000, #19 overall)
4.  Jacob Green (1980, #10 overall)
5.  Kenny Easley (1981, #4 overall)

Shaun Alexander is the best running back to ever put on a Seahawks uniform.  He was an MVP, he set the single-season touchdown record (until it was broken by LDT the very next year), and he led us to a Super Bowl.  THAT’S why he’s ranked ahead of the other two.  Jacob Green is the career sacks leader in team history.  And Kenny Easley is one of the greatest safeties in league history.  Had he not been injured, he would’ve been in the Hall of Fame.  Easily.

Next-Tier, Really Good Players

6.  Steve Hutchinson (2001, #17 overall)
7.  Marcus Trufant (2003, #11 overall)
8.  Jeff Bryant (1982, #6 overall)
9.  John L. Williams (1986, #15 overall)
10.  Curt Warner (1983, #3 overall)
11.  Joey Galloway (1995, #8 overall)
12.  Earl Thomas (2010, #14 overall)

I can’t imagine Hutch ever making the Ring of Honor, simply because he played elsewhere for longer than he played for Seattle.  Though, had Ruskell not fucked things up so royally, Hutch would’ve been on the inside track and probably would’ve landed at #3 on this list.  Good going, stupid.

People are kind of down on Marcus Trufant because he’s old and washed up, but you have to remember that for most of a decade he was a quality starter for this team.  Right out of college!  Remember all those shitty secondaries that were run out there by Ruskell?  Well, don’t lump Trufant into that group, because he was the only thing holding the back end of our defense together!

Jeff Bryant was another quality starter for our defensive line through most of the 80s.  He and Jacob Green really tormented opposing quarterbacks.  Bryant lands at 3rd all time in sacks.

We can argue John L. Williams and Curt Warner’s spots on this list until the cows come home.  Curt Warner had 6,705 rushing hards, good for third on the Seahawks career rushing list.  And that’s WITH all his injuries that drastically shortened his career!  I mean, let’s face it, Warner is in the Ring of Honor and Williams is not.  Do the Seahawks know more about this than I do?  Probably, but here’s my rationale for putting John L. ahead of Curt.  Yes, Mr. Warner is third all time rushing.  But, John L. is fourth, with 4,579 rushing yards.  And don’t forget, John L. Williams was one of those hybrid fullbacks who could run you the ball, could block for you, and who caught a lot of passes.  471 to be precise, for 4,151 yards (6th all time).  If we’re talking total yardage, then we’re talking John L. Williams – 8,730, Curt Warner – 8,172.  Advantage:  me.

Joey Galloway was a firecracker when he hit the scene in 1995.  He would’ve been a surefire Ring of Honor guy too had he been willing to play ball and not hold out on Holmgren.  We ended up trading him, and he ended up having a nice little career for himself.  Injuries prevented him from really breaking some records, but his longevity was impressive considering what he was forced to play through.

Earl Thomas is a curious choice to have so high on this list, considering he has only played three seasons.  But, I’m giving him a little extra juice because I fully expect him to be great.  Also, not for nothing, but you’ll see why he’s so high as we get to the rest of the names.

Good Guys With Better Careers After Leaving Seattle

13.  Pete Kendall (1996, #21 overall)
14.  Sam Adams (1994, #8 overall)
15.  Shawn Springs (1997, #3 overall)

Pete Kendall played his first five years in Seattle and played pretty well along our line.  He was never a Pro Bowl guy, but paired with Walter Jones, he really helped improve this team’s running game.  Then again, who knows?  Maybe Walter Jones just made him look better than he really was.  Either way, he went on to Arizona and seemed to improve.  I think his three years as a Cardinal were better than any he had as a Seahawk.  He would go on to finish his career with the Jets and Redskins, playing many more years as a non-Seahawk than a Seahawk.

To be honest, I remember Sam Adams having all the potential in the world when we drafted him.  I also remember him largely being a disappointment.  I wouldn’t call him that; I like the guy.  I’ve got one of his old practice jerseys signed by him; I think he’s great.  But, you can’t deny the fact that he really stepped his game up once he left Seattle and started playing for Baltimore.  He was a Pro Bowler both seasons he was in a Ravens uniform.  And, oh yeah, he helped them win a Super Bowl with one of the best defenses of all time.

Shawn Springs had a couple of good seasons with the Seahawks, but he wasn’t worthy of hanging on to for the duration of his career.  I seem to remember him having a bigger impact with the Redskins than with the Seahawks, even if the numbers don’t necessarily bare that out.

Linemen!  (Both offensive & defensive, so leave me alone)

16.  Tony Woods (1987, #18 overall)
17.  Russell Okung (2010, #6 overall)
18.  Steve August (1977, #14 overall)
19.  Andy Heck (1989, #15 overall)
20.  Ray Roberts (1992, #10 overall)

Right here, we’re talking about guys who were starters, who were fairly productive, but who were never superstars.  The exception might be Okung, who has a lot of room to climb this list as long as he stays healthy and keeps his production up.

Old Guys I Know Next-To-Nothing About

21.  Terry Taylor (1984, #22 overall)
22.  Keith Simpson (1978, #9 overall)
23.  Manu Tuiasosopo (1979, #18 overall)

I went and looked them up on Pro Football Reference and I STILL have no idea who these people are or what they did for the Seahawks.  I know what Manu did for the Huskies, he fathered one of the greatest Husky quarterbacks of all time.  Good for you!


24.  Anthony Simmons (1998, #15 overall)
25.  Koren Robinson (2001, #9 overall)
26.  Rick Mirer (1993, #2 overall)
27.  Chris Spencer (2005, #26 overall)
28.  Kelly Jennings (2006, #31 overall)
29.  Jerramy Stevens (2002, #28 overall)

These are players who flashed some potential, but ultimately didn’t live up to the hype.  I always remember liking Simmons, and lamenting he couldn’t stay on the field.  I also forgot that he was a first round pick.  We all know about Koren Robinson.  He’s the guy who drank and drugged his way out of the league, right?  I don’t really care enough to look it up to confirm; all I know is that he was supposed to be a stud receiver for us and he wasn’t.  Mirer was the pick just AFTER Drew Bledsoe, who was drafted by the Patriots (who were also 2-14 in 1992).  Why was he drafted by the Patriots?  Because the Seahawks BEAT the Patriots, thereby giving the tie-breaker for the #1 overall pick to New England.  Spencer was supposed to lock down the center position for us for a decade; he did not.  Jennings was a joke, but he started for us because this team was incapable of finding anyone better.  The less said about Jerramy Stevens the better (because I hate that guy).

Hopefully NOT A Bust

30.  Bruce Irvin (2012, #15 overall)

He had a fine rookie season with 8 sacks.  Is that the best we’re ever going to get from him?  Or, will he explode for double-digits pretty soon?  It could go either way and it wouldn’t surprise me.  He could be a fast-climber on this list too if he plays his cards right.

A Supplemental Bust

31.  Brian Bosworth (1987 Supplemental Draft, #28.5 overall)

This guy, QUITE the character.  If you have a few hours to spare, I’d recommend reading his biography.  If you like The Boz, then I’d recommend NOT watching that 30 for 30 featuring Bo Jackson.  Because The Boz looks like The Bitch.

Injury Plagued

32.  Steve Niehaus (1976, #2 overall)
33.  Marcus Tubbs (2004, #23 overall)
34.  James Carpenter (2011, #25 overall)

The Seahawks entered the league at the same time as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  The Bucs received the #1 overall pick.  That, and a lot of weird happenstance, has resulted in the Seahawks never having the #1 overall pick.  Ever.  Steve Niehaus was the first player drafted in franchise history and he was largely injured for his brief career.  Tubbs was a force on the inside during our Super Bowl run.  But, he got injured and never recovered.  He played in 29 games over 3 seasons and was out of the league.  Carpenter is a 2-year vet and he has finished both of his first two seasons on the IR.  Not a good sign.  Here’s to 2013 being where he turns his career around.

The Huge Busts

35.  Lawrence Jackson (2008, #28 overall)
36.  Aaron Curry (2009, #4 overall)
37.  Lamar King (1999, #22 overall)
38.  Chris McIntosh (2000, #22 overall)

L0-Jack was a microcosm of the Tim Ruskell years.  His inability to draft quality players in the lower half of the first round doomed this team.  Many other teams are able to find starters in the second and/or third rounds.  It would stand to reason, then, that you SHOULD be able to find a starter with the 28th overall pick in the first round.  Think again.

Because of all the shitty drafting, the Seahawks found themselves the very next year with the #4 overall pick.  Aaron Curry was the “safest” pick on the board and we all looked at him to dominate for years to come.  He did nothing of the sort and ultimately got Ruskell’s ass fired.

Mike Holmgren’s first couple drafts resulted in a couple of terrible players.  Lamar King was just a bad pick any way you slice it.  McIntosh was supposed to be good, but he couldn’t stay healthy (and was soon replaced by Steve Hutchinson).  Put them together, and you wonder how the Seahawks ever turned their fortunes around under Holmgren.

The Very Worst First Round Draft Pick In Seahawks History

39.  Dan McGwire (1991, #16 overall)

This doesn’t need a whole lot of explanation.  Rest assured, it’s picks like this and Mirer two years later that doomed this franchise to the wilderness for the entirety of the 1990s.

So Long Big Play Babs

According to Danny O’Neil, Tennessee is turning into Seattle East.

I always find it amusing when other teams pick up an inordinate amount of our cast-offs (an inordinate amount being anything higher than 1).  I get the whole thing about being familiar with guys you’ve worked with in the past, but moves like this (and Chicago picking up Chris Spencer because Tim Ruskell is a muckety-muck in their front office) kinda strikes me as bull-headed and defensive.  Like you’re trying to justify why you believed in these players in the first place.

Not that I necessarily think guys like Spencer or Babs aren’t worthy of being picked up by other teams.  I just wonder:  how much of your belief in those players is based on what you’ve seen from them on the field vs. your massive ego as a player evaluator?

Anyway, that’s a long, cynical way of saying:  We’ll miss you, Big Play Babs.  You’ve provided us with a crazy number of memorable plays (every one of your 10 interceptions were a joy to behold), you were about as versatile as a guy in the secondary can be (shifting from starting corner to nickel corner to strong safety to free safety like a chameleon), and most importantly in the minds and hearts of fans:  you actually WANTED to be in Seattle. 

All of that from an undrafted free agent.  Rarely is it possible to get that kind of mileage out of a guy who wasn’t considered to be among the best 255 players coming out of college in 2004.  There you have it.

As if we in Seattle didn’t have reason enough to root our balls off for the Tennessee Titans … I’m damned tempted to get NFL Ticket just to watch them in action!  I guess I’ll have to settle for sitting in a bar for 8 hours every Sunday … darn it all!

Seahawks Draft James Carpenter, Investment In Pancake Futures Skyrockets

Too many Urkles on your team / That’s why your Winslow

Physical, aggressive, tough:  these are the types of words you like to see written about your first round draft pick.  Or, as Jim Mora might say, “We’ve got ourselves a Dirtbag!”

I can’t BEGIN to tell you how excited I am for this pick.  Where was our biggest need going into the season?  Well, let’s just look at 2010; where was our biggest failing?  We couldn’t run the ball.  Ever.  It took all season to even get a 100-yard rusher … and even THAT required a run so resplendent by Marshawn Lynch that it still defies the bounds of logic.  We had injuries at just about every position along the line (ironically, except Center; and it looks like Spencer is a guy we WON’T be re-signing), with the biggest being Unger for the entire season, and Okung for parts.

Well, Okung is back and we have to hope his ankles hold up.  Unger is also back and we have to hope he returns to form (meaning:  an upward trend from his commendable rookie season).  Now, we have Pancakes Carpenter to lock down the Right Tackle position, and all I have to say to that is:


It’s not a sexy pick, I get that.  My dad was sitting next to me, bellowing about not getting a quarterback.  Part of me wanted to see either Andy Dalton or that cornerback from Colorado; part of me was let down when they announced our guy, as a collective “Who???” floated into the Seattle airspace.  But, the more I let it sink in, the more I got behind my man Pancakes.

This is a guy who was projected as a middle 2nd rounder, so sayeth Mel Kiper.  He called it a reach; I say the “reach” is only in reference to our man’s massive wingspan!  Whenever Mel Kiper doesn’t like your draft, you know you’re involved in a winning draft; that assclown can suck my ass!  I know we’re well on our way to a D+ draft grade, but you know what?  These grades are incomplete and won’t be finalized for another 3-5 years.  See me then, when we’ve got the best offensive line in football.

Our team WILL be, whether we like it or not, a smashmouth football team.  We’re going to run the ball, we’re going to kick other teams in the face, and we’re going to have sex with their mothers!  Hiring Tom Cable was the start.  Pancakes Carpenter is just the next piece in the puzzle.

Other thoughts:

I’d rather have the 3rd or 4th offensive tackle than the 12th or 13th defensive lineman taken.  Jesus!  Are you kidding me?  You KNOW half of those D-ends will be collosal flops!

Pancakes Carpenter came into Alabama as a JC transfer and started immediately for a National Championship team.  In the same year their running back won the Heisman Trophy.  And he was their left tackle.  We have TWO dominant left tackles!  How many teams can say they have even ONE?

Pancakes was a guy who was once playing at 288 pounds.  He’s naturally athletic, relentless in run blocking, has excellent form in staying low … and all he did was add another 30+ pounds of pure, bruising muscle to make himself a future NFL All Pro.  Guys who have to bulk up to 321 are SO much better than tubs of lard who have to lose 30+ pounds to get DOWN to 321.  We didn’t draft some soft-belly who’s going to let himself go; we drafted a fucking stallion who’s going to be ready to muck it up in the trenches.

ESPN still hasn’t gotten his position right, calling him an Offensive Guard.  Are you kidding me?  He played Left Tackle in college, he’s projected to be our starting Right Tackle next year … the only time he EVER played guard was in the Senior Bowl.  Get your facts straight!

What Should The Seahawks Draft? — Offensive Line

First of all, I don’t really DO mock drafts.  I liken them to Bracketology:  what’s the point?  Is it to give casual fans some information on who they might logically expect their favorite teams to draft?  Or is it just to give some sports guy something to do the other 364, 363 362 days of the year when we DON’T have the NFL Draft?

Regardless, mock drafts are stupid, and scoring them (i.e. seeing how many you had right in advance, when for some reason you write out dozens upon dozens of these throughout the weeks leading up to the big days) is a complete waste of time that involves so much luck it’s unbelievable.

Basically, mock drafts are just an excuse to praise teams who picked the way you think they should pick, and to belittle them when they don’t.  In that sense, maybe mock drafts aren’t such a bad idea!  Either way, I don’t know nearly enough about the college game or its individual players (outside of the University of Washington), so predicting who the Seahawks are going to take at Pick #25 would be asinine.  I’ll forward you to the “experts” for that.

On here, I’m just going to focus on where the Seahawks are lacking (and here’s a hint:  it’s pretty much everywhere).  To start:  offensive line.


Along the offensive line, right now, the Seahawks have exactly 1 sure thing.  Russell Okung, Left Tackle.  Not a bad place to start, to tell you the truth, but every other spot on that line is up for grabs going into the 2011 season. 

We need to shore up Left Guard; I’m getting tired of going week-to-week with replacement players at that all-important position. 

Chris Spencer is up for free agency and I see him coming back as a 50/50 proposition. 

Max Unger is the real wild card in all of this.  He missed all of last year due to injury AND he was drafted by the previous regime.  If they agree with Ruskell, then he’s our center of the future (i.e. 2011).  If they re-sign Spencer (or sign someone else to play ball-hiker), then Unger could easily slide back to his Right Guard spot.  If he doesn’t heal, or if they just don’t believe in his ability, then Unger is gone and we need to fill BOTH guard spots (i.e. Worst Case Scenario that doesn’t involve Okung suffering through another injury-plagued season).

Hopefully they listen to my cries and dump Locklear to the wolves.  Then, theoretically we could slide Stacy Andrews back to his natural Right Tackle position and wouldn’t necessarily need to shore that up via draft.

Either way, we need 2 linemen.  Ideally, at least one of them via the first round of the draft.


Now, I know a lot of the sports pundits are screaming for a Quarterback to be taken with that 25th pick (indeed, I’ll make the argument for QB in the next in this series), but if all things are equal (i.e. the lineman we covet AND the QB we covet are both available when we’re finally on the clock), I would prefer we draft the lineman.

My rationale being:  a great offensive line can make just about ANY quarterback look good.  They’ll open gaping holes for the running game, which in turn will allow the offensive co-ordinator to call more running plays.  THAT, in turn, will reduce the opportunities for our quarterback to screw up.  And, if they’re as good at pass protection as they are run blocking, then even Charlie Whitehurst with enough time could pick teams apart with a smart, steady game plan (i.e. the opposite of anything Jeramy Bates cooked up last season).

If I had it my way, we would make Robert Gallery priority number 1.  That locks down our left side for at least five years.  Then, draft the best-available tackle you can find and pen him into our starting lineup on the right side with either Unger or Andrews at guard.  Finally, if he’s cost-effective, re-sign Spencer.  If he’s not and/or Unger isn’t healthy, then sign the best-available past-his-prime-but-still-somewhat-effective veteran to a 1-year deal and hope either his knees or some scrub we pick up off waivers can do the job until we expend yet ANOTHER draft pick in next year’s draft on O-Line.

My point being:  don’t stop drafting O-Line.  Don’t EVER stop making them first round picks, until you’ve got a good stable of 6 or 7 hosses at all times.  Because the fat guys are the most important; and because something ALWAYS goes wrong at the position you have the least amount of depth.  Offensive Line is the single position you can ill afford to have no depth.

(again, some might argue QB here, but let’s face it, you pay your Number 1 QB the big bucks BECAUSE he’s irreplacable.  If you lose your Number 1, your season is likely over no matter WHAT team you are … unless, of course, your O-Line is awesome).

A List Of Current Seahawks Facing Free Agency

We’ve got a lot of decisions to make this year, much like we did last year.  The disadvantage is, of course, the impending lockout (which I’m not going to get into, because what’s the point?  Yeah, I hate the idea of a lockout as I assume every other fan does too; bitching about it will accomplish nothing.  Football WILL be played again eventually, and when it is, you will watch).  The ADvantage, however, is that this coaching staff (or what’s left) and this management has had a year to analyze the players who will potentially be on their way out.  Here’s what I perceive to be the official list, with my thoughts on whether or not we should keep them.

By the by, I’m getting my info from this website.  Took me a while to track down something so simple, so credit where credit is due.  It’s worth a glance as it is a list of EVERY ALMOST EVERY Seahawks player and when they’re up for free agency.

1.  Matt Hasselbeck – I don’t know if I’m on record or not, but I’ll say it again:  I want Matt Hasselbeck back next year.  I WANT him to retire as a Seahawk, but at the very least I want him for a couple more years.  Of course, I also want us to draft someone in this upcoming draft, so he can work behind Hasselbeck, but for now Matt gives us the best chance to repeat as NFC West champs in 2011.  Final Answer:  2-year extension.

2.  Leon Washington – The dude is in his prime, 28 years of age, and he’s one of the best return men in the game.  Of COURSE I want him back.  I’d give him a 2-3 year extension if I had it my way.  Unless he hits the market and gets blown away with an offer.  I love what the guy brings, but let’s get serious, blowing a bunch of money on a running back you never use AS a running back is a bit much.  Final Answer:  2-3 year extension, if the price is right.

3.  Sean Locklear – Let him go.  He’s a bum and will be due for raises he’s not worth.  Final Answer:  No way; there are other fish in the sea.

4.  Ray Willis – If he can come back healthy, I’d like to get him on the cheap.  A bulldog with size, and at the very least can bring some depth.  Final Answer:  Yes, if healthy.

5.  Tyler Polumbus – Another solid depth guy; he’s young and cheap.  Final Answer:  Yes.

6.  Ben Hamilton & Mansfield Wrotto – I was under the impression that we’d already traded Wrotto away.  And Hamilton, I’m pretty sure, is retiring.  Final Answer:  N/A.

7.  Chris Spencer – I liken centers to defensive ends and quarterbacks:  they generally get better with age and experience.  You rarely see any of those three positions come out of college lighting the world on fire (unlike running backs, linebackers, some offensive tackles and safeties, who tend to rely on their explosive raw talent immediately).  I don’t think Spencer will ever be a Pro Bowler, but I think he can still be a solid center in this league for another 5-8 years if his body holds up.  I think he kinda gets lumped in with the shitstorm that was the 2009 Seahawks offensive line, and I think that’s unfair.  Put some talent around him, and I think Spencer is a guy worth keeping around.  He’s coming into his own now, I’d like to see where that’ll take him going forward.  Final Answer:  Yes, sign to a long-term extension.

8.  Brandon Mebane – This is EASILY the number 1 guy we have to re-sign in whatever free agency period we have this year.  If defensive tackle wasn’t so injury-prone as a position (regardless of the player), I would say we’re stupid for not inking him to a long-term deal BEFORE the offseason.  As it stands, it will weaken our already weak defensive line CONSIDERABLY if we don’t wrap this up.  He’s a run-stuffing machine who can cause a little havoc from time to time; exactly what you want with a D-line that plays 3 tackles with a Leo end as the primary pass rusher.  Final Answer:  Hell Yes!  Long-Term Deal!

9.  LeRoy Hill – We made it through this year without Hill, we specifically voided the remaining years on his deal to GET him to free agency this year, so no, I don’t think we’ll be re-signing LeRoy Hill.  Should we?  That’s up for debate.  His hitting ability is there.  If we got him cheap enough, I’d say that wouldn’t be the worst thing.  But, look, we’ve got Hawthorne entrenched at our other outside linebacker position.  We’ve got cheap, young linebacker depth kicking ass on our special teams.  We don’t NEED LeRoy Hill.  If he came back, he’d have to earn his way onto this team and likely wouldn’t be starting unless someone got injured or we started playing 4 linebacker sets.  With Tatupu’s injury history, it might not be the worst thing in the world.  We can slide Hawthorne into the middle and Hill could reclaim his old position.  Final Answer:  If he’s cheap enough, yes; but I doubt this will even be an issue.

10.  Kelly Jennings – HELL NO!  I’ve been counting the fucking days until this waste of space is out of my life.  He’s too small, he’s too slow, he’s never in a position to make a play, and it forces the safeties to help out on his side too many times, making Marcus Trufant’s life a living hell.  We need to dump the zero and sign a true lockdown corner (ahem, Nnamdi Asomugha), so the safeties can return to helping out Trufant and we can start kicking some tail on the defensive end.  Final Answer:  Are you shitting me?

11.  Lawyer Milloy – This one is about as 50/50 as it gets for me.  He won’t be expensive, he’s a natural leader and a great mentor for Earl Thomas, he knows the system inside and out, he’s a Dawg, and if we don’t re-sign him it’s unlikely he’ll go somewhere else and burn us.  On the downside, he’s pushing 40 (which means he might as well be pushing 70 in football years).  He has a tendency to over-play the run and get beat deep.  We should probably be looking towards the future at this position too.  Final Answer:  1-year extension, draft a safety that he can tutor, and that will be that.

12.  Olindo Mare – Do we dare franchise our kicker two years in a row?  Final Answer:  Hell yes we do!  Franchise the hell out of him until he stops making field goals and then cut him to the dogs!

Interesting fact of note:  Our top receivers and tight ends are signed through at least next season (can’t find word on Stokley though; I’d like to get him back if he wants back).  However, with Deon Butler’s massacre at the end of the season, we’ll likely be looking for more talent in the pass-catching department.

I know for a fact that there are others Seahawks free agents (reserves, special teamers), but I think that’s as good a rundown as we’re going to get.  The only guy who will kill me if he isn’t retained is Mebane.  The only guy who will kill me if he IS retained is Jennings.  Obviously, keeping the team the same is no way to improve (after all, we DID only win 7 games last year; and no way we blame that all on injuries), so I don’t expect all the guys I want back to BE back.  But I think my argument speaks for itself.

The Downside of 2010: Seahawks Edition

We went from potentially the 7th or 8th draft pick, to the 25th draft pick.  I’m not gonna lie to you, that’s pretty big.

To all the yeasayers out there, yes, I know you can have huge busts in the top half of the first round.  They’re franchise killers.  You draft a guy in the top 10 NEEDING him to be a major component to future success for the next decade and the guy is a lumbering stiff.  That’s the downside.

And also yes, you can find many a diamond in the rough.  Look at Tom Brady!  Look at Matt Hasselbeck!  Or, more appropriately, look at Aaron Rodgers, who slipped all the way to 24 when he was drafted.

In conclusion, the draft is a crapshoot and everyone gets that.

But, you know what?  Not always.  MOST of the time, if you draft a guy in the top 10, that guy is going to end up being pretty good.  Maybe they’re not all Peyton Manning, but maybe they just have a good career.  Couple of pro bowls, steady play at his position; not an All Pro, but you don’t need a team full of All Pros.  Just guys who play well and play well together.

Need I remind ANYONE who we drafted late in the first round in the last decade?  28th pick Jerramy Stevens, 2002; the person I loathe above all others on this planet.  23rd pick Marcus Tubbs, 2004; a guy who had 1 good season, then fell to chronic knee problems.  26th pick Chris Spencer, 2005; a guy who took FOREVER to finally come into his own at center.  31st pick Kelly Jennings, 2006; a guy we couldn’t run out of town fast enough!  WR Deion Branch, 2007; a guy we got in trade for a late-round pick.  28th pick Lawrence Jackson, 2008; a bust of spectacular demerit.

Just look at that pile of crap we had to choose from!  Some of them Holmgren guys, most of them Ruskell guys.  All of them very much dispensable.  I can’t say it any more simply:  the difference between the 8th pick and the 25th pick is the difference between Earl Thomas and Kelly Jennings.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Late round draft picks are no better than 2nd round draft picks; essentially the “First Round” (i.e. all the good college players) ends at around pick 15.  After that, it’s just one big 2nd round of crap.  Fill-in guys.  Backups.  Potential starters, sure, but not potential game-changers.  Rarely, if ever.  Unless some stud falls because of a character issue, the 25th pick is no better than a dry handjob.  Will probably get the job done, but you won’t really enjoy yourself.

So yes, the playoff run was exciting, but you can’t sit there and tell me the shift in draft order isn’t significant.

Another downside is that we’re a 7-9 rebuilding team who has to go out next year and play a First Place Schedule.  That doesn’t really mean a WHOLE lot, because essentially your finish within your division only affects two of the games you play.  We’re GOING to play 6 games within the NFC West.  We were already scheduled to play the AFC North and the NFC East, because that’s how the schedule was made years in advance.  So, that accounts for 14 games.  The other two, though, are doozies.  At Chicago (again) and at home vs. Atlanta (again).  Sucky.  I’ll complain about how hard our schedule is another time (like, when we get dates and times in the coming months), but suffice it to say I’m circling that fucking Bears game as soon as I know when it lands.  Fuck the Bears.

Finally, let’s face it, this playoff showing was nice and all, but it was really just putting lipstick on a pig.  This 7-9 team was NOT very good.  And really, it wasn’t all that far from being 5-11.  We should have lost that San Diego game; when it takes two kickoff returns for touchdowns to beat someone, you know you’ve got some kind of divine intervention on your side.  And that other Bears game was THIS close to being a heartbreaking loss.  You would’ve given that game an extra quarter and I have no doubt they would’ve come back and probably killed us.

The fact of the matter is, we really BEAT some bad teams.  San Fran, Arizona twice, Carolina, and the Rams at home in week 17 with a rookie quarterback and some very untimely drops.  That doesn’t change the fact that we were -97 in point differential; easily the worst of the playoff teams.  In fact, there were only 4 other teams with worse differentials (Carolina, Denver, Buffalo, Arizona).  Some company we kept last year.

There’s a very good reason why Jeremy Bates was fired yesterday.  This offense didn’t have what it took, bottom line.  You COULD blame that on injuries, or a constant reshuffling of the lineup, or the fact that this was our third offense in three years.  None of that matters, though.  All you look for with a rebuilding team is improvement.  You may start out crappy because of injuries or reshuffling or unfamiliarity with the offense … but the mark of a good team is:  do they get better as the season goes on?  This team did not, aside from one flukey playoff game where we scored the most points we had all season against a pretty bad defense.

The downside of 2010?  Now we’re going into 2011 with yet ANOTHER offensive coordinator; with yet ANOTHER new playbook to learn.  Tearing shit down just to build it back up.

Tomorrow I’m going to talk about Tom Cable, and how I think in spite of all these problems mentioned above, things are actually looking up for this team.  And who knows?  Maybe by tomorrow we’ll have a new offensive coordinator!