Huskies Need To Fire Bush Hamdan; Jacob Eason Needs To Move On

BURN IT ALL TO THE MOTHERFUCKING GROUND.

Or, you know, just those two things.

I’ve spent the better part of the 2019 season bashing Hamdan and defending Eason, but at this point they both just need to go away. With Hamdan, it’s obvious: he just doesn’t know how to call plays. I’m not saying that I would do a better job, because I’m a nobody college football fan. But, I know someone who TOTALLY SUCKS when I see him, and Bush Hamdan is among the worst play-callers and designers-of-offenses I’ve ever seen, and I had to suffer through Jeremy Bates with the Seahawks in 2010!

Now, obviously, the offensive coordinator is the usual whipping boy for every single football team that’s ever existed. But, I don’t remember Husky fans complaining NEARLY as much about Jonathan Smith when he was here. Let’s look at the numbers:

  • 2014 – 30.2 points per game, 56th in college football
  • 2015 – 30.6 points per game, 54th in college football
  • 2016 – 41.8 points per game, 8th in college football
  • 2017 – 36.2 points per game, 17th in college football

That’s all you really need to know about Jonathan Smith’s tenure. Now, on to Bush:

  • 2018 – 26.4 points per game, 89th in college football
  • 2019 – 31.5 points per game, 47th in college football

That’s bad-to-mediocre. I would argue in 2014 & 2015, those were rebuilding years where we were saddled with the previous regime’s players and breaking in a Freshman quarterback (respectively). By 2018 & 2019, we’re well established in the Chris Petersen regime, and should have no trouble putting up points. Oregon State scores more than we do this year, which is where Jonathan Smith is now head coaching, and it should tell you all you need to know about how pathetic this offense has been under Bush’s watch.

But, this year hasn’t been solely his fault. Jacob Eason is a 5-star prospect, and will be drafted in the first round or two in the NFL very soon based on his promise, but he’s not a good quarterback, full stop. He has a cannon of an arm, and he’s 6’6, so he’s literally everything the NFL wants out of a signal caller. But, he can’t run, and in the game today, if you’re not mobile, you’re automatically a liability (as it’s taking longer for NFL linemen to get up to speed than ever before). He’s also just medium-accurate at 63.5% this year (with a fair number of drops contributing to this number, I’ll admit). But, he has absolutely NO touch on his deep balls, which I find remarkable. He’s consistently over-throwing even our fastest receivers, and he puts too much mustard on even the intermediate-deep passes that should be completed for chunk plays. If you think of Russell Wilson’s rainbow arcs as the ideal for deep passing, Eason can seemingly only throw balls on a direct line, which necessitates him being PERFECTLY accurate to complete anything beyond 20 yards (which he rarely is).

I saw so many terribly-thrown balls in the Colorado game that, at this point, it’s just time to cut our losses and try someone new in 2020. Even if we have to go through another season of growing pains, so be it. I just don’t see the point in running it back with Eason again. Is he going to improve so dramatically at everything he sucks at? I mean, he doesn’t REALLY want to be here; he settled for Washington after it didn’t work out at Georgia. It should be a pretty clear red flag that someone who couldn’t keep a true freshman from taking his job with the Bulldogs wouldn’t be the type of guy to take Washington back to the playoffs. Plus, I mean, Jake Haener really took him down to the wire in training camp, and he had to settle for Fresno State when he transferred! It’s not like Washington’s receivers are going to be improved enough to blanket over Eason’s flaws (John Ross isn’t walking through that door anytime soon). And either we’ll have Year 3 with Bush Hamdan’s terrible scheme, or Year 1 with someone new, and therefore a whole new set of growing pains to work through.

If that’s the case, and it’s a new offensive coordinator, I’d rather he start fresh with a new quarterback so they can grow in the system together.

The bottom line is the Huskies are 6-5 and it’s all the offense’s fault. Not really, but give me this one. Washington has been trash against trash opponents and this year is a total, unmitigated embarrassment. I mean, what even was that Colorado game?! We should’ve beaten them by 30! Instead, we lost to a team that isn’t even going to make a bowl game. For anyone who’s counting, that’s TWO losses to teams who won’t be playing in bowl games (along with Stanford).

The only silver lining to this weekend is that Oregon lost. I know that drastically reduces our chances of a Pac-12 team making the playoffs – with Utah running the table being our only minor hope – but fuck it. Fuck the Ducks. Let them continue to suffer in obscurity!

This week, we have a Friday-After-Thanksgiving Apple Cup. Not my favorite scheduling day of the season, but I’ll try to knock off work early and get home in time for the second half. The Cougs already won their sixth game, so this game is effectively meaningless. But, it’s still the Apple Cup. State pride is on the line.

I have to admit, though, getting up for this one will be tough. I mean, if we HAD to lose to the Cougs, I’d rather lose here as opposed to in a season where the Rose Bowl is on the line, for instance.

But, I keep thinking of Mike Leach’s predictable offense going up against our Jimmy Lake-led defense and I know everything will be all right. The players change, but Leach stays the same, and as such it should be one of the few smooth Husky victories of 2019.

Seattle Sports Hell NFL Power Rankings, Vol. 3

I guess if anyone caught the last quarter of that Green Bay game has to agree:  all refs are fallible, not just the ones kicked out of the Lingerie Football League.  That, my friends, was a fumble by Sproles that the “real refs” missed completely.  There’s still no fix for when refs get a call wrong outside of the final two minutes of a half and you’re plumb out of challenges.

Not a whole lotta shakeup in the rankings this week.  Mostly because we’re starting to realize where teams belong, but also because most of the bad teams lost and most of the good teams won.  Not shocking:  the Seahawks fell dramatically as my confidence in this offense hits an all-time low.  We’re talking 1992 Seahawks low!

I meant to talk about this in yesterday’s analysis, but I feel this is something that deserves being singled out separate from my diatribe.  That would be:  Pete Carroll’s Onside Kick.

I gotta admit, I was in computer mode catching up on my Twitter feed, so I missed the opening play coming out of halftime.  When I noticed Jason Puckett’s simple tweet, “Why?” I knew I had to flip back to the television and see just what in the Hell they’d done now.

Most, if not all, people on Twitter panned the move.  Words like “unnecessary”, “desperate”, and “chickenshit” were bandied about, presumably with a disgusted loogie spat on the proverbial floor of their offices or man caves.  With a defense like ours, why are you getting cute?  After all, we saw with our eyes that rookie kicker of theirs hitting a 58 yard field goal; a failed onside kick essentially put them in field goal range without even playing a down!

That’s the word of the day:  cute.  People kept talking about how the Seahawks were getting cute with their opponent.  But, there’s a difference between “cute” and “aggressive”.  “Cute” is a shotgun quarterback draw on 3rd and 2 inside the opponent’s 10 yard line.  “Aggressive” is going for the onside kick to lead off a half.  “Cute” is a halfback flip to the outside on third and short when your up-the-gut running has been working like gangbusters all game.  “Aggressive” is going for it on 4th down at midfield.

I will never fault a team for being aggressive.  Ever.  Pete Carroll is who he is and he got where he is by BEING who he is.

In fact, I don’t think Pete Carroll is aggressive ENOUGH.  I’m firmly in the Pulaski Academy camp of football thinking.  Maybe not everything they do, but I would certainly be going for it on 4th down more often than not.  Look at the numbers!  They’re out there, go find them.  The odds of converting a 4th and 5-or-less are pretty high.  If you play every possession like you have four downs, you’re free to open up your play-calling.  If you value possession of the football over field position, you’re bound to be more successful than not.  That’s my opinion, anyway, and until they try it at the NFL level and disprove it, that’ll continue to be my opinion.

So, no, I’ll never fault Pete Carroll for being aggressive.  I would rather he’d be more consistent with his aggression.  Instead of getting caught up in the moment, I’d like these bits of unexpected surprises be more of a regular and planned occurrence.  Because I have no doubt in my mind that Pete Carroll saw us get burned on that fake field goal and decided the post-halftime kickoff would be a good opportunity for a dick-measuring contest.  You can’t make decisions like that in the heat of anger or embarrassment.

That having been said, those of you criticizing the move have to look in the mirror.  If it would have succeeded, you’d be praising the guy as ballsy and exhilarating.  Yeah, you might deny that impulse at first, but if Pete was more successful than not at these types of things, eventually he’d win you over and you wouldn’t mind so much the occasional miscue.  A possession here and there throughout the season – whether it’s from a surprise onside kick or a fake punt or the offense just plain going for it on fourth down – that shit adds up.

I love the aggression.  You should too.  Having an unpredictable football team is way more exciting than being the Bills.  Having an unpredictable football team that’s also more talented than everyone else puts them into rarefied air.  Just, you know, make sure when you’re being unpredictable, to also be smart with your play calls.  You don’t want to be aggressive and cute at the same time after all; we’ve seen the results and they’re not pretty (see:  Bates, Jeremy).

On to the rankings:

  1. Atlanta Falcons (4-0):  On the one hand, you can say they’re very lucky to still be undefeated.  It took a fumble on a play that would’ve been the game-clinching first down by Carolina; then it took damn near a hail mary from their own 1 yard line to erase most of the field position required for a field goal.  On the other hand, a divisional win is a divisional win and I don’t think the Texans have done enough to pass them up.  (Last Week:  1)
  2. Houston Texans (4-0):  Huge win over a bad Titans team.  This week shouldn’t be much of a test either (at the Jets).  I’m still waiting to see what this team looks like against a quality opponent.  (Last Week:  2)
  3. San Francisco 49ers (3-1):  How did they respond to a disappointing loss to the Vikings?  They took out their frustrations on the hapless Jets.  This is still the scariest team in the NFC.  (Last Week:  3)
  4. Arizona Cardinals (4-0):  Wake up call by the Dolphins this past weekend.  What the hell?  As soon as I trade for their defense in fantasy, they let Tannehill throw for over 400 yards?  I still stand behind my prediction that they’ll be 7-0 going into their showdown with the 49ers.  (Last Week:  4)
  5. Baltimore Ravens (3-1):  Ho hum, another win over the Browns.  Not a whole lot to take out of that Thursday snorefest.  (Last Week:  5)
  6. Green Bay Packers (2-2):  Didn’t look amazing against the winless Saints.  They should’ve been able to put 42 on that defense.  I would be concerned if they look shakey against the Colts this week.  (Last Week:  7)
  7. New England Patriots (2-2):  They didn’t beat the Bills by 50, but they did SCORE over 50.  The Pats are the Pats, pencil them in for 11-12 quiet wins.  (Last Week:  8)
  8. Chicago Bears (3-1):  This is a good team, I’m telling you!  Solid, solid win over the Cowboys last night.  Their schedule really opens up nicely to build a cushion for a late playoff run.  (Last Week:  9)
  9. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1):  If this team is going to make the playoffs, it’s going to have to win ugly like they did against the Giants this week.  Run the ball!  Take it out of Vick’s hands and – lo and be-fucking-hold – the turnovers drastically reduce!  Andy Reid, take note, or prepare your resume for next year.  (Last Week:  11)
  10. San Diego Chargers (3-1):  Three wins against three shitty teams; one absolute abortion against a good team.  Luckily for the Chargers, they might have just enough shitty teams on their schedule to win 9 games and sneak into the playoffs.  It’s not impossible.  (Last Week:  10)
  11. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1):  This team looks better and better every week.  Can they win in primetime against quality opponents?  (Last Week:  12)
  12. Dallas Cowboys (2-2):  How ’bout dem Cowboys?  If they’re going to be this bad this early, how bad will they be when Tony Romo starts to stink in the final month?  Has someone told him it’s not December yet?  (Last Week:  13)
  13. New York Giants (2-2):  Yeah, they lost a hard-fought divisional road game.  That’s less than ideal.  That’s also TWO divisional losses for them in this first month.  Bad news if you’re a Giants fan right now.  (Last Week:  14)
  14. Denver Broncos (2-2):  The toughest schedule in the league through the first month doesn’t get any easier with games at New England and at San Diego before the BYE.  They better keep Manning upright, because they’re going to need him when things get easier in the stretch run.  (Last Week:  15)
  15. Minnesota Vikings (3-1):  Will these Vikings be the surprise team that jumps into the playoffs out of nowhere?  If they keep playing like they’ve played, I wouldn’t doubt it.  Games against Tennessee and Washington are both very winnable.  (Last Week:  21)
  16. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2):  They’d be wise to beat the Eagles this week.  I think they’ll get it done.  (Last Week:  16)
  17. Seattle Seahawks (2-2):  I can’t say enough bad things about that game on Sunday.  That having been said, while everyone is counting them out, look for them to catch the Panthers by surprise this week.  Gotta love those afternoon starts.  (Last Week:  6)
  18. St. Louis Rams (2-2):  Until the Rams beat someone of some quality (an no, I don’t consider the Seahawks to be much of ANY quality), they stay ranked behind the Seahawks.  (Last Week:  23)
  19. Washington Redskins (2-2):  I didn’t think they had what it took to beat the Bucs.  Indeed, they almost didn’t.  This is going to be one of those teams you HATE to pick throughout the season.  Which Redskins team will show up this week?  They’re at home vs. Atlanta, so probably the bad one.  (Last Week:  24)
  20. Detroit Lions (1-3):  Boy, are the Lions up shit creek!  Have teams found a way to neutralize Megatron?  One TD in four weeks.  Better find a running game, and fast!  (Last Week:  17)
  21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3):  That win against Carolina and those near-wins against the Giants and Cowboys don’t look so hot anymore when compared to the choke job against the Redskins.  I still like this team, but they’re going to have to figure out how to win close games.  (Last Week:  18)
  22. New York Jets (2-2):  Hate this team.  They should be 1-3.  For a team this bad to get the national attention they do is despicable.  (Last Week:  19)
  23. Buffalo Bills (2-2):   Another team with two divisional losses.  BAD divisional losses.  People are breaking necks they’re jumping off this bandwagon so fast.  (Last Week:  20)
  24. Carolina Panthers (1-3):  A bad defense is going to cost you almost every time.  Is this the secondary that gives Russell Wilson his first 200-yard passing game?  (Last Week:  22)
  25. Miami Dolphins (1-3):  Did you know this defense is first against the run so far?  Did you know they’ve played Arizona, the Jets, and Oakland in three of their four games?  Still, this team is a helluva lot friskier than I gave them credit for.  Still, their head coach is a douche who needs to stop trying to ice kickers.  He seems like a halfway intelligent guy; icing kickers NEVER FUCKING WORKS!  (Last Week:  31)
  26. Oakland Raiders (1-3):  God damn Carson Palmer is done!  Give it up!  Time to move on!  For the love of God, throw anyone else in there at QB; they can’t be any worse!  (Last Week:  25)
  27. Tennessee Titans (1-3):  The Murderer’s Row of a schedule continues.  This week:  at Minnesota.  Can Matt Hasselbeck bring some stability to this team?  If he does, I don’t like Locker’s chances of being a starting quarterback in this league.  Being injured is no way to raise your stock.  (Last Week:  26)
  28. Kansas City Chiefs (1-3):  How did they ever beat the Saints?  What compelled me to think they’d beat the Chargers last week?  There isn’t enough time in the day to tell you about how much the Chiefs suck.  (Last Week:  27)
  29. New Orleans (0-4):  Just invent a fake season-ending injury for Brees and get it over with.  Use whatever draft picks you have left to bolster that defense.  This is just a sad, sad state of affairs.  (Last Week:  28)
  30. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3): It’s going to be quite the scramble for the Geno Smith Sweepstakes.  Too bad the Jags will probably draft him, then move to Los Angeles within three years.  (Last Week:  29)
  31. Indianapolis Colts (1-2):  There’s a lot to like about where the Colts are right now.  They’ll remain shitty for the rest of this season, but starting next year, watch out!  (Last Week:  30)
  32. Cleveland Browns (04):  Don’t count on this team moving up the ranks anytime soon.  (Last Week:  32)

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!