The Biggest Media Misconceptions About the Seattle Seahawks
This season, hopes are high in the Pacific Northwest for Pete Carroll's squad with quarterback Matt Hasselbeck looking to lead the team back to the playoffs with the help of All-Pro wideout Steve Largent and defensive stars Jacob Green and Lofa Tatupu.
Largent was a Congressman?
Jacob Green's son-in-law is now playing for the Seahawks defensive line?
Okay, so that was a bit extreme, but you get the point.
Honestly, if it weren't for the team changing uniforms this past offseason to a radical new look, would anyone east of Boise have noticed that the 'Hawks are a team on the cusp of the postseason following two years of rebuilding under head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider?
Fair or unfair, the 'Hawks seem to suffer from some serious preconceived notions within the media, but it's something that seems to come with the territory.
This year, I'd imagine the team will get a little more respect in the media when push comes to shove, yet some misconceptions are hard to ignore...
Pete Carroll Is...
Quite frankly, the list is long.
I'll confess, while growing up on the other side of the country, I saw Pete coach both the Jets and the Patriots with limited success. It's not that he did a poor job, it was more that he didn't seem to have a firm grip on the situation at either stop.
Finally, when he took over at USC, it seemed like a disaster waiting to happen.
Then something funny happened: Pete got control of things. He loosened up a bit and honed his energy in a positive way to entice top-flight recruits while rebuilding the Trojans into a national power. It seemed that he had it all figured out, that is until the NCAA decided to take issue with the program.
However, Pete managed to stay one step ahead of the NCAA by taking the Seahawks gig early in 2010.
Believe what you want, but to me Pete Carroll has taken all of the bits and pieces he's learned over the years to craft a smooth, well-polished persona.
Now in his third season, he continues to keep a tight grip on his master plan by building a team that is without major stars or ego, all focused on the goal at hand.
What makes it all the more intriguing is that he does it with an affable easy-going approach on the surface, rather than the traditionally harsh, brooding or blustery method of countless others.
When it comes to the media, he's a man who knows what to say and perhaps just as importantly, what not to say.
So in short, Pete Carroll is...well, even I'm not sure any more, and that's exactly the way he likes it.
The Front Office Is...
Who drafts Bruce Irvin with the No. 15 pick, with every other pass rusher on the board?
Who takes not one, but two players from Utah State in the first four rounds?
Who decides to take an undersized, yet talented college quarterback in Round 3?
Who put together a draft filled with players you need to Google in order to get any information about them?
As an extension of what head coach Pete Carroll is doing, general manager John Schneider has served as a partner in crime in helping rebuild the team from day one.
Make no mistake though, John and Pete are doing things on their terms.
It's not like the 'Hawks front office skimmed the NFL handbook for ideas and tossed it in a desk drawer for safe keeping. It's more like they considered it as useful as an out -f-date road map and decided to throw it out the car window.
Will they succeed? Who knows, but they're sure making things entertaining along the journey.
So far they've managed to gut and rebuild the entire roster with a group of talented young players. At the same time, they haven't won anything more than a playoff game many thought the team didn't earn the chance to play during their first year in Seattle.
After a two-year grace period generally given to new staff, this is the year that people, especially the media could start to take serious notice whether the 'Hawks fly or flop.
The Quarterback Situation Is...
Prior to Russell Wilson entering the conversation, it finally seemed like the 'Hawks were on course with Matt Flynn going against Tarvaris Jackson.
Instead, Pete Carroll decided to throw Wilson into the mix, which only managed to vex the pundits and the better part of the Pacific Northwest even more.
While it should come as no surprise, this perhaps more than any other story about the 'Hawks will garner the most media attention over the course both of the preseason and regular season. From the outside looking in, it should make for good theater.
For those of us who are trying to be in it, but not of it, all we can hope for is that Pete Carroll has a plan.
Marshawn Lynch Is...
Seriously, it was a cute story from last season and I'm glad that "Beast" got himself a two-year supply, but there's more to Lynch, not to mention the 'Hawks offense, than this gimmick.
Granted, at the time the story broke, the 'Hawks offense was in essence Lynch and a cloud of dust, but that could change here soon if a few key pieces fall into place. Fact is, it will need to in order for the 'Hawks to make any meaningful progress.
Hopefully, the media will be given a reason to catch on, but if we're still talking about "Beast" and his Skittles come midseason...consider it a bad sign.
The Defense Is...
Right now, we haven't heard too much beyond what the local press has offered, but I'd wager that before the end of the summer, NFL fans at large will know more about this unit.
Pro Bowl nods for secondary stars Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Brandon Browner not only served as a nice finishing touch to last season, but should soon parlay into a story or two within the national press once camp opens.
What's great though is the story doesn't have to end there, given the team has a solid defensive line and one of the league's more highly scrutinized draft picks assigned to help bolster the pass rush in Bruce Irvin.
Yes, there are still a lot of questions left unanswered, but the same could be said for every other team in the league. Overall though, this should be a good story and one the media can easily piece together.