Seattle Will Rise Up, On Hasselbeck's Wings

George AndersonAnalyst IIAugust 6, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 05:  Matt Hasselback #8 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the New York Giants during their game on October 5, 2008 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks were thought to once again win the NFC West. It was Head Coach Mike Holmgren’s last season and the Seahawks added guard Mike Wahle to help the running attack.

Unfortunately, no one stayed healthy on the line or in the receiving core which led to quarterback Matt Hasselbeck joining them due to extra “encounters” with the defensive kind. Backup Seneca Wallace could only manage a 4-12 overall record.

The Good

Matt Hasselbeck is healthy and has all sorts of targets to throw to on the offense. He has tackle Walter Jones back and should be more upright this season. The Seahawks should be back as an offensive machine in no time.

The receiving core had problems last season staying healthy, but 09' is a new season. The Seahawks signed T.J. Houshmadzadeh who will provide a No. 1 target for Hasselbeck.

He should have no problem transitioning as he has been the true No. 1 receiver in Cincinnati for a couple years now. Paired with a healthy Deion Branch and Nate Burleson, Housh will occasionally face single coverage which means lots of trouble for the unlucky defense.

The shining light last season was tight end John Carlson. He showed good hands for a rookie and proved to be a reliable target for backup Wallace. He adds yet another passing target making the passing attack one that comes close to that of the Cardinals.

The Bad  

The running game was not as good as everyone expected last season. The offensive line being injured was part of the reason, but also Julius Jones did not produce as expected.

Jones was signed as a free agent from Dallas because he was replaced by Marion Barber III. Jones did not even reach 1,000 yards and his partner in the backfield T.J. Duckett was not much better as he was practically nonexistent. Both should have bounce back years as the schedule is lighter and Hasselbeck is back.

The defense was bad last season, but I strongly believe a lot had to do with the ineffectiveness of the offense. The defensive line needs work and losing Rocky Bernard will not help. Also, Patrick Kearney needs to prove he can still rush the passer as the line got close to zero pressure last year on the quarterback.

The strength of the defense is the linebacker core. They had a rough season in 2008 as the defense was on the field often and Lofa Tatupu had a sub-par year. This season will be different. Leroy Hill was re-signed and should continue a strong outside pass rush.

Tatupu should benefit from Hill being back and the addition of the fourth overall pick Aaron Curry. Curry was rated as the safest player to draft because of his speed and tackling ability. This group is still young comparatively and should be a dominant force in the league.

The secondary was also poor last season, but this was mainly because of lack of rest and having to cover players like Larry Fitzgerald for three minutes. With this year’s linebackers, quarterbacks will be on the run early and often.

Plus, the Seahawks brought back corner Ken Lucas to join veterans Deon Grant (safety) and Marcus Trufant (corner). This could easily be a top 10 defense that forces many turnovers with a good pass rush and a healthy offense.

The Ugly

The offensive line was just UGLY. No one stayed healthy the entire season and it showed through the offense. Not one starter was even on the active roster by season’s end. Mike Wahle was just released because of his shoulder injury that he has been trying to treat. The line is key in that it keeps the quarterback upright and opens the holes for the run game.

The Seahawks cannot afford season like 2008. Jim Mora is now the Head Coach and news from the team reports Mora is giving Hasselbeck more freedom, but it is hard to have freedom when he is on the injured reserve. If the line stays healthy and the receivers stay healthy, the Seahawks could challenge the Cardinals for the division.


Matt Hasselbeck is a No. 2 quarterback until he makes it passed Week Six without being injured. He has all the weapons to make him a No. 1, but health is the factor.

Housh is a No. 1 receiver as he will be the No. 1 target in Seattle and is very durable. He is available in the third round most of the time, but a selection in the second is not a problem.

John Carlson is a top 10 tight end. He was a surprise last season and will only get better. Housh will draw a lot of attention, so Carlson will be a big target for Hasselbeck to throw to.

The sleeper is actually kicker Olindo Mare. He had a comeback year in 2008 and a healthy offense should provide more opportunities for Mare to show he still belongs in the NFL.


Third place