Well Seahawks fans, we're six games in, and let's face it.
All is not well.
Sure, we've seen the Seahawks clicking at times. Against the Rams and Jaguars, the 'Hawks looked pretty dominant, but at the same, any intelligent fan tempered their excitement, as the Rams have won precisely zero out of their last, well, sixteen.
It's also even more apparent now than it was in Week Five, that the Jaguars are not good either, as they managed to eek out a 23-20 overtime victory against that very same Rams team.
But we have seen glimpses, such as Week Three, when most believe that the Seahawks should've beat the Chicago Bears. We've also seen the defense nullify Maurice Jones-Drew, one of the elite backs in the league.
So what's to be said? Who's to Blame?
Many point to injuries, again, and while it is certainly a root cause, it could've (and should've) been avoided. We all knew Patrick Kerney has been through more operations than most military veterans. It wasn't as though before this season Ray Willis, Chris Spencer, and Sean Locklear had been the perfect picture of health, either. It didn't take an expert chronologist to calculate the age of Pro Bowl left tackle Walter
Jones, and these others, with the exception of Kerney, are the guys you are relying on to keep oft-injured QB Matt Hasselbeck healthy. Throw injuries to Trufant, Hill, Mebane, and nagging injuries to Lofa Tatupu in, and it can't be denied:
This is a problem.
Many point to the secondary. Certainly, also a root cause. Ken Lucas returned to Seattle to be a more physical presence at corner back, and while he hasn't been exactly what Seattle had hoped, he hasn't been the issue, necessarily. Trufant (see above) has yet to see the field, as he seems to have been exposed to whatever contagious syndrome was to blame for Hasselbeck's back problems. Grant, as is the norm, has probably been the most reliable player in the secondary, and Babineaux has yet to show the "big play" potential that many had hoped for, his lone interception on the season being off of a Kurt Warner hail mary in Week Six. It cannot be denied that, while not a vast improvement, an improvement nonetheless.
Still, a problem.
Many point to coaching and offensive play calling. Coach Jim Mora has often been praised for his intense offseason conditioning. Seems as though this should've held injuries off, if only a bit. At times, the Seahawks have looked like the most prepared team that their opponents have faced. At others, they've looked like Charleston Southern hosting University of Florida.
—My apologies, I saw an avenue to remark on weak out of conference scheduling and, well, I took it—
Offensive play calling has at times looked, well, offensive. Week Six and you're down by seventeen in the third quarter, the entire running game has yet to amass ten yards, so obviously, you call two straight draw plays. Down to a fourth string left guard and left tackle, you expect your quarterback to hang in the pocket against the weak side blitz.
Play after play. I know, I'm no coordinator, but perhaps sliding the protection, and calling a few designed bootlegs to the strongside, even just to get a bit of rhythm going, would've been an idea.
In short (or not so short) these seem to be the main issues, in my opinion. But fear not Seattle fans, for with Christmas rapidly approaching, I have begun to draft my Christmas wishlist, and I'm giving all my wishes to the Seattle Seahawks.
Wish One: Shop Deon Branch, Patrick Kerney, Leroy Hill, and Seneca Wallace.
Branch has yet to live up to his paycheck in Seattle, as well as the first round pick that Seattle gave to New England to acquire him.
Kerney's production has decreased as steadily as his cost and surgeries have increased.
Hill has been an asset, when he is both healthy, and used properly, however, when he has been absent, the personnel put in his place have performed admirably.
Wallace has been one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league, but one fact is undeniable: he is not a long term starter. As shone against the Jags early in the fourth with a thirty-one point lead, Seneca was put in instead of Teel—a hindrance to any future starters that may be on Seattle's roster.
I wish for Seattle to shop these players, and hopefully find a few mid round picks in return, as well as loosen up around ten million in salary.
We'll say a mid second for Kerney and Wallace, and a mid third for Branch. For the sake of the article, we'll just say that Hill stays.
Wish Two: Re signings
Resign Cory Redding, Ken Lucas, Darryl Tapp, Ben Obomanu, and Chris Spencer and Rob Sims (as backups, if they're willing to take backup pay.)
Wish Three: Acquire a Starting Safety in Free Agency.
Many are very high on Taylor Mays and Eric Berry in this year's draft, and I'll admit I am one of those many.
However, both will go very early, making them very expensive safeties, and there are many needs other than safety that should be addressed in the draft, as free agent depth at safety this year, and as per the norm, is far deeper than other needs.
The list of possible free agents includes:
Will Allen (TB)
Atari Bigby (GB)
Dawan Landry (BAL)
Antoine Bethea (IND)
Melvin Bullitt (IND)
Sean Jones (PHI)
Now, it's often said that no one knows who will be available in free agency, but the main point that I will make is that two pairs of these players are on the same teams, Bigby and Collins in GB, and Bethea and Bullitt in IND. All will command a salary that would make it difficult to keep both on each roster, however, only Bethea will likely command a salary on par with what Mays and Berry will earn after being drafted in the top ten.
Wish Four: Demote Almost Everyone, Promote Solari, Call Schotty
Jim Mora belongs in a Defensive Coordinator position.
Gus Bradley belongs in a linebacker coach position.
Greg Knapp belongs in an offensive line coach position. No more play calling.
Mike Solari belongs in an offensive coordinator position. Only to motivate.
Lastly, Someone please call Marty Schottenheimer and find out what he's up to.
Wish Five: Draft Accordingly
For the sake of argument, I'm giving the Seahawks 6-10 this season, and next year's top 10 draft order something like this:
1. STL 6. KC
2. CLE 7. WAS
3. TB 8. BUF
4. DET 9. TEN
5. OAK 10. SEA
We'll say Denver goes out in the wild card game and we get to pick 23rd overall as well.
STL, CLE, and WAS all draft quarterbacks. I'm guessing Bradford, Locker, and McCoy are gone.
TB, DET, and TEN all draft defensive tackles. Guessing Gerald McCoy, Suh, and Cody are gone there.
OAK takes Eric Berry, if only because his 40 time is faster than Mays.
KC and BUF draft offensive tackles. Okung and Trent Williams are gone.
This, Seattle, is where you bite the bullet and take CJ Spiller (Clemson) with the 10th pick. His combination of strength and speed is the best in this particular class.
With the 23rd pick, Brian Bulaga will also probably be off of the board. Charles Brown out of USC needs to be the pick here. He's the most experienced OT left from a pro-style offense.
Early in the second round, trade the 42nd pick and the late third acqired via trade, and please, please draft Jon Asomoah, OG, out of Illinois. He's a natural second-level blocker and quick learner who, most importantly, has never missed a start in three seasons. This is what you need.
Now, I know everyone is high on taking a QB early, and I am struggling not to be, and Seneca Wallace was traded, so obviously you do need a QB. With the early third rounder acquired via trade, you take Darryl Clark, Zac Robinson, Tim Hiller, Max Hall, or with any luck, Tony Pike out of Cincinnati will still be available, and you let that individual, contest with Mike Teel for the No. 2 spot, and eventual starter.
Again, this is a wishlist, but it is hard to deny just how dramatically these steps would improve this team.
-Hopefully Santa Clause (or Paul Allen) Abides.