Why is it that when a team is down all that comes out of the press and fans is negativity? Honestly, did anyone really expect the Seahawks to achieve the success of 2005 or even 2007? The reality of 2009 is that with Marcus Trufant and Walter Jones injured to begin the season and Mike Wahle retiring what more could a fan expect then trouble on offense and no coverage in the secondary. Add to that injuries galore and you have a 3-7 team.
Here is the bad...Yes, Tim Ruskell is obviously not a GM of the Year candidate but he is at least attempting to bring in "superstar" players. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Aaron Curry, Julius Jones, Ken Lucas and Cory Redding were supposed to make a huge difference in the turn around of the team from last year.
- Housh is doing his part and playing good enough to justify his signing. He may not be the huge threat game to game that he was expected to be but he is making defenses focus on him more to allow other receivers the opportunity to make plays (Burleson).
- Curry is a rookie and going through the same learning curve that all rookies go through. The only hope is that he learns from his first year and makes the changes to his game that are needed in the offseason or otherwise he will just be a decent linebacker that has the talent to be great. Right now he is looking like the latter especially since he was picked 4th and Julian Peterson was traded in order to make room for him in the LB corps.
- J.J. is exactly what he was in Dallas. A RB that needs to split carries and CAN NOT carry a team on his back. In Dallas he was only good when Marion Barber spelled him and even then he wasn't a superstar. A bust in all aspects of the word.
- Ken Lucas is getting older but still making plays. He is not the same corner he was when he left Seattle nor is he the same corner he was in Carolina, but the Hawks signed him to be the nickel corner behind Trufant and Wilson and that has not panned out. He is not a game breaker in this league and he is not a shutdown corner. He is a decent/good corner that can cover his man with limitations. Lucas is being asked to do more then his declining skills will allow him to do
- The worst move was Cory Redding. The Hawks trade a perennial Pro Bowler in Julian Peterson to the Detroit Lions looking for something in return (obviously the 2008 0-16 Lions did not have that talent) and they decide on Cory Redding. In perspective Colin Cole was signed on March 2, 2008 and then less then two weeks later Peterson is traded for Redding. Yes, the Hawks were making room for Curry but honestly why Redding. Redding has started 3 games and has 13 tackles and 1 sack prior to Week 12. In comparison Nick Reed (DE), a seventh round pick in 2009, has played in 6 games with 0 starts and has 9 tackles and 1 sack. Those two players stat lines speak for themselves. Redding is a pathetic DT whose value was overrated by Ruskell. It's not Redding's fault Ruskell thought he was the next Cortez Kennedy. Horrible player evaluation by the Hawks upper management to trade for him.
Player evaluation is a major problem for the Seahawks and needs to be addressed immediately. A few decent finds (Reed and Justin Forsett) don't make up for the trades and signings (Jones, Edgerrin James, TJ Duckett and Redding) Ruskell has made. It would be better if the Fans were given the courtesy to have either the owner, the GM, the coach, even the equipment manager inform them if the team is trying to field a contender while bringing in youth for the future or if they are completely just flat out rebuilding. Honestly, with all the loyalty given to the Hawks last year and this year the fans deserve something from the team besides the coach Jim Mora taking all the blame.
The off season questions for the Seahawks become...
- Will the fans stay as enthusiastic if the NFL Draft goes as poorly as everyone is predicting?
- Will the team actually address the glaring weaknesses in the OL DL secondary RB and possibly draft a QB for the future?
- Or will they go with the logic of past drafts and get the Best Available Player?
- If the trend of the last two years continues will the management (Paul Allen) continue to provide all of the high end facilities and amenities that help draw those superstar players to a team or will we end up like Buffalo or Cleveland and have no chance in signing a big name free agent (T.O. is not a superstar he is a diva)?
- Will the fans continue to make Qwest Field a feared stadium to play in for opposing teams?
So here is the wisdom part...Quit complaining and enjoy the fact that at least Seattle has a sports team that is not trying to leave (Soni...eh...Thunder) or a team that trades away all their talent only to see them go from good to great the following year (Mariners). The Seahawks have given the city and the state a great half decade maybe more if you consider the turnaround when Hasselbeck replaced Dilfer. The Hawks are suffering from two seasons of a seriously depleted offense and defense as well as a GM who can't judge talent. However, the players should not feel the wrath of the fans. The Seahawks players deserve as much from the fans.
Overall the record is horrible but the outlook is positive if injuries subside, youth is brought in and talent is assessed correctly. Two things not hard to do if you have the right people running the show and one that is just luck. How will the powers that be reverse this trend. The answer to all questions will only be known during the off-season when the 12th man finds out whether the Hawks are trying to field a contender now or if they are throwing in the towel and rebuilding for the future.