Like all teams, the Seattle Seahawks have some things to fix in the upcoming offseason. Also like all losing teams, they have several issues. Here's my six-step solution for a rockin' 2010 season:
Step One: Don't Panic
I know we had a lot of losses and have a fair amount of personnel problems, but DO NOT go into fire sale mode. Jim Mora doesn't need to go. Greg Knapp probably doesn't either, nor do most of our offensive linemen. We have a few things we need to address, which will probably end up in seeing people leave Seattle, but do not feel like you have to whitewash the depth charts and fire the entire coaching staff.
Step Two: Find a Future Quarterback
Matt Hasselbeck came to Seattle with Mike Holmgren as a future All-Star who just needed to work on his decision-making. He's shown to have the talent to be a Pro-Bowl and Super Bowl quarterback. However, as anyone who's followed the Seahawks can tell you, he does really, really, really stupid stuff sometimes.
What Matt Hasselbeck has shown is that he simply cannot make good decisions at the quarterback position, and even when our offensive line is playing well, he still loses games for us by making extremely stupid mistakes.
Whether in the draft, or by trade, we need to find a younger quarterback who can sit behind Matt for a year or so and learn not only from what Matt says, but learn what not to do by watching what he sometimes does.
Step Three: Fire the Training Staff
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Last year's injury-ridden season could be written off to just plain old bad luck, but now two seasons in a row where our team has been plagued by injuries?
Maybe they're not teaching proper injury-prevention techniques, maybe they're not teaching our linemen anything, maybe they're simply not very good at helping players come back from being hurt, or maybe it's just bad mojo... but no matter what, they have to go so we can get a fresh start.
Step Four: Knock It Off with the Fullbacks, Already!
We have at least four wide receivers that could bump starters from other teams into the practice squad, and one of the most talented young tight ends in the league. Why exactly are we running onto the field so often with a fullback and throwing flares?
If we started running a lot more singleback 3WR, we could threaten teams and prevent them from putting seven-plus in the box on every down. We could put Houshmandzadeh in the slot, where he has the most production, and allow Butler, Branch, or Burleson to force opposing teams to play nickel, drop linebackers into coverage, or pray that we don't call a WR screen.
Because of our line problems, and because Hasselbeck has shown that he makes poor decisions, teams are often bringing five or six on blitzes, and with the zone blocking, it either ends up with a blown up run play or with Matt under so much pressure that he can't complete a pass more than eight yards downfield.
If we started to spread the field more often and prevent defenses from playing such stale stack-the-box techniques, we will see more of the potent offense that we've only seen flashes of in the last few years.
Step Five: Use your Youth Talent!
Justin Forsett, Deon Butler, John Carlson, Nick Reed, Lawrence Jackson, and Josh Wilson have all shown that they can compete with, if not outperform, their veteran counterparts, and yet they've all been sidelined to let the older players play.
Inexperience can be a bad thing, but the only way they're going to get experience is by playing! If they can compete with much less experience than the veterans, imagine what they can do with some playing time!
Step Six: Draft an Offensive Tackle
We all love Walter Jones, but just as we had to wave goodbye to Mack Strong, we must look at Walter and realize that his body is having trouble staying healthy. Draft an offensive tackle that has the raw talent to sit behind Walter as long as Walter can stay healthy.
While he's back there, he can learn from the best offensive lineman in the NFL. Then when it comes time for Walter to hang up his cleats because of injury, he can do so with his protege pancaking guys like only 71 can.
If you go by these six steps, I guarantee you'll see a much-improved Neon Green ready to get back to making those Doves, Goats, and Gold Panners respect the real class of the NFC West.