Lets dive into the Seahawks quarterback situation and why it is not all doom and gloom that so many pundits and people are making it out to be.
The Seahawks have had their answer at the quarterback position since the draft. And no it was not a quarterback they drafted—they did not draft one, nor was it Matthew Hasselbeck or now Tarvaris Jackson or Charlie Whitehurst.
One has to dig deep as to who the secret quarterback is but really it is pretty simple.
Let’s go through all of the steps and stages along with some clues.
Seattle was not going to win a Super Bowl with Hasselbeck or without him (which pains me to say as a Seahawks fan) this upcoming season and first round upsets are not what fans, players and coaches want to get accustomed to. They want more and that is the honest truth.
Hasselbeck knew after General Manager John Schneider and Head Coach Pete Carroll spoke with him about what Seattle’s plans were and understood why the Seahawks were not going to resign him.
A veteran quarterback such a Hasselbeck, wants security with a team, and he could not get that in Seattle. Which is why he ended up signing with Tennessee because they provided Hasselbeck with the security he wanted in signing a multi-year deal.
Now, back up a few steps to the NFL draft where the Seahawks really showed their deck of cards but many were not fully watching.
After four quarterbacks were picked within the first twelve selections quarterbacks were going like hotcakes and teams were reaching throughout the draft (outside of Ryan Mallett who fell).
The Seahawks did not join in the fun and did not reach for a quarterback who they felt was not a right fit for the team and franchise.
Carroll and Schneider stayed at bay and followed their plan that many are still figuring out to this day.
During the draft the Seahawks drafted offensive tackle James Carpenter from Alabama at 25th overall. A reach many say as Carpenter projected as a second round pick but filled a need at right tackle giving Seattle bookends with the sixth overall pick in the 2010 draft in left tackle Russell Okung.
Later in the third round the Seahawks had a steal of a pick drafting guard/center John Moffitt from Wisconsin.
Seattle also drafted right guard/centre and former All-American Max Unger in the 2009 draft class.
The Seahawks now had their starting left tackle, right tackle, right guard and center for the next decade in place to protect their quarterback and open running lanes for the running back.
Ever since Steve Hutchinson left for Minnesota the Seahawks offensive line had not been the same and in the last three years—more extensively the last two, Seattle has addressed those needs and have beefed up the offensive line.
Fast forward to when the lockout was lifted and teams were allowed to reach agreements with UFA’s the Seahawks signed veteran offensive lineman Robert Gallery giving the team a much needed veteran to help offensive line coach, Tom Cable teach the four youngsters.
With Hasselbeck leaving,Charlie Whitehurst being the only quarterback under contract and the Seahawks secret still not known to the public, Seattle needed someone to fill a roster spot, preferably with some experience and quick feet.
Enter Tarvaris Jackson the former starting quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings before Brett Favre came to town.
In five seasons Jackson has passed for 3866 yards, 24 touchdowns and 21 interceptions along with 521 rushing yards.
Jackson who is agile will be able to move around in the pocket while the Seahawks revamped offensive line gels for throughout the season.
Since Jackson had been the forgotten man in Minnesota the Seahawks presented him with a chance to try and revitalize his career. Thus, allowing him to try and show other teams he is capable of playing at a high level. This works for both parties as Jackson and Seattle agreed on just a two year deal.
Now for the secret is to be revealed.
The Seahawks front office made it clear they wanted a better offensive line. What did they do? They signed one of the best offensive line coaches in the game, in Tom Cable and drafted two starters in the 2011 draft to go along with two more young players. Also the signing of a seasoned veteran showed the importance of a solid offensive line.
The offensive lines job is to protect the ball handler and in this day and age of the NFL where passing is becoming more dominate year after year, the quarterback is the player handling the pigskin the most.
The Seahawks crossed off that part of their to-do list and could move on.
Last season was special for the sole reason of making the playoffs with a sub-500 record which will most likely not happen again. This means no matter how good Hasselbeck would have played or Jackson and Whitehurst do play it won’t make a difference in this upcoming season.
As well with a new offensive line gelling, it will take a while and in a 16-game season things need to happen fast and not a while.
Now we finally arrive to our answer.
Everyone knows about Andrew Luck. The Heisman candidate quarterback from Stanford who would have been the number one selection in this year’s draft had he declared and forgone his junior year. He is deemed the next Peyton Manning with his arm strength and intelligence but adds mobility to the mix.
If Luck is to be drafted first overall he would follow in the path of two former great Stanford quarterbacks in Jim Plunkett and John Elway. Both were selected first overall, both won Super Bowls and became Hall of Famers. Any team would love to have that.
The Bills, Bengals, Browns, Raiders, Redskins, Broncos, Panthers, Cardinals, 49ers and Seahawks could all be in the hunt for the first overall pick.
The Bengals just drafted Andy Dalton which would remove themselves. The Broncos already have a first round pick in Tim Tebow while the Panthers have drafted two quarterbacks in consecutive years (Jimmy Clausen and first overall pick Cam Newton). The Cardinals are trading for Kevin Kolb which would have them removed.
The Browns are halfway as they have Colt McCoy but overall team talent will most likely keep them out of the basement and the Raiders have Jason Campbell along with better team talent to stay out of last but Luck is an upgrade over those two.
The Bills, Redskins, 49ers and Seahawks are the four teams that need a quarterback and have the potential of picking first overall.
Now no team banks on finishing last and throwing away the season-unless you are the Knicks and it is risky to try and win the Luck sweepstakes but there are still three great consolation prizes to be won.
The 2012 quarterback draft class will be one of the deepest for first round talent.
After Luck there is fellow Pac-12 QB in USC’s Matt Barkley who Pete Carroll has hyped since he coached him in his freshman season. Barkley—only a junior, has started since his true freshman year and has thrown for 5,526 yards, 41 touchdowns, 26 interceptions and is poised for a breakout junior campaign.
If Carroll does not go for Barkley or someone else takes him then enter junior Landry Jones from Oklahoma. Jones who is a redshirt junior filled in for the injured Sam Bradford in 2009 and looks to lead Oklahoma to a National Championship, where they will most likely be preseason number one. In two seasons Jones has thrown for 7,916 yards, 64 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. Jones will most definitely add to those numbers and be a top pick in the draft.
Strike out on the first three? Don’t worry, three strikes only counts in baseball and not the 2012 NFL draft.
Nick Foles a senior from Arizona will also be available for the choosing. The least heralded of the other four, Foles is still a top prospect and looks the part at 6’5 245lbs. In three years at Arizona he has thrown for 5,734 yards, 39 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Last year he threw for 3,191 yards, 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while missing three games (missed two complete and went 6/7 for 71 yards before getting injured).
Quarterbacks will be ripe for the picking next year and Seattle will be one of those teams doing the picking.
In years past there was always the worry of drafting a franchise quarterback high and having the huge contract that comes with it. That is no longer a worry as there is now a rookie salary cap which saves teams boat loads of money.
With this money now not having to be used on just a single player a team can go out and sign other top free agents to field a deeper team.
This was evident with the Seahawks signing wide receiver Sidney Rice and offensive lineman Robert Gallery.
As well with the offensive line being fully filled the new franchise quarterback won’t be coming into a situation where he will be a deer in the headlights and on the ground more than standing up. This then allows him to progress and have success without running for his life.
The Seahawks are set at wide receiver with Rice, Mike Williams, Golden Tate, Deon Butler and Ben Obomanu, and at tight end with John Carlson.
With such a strong offensive line Seattle can plug in any running back and they will find success.
With the offense now set for a at least a decade the team can strictly focus on defense completing their team from top to bottom and on both sides of the ball.
As the saying goes “you have to give a little to get a little.”
However in the case of the Seahawks if they give a little (a poor 2012 season) they can gain a whole lot for years to come.