The reality is: current Seahawks’ starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is going to turn 34 years old this season.
Back and knee injuries caused the Pro Bowl quarterback to miss nine games last season providing the platform for the upcoming 2009 season to the answer the question: is Matt Hasselback over the hill or just standing on top of it?
One can even make the argument that Matt answered that question in 2008, when a healthy Matt Hasselbeck wasn’t even the best quarterback on the Seahawks roster.
Comparing Matt Hasselbeck numbers to second string quarterback Seneca Wallace’s, I question why former Head Coach Mike Holmgren didn’t make his decision to go with Wallace earlier last season.
Yes Matt Hasselbeck is a former All-Pro Quarterback, and yes he led the Seahawks to their only Super Bowl appearance in 2005, but in the seven games he played last season he had a quarterback rating of 57.8 and a touchdown to interception ratio of 5 to 10, compared to Seneca Wallace’s passing rating of 87.0 and his touchdowns to interceptions ratio of 11 to 3.
Meaning, for every touchdown pass Matt Hasselbeck threw, he also threw two interceptions. To say Matt Hasselback stunk up the joint last season is an understatement (my mom hates football and she is puking right now).
Quarterback play like that will lead a team to a 4-12 record year after year. Now some may attribute Matt Hasselbeck’s performance to injuries, but when’s the last time your back affected your decision making?
New Seattle Seahawks head coach Jim Mora knows Michael Vick better than most head coaches in the NFL, because of the three seasons he served as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons during the shamed quarterback’s tenure.
Combined with the age and last year’s lack luster numbers of current starter Matt Hasselbeck, there should be no denying that on some level there is interest in Michael Vick joining the Seahawks.
Looking at all the moves that current General Manager Tim Ruskell has made in the last two off seasons, also supports that claim and suggest he might have a desire to re-assemble the personnel that lead the 2004 Atlanta Falcons to the NFC Championship game, or at the very least mimic their formula for success.
From the naming of Jim Mora and Greg Knapp as Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator, respectively, to signing free agent running backs T.J. Duckett and Julius Jones, to moving up in the 2008 draft to draft tight end John Carlson, Ruskell has assembled the Hawks in the vision of the 2004 Falcons.
So why not complete the transformation by adding the man who ran the show on the field, Michael Vick?
Yes there will be protest from animal rights activist from Seattle to New York, and yes some fans will call in and threaten to not attend games, but baseball has taught us in the steroid era, “if you build it, they will come” and in the Seahawks’ case, “if you win, they will come” period.
As a dog owner I’m not a Michael Vick apologist, but there is no denying the fact that he was a Pro Bowl quarterback during the time he spent with current Seahawks’ team president and general manager Tim Ruskell, head coach Jim Mora, and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, who all worked with him during Vick’s time with the Falcons.
Combine that with the fact that Jim Mora saw his best success with Vick as his starting quarterback; bringing Vick to the Seahawks is a no-brainer.
When Jim Mora was asked about the issue during the NFL Scouting Combine in February, he said he believes everyone deserves a second chance, but ultimately stated he’s happy with the quarterback situation in Seattle and doesn’t see Vick in the team’s long-term plans.
I question the timing and the overall validity of that statement. If Seahawk management was so happy with the quarterback situation in Seattle, why did they show so much interest in drafting former USC quarterback Mark Sanchez with the fourth overall pick.
Why do so many fans believe Ruskell acquired the Denver Broncos first round pick in next year’s draft, to try and draft one of the elite quarterbacks, coming out of what is projected to be a very good quarterback class?
Michael Vick will be 30 years old to start the 2010 NFL season, and at that point in time he will have been out of football for three years, meaning little wear and tear on a body that should be at its athletic peak.
The Seattle Seahawks would be able to offer Vick something no other team can, “system familiarity.” This means the two years Michael Vick lost in prison, stunting his development as a quarterback, wouldn’t be as drastic returning to a system he was already successful in.
And if for whatever reason Vick was unsuccessful, the Seahawks would have a reliable insurance policy in backup quarterback Seneca Wallace.
With both quarterbacks sharing the same style of play, there would be no risk in having to change philosophy mid season. At the price you would pay for Vick, there is no worry if he flops in taking a big salary cap hit.
While every NFL franchise for the next 12 months will deny interest in Michael Vick they can’t deny that two years ago he was the most electrifying athlete to ever play the quarterback position.
The NFL has shown year after year, with the likes of Ray Lewis and Pac-Man Jones, “if you can play, you will play.”
In regards to the fans of the NFL, when it comes to Vick they will respond like the raucous fans in the Roman Coliseum did in the movie the Gladiator.
At first they will boo him and wished death upon him, but if he is victorious like the Gladiator, they will cheer him.
Now the only question that needs to be answered about Michael Vick playing in the NFL, is where? I’m betting it will be in Seattle as a Seahawk in 2010.
Then a new question will be asked:
“Are you not entertained, is that not what you’re here for?”