If ever a time for finger pointing and easy answers existed, it is now. I could attack the character, play and talent of about any Seahawk and score. We don't know exactly how Seattle failed, but we all certainly saw someone in blue fail and that, that guy, is the problem. Panic loves a demagogue and I've the rich pipes to shout orders at the assembling mob. To Renton!
The coaches! We can be sure they're dumb.
The line! Sucked like an Oreck.
Matt Hasselbeck! Boy that guy's done!
The Seattle Seahawks were 4-12 last season. They are now 5-8. They should win against Tampa, and since we're talking "shoulds", they should finish the season 6-10. That is a reasonable step forward for the 2008 Seattle Seahawks. The 2008 Seattle Seahawks were one of the five worst teams in football. The 2009 Seattle Seahawks are one of the ten worst teams in football. And when a bad team, with a suspect line, conservative playbook and aged quarterback gets behind early on the road, it has no answer. It is not one player's fault, but a complete team failure.
That Julius Jones! What a jobber.
And Housh! An overpaid primadonna!
I hope that is sufficient aperitif for everyone's hunger for blame.
Here are some sure to be unpopular observations.
Josh Wilson ran down the field and tipped away a deep pass. That was an exciting display of man cover for the kid and a small, small-small step towards realizing his potential. Wilson might settle at nickel and he is already a fine situational defensive back, but there's room for Pistol to develop into a Antoine Winfield type corner.
Deon Butler can own the short pattern. He's smooth into and out of his cuts and the rare receiver capable of quick acceleration and long-stride speed. Butler must be embraced as a receiver rather than a forty time. From the time he was drafted, Seattle has mismanaged his talent: Wasting time and development, not to mention risking injury, auditioning him as a returner; Sending him streaking up the sideline without a quarterback that could target him; seeing him as a deep receiver because of one attribute and missing his true profile as an underneath burner.
The defense kept its pride even after being handed its ass. Seattle forced two big turnovers that quickly dissolved into nothing, but were clean, meaningful turnovers. Seahawks fans are done thinking this is an elite unit, and with ample reason, but it is young, it is mostly cheap and it is worth picking apart and finding value within. Whether Seattle needs a complete rebuild or not is mootable. I see young talent growing within an otherwise crumbling team.
The team is crumbling. Today a pillar broke off and landed on the Seahawks coaching staff. I like Gus Bradley, Greg Knapp and Dan Quinn. I think all three have a future in this league, but probably not together. I can't see Jim Mora escaping such an embarrassing loss. It was always unlikely Mora would stay. New general managers want their guy. I will not look back at Mora and feel contempt, but he has not earned much respect in his short time here. Fiery is fine. I see desperation. The look of a man that thinks he can yell his way out of failure.
This loss hurt through the first half and settled in the second. Now I don't feel it all. A better team, at home, that matches strength against many of Seattle's weaknesses, playing from well ahead from the first quarter on...
And it won't matter a damn in a month. The Seahawks live beyond the players, coaches and fans. Suck as today sucks, and this sucks, Seattle will rise again. And someday, that good coverage down field by Wilson, the rollicking tiny power presence of Justin Forsett, that force of nature hitting by Aaron Curry, will matter again. Just not today. Or soon. Or even next year, probably.
Game ball: Brandon Mebane was stuck behind Chuck Darby not too long ago. Back then, I was sure to point out Darby's missteps and Mebane's potential. He finally got his shot when Darby was lost to injury and has been nothing but special ever since. He is, accounting for position, Seattle's best pass rusher. He is clearly Seattle's best run stuffer.
Mebane is the rare defensive lineman that bunches double teams and brutalizes them if the quarterback double-clutches. He sticks-out when he's in and even more when he's out. A dozen players on the current roster would be lucky to make the next winning team, but make one Brandon Mebane. Kid was playing for a good team, he would be bashing backs and sacking quarterbacks towards his second Pro Bowl.