Why We've Got it Good takes a look at something positive after a loss. This is something I'd like to try out this season, so please let me know what you think.
Since this is about instilling optimism following our loss to the Saints, my mind immediately defaulted to spilling out my excitement about Matt Hasselbeck’s recent resurgence into 2007 form and his ability to carry the team as he has in the past. I mean, the man’s one fully functional arm and recently concussed brain-jobber has been responsible for ~700 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, zero interceptions, ~70% completion percentage and a 105.7 QB rating over the past two weeks, with one week of stats coming against the NFL’s stingiest (albeit injured) pass defense. Throw in the peripheral fact that he is 35 years old and, well, hot damn. I can only hope to have a moderately secure 401k going for me in November of my 35th year, let alone put up Pro Bowl-esque numbers as an NFL quarterback.
After drafting up about half of a post on the subject, I decided to scrap it. Sucks to your ass-mar, sunk cost of time and creativity. I write this passing exit 245 on I-90 eastbound, about 35 miles out of Spokane. If you haven’t inferred it already, I’m not driving, namely due to getting some quality alone time with my car in 9.5 hours of I-5, Seattle’s-completely-unprepared-for-any-amount-of-snow-and-should-have-its-State-Transportation-Secretary-fired traffic. This write-up is later than any of the other WWGIG pieces I’ve written mostly due to sickness and the virus that is procrastination, but it has given me some time to really reflect on what I truly want to write about this week, especially over the past couple of hours as the wonders of white Washington have passed me by. After a lot of thought and conversation with my Pops about football, the holidays and life in general, a thought and subject were finally fleshed out: as Seahawks fans in 2010, we have a significant amount for which to be thankful.
Thanksgiving. Turkey day. The last Thursday in November. Christmas’s rest stop on the highway to New Year’s. A nation's annual tryptophest. It offers the opportunity to risk life and limb attempting to gather with family and share in the feast of the holiday. It also (hopefully) affords us the time to reflect on the things we value, no matter how big or small. I, like you, value the Seattle Seahawks, and here’s what we Seahawks fans have to be thankful for.
Around November marked the death knell of my optimism about the 2008 season, Thanksgiving dealing a special kind of blow. Watching our offensive line evaporate with DeMarcus Ware’s first step and seeing Matt Hasselbeck and Walter Jones both go down in respective heaping piles. I was embarrassed not just as a fan, but for the players themselves. I couldn’t help but think about the millions of viewers, arteries soaking in tryptophan and bellies hanging over unbuckled belts and undone buttons, guffawing over the dismantling of our team. What a way to spend Thanksgiving for those players. 2009 wasn't much different; blowout losses became the norm and wins were scraped out only against the likes of Detroit, St. Louis and San Francisco (I'll qualify Jacksonville as an outlier for the sake of discussion).
Fast forwarding to today, the story is entirely different. The Seahawks have won five games, already matching their win total from last year, and have a schedule easy enough to garner a first round home playoff game. The team has bought in to the new staff’s mantra and has an entirely new feel to it. Give me last year’s roster at this point in the current season and I’m sure not many of us would have much confidence in even sniffing the playoffs. Throw in the fact that the team is finally starting to progress toward developing an identity it can keep on the road and one cannot help but be excited about the progress from last year.
Pete Carroll, Jeremy Bates and Gus Bradley are taking on a remodeling project without all of the correct tools; they’re learning to use what they have and discovering exactly the tools they will eventually need. The work they’re doing now at times feels as if the end is miles away and at other times feels as if all the seemingly unrelated projects they’ve undertaken are quietly forming a functional, beautiful remodel of our team.
Be thankful that our team is making progress – sometimes in bounds and sometimes in baby steps. It feels as if the Jim Mora, Jr. "era" was eons ago, and that’s a good thing.
A front office we can believe in
I realize that this statement is a bit assumptive as I doubt that 100% of the Field Gulls population is entirely on board with all of management’s decisions, but even if you are a non-believer I implore you to look at our front office situation in a relative manner.
Pete Carroll’s energy and enthusiasm distinguishes him from every other coach in the NFL. John Schneider and Carroll together have formed a management style regarding personnel that sets them apart from any other coach/GM tandem in the league. Moving even further up, Paul Allen has shown patience, resolve and unwavering support for this team even while fighting his own serious conditions.
Conversely, by show of hands, who here would be excited to have Chan Gailey making decisions on the Seahawks sideline? And how about him and Buddy Nix making management decisions for our roster? Or Al Davis? How does the Los Angeles Seahawks sound?
Thankfully, our front office resembles a relatively competent, exciting management team and style that inspires more than a little hope from the Seattle faithful. Pete Carroll wears his heart and balls on the outside on gameday. John Schneider is making this roster younger and building the foundation for sustainable future success. Paul Allen saved this team, this city, upon taking ownership in 1997 while yearly rumors swirl around the league of teams set to potentially pack up and move to LA.
I’m very happy quietly getting to 5-5 with our roster and managerial style rather than being in the national spotlight as Superbowl contenders and having the flaws of our FO and staff on display for the world to see (I’m looking at you, Vikings and Chargers).
While other teams wallow in status quo management and another year of coach firing campaigns begin, we should be thankful for the Seahawks front office not only for keeping this team afloat, but for making us all excited for its prospects.
It would seem more appropriate to write about BMFMW in a Christmas post because that’s the type of gift he has been to this team. Following an offseason of speculation and questions regarding the move, the Seahawks’ decision to kick the tires on a seemingly washed up, irrelevant wide receiver has paid significant dividends. The Seahawks have a true #1 receiver, something the team has been lacking for years, and it was all made possible simply by taking a small chance.
Through ten games BMW has 52 receptions for 654 yards and a touchdown and has a legitimate chance to cross the 1,000-yard threshold. We haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since the Hasselbeck-to-Engram connection of 2007 when Matt stole our hearts with his most recent Pro Bowl season. The confidence he instills in Hasselbeck is evident as Matt has been able to let loose and make throws that he formerly would have checked down from.
BMW has dominated third downs. Dominated. He has hauled in 20 catches for 218 yards, producing 16 first downs. He ranks fourth in the league in third down production, and his ability to keep drives alive has been a marked difference from seasons past. Pair this with BMW’s over-the-top, big play ability and it all shows exactly how much his presence transforms the face of the offense and the play of our quarterback.
For a person, a story, like Mike Williams to be a building block around which our team can grow and for we as
Today is obviously a day to reflect on everything for which we are thankful. While we should focus on things more significant than football in our lives such as family, health and relationships, there are myriad reasons we should be thankful as Seahawks fans to support the team that we do. Finally, I'd like to note that I am thankful for the community Field Gulls offers and the talented and passionate contributors we have at our disposal. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.