A lot of you guys are familiar with me as "mattlock", but I suppose my days of relative anonymity are behind me. Now that you know my actual name, there's no way I can hide from all the creepy stalkers in the world, especially since I have such an unusual and uncommon name. I was much safer when I was only known as a wrinkled old misspelling of an Andy Griffith character.
Anyways, Danny graciously asked me to be a regular contributor, and I took him up on the offer because I love writing, I love sports, and I love people, and this was an opportunity to combine those three things into a great big happy pile. Hopefully it won't end up a failure pile in a sadness bowl.
I was conceived to be a constituent of this consistently cursed camaraderie colloquially called "Northwest Sports Fan". I was born in Reno and spent the first nine months of my life in Reno, but then I somehow found myself in Bremerton, where I lived until I left for academy in British Columbia. After brief stints in Michigan, California, and Norway for some post-secondary education, I dabbled in auto sales and business-to-business cold sales in the Seattle area. Deciding to look for your ‘in’ in sales around the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008 is one of those classic blunders, third only to "Never get involved in a land war in Asia", and "Never go against a Sicilian with death is on the line hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha—".
I gave up on such pursuits, and somehow found myself at Walla Walla University studying international business and journalism. My first love was the Mariners, and I was introduced to this whole blogosphere by a college friend who pointed me toward USS Mariner and Lookout Landing. Somehow I came across Field Gulls, and starting devouring anything written by John Morgan.
I was absolutely crushed he moved on, but in hindsight, it may have been the best thing for my Seahawk reading habits, as it opened my eyes to the rest of the blogging Twelve’s. Great Scott, are we blessed. If you don’t already, add blogs like 17 Power, Hawk Blogger, Seahawks Draft Blog, The Matchups Zone, and Dave Krieg’s Strike Beard to your daily reading.
And if you’ve caught up to the rest of the world and joined Twitter, be ashamed if you don’t already follow @robstaton, @hawkblogger, @30AcreFortress, @DKSB17, @BigEeezy09, @17power, @DStephensScout, @TheMatchupsZone and @DavisHsuSeattle. Seriously. These guys continue to make me the most unproductive college student on the continent. Oh, and if you want you can follow me @mattlock3.
Ok, you following all of them now? Alright, I can move on.
I have several different ideas for what I’m going to write about over the next few months. Most of you are familiar with the recent bits I did on the offensive line and the defensive line. I will be doing similar breakdowns for each positional group on the team, likely looking at the linebackers next. I will also be purchasing NFL Game Rewind, since I just found out it’s only $30 (a price affordable to even a poor college student), so hopefully I can add some screenshots from actual ‘Hawks games.
The day after Danny asked me to write for Field Gulls, I received news that I was selected as one of twelve (ooh, what a good number) NFL scouting interns for New Era Scouting, founded by Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout), the lead NFL draft writer for Bleacher Report. Between December 1 and May 1, I will be responsible for doing a ton of writing and research for the upcoming draft. I will supplement my writing here with Seahawk-relevant articles I write for New Era, and I hope to use my new connections to research and write up some profiles of some guys who the Seahawks could likely target this next April.
Anyways, that’s me. Nice to meet you. Way to introduce yourself. You know how awkward it is to stand in front of you guys and have you just stare at me blankly? The least you could do is make a guy feel welcome. Well, just to provide you guys will something other than horn-tooting and bad jokes, I’ll leave y’all with some observations I made from the top of the ‘Hawks Nest at the Redskins game.
I LOVE this team’s attitude. They’ve taken some heat for the kerfuffles throughout the game, and the Redskins seemed miffed at their swagger, but I absolutely do not care one bit. I’m proud of my Hawks. The ‘Skins came out of their tunnel to a round chorus of boos. Then the Hawks came out of their own end of the field, and made a beeline for the middle of the field where the Redskins were standing. They didn’t hesitate to get right in their faces and let them know whose house they were in, and the crowd loved it. The chippiness at the coin toss fired the whole stadium up.
Because so many of these guys are young and as yet unproven, many may say they’re getting too big for their britches. I’m pretty sure, however, that the old guys (Leon, Hargrove, Clemons, Hill, MikeRob) are really fanning this already inherent flame of swagger in guys like Sherman, Browner, Lynch, ET, Bryant, etc., and it’s leaking into the play of the entire team. After nearly every play, someone was getting in someone else’s face. Sherman especially is a cocky kid.
Some might think it unprofessional or immature, but I disagree. Some have said this team is developing an identity, but it’s way beyond developing. The Seahawks are hard-nosed, aggressive, and confident, especially in their own house. Who cares what their record is, they’re here to ground you, pound you, and move on. It may seem a bit out-of-place right now, but give them a year or two. When they’re a young, solid, contending team, people will dread the CLink and yearn for the days of Qwest.
Rex Grossman can run the play action really really really well. I lost count of the number of times I got caught watching the running back dancing around at the line of scrimmage when a ball came flying out of nowhere. Seattle’s linebackers were similarly afflicted. Without re-watching the game yet, it looked to me like they all bit HARD on the play-action all day. This contributed to the Seahawks constantly getting caught with their pants down across the middle of the field.
The Seahawks need more/better depth at linebacker. This one stuck out to me early on, and became kinda "oh duh" by the end of the game. Rob Staton mocked Jarvis Jones (OLB out of Georgia) to the Hawks in his most recent mock draft, and I’m liking that type of idea more and more (outside of acquiring the QBotF, obviously).
Heater and Hill are both solid, above-average starters, and I love Wright’s potential, but none of them are game-changers, and all three currently lack in pass coverage. For the record, I consider Clemons another linebacker. I’d like to see Wright worked out at LEO. But the Seahawks need either another elite rush backer to pair with Clemons, or a skilled coverage backer. A player that could do both would be an absolute coup.
I am going to the Eagles’ game, so I will see what I can see there. I love this team, guys. Be proud of this team. They may have their struggles and frustrate the crap out of us sometimes. But they’re already awesome, and they’re growing into a pretty freaking good team.
I don’t know about y’all, but I’m jacked to be along for the ride.