Wu Tang Clan and Polling the QB situation

DANNY EDIT: Front paging this because it does a great job of laying out most of the options the Hawks have at QB. Some of you may have noticed that QB is a bit of a question mark for the Hawks so make your vote and comment on it.

On February 16th 2011, I conducted a short poll on what Fieldgulls readers, contributors and addicts thought was the most important position in Seahawks Football to draft with the first overall pick on April 28th at Radio City Music Hall. That was almost exactly two months ago. I believe that in the past two months, our understanding of what players might be available to to us has become more firm, as well as the understanding of prospects strengths and weaknesses, particularly those that would appeal to the Seahawks needs. Even though there has been no Free Agency through which the Hawks could address these needs, I believe that as a community, Fieldgulls has rapidly shifted to the assumption that Quarterback is our biggest need, compared to the 18% in my initial poll.

Why do I make this proclamation? Over the past weeks, about 60% of articles on Fieldgulls have dealt with or alluded to the Quarterback position. Beyond these, most articles with any decent discussion have at some point devolved from their initial topic into conversations/disagreements about Mallet, locker, Ponder, Dalton, Hasselbeck, Palmer, Kolb, Whitehurst, Young or Leinert. All of these QB's have their advocates and all of them have their staunch protesters.

My goal in this fanpost therefore is to do a two month anniversary poll of which situation at QB the fan is most comfortable at. This is by no means an mock draft or proclamation of what I think the Seahawks will do, rather an opportunity for the fan to voice his/her choice as a measurable statistic. Like I said before, the  past two months have only solidified my impression that as we approach draft day (TEN DAYS AND COUNTING!!!!), fans (and our most modest beliefs) have a more realistic understanding of what the Seahawks are targeting, and can therefore offer an 'eve-of-draft' pick on the QB situation. Below is a poll outlining every quarterback option for the seahawks, and I will create a pro-con argument for each situation.

Starting with the draft prospects:

Jake Locker:

Strengths: Very sturdy and Ideal QB build. Has a great arm that can make all the throws, even in tight coverage. Very mobile, and a dangerous athlete outside the pocket. Fiery leader and competitor, a true winner. Played in a Pro-Style offense.

Weaknesses: Has issues with accuracy, and does not consistently go through his reads. Though his receivers at UW were undeniably unreliable, he often abandons the passing game to make plays on the ground, some of which are risky and and will get him hurt at the next level. Ideally should start in a system where he can sit behind a veteran. Drafting in the first round would mean biggish contract. Would have a lot of pressure as Seattle's golden boy.

Stats: From ESPN

Ryan Mallet:

Strengths: Big, tall and sturdy (6"7 and 240). Has great arm speed and passing velocity. Very comfortable in the pocket, good at reading defenses and also commanded a pro-style offense. Very competitive, makes alot of big plays in a tough conference, always goes through his checkdown. Is the most starting caliber qb on this list.

Weaknesses: has sprinting speed of Marcus Tubbs, minimal bootleg experience, footwork outside the pocket is awkward, will throw more INT's going deep than normal, rumored drug use, benefited from a very complete offense at Arkansas. Very non-athletic given his size.Would most likely cost a first round pick/first round contract money.

Stats: From ESPN

Christina Ponder:

Strengths: Ideal in the west coast offense, good footwork, can make plays happen outside the pocket. Very Smart and a student of the game. Exhibits strong leadership qualities and toughness. Good vision, touch and mechanics. aware of pocket presence.

Weaknesses: Poor decision making, does not complete his reads(follow a receiver), has a history if injury. Has problems with his pre-snap reads and correspondingly puts the ball in harms way too often. Needs to sit behind a veteran.

Stats: From ESPN

Andy Dalton:

Strengths: A four year starter and a proven winner, goes through his reads most of the time. Has a relatively quick release, good deep ball and a strong arm to get it there. Quite mobile and durable. As a second or third rounder, contract would be less expensive to sign and less troublesome should he not pan out.

Weaknesses: Size is not ideal at 215 pounds and 6"2. Played in a spread offense against less than elite opposition, his pocket awareness is less than desirable, and has issues floating the deep ball. Is a ginger.

Stats: From ESPN

Colin Kaepernick:

Strengths: A great pysical combination of strengths, speed and height at 6"5 233. Shows average to good accuracy in the intermediate throws, with enough strength to make the rest of NFL throws. Intelligent, a leader and has great mobility, can make plays on the ground. Could go in the 2nd-3rd round, smaller commitment/conract.

Weaknesses: Played in the Pistol offense, issues with ball security. Has accuracy issues, especially with the deep ball. Has a huge windup that tends to dip into side arm when pressured. Has limited experience with reading defenses and calling plays at the line of scrimmage. Needs to spend alot of time (1-2 years) behind a veteran to iron out issues. Could go in the first round, big money, big commitment.

Stats: From ESPN

Ricki Stanzi:

Strengths: Displays leadership qualities and intangibles of an NFL ready prospect. Has the mobility and athleticism to buy time in the pocket, and rush for fresh downs if he can't find a receiver. Accurate passer on the run, played in a pro-style offense and can read defenses/cal plays at the LOS. Would probably go anywhere from round 4-6, quite cheap to sign.

Weaknesses: His accuracy is the biggest issue, does not have accuracy to lead receivers. Inconsistent decision making, lost more close games than won. Long and intermediate balls can float and are inaccurate, forces throws. Needs to sit behind a veteran QB.

Stats: From ESPN

QB's via trade:

Kevin Kolb:

Strengths: At 26, was starter worthy enough for Andy Reid to trade Donovan McNabb to the Skins. Seattle (as of last year) and Philledalphia run similar Holmgren west coast offenses. REgardless of whether he is starting, alway in the film room and is highly respected by the people around him. Strong Build, solid release and can make the throws asked of him. Durable and is not afraid to run the ball. Relatively young at 26 years old.

Weaknesses: Does not have the ideal height. His stats are inflated both by a strong supporting offense and by a passing-first system. Accuracy gets dodgy on the deep balls. Worked mostly out of the shotgun in 2010, need more time spent learning the pro-style offense. Would be very expensive to pick up in a trade, high first rounder in 2011 or 2012 plus long term contract. Is not as proven as the Eagles would say he is.

Stats: From ESPN

Carson Palmer:

Strengths: Pro Bowl quarterback in 2005 and 2006. Passed for almost 4000 yards and 30 TDs in 2010-2011, even though he was surrounded by the wailing jennings of TO and Ochocinco. A proven team leader. Has the chance either to be traded or let go, would probably cost little in pick value. Has not said he does not want to play football, just not for the Bengals.

Weaknesses: Has has isssues with MCL and ACL tears not exactly young at the age of 31. Would probably want a hefty/lon term contract. Would function more as a stop gap. Not know for his clutch play, missed playoffs three straight years from 2007-2010. Has very good and very poor games ( 167 yards and 0TD vs. Baltimore and 269 yards and 4 td's vs. San Diego).

Stats: From ESPN

QB's via Free Agency:

I am just going to throw both of these QB's into the same poll question so i won't go into individual analysis...

Vince Young, Matt Leinert: both very gifted QB's coming out of College, both first round selection, both fell flat. Leinert quicker than Young. Advantage is that they would be cheap to sign to a deal, no guarantees on return however, some players are just a bust. Advantage for the seahawks would be that PC and co. have shown that they are willing to put the time and effort into rehabilitating these cast offs, but also that they expect improvement and loyalty or you will become another of the 250 something roster moves. Depending on their value on the open market(new CBA????...), could be quite cheap.

Stop Gaps:

Once again, an area I don't really want to cover. Includes Donovan McNabb, Marc Bulger and a few other football fossils that could hold down the fort for a little while.


On the Home Front:

I will not go into too much detail here either as most peole know the extenuating circumstances.

Charlie Whitehurst:

Advantages: he already has a position on the team, can he compete for the #1 though? Has good arm strength to make the throws, showed improvement throughout the games he played, played better under a more restricted passing offense. Is clearly liked by PC and JS because the traded a 3rd rounder (gnashing of teeth) for him. Was not given the opportunity to prove himself enough. Can make lays on the ground.

Weaknesses: has issues with reads on the defense, tended to force his throws. Lacks strong signal calling. Some would argue he was given the chance to prove himself, and failed. At 29, he is getting up there, might be a career backup if he has not blossomed by now. is only in a two year contract, has to prove in 2011 that he is worthy of the job... can he handle the pressure though?

Matt Hasselbeck:

I am not going to bother writing a strengths or weaknesses for Matt, as people already know them. Just some ideas;

1) regardless of recent production, he is deep in many seattleites hearts as one of the best Seahawks ever.

2) he took us to our only Superbowl appearance in 2005.

3) flashed greatness in the 2011 playoffs, without a strong supporting staff.

4) he might give us a hometown discount if he returned.

5) had a fantastic pro-bowl season in 2007.

6) has fallen a long way since 2007, much of 2010 was dominated by cringing and expletives directed at him.

7) can probably find a much better contract somewhere else

8) getting up in age, 36 next year.

9) the writing may already be on the wall for him as he failed to agree to a contract before the CBA expired, was it a kind way of saying adios muchachos?


All of these qb's share one common factor, actually two. The first is that they could all be on the Seahawks roster come 2011. The second is that they are all dudes. Some I am excited for, others i hope to high heaven that they never come into Washington State. Obviously I didn't cover all possible options for QB in Seattle, but im really tired of typing so im bringing this baby to a close. Regardless of what position you take however, everyone must realize that the QB situation in Seattle needs a lot of help. What do you think? Below is a poll of all the situations I can imagine for the hawks next year. What is your fan vote? Be loud, be proud, GO HAWKS!!

And P.S.

I just stumbled across this website. Perhaps the best of all time. It is a Wu-tang Clan name generator, and I took the liberty of running a few Seahawks names through it, and I discovered that it was actually a pretty good reflection of their true natures:

Real Name              Generated Name:

Aaron Curry             Irate Wanderer; he has issues wandering alright, now if he could just find the quarterback....

Matt Hasselbeck     Visual Magician great skill in understanding defensive actions

Russell Okung        Violent Bastard: could teach Ray Lewis some tricks after that tackle on an INT vs. Arizona

Earl Thomas            Mad Ninja: the guys got sweet hops.

Lofa Tatupu             Wacko Professional: though in the NFL, has been making some strange decisions of late...

Red Bryant              Bittah Wanderer: id be pissed too if i was injured and morosely walking the sidelines

Jeremy Bates          Profound Madman: fade-routes to Golden Tate on a third and 5? what a chump

Charlie Whitehurst  Phantom Commander: with his headset and holy looks, id say this is fairly accurate.

Jon Ryan                 Shreikin' Criminal: I don't really have an explanation or this one, its just really cool.

Kelly Jennings         Unlucky Destroyer: unlucky first round pick, destroys all hopes at descent pass coverage

Sean Locklear         X-cessive Mercenary: more like excessive mercy, fairly sure he had a sacks-allowed quota

Marshawn Lynch     Misunderstood Prophet: almost too true/funny to be coincidence, read this article by jacson


Anyways, hope this provides some entertainment and topics for discussion pre-draft. And also, I will now be known as the Bittah Prophet... whats your Wu tang name?

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