We've talked a LOT about how the Seahawks passed on selecting a quarterback in this year's Draft and the ramifications we can expect from that decision. We've debated on how Pete Carroll really values the QB and some of us have begun to doubt the process (with good cause) the Hawks have been going through in building this team. The most obvious and glaring position of need is quarterback and it can be argued that until that spot is filled with a quality player, the Hawks will go nowhere. We worked to fill the needs on the line and made strides there and worked on the defensive secondary and look to improve there. But we still have seemingly ignored the quarterback quandary.
I argued recently that despite appearances, there is a plan in place for this (my argument is based only a hunch really, and the hope that John and Pete aren't morons. I assume they have access to basic statistical analysis that would suggest QB is a pretty important player in the game of American Rules Football). Pete Carroll has placed emphasis on the idea that the QB is the team's point guard, used to distribute the ball rather than carry the team on his back. This, rightly so, has led some people to believe that the Hawks don't value the QB position high enough and that is evidenced by their QB snubbing in the draft this year. They passed on Ryan Mallett (twice), Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick, and seemingly are hoping something works out in free agency or through a trade because right now they still only have one QB under contract.
It is a bit naive to believe that JS and PC are infallible and to trust blindly in their choices simply because they've been placed in charge. Brandon Adams of 17Power has been a voice for this point of view and brings up very good arguments in his critical analysis. I am not one to dismiss any critical view on the job our front office is doing and I think it's good for any fan to look at this draft from multiple angles. I bring it up because Brandon, Rob Staton, and I participated in a mock draft (pre-draft) where we actually traded UP to grab Ryan Mallett at #15 because we all share the view that QB is ultimately the cornerstone of a franchise - without that piece in place, what you're building is flimsy and unstable. Well, in retrospect maybe we should have waited, considering in real life he lasted until the late 3rd round - but that's beside the point. We felt it so important to lock down that position that we gave up a very valuable 2nd round pick to move up. The question we all had though was whether the Hawks would really do something like that if they saw a guy as a franchise, All-Pro caliber QB.
Well, Pete was on the Dave "Softy" Mahler show recently and had this to say about the quarterback quagmire and whether they'd mortgage the farm to get a top-quality QB:
"For that position yes. If he's the right guy and can really lead you and command the position like the great players have been able to do, then it's totally worth it. That player being available is a whole different question - is there somebody out there that is like that? But it is so important that whatever it takes to get the guy, you get him in my mind. And John feels the same way about that. But whether there's somebody available to even have the chance to go that far, that's a whole different story. But yeah, I think that position stands out above all of the rest so much so that if you've got a guy that's been there and know can do it, that can sit and matchup with the players that you have, then you've got to do what you can do to go get it done."
So as you may have hoped, it seems that Pete knows the momentousness of finding a top-tier QB. He consistently won with Heisman quality QBs at USC and John Schneider came up in an organization led by Brett Favre and one that drafted Aaron Rodgers so he may know the gravity of that position as well. As Pete points out, finding that guy can be the difficult part and they obviously didn't feel any of those guys fit the bill in this years' draft. People will always say "next year's class is REALLY going to be good though" and you could counter with "yeah, but people say that every year."
Well, either way, next year's class really is going to be good I say! With the likes of Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, Landry Jones, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Lindley, Terrelle Pryor, and Robert Griffin (per Rob Staton's early look at 2012 QBs), and most likely a few others that have flown under the radar, it could actually be the case this time. With the run on QBs this year, it seems likely that 'less' teams will have that need immediately next year and could pay dividends for those that waited - namely, the Seahawks.
It should also be mentioned that it's almost a forgone conclusion at this point that the Hawks will bring in either Carson Palmer or Kevin Kolb via a trade, and at the least they'll bring back Matt Hasselbeck to bridge the gap and compete with Charlie Whitehurst for the starting spot. My point of this whole piece is really this: the Hawks are in a 'rebuilding' process, and these things take time, but the Hawks will continue to be a middling team until they have that franchise QB in place - and this is something that I believe the front office is aware of. I have convinced myself that they will figure out the QB position at some point in the near future but for now they are getting younger, faster, more physical, and building on what they started last year. I'm biting my tongue for the moment because I believe there is some plan in place, and I'm hoping the lockout ends soon so we can see it unfold.