Tough Truths


Hi everyone. I’m new to posting here at this fine establishment but not new to reading here. It’s been a sanctuary of Hawk-logic to me for several years now. Danny does great work and you other contributors do too. Hopefully I can live up to the high standard you all set.

Alright, enough brown nosing, time for a little intro on me, myself, and I. I’m 23 years old and recently graduated from WWU. I’ve been a rabid Hawk fan my entire life and it was a struggle to not let that interfere with my studies. Some might be familiar with me from the animal house known as the Seattle Times Sports Forum but I’m hoping to move my posts over to a bit more civil environment. So here we go. Any feedback is much welcomed.

Every fan believes he has the best interest of the team in mind. This simply is not the case. The best example I can give is something I've heard numerous times from callers on KJR950, "there's just nobody to get behind on this team, nobody to keep our interest." While I completely disagree with this statement, I can see where it's coming from. Most people want to see offense and our offense certainly leaves much to be desired. However, finding players for the team's season ticket holders to root for has zero place in a professional front office.

Let me make this perfectly clear, the job of a professional front office is to build a championship caliber team. Not to please our season ticket holders.

Now for the second tough truth, Pete Carroll and Co. are not doing everything in their power to win these games. Now I'm sure a few of you just involuntarily blurted out expletives about our head coach like some disgruntled Tourettes person. For others of you, this probably makes a lot of sense and visions of Andrew Luck in a blue and green just flashed through your head, accompanied by feelings of euphoria like some junky looking forward to his next fix.

Allow me to put that statement into perspective. There is a reason Pete is not doing everything in his power to win these games and it has nothing to do with Andrew Luck. Right or wrong, Pete is currently coaching the Hawks like he would his team at USC. He is neglecting personnel changes that would help the team win in attempt to teach his players how to stick together, adapt, and persevere on their own.

It was pretty clear by the second quarter last Sunday that Brandon Browner was way over-matched against Mike Wallace. Walter Thurmond would have been a much better match-up but still Pete did not make a change. I very much doubt that he simply didn’t recognize this. He wants Browner to learn to bounce back after being beaten. Consider this, if Pete was truly trying his best to win every game, wouldn’t we have seen Charlie Whitehurst by now? Charlie is not the starting QB though and that means something to Pete.

This goes a lot deeper than wanting to give Tarvaris Jackson a real chance in the NFL. When we (hopefully) acquire our new franchise QB this off-season, it won’t just be happy trails from then on... even if that QB is Andrew Luck. There will still be bumps in the road. There will be weeks, perhaps multiple in a row, where our QB or some other unit struggles and struggles badly. Will the team stick together through these trials or start questioning the abilities of the men standing next to them? This may seem like an approach better suited for Hollywood but true to his name, Hollywood Pete wants the team to stick together no matter what.

I do not necessarily agree with this approach but this early in the rebuild process I think it's acceptable and could definitely pay dividends down the road. I am still concerned though. Pete can coach these guys like a college team because for all intents and purposes they are a college team. Youth is most definitely served. But once these guys mature and winning becomes a more achievable goal, I'd expect more adjustments from the coaching staff to give us the best chance to win.

I must admit though that there's a (large) part of me hoping we're bad enough to draft Mr. Luck first overall. Despite this, I am not attached to this desire for Luck and you shouldn’t be either. I won't be disappointed should we start to win some games. Given the approach that I outlined above, if we start winning then it will be because our players are sticking together and our young guns are maturing. Not because of some clever schematic changes by the coaching staff. No matter how you look at it, that would be a very promising development.

Do not fret though my fellow QB hungry Hawk fans. There are other fish in the sea, most notably Matt Barkley. He's no Andrew Luck but I'd rather have Barkley and a good team than Luck and a bad team. Despite how this off-season made it appear, our FO will aggressively pursue a franchise QB and they know it must be soon. So come April, even if we're drafting in the 10-15 range, I'd fully expect us to trade up for Barkley or another QB worthy of a top 10 pick. The future is bright. Have some patience and read Kelly’s Heroes if you’re really feeling down about the way the season is going.

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