We are the SB champions. (it will probably be the first line of everything i will right untill we are not)
The nature of the NFL provides no rest for the wicked. While we still celebrate our first championship the attention is already turning to sustain and win a few more.
Why not us?
Before we start the "look ahead" I have a very relevant point to make to you my fellow 12ths.
For the past two weeks every expert/analyst/pundit posted his forecast for the SB. It ranged from the best offense in the recorded history of human kind over the Seahawks by a healthy margin to the Seahawks somehow pulling it off by a few points at best. With all the facts stated correctly, all numbers and stats fully validated – THEY ALL GOT IT WRONG. This will be important further on.
Ok, the "look ahead":
From the same guys that gave you the "SB predictions" you will start hearing the following:
Seattle has practically zero cap space.
Seattle needs to decide who they keep from a long list of players turning free agents right now.
Seattle has to sign a few valuable key players before they enter the last year of their rookie contracts.
Seattle will have to release or renegotiate some of their current players to achieve the above.
Seattle will need to hit on the draft to compensate for the above moves.
Again, like the all facts you read prior to the SB all those facts are 100% correct.
And yet, the sum of the above has little bearing on our future dynasty chances.
Those that read some of my posts know that I believe in a big picture view first and zoom in on particulars a far second.
So, here is my big picture view of the foundations for a modern day football dynasty –
Many years ago, when sex was dirty and the air was clean, a football roster was as talented and deep as its owner's checkbook. Those checkbook teams were created by the owner&GM and handed over to the coaches to train as a team to win football games. Your roster could be built top to bottom from proved veterans with a few very talented youngsters that needed to be molded as a team rather then coached as individuals first. A lot of the head coaches in the league today grew up and learned their craft on those checkbook teams. Others learned under them and went on to coach their own teams in a similar way.
With the installment of the Cap a new reality emerged. A modern football team can have 15-18 proven veterans on contracts of 5M and up at the most. The rest of the roster will mainly be based on players under rookie contract and low salary players. Every Sunday at least 30 players will play meaningful roles as starters and role players in various packages not to mention backup players for the inevitable injuries.
The result is that you will have a lot of young players on the field having a significant accumulated effect on the overall quality of the team. The hunt for young talent has taken a big jump ahead and the investment in the search for draft diamonds has grown accordingly. Still, for most teams it is a quest to find those players that can either be plugged right in (Wagner, Okung etc.) or players with enough "up side" so they can be valuable players in a year or two.
The teams became a testing ground for talent, evaluating which of them is "the real thing" and which are not up to it at the NFL level.
What you will read and hear about our upcoming future will be based on the above concept which is not exactly how the Seahawks under PCJS do business.
Pete has seen the above happening and came back to the NFL with a new plan as to how modern day football teams should conduct their business. His vision is no secret and yet it is deemed as a part of his rah-rah personality rather then the next logical step of the NFL evolution. Allow me to connect Pete's vision and the business realities above –
Since teams will have to be much younger and devoid of multiple proven players at all positions you need to build an organization that is dedicated to making the best of those players. Being a draft mastermind that finds diamonds in the rough on late rounds helps but that's not the answer. A team should invests a lot more into young talent development and individual player teaching and coaching rather then just coach the team as a whole. Kearse and Baldwin took time and personal attention to develop. Maxwell was not just a genius catch at the draft. He was a good potential pick that was turned by coaching into the guy that steps in a year and a half later and makes you ask "BB who? Thurmond who?". And don't get me started on that 5th round pick that replaced Thurmond at the other CB spot when he was hurt. (Thinking about it right now – Thurmond should get suspended more often. It's a real blessing. Resign him and feed him PEDs or something)
The young talent at the end of your starters list or your roster matters. Some teams are as strong as their record breaking QB and some teams are as strong as their weakest link. Guess which type we are...
Since the battle for players can not be won with a checkbook you need to win your players heart with the whole club culture and care for their well being. Money still talks but when all checkbooks are the same you need the hometown discount to keep a step ahead of the competition. Every player that’s about to sit and negotiate a contract is either already a multimillionaire or about to become one. A few millions more or less are a huge number for me and you. Its not that big to multimillionaires on a winning team that love yoga, practicing with music and dancing on the field during commercial timeouts.
In other words – The NFL is evolving to find the best model of the modern "under the cap, CBA rookie contracts" football teams. Pete's vision is the first step outside the beaten path and IT WORKS. Its not some magical formula but its enough to give his team an edge. It provides better quality of young players on the field especially with talent outside day 1/2 of the draft. It provides players happy with both their working environment and their success on the field and helps with reducing the cost of keeping current players and attracting new talent.
So yes, everything you read about hard decisions, players and contract is all true but the future success of the Dynasty quest is based on the club culture more then on who goes and who stays. We are a very big step ahead of the game on that one so WHY NOT US? Indeed.
P.S. – Yes, I'm Israeli, my English is not up to par with this wonderful site but I hope my ideas can still makes sense.