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2006 Season Review: David Greene

With much of what can be said about the draft said, we can switch back to our season reviews. It's the offense's turn and we start with someone many Hawk fans don't know much about, but who may be their quarterback of the future. These will be shorter pieces (approximately 400-600 words). This will also give me time to finish up my "everything we can know" about the 2007 draft picks. I'll begin with the offensive lineman (who I've compiled the most information about) and slowly roll out the rest of the positions as I'm able to.

David Greene

Tim Ruskell got the ball rolling for Seattle's title run with the 2005 draft. You might recognize some of the names from that draft: Chris Spencer, Lofa Tatupu, and Leroy Hill, but another first day pick has yet to step foot on the field: David Greene. Greene was an SEC standout, a four year starter with 51 starts and a career 59% completion percentage. If he had been drafted in the first two rounds, his Lewin projection would compare favorably to Carson Palmer (45, 59.1%) or Chad Pennington (51, 63.3%), but the fact that he was drafted in the third round is instrumental and instructive to understanding what can be expected of Greene in the future.

Greene is the anti-Jemarcus Russell: all performance and no projection. At Georgia he developed a reputation for great nerves, unquestioned leadership and clutch like a German sports car. His accomplishments did little to impress scouts, though. His arm strength is considered "adequate" and suffers badly when he's on the move. He displayed poor footwork and had a tendency to "pat" the ball before making the throw.

The arm strength issue is for real, and Greene will never excel in a vertical passing attack, but, let's be clear, he's not Tim Rattay either. Greene gets good zip on intermediate routes and can throw a decent deep ball when he has time to set his feet. I only had a chance to chart one game from last year's preseason, but was lucky enough to watch both Greene and Seneca Wallace, and, let me say, the differences were startling. Wallace consistently threw the ball behind or above his receiver, causing them to break stride and abandon their route. The effect was clear, in a Walsh passing attack predicated on short routes, clean cuts and timing, timing, timing--Wallace's inaccuracy minimized receivers chance for run after the catch. In only 13 attempts, three times he underthrew a Seahawk receiver causing them to be obliterated by Oakland defenders and four times he left the receiver reaching above or overhead thanks to an overthrow. Greene was cleaner, in 19 attempts he never underthrew and three times overthrew his receiver, but, instead, mostly hit guys in stride just as they separated from the defender. The result was an impressive 7.58 YPA for Greene compared to just 4.46 YPA for Wallace.

A lot has been said about Greene's residence on the practice squad, but I think you need to put the situation into perspective to understand it. Seneca Wallace is the perfect back-up. He's a decent passer and can be a dynamic scrambler, but he's not A+ starter material. He's never looked consistently accurate and after 5 years, his read is still rudimentary at best. When Wallace filled in for the injured Hasselback last season, he did exactly what could be expected of him: He kept the Hawks in the game and he stayed healthy. Therefore, Greene has never been needed to patrol the sidelines. Instead he's had full-time practice to learn the system while improving his footwork and pocket awareness.

At the moment, Hasselbeck is in his prime, at an abnormally late age for most, but nevertheless, his prime. Wallace will continue to provide stability and the occasional trick play. And Greene will continue to get plenty of reps with the practice squad. In a few years, though, Greene could be the Hawks starting quarterback and with his accuracy, awareness, poise and knowledge of the system, a very good one at that.