Seahawks fans went cut crazy this preseason. Some of it was the restlessness and vociferousness common the NFL fan. Some it was fed by a steady stream of insinuation. My tenuous relationship with Seahawks Insider went thermonuclear after this post entitled Forsett vs. Duckett:
2) Regarding T.J. Duckett, Hugh Millen was very critical, saying that he is a one-trick pony whose one trick is not that effective. Holmgren did not really defend Duckett, instead acknowledging that "the pile is pretty big" in front of him, meaning the other running backs. He said the Duckett decision also will come down to the end.
Everything about the post was slanted. The title, Forsett vs. Duckett presents a false dilemma. Seattle did not need to keep Justin Forsett OR TJ Duckett, it could keep both and has. Forsett and Duckett have been jointly active for ten weeks now. The timing is critical and chosen to play on reader's emotions. Hughes posted this the Wednesday after Forsett rushed for 136 against the Bears. The fanbase was abuzz with love for their burgeoning young back. That same game, Duckett nearly fumbled twice and averaged 2.25 yards per carry. Duckett carried 12 times, one that went for a touchdown, two that went for first downs, and three used to center the ball before a 36 yard field goal by Brandon Coutu.
Hughes employs a dysphemistic take on Hugh Millen's quote and Mike Holmgren's response. It reads like Millen blasted Duckett and Holmgren responded with passive assent, even implying Duckett is facing long odds to make the roster. Thank God for archived radio. Here's what Millen said and how Holmgren responded:
Hugh Millen: "TJ Duckett, just for some reason, I haven't seen it yet. Um, kind of, one, one, uh-I don't' know-[Mitch: "trick pony"], one-trick pony, and uhhh I'm not sure that trick is all that great from what I've seen. So, wh-what am I, what am I missing there and how does that play out there with the running back position as you see it as you have to assemble this roster?
Mike Holmgren: "Well it's, it's gonna be a tight call going down to the wire. T.J. comes in; clearly he has the ability to move the pile. And in short yardage situations, goal line situations, there's real value there.
I think he's a better than average pass blocker. So that - there's value there.
The problem is how to use him and when to use him and things like that. You have - and it's not his problem, it's the fact is we have, the pile is pretty big. Y'know, you got Morris, you have Jones and you have Weaver, but, y'know, TJ's a great guy. He's working hard and, uh, we'll just see how it plays out at the end. It's tha - the, the - a couple positions are going to be a real tough call at the end."
Duckett made the team. He's still averaging less than three yards per carry and he's still doing everything asked of him. In 56 attempts, he has 23 first downs and seven touchdowns. Holmgren has used him in the most conservative way possible. That's just the way it is until next season.
The story that wasn't, that wasn't again and again, that wasn't with Baraka Atkins on the bubble, that wasn't with Josh Wilson losing his spot to Kevin Hobbs, that wasn't with Steve Vallos pushing Chris Spencer, that wasn't with Logan Payne pushing anybody, is the story of created controversy through selective quoting and spun facts.
Y'all ready for the offseason? It starts in less than a week. Wager on what will be this year's Bobby Engram holdout, who will be this year's Logan Payne and what entirely undeserving player will be on the bubble before he ever takes a snap.