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Why the Seahawks Offense Fails: It's Not Just Hasselbeck

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Matt isn't Shaun and the fix for the Seahawks passing offense isn't as simple as bench Hasselbeck.
Matt isn't Shaun and the fix for the Seahawks passing offense isn't as simple as bench Hasselbeck.

I noticed last night that Tezlin preemptively assumed this series of posts was another novel way of arguing that Seattle should bench Matt Hasselbeck. That's not the case. Quick fixes are attractive but treacherous. Nor is this a protracted way of pointing out that Hasselbeck lacks arm strength. Arm strength and deep passing, though connected, are not one and the same. Hasselbeck can clearly throw the ball 40 yards in the air, and so he can certainly, from a physical standpoint, complete a deep pass. However, it would be disingenuous of me to deny arm strength is a factor. But let's get back to that in the next post.

This series of posts is not a call to bench Matt. If Seattle wanted to bench Matt, it would have had to do it earlier in the season, when the Seahawks were 1-1 rather than in the thick of a playoff run. It's hard to bench Hasselbeck now. If murmurs hold any truth, Charlie Whitehurst has done nothing to push Hasselbeck for starter. And so, benching Matt would, again if murmurs are to be believed, be making a critical and unearned substitution for the sake of change. That might fly early in the season, when the team is taking shape and moves can be made for the betterment of the future, but it's a pretty hard sell in the locker room when you're 4-3 and in first place in the division. If Whitehurst is sucking up practice, and every coach, player, executive and member of the media can see it, how do you sit Matt without tacitly suggesting that winning this season is not the team's highest priority?

It would be a moronic waste of time to write an entire series of posts and conclude only that Hasselbeck is physically incapable of being a successful NFL quarterback. One of the more pernicious elements of that argument is how it excuses Hasselbeck from play-to-play mistakes, as if we should pity him. And if this series of posts was to conclude only that Seattle is screwed as long as Hasselbeck is the quarterback, I would be very disappointed. I can't say for sure it will not conclude that, because that's the nature of the beast. It's difficult to construct an offense around a terrible quarterback, and Seattle doesn't have that kind of firepower.

But though I am by no stretch a Hasselbeck supporter, and though I am three years deep into my frustration with Seattle for not investing in a legitimate quarterback of the future, Matt and the Seahawks offense can perform better than it has. Elite may be off the table and maybe we should discard good while we're at it, but how about better. Wouldn't it be nice if there was hope hidden in the tape?

Maybe we can find some in the second quarter.