- As an ardent believer that the preseason is important as long as you know what to look for, I offer this: Tonight's game is just short of meaningless. It is. Preseason importance peaks in week three. In week four, teams just want to stay healthy. Teams will sign players specifically so that they may take on the preseason wear they wish to protect their roster-bound players from. Tonight, tonight is about football as fun. I am not going to break down the tape. I am going to continue breaking down week three, because week three is at least relatively important.
- The preseason is important like this: Do you feel more confident in Mike Williams than you did in June? Do you feel more confident in Kevin Vickerson or Chris Clemons than you did in June? Does Marcus Trufant look healthy?
- The preseason is not important like this: Is anyone more or less worried about Lofa Tatupu than they were in June? Does anyone have a better idea of how Seattle's offense or defense will play as a whole than they did in June?
- I remember reading once that preseason performance, as compared to regular season performance, is neither more nor less predicative. One preseason game is a poor indicator of how a player will perform in the regular season and one regular season game is a poor indicator of how a player will perform in the rest of the regular season. Of course, that is judging from statistics, and football statistics are pretty worthless. The essence is true: We can approximate raw ability, but we do not know when or how it will show itself. We do not know which matchups are favorable for an end, or when pressure will become sacks, or when a safety will pick a pass or just miss. Samples are too small, definitions are too loose and job duties too fluid.
- So preseason is about health, growth, awareness, cohesion and execution and not about sacks, interceptions, touchdowns or wins and losses.
- In the former sense, I think Seattle has had a fine preseason.
- In the latter sense, I think Chris Clemons will sack quarterbacks, Earl Thomas will pick passes, Mike Williams will catch touchdowns and Leon Washington will average more than four yards per carry. Just like I surmised in June.
- Tonight's storylines revolve around the final 53 man roster. It's about players like Matt McCoy, Kam Chancellor, Jamar Adams, Will Herring, Tyjuan Hagler, J.P. Losman, Quinn Pitcock, Craig Terrill, Rob Rose, Jordan Babineaux, Jeff Byers, Kennard Cox, Dexter Davis, Ruvell Martin, etc etc etc.
- Spots will be won, but Seahawks fans will probably never notice if Cox or Rose make the practice squad. It's important, in so much that every decision a football team makes can contribute to wins or losses, but here's a fact that helps put things into perspective: Pro Football Reference determined the difference between a starting quarterback and a backup quarterback is 2.3 points a game or about one win.
- One win. In a 16 game season, that's a lot. That is the equivalent of a ten win player in baseball, think young Barry Bonds or Albert Pujols at his very best, exchanged for a replacement level player. But it's also one win.
- Now ask yourself, what's the difference between Will Herring and Matt McCoy?
- Josh Wilson and Walter Thurmond?
- Everything matters, especially if you care enough to want it to matter, but nothing is likely to happen tonight that will dramatically change the season. Nothing has happened through the preseason that is likely to dramatically change the season. We're invested and so we care. There is no way to predict how a season will go, and so we scratch about looking for evidence everywhere. We love football and so we love preseason football.
- When the season starts, the preseason will disappear like a dream.
- So drink up and be happy to watch the Seahawks battle it out without the inherent drama of wins and losses being at stake, but keep things in perspective. This is a dress rehearsal, and tonight's play will be conducted by the stand-ins.
Seahawks Notes: 9/2/10
By John Morgan