As most of you already know, the Hawks ran some player-organized workouts last weekend and had a pretty good turnout. About 40 or so players came on Friday and 30+ showed up on Saturday where the Hawks ran through drills, did some positional workouts, and lifted weights courtesy of the University of Washington.
The man behind the action was Justin Forsett, and the player workouts were originally a brainchild of the Hawks' running back. He was on the Ian Furness show on KJR 950 on Friday and had explained, "I was just thinking, man it'd be nice to be around the guys. You know, we could get something started, so I sent out some emails, got in touch with Hasselbeck to see if he'd be coming and showing up, you know he helped get some guys in. And you know, going out on social networks; twitter, Facebook, trying to reach out to guys and get some of these rookies in so, it just started like that."
Though no coaching staff were present at the workouts last weekend, the fact that so many Hawks showed up is definitely a positive move towards the future. It's not like they're going to gel and win championships because of these get togethers, but at worst it gets everyone acquainted. Several rookies were in attendance and several players that are still recovering from offseason surgeries came to rehab and be around the team. As Forsett added, "It's been a long time that we've been off, and I just think it's good for team chemistry and for the guys to make it an easy transition so when we do get back and start work it won't be like it's the first time we've seen each other; so it's not like the first day of school. We just wanted to make sure we have the chemistry, making this a smooth transition."
The players are locked out and as a consequence, many never received playbooks, and that's where team activity like this can pay dividends. Matt Hasselbeck, though a free agent at the moment, brought a level of organization to the workouts and began to impart some of his knowledge to his possibly former teammates. Forsett: "Matt's experience is a crucial piece. He knows the playbook. He was under Bevell for a couple years when he was in Green Bay so just to hear some of the terminology and where we're going to be lined up, and things like that, it was key for us. I was happy that Matt was involved."
Good to hear from Force, and for what it's worth, I've got high hopes for him in 2011. I've been sort of obsessively watching 2010 game replays in the past week or two and there are a few things I've noted about Justin. One, he's extremely explosive. You sort of forget this most of the time because the offensive line failed to create holes for the most part and he ends up getting stuck behind the line and running into walls of players. When he gets in space he's got some wiggle and burst that make him very tough to bring down. Two, he's good in the pass game; this is why you see him in on 3rd downs and why you'll see him running routes on the wing and in the slot. He's got solid hands and is dangerous after the catch.
There's a reason he became a fan favorite in the Preseason 2009 - he's fun to watch and easy to root for. I've sort of forgotten about this lately because our run game was so depressing last year - but I can't wait to see what he can do if he gets some lanes.