The Seattle Seahawks offense needs to improve in 2012. I'm not expecting it to be even a top 10 offense in football, but it doesn't need to be a top 10 offense in order to make the playoffs. They just need to get better and be more efficient. Here are some points "Keys to the Offense in 2012" to keep in mind, as told through movie quotes of 1994:
"Get busy living, or get busy dying'" - Red, Shawshank Redemption
You can make a lot of excuses for a crappy offense, but at some point you have to put up or shutup. It's not just about injuries or having lesser talent, either the coaching staff, the players, or both have to step up and 2012 and just be better. The Seahawks were a top NFL offense from 2002-2007 and they've been a bottom-third offense ever since. Oh, Steve Hutchinson left and Walter Jones got old and retired? Oh well, that's football and that's sports and at some point you just have to pick it up and start being better.
This front office has spent plenty of high draft picks and money on offense since they arrived, but only the defense has gotten better. Darrell Bevell, Tom Cable, and Pete Carroll need to turn the players that they have into more points and more first downs if they expect to be a Super Bowl contender.
In Shawshank, Tommy Williams gets his letter from the Board of Education and just stands there holding the envelope. Red says, "You gonna open it, or stand there with your thumb up your butt?"
"Thumb up my butt sounds better."
Time to take the thumb out of your butt and start getting busy scoring, because you can't win in today's NFL without scoring a few points and as it's been pointed out many times, the offense seemed to have their thumbs up their collective butts in the fourth quarter of games they could have won. That can't happen again next season.
"You see, this profession is filled to the brim with unrealistic mother^@#3rs. Mother^@#3rs who thought their ass would age like wine. If you mean it turns to vinegar, it does. If you mean it gets better with age, it don't." - Marsellus Wallace, Pulp Fiction
(Notice how 1994 has two of the top movies ever made, so far?)
Seattle is getting younger at quarterback. Seattle is getting younger at backup running back. The Seahawks are a young team and they're only getting younger. But in the NFL, sometimes its better to be young and hungry than to be old and experienced.
One of the "veterans" on offense is now Kellen Winslow Jr, who will be all of 29 at the start of the season. The body might actually physically peak around those age 24-27 seasons, so what you are looking for are players that are young in years but wise beyond them. Yes, players like Russell Wilson. And hungry players like Doug Baldwin. And chip-on-your-shoulder players like Marshawn Lynch. And something-to-prove players like Golden Tate.
Not all players "turn to vinegar" with age. Some are Ray Lewis. The very, very special players that never seem to decline. Some are Chris Clemons, who hopefully continues to get better with age. But most players peak early and since Seattle is so young on offense, these may be the actual glory years.
That youthful ignorance where "can't" isn't in your vocabulary might just be the bright shining light in the briefcase. Or maybe it is Marsellus Wallace's soul, how the hell should I know?!
"Life is like a box of chocolates." - Forrest Gump, Forrest Gump.
Deuce Lutui needs to make weight.
"Run, Forrest! Run!" - Jenny, Forrest Gump
Seattle doesn't appear set to air it out in 2012 and they've emphasized that they're going to run the ball and start with the run to setup everything else. Last season, Marshawn Lynch carried the ball 285 times and Leon Washington combined with Justin Forsett for 99 carries. The addition of Robert Turbin, a much more classical style of runner, appears to be the first step in having a player that can not only step in for Lynch if he gets hurt, but to ease the burden on him and the rest of the running game.
Last season, the Hawks scored 20.1 points per game. Don't expect that to all of a sudden jump up to 28.1 points per game, because it probably won't, but expectations should be more in line with 24-25 points per game on a ground-and-pound offense where a solid running game is setting up third-and-short a lot more often than it did before. Seattle doesn't want to get in a shootout, they want to force you to play their game. Win the time of possession. Frustrate you by taking 12+ plays to score on an offensive drive. Put you down by two scores and then force you to throw it into their strength: the secondary.
The Seahawks were 25th in passing attempts last season. I would probably expect them to throw it more, but more importantly to make the most out of those throws. To gain more than seven yards per attempt and they'll do that by forcing you to bring more guys up to the line of scrimmage to stop Lynch and Turbin, leaving lanes open behind the linebackers for Baldwin, Zach Miller, Winslow, Tate in the middle and one-on-one coverage of Sidney Rice. To cut off the defense's legs and leaved them as pissed off as Lt. Dan.
And that all starts with the run.
"Hakuna Matata" - Timon and Pumbaa, The Lion King
It means no worries for the rest of your days.
Simba was going through a lot and was having a hard time getting over his "Bambi moment," when his two best buds taught him the life lesson of "Hakuna Matata." It was time for Simba to forget about what had happened and start living in the present.
The offense has been bad for four years. The past four years. What has happened before does not mean that it has to happen again. Don't worry about the mistakes you've made, Seahawks offense, and start worrying about what you can do today to get better.
Time to start living in the present.
"A bomb is made to explode. That's it's meaning. It's purpose. Your life is empty because you spend it trying to stop the bomb from becoming. And for who? For what? You know what a bomb is Jack that doesn't explode? It's a cheap gold watch, buddy." - Howard Payne, Speed
Whether you agree with Pete and John's philosophy, you have to acknowledge that it is a philosophy. The front office has built this team and this offense with a blueprint. In 2011, the defense worked very close to their plan on that blueprint. In 2012, it's time for the offense to work closer to the blueprint that they have built on it.
Like I've said, this isn't a team that appears set to score 30+ points per game, but a more efficient offense. A "well-oiled machine" offense. The kind of offense that you can count on when you're down three points with two minutes to go on your own twenty-yard line. That's the offense we're looking for.
The Seahawks offense was made with a purpose and if they don't fulfill that purpose in the third year of this regime, then they just become a cheap gold watch.
I'll leave you with this...
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee.
Now that is one tasty burger.