NFL Preview – Here Come The Seahawks – Stumbling And Stumbling In Holmgren’s Senior Year

Just as Seattle’s Mike Holmgren is entering his final year as head coach, his Seahawks are now stumbling and working their way through what appears to be a Larry, Mo and Curly comedy routine.

After dusting the Minnesota Vikings 34-17 in their first 2008 preseason game on the road in Minneapolis, the Seahawks narrowly escaped defeat in their first preseason game at home against the Chicago Bears, winning 29-26 in a demonstration of ineptitude prone to errors. For the Seahawks faithful, it was no laughing matter.

There are high hopes in Seattle this year, especially since Holmgren is entering his senior year after winning an AFC West Division title, an NFC wild card spot, 4 consecutive NFC West Division championships. (2004 to 2007), an NFC championship and take the Seahawks. to their first Super Bowl appearance in 2005, they quickly lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-10.

Against Minnesota, the Seahawks turned into ballhawks, forcing 5 fumbles, recovering 4 and cutting an interception. Backup quarterback Seneca Wallace completed 15 of 20 passes with 3 touchdown passes after starter Matt Hasselbeck looked solid in the game’s first two series.

Against Chicago, the Seahawks were on two sides of another planet.

On the bright side, his seventh-round Georgia pick, kicker Brandon Coutu, was 5-for-5, including the game-winning 36-yard field goal in overtime to win. Seattle’s other seventh-round draft pick from California, Justin Forsett, 5-foot-8, racked up 261 all-purpose yards, excluding a 50-plus-yard return, call-back for retention, and with all his 136 rushing yards when he played. In the second half.

Coutu is a backup for Olindo Mare, a former Pro-Bowl, 12-year veteran with the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants. Forsett ranks fourth in the running back depth chart behind Maurice Morris, Julius Jones and TJ Duckett. Jones (of the Dallas Cowboys) and Duckett (of the Detroit Lions) are new pickups this year to replace the launch of former All Pro and 2005 NFL MVP Shaun Alexander.

In 2005, he became the first player in NFL history to score 19 touchdowns on the ground or receive TD in just 10 games. That mark eventually helped him break the NFL’s one-season touchdown mark with 27. Alexander, hampered by injuries the past two seasons, was Seattle’s all-time leading running back with 7,817 rushing yards and 89 rushing touchdowns in 5 seasons.

On the bad side, the Seahawks had to overcome 2 blocked punts and an interception return for a touchdown to finally win at home. Third-row quarterback Charlie Fry completed 20 of 35 passes, but was intercepted 3 times. Seattle only won because the Bears’ Pro Bowl kicker missed a potential game-winner from 47 yards when regulation time expired.

Seattle remains excited about new second-round pick John Carlson of Notre Dame. Holmgren’s west coast offense was in dire need of a tight end who could play effectively.

The addition of veteran guard and former professional bowler Mike Wahle of the Carolina Panthers should shore up an offensive line that was excellent in 2005 and less so with guard Steve Hutchinson’s departure to the Minnesota Vikings. Hutchinson was unstoppable alongside Walter Jones, the Seahawks’ main tackle who is 8 times Pro Browler and 6 times All Pro.

Unfortunately, the Seahawks underestimated the positive locker room presence of Hutchinson, who created a leadership role that has not been fulfilled.

While Seattle appears stable in its coaching transition (Jim Mora, a current assistant head coach and defensive coach, will replace Holmgren next year), there are many changes among the coaches.

The Seahawks have added Mike Solari of the Kansas City Chiefs (the new offensive line coach), Bill Lazor of the Washington Redskins (the new quarterback coach), Kasey Dunn of the University of Maryland (new running back coach) and Mike DeBord of the University of Michigan (new offensive assistant coach).

Like most NFL teams, the ‘Hawks have plenty of coaches to go with Holmgren, 19 of them in fact. In some cases, they work harder than the players they are training.

Seattle, and the NFL in general, has a lot of players who get overpaid and underperform. Two of them are defensive tackle Marcus Tubbs, a huge man who could block the middle if he doesn’t get hurt every 10 minutes of his career, and offensive tackle Floyd “Pork Chop” Womack, who likes the Seahawks because he can play more. one’s. position on the line.

Womack, like Tubbs, is more hurt than healthy. Seattle thankfully released Tubbs early in preseason camp. However, they resigned from Womack, a dubious move at best. It’s as if the Seahawks couldn’t find another decent, healthy backup tackle on the face of the earth.

To its credit, Seattle has recruited replacements; To the discredit of the recruited players, none of them have been shown to be capable of doing the job, so Womack returns for one more season, that is, until he is injured again.

So who else is hurt? Thought you’d never ask. Pro-Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has enough back problems to make an orthopedic surgeon rich, new wide receiver Bobby Engram has a broken shoulder and will be out for a while, and wide receiver Deion Branch is on the mend. from knee surgery.

A lot of other players complain of normal bumps and bruises. Big deal, this is soccer, not tiddlywinks.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley