Monday, April 4, 2011

Hawks and Hasselbeck: The Tribute

The quarterback position is amongst the hottest debates amongst us right now, and by extension, so is Matt Hasselbeck. The few mentions I've made of him so far have been pretty negative, and since I'm about to embark on another series of posts about the position and how Hasselbeck fits in, I find it important to explain my position on our favorite QB and how I see him and his successor.

How do you let go of a long-term relationship that needs to be let go? You've had a few great years together, but it's become obvious that you need to move on. The future is daunting, the past seems unrepeatable, and the denial is constantly threatening to keep you in the same comfortable spot rather than step out on your own, take new risks, rebuild from the ground up - especially if the relationship you're ending is the best you've ever had. Hard to imagine anything better.

That's kinda how I feel about the 12th Man's relationship with Matt Hasselbeck. He's obviously the best, or at least the most accomplished, quarterback to ever play for Seattle. He's helmed this ship through its proudest moments and stayed at his post through some of its roughest and most embarrassing. That he has caused some of those embarrassments directly does not negate his past accomplishments. He is to be in the Seahawks' Ring of Honor the moment he retires from pro football, and if the Seahawks organization fails at that, I'll have something to say about it. He is the greatest Seahawks quarterback of all time.

And it's time to move on.

How do we judge the guy fairly? It feels disloyal and ungrateful to move on from him as our franchise quarterback, like we're ignoring what he's done. But I don't see it that way. Matt looks terrible right now. In the last three seasons, he's thrown 34 touchdowns to 44 interceptions and 19 fumbles. Results-based analysis is a bugger, but games are won with touchdowns and lost with turnovers. There is a certain level of failure that can't be ignored. Those stats have a legitimate place in the discussion.

Maybe I'm just better at compartmentalizing than some, but here's how I see it: I want Hasselbeck's reputation as the Seahawks' greatest QB to be protected. I want dignity for him. I don't want to watch him flail and struggle any further when it's obvious that Mike Holmgren won't be coming back to steady him. I don't want to see him turn into his mentor, Brett Favre. There's a time and a place to end a career quietly on a good note - Kurt Warner did it nicely - and Hasselbeck is coasting on as good a note right now as any. He deserves his Ring of Honor status right now, and I fear that any more time under center will only taint our remembrance of him.

Yet there remains a contingent of Seahawks fans who cling to the belief that Hasselbeck can return to Pro Bowl form if only given a better team. They're amongst the fans who are conditioned, both by Seattle's unusual playoff run under Mike Holmgren and the myopic Seattle media who analyzed it, to believe that the offensive line is all-important and defense even more so. If a championship team can be built that way, they reason, then such a team could be duplicated with enough draft picks and a quarterback added once the team is secure. Basically, they believe that a quarterback is a product of the team, not the other way around.

But this line of thinking has all the signs of denial. It ignores history; Hasselbeck did not stand idly by and watch every other player carry us to the Super Bowl. That season doesn't happen with Trent Dilfer under center. It ignores the current shape of NFL football; talk all you want about defense and O-line, but look around the NFL and you don't see a lot of playoff teams without good quarterbacks. The rare exceptions - Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, and Hasselbeck - are cited often by the "O-line first" folks, but without context and without perspective. It ignores economics and time management; it takes heaps of time and money to perfect a team before adding a QB, and by the time that perfection is reached, players are likely to be moving on or lost to injury or retirement, and the team becomes a dog chasing its tail. There's just too much being ignored in favor of hope, and I cannot in good conscience go along with that line of thinking.

And I'm not being condescending or looking down my nose at anyone here. I feel the "devil you know" mechanism the same as anyone else. When Darrell Bevell was hired as the new offensive coordinator, my spirits rose as I realized that Bevell might be the best fit for Hasselbeck in three years. When he defeated the decent Saints defense during the regular season, hope sprang eternal as I envisioned a late-career renaissance. When he completed that amazing long touchdown to Mike Williams against New Orleans in the playoffs, I saw light streaming through a crack in the space-time continuum, leading to past days of Seahawks glory. And on every single play he runs, I see Hass's fire and competitive spirit. A rickety, immobile QB who runs downfield with his offensive line to block for his running backs - well, that's not a QB who's thrown in the towel. He believes he can play. That kind of belief deserves another chance.

But let us be perfectly clear - the foremost reason, by a long margin, of Seattle's continued struggles the last three years is Matt Hasselbeck. Only the most loyal and hopeful of fans would continue to support a QB who throws 12 touchdowns to 17 interceptions, and only the most desperate of teams would court such a QB. Hass's arm strength has declined to the vanishing point. He's sustaining injuries without even getting hit - how is it that people who fear a rookie QB getting sacked are somehow perfectly fine with Hasselbeck getting sacked? He looks jittery and uncertain in the pocket, has looked that way ever since Walter Jones' departure.

There have been too many games (e.g. Tampa Bay in 2009) where Hasselbeck has enjoyed good protection and still thrown the game away. He couldn't deliver in the red zone against a porous Arizona defense at all this year. Linemen and defenses don't throw interceptions or fumble the football. The spurious factors just aren't enough of an explanation. It's him.

Many have argued that the only reason Matt Hasselbeck succeeded in the first place was because he's a classic system QB in a classic system - a pure West Coast offense - and when that scheme left Qwest Field with Mike Holmgren, Hass was forced to succeed on the same playing field as other quarterbacks and couldn't hack it. I personally agree with the argument, but not with the tone I depicted it with. It's too harsh. Is a quarterback invalidated just because he was a system QB? I think not. Schemed football is a perfectly legitimate way to get along in this league. As much of an asterisk as Seattle's playoff years bore in some ways, only a purist would completely dismiss lofty results like eleven playoff games, a Super Bowl appearance, and a Pro Bowl selection.

Also, Hass may have been the product of a system, but he was not the product of the team around him. He made the team around him better like a good QB is supposed to do. Otherwise, 2007 doesn't happen. The post-Seattle careers of Darrell Jackson, Bobby Engram, and D.J. Hackett imply that Hass made them good, not the other way around. Shaun Alexander wasn't giving Matt his usual cushion of 100-yard games in 2007. The defense was wildly up and down during his peak years. Those who claim that the QB is only as good as his team might not be aware of the environment in which Hasselbeck prospered.

A person who breaks up with a significant other often feels compelled to justify the breakup, and so sets about trying to judge or find fault with the other person so that there will appear to be good reason. That's an understandable reaction, but it's not honest and it's not fair. Truth is, there's nothing to retroactively dislike Hasselbeck for - nothing at all. He was the best QB we've ever had, and the necessity of our breakup isn't because of him. It's because of pro football. Sometimes time just passes you up and forces you into tough choices. It's easier to accept a breakup when the other person mistreated you; it's harder when they were awesome and you simply needed to move on. But the latter is the reality for us.

Whatever I say over the next few days (and it's nothing you haven't heard before), understand that my words and emotions are directed at the quarterback position and the conservative approach that some of my fellow fans are taking towards it - not at #8. Never let the last three frustrating years re-shape your image of him - that is disloyalty. Seattle must begin the search for the next franchise quarterback, should have begun years ago, but no argument you can make will convince me that Matt Hasselbeck is anything short of the greatest Seahawk of the 21st century so far. He was the leader, the cog at the most important position in football, and his jersey will remain in my closet for many years as a memorial to the glory days of my favorite team.



  1. Dang, that's a great post....but a little sad to read given that he's probably my favorite player of all time. I have to admit that emotion has influenced my logic when I think of how bad I want Seattle to resign him for two more years...

  2. Well, it's also conservatism. Change is always a risk and we know what we have with Hasselbeck, so that factors in. I'll be backing up my stance later on.

  3. The 'era' that most seem to fear repeating (92-98) is already happening. From 92-94 Seattle won 14 games, since 07 they have won 17 (including the unlikely playoff game), this team is already virtually as bad as the post-Krieg era and its time to move on (just as moving on from Krieg was the correct move in 92). You cannot let fear of failure stop you from moving forward, this is especially true when what you are/have been doing is already failing.

    Its like an F student refusing to change their study habits because they fear their 50% average falling to 35%, it makes no sense. Failure is failure, at least take a shot at improving.

  4. Time to jump off the Titanic and onto a boat that floats. The Titanic was nice, but there's no chance of it taking us where we want to go... the Super Bowl.

  5. There is no GOOD reason to continue the Hasselbeck era, only fear filled reasons. Arguing that keeping Hasselbeck is the right thing to do is akin to arguing that mediocrity is preferable to outright suckitude.

    However, keeping in mind that most football fans don't obsess over their teams 365 days a year, and that many fans can only list a few of the players on the teams they cheer for, I understand the whole "face of the franchise" thing that Hasselbeck has going for him and understand why the front office has at least made an appearance of trying to re-sign Matt. And in no way wants to re-sign Matt.

  6. 17 wins in 3 years is "outright suckitude" IMO

  7. Phenomenal post. I linked this on Field Gulls, because you took the words out of my mouth on my feelings towards Matt.

  8. Good write up, I would only argue that competition is the smartest way to grow, not cutting ties with the best QB we currently have.

    We absolutely need to find Matts replacement, but that person should be required to win the job, not be gifted it.

    Another response said moving from Kreig was the smart thing to do, but it ignores in doing so, we handed the key's to the castle to a guy (McGuire) who was as unproven as Whitehurst and he lost the starting job before the end of preseason. We went 2 and 14 that year and at the end of it, the only thing we knew was we desperately needed a QB.

    That 2-14 season led to signing Rick Mirer who not only didn't have to compete for the job, he was thrust into the starting role, because there was again, no competition to prevent it.

    We didn't have to go through the 90's blackouts and almost losing the team, it was caused by not testing out the future QB before throwing him into the fire and not having a back up plan if he failed. Had they resigned Kreig and made the QB position a competition, McGuire would never have led the team and if Mirer was able to sit for a year before being thrown in, he may have actually turned into the QB, everyone thought he was capable of, coming out of college.

    I'm all for drafting our future QB, but the smart money is for him to beat out Matt for the position, not be thrown in because Charlie was his only competition.

    No matter what, this team isn't going anywhere with the 30th ranked defense, 31st ranked running game and the receivers we have now.

    We need the O-line to be able to form a pocket so the TE's can get down field to catch pass's and draw the LB's off the LOS.

    If we don't improve those area's it won't matter who the QB is and if we do improve those area's, who is to say that Matt with a running game and a pocket, couldn't still have some gas left in the tank?

    The playoffs were a good example. Look how he played against the saints and that was with the team supporting him and then look at his performance against Chicago, the difference in those games wasn't because of Matt's play, it was 100% the team around him dropping everything in sight while the defense laid the biggest egg of the season. I think it is safe to say, no QB could have won that Chicago game given the performance of the team surrounding him.

    If you want to secure Matt's legacy, the smartest was to do it is by having him retire a Seahawk.

    The only argument for not resigning Matt would be, because you don't think the rookie will get a chance. If you believe this, then you have no faith in Carroll.

    If I am making the call, it's easy, you resign Matt and draft a QB you believe will be able to at some point, beat him out of the starter roll.
    Some teams are wrapping 20mill a year into one QB, Matt and a rookie would likely be less than that, so it wouldn't cost too much either.

    The only other debate is the theory of trashing a season so we can get the first overall pick for Luck. I don't think I need to go into how much I hate this idea, just like the idea some had of losing to the Rams so we could get a better draft position in this draft.

  9. After reading the story I was all about not re-signing Hass, after reading the above comment I'm just confused. Good points both of you!

  10. I would agree about the Chicago game. The New Orleans game, as I posted earlier, was more Roman Harper giving the game away than Hasselbeck taking it. The credit he deserves for that game has been overblown; he merely took what he was given, and he was given a lot.

    As for waiting for good competition, it's a fair argument and one that I might include in this series.

  11. You almost sound like a disgruntled NO fan with that statement.

    Do you remember all the conversations before the NO game? How many times did you here, if we get into a shootout, Matt doesn't stand a chance? That game was by definition, a pure shootout and Matt was the one with the win.

    The only way to discredit Matt in the NO game is through bias. A fair review of his performance in that game, as has been broken down by nearly every analyst, was he played like the Matt of old. The only reviews I have heard otherwise were from disgruntled analyist who tried to pass the game off as a NO loss and solely due to NO defense, but even they don't discredit Matt's performance in that game.

    Everyone always says they're defense played bad, but a good offense will make a defense look bad and that is what you watched in the NO playoff game.

    Matt had some horrible games this year and at times looked completely done, but he should get credit were credit is due.

  12. Well, I didn't say he deserves no credit; just not as much as he's been given. I know what the analysts say, but the highlights from that game show a lot of Saints screwups.

    My in-depth look at that game (and the credit that you ask for) can be found here:

  13. I read it and if thats your breakdown of Matt, you must of had night terrors breaking down Charlie's performance against the rams and over the season.

    Some big credit should go to Bates for both the NO and Rams games, he finally started to figure out that we were permitted to throw short pass's as well as throwing to the RB's. By that same credit, bates deserves some of the criticism for the season and both Matt and Charlie's performance. The fact he was immediately dismissed at the end of the season is a testament to that. But in the NO game, that confusion you refer to with Harper and the NO defense was caused by good play calling and well executed play.

    Why would you have to grudgingly admit that Matt could still be a service to the team? That statement in your article confused me and made me wonder if you had some motive to tear down his performance.

  14. The fact that Hasselbeck supporters all desperately cling to one or two games out of 15 last season as their defense speaks volumes.

    I think everyone would agree that Marc Bulger fully deserved to be cut by the Rams after the last three years of terrible play he put together in St. Louis, right?

    35 Games, 58 Comp %, 7246 Yards, 34 TD, 44 INT, 14 FUM
    36 Games, 57 Comp %, 6581 Yards, 27 TD, 34 INT, 12 FUM

    One of those lines is Hasselbeck's last three seasons in Seattle and one is Bulger's final three in St. Louis. Guess which is which without looking it up.

  15. i agree we need to part ways in a year or two but he would be a great influence on a new Quarterback and a much better backup than Whitehurst

  16. Daniel, I respectfully propose that what you just said is not true, at least the part about being a good influence on a new quarterback. There is nothing about Matt that screams mentor.

  17. No motive to tear down the best Seahawks QB of all time. The "grudgingly" is simply my style. I do not, however, think that Hass's remaining value justifies a contract of the size that he's apparently asking for.

    The New Orleans defenders were sometimes being fooled by good execution and sometimes simply whiffing. To get deceived into allowing a receiver free deep is a pretty basic mistake for a starting defensive back...especially when done so many times.

  18. Well how much is that contract, he is asking for?

    Truth is, you don't know and neither do I. The only things we do know are the FO offered a deal and Matt didn't take it. Before you chastise Matt or assume he is asking too much, look at the only contracts league wide, that have been signed.

    There has been absolutely zero big name FA signed anywhere in the league and the players who have signed, have signed deals that look like they were desperate for financial stability to make it through a potential lockout.

    I know John Clayton, guesstimated the FO offered Matt around 9 Mill and he thinks Matt is holding out for 12Mill, but the key word in his statement is guess, because even the professor doesn't know how much was offered or requested.

    So far the offers have all been extremely low, look at BMW and Washington, who both signed for peanuts and everyone felt they could have reaped much more had they waited for FA, add that to zero other big name signings league wide and you have a clue as to what kind of offer the FO may have actually put on the table for Matt.

    The problem I have with your analysis of Matt's playoff performance, is you can make that same analysis for any QB in any game if you are trying to. Fact is, it will always come down to defensive mistakes and some luck in any game. It is a game of chess and that is why you hear comparisons of OC vs DC and examples of how manning confuses defenses and Rex Ryan confuses QB's.

    Keep in mind, this isn't a debate as to whether Seattle needs to find they're next franchise QB, everyone knows Matt will be 36 going into next season and won't last much longer, so ignoring the position would be as irresponsible as walking away from the only proven QB you have reasonable access to.

    A smart FO knows you want the best possible player on the field, especially at the most important position. You can like Charlie as much as you want, but assuming he just needs playing time, is no different than Ken Behring assuming Dan McGuire just needs playing time and if this FO makes that same decision, they will be no better than the Behring FO and if we suffer on the field next year because of it, get ready for all the comparisons.

  19. Judging a move based on results is insufficient. I see a lot of people bashing the McGwire move, but not the Packers' release of Brett Favre. Both were proactive QB moves. The latter failed because the Seahawks whiffed on their evaluation of McGwire, not because the concept of cutting ties with an aging QB is inherently flawed. Nobody's ever going to forgive the Krieg move, and that's unfortunate because it was a theoretically sound decision of the kind that many of the best teams make.

    Leon signed a simple team-friendly contract and BMW was not exactly deserving of #1 money. I wouldn't interpret those contracts as evidence of Seattle being cheap. All the literature I've read indicates that the FO offered a contract to Hasselbeck that allowed them to bail on him early if need be, and that Hass is holding for more money over a longer period.

    And I could interpret other QB's in the same demanding light I did Hasselbeck, but I'd be wrong. Other QB's are out there defeating even sound coverages with strong throws and good decision-making. I simply don't see how two decent playoff games wipe away a 7-9 performance that, by all rights, should have prevented those playoff games from even happening.

  20. Lets compare the Kreig vs Favre situations.

    The packers signed Rogers with the 24th pick overall in 2005 and developed him for three years, where he had plenty of opportunity to show he was capable of leading the Packers as well or better than Brett. At the time, 38 year old Brett Favre had been threatening retirement for a couple years as an excuse to skip training camp, training camps that Aaron Rogers got 100% of the snaps to the #1 receivers.

    In 1991 the Seahawks selected Dan McGuire with IIRC the 17th overall pick, ignoring that coach Knox wanted to sign Brett Favre. Kreig was not threatening retirement or even wanting out of Seattle and was the established starter who showed up for every training camp and practice. With almost no reps with the first team and zero game time playing, not to mention not showing any proof of any kind, he was capable of being a starter, after the 91 season, the Seahawks let Kreig walk and handed the franchise over to McGuire, subsequently, Coach Knox quit.

    How do you justify making those two comparisons? They are polar opposites of how you should and shouldn't progress to your next QB.

    Could you please provide any kind of link that indicates anything about the FO offer or Matts requirements?

    Because I have been looking and have found absolutely nothing other than opinions.

  21. Aaron Rodgers had shown about as much as Charlie Whitehurst when Green Bay chose to move on. The situations are comparable rather you like it or not. The only difference is Rodgers succeeded (although they did go 6-10 his first year).

    1992 was a bad year but some of you act like that team would have been in the Super Bowl with Krieg at QB (while saying that a QB is only as good as the talent around them out of the other side of your mouth).

    Moving away from Krieg in 1992 was the correct decision, just because other decisions following it (McGwire, Mirer, etc...) failed does not change that. Teams need to be able to move on or they get stuck in mediocrity (or typically far worse), this team has been BAD for 3 years already. It makes no sense to keep Matt around because you fear getting worse (how much worse can you really get?), other than 1992 the Seahawks were virtually the same team they were with Krieg (the records in the 90's weren't dramatically different than the late 80's).

    I'd rather take the shot at moving on than stick with someone you know is not the answer (Matt like Krieg before him is not the answer anymore).

  22. Brandon, I appreciate your careful navigation through the emotional connections to Hass. I've given up making strong predictions because really what matters is how Carroll and company view things, and we won't see that for a while yet, and can't judge it until we have hindsight after the fact. In the meantime I'm all in and along for the ride. But if that means goodbye to Matthew, thank you #8 for all you have done for this franchise.

  23. Good article, Brandon. It sums up my feelings perfectly on why I am having such a hard time coming to grips with moving on from Hass.

  24. There are some crazy opinions lately, but you will never hear an expert compare what the Packers knew about Rogers as comparable to what the Seahawks knew about McGuire. It's beyond ridicules as is treating the two situations as if they were similar and doing so absolutely wreaks of justification and bias.

    It's kind of like accusing people of being afraid of change because they may not share the same opinion as you. Most of anyone I know or have talked to about this subject agrees we need to find Matt's replacement, that is not an argument and advocates change but at the same time that change isn't here yet and gambling on unproven QB's has a very high failure rate and a very high price when it happens.

    If you wanna know what it's like being a fan of a team with no answer at QB, go onto a Cardinals fan forum and you will see a ghost town. I don't want that to happen here. I've already been through it once.

  25. I know what experts and fans say. I'm not saying I refuse to have any accountability; I'm very careful there. But at the end of the day, each of us simply has to go with our own eyes and our own opinion.

    There were differences in the Rodgers and McGwire situations, but at their core, both teams were faced with the same choice: jump on a QB with a promising future, or pass him up and risk getting bogged down with a declining veteran as other opportunities passed by. The differences you cited really didn't change the essential nature of the debate. Both teams made the same choice, and the result was decided by talent evaluation.

    Discussing the high failure rate of unproven QB's is simply the wrong angle to take. Fact is, look around the league and you don't see playoff teams who did not, at some point, gamble on an unproven QB and win. It all comes down to talent evaluation, and that's the ground I feel we should discuss it on.

    If you don't feel that a good replacement is at hand, then that's certainly something we can discuss. But I do feel that we have better options available.

  26. I'm all for better options, no one is saying ignore the position but thats the crux of the whole argument, your suggesting getting rid of our best/only proven option, how is that better?

    Everyone I know is saying, draft a rookie to learn behind Matt or trade for Kolb if the price is within reason. Personally I wouldn't mind either or even bringing in Palmer or Young if the price was right, any of those options are at least proven, but non of the Veterans are FA's and therefore you have to invest draft picks to acquire them.

    As for your comparison again, neither team was faced with jumping on a rookie with a promising future, both guys were already on their teams again a polar difference, Rogers was looking at the end of his rookie contract, so they were in fact getting pushed into making that decision but Mcguire was only going into the second year of his rookie contract. He already had a year with the team where he didn't beat out Kreig for the starting role, the team had an opportunity to resign Kreig and continue to develop McGuire until he proved (or didn't) to be the better option and then move Kreig to the back up role for safety, but they decided to gamble and lost badly. It was a mistake, plain and simple. Consider the answer was to finally sign Warren Moon to drag us out of the blackout years and he was 41 years old when they signed him.

    I have looked around the league and can't find one team that started a rookie QB, that wasn't forced into it. Whether it worked out or not is not the question, the question is did they release a proven Veteran and take a gamble or were they in that position to draft that rookie because they had no other option?

    Most teams that have these rookie stars you are referring too, have them because they were picking at the top of the draft and that directly relates to not having a veteran QB who could keep them out of that position. Did it work out, sure sometimes, but your best franchises are the ones like Green Bay who go out and get they're rookie while the vet is still playing so they can take some time to teach him how to read NFL defenses, operate out of a pocket, take snaps under center, improve footwork and learn the playbook while he gets up to NFL speed.

    I am curious as to what better options you are referring too though, because there is no veteran FA that is proven and the only trade options require using draft picks for guys who again, aren't necessarily going to be an upgrade in a system that ranks near the bottom in nearly every categorical statistic.

  27. First-round QB's aren't drafted to sit there forever. Rodgers was selected as Favre's eventual replacement; the only question was when he played.

    You have a point about better QB's being available in the top of the draft, though Rodgers was a late first-rounder. But still, there remain plenty of teams who had only a very cheap, very unreliable veteran backup to the rookie QB they drafted. Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Matt Stafford, Sam Bradford, Josh Freeman, all thrown into the fire, all successful. whether that rookie works out or not is absolutely the question, because that's the whole point.

    You also have to consider that a lot of veteran QB's don't WANT to sit on the bench and mentor a kid. They want to play and win. Hasselbeck seems to fit that profile well.

  28. If Matt wasn't willing to play backup in the event he was beaten out, that would be a different story in whether I wanted to resign him, but from everything I have seen, read and heard that is not the case and when you consider Matt's makeup is all about team first, I find it hard to believe he wouldn't be willing. What else is he going to do? Throw a temper tantrum? I can't see Matt doing that, I think it is much more likely he would work with the rookie and help his development than the other way around.

    I also believe Carroll wouldn't hesitate to start another option over him, if he felt that option provided a better chance to win.

    Wouldn't that be the best case scenario? A rookie beating Matt out, while Matt is still on the team? Even if it didn't work out, you can put Matt back in and continue the rookies development, instead of risking the rookie developing Carr/Mirer syndrome. It would be much like the Seahawks did with Matt vs Dilfer. If it does work out, fantastic, you have the NFL's best back up. Imagine the rookie getting banged up as we were entering the playoffs? Matt's playoff performances have been some of the best in the league.

    Everyone of the example you gave did work out and thats great, but all but Freeman (maybe even him) would be the top QB prospect in this draft and each was taken lower than we could take without trading up. It also is an example of franchises that didn't have a better option available at the time they were drafted and lends more to my argument then yours.

    I think every organization would have loved to sit those guys instead of throwing them in, but they didn't have the choice, fortunately for them it worked out, but there are plenty of examples of times it doesn't and thats when you wish you had a veteran to fall back on.

  29. What does the rookie success rate have anything to do with keeping Matt? Do you think the rookie would fail if Matt is here, but succeed if he is not?

    Unless you think the hit rate on rookie QB's in the first year is 100%, why wouldn't you want the best option at QB in the event he isn't ready to start from day one?

    I understand this theory if you believe Charlie is a better back up option than Matt, but you didn't say that and I wouldn't accuse anyone of that level of ridiculousness. Besides, if the coach's believed Charlie was good enough, why would you draft a QB? In that case, you may want a late rounder, but why waste a 1st on a rookie if you think Charlie will become the guy? Charlie will be due a new contract after this year and if he has become the starter he will want starter money. Do you think we are going to pay him Starter money and a 1st round QB his salary also?

    We went 7-9 and won a playoff game last year and that was in the first year of a new regime, with all new players throughout and we showed tons of room to improve in area's that are not the QB. Wouldn't it make sense if we could block well enough to get our TE's down field and our running backs weren't getting hit behind the LOS, that this offense could improve on last years performance? What if our defense actually played lets say league average? Couldn't that maybe get us a win or two? why isn't it conceivable that if Matt had some protection and a running game to help and the line played well enough to get the TE's down field, maybe Matt would improve too, having more time to throw because the LB's are chasing the TE instead of stacking the line and adding to blitz packages not to mention, there would be more receiving options that would help to open up the field.

    There is so much of this theory that doesn't add up. It seems everyone knows we are not good enough to support a rookie QB and nobody is accusing Charlie of over achieving. Matt on a level playing field beat out Charlie last year so why would you want the loser to be our starter.

    Its unrealistic to believe a rookie is going to improve this team as it is now beyond the 7 wins of last season, so we need to make improvements that will help him and those are the same improvements that would help Matt.

    Sorry, your article is well written, but it just doesn't add up.

  30. I beg to differ with only one line in this entire article, which was very well written sir. However, this: "But let us be perfectly clear - the foremost reason, by a long margin, of Seattle's continued struggles the last three years is Matt Hasselbeck." is not something I can sit back and let go. This teams defense has been pathetic over the last three seasons ranking the seventh worst in points allowed in every one of them. Only one team that had a worse points allowed per game average in any of those seasons managed to make the playoffs. I do not fault anyone who wants to heap most of the blame on Hass, but to bypass this ineffective defense as the foremost reason for our struggles is unfathomable.

    There may be a small correlation to the defense getting fatigued after being on the field for long periods, but that has not stopped every top fifteen offense we have faced over the past few seasons from scoring early and often against the Seahawks.

  31. All very true.

    But the defense was not the ones who committed 13 turnovers over four games last year. Nine of those turnovers occurred within Seattle territory and four of them already in opponents' field goal range; they were turned into 44 opposing points.

    It's hard to imagine even the best defense succeeding with that kind of short field. Pittsburgh's defense, the best in the league, couldn't stop Green Bay from turning three turnovers into 21 points in XLV.

  32. Anonymous, the extra defenders has little to do with tight ends. They're stacking the line and jumping routes because they don't respect Hasselbeck's arm.

  33. I'd argue that only two of those four games were losses due to the turnovers. We still beat Carolina and the turnovers in the Chiefs game occurred after we were already down 21 points, and one of his turnovers, we got the ball back almost immediately. So, the turnovers definitely cost us the San Francisco game, and Atlanta certainly took advantage of the turnovers at the start of the second half with short fields. By my estimation, Hass cost us three games last season with his poor play, and I don't think that qualifies him as the foremost reason for our struggles.

  34. I don't think that qualifies him as a franchise QB either, though.

  35. Agreed, as he hasn't been one since 2007. As I said, the only contention was classifying him as the foremost reasons for our struggles. I'd love to have a defense that would make that statement true though.

  36. Quote:
    Anonymous, the extra defenders has little to do with tight ends. They're stacking the line and jumping routes because they don't respect Hasselbeck's arm. :Quote

    That's ridicules and in fact screams bias. Matt's QB rating went up when being Blitzed.Why did the same thing happen to Charlie? He has that strong arm, why weren't DC's afraid of him?

    When you can't form a pocket the QB is a sitting duck for outside rushers like DE and when the tackles have to slide outside to stop them it opens up inside lanes for the blitz.

    Not having a pocket to step into also effects the throwing motion because the QB often cannot step into his throw.

    We were forced to keep TE's back because of this, not because DC's didn't fear Matt's ability, they knew the O-line was porous as was proven every time a RB was hit behind the LOS and the WR's struggled to get open because they were slow, inexperienced and learning a new system and play book.

    News flash, we had one of the worst running games also, do you have some way to blame Matt for that?

    So far all you have said is Matt needs to be gone. So what is your idea on how to move forward? Should we draft Mallett and let him and Charlie battle it out?

    Lets take this away from you basing all the teams problems on Matt and please tell us what you think is a better solution.

  37. I just want to win and I would rather field a team that has a shot at the playoffs than one that looks like AZ did last year.

    Would I like a better QB than Matt? Of course, but that doesn't mean I want to get rid of him so we can start looking. That idea is not how you form a winning attitude on the team.

    Right now of all the FA options available, Matt is the best option and any draft pick will benefit from time learning before he has to play as well as the team would benefit from testing him out before they decide to move on.

    If we want to trade for Kolb, or if they can get a reasonable deal done for Palmer, that would be a reasonable route but Palmer hasn't shown he would be better with a lessor team and Kolb is still somewhat unproven, so neither of those is a guaranteed improvement over Matt, but at least they are younger so they would possibly buy some time. But you also have to question if Matt had all the weapons Palmer and Kolb had, not to mention a few years a familiarity with them, how good could he have been in they're situation?

    But the idea of just letting Matt walk away without a sound plan in place is similar to quiting your job so you have time to look for a better one. Or like a friend always says, selling your car for gas money.

  38. Quote from Brandon:
    "I do not, however, think that Hass's remaining value justifies a contract of the size that he's apparently asking for."

    Quote from Brandon"
    "You also have to consider that a lot of veteran QB's don't WANT to sit on the bench and mentor a kid. They want to play and win. Hasselbeck seems to fit that profile well."

    Quote from Brandon:
    The extra defenders has little to do with tight ends. They're stacking the line and jumping routes because they don't respect Hasselbeck's arm."

    Reading your article and comments, I grabbed a few of your quotes and can't help but think there is a ton of assumption on your part that could only come from a bias or personal desire to discredit Matt.

    You could assume the FO is not being reasonable just as easily as assuming Matt isn't, because there is no information either way. But you choose to not only blame Matt, but put it in a format that indicates you have inside information and when questioned about it, you choose to ignore it, rather than provide any kind of link or justification. That reeks of bias and some personal motive.

    You assume Matt doesn't want to be a mentor or isn't willing but again, you can provide no reason for thinking that and he has actually been quoted saying he would.


    Again this scream bias and an attempt to discredit.

    You again assume DC's are stacking the box because they don't respect Matt's arm or ability to beat them, I think this might be the loudest scream of bias and attempt to discredit of all.

    To most its common knowledge we couldn't stop defenses from slicing through the O-line and the WR's and running game were no threat and because Matt's ability to read defenses and the fact he is better against the blitz than most QB's, the smartest and simplest defense is to disrupt the play before Matt has a chance to destroy you. This theory doesn't work if your O-line can stop a girl scout or your receivers can get open reasonably quick, even a running game can deter it, but we had none of those and you choose to ignore all facts and again cast all the blame on Matt in an effort to discredit him.

    I must say I questioned your motives while reading your article, but after seeing your comments, it becomes pretty clear you have your own motives and are hiding them behind a gifted writing talent.

    You can say you are trying to be non bias and you have respect for Matt and what he has done for this team, but your comments and irrational justification for going forward with no plan, rather than having someone beat Matt out for the starter position, screams something else.

    Sorry but I'm not buying what your selling.

  39. wow, my post was completely deleted? How many other posts have been deleted because they don't agree with you?

    I guess it is easier to lead the sheep if you don't have people exposing your motives and bias. That was pretty much Hitlers theory also.

    You now have lost all credibility in my eyes by deleting a post that other should have been able to read in an attempt to make they're own fair judgement. You offer yourself up for criticism when you create a website and present yourself as the site expert. Deleting posts that debate that shows lack of character when you should be excepting it as a challenge to defend your beliefs. But I guess that is hard to do when you are constantly making stuff up.

    I guess you don't like when people discredit you like you have been trying to do to Matt. It must really suck when they use your own words to do it instead of making stuff up as you have all through your article and comments.

    I'm sure this will get deleted also, but at least I know you saw it, so I will have to take comfort in that.

  40. I didn't delete anything. The last post I got an email notification from you for - the one where I'm "basing all the team's problems on Matt" - is still there, three comments above this one. I haven't seen another one from you since.

  41. Well thats strange because after I posted it, I rechecked on here and verified it posted before I logged off. I even came back and checked for a response and it was still there, but there was no response. It wasn't until I posted my above reply that it was no longer posted, so something doesn't add up.

  42. Found it. Blogspot flagged it as spam, so I had to mark it otherwise.

    As far as your accusations, all I can do is tell you that I have no desire to discredit Hass. Whether or not you believe that is up to you.

  43. Thanks for reposting it, I knew I wasn't losing my mind. alright, I was pretty sure, but still.

    Sorry if i was out of line attacking you, it was there and then it was gone. I thought it looked fishy, but cudo's to you for making the effort to get it back up.