Monday, September 28, 2009

Random Week 3 Seahawks thoughts

- 5'10" Seneca Wallace cannot sit in the pocket and be expected to win a game throwing 40 times a game. The average defensive lineman is something like 6'3". You ever tried to look at something past a bunch of people 5-6 inches taller than you? Kind of hard, huh? Now try and throw the ball 7-15 yards to an open receiver as the quarterback on a football field while several of those big linemen are trying to kill you. He had some okay luck early, but as the Bears defense adjusted, it was clear this was no longer going to work consistently enough for him to lead scoring drives while sitting in the pocket.

Doug Flutie (5'9") got around this by using his mobility to keep the defense moving and allow him to throw the ball in open space. Other shorty QBs get and got around the size issue by either managing rushing-heavy offenses that required little throwing, or working behind strong offensive lines and taking 7-8 step drops. Seneca tried the latter and it didn't work often enough because the spotty Seahawks line was missing two top starters.

A short QB needs open field to maximize his vision. Seahawks offensive coordinator Greg Knapp did not get Seneca in open field often enough. With his vision always obscured, it's no surprise Seneca made several bad throws. (The Lance Briggs INT, however, was just a great play by the athletic Briggs)

- Seahawks coach Jim Mora Jr is a stark contrast to the country club-esque reign of Mike Holmgren. Whether or not you think his callout of kicker Olindo Mare of two missed field goals (43 and 34 yards) is classless and uncalled for, and whether you think the context of the game makes it too unpredictable to say that the Bears don't win the game anyway if he makes those kicks... it's clear the coddling mentality of the Holmgren era is long gone. The idea of 'class', like morality, is relative anyway. If class won titles, the Steelers and Raiders, some of the biggest assholes in football history, would have never won those Super Bowls in the 1970s.

- And to be fair, variance be damned (sorry, John Morgan, but the variance you're thinking of usually involves shitty weather and FG blocker penetration), Olindo Mare has to at least nail the 34 yard field goal. It's a balmy day with minimal wind in a stadium whose construction does a fair job of neutralizing the wind, and he's a veteran that's been hitting these kicks for well over a decade. Kickers usually don't miss those kicks without getting cut later one way or another. In a game where the Seahawks needed all the help they could get, Mare hurt his team at least once, if not twice (if you think the 43 yarder was easily makeable, which it may have been).

I don't blame Mora for being pissed, whether or not I would have called Mare out in the postgame press conference (I wouldn't have). Mare's on the payroll for one reason: to make a drive into those last 20-30 yards at least an automatic 3 points. If the Seahawks were okay with 34 yard shanks, they'd play a rookie kicker.

- The one group I don't see Seahawks fans blaming for the loss: the Chicago Bears. They may still have kinks to work out and they may be missing their star linebacker, but this is a good, physical ballclub that, provided their QB plays up to his ability, can at least keep themselves in a game and certainly do what it takes to win them.

It's a testament to the Seahawks' depth that despite missing 8 starters, including their starting QB and left tackle, they stayed with a good Bears team for 60 minutes and were two FG misses and/or a late drive away from taking it.

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