We’ve reached the end of May and as the Seahawks pointed out in today’s blog titled, Is it football season yet?, there are only 100 more days until kickoff on opening day. There are even fewer days until the start of training camp and preseason.
As you can imagine, there is plenty of Seahawks news to talk about since our last monthly newsletter. The Seahawks had what we all expect will be another solid draft class, at least five Seahawks have made the list of the NFL’s top 100 players, the team has one more week of Organized Team Activities (OTAs), and there’s been a few news stories we’d rather not see come out in terms of injuries, suspensions, and court dates.
After dominating the NFL Draft last year, those who think they need to grade the draft immediately after it happens aren’t so quick to pile on the Seahawks anymore. Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune captured an excellent quote from a Fox Sports analyst who turned 180 degrees from the grade he gave the team following the 2012 Draft.
“I gave their draft an ‘F’ last year. That same draft netted Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson,” said Peter Schrager. “I’m done questioning John Schneider. Until he proves us otherwise, he gets an A.”
Damn right. Unfortunately Mel Kiper Jr., Pete Prisco and Rob Rang didn’t have a similar takeaway, but each graded the Hawks a respectable B.
Some fans seemed to take issue with the fact Seattle selected two running backs, or at least had a problem with taking one with their first selection before addressing other needs. Personally, I have no problem with it. At this week’s town hall meeting with 600 randomly selected season ticket holders, Coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks ran the ball more than any other team in 2012. They are clearly stacking up to continue that mentality in 2013 in spite of adding Percy Harvin.
Two guys I’m most excited about are the additions to the defensive line. Defensive tackles Jordan Hill of Penn State and Jesse Williams of Alabama both made a solid impression at rookie minicamp a few weeks back. I was even promoting Williams as a guy the Seahawks should take in the first round back in November. It goes to show just how much a player can move in a few months (or my inability to rank college talent).
Another guy I hope we add to the list of fifth-round studs, joining Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, is tight end Luke Willson from Rice. He only caught nine passes for 126 yards in his senior season, but was turning heads at rookie minicamp. Even more of an incentive to root for him to succeed is the fact that San Francisco drafted a tight end out of Rice ahead of Seattle.
Apart from the draft, minicamps and OTAs, NFL.com’s list of Top 100 players of 2013 has helped pass the time this past month. Richard Sherman’s rank of 50 has been a source of controversy since it was announced on Thursday, but even more shocking was that Cam Newton ranked five spots ahead of Russell Wilson.
That’s right – a guy who last season spent his “bye weekend visiting a haunted house, go-kart racing, watching movies, playing video games,” according to ESPN, and didn’t even have a winning record – beat out a guy who led his team within seconds of going to the NFC Championship. I don’t mind if some players are a bit underrated, but that particular rating discrepancy is mind boggling to me.
In the department of unfortunate news, the big item was hearing that Bruce Irvin will be suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. That was followed by the news that quarterback Josh Portis was arrested for DUI and subsequently waived by the team, as well as a court appearance by John Moffitt for doing what nearly every male has done at one point in his life – urinating in public. Although, from what has been reported, it sounds like the problem has more to do with the violating police orders part of the situation than the actual peeing part.
One positive thing we saw following the news about Irvin was hearing Chancellor talk about how the veteran players led a team meeting to discuss how players need to learn from the mistakes that have already been made. Hopefully that message resonates with everyone.
In injury news, defensive end Greg Scruggs and tight end Anthony McCoy aren’t likely to see the field this season. Why is it that the guy with one of the best sack dances in the NFL and the guy who is more entertaining to watch when going in motion than any other player in NFL history (trust me on this if you don’t know what I’m talking about) both have to be out for 2013? Fortunately, I think we can all manage to be entertained by the pure awesomeness of the team, but I can’t help but think it’s going to detract from the season in a small way.
Finally, I wanted to thank those of you on Facebook who helped participate in a lively discussion as to what player, hypothetically, should join Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy and Walter Jones on the Mt. Rushmore of Seahawks all-time greats. That post generated more comments (76) than anything we’ve ever put up.
I didn’t count all the votes, but it seemed that Kenny Easley, Shaun Alexander, Mack Strong and Coach Mike Holmgren led the way. Surprisingly, very few went with Matt Hasselbeck, who received almost 30 percent of the vote on Seahawks.com. Personally, I went with Coach Holmgren, because I felt like we needed to round out the group with the guy that helped build and lead the Seahawks to their only Super Bowl.
I would have given the nod to Alexander over Hasselbeck just for the fact that he was the only league MVP in Seahawks history, but either of them over Easley would have been a tough choice for me.
Hope you all have a great month of June as we launch into summer. In the next week or so, I plan to be hyping up our Seahawks with my friends Adam Emmert (Hawks fan) and Gerrad Timm (Broncos fan) on their A Flock of Donkies podcast. Considering the Seahawks and Broncos were picked by NFL fans to face off in Super Bowl XLVIII, I’m guessing we’re going to have some fun discussing that – especially considering the Seahawks were voted to win it all!
Brandan Schulze Military Sea Hawkers
VP of Communications and Membership