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Seahawks Preseason News Flash — Hawks Were Screwed in Super Bowl XL
For those who may have doubts about whether there were any officiating mistakes in the Seahawks only visit to the Super Bowl – be in doubt no longer. News flash: Seattle got screwed in Super Bowl XL. That’s right, apparently four and a half years later this is still news, because referee Bill Leavy acknowledged those officiating mistakes to the team yesterday.
Great. Thanks, Bill. Thanks for nothing. What are we supposed to do with that admission? Feel better? Because short of going back and replaying the game from the pass interference call on Darrell Jackson’s touchdown catch, I somehow don’t think Hawks fans are going to be satisfied. You know, Bill, it’s not surprising that you still feel bad about blowing those calls, because so do we. I guess I have to give you some credit. It’s better for you to admit it now than come out four years later to say that you didn’t blow any calls.
Honestly, I can say that until now I had at least pushed this to the back of my mind. It was a whole four seasons ago, and it’s time to move on. But, after two consecutive double-digit loss seasons, it really doesn’t make me feel any better knowing that Seattle is probably closer to their last Super Bowl than they are the next one. Needless to say, as optimistic as a person is supposed to be about their team in the preseason, this story did not help.
Initially, I was going talk about how this might be the only preseason preview that doesn’t discuss whether or not Favre is coming back this year, but this story about Leavy got me fired up.
So now I just need to get back into the right frame of mind and shift gears back into optimism mode, and I have the perfect topic to get us there: the 2010 draft. If you watched or followed the news, then you remember the feeling. Everyone was talking about the Seahawks after this year’s draft. But when you can take the 6th and the 14th picks in the draft and you don’t screw them up on a scale that only the Raiders seem to know how, then praise is what you should expect.
With their first two picks, Seattle was able to address huge question marks that had been lingering at left tackle and at safety by selecting Russell Okung and Earl Thomas. Additionally, they picked up a potential new offensive weapon in Golden Tate. After a great first day, it really got people’s attention was on day two when the Seahawks made trades for running backs Leon Washington and Lendale White (although White has since been cut) in the fifth round. Every position they drafted seemed to address a need, which was refreshing (or worrisome that we had that many needs). Yeah, because I’m optimistic, I’m sticking with refreshing.
The team was also very excited to pick up quarterback Charlie Whitehurst in a trade with San Diego prior to the draft. Personally, I’m not sure how you get too excited about giving up a third round pick and moving down more than 20 spots in the second round for a third-string quarterback. At least the guy did take first in thepreseason home run derby competition. See? The pattern of my optimism has no end!
Although there have been a couple notable additions, there have been just as many subtractions. While the names are big, I don’t know if it can be considered any cause for concern, especially since were the same guys on a team that won a total of 9 games.
Wide receiver Nate Burleson signed with the Detroit Lions in free agency. Backup quarterback Seneca Wallace joined the new Browns General Manager Mike Holmgren in Cleveland via trade. Guard Rob Sims was traded to the Lions for defensive end Robert Henderson and a 5th round pick. Veteran defensive end Darryl Tapp, now a Philadelphia Eagle, was also traded.
There were also to big retirement announcements. Back in April, defensive end Patrick Kerney announced his retirement after 11 NFL seasons. Shortly after, Seattle lost arguably their greatest player of all time when left tackle Walter Jones announced his retirement. It seemed to be his time after he just couldn’t stay healthy the last two seasons, but after so many great years with Seattle it was still tough to see him go.
With Jim Mora gone and Coach Carroll taking over, it’s tough to know what to expect this season. One reason I have a hard time expecting much from the Seahawks this year is that they are learning another new system, and it struck me when I was listening to Tony Gonzalez on the Jim Rome Show a few weeks back. Gonzalez talked about when he was in Kansas City, and they were changing coaches and coordinators every other year, they were constantly trying to learn the system as they were playing the game.
He said that while you’re learning a new system the game speeds up tremendously. It wasn’t until guys became comfortable before the game started slowing back down again. For veteran guys like Matt Hasselbeck and Julius Jones, they can’t afford to have the game speed up on them. Look at the success Brett Favre had by going to the Vikings. With the Jets, he didn’t know the system and things were fairly rough for him. Yet, with the Vikes, he knew the system and nearly took them to the Super Bowl. Please note that I am still not going to get caught up in whether or not he’s retiring.
My goal for the Seahawks, and it’s an optimistic one, is that I would really love to see them win more road games than the last two years combined (I would settle for a tie). It’s not enough to just beat the Rams on the road, which accounts for two of those three road wins in the last two years.
This is an area that must improve if Seattle looks to start winning division titles again. My hope is that they can at least take down the Raiders, Bucs, and Rams on the road. Then, if they can win against at least one other division rival on the road, I think they can get to .500 this season.
Even though Seattle may be in for another tough year, I’m looking forward to seeing how the team responds to Coach Carroll. It would be great if we had a coach that can stick with the team for at least a few years, and give him a chance to see what he can do.