Breda Report - "A Ship Without Sails"

Seahawks.NET
Posted Nov 30, 2004


"The point in all of this is that this team lacks accountability. Something that manifests from a commitment to success which further is manifested through leadership."

For six years, I've attempted to be one of the Voices Of Reason when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks. My optimism was so insatiable it became known by some as a weakness. I never harbored cynical thoughts for long, always deferring ultimately to my faith that Mike Holmgren and the team would come through.

I've spent so much time with egg on my face these past six years that you could turn me into a bed-and-breakfast. This year, I've finally reached a point where enough is enough. There's no more need nor desire to candy-coat the blue bowl of dog poo that is rapidly becoming the crowning achievement of all achievements: The most disappointing season in Seahawks history to-date.

Think about that dubious honor for a moment. We've all been sucker punched into how many disappointing seasons as Seahawks fans? It hurts too much to count. That's why this season hurts - thus far - the most.

Isn't it bad enough to have to endure yet another off-season of endless promise and "can't lose" talent acquisitions, a teasing 3-0 start, 2 of which came on back-to-back road games, only to watch the Rams come to town and expose the team as the ship without a sail that they really are?

No, it's not, in fact. Apparently, it’s assumed that we’re too stupid to notice that Mike Holmgren's post-game and weekly comments are not only insulting to us as intelligent human beings who happen to have a vested interest and knowledge-base of the state of this team, but resemble very little truth.

"We're a very good team. I really believe that. We can still have a very, very good season."

Mike Holmgren not only says these things despite being continually out-coached and outsmarted on a weekly basis, but he does so with a straight face.

Who is he kidding?

Not me. Not anymore.

Something smells fishy in Kirkland, and it ain't the Salmon down at the local market. I watch a defensive coordinator with NO accountability. Tucked safely up in the booth on game day, he sits expressionless while he devises schemes that are as translucent as they are detrimental to victory. Our players are continually placed in positions that make it extremely difficult to maximize their potential. Holmgren is hardly doing much better in that category but hell, at least he's on the sideline in the line of fire.

I don't think Mike Holmgren, the players and coaches are void of feeling or concern for the way this season is unfolding, no matter how it may seem to the contrary on game day. Yet, there's simply no arguing the fact that there is a fundamental and profound lack of leadership and mental toughness on this team.

Why?

The Chad Browns and Anthony Simmons of the world chose to "Lead By Example". Little good that does when these players are perpetually injured. Jerry Rice says all the right things in the paper, and perhaps he does help the receivers with his quiet leadership. But what this team needs is a blowtorch and a lot of matches. Somebody needs to stand up and snap these players (who have too much talent to be this bad this consistently) out of this zombie-like state from which they seem unable to awaken.

From where I sit, it seems that the Ghost of Shawn Springs still haunts the halls of Kirkland. Darrell Jackson and Shaun Alexander are nice guys. They love to kid around and they are liberal with their infectious smiles.

All great things to possess in this world, but neither of these qualities mean squat on the football field. I would trade 5 Prime Time Shaun Alexander 160+ yard performances for 10 "I'm going to punish you for trying to tackle me, you punk" gritty 75-100 yard games in a heartbeat.

Darrell Jackson and Koren Robinson are little kids with big bank accounts who don't seem to truly understand the hard work and daily commitment it takes to be a great wide receiver in the NFL. Darrell, in particular, seems to think that he and his team are all that and a bag of Lombardi Trophies and doesn't seem to mind the effects of telling the opponent as much.

I watched Darrell Jackson smile and laugh his way through a post-game interview when asked about his 3 HUGE game-potentially-changing drops in the Buffalo game. A profound microcosm of what is wrong with this football team to be sure.

Shaun Alexander, when asked what he thought about the boos from the fans, took a golden chance to elevate his status as a team leader and instead took the cheap route. He said that he wouldn't come to our place of work and boo us after having a bad day. He also went on to say come the end of the year, if these fans can boo that easily he doesn't want nor need the cheers either.

Thanks for missing the point, Shaun. How odd that a millionaire who gets paid more money than we will ever see in a lifetime of hard labor doesn't get the point that fans pay some of that hard earned money to watch you perform. I suppose if you want to pay me 60 bucks to sit behind me at my computer and boo when you don't like a design project I turn over to a client, that's your right.

The point in all of this is that this team lacks accountability. Something that manifests from a commitment to success which further is manifested through leadership.

Oh, but we're a young team, that's right. We have injuries. Sure thing. Either of which is certainly to be accounted for, but neither of which can explain the profound level of complacency and incompetence we've been subjected to this year.

It's admirable to hear some of you try to look at the bright side. Our record for instance. Yes, we are still alone in first place and yes, we still very much are in the driver's seat to win the division and host a playoff game. Two primary goals of the 2004 campaign.

Some will even say it doesn't matter how we get there, as long as we get there.

I can't do that.

Unless there is a fundamental change at the core of this team's heart - and soon - I will not be able to look past nor fail to attempt to find the reason why this team continues to promise so much, and deliver so little.

Like a ship with no sails.

Todd Breda is the Owner and Creative Director of Seahawks.Net. If you would like to e-mail Todd, send any and all love letters, hate mail, whimsical musings or coaching resumes to: todd@seahawks.net.


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