I waited longer than normal to write this column because my emotions were so raw after the pitiful display against Buffalo that I was afraid the editors of Seahawks.Net would have to put in overtime just to bleep out and clean up my rantings. (Editor’s Note: After last Sunday, I wouldn’t worry about it...) I took a couple of days to ask myself why I care so much whether we win or lose when it appears that my team does not. I asked myself why I get so geeked up for every single game when it appears that my team does not.
Of course the answer, as always, is because I love the Seattle Seahawks and have for 29 years and nothing, no matter how bad we play, no matter how flat we are, no matter how crazy it drives me and every other fanatic out there, is going to change that. That said, it doesn't mean that I'm going to just sit there and watch our guys bumble and stumble their way to yet another disappointing season without saying something about it.
I'm tired of hearing and reading Mike Holmgren's 'golly gee whiz' remarks about how we play. I'm tired of him saying that he thinks we are playing hard, 'he really, really does, gosh darn it' and that we have to eliminate mistakes, 'we really, really need to clean that up just a little bit, we really, really need to do that' kind of attitude. Can you imagine what Bill Cowher would do to this team if he were coaching it?
There just doesn't seem to be that fire and determination to go kick somebody's butt either before or after a game. And after reading what Shaun Alexander said about having to laugh to keep from crying after a game like this and that we're okay because we'd still be in first place after this week just solidifies my concerns that this squad of players just doesn't get it or just doesn't care, I'm not sure which. There just doesn't seem to be any fear from anyone about losing their jobs or starting positions regardless of how they perform. One bad game is forgivable. Maybe even a couple of bad games throughout the year is, but our guys are so consistently inconsistent it's maddening.
When is Mike Holmgren going to hold these guys accountable for the way they play? When is he going to pull someone like Darrell Jackson aside and tell him, "Son, if you don't start catching the damn ball I'm going to sit you for a while until you get it together". When is someone going to go off on this team and get everyone else's attention that things are NOT okay the way they are going and that change is needed immediately if we're going to make the playoffs and do some damage once we get there.
I must say that it was slightly encouraging to hear what Matt Hasselbeck had to say during the press conference about how we would never see that Seahawk team that played against Buffalo ever again and that he takes responsibility for the way we've been playing lately. And it's a little encouraging to see that some of the players who are supposed to be leaders on this team, namely Alexander and Wistrom, say that the guys have circled this horrible game on their calendars as a game that will determine which way our season ends by never having it repeated. If these guys really mean it, then I think the rest of the year could be very exciting.
I think we'll find out this Monday night on national television if our guys truly mean what they say about never performing like they did against Buffalo again. Most people look at our Seahawks as mentally soft and while I totally agree, it's still embarrassing to hear. It should really eat at the heart of our guys to hear stuff like that but so far that doesn't appear to be the case. We could make a statement against the Cowboys that enough is enough and that we've got things straightened out or we could solidify every fan and expert's opinion that we are indeed soft. Which is it going to be, guys?
Watching our Seahawks play like we did against Buffalo raises so many questions such as;
Why doesn't Jerheme Urban get more playing time? I've read thate Holmgren gives him praise for the way he actually catches the ball (imagine that Seahawks fans, a wide receiver who can and does actually catch the ball!!!) but states that he won't see the field very much if the other receivers are healthy. What the hell are we waiting for? If this kid can make plays, and every indication is that he can, then why not put him in there? He's obviously playing with a hunger that most of our other receivers don't play with. Sure he's going to make the occasional mistake because of inexperience but at least he can and does catch the damn ball. Put Urban in there!!!
Why do we feature Mack Strong so much in the offensive schemes? I love Strong to death. He's a great guy and a great player but he's a big, tough fullback who should be leading Alexander through the holes and not the focal point of our offense on some plays. Why give him the ball on 3rd and 10? Why run screens for a fullback when we have Alexander and Morris available? Why run his butt up the middle 4 or 5 times a game for a yard or two each time? Again, this is not a knock on Strong but rather a question to Holmgren about play calling.
Why do our cornerbacks give opposing receives so much room? I mean, we play 10 yards off of no-name receivers who eat us alive while marching down the field. Why? Is it Ray Rhodes’ schemes? Are we afraid that Lucas and Trufant can't hang with these guys? I personally don't think that's the case because these two guys appear to have all the skills needed to be shut down corners and Lucas is having a really good year but my God, we give receivers way too much room. Personally I don't think we've been getting the safety help over the top which is causing Trufant to give too much of a cushion in order to avoid getting beat deep. I don't think he has the confidence that Bierria will be there to help. Again, if that's the case then why haven't we done something about it?
Although I hated hearing Alexander say that regardless of what happened this past Sunday we'd still be in first place, he was right. The Rams are giving us every single opportunity to win this division by playing just as badly as we are. Do we want it? It's there for the taking but we don't play like it really matters. That has to change right now. Some of our guys have openly expressed that the attitude is now different and that the Buffalo will mark a turning point in our season. My question is which way is it going to turn? What's it going to be guys? Are we going to be division champs or mental midgets?
I think we'll find out real soon.
It's a great time to be
a Seahawks fan (although sometimes I wonder), always has been, always will be.
Micky James writes weekly for Seahawks.NET. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.