Commentary, Pre-Season, Seahawks

Welcome home Matthew Hasselbeck…

There are few things in sports that are quite like reunions with former players with massive amounts of supporters. That’s Matthew Hasselbeck, former and arguably the best quarterback that has suited up for the Seattle Seahawks franchise.
Hasselbeck stats in case you forgot:
GAMES: 138
COMPLETIONS: 2,559
COMPLETION %: 60.2
PASSING YARDS: 29,434
TDS: 174
GAME WINNING DRIVES: 19

Last year the Seahawks ranked 22nd in passing offense. This wouldn’t be so bad if that came with 10 wins, or if the QB that was selected to replace Hasselbeck didn’t play like, well..Tarvaris Jackson. I’ve been a supporter of Jackson from a leadership and heart standpoint (battled through awful offensive line play and  torn pectoral muscle most of year) but he doesn’t pass the eye test. He’s not as polished as Matt was under center for the Seahawks (patting the ball for 5 seconds, then throwing majority of his passes off back foot like a fade away jumper doesn’t help his case).

On Saturday, Seahawks fans will once again see Matt Hasselbeck running on to the Century Link Field , only this time in a Tennessee Titan’s jersey. While most fans will admit it was time for Hasselbeck to move on, the fact that we haven’t had the new “Matt” since he left has turned the QB situation into a full-fledged 12th Man soap opera.

The desperation is clear. Pete Carroll, and John Schneider have been busy building an outstanding defense..The additions of players like Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, Richard Sherman, Alan Branch, Jason Jones, Bruce Irvin, and more have catapulted this defense into championship caliber levels.
To be fair, Pete Carroll has decided to construct the Seahawk’s new offense the right way: by building from the offensive line out. Additionally, offensive additions like Marshawn Lynch and Doug Baldwin have brought serious excitement at times but we are still an unbalanced team to date, and that has led to fears that this great defense may be wasted much like the 49er’s before Jim Harbaugh arrived (I just vomited a little writing that).

Matt Flynn vs Russell Wilson vs Tarvaris Jackson

During camp you hear-read the daily “how do they look?” questions from fans with numerous “experts” in local and national media weighing in on who they thought looked like “the guy”. These assumptions and opinions have driven me slightly crazy. I say that only because the rep counts, 1st team, 2nd team, and play call sheets are only part of the story. What happens in the film room off the field is also HUGE and is not getting discussed. Also I’ll add that successes in practice at this point in camp either offensive or defensive, may have to do with familiarity with personnel and their weaknesses as well as the limited contact allowed. While I’m on this mini rant, I’ll say one last thing: We don’t know what metric Pete Carroll and staff are using to grade the QB’s. I’d imagine it was deeper than completion percentage during practice, hitch steps, TD counts, and release points. I’d submit that it’s possible to go 8-8 in 7 on 7 drills but grade out below average. Without having intimate knowledge of the playbook, and philosophies against various coverages, it is all wild speculation.

The point is I’m getting restless. I’m getting restless to once again have that feeling of confidence in the QB position. To know the guy taking snaps is “the guy” and won’t be shipped out next year for another guy, who is then shipped out for another (see Seattle from 92-2000). I don’t want to go through that again. Matt Hasselbeck spoiled us as a fan base. He was perfect for Seattle, and seeing him back on the field on Saturday picks at a scab that has yet to heal.

Matt Flynn will get the start on Saturday, and an entire fan base will be sitting on the edge of their seats to see if this Matt can show us just a glimpse of what the new and improved defense Pete Carroll has built deserves : A competent QB who won’t force them to make the play that wins the game. Kind of a tough spot for Matt Flynn, even if it is just the 1st pre-season game. But, “the guy” should rise to the challenge.

Let’s hope he can.

Go Seahawks!!

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About Will

Football fanatic, former coach, and obsessive blogger. Proud member of the Seahawks 12thManNation. Follow him on twitter @12thManScribe

Discussion

7 thoughts on “Welcome home Matthew Hasselbeck…

  1. I’m pretty confident that Matt Flynn can be a great QB in this league. However, I also believe that in time, we will see Russell Wilson become a stud. Good problem to have! Let’s get rid of Jackson and let our two long-term options get the work, though. I’m getting a bit restless, too.

    Posted by ChiefAaron | August 11, 2012, 2:03 am
  2. Love this article.
    As a Hawks fan we all know–or should know–just how under-appreciated he was for us, and I mean from an NFL totalitarian perspective.
    Sure we all love the guy, those of us who are sane enough to realize that his last few yrs weren’t totally his fault (dare I mention Tim Ruskell!), but as far as media and NFL-wide recognition Matt never got his full due as far as the sub-elite guys. Guys like Romo, Schaub, etc. Matt was just as good and effective for us as those guys were for their teams but alas, no recognition. And as soon as he started to struggle moreso than usual (due to terrible O-line play–Ruskell) it suddenly became “all” his fault.

    Well we see now how good Matt was for us and I miss the guy. There is no substitute for a QB who just “gets it” upstairs as opposed to just an arm. And I understand the circumstances that lead to him leaving but it just doesn’t feel right when #8 doesn’t break the huddle on Sundays, especially when you know he had more left in the tank.

    He deserves all our support. And I’ll definitely be rooting for the guy, in Hawks blue or otherwise.

    Posted by B | August 11, 2012, 2:57 am
    • Couldn’t agree with you more. Matt had the ability to read defenses and check off at the line, which is under-appreciated. He was a class act in Seattle, always candid with the media. I also understand why Seattle opted to go in a different direction at the time, but can’t help but wonder what the Hawks might be like with #8 still under center and tutoring his understudy QB’s. I for one will be standing and cheering when he is introduced, as a thank you for what he did for Seattle.

      Posted by esarsea | August 11, 2012, 10:47 pm

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