Okay, I hope the coaches and players spent last night, after a long day of drills, reading and expanding their minds on the joys of football. I really hope you spent time reading at least once during the day. I’d like to think sports figures were of sound mind and body. Too much to hope for?
I wanted to address the special teams alone today because it is so critical to a well rounded football team. A lack of ability on special teams, for the Seahawks, is one of the main reasons they are losing so badly. I appreciate you guys giving the unemployed a job this past Sunday but maybe you should hire real football players to try their hand at the special teams squad. I realize the lack of glitter and paparazzi in the special teams world might be off putting to attention hogging athletes, but spend some time and money there convincing guys to join in the fun. You just might win a game or two more this season.
Gunner – these guys run down the field, as fast as they can, in hopes of tackling the kick returner, preventing him from getting good field position for his team. Or, more importantly, to stop him from running all the way back for a touchdown. Which is painful to watch. Guys, I understand the need for speed, but try not to run so fast you go right past the ball carrier. That doesn’t help. Please, whatever you do, please, don’t run into each other, miss the guy completely, and end up in a heap on the ground. I’m so tired of watching highlight clips on ESPN of our opponents. “Wow, look at that great Bengals return! Those Seahawks sure do suck.” Thanks, thanks a lot. Please learn to tackle.
Holder – the red headed stepchild of the game. When he does his job right, we completely ignore him; when he messes up, we line up the firing squad. Nothing beats me down, as a fan, more than struggling down the field, having to settle for a field goal attempt, and watching butter fingers mess up the hold. “Oh, don’t worry, Mr. Holder, we don’t need points or anything!” Now this only applies to the Seahawks…if its…say…the Cowboys, I’m all for it! So we backed our way into the playoffs, I’m okay with that. We made the playoffs. I’ll take ugly. Now going in with a losing record? That’s another embarrassing story.
Kick Returner – My Christmas wish is for the Seahawks to find their own Devin Hester. He knows what to do with a kick return. He doesn’t try and juke you out of your jockstrap: He grabs the ball and runs like the devils after him straight up the field. Oh, and if you choose to run the ball out from deep in the endzone, you better make sure you consistently make 30 – 40 yards per return. If you don’t I will talk badly about you for a very long time. I’m being very nice and friendly now, but I can be vicious.
Long Snapper – another red headed stepchild. He is the specialized center who only snaps for extra points, field goal attempts, and punts. I’m not sure what he does in his spare time. Even the Seahawks guy is only out there 10 or 15 times per game for punts and the occassional field goal attempt.
Place Kicker – besides the quarterback, this is the MVP of the team. He scores more points than almost everybody. Because of the nature of his role, the kicker is usually the oldest player on the field. Which means he uses his wisdom to help the younger players mature. When I dream, I dream big.
Punter – our punter looked pretty good…he kicked a couple of bombs. I had a lot of opportunities to watch him and I am pretty happy with the way he kicked. His stats are going to be impressive this year. Of course, the Bengals had some great runbacks, so my smiles quickly fell over.
There are a couple of concepts I wanted to touch on before signing off, a couple of things where the coaches are missing the point. The first one is very important, so important it will allow the coaches to retain their jobs and dignity: WIN! This is the object of the game, the reason we have a team, the reason we pay a lot of money to watch the games. I don’t want to hear about having fun and it’s not about winning, it’s how you play the game, and other pieces of crap we tell kids. Please, I’m begging you: WIN!
Here’s another concept I’m afraid every coach on the sideline is missing: in order to win multiple games you must SCORE POINTS! As a fan, I love to see a shoot out, I never want to hear about another ‘intriguing defensive battle’. That’s latin for ‘boring’. Air it out, coach, bring the running game in later when the other team is tired from chasing the wide receivers around all day. We won’t beat many teams with a 12 point total and we won’t beat ANY team with a 0 on our side.
The Seahawks have scored 109 points in 7 games for an average of 15.6 points per game. Keep in mind, coach, there are only 32 teams total, so when I say we are 27th in scoring, we are close to scraping the bottom of the barrel. The only reason we are that high is because in two of our games we scored near 30 both times. Without those two games: we scored 49 points in 5 games for an average of just under 10 points per game. Yikes.
Here are a couple of helpful hints to specific people who annoyed me during the game:
Mr. Running Back – if the quarterback gets the ball to you – run! If you see a wall of humanity in front of you – avoid them! Running into the back of your own men gets you nowhere. How many yards did you have on sunday? Try to find a ‘hole’ and run through it. Don’t make me come up there and show you…nobody wants to see me run.
Mr. Coach – I think your ra-ra-go-team spirit is cute and amusing, but could you please kick some ass once in a while? I’ve learned something about having emotionally immature people in the house, from when my daughter was very young: a little fear of you goes a long way. But you have to be willing to slap upside the head, or your threats are empty. Don’t be a BFF, they are too old in the NFL; be a coach, one who yells and screams and holds people accountable for their actions. I seriously doubt Holmgren took the Seahawks all the way to the superbowl by singing around the campfire and sharing smores.
I grew up in Seattle, grew up watching the Seahawks and Mariners play. I’m so tired of saying ‘there’s always next year’ every single year. I’ve already said it once and I hate the thought I will have to say it again. Can we throw out your game plan and find another one? Can’t you find something on ebay or craigslist? This is not working so change what you are doing. Watch tapes of good teams. What are they doing? Because if you don’t improve…I’ll…oh, hell, I’ll still watch! But I won’t be happy. Someone, anyone, please help my Seahawks.