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Seattle Seahawks Team Capsule

July 7, 2008 | By Andy Goldstein | comment on this post

What Went Right

This will come across as rather mean, but I can’t think of a worse NFL team that has ever won four consecutive division titles. Seattle has achieved that distinction thanks in large part due to their inept division mates. Since 2003, no NFC West team other than the Seahawks has gone over .500. Still, we certainly underestimated Matt Hasselbeck last season. We had him outside our top ten quarterbacks, but he continued his ultra consistent play and finished as a reliable week-in, week-out fantasy starter. Bobby Engram, of all people, was Hasselbeck’s top receiving target, as he managed a respectable six scores and over 1,100 yards. Engram was one of fantasy football’s more surprising waiver gems this past season.

What Went Wrong

We normally don’t point out when we get something exactly right (okay, that’s not true at all), but what the hell, check this out. Shaun Alexander was so bad that he actually lost his job, which allowed the “experts” over at ESPN to finally catch up to us. What, Tom Jackson? Alexander isn’t a good running back anymore? Where were you one and a half years ago? Anyway, we also don’t like how far the pendulum has swung. Now Alexander is a “terrible player who only cared about money and has no heart.” That’s also not true. He was a fine player who was abused into submission by the cavalcade of dolts that coached him. Whether he “was only in it for the money” is pure speculation and probably not for anyone to answer other than Alexander himself.

Anyway, no one catching passes other than Engram was worth a damn, unless Nate Burleson helped you in your touchdown-only league. Deion Branch was especially disappointing as he only played in 11 games because of injury. Oh, and if the first paragraph for this section didn’t make it clear, the Seahawk running game was terrible. Alexander lost his job and Maurice Morris tried to give it back to him every week. Okay, that might be a bit harsh, but when the addition of lowly Julius Jones feels like an upgrade, not much else needs to be said.

Off-season Outlook

The aforementioned Jones was brought in to right the running back position, and as sad as that is, he’s being backed up by T.J. Duckett, who really deserves a chance to start somewhere. Still, Jones should have a few decent weeks in him, which means he’s an okay backup for the right price. The other off-season moves of impact were all on the defensive side of the ball, which means we really don’t care about them. Sorry, defenses!

Draft Recap

When it comes to tight ends, both the offensive gameplan and the quarterback have to make concerted efforts to get them the ball. The Seahawk offense has never really made the tight end the top target in many plays and Hasselbeck seems to much prefer throwing to his speedier wide outs anyway. Thus, the fact that fantasy owners have gotten basically nothing out of the position since Mike Holmgren took over shouldn’t be much of a surprise. When they drafted John Carlson, Notre Dame tight end, it should pique some interest. Does this mean a philosophy change for the offense? Will Hasselbeck let Carlson find the holes in zone defenses? The pieces are in place for Carlson to contribute, but there are certainly a number of variables.

State of the Team

Quarterbacks – Hasselbeck has alternated good and bad seasons for a while now, which means he’s due for a down year. That could happen if the running game can’t take pressure off him. Of course, that’s what we said last year, so who the hell knows what to think? (Yes, we’re still bitter about last season.)

Running Backs – We hope something definitive happens during training camp and preseason with Jones and Duckett. Because the potential reward is so low, it doesn’t make sense “handcuffing” these two. As it stands now, Jones is worth a mid-round selection, but some moron in your draft will probably take him in the fourth round. Oh well, don’t worry about it. There are better options out there.

Wide Receivers – Branch is the classic case of a player who gets overvalued due to a post-season performance. He has always been wildly inconsistent and that should continue assuming he comes back healthy from the ACL injury suffered last season. Engram is a good third wide out, as long as he doesn’t hold out, who might actually be available for the cheap due to the fact it’s Bobby freaking Engram.

Tight Ends – We know he’s not on the team anymore and it’s probably not the place to bring this up, but this article about Jerramy Stevens is utterly disgusting. All the enablers should be ashamed. Anyway, we talked about Carlson above, so we’ll leave it at that.

Defense/Special Teams – It used to be that just being in the NFC West was enough to make the Seahawk defense a worthwhile commodity. If anything, that’s the opposite now. The Rams, Cardinals, and even 49ers have all taken turns battering Seattle’s defense over the last few seasons. That’s not to say there’s no value here, but it’s not worth spending too much effort on.

The Skinny – We’re not bold enough to say Hasselbeck won’t be one of the top ten fantasy quarterbacks. He just won’t be on any of our teams.

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