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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Seattle Seahawks Offseason

The Seattle Seahawks Offseason has been all about coaches so far. With the confirmed return of Mike Homgren the succession plan after the 2008 season is in place. The plan has Jim Mora Jr. taking over when Holmgren retires at the end of this season. The most recent coaching move is the fact that Quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn went to the other Washington to be an offensive coordinator and two weeks later defaulted his way into the head coaching job, which he seems slightly under qualified for.

The biggest glaring weakness for the Seahawks this season was the run game. Homlgren acknowledged this during the season when he basically announced that the team was going to go to the passing game as a primary(solitary?) weapon. While I can certainly lay some of the blame for the decline in rushing at the feet of Shawn Alexander who seemes to be stretching out that Madden Curse a little longer than most guys. He was unable to lower his shoulders and punch through a hole all season. He spent way to much time dancing around behind the line.

The thing is it might not be him who changed so much. The biggest impact on the Seahawks rushing game is the fact that they now have to punch through holes. Prior to letting pro-bowl guard Steve Hutchinson go to Minnesota there wasn't nearly as much punching through holes as there was waltzing through alleys. Now with Hutchinson gone to Minnesota, Seattle can't seem to run the ball and Minnesota just set the single game record for rushing yardage (though I think Adrian Peterson deserves a fair amount of credit there).

The question becomes, which area to focus on in order to improve the run game? It may not be the Seahawks question to answer as much as it is the drafts question to answer. Around the end of the first round when the Seahawks #25 pick comes up they are more likely to find a running back than they are a good fit for their offensive line. In a world of teal and lime fantasy they will have answered the line questions by picking up Alan Faneca through free agency. Though this will be one of the moments where we find out how much Seattle is willing to pay to step up to the next level. As far that draft pick, they are likely to pick up Rashard Mendenhall(RB-UI) while the Seahawks still have a lot of money tied up in Alexander. Homlgren however made it very clear that they would not be staying with the status quo when he he said the the running game required a " major offseason fix". That certainly doesn't sound like any amount of salary is going to keep Alexanders starting spot safe.

Another possibilty is that the Seahawks look to upgrade at Tight End. Marcus Pollard has certainly not been the performer they had hoped for when they signed him out of free agency. He was especially disappointing in the playoff loss to Green Bay. The Seahawks could look to Fred Davis(TE-USC) while most teams aren't going to take a tight end in the first round, Davis might be one the guys who would be worth it.

With this being the final year for Mike Holmgren. He is now in a position where veteran leaders on his team can rally players around that sentiment. I am guessing from Holmgren's background that this had little to do with his decision but that doesn't change the fact it might work to his advantage.

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