In 2009, the Seattle Seahawks finished 5-11 and in third place in arguably the weakest division in the entire NFL. In 2008, Seattle finished 4-12 and in third place in arguably the weakest division in the entire NFL. In the two seasons before that, the Seahawks won Wild Card games, but lost in the division round to the Packers and Bears, respectively. Mike Holmgren is gone. Jim Mora, Jr. is gone. Edgerrin James is gone. Walter Jones is gone. Steve Hutchinson is gone. Matt Hasselbeck remains, and so does the question.
Is he done?
Down the stretch, Hasselbeck fired four interceptions in back-to-back weeks vs. the Buccaneers and Packers. Seattle lost by a combined score of 72-17. The high point of the season was Hasselbeck’s four touchdown performance in a 41-0 drubbing of The Lifeless Del Rio’s (the Jacksonville Jaguars). Seattle went 3-8 the rest of the way. The only wins were at home vs. Detroit and San Francisco, and on the road at St. Louis.
Pete Carroll was hired by the Seahawks after team ownership sought the services of Tony Dungy in rebuilding the franchise. Dungy, who was poised to name Minnesota’s Leslie Frazier as head coach, declined the position of general manager. Carroll’s arrival, after his success at USC in winning on the field and in preparing players for the NFL, brings high expectations. Fans in Seattle expect Carroll to bring in talented players; to improve the performances of the current roster; and bring a winner back to the northwest. The team is less than five years removed from a Super Bowl appearance vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This franchise has committed tremendous resources to supporting Matt Hasselbeck. Departed guard Steve Hutchinson may be a Michigan Man, but he has underperformed for the past few years. The Seahawks were wise not to pay an exorbitant price to retain his services. The absence of Walter Jones, though, damaged this team. The Seahawks have been abysmal for two seasons and amassed sufficient draft picks to fix some of their weaknesses, but prospects for the quarterback position are not better with a rookie at left tackle.
Wide receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Deion Branch and others (Nate Burleson, Bobby Engram, Koren Robinson, Darrell Jackson and Ben Obamanu) have all underperformed. Houshmandzadeh, Branch and Burleson have performed admirably in other circumstances. The team was enmeshed in rumors around the pursuit of Brandon Marshall. Entering the 2010 season, Matt Hasselbeck is looking like a guy who needs a game changing wide receiver to mask his increasingly poor performances.
That guy is not on the roster…and maybe Matt Hasselbeck shouldn’t be there either.
Maybe it’s time for the Seahawks to look, once again, to Green Bay for a solution. It worked when they brought in Holmgren and his prized pupil a generation ago. Maybe this time, the answer isn’t someone who played for the Packers, but someone like Charlie Whitehurst, a native of the Land that Lambeau and Lombardi built.