Tag Archives: NFL

Matt Flynn the Right Move for Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks have made this free agency period count.

First, they sign their best returning offensive free agent, Marshawn Lynch, to a long-term deal without having to place the franchise tag on him. Next, they re-sign their best returning defensive player, Red Bryant, to a long-term deal, again without having to franchise him. Then, they sign a high quality defensive end, Jason Jones (formerly of Houston), to upgrade their D-Line. And now, drum roll please, they add the missing piece to the offensive puzzle, the QB of the future in Matt Flynn.

Yes, Flynn is a risk. He’s played two brilliant games. Other than that, you bank on the training he’s received under Mike McCarthy and Joe Philbin, backing up arguably the best QB in the game, Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. But let’s be serious, any QB is a risk, even Peyton Manning. Manning, who snubbed the Hawks advances and obviously wasn’t interested, hasn’t played in well over a year, and is coming off serious neck surgery. The QBs in the draft outside of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are all projects and a reach at where they draft. Flynn at least has had success when given a shot. This is definitely NOT Charlie Whitehurst. In addition to the training as the 2nd String (not third) in Green Bay, he also led his college team (LSU) to a national championship. Dude is a winner, has some pedigree, and is worth the risk. He is also still young and has a ton of upside.

What I love about Pete Carroll and John Schneider is that they refuse to stand pat. They are constantly looking to improve the team and are willing to make moves to do it. Fearless. They have also shown to be very savvy in the draft. Heck, they have done what they need to do in free agency outside of adding depth. Now they can go into the draft and pick the best players; not reach out of desperation.

Training camps only5 months away…

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

 

Head Injuries and Concussions

Head injuries and concussions have caught the national spotlight. The NFL, NCAA, and NHL have been proactively and aggressively taking steps to prevent head injuries and maybe most importantly, to make sure athletes don’t go back too soon. This is not only a major topic and challenge in professional and college sports, but in high schools, too.

The reality is that school districts don’t have the money to commit to sweeping changes. It’s very sad as it turns out our most vulnerable are at most risk. At North Kitsap School District, the bar has been raised by Chris Franklin. Franklin has been the head athletic trainer at North Kitsap HS for 17 years. He is the guru of making sure kids at North Kitsap stay safe. The work he and his team have done with baseline testing and prevention has drawn local and national attention. Recently, several schools have come to visit North Kitsap to see what they are doing, so they can make similar strides in their schools. And, just recently, a national web site has published a story on what North Kitsap has been doing in this arena.

Read the story here

Full disclosure: I am a North Kitsap School Board Director and I am proud of Chris and his team. I’m proud that our board has continued to fund this program at the level it has for the benefit of our athletes. I’ve watched Chris and his colleagues for 8 years as a coach. I know the work they do not only with head injuries, but all injuries. Great job!

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Super Bowl Prediction

Okay…that time has come again. The BIG game and it’s setting up to be a fun one in Indy.

I’m rooting for the Giants. However, unlike the last time these two met in the Super Bowl and the Patriots were trying to make history by going undefeated, I just don’t think Tom Brady will be denied. The Giants are hot and seem to have the most complete team. That being said, the Patriots are quietly hot, too. And, they have one of the best Super Bowl QBs in the game. Brady is trying to match Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw with 4 Super Bowl wins. He has 5 appearances which I believe now is the most (Bradshaw and Montana 4-0; John Elway 2-2; and Jim Kelly 0-4).

More than anything I’m rooting for a great game. I just think in the end, Brady will find a way to win it for the Pats. My prediction – Patriots 27 Giants 24.

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Humanity and Joe Namath

Joe Namath and Suzy Kolber

This past weekend, I got the opportunity to watch a fascinating documentary on Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath. It shows on HBO and prominently includes interviews with Namath, teammates, journalists, and Beaver Falls, PA residents.

One of the things that most impacted me was the incident that occurred between Namath and ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber during a 2003 prime time game between the Jets and Miami Dolphins.

Namath was honored along with his teammates from the 1969 Super Bowl team. Namath admitted that he had been drinking heavily all day. By the time the 4th quarter rolled around, he was completely intoxicated. Kolber was charged with interviewing Broadway Joe. In the beginning, it was apparent that Namath was having some issues talking, but they had no idea what was about to happen in front of the entire prime time audience. Namath eschewed Kolber’s question about Chad Pennington and several times told her he wanted to kiss her. ESPN scrambled to get out of it, but the damage was done.

Namath admits he was humiliated. In fact, that set the stage for him to reform his life to where it is today. But, I digress. The thing that resonated with me was the response by Suzy Kolber.

She was interviewed for this documentary and clearly recounted the event, with assistance from the footage. She recounted how Namath called her the next day to apologize. She said it took him 5 minutes to apologize and she accepted. She then spent 45 more minutes on the phone with him talking football and life. Here’s what she said that so intrigued me. She said, “What I saw was a really good guy who was in trouble.” She felt bad for him, didn’t judge him, and saw him not as some drunk who couldn’t control himself, but as a regular guy who needed help.

In the world of sports, we are very quick to pass judgement. We often look for and hope that successful people fail (see Tim Tebow). We automatically jump to the conclusion that someone is damaged. I loved that Suzy Kolber looked deeper. She really exuded a perspective that thinks of the human being first. Often, journalists are the most cynical. Kolber showed humanity.

I’m as guilty as most of us. It’s easy to throw guys under the bus; make fun of them; and not worry about consequences to their lives. Suzy Kolber gave me perspective and one that I hope I can keep the next time my QB throws an interception or one of my sports “heroes” falls.

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Seahawks Prediction

12th Man

Okay…

Call me crazy. Call me a “homer.” Call me whatever you want. I have a funny feeling about this one.

Just like in the Holiday Bowl with the Washington Huskies, Pete Carroll and his boys are playing with house money. I feel a little 12th Man magic. It’s Buster Douglas over Mike Tyson; the New York Giants over the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl; it’s Washington over Nebraska…

It’s the Seahawks 24-23 over the Saints with an Olindo Mare FG at the end….

You heard it here first.

Watch for my Tweets during the game.

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Hawks Showed Up…Next the Saints

I asked for it and I got it.

The 12th Man indeed showed up and so did the Seahawks defense. That was the loudest stadium I’ve ever been in and definitely had playoff atmosphere. The Hawks fed off it and it turned into another NFC West banner in Qwest Field.

A few comments from last night:

  • I couldn’t believe arguing with people on the ferry ride home about Charlie Whitehurst’s performance. The dude was on the winning side of the game, for goodness sakes! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he’s our next franchise QB. However, he played a decent game (in fact his stats were better than Sam Bradford’s). His mobility saved easily 5 sacks and actually picked up positive yardage. Charlie’s job was to not lose the game and that’s exactly what he did. He’s a capable backup, a young guy who’s learning, and played a solid game. ESPN’s Trent Dilfer (a guy who won a Super Bowl as a “solid” QB) said as much after the game. Cut the guy some slack. He played a game good enough in the biggest game of the year.
  • The defense was crazy. I know it wasn’t the New England Patriots, but Sam Bradford has had an excellent rookie year, and Steven Jackson is a stud. To hold the Rams to 2 field goals was unbelievable. I loved how Aaron Curry, Chris Clemons, David Hawthorne, Lofa Tatupu, and Marcus Trufant played. Will Herring played a great game. This was a total team effort and a sight for sore eyes.
  • Pete Carroll is the right guy for this city. He brings a great energy that really gets the 12th Man going. I think good things are on the horizon.
  • I expect that Matt Hasselbeck will start if he’s healthy. He’s the veteran; he’s got playoff experience; he played a good game against the Saints last month; and he’s the right guy. However, if he can’t go or plays poorly, I have less issues with Charlie Whitehurst than I did 2 weeks ago!
  • Marshawn Lynch bounced back after being stripped of the ball and ran in “beast-mode” the rest of the way. He could not be stopped in the 4th Quarter when the Rams knew we were running.
  • I don’t care what our record is. The Mariners won 116 games in 2001 and didn’t win the American League to go to the World Series. This is about getting to the playoffs by winning your division.
  • I just LOVE that the Giants, who humiliated us at home earlier this year, aren’t even in the playoffs. That’s really cool.

This was a huge win for this franchise. Just like the University of Washington needed a bowl game and the rest was gravy; the Hawks needed to get to the playoffs and the rest is gravy. Two years ago, the Huskies were 0-12 and the Seahawks were 4-12. Now, the Dawgs have upset Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl and the Hawks are NFC West Champs. Unreal.

Open Letter to Seahawks – 12th Man Ready

12th Man

Dear Seahawks:

I’m going to the game tonight. Me and 65,000 or so friends.

We are ready. We will bring our A-game. We are ready for a 5th NFC West Championship in the last 7 years. We are hungry. We will bring it. Will you?

We can be the best 12th Man in the NFL, but it does no good if the first 11 are bad. It’s time to take that next step. No more excuses. We don’t care about the record. We just want a home playoff game next week.

Time to bring everything you have. Time to take the ball away from the opponent and keep it yourself. This is what we’ve been waiting for the last 2 years. Please be as ready as we are.

Game on.

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Football Notes on Huskies and Hawks

I know…I’ve been negligent on my postings. I’ve had a few challenges to deal with as my father has had health issues and I must focus on him and my work. My apologies. I will attempt to be more consistent…

So here we are. After 8 long years, the Huskies are back in a bowl game. Jake Locker, Mason Foster and the rest of the seniors finally have their moment in the sun, or rain, in San Diego. The three games leading up to this were their season. Those wins put them back into post-season and makes tonight’s game gravy. They’re expected to lose big on the scoreboard, but they’ve cemented a winning season in the perception and hearts of Husky Nation. This was the goal.

I think the game will be closer than 3 months ago. I do expect Nebraska’s talent to win out in the end, but I’m thinking more around a score of 27-17. If the Dawgs keep it within 10 points going into the final quarter, it could be interesting. A win would be of legendary proportions.

I’m a Matt Hasselbeck fan and always will be. Just like I was with Jim Zorn and Dave Kreig. However, just like with those two “ring of famers,” it’s time to move on. Not that Matt can’t still play because he can. He’s a system QB…Mike Holmgren’s system. He’s struggled under Greg Knapp and Jeremy Bates. He needs to find a team with a true West Coast offense (perhaps Cleveland if the big guy fires Eric Mangini and takes the reins himself). Charlie Whitehurst is NOT the answer clearly.

Quarterback is the most important position on the team. All the elite teams have at least “very good” QB’s. So where do the Hawks go? The draft. I’m not advocating Jake Locker necessarily. I don’t think he’s ready to lead an NFL team right out of college. We have no chance of drafting Andrew Luck who can. I’m intrigued by Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett. The dude is 6’7, has a rifle arm, had a tremendous senior season, and is exactly the kind of guy who can run this offense. Problem is he’s a junior and we don’t know if he’s coming out yet. We also don’t know if we’re playing football on Sunday’s yet either as there could be a lockout.

If you can sign Matt to a one-year deal, I’d do it knowing that there must be a replacement soon. Otherwise, go a year with Charlie and see if he can prove me wrong. If Mallett comes out, I’d take him. Regardless, the changing of the guard nears and it will be interesting to see which direction Pete Carroll goes. As his ultimate QB goes, so will he and his tenure here in Seattle.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Seahawks Take Lead in NFC West

Well, at least you can definitely say these aren’t your 2008 and 2009 Seahawks.

A week after being humiliated at home by the New York Giants, the Hawks traveled to Phoenix and essentially knocked the Cardinals out of the NFC West race. Matt Hasselbeck threw for 333 yards and the offense went for over 500. I can’t remember the last time we saw that type of output on the road. And, I hope you’re sitting down, the Hawks have 2 road wins and we’re only halfway through the year!

Arizona is three games behind the Hawks with only seven to play thanks to to the season sweep by the good guys. Basically, if the Seahawks win three winnable home games against Kansas City, Carolina, and St. Louis, the Cardinals would have to go 6-1 to beat them. They won’t do that with either Derek Anderson or Max Hall. Game over for them. San Francisco knocked off the Rams in overtime giving Seattle sole possession of first place, and keeping there hopes alive. If Seattle can win in SF, they would basically eliminate the 49’ers.

A few thoughts following the game:

  1. Pete Carroll is a difference maker as a coach. I like Jim Mora, but there’s no doubt Pete has his stamp on this organization and it’s a better fit. He almost wills “positiveness” and the results show through on the field. Even after two lopsided losses back to back, they were able to come up with an impressive road win when the Cardinals had to win.
  2. Matt Hasselbeck is the QB. Period. If what we saw last week from Charlie Whitehurst didn’t show you enough, today’s game did. I like Charlie and he’s probably going to make a capable back up in this league. But, he’s not even there yet. If Hasselbeck loses time due to his wrist injury, we’ve got major problems. I think I’d prefer to give the ball to J.P. Losman.
  3. The defense is good enough to win the division. They certainly aren’t dominant, but they are good and consistent. Remember that they kept us in the Raiders game until late in the 3rd quarter. If the offense can be even slightly efficient, they can be really good.
  4. We need to get better at scoring touchdowns. I would prefer to see a two-back set on the goal line. I think we really miss fullback Michael Robinson. We need to get a big person (even a lineman) who can lead block for Marshawn Lynch.

This was a big game for the Hawks. If the goal is to win the NFC West (which of course it is), then this win makes next week way less important. Depending on #8’s injury, I would consider starting another QB (I’m pulling for Losman) on the road against the Saints and make sure Matt is healthy for back to back home games against Kansas City and Carolina. If we keep winning at home, I believe that will win the division.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved