Monday, October 1, 2012
Quarterback controversy leaves folks sleepless in Seattle
The Seattle Seahawks recent 19-13 loss to the St.Louis Rams has caused a quarterback controversy. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson struggled as he threw three interceptions in the loss to the Rams. For the fourth straight week Wilson has thrown for under 200 yards as well. The Seahawks currently have the #1 rushing attack in the NFL, the #2 defense and are just 2-2 because their passing offense ranks last. For third year head coach Pete Carroll is facing an uncomfortable quaterback controversy. Sitting behind Wilson is Matt Flynn who the Seahawks had signed to be their starting quarterback. Due to Wilson's preseason play and perhaps Flynn's sore elbow Carroll decided to go with Wilson to start this year. Now in this following post I'll go over what each quarterback brings to the table while also acknowledging each quarterbacks flaws. I also talk about how the play calling regardless of who is quarterback must improve. As well as I bring up another quarterback controversy that almost sank a franchise quarterback and his third year head coach.
The knock of Flynn is he has only started two games in his NFL career. He was a backup in college for three years and a backup in Green Bay for four seasons. Another knock on Flynn is that he isn't mobile so Wilson who avoids a lot of sacks might see Flynn get sacked. Flynn also had a better supporting cast in his tune up games with Green Bay than he will in Seattle. Flynn currently has a "sore elbow" which is still debatable if true or not. However it was sore enough for him to miss a preseason start which allowed Wilson to start to begin with. The main knock against Flynn is that nobody outside of Seattle wanted him this past offseason. Mike Holmgren of the Cleveland Browns passed on him to draft Brandon Weeden. His old offensive coordinator in Green Bay Joe Philbin became the head coach for the Miami Dolphins who needed a quarterback. The Dolphins passed on Flynn as well which should be a red flag. Bottom line is regardless of who Carroll chooses the play calling must improve as both quarterbacks are inexperienced right now.
Hasselbeck that year was 176-321(54.8%) passing for 2,023 yards(6.3 YPA) with seven touchdowns to eight interceptions with a quarterback rating of 70.9. While Dilfer was 73-122(59.8%) passing for 1,014 yards(8.3 YPA) with seven touchdowns to four interceptions good for a quarterback rating of 92.0. The Seahawks missed the playoffs by one game losing two close games when Hasselbeck had started. Holmgren benched Hasselbeck to end the year and the city had turned on Hasselbeck as the franchise decided to go with Dilfer. Hasselbeck was public enemy #1 in Seattle as the sports were doing well with the Mariners winning 116 games and the Huskies coming off of a Rose Bowl championship season.
Well in 2002 in the middle of the season Dilfer got hurt so the franchise had no choice but to go with Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck played well down the stretch as the Seahawks went from 4-9 to 7-9 saving Holmgren's job. The following year Hasselbeck was the guy but whenever he struggled you still had that small contingent of fans yelling at the games "put in Dilfer". Hasselbeck would lead the Seahawks to the playoffs in 2003 and 2004. When the Seahawks traded Dilfer after 2004 the quarterback controversy was forever gone. Hasselbeck could relax and led the franchise to the Super Bowl in 2005. His jersey was the most popular jersey in the city as he was the most popular athlete in the city. Holmgren of course ended up winning four straight division titles from 2004-07. I feel like fans forgot that chapter in the Holmgren/Hasselbeck era of Seattle sports.
Regardless of who is the quarterback this entire offense needs to improve. Doesn't matter if Flynn starts over Wilson if they continue to get stupid penalties that kills drives, dropping passes or not running Lynch on third and shorts. I'd also like to see the offense throw short safe passes on first down to get the quarterback in rhythm, The Seahawks face a four game stretch where they will be underdogs in all four games and a coach who is 16-20 right now can't afford to drop to 2-6 in year three. I think Flynn gives you the best chance right now while also helping your future with Wilson developing behind him. I don't want the city to turn on Wilson as that is my fear after this game. I also think Flynn could make a few more plays than Wilson which given that the Seahawks two losses were both close that could be enough. This is a difficult decision for Carroll who has yet to find a quarterback since getting rid of Matt Hasselbeck. Either way whoever the quarterback is the Seahawks must help him out or it won't matter who the quarterback is.