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Seahawks midseason grade report

Post by Eric Williams on Nov. 4, 2008 at 8:56 am with 16 Comments »
November 4, 2008 8:56 am

The formatting on the Web got screwed up on Frank’s midseason grade report, so I cleaned it up and posted it here.

RENTON – Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren on Monday afternoon was asked if there were any positives he could pull from the first half of this NFL season that has seen the Seahawks, decimated by injuries, fall to 2-6 and most likely out of the race for a playoff berth for the first time in six years.

Holmgren sat thinking for more than 10 seconds, unable to really pinpoint anything that through eight games has made his final season a success.

It’s hard to disagree. Here’s a look at our grades for the Seahawks’ season of misery:


Before he was sidelined with a bulging disk in his back, Matt Hasselbeck was having the worst statistical season of his career, crafting a 57.7 passer rating.

Charlie Frye passed for just 83 yards in his one start. And Seneca Wallace followed up that performance with 73 yards. Wallace is 1-2 as a starter, but he has been unable to offer the offense any semblance of consistent productivity.

Grade: D

Running backs

Through the first four games, the running attack was the strength of the team and carried the offense, with Julius Jones momentarily among the league leaders in rushing. But the lack of a passing attack has allowed opponents to key on the backs, limiting them to 115 total yards the past two games.

Grade: B-Minus

Wide receivers

This grade is a bit unfair because the unit has been most affected by injuries. Bobby Engram, Deion Branch, Nate Burleson, Ben Obomanu, Logan Payne, Billy McMullen and Koren Robinson all missed playing time. But the fact is the passing game is last in the league, averaging a paltry 141.2 yards a game.

Grade: F

Tight ends

Rookie John Carlson appears to be worth the draft pick Tim Ruskell gave up in order to move up and acquire the former Notre Dame star. He leads the team in receiving and has given the Seahawks a gifted blocker who helps the run game. He had a costly drop in the loss to Philadelphia but that was his biggest mistake all year. Jeb Putzier has been serviceable as a backup.

Grade: B

Offensive line

Walter Jones has been good, as usual, and Floyd Womack has been surprisingly effective while remaining healthy. But Mike Wahle has had two very costly holding penalties that have nullified big plays; Sean Locklear has been lackluster in recovering from a knee sprain; and center Chris Spencer has not improved over last year. Ray Willis has shown promise.

Grade: C-Minus

Defensive line

The defensive front has done a good job holding down Frank Gore, Steven Jackson, Ryan Grant, Earnest Graham and Brian Westbrook. It is tied for ninth in the league with 20 sacks. Brandon Mebane has become a bona fide defensive tackle, and Craig Terrill has done a nice job backing him up. The unit is sure to take a big hit, however, if Patrick Kerney is lost for an extended period.

Grade: B-Minus


Leroy Hill, in his contract year, has been exceptional. Julian Peterson has been average, though he has three forced fumbles and four sacks. And Lofa Tatupu has been injured for much of the season, suffering a knee injury, a concussion and a groin pull.

Grade: C

Defensive backs

Kelly Jennings has been burned so badly he lost his starting job. The safeties have given up 23 plays longer than 20 yards, including three plays longer than 40. They are next to last in yards relinquished, giving up 258 yards a game. And they have failed to get to the quarterback on numerous blitz packages, leaving teammates exposed.

Grade: F


Olindo Mare has been well worth the investment, connecting on 13 of 14 attempts and all 16 of his extra points. Also, he regularly puts the ball in the end zone on kickoffs.

Grade: A


Ryan Plackemeier was cut after one game. The team opted to sign Jon Ryan, who has been less than impressive. He cannot seem to get a ball downed inside the 20.

Grade: D

Bad Hawks

Where Seattle ranks among 32 NFL teams:

Total offense per game (255.5/ 31st); Yards per play (4.5/ 31st; First downs per game (14.9/29th); Third-down conversions (30.4 pct./29th); Yards allowed per game (373.5/27th); Points differential (-59/27th); Points scored per game (18.9/26th); Points allowed per game (26.3/26th).

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Leave a comment Comments → 16
  1. freehawk says:

    Who would have thought that Mare would be better than Brown, the one bright spot this season!

  2. owch.

    if this was my report card, i’d be grounded for a month.

    still, i love the Seahawks and won’t stop cheering for them to succeed.

    c’mon NFL Draft!

  3. Tomahawker says:

    Noticed and talked with Bryce Fisher at last night’s Trufant Family Foundation fund-raiser.

    He is currently available and given the “likely” season-ending injury for Kerney (exploritory surgery today), do you see the Hawks bringing Bryce back into the fold?

  4. Chris1976 says:

    I think we traded for the wrong QB from Cleveland so maybe we can correct it. Trade for Derek Anderson to come home to the NW, hope that we get a 1st round pick high enough to draft Crabtree out of TT and then draft a running back or left tackle to work behind our current people. The offense needs to be rebuilt.

  5. Dukeshire says:

    I have to agree with the grades.

    Question; Why is there such an abbreviated version of Holmgren’s presser but such a detailed Sporano one?

  6. freedom_X says:

    If Derek Anderson lost his job in Cleveland, why bring him here (unless he can be obtained as a free agent?) Why pay draft picks for a player another team has already given up on?

    Let’s let go of the hometown connection. They should play young people now. There’s no point in bringing in a veteran with a limited future if they aren’t making a final push for this season. Two more games, two more losses, and then it’s development time for the youngsters.

    One theory I’ve heard about the declining performance of the team is that Jim Mora will not let any of the assistant coaches know if he wants them to return next year on his staff. That is said to be affecting the assistants – if true, could explain some of the lapses we’ve seen.

  7. I also agree with the grades, What went wrong! I know the injuries are the biggest problem. But what about losing offenisve corrd. Jim Zorn, and running back coach Stump Mitchell, and a new coach on the offensive line? This a hard season, with the only bright spot being the kicker. Wow! Hang in there Seahawk fans!

  8. Jim Zorn was the quarterbacks coach, not the offensive coordinator and I don’t know that Stump Mitchell was much of a loss. Kasey Dunn is a good running backs coach.

  9. bulldog80 says:

    Chris1976 is right about Derek Andersen. Why you ask? Because unlike Frye, Andersen has actually showed potential. And, if they didn’t have Brady standing right behind him they wouldn’t be benching him. I wouldn’t give anything better than a fourth for him but I would be very interested. Frye was huge mistake from the very beginning. I sometimes wonder if our GM ever actually watches football.

  10. spunjdog says:

    Jeb Putzier has been serviceable? I just remember his game in Buffalo, and not much else. I admit I may miss his contributions at the home games, but John Carlson for the most part gets a big ‘attaboy.’

  11. koolbreeze says:

    How about the coaching?
    Head coach F
    Offensive Line Coach F
    Defensive LIne Coach F
    D Back Coach F

  12. Kinda weird, but I was at the game and (like Holmgren afterward) have a hard time figuring out where to start pinpointing what’s wrong with theme as a team. Except the parity now in this league is so strong, that a few signal role players gone on both sides of the ball that changes the chemistry and confidence-flow, and almost any team can quickly take a fast plunge. But it’s to watch, in such a neat stadium and place to enjoy football. I sat next to a number of Eagle fans, who were polite…but not all that pleasant, given the circumstances, to find yourself in. But I don’t think I’ll be driving over to Seattle on gameday from Port Angeles for quite a long while now. It may be dumb though to dump too much of this all now on Holmgren or Ruskell…or even Wallace.But I still have a feeling that (with the exception of Kerney, Mebane and maybe Wahl)since Ruskell got here we haven’t picked up or drafted any high quality linemen on either side of the ball…and that’s how they looked most of yesterday: dominated by the other team.

  13. 2-6!!! Hooray!!! Now all we have to do is lose out and Hawks may draft the #1 player. I was hoping for Big Walt’s eventual replacement, but there are some other excellent players in positions of apparently greater need, (WR, S, etc.)

  14. kurtisballard says:

    i don’t think anybody disagrees that it would be much nicer to have derek anderson instead of charlie frye, but it’s a little late for that because you’re not getting anderson for a 6th round draft pick. anderson had a decent year last year, but if you look closer you will see that the only team he beat with a winning record was the seahawks. also, edwards and winslow played exceptionally well last season, and this year the guy hasn’t managed to not throw at their feet.

    so, that’s a no to the derek anderson idea. draft someone.

  15. Nice article, but I don’t think you can give QB or WR a grade, other than “incomplete/injuries”. Its not like our starters are on the field healthy and failing to perform.

  16. iqbal70 says:

    So can we know conclude that Seneca Wallace is not the QB of the future? Maybe not even the #2 QB of the future?

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