Seahawks Insider

Thoughts on Senior Bowl

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 30, 2010 at 4:30 pm with 66 Comments »
January 30, 2010 4:30 pm

I just finished watching the Senior Bowl, and wanted to offer some quick thoughts on guys who played well, and some others who struggled a bit.

* As far as wide receiver play, I thought Tulane’s Jeremy Williams and Cincinnati’s Mardy Gilyard really stood out. Williams, who had two ACL knee surgeries during his college career, showed good hands and good quickness in and out of his breaks to get open.

Gilyard showed good explosiveness in his ability to consistently get behind the defense for big plays.

* Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham was probably the most disruptive defensive player in the game, but at 6-1, 263 pounds, Graham is a Darryl Tapp clone. The Seahawks need a taller guy with more leverage coming off the edge.

* Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson looked impressive running the two-minute offense for the South squad at the end of the first half, leading them to a score.

* Idaho offensive guard Mike Iupoti struggled at times. He played both his regular position of left guard and some right guard. And he struggled blocking Georgia defensive tackle Geno Atkins early in the game, giving up a sack and getting called for a holding penalty.

* Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount ran the ball hard and showed good speed through the hole, improving his draft stock after a rough 2009 season with the Ducks.

* I thought Utah offensive guard Zane Beadles showed some promise, with some nice drive blocking near the goal line.

* Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour looked solid as well. He moved well in the pocket, and threw some pretty good balls on the move and from the pocket. He’s a player.

* Florida State cornerback Patrick Robinson was probably the best cover corner on the field.

* As far as the big names, USC safety Taylor Mays made an impressive play on the ball for an interception late in the first half, surprisingly passing on a chance for a big hit. And Florida quarterback Tim Tebow showed he still has a ways to go before he’s ready to lead an NFL team.

Those are my initial thoughts from watching the game. Let me know what you think in the comments section.

NFL Draft
Leave a comment Comments → 66
  1. SharkHawk says:

    I’ve watched Beadles quite a bit at Utah. He is definitely an NFL player. You could do a lot worse in drafting a guy than Zane, that’s for sure. He has the right mindset, has had very good coaching, and has played against some amazing competition.

    People can no longer use the excuse that MWC players “haven’t played anybody”. Utah plays a good schedule, and Utah, BYU, and TCU are all frequently top 10 programs. That is better competition than guys are playing against in many of the “big” conferences.

    This is why I was always so high on David Hawthorne. He looked great in conference and played just as great when TCU played non-conference games. Some guys are just players. Aside from Hawthorne and Devin Moore as rookie free agents, Ruskell seemed to avoid the MWC entirely, which I found strange considering the amount of AFFORDABLE talent they are turning out. You can get a player like Hawthorne who is every bit as good as a guy out of the PAC 10 and you don’t have to spend a first rounder on them. Or you can get a guy like Austin Collie in a middle round who is a future star, instead of drafting a guy like Crabtree in the top 10 who in my mind is no better. He’s smaller and slower than Collie, but Collie was a later pick for reasons that the NFL has ingrained in their heads, and just one of them is that MWC players never face “real competition” which is a crock.

    I think Pete will be smart enough to look at players like Beadles. He has many connections to the conference and I know for a fact that he watches their games. He has had assistants like Chow and Sarkisian who were WAC/MWC guys and he has recruited many of the same athletes from the islands that BYU and Utah were going after. Stanley Havili is a good example, having verbaled to BYU and having Utah make a strong push, but ultimately picking USC due to a promise of playing time. Deuce Letui (sp?) was another who played JC ball at Snow College and ended up going to USC instead of the presumed choice of Utah or BYU based on a push from Chow for him to go there.

    It should definitely be interesting to see how much different the strategy is in acquisition of players. I think we’ll see more former high school blue chippers out of the western US and less players that are from Auburn and Georgia and ultimately end up as benchwarmers (like Obomanu, Taylor, and Wrotto).

  2. seahawklovertoo says:

    I saw when Dan LeFevour beat Michigan State and in the Bowl win over
    Troy ; he was great in those two games. Plus, he was the most accurate college passer this year so, no surprises there. I always liked Blount ( despite losing his temper @ BS…) We need some “fire” in our offensive game . Safety Rolle and CB Pat Robinson are just two more (of many) good secondary players coming out of the Seminole program.
    Any of those rookies would make me happy if we would get them to wear the Seahawks uniform.

  3. Dukeshire says:

    Mardy Gilyard had a nice game but I question his route running. That is, can he run more that a go? But he gets off the line beautifully. He’s begging you to press him.

    I agree with your assessment of LeFevor. He was up and down throughout the season but it’s obvious he’s got a lot of talent.

    Iupoti did struggle at times, but he also had some punishing blocks and showed good quickness, I thought.

    Seahawklovertoo – Do you care to explain your comments from yesterday?

    Good thread, Eric.

  4. SeahawkFan12 says:

    I missed almost the entire game. How did Boise State’s CB Kyle Wilson look? He has been a beast in the WAC, but I wonder how he’ll do at the next level…

  5. Mr Williams:

    I didn’t get to watch the game. What did you think of Terrance Cody’s play inside? Did he play much/wear down? I wonder if PC would ever consider him in a good rotation with Cole. I kinda like the sound of a Cole and Cody (14) NT tandom, with Mebane and McCoy (6) at 3-tech. Or D.Morgan (6) if McCoy is gone.

  6. Mr Williams, Mr Williams!

    What did you think of Miss’s T/G John Jerry (6-6/332) compared to Iupati?

  7. KLM008: No need to shout, just getting started this morning. I didn’t notice John Jerry during the game, but from looking at scouting reports from the Senior Bowl it appears Jerry is considered more polished while Iupati is perhaps more raw but has good upside.

    I like Terrance Cody and think he would fit in nicely in Seattle’s inside rotation at D-Tackle, but Seattle has more pressing needs and I don’t think they would take him in the second round, where Cody is projected to go.

  8. seahawklovertoo says:

    I was pretty clear in my previous post. Read it again or, have someone else more literate read it to you.
    I am surprised TNT lets you stay here after promoting another blog and trying to take readers away from Seahawks Insider Blog.
    You posted your real name here and did the same( plus signed with that idiotic blog that you started as Snydro) when making a comment on Slatons blog. Quite stupid , old boy.
    Duke, when you try your “weasel” tactics next time, try to change your “writing style”. To easy to catch.
    This is the last time I am wasting my time on you.

  9. Dukeshire says:

    You are out of your mind. I have no idea what “Slatons blog” is. I have never been anything other than Dukeshire, here or elsewhere. Snydro and I are two different people and we worked on a blog together for about a month. I have no idea what has prompted your outbursts towards me but I can assure you that you are 100% wrong.

  10. T.Mays picked Canfield.

  11. Guys please refrain from the bad language and keep the comments civil or they will be removed. Thanks.

  12. Eric…. you know how ‘family’ is, drama! drama! DRAMA! LOL!!!
    …….. and now away from that subject….
    Anyone hear anything on the status of Red or Reed??? Yup, ya heard me right…. Bryant or Reed? Both drafted basically as ‘projects’… Is Red healthy? Hear anything about him getting a shot to compete this year??? Has Reed beafed up any??? That seemed to be the mjr ‘beef’ about him…
    Yadda, yadda….
    In addition to the missuse of our #1 ’09 draft pick in Curry, I’ve felt from the getgo that Bryant & Reed were victims of the same misuse… I’m starting to feel the same way about Housh…. sure is raising some doubt in my mind… ALWAYS felt that regarding Forsett….
    In addition to several other changes we’re all wondering about, such as the glaring need of changes in the offensive line, these five may be very big ‘players’ for us in a properly coached 2010……
    Hopefully Tru comes back 100%, for HIM and us… Same for Hass…. Add Tat and Hill and even without a draft, given the coaching, we’ll be competitive…

  13. I think Reed is going to be a fine role player. Nothing more. If we expect him to be on the field too much and be among the league leaders in sacks, I think Seahawk fans are going to be disappointed.

    I think Red seems, unfortunately, like a bad player. The first 49er game really got me down on him. He looked like a big marshmellow that was easily blocked. I’m excited to see what Mr. Happy can get out of him, and I am rooting for the best because I like that big frame of his, but I’m no longer holding my breath that he’s going to be very good. I hope I’m wrong.

    I do think we’ll see a different Trufant in ’10, provided the pass rush improves. It’s tough to be in peak condition/performance when you miss an entire training camp, especially when you’re learning a new defense. I thought some of those PIs were bogus and I always didn’t see other DBs get flagged for the same fouls in other games.

  14. Dukeshire says:

    It will be interesting to see how they use Reed. To me he seems like a guy that will really benefit from their new strength coach, Chris Carlisle. His frame is so small that bulk would hamper his “strengths”, speed and quickness. But you definitely want him to get stronger, so I think Carlisle’s functional strength approach could be a big help.

    I don’t quite get Big Red either. He had knee surgery his rookie year and had a high ankle sprain last year, if I recall. But even when healthy they chose to keep Terrill active over him more often than not, it seemed. To me, he’s a guy that needs snaps in games for him to learn how to play at this level. He certainly could not have been any more of a liability than Terrill, in the middle. So yeah, that one is odd. More of a case of unused than misuse, I would think.

  15. Dukeshire says:

    But then again, as Bobby said, maybe he’s just plain over matched at this level.

  16. Yeah, either way, it was ridiculous of Mora to play Terrill over Red the last games. One player is at least at an age where he could be a contributor and still could develop whereas you already know what you’re getting with the older player. If the team was doing the best they could at looking towards the future, as Mora claimed with the Unger situation, it was dumb to keep playing Terrill over Red.

  17. I agree Bobby, Reed will most likely never be more than a role player…. but, one that has to be recognized when on the field when used properly… also providing someone else added opportunity when he is there… and he provides the positional backup plus special teams input…. Good things ….

    As for Red, he’s the one that started my post direction… very little field time since being with us, but good, “raw’ (there’s that yadda, yadda again) potential… like the failed backup receiver’s in ’08, perhaps should not be around when we start the new season… That criteria is a subject for another day, but two season’s, IMOHA , is long enough for any young player to ‘develop’ and make a contribution… after two, the team should be going after new blood…. after the injuries, like his, it may not be as cut and dried, but it should be make or break for him this year… or drop to new blood…

  18. Even though Mora did not seem to get the most out of his players, I have to think that Red is ever going to amount to much of a player. When he did get a chance to play he hardly distinguished himself as did,for example, Forsett. With the line problems that we had, I can understand not playing Teel It will certainly be interesting to see what PC makes of these players

  19. Could Reed work in PC’s “Elephant”, like I’d heard Curry should?

  20. another unknown factor in this whole equation is the coach/player interaction…
    Just like you & me, we often think more of one neighbor or co-worker than another… in a lot of cases it’s just the interaction or connection… displaying respect… or something along those lines… it turns individuals around!!!!
    I’m very optimistic about this group of coaches… I just get the feeling things won’t get ignored…. The glaring missuse of Curry brought out already… (though it wasn’t put in that ‘negative’ way), it was already noted as a recognized adjustment to be made for 2010…. This could be a lot of fun this coming year….

  21. I heard on NFL Network that Julius Peppers was going to be the big urestricted free agent this off-season. I don’t know, does anyone think the Seahawks should really go after this guy. I think he could definately help the pass rush, but he will be very expensive.

  22. princeaden says:

    Personally, I don’t see how Peppers fits into the youth movement. But, now that the staff is assembled I am anxious to see some roster movement. I hope it begins sooner than later.

  23. Audible says:

    Julius Peppers is 30 and will be really expensive, so I doubt we would consider him. He would be a perfect fit for a team who is already competitive and just needs to get over the hump on defense. We have a ways to go, and he’ll want to be with a team that could go all the way in the next couple of years. That’s not us.

  24. Dukeshire says:

    Exactly, Audible. Ruskell has left the building.

  25. Audible says:


    That’s a good question about Reed. Is he too slow to play linebacker?

  26. Dukeshire says:

    He’s not a linebacker, skill wise. But as far as the so called Elephant, that is a role that will be predominantly held by Tapp with Curry rushing, I would think. Reed’s contributions are geared toward pass rush. He is slow but his motor never stops. Putting him in a position to cover a receiver would be a disaster, from what I’ve seen out of him.

  27. SharkHawk says:

    Nick Reed is slow? He has run as high as a 4.67, which puts him at 6 one hundredths of a second slower than Aaron Curry and at the exact same speed as Clay Matthews and almost a full tenth faster than Brian Cushing.

    We must be looking at different spots for our numbers, but I looked several places and found these repeatedly. Maualuga runs almost 3 tenths slower than Nick Reed and it didn’t hurt his draft stock monumentally.

    Reed is somewhat undersized for a defensive end, but seems to have OLB speed right where you’d want it. He is a ball hawk, and seems to have the right mental makeup to play wherever you put him. I don’t think his speed is going to be a determining factor in preventing him from being an OLB if that is how they choose to use him. He’s bigger and stronger than LeRoy Hill and not a whole lot slower. Plus he isn’t injured every third play.

  28. Dukeshire says:

    I’m not looking at numbers, I’m looking at play on the field. For me, the relatively high value on the 40 is questionable. Football requires functional speed relating to play on the field and responding to events around you (other moving objects) not track (foot) speed that’s measured in a vacuum. That is; ideal surfaces, weather, etc… I like Reed. A lot. But do you really feel Reed is as fast a game player as Brian Cushing or Clay Mattews or Aaron Curry? And he’s smaller than all of them. His energy and attitude and the fact he makes plays when in, are things I hope Carroll is able to maximize. But do not be fooled, he is a a significant disadvantage, physically.

  29. williambryan says:

    These guys are football players, they could do well at most positions if given the chance to succeed. Its about comfort at this level though. thats why Curry trailed off at the end of the year, his role was undefined at best and of course he was out there alone basically (without tatupu lining everyone up like hawthorne couldn’t at that point in his career). I also don’t like that Mora and staff seemed to stifle Curry’s enthusiasm. the first few games Curry was killing people and getting in there face after he did it. he got a couple penalties and his fire seemed to go away. I dont like that call. not a very good call. Pete Carroll, Unleash the best inside Curry. please.

  30. It’s like a ghost town around here.

  31. williambryan says:

    “best” should be “beast”

  32. Dukeshire says:

    Lol, actually I like “best”. Unleash the best in all of them, please.

    “I don’t like that call, not a very good call” LT Glide reference. Very well done.

  33. Dukeshire:I like Reed. A lot. But do you really feel Reed is as fast a game player as Brian Cushing or Clay Mattews or Aaron Curry?

    I think he’s faster than all those guys. Reed’s got a tremendous motor. He’s just playing in the wrong position and, unfortunately, on the wrong team. He should be playing OLB in a 3-4 defense. With those down lineman skills and great pass rush instincts that would be perfect situation for him.

    I’m not so sure about his coverage skills. I don’t recall seeing him drop into coverage this year although I’m sure he must have at some point. Seattle did a fair bit of zone blitzing this year not to mention way too much (shudder) three man rushes. Of course they only seemed to use him as a situational rotation guy so maybe not.

  34. hambone08 says:

    williambryan: “I dont like that call. not a very good call.”

    Nice Jungle reference…Rack ‘em

  35. williambryan says:

    the LT glide could be the best thing to happen in radio in a long time, it makes the horrible calls so much more worth it.

  36. SharkHawk says:

    How can you determine Nick Reed’s “field speed” when he plays out of a down stance?

    You stand him up and give him an open line to a QB like Cushing and I bet he looks a heck of a lot faster. Remember when he scooped that ball up and raced to the endzone? He certainly didn’t look like any lumbering DE to me on that play. Maybe he did to you. He gets off the line quickly, even from a down stance. I am envisioning what he can do from an upright stance and it is a good thing, because he IS quick.

    Calling him slow or even not fast enough just seems wrong to me. If anything, Nick Reed has shown quickness and “football speed” each time he’s taken the field. That is ultimately what got him his job this past season. He was SO fast off of the ball and made plays. That wasn’t due to raw power. That wasn’t due to some amazing technique. That was because the guy is fast. He is the closest thing to Rufus Porter we’ve seen in a Hawks uniform since #97 walked away, and he was able to play at OLB and DE without a problem.

    You can say a lot about Nick’s “raw” ability or his lack of size or strength, but calling his speed into question seems a bit off when that is the main part of his game that got him noticed by so many in the preseason. It was ALL about the quick. Just as the year before Dave Hawthorne was all about jarring hits. Nick Reed has the Kevin Greene type of build and speed and can be used all over the field if a coach is intelligent enough to use him where he’ll succeed. They did that in college and he played well. They did it in the preseason and he dominated. Now it’s time to work him in on some regular season games and give him a chance to run around and make a play or two.

  37. Maybe I’m alone on this… but I really don’t get why people are hailing Nick Reed (and David Hawthorne for that matter) as the second coming? Sure he provides a spark here and there, but I just don’t see him ever becoming a starter or even a major role-player in the league.

    Do I hope that he proves me wrong? Of course, but I also can’t legitimately defend the guy whenever he is called “too small” or “too slow”. The reason why he made a few plays last year is because he is given no attention by the opposing team’s o-line. Their more worried about Mebane or a rushing LB, and any pressure he gets is a result of good coverage downfield. I don’t remember him ever just blowing by the a tackle.

    As for his fumble return for a TD, he had the advantage of picking up the loose ball on the run going in the right direction. Curry, who I *think* caused the fumble, was jogging along side the all-out-sprinting-Reed all the way into the end zone, so yeah, Curry is faster. But please remember, I do like Reed, I just kind of view him as our own “Rudy”.

  38. Also, I know similar efforts are being made by fellow members of this blog, but I’m trying to get my own blog for Hawk fans up and running. The thing I don’t have a lot of right now is time, so if anyone thinks they might want to have their thoughts/ideas/opinions published for all to see, I’m very open to having multiple co-authors of the blog.

    I’m not AT ALL trying to take members away from this blog, I just wanted to provide another forum for Hawk fans to share their opinions. Thanks!

  39. Dukeshire says:

    eathrer – I had already acknowledged his motor and his pass rush ability, but from everything I have seen, he is a less talented Tapp. And you and I couldn’t disagree more about his speed vs the three I mentioned. And having seen him and Curry in person on the field several times this year, it wasn’t even close. But the fact is, he makes plays, regardless.

  40. If the 40 yard dash was a barometer for a Pro Bowl WR, then our own D. Butler should be a lot better than 4.6 Jerry Rice ever was. As Madden said, there’s two speeds… track speed and football speed… Rice had the football speed…

  41. earther says:

    Lefty24:Maybe I’m alone on this… but I really don’t get why people are hailing Nick Reed (and David Hawthorne for that matter) as the second coming?

    Well, the Hawthorne love is wayyyyyyy over the top. Maybe not on this board so much but I’ve seen consensuses out there that seriously want to trade Tatupu because they think Hawthorne is a better player. People like him because he’s got a ton of energy and he hits hard. I like him for that too but come on. The reason why the Seattle run defense went from pretty good to down right horrible was because of David Hawthorne. He’s very undisciplined when it comes to gap control, he never calls off ill advised stunts and he has a terrible tendency to run to the perceived point of attach before he can get a read on the blocking. On the other hand, I blamed the coaching for most of that. It is just inexperience after all. If I can see it then they should be able to see it, shouldn’t they? They should have had him on a much tighter leash.

    As far as Nick Reed goes, I don’t think anybody is talking pro-bowl just yet. They just think he’s underutilized. I agree with that, although I do think he’s playing on the wrong team. I just don’t think there’s an open spot for a guy like him in an LB stacked 4-3 defense.

    The reason why he made a few plays last year is because he is given no attention by the opposing team’s o-line.

    Oh please…..

  42. The reason why the Seattle run defense went from pretty good to down right horrible was because of David Hawthorne.

    Ok earther, my turn to call you out: the Seahawks run defense was not their problem. They finished 15th in the league, giving up only 111 ypg. And that’s even with teams running the ball just to kill the clock (Dallas, Minnesota, Indy, Green Bay, Houston, and on, and on…) The problem with our defense was against the pass. There we finished 30th in the league, giving up 245 ypg.

    I’m not freeing Hawthorne of blame, though, as I happen to believe he was a big part of our pass defense problems as well. Yeah, he was getting a lot of tackles, but A LOT seemed to come after his man or a man in his “zone” caught the ball.

    But then again, who knows how much of the blame should be put on the coaches for that?

  43. Dukeshire says:

    earther – And yet he let the team in tackles. I found him to be more of a liability in pass coverage than against the run. Seattle’s run defense improved from ’08 to ’09 so I’m not sure what frame you are referring to when you say “Seattle run defense went from pretty good to down right horrible” when he was in.

  44. area51hawkfan says:

    Leave Heater alone! The TEAM do well this year in rushing defense, look at the stats look at ’08 to ’09, it was the pass defense and lack of a pass rush that killed this defense… again! No 4 man rush leaves a lot of man coverage at points this team is not solid at yet. The corners were weaker that in years past and the safety position was in transition. I thought the Hawks D was a bright spot as the season came to a close. Can’t say that about the O or S/T play.

    Ok moving on… Did anyone see that all decade team and who’s on it? Alexander, Jones & Hutch. So now lets start the debate shall we??

  45. earther says:

    Lefty24:Ok earther, my turn to call you out: the Seahawks run defense was not their problem. They finished 15th in the league, giving up only 111 ypg. And that’s even with teams running the ball just to kill the clock (Dallas, Minnesota, Indy, Green Bay, Houston, and on, and on…) The problem with our defense was against the pass. There we finished 30th in the league, giving up 245 ypg.

    Oh, I agree. The Seahawks pass defence was horrible. But it doesn’t follow from that that their run defense was good. In fact all of the NFC West rushing defense stats are inflated. Let me show you why. Here’s a list of the bottom 10 rushing offenses in the league.

    23 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    24 Detroit Lions
    25 San Francisco 49ers
    26 Seattle Seahawks
    27 Washington Redskins
    28 Arizona Cardinals
    29 Chicago Bears
    30 Houston Texans
    31 San Diego Chargers
    32 Indianapolis Colts

    If that list looks familiar to you it’s because it contains 7 Seattle opponents this year over 9 games. Six of those teams are NFC West common opponents (adjusting for the fact that no team plays itself). The division had a weak schedule overall this year but their opponents were uncommonly very weak in terms of rushing offense. The few good teams on the schedule all feature (for the most part) one dimensional aerial attacks. Even Minnesota’s run game fell way off this year because they went all pass happy with Favre in at quarterback.

    So not only will I assert that 15th overall is nothing to brag about in any year, in this particular year it should be classified as very poor.

    Now you’re just going to have to take my word for it that they were doing much better than 15th overall before Tatupu was taken out of the lineup. The NFL doesn’t post time differentiated stats like baseball does. However, I was keeping track myself out of interest. The following chart illustrates Seattle’s defensive performance vs the run with the Tatupu games separated by the Hawthorne games. In the game by game lists the first number is the rushing yards allowed in that game. The second number is that team’s season average yds/game. UNDER means Seattle held their opponent to less than their season average during that game. OVER means the opposite of course and EVEN means they allowed yardage that was pretty close to the season average. A couple of the numbers might be a little off because season averages change from game to game but I went through and made adjustments in week 16 (I think it was week 16) so there shouldn’t be too many discrepancies.

    Tatupu – 4 games – 63.75 yds/game
    Hawthorne – 12 games – 131.91 yds/game

    Tatupu Games

    Stl 77 – 113.1 UNDER
    Ind 78 – 84.6 UNDER
    Jac 38 – 128.5 UNDER
    Arr 62 – 96.4 UNDER

    Hawthorne Games

    SF 256 – 98.3 OVER
    Chi 103 – 89.5 OVER
    Dal 113 – 128.3 UNDER
    Det 114 – 96.4 OVER
    Arr 122 – 94.1 OVER
    Min 160 – 119.3 OVER
    StL 113 – 113.1 EVEN
    SF 107 – 98.3 OVER
    HOU 85 – 88.7 UNDER
    TB 124 – 105.8 OVER
    GB 153 – 118.4 OVER
    TEN 133 – 162,0 UNDER

    The first SF game was actually a Tatupu start but he left the game during the first series so it’s credited as a Hawthorne game. In case you’re wondering David Hawthorne was on the field for both of those Frank Gore 80 yard touchdowns.

  46. earther says:

    Dukeshire:earther – And yet he let the team in tackles.

    All that stat does is describe the problem in a nutshell. Abandoning your gap responsibilities so that you can scamper off to beat your own teammates to tackles that they are quite capable of making themselves doesn’t do anything except leave huge, vulnerable areas in the middle of your front. Moreover, that’s exactly where those guys were getting bit for long gains over and over again, all season long (with some exceptions of course).

    But don’t take my word for it. Go revisit the highlights and put your isolated eyeball on Hawthorne while you’re doing it. Heaven knows there’s plenty of highlights like that saved from Seahawks’ games on NFL.COM. I recommend you start with the first San Francisco game.

  47. I think the biggest problem with the San Francisco game was the absence of Brandon Mebane.

    Good defended analysis back and forth — fun to read. Thanks (each side).

  48. SharkHawk says:

    Hmmm, I didn’t see anybody talking about Reed and Hawthorne as “the second coming” Lefty. Perhaps if you are going to spend your time and resources running your own blog, then you should be careful about putting words in folks mouth. Nothing will drive readers and writers away faster. Good luck with it though.

    I just think I said that Reed and Hawthorne are both legitimate NFL players, and the speed excuse is a little flimsy when you consider that Reed ran faster or as fast than many first round picks. Sure there are other knocks on the guys, but they have both proven to be NFL-worthy players. That and “the second coming” are worlds apart.

  49. Ok, guilty as charged. Maybe I shoud’ve said that “over the course of the season, it seems like most people think a lot more of Reed and Hawthorne than I do.” Nothing said specifically on this thread spurned me to use the “second coming” term, it was just a response to the accumulation of opinions that I have been reading all year long, on this blog as well as others.

    My last point on Hawthorne vs. Tatupu. I never said that the defense’s performance didn’t drop after Tatupu went down. I just wouldn’t go as far as calling their run defense “down right horrible.”

    Oh, and thanks for the “good luck” wishes on my blog, though I’m not sure how genuine they were. As a COM major, I’m just trying to add something to my resume as I start looking for internships/jobs in sports media. I truly welcome any and all constructive criticism. If my writing style ever does turn people away, I would much rather someone tell me rather than just stop visiting.

    This is the last time I’ll mention my own pursuits though. After all, my reason for coming HERE is be a part of what I consider to be the best community of Hawk fans. Kudos to Sando, Frank (who served more as a placeholder), and now Eric.

  50. Lefty24:My last point on Hawthorne vs. Tatupu. I never said that the defense’s performance didn’t drop after Tatupu went down. I just wouldn’t go as far as calling their run defense “down right horrible.”

    Well, I suppose that last post was way too long for the point being argued but I did want to make clear my contention that, whatever Seattle’s defensive numbers were, they were accumulated against a very weak schedule with respect to the run game.

    As far as the rest of it goes, I should have just posted that single stat. That is, with David Hawthorne starting Seattle allowed an average of 132 yds/game on the ground, not 111. Extended over the season that places them at 26th overall in the NFL, not 15th.

    You think horrible is too strong a word? O.K. that’s fair but I call a record like that very poor.

  51. SharkHawk says:

    See… there you go again. You read way too much into what people say. Somebody wishes you good luck, and you seem to insinuate that they are hoping you fail. If I wanted you to fail lefty, I would have said, “I hope your blog goes down in a flaming heap lefty.” Geez.

    This time I am saying “good luck on building your resume’ as a COM major” and what I mean by that is that I hope you have good luck in building your resume’ as a COM major.”

  52. williambryan says:

    earther, It’s nice of you to keep track of things like that for the rest of us. It’s to bad you don’t use common sense in your analysis of your own information. To justify your claim of the “drop off” when Hawthorne took over for tatupu, you point out the schedule, as well as the fact that teams were running just to kill the clock because the hawks were losing by a lot most of the time. But look at the results of the games. two of the first four games of last season the hawks demolished the opponents in shutout victories, where as the opposing teams couldn’t run the ball because they were forced to try to catch up via the passing game. So now tatupu’s “stats” , as you have compiled them, are blown out of proportion. of course the team had good run defense in those games. I’m just saying there is so much that goes into football it is crazy for any of us, or any “experts” or coaches or whoever to try and throw blanket statements over individuals or games or seasons. take Holmgrens last year for example, if you look at the numbers, the team sucked, they were 4-12. but if you watch the games you would know that all most all of them were still competitive up in to the final moments of the game. Meaning we were a few breaks away from being 8-8 or even better.
    And the reason seemingly everyone wanted to see about the trade prospects for Tatupu is because his play had visibly dropped off, and that was even more apparent when Hawthorne came in and started to make play after play. Tatupu wasn’t at his pro bowl level in 2008 and really wasn’t playing that well in 2007 either. Why? I don’t know. But I know that if I were picking players backyard style, I would pick Hawthorne before I pick Tatupu.

  53. Dukeshire says:

    earther – I am certain you have Hawthorn and Curry confused. Regardless, 2 things stand out t me about your posts; 1- How exactly is it you are aware of what his assignments are for a given play? Presuming you understand what they are based on a general understanding of the position is not informative analysis. It’s guesswork. 2- If he showed a lack of gap integrity his tackles would likely decrease. That is, if he were responsible for gap A, we’ll say, and he abandoned that because he thought the play was headed outside, he would be taking himself further away from the ball carrier when it, in fact, was run through his gap.

    With that, we can see his playing himself out of position, I won’t / can’t deny that, even if we don’t know his specific assignments. But from everything I have seen, (and believe me, I rewatch the games) he was not chief liability in run defense. Certainly no more than Cole, Terrill, Bryant, Curry, or lack of safety help at the line. I would never take him over Tatupu, but there has got to be room for him on the field, one way or another, IMO.

  54. The truth of the situation is that Tatupu is probably the most talented player on our defense. He’s smart, instictive and understands the game better than just about anyone on the field.

    The reason he is such a hot button for debate though is that his performance has not matched his salary or his reputation since our Superbowl season.

    He’s still just as smart. He still understands the game just as well. But he doesn’t make plays on the other side of the line of scrimage the way he used to. That is a fact. I believe you can draw a “before and after” line on Lofa’s career at the moment of impact when he met Nick Goines in the hole int the NFC Championship Game back in January 2005. He hasn’t been the same since. After that hit Tatupu realized that he was mortal and now he plays like a guy who wants to make sure he’s able to enjoy his money after football.

    Not that I blame him…He spent a big part of that day watching cartoon birds fly around his head.

    But Fans like watching hungry, aggressive players. That’s what Lofa was and who Hawthorne is. Will Hawthorne still be that guy after he get’s his big payday? Probably not. Most guys aren’t. They play their asses off for that big contract and then once they get it they shift down a little. Seattle fans more than any other fans in the league ought to know that. We’ve provided more cushy retirements for overvalued players than any team in the league.

    Football is a gladiator sport. It takes a special mindset to get out there and throw caution to the wind the way these guys do. A guy who’s taking a chance at setting himself and his family up financially for generations to come is a lot more likely to play with the type of reckless abandon and lack of regard for his own longterm well being than a guy who’s got 60 million in the bank.

    IMO we will never ever again see the Lofa Tatupu that patrolled the middle for us during our Superbowl run. That guy is gone. That doesn’t mean that the guy wearing his jersey now a bum. But is he worth what we’re paying him? Would we be better off with Hawthorne in the middle and then parlaying Tatupu into one or two other players? These questions have to be asked and answered.

    Great organizations pay players for what they are, not what they were or what they might end up being. The Seahawks would be well advised to start adopting that approach with this roster. Lofa, thanks for the big hits back in tha day!

    Go Hawks!

  55. P.S. I just removed TheMortReport from my twitter account. I don’t like all of the Social Commentary and political undertones that have been getting sprinkled in with my football. I don’t care if you’re prolife or prochoice, but keep those discussions where they belong.


  56. earther says:
    February 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm
    Dukeshire: “earther – And yet he let the team in tackles.”
    All that stat does is describe the problem in a nutshell. Abandoning your gap responsibilities so that you can scamper off to beat your own teammates to tackles that they are quite capable of making themselves doesn’t do anything except leave huge, vulnerable areas in the middle of your front. Moreover, that’s exactly where those guys were getting bit for long gains over and over again, all season long (with some exceptions of course).

    What? Hawks are an under sized, built for speed, swarm to the ball, defense. Other than Gore and the 56 yd TD by the Packers, Grant all other runs where 31 yards or less. Down playing the exceptional play of David Hawthorne seems unnecessary. The lack of a pass rush hurt the defense in all categories. I can ‘HEAR THE WHINE’ of the Great Ray Lewis had he played behind this d-line.

    Appreciate your attempted breakdown but took it a bit further below.

    St. Louis Rams Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Steven Jackson 16 67 4.2 22 0
    Seattle Seahawks Tack Ast Tot Sacks Loss Ints Yds Avg Lg TD
    – Lofa Tatupu 3 0 3 1.0 10.0 0 0 0.0 0 0
    The Hawks built such a lead early on in the second half forcing St. Loius to abandoned the run all though Jackson had not been stopped.

    San Francisco 49ers Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Frank Gore 16 207 12.9 80t 2
    – David Hawthorne 3 2 5 0.0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0
    54 Will Herring & 59 Aaron Curry in on the first 79 yd TD while 57 David Hawthorne, over center, blitzed. But, it was the hold on 24 Deon Grant, over pursuit of Curry and missed tackle of 27 Jordan Babineaux that allowed .
    Again, on 80 yd TD, Curry trapped inside and Babineaux takes a bad angle with Tatupu/Hawthorne out, 56 Leroy Hill in.
    HOW IS THIS: Hawthorne Games ?????????????
    Eliminate 159 yards that Hawthorne had nothing to do with = 48 yds or 3.4 ypc

    Chicago Bears Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Matt Forte 21 66 3.1 11 0
    – David Hawthorne 15 1 16 0.0 0.0 1 3 3.0 3 0
    NOW THIS: Definitively a Hawthorne game

    Indianapolis Colts Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Joseph Addai 12 46 3.8 12t 1
    Lofa Tatupu 7 4 11 0.0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0

    Jacksonville Jaguars Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Maurice Jones-Drew 12 34 2.8 18 0
    – Lofa Tatupu 4 4 8 0.0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0

    Arizona Cardinals Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Tim Hightower 13 32 2.5 12 1
    Chris Wells 12 29 2.4 14 0
    – Lofa Tatupu 7 1 8 0.0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0
    – David Hawthorne 5 0 5 1.0 5.0 0 0 0.0 0 0
    OUT – Tatupu on IR

    Dallas Cowboys Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Marion Barber 14 53 3.8 16 1
    Felix Jones 8 39 4.9 11 0
    Tashard Choice 4 11 2.8 5 0
    – David Hawthorne 5 3 8 2.0 7.0 0 0 0.0 0 0

    Detroit Lions Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Kevin Smith 13 67 5.2 31 0
    Aaron Brown 4 27 6.8 19 0
    Maurice Morris 4 20 5.0 7 0
    – David Hawthorne 8 1 9 0.0 0.0 2 6 3.0 5 0
    ABSOLUTE TERRIBLE ypc but a win is a win

    Arizona Cardinals Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Chris Wells 16 85 5.3 29 2
    Tim Hightower 10 37 3.7 9
    – David Hawthorne 10 1 11 0.0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0
    NOT GOOD ypc 4.7

    Minnesota Vikings Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Adrian Peterson 24 82 3.4 16 0
    Chester Taylor 11 73 6.6 25 0
    Tarvaris Jackson 2 5 2.5 6 0
    – David Hawthorne 11 4 15 0.0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0
    SHRUG: Shut AP down, Favre on FIRE!

    St. Louis Rams Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Steven Jackson 23 89 3.9 25 1
    – David Hawthorne 6 1 7 1.0 10.0 0 0 0.0 0 0
    RAMS: nuf said

    San Francisco 49ers Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Frank Gore 9 25 2.8 6 0
    – David Hawthorne 4 1 5 0.0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0

    Houston Texans Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Ryan Moats 10 43 4.3 16 1
    Arian Foster 13 34 2.6 11 0
    Chris Brown 3 7 2.3 3 0
    – David Hawthorne 6 4 10 0.0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Derrick Ward 19 67 3.5 25 0
    Carnell Williams 12 66 5.5 23 0
    – David Hawthorne 6 4 10 0.0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0
    4 INT 1 FUMBLE

    Green Bay Packers Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Ryan Grant 16 97 6.1 56t 2
    Ahman Green 8 29 3.6 16 1
    Brandon Jackson 5 20 4.0 6t 2
    – David Hawthorne 5 0 5 0.0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0

    Tennessee Titans Att Yds Avg Lg TD
    Chris Johnson 36 134 3.7 12 2
    – David Hawthorne 8 1 9 0.0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0

  57. jjsnix – What is this nonsense about Tatupu and birds circling. You miss the 2006 Cowboy playoff game? Tatupu 6’0″, 238 lbs held Jason Witten 6’5″ 257 lbs straight up at the goal line. First 2007 game Tampa Bay, knocked Cadillac Williams out of the game. Or fact that he went on to consecutive Pro Bowls, three straight all total.

    The emergence of Hawthorne, of coarse, has made for debate on how to better a Hawk team lacking in talent at so many other positions. The Bronco are in desperate need at LB and have a disgruntled all pro WR, Brandon Marshal. I would trade Lofa straight up but if Denver would accept David Hawthorne, DONE in a heart beat. We can draft an excellent DE in this draft and my belief is that we would not miss Tatupu, Hawthorne being more than capable.

  58. Let’s see if I got this right?

    TR signed Lofa to a contract that made Lofa a Hawk for life (6 yrs thru 2015). A new team would have to be willing to pick up that contract. As previously noted in this thread, often nothing is harder on a player’s performance than getting that “big contract”. But maybe that’s not Lofa’s biggest hurdle.

    A while ago John Morgan over at Field Gulls wrote a “2008 Season Retrospective” on Lofa and made some interesting points that seemed to hold true through Lofa’s ’09 season. Sorry if bringing up another website is verbotten, but it is an interesting read in light of Lofa’s ’09 season. “Tatupu is athletic — couldn’t be great if he wasn’t, but he’s not a great athlete and specifically, he’s not that quick. Compounding that weakness is a barrel-chested build and rather short arms. He can tackle head on like a freight train, but doesn’t wrap well and loses a lot of tackles attempted from the side or when trailing. Tatupu can still tackle within the box, can still squirt through crevices, stuff and blitz, but without his full quickness, he lacks as a pass defender and lacks the sideline-to-sideline range that defines a great middle linebacker.”

    Lofa’s biggest asset isn’t his speed, nor his athletics, (though he is athletic enough,) but his mind. Lofa was reportedly correctly calling out the opponents’ offensive plays well before the snap in his rookie year. Then in ’08 the league added speakers in the MLBs helmet. That did a double whammy. Lofa was no longer adjusting the D, John Marshal was. It took away Lofa’s (and one of the Hawks) biggest strengths, plus increased opponent’s Ds (with less savvy MLBs) apparent skill at reading offenses. I don’t know which of Hawks defenders had the green dot on their helmet after Lofa went out, but if it was Hawthorne, it was a mistake. If Bradley was the one talking into that helmet, I sure hope he does better in 2010.

    Lofa’s stats have been on the slow decline since his rookie year in ’05, except for increased tackles in ’06 and increased interceptions in ’07. Lofa started every game of his first 3 seasons, missed a game in ’08, and then missed 11 games in ’09. For ’07, ProFootballFocus had him playing very well against everything but the run. Lofa ranked 12th overall for MLBs/ILBs that season, 4th at rushing the passer and 4th in coverage, but only 65th of 77 at stopping the run. In ’08 Lofa’s helmet got the green dot and his overall performance rank went down to 30th out of 100. Lofa’s pass-rushing performance dropped to 19th, his coverage performance dropped to 93rd, but his run-stopping went up to 13th(!?) In ’09 Lofa’s overall performance dropped again to 37th outta 116. Lofa’s pass-rushing dropped again to 23rd, his coverage increased to 78th, and his run-stopping dropped to 33rd.

    In ’09 Hawthorne did better overall (rk 10th) than Lofa. Hawthorne performed much better than Lofa at stopping the run (rk 5th), whether or not he was running over to others gaps and ‘stealing’ tackles. (Weren’t Hawks defenders all supposed to be ‘flowing to the ball’?) Hawthorne also did a little better than Lofa in coverage, but played worse than Lofa at rushing the passer.

    Lofa is one of PCs USC guys, so even though PC & JS want to go towards ‘youth’, betcha Lofa stays Hawk’s MLB in 2010. So does PC get both Lofa and Hawthorne on the field at the same time? No. According to PC he calls himself a 4-3 guy (as are Bradley and Norton), but he ‘will play the 4-3 scheme with 3-4 guys’. So, if Lofa’s healthy, Hawthorne’s a STs guy, or do the Hawks offer Hawthorne as trade bait?

  59. Dukeshire:earther – I am certain you have Hawthorn and Curry confused.

    No, I don’t think so. Tatupu was replaced by Hawthorne, not Cuirry. Moreover it was Hawthorne who was playing middle linebacker and he was the one wearing #57.

    1- How exactly is it you are aware of what his assignments are for a given play?

    What, you mean like stunts and blitzes and such? If you’re talking before the fact, I can’t. After the fact I can see it.

    2- If he showed a lack of gap integrity his tackles would likely decrease.

    No, that’s not true at all. It’s called over-pursuit to the point of attack. If you do it habitually it will get you closer to the ball more often. In fact, it’s an excellent quality in a safety as long as the safety knows how to read play action and never abandons his coverage responsibilities. However containment is critical and always your first responsibility as a linebacker. Football 101: you must play the block in front of you and apply pressure against the offensive flow. When you cheat by bypassing the blocking to get to the point of attack it will get you there quicker and put you in the mix more often but what you sacrifice can kill you. If every football play was honest and straight to the hole then it might work for you. However offenses run counters, fake traps, fake pulls, bootlegs and all kinds of other misdirection tactics that are designed specifically to confuse defensive containment. When a linebacker runs away from his containment responsibilities like that it leaves big, vulnerable holes that, in the right circumstances, burn you big time.

    I would never take him over Tatupu, but there has got to be room for him on the field, one way or another, IMO.

    Well, I never said he was a bad player. In fact I’m pretty sure I said I like his motor and his talent for crunching hits. He was just way over his head playing MLB on this team this year. He’s too inexperienced and he didn’t appear to have any coaching to guide him. It’s not like something like that should be unexpected or anything. A rookie walking onto an NFL field and playing like a 10 year veteran the way Tatupu did is truly a very rare exception to the rule. However good coaching should be able to temper the weaknesses and minimize habits like that. This year the Seahawks defense played like they had no coaching whatsoever.

    I said something about this briefly earlier in the season and then kept silent after that. Football fans get very emotional about their favorite players as evidenced by some of the posts in this thread. Far be it from me to rain on anybody’s parade and, really, what do I care if a bunch of Seattle fans think David Hawthorne is a superstar. I suppose I should have just kept my mouth shut this time as well. On the other hand, it is a bit irksome. I mean there are people everywhere who really are talking like this guy is some kind of superstar and, at this point in his career, he’s far from that.

  60. Who had the better rookie season, Curry or Hawthorne?

  61. Since we’re talking about LB’s, is Hill ever going to play like he did his rookie season. I had high hopes for that guy, even bought his jersey, but it seems like he’s always banged up and not making plays like he used to. Every once in awhile he gets a good stop or smashes someone, but there’s no consistancy (I hate that word now after this season).

  62. Maybe he should lay off the weed, a take a couple of bumps before he runs out onto the feild.

  63. TruBlu:Since we’re talking about LB’s, is Hill ever going to play like he did his rookie season.

    I expect with better coaching (which I assume Pete Carroll is going to bring to this team) you will see everybody playing much closer to their potential. Bad coaching makes individuals perform below their abilities. When those individuals function better as a unit the sum of the parts will make them each exceed what they have done previously.

  64. Dukeshire says:

    The Curry / Hawthorn crack was sarcasm. And in no way have I indicated he is a “superstar”.

    Now, I fully disagree with your assessment that Hawthorn avoided or bypassed blocks in order to make tackles, on a consistent basis. If you avoid a blocker to make a play, you have been in essence, been blocked. If that were in fact the case, the longer runs this team gave up would have been the result of more cutbacks and counter play rather than straight forward, and that simply was not the case. Teams ran right at the Seahawks. A “habitual over pursuer” will not record 117 tackles (94 solo) at any position on the field. Won’t happen. In fact, almost everything you said regarding him, I would apply to his pass coverage skills,where he was absolutely singled out by opposing QBs. Where he showed a terrible lack (inexperience) of recognition and routinely bit on play-action.

    I will certainly agree that coaching retarded the development of all young players but as evidence Hawthorne and Curry, especially. To make the case, which it seems you are, that Hawthorne had the most to do with Seattle’s poor run defense, you will meet resistance from me. I simple don’t and would not agree with that. That is not to be misunderstood as some level of superstar to bestow on him, however.

  65. :The Curry / Hawthorn crack was sarcasm.

    Oh. If you don’t mind my saying so your sarcasm could use a bit of spice. It lacks bite. Maybe a malevolent attack on my character might do the trick.

    Just kidding.

    And in no way have I indicated he is a “superstar”.

    I never said you did. That was just a general observation of the mood and maybe the thought was infused with a measure of hyperbole for effect. At any rate, so far in this thread, you’re the only one who I can remember explicitly stating that there’s no way Hawthorne should replace Tatupu. I may not have mentioned it but I did note it.

    Now, I fully disagree with your assessment that Hawthorn avoided or bypassed blocks in order to make tackles, on a consistent basis.

    O.K. well that’s fair. This is all getting a bit long so why don’t I just concede the final word to you and just leave it at that.

  66. nighthawk2 says:

    From what I read of Beadles in Senior Bowl week, he doesn’t have the ability to play left tackle in the NFL and struggled mightily at guard. Did the guys reporting that miss something? Mardy Gilyard was reportedly exposed as a guy who’ll have to be a slot receiver because of his small frame (weight). Corners jammed him off the LOS and he had mega problems getting of the jam and getting into patterns as a result.

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