Seahawks Insider

Take of the week: Building around T-Jack

Post by Eric Williams on March 5, 2012 at 8:30 am with 43 Comments »
March 5, 2012 8:30 am
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson warms up before the start of an NFL football game between the St. Louis Rams and the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Editor’s note: This is a format where frequent contributors to the comments section of the Seahawks Insider blog are offered a forum to voice their opinion on a specific topic of choice involving the Seahawks. Submissions are read and edited beforehand.

This is the first of four pieces where Bob Kaupang offers his opinion on the quarterback options for the Seahawks.

By Bob Kaupang
(Bobby K)

Can the Seattle Seahawks win the Super Bowl with Tarvaris Jackson as its starting quarterback? While the odds are against it, the stars seem to be aligning to make this once laughable opinion a potential reality.

This team is being built to win it all with a quarterback like Jackson. All Seahawk fans realize that nobody is going to confuse him for Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, or Drew Brees.

However, if quarterback greatness ensured Super Bowl victories, there’s no way Mark Rypien would have a Super Bowl ring, and the same cannot be said for Dan Marino. Sure, being without a franchise quarterback isn’t the blueprint you would want to use when building a Super Bowl winner, but it’s the hand we have been dealt.

So, what needs to happen to be able to win a Super Bowl with Tarvaris Jackson under center?

Seattle Seahawks' Tarvaris Jackson in action against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

For starters, you need a run game so good that teams know you’re going to run and they still cannot consistently stop you. Well, thanks to Tom Cable, this is becoming a reality.

The Cable-led offensive line began to impose its will on opponents during the final months of this past season and allowed us to see just how good Marshawn Lynch can consistently be when given the chance. To top it off, this young line is only going to get better.

The Seahawks are getting close to having a dominant defense. The run defense is stout and the secondary is among the best in the NFL. They are a legitimate pass rusher away from turning the corner into being one of the elite defenses in the league.

If Jackson remains at quarterback, that means there will be more of an opportunity to acquire the pass rushing help needed to compliment Chris Clemons, as more resources will be available to get this these players via free agency, trade, or the draft.

Last, but not least, the Seahawks need improvement on special teams. While the kicking and return game has been fine, the kick and punt coverage has not. Special teams play seems like it gets overlooked too often when teams make final roster cuts, but this area can win or lose games, too.

If Mark Rypien proved anything, it’s that you can look Pro Bowl good while enjoying a career season and leading your team to a Super Bowl victory if you have a great running game, defense, and special teams. In the grand scheme of things, Mark Rypien would not have considered one of the better quarterbacks in the league in 1991 if he hadn’t been surrounded by such talented teammates and coaches.

With a dominant run game, great defense, and improved special teams play, the stars will be aligned to win it all with Tarvaris Jackson.

General Seahawks
Leave a comment Comments → 43
  1. Palerydr says:

    BobbyK supporting the idea of Jackson leading us to the promised land? Indeed the stars are aligning. I see this as a possibility with the following scenario playing out.

    We sign Mario Williams in FA thus upgrading our ass rush. With Williams on the edge demanding double teams/special attention this will free up Mebane and Clemons for one on one opportunities in which they excel. Williams also is a 3 down DE I don’t see us resigning Red in this scenario.

    It remains to be seen if we resign Heater it sounds like he may be pricing himself off Seahawks. As he is a leader for the team it would hurt the overall chemistry by adding Williams and subtracting Heater. However this is the NFL aka the “Not For Long” league. Anybody can be gone for a number of reasons. I would draft Luke Kuechly at MLB as all reports are he is another Lofa Tatupa type capable of stepping in and running the defense from day 1.

    With our second pick regardless of what we do in FA I would pick my developmental QB. I also see where we sign another veteran QB to push Jackson into developing his flaws to make him a more complete QB.

    A dominant defense can get us to the playoffs however it takes a QB that can win a game in the 4th quarter to be a SB contender. If Jackson can get it done in the fourth then I say yes he can lead us to a SB victory.

  2. wabubba67 says:

    As I posted earlier, I don’t mind building around Tavaris Jackson. Let’s start with a moat between him and the starting lineup.

    Go get a supremely motivated and, apparently recovering, Manning. Or get a young QB with great intangibles that has been well coached and mentored on the NFL level for a few years…Flynn. Neither would cost us draft choices, only money. With our salary cap situation this off-season, that is of little concern.

  3. wabubba67 says:

    As I posted a few days ago, I don’t mind building around Tavaris Jackson. Let’s start with a moat between him and the starting lineup.

    Go get a young QB with terrific intangibles who has been well mentored and coached at the NFL level for a few years…Flynn. Or get a HoF veteran QB that will play with a chip on his should because he was snubbed by the organization that he helped to create near the end of his career. By all accounts, Manning’s health is now improving. Each comes with risks, but neither would cost draft choices. We are in a great position this year regarding the salary cap and, while money is always of concern with an eye to the future, we now have enough room to afford a little risk at a key position.

  4. wabubba67 says:

    Sorry for the double post. Either my computer or the website was acting up. I was told that my first attempt didn’t go through.

  5. wabubba67 says:

    Paleryder–guessing you mean “pass” rush. Ass rush sounds like it might hurt. I think I’ve had a few of those after having bad Mexican food.

  6. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Lol, wabubba67!

  7. Even good Mexican food can give you that if the spice level is up to par. Yesterday morning proved that out.

    Not sure if Bobby remembered or forgot his medication the day he wrote this piece. Will the real BobbyK please stand up?

  8. chuck_easton says:

    I’m all in favor of a good ‘ass rush’ for the team. Nobody wants the guys playing all bloated and blocked up. I do hope they limit this to the pre-game routine as I really don’t want to see that on TV.

    I have an HD set and that would be just a little too graphic for my family.

  9. RDPoulsbo says:

    Well, you could say our pass rush played like ass…

    I think T-Jax is a decent Plan-B, but I certainly would like to see an upgrade. That’s not to say they should overpay to upgrade though. T-Jax is what he is, an average QB. Not great, but not bad either. Just average.

    Don’t think for one second the offense is being built around him though. It’s being built around Lynch. Just look at the types of OL they drafted last year. Big mauling run blockers, not technically sound pass protectors.

  10. FleaFlicker says:

    BobbyK sticking up for TJ? Wait a second, what’s that outside the window? I think I see pigs flying!

    Good points made all around. But I’m still not comfortable trying to replicate a formula for success that has been the exception, not the rule. Taking a look back at the list of Super Bowl QBs, about 8 years out of 10, the championship team had an MVP level player behind center:

    If we’re going to go the distance with TJ, we’ve got to stay on the dang field with our offense! I love BeastMode, but one man can’t carry the offense. Maybe Rob Rang was on to something when he projected Michael Floyd as our first pick. Looking back at the season, we could have made the playoffs with a few more first downs per game. Our defense is strong, but you can’t leave them out there all afternoon.

    For all of our second guessing and my personal skepticism about TJ, if the Front Office likes him, I’m in no position argue otherwise. If TJ is indeed “our man” then I’m going to support him all season. But if he’s not our man (as many of us feel), let’s do all we can to bring in that critical piece of the puzzle.

  11. wabubba67 says:

    Am a little bit bummed about the Texans signing Arian Foster to a deal. Makes it much more likely that Williams will be tagged.

  12. “Take of the Week”? Don’t you mean, Twilight Zone? That must have been painful Bobby, and if we didn’t know better, we’d think you were on board with T-Jack. LOL

    Nice job…looking forward to the rest of this series!

  13. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    they must have put bobby on meds,lol

  14. RDPoulsbo says:

    wabubba67, Williams is going to FA, you can take that to the bank.

    The Texans don’t have the cap room to tag him and the only way it was potentially feasable was if they didn’t sign Foster and cut a couple key players.

  15. piperfeltcher says:

    Zero chance the Texans tag Williams as Fosters contract puts them around 5 mill under the cap. They front loaded Fosters contract so they have no intentions of keeping Williams.
    I would hate to see Red leave he has improved so much and is a unique and fun player to watch. He was a monster on special teams last year with his kick blocking and has been a difference maker the last 2 years in run defence. I hope they keep Red and draft Perry as a siruation pass rusher who can replace Clemmons next year when he bolts for huge money.

  16. wabubba67 says:

    Good…I am glad to be wrong about the Williams situation. Didn’t realize where the Texans were exactly with cap space.

  17. Dukeshire says:

    I’m glad this series has been re-born. Good read Bobby and look forward to the rest of the series.

    These was the most measured comments by Bobby regarding Jackson, yet.

  18. I get the argument, but I’m not buying it. I want to be more than a one-dimensional team that really just runs the ball. This perspective is two-fold. One, I like watching scoring. It’s fun. 2, having more than one way to beat other teams is a good thing. If you get down in a game and have to come back with TJ at the helm…not ideal, in my humble opinion anyways.

    Still, good work BK—thanks!

  19. Palerydr says:

    Hit the submit button then went to breakfast with the wife. I really try and reread my posts for mistakes but obviously I skipped right past that one glad to see some of you had a laugh at my expense it’s all good.

    Kudo’s to Bobby for his rational post that had to be extremly difficult to reign himself in. I also look forward to more in this series.

  20. LondonHawk says:

    Sorry BobbyK but I can’t get on board with this one. The Rypien Marino comparison doesn’t work. The game is different today. It is a passing game. The days of great defense winning championships outright are the exception not the rule. You need a great QB these days and just enough D to stop the other guy.

    T Jack was a trooper last year for playing hurt the way he did but he wasn’t healthy and he just isn’t good enough to be a consistent winner in this league.

    All that being said I wouldn’t disagree with sticking it out another year with him, not because I believe he is the answer but because unless I see a clear and definite cost effective (in terms of cap and draft picks i.e. not a reach) then I see no reason to go crazy trying to get a QB.

    If we can get a Flynn great, but I would rather have Mario Williams and carry on with T Jack and try to add a guy like Kirk Cousins, Kellen Moore in the 4th round. As for a first round pick I am really hoping that Trent Richardson falls down to 12.

  21. “As for a first round pick I am really hoping that Trent Richardson falls down to 12.”

    If it doesn’t make sense to get De Castro at #12, it doesn’t make sense to get Richardson either because we already have a power back.

  22. ChrisHolmes says:

    Fun to see BobbyK play Devil’s Advocate, but that’s all it is. Arguing a counterpoint for argument’s sake.

    Tavaris will never win a Superbowl.

    The idea of building around TJack is a mirage. The team would win games in spite of his presence under center, not because of it. There’s no way he wins a Superbowl. Ever. Doesn’t have the tools, no matter what kind of team you build around him.

    The thing is – whether TJack is the QB or not, this rebuilding had to happen. Our running game and defense needed the overhauls. As a fan, I’m happy with the rebuilding in those areas.

    But that said, the QB makes or breaks a team. You can have all the running game you want and all the defense you want, but at some point in time you have to have a passing game. Regardless of how well we rebuild with a running game and defense proceeds, we’ll never be a serious Superbowl team until we have a proper trigger man.

  23. wallinator says:

    Everyone has an opinion and has a right to express it. Fans want to be an Armchair Quarterback and we all think we know best. This debate over whether or not T-Jack, (no, not T-Jax), is the right QB is almost comical. What Jackson is, is an adequate QB and a great athlete. Jackson is still learning and growing with every NFL start. You don’t have to agree with me, but maybe the name Mike Holmgren might perk your ears up….Coach Holmgren was taught by Bill Walsh, Walsh taught Holmgren that it takes a QB at least 32 starts to know whether or not he “gets it.” Jackson has just passed his 32nd start in the NFL. It’s not like he had 32 consecutive starts either. He had to sit while the Brett Favre experiment was played in Minnesota. Right now we can say that Jackson is not Drew Brees, Tom Brady, or Peyton Manning for that matter, but not many people are. Jackson does what the coaches ask of him. He is coachable and teachable. If his receivers would get some separation (Hello, BMW) and catch the ball, then Jackson’s numbers would be better than they are. Other than T-Jack releasing the ball sooner, what is his major weakness? He needs to made quicker decisions and get rid of the ball. I’ll take that any day. Jackson can work on that and fix that. He’s not a head case, he’s not a cancer in the locker-room. More importantly, Jackson is cheap in NFL salary standards, at $4M/year through 2012. The Seahawks have not mortgaged their future on Jackson, and will reap the rewards if he continues to improve. They can easily part ways if they don’t see T-Jack as the long-term answer at CenturyLink.

  24. I think this argument holds water, an elite QB is not required to win the Super Bowl. I would add Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, Jeff Hostetler, and Doug Williams as non-elite Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. Just because recent Super Bowls have been won by elite quarterbacks does not mean that is the only way to win. The St. Louis Rams of 1999, the greatest show on turf, won the NFC title game against the Tampa Bay Bucs by a score of 11-6. The only reason the Bucs didn’t win was because they misfired on offense late in the game. Defense can win championships.

  25. Tjack still growing? – at this rate by the time he finally gets it he will be old and falling apart and ready to retire.

    He has almost 3 years worth of games and by then you should expect him to be able to read an NFL defense, Anticipate where the WR is going, or have some sort of pocket presence.

    He would have to make DRAMATIC improvement for me to feel comfortable moving on beyond this year with him.

    IMO You can not win the super bowl with just a dominating defense (well unless it is light years ahead of all the offenses out there). You have to win 2 of the 3 battles. Off, Def, ST. or dominate one and be REALLY close in the other two. Likewise, I don’t think you can win with JUST a dominating OFF. (if that were true it would have been GB or NO, vs NE in the superbowl)

  26. footballscaa says:

    Mark Rypien is still a better QB than Jackson.

  27. JohnnyBG says:

    “For starters, you need a run game so good that teams know you’re going to run and they still cannot consistently stop you.”

    There is no such thing in today’s NFL when you are playing playoff caliber defenses. You have to have a passing game to keep the defense honest if they try to overload against the run. TJack can do this if he has enough blocking and good enough receivers, neither of which he has had so far.

  28. Nice job, Bobby. If only our politicians could “see the other side” so fair-mindedly.

  29. Dukeshire says:

    Since this is a 4 part series, I’m guessing Bobby is saving his ranchor for chapters 2-4.

  30. Yes Duke this was merely installment #1(not plan A in Bobby’s mind!). We still get to hear about Flynn, Manning, draftees and mystery candidates.

    Think you’re right about Red testing the waters. He has an offer from Seattle that he can sit on while talking to other interested parties. If he doesn’t get a significantly higher offer then here’s hoping he stays home(even if he does). They won’t love you like we do Red!

  31. NYHawkFan says:

    Elite quarterbacks step up their level of play during the final minutes of a game. T-Jack falls short in this area. I’m not sure is that is something that can be learned. You either have it or you don’t.

  32. seahawkfan says:

    TJ’s contract is up next year so I have good feelings about his performance this year. Of course I said the same thing about Charlie.

  33. SandpointHawk says:

    My bet is Eric made him submit installment ‘T-Jack’ first. As a former writer I know how hard an assignment like this can be BobbyK. Well done… but I don’t believe a word of it…

  34. Great job, Bobby. And it took guts to step up and write such a positive column about a TJack-led Seahawks team, even though we know you would cringe to see that continue. Something tells me that you will give us more of your opinions on TJack in your next installment?

    The best thing about TJack is that he is one tough sonofagun who is not going to step aside for anyone. He will compete. Whether the next guy brought into compete with TJack is an overpriced free agent like Flynn, a first-round rookie like Tannehill, or a couple of young prospects, Tjack will make them work their hardest if they expect to unseat him. And if TJack ends up as our backup, we should consider ourselves in very good hands in that regard.

    Looking forward to the next installment, Bobby.

  35. The argument for non-elite QB’s winning in the NFL is beat to death. It can happen, and we all know it can happen because it has multiple times. Just last year, the 49ers threatened with this scheme. Whether you think the 49ers could have beaten the Patriots or not, they should have beat the Giants and they did beat the Saints. The Ravens won with Dilfer, he was worse than Jackson. It takes a lot of special players in other phases of the game though, which is what Bobby is saying. Bobby just wrote some facts here, it isn’t an opinion piece – so stop arguing points that are facts.

    Now, is Jackson flawed – absolutely, but that isn’t what this article is about. It’s about winning despite starting Jackson at QB.

    Right now, Jackson has no sense of timing, so he doesn’t time throws with anticipation and hit recievers right out of their cuts. If Jackson ever learns to do that, he could be a very good QB, not just servicable, but actually good.

    You have to choose: I agree 100% with your assessment of Jackson, but I disagree wholehartedly with your assessment of Williams. He gets seperation out of his cuts and his amazing size/length gives the QB a wide area to spot the ball away from a defender. Problem is Jackson refuses to anticipate an opening in the defense, thus rendering Williams’s skills useless. He’s a catchers mit, on a team that plays tee-ball.

  36. NYHawkFan says:

    Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. But is having an average quarterback the best way to win a championship? Hardly. Quarterback is arguably the most important position on a team. Do you feel comfortable giving TJ the ball with two minutes on the clock? Do you feel confident he’s going to get the job done? Neither do I.

  37. “Do you feel comfortable giving TJ the ball with two minutes on the clock?”

    No, of course not. A better point is that TJack did not appear to feel comfortable with the ball in his hands with two minutes left on the clock.

    TJack was never in a position where he was likely to get comfortable in the pocket. He started the season behind the worst O line in the NFL. By the time they began to learn to play well together, TJack was injured. By the time his injury healed, his best WRs were injured and his WR corps badly failed him during the season’s final games.

    Its funny how TJack gets all the blame.

    Despite injuries and disappointing performances by offensive players all around him, TJack steadily became a better QB throughout 2011, and he will continue to become a better QB throughout 2012.

  38. Sarcasticus says:

    blah blah blah…Matt Flynn Matt Flynn Matt Flynn…blah blah blah..repeat what sensible people have been saying for weeks…blah blah blah…

  39. NYHawkFan says:

    There are some posters here that don’t feel comfortable with TJ getting the ball with any time on the clock! Agree that he has shown improvement, though. Time will tell if he progresses to the point of being better than average.

  40. JohnnyBG says:

    Funny how everyone has forgotten that at the beginning of the season, the Seahawks offense could only be successful running the hurry up. As if somehow TJack halfway through the season become unable to do it for the rest of his life so we have to get rid of him.

  41. I would rather not give the ball to T-Jack in any situation in all honesty. But in the 4th quarter – in need of a GW drive? I would rather run a hurry up running game than rely on Jackson to convert. He’s been bad in late game situations with the game on his shoulders and he’s shown zero growth in that area. He had opportunities last season and fumbled, Sene-sacked, and threw away every one of those opportunities. Could he improve? I guess he could, but what evidence is there that he will? He doesn’t anticipate, he doesn’t seem to have that ability in his toolbag, so how does he get better? I think his limitations are crippling the offense right now. Windows are tight, so timing is key and he just doesn’t read where the holes are going to be to spot the ball.

  42. Dilfer did it. So can Jackson!!!

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